The Reason Most Artists Aren't Making Money in the Business...The Answer May Surprise You

**Guest post written by Nifty of MusicFullTime.com.

 

"What many struggling artists fail to realize is that “successful” musicians operate with solid business principles. Successful business models – for the most part – can be applied across different businesses and areas of life. The primary business principle I’m talking about is “putting your customer first”; in this case, your “customers” are your fans. Fall in love with your fans and stop falling in love with your own music..."

Musician: The Last Great Classless Occupation

**Guest Post by Bret Alexander of The Badlees and Saturation Acres.

 

"To be a successful musician, you don’t have to go to private school and you don’t have to go to medical school. Hell, you don’t have to go to school at all. If you can connect with an audience, you are in. It doesn’t matter if you went to Berklee College of Music like John Mayer or if you were a high school dropout like Dave Grohl. All that matters is when your boots hit the boards of that stage, people sing along. Or when the needle hits the vinyl people listen...That kind of thing just doesn’t happen in other occupations."

Grassroots Promotion - How Your Biggest Fans Can Help Promote Your Tour

 

Word of mouth is as important today as it has ever been, plus now it’s got the engine of online social media behind it. People are more connected than ever and music fans, as you know, love to spread the word about their favorite music and bands. Fans also enjoy being a part of the discovery process and the more you enable them, the more effective their promotions can be. After you win them over with your awesome music, it is key to engage your fans regularly and show them that you really appreciate their support.

Scheduling the Line-Up for a Festival with Charles Attal

 

To gain real traction as an artist in today's music industry, you need to get on the bill of some of the major music festivals like Coachella, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, SXSW, Warped Tour, Austin City Limits, and Electric Daisy Carnival. Getting on the bill takes some chops. It may take awhile as you build up your touring, but a key factor of getting on a festival is knowing when the promoters are doing their scheduling. Our Music Mentor Contest winner, Andrew Jones, called in to ask Charles Attal, Partner of C3 Presents, how he goes about scheduling the line-up for his festivals. Charles explains how C3 Presents approaches their scheduling and what kind of team is in place to handle determining the line-up!

Constant Creation - Guest Post by Bob Lefsetz

**Guest Post by Bob Lefsetz of The Lefsetz Letter.

 

"We live in a direct to consumer society. Amazon knows it. Google knows it. Apple knows it. But somehow musicians don't know it. They want someone else to do the work for them. They don't want to take risks, they don't want to fail, they don't want to try new ways. The new way is you bond to your fan. If he or she doesn't think you're living in their house, you're doing it wrong."

Step #2 to Building a Marketing Plan: Get Your Music Right with Jack Hedges

 

So you've outlined your marketing plan like in step #1, and you know what areas of promotion you want to focus on. That work begins in this step with the music. If you don't get that right out of the gate, you are toast. No marketing plan can save a record, if no one wants to hear the music. Jack Hedges, Director of Marketing at Canvasback Music, goes over step-by-step what you need to do in this phase. Of course, you have the elements of physically making the record, but then there are other considerations to be made. Do you want to make mechanical reproductions like vinyl or CDs? Is it going to be a digital/streaming release? Is it smarter to go with an EP or a full album? Jack walks you through all these things and more in step #2 to Building your Marketing Plan for your Album Release!

Small Batch Vinyl Pressing

 

Although vinyl represents only about 2% of total U.S. album sales, the growth in vinyl over the last few years has been dramatic. According to Nielsen SoundScan reports, vinyl LP sales rose 17.7% in 2012 compared to 2011, representing a continuing upward trend in the sales of vinyl albums since 2007. The most popular vinyl LPs are split between newer acts and classic albums, like the Beatles’ “Abbey Road.” Some of the vinyl chart toppers in 2012 came from acts including Jack White, Black Keys, Adele, Mumford & Sons, the Shins, Beach House, Alabama Shakes, and Bon Iver. So where can you get your own album pressed to vinyl?

