So you’re a bit of a bad ass, huh? You’ve got the sound that’s waiting to be discovered and are ready for the big leagues. Just because you’ve got the sound doesn’t mean you’ve got the deal these days. Now you’re thinking to yourself, what do record labels look for when signing an artist?
Here are the top five things record labels look for in an artist before giving them a deal.
Entries in Branding (20)
For musicians and bands, one of the most basic SEO achievements you can make is to get a Knowledge Panel to appear for your band keyword searches.
In past blog posts, we’ve talked a lot about the different types of search results pages that matter to you as a musician. The key to unlocking many of the rich search features offered by Google for musicians and fans is to get your basic Knowledge Panel working.
By putting all of your energy into posting new content without thinking about the big picture, you’re only getting half the job done. Instead, set marketing goals, create content in bulk, and utilize the (often free) social media management tools available online.
This article originally appeared on the Sonicbids Blog
There’s so much more to being a professional musician than just creating and playing music. If you want to make it in this business, you’ve got to stand out from the crowd, and when it comes to musicians, that’s tough. Some people go overboard with insane costumes and exaggerated personalities, but that’s hard to pull off. Sure, it’s worked for some, but if you’re not trying to wear a mask onstage or be batshit crazy online, you’re going to have to find something that works for you.
Let’s start with a little experiment - think about NBC.
Did you visualize the rainbow peacock logo?
More importantly: did you did you hear the NBC chimes?
The chimes associated with the NBC Network are an example of sonic branding. Just as brands rely on a certain color palette, typography, or a particular image, brands may also establish a connection to a particular song, jingle, or series of notes (as NBC does with the G3, E4, and C5, for you music theory folks out there).
You are an artist. You make music that can make people dance, smile or cry. This is your gift. For good or for bad, though, there is another layer to the music industry that defines whether or not your music will be heard. Business is an undeniable truth of the music industry and it is in your best interest to develop some solid entrepreneurial skills that will get your music in front of the biggest and best audience possible.
Your goal is to be a full time musician, right? Or maybe you already quit your day job and this is all you do. Guess what– you’re not just a musician, you’re a business, so start acting like one. It’s time to convert your Pinterest account to a business account, if you haven’t already. There are perks to having a business account over a personal account, like analytics tools and coming soon, promoted pins.
Why Pinterest? Pinterest gives you an opportunity to further build your brand image, show your fans what inspires you or what you find interesting, and helps drive traffic back to your other sites, like your webstore, newsletter signup, or other socials (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blog etc.) It’s a great place to build your lifestyle branding.
Ever wondered why some super talented musicians don’t get the fanbase and recognition they ‘deserve’, while other not as talented musicians get a lot more exposure and seen in all the right places? Well while there could be a number of different reasons for this, one of the most common is that successful person’s ability to handle the business side of the music industry. More specifically, they probably know how to market themselves well.
- Shaun Letang | How To Make It In The Music Industry – 4 Key Factors
Typography plays a key psychological role in how people view your music. If you want to attract new fans and retain loyal ones, it’s important to consider your visual representation in print, online and everywhere in between. A picture says a thousand words, but people spend an extraordinary amount of time reading text.
A particular type of font can invoke a wide range of perceptions and emotions, ultimately creating an image of that particular artist. For example, handmade typography and decorative fonts help musical artists stand out from others and invoke a more personal, intimate image. Meanwhile, sans serif fonts, such as Helvetica, are essential for clean visual identities that rely on expert use of white space and simplistic styling elements.
I often get asked: what’s the best social media site for bands? My business clients ask the same thing using different words: what is the best marketing channel to promote my brand? The idea that there is a magic formula or single solution to take care of all your needs is a misnomer. Where you should be promoting and the tools that you should be using should revolve around one main concept: where your target audience is. It’s as simple as that.
Without doubt, the biggest challenge any new band or artist faces is getting their music heard. So it’s important you give yourself the very best chance of cutting through. Sadly, just having great music is not enough. Bands frequently spend months writing and recording new material and then rush it out before considering the importance of presentation or brand.
Posted By: Michael Brandvold (Michael is a 20 year music marketing veteran who has worked with unsigned indie bands and international superstars. Michael owns Michael Brandvold Marketing a site dedicated to providing tips and advice for musicians.)
This is a guest post by Anne Leighton.
The best, savviest musicians listen to their publicist’s expertise. Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson and Tower of Power’s Emilio Castillo pay attention to what I tell them when I disagree, find a wrong fact in their bio, or if they NEED to do an interview during a vacation. They also tell me when something needs to be fixed. We’ve never had an argument. Sure, we’ve all made mistakes that were based in misunderstood e-mails or my faulty research for an address. All my artists have missed interviews, but we rebound and reschedule. We’re human.
Your publicist interfaces with you: the media, other world and industry tastemakers, or gatekeepers to get you more known in your career.
We work together. Whether it’s you or Ian, artists have to realize the type of coverage (radio, print, TV, internet) they will receive in conjunction with where they are at the time of their album’s release. If you’re at Lady Gaga’s level, most everyone will devote space and time to you. If you had hits more than three to 40 years ago, selected national outlets might be interested, but chances lie more in local print and radio. If you’re still determined to wake up early in the morning, you could get some local TV coverage.
Artists sometimes have trouble making friends with regular people. Especially if they’re eccentric artists. This can hurt their potential success, given that a large fan base consists mostly of regular type people. The good news is, artists can usually do well at befriending other artists–of greater or lesser eccentricity. When artists become friends with each other and start forming communities, scenes, etc., their momentum often leads to artistic movements. What began as local movements ultimately end up influencing global trends and styles in music, fashion, film, and the list goes on.
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(Updated January 13, 2016)