The 5 Pillars – A Success Blueprint for Unsigned Artists

A concept boards is an arrangement of images, materials, textures, fonts, and colors that evoke the style of a project. Not having the professional backing of a major record company or studio can be hard on your pocket, if you don’t have a PLAN to get noticed as an unsigned artist.

Essentially, there are 5 step you can follow in pursuit of a break.

If you don’t make the effort with each, in the right sequence – you might chase your tail for years, even IF you have the next million-dollar voice.

Here are some steps you can take:

1.) Talent

Even world chart superstars will tell you, that talent is a strange thing.

Whether you do 50 shows on a world tour, or 5 rounds in your hometown singing contest – the work required seems to be the same, and there is no “in the middle” or “staying on the same level”. You either get better, or worse.

If you’ve not landed your big break yet, getting a vocal coach you feel comfortable with, whom can push you to the next level, is a must.

There are other aspects as well regarding development of your talent, like:

  • Longevity of your voice and career
  • Performance training
  • Recording studio technique

What you put in, is what you’ll get out – and it’s the ONE area, you are in full control of your destiny.

Many unsigned artists mistakenly spend too much time pursuing contacts and producers, instead of focussing that time, money and energy, in getting their TALENT up to broadcast standard first.

2.) Product

The benefit of a major record deal, is that the record company helps you get your product out there – available to the masses.

This will be one of your major challenges as an unsigned artist – but also a golden opportunity, seen from the right perspective.

It’s an opportunity to determine your fate – because if you can find a way to make and spread a product – singles, music videos, cover recordings, shows – and build a big enough fan club by YOURSELF first, record companies might find it increasingly harder to keep ignoring you.

And fortunately – with modern music production and publishing technology, many of the hard costs you faced before like recording, printing and selling physical CD’s, are now something of the past.

For as little as around $15, you can have your own recording published online – your own online music store, royalties and sales collections done for you.

If you know enough about recording, you don’t have to pay a studio thousands of dollars anymore (provided you really know what you’re doing).

Sell enough copies online, attract enough fans, get enough views on YouTube – and record bosses might just knock on your door, sooner than you expect.

3.) Placement

You have to be IN the game, for a chance to win it.

Visibility as an artist is KEY to being discovered.

Fortunately – you no longer need a million-dollar album or marketing budget, for that to be possible. The proliferation of free online music placement and syndication websites, allow you to establish a digital portfolio, and build a global, online following at the click of a button.

Here are just SOME of the services you can research:

  • SoundCloud
  • Reverbnation
  • MusicXray
  • IndieGoGo

There are literally hundreds you can pick from – but those listed above seem offer the best opportunities to EARN something in return for your effort.

You don’t have to WAIT for your big break anymore – you can CREATE it, with a little perseverance and patience.

4.) Promotion

What do you do, if you don’t have a budget, or resources to promote yourself?

Offer fan perks instead.

Host a contest, for fans to feature in a music video, or name the title of one of your songs. Offer a single or album for pre-sale.

Use crowd funding websites (like IndieGoGo for example) to attract the funding you need, in exchange for VIP perks to all your funders.

Clear and buy the rights to one or two cover songs. Use search engine traffic reports to find trending niches and demand for music. Record and publish a cover single for free on YouTube. This might help you tap into existing search volumes, then compete for some of the views to direct to your own music.

Offer your own original singles for purchase, right from your YouTube Channel. (always follow the right copyright clearance methods and channels FIRST)

5.) Transition

Do these first 4 steps right, in sequence, and you’ll become four times more valuable to any potential record label.

Don’t let fame and fortune blind you – keep pursuing the smaller opportunities as well:

  • Compilation deals – One single on a collective CD publication
  • Synchronisation deals – placement for TV and Film
  • Roster Rotation – Radio, digital broadcast
  • Advertising – Jingles, soundtracks

These can help you build the credentials, and make the contacts required to take that next bigger step.

With a plan and formula like this – you no longer have to sit around waiting for your record deal, as an unsigned artist, but can actively participate and CREATE opportunities for yourself to get discovered.

If you have not found the break you’re looking for yet, start again with Step 1, and repeat the process – UNTIL you do.

Don’t wait to get it PERFECT… just get STARTED – right NOW.

Ruan is a self-taught major-release record producer, host of The Cover Song Record Star Search (recording artist discovery contest) and author of “How to sing your way to fame on YouTube”, free e-book here:

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