One thing that most artists fail to take into account when promoting an album or video is a realistic timeline. While it is important to create hype and keep your fans up to date with your latest news, doing so prematurely can lead to a lack of credibility if and when your project changes or gets delayed. In order to avoid such blunders, keep these five tips in mind when preparing for your next release:
1. This Is Not A One Man Show: As they say, it takes a village. Unless you are truly a one-man show, you most likely will have to coordinate with graphic designers, printers, and studio engineers, just to name a few, in order to complete your latest project. Each business or person has a set of deadlines and responsibilities for which they are accountable. While you may imagine your album being done in two weeks because that is the only project on your plate, the others may see it being done in two months as they may have other projects in their queue to complete first.
2. Confirmation Date + 7: Each of your vendors may have their own set of obstacles that threaten their deadlines. Your printer’s equipment may overload and need to be replaced; the engineer’s software may get a virus and need to be rebooted; your video editor may come down with the flu. Not only do you have to give yourself a buffer to complete your part, but you have to add in buffers for their parts as well. Make sure to get a confirmed delivery date in writing from each vendor, and then add a week to each confirmed date in your timeline to be safe.
3. Plan of Attack: Once everything is done and delivered to you, what will you do with it all? What is your overall goal? How many albums do you hope to sell (or need to sell to break even)? Consider the purpose of each social media site you are active on (Facebook, Twitter, Pollstar, Bandcamp, etc.) and determine what you will do on each to get the maximum benefit out of each site. Which sites will have videos? How often will you post the link to your music? An editorial calendar is an important tool for mapping out posts and promotional campaigns beforehand.
4. Unfinished Business: Nothing is worse than sending someone to a site that is incomplete. Make sure ALL social media profiles are complete. This includes an avatar, a link to your music, and a short bio, at the very least. And PLEASE, remember to spell check!
5. Call in the Troops: Do not expect that just because someone did the graphic art for your album cover that they are going to help you promote this project all the way through. Unless already a close friend, most vendors stop working on a project once they have completed what they have been paid to do. When you are ready to roll out your new campaign, make sure you have a group of supporters ready to retweet, share, and forward your hard work to their contacts and followers.
Keeping these tips in mind will help you set realistic release dates for your music, staying credible and reliable to your friends, family, and fans.