The disconnect between artists and labels

Many artists wonder why record labels and industry executives are not courting them, they put it down to not having the right influential lawyer, manager or knowing the right person. “It’s who you know!” I keep hearing this from unsigned acts but it really should be “Who knows you and what do they know you for?”
 
“We have great songs” – to paraphrase (and twist a little) Chris Rock “You are supposed to have great songs”. Why would you be in a band if you didn’t have what you thought were great songs? You are also supposed to have a fan base and some semblance of an image that will attract fans.
 
Artists treat getting signed by labels like getting accepted into the school hip society, they make it way too emotional when they should look at the relationship for what it is – a B2B or Business To Business relationship. These relationships require you to ask 2 simple questions, 1. What do we want from them? and 2. What do they want from us? The answer to question 1 has been addressed about 1 million times each week at band meetings across the globe but I bet question 2 has rarely if ever come up. Question 2. What do they want from us? This is the key to making deals in this and every industry. If you provide another company with what they need to make them money, then they are going to want to make a deal with you.
 
For those looking a little puzzled right now here are a few things a label will want from you. Volume of shows in different markets, touring, can you put bums on seats and sell to these people. Show a commitment to touring, don’t expect to stay at the Sheraton, for the first few tours sleep in the van or under the stars, you are going to end up smelling a bit, this commitment is what it takes. Sales – how many records/downloads can you prove you have sold? Buzz – are radio stations, retailers, promoters, or press – who is talking about you?
 
If you are still reading – you have a shot cus maybe you get it. If you start thinking this way and expand from here you will see them gravitate to you. Remember What do they want from us?