Five Ways To Plan Ahead For Your Release 09 May 2019 Releasing a new track can be both exciting and intimidating, especially if it’s one of your first releases. It can be tricky to narrow down exactly what to do in the lead up to the release of your song. We’ve collated five ways you can be plan ahead for your release to ensure you’re getting the best possible results. 1. Social media planning Social media is key to getting people excited for the new music you’re about to release. If you are starting a brand new project, set up your artist social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) well in advance, invite your friends to your page and begin gathering followers. If you’re already established on social media, let people know you’re working on something new. Try to get the same handle across all platforms. Organise a list of social media content you will aim to put out over the course of your campaign, and create a simple schedule to help you keep track of what you’ll be posting and when. This is where scheduling platforms such as Later and Hootsuite can come in handy, allowing you to schedule posts for any time on any day. Schedule content for the week ahead when possible to allow you to focus on other aspects of your release. Planning your social media campaign ahead of your release will help you to build hype in the lead up to your new track and maintain momentum in the weeks following the release. 2. Updating your press images It’s important to have some assets under your belt when releasing music - a press image, album artwork, a biography and a few pictures for your social media. It might be tempting to just use that one decent photo of you that your friend took at a party a few years ago, but having an updated press image when you’re releasing new music is important. Your press image portrays who you are, and a clear, interesting and high-quality press image can leave a good impression (check out our tips here). You don’t necessarily have to splash out on a photography session - your press photo just has to be of good quality and engaging. Your press shot should: Have the artist as the focal point, with no one else in the shot Use good lighting, or at least the artist should be easily visible in a dark setting Include an interesting location, prop or colour palette Use landscape orientation where possible Convey the artist’s style, mood and image Once you have your new press image, you can update your profile photo on your social media and streaming platforms closer to your release date to get people excited for your next release. 3. Getting your music distributed Even though you have a release date set for yourself, that doesn’t mean it’s as simple as sending your track to your distributor and away it goes. Sending your release to your distributor 3 or more weeks before the set date is ideal, allowing ample time for it to be delivered to services worldwide. If you’re looking to pitch songs through Spotify For Artists, or you’re getting Playlist Pitching through a service such as ourselves, the release needs to be uploaded and ready to pitch at least 2 weeks out. Want to get in touch about distribution? Follow this link here. 4. Freshen up your Spotify and Apple Music A decked-out profile shows Spotify you're serious about your presence on their platform and provides another touch point for your fans to learn more about you. It's also another step to achieving brand consistency across all of your online artist profiles. Having time to update and complete your profile will help on release day, and might help to boost your chances of getting on playlists. There are so many ways you can improve your profile on Spotify. First, you'll need to sign up to Spotify for Artists. From there, you can: Change your profile picture and header image Update your bio Update your image gallery Choose an 'artist pick' Add links to your social media and website Be sure to pimp out your profile on Apple Music too - don’t forget to update your artist profile pic and sign up for Apple Music for Artists! If you’re added to one of their many playlists, share the news and continue to build your relationship. 5. Interact with your fans on Spotify Building followers on Spotify gives you an easy way to share your new releases with your most loyal fans. Think of your followers as subscribers to your mailing list on Spotify, when you release new music, followers see your new album, track, or remix: In their Release Radar playlist Featured inside their Spotify app In their personalized New Release email That's why it's important to make sure you're actively encouraging people to 'follow' your artist page. In the weeks leading up to your release, your social media strategy should include pushing this follow button and building up your Spotify followers. You can also sell merch on Spotify via Merch Bar and list your gigs on the platform via Songkick, giving them more of a reason to follow you. Who gets onto a playlist and who doesn't comes down to a couple of main things and one of those is listener data. If listeners are adding your songs to their playlist, saving your song, and you've got a relatively low skip rate, you will have a much higher chance of getting slotted onto an official Spotify list. 6. Media pitching Planning ahead for your release means there’s ample time to reach out to blogs, radio and playlisters and let them know about your new track. Whether you’re going through a PR agency or pitching your track yourself, having everything ready well before your release date increases the chances you’ll be able to land a great premiere or achieve some solid media coverage. If you’re going solo with the media coverage, make sure to generate a list of the blogs and websites you want to pitch your music too, listing both general music sites and the ones you think suit your genre and image. As lots of media outlets and radio shows receive many pitches every day, pitching in advance will give them plenty of time to listen to your track before it comes out, but make sure to follow up on day of release or shortly after to ensure you gain their attention. Being organised and having a clear plan for your release is one way to ensure that you get the best results when your new track is out. Look at it as an assignment, and get the work done before it’s due! Happy releasing!