Ensure your assets are up to date; including your bio, press photos and your streaming profile
Set up or update your website, make sure it has all the latest tour dates, releases and links
Register your works with APRA AMCOS to help you get paid
Decluttering à la Marie Kondo can be a great way to spark joy, but if you are looking to freshen up with a clearer focus on your music, perhaps a little digital housekeeping is something to embark on.
Get your socials, website, media servicing links, and DSP profiles aligned and current so you can channel your energies into your writing, recording or touring. Envision that sweet sense of accomplishment you'll feel when you give all those digital properties a good deep clean. Here's our suggested areas to tackle:
Is your artist bio up to date?
Artist bios: they don't need to be complicated, they just need to tell your story in both a long-ish form (3-5 paragraphs) and a shorter, punchier way (approx. 120 words). And they need to be current, because when a bio reads like it is in the now but then mentions the release of a 'new EP' from 2016, it's a not a great look.
Just give your bio a little tweak to add in notable accomplishments and upcoming activity and then do a cross-check so that the 'About' on Facebook et al. is all updated. More good tips here.
Artist photos matter, so make sure they are high res
A striking artist photo can go a long way, whether it be across online or print media, packshots or used in a tour poster, so make sure to have at the ready:
- high res and low res versions
- landscape and portrait options
- media outlets often prefer photos that look direct to camera, so if you're working a more obtuse style try to factor in something a bit more straightforward too
- have your photo readily available to send upon request and/or to download via your website - include the photographer credit. This will save at least a few emails and ensures you are properly acknowledging your photog mate.
Do I need a website?
It's valid question and one that an audience member asked AIR GM and CFO Maria Amato at the Indie 101 sessions. She said, "You want people to be able to find and follow you." So, yes, you should have a web presence all your own with the pertinent info: about/bio, tour dates, releases, photos, contacts and links to your other digital properties. Squarespace and WordPress are good DIY options.
The DSP hustle
Oh it's a hustle alright, but by keeping things nice and tidy, you are giving your music the best chance to reach a wider audience.
- Make sure bios and photos are current on your profile via Spotify for Artists, Apple Music for Artists, or direct to TIVO, which is the metadata provider that powers the content across numerous platforms. Or ask your friendly aggregator for help.
- Thumbnails: make sure you are including the Spotify, Apple, YouTube et al. thumbnails on your other digital properties so fans can easily listen to your music.
- Pin something: your artist pick, your regularly updated playlist of stuff you like and so on.
- Tour dates: either direct with your artist login or via the DSPs ticketing/event partners like SongKick, Eventbrite etc.
- Lyrics: ask your aggregator if they can help submit lyrics to DSPs
- Content schedules: plan ahead on your fan engagement through content like videos, acoustic versions, and playlists
- Analytics: take some time to see what the data is telling you about your audience.
Further reading: Get to know local aggregators DITTO, DRM NZ and GYROstream in this recent Q & A.
Further reading: SOUNDS AUSTRALIA's Dom Alessio's Digital Pathways to Export.
Have your links and downloads readily available
Keep your most current and vital assets (photo, packshot, bio, mp3/wav files) in one place like Dropbox so they are at the ready to send as a link and not as a bunch of attachments. No one likes a bunch of attachments.
Further reading: Triple R's Simon Winkler's tips for maximising community radio airplay..
Further reading: Tips from Indie 101: Laura Imbruglia on releasing music all by yourself
Your mailing list
The newsletter mailing list is definitely a thing. When you're out on tour, make sure to collect those addresses at the merch table and add them into your list tout de suite. If you have addresses needing to be entered DO IT NOW. Don't lose that opportunity to speak directly to fans.
Are you servicing your music to community radio presenters nationwide via the AMRAP AirIT service? If not, don't delay. Even if you service music direct to particular presenters/music directors, you should use AirIT to reach even more of those tastemakers.
And, if you've been a bit lax on checking on your spins reports from AirIT, perhaps now is a good time catch up on those and see who is supporting your music.
Digital thank yous
Did someone spin your song a few times on their show recently? Were you added to a playlist? Did you make a writer's year end list of favourite songs? Make sure to give them a social media thank you - it doesn't go unnoticed.
Register your songs with us
Couldn't not sneak this one in! Make performance reports easier, and make it easier to get paid your royalties. If you have an upcoming release (or maybe one that's been out for a bit...), register your works. It's the first step in getting paid. Log in and get started.