It’s funny how times have changed. With all the tools at every artist’s disposal, such as social media, hitting it big in the music industry doesn’t seem like that much of a stretch today.
It’s one thing to sell beats in the Marketplace
, but if you want to also get your foot in the door of the industry, you have to work hard at building relationships.
The Roles Have Been Reversed
In the past, artists (music producers and beat makers) would work really hard at honing their craft, hoping that one day it will lead to a record contract with a big name label. A lot of artists were able to pull it off, but it was the way the labels did it that made it difficult for the many who didn’t make it.
An artist would make their own music, sing, manage, and everything in between. Then one day they would magically get a visit from a record label representative that would want to offer them a record contract. What the labels were doing was taking a huge risk because even though the label thought they were a great act, nobody knew if the general public would like them.
As a result, a label would sign an act, work with them to create a certain sound, mold them into stars, and hopefully music listeners would eat it up, resulting in the artist gaining millions of fans.
But now all of that has changed.
With social media, it’s now up to the artist to try and gain as many fans as they can by posting regularly on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, etc. So if an artist reaches out to thousands or even millions of people online, those same people will hear their music.
At this point, a record label will now sign an artist BECAUSE they have tons of fans, instead of the old way where the artist was a nobody and the label helped them get fans. That’s how powerful social media can be.
Independent Is Good
There are many artists today that end up going the independent route. That’s a good decision because not everyone wants to be locked into a contract with a record label. However, one of the drawbacks is that you have to do everything yourself.
Is that a bad thing? Not really.
Record labels expect artists to do a lot themselves anyway, including social media (unless you’re some mega-superstar), so in essence a label at that point is a company that is there to just be a financial backer.
Being independent is not as tough as some people might think because “being independent” can be whatever you want it to be.
Relationships Is Where It’s At
How many people do you actually know in the music industry? It doesn’t have to be a label A&R or a CEO, but just someone else that makes music, such as an artist, producer, beatmaker, manager, etc.
Here are some great tips to get started in creating relationships:
- Make a list of all the people that you know that are involved in the music industry.
- Split them into categories (manager, artist, DJ, producer, etc).
- However you know them, reach out to them and get their contact info (especially email).
- Maintain the list.
You can write your list down on paper, use an Excel spreadsheet, or just Notepad – it’s up to you.
What this will do is get you started with building a network of people that you know, to which you can contact them when needed. So if you are looking to work with an artist that you think would be good with your beats, you can reach out to someone on your list and see if they know anyone that fits the bill.
What do you call that? Networking from relationships.
Social Media Is The Ultimate Game Changer
Just like I mentioned earlier about how artists are using their social media accounts to reach out to their fans, that’s something you really need to consider. It’s like a web designer that doesn’t think about mobile devices when designing a website – that’s foolish.
If you don’t have a social media account then you need to get started RIGHT NOW. I know that some of you might not want to use social media, but if you’re making beats and you want to work with other people or just sell beats, you need to start networking and reaching out to the people that matter. And those people should be on your list.
Further Reading About Networking And Building Relationships