6 – Should I want to sign with a label?

As with many questions these days, those asking this question don’t have quite the up-to-date awareness they should have.  What can a label offer you?  support, advice, distribution, marketing, expertise?  Maybe, and all at a price usually.  The way larger labels recoup this money is quite vicious.  

So what next?  Small labels have less of everything including money, expertise and professionalism although there are some that are great.  It is all about relationships – if you work closely with a label, they will understand you more and be able to do more for you.

It may come down to starting off with self-release.  You have control over the product from the writing and recording stage through to the dissemination.  You get to make all the decisions and that’s the drawback.  It requires hard work to develop a business plan and that means knowing where you want to be by such-and-such time and discovering the tools and resources that will help you to achieve your goals.

The Internet doesn’t solve all the problems for ‘unsigned’ artists, it merely provides a set of tools that will enable you disseminate your work without having to press thousands of CD’s.

What to do next:

1 – Draw up a list of things you want to achieve in 1, 3 and 5 years (or short, medium and long term if you prefer)

2 – Decide what resources you might need i.e. manager, money, luck, training etc.

3 – Network – and that doesn’t mean attending stand-up meetings with bad warm white wine, but a place where you can meet those people that could help you advance your plan.

4 – Now go do.

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