Categories
music marketing music promotion

5 reasons why people are afraid to release new music

After spending weeks sometimes months working on a new song. Its about the time to release it to your fans. But before you hit that upload button a flood of thoughts fill your mind.

Is it ready? Does the mix sound right? Will my fans like the song? How will it sound compared with other songs? and the list goes on and on.

The end result is a hard drive filled with music that nobody hears but yourself and family. That’s if you still have the courage to listen to the songs after the beating your self confidence just took.

I can relate to this. It’s crushing. Its causes anxiety when you are finished working on a song. I remember sending songs to several people before deciding to release it.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Here are 5 reasons why artist don’t release new music.

Reason 1. Comparing your music with commercial releases

One of the first things most artist do after recording a song is compare it with commercial releases. Some people do this before its even mixed or mastered. Having references is a good thing. It helps guide your mixing decisions and so on.

But many people get frustrated and disappointed if they think their music don’t sound as good as the commercial releases by major labels. The thing is most fans don’t care. If they like the song they will listen to it.

If you work with quality engineers your music will be good enough. You will get the commercial radio ready quality once you have finished the process. But you have to have the confidence in the people you work with. Even if you did everything by yourself.

Reason 2. Trying to create the perfect song

Another reason recording artist don’t release music is trying to create the perfect song. Here’s a clue it doesn’t exist. If you listen the stories of many artist they will tell you that if they work to create the perfect song nothing comes out.

Think about it you spend years in the studio trying to perfect the sound of your vocal, or the drums or bass part in the mix. When you done and compare it to something else you go back and fix something else. Then you go back and repeat the process.

So the question is when will you put it out? What was the point of recording the song in the first place to work on it and fix every detail? Or is it to get it good enough for the people to listen to it?

Seth Godin in his book poke the box says if it doesn’t ship it doesn’t count.

Reason 3. Waiting for other people’s approval to release your music

The third reason is waiting on people’s approval to release. This one is huge. You know why because you rely on the opinion of persons who you think are more knowledgeable than you. If they don’t like it you will feel crushed. Why give people so much power over your work?

If you think about it, you don’t know what your fans will like or what they will hate. The only way to find out is to put it out. They are many stories by recording artist that hated the song that eventually became a hit.

The right thing to do is ensure the technical details are good enough then ship it. You don’t want to release a poorly mixed song and that’s not what I’m saying. Also I’m not saying to avoid the opinion of others, the thing is don’t hang on every word they say.

Reason 4. Doubting yourself and the music you created

The fourth reason is doubting what you have. Many persons focus on being accepted and starts to doubt whether they are good enough. When it comes to there music, they find all the excuses in the world for not putting a song out.

I don’t like it anymore. I find a new song that is better. I want to continue to record some more songs before I will start releasing music. They listen back and they hate how it sounds and they complain bitterly.

I use to do this a lot and thought my music wasn’t good enough. That’s until the messages started coming in. People from different countries telling me how they use my music to reach young people and I should keep it up.

Those messages wouldn’t come in if I kept the music to myself. Gospel artiste Jermaine Edwards in an interview talks about a similar experience. How persons message him about the impact of his music.

Reason 5. You think people will not like the song

The last reason is worrying about whether people will like the song. As I mentioned earlier you will never know unless you out it out. The voices in your head doubting your new song is only preventing you from uploading the new song you have.

You will never know how people are going to react. You will spend days agonizing over something you will never know the answer to unless you put it out. The reasons may be real and valid. But you still in the dark of the reaction.

Another reason why people do this is that they want their music to be accepted. Some persons can’t deal with the thought of someone not liking the song. It’s like if you hate the song you hate them.

Your music is not for everyone. Your music is just your expression of something you like. You and your music is separate. If they don’t like the song that’s ok. Make another one.

Conclusion

Stephen Presfield in his book the war of art says you are not your work. So spend time creating music. But also spend time putting it out as well. Keep going and keep creating.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, what are some of the reasons why you use not to release new music leave a comment below.

