We’re in a unique position as a mastering studio in that we’re the last stage of the album production process. Artists have often spent months working hard on their projects, and it’s great to be able to share the excitement, energy, and relief that they feel when the final masters are put in their hands.
As we wave them off into the sunset it’s not uncommon for artists to turn back and ask, “Uh… now what?”
Truth is, creating an album is only half the battle. Now comes the hard part: making the connection between the music and the ears! Here are 4 steps to take once your masters are done, and your album is completed.
Line Up Your Team
If you haven’t lined up your team yet, do it now! Figure out what your DIY strengths are, and where you might need to bring in some help. The right professionals can assist in: booking shows, getting press coverage, managing tours, distributing albums, building websites, online marketing, legal matters, etc.
Plus if you hire the right people the rest of this list gets a lot easier!
Freshen Up Marketing Materials
Releasing an album is like the spring season. It’s a great time to freshen up your image or start anew on all the materials that go along with marketing your music. This includes (but is by no means limited to…):
– Press Photos– Great band photos are a must. Spring to get some quality shots taken, as you’ll be using them online, in your press kits, and when you’re trying to grab media and blogger attention. Consider getting both promo and live photos, as both can be useful depending on the situation.
– Band Bio– Use the release as an opportunity to re-work your band bio and give it some new life. Maybe the band line-up has changed, or some exciting new things have happened since your last release. Band bios can be tricky, and if no one in the band has strong writing skills, you may want to consider hiring someone to write a bio for you.
– Quotes– Gather all the press and media coverage you have received and put together a list of the best quotes about your band. You’ll want to highlight the bigger outlets first.
– One-Sheet– Once if you have photos, a bio, and some press quotes you might want to put together a ‘one-sheet’- a one-page document that offers some quick-hit info on your band. This will be necessary if you plan on pitching media or radio stations yourself.
Update Website & Social Media
You’ve got new music, and if you’re releasing an album it probably means there’s album artwork to go along with it. Now that you’ve sorted out all your marketing materials, you can put them all to good use by updating your website and all your social media platforms.
Consider branding as you do so. All your pages and profiles should have a similar look and feel. Depending on your promotional plan, you might want to stream or offer one of your new tracks for free. If you can, try to keep your social media handles consistent (@MojitoMastering, facebook.com/MojitoMastering, MojitoMastering.com, etc.). It’ll make it easier for potential fans to find you online.
Remember you also don’t need to give away your whole hand in one go. Save some photos, videos, or audio tracks. Put them up in a few months when your online image could use another boost.
Plan A Release Party
Time to celebrate! You’ve earned it. Book a release show and then promote the hell out of it. Release shows are special compared to regular gigs. Try to come up with some fun ideas that will make the night unique.
As a word of caution, we’d always advise you wait until your stock of albums are in-hand before booking the release show.
Shit happens. Mix and master edits take longer than expected, artwork formats get fumbled, hold-ups occur in duplication. Save yourself a ton of stress, and avoid the embarrassment of playing a release show without any albums!
Check out our article Party Time! 4 Tips For Throwing an Album Release Party for more ideas.