Using Story and Storylines to Create Context for Your Content

**Guest post written by Randy Young from the Ottawa based rock band Cherry Suede.

 

"Using storylines to create context for your content boosts its relevance to your audience. The result? More fans, sales, and profits!"

Defining Success And How To Achieve It With A Career In Music

**Guest post written by Carlos Castillo of Schwilly Family Musicians - music marketing strategist, web designer, live performance recordist, international road-tripper, lap steel player, and Captain of the Schwilly Family.

 

“The first requirement for being successful in anything is to define what success means to you. That is one of the biggest challenges musicians face today. There is no standard to follow..."

8 Ways You Should Be Using Photos on Your Band Website

**Guest Post from Bandzoogle.com.

 

"We cannot overstate the importance of photos when it comes to your website. In fact, we often tell bands that they should spend more money on professional photos than on their website. Great photos can create a positive first impression for potential new fans, as well as for industry and media. But if the images on your website look unprofessional, chances are, people won’t take you or your music seriously..."

When should an indie band take on a booking agent, as opposed to booking their own shows?

**Q&A with Eva Alexiou-Reo of FATA Booking Agency.

 

This is a great question! I feel that a band should take on a booking agent after they have booked a few tours themselves or if they have a high demand by fans to be in national markets. Since an agent's job is to find and route live engagements, then it should be during a time when there is something going on in those markets...

10 Steps to Selling Tons More Tickets, Music, and Merchandise

**Guest post written by Randy Young from the Ottawa based rock band Cherry Suede.

 

"As musicians, we tend to think we can do it all. We’re independent artists. We’ve got our music, our talent, our fans—and nothing else matters. Well, at least that’s how it works in theory. The reality is we need help, and lots of it. I don’t care how good you are—there is simply not enough time to do everything and still be a master at your craft, which is the music itself. You need tools and you need to outsource. You need to learn how to run your band like a business, and being resistant to this fact is the fastest way to kill off whatever income—and independence—you have left."

How to Write a Press Release (and Get Press)

**Guest post written by Ari Herstand. It originally appeared on Ari's Take.

 

"Of course everyone wants a 5 star album review in Rolling Stone or an 8.7 in Pitchfork, but you have to be realistic about your press pursuits. If you have never received press, there is a very slim chance that you will get an album review in a popular blog or nationally distributed magazine. Your best chance for media coverage is your hometown papers, magazines and blogs or local publications in cities you're touring to..."

9 Reasons Your Band Isn't Getting Press

**Guest post written by Ari Herstand. It originally appeared on Ari's Take and in Digital Music News.

 

"Music reviewers know their audience. The average reader doesn't care how you achieved that guitar tone on the bridge of track 3. But if your lead singer went on a spiritual quest for 9 months in the Amazon and came back with 12 songs written on an invented instrument he made out of found objects in the rainforest, now THAT'S a story! When you write your press release or pitch an article, highlight the most interesting aspects of what makes you stand out..."

5 Things Every Musician Should Know About Copyright

**Guest post originally featured in the DIY Musician Blog.

 

"Copyright law tends to get thrown under the bus in favor of more interesting topics like marketing and social media, but it’s actually one of the most important things to understand as an indie musician...You can leave the finer points of the law to lawyers, but you should have a solid understanding of the basics. Not only will this knowledge help you feel more at ease when discussing contracts, you’ll also be able to secure income streams and protect your rights. Here’s 5 points of copyright that every musician should know..."

7 Tips to Increase Your Exposure and Potential

**Guest post written by Jorge Brea, Owner & Managing Director of Symphonic Distribution.

 

"By now it’s apparent that there is a ton of music out there – over-saturation is a term you may hear often these days. For anyone getting involved with the music industry, there is always a need for more exposure and promotion. If an artist or a record label has it, they will sell better, simple as that...Here are 7 quick tips that you can apply to increase your exposure and potential..."

5 Things Bands Need to Do in Order to Have a Thriving Scene with No Pay to Play

**Guest post written by John Safari, President and Co-Founder of Orange County Music League.
 

"A lot of bands complain about the music scene for one reason or another. In my opinion, most of these bands aren’t thinking of the bigger picture, or outside of their band for that matter. I started Orange County Music League to put an end to pay to play. Bands are not a dollar sign. Here are some things that local bands are going to need to start doing in order to build a thriving scene..."

Why You Should Be Doing House Shows

**Guest post written by Wade Sutton of Rocket to the Stars.

 

"When you take into consideration how many singers and musicians complain about the current state of artist-venue relationships, you would think most performers would jump at the opportunity to explore alternative methods of putting on shows and generating income...I'm here to tell you that there IS an alternative live show model, house shows, that many artists ARE having a great deal of success with...So I reached out to somebody for answers..." 

How To Get Songs Placed On TV And In Movies

**Guest post written by Ari Herstand. It originally appeared on Ari's Take. 

 

"There is no one way to get music placed on TV (or in film). In addition to how I've gone about it, I've spoken with many of my musician friends who make livings on song placements about this." So what is their advice?...

Why indies should still care about radio

**Guest post written by Erica Sinkovic, CD Baby's Web Product Manager and general music enthusiast, as featured in the DIY Musician Blog.

