How to present yourself professionally as a singer/songwriter?
by Jeanine Maningo
To become a singer/songwriter might appear easy, you just need to pickup your guitar and start writing songs. But presenting yourself professionally to your targeted audience or industry professionals might sound hard. Why?
First, music business professionals (record producers, A&R, entertainment attorneys) require you to have some a strong working knowledge on business side of music which is important. Below are things you SHOULD know:
1.) Understanding what is copyright - especially the distinction between the copyright of a song and a copyright of sound recording. These two are different and you should know it. Your work needs to be copyrighted as a song only because you are not the one producing the recorded version.
Most recording copyrights are owned by either the recording label or the recording producer.
2.) Licensing and Publishing - it is important you should know the function of a music publisher and the terms related to music licensing. Being ignorant on these things is not good and can affect how you are presenting your songs and performance to either the recording labels or music publishers.
3.) The economics of selling CD and downloads - in this case, you should have at least a working knowledge about how the royalty are computed for every CD that is sold as well as the downloads online. In this case, it would be easier for music business professionals to talk to you about these things since you are already familiar with, and has a strong impact in your professionalism.
Second, start a website or a blog. It is important to establish yourself as an authority online, for example you might start a blog on how to become a singer and share your knowledge in singing and in music business.
By sharing your existing knowledge you possess on singing and in the music industry helps you established better as a professional singer/songwriter.
Third, promote yourself in your local place. Have your sample demo CD, business cards and fan mail sign application ready. Much better if you can document your performance and have it uploaded online via Youtube, etc.
Do some live performance regularly to expose your singing and songwriting abilities as well as earning new fans.
Fourth, try to work with a producer to create demo recordings of your best songs. It is because; most of the singer/songwriters do not have their recordings professionally done. And remember that your recordings and work is a reflection on how you treat your business seriously.
Fifth, you need to have the right attitude. You need to handle rejections professionally. Do not talk bad about other artist, their music, or even talk all the time about yourself. Instead, be interested in meeting professionals and learn from them. Let them do the talking, appreciate their work and sooner they will become your close contacts that might help you to succeed in your singing/songwriting career.