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The Indie Maximum Exposure 100


Sunday
Oct252009

20: Don’t Just Give it Away.... Get Their Email Addresses

Trade your content for an email address. Many fans aren’t willing to pay for your music. That’s okay. But get SOMETHING for it. An email is next best. Artists who exchange email address and permission to market for a song download grow their mailing list 600% faster than those who do not. ReverbNation has offered this feature (as simple as checking a box on a song you upload) for almost 2 years and it works.

- Jed Carlson

http://www.reverbnation.com

Sunday
Oct252009

21: Consistently Give Out New Material

Since I started posting either new videos or new songs every month, the open-rate on my emails has gone up drastically. And I’m getting emails from the friends of friends who have forwarded them on. I’ve been asked to do two high-profile benefits in the last month, one from someone who had never even heard of me before.

- Dudley Saunders

http://www.dudleysaunders.com

Sunday
Oct252009

22: Create Strategic Commercial Endorsement or Alignments

I’m not talking about eating a Whopper on stage and singing the Burger King jingle at every show. But… almost. I am talking about finding companies that you have passion for and a connection to and finding ways to help each other. Almost every company can benefit from the coolness factor that comes from Music and almost all music can benefit from the money that corporate America spends. But more than that if you find alliances with integrity you can in good conscience introduce your fans to theirs and vice versa. Merging communities. Our example of this is Templeton Rye Whiskey http://www.templetonrye.com . We wrote a song called Templeton Rye about a prohibition era bootleg whiskey. A few years later someone launched the brand. We worked together to find ways to help each other. They use our song, we drink their whiskey, they talk about us in the press, and we talk about them in the press. We play events for them, and they pay us money. They have a huge fan base. This is a brand that and we are intricately woven into and we are proud to represent. I think you can benefit from this type of relationship in many different kinds of companies or entities. It doesn’t have to be a big corporation. If you have like tattoos, and you have an artist you like, talk to them about working together. Go to tattoo shows with them, give them music, invite them to your shows, etc. Pretty soon, their fans are your fans and visa versa.

 

- Jason Walsmith / The Nadas

http://thenadas.com/blog/

Sunday
Oct252009

23: Interview Your Fans – Find Out What They Want

When I began asking them specific questions about who they were and what they responded to in my music, I noticed that lightly-engaged fans began to turn into evangelical fans. Plus, I began to see what actually made them care about my work - which was not at all what I was putting in my press releases.

- Dudley Saunders

http://www.dudleysaunders.com

Sunday
Oct252009

24: Stay In Touch With The Local Media In Your Home Town

Sandra Okamoto, a writer at local paper for 3 decades who has been following her career at Columbus Ledger Enquirer (Georgia), will write large feature article on album release and get prominent placement on cover of Sunday Lifestyle insert.

- Jennie Walker

http://www.jenniewalker.com

Sunday
Oct252009

25: Create Relationships With All Types of Media Makers

Learn the difference between persistence and insistence. Insistence is trying to jam a square peg in a round hole (like badgering a music supervisor for Mad Men to put your hip-hop track on the show - it doesn’t fit, so stop it). Polite, informed, persistence lets the gatekeepers know you think you are worth placement in their shows, but have a respect for their busy and pressure-laden jobs. If you are submitting to a show, make sure you’ve seen it! Make sure you heard the radio program to see if your music fits.

- Derek Nicoletto

http://www.tellingontrixie.com/music

Sunday
Oct252009

26: Do EVERY Piece of Press Available

Screw Rolling Stone/Blender/Wired. Unless you’re a Top 40 household name, you haven’t earned their covers and you’re not gonna get ‘em. Be humble while reaching for the stars…there is no piece of press too small. More importantly, press leads to more press, so say yes to everything that serves your career goals. Also, ASK FOR MORE. If you have a song picked up on a podcast, ask them if they’d like to interview you. If they interview you, ask if they’d like you to perform live on their show. Ask for more; push it to the next level of exposure. It’s SuperSizing. Nine times out of ten, when their format allows for the deeper coverage I’ve asked for, they’ve given it.

- Phil Putnam

http://www.philputnam.com/

Sunday
Oct252009

27: Join Causes and Charitable Organizations

Pick one, one you have a connection to. One you are passionate about. Get involved. Don’t just play shows, attend events, and become associated with that cause. If you’re lucky, you may become associated with and become the face of that organization. Then all of their promotional power helps promote you. This may sound greedy, but remember, you are helping the organization you believe in. Everybody wins.

- Jason Walsmith / The Nadas

http://thenadas.com/blog/

Sunday
Oct252009

28: Get Involved With Your Home Town

If you promote your city your city will promote you. Probably won’t work in NYC, but maybe. Have you asked the mayor what you can do to help?

- Jason Walsmith / The Nadas

http://thenadas.com/blog

Sunday
Oct252009

29: Contact School Alumni Organizations

This only works if you started you career in a college town. For us it was a few Iowa College towns. These organizations are always trying to get their alumni together to relive the glory years. May as well be at one of your shows. If nothing else they usually have websites and newsletters and are willing to promote your shows.

