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Building hype is one of the most important things when preparing for a release, while the hype about the release comes later: projecting your artist profile in every social media update should be something you start doing as soon as possible. If you feel like you don’t have anything to post about, try to become more active and do the stuff you’ve always wanted to do. While you don’t want to just do something “for the vine”, social media posts can be a great excuse to do extravagant things you wouldn’t normally do.

Things to do on a regular basis

  • Update your instagram once every two days at least, content examples below:
    • Studio sessions
    • Photography sessions
    • Announce live shows
    • Thank people for attending live shows
    • Updates about old music (“my debut EP now has over 10 000 streams!!, thank you!”)
    • Updates about your life in general, things you would tell a stranger you met on the tram!
    • General thoughts in combination with a relevant picture, could be philosophical, funny or personal — depending on the persona you want to project
  • Update your Facebook (whenever you have something important to say)
    • Announce live shows
    • Thank people for attending live shows
    • Achievements (hit a number of streams with a project)
    • Blog features
  • Update your Snapchat
  • Book live performances to increase your brand awareness

Other good things to do

  • Bulk Social Media Content, when you have a live show, get at least enough pics for 4 different posts. Two for posting shortly after (Facebook & Instagram) where you thank people for attending and two for throwback for when you’re playing in the area again.
  • Reach out to other people in the music industry and connect with them, ask them out for coffee and find out more about them. Releasing music is a great opportunity to get to know (and maybe even work with) your idols.
  • Keep us in the loop, we’re always looking to help out. We’re but an email away, so don’t be afraid to stay in touch.
  • Keep making music. Can’t stress this enough, you need to have releases to follow up if you really want to establish a career as an artist.
  • Release freebies & covers on free streaming websites such as YouTube and SoundCloud.
  • Utilise the Marketing Visual Brief to communicate your artistic message on the releases, and if you want some tips and tricks.
  • Get a Google Drive/DropBox specifically for your music project. Organising is key, so make sure to separate your personal/school/work files from your music project!

 

In The Meantime: Building the Business

Turning your passion into a business is a lot of work, even with Rexius Records assisting with the marketing, distribution and visual identity there’s a lot of work we just can’t do for you. Below you’ll find an outline of the major projects involved in a business.

Get a Website

There’s several ways to start a website here’s some of them:

Easy: SquareSpace

Probably the easiest to use for beginners, fixed monthly fee which includes a domain name. A lot of nice themes to use, really practical if you don’t really know a lot about making websites. Because of the simplicity, there’s a lot of limitations with SquareSpace but it definitely holds up under some pressure.

Here’s a guide on how to get started using SquareSpace

Medium: One.com / WordPress

Fairly easy to use, and since it’s an actual hosted website it’s also pretty scaleable. We use One.com to host http://rexiusrecords.com and for us it’s working pretty well! WordPress is also a world-class Content Management System, and by far the most popular, so there’s tons of information on how to use it.

Here’s a ton of guides on how to get started using One.com

Hard: Make your own from scratch

This is by far the most difficult option and not recommended for people without experience designing / coding. While making your own website is really hard, and takes a lot of time, it does mean you can make it precisely your own. I won’t go further into detail here, because there just isn’t enough space in the document.

Things to Include on your website

  • Links to your social medias
  • Links to your music
  • Links to information about shows
  • A short biography
  • Press photos and other imagery associated with your music
  • Links to your music videos
  • Sign-up form for your mailing list
  • Contact details for your management & booking
  • Our name & website! Let people know you’re spoken for with a pretty engagement ring, or in this case, a mention and a link!

Also, when you get a website up and running; make sure to notify us! We can link to your site from ours which means you get better search ranking & more people finding your website!

Register a company at Verksamt.se

If your music is generating revenue over 30 000 SEK per year then we recommend you to start a company. Pretty straightforward for Swedish citizens. Just click the link and follow the instructions.

Get a Project Management System

Having one helps a lot with keeping you organised through all stages of your project. From writing to recording and finalising.

We use Podio and are pretty happy with it. Be prepared for a bit of a learning curve, but they have a lot of great information on their YouTube that teaches you the basics. Podio is completely free for basic usage, and when you need access to the more advanced functions — it’s still pretty affordable.

