You sold the talent buyer, booked the gig, and are fine tuning the perfect set to blow the minds of a packed house full of soon to be die-hard fans. The last thing you want is to play your hearts out to a half empty room. Sure, the venue marketers will promote the show and do their best to fill the space, but don't just sit back and hope the space is filled with warm bodies...get out there and make it happen!
**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.
Social media sites are great places to spread the word about your music, interact with your fans, and promote your tours and recordings. But what do you do when you're ready to move beyond your friends, family, friends of friends, and real life acquaintances? Facebook Advertising can be an effective and inexpensive way to help you expand your social network, but it needs to be done the right way to truly be effective.
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!
**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."
**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..."
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.
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!
**Guest Post from Bandzoogle.com.
"Having an email newsletter might sound a little old school, but the reality is that it’s still proving to be the best way to keep in touch with your fans over the long term. So when it comes to fan engagement, having a newsletter should be high on your priority list of tools to use."
**Guest post written by Ari Herstand, a DIY singer-songwriter from Los Angeles, CA with 500+ shows under his belt, as featured in his blog "Ari's Take".
"The most popular "myth" to debunk these days by talking heads in the biz is that it's not about who you know. Everyone will say "just be great - you don't need connections!" Bull...Most of the opportunities that musicians get aren't because they are undeniably great. It is because they are nice guys and gals who people like to be around."
**Guest Post by Julian Weisser.
"Sure, you could probably play at least one show a week in your hometown, but that’s no good for you because at best you’ll be playing to the same people, and at worst you’ll be playing to no one at all. For the fans it’s just as bad because they’ll hear the same music over and over and it will change from an exciting night that they’ve waited a month for into exactly what they just saw a week ago."
It's easy to understand that there wouldn't be a music industry without music, but sometimes we forget that the creation process is only the beginning. Once created, a major part of the battle is having the right people, plan, timeline, and creative ideas to get your music to an audience. In this clip Pat Magnarella, manager of Green Day, talks about marketing an album a year and a half before release and some of the pieces he used in the campaign.
**Guest post written by Chris Lee of The Shakers, a melodic high energy Rock act from Los Angeles, CA.
"I would like to go on record and state that, with every fiber of my being, I vehemently HATE social networking. I hate it. I hated Myspace. I hate Facebook. I hate Google+. I hate Tumblr. I hate Twitter. I hate Pintrest. I hate Instagram. And god help your mortal soul if you so much as THINK about sending me something on frikkin LinkedIn. Unfortunately for myself, and hard working musicians everywhere, the fantasy of being discovered over night came and went with my TMNT feetie pajamas as did almost the entirety of what I once (thought I) knew of the music industry."
**Guest post written by Brian Penick, author of Musicians' Desk Reference and Touring Musician, as featured on Billboard.com.
1. Reality Check! (Setting Milestones + Goals) 2. Proper Merch Mentality 3. Take Care Of Yourself First - Initial Self-Servicing...
There isn't a bigger problem in today's business than getting your music heard. There are hundreds of thousands of releases and different places to host music like YouTube, iTunes, Spotify, traditional radio, and Pandora to name a few, so how are you going to get people to discover your music? Getting a publicist is a great start. But like most things, you can't just hire a person and expect it to be successful. You need to present your music and band with a story. Something with a catch and creative angle to promote. In this clip, publicist Lesley Zimmerman talks about what you need to do to get yourself above the other artists you compete with and how to do it.
**Guest post written by Dae Bogan, Music Industry Insider For The Indie Artist, of Dae Bogan Music.
"There’s something I want to share with you. You may not know this–or you might have forgotten–but your friends are not your fans. Shocking? Let me explain..."
**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 truth of the matter is that if you want to take a proactive approach to getting attention for your music, you have to think about that kind of stuff [your story]. Whether you are looking for some press or simply to connect on a deeper level with your fans, your story matters. That’s right. Not only do you have to write and record the songs, but you also have to tell an engaging story..."
**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...
**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..."
**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..."
**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."
**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!"
**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..."
**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.
"Your bobber just exploded and somebody took the bait. Now it’s time to let out on the line. One of those thirty-four venues replied to your excellently crafted pitch email and now you’re in negotiations to set the stage for your impending show. But the thread of your line is steadily unspooling, and sure, your cast was masterful, but there are other things to which we must attend. We’ll do that here—in the follow-up..."
**Guest post written by Matt Jones, a full-time singer-songwriter and solo artist, as featured on Pyragraph.
"I’m not sure what your goals are as a musician/artist/songwriter. Many of the people who have relocated to Nashville do so from a desire to be around the best creative people, and to have a much better chance for their music to be noticed on a larger scale. I think most of us have a similar desire..."