Canadian singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes has completely taken over the radio. With hits like “Stitches” and “Treat You Better,” Shawn is never far from the top of the charts. Both of his albums, Handwritten and Illuminate, debuted at the top of the Billboard 200.
Here’s how Shawn’s first album debuted atop the Billboard 200.
1. He built a following by posting covers of popular songs online.
In 2013, Shawn Mendes began posting six-second covers to Vine. In just a few months, he gained millions of followers. That January, an artist manager discovered Shawn online and signed him to a record label. By August of 2014, he was the third most followed musician on Vine.
If Shawn had posted original songs instead of covers, then he may not have gotten as many followers as quickly as he did. Before you release original music, show off your talents by posting covers of popular songs online. Once you build up a following, then you can start promoting your original music.
2. He preceded his debut album with an EP.
Before releasing a full-length album, Shawn and his label decided to test the waters with an EP. The Shawn Mendes EP sold 48,000 copies in its first week. It featured singles such as “Life of The Party.” The EP debuted at number five on the Billboard charts.
Before you put on an album, whether it be your first album or transition in your style, test it out with an EP. Sell three or four songs in a different style than usual to see how your listeners like it. This will help you predict the success of your upcoming album.
3. He released several songs with the album pre-order.
When fans pre-ordered Handwritten on iTunes, they were able to download five of the tracks early. As each song was made available, Shawn released a music video to go with it. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard charts in April 2015.
To encourage more album pre-orders, offer your fans a little something extra. You can offer early downloads or access to exclusive content, such as an unreleased music video.
Shawn Mendes debuted at the top of the Billboard charts because he built up a strong following before releasing original music. If you test out new music with an EP and offer an exclusive deal with a pre-order, then your album sales will fly off the charts.
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Kristen Harris enjoys listening to a wide range of music, from Taylor Swift to, on occasion, Celtic instrumental. She also spends her time writing, reading, and baking.