3 Reasons You Hear Crickets When You Release Music!

marketing music release Aug 24, 2022

Have you released music before, and all you heard were crickets? If not, let me ask you this! Have you posted on social media, and all you heard were crickets?

It's bloody frustrating! I know! I spent years trying to get my audience to engage with me. I know how critical engagement is, and if you're building a music career or at least trying to, you've probably heard about how important engagement is too. 

And it's essential for a few reasons. But the main reason you need people to engage with you is to grow your fanbase, and you want to grow your fanbase so that when you spend all of that time and money on creating your art and recording your music, people are going to listen!

Don't make the mistake of thinking that people should listen just because you record something. I think they should! But in reality, we are bombarded with choices, and if someone takes time to listen to your music, then it's a real privilege. 

When I released my first single, I was SO excited! I knew I had a great track, and although I did have some engagement, it only lasted on the day of release. I was crushed! I felt like a failure and thought, how can I put all this effort in for it to flop? But there wasn't a problem with the product I had created. The problem was in how I was delivering, or in the case of my early days, not delivering it to the world.

So that leaves us with the question… why do you hear crickets when you release your music? Why is no one listening to your music or paying attention to your posts about it? 

1. You had no release plan:

This is a step that MOST indie artists skip! And then wonder why their release didn't go as "planned" well, it didn't go as "planned" generally because there was no plan! 

When you release music, you need to have a plan for it. 

Your plan should include:

  • Setting up and getting ready for the release.
  • A marketing plan for how you will let everyone know you have new music!
  • Ensuring you have all your assets ready, e.g. your audio files, your bio, your pictures. 
  • Your release plan includes a weekly breakdown of what you will do each week. I generally run a 6-8 week rollout plan. 
  • And your follow-up, how and what will you do once your music is released?

My favourite saying is "Failing to plan is planning to fail," a Benjamin Franklin saying. 

Sit down for an afternoon when you get close to completing your recording and have a planning session. Then, take the time to sit down and nut out the above things. I also suggest figuring out what you want to get out of your release because if you aren't specific about the outcome you want to achieve, then how can you ever achieve it?

2. You haven't built an engaged email list or audience on your social media through consistency. 

We often hear the term "consistency" thrown around, and we hear it, but I don't think we necessarily internalise it and implement it! 

So I want first to address why consistency is crucial to success in general, and I will use weight loss as an example.

Say you have a goal to lose 5kg or 10lb, and you want to lose that in one month. If you do well for the first two weeks and consistently follow your meal plan and exercise routine to the letter, but in week three, you go hell for leather at everything you've been dying to eat. I'm talking chocolate, pizza, chips, take-out, coke, and cookies. You name it, and you're eating it. And then week four, you dialled it back in a little, but you were still not following your meal plan, and you had stopped exercising. Do you think you're going to make your goal weight? 

No! You're not, and that's because you weren't consistent. 

Music is the same. If you are working on building your audience, then you need to show up consistently because people rely on you. Just like your weight depends on you to eat well and exercise, your audience relies on you to turn up and feed them with content; otherwise, they will starve, and your audience will be skinny. 

Now, why do you need to show up consistently in your inbox and on your social media platforms before you release your music? Because you need to have what I call a pre-qualified audience, that is an audience that you have been engaging with consistently. With this pre-qualified, warm audience, you will have people ready to listen to your music and buy your merchandise because you have already spent time giving and engaging with them. And you've built two crucial brand qualities, trust and loyalty. 

A student of mine committed to Tiktok and was posting consistent content. She would receive a few hundred views on each video, and she did this for six months and then the next minute, she had a video blow up. She has had 3.5 million views and 20k followers! All because she kept turning up. The thing is, you never know what piece of content will be a winning piece.

3. You're making the release all about you

Now this one might sound a little strange because your release is all about you. But if there is anything I have learnt over my 23 years of releasing music, it's that people only care about two things: themselves and what you can do for them. 

That's why you have to make your release all about your audience. Your job as a marketer is to convince your audience to buy or stream your music, and you do that by enticing them with content that speaks to them but ultimately brings it back to you and your release. 

Here is an example of a post about your release, but we are making it about them. 

"Have you had a deadbeat boyfriend that just totally told you they loved you and meant the world to them? Did they tell you how special you were? Or maybe they showed you how special they were by dating your best friend! Well, that's what this song is all about! It's an anthem for everyone that has ever been cheated on. Let me know in the comments if you've been cheated on and maybe even let me know if you tried to seek revenge 👿"

And that is how you make your release status about your audience. 

By doing this, you're encouraging your audience to engage with you about your music, but you're making it relatable, and by making anything relatable, you're being more inviting and more engaging. 

Alright, let's recap the three reasons you might be hearing crickets when you release your music:

  1. You had no release plan! Make sure you get it together before you release it; otherwise, it will flop.
  2. You haven't built an engaged email list or audience on your social media through consistency. Remember that cliche saying "consistency is key" because it really is. 
  3. You're making the release all about you. We want it to be about us, but we want to do it in a way that makes it look like it's about them! 

Now, if you're doing any of these three things, let me know in the comments! And if you do release music and all you hear are crickets, don't give up. We've all been there! It just means you have to go back to your original plan to see what's not working. 

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