-Jason Walsmith / The Nadas

http://thenadas.com/blog/

Sunday
Oct252009

30: Create Amazing Music – Recorded and Live

Creating amazing songs/music and putting on a killer live show. That is the number one thing an artist needs to do. :)

- Emily White 


Sunday
Oct252009

31: Record and Release (LOTS OF) Music

No excuse exists with today’s technology to wait for a label, manager, sugar daddy, etc. Write Write Write! Record Record Record! Release Release Release! Plan to release 20-30 songs PER YEAR for the first 3-5 years without any lulls. If you can- not write enough material, find co-writers (Plenty of musicians will not do #1 or #2, but still have great creativity to share with the world). Buy the basic recording gear and learn how to use it (take classes or just experiment!!). Use CD Baby, Tunecore, etc. to release your songs digitally. DO NOT even consider physical retail to start. If you manufacture your CDs, keep them simple. Stick with inexpensive packaging (great artwork is a plus). Use the money you save to buy some more gear or do some marketing. Way too many artists tell me that they spent all their money just getting an album recorded and manufactured. Spend no more than 30-40% of your available cash making / manufacturing music. If you cannot afford to manufacture, then wait. It is far more important that you record, release and play shows

- Rob Gordon

Sunday
Oct252009

32: Experiment In Public

Speaking of being on my toes, I try to push my comfort level in plain sight. Sometimes I’ll produce a song in a style I’ve never really attempted before and release it to my subscribers at http://matthewebel.net sometimes it flies, sometimes it doesn’t. My first attempt at Trance, a song called “Night Train”, has become one of the most requested songs I play at live shows now. It’s the first one people have openly talked about pirating. For something I originally downplayed as “just an experiment”, it’s now one of my biggest hits. I experiment onstage as well, trying new arrangements or even lyrics. My fans love knowing that they’re part of something spontaneous, that they’ve got a hand in shaping the very future of my music. Happy fans are vocal fans.

- Matthew Ebel

Sunday
Oct252009

33: Don’t Be Afraid of Cover Songs And Legally Record Them

Tap into the popularity of better-known artists. Are you known for an awesome rendi- tion of a popular song in your live shows? Great. Record a video of you doing it and post it on YouTube. Better yet, buy a license to record your own version and sell it on iTunes. Then use the video to send people to iTunes to buy the download.

- Bob Baker

Singer/songwriter Steve Acho realized that fans who love a particular song will often collect other versions of the favorites. After getting the proper publishing licenses, he would record new arrangements of songs popular by various artists, and release them on iTunes via TuneCore. When a song-collecting fan enjoyed one of his tunes, they would often also buy his originals.

-Carla Lynne Hall
Sunday
Oct252009

34: Record Purposeful Specific Music: Appeal to Niches

Record an album to be used by a particular type of person for a very specific purpose. Like Steven Halpern’s “Music for Healing” or Richard Lawrence’s “Music for Concentration” of Bradley Joseph’s “Music Cats Love While You Are Gone.”

- Bob Baker

Sunday
Oct252009

35: Create Solidly Crafted, Well-Produced, Mastered Broadcast-Quality Songs

Well-produced music will attract more listeners and media makers. People want to be associated with quality. So even if you are ridiculously talented, if you didn’t spend the time or money have your album properly produced, mixed and mastered it will be stopped at the door. You have to be willing to go into debt or come up with a creative way to raise funds to have your music fine-tuned in post production. It’s a step that should not be overlooked. 

  - Derek Nicoletto


 

Sunday
Oct252009

36: Make Instrumental Mixes

Make mixes of your album without the lead and background vocals and throw your in- strumental tracks into the licensing ring. It doubles your available catalog and opens up opps for shows that do not use vocal music. If your w/vocal mixes are already copy written (if they’re not, seriously, I will beat you senseless when I see you on the street), you don’t need to register these instrumental mixes separately because the music on them has already been registered. An instrumental placement won’t get your voice out there in TV land, but it could pay for your next EP.

- Phil Putnam

http://www.philputnam.com/

Sunday
Oct252009

37: Think About Fan Financed Recordings / Projects

As the fan base grows, so does their desire to see an artist succeed. Last year, Shane wanted to record and went out to the fans for support. See www.teamtrance.com. This effort raised just over $34,000 in just 60 days.

- Michele Samuel


Telling on Trixie also leveraged Social Media and their fan base to raise $50,000 and record an entire album that was 100% fan funded www.tellingontrixie.com/news

- Ariel Hyatt

Saturday
Oct242009

38: Learn How to Rehearse

You know the rules to get a song on radio intro/ verse/ chorus/ verse/ chorus/ bridge/ chorus, 3 1/2 minutes long, etc. But live those rules change…it’s a different medium. You need to find the moments in the songs and develop them during a rehearsal. Rehearsals are a great place to take chances and be spontaneous.

- Tom Jackson

www.onstagesuccess.com

Saturday
Oct242009

39: Play Shows Locally & Frequently First

 I differentiate this from TOUR (which is what is the ultimate plan). The idea is build a HEADLINING (with smart opening slots also) following in each city which will show that you can sell tickets, give you the opportunity to become excellent at ENTERTAINING your audience, pay for the expansion into neighboring regions and to have some proof of your value for fickle promoters/ club owners and ultimately a booking agent (you should NOT plan on having success finding an agent until you can sell 250+ tickets locally). Play shows locally (all the towns within a 3 hour drive) frequently (but no more than 10-15 shows/year until you are selling approx 250-400 headlining tickets, then phase down to 3-4 times per year as you sell 400-1000 headlining tickets). Once you are selling 250 +/- tickets (more if you are a larger band with higher touring costs) expand regionally, then multiple regions until you can cover the whole country and ultimately other countries. Getting to a modest National stature (500-1000 tickets across the country) should take 4-7 YEARS of VERY hard work! Oh, and be professional: Advance the show, promote your own shows (digitally and physically) wherever possible, show up on time, and be NICE to everyone (no attitude when problems occur, and they WILL), respect the venue, make friends with all other bands on the bill, etc. Booking yourself WILL be frustrating. Be pleasantly persistent. Ask to play appropriate sized rooms and nights.

- Rob Gordon

www.whatarerecords.com