Categories
music production tips

5 reasons why having more than music is good marketing

Learning how to effectively market your music is a skill all artiste should have. With the many social media channels, using it effectively can help you as a n artist promote yourself in at an affordable cost. But your music isn’t the only thing that you can use to promote yourself.

Here’s the thing. There’s a practice that I see many artiste do online. Especially when they have a new song promoting. Every chance they get they post their music. They will send you a message every day with the same song. Not to mention post the song under other people’s post as a reply.

For example I will post a flyer about an upcoming event. An artiste comments on the flyer with a link to their song on YouTube.

Another example I will get a DM on Instagram from an artiste. When I check the message its a link to YouTube with a request to listen their new song. I have even seen people post a song on someone’s Facebook profile on their birthday.

When I see it done I ask myself the question is it very effective? Are they building a following on social media by doing it? Or are they turning people away?

Here are 5 reasons why having more than music is a good way to build a loyal following online.

1. It broadens your reach

The first place where most artiste look to promote their songs is radio. Especially radio shows that they know play their kind of music. They also target entrainment blogs, newspapers and magazines for reviews.

Then they apply the same concept online. On social media they post the song every chance they get. But they fail to move beyond the music.

Doing this can shift the focus off the music and more on the message. Focusing on the message can open up new audiences for you to promote yourself.

For example, reggae artist Spice released a song about the color of her skin and if she was lighter things might be better. What she did to promote the song I think was genius. She deleted all her Instagram pictures and posted only one. The picture was her with a lighter skin color.

The result was that everybody was talking about it. They even thought that Spice changed her skin color. It was believable. But later she revealed that she is promoting a new song. The campaign brought the message to the front and center.

2. Introduce your fans to things you are interested in

Beyond the music you must like other things. Like sports, art, books, clothes. Your fans might have similar interest to you as well. You can use your social media channels to talk about them and share a bit with your fans. What this does is move the conversation beyond just music and make your brand more interesting.

As a music fan, I always research my favorite artist. I want to find interviews with them talking about their story. How they grew up, what they like. What other music they listen to. What books they read. The type of movies they like to watch.

If you can talk about these things it can help you engage with your fans.

3. Give you more things to talk about on your blog in between releases

Having something to share with your fans is a good thing. After you have released a new song what else can you talk about? That’s the question you should always seek to answer. How can I keep my fans engaged and let them appreciate the song more?

That’s the next step. Focusing on the message of the song, the process, and more will give you more ideas for content. You can share bits and pieces overtime. You wont suffer from mental blocks because you will always have something to say.

4. Makes you seem human

If all you post is your song then after awhile people will start to tune you out. Beyond the music what else is there about you that can build your relationship with your fans.

When you share your interest it makes you more relatable. Fans will understand who you are and get to know you a bit better. These people will become hardcore fans.

For example many artiste struggle with certain issues but never talk about them. Fans who suffer from the same issue can benefit from you sharing your story and how you found a solution.

When Linkin Park frontman Chester Bannington committed suicide, there were a number of fans expressing how their music helped them through difficult times. Your music will have a similar impact and that’s why its important to move beyond the music.

5 It helps you connect with your fans more

The last reason is it helps you connect with your fans. You can engage with them in a more meaningful way through the stories you share. The experiences you have and the solutions you find to common problems.

What you share can be anything. It could be your faith, your favorite food, your hobbies outside of music. Your fans will appreciate you for doing it. When you share consistently it will build a momentum and give people more reasons to follow you besides your music.

Conclusion

The point i’m trying to make is this, share a little bit more about who you are. Become content creators online and give people a reason to come back for more. Music is just one option. The question is what else is there?

What are some of the ways you use to engage your fans between releases? leave a comment below.

Categories
music marketing

7 ways to market your music independently in 2020

You spend hours writing, recording and mixing your new single or EP. Its now perfect and everyone who heard it love it. Now its time to let the world outside of your close friends and family hear your music. There’s one problem how do you go about doing that as an independent artiste?

