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Indie Musicians: How to Find a Distributor


Finding and securing a distributor is not an easy process especially for indie musicians.  Most distributors look for musicians that already have established airplay but the problem is, many radio stations favor musicians that already have national distribution.  In this case, indies should just make kick-ass press kits and start “attacking” radio stations and distributors with their raw talent and charm.

You should condition yourself that finding a distributor will not happen fast. It’s a lot like applying for your dream job. Even if you do your best with the press kit and everything else, you should also bear in mind that these people get a LOT of letter and packages in their office everyday thus the whole process could take a while.  Put yourself in their shoes and you would understand why. So keep on sending pres kits to the distributors that sell your kind of music and do not lose the enthusiasm and energy that you had on Day 1. While waiting, market your music and do more gigs.

Here are some things to bear in mind when looking for a distributor:

Do some research on your prospect distributors. Do not simply give every distributor your press kit. You have to know first and foremost, if they are legit. Ask them what stores they distribute to and what areas. Afterward, you can do your own research by calling the said stores and checking whether they are actually telling the truth.  This may indicate that they are not legit and they might rip you off. Research is also necessary so you would find out what kind of music they produce, their list of clients/partners, their rules and regulations. You are not desperate just to hook up with just any distributor. You also have to know if they are the kind of distributors you want to work with.

Call them first before sending anything. As I’ve said, they are so busy and their desks are swamped with kits and letters from bands everywhere so if you just send it to their office without prior notice, your letter might get lost in the hay and eventually end up in the trash box. The intention of the first call is simply to ask for their permission or approval that you’re in fact sending a kit to their office. You also have to ask them about their requirements, policies, and the best time to reach them for updates. Good oral communication skills and phone ethics are not necessary, but is a major plus.

After you’ve done all of these, it’s time to send the requirements (letter or the press kit) to the distributors you talked to. Keep looking for distributors and keep your hopes up. With determination and lots of action, you will get a distributor in time.

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