So you have written a good song and have had it professionally produced. Now what? This is a question that I think most songwriters struggle with. What are the next steps that we need to take to get our music in the right hands or how do we digitally distribute our music online?
The ease of releasing your material as an independent artist these days is amazing. With the advancements in technology and the internet, anyone can release their material themselves as an independent artist. Sure, it takes hard work and a little bit of know-how, but I’ll try to make easy for you.
These are some important key steps that you need to take to get your music released professionally to get your songs heard!
Step 1: Get your recordings mastered by a pro.
Once your songs have been professionally produced by a team of session musicians and you have had the songs professionally mixed, it’s important to get your songs mastered by an industry expert in engineering. Mastering is the final step of production which takes your final mix and brings it up to Broadcast Quality for digital release and radio airplay. Without the last step of mastering, your recording will not sound professional or have the final polish it deserves prior to release.
Step 2: Prepare your album artwork.
Having professional head-shots or artistic images to help develop your image as an artist will go hand in hand with your release. The imagry that you create artistically will help you with music marketing and will present yourself more professionally as an artist. In this case, people will “judge the book by it’s cover” despite what lessons we’ve been taught about that. Having eye catching album design will only help you promote your music both digitally and physically for album release and digital release.
Recognizable images to post along with your release to social networking websites will help catch prospective listeners attention and will also help develop artist branding. After all, music and art go hand in hand. Make sure your artwork is related somehow with your songs message and theme so that it is a clear representation of you as an artist. If you are a country singer-songwriter, you don’t want your artwork to be industrial looking. Catch my drift?
Step 3: Get the UPC code for your recordings.
A UPC code is a specific code that is assigned to your recording so you can keep track of physical record sales when you release your recordings for sale through online stores such as Amazon. Most CD duplication companies will offer the UPC code as an add on to their services for a small fee.
Step 4: Set up social networking sites and start developing a fan base.
Prepare yourself for digitally releasing your material by creating a Youtube channel, Facebook page, Twitter account and commit to release at least one new song every month. Also through these free social networking sites, you can use this a tool to constantly update your status and begin to engage an audience and develop a fan base. If you are a performing singer/songwriter, also create a mailing list so you can keep your audience informed about new releases, upcoming performances and even fundraising campaigns for future recordings.
Step 5: Pick a digital music distribution company to release your material.
Some digital music distribution companies that reach out to independent artists for digital release of recordings and help you sell your music online include:
Some of Tunecore’s key services they offer include releasing your recordings to digital stores including iTunes, Spotify, Google play and Amazon mp3. You can also link your music to online radio stations including iHeartRADIO and Rhapsody. I can say that I’ve personally used Tunecore myself for my personal release and I am a happy client. They make it easy to manage your sales and releases through your own online account and can easily transfer royalties and sales to your paypal account. You can also keep track of monthly record sales or individual single sales.
With cdbaby, you can digitally distribute your material to iTunes, Spotify, Google play and Amazon mp3. This site is also a great resource to showcase your release and send people a direct link to checkout your tunes through your cdbaby page that they create for you to showcase your material online.
DiscMakers main services have always included CD Duplication and Replication for physical cds to have in hand to sell at shows. They have expanded their services to include digital distribution to online stores including iTunes, Spotify, Google play, cdbaby and Amazon mp3. If you need help with your cd album design, they also offer creative services that can help you get your album artwork in order for your release. Discmakers covers copyright services as well as additional promotional services once your material is released. A great one stop shop for post production!