With the rise of social media and the million ways to get your music out to the world which is the right one for you? This is even worse if you are just starting out. No one knows who you are. You have no contacts to anyone? You might as well quit because the road seems long and hard.

That’s what I thought when I was just starting out as a music producer 10 years ago. I didn’t know what I was doing. All I had was an EP compilation and a love for what I was doing. Which was making reggae gospel music.

After some trial and error, lots of reading and asking other musician questions I complied a list of things that will help any musician market their music independently.

Get your music played on the radio

The first place to start is getting a wider audience hear your music. The best place for that is on the radio. Radio reach millions of people on a daily basis. So the prospects of you reaching your fans on the radio is huge.

With the rise of social media and streaming services like Spotify and apple music listening to the radio has gotten less. But don’t count it out as an effective marketing tool for your music.

Outside of getting your music played on the radio you can get a live in studio interview on the radio. This can introduce you and your music to new audiences. If they like your story and your music they will search for you online. This can be a win in the long run if your line up multiple interview around your new release across different radio stations.

Get your music featured on podcast

Podcast is the internets alternative to radio shows. Millions of people listen to podcast on a daily basis. They all have different topics that span from politics to business to even your favorite hobby. These podcasters use music in their intro and outro. They also love to share interesting stories to their listeners.

You can use this to your advantage to share your story and interest to podcast listeners. This can broaden your audience and reach for your music it. You can also have podcasters use your music in their show. So with each episode persons will hear your song.

Apart from doing interview many dj’s have podcast where they play music. You can get your music featured in the podcast. Every genre you can think of has a music podcast on the internet.

Get your music featured on streaming playlist

Streaming playlist has become the new radio. Songs can become successful if they get featured on the right playlist. That’s because millions of music fans check these playlist for new music frequently.

Spotify, Apple music Deezer and other all have curated playlist by taste makers as well as playlist by regular fans. If you can get your music on these playlist it can help your song get traction online. That’s because more persons are listening to your song and sharing it with others.

Get your song review on blogs

Blogs have been around for a long time and they are as equally important today. Many magazines back in the day and now have music review sections. These writers listen to music and share their opinion on what they heard. Getting featured can help introduce you to the persons who read those magazines. Music blogs has been added to this mix.

Somewhere on the internet are a group of people who write about your kind of music everyday. Some do it for the love . Others do it for money and love. Their reason is not important. What’s important is if they like your song and willing to share it with their readers.

Music blogs can be compared to getting featured in the entertainment section of your local newspaper. But the good thing about it is that you can link to it and share the article with your friends and fans.

Get a write up in the newspaper

Your local newspaper is also a good way to spread the word about your music. People still read the newspaper whether online or the physical copy. Most newspapers have an entertainment section. You can send your press kit to the editor and if they like it you can get featured in the local paper.

The key to getting write up in the newspaper is ensure your press release has a relevant news angle. Meaning its can’t be just about your song. Tie to something relevant and interesting that will get the editors attention. That way they will be ready to feature the song in the paper.

Cross promote with other artist

Another way to promoting your music is collaborating with other artist. Especially artist with a larger following than you. The reason for doing this is because they can introduce you to their audience.

A perfect example of this is dancehall artiste Bounty Killa. He has collaborated and help to break out many successful dancehall artist. What he would do is feature them on songs, give them segments on live events and so on. This help the new artist build their own fanbase. The same concept can be used today.

To utilize this concept you can get successful artist to share your song on their social media pages. Send the song to their email list as well as help introduce you to taste makers.

Send your music to Dj’s

The next way to promote your music is finding and sending your music to dj’s. These people play music live, whether at events or on radio. Their audiences maybe small or large but they play music on a regular basis.

To do this find all the djs who play your type of music. Introduce yourself and ask them for their email address to send music. Then send the song with some information about yourself. That’s it.

Keep in mind some of them get music sent to them on a regular basis. They may not respond to your email right away if at all. But keep trying and one day they will respond and pay attention to your music.

