How to Take Your Band to the Top without a Record Deal

Posted on August 7, 2014 in - Social Media, Flyers, Marketing Tips, Print Marketing

Fotolia_67734555.jpgAt NextDayFlyers, we love helping musicians with their craft. We may not be able to produce your next album or score you a spot at Coachella, but we can certainly help you to promote your next gig with the help of our cheap flyer printing services. Read on to learn more about how you can take the world by storm and build a global fan base – no record deal required.

So you’ve got the voice, the gear, the music. Perhaps you’ve even built up an impressive following in your hometown. Your mom insists that you’re the most talented musician since John Denver (umm…thanks?), and you’ve finally reached the point where you can listen to your own demos without wanting to drown yourself. There is just one thing missing: that highly coveted but always-elusive recording contract.

The suits over at EMI aren’t exactly knocking at your door and offering to give you the Lady Gaga treatment, so how are you supposed to establish yourself in the larger marketplace and take your music global? Well, take heart, my friend, because we’re living in a renaissance of musical freedom and possibility. Technology has advanced to the point where the traditional recording contract is practically an anachronism, and every day, more and more artists are finding success entirely on their own. The bigwig record executives are no longer the gatekeepers of musical exposure, which is very good news, because those record executives were responsible for bringing us Who Let the Dogs Out? and My Humps. We can forgive, but we can never forget.

First, Take Nothing Personally

Maybe you’re thinking, “What if we’re just not good enough for a record deal?” This kind of self-defeating attitude can really mess with your head and diminish your motivation, but it’s difficult to stay in a positive frame of mind when your demo has been rejected by every label from Capitol all the way down to Bob’s Basement Records. But the increasingly anachronistic nature of the record industry is forcing all labels – big and small – to become far more selective about who they represent, and they don’t always choose the most talented acts. So next time you start to internalize the rejection of some fly-by-night recording company, just remember that, in 1961, Decca Records decided to reject the Beatles and instead offer a contract to Brian Poole and the Tremeloes. Who are Brian Poole and the Tremeloes, you ask? Exactly.

Go Viral

Fotolia_57685453.jpgSome of today’s most successful acts built their followings organically. Owl City, one of the hottest pop outfits currently on the scene, established an enormous presence simply by posting music to MySpace and interacting with fans. And say what you will about Justin Bieber, but he caught the world’s attention by posting music clips on YouTube. DeStorm Power, an up-and-coming young rap artist, also used the power of YouTube to bring his musical dreams to fruition. His YouTube channel has almost 2 million subscribers, and all without the help of radio or industry connections. If you’re really good at what you do, and you have the patience to fully utilize the power of social media, your audience will find you.

Hit the Road

Some of the most popular bands in the world will tell you that they built their fan base one person at a time. It sounds like a daunting task, but if you want to get noticed, you need to get out there and play. A lot! Play clubs, bars, festivals, bowling alleys, pet stores – any venue that will have you. As so eloquently opined by Jack Black in School of Rock, “I service society by rocking. I’m out there on the front lines liberating people with my music. Rocking ain’t no walk in the park, lady.” If you truly live by this simple but eloquent credo, there’s no limit to what you can accomplish.

Cheap Flyer Printing – and Other Marketing Essentials

Hopefully you’re already utilizing the power of social media to get your music out there, but social media is just one small aspect of the marketing picture. The #1 benefit of having a record deal (aside from the glorious bragging rights) is the marketing exposure. Big record companies are essentially just marketing agencies on steroids, and in the absence of such an agency, you must bear the burden of advertising yourself. That means you’ll need to put together a killer press kit, start communicating with booking agents and club owners, manage your website, stay in touch with your fans, advertise your local gigs, speak with local radio stations (college stations are usually more receptive), collaborate with other local artists, get your songs featured on compilation albums, upload your albums to every major digital music channel, produce music videos, and spend hours in front of the mirror working on your cool rock star poses (don’t pretend like you don’t do it).

If this sounds like a lot work, that’s because it is. Successful artists – whether signed or otherwise – treat their music as a career, and invest countless hours in their craft. If you think that you can just toss a few songs onto iTunes and play a couple of gigs each month at your local open mic night, your music career will be about as successful as a One Direction show at a biker bar. If you’re already thinking, “Holy crap, I’ve got a show next week and I’ve hardly done any advertising at all,” put down the guitar and take advantage of our cheap flyer printing – lest you should find yourself performing in front of a janitor, a bartender, and your three loyal fans.

Be Awesome

Now for the tough love portion of our presentation. You might be the hardest-working man or woman in show business, but if you don’t have the talent to show for it, you’re not going to get very far. Work on composing and polishing the best music that you can possibly create, and the rest is gravy. Word of mouth is the most effective form of advertising there is; is your music honestly the kind of thing that people will want to tell their friends about (for the right reasons)? Don’t get so caught up in being a rock star that you forget to be a musician.
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Ready to take the world by storm? Explore NextDayFlyers for all the best in cheap flyer printing, stickers, banners and other music essentials. We offer the best selection at the most affordable prices, and we look forward to serving you.

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