As an independent artist, releasing your album, EP or single can be difficult. An effective marketing strategy and a smart plan can make a huge difference.
You’ve written a perfect melody and made some smashing beats. You’ve got your music registered and done all the legal work. You have been diligent and jumped through all the hoops. So what now? How to proceed from here?
Here are some things you should consider before (and after) you release your music for the world.
- Plan ahead
Plan at least 2-3 months ahead of your music hitting the stores and online streaming platforms. Now it may seem like overkill, but trust us, you can never be too prepared. Plan what’s the best time to release your album. Think ahead what’s your promotion tactics going to be. Plan a timeline, it will bring clarity to the process of releasing the music.
- Build your Website
Having your website can play a key role in your music career. Most fans and record labels would like to know more details about you. So what could be a more savvy and creative way to let people know who you are than to have your website. If that feels a bit overwhelming to you. You don’t know where to start. We got your back, here HERE so go ahead and find a domain and hosting. Using any free software like WordPress or Joomla, within a few clicks you can design your website the way you envision it. Congratulations! you got yourself a website. That brings us to our next point.
- Write up the Bio
No one knows you better than YOU. Many blogs out there will advise you to hire a professional who can just write it up for you. We would recommend you to do it yourself. Your fans want to know you, not some guy who is writing up the same profile for plenty of others, using different synonyms. You know what describes you and your music best. so, just get creative. We’ve done a more in depth dive into press kits here: How to make an EPK
- Distribution aggregator
Choosing the right music distributor can be confusing. However, it is the most important decision you will be taking for your music career. We at Karmaduke, have your best interest in our hearts. Karmaduke is founded by a musicians, who went through the same troubles you must be facing right now. That’s the reason he came up with such a fascinating idea for a music distribution platform, web domain and a marketplace, all under one virtual roof. Whilst creating new multiple streams of income for an independent artist. Every time Karmaduke make money, our artists get a share.
Now we won’t ask you to sell your music through Karmaduke because that’s your decision. We hope you’re successful whomever you work with!
- Know your Genres
Listing your album or songs in specific genres will help your fans to find you. I know what you might be thinking… The more genres you list your music in, more the people will listen to it. However, that’s not the case. A person who wants to chill on a piece of jazz music won’t just settle for a rock song, no matter how awesome your guitar riff is. On the other hand, if you are listed in your proper genre, people who are looking for a similar kind of music will find your albums and will become your fans forever. So, resist the impulse to click all the genres while listing your song
- Social media campaign
There are unlimited Marketing strategies you can come up with. The main point is to have one. If you can’t pay for an ad campaign, don’t worry. You already have everything you need to promote yourself. We can’t stress enough on using social media as a marketing tool. Start the social media campaign at least a month before your release. Connect with your fans. Let them know that you have a mind-blowing album coming out soon. Ask them to “Save the date” for your release. Build up the hype. Hit up your mailing list. Moreover, Once your album is released, don’t stop promoting.
- Visual marketing
We know how much time it takes to come up with a song, let alone a whole album. You did a great job. However, music alone cannot capture the attention of your audience. It’s good if you have videos for your single or album. If not, even a cool album art can juice up your game. Now there are a few ways you can have a visually compelling album art
- Bring your inner artist out. We know you are a creative human being, so take out that old painting set and throw some colours on the canvas. Try your hands on photoshop or any such software and create what you feel will best describe your album. Create your masterpiece. Can’t afford Photoshop? No problem, you can try GIMP which does pretty much the same thing and is free here: Try GIMP
- The other option is to hire an artist who can create album art for you. It will be a small but worthy investment.
- You can have a breathtaking photo of you or your band as your album cover as well. You can hire a professional photographer or you can try that cousin of yours with a DSLR camera. Whatever works for you. When it comes to posing, keep it natural. Remember, your high school yearbook photo, that’s exactly what you don’t have to do.
- Last option and the easiest of them all. Visit Shutterstock images and slap a few things together. Not something we would recommend. In the end, the decision is yours.
- Blog it
You can write up the blog on your website. Show and tell, behind the scene photos. Talk about your inspiration for the album or even a specific song. Tell you fans how you came up with the name of your album.
Another great idea is to reach out to the influencers and bloggers for that you can read our blog “8 tips on how to get featured in the music blog”.
- Sell that Merch
Have you ever bought souvenirs while on vacation? Even though we all know how overrated and overpriced they are, we still buy them. Why, because its something that will remind you of that day for the rest of your life. There’s the same ideology behind the artist-specific merchandise. Therefore, selling merchandise doesn’t only help you make those extra bucks, it also makes your fans feel connected to you. The more personal you make it for them, the stronger your fan base will be. There are many free websites where you can design your merch and when it comes to selling; we are working on bringing the platform suited just for you, so stay tuned.
- Capitalise your success
Well done, you did it. Your songs are going up the charts. People are loving it. You got tons of new fans. Now what? No… Now is not the time to relax. Its time to reap, what you sowed. In this case, the benefits of your hard work. Ride the wave of fame that you created. Come up with new singles. Release some EPs. Bring out the acoustic version of one of your songs. Do some live concerts online. Keep your fans updated on what they should be looking forward to. Most importantly keep creating some amazing music.