Building Imagine Dragons’ Touring Chops with Mac Reynolds

 

Imagine Dragons blew up to become a huge band last year and that took plenty of time and seasoning. Their manager, Mac Reynolds, knew from the get go that the bread and butter for many artists is touring both monetarily and in terms of exposure. Building those touring chops though is a tough cookie for plenty of bands. First, you got to hone your skills, then hone your hometown, and work around from there. Mac talks about what Imagine Dragons did to hone their live performances along with how this paved the way for how they played shows live when they were huge and had all the eyeballs on them. Mac is a firm believer that you don't have to be in either LA or New York to be successful, and he illustrates how a band can use their hometown (Vegas being very unique in this instance) to an advantage. If you are just starting out playing live, watch this video for great strategy on how to round out your own live set!

The Rock And Roll Field Guide (A Study In Species)

**Guest Post by Bret Alexander of The Badlees and Saturation Acres.

 

"When navigating the long and winding road to rock and roll success, you will encounter many, varied species. Some friendly, some not...So, in this week’s entry, I decided to write about a few of the most common species I have encountered out there. [Afterall], like bird watching, a lifetime of rocking takes patience and stealth. And the more information you have going in, the more pleasant your journey will be."

Building a Touring Strategy with Tom Windish

 

Tom Windish heads up The Windish Agency as President, representing one of the most diverse and eclectic rosters in the music business. Operating on gut and killer instinct, Tom moves fast and snatches up his talent early. That can be both wonderful and intimidating all at the same time because The Windish Agency gets the chance to develop their touring plan and add value to the band before they take that leap to the next level. But, what is their strategy to develop and build that band on the live side? Sometimes, their acts haven't even played a live show yet! So, how do they get the band the necessary reps to build up and deliver a mind-blowing concert? Find out right here with Mr. Windish!

Get your Music on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, & More

 

Hear a new song you like? It can be yours in moments. It just takes a few clicks of the computer mouse or swipes on a smart device to find the song online, purchase and download it, and hit play. Is your music available for the instant gratification of your fans? If not, you could be missing out on potential sales and NEW fans. While iTunes dominates digital music sales, you can usually land your songs on Amazon, Google Play, and others at the same time. After all, the more places that people can find you, the better the chances are of them downloading your music.

You’re Talented. How Come You’re Still Broke?

**Guest post written by Nifty of Music Full Time.com. 

 

By the end of this post, you might be annoyed with me. And that’s good. It means that you’ll be making money very soon.

The Musician Business

**Guest Post by Bret Alexander of The Badlees and Saturation Acres.

 

"When I started producing records, almost every band I worked with talked incessantly about getting a record deal and “making it”. Now I almost never hear that discussion. And that, for me, is a welcome development."

The Artist Development Process with Drew Simmons

 

Renman asks Drew Simmons, manager of Young the Giant, what his thoughts are regarding the artist development process. On a prior episode of Renman Live!, Steve welcomed Bruce Flohr onto the show from Red Light Management, and Bruce proposed the notion that it takes 10 years for an artist to truly develop and grow into their own skin. That’s on many levels: as a touring act, a recording act, and in terms of finding their True North to properly tell their own story to the world. Drew had the opportunity to work for Bruce at Red Light Management and offers his own thoughts on the artist development process!

Dave Grohl's SXSW Keynote Speech: The Complete Text

**Courtesy of rollingstone.com. 

 

Dave Grohl delivered the keynote speech at SXSW this year and hit on some very important topics for the independent music community and the DIY ethic. "The musician comes first." says Grohl. Read the complete speech text here...

Instant Karma - Guest post by Bob Lefsetz

**Guest post from Bob Lefsetz of "The Lefsetz Letter."

 

Bob Lefsetz is the author of "The Lefsetz Letter." Famous for being beholden to no one and speaking the truth, Lefsetz addresses the issues that are at the core of the music business: downloading, copy protection, pricing and the music itself. His intense brilliance captivates readers from Steven Tyler to Rick Nielsen to Bryan Adams to Quincy Jones to EVERYBODY who’s in the music business. Never boring, always entertaining, Bob’s insights are fueled by his stint as an entertainment business attorney, majordomo of Sanctuary Music’s American division and consultancies to major labels.