There’s also Trello and Asana, though I don’t have too much experience with them personally, I’ve heard great things!

Sell merchandise

We have tried two different approaches for selling merch. “DIY” and “On-Demand”. The first option is to design, finance, sell and handle everything by yourself. The second option, “On-demand” means you will design and sell the merch and then let someone else store and handle the products. We will go through both options. The DIY method consist of essentially three parts:

Designing

Drawing up the designs and selecting the type of merchandise you want to manufacture, reach out to manufacturers to get offers on what they can supply and what it will cost you.

Financing

Merchandise usually involves buying in bulk and then storing and selling with a markup. We recommend at least 50%, to make it viable long-term. That means that if it costs you 50SEK to purchase, print, design and market a t-shirt you don’t sell for any less than 100SEK. Don’t buy too much merchandise, to begin with, either. It’s much better to be completely sold out than having to store 200 t-shirts for all eternity.

Selling

Here’s where having a website comes in real handy. Opening a webshop is a great way to sell your merchandise with almost no effort. You can also sell merchandise at live shows and on Social Media. Also, we have a webshop at Rexius Records where you’re free to sell any merchandise you want! Hurrah!

The On-Demand Method:

This approach means you are creating the design/print of the merch and send it to us. We upload the merch to our webpage and sell it through our webstore. Together with our collaboration partners, we will print the t-shirt (or hoodie, canvas, tights or whatever merch you want) whenever a new order is received and then send it to the customer wherever in the world they’re from.

This means there are no upfront fees so you never have to worry about the stock and to get rid of the merch. We have made a comparison of the two options:

DIY On-Demand
Upfront costs High Zero
Speed Slow Quick
Time consumption Large Small
Margins (Profit) High Low
Flexibility Low High
Risk High Low


What’re our recommendations then? It depends. If you are about to go on tour and you need a large number of cheap t-shirts to sell at the venue, then you may go for the DIY option. The margins are high and you know you will sell all the t-shirts to your fans directly.

Otherwise, the On-Demand option is a very good option to test new merchandise and see the reaction from your fans. Try some different designs and see what people are buying. Since you can get as many variations you want this is a very good option if you would like to offer a lot of colour options and size options.

Please get in touch with us if you are interested in setting up merch on demand or DIY in our webshop.

Start a Mailing List

Mailing lists are a great way to keep in touch with your fans. We highly recommend using MailChimp for all your mailing list needs.

Expand Your Team

When you start gaining traction, having a team enables you to do more with less effort. Here’s a list of the areas where each team member

  • Having a manager means you don’t have to worry as much about project planning, schedules, deadlines and general business-stuff.
  • Having a personal producer who knows your sound inside and out means you can trust someone else to work on your music from time to time. While you should avoid letting go of this completely, a personal producer can be a great way to lighten the production-load a bit. Giving you more time to focus on your artistry and creative expression.
  • Having a photographer is just essential these days. Preferably find a photographer who both does photography and social media management and/or graphic design. The smaller you can keep your crew, the less money leaves your pocket and these are three roles that can usually be combined. Means you can focus less on updating your Instagram & taking selfies and more on things that only you can do.
  • Having a music lawyer is great, but really expensive. Get one when you have a specific question or problem where you’d benefit from legal expertise.

In The Meantime: Recommended Reading

The more you know, the better. Therefore, we have a couple of books to recommend.

All You Need to Know About the Music Business by Donald S. Passman is pretty perfect for anyone looking to get an overview of how the industry works, albeit slightly outdated.

Getting Things Done completely overhauled the way we structure our projects and workflows here at Rexius Records.

Start With Why by Simon Sinek is pretty essential reading for any entrepreneur. If you’re not really down with reading the entire book right away, there’s a brilliant TED Talk that pretty much summarises the content.

The SoundCloud Bible by Budi Voogt is probably the most up-to-date music book on this list, as it’s almost exclusively focused on the digital era. Crucial for anyone looking to succeed in any producer-based genre as SoundCloud is the primary place for discovering music. Here’s a free sample chapter.

Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth
by Gabriel Weinberg

Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise by Anders Ericsson

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

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