Image Courtesy: Rodrigo Amorim
No matter how much talent you have, you need to know the key to networking and pitching it right to be able to make it big in any industry. The music industry is no exception to the same. In fact, you need to be more aggressive here than in some other fields, in order to get your talent recognized and make a successful career as a musician.
Here are 6 commandments of launching your very first music album:
1. Genre and pre-recording
So after a lot of contemplation and consideration, youâ€™re finally sure that music is your destiny and you want nothing but a lucrative career in the music industry, and very soon youâ€™re looking to launch your first music album. To carve your own niche in the industry, it is advisable to focus on a particular genre, depending on what you wish to accomplish. Accordingly, choose the songs for your album, rehearse and record the songs â€“ whether at home or at a professional studio, get feedback, make mixes, and so on. Basically, determining your focus and approach is extremely important.
2. Drafting a business plan
While working on the launch of your first music album, the most needed step is to build up a business plan. In this plan, try to cover all possible aspects right from the beginning till the end. You could include aspects such as developing your talent, and listing down what kind of marketing and promotional strategies you wish to undertake. This would also entail your understanding of the market and your potential audience, as well as the competition you might have to face.
Your business plan can also include how you plan to finance your album, and what strategies you have up your sleeve in order to garner maximum profit from your venture. You need to figure out whether you can finance your venture with your own cash or whether you need investors. If you do need investors, you will need a credible plan to convince investors to risk their capital on your venture, and to show them that you know what youâ€™re doing.
3. Sorting out the costs involved
Thinking about finances, one of the most important and indispensable factors to consider while working on the launch of your first album is of course, the cost factor. It is important that you understand all possible costs associated, before you start out on your venture.
Some highlights that you can take into account while sorting out the costs involved could be administrative costs such as taxes, rent, utilities, business cards, supplies, website costs; recording costs such as engineering and producing costs, studio costs, and so on; and marketing costs such as press releases, magazine ads, online ad, websites, and paying designers. Also keep in mind costs for professional services such as attorneys, PR agents, and accountants.
4. Creating your team
Launching yourself into the music industry is definitely not something that you can manage single-handedly. For this, you are going to require a solid team to handle various aspects of your launch and enable your success. You can start by developing a sales and marketing team by hiring someone who can go out there and promote your label, someone who has good contacts or a good network inside the industry. This person will play a key role behind your success.
You would also need someone who can help you with the production and recording process. This would be a person who can help you find good sound engineers, producers, mixers, and so on. Furthermore, you could consider hiring other staff such as a designer for your logos, graphics, and other art work, an attorney to help you with all the legal steps, and an accountant to keep a check on your overall finances, including spending.
5. Send your demos to music labels
While sending your demo to music labels, make sure you do your research well. Based on your genre, compile a list of labels that might be interested in your music. You could look up artists online whom you find similar to yourself and see the labels they work with, just to get an idea. Go through the demo policies of every label and when you do send your songs, make sure you keep it short and sweet. Just send two or three of your best songs, and make sure you maintain a database of all the labels you have contacted.
Apart from sending your demos to music labels, you can, in the meanwhile do your bit to promote yourself and get yourself known in the market. Start developing contacts in the industry, meet artists from your field and learn as much as you can. To do your bit towards marketing, you can also upload some of your best songs/videos on platforms like YouTube; make your own page on social networking sites, get in touch with journalists wanting to cover upcoming music artists, perform at local gigs, functions, get in touch with magazines and radio stations, and so on.
Don Galecki works for Ezmi which is an online musical instrument store in Australia. He enjoys listening to music and going for live concerts. Whenever he isnâ€™t busy, he enjoys exploring different places.