So, How do you get signed to a record deal?
In a nutshell...
Doing it on your own is the best way to get signed.
What do you have that a record label would want?
"I have a good voice."
"I can write a good song."
"My mama said I can sing."
"Yo man, I can rap."
"I make dope beats."
If you said any of the things I just mentioned above then you can expect the following.
No. I'm sorry, but that's not exactly what we are looking for. And sadly talent is not enough.
So what are record companies looking for?
Simple. Three things: PPD
This can come in many forms but the two important ones are Social Proof and Profit Proof.
If you say something online, on your website or social media (and you should have both) do you have an engaged audience that cares and will respond?
If you put on a show or release a single can you turn a profit?
In today's current market, even a little profit is better than none. Are you turning out tunes and shows consistently and keeping records?
Honestly, I believe that this is the most important of the three because it can determine your success in the other two areas.
It doesn't take talent to arrive at rehearsals on time.
It doesn't take talent to do what you say you will do.
It doesn't require that special "X" factor to show up and put in the hours of work that is required to hone your skills.
But it does require professionalism to do those things and respect other people's time and space.
Calling someone you have never met at odd hours or sending them a text message on a Sunday is not very professional is it?
Do whatever you can to stick out in a professional manner. Showing courtesy and respect for the other person.
Do you have access to a database of fans (names, email addresses, cell numbers etc.) that are ready and willing to pay for your music?
If you do. How big is this database and how quickly can you grow it?
If you can start showing numbers that would impress your local bank manager, then I think it's safe to say you're on the right track.
But wait a minute, if I could build a team that could do all of that what on earth would I need a record deal for?
However, sometimes you need to scale quickly in your business and standing on the shoulders of a giant makes sense if you need to reach those high and lofty goals.
Other times small is beautiful.
And Joint Ventures mean more if both parties will benefit.
If you are not bringing any of these three things to the table, then you don't have a leg to stand on. And if you can't manage your on business correctly, how will you know if a record company is doing it right?
So either way, being entrepreneurial is key.
So I'll say it again.
Doing it on your own (first) is the best way to get signed.