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Angela Mastrogiacomo,
Angela Mastrogiacomo is a blogger turned publicist. As the founder of Muddy Paw PR and music blog Infectious Magazine. She works with exceptional emerging artists to tell their stories through the use of guest blogs, interviews, and spotlight features. Muddy Paw artists have seen placements on Alternative Press, Noisey, Idobi, Substream, New Noise, and many more.
Location: Boston, USA Website: Followed by 0 people

First of all, congratulations on your new recording and on taking the steps to ensure this is a successful release! There's a few things you'll want to do to ensure your new album gets the exposure it deserves.

The first step is to take a look at your social media and make sure it's in top shape. This means that you're posting regularly (several times a week) and posting engaging content. (Think of the 70-20-10 rule). If you don't have a strong audience, then no amount of team members or promotion will be able to help you. This is why it really does start with your social media and tending to it as you would a garden. The more you nurture it, the more room it has to grow. Abandon it and well, the results are pretty grim. If you need help getting your social media in shape consider hiring a digital marketer or publicist to help you with this. Many publicists and digital marketers offer these services.

Next you'll want to think about a team. You say you've recorded the album so I'm not entirely sure what you mean by "a professional recording" or why you'd need a producer (usually the producer is part of the recording process, so if that's done, you shouldn't need one.) Though you may be thinking of mastering if you haven't already. A manager isn't really necessary until there's actually something to manage, so skip them as well. What you will need is a publicist to promote the release—publicists start album/EP campaigns 8-weeks ahead of release and need the mastered tracks, promo photos, and a strong bio to start, so make sure you leave yourself plenty of lead time. You'll also want to consider booking a release show, and whatever you do, make it an experience. All live shows should be memorable, but your release show especially should have something special going on, something memorable.

In fact, take that thought process with you in everything you do: if it's not memorable if it's not adding value to your fan's lives, consider reworking it. The goal with your music is to truly connect with your audience.

Best of luck!

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Suzanne Paulinski,
Suz is a mindset coach, helping music-preneurs of all types reach their goals with custom time management solutions that enable them to gain clarity on their next steps while maintaining a healthy work/life balance. She founded The Rock/Star Advocate in 2014 to spread the message of self-care in the music industry. Suz' teachings can also be found in her many guest posts for Sonicbids, CD Baby, Tunecore, and Soundfly, and on her weekly podcast - The Music-Preneur Mindset Podcast.
Location: NY, USA Website: Followed by 0 people

Hello :) First off, congrats on finishing your songs!

Next, before making any decisions, it’s always important to know exactly where you are in your career. Don’t add people to your team until there’s a clear need for them.

For instance, if you’re not struggling to manage a multitude of shows, juggling endless email inquiries, and negotiating sponsorships or similar deals, then you’re not in need of a manager. If you don’t have a lot of shows and appearances to coordinate, or people to get back to on a daily basis, there isn’t much for a manager to do.

However, when it comes to hiring experts to handle certain aspects that require a specific skill set, I would say it’s never too early to hire: a producer, a web designer and/or a coach/some to help you strategize. And, before you sign anything - a lawyer.

These professionals do not have to cost an arm and leg. There are people out there that are good at what they do and understanding of the indie musician’s wallet. Do some homework, research, ask for referrals. Facebook groups are great for fielding referrals.

That all being said, consider where you’re at right now. What do you want out of a career in music? Do you love performing live? Do you prefer to stay at home and make videos? Do you like to write for film/TV? Do you like to write for other people or do you like to be the one performing your songs?

Thinking about where you want to head in this industry will help uncover what your next steps will be at any stage. If you have any plans for licensing your music or uploading it to Spotify or anything like that I definitely suggest getting it mixed & mastered professionally.

But keep in mind, if you want to do this professionally, you’ll need to also copyright your music, create a website, etc. And that all costs money. So consider your budget and determine if you want to do a full album at once, or test out a few singles first.

