There is a lot we do not see that goes on under the hood or behind the scenes when a record is released.
It takes organization and planning to get it right and needs to happen before your release date.
Usually, it takes me 2 solid days of preparation to get all my ducks in a row in readiness for my release date.
So, here, I share some tips with you on how I run my label and what I do to get ready for the big day!
Rule of thumb, work 6 weeks in advance.
Working in advance is a must, usually it takes 5 to 6 weeks for your record once in the distribution system (I am with Ingrooves but for a list of all distributors or how to run a label feel free to take my business courses How-To-Get-Into-The-Music-Industry-With-No-Experience Any less than that and you can run into mistakes or release issues with your record not being 'live' in all stores on the same day.
MailChimp is a vital part of my business, I use it for everything. You can use whatever suits you, there are many tools out there that cost more, but for me, this is truly effective. You will need this for newsletters, promo for DJs/press list and all your contacts. I have spent years building relationships, so for me, this works. If you are new, hone it on your social media and develop relationships with your fans and contacts. Reach out to blogs and online editorials, you would be surprised to know they need good content! Don't be afraid of rejection, email them! You can always hire someone to do all this for you, but you can also do this yourself.
I prefer the personal touch rather than label engines and I get the same feedback and results as if I paid for it, without being a pain to download and asking DJs to jump through hoops to get their free track. There are benefits to using the good ones, but again for me, the personal touch works better as I know all these artistes. Do however ask for feedback if they wish to keep receiving your music, I let them know they and their feedback may be featured on sites like Beatport/Trackitdown for an incentive.Again, if you are new, tell them you will mention them on your social media if they help you out, we all need to promote each other!
Talking of companies like these, doing DJ charts is also helpful in promoting your tracks. Nurturing those relationships is key, without these platforms, things would be a lot harder, so appreciate these guys and help them to help you!
I send my track to a very select few DJs a month in advance for initial reactions, for this, I use my email, then I send my promo using mail chimp 2 weeks prior to the release date for all the other DJs. Again, all covered in great detail in my business course.
Building up a mailing list is so important, same as building up a newsletter fan base. This can take years to build substantial lists. So staying connected to fans/contacts is important. Facebook, IG and targeted add campaigns all help and there are companies that can help you with that out there.I am not sure how effective they are, I prefer to do it all myself, but the choice is yours.
In advance, I like to write out a press release for that single I am releasing. same goes for my promo list, newsletter. I also write emails for my licensing and press contacts asking for their support. They will then connect with me if they want to create features/interviews etc based around that tracks.
make life easy for them, a simple email with a private SoundCloud link, artwork and the story (press release) about your track.
I build some anticipation by creating banners and flyers with coming soon, but not too much as I release very often and I prefer my fans have something clickable at the end of a post, some may disagree with this, but for me, advertising months in advance just bores people. The excitement happens when it's out.
However, you do need to send your record out in advance to press. so again, MailChimp store all my list for promo, press, licensing for film etc… I want to make sure they get all the relevant info, artwork, release date, private SoundCloud link so they can listen to the track well in advance, 6 weeks prior to release at the longest and a month out is usually fine for digital release. That is all behind the scenes when it comes to buying your track look at it logically:
promos go out, press goes out, excitement is built, then the track comes out, you start promoting with a purchase link at the end of your dedicated posts.
I find keeping a strict calendar with what you need to do on what dates keeps me organized. This helps me with timelines of releases when to mail out promo, when to email press, when is the release date etc…
I also have a folder prepared with all details pertaining to that release created in advance. for example for my upcoming single 'HYENA' (sept 7 2018 shameless plug) my folder looks like this, title catalog number. Inside I have created movie clips, IG Facebook twitter teasers, Banners, mp3 files, clips of this files etc…. all my promotional tools are there so I have an arsenal at my disposal.
Have a recent bio and new press release written and ready to go pertaining to that release, before your music comes out and not after. Go to my website if you want to see an example.
https://djrap.com/about/ I'm lucky I have had the experience of working with many professionals who taught me how to do all this myself, for example, write in the third person, not 'I' take a look at mine and you will see what I mean. 2-3 paragraphs are enough, I also have a more comprehensive bio, but then I have a long career in this industry. Still, no need to list every single thing you have ever achieved in your life, a certain amount will already be said by your fans!
Let the music do the talking in other words.
I also make sure my website is constantly updated with whatever is newsworthy, shows, releases etc…This means everything needs to be updated and in line with what you have coming, that means current artwork and branding, wherever your listeners can learn more about you and your music (soundcloud/Spotify etc….)
Once you get organized, this becomes routine and you will handle it all in your stride like a pro. The key word I want you to remember is 'preparation' I hope this helps you!
Stay tuned for my next Blog and thanks for sharing and liking!