If you are based somewhere else than the city or even country that your favourite producer or written is based, don’t be afraid of approaching them in proper manners. Find their website and find their public email from there. Or find them on social media and send them a polite and friendly message and see where it goes from there. As the time I am writing this, I had signed 9 songwriters who just approached me like this, and we became friends. And most of them are based on countries in the other side of the world.
Do your homework. Know what exactly a publisher does before you approach them. If they are a country publisher, playing them your Americana/Polka isn’t going to get you a deal. If they are a pop producer, they aren’t going to be interested in your country songs. The key to getting a deal is to give the publisher something very commercial that they don’t already have. Another homework examples. You might find out in your research that a certain publisher has 3 female writers and one male. That gives you, as a male, a little edge. They may need more male songs. Always find out what they are doing and what they need to get better in the direction they are already in. If it matches your speciality and if it’s what you are good at, then approach them, otherwise don’t waste your time and theirs.
Use everything you do well to your advantage. If you build tracks and do your own demos, mention that. That saves a publisher money. Publishers are businessmen and they naturally like to save money. Think of every marketable angle for what you do and make all of that known. Warning – do not make up any of this. There’s no quicker way to ruin the potential for getting a deal than lying about what you can do. Don’t blow smoke. And don’t name drop. A publisher wants to know what you can do, not hear a list of all the people you work with. Be honest and modest and mention what you’re good at that can help them to run their business smoother and more efficient.
Write great songs. There’s no easier way to get a deal. If you write hit songs, you’re not going to have to beg for a deal. If you aren’t getting the response you want to your music, this is always the answer. Writing better songs will get you better opportunities and it will open better doors. I promise. That’s the whole nature of this business; to write great songs. Everything else is just complimentary for your great songs to be heard by publishers and producers and to be recorded. If you don’t have the first material in hand, anything else you’d do to approach the professionals is just waste of time!