An Artist’s “Beginner Guide”
As an artist manager, I’m often asked to give some tips on how to get started in the music business. More accurately, new artists frequently ask how to get their music out and how to start marketing it. In no way do I consider myself an expert on this topic, but I can share some tactics that have worked for me (and the artists I represent).
Independent Gospel Artists are able to take certain immediate steps that can quickly jump start their careers to help increase their name recognition and listening audience. Below are five helpful tips.
First, be sure to connect with your church community. Besides your own family, the people in your church will be your greatest initial supporters. Be sure to sing often at your local church (either in the choir or praise team), and at community events such as festivals, musicals and social events. The Gospel Industry Round-Up releases a yearly list of local churches or community gospel events that you can solicit to participate with.
Second, take advantage of all of your appearances by gathering email addresses and contact information to begin building a database of fans and supporters. Have an e-mail sign up sheet at every event you participate with whenever possible.
Third, create a ReverbNation page. This is a wonderful website for any independent artist. It allows you to showcase and sell your music along with manage your mailing list. It offers a comprehensive and professional website for many artists who may not be able to create their own official website yet. Even after having your own website, the ReverbNation site can still be used in a very functional way.
Fourth, submit your music for radio play. Different radio stations may have varying submission requirements, but there are certainties such as the following:
– Make sure your single is professionally mixed and mastered
– Submit the radio edit and instrumental version of your song
– Include any artwork associated with the song along with contact information (how can DJs or program managers get in contact with you or your management).
**Here is a tip: Internet radio stations often have easier submission processes such as submitting your music directly to their website. Do your research! Be sure to follow all of the submission requirements for each radio station. This process may get tedious, but it is well worth it when your record starts to get played and noticed.**
Fifth, utilize social media. Be sure to follow the radio stations, artists, promoters and managers that you would like to gain attention and knowledge from. Also, do not be afraid to reach out to them for advice and to let them know about your music. Be a “Social Networker!”
By no means are these five steps the only things necessary to start your music career, but it is a good starting point. Even though these are beginning steps, this process never stops. As you grow and build your brand, you will begin to do other things to advance your career, but these five steps will continue to repeat themselves (namely, gathering information for your fan base, submitting your music and utilizing social media).