We spend so much time crafting our music that we forget all about the single most important thing that will make us money: Marketing. If you’re not exactly sure how to go about getting your stuff out there, you’re not the only one. Whether you want to monetise your single or just start to get your name out into the world, to get the ball rolling, there are a lot of moving parts behind the process, it’s easy to become confused and not want to deal with it
But if you’re looking to get started, here are a few things to get you up to speed.
One: Register With a Performing Rights Organization
To receive all the money that can be owed to you from streaming, downloads, and other channels, you need to register with a local Performing Rights Organization (PRO) in your country. A PRO is important for an independent artist because they protect your rights as a musician. You only have to pay once at the start, which for me in the UK was £100 one-off fee.
For more information check out some of these sites:
ASCAP (US), BMI (US), TONO (NOR), SOCAN (CAN), PRS for Music (UK), or search for a local musicians’ rights organization online.
Two: Prepare Online Profiles In Advance
Make sure all your social media bios, website media, and contact information are all up to date and ready to go when submitting your song(s). When your single is ready to go, news of this single should be clearly communicated on all your listed platforms.
Key Point: Your single should be and look the same across all your platforms, make sure you have no conflicting info.
In the old days, singles and albums had to be pressed and distributed physically all over the country, and to the rest of the world. Today, you only need to upload your song to a single site, which will then aggregate that single to a hundred to a hundred and fifty other online shops, including: iTunes, Spotify, SoundCloud, Pandora, Deezer, and all the rest. You only have to load your single or album the one time.
My first song Communion was uploaded to CD Baby, and connected directly to my Performing Rights Organization account in the UK, CD Baby will now handle all the admin for that release.
Do those three simple things to get the ball rolling.
Learn this process up front by just doing it. It’s not a big deal. Now you can tell your friends you have a single coming out, which you do.