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How to market your music - Part 1: Pre-Release

For this blog, we will be talking specifically about self releasing. Self releasing has gotten super easy over the last decade. When you first start releasing you might think that creating the release is the hardest part but soon you'll notice that the work just starts as soon as you start releasing your music. In this blog you will get a full guide on how to plan a release and get streams. To keep things structured we will start 4 weeks before the release.





Week 1 (4 weeks before release)


1 - Finishing the record.

The first week the most important thing is that you have finished the song. Make sure it's mixed and mastered and that you're 100% happy with it. Asking other producers for feedback can help you get to that 100% completion. Make sure to bounce your track in the format that your distributor asks for (usually it's a 16 bit WAVE file), and also bounce out an Extended Mix with at least a 16 bar intro and outro to send out to DJs later on.


2 - Visuals.

You will need to have the cover art, that will show up on all streaming platforms later on. Make sure it stands out and represents the story and vibe of your track. What colors do you think of when you hear your track? People say don't judge a book by its cover, but notice how the artworks you see on Spotify affect whether or not you're inclined to play a track. If you're in need of a professional cover design by the top designers in the industry, we've got you covered! Check out what we can do for you here. If you'd rather create the artwork yourself, you could easily do that with this free tool.



If you want, you can also create a Spotify Canvas. Canvases are short video clips that run in loop when you listen to a song on Spotify. This is not necessary, but it will look more professional, and it could also be a way of expressing your creativity in a different way. Besides that, it could help tell the story behind your track, and therefore help listeners connect to the record and to you as an artist.


3 - Distribution.

Now it's time to choose a distribution service. There are a lot of different ones and all of them have their ups and downs. Just google for music distribution service and choose the one you like the most. Make sure to look up what they charge, and how much % royalties they take. Some say they give you 100% of the royalties, but in reality there are some hidden costs.





Week 2 (3 weeks before release)


1 - Presave link.

This week is all about social media preparation. Try to get your hands on a Spotify pre-save link. This will get your fans prepared and help the Spotify algorithm to get ready for your song. Try to give something back to your fans for pre-saving, like a snippet of the song or a preset pack.


2 - Social Media assets.

Now it's time to create social media assets like Out Now and Out Soon banners and stories. These should include the cover art, release date, and the name of the song. Besides that the out soon video should have a teaser of the song and you can cut it out as soon as the drop comes in. This will create hype around your project. On the Out Now video later on you can show the drop. I recommend doing a 15 seconds story video and a feed post of also 15-20 seconds. Besides that you can create reels of how you created the song, what the story behind the track is, what your inspirations were and so on. Again, you could easily do that with this free tool.





Week 3 (2 weeks before release)


1 - Social Media

It's finally time to share your social media assets. Post your story and start promoting the pre-save link for Spotify. You can also start posting on TikTok and Instagram Reels.


2 - Spotify for Artists

You should also check if your song already shows up on your Spotify for Artists page. Spotify for Artists gives you full control over your artist profile and music. Besides that, they offer you a feature to send your music to the Spotify editorial playlists. You definitely should do this. But you have to make sure you submit your song around two weeks before the release. Otherwise, Spotify won't review your song for their playlists. After you've done this, make sure to update your Spotify profile with a fresh new header and a bio.


3 - Playlists

Also, check for playlists you want to submit to when the song gets released. You can email the playlist curators before the release date with a private SoundCloud link so you can ask them to add your song as soon as it's released. Learn more about how to get on playlists over here.


4 - DJ Support

The last thing to do in week 3 is to send out your extended mix to DJs for supports. This can help create a hype around your track, connect you to a bigger audience and put you on the radar of record labels. We happen to host a Radio Show ourselves, so feel free to send your release to us here for Radio & Spotify playlists support ;)


To find DJs to send your track to you could search tracks that are similar to yours on 1001Tracklists. Then check which DJs have supported those tracks and find out how you can reach them. Most DJs have a promo email that you might find on their SoundCloud, Instagram bio or website. Make sure to send out one email at a time and try not to send your promo in a DM. A good strategy to connect with other DJs is to start your own Radio Show and support them first. Eventually you'll be getting promos and are able to send them your promos as well.


Here's an idea of what to send:


Subject: [Promo] ARTIST - TRACK NAME


Hey NAME,


Hope you're doing well!

I'm ARTIST and in two weeks I'll be releasing a brand new GENRE record. SHORT STORY. Feel free to play it in any shows or sets you might have coming up.


Listen/Download: DROPBOX LINK (Extended Mix)


Thanks in advance for listening & have a great week ahead!


Kind regards,


YOUR NAME




Week 4 (1 week before release)


This is the week of the release and of course, it's super important. I recommend posting every day this week and creating a lot of Instagram stories around the song. You can send your Out Soon social media asset to your fans and ask them to share it too. Of course, ask in a nice way and not in a spam way. Also make sure to post a timer on your Instagram story so people can set a reminder for when your track goes live. Another thing you could do is go live on Instagram or Twitch to answer questions about the song & tell the story behind it.




Release day


Finally, the release day is here. The moment we've all been waiting for. This point is very exciting so make sure you enjoy/celebrate it! You could go live and share this big moment in your career with all your followers. Make sure you repost all story mentions, create stories, and share the link to your song. Link stickers are now available to all Instagram users so make sure to use those as well! Also update your bio & your link. Besides that, it's time to submit to playlists and text influencers to share your song. If you have a music video and/or a lyric video, wait until a few weeks after the release with posting these as they are great assets to bring back the attention to your song when some time has passed.


Lastly, if you want to push your release on SoundCloud and you have a budget, you could work together with Repost Exchange and blow up your streams.



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