Here are some of the best tips I found on the Shades of Solveig blog. For a more extensive list go to: http://www.shadesofsolveig.com/2014/08/07/25-music-marketing-expert-tips-for-indie-release/
The major outline here is:
i Be organised
ii Be creative
iii Be interactive and
iv Use appropriate media and tools
Below is a list of my favourite tips from Solveig’s blog, who they came from and their twitter handle.
Greg Savage (@DIYMusicBiz) on creating a buzz
The only thing I’d make sure to have in place is a buzz before the release. You work on the buzz months before the release, release a few teaser vids and coordinate with huge bloggers. I’d put more time into building the fan base and release the project on my site (short run) then out to CD Baby/iTunes etc. I guess it’s all depends on the end goal. My main concern is covering the cost and profiting. Which is why I would release it on my own site first.
Christine Infanger (@NoraBarnacle and @ThirtyRoses) on creative promotion
I don’t think it’s as simple as focusing on the release day itself anymore. With respect to Noughts and Exes, when they released their latest record, they knew that as an indie band, the impetus was on them to drive traffic and create interest in the project. They created a lot of interest in a big release day concert, which sold out well in advance, but they also organized a flashmob for their song ‘Hearts,’ which was the first single off the record. The flashmob was the first ever in Hong Kong’s Times Square and they worked with the top indie artists in Hong Kong on it. They filmed it for the video, which went viral, and with that, the show, and the internet buzz about the video, the band had a #1 single. There’s so much more involved in a release now and bands have to be more well organized than ever before. The upside is creativity is limitless and bands should channel that creativity to maximize the potential of their CD release.
Aaron Bethune (@PlayItLoudMusic) on release strategy
- Have you made alternate mixes without vocals and a mix with just bgv’s (background vocals) for licensing and karaoke?
- Does the artwork have a story that could interest media?
- Are elements of technology incorporated in the album design as means of data collection and marketing tools? These could include QR codes and short links.
- Have you considered releasing your album as singles over a period time and the full album with the final track? This is a great way to build and develop contacts and relationships with press,blogs, radio, etc… It gives you multiple reasons to talk about your music. By the time your album is released you have an audience and media ready and waiting.
- If you are Canadian have you indicated the MAPL (CanCon) on the back cover?
- As a means of music discovery, is your distribution company affiliated with a company like Shazam and able to register your tracks automatically or do you need to submit your songs directly to Shazam or similar?
- Have you indicated who the copyright owners are with the proper copyright symbols to the master and publishing elements of each song?
- Do you have an audience for your music?
- Do you have a website?
Bob Baker (@MrBuzzFactor) on sharing the process
One of the biggest mistakes indie artists make is waiting till their new album is manufactured and available on iTunes before they even start to promote it at all. Ideally you want to build buzz prior to the official release date.
For me, the most effective way to promote a new album release is to share the creative process with your fans – no matter how small or large your current fan base is. That’s right, share the journey of recording your music and get people engaged. That means showing photos and video of you in the studio, letting people hear early demo samples of songs, and honestly reporting the joys and frustrations of the process.
In addition to that, ask for your fans’ feedback and direct input: Ask them to vote on album cover artwork or even submit artwork of their own. Ask them for their ideas on how to spread the word and how they can help. Yes, this takes a little bit of extra work as you create your new album. But when the official release date arrives, you will already have momentum on your side. And that will be a lot more empowering than asking, “So, what do I do now to promote this thing?”
Andrew Jones (@CheckeredOwl) on being organised!
You have to make a plan. Too many bands have a bunch of ideas about about marketing their new album with no real execution strategy. Whether your plan is to use Noisetrade, review blogs, YouTube or anything else, sit down with a calendar, assign tasks and MAKE IT HAPPEN!
Tommy Darker (@TommyDarker) on using tools to promote your release
Use tools to build your business, don’t hope that tools will be the saviour of your career. Tools are just tools, they come and go. What tools could you focus on? At this very moment, a musician needs tools that will accommodate their artistic world (a website and streaming services), ways to communicate their art with their fans (social media channels, a blog and an autoresponder) and tools for conducting business (e-commerce platforms, DTF services, analytics).
As you see, I don’t mention names of specific tools. Today’s tools are created by private companies that may cease existing anytime (see MySpace) or change their field of interest (Google has changed too many times) and become irrelevant. But the notion is there, musicians should use what best serves their current needs. A final side-note: most artists see this plethora of tools and get overwhelmed. My advice is: always simplify things, know what you want and use the tools that directly serve your goals.
Wade Sutton (@Rockettothesta1) on developing personal relationship with your fans
I think it is important to remember that the people spending money to purchase your CD are probably going to be your “Super Fans”. That is a very special group of people and should be treated as such. Try to find a way to engage those people on a personal level. If they comment on the CD on social media, it is vital that you take the time to respond to every one of them. Or e-mail them. It keeps them in that inner-circle of fandom that helps pay your bills.
Another key theme that crops up in Solveig’s blog is the creation of newsletters/mailing lists as a marketing tool. I’ll be looking closer into creating an online mailing list using MailChimp in a later post.
– Sandy (firstname.lastname@example.org, @sandypower89)