Marketing Tactics for Independent Musicians Part 2 of 3

Marketing Tactics for Independent Musicians Part 2:

Preparing Your Album Launch Timeline

Last week in the blog series Marketing Tactics for Independent Musicians we discussed new album preparation. What I eloquently referred to as the “getting your sh*t together” phase. I laid out 4 areas that need to be addressed before any official announcements should be made about the dropping of your album; these included Online Marketing & Social Media, plans for Digital Distribution, the importance of an Official Website and Merchandising.

RELATED: Marketing Tactics For Independent Musicians – Part 1 of 3 New Album Preparation

Today, we’ll discuss new album preparation. Here you’ll learn a basic model to follow for an upcoming new album or EP release. Having a timeline is very important in order to successfully roll out a finished piece of art that is ready to be accepted by your audience.

If you plan on working with a Marketing or PR firm to promote a new release, my very important tip to you is to not set the release date until AFTER you have talked with them. It is important for them to understand your goals and vision. And it is just as important for you to understand how their plan aligns to your objectives as that is how results are achieved. For example, at PHANTOM POWER Marketing our tagline, Marketing by Design, was not chosen without extensive thought. We conduct a comprensive Complimentary Needs Analysis (CNA) so we can thoroughly understand your goals and objectives. That way, all promotional activities align directly back to your wants, needs, and creative vision. That is how we ensure results, the results you wish to see over everything else.

RELATED: Learn more about PHANTOM POWER Marketing's PR Solutions

Proposed Timeline:

Two Months Before Release

  1. Press campaign begins

  2. Compose, design Press Kit for your new album and prepare for distribution SAMPLE: Interactive Press Kit for New Album Launch

  3. Release a single, a great way excite your fans and also to get some current press quotes to include in your press kit

  4. Reskin social media profiles to advertise the new release

  5. Get your newsletter firing and tell fans you have a special announcement

  6. Schedule an official album record party at a venue where you have repeated presence and great turnout, tease your fans via your newsletter, website and social networks about an upcoming "special event"

One Month Before Release

  1. Announce pre-sale campaign through your newsletter and social media networks - create bundles of merch to sell for extra boost

  2. Set up a Facebook invite for the new release, send it to all your Facebook friends and post on your Fan Page

  3. Begin heavy promotion of your record release party including sending a Facebook invite; use all online channels and design and produce promotional postcards for local distribution at heavily trafficed locations (other venues, commuter stations, parking lots of performance venues, coffee shops, tanning salongs, gyms). Saturate the areas closest to those venues where you have great presence and take advantae of cross-promo opportunities by canvassing shows with like-artists.

Two Weeks Before Release

  1. Keep the excitement going, hold a contest to win a copy of the new album, tickets to the record release party and/or special access to a meet & greet

  2. Offer free downloads of your debut release via all social channels; also a great way to capture newsletter subscribers. Be sure to embed sharing capabilities.

Official Release Day Activities

  1. Write a news post about the release on all of your online channels

  2. Update Twitter and Facebook with an “NOW AVAILABLE” post and link to where they can purchase the record (I suggest you pay to boost post so people see it!)

  3. Send out a Newsletter to your mailing list

One Month After The Release

  1. Service press with official music video and announce tour dates

  2. Again, the more activities you can plan surrounding a release will help build and foster excitement amongst your fans and will create more opportunities to keep contacting press with new content, while at the same time reminding them about the new album or EP

Also don’t forget to ask your family, friends and fans to write reviews of your new release on iTunes and other digital retailers the minute it becomes available. Studies have shown that albums that are reviewed actually sell more than albums with little to no reviews posted. Consider incentives or a contest surrounding these reviews.

In the next and final post – Part 3, I will talk about supplying content while you’re in between album cycles, as a means to stay relevant and fresh with your current fans, and to increase your fanbase as well.

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