Have you released music, and it was a total flop? Or maybe it wasn't a total flop, but it wasn't as great as you expected? Or perhaps you're looking to release music, but you're pretty overwhelmed by it, so you've just dipped your toe in?
Well, for me, I've had plenty of flops! I've released three albums and more than 20 songs, and I'm still releasing music. In fact, I have just released a new song at the time of this episode. Although I don't release music at the same level as I used to. I still release music to keep my toe dipped in the water!
My first few releases weren't great. It took me a number of years to figure out what wasn't working and what I needed to change to have a successful release.
Now, it's important to know that we don't all class "successful releases" the same way. So for me, a successful release makes the top 5 on the iTunes chart, it makes more than two radio charts, and it is added to many radio stations here and worldwide. In addition, have a high volume of support from the local and abroad media, and the release earns me more email sign-ups and engagement on my social media, elevating my overall brand and position in the music industry.
You might realise that I didn't mention money in my view of success. Why is that? Doesn't everyone releases music for money? Well, of course, I want to make money! And I am! only the money isn't coming in the way you would expect it to.
I make my money by elevating my brand. I can ask for higher appearance fees, I can sell more tickets to my concerts, I am asked to do more performances, and my music school will grow in size because of my success. This is how I make my money! I certainly don't get rich off streaming! And guess what… neither do the big stars. They make their money through touring, endorsements, merchandise and appearances.
So, with that being said, I needed to turn my releases into a success!
Here are three things I did differently that really skyrocketed my release results!
1. I started my release campaign three months before the release date.
When I was first releasing my music, I was so stupid excited to get it out that I released it within two weeks of having the final master. I was like … "hey, world, here it is," and the world was like, we don't give a s#%t, and that was that. I would start preparing the next release!
When I started studying other artists and talking to them about what they were doing to create their success, they made it very clear that they would work on their release for at least three months prior. Guess what? I still didn't listen. I thought, yeah, right! Then I signed on with a manager, a very clever manager who is still to this day a great friend, and he was like, yeah, we really need to give ourselves more than two weeks to release.
So I moved to three months and planned my entire release, and that's when I saw the needle move! I was prepared, I had a plan, and I executed it.
2. I went live on Facebook every single week for 3 months.
I actually found this quite challenging to do because I really just didn't feel like it. It was a mindset thing. I was pretty lazy. I knew I wanted to do well, and I knew I had to succeed, but I always tried to shortcut everything, hoping that I could do "just enough". So I committed to doing a weekly live show on Facebook because that was my biggest platform then, and it was a hit! Not to begin with, though, I had to train my audience, which meant I had to consistently show up to instil trust and loyalty so they would return.
I learned a lot doing these live shows every week. I learned how my fans were and what they loved. I also learned how to speak with them in a way that would develop relationships. I created and nurtured these relationships further through my email list, and this was how I started to gain superfans, the ones that would buy everything and go to every show!
3. I changed my mindset.
This one really was the most significant change I made. I had to go from procrastinating and half-assing everything to going all in and betting on myself. There is a great saying - "you won't always be motivated. You must learn to be disciplined.
That means you can't wait for motivation to strike before you put in the necessary work. Motivation waivers, some days, you'll feel like you can conquer the world and other days, you won't feel like doing anything. This can be very dangerous when you are your own boss.
So I emersed myself in personal development. I have read hundreds of books and reread a lot of them many times. I changed who I was. I became dedicated to being the best version of myself. I have, over time, built the habit of wanting to be better. But I still have bad days and occasionally a bad week where I really have to push myself to be dedicated and disciplined to do what needs to be done to be successful.
So, if you want to skyrocket the success of your next release, start planning your release campaign three months in advance, start going live on your preferred social media platform consistently and engage and lastly, change your mindset. Are you dedicated to your career? If so, you need to understand that it takes work and it takes time. This stuff doesn't happen overnight, as much as we wished it would.
Let me know in the comments if you are already doing any of these things, or maybe there is something else you are doing that is working for you.
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