Ok, So your the hottest artist nobody has heard of, you just finished another hit track and your confidence is sky high. Assuming you already have your image together and your music is definitely marketable the possibilities seem endless. Problem is your not signed, you have a budget but nothing extreme, and you have no real plan. So whats next?
2. Find The Right Single - This step is either taken too seriously by the wrong artists or not seriously enough by the right artists. Demo your songs out to listeners and ask for feedback from people dont know you. If anything just tell them "Hey Im considering using this song as a single and I'd like your honest opinion, dont hold back on the critique. Make sure you get opinions from poeple in your targeted audience, ex - dont ask a rock fan if your new rap song is the next hit. Perform if you can at shows and events. Pay attention to the crowd reactions. Except nothing less than greatness from yourself, "Wow"s, or "Hey that song is a hit", ect. anything less and you still need to work on new tracks until you find that one that everybody seems to really like. Take your best 2 - 3 songs and group them, you now have your "trademark material."
3. Prep Your Single - This is another step that a lot of people neglect even though its all important for your song to make the biggest impact it can. Prep your single for release. Music Video, Song Art, Flyers, Banners, Demo Cd artwork, ect and the song itself need to have a radio version made, with edits and timed down to fit if necessary. The mix and master must also be up to par or not many people will take the song seriously. Good quality on all of these fronts is paramount and if you have to spend money then do it, because the next step you will have to pay for some services, and no point paying for something thats not the best quality. Contracts, percentages, ect should be worked out at this point. If you havent already joined a PRO then you should really consider it and register your song with them, that way if it blows they will help keep track of your royalties. At the time of writing this ASCAP is $25 to join as an artist, and BMI is free. Finally, put your music on Itunes, Amazon, Tunecore, CD baby, ect. Set these up before your big push.
4. Push Your Music - I see artist doing it all the time with dedication. The problem I see is that they either jump from one song to another too much, or promote a whole project (mixtape / Album) without even having an interested fan base, and lastly, they promote music that is not professionally polished. Now that you have all of the steps done up to this point, its time to push your music.
- Make It Available - Upload your single to your platform sites, starting with your music video. Post your video and in the description information for your fans to connect, contact you, and buy the single if they would like.
- Social Marketing - Dont go on a spamming spree hitting up random people, its annoying and makes you look amateurish. Instead tell friends and family to help you promote your song every so often to their social networks. Post about it on your own social networks. Tell people to check you out without spamming them. Use hashtags and public announcements. If you can, find independent magazines, blogs, ect and ask them to check out your single, local ones should be a lot more inclined if your really hot. See if they would like to be among the 1st to feature you. If its really a high quality hit song, all of these things should be easier.
- Do Shows - Remember your "Trademark Material." Perform it. When you were deciding on which songs should be your single hopefully you did the performance test so you know the club and different events will love it when they hear it. Video tape the larger performances with the club going crazy. Pass out your demo CDs, make sure to put them in the right hands, DJs, club/event promoters, magazine connections, ect. Pass out flyers, key chains, ect, or something relating to your single with links to your material on it as well. Make your performances memorable, have energy, keep the vibe great, be you, make sure the people like your music as well as you and give them something to hold on to with your contact information so after the show they will remember your name and check you out on their own time.
- Spend the money (when its worth it) - Advertising is a key that a lot of artists dont take, even ones willing to spend a lot on other aspects of their music, and the reason is because they cant see it. Banners on websites, featured artist spots, ads, magazines, popular blogs, and video promotion companies are all useful as long as the price can match the expectation. You are paying for them to put you in the eye of their followers. The more followers they have, the more they should cost. Spend what your comfortable with. Find a few reliable outlets/connections and work with them. Every major site has ways you can buy paid promotion and sponsorships for your products. Put a budget together and a time frame and take advantage of it.
6. Stick With It - Things are going to start slow, money will have to be invested, hard decisions will have to be made and many nights will be long. As long as things are getting better you are heading in the right direction. Remember, it can take time but if your doing things right and your truly talented the plan I shared is going to give you the best opportunity to shine independently. Why wait? Get your mind right and get to work! If you have any ideas or opinions share them in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!