How to Approach A Record Label Or Manager?
When it comes to music and the entertainment industry, there’s one thing that everyone needs: connections. And while you might not be able to control where your next big break will come from, you can make sure you’re making the right connections at the right time – by getting in touch with managers and record labels early on in your career. But how do you know who these people are? How do you find them? And how do you approach them in the first place?
Have a clear strategy.
A lot of artists have a good idea of what they want to achieve but have no idea how they’re going to go about it. For example, “I want to be famous” is nice, but it’s not enough on its own. You need to think about the steps you need to take for that goal to become reality—and then outline those steps in detail and start taking them!
Having this kind of plan will help ensure that you don’t waste time or energy on things that aren’t effective at getting you closer to your goals (or worse yet, put yourself at risk). If someone signs their name with their contact information on your demo CD and hands it back without listening or responding at all? Maybe try something else next time!
Make sure the manager or A&R you are approaching has a track record of success.
The second thing you should do is make sure the manager or A&R you are approaching has a track record of success. This is especially important if you are an indie artist with no backing from a label or management company yet.
To do this, look at the artist’s past successes and failures under their management team. If they don’t have any artists signed to major labels or haven’t had any success with their careers, this may not be the right person to approach yet (unless they can show that they have experience in managing up-and-coming talent). You also want to make sure that the label has had some success in working with other artists before approaching them as well if not, there’s no guarantee on whether or not your album will sell once released on their label!
Always check recent press or interviews with the artist and label to make sure your approach is appropriate – and that the artist or label needs your help right now!
Check out their social media, too. Most artists are active on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram; if they’re not posting regularly, it might mean they have other things going on in their lives. Don’t send a cold email if that’s the case!
Tailor your approach to each label and manager you are approaching.
- Consider the label or manager’s specific interests and needs. Some labels are looking for specific genres, marketplaces, or artists; others may be more open to anything that fits their current roster. Many labels want an artist who can tour extensively, so if you’re happy to do that then this is a good thing to mention in your approach. If you have some unique traits or skills that might appeal to a manager or label, like being bilingual or having a special skill they can use in promotional events (e.g., magic tricks), make sure they know about them! n
- Be aware of their personality and communication style. It’s important not only to tailor what you say but also how you say it depends on who it’s going out there into the world with what works with one person may not work at all with another! There are no hard rules here except knowing yourself well enough: pay attention when talking over email/Skype/text so that when someone asks how things went after meeting up in person later on down the line (the point at which many first dates happen) there aren’t any awkward “oh…uh…well…” moments happening between both parties involved which could otherwise lead nowhere fast because one party feels uncomfortable discussing certain topics openly without feeling judged by another party involved.”n
Don’t waste anyone’s time with a long, rambling email or proposal – they will not read it.
- Don’t waste anyone’s time with a long, rambling email or proposal – they will not read it
- Don’t ramble on about your personal life and how you came up with the idea for your song.
- If you’re sending an email, keep it short and sweet! One page is fine, two pages are pushing it… three pages mean you’re not going to get a response.
If you’re sending a physical package (CDs/DVDs), don’t send more than three items in one package; otherwise, the label may toss the whole thing out when they see how much room all those packages take up in their mailroom! If possible, try sending only one item per package if multiple items are being sent together; this will help ensure that all items arrive safely at their destination.
Keep emails short and focused – let them know exactly what you can do for them, why you can do it better than anyone else, when you can deliver, and how much it will cost. Ask for a meeting!
- Keep your emails short and focused – let them know exactly what you can do for them, why you can do it better than anyone else, when you can deliver, and how much it will cost. Ask for a meeting! Don’t go into lengthy explanations about why their business is failing, or their latest album isn’t selling as well as expected.n
- Be clear and concise in all of your correspondence with record labels and managers. You don’t want them to think that you’re wasting their time by being too long-winded or rambling on about irrelevant topics. You also don’t want to appear unprepared or delusional about the industry itself; keep things professional!n
- One of the most important things to remember when approaching a record label or manager is that persistence goes a long way! If they’re interested in what you have to offer but are unable to make any promises at this time (which they almost certainly will be), follow up after an appropriate amount of time has passed (two weeks) with another email reminding them of your past correspondence and asking if there might be any changes regarding the matter at hand. Just remember not to bombard them with pestering messages every day because this could backfire very quickly and cause resentment between yourself and whoever receives these texts/emails from someone who seems like nothing more than simply “that annoying fan.”
Don’t ask for money upfront – that’s a no-no. Instead, ask for an initial meeting to discuss your ideas and plans.
Don’t ask for money upfront. You’ve heard the saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover” and it applies here.
Instead, when approaching a record label or manager, simply ask for an initial meeting to discuss your ideas and plans. There are no guarantees that they’ll be interested enough in what you have to say (or your musical talent) to sign you on immediately but if they do like what they hear, then they may be able to help with funding later on.
It’s important not only not to be afraid of asking for meetings but also not too greedy with them either – don’t expect every meeting with someone new will lead directly into a record deal! If anything it’s more likely that being persistent will bring results faster than being quick-witted both because people tend not to take kindly towards being pestered as well as those who come across as too pushy during initial exchanges often lose credibility quickly so keep trying until one day someone says “yes!”
Be persistent but polite. Follow up with an email, text or phone call if you don’t hear back straight away – but don’t bombard them with pestering messages every day!
You should follow up with an email, text, or phone call if you don’t hear back straight away – but don’t bombard them with pestering messages every day! It’s important to be persistent but polite.
Learn how to target managers and labels effectively!
- Learn how to target managers and labels effectively!
- Understand what you need from a manager or label and the best way to approach them.
- What to do if you don’t hear back after your initial introduction.
- How to follow up after an initial meeting with a manager or label.
- How much money is reasonable for an artist who isn’t signed?