Music Career Asset That Helps You Get A Record Deal

by Tom Hess

To get a record deal, you must show record companies proof of:

  • Your business mindset
  • Your commitment to music career success
  • Your proven track record of specific accomplishments in the music business
  • Your ability to help the record company make money (this one is especially key if you want a record deal).

These elements (among others) prove your value and lower the record company’s risk in working with you.

There is one credential that helps you prove many elements of music business value at once (when trying to convince a record company to give you a record deal). It is: a list of proven fans (or better yet: actual buyers) of your music. This list is worth its weight in gold in the music business, because:

  • It shows the record company that there is actual demand for your music (which can be amplified with the record company’s resources). 
  • The record company now can market to a wider audience it didn’t have access to before. (This is very valuable to them and to anyone in the music business.)
  • It shows real proof that you are serious, committed and able to get things done to grow your music career. Anybody can talk about their passion and commitment - few can show proof of specific achievements.

All these reasons make you an attractive candidate for a record deal. 

The best ways to build a list of fans (and proven buyers) in the music business include:

  1. Your own website. Offer your website visitors some incentive in exchange for their contact info (name and email address). This helps you build a list of people who are truly interested in you or your music (more on this below).
  2. Your gigs. Collect contact info of everyone at your shows in exchange for something of value. (Example: food/drink coupons at the venue.) Don't be afraid to spend a bit of money to build this list - it is worth the investment. (Because it can lead to you landing a lucrative record deal down the road.) Do the things other musicians aren’t willing to do to get the results most musicians in the music business will never have.
  3. Album sales. Collect the contact information of everyone who has ever bought your music (or merchandise). Keep these buyers separate from your general music business list.

The bigger your music business list is, the easier it is to attract the record company’s attention and the greater your negotiating power becomes.

Tip: Your social media friends or followers don’t count as your list. (And you won't compel a record company to offer you a record deal with your social media following.) You have no access to those people outside of social media. You need a way to contact everyone on your list at any time via email for maximum impact.

This music career article gives you more strategies that help you get a record deal.

Tom HessAbout Tom Hess: Tom Hess is a guitar teacher, music career mentor and guitar teacher trainer. He trains musicians how to leave their day jobs and build successful fulltime careers in the music industry.

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