This post originally appeared on PowerPublicity.
Releasing a single is one of the best ways to generate interest in your music and attract new fans. Some artists have built massive fan bases and revenue from a hit single; however, there’s a lot more that goes into successfully releasing a single than just posting it to your SoundCloud and sharing a link on your social media pages. If you want to leverage a single to break out into the marketplace, here are nine things you should do before you release your next single.
1. Create a plan
Create at least a three-month marketing plan to promote your new single. Break down your plan into specific stages and describe what strategies and tactics you are going to use to promote your single during each stage. Make sure your plan contains a timeline and milestones of what you want to accomplish at each stage.
2. Plan your debut
The introduction of your new single is important. Decide which method is the best way to debut your new single. Whether you’re going to do an exclusive blog premiere, radio promo, social media, record pools, music video or a combination of tactics, determine which tactics will make the most impact and give you a successful debut.
3. Define your narrative
Identify the unique narrative of your single and tie into to your overall brand story. Your narrative will help you to stand out and give you a story to develop press features.
4. Pick your distribution methods
Is your single going to be available for your free, streaming, or purchase? Decide where your single is going to be available whether it’s Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon, SoundCloud, etc. Remember, just because your single is available for free in one place does not mean you cannot sell it somewhere else. Regardless of what retailers you choose, make sure your single is available on your website. Placing your single on your website gives you the opportunity to capture your fans’ email addresses.
5. Update your press kit and website
Update your bio with information on your new single and take fresh press photos in support of your campaign. Place all the information about your new single on your website including your updated bio, press photos, and, of course, your single.
6. Register your work
Properly register your single to protect your work, collect your revenue, and track your analytics. Make sure you register your song with your performance rights organization, the U.S. Copyright office, and SoundExchange. You also want to make sure you register your song with Nielsen BDS to track your spins.
7. Make a clean version of your single
If you are going to do a radio promo for your new single and your song has explicit lyrics, create a clean version. Radio stations are not going to play your song if it has explicit lyrics and risk getting fined by the FCC.
8. Create your visuals and marketing materials
Create your cover artwork, photos, and other marketing materials before the start of your campaign. If you are going to shoot a music video, decide on the concept, filming logistics, release date, and promo plan for your video. Make sure all your visuals and marketing materials are consistent with your brand.
9. Know what’s next
So you have this great new single and it’s starting to catch on…what are you going to next? Know how you are going to build on the momentum of your single. Decide if you are going to release another single, an EP, or an album. You can also capitalize on the success of your single by getting major press features, booking bigger shows, and pursuing revenue opportunities such as endorsements and sponsorships.