So you’ve put your blood, sweat, time, and money into making your brand new CD. Now what? Do you have a plan to make it successful, or were you just going to “get it out there?”
One of the best ways to ensure disappointing results with your new CD is to release it with no plan for how to market it. You can do better than that! Time and time again I’ve seen artists release CDs by just “making it available.” They just put out a CD and ask people to buy it. They don’t pick a single and they don’t have a good plan to build anticipation for the release. Don’t let that be you!
When Lady GaGa or Jay-Z releases an album they don’t just put it out there and see what sticks. They release a single in advance of the album. They build anticipation. They execute a plan.
Music is released this way for a reason. When you take the shotgun approach to marketing your music by releasing everything everywhere all at once, you lose a tremendous amount of power and effectiveness because you have no focus.
Songs take time and repetition to gain momentum. You need to market your music with focus in order to get repeat listens and build that momentum.
Music is largely social. It’s one way that we connect to other people. We relate to others through shared experiences, often through music. This is why, no matter how technology evolves and distribution and consumption become diversified and fragmented, there will still always be hit songs. People want to have a shared experience. They want to relate to other people who are listening to the same thing at the same time. So why then do so many independent artists inhibit this process by releasing 12 songs at one time with no clear plan as to how people are to digest and experience them?
One of the first rules of marketing is “the confused mind always say no.” You want to lead people very clearly. Your marketing should have a consistent message. When you release your single, your message might be, “This is the song, and I want you to listen to it! Download it for free at our website.”
You want to get everyone on the same page. There’s power in focus.
The idea is to get people hooked on your single first to build anticipation for your album. Make them want to know more. Don’t just throw it all at them. Lead them. Give them something they can chew on. You wouldn’t try to bait a fish with a buffalo, so don’t make the same mistake with your audience. Give them something small that they can digest in order to get them excited and curious about the rest of your album. If you do this effectively, then you can multiply your results tenfold compared to just dumping an album without a plan.
Here are some step-by-step tips to help make your next CD a success:
- Pick a single before you have a release date for your CD.
- Choose a release date for the single that’s a few weeks ahead of the release of the CD.
- Build anticipation for the release of the single. Mention it on your social networking sites, website and mailing list at least a few days in advance. If you have a good story behind it or anything interesting to say about it then talk about it. You could even add a countdown timer on your website to build the anticipation.
- Launch the single on your website. Create a very simple landing page with:
- A graphic that promotes your new album with the release date.
- A small MP3 player or a video player that plays your new single or a 90 second sample of it.
- A mailing list signup form.
- A very visible graphic that says: “Sign up for email updates to download this song for free!” or something similar.
- Use all of your social media outlets, your mailing list and any other means to direct people to your website immediately upon the release of the single.
- Play the single at every show after you release it online.
- Use your mailing list, social media, live shows and word of mouth to build anticipation for the album in the days leading up to the release.
- Have a CD release party.
- Work it! Sell some CDs! As the late, great Jim Rohn used to say, “Maturity is the ability to reap without apology and not complain when things don’t go well.”
Now is the time to reap without apology.
Article by Scott James of The Independent Rockstar Blog.