5 Ways to Promote New Music Way Before Your Release Date

Promoting your new music shouldn’t start on the release date.

Waiting until your music is released to start promoting is way too late. Effective music promotion starts months before it’s out.

A solid pre-release campaign can build excitement for your release, grow your audience, and turn casual listeners into real fans.

But where do you even start? And more importantly, how do you make it work while still having time to finish your music?

Here’s five tips to help you get the most out of your promotion efforts during the time leading up to your release.

But first…

Set Your Release Date!

Whether your music is finished or not, you need to set your release date.

Setting a release date to aim for has tons of benefits, like helping you decide how to manage your time and providing some healthy pressure to finish.

Once your music is mixed[1] and mastered[2], use digital distribution[3] to set a custom release date for your project on all major streaming platforms including Spotify and Apple Music.

Just fill out your custom release date on the fourth step of the LANDR release builder, and your music will be live in all stores on the same day—just be sure to leave enough time in advance.

It’s possible to choose a custom release date as early as 7 business days in the future, but give as many days as you can (2-3 weeks) for a better chance of your release being live on the same day.

1. Find the story behind your new music and tell it

Every album, every song, every chord has a story inside it. Your promotion efforts should tell it.

Figure out what’s interesting and unique about your new music and tell your story in the lead up to your release.

Examples like Bon Iver’s hunting cabin[4] or Tennis’ husband and wife sailing trip tale[5] show that stories can add a whole other layer to your music.

Promoting your own music can feel pushy or overwhelming. Telling your story makes it more personal and engaging.

Promoting your own music can feel pushy or overwhelming. Telling your story makes it more personal and engaging.

To figure out your story, ask yourself:

  • What inspired me to write my music?
  • Was writing it in response to something significant that happened in my life?
  • Where was I when I wrote and recorded it?
  • What are the ideas behind my music?
  • What’s the connection between me, my instruments, bandmates, and collaborators?

These are all good questions to get you thinking about the story behind your new music. Let everything you discover guide your music promotion leading up to your release.

At the end of the day, your music should speak for itself. But telling your story helps you keep your promotional efforts personal and genuine—2 things most music promotion needs more of these days.

2. Have a new bio and press release written and ready to go

You’ll need to have an up-to-date music bio[6] and press release written and ready to send to venues, blogs, press outlets or playlist[7] curators.

It’s important to finish your bio before your music comes out and not after.

Why? Because whether you’re pitching to radio or your local newspaper, all music media outlets plan features and promotions months in advance.

Here’s some stuff you’ll want to make sure gets included in your press release:

  • An announcement of your release (link out to where the music can be streamed)
  • Short band bio
  • Contact info

Writing about yourself can be tough. Not sure where to start with your music bio? Read our music bio guide[8] for everything you need to update yours.

3. Compile a list of radio, blog, peer and press contacts

Okay, now you’ve got a narrative around your new music along with a great bio and press release to go along with it. Who are you going to reach out to?

Answering this question takes either a lot of time or money. PR campaigns can be a lot of work. That’s why they’re so expensive when you get someone else to do it…

But with the right strategy, hard work and time, you can—and probably should—go it alone for promoting your release.

To get the most out of your promotion efforts, put a list together of everyone you want to pitch your new music to long before your release date.

This can be radio hosts, blogs, magazines, playlist curators, or even other bands that you’d like to cross-promote with.

Give yourself a few months to start the process. This will ensure there’s plenty of time for pitching, follow-up and other correspondence.

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