The Social Experience......Helping the Unsigned Artist Get Heard!!!
“Getting signed” has been a phrase that’s become incredibly ingrained into our pop culture lexicon. It’s been the goal and phrase used by bands for decades now — however, .. it doesn’t really mean much anymore.
Back in the day an artist needed a record deal! There weren’t as many studios around, and recording was a bit more costly, so you needed a label to foot the bill for you. Similarly, you needed a record label to distribute your work into stores and online markets.
You also needed a label to help market your work, as social media didn’t exist whatsoever.
But today, you can literally do everything a major or large indie label can do. While a label is still a great goal for an artist, you can get great traction on your own.
Companies such as CD Baby and TuneCore allow for great distribution options for releasing your work internationally in a professional manor. And while home and local studios are being extremely prevalent worldwide, companies such as LANDR make it very easy to have your music mastered without ever having to leave your sweatpants.
Lastly, there’s marketing. Can a major label get you booked at some festivals and TV shows that might be tough on your own? Sure. And do they likely have a larger marketing budget than the average indie artist? Yep!
But that doesn’t meant you can’t hustle on your own with all of the social media and PR platforms available to artists today. That’s the thing — the playing fields are even! Everyone has access to social media that can reach millions, and everyone has access to the same general PR knowledge that can get you featured in media, blogs and more.
It’s just about utilizing your resources in the best way!
I often hear from artists that they are too introverted or shy to network with other bands, managers, publicists and more. Or, I hear from artists that want to network with other industry folks, but they may live in a town without much industry backing.
And while it can be tough meeting the right folks, or getting into a “networking” mindset, there’s plenty of ways artists can connect using the good ole’ internet.
The DIY music community is huge both on and offline! CD Baby recently held their first annual DIY Music conference in Chicago with much success, and there’s plenty of DIY blogs via TuneCore, Sonicbids and others.
You can also reach out to similar artists, managers and thought leaders via Twitter, or maybe partake in a music-centric Twitter chat such as #GGChat or #DIYMusicChat are also a great way to meet other artists.
Simply by searching hashtags or keywords that interest you, you can find similar artists for touring with, journalists to help you cover work, and even publicists and other pros who are willing to give some wisdom to new artists.
Never underestimate the power of social “networking” (networking being the key there). Social media has evolved so much that we forget it’s essential purpose — to meet others. Whether it’s LinkedIn, Facebook Groups, searching hashtags, or even meeting someone in person at a music event — networking is vital, and easier in today’s digital landscape.
Music consumption is actually up around 14% from last year, and while that’s from streaming alone — it does show a shift in the industry, especially from a technology that’s still growing and evolving.
The music industry has always seen evolutions in technology change — this has always been true. Revolutions such as smart phones, ipods, and other technologies have led to change, and streaming is another. We’re on the brink of a very important time in the music industry! And sure the traditional model may be breaking and crumbling, but beyond that there is certainly change on the horizon that we can be and should be thankful and optimistic for.