 

"Whether you’re an independent artist or signed to an independent label, you’re sure to have a lot on your plate already. Between booking shows, debating merch, planning your next big marketing move, juggling social media-insanity, oh yeah, and writing new material, the last thing you want to add to your plate is a radio campaign...I’m here to tell you: don’t abandon radio."

16-Point Band Website Assessment Checklist

**Guest Post from Bandzoogle.com.

 

"When reviewing websites for musicians, we generally break down the reviews into 3 categories. For each category, there are certain key things that we look out for...So here’s our 16-point band website assessment checklist to measure how your website is doing..."

How Do I Get My Stuff Featured on Music Blogs?

**Guest post written by Joy Ike, creator of Grassrootsy.com and Independent Musician, as featured on Grassrootsy.com.

 

"...the question you’re asking is: “How do I get write-ups when nobody knows who I am?” Well I’d like to pose 4 different answers to your question..."

Why Bands Need to Stop Bitching

**Guest post written by Wade Sutton of Rocket to the Stars.

 

"Saxophonist Dave Goldberg has been getting a lot of attention lately for an open letter he wrote to operators of venues that host live music. The letter was Goldberg's way of sounding off against venues not paying artists as much money as they feel they deserve. The text, while not hostile in nature, was extremely misguided and managed to ignite another round of firestorms by similarly misguided artists. It was missing a lot of important information concerning why the music scene is the way it is right now and really offered little in the way of how to improve it other than to say venues should simply pay bands more money..."

How to Jumpstart your Career in the Music Industry

 

The music industry is a crowded one where the unmotivated fail. It's not the type of business where people hand you opportunities; you've got to have an unparalleled work ethic to get anywhere. No one knows that better than Steve Rennie, AKA Renman, of Renman Music and Business. The former manager of Incubus has found the key to success isn't all about your musical talent, but about being multi-talented and having the will to keep pushing forward.

Street Team Marketing Ideas For Bands

**Guest post written by Alan VanToai of SimpleCrew - the mobile app for street teams. This article originally appeared on the SimpleCrew Blog.

 

"Street teams are a powerful force for independent artists - they’re a win-win all around. You get to engage your fans, give them a chance to get closer to you and “in on the fun”, and you get to spread the word about your shows." Read on for ways that you can use online and offline technics to power your team...

What do I need to know about Child Development as a Children’s artist?

**Guest post written by Maryann Harman, founder of Music with Mar., Inc, as featured in the DIY Musician Blog.

 

"As with anything, you should know who you are working with. In the performance field, this is called knowing your audience...you wouldn’t sing a song that lasted more than 2 minutes to a young child. Now, I’m not saying that can’t be done. It would, however, involve a lot of props and movement. When it was over, their attention may have all been spent on that one song...Here are the basics about how children respond to music..."

Why Your Acoustic Show Doesn't Have to Suck

**Guest post written by Wade Sutton of Rocket to the Stars.

 

"So many artists forget about and fail to take advantage of what makes an acoustic show in a small venue so important to building a fan base. The audience is close to you. The setting is intimate. The audience can see you expressing emotions with your eyes and face. Yet so few actually capitalize on the opportunity." Read on to find out how you can...

How To Get Your Music On College Radio

**Guest post written by Patrick Hertz of Tinderbox Music. This article originally appeared on the Sonicbids Blog.

 

"College radio is a unique mix of non-commercial stations that range from small-watt student-run operations to huge, vastly influential public and/or community stations. This spectrum allows for most any independent artist to find terrestrial radio airplay – that is, of course, if the music is good..."

The 5 Types Of Studio Time

**Guest post written by Bobby Owsinski, producer/engineer and best selling author, as featured in his blog The Big Picture Music Production Blog.

 

A fairly large project usually has numerous rentals of both long and short term. The trickiest long term rental is always the studio, since if you don’t complete what’s needed on time, then you’ll have to move somewhere else if the studio has booked time after your booking has run out. This can be a royal pain, since it means tearing everything down and setting up again, losing some time and momentum, and your sound, in the process. Here are 5 types of studio time that musicians should be aware of...

The Worst Brand of Opening Bands

**Guest post written by Joshua Powell, singer-songwriter, DIY musician, and frontman for Joshua Powell and the Great Train Robbery, as featured in his blog Fearsome Folk.

 

"So we’re on this bill and the first act is a singer-songwriter who sang from a digital piano. Now, I have zero intentions of discrediting him or her, or of being condescending in any regard – this blog won’t serve as an outlet for snark for snark’s sake. But in my observations of this artist, I collected some notes that demonstrate well what I believe to be three ways to NOT conduct yourself as an artist who aims to be taken seriously..."

What's Your Draw?

**Guest post written by Paula Tolly, one half of the Boca Raton based Americana duo 33 Years.

 

"You know the scenario.... you’ve been trying to get into this local bar for who knows how long and your buddy just gave you the name of the new booker. You email him or text or whatever his preference is and you get the dreaded dead end comment back: "How many people can you draw at my venue....?" Your heart sinks, your confidence dwindles and you think, "Hey, is there anyone out there who really cares about the music nowadays?""...

How To Write An Effective Artist Bio That Won’t Be Ignored

**Guest post written by Phil Johnson, as featured in his blog, Big Whiz Bang!

 

"Your artist bio, whether you’re a musician, comedian, or any other type of artist, is the most important document in your promotional arsenal. It’s most people’s first introduction to you. So it really needs to succinctly communicate what you’re all about as an artist."