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“Music is spiritual. The music business is not. - Van Morrison
It’s almost that time again - that time of year when every band and singer worth their salt makes that annual pilgrimage to Mecca (Austin) for the week-long SXSW festival. A week of no sleep, watered-down drinks, bad food, unrewarding performances and the heartbreak of the ultimate realization that it wasn’t really worth it. Never have so many spent so much time and money for so little notoriety and reward.
But wait! I bring news and hope for all who just can’t take it anymore. Even though you know that you’re really not missing out on anything, you were at least hoping to network and snare some sort of deal. After all, this could be the year! This could be our big break! This could be our time! Or not.
Although the stripped down sound retains a certain laid back charm, even the most old school sounding musicians appreciate the access to high-quality music tools made possible through the ownership of PCs, laptops, tablets, and phones. A 2013 survey from “Artist Revenue Streams” indicates that nearly half of today’s musicians feel comfortable with the idea of producing or recording music through internet sites and mobile apps, while an even greater share of artists are willing to promote their work and connect with fans in such a technologically savvy manner. The secret, of course, is finding an application that will streamline the process without negatively impacting the quality of your work.
Google Adwords might not be the first method you think of using to promote your band. But, if you’re looking to book weddings or other private gigs, Google Adwords can be an effective method of driving visitors to your website and reaching potential clients.
First thing’s first: anyone can use Google Adwords. You don’t need to be a huge corporation and you don’t need to hire expensive consultants to start running ads.
All too often, we get wrapped up in new tactics, new ideas, new plans and new ways of getting bigger and better as musicians. With social media and the internet, there’s so much information that it’s almost become immeasurable.
This is great and all, but maybe we sometimes lose sight of what we shouldn’t be doing.
There’s lots of stupid shit you shouldn’t be doing.
Here’s a quick guide to what you shouldn’t be doing.
THE PERSONAL ELEMENT
- Don’t ever stop practicing your instrument.
- Don’t be an asshole.
- Don’t WANT WANT WANT WANT. Learn to give back first.
- Don’t get defensive. Learn to take constructive criticism.
- Don’t forget to learn how to take destructive criticism, too. You’ll get a lot more of it than you think.
- Don’t forget that everyone’s an asshole.
- Don’t stop learning.
One of the best ways to grow is to look at what’s worked for other indie musicians and adapt it to your own career. I’ve compiled 10 great strategies with 10 real examples to get you going. A lot of musicians I’ve talked to think they can’t start making strategies to move their career forward until they’re making money, until they take some business classes, or until they get a manager. The coolest thing about these strategies is that you can start using them TODAY.
1. Make a Plan from the Start
Making a great plan is one of the best ways to get to that music success you deserve. Not only do concrete goals give you something to aim for, they also help you decide what your first step should be.
The internet is full of basic advice on how to market your music with Youtube. That said, if you want to really step your game up and start reaching more of your target audience, there are only a few advanced guides that will let you know how to do that. This is one of them! So have a look for 3 ‘not often talked about’ tips that will have you using Youtube much more effectively!
MusicThinkTank.com Weekly Recap: How to Find Your Audience: A Step-by-step Guide for Musicians (Plus a FREE Template)
- Lukas Camenzind | How to Find Your Audience: A Step-by-step Guide for Musicians (Plus a FREE Template)
- Dylan Lott | 11 Things You Need To Bring On Tour
- Fiona Zwieb | 7 Ways a VA Can Create Your Best YouTube Trailer
Ah, Youtube. Where more than 1 billion unique users visit each month and over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube—that’s almost an hour for every person on Earth.
Chances are you have an account but since they upgraded all channels to Youtube One back in June of 2013, I bet you $10 you haven’t gotten around to uploading a killer promo trailer to drive in subscriptions to your channel. Did I just get a free lunch?
So, why is it important to have a YouTube trailer?
If you want find and grow your audience, be recognized for what you create, and make money as an artist, you need to think about WHO your music is for. Unfortunately, this is something most independent musicians don’t do. They make music for “anyone who wants to hear it”, which quickly turns into making music that no one ever hears (or cares to listen to…). Don’t make this mistake. Just follow these steps to answer the basic question…
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(Updated Feb 25, 2014)