A ‘release’ is generally the best way to present an artist to the media, the music industry and to consumers. It gives people something to focus on and more structure and longevity for your campaign.
Before you actually do some planning and pre- thinking:
Self appraisal – Analysis
How good are your songs / live performances / images? Are they as good as the successful acts you sound like or admire? That is the target as you are entering a national and international market. Get the product as near to perfect as possible and don’t make excuses.
Assessment – what has really worked so far?
What do key tastemakers think? Radio/Press/Online – forget about your friends and family opinion as they will probably always tell you what you want to hear.
Position Yourself – who are you?
How would you describe yourself? Do you have a strap line that communicates this clearly? Do you know where you fit in the marketplace? Who is your target market? Who is going to buy your records, downloads or come to see you play?
What’s The Story?
Music is not always enough on its own. What’s the story to back up the release? Why should people be interested in you over other competitors?
Where are you going to invest time and money?
Once you’ve considered your options it’s time to form a plot / plan of action. What are priorities? Not all activity is productive so you may need to decide on where to focus your efforts. E.g. Internet marketing, press, radio or live? What resources do you have available?
The more bands / artists / new labels do themselves at this stage the better of they will be prepared for the business in the future. It is now almost a pre-requisite for emerging acts to have ‘released’ their own records.
Develop DIY Tools
Ensure your approved promo tools are all in place and you are satisfied they will represent you in competitive marketplace. If you are not 100% then no-one else will be either.
Music Product (Physical / Digital)
Photographs / Design / Artwork
Performance – Live
Website & Social Networks
Press Release / Bio
You can promote and distribute these to the key contacts and tastemakers / champions in your market or genre of music. Start local and then go national – the broadcast media are always looking to discover new acts and many of the nationals play new releases from artists previously considered ‘unsigned’. The proliferation of digital radio stations will increase your opportunities so identify the best stations and DJ’s for your style. Do the same for new media / blogs / websites and other sites online.
Action - Research 10 key targets at press, radio and online and offer them an ‘exclusive’. Don’t forget you need a ‘story’ too and probably live activity to support.
Action – Make sure your product it available via sale or return, mail order on physical and via an aggregator online. E.g. Ditto , Emu Bands , AWAL , Tune core
Professional Services – Building a Team
Alongside your own ‘hands’ on activities you may want to look at bringing in professional services to help you with your plan. Rather than send to A&R why not try to find a PR or management champion? Most acts (even DIY) have a support team that helps them with promotion and business management.
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