Planning Your Music Release In 2020 (How To Build Your Fan Base Each Step of the Way)
Updated: Mar 6, 2020
Welcome to part one of our Must Know Strategies to Growing Your Fan Base in 2020. Be sure to follow along and sign up to receive each 20 articles of our series as they're released straight to your inbox.
Who is this for? Glad you asked. This is for all music artists looking to grow their fan base in 2020 and get their music noticed. Whether you've had some serious success, or you're just starting out, this 20 part article series will surely teach you a few tips and tricks to the ever-evolving music industry.
The first part of our series will cover Planning Your Release.
Now that you have your next release ready to go, it’s time to develop a release timeline. Ideally you should start planning three months in advance of your chosen release date. Let's look at this through a timeline.
Three Months Before Release Date
Make sure you are registered with an Performing Rights Organization such as PRS, ASCAP, BMI or SOCAN. You want to make sure you get paid whenever your song is played so this is a crucial part of your planning process. You might think 'well, my music really isn't getting played that much anyways, what's the point?' Well, it's better to set yourself up now to receive royalties. Many artists don't even realize the kind of income they are missing out on.
Have a PR plan
You want to make sure that you hit the ground running once your release is live. Figure out what type of budget you are able to work with and whether you will be doing all the promotion yourself or hiring a PR firm. Hiring a PR firm, although can be expensive, has the ability to connect you with big media outlets, write and send out professional press releases to their contact list and help get your music out into parts of the music world you were unable to reach before. Whatever your PR plan is, you must have one. You can have the best music that anyone has ever heard, but without the right promotional plan, no one will ever have the chance to hear it.
Two Months Before Release Date
Develop a brand
Make sure you update your press photos and keep on brand to the release. Once you start getting some press opportunities, you should have some fresh photos that are of professional quality.
Make sure that you are staying active on all your social platforms. Share some countdown photos, “behind the scenes” of what you are up to, Instagram or Facebook live videos and anything else that can engage your audience. Fans like to feel like they are a part of the process so keep engaging with them up until the release date. You also want to focus on growing your existing fanbase so don’t be afraid to spend some money on Facebook or Instagram ads.
Four to Six Weeks Before Release Date
This is the time to submit your music to the distributor. Whether it be CDBaby, Distrokid, Tunecore, etc., the absolute deadline to submit your music is four weeks from the release date (and you should be aiming for even EARLIER than that).
Once you have received a Spotify URI code from the distributor of your choice, (make sure you ASK them for it...) you can use this opportunity to set up a pre-save campaign. Pre-save campaigns are great and can help generate more streams, monthly listeners and followers to your Spotify page as soon as the release has gone live. Fans who have pre-saved your music will be notified on the day of release and this will help drive more traffic to your Spotify page. Pre-save campaigns can be found via some online distributors, such as CDBaby or Distrokid, or with platforms such as Presave.io (in our next edition, we'll cover 5 Pre-Save platforms and the pro's and con's to each to help you decide).
Spotify playlisting is an important element in gaining more streams for your music. Some of Spotify’s editorial playlists have millions of followers so it’s very important to submit a focus track via your Spotify for Artists (and make sure you are doing this at LEAST two weeks before your release date, 4 weeks is recommended). If added to an editorial playlist, this will greatly impact your Spotify algorithm and increase your chances of appearing in users’ Discover Weekly playlists. This will help gain you more streams, followers and monthly listeners.
But don't stop there, reach out to independent Spotify curators and build a relationship with them. There are MILLIONS (yes, millions) of Spotify playlists. Just because you didn't get on to a playlist with 1,000,000 followers, doesn't mean you should give up. Start small. Build a list of curators and start connecting with them. We covered some strategies for doing this last year here --> How to Build a List of Curators and Pitch Your Music
Up until the release make sure you are blasting your release on all your social accounts and creating as much buzz as possible. Post teaser videos on Instagram, behind the scenes photos of you in the studio, post new press photos and whatever else you can think of that will generate hype for your release. Get creative, know your audience and what works and what generates the most engagement on your profile.
Once your release is out, it doesn’t mean your work here is done. Keep pushing your music as much as possible. Spend a few bucks on Facebook Ad's. Test out different audiences and learn to read your data. Create a Spotify playlist with your own music and similar sounding artists to share on your profile.
Influencer campaigns are also great for helping promote music. The cost of hiring influencers can range from $50 to $50,000 depending on the influencer and the reach they have.
A well thought out plan is going to heavily impact the performance of your release. If everything is planned out properly and you put the work in, you and your distributor will be ready to go on the day of release. Also don’t forget to communicate with everyone on your team and make sure everything remains consistent.
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Here's what we'll be covering:
Social Media Apps to Help Manage your Brand
Spotify Pre-Save Platforms (Which one is best for you?)
Guide to Copyright Law (Are you getting everything you're owed?)
Managing your Online Presence
Creating Multiple Revenue Streams (besides just Streaming and Live Shows...)
Sign up here --> Parkbench13's Guide to Getting Your Music Noticed in 2020