Send the music your fans

The last way I want to talk about in this blog is sending music to your fans. While its good to collaborate and use other channels to promote your music. You don’t have any control over these channels. You have to depend on others to push your music. So its important to have a channels that you can use to send music directly to your fans.

This can be posting the song on your YouTube channel, Facebook page and Instagram account. You can also send it to your email list of fans and post an update about your music on your blog. That way when persons search for you the channels you control the first set of options they find.

Conclusion

These are just 7 things you can do today to market your music independently. They are all free but will take a lot of time to get any sort of tracking. But all in all keep at it and you will see the results you are looking for.

What are some of the methods you use to promote your music independently let me know in the comments?

Categories
Marketing

3 reasons why creating systems boost productivity

Managing the creative process will vary from person to person. That’s because not everyone works the same way and they also get different results. Even if two persons do the same exact thing the results are not always the same.

One thing that becomes frustrating is replicating the results of a recent project. You may not remember the process of how you did it. But you only know the results you got. That’s why creating formulas and systems are important. Here are 3 reasons why creating systems can improve your productivity.

#1 Helps you remember how to do something

There’s a reason why all KFC outlets look the same way. Why their food most of the time tastes the same from outlet to outlet. That’s because of the system created by the owners.

Writing down the steps of how you work. This can help you and others replicate the results you got. It can be easy for them to get the same results. That way you don’t have to keep experimenting to get results just trust your process.

#2 It helps you learn how to do something

Finding a system that works is like training wheels. It guides you through the process of learning how to do something at the required standard. Help you get up to speed faster and gives you room to get creative and make the process your own.

Once you have the system down test it out to replicate the results. Document what you’ve learnt and improved the system. This will widen your understanding of the process.

#3 It helps you keep consistent

Maintaining the quality of your work is not easy without a system. Look at how movies are made. The main character has a problem, meets someone to help them, gets a plan then either succeeds or fails. For music its the same way, every song has an intro, a chorus, a verse and some have a bridge. It helps maintain the standard your clients expects from you.

You might be thinking doesn’t it limit your creativity or box you in? No, it helps you maintain the quality of your work. Gets you to the standard faster.

Overall systemizing your creative process can improve your results. Help you to be more creative and help you learn new things.

Michael Gerber says business people use systems to build billion-dollar corporations. US creatives can use it to keep consistent.

Categories
podcasting

Create your own solution

The book poke the box had a profound impact on my thinking. The act of changing your mindset from sitting around waiting for permission to taking initiative can change your life in a positive way. If you have an idea to solve a problem, start it, then ship it out to the world once it’s finished.

This brings me to the title. If you have difficulty finding ready solutions why not create your own. At first, it might look impossible but you can start researching for ways to do it.

Richard Branson in his book losing my virginity talked about how he keeps a notebook with ideas for new businesses. What he does, he writes down the people he needs to call, the list of ideas, companies he can set up and people who can make things happen.

This is interesting because when he started virgin airline, he spent a day with a former airline businessman to learn about the business. After that, he went headfirst into the venture.

The lead up to him starting was being stranded on an island with no way of getting home. He organised a charter flight to get him and other people off the island for a fee. All this with no money in his pocket.

The lesson is to find out what you need to get your project off the ground then do it. Finish it, release it and move on to the next one.

So if something is bugging you and you have an idea to solve it do it now. Create your own solution.

Categories
podcasting

How to record audio at events

Going to events is a good way to generate content for your podcast and other marketing channels. But here’s the problem, after talking with a lot of persons, the audio either sounds too low or has lots of background noise. Worse you can’t hear the person and the audio is unusable.

This is frustrating because you were hoping to use the content on your show. Now, what do you do?

These types of frustrating situations happen time and time again. I can relate because it has happened to me before. To prevent it from happening again, here are a few things to keep in mind when recording audio at events.

#1 Use an external microphone to record interviews

When doing interviews recording using the internal mic is usually a bad idea. The reason being the microphone on most recorders are omnidirectional. This means, when you point the recorder in front of the person you’re talking to, everything else around you gets recorded. This is why you get a lot of background noise in your recording.

