It's January, that perfect time to look forward to the new year and plan your goals. So, to help, here's our challenge to you as we head into 2016...

File Under: Creating and Making Your Music , Releasing and Selling Your Albums, Marketing Your Music, Getting Your Music Heard

With 2015 coming to a close and 2016 on the horizon, it’s the perfect time to look forward to the new year and plan your goals. So, to help, here's our challenge to you as we head into 2016:

  • Write a New Song, EP, or Album
    Plan at least one song, EP, or album release for this coming year. Set a date so you have something to work towards. If you work best with through external motivation, then make a promise to yourself to do this year’s RPM (Record Production Month) Challenge. It’s a free event that encourages you to create 10 songs or 35 minutes of original music within the month of February. By March 1st, you’ll have an album’s worth of music that you can build on, expand, or release.

  • Get Your Music up for Sale
    Make your song, EP, or album available for sale. Pick a distributor and target a date to get it into digital stores. Of course, before you do all this, prepare your music correctly prior to release to protect your rights.

  • Plan Your Marketing
    Determine how you will market your release. Thinking through this process is an exercise in creativity. you’ll put to use the same type of skills and creativity you use for your music. To help your planning, focus on a particular segment of your audience and market your music toward them. Figure out how you would target that group (websites, online forums, podcasts, mp3 blogs, etc.) and who you can tap to help get the message in front of that audience (podcaster, blogger, youtuber, journalist, etc.). Follow this process to help build your plan.

  • Plan on How You’ll Get Heard
    To help concentrate your efforts, focus on one or two of the 28 categories of places you can get your music heard. For instance, focus on streaming music stations or college radio rotation.

  • Act on Your Plan
    The goal for this 2016 challenge should be to see if you can get at least one blog, podcast, or other media outlet to cover your release and at least two to three plays of your music. And once you get some coverage, build on that success to get more.

Consider this a barebones version of a marketing and get heard campaign, since there’s so much you can do to promote and generate sales of your music we’ve written a book and taught a 15-hour online class on the subject! However, the goal here is to give you a handful of very achievable challenges for 2016. So, go on -- make some new music, get it out into the world, and promote it!

Also, keep in mind you’re not alone: we’re here every step of the way. Think of us as your DIY Advisors and check back every Wednesday here at the web column (and follow us @indieguide) since we'll be sharing more strategies and techniques on how to get noticed, win fans, make money, and more throughout all of 2016.

Feel free to write us if you have ideas or questions. And most of all, have a wonderful, music-filled 2016!


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Photo Credit: FutUndBeidl