TPM 3 | Holiday Music

After a very rough and distressing year, releasing holiday music may be the furthest thing in everybody’s mind, but there is reason to believe that it might just be a good idea. In fact, there are 10 perfectly compelling reasons why you should definitely release a holiday album, or at least an EP or even a single. And it’s not too late! Bree Noble counts down on these reasons and makes the case for good monetization opportunities while you’re at it. Never has promoting yourself as an artist and making money been easier than around holiday season. Don’t miss this chance to break into the scene!

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Give 2020 A Break: Top 10 Reasons To Release Holiday Music This Year For 2020

And Why It’s Not Too Late

In this episode, I wanted to bring a timely topic that’s something I talked about on my other show, the Female Entrepreneur Musician. It applies to you as we’re talking a lot about releasing music. That is one of the cornerstones of the show. The monetization method is the recording and releasing of music. Holiday music can be an important part of that strategy. I wanted to be sure to talk about this ASAP on this show because it is timely. I do think you still have time to release holiday music. I’m going to tell you ten reasons why it’s important that you do. This is taken from an episode from the Female Entrepreneur Musician that I put out in September. It’s a few weeks old, but it’s still extremely timely.

I wanted to give you that preface before we jumped into the episode. I decided to jump on Facebook Live because I had something that I wanted to talk about and it couldn’t wait. This is about releasing holiday music, but I wanted to make sure you knew that it wasn’t too late. The ten reasons why it was super important that you consider still releasing a holiday single EP or album. First, since we’re talking about releasing music, I wanted to make sure that you knew about my free masterclass. All about how to confidently plan and execute your next release, whether it’s a holiday release or any other release without feeling overwhelmed or regretting missed opportunities.

I’m going to give you a bunch of opportunities for holiday music in this episode that you’re going to want to take advantage of. This masterclass will help you make sure to know how to take advantage of those opportunities. If you haven’t watched it yet, it is over at www.RockYourNextRelease.com. It’s free. Go sign up. I wanted to come in and talk about why you should release a holiday single or EP. I did an episode back in 2015. It was our episode number 35 of the Female Entrepreneur Musician Podcast about why you should release a holiday CD back then. I still have people saying, “I released my holiday CD because you told me I should. I’m so glad that I did.” It was time to update this and talk about more reasons that relate to us in 2020 as to why you should release a holiday single or EP. It would be hard to do a full album, but I think you have time to do a single or an EP. That’s why I wanted to put the urgency on this and get this information out there. Some of you guys could get working on it.

After one heck of a year, 2020 needs a little bright spot to cap it off. A holiday single or EP isn’t such a bad idea. Click To Tweet

The first reason that I say we should do a holiday single or EP in 2020 is that it needs a little bright spot. It’s been a heck of a year for us. It’s been insane with the pandemic, the protests, and the terrible things that have happened on the news, the politics, and the fires in California. The house that I own in the mountain area near Yosemite is under threat. Lots of our friends, family, and my mom had to evacuate. There are a lot of difficult things going on. One big reason why we should do a holiday CD, at least an EP, or a single is that you can put some positivity in the world. You can do something that people will love and that will get their mind off of all the things that have been happening. Truthfully, get your mind off of it. Give yourself something to focus on in this last part of the year that you’re going to enjoy. It’s going to bring you joy. It’s going to bring other people joy.

That is a big reason to do a project. It’s not just for what you’re going to create, although that’s important. You’re going to create something awesome, a piece of art in the world. You’re going to bring other people joy, but you’re also going to bring yourself joy. You’re going to take your mind off of all of this crap that we’re dealing with and put something positive into it. How can you not feel better when you are in your studio singing holiday music? Whatever holiday you celebrate during December, whether it is Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, even Thanksgiving, or new year’s music. Anything that is going to bring us joy and inspiration for the end of the year. It’s going to be good, not just for your audience, but for your mental state as well to do that.

We’ve got ten reasons here. Number two is, you can do this from home. More people are doing recording from home nowadays. Back in 2011, I recorded my entire holiday CD from home. We were living in a rented cabin up in Bass Lake. My husband was a visiting professor at our off-campus program for his University. We had this downstairs and it had this room that had no windows. It had this tiny little window at the top. It was underground. It was dank. It was cold. It was dark. All the walls were made out of cinder blocks, but it was the perfect place to record. We called it the bomb shelter. I recorded my whole Christmas album there.

TPM 3 | Holiday Music

Holiday Music: You don’t want to miss out on free promotion that comes just because somebody followed you for holiday reasons.

