Fellow Artists & Friends,
I see a lot of you out here working hard as hell on your craft, unfortunately the game has changed. You can’t just be good at rapping/curating music in this day and age. You need to be knowledgeable about all of the different realms there are in this industry. Today, I will touch on PR, quality engineering, professional image and paid streaming platforms.
DISCLAIMER: If you can’t do it yourself, please hire someone else to do it! It’s obvious when an artist is taking shortcuts and trying to do it themselves, when they probably shouldn’t be. Whether it’s your single cover artwork, audio mixing, photography, etc. Outsource those services until you have perfected them yourself! I understand many of you want to get content to your fans, but if the content isn’t quality, how are they going to take you seriously? How do you expect to get booked for a big show if you are ripping your cover art from google images or your song sounds like it was recorded on your built-in laptop microphone. If you’re just having fun with it, this isn’t the article for you. Please move along if you are not trying to pay your rent and bills with music. Keep uploading your shitty music to Soundcloud, see you around.
Okay, so you have spent lots of time and money getting quality audio mixing, writing a great song, obtaining quality cover art, ETC. Now you’re just gonna drop your project on Soundcloud and maybe run a Facebook ad? That is not enough, you are really playing yourself if you think repeating this process over and over again will get you on. Save money up for promotion and PR just like you would for mixing, mastering, cover art and photography. It’s so essential!
PR people are often overlooked by naive artists and that’s often why they never see their careers go anywhere. Side note, bloggers and PR firms are NOT synonymous. Bloggers may work for big blogs and that’s awesome if you can develop a relationship with them, but they often are limited to the website they work for. PR firms often have all the capabilities that bloggers do and then some. In the industry, their name is like GOLD! They work with bigger artists, so they can help you with features. They know A&R’s who work at labels that could potentially get your music to that next level. They can write quality bios which are needed for the website you should have. They can create Electronic Press Kits (EPK’s) which are important for booking big gigs. The list goes on. Creating a business relationship with a reputable PR firm could really put you on that upper echelon. Please do not overlook this part of the industry because it is so important!
Sending your music out Professionally
I far too often still get tagged in someone’s shitty music on social media. STOP doing this without getting permission from your Facebook/Twitter/Social Media Friends. Don’t ever think it is okay to just drop links without asking. If you are going to do this, ask for permission first. It is so much more respectable.
As for sending out music professionally to bloggers and A&R’s, be brief and let your quality music speak for itself. Talk about where you are from, what your music sounds like and what you are looking for, from that respective party. Follow-up emails are okay after 2-3 days, give them time. Lots of emails are sent their way every single day, so please be patient.
A tool I swear by is submithub.com. Believe it or not, it is actually how I received my DISTRIBUTION DEAL through ML1 Records. Yes, I said an 80/20 distribution deal. Submithub.com offers artists a professional platforms to connect with blogs, labels, publicists and A&R’s. You can use premium credits, which are relatively cheap. Premium credits ensure your next song gets heard and you receive quality feedback. Do note that you will get a lot of NO’s, but take those No’s in stride, it only takes one YES!
Having your OWN platform
This is probably one of the most important aspects of being a PROFESSIONAL artist. Having your own website to communicate with fans, write blog posts, hold your music, sell merch and just overall represent your brand is IMPERATIVE! I know there has been rumors of Soundcloud going under lately. Where will your music be if it does? Creating email lists, and your own platform will secure a direct connection with you and your fan base. Plus having your own site looks great for promoters who are looking for artists to rock their stage.
Monetizing your art is so essential if you want to build a sustainable career. I too wish I could pay my bills with Facebook shares, respect and fan love, but we live in a pretty cruel money fueled world, so use a medium that helps you get your music on PAID streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, Youtube, etc. I myself, use Distrokid.com, which costs me $20 annually for unlimited uploads. Use this code and you can get 7% off that annual $20 fee if you do choose Distrokid.
(copy & paste or click) —> https://distrokid.com/vip/seven/627766
There are several other mediums out there like TuneCore and CDBaby. Research what works best for you and don’t look back! Make sure to verify your artist page on Spotify, it will attribute to your professional image and potentially get you on some big playlists if the song is amazing.
I hope you guys all enjoyed this FREE GAME! Please like and share this article on Facebook/Twitter with fellow artists in your community.
Please like and follow my Facebook/Twitter/Instagram in the links below to stay connected!