D.I.Y.

How Far Out To Plan Your Next Release

If you want to make sure your next release is a splash, advanced planning is essential. But just how far in advance? Here we look at how to pick the ideal timeline for dropping new music with as few mishaps as possible.

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Guest post by Randi Zimmerman of the Symphonic Blog

The best way to ensure your release’s success is to plan for everything and do it way in advance. Sometimes unexpected things come up in the production process, so you’ll want to give yourself ample time to set everything up properly and adjust as/if needed. So, how early do you need to start planning?

How Far Out Should You Plan Your Release?

Ideally, you should really start planning 3 months in advance. To make sure you’re ready, we’ve compiled a checklist of tasks you need to complete before the big release day finally comes around.

3 Months Before Release Day

Make sure you’re registered.

First and foremost, you need to make sure you’re registered with a Performing Rights Organization like ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC. This is crucial. These are the people who are going to make sure you’re getting paid every time your song is played.

Figure out your PR plan.

To make sure your release does well when it finally drops, you’re going to need some great PR leading up to the day. It’s easy to invest in the things you can see the results of right away like high-quality recording or a new amp. However, something like PR is just as important.

The music can be the most incredible, high-quality audio that anyone has ever heard, but if you don’t have a strategy or the contacts to actually get the word out, how will anyone know? You can either do all the promo and networking yourself or you can hire a PR firm. Depending on what your budget is and how big the release has the potential to be, hiring a PR firm to help you out could be monumental in your success.

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Need help?

How to Find The Right PR Firm as a Musician
3 Creative Strategies for Finding Cold Contacts
The Best and Worst Months to Release Music
How to Market Your New Release on a $0 Budget

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2 Months Before the Release

Make sure you’ve got some great press photos.

Once it’s time to start getting press and featured on blogs, make sure you have some great photos to offer. You want your photos to be on brand and exemplify who you are. Make sure the photos are professional quality! It never looks good to have an out of focus or terrible quality photo. Remember, whatever press you get ends up being an extension of who you are. If you can help it, make sure it’s all as professional as possible.

Focus on growing your audience.

Make sure you remain active on all your social media platforms. Retweet and share your process, do an Instagram Live to show everyone what you’ve been up to, do anything that will keep your audience engaged up until the release day when you’ll need their support the most.

4-6 Weeks Before The Release

Finally, submit your release to your distributor.

The required lead time is no less than 4 weeks, 6 weeks is ideal for delivery of release AND marketing drivers. This gives your distributor time to ingest and approve releases, DSPs time to receive them, and playlist editors time to receive pitches and marinate with a release before deciding whether or not to feature or place it on playlists.

Symphonic Clients:

  • Submit release in MS
  • Submit Playlist Pitching Form
  • Secure venue for listening event or release show and promote

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To increase your release potential, check this out:

Best Practices for Maximum Release Potential as a Symphonic Client

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Now, It’s All About Marketing.

Hype it up

Up until the release, make sure you’re blasting your release on all socials and hyping it up to your audience. Post teaser videos on Instagram, behind the scenes pics, and whatever else you can think of to tease a bit of the action. Get creative!

If you plan everything properly and put the work in, you and your distributor will be ready to go when release day finally comes. But for any of this to work, make sure to communicate with everyone on your team and remain consistent with your efforts.

Work smarter, not harder.

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