Every artist that has finished making an album knows that feeling. It comes when you finally hold up the finished record and let a sense of pride and joy just wash over you. All of the months of hard work have finally materialized into this tangible, beautiful object. But after that wave of emotion finally passes a thought usually creeps in. “So what do I do with this thing?
All musicians want to promote their album as well as possible to make sure that fans get a chance to hear it. Our band is in this very predicament at this moment. I’ve really learned over the past several weeks is that once the album is done the real hard work begins. With more albums than ever being released it requires way more effort on the part of the artist to have an effective album promotional campaign. Here are some things that we have been doing and that every band should be doing after they release an album:
· Network. Network. Network. Nothing can replace going out to as many concerts and festivals as possible and connecting with musicians, journalists, venue owners and potential fans. Tell everyone about your band and your new album and let them know where they can hear it. Hand out as many business cards as possible and always accept them from other people. We also make little gig cards to hand out to people to let them know about upcoming shows.
· Partner with a PR Agency. It is essential to make sure you partner with someone in the PR industry with real contacts so that your music can be heard by the right bloggers, concert promoters, college radio station directors, and other key contacts. PR firms can also help get the kind of gigs and festival slots that you would not otherwise be able to obtain. We’ve had the good fortune of working with Effective Immediately and we are already reaping some rewards.
· Swap Gigs With Bands From Other Cities. The image of a band hopping in a van or bus and trekking around the country to play as many gigs as possible in support of an album is a familiar one. It’s definitely important to get out there and play in order to promote your new album and let people hear your tunes. But a slightly better approach is to research bands in other cities on the internet, find the ones that are drawing big crowds and are within your genre, and then offer to swap gigs with them. Let them know that you can draw in your home city and that if they let your band open for them in their hometown, you will return the favor down the road. It doesn't make sense to drive from say New York to Boston just to play in front of 10 people and be grouped with bands outside your genre. Why not partner with a band who has fans that might be interested in your band and can draw a crowd?
· Host a Release Party or Album Release Concert. It’s a good opportunity to build up buzz and also to give yourself a chance to sell some albums and recoup some of the album production costs. We are in the especially unique and fun position to be hosting 2 Release Parties (The First one took place during a blizzard so we decided to do another!).
· Create Supplemental Content. You need to keep the buzz rolling after the album is done and one good way to do that is to keep coming out with supplemental content. Things like lyric videos, an official music video, and acoustic versions of the songs. All of it needs to tie back to the album and drive people to check it out.
Hope this is helpful!