5 Basic Tips: Preparing to release new music

[Publisher's Note: This is another in our series of "5 Basic Tips" features, designed to help independent artists advance their careers in the changing music industry. Today we feature a post from noted music industry expert, Jay Gilbert]

The Boy Scout motto is “Be Prepared.” Following these two simple words can make a world of difference when you’re releasing new music into the market. So let’s dive right in.

Let’s assume that you’ve recorded great music. Pick a focus track. Ask people you trust which song it should be. You’re no longer competing against local artists in your city and state. Today, with partners like Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon and Pandora, you’re going up right along side the best in the business. Are you ready to compete?

Here are five basic tips for preparing to release new music:

[Publisher's Note: This is another in our series of "5 Basic Tips" features, designed to help independent artists advance their careers in the changing music industry. Today we feature a post from noted music industry expert, Jay Gilbert]

The Boy Scout motto is “Be Prepared.” Following these two simple words can make a world of difference when you’re releasing new music into the market. So let’s dive right in.

Let’s assume that you’ve recorded great music. Pick a focus track. Ask people you trust which song it should be. You’re no longer competing against local artists in your city and state. Today, with partners like Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon and Pandora, you’re going up right along side the best in the business. Are you ready to compete?

Here are five basic tips for preparing to release new music:

1. THE NARRATIVE - You’re in an elevator with an influential music executive. He or she asks you about your upcoming release. You’ve got less than 30 seconds to answer the question. What would you say? THIS is the narrative. It has to be compelling and genuine. The more interesting the better. It can’t simply be “I’ve got new music coming out.”

Once you craft your release narrative, make sure that everyone on your team and everyone you talk to knows what it is. Communicate it any way you can; socials, website, email list etc. The right publicist can help you in a big way to craft it and help you shout it from the rooftops.

No matter what level you're at, you need a ’street team.’ When you’re starting out, it may be your family and friends. Give them every tool you can; the narrative, your vision and the tools listed below.

Surround yourself with a core group of people that are evangelists. People that want you to succeed as much as you do. Their hard work and relationships will move mountains. Take care of these people and they will take care of you.

2. YOUR VISION - What are your goals with this release? More butts in the seats? Fortune? Fame? Accolades? Every artist has a different vision. Know what yours is. If you’re in a band (vs a solo artist) make sure everyone is aligned.

3. IMAGERY - I believe that when someone sees the release cover art or a photo of the artist, they should ‘hear’ the music. In other words, we’re visual beings so you need to create powerful imagery that conveys who you are and what you sound like. 

Get professional imagery and use it across everything you do; from social banners, your website, Apple Music For ArtistsSpotify For Artists, Youtube channel etc. 

Set up a (free) account with Muzooka. They’ll share your photo and bio with their partners across the web.

4. THE ONE-SHEET - Create a simple PDF one-sheet with embedded links to your music, website and socials. This is a super useful tool you can use with venues, press, labels, distribution and many more. Here is an example.

This one sheet should have your image, the narrative and a few short bullet points (press quotes, accolades, interesting anecdotes etc.)

Although these can be printed, they’re really meant to be emailed. If you decide to print, don’t forget to change the “click here” links to the the actual URLs!

5. A MARKETING PLAN - This is crucial. Don’t leave anything to chance. Create a plan for your release so everyone is on the same page. Include a timeline and roles & responsibilities. Here’s a worksheet to get you started.

There are many more things you need to do to set up a release but if you follow these five tips, you’ll be ahead of a lot of artists!

Go get ‘em!

By Jay Gilbert

 

Jay Gilbert is the co-founder of Label Logic, artist and label services www.label-logic.net. Click Here to subscribe to Jay’s excellent weekly email, Your Morning Coffee, Weekly Music News for the New Music Business

 

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