Just for the record, I mix recordings. I don’t tell you this because I want to sell you something. What I want to talk about is the right mindset for your next release. And, in the past, I had too many mixing clients with no plan.
Let’s change that.
When I started mixing recordings for other musicians, I took every project – no matter the size, budget or vision. I rarely asked people what they had planned to do with their songs once these would’ve been mixed and mastered. Later, I realized what mistake I had made. I mixed the songs and then got back to the artists a few months later – only to see they didn’t do much. Quite a lot didn’t even release their songs.
You probably think it’s kinda obvious that musicians want to release their music. Yes, I thought that too. But time told me that there’s a difference between “wanting it” and “doing it”. I got paid good money for a bunch of mixes that never saw the light of day. Never. Even though the artists wanted to release them. Somehow they got stuck with their release strategy, procrastinated like crazy, and didn’t publish their songs for different reasons. Bands broke up, solo artists decided to “go into another musical direction”, and one producer wanted to wait to become more popular before releasing her “gem”.
I could go on and on…
All these experiences confirmed my assumption. When I was still working as a radio show host I had the impression that many musicians didn’t have the right mindset to be musicians.
But… What is the right mindset?
I agree this question is a bit too broad. So let’s tweak it:
For your next release, what is the right mindset to get the most out of your creation and increase the return on your investment?
My short answer: focus on one goal, create a plan, stick to it, and spend around two-thirds of your budget on marketing.
My long answer: Let’s assume you have a budget of 2,000 Euros for your next production. With the right mindset, you would split that budget into production, marketing, and a buffer for other stuff. You know, Murphy never sleeps…
Also, you want to consider pursuing one main goal for each release. This could be growing your mailing list by a certain number or percentage. Or getting your music into tv/film. Or something else.
With the one main goal, you know what’s most important for your release. And, as an advocate of releasing singles, I don’t feel the pressure to check all the boxes of a traditional release.
So, back to our budget. With 2,000 bucks, you have 1,200 bucks for marketing, 600 for the production, and 200 for when the poop hits the fan. Well-spent, this investment can turn into a profitable result through royalties, merchandise, tickets, subscriptions, donations, and other streams of income.
The issue most people have is to think longterm. Not only musicians. We want to have the results right now. But that’s not possible. Especially when you’re building a music career.
Let’s bring this into context.
For example, you invest 2,000 bucks now to get 2,000 in 12 months and get another 1,000 in the year after. You won’t see the big results in the next week or month. But in the end, this would result in a net gain (before taxes) of 1,000 over a period of two years.
Or you earn 5,000 in the next 12 months and another 3,000 in the year after. Resulting in a 6,000 net gain (before taxes) in two years.
Can you imagine how great that feels?
Please understand, there are too many factors so we can only build assumptions. However, with any positive growth rate, it’s only a matter of time before you can call yourself a profitable full-time independent musician.
Some artists have success with their releases years after the publication. If they had set up everything in time to avoid losing money, they harvest the crop a decade later.
Even if you’re a new artist or build a new brand, you can turn your investments into profits. Maybe not with your first song, or your second, but with consistency and tenacity, your chances are growing with every release.
(Consistency, my friend…)
With a well-built plan, you’re ready to kick some butts. The hardest part about it is to stick to it once you’ve crafted all the tasks, set the due dates and assigned them to your team.
So, talk no further… it’s time to take some action.
That’s why I created five action steps for you. This is for you if you want to boost your next release by having a plan.
Action steps for your next release:
- Write down your yearly #1 goal for your music career on a release campaign focus list.
- Ask yourself this: What do I want to achieve with my next release? Write every idea on the list.
- Narrow down your idea list (ask why again and again) until you have left one main goal for your next release.
- Create tasks for your goal and add them to a roadmap to achieve this release goal.
- Assign roles to your team, schedule everything in your calendar, and add the estimated costs for each task to stay within your budget and boost your next release.
Remember – we’re talking about your main goal for a single release here. For your next release, you may choose a different direction. And that’s cool 🙂
Oh, and I have a sheet for you to help you make a decision on what’s most important for your next release.
If you have any questions or need help setting up your plan, send me a message. I’ll be happy to help.