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How to Release an EP Independently?
Today, I’m going to give you 17 tips on how to release an EP independently.
So you’ve been in the studio working hard, putting a lot of time on your album and you want to know how to release an EP independently. Whether you’re a rapper that’s starting out, a singer, or a band, you’ll want to get it right the first time to better your results moving forward.
There are many factors to take into consideration when it comes to releasing and promoting an EP. You can’t just post an album cover with a release date and think that’s it.
You have to start boosting up the EP far before you release it. Even while you’re still mixing, mastering, creating your promo kit…etc…
In today’s “social media” society, you can market and advertise your EP without dealing with a record label. Which is what I prefer because I’m not a fan of “major” record labels.
There are so many tools and resources available online that you can create a buzz and a loyal fan base with little money or in some cases, Free!.
In this article, I’m going to give you some tips to help you on your up and coming EP release. I’m excited for you because I love all music and the possibilities are endless on the internet.
1. Make Sure The Master Is Good
Obviously you want to make sure the quality of your music is top notch. You want the best recording you can possibly get because your music is a reflection of who you are.
No matter how good your music is, if it lacks in quality, people won’t listen to it. So make sure the vocals, the mix, and mastering is on point or it will be all for nothing.
2. Set a Release Date
Have you set a release date yet? I definitely understand that your pumped about the EP and you can’t wait for the world to here your craft.
But you have to have a date ready because you will need it for your pre-promotion campaign, social media posts, promotional videos…etc.
3. Create Merchandise for you Fan Base
Having merchandise readily available for your fan base is vital because fans go crazy over it. You can create t-shirts, hats, posters…etc. Your fans will love you for it.
This is something you should be thinking about long before you release your EP because you have to order it and get it shipped. This can take time depending on the distribution company so plan ahead and get it done beforehand.
4. Pre-Promotion Tips Before Your Release
While you’re getting the EP mixed, mastered and getting your merchandise in order. You should start creating a buzz about the EP everywhere online and offline.
Your marketing and promotion doesn’t start on your release date. A lot of artist wait until the last minute to let their fans know the album is out and this makes release unsuccessful.
You want to get your fans and others excited about the release by posting studio clips of you working on a song. You can do short live streams with a teaser of the verse or instrumental.
You should also be creating an email list to give your fans updates about the release. This will also give you a boost in initial sales when your EP goes live. There’s nothing like sending an email and getting instant alerts from making sales.
5. Make Your Fans Work for You
As an independent artist, you have to do a lot of things on your own. But if you have a fan base, you have essentially a team of promoters ready to create a buzz and spread the love.
You can use crowdfunding platforms to incentivize your fans for completing promotional tasks. Like giving them an unreleased track that no one else will get oh the up and coming EP.
You can also create contests to get your fans to like and share your content. This could really kick things up a notch before your release date.
No matter how big or small the prize is, it’s a lot cheaper than paying for advertising and you’ll probably see similar (if not better) results.
6. Create a Fan Profile
Are you a new artist or group? How many fans do you have already? My point is, it doesn’t matter how many fans you have if you don’t understand them.
This is why you should consider creating a fan profile. How old are your fans? Where do they hang out online? Facebook, Instagram…etc.?
Do you like it when you’re live on Instagram? Do they prefer watching your videos on Facebook? Do they like short videos better than longer ones?
7. Set Up a Pre-order Package
The best part about setting up a pre-order package is the you can start collecting orders and building a buzz simultaneously.
If you did any crowdfunding and some of your fans missed out. This will give you an opportunity to target them because they still want to be one of the first to get a copy of your EP.
You’d be surprised of how many orders you can get especially if some of your fans that were part of the crowdfunding decides to pre-order a well.
A pre-order package is also a good place to send people if you’re doing interviews on the radio, blogs/websites or even press releases.
You can set up a pre-order page on your website so that you can track your progress and see how it’s performing. This can help you tweak the page by testing different buy button colors, call-to-actions…etc.
8. Time to Shoot Your Music Video
Shooting a music video is one of the best promotional tools for an EP. For the best results you should make the music video one of your singles that’s on the EP.
This will give people an idea of what type of music you create. Plus video is by far better for marketing your music over text and images.
You publish a music video on YouTube, Facebook and a small clip on Instagram, and it can spread like wildfire especially if you use your fan base (as I stated earlier) as a marketing team.
9. Release a Single Along With the Video
Another great way to promote your EP is to release the single along with the video. This will give your pre-orders an extra boost.
Gather some of your close friends (who you can trust) and pick one the best songs to release as a single, make it live, and promote the hell out of it across all platforms
Releasing a “single with a video” is probably one of the most important promotional strategies you can do to get a killer buzz about your up and coming EP.
