How to Get a Record Deal Using Online Marketing

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Here’s a hard truth: Getting a record deal is no easy feat. That’s the bad news. 

The good news is that the internet has greatly reduced the obstacles new musicians typically face when looking for a record label. Today, every musician looking to gain traction and get a good record deal must work to build a solid online presence, create a brand, and construct a community of fans.

It is through establishing an online presence that you will be able to connect with influencers who could help you take your music career to the next big level. The music industry, like most industries, is a relationships industry—it is who you know that really matters (and of course the quality of your music).

I’m regularly asked for tips on getting a record deal. So, here are some online marketing techniques that will definitely increase the chances of reaching the right people and getting that deal:

Owning your domain

how to get a record dealAny musician who is serious about getting the word out about their work must have an independent website. This is not only the first step in marketing and promoting your work; it is also a vital step in branding yourself as an artiste. A website provides a platform for showcasing some of your music, publicizing your events and sharing interesting content on your blog with your fan base. Social media is not enough, you need a website.

In many ways, your website is your virtual portfolio and it is likely the first place any influencer will go to check out what you are up to. Think about what you would like to see on your favorite artists’ website. In other words, create content that will engage your audience, whether these are music industry news, videos, funny pictures or articles.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is still an important aspect of your online marketing campaign. Apply optimization best practices to ensure that your website and all the great content you are posting is visible and findable.

Leveraging the power of social: Connecting with fans   

If there is a single industry that has reaped the positive benefits of social media, it has to be the music industry. From Justin Bieber, to Boyce Avenue, Kim Yeo-Hee to Mia Rose, Artists & Repertoire(A&R) are increasingly using social media to scout and sign talented upcoming artistes.

YouTube, SoundCloud, Tumblr, MySpace, and Instagram are just some of the essential video platforms you can leverage to share your music, receive feedback, build a fan base and increase your chances of meeting the right influencers or directly accessing your target record label.

Use other social sites including the main ones such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest to share your work, network with fellow artists and more importantly, start to build a network of influencers who would be instrumental in getting your music in front of the right people. There are numerous other platforms to explore; your target audience will guide your choice of social platforms.

To succeed with social media i.e. to generate enough buzz to get the attention of influencers, you need to drive a high level of interest for your fans. This will require you being creative with your content by doing less traditional ‘content marketing’ and more storytelling about your life, events, and music. This what your fans are more interested in. Use a mix of videos, images, and interesting written content to keep your audience engaged.

Maintaining active and ongoing conversations with your existing fans is also a great way to get them to share your content, thereby helping to grow your fan base and opening you to new possibilities.

Leveraging the power of social: Connecting with Influencers

how to get a record dealOnce you establish your social presence, it becomes easier to reach out to influencers, because you have built some sort of foundation for your career. Remember, A&R staff, producers, music writers, bloggers and media personalities are usually keen on assisting artistes who already have some supporters and have the potential of becoming ‘stars.’

So, make the best use of social media to locate and connect with employees and other insiders in the specific label companies you want to work with. You can also connect with fellow artistes on social media; networking like this is a sure way of getting the connections you need and opening up opportunities that were initially unavailable.

Without a doubt, the people you want to connect the most with are those who work for or have close ties with the label you are targeting. However, building relationships with bloggers and media personalities in the music industry can be very helpful in generating buzz around your brand and your music. The right buzz, at the right time can indeed get labels to look your way.

How to Get a Record Deal

Bottom line, with sustained effort, establishing a solid and dynamic online presence is a powerful strategy through which you can make friends in the right places and build your tribe. These relationships are optimally the bridge to your record deal.

For help with marketing, branding or website design go here.

Image Credits: Mark Sebastion

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