In the music industry, a big part of it is how you market and promote yourself. You can go DIY or get to the place of being signed by a label. The industry has transformed in a major way in the last decade and you have to do most of the marketing on your own. With the digital age as well as the economic climate, traditional album sales will nave be how they used to me. Many label executives have jumped ship since the transformation. The industry has converged where the number or major labels have been reduced to just a few. There aren’t as many “mainstream” artists in a sense.
In the indie community, there has to be a big effort to be able to promote yourselves on top of just having talent. There are several ways to promote without spending too much money. Creating a fan base is an important aspect. It could be through several streams such as videos, on blogs, however way to build a following. As you grow and move forward, you will get the attention of labels and they will begin to approach you.