 

I did not start it until September. We didn’t move in until one week left in August. I had small children. I was homeschooling and all the things, but I still recorded my entire album in two months there and got it out for Christmas. I know you can do this. Number one, you’ve got time, especially if you have a lot of fewer shows or no shows that you can do live. You’re only doing online shows now, your schedule has opened up. This is a perfect opportunity for you. You have the ability to do this easier than ever nowadays. The technology is cheaper. Even if you don’t have a home studio, you probably know someone who does. You wouldn’t need to expose yourself to going to a full-on studio. If you’ve got someone you trust, you can go over to their house and record, or maybe you record your vocals from home. You can only record vocals, but you’ve got someone else that can do all the other mixing and stuff. There are many people nowadays that can do this from home. That’s number two. We’re already home. It’s 2020 and we’re sheltering at home. Why not spend that time recording, especially if you’ve got the extra time?

Number three, holiday music is much easier to record, especially if you’re not doing originals. I highly recommend doing originals, but if you want to sprinkle in some public domain or cover songs, there are a lot more arrangements out there of those kinds of songs that you can buy. You don’t have to spend all this money bringing in musicians, figuring out your arrangements, and all that stuff. I found an arrangement for a pretty obscure holiday song called Gabriel’s Message. I wanted to do that song. I found an arrangement of it online and it cost me $60 to buy the use of the arrangement, the licensing for me to use it on my CD. The reason that holiday music is so much easier to produce is there are a lot of pieces out there that you can go and get. I got several arrangements of public domain songs that I wanted to do like Silent Night and Away in a Manger. I made them my own, but I didn’t have to create all the background music. It is so much easier to create the whole arrangement from home for holiday music. That is reason number three.

Reason number four is you can create a fun event around this. Some places are opening up for small gatherings, or you could have it in a large location but have a lot of space for people to spread out. By the holidays, there are going to be more places that are opened up like that. I have heard of churches that are opening up. A lot of churches also have put up like plexiglass. You could be behind plexiglass and not worry about all of the people in the audience being exposed. Churches are big enough where people can spread out. There are places where you can go and do performances. How fun would it be to do a release party around Christmas time or the holidays? People are going to be itching to get out by then. Things are going to be opening up a little bit more, depending on where you are.

We need a little “pick me up” after a long, tough year. Bless your fans with some awesome holiday music. Click To Tweet

You could do an in-person release by that time, at least in some form. If not, you can do an online release. You could do both. The great thing about an online release party is a lot of people are more used to this now because we’ve been doing many online concerts. An online release party is not as foreign and it would be a fun thing to promote because it’s related to the holidays. You’ve got that extra kicker. It’s not just any old online concert. This is related to number one, release. Number two, it’s the holidays. You can pep that up and make the promotion exciting versus just every week you do an online show. You’ve got a lot of ways to get that release party excitement going.

Reasons number 5 and 6 are related to Spotify. When I did this episode back in 2015, which seems like a lifetime ago. I wasn’t talking about Spotify very much back then because we didn’t understand the cool algorithmic promotion that you can get through Spotify back then. Now I have to talk about this. With Spotify, having holiday music gives you another way to get followers. The great thing about getting followers is that it allows Spotify to promote all of your music to these people. Let’s say you’ve got a new holiday single or EP, you promote that and you say, “I appreciate you going to listen to this and follow me on Spotify.” You get some new people to follow you.

The next time you release something, what happens? Spotify sends out information directly to them through email, Release Radar, and in many ways. Sometimes it even brings up something on the app. When you open the app and say, “There’s new music from this person that you will follow.” That is free promotion. We don’t want to miss out on that just because somebody followed you for Christmas or holiday reasons. They’re going to be getting this in relation to all the music you do. It’s retroactive. They have something called Discover Weekly, which I love because it reminds me about songs either that I hadn’t heard by new bands or artists that I’ve discovered that I don’t know anything about their back catalog. It reminds me of songs that I’ve forgotten to put in my library.

TPM 3 | Holiday Music

Holiday Music: Holiday songs are a fresh new way to promote yourself every year.

 

They could then go out to these people that have followed you because of your holiday music, go and promote your past music to them on the Discover Weekly. It’s another way to encourage people to follow you on Spotify. Around that, the next reason is that you can have more ways to find some Spotify playlist to get featured on. There is a bunch of holidays only Spotify playlists. I know we create one for Women of Substance. My music has been on many of them. I found out that one of my songs had gotten 20,000 plays on a Spotify playlist I didn’t even know I was on. That was a holiday-related one. It opens up more opportunities for getting on a Spotify playlist that you don’t have an opportunity to get on because you don’t have holiday music. More people find you through those playlists, might be like, “I’m going to check out more music by them.”

