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3 Things You Should Do When You Release An Album

3 Things You Should Do When You Release An Album

Releasing music is a huge step in any musician’s career, but many musicians miss crucial steps when they release an album or single. If you want to ensure the success of your release, and grow to a point where you can make a living from music, you need to make sure you do things properly from a legal standpoint, as well as a music promotion standpoint.

Here are 3 things you should do every time you release new music.

1. Copyright your music

While your music is protected under copyright law the minute it is put into a tangible form (so, once it’s recorded), it’s much easier to enforce upon infringement when your music is actually registered with the copyright office.

Additionally, registering your music with the copyright office can earn you extra royalties from music streaming services. Streaming services pay what are known as mechanical royalties directly to songwriters and publishers for the rights to play their music. For smaller musicians, they do this by sending a Notice of Intent (NOI) to the songwriter in the mail to let them know they’ll be streaming their song, and then they send payments via check through the mail. If your music isn’t registered with the U.S. copyright office, you’ll never see any of this money.

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If you’re unsure about how to copyright a song, your best bet is to consult a music attorney. Rather than paying them to do it for you, ask them to show you how to do it so you can do it yourself the next time around.

2. Get proper distribution

Finding the right music distribution company is an important step in releasing new music. With music fans consuming music from a variety of services and platforms, such as their mobile device or web browser, it’s important to make sure your music is everywhere.

Almost every digital music distributor is going to get your music on the popular services, but some distribution companies do release on more platforms than others. Make sure you find the one with the biggest reach.

Reach isn’t the only important factor, however – it’s also important to consider the cost. Some distribution companies charge a fixed fee and pay you 100% of the rights (such as TuneCore) while others charge a lower subscription fee, but take a percentage of the royalties paid back to you (like CDBaby). Choose the type of distribution service that’s best for your current situation, and ultimate, the one you think you’d be most happy working with.

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These services don’t reach every service. Some streaming services like Dozmia and SoundCloud get music directly, so consider these services as well when releasing new music online.

3. Promote your music

Once you’ve gotten the copyright for your songs and have distribution in place, the final step is to promote your music.

Music promotion in today’s music industry takes place offline and online. When it comes to offline music promotion, things can get costly very quickly, and results are hard to measure, so for newer musicians, it might be best to find ways to promote your music online for free.

Here are a few ways to do that.

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  • Social Media

When using social media as a marketing channel for your music, it’s important to not think of it as a promotional channel, but as an engagement channel.

Social media platforms are more and more trying to show content to their users that will engage them and keep them on the service, so if you can provide this, you’ll be in front of more people. If your profile has a high level of engagement, then once you say something about your music, people will see it.

  • Blog

Writing blog posts is a great way to increase traffic to your band’s website. When you publish articles, think less about simply updating your fans about the on goings of your music career and more about how you can be helpful to them.

Publishing content that’s helpful to your audience is likely to get shared around social media, and can even rank well in search engines to drive more free traffic to your website.

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  • Get Reviews

One of the hardest things for musicians to do is get their music reviewed by influential bloggers, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. When reaching out to bloggers, make sure you target your outreach efforts to bloggers who actually care about your style of music. It doesn’t make sense to reach out to a heavy metal blog if you’re a hip-hop artist – you’d just be wasting your time.

Go to Hypemachine, look for music blogs within your niche, and start engaging on their websites. Maybe send them an email about how awesome a recent review was with some of your thoughts on the same album. When you have these relationships in place, it’s much easier to share your music with these bloggers and get your music heard by their followers.

More by this author

Nicholas Rubright

Entrepreneur

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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