I know this can all seem overwhelming. To me, it sounds like you have a lot of questions to ask yourself and also some homework to do about the industry. I recommend pacing yourself and doing it right - don’t be in a rush. I know these songs have been with you for some time, but they will always be new to people who haven’t heard them - so take your time.

Read Ari Herstand’s new book - The New Music Business. Get familiar with the steps involved in building a following and marketing your music. Ask questions, seek out a producer/engineer, and go from there.

Take things one stage at a time. Focus on learning what you want your strategy to be and what you want out of this industry. Get your music mixed and then see where you’re at then.

Good luck! If you have any follow up questions feel free to email me any time:


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Ra Black,
Ra Black is a singer-songwriter, a guitarist and half of the Indie electro-pop band Monarchy. Their music has been released by labels like Kitsune, Neon Gold, Ultra Records and they are now signed to Warner Music. Years of performing live and making music have made Ra Black en expert in touring, recording and revenue streams.
Location: Canbera, Australia Website: Followed by 1 people

Ra Black

2 years ago

I suggest you first record your songs to the best of your ability. Then ask for some feedback from managers that manage simular artist to you. It would be rare to find a manager who wants to manage you just from hearing your demos. So approach them asking for advice and that way hopefully you can develop a relationship.

It's always a bit of a chicken or the egg situation; many managers and producers want to see that your music affects a wider audience in a positive way before they invest their time in you, but you might find someone who can hear your potential. If not, don't worry. Post your demos on SoundCloud or Band Camp and ask people in that community what they think.

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Shannon Curtis,
Shannon is a maker of music, writer, performer, storyteller and mentor. Since 2011 she has done close to 250 house concerts and she's been constantly evolving her approaches and techniques for how to create the best possible concert experience. She guides others toward sustainable and thriving community-driven-and-supported careers in independent art, like in her best-selling book, "No Booker, No Bouncer, No Bartender: How I Made $25K on a 2-Month House Concert Tour, And How You Can, Too.”
Location: LA, USA Website: Followed by 0 people

Shannon Curtis

2 years ago

Congratulations on writing 10 songs for your first release! That’s a big feat, and you should be proud.

It would be fairly impossible for me to give you a good answer to your question about what’s next without learning more about your particular situation — there are so many paths you could take, and each of them would be best-suited to a variety of circumstances. Circumstances like: do you have an established community of supporters yet? Are you starting out absolutely fresh with no following up to this point? Are you playing shows regularly where you’ll be able to sell music to listeners? Do you have any technical skill and equipment with which you can make your own recordings? What is your budget to spend on outside services to make your album?

Depending on the answers to these and other questions about where you are in your career, the paths to “what’s next” could be varied. Like on one end of the spectrum: hire a studio and a producer to make professional studio recordings and then have them professionally packaged, too — this might be a good option if you are independently wealthy, you have a large budget, and you have a sizable community of supporters that would buy records from you to earn back what you spend on the recording and packaging. Or this on the other end of the spectrum: make a set of good-sounding home recordings of your songs, maybe have them mastered by someone who has more experience in audio than you do, and then make a small batch homemade packages to sell to your supporters.

My biggest suggestion for you is to not spend a bunch of money on your first release if you don’t have to. Too many artists think they have to have the sleekest, fanciest recordings and packaging for their first album, and they spend way too much money, and go into debt to make it happen, and then they realize later that they will never sell enough of the records to earn back what they’ve spent. If you’re in this to build a career, make smart decisions with your investments so that you can sustain yourself over the long term and make new recordings and new releases quickly and often. This is only the beginning of your story — your first release does not need to be flashy and expensive; it only needs to achieve the goal of being something your growing community of supporters can take home with them and make you a part of their lives. Do it inexpensively and lovingly, and then start writing for your next record.

(Oh, and on the manager question: no, you do not need to look for a manager. That’s really a whole separate question, but to summarize: when you’re career is at a place when you’re ready for a manager, you won’t have to look for one, as one will find you.)

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