Getting signed to a record label is hard.
You’ve got to put yourself out there by pitching your best tracks to someone you’ve never met, and hope they like your music enough to sign you up.
But that’s not even the hardest part.
The music market is pretty flooded these days, thanks to affordable recording software and the ease of posting on the internet.
The acquisition department of your average label is flooded with submissions every single day.
It’s no wonder that most of them make it really hard to find their contact info.
It’s not as simple as digging through their webpage to find it, either.
Most contact pages have a generic question submission form, and that’s if you’re lucky.
On top of that, once a label roster is full, they won’t accept any more pitches.
Where does that leave you?
Find Record Labels
Start doing internet searches by genre to find labels that promote your style of music.
Scroll through their signed artists’ page and check them out on YouTube to see what they sound like.
Do any of them sound anything like your music? If not, move on. If yes, put that label name down on your list of maybes.
Continue doing this, and then start from the other direction.
Look up your favorite artists in the genre you perform, and find out which label took them on.
It may be one, or it may be several–labels often buy each other out and become subsidiaries of one another.
Mark each of these labels on your maybe list, as well.
Research the Labels
Now it’s time to dig through the site pages for each label.
Going to the contact page sometimes works, but not always.
Sometimes it’s on the Artists page, sometimes under ‘Our Story’, and sometimes it’s on a page marked “Contact Us!”
But you’re not done yet, oh no.
You need to find the submission guidelines.
What format do they want? How many tracks?
Are they open to submissions right now?
Is there something they want you to put in the subject line to prove that you read the instructions?
Because yes, that little test can actually happen.
Find the name of the person who will actually read the email, if at all possible.
Make a note of that on your list.
Avoid Canned Record Label Databases
There are a bunch of sites out there claiming to offer lists of record label email addresses.
But ask yourself this: when was it last updated?
How many of these people still hold the same job title 2, 3, or even 4 years later?
What if the email addresses have changed altogether?
You can’t trust a list that has been sitting on a webpage somewhere for who knows how long.
You want a list that is managed and kept up-to-date with current information on how and where to submit your work.
Craft your artist bio.
Introduce yourself BRIEFLY and move on to a quick explanation of your music and why you are contacting this label.
If they represent an artist that you really admire, mention that tool.
If you have music industry experience, such as a previous release with good sales, or opening for a large event, bring that up.
Remember to keep it short and sweet.
List the song titles you are submitting and ALL of your contact info.
Submit your tracks as instructed, and DO NOT send mp3 attachments in the email.
ONLY send a private link to a reputable online music hosting site, unless otherwise instructed.
Some labels may want you to submit via an automatic form on their website. If that’s the case, follow the instructions to the letter.
Other things NOT to do:
- Send unlabeled tracks
- Send, or offer to send, bribes of any kind
- Beg, plead, or threaten
- Promise it’s the best they’ve ever heard
- Act mysterious or grandiose
- Email them every day until they promise to sign you
A couple of things that you SHOULD do:
- Be polite and professional
- Wait at least 4 weeks before sending a follow-up email
- Always follow submission guidelines
- Choose your very best tracks to submit
- Be patient
And most importantly…
Use GigFaster to cut through all the hassle and get a regularly updated list of record labels that are looking for artists.
Build your artist profile, upload your best tracks, and compose a killer pitch that checks all the boxes above. And DOESN’T check any of the boxes you should avoid.
Best of all, with GigFaster, you don’t have to keep track of who you emailed and when you should follow up.
GigFaster stores all of your submission info in one handy dashboard, and notifies you instantly when there’s a reply.
GigFaster also keeps a list of venues that would be perfect for your next live event, and helps you pitch to them, too.
With GigFaster on your side, composing pitches just got a whole lot easier!
Try it for yourself with our one-week free trial!