Project Review and Reflection
Hi everyone! Happy Wednesday!
Today is the final day of our Spring bansheebeat release project! Thank you for joining me on this journey for the last several months! Over the course of this project, I've learned so much about working, promoting, and branding as an independent musician, and I hope you've learned something as well! While we say goodbye today, I hope you will join me for similar experiences in the future; there is still so much to learn and experience and I hope you'll continue carrying on with me!
I've mapped out this final update into a cohesive look back at the last eight weeks, covering my experiences with an finalized introduction to the project, a final look at the results, a timetable, and lastly a reflection to share my thoughts.
We have a lot to cover, so let's get started!
In my experience, I’ve seen that independent musicians struggle to find new ways to differentiate themselves in today’s over-saturated market. Combined with the fact that more musicians are out promoting their material than ever, and that consumer tastes have changed to reflect more regular and digestible forms of content, working as an independent musician today is a struggle very different to any time before. Thus, I set out to discover ways to regularly promote yourself as a content creator, a brand, and an artist. As someone who rarely held any interest in matters relating to “audience outreach” and “personal branding,” I never really gave these things much thought in the past. However, as I labored to elevate myself more and more as a working professional, these topics came more and more to the forefront of my attention.
Considering my inexperience with these concepts, I decided that myself as an artist would benefit most from researching these ideas and learning how they affect and drive professional growth. Upon choosing my topic, I realized that I was surely not the only independent artist struggling with these issues, and set forth to record my findings, log my experiments, and pen my overall experiences so that others in a similar position could possibly learn and benefit from my experiences. When it comes to succeeding as an independent musician, most of the work regarding advertising, promotion, visibility, and marketing lie solely on the shoulders of the individual, so I set forth to discover how to manage exactly how to successfully implement these notions into my work.
My project's goals were to research independent promotion, marketing, and branding strategies, collaborate with a professional record label, and curate multimedia promotional materials to maximize visibility for my new release.
Here is a brief weekly breakdown on how I managed the project
- Announced the project, and gave a breakdown on concepts and plans I hoped to achieve during its eight-week duration
- Began working with Adobe Photoshop and Premiere to work toward eventually becoming more independent with curating my non-musical content
- Outlined and created supplementary artwork for my Valentine’s Day mix
- Released the mix and promoted it via various social media platforms (Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)
- Began drafting teaser trailer for album release, as well as started researching for potential trailer references
- Worked toward consolidating and finalizing album artwork
- Began outreach for potential labels to act as release partners
- Started finalizing release trailer, in collaboration with Pixelon
- Began discussions with local venues to host a release event
- Talked with potential partners to produce a promotional music video
- Finalized album artwork, and added additional resolutions for multi-device wallpapers
- Finished production on the release trailer
- Reached release agreement with record label Attack the Music
- Began drafting press kit and additional album press release materials, as well as acquiring references for accomplishing this
- Completed supplementary album release materials and liner notes
- Organized performers for online release show
- Announced album release
- Released finished teaser trailer
- Maximized visibility of announcement via social media
- Published and promoted media coverage of first single “Seems 2 Be”
- Revealed online release show via Japanese outlet Datafruits.fm
- Finalized press release for the album
- Released new album “Techo Deluxe” on Bandcamp, as well as through digital audio marketplaces including iTunes, Spotify, Beatport, and Soundcloud
- Began outlining post-release promotional opportunities
- Finished organizing local Tucson release show
- Initiated work toward summer performing opportunities and merchandising
- Organized and facilitated local release show via Tucson venue Pomoro
- Began outlining a budget for summer merchandising and performance opportunities
- Continued working with media publications for coverage of the album release, including Nest HQ, Daily Wildcat, and MakeBelieveMelodies
- Finalized multiple performing appearances at Los Angeles’ Anime Expo in July
- Began working with labels Galaxy Swim Team and Attack the Music for “Techo Deluxe” physical releases
- Initiated working with multiple artists for “Techo Deluxe” official remix series
- Continued promoting album release
When I began to organize this project, I decided that the best way to tackle it would be to shape it around the release of my then-unreleased album. With this basic groundwork in mind, I set forth to curate the remainder of the project’s objectives to frame this basic strategy. Dividing it by weekly goals, the initial plan for the project was to work toward bigger milestones while accomplishing smaller achievements that all worked into the plan at large. My initial guidelines were to research independent promotion, marketing, and branding strategies, create regular multimedia content to increase visibility leading up to the release, team up with a record label to maximize outreach for the final release, organize merchandise to coincide with the release, set up multiple promotional events to increase awareness and following that with additional public appearances and performance opportunities, and to refine branding and promotional materials to reflect a singular mission. While the project did not go 100% according to my initial blueprints, I accomplished much of what I set forth to complete and managed to oversee a successful digital release.
This project was honestly much more work than I had ever anticipated, but in being so was much more personally satisfying. While things like promotion and advertising can be a taboo subject for independent artists, it was really rewarding to start taking these ideas into my own hands. While these concepts can be somewhat uncomfortable, like when considering the business aspect more than the artistic side, it’s integral for independent musicians to function in a professional setting. This project was some of the first times that I’d put actual energy and work into promoting myself, and in doing so felt like a professional musician for the first time. Not only that, but mapping out plans and goals for yourself that weren’t strictly musical in a sense led me to accomplish all sorts of new and exciting things! For example, it was the first time I’d worked with a professional record label, and I’m already seeing new opportunities open for me. While that aspect wasn’t entirely perfect (working with a label partly based in Japan led to some streaming issues facing international monetization, especially with Soundcloud), it was an exciting new experience that has me excited to collaborate with more people in a similar setting in the future! Also, I booked and organized multiple events, and created my own artwork for things, neither of which I’d never done on my own before. In finishing this project, I feel less like a single-minded musician and more like a well-rounded individual, capable of handling multiple aspects of maintaining myself as an artist. While I still have so much to accomplish and learn, so much of this prepared me for the future in ways I did not expect whatsoever! While many properties of personal promotion, brand development, and marketing still very much elude me, I feel like I’m well on my way to discovering how to live and work as a professional independent musician in today’s global musical environment!