You don’t have to hire the best video production company or have all of the editing bells and whistles. Just make sure they visual quality is good and GET IT DONE!!!
10. Upload Your EP on Streaming Platforms and Music Stores
This goes without saying, but make sure you upload your EP on as many music stores and streaming platforms (iTunes, Spotify, Google Play…etc.) as you possibly can.
Most of your fans will probably find your music on these platforms and you can also gain new fans if your music becomes popular and end up on big playlists.
11. Contact Music Blogs and Let Them Know
Blogs are a great way to position yourself (and your music) in front of new audiences that are not on social media or YouTube but still loves music.
Blogs also have a loyal fan base who trust their advice and opinion. And for the most part, they will be drilled down to a “targeted” genre of music.
So if you contact blogs that interviews or covers music (and artist) in the same genre of music as you, you can build a huge following of new fans other artist are missing out on.
Heres a list of a 101 blogs to submit your music to, just to get you started.
12. Create an EPK (electronic press kit) to Submit to Blogs
When you submit your music to bloggers or other types of websites. They typically require you to have an EPK with all the important information about you. You can create a page for this on your website.
Once you have your EPK finished, you’ll want to find some blogs similar to the genre of music you make and send them an email.
You can normally find the email on the website by checking their “Contact” or “About us” pages. If not their, search for pages like “Submit your music” or “Work with us”
Keep your emails short because us bloggers are very busy and we get tons of emails daily. Write a quick story about your EP and link to the EPK web page you created.
13. Shoot an EP Release Live Show
Shooting an EP release show is good way to get a huge boost of orders when you go live. It also an excellent way to create additional buzz about your EP.
Imagine during the show, if you perform a couple songs live. Fans would definitely share it and create a snowball effect. Especially if you go live on multiple platforms (YouTube, Facebook, Instagram Live…etc.)
Facebook also allows you to create an event so you can spread the news ahead of time with your current fans, email list, friends…etc.
You can have fans enter to win t-shirts or special edition copy of the EP (if you have one). They can enter the drawing at the door if they choose.
It doesn’t have to be a big arena or anything. It can be a local bar or if you’re limited in options, use your practise space and do everything online. It’s better than nothing…
You can also do a short promo video with information about the release show and promote it everywhere online and get your street team to share it as well.
Just have fun and enjoy yourself at the live show. Tell stories about the recording process, what inspired this song or that song…etc.
Quick Tip: After your official live show, you can book other shows in cities close to you where you have other fans. This can be your “Mini EP Release Tour”… Sounds good huh?
14. Time to Go Live!
First things first, make sure your album is available on the streaming and music store websites as well as any other online distributors that you submitted to in advance.
Social media is you best friend on this day and each one operates differently. You can use Facebook as you “HUB” and Instagram, YouTube as secondary platforms.
Post “unique” content on all of the social media platforms instead of using auto-posters. This will allow you to tailor each post to the correct sizes for that platform. Also, make the images different so they don’t become repetitive.
Quick Tip: Use Spotify and iTunes Music for the best looking players to link to…
15. Create Hashtags and Tag Everyone
You definitely want to create a hashtag for your EP and encourage your street team and fans to share them everywhere online.
Tag everyone who was involved in creating the EP. Tag your producers, engineers, other artists…etc. If they have a fan page, link to it.
Use mentions on Twitter to increase retweets and visibility. Post throughout the day so you can stay on top of news feeds.
Make sure to engage with anyone who interacts. If they like your EP and tweets about it. Retweet it to keep the buzz going.
Repost and retweet fan reactions to your songs and even create a contest for best pics and tweets, Facebook posts…etc.
16. Promote Your EP on Radio and Local TV Outlets
Link up with Dj’s and radio stations in your local area and set up interviews to promote your EP release. Link up with your local newspapers, podcasts, and TV stations as well.
Your local radio shows, TV stations, newspapers are always looking for fresh new talent in their local areas to promote.
17. Keep Promoting After Your Release
Even after you release your EP and followed all the steps above, you want to continue to promote your EP going forward.
Continue to perform at many venues as possible and make some physical copies of your EP on CD and USB drives. Create drawings and contests to give away free copies.
Schedule social media posts to go out weekly that highlights a single from the EP. You want to continue to remind people about your EP after the original release date.
Review Your Results
After a few months has gone by, make sure you review your last EP release. Was it success? What would you do differently the next time? Take notes for the next release.
Everything is a learning process and the more you learn, the better you become. Even if it didn’t turn out the way you planned, you can make it better next time.
I hope this advice serves you well and gives you some ideas and promotional strategies you may not have thought of. Get creative an improvise! There are endless opportunities online and offline to promote your EP.
I’m sure your EP will be a success whether its big or small. Please let me know about your release and post your release dates in the comments section for others as well. Thanks for reading how to release an EP independently.