WHAT YOU NEED TO GET STARTED?
THE START-UP ESSENTIALS
As I gather notes to meet with my DIY artist about releasing an EP this week, I thought this would be a great time to share with you our process of making a music release plan. Our first meeting we talk about the ESSENTIALS needed to actually accomplish before we even start our planning.
I feel like we need to have all the songs recorded so we can talk about what the songs are saying and who would you like to listen to your song. We are talking about a 5 song EP.
If you have not released music for awhile, this is what I suggest:
- Choose 2 of your most popular songs from the past, that your fans love and really feels like your style. We want to start with these to remind you audience how much they like the songs.
- Next consider doing a cover song, with your own spin, that again, will draw an audience in.
- So that means you have 2 or 3 new songs to complete; which means finishing the recording.
We just happen to be lucky that my music client has 3 songs she would that are already recorded that she always wanted to put out but the songs did not into fit our 2019 release. Also, she did 2 great live recordings with a full band a year ago and these all have the live recorded sound we are happy releasing to the world.
As we meet to really talk about pulling all of this together, here come my questions:
- Out of the 5 songs, what 3 songs are we going to concentrate for our release plan?
- Which songs have the most audience appeal?
- Is there imagery we can use from the songs where we can tell a story for a lyric video? And can we use photos we have already to make a lyric video? OR do we need to do a photo shoot?
- Do we have a really good live recording of one of the songs that would work when as the video to release a certain song?
- Do we need to do an official video, and can we shoot that in the next month.
- AND THE BIG QUESTION….do we have money to do all of this?
If we have the recordings in our hands they we can jump into getting the business set up.
- Protecting the songs. Yes, we really need to copyright the songs before we release those to the public. That means getting the other songwriters address and publishing information. Next, if you don’t have a PRO, you need to join ASCAP, BMI or SESAC. Luckily, my artist is all set up a BMI, so we just need to go in and update her song list.
- Online Distribution. We want to get our music on every online network we can; making more chances of just about anyone to buy our singles and EP. There are a number of networks to use: CDBaby, DistroKid, TuneCore & others. Think about it….if you just got on Spotify and Apple Play you can open your songs to almost a billion listeners! My advice: Stick to one and know the requirements.
- Website. It is time to update your website. If you only are on social media or Bandcamp, PLEASE consider getting a domain name and pulling that website together. It not only makes you look more professional, your fans can find you more easily. If you only have a Bandcamp, they do have a sales side to them, so you can continue to use the Bandcamp for your sales and connect that to your official website.
How active is your social media interaction? Now is the time to get back into the social game! Yes, even before you put new music out. My advice, just start posting that you are coming out with new music…share what you have been up to with your regular network. You can talk about what you are doing for 4th of July…a birthday…or a fun day at the beach.
- Social Media. Choose at least one network and begin. If you have not done Instagram Reels or TikTok, you may want to look into it BUT you are going to have to post in those areas at least twice a day? Don’t have that much time? Then concentrate on Facebook and Instagram. I am saying this because they are owned by the same company and it is easy to go the facebook creator studio and put a post in both socials. Whatever you decide to choose, just try to post at least twice a week! NOTE: You will have to really post lots more as we get into our music release plans!
- Performances. Are there live performances you can participate in the next few months. Ideal? Do a performance on your music release date…if you can’t book this…consider doing a live virtual event!
- Fun interaction! Start thinking of fun ways to connect with your fans…graphic contests for artwork for your singles or videos, do a ‘meet me in the park’ for an acoustic relaxed short concert or even an invite to a virtual “Sunday Brunch with the Band”.
All of this is like a pre-plan or pre-production to actually looking at calendar dates to choose music release dates and jumping into the action plans you need to do to get your music the attention it deserves!
PLEASE CHECK OUT THE MusicBizMentors YOU TUBE CHANNEL:
PART 2: The Music Release Plan
PART 3: Action & Execution!