How Can I Get My Band Signed?

Q. How can I get my band signed to a record label?

A. If you're looking to get yourself or you band noticed in the music industry there are definite do's and don'ts to attracting the attention of a good record label.

Check out these tips from the experts at Polar Flame Music, responsible for the marketing campaign behind Sandi Thom's chart-topping international hit 'Punk Rocker'...

1. Innovate

Don't follow everyone else's lead! If you want to draw attention to yourself, do something that hasn't been done before. Sandi was struggling to get people to her gigs so Polar Flame took her gigs to people... they set up a live webcast from her basement and with a cheap webcam, small mixing desk and some mics, broadcast a live gig every night for two weeks straight on to her website!

2. Data Capture

Get your customers' contact details and make sure they know when you have big things coming up. Sandi collected email addresses from everyone who attended her live gigs. Having a friend going round with a clipboard meant over the months the list became bigger and bigger. Polar Flame were strategic and held off until the timing was perfect... just before the webcast.

3. Learn From Failure

Failing happens to everyone. Make sure you learn from your mistakes so be fierce and don't give up. For Sandi's first gig, despite the mass mail out, the number of viewers weren't as high as expected, so Polar Flame decided it was time for Plan B... The press!

4. Network

Keep in with the press, but don't bother them unless you really have something they can print. Keep them sweet by sending a bottle of wine with any CDs or invites to your gigs (also mention that you have organised free drinks for them and a friend, it's money well spent!). Make them like you before they even hear your music. After putting out a story that Sandi's website was receiving so many hits that the computer hosting the webcasts had caught fire (a little white lie) the story hit page one in The Sun and News of the World. Result? A bidding war from the major labels...

5. Check the deal

Everyone and their dog has a record company these days, so remember, check that they have a track record of successful bands and they have good hard cash to spend before you sign your life away. Always consult with a specialist music industry lawyer. During the final webcast, Sandi signed a record deal with Sony RCA for a cool £1,000,000. Voila. Pub gigs to international fame in a very short space of time!