How to Get Noticed by a Record Label
If you’re making great music then there a lot of things that you can do to get noticed by record labels. For all up-and-coming musicians looking to get a label to pay attention to you, we’ll tell you how you can stand out from the crowd.
A record label will notice you if you’ve built a large enough fan base through amazing music and live performances, engaging social media profiles and effective branding. It is easy to make demos to try to get attention, but you must approach labels properly.
Are you a musician waiting to get noticed by a record label? Here is everything you need to do!
How should I approach a record label?
You should expect a record label to approach you if they want to sign you instead of you approaching them. You could reach out them but most labels get hounded with requests to be signed all the time.
Instead of directly approaching labels with your demo, try getting on their radar through other ways first. One way to do this could be through sending an email for advice or for more information about how the label works. It’s good to do this kind of thing around the winter months when they are less busy.
Another thing that you can do is go to events run by the label or gigs from their artists. You will get a better understanding of the label’s culture and maybe get a chance to meet the people who work there.
Easiest way to get signed to a label
If you are looking to get signed by a label then there is a lot of work that you need to do first. Usually, you will only get signed when you have created a market for your music and convinced a label that there is money to be made by investing in your talent.
You shouldn’t force conversations with people you don’t know because you don’t want to make a bad first impression. It’s better to let things happen organically and show that you’re at these events on social media.
The important thing to remember is that you don’t always have to approach a record label with an agenda to get a record deal. It is unlikely that a label will be interested in you if you have shown no interest in them unless you are huge already. Find a label with artists that you like and simply show an interest in their work.
#1 Keep practising
Keep some time for daily rehearsals until you’ve got every lyric memorised. You need to get into a routine of practising because even if you get signed, you will always have to practice.
Practising with a vocal or instrumental teacher can make a massive difference in your abilities. You can get valuable feedback and professional opinions from people who know what they are talking about.
Take all the feedback in and iron out issues. Polish your sound and make sure that you are constantly improving.
#2 Perform as much as you can
If you want to get noticed, perform regularly. It will help you improve your musicianship, establish your brand, better your social skills, and meet music professionals.
Most record labels send their talent scouts and A&Rs to popular venues, singing contests and local music festivals to hunt for new talent. The more you perform, the less likely you are to miss out on those opportunities.
#3 Make the best music you can
Always focus on writing new material. Tape Record your rehearsals and listen back to it to those tapes again and again, to make sure your music is absolutely mind-blowing.
Learn more about the songwriting and production behind your favourite artists. See how you can integrate those techniques into your own music. You will have to learn to listen to music analytically and improve your ear for the finer details that make great music.
Record labels always look for someone striking who is ready to take the world by storm. They want polished, professional acts that can earn them a profit, so be dedicated and professional towards your craft.
#4 Build a solid fanbase
You are going to have to spend as much time on self-promotion as you do on making music. You should always engage with people wherever you perform and also on social media. This will help your fans become more interested in you and your music and help you learn more about what your fans want to hear.
Artists with a solid fanbase are most likely to be noticed by record labels. Take advantage of the internet and keep posting quality content regularly to gain more fans across the world.
#5 Be active on social media
Any serious artist must be active on social networking platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. so make sure to create the best impression you can!
Implementing a great marketing plan to reach people online. It will also expand your fanbase to help increase your online stats, such as Facebook likes, Twitter and Instagram followers, YouTube subscribers. Labels will look at this when they consider signing anyone, so you want your followers to be authentic and engaged.
#6 Do some solid branding
Have an interesting bio, a logo, some amazing photographs, and artwork ready for all your releases. Set these up correctly on your social media and you’re sure to get more likes and clicks.
T-shirts are incredibly popular merchandise to build and promote a brand. Not only will a little cash come into your pocket, but you also get a free promotion every time someone wears your tee.
#7 Think like a record label
Record labels want music that has the power to make them and their artists stand out. So, although you’re free to make the music you want to make, be realistic about the commercial possibilities of it.
Try to strike a balance between your artistic vision and how marketable your music is. Make music keeping your specific audience in mind.
#8 Build your network
Meeting people face to face is much more effective than sending email after email. You need great people skills to succeed in the music industry so try going to industry conferences and masterclasses to see how well you do at striking up conversations.
If you get a chance to meet people from the labels you’re interested in then you need to demonstrate your amazing personality. Make sure that they remember you for the right reasons. You might not be ready to sign yet but you would have made a positive impression that could serve you well in the future.
You could also network with other people that may help you, such as managers and lawyers. These people might be able to give you feedback, advice or even work with you on a long–term basis if they think you’re worth it.
#9 Approach record labels with your demos
The most direct way to approach record companies, is to record demos and send them. Record your best original songs, think of your demo as your band’s resume and choose the songs that best represent your music.
Pick songs that your fans love the most. If you want to avoid expensive studio costs, try recording yourself with a home studio or with a decent laptop and some mics.
Study a label’s catalogue well and send your demos only to labels that will be interested in your style of music. Be creative in your presentation and portray yourself as a fully formed artist. A label is also more likely to listen to your music if you have already met them or if it was sent by a lawyer or manager.
While sending your tracks, never attach MP3s to email. Rather, use a private SoundCloud stream.
How to get a record label to listen to your music
Present the best work you can! Select songs with strong beginnings, that can grab the listener’s attention within the first few seconds. Share a good artist/band bio that defines who you are and what your music is all about.
If you have any notable achievements such as competition wins, positive reviews or sold-out gigs then include this with your music. Make sure you only highlight your biggest achievements and keep anything that you write short and concise because the music should be the focus.
How to build an audience live
Play shows every month in local venues to build a steady local following. Try new venues to build a wider fan base in your area. Also, it’s good not to play too often in the same place, or you might start boring the regulars.
Contact local festivals to find out who you might be able to open for, sign up for music contests sponsored by local radio stations. Once you have established yourself locally, venture into more regional shows.
Tour with other bands and visit new cities but don’t plan a larger tour until you know you have mastered your set and can play without any hiccups. Try recording your performances to see how you can improve.
How to build an audience online
Set up accounts under your artist alias on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Myspace, SoundCloud, etc. Make sure your individual URLs are the same for each platform. For example, if you’re www.facebook.com/artistuk, try and have www.soundcloud.com/artistuk too.
Then, interlink everything on all your platforms so they profiles should have links to your other social media profiles, website, and contact email. Think about setting up a custom artist email with your own .com domain to make yourself look and then build your own website using a website builder.
Keep everything up to date and always respond quickly to anyone who reaches out to you. They could just be a fan, but you never know, they could also be someone interested in signing you who are also looking to see how well you respond online.
How to work on a social media marketing plan as an artist
Create consistent and professional-looking branding. If needed, hire a graphic designer. Using your custom branding, design an eye-catching YouTube Channel, Twitter background, and Facebook page. Use a digital aggregator to get your music on digital streaming platforms and use social media to direct your fans to your music.
Create weekly goals for increasing your fan following and encourage engagement to boost your posts. Keep fans informed about your upcoming shows, and share photos, videos and occasionally, off-topic items that you think they will enjoy.
Keep posting/tweeting/updating your profiles but diversify your content. If you post too much of the same thing then this will quickly bore your audience and they’ll stop engaging.
Let us know in the comments what you plan on doing to get more attention as an artist.