The Three Biggest Mistakes Made By Independent Artists

In this article, Major Labl founder Mark Knight, identifies the three most common music marketing mistakes made by independent artists, and suggests simple ways to avoid them.

1. Don't plan to promote

Musicians often take months, sometimes even years to write, record and produce new music and once they have it finished, they want to share it... immediately. While it's easy to get swept up in the excitement of a new release, releasing without a plan is almost always a mistake.

Remember, one of the biggest advantages of being an unsigned or independent artist is you are beholden to nobody. That means you call the shots and set the deadlines. If nobody knows about a new album, they aren't expecting it. So take your time to plan how and when it's best to release it.

The worst thing you could do is release music, promote it badly and then try and promote it again. It looks amateur and is likely to confuse fans.

Solution: Once you have finished recording, stop and think what you need to promote your music. Then take your time to create all the assets you need first. Only think about releasing your music when you have everything ready. A partial checklist could include:

  • Highest quality finished music

  • Single, EP, album artwork

  • Artist / band biography photos

  • Promo ready social media pages (Updated and consistent images, biogs, links)

  • Full length video or video clips to promote your release

  • Press release and story of the release

  • Release strategy - EG Single, single, album or album release followed by two singles

  • Distribution / aggregator to ensure your music is available on Spotify, Apple etc

  • Release schedule with timings for first announcement, pre-save campaign, release day

  • Content calendar with a plan for social media posts across your campaign period

  • Budget for promotion

  • Booked supporting live shows

  • Schedule social posts in advance to avoid the daily grind

2. Don't budget for promotion

For some reason every artist has a budget to record music, but very few think about having a budget to promote music. You can have the world's best album, but if nobody hears it, it is wasted.