It gives you more ways to get yourself in front of other people that haven’t heard of your music and get you discovered by new fans. Number seven, I love this one because this is what I did when I put out my Christmas CD. If you do a single, this might not work as well. Holiday CDs make such great gifts. What I did is that I didn’t buy anyone anything for Christmas except my CD. I sent them out with special packages to all my family and friends. It was a special gift that I could sign or I could send a special note in there. I could use the money that I was spending to create CDs. That time, I bought 1,000. If it was now, I would buy 200. Think about what you spend on people for Christmas. If you can take that money and apply it toward getting physical copies of your EP, then you can use those as gifts. They’re super special. They’re limited edition. You’ve got a whole bunch of other ones that you can sell.

This is a great way to merge what you would spend personally on holidays with what you’re going to be spending to create this package. Number eight, it’s such a great investment to invest in holiday merch. The reason is you can bring it back year after year. It’s fresh every time because people haven’t seen it all year. Usually, right around the fall, I bring my holiday CDs back out. It doesn’t have to be November, December yet. I bring them out in September. People are already thinking about Christmas. It gives them something new. They can buy something for that person on their list that has everything. They know that they like your music. They’re going to feel great about giving this as a gift. I used to always package them up with ribbon and all that stuff with a personalized tag.

It’s an easy fun gift that people can buy off your merch table. If you’re investing in getting hard copies of this EP or if you’re going to do a full album, this is a good investment. I still have some inventory and I’m glad because I did buy 1,000 when I bought mine. I bring them out every year and I sell some every single year. Since I paid them off the very first year, I was able to do preorders and paid mine off before they even arrived at my house. Every time I sell them, it is all profit. The reason is, it’s a good investment to invest in a holiday merch because it’s always able to come out every year. It never feels old. It always feels fresh.

Number nine. Holiday music can help you create a new program that you can pitch to people for either shows in person or online shows at Christmas or holidays. When I came out with my holiday CD, Gift Beneath the Star, I created a whole program around that. What I did is I merged a bunch of the Bible story of Christmas with the songs. I’ve seen other people do My Favorite Things program where each song is related to one of their favorite things at Christmas. They told some personal stories. There are some fun programs that you can do around the holidays. People are always looking for programs, women’s event, their church holiday event, or their community event.

Most community groups have some holiday parties. They want some kind of entertainment. If you have not just like, “I come and sing Christmas music, but I have a program called Gift Beneath the Star. It’s all packaged.” It’s going to make it so much more fun and interesting to people when you pitch it to them. That is reason number nine, you have a fresh new way to pitch like a whole new program. Even if you have a Christmas single and that’s all you’re releasing, that’s okay. You can have your holiday program named after that new single. You can throw in a few covers or public domain. You could do a sing-along. People always love that. Create a program out of that all based upon one song.

Some stories that you tell around how you created that song. A lot of times we write a Christmas song that’s based on a lot of our personal memories and stuff. You could tell some fun childhood stories. You could do some sing-alongs and that could be an entire program. I gave you a bunch of ideas for programs. I hope you are going to go out there and start pitching. If you’re in an area that can’t do live performances, that’s okay. People are bringing in online programs nowadays. People are dying to get together and do something fun, especially in the holidays. People want to have that holiday spirit. When we can’t get together, that’s going to be hard. Bringing that into people’s homes is a blessing.

The final reason is that holiday songs are a fresh new way to promote yourself every year. If you’ve got any kind of a holiday song that you are promoting, you can bring that out every single year. When we release a single, an album or an EP, after a while, we start to feel like, “We can’t talk about this anymore. It’s old news.” Holiday music is always new news every single year because we haven’t listened to that music in a long time. When you bring that out again and say, “Here’s my holiday song,” people love to hear that again. It seems new and fresh to them. It’s another way that you can always promote yourself every year without it feeling tired. You invest this time to create this asset for yourself. This asset will keep working for you every single year. That is the ten reasons why you should create a holiday single, EP, or album. I hope that you take my advice, do this, and give yourself the gift of creating a holiday asset that you can use year after year and the enjoyment of creating it. We need a little “pick me up.” Bless your fans with this awesome music.

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