You're ready to release - Now what?! (Part 1)
By Helena Leijon Eriksson
When planning a release for your project, it’s safe to say that before you got to that planning point, you spent a dedicated period of time actually creating the music.
You went through the stages from idea to complete final song/songs and this was most likely a carefully crafted effort that resulted in you now having that finished product in your hands.
Knowing just what to do next and what is the right strategy can definitely feel like you’re lost in a jungle.
That’s why I’m here to give you some red hot tips.
Firstly, take pause. I’m telling you… whatever you do, DO NOT rush.
It’s very easy to get excited (yes, I’ve been there). You want to get that track/EP/Album out NOW NOW NOW. But let me stop you there. Like we just discussed, you spent some serious time (I assume) on actually making the music. So why would you rush through the next steps?
There are a several necessary steps to take, to make sure that you maximise the reach of your release.
STEP I : Define your brand
This will take some serious pondering. What kind of artist do you want to be? Do you have a persona?
Depending on the music you make, and what you want to convey you need to establish a “roadmap”
that correlates to you as an artist and the music that you make. Once this roadmap is established
and defined, you will be able to apply this “map” to everything you do in relation to your music. This roadmap is also called Your Brand.
Do you want to be badass, down to earth, quirky?
What is your style? Are you Lady Gaga “loud” or are you a Taylor Swift sweet “pop-princess”?
Are you political or not? What do you stand for and what are you comfortable sharing with your audience?
Maybe you have a rough idea already and need to fine-tune it, maybe you don’t know, and that’s ok too!
If you don’t know - research! Find other artists that you are drawn to and relate to. This will give you an idea of what kind of artist you want to be and how to embody this - that’s your brand!
You can also research genres (umbrella genres and sub-genres) as well as niches!
Once you've established and decided on a brand identity… – STICK TO IT -
You will come across as “reliable” when you have a defined brand image. Because people will be able label you and tell quickly if they vibe with you or not. This way you will attract the RIGHT audience from the get go. The people that are going to invest in you and follow you!
STEP II : Make a Rough Release Plan
This plan does not need to have set dates yet. This is to get a rough schedule and will help you navigate how to move forward in the next steps!
For instance, if you made an EP or an album, do you know what the singles are gonna? How many of do you want to release? When?
STEP III : Organise Your Content and Make a Budget
There are a range of things to get sorted in relation to your release. Dependent on the previous steps, you now know what you may need in terms of establishing and organising.
It’s time to talk about the visual aspect.
Luckily since you now have established your artist brand, it will be a whole lot easier locking down your visual brand!
I’m talking artist/band logo and biography, EP/Album cover, single cover, cover art for your social media channels, music video etc. Maybe you’re looking to make physical copies of your Single/EP/LP?
You need to sit down and make a budget for what you are willing and able to spend on all of the above.
Are you going down the DIY approach, making it yourself, or are you going to hire a professional (graphic designer, videographer)?
My recommendation is, if you spent a significant amount of money on making the product – which is your music – this is NOT the time to cheap out. This part right here, is equally as important if not MORE so, to make sure that you package your music the right way. Because the end goal is for people to notice it and listen to it – right?
You will also need a social media and advertising budget.
Are you going to use a PR firm to help with promotion and marketing or will you do the work yourself by using the different strategies and pitching services available to you?
Once you have you artwork, your visual brand content and music video sorted, and by sorted I mean FINALISED as in a folder ready to go - it’s time to move on to the next steps, which I will cover in Part II of this blog!
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