The whole process of putting a release together is exciting, confronting, and daunting in a lot of ways. Whether you’ve got a killer EP or a full album, there is something special about releasing something you have spent so long creating with love (and probably blood, sweat, and tears).
So you’ve gone through the whole creative process – everything is composed and produced. Your stuff has been mixed and mastered. Now it’s just sitting there, waiting for the green light to be released into the world.
The key to a good release is timing. The timing is dependent on how much you build it up beforehand.
Think of it as charging up a battery. If you release something when you’ve only charged it up halfway, you’re not going to get as much life out of it. If you charge it up to 100%, well, you’re probably going to see some amazing results. It all comes down to hype.
Here are 5 tips on building hype before a release.
Having at least one music video to accompany a track on your release is considered extremely favorable. It isn’t just favored by fans – it will definitely catch more eyes from the press and they’re much more likely to cover you.
It’s obvious why that is. Firstly, you’ll seem far more established as an artist if you can pull this together.
Secondly, visuals are immersive and engaging. They act as a conductor for people to connect deeper to your music. They’re a visual interpretation of the elements within your song.
They also provide yet another channel for exposure. YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine. A staggering 82% of YouTube users utilize the platform for music, increasing to 93% among users aged 16-24.
Making this happen can definitely seem like a challenge, particularly for super indie artists with small budgets. However, if you can get creative in your approach, you can make it happen.
Writing a Great Press Release
What is going to really set you off is getting as much press coverage as you can leading up to release. This is where you’re really going to need to put in some time and your business hat on.
A good press release will contain all there is to know about the release itself and your band in the most clear and concise way possible.
It’s important to note that press (particularly larger outlets), can receive hundreds of submissions; daily. What is going to set you apart from the rest? How are you going to make that impression that will create intrigue, interest, and ultimately lead to an interview or review?
Having an Amazing Press Kit
It’s a common misconception that a press kit and a press release are the same thing. Your press kit should be contained within your press release, however, they are definitely different.
Your press kit is the compilation of all there is to know about you as an artist, intended for perusal by the media. This includes bios, high quality pictures, as well as links to your site and content.
Your press release is simply the details and announcement of your release to the media.
Your press kit should be a neat compilation. Similar to the press release, it should be concise and a well put together package.
Focus on formatting everything nicely, with some samples of your work all in one place. The last thing a blogger or journalist wants is to have to go to a variety of different places to get a clear picture of who you are as an artist – that’s not only tiresome, but will zap the excitement out pretty quickly.
It’s Who You Know
Who are you going to be sending your press release to? Do you know where your music fits? These questions will help you narrow down who needs to know about you in the first place.
If you’ve written an acoustic/folk album, there’s simply no point contacting publications that only cover electronic music.
You’ll need to do a little research on the publications you’re considering contacting to know if they’re relevant to you.
It’s so important to keep a list of your contacts. Get business savvy and document them. In fact – make an excel spreadsheet. Make a bunch of columns for all the important details; including one for whether they got back to you or not.
Creating connections in the media is going to be a very handy tool to have at your disposal for your career. Documenting these associations will be very useful for you down the line.
Remember – it’s possible that the majority of these media outlets won’t respond to you. Don’t be disheartened. They receive these kinds of requests in ridiculous numbers daily.
It’s the few that do get back to you and love what you do that count!
Social Media Is Your Friend
If you’re wondering where your audience is – chances are they’re on social media. Statista estimates there will be 2.44 billion users of social media in 2018.
This is going to be your strongest asset in this whole game. Social media is such a potent tool that has given so much power to artists. Use this power to your advantage!
Build up hype and mystery surrounding your release using social media. Perhaps post snippets of artwork, slowly release track titles – get creative in how you generate excitement surrounding it.
Also, it’s so important to engage with your audience and get them involved in what you’re doing. This will spread the word like wildfire! Some ideas are directing creative questions to the public; perhaps about the release.
Would they prefer the artwork in version A or version B? Get people involved in the conversation.
The more of this you do – when the release finally drops, even people who may not even be interested in your genre of music will be totally inspired by curiosity anyway. You’ll probably gain some more fans along the way!
Releasing your work is both exciting and scary. The key to any successful release is all about the preparation. You’re going to get out what you put in.
The truth is, it doesn’t matter how amazing your music is. If you complete a release and simply put it out into the world without doing any of the preparation, it’s almost certain that it will fail.
The reason is simple – it’s because nobody knows about it. Nobody has access to it.
If you spend plenty of time making sure that your music has as many outlets for people to access it as possible, this will truly give your music the best chance it deserves to get into the hands of your fans.
Glen Parry has been a musician for over 15 years. He plays guitar, piano, and produces his own music. He has a passion for all things music and loves sharing his knowledge. He’s also a closet audiophile who enjoys creating buying guides, such as his favorite modern turntables. You can find more information at audiomastered.com