1. Record a good song, Sample opinions from a bunch of people (friends & strangers alike) and be sure at least 60% or more like the song.
– Most artists believe they have a great song just because they enjoyed making it or because one or two people have been nodding to the beat but that’s never enough to determine if your song will be commercially successful. You have to sample the ears of your target audience. Have your friends play the music for people who don’t know you and get feedback from them because those are the ones most likely to give you a candid opinion. Your sister won’t tell you your song is wack,..well, unless she’s really mean…lol. Make sure you sample the opinion of up to 100 different people within your target audience range. If the feedback you get is not positive from more than half of them, you may need to go back to the drawing board.
Some say “..ah its expensive to record, where will I get money?”, I say if you can’t stand the heat, get the #**# outta the kitchen. Music is not for everyone. If this is truly your passion, you will find a way. Get a job, do something to earn money, save the money until you have enough. If begging is your way, sheeee, beg your way through it. The “no money” excuse is old and boring. If Vocal slender could work his way through the dumpsites of Lagos to get studio money, what are you whining about?
2. Prepare yourself as a product. Work on your image and be sure ure “attractive” to the average person that comes across you or your music.
– This is highly underrated and it is very important that you pay attention. Image is EVERYTHING in entertainment. Don’t be fooled by those who say otherwise. You must look the part, otherwise people wont take you as seriously as they should. As an artist, you are a brand, a product, especially in these parts, people will try to place value on how much they believe you are worth by the way you present yourself. You should make an extra effort to be of your best looks and composure, ALL the time. Spend a little extra time on simple details to ensure people see you as a brand they would love to be affiliated with, otherwise you have a much tougher time selling yourself to potential sponsors or employers down the line. Proper branding helps you stand out in the crowd.
3. Get ready to perform. Create performance routines; find an exciting way to deliver your song to any audience that will leave an impression.
– If you have access to a band, begin to learn to perform with one. If your act isn’t one that needs a band, figure out what you can do to get people excited when they see you live. Create a performance routine that is unique and fun to watch. Do whatever you need to, dance, swag it out, circus tricks, whatever works. With each performance your goal is to win more fans.
4. Create an EPK (Electronic press kit), which includes good photos, a bio and your music. Make sure it’s of a size that can be sent as an email
– Making your own EPK should be viewed as a necessity for any artist or band that is serious about becoming successful in presenting themselves professionally. An EPK is the best way to give anyone a quick glance at you, your music and your story. You can create one FOR FREE with the average desktop publishing software or with the numerous free services available on the Internet.
5. Once u are SURE your song is good to go, make as many copies of your CD as possible. I’d say at least 1,000 (Make sure your CD art has your info)
– There are many duplication options. I advice you raise money and pay for a professional replication plant to give you 1000 copies of your CD. The typical cost is between N40,000 and N100,000 for 1000 CDs and sleeves depending on who you chose to use. Always shop around for the best price before you decide. 1000 CDs seem like a lot until you start giving them out. Trust me, you’re better off with more than you need than less.
6. Create a myspace, twitter, facebook fan page, reverbnation and upload your EPK to each of them including your song, photos, bio etc.
– Make sure you have at least a facebook (artist fanpage, not a regular account) and twitter account, most of the fans you are trying to reach are already there. I suggest you get a reverbnation page as well; it helps you upload your music and has a nice integration with your facebook fanpage. When you are done creating these pages, these are the links you send to people to check out your music, and read about you.
7. Make a list of radio stations within your reach. I advice that u start with regional promo. It’s easier to manage. Nationwide can come later
– This is easy. Listen to your radio, write down the dials where music is being played, find out where the stations are all located and make note of the OAPs (On-air-personalities) that play on each radio station and at what time. This will help you build your “hit-list” when you begin distributing your CDs. If you know everyone that is on the air, you can ensure that they all have your music and all you have to work on is getting them to play it all the time.
8. Make a list of the nightclubs and places where music is played publicly within your reach. Again, regional promo is easier to manage.
– Same as above, know all the clubs, bars and hangout spots in your city. Try to have them all written down so that you can ensure they all have your material when you begin your promo.
9. Make a list of DJs and Radio personalities within your reach.
– Self-explanatory. Same as above.
10. Every entertainment journalist that has a column in a magazines or newspaper has an email address. Make a list of all of them.
– Get all the newspapers, magazines and entertainment publications you can lay your hands on. Most of them have an entertainment column and the journalist’s emails are usually listed. These are the guys you want to send your EPK to first. If they like you and your music, you can get mention in an article or two. It’s also good that they know who you are when they see you at events or listen to you on the radio. If the print media journalists are not familiar with you, they’re unlikely to write about you.
11. Get all this lists you have compiled together and create a realistic timeline of how long it will take to contact everybody.
– Get a book and write everything down. Determine those you can email, those you should meet one on one, and those you should have your manager or friends talk to. Then draw up a timeline for the promo. You should never stop doing promo for a song even if the song is doing well so you will need to contact all those on your list regularly. Make sure you plan properly and ensure that you’re not spending all your time and resources with only a few of them. You must spread the love so as to get more coverage. I made an example of an artist whose song is on heavy rotation on a particular station but you barely even hear it on others. That is very ineffective promotion because everybody is not listening to just that one station. There maybe more than 20 radio stations in Lagos alone. If your song is not playing on 15 of them, you have work to do.
12. Create an email address and in the signature section, include all your twitter, facebook, reverbnation info and link to your song.
– This is important because every time you send out an email, you have room to advertise yourself,…why not??!
13. Send your EPK to every contact on your list that you can reach via email and start booking appointments for the ones u cant reach.
– The work begins. Take your time, be patient as most OAPs and radio DJs are very busy individuals. You may not be able to see who you wish to when you wish to but you must be persistent with reaching out.
14. Get your CDs to all the Radio DJs, club DJs, bars, Night clubs, Radio stations, Radio personalities, and everyone on your list.
– You want to be sure every authority in music has a copy of your CD.
15. Start your online campaign; start building your fan base by sending your music to people. Do everything in your power for ppl to listen.
– Send messages to friends; get people to “like” your fan page. Follow and get followers on twitter so that you are able to reach all your followers with just one tweet. Paste links for people to listen to your music and encourage people to “retweet” on twitter or “share” on facebook. This part takes some time to build but if people are digging your song, your fan-base can grow quite rapidly.
16. The goal is to get as many fans as possible, do whatever it takes to get people to listen to your music. If people like it, ure good to go
– Being “good to go” means you have been able to cross the first hurdle which is getting people to listen to your music. The rest of it lies with whether they like it or not and how well you’re able to follow-up now that you’ve got their attention.
17. If you follow those steps, & people like your music, you’re sure to get the music across to millions of fans over time. It won’t happen overnight though.
– Once your CD is at the radio stations, start getting your fans, friends and family to call into the radio stations, requesting the song. If you are aggressive enough, even if your music is nonsense, they will have to satisfy their listeners and play your song. Please note that I am not asking you to spam people to death…lol. Most radio stations have a facebook page and they have request shows where they ask facebook fans to make requests, when its request time, get your friends and fans to go to their timelines and request the hell out of your song. Please be careful not to become a nuisance. One message per person is adequate.
Well,…I hope these tips help.