Join Evan Sutton for an in-depth discussion in this video Stop waiting. Choose yourself., part of Digital Release and Promotion Strategies for Musicians.
- As a final thought to leave you with, I just want to say, it's really important to stop waiting and choose yourself. I am experienced with spending time trying to get my music on labels and heard by important people that I thought could take me to the next level, but really what you have to do is just move at your own pace and not wait for anyone. If you believe in what you're doing, you need to push it and be patient and just keep working. I just wanted to show this. This is one of the proudest moments that I had when we first started the label. We actually got picked up by Entertainment Weekly.
This was the first video that I did with a rapper called Cakes Da Killa in New York City. And we made a video. I bargained with everyone I knew to make this video. I traded mixes for a space to shoot and for equipment and I bought pizza for the whole crew and everyone who was in the video. We did it for very little money and we made this cool video that I am really proud of and sent it around to a couple of people in the press and lo and behold, we got picked up by Entertainment Weekly. You have to stick your neck out and take risks and do stuff moving at your own pace and be okay with being unknown for a while in order to build something that's really worthwhile.
This was the first thing we did. No one had heard of us, we didn't have any releases, no one had really heard of me as an artist, but there you go. We struck gold right out of the gate and it really would not have happened if we hadn't taken these risks and just said, "Well, this is what we're doing "and we'd like you to be a part of it, "but we're not waiting around." One important thing is that many of the people and artists and heroes of mine that I wanted to check out my work that I thought could help take me to the next level, etc., many of them have heard my work and I've become friends with some of them and I have nice dialogues with many of them because I have a presence.
There's really something to be said for doing things at your own pace and getting out there. Don't wait for everyone. Choose yourself. I will also say that if an artist sends us music, one of the first things we do is vet them and see how much they're doing in terms of social media and in terms of releases. Are they playing, are they present? That's a really important thing. Even major labels these days care about that. No one's getting signed to a major label without a boat load of fans already. So you really have to do it yourself. It's a labor of love, you're going to enjoy it, it's a long journey, but this is the job.
He then discusses email-marketing strategies for capturing contact information, scheduling emails, and working with email marketing platforms like MailChimp. He wraps up the course talking about maintaining momentum with an audience, including consistency in promotion, audience interaction, horizontal networking, and hiring third parties to assist in the project.
- Readying your finished tracks for mastering
- Self-mastering vs. working with a mastering engineer
- Choosing an online aggregator
- Setting a release date
- Targeting blogs that fit your brand
- Writing a press release
- Using social media
- Sending promotional emails
- Maintaining a connection with your audience