Phase 1 of record your own CD:

Your marketing music plan.

 Marketing Music Plan  Pre-studio Production  Record Your CD  Sell Your Music 

Before throwing money at a studio and having a blast recording your own CD, you should develop your marketing music plan to sell your music. It's going to change the way you budget, the way you approach the recording, and most importantly, it will dramatically raise the standard of what you are producing.

In other words, ask questions first, and know what you're shooting at later.

1.Action: Ask yourself the Power Questions.

Ingredients: A quiet place, an hour, an open and relaxed mind.

This is the most important step to take. Answer these questions carefully, after really digging in your soul. Everything else you do will be defined by what you find out here. The more specific you are, the more effective you will be. In other words, instead of saying " I want to be famous," say, " I want to be interviewed on David Letterman." " I want my song on every top 40 radio station at least twice a day." " I want something to sell when I do a live gig."

When I recorded my album, I envisioned the album in its wrapping. And that's what I've got. Since then, I envision where my music is going to be heard. That motivates me to get it there, and it works.

    • Why record your own CD?

    • What is your specific vision of a successful project? (You may want to meditate on this, actually visualize the experience, the moment, when you know you have succeeded in achieving your specific goals.)

    • Who is it for, who will buy it? (Again, choose a specific person, define their age, gender, where they live, any detail.)

    • Who else is it for? (Another specific person.)

    • How will you get the best product you can within budget?

    • Having said all this, how can you refine your vision to make it even better?

    • Who will you work with that will help you surpass my best expectations? (Collaborating is usually a fantastic way to push yourself up a few levels. Who will challenge you to do better, and contribute great insight?)

    • Is there anything else you need to clarify before you begin?

2.Action: Define your goals and write a mission statement.

Ingredients: The answers to the above.

    • Put in writing the description of your project that emerged from the power questions. It should be a very specific description, and it should be a description that excites you. This will jump start your marketing music plan.

3.Action: List the resources you have currently for this project.

Ingredients: Your material, paper and pen.

    • Write down your current music situation. Include the amount of songs you have, any recordings you have, and whatever materials are at your disposal. Who knows and appreciates your music now? Who do you know and work with on music? Who do you know in the industry? How much time you have to work on it? What human and material resources will you need that you do not currently have? Do you have enough quality material to record your own CD?

4.Action: Do your style evaluation.

Ingredients: Paper & pen, knowledge of musical styles, samples to compare to.

    • Write down a specific description of your musical style. Include significant adjectives that will fit in with your music marketing concept. Also include comparisons to similar artists, as well as what sets you apart.

5.Action: Begin your marketing music plan.

Ingredients: Two hours, creative input from people who know.

    • Let's get more information about your primary customer. If it's a person you know, you can ask them directly. Find out the following: What do they like about your music?

    • What other musicians to they listen to?

    • What were the last three recordings they purchased, and what prompted them to buy them?

    • Find out how those other artists succeeded in selling their albums. How they reached their customers, how they achieved radio success, what was their marketing message and how they got it across.

    • Based on all this, write down the practical steps regarding the material and the presentation you will use in the project. Notice any changes you have made from your original ideas, and make sure they are for the betterment of the recording. In other words, don't sacrifice art for the sake of money, rather channel it in a way that will breed success. It may mean redefining your targets, or simply describing yourself in other words.

6.Action: Do your budget.

Ingredients: Time and money, and a realistic appraisal of what things cost in terms of both.

    • How much will it cost to physically record your own CD. But there's more. How much money you can spend on marketing? Spending all of your money on making the recording with nothing left over for marketing is like flooring the gas when your car is in neutral. You have to put this in the budget. Otherwise, don't make the recording (unless you want lots of boxes in your garage).

7.Action: Write your music marketing plan.

Ingredients: Paper, or a software planning program, your new information.

    • Do a step by step recipe for achieving your specific goals. Include dates if possible. Plan things like sending out press releases, demo tapes, arranging live appearances, and whatever else you can do to get your message out to the right people. Do it in sequence, just like following a recipe to prepare some special dish.

NEXT PHASE: Music production before you go to the studio

 |Marketing Music Plan | |Pre-studio Production | |Record Your CD | |Sell Your Music |



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