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3 Things I Learned About Releasing a New Single

Updated: 6 days ago




Being an artist and trying to share your craft with the world is hard, and being an independent ("indie") artist is even harder.


In learning the preparation work to launch a song, and finally launching the release of my first soft rock, contemporary, Pink Walls, I have a newfound, high respect for indie artists/bands.


The amount of work put into releasing music into this new world is insanely immense, especially when you have to learn to swim in a generation of social media fan following, monetization programs and high competition.


I have learnt even for established artists, the work to market your music and your brand is just as challenging to keep up with algorithms and building an online presence.


After 6 weeks of cycling the mountain of ups and downs, and wiping the sweat and tears of the hard work, I have learnt 3 important things about staying sane and surviving this soul-enriching work of sharing your art with the world:


1. One Step at a Time



The tasks involved in a song or album release can fill a whole page, and so it's important to prioritize things to work on each week, and even each day of the week by setting aside time to do certain things.


I was initially overwhelmed with having to figure out content for social media, how to write a press release, and how to pitch to radio stations to the point where I was burnt out, and felt like giving up.


These were all new things I had to learn, and it took time to find the courage and take risks as part of the learning. Honestly, I'm not good with tech, so I felt very discouraged at my "slowness" in working apps and filming and it was good to remind myself to take it one step at a time.


As soon as I refocused my energy on one thing at a time, and planned it in such a way that I set aside specific times of the day to do them, I felt much better. I was able to still practice at my instrument and prepare for performances of the song for recording.


The big tasks I found that were time-consuming were content creation and radio pitching, which leads me to the next important thing I learned...


2. Write it All Down (or Type it Out)



The hard truth is if you don't have a team working for you to do all this, you've got to find a way to organize your work.


I like to use Meta Business App which helps me schedule content and posts automatically to Instagram and my Facebook page. It has a nice feature which allows you to organize your hashtags for different kinds of content as well, and populates them automatically once you click on a specific set that you create.


As for radio pitching, you MUST have an excel sheet to organize the radios that you are going to pitch to. Initially I picked 20-30 radios but I grew the list to about a 100, and I'm still pitching after the launch with the specific time set aside to do so each week, and it is not as intense as during the pre-launch, where I was doing it every day in the morning.


The most crucial aspect of having the excel sheet is tracking. Trust me, when you send out emails to many people, you'll need to know who you've contacted, when you contacted them, and if you need to do a follow-up. So get the organization right from the start, and your workflow will be much easier.


I sourced radio stations from the My-Tuner Radio.com, where I could narrow down the category of my song, and search for the radio stations. It did take a lot of work to create the list. I spent a few days just gathering radios and their contact information.


Hot Tip: If there is a Program Director's name, I highly recommend you save it so that when you e-mail your press release, it is more personable instead of a generic e-mail. Receiving a personal greeting, even if it's just their name and the name of the radio station or broadcasting company, can go a long way as it shows you took the effort to find that information and you're serious about getting your music heard. Remember, you are making a long-term connection and by being polite and approachable, you are establishing a relationship with the radios for your future song/album releases!


Soon, with just daily emails of press release to 5-10 radio stations, I reached a 100 of them in 2 weeks, during pre-launch and right after the launch. Be ready to be ignored, but when you get that first response back that agrees to play your song, trust me ... you will be proud of your hard work and consistency, which leads me to reinforce the next important thing ...


3. Consistency is Key



To be honest, putting myself out there every day on social media is hard. I had a personal Facebook and Instagram account for many years before all this. A couple of years ago, I deactivated and deleted the accounts because it did give me depression. It was a good decision at the time for me, to heal and recover and reconnect with the real world.


Fast forward to today, I am back at it because of music. And I was hesitant to post every day. In fact, I felt lost, and didn't feel like I had to talk to the camera to share my thoughts. But here is the thing with marketing in a world where majority of the population are now on their phones looking to shop, looking for ideas, looking for inspiration, looking for love ... etc.


The unfortunate truth is, nobody is going to see your brand, your face, and eventually your music if it is not consistently showing up online.


With TikTok being a part of people's lives now, it is inevitable that social media, has become an integral part of our human lives. All kinds of businesses and non-profit organizations are using social media accounts to engage with their potential clients.


So with wanting to promote my music work, I had to accept that this was the additional work I had to learn to manage and do. And so I did the one thing that was the best decision to help me navigate a world I did not understand. I decided to hire a marketing coach, and specifically an indie musician who also has a coaching business, born from her own real life experiences.


And the biggest learning for me was CONSISTENCY. Once you understand your audience (who you want to reach), and your brand (who you are), you can plan out the types of content you want to create.


Yes, there are challenges in learning how to use apps and different platforms to create reels, and the difference between stories and reels, and it is possible to manage it with structure. You can create batch content, and you can schedule them for the week. You can post and then not look at it after. You can train yourself to not be tied to "likes" and "view numbers".


And, you don't have to post your personal stuff. You don't have to post about your children if you're not comfortable. You can still be you while you set perimeters on what is comfortable to public and what is not, share your passion for your art, and still gain organic followers at your own pace. You can set aside 30-minutes in a day to just work social media stuff.


I've found at least with the experience now, I'm always recording my practice at the piano. That way I have b-roll I can use to create content, if there are no live performance events or talking head camera messages that I need to actually spend time to set up and film.


The important thing is showing up. Every day. Sharing a 30-second or 10-second snippet of your music and what you do, is a way for people to visibly see that you are authentic in your work. Reels, I have learned are the most effective content engagement in the algorithm.


I didn't believe it at first, but after 6 weeks of doing all this, I've gotten 2 gigs for live piano music booked because someone saw my playing live on social media. If you're looking for a marketing coach, I highly recommend The Fearless Artist Mastermind, where they have a program for musicians to meet online and share success tips and discuss challenges in a safe space, or private coaching as well.


I'd love to hear what are some of the challenges you've faced as an indie musician! Drop me a comment and feel free to subscribe to my mailing list for more updates on my musings as an indie artist :)









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