I Just Finished My Record…Now What Do I Do?
Once your hot album or song is written, produced and recorded WHAT DO YOU DO???!!!
There was a time when the only options were sending your material to a radio station and hope that one of the DJs would listen to your songs, like them and give them airplay on the station. The other option was sending your CD to a record label and hope they would listen to it, like it and sign you on.
Today, however, you have much more control over how your music is marketed and you have more avenues in which to market yourself and your music.
Below are are few essentials to getting your music out there.
- Sign up with a Music Rights Organisation, eg. SAMRO, ASCAP etc. Some countries have their own music rights organisation that are affiliated with others around the world, so find out if you should sign up with them first. They will take care of all monies due to you once your music starts making money. Forms will be on their websites. Learn how these organisations can help you.
- Get a proper website with your own domain name and emails. Get all your social media pages up and running.
- Sign up with Approved Aggregators such as:
CD Baby – www.cdbaby.com
Reverbnation – www.reverbnation.com
Broadjam – www.broadjam.com
Music Xray – www.musicxray.com
AMAdea – www.amadeamusic.com
These companies will get your music on most, if not all, online music store retailers and streaming music services such as iTunes, Spotify etc. These sites also list opportunities in the industry: Movies, TV Shows, Department Stores, Record Deals etc. Their fee structure varies.
- Build an email list. Be in control of your fan base. Connect with them often. Form relationships with your fans. Let their visits to your website be a rewarding experience.
- Approach the press. Have a unique story. How does your music/band stand out from the others? What makes you different? Why should they write about you in their papers, on their websites, blogs etc? Let them know about the songs on the album, the band, your influences, personal stories etc. Be polite. Do not be pushy. Remember, you need them. Contact them at regular intervals to find out if they have space for your band on their website, blog, magazine etc. When you do get interviewed make it exciting. DO NOT give one word answers. Elaborate as much as possible. Throw in stories relating to the questions.
- Compile a list of radio stations, worldwide if necessary. Send them a CD or mp3s of your song/s, along with a write up of the band. Make brochures if necessary to send along with the CDs. Radio stations receive thousands of different kinds of songs on a monthly basis. Ensure you stand out. Go to live-radio.net/worldwide.shtml or www.radiostationworld.com. There are thousands of stations worldwide that will play your music, both commercial and community radio stations. Know your target market.
- Get a YouTube Channel. Create videos for your songs. Even if the videos are still photos of the band and its experiences. A good idea would be filming the recording process. You can use footage from there on certain songs.
- Gig as often as possible. Get on those stages and play your music. Build relationships with promoters, DJs etc.
- Be accessible. Answer your phone and your emails. Don’t be lazy and don’t overbook. People must be able to rely on you.
- Plan the release date of you album carefully and give enough time for the publicity. If you want the press to write about your album ensure they have all the necessary write ups, the music and the pitch months before the concert launch. If you are selling tickets ensure that it is affordable. Remember, you want people to buy your CDs as well.
- Put your contact information everywhere.
In closing, regardless of where you are in your music career, there is work to be done. Empower yourself by gaining the relevant knowledge, making the right contacts and ensuring that your music gets out there. Above all, be a pleasure to work with.