5 Rules of the Stage for Live Performance Musicians

**Guest post from Jordan Gaw of Final Drive, a Metal band from St. Louis, MO.

 

As an independent band, we all play countless shows in small venues and DIY spots with local promoters and club owners. Communication, respect and networking are essential for getting the most out of every gig. Gaining new fans, establishing relationships and executing an amazing show, that not only sounds, but runs smoothly, is your mission (should you choose to accept it).

Making the Most of a Music Festival

 

A community of music lovers, all escaping to a picturesque spot to immerse themselves in a concert that lasts for days...there is just something magical about a music festival. Whatever your genre, from jazz to rock to alternative to bluegrass, there is a festival out there for you. If you're booked for an upcoming festival, follow these tips to make the most of what can be an amazing experience.

How to Get on a Booking Agent’s Radar with CAA Agent, Kyle Wilensky

 

Everyone wants to know how to get in front of the eyes and ears of A&R, managers, agents, etc. Each of those individuals are foundational members of the team around the band, but getting any or all to join your team is always the big challenge for any artist. But, before you convince them to join your team, you got to get them in the room with you first! This is exactly what one of our RMB callers asked about: how to best draw the attention of booking agents at festivals like SXSW, or even just locally in the artist’s hometown. There is no one answer to that question, but Kyle offers his advice on how to best get in front of a booking agent!

Troy Carter, Manager of Lady GaGa, Talks How Support Slots Can Engage a Headliner’s Fans

 

Troy Carter blew Lady GaGa up into the biggest pop sensation in recent memory, but people tend to forget that she didn’t start out that way. Stardom was not automatic. She had to grind away just like everyone else, and she played more than her fair share of small gigs as a support slot for bigger acts. Through developing her career, Troy certainly has picked up pearls of wisdom that can help bridge a support slot on a tour into being a headliner eventually. Often to do that, the support slot needs to connect with the fans of the bands they open for. A RenmanMB member asked Troy what his thoughts were on how to best establish that connection in order to create new fans, and Troy obliges with his thoughts here!

How To Get Your Music Played On Pandora

 

The internet has effectively leveled the playing field in the world of music. Music lovers no longer have to rely on radio djs at a handful of stations for exposure to new music; there is a seemingly limitless stream of great music available online all the time. The internet radio powerhouse Pandora, for example, played 1.39 billion hours of music for its listeners in December alone. And as most of you know, the great thing about Pandora is that it recognizes the user's taste in music and suggests new songs and artists they are likely to love, making it an ideal platform for exposing new listeners to your work.

Artist Tools: Jamplify – Amplify and Empower your Fanbase!

 

A big issue for anyone starting out in the music world is building your audience. Driving traffic to your website, YouTube page, or social media like Facebook and Twitter is of paramount importance. But, how exactly can you do that? Wonder no more, as Jamplify is here to rescue you! Moses Soyoola, co-founder of Jamplify, skypes in to chat with Ren about the benefits of using Jamplify and how this can help broaden your fanbase by putting all your followers to work to promote your website, social media, or content. Essentially, you create a digital street team through this fantastic service!

On Demand Printing Outlets

 

Sure, we all know that releasing a CD allows you to take your music from the stage to the hands, homes, and ears of your fans. And having a cd with your best work on hand is also crucial when meeting and networking with a talent buyer, producer, or agent. But what if you don't have the budget to print a large run of your album, or even a place to store the inventory? Well you've got options...check out these on demand printing outlets so you can print just the number of cds you need, when you need them.

Free eBook: Quick Fix! 12 Ways To Instantly Improve Your Band Website

**Guest post from bandzoogle.com.

 

During the last few years, musician website and marketing platform Bandzoogle have reviewed thousands of musician websites, and often, the same issues come up over and over again. So they've released a free eBook called "Quick Fix! 12 Ways to Instantly Improve Your Band Website".

30 Day Twitter Guide for Musicians

**Guest post written by Chris "Seth" Jackson, a bass guitarist and composer, and founder of HowToRunABand.com.

 

Twitter for Musicians is a 30 day guide to kick ass and take names using Twitter for your band.