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A mixtape is a pretty big part of your career, right?
You put in all this hard work, you’ve been hustling, and now you get to put together that special project and give it off to the world. The thing about a mixtape is that sometimes you don’t need a mixtape.
A lot of artists release mixtapes prematurely. They release mixtapes when they don’t really need to. It’s too much work to release a mixtape and not get any good results from it. That’s what I want to talk to you about today. I want to help you understand when to release a mixtape.
After Building A Following
I think that, personally, if you want to release a mixtape, you need to already have a following.
The purpose of a mixtape should not be to build a following. Your mixtape should be to capitalize off of that following grow it, not build it. If you don’t have a following already, you should release more singles – not release a mixtape. It’s too much work to try to build your initial following off of a mixtape.
When You Have A Distribution Strategy
In addition to needing a following, you should not release a mixtape unless you already have a distribution strategy for your music. You don’t want to release a mixtape and get 0 plays. And no, just putting your mixtape on Livemixtapes, Spinrilla, or Datpiff does not count as a complete distribution strategy.
In my opinion, one of the easiest ways to get your distribution strategy in place is by releasing singles. By releasing songs and individual tracks, you can of practice and do trial and error to improve your distribution strategy.
Once You Have A Plan
Before you release a mixtape, you should know what you’re going to do if it blows up, and you should know what you’re going to do if it doesn’t blow up.
If you don’t have a plan in place and your mixtape blows up – you’re going to be at the mercy of the listener. You’re going to have to move at their pace, regardless if you’re prepared or not.You’re going to need some infrastructure and processes in place to manage your new popularity and not go crazy.
If it doesn’t blow up, you’re going to want to make sure you have the proper tracking tools in place to figure out why it didn’t blow up. Was it the marketing? Was it the actual product? Was it the timing?
These are all questions you might have if your mixtape doesn’t do as well as you hoped. You may not be able to answer each question with 100% certainty, but the right tracking tools will make answering them easier and more accurate.
Recap On When You Should Release A Mixtape:
1.) After You Have A Following
You want to make sure you have a following. Don’t try to build a following off a mixtape. You can grow a following off a mixtape, but don’t try to build it.
2.) When You Have A Distribution Strategy
You want to know how you’re going to market it, who you’re going to reach, where you’re going to go to promote it, and more. You want to already have your strategy together, so that way you can just go out and do it.
3.) Once You Have A Plan
You want to make sure you know what you’re going to do when your mixtape does/doesn’t blow up. If it does blow up, good, perfect, job completed. Now it’s your time to manage all of this new found buzz. If it doesn’t blow up, you want to make sure you have the reporting tools in place and the tracking tools in place, that way you can figure out why it didn’t perform like you expected.
The proper tracking tools will help you with answering questions like:
- Was it the marketing?
- Was it the actual product?
- Was it the timing?
- Was it a combination?
- Was the story bad?
- Was it the production?
- Was it the content?
So, you want to make sure you have a plan in place. That way you can know how to manage it if it goes well and know how to track it if it goes wrong.