This is the final post in this 3-part series. This one will be on creating the main music business asset that record labels look for... a large, obviously growing and potentially huge fan base.
> Develop your fan base
- Do a video on one of your songs that best reflects your artistic definition. Put it on Youtube, your website and every other video site you can.
- Create an EPK (electronic press kit). You'll need a great bio, press clippings, venue endorsements, if at all possible, make a video for it. Keep the info current.
- Get your artist website done!! This will be your hub for all things internet. Make sure it includes a subscription box to capture email addresses in a database. Use one of your recordings as a free mp3 to offer in exchange for their email.
- Create Facebook, Twitter, RevebNation and Google+ pages which you will use to draw in and connect with your ideal audience/ listener/record buyer/show attendee. Always link back to your own website!
- With your web infrastructure in place, book live performances any where you can and continue to grow your fanbase, capturing email addresses whenever possible.
- Collect press, testimonials and pictures from venue owners and bookers, etc. Update your EPK and website as you get more to talk about.
- At your shows, sell your recordings, and merch if you have it. This is a good way to keep your voice and your likeness in front of people after the show.
- When you own your own tracks, you can do sync licenses with movie and TV music supervisors and get some visibility in this way. (This is a huge subject).
- You can extend your fanbase if you place highly in those big TV talent shows. Just consider the source and never assess your true artistic value by the outcome of a contest.
> When you have a good following of fans, begin the label pitching process…
- It is best to get an industry insider who believes in you as an artist to pitch you to the labels. Use your recording, press kit and hopefully create some ‘buzz’ from your shows to stair-step network with these industry insiders. Do your due diligence and choose some people who have the integrity, respect, position and clout to present yourself to.
- When you get a meeting, be prepared to do impromptu performance or full showcase. If you get label interest...
> Consult a good entertainment attorney
- NEVER SIGN ANYTHING without consulting a good entertainment attorney, bringing any paperwork on any you are considering! There are many pitfalls good counsel can protect you from, such as labels who will just take your money, tie you up away from the competition and put you on a shelf for a few years before dropping you.
Remember... like all businesses and all good deals...
- Don't stick your head in the sand
- Don't neglect doing your part of due-dilegence
- Do create your own value.
- Do create your own career path... and think way outside the box. Do some brainstorming with a small circle of advisers to expand your thinking.
- Do gather and head the advice of your team of professionals as you need them.
- Do go for the win/win - for the label and you the artist! and finally... make sure you actually need the record deal you're considering!