5 Tips: Get “Discovered”
We could probably do an entire blog post defining what it means for a musician to be “discovered” but generally, use these tips to increase your visibility in an age where competition is fierce and everyone has a voice (and Twitter account):
1) Update Your Status: All right, so now that Myspace has become as useful as a wet blanket, how do we get viral with your tunes? Well, focus on Facebook page “Likes” and YouTube subscribers. Most labels have put more value in the above mentioned than your Twitter following! According to some nameless record execs, Facebook is exponentially more interactive then Twitter with a return on “calls to action”. So update your status and tell your parents Facebook is now part of your career.
2) Give It Away: That’s right. Stop charging for music. Instead, use a friend sharing service that requires a call to action in order to download. For example, search for a service that requires fans to tweet the free download link to 5 friends before they’re allowed to download your tunes for free (there‘s a ton out there, so find the best fit for your project). Even though you’re giving your music away for free, you’re growing your fan base while exposing them to your music. Many bands have done this and made up their money when newly exposed fans by merchandise, or the full albums (or prior albums) form your catalog.
3) Great Things Come in Small Packages: The days of walking a CD into any label and getting signed off of the music alone have long gone. They want an image – a brand to market. So give it to them, all wrapped up in a neat package. Include photos, press hits, any small merch pieces you have, press releases and of course, three (3) copies of your CD with only 3 songs to demo. We know you have a full album but give the A&R department only enough to want to ask for more.
4) Coffee Anyone?: Hit the coffee shop circuit. There is probably one down the street from you now that is begging for someone like you to take up a residency. What’s a residency you ask? Well, consider it like a scheduled TV program. Every week at a certain time, you allow fans to “tune in” to watch you perform. They’ll know where and when to find you, listen and hopefully bring friends as well. Ask your local coffee shop for a 4-week residency trial. If you’ve got the chops, they’ll love you for it.
5) Don’t Worry About It: Look, if you get discovered and sign a deal, it still doesn’t promise you an album release. So be creative and support yourself. Release EPs. Commit to new photo shoot every 6 months. Don’t rely on being “discovered” to save your career because 9 times out of 10 it will actually destroy it if you haven’t put in the pre-game time to develop yourself. Remember the saying “If you build it, they will come”? Well this holds true to your music and style – build it up and someone will come chasing after you with a record deal. Nothing like artistic control to put a smile on any artist’s face.
What other tips do you have to help fellow musicians get “discovered”?