Using an external dynamic microphone like a Shure sm 58, is the best tool for the job. It will isolate the person you are talking to even when the background is noisy. This works wonders because it only records in the direction you point it.

#2 Find a quiet space to talk

If you don’t have an external microphone then finding a quiet space to do the interview can help. This will give you the ambience of the event but allow you to focus on getting a good interview for your show.

It will also remove distraction for you and the other person because you are removed from the activity.

#3 Check your levels before you record

Before you do any recording test your levels. This will ensure that your audio is not recorded too low or too loud. Most recorders have a record pause button, hit that or just hit the record button if you don’t have that feature. Do a microphone check, look at your levels and make adjustments.

Doing these 3 things will make a big difference to the audio you record at major events. it will give you usable audio for your show.

Categories
podcasting

How recording too loud can destroy your podcast

One of the worse things that can happen is for your podcast recording to sound like a hot mess. Imagine after you’ve recorded your interview, saved it, only for the audio to sound way too loud. Even when you turn it down it doesn’t fix the problem.

What can you do at that point? Not much. That’s because if the audio is recorded too loud and distorted its impossible to fix. All you can do is record it over. 

Not to worry though as there is a way to fix the problem from the beginning. How you do this? Turn the volume down when recording. Here are some tips you can apply today to improve your podcast recordings.

Before you start to record do a test

Don’t make the mistake of jumping in before doing a test. Working in media has taught me this valuable lesson. Imagine talking to a guest, after the fact you realise you weren’t recording. It has happened to me a few times and doing a quick check can save you headaches later. 

If you’re recording on your computer check your levels. Check the level of your microphone and that of your guest. Make sure it is moderate in case you or your guest gets excited. This is the best way to prevent distortion.

Another test you can do is to adjust the levels after you start recording. To do that have your guest say something and adjust your levels before you actually start. You can always delete that part later. 

Listen to the recording through headphones

While doing the interview check in your headphones how you sound. It is a good practice to catch problems early so you can make adjustments. How you do this is easy, slip on the headphones and take a quick glance at the levels in your software. If there is an unusual spike turn the levels down.

What you’re trying to avoid is being caught up in the interview and forgetting to check what’s happening. You might be enjoying the conversation and your audio starts to distort or sounds funny. But you found out after you have finished. 

Set moderate levels. 

The last thing is to ensure you set your recording levels at about halfway on your audio interface. You might be tempted to turn the volume to the max don’t do that. 

You want your levels halfway because it gives you room to get excited. You don’t want to worry about distortion. And it’s a good practice to record at a moderate level.

Conclusion

How the story ends for you is that you test everything before you record. Watch the recording in your headphones and set your levels. This gives you a quality recording to edit.

Categories
music career

Stop censoring your ideas

Having too much to choose from can be crippling. It becomes worse when you’re trying to find the best out of the lot. This could be ideas, products, services, things to buy, places you want to visit, it’s limitless. One thing we do is filter everything, trying to pick the best. Doing this often delays making decisions and for good reason.

Not rushing the decision helps you to compare and take a deeper look to see if you’re getting value for money. It could be investing your time to exploring an idea further considering the return on your time. Checking to see if a particular product meets the criteria you’re looking for.

This process helps you cut the not so good from the best. Once you’re comfortable that’s the point you commit. 

In some cases that process can save you lots of money. Help you dodge a shady contractor. And give you peace of mind with the results you want. It will be worth when things go well. 

When it goes wrong and it usually does at times, it brings regret, guilt and shame because of the choice. That’s ok because we can learn from these choices. You might lose money, time and progress, but how would you know if it was a bad choice?

You wouldn’t know it was a bad choice unless you made the decision to try it. Or somebody else did it and told you about it. 

The whole point is for some ideas you’ll need to do research. For others, acting on the idea is the best research. Besides, the results will be unknown unless you take action on the idea.

Don’t censor your ideas, do the research and try them all.