If you can’t handle hearing “no” from time to time, you’re probably not going to get very far in the music business.
Any independent artist with any talent is going to be passionate about their music, and that’s a good thing. But rejection is part of the game, and you’ll run into people who don’t appreciate, or simply don’t like, your music.
Getting past this is one of the most important elements of succeeding in the music business.
Don’t Let Rejections Bring You Down!
1 – Remember, there’s a very big ocean out there.
There are more music publishers, and more outlets for promoting your music, than ever before. It used to be that if you got rejected by all the Big Name labels, your career was probably finished. But not anymore!
If you find the mainstream labels are rejecting you, look for niche labels who already publish music closer to your existing style.
2 – Take criticisms as a learning opportunity.
All the great musicians spent decades honing their craft, at least aside from those who drank or drugged themselves into an early grave. (A.K.A.: how NOT to handle rejection.) No matter how great you might be now, honestly, you’ll be even better in another few years.
When someone says “I can’t publish/promote you for reasons X, Y, and Z,” take a serious look at their explanation. There’s probably good advice in there, especially if it’s coming from someone who’s been in the music business longer than you.
3 – Do more fan outreach.
If you’ve got the fans, but can’t get a publisher to pay attention, encourage the fans to do more. (And, in turn, do more yourself to reward the fans.) Sometimes sheer numbers can make an argument in your favor, if you can show, for example, steadily increasing iTunes sales or T-shirt profits.
Plus, regional fame is another good route to getting noticed by larger publishers and promoters.
So, how do YOU handle rejections?