We spend hours perfecting our music. The fine details count, but there's little point crafting the ideal track, album or EP if we don’t put the same care and attention into how we present and market our music.
Ever wondered why no one at a label has responded to you? Here are some tips that will make all the difference in getting your music listened to and getting it to the top of the pile for those all-important record labels and A&R managers.
1. Check the Label's ‘Submission Policy’
Always check the Submission Policy of the label you are sending to. Many labels now employ a "no physical submissions" policy, so there's usually no need to send a CD in 2014. In fact, you could do more to ruin your reputation if you send them material in a format they specifically ask you not to!
2. Know Your Image, Know Your Direction!
Contrary to popular belief, artwork and packaging doesn't need to be fancy (and there’s a lot to be said about having a "DIY" look), but it does need to be relevant to the music you've creating.
Rightly or wrongly, image is still a vital element for consideration. Why give yourself a flashy graphic logo if you’re an underground indie band? Your music and your image go hand in hand—if you're confident your image compliments your music, then that gives a label a clear indication you know your market.
3. Seriously, Label Your Music!
Taking care over how you label (notice I said "label", not "design") your music is as important as the music contained. Really.
You might be lucky, and have your music passed on
through a connection, but it’s highly unlikely a CD will be listened to if the
only words written on it are "TDK 74 minutes"! (Yes, I've seen this happen.)
If you’re sending MP3s, take care of the quality. Make sure you label your ID3 tags. A lot of the music industry work on Apple Macs, so one of the best ways of creating ID3 tags is using iTunes.
You can also embed your artwork into the MP3 as well as the artist details (email, phone number) so when that all-important A&R manager listens to your song, it will helpfully organise itself in their music library. That way, you can be found at the click of a button.
Trust me—they like this!
Also remember to upload your music to sites such as SoundCloud. Links are better than flooding an A&R manager's inbox with MP3s.
Trust me—they don't like this!
4. A Few Extras…
A carefully thought out biography and photo really helps. Photos don’t look good if you've taken them in a disused warehouse, in front of a wall, or in a field. Be original, otherwise you won't be perceived as being original!
Putting care and attention into how you present your music always gives the impression that in the long-term you'll put care and attention into your material. Your music needs an edge - after all the hard work and effort your music deserves to be showcased to the best of your ability.
Stand out from the crowd and get yourself noticed!