How To Create A Release Plan For Your Next Single
Do you want to release more music this year?
As creative types (warning – MASSIVE generalization ahead!) we also tend to be perfectionists.
If you’re anything like me you’ll have hard drives full of half-finished ideas that never see the light of day.
But the truth is if you want to finish more music this year then you need to start being intentional about it!
What are your goals for music this year?
Maybe you want to release a single, a 4 track EP, or 2 full albums!
Knowing your goals and being intentional about them will make all the difference.
So let’s breakdown an example release plan for a single launch on 1st June…
If you haven’t already written the song then schedule in time to do so.
This is the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT part of the entire plan. Because if you don’t have a song worth recording and releasing, then let’s be honest – the entire process is wasted effort.
Give yourself plenty of time to write that hit song!
This is an often-overlooked stage but has a big impact on the final mix.
We often settle for the tempo and key the song was written in. But small changes to both can give the song a completely different feel.
It’s also worth trying out different arrangements and thinking about instrumentation at this stage.
Spending time on pre-production makes the recording and mixing phases a lot easier.
Pencil time in your diary to record each instrument.
If it’s in your diary you’re way more likely to head to your studio to lay down that Bass track, rather than spending the entire evening watching Netflix (we’ve all been there!)
Also allow some time to experiment in your studio. The release plan is there to serve your musical goals, not suck all the joy out the process. It’s your plan so you can build as much time in as you want for this.
Think back to your last few mixes, decide how long you need, and get it penciled in the diary!
Don’t forget, you can find lots of helpful tips and tricks for recording and mixing in the Audio Issues blog.
You may like to master your own music, use a trusted mastering engineer, or online services such as LANDR… either way you should block out time.
This is especially true if someone else is mastering your music as you can agree upfront when you’ll be sending them the finished mix, and when you need the finished master returned.
You’ll need to cover artwork for the single release.
There are a lot of great websites out there for designing artwork. The one I use most is Canva, which is FREE to use and includes a ton of ready-to-go pre-sized templates.
You can go into as much depth as you want when it comes to Marketing.
This stage can include;
- Social media strategy and content plan
- Supporting content (e.g. music video for YouTube)
- Reaching out to local radio, bloggers, podcasts and reviewers
Or it could be as simple as one Instagram post when the single goes live!
Let’s be honest – we’d much rather focus on making music in our home studio caves than struggle with marketing. But if you want your music to be heard you need to get your hands (at least a little bit) dirty.
Submit your song to a Music Distributor
If you want to sell and stream your music online through iTunes, Spotify and other platforms, then you need to pay a music distributor.
There are many options out there. I currently use and recommend both AWAL and DistroKid.
You’ll need to use a service like AWAL or DistroKid to get your song placed in all the top stores.
Just make sure you submit your song a few weeks before the release date to ensure it’s ready and available on all platforms!
Congratulations – you made it! Release day is here and all of your hard work has finally paid off.
Now depending on what you included in your marketing plan, this could either be a relaxing or very busy day for you. Either way, it’s a lot of work to get to this point and you should be really proud of your achievement!
When planning a release I like to start with the release date, and then work back from there based on how long I think each activity will take.
So based on this example release plan, I know I need to start penciling time in my diary from w/c 6th April if I want to hit that 1st June release!
Are you struggling to make your music sound professional?
Now if you’re new to home recording and you’re struggling to get your songs to sound professional, then before you go I want to give you something that I think really going to help you take your music to the next level.
I’ve put together a FREE EQ and Compression Cheat Sheet that you can download and print out right now.
In the guide you’ll learn:
- EQ frequency ranges to cut and boost on Drums, Bass, Guitars & Vocals!
- My starting point Compression settings to instantly give your Drums, Bass, Guitars & Vocals more glue and punch! (includes Attack, Release, Ratio & Gain Reduction settings)
It’s already helped a ton of people in home studios improve their mixes and get better results.
Featured Image: https://unsplash.com/photos/fJXv46LT7Xk