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Take a Tip From Capitol Records

Capitol Records used a strategy which put the only daughter of the King of Rock, Elvis Presley on top of the world, and now Lisa Marie Presley is destined to follow the road to success.

She signed her first recording contract with Java Records in 1998 and the record was release only five years later by Capitol (who bought Java), and only after she re-recorded her songs to have a product that was worth putting on the market.

You could argue that, just by using her surname, or the riches she inherited would be enough to make success in any place on Earth. So why was she only famous as a singer after she was contracted by Capitol?

The difference that Capitol made was in how they treated her. Capitol treated Maria as an unknown artist, which at that time as a singer was her reality, and made her start everything from zero, doing all the ground work.

Capitol used the following marketing equation for her first album "To Whom it May Concern":

"Show / Research + Recording + Promotion = Success" 

From the second album, "Now What" they did the reverse:

"Promotion + Recording + Show / PROMOTION = Success"

In both cases the end results (sales) were satifactory.

Let's look at this strategy a little closer:

Show / Research – The first step is to discover which songs are accepted more by the public. Recording only those songs is a lot safer than recording the songs elected by your band because of artistic interpretation or because the message is politically correct. The artist / band should avoid influencing the content on their first album as much as possible and let the public select the music.

Recording – Now, with a list of songs preferred by the public in hand, the artist / band should look for a studio with good recording equipment (size is not quality) to record and develop the "product", the album.

This stage should not be hurried!

It's a lot better to leave the studio after several months with a perfect product than to leave after a week with a recording full of errors and strange noises. If finance is the problem, do the recording in stages. A serious band will still be together during the months to come.

Promotion – With the show and album prepared, the time has arrived for you to promote the release of your album to your target public, using the available channels.

Second Album

Promotion – With the success of the first album, the promotion of the second album should be done using the same channels as the first and opening up space in other new channels. The promotion of the second album should occur at the inicial stages of your new project creating an air of expectation in your target public.

Recording – This time you will have a little more freedom to record songs that you like, based on the songs and sounds that the public likes.

Show / PROMOTION – Your show now has another objective. It's to consolidate your public and promote your new album. This means that you should play some songs from your first album and then draw your publics' attention to the songs of your new album.

For the third and other albums simply repeat the second equation.



Steve Allen

Steve Allen is consultant and music producer.

Author of "Marketing Your Music – Success Strategies", "Personal Management in the Music Industry" and "Street Teams – Expand your Fan Base"



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