Music Release Budgets
First off, make no mistake: You can achieve a successful release on any sized budget.
The primary key is… being smart with the budget you have and prioritising how it will be spent.
You need to decide what is most important to you.
Is it spending money on a photographer for top-resolution images?
Or a videographer for a killer video?
Or can you do those things yourself?
Money Coming In
Remember, releasing new music doesn’t always have to be money outgoing.
It is vital to ensure you have money coming in to fund your music releases.
This will save you heartache and going into the red to fund your music career.
There are plenty of ways you can monetise your music these include:
- Physical sales – Vinyl/CDs/Tapes
- Spotify Playlists
- Selling Merchandise
- Live Gigs
- Sync Film/TV/Game Placements
- Brand Partnerships
- Music Libraries
- Selling Beats or Samples
- Teaching Music Classes or Selling Lessons
- Selling music-related services on Fiverr, Upwork, or as a Freelancer
#1 Budget Strategy
Like most things regarding releasing music, you need a strategy to use your budget to your advantage.
And there is one strategy that is used by musicians time and time again because it offers some insurance to your pocket and produces results over time.
Starting with a small budget for your first few releases and reinvesting any profits into the next release.
This strategy ensures you are not overstretching yourself and wasting money you can’t afford to lose.
As you release more music and reinvesting your profits, your brand will organically grow and fund itself creating an eco system that does not leave you out of pocket.
Setting a Budget
Rule 101: You must set a budget.
Rule 101.A – You must stick to said budget.
There is no magic formula regarding how much your budget should be. It is dependent on your circumstances.
Dissect the elements you need to spend money on and decide how to assign the budget accordingly.
Once you log how much is going into each area – stick to it.
We have set an example below, but it is a rough guide.
Recommended spending – Below are parts of your music release campaign that will need to be funded. They include;
There are many benefits to having your own website rather than relying on social media pages to spread the word about your music.
Your website should be the main home for your music – with social media being the backup supporting elements to your online presence.
If you own your web space, no one can take it away.
Say you have 10,000 people on your Instagram page; what happens if Instagram deletes your page tomorrow?
Your direct line to fans through that medium has gone overnight.
It has happened to me before (Thanks, MySpace!).
I cultivated a gorgeous following of over 20,000 people… for them to disappear overnight.
MySpace couldn’t/wouldn’t recover my account, and I had to start from scratch.
As a result, my page/interactions/engagement was never the same on the platform.
But there is a way to prevent this from ever happening.
Own your space.
Having your own website lets you directly contact people who want to engage with you and your music.
No one can take that away from you.
If you choose to have a website, you can get free hosting, but there is a small fee with any hosting company to get your domain name (your URL).
It is a small price worth investing in to ensure social media can not disconnect you from your people.
Plus, your website makes your brand look professional, making you more likely to be trusted by people.
You must spend money on your distribution to get your music out into the right places from the beginning.
Without a distributor, your music won’t be available to stream.
We recommend investing a proportion of your budget into professional photos.
The look of your artwork and the high-resolution images in your press release are essential keys to your success.
Audiences, blogs, and radio stations see your image before hearing your music.
It can be the difference between them pressing play or moving on to the next band/artist.
After all, you eat with your eyes first.
It is possible to get free promotion for your release, but big question marks hang over the quality of the free promotion.
There is no point in sending out a hundred emails asking for free promotion to get 99% no responses, and the 1% that does reply has little to no following.
It’s just a waste of your precious time.
So setting some of your budget aside to promote your work with quality curators is advisable.
Email Marketing: It has been around for decades, and it is still mighty powerful.
Big brands such as PayPal, Buzzfeed, Uber, and so many more use email marketing daily.
But many musicians overlook the power of email marketing, and I really don’t want you to be one of them.
The main reason it has stood the test of time is… IT WORKS.
Email Marketing is the secret key that gives you direct access to your fans.
Much like with a website – social media is great, but if you spend your time getting 10,000 fans on a platform and then the platform deletes your account, you have lost all of that hard work and are starting from scratch.
Email marketing gives you a direct line to fans through their email addresses, a MASSIVE business asset that a social media platform can’t take away if they close your account tomorrow.
You need to choose a company to host your list carefully. Many companies give you the tools to build your mailing list. These include;
- Constant Contact
The good news is you can start your mailing list for free, and there is no need to invest any money until you have a substantial number of followers.
Most companies require you to start paying for subscribers straight away or after a 30-day trial.
But there is a 100% free way to start growing your list!
We recommend using AWeber.
Aweber is a super easy and efficient email marketing platform that puts you closer to your fans.
AND! Aweber is made for musicians. Their easy-to-use email marketing platform allows you to attract fans, promote gigs, and sell your merchandise. They give you the space to get your list up and running – 500 people can sign up before you need to invest any money to grow it further. This gives you time to find your feet and make your mailing list work for you.
FVMusicBlog April 2023