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How to Choose the Best Songs for Your Album

If you’re heading into the studio to record an album, you should go in with plenty of songs to spare. Sometimes, things don’t work as well in recorded format, sometimes your tastes/ideas change. At any rate, going in with more ideas allows you to choose the very best songs for your album. Besides, it’s always better to have too many songs to choose from than not enough. But how do you decide which songs should stay and which should go?

This is what I recommend that you do: Treat it like a songwriting contest.

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Basic Marketing Principles For Artists - Part 3 of 3: Increase the Amount of Money That You Charge

Welcome to the final segment of a 3 part series that was inspired by a mastermind program I participated in with Ali Brown who is my mentor in the world of online marketing.

Here’s the recap of what we’ve gone over thus far…

There are three ways to increase your income:

Part 1. Increase your number of clients (fans).

Part 2. Increase the frequency of purchase, how often your fans buy from you. (and you’d better have more than just music to sell).

Part 3. Increase the amount of money that you charge…

Increasing the amount of money you charge poses a problem if all you have to sell is music because music is now widely available for free, and people have proven that they are not willing to pay a premium for music.

However, fans will pay plenty of money for experiences, like a great concert or a chance to be a contribution to an artist, a special memento, or wonderful merchandise that really resonates with your fans.

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How to Begin a Career in the Music Industry: Advice to the graduating class of 2012

So the big day is fast approaching. You are leaving the ivory tower of college in a few weeks and are about to enter the work force. Most likely the only thought on your mind is how to get a job.

The ideal is to have a job locked up and waiting for you before you graduate, so you can enjoy your last month at college. This is what all your friends in other majors are doing. The computer scientists are getting flown across the country and eating lobster. The engineers are meeting with on campus recruiters. The management and business students have already found a good position at the bank where they interned.

The music industry does not work this way. Very few companies hire in advance. Music companies are not structured to wait several months for an entry-level candidate to graduate college.  They hire when they need a body, not because there is an influx of new talent every spring, like some other industries. While this is frustrating, it actually creates a new opportunity.

Your goal as you enter the music industry should not be to find a job, but rather to develop a career. Getting your first job will be a byproduct of this process, but jobs are temporary and a career lasts a lifetime.

Think of your career development in four levels

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Why Mobile Apps Matter For Music

Mobile phones can be considered either an asset or a hindrance depending on whom you ask. At one point, mobile phones were only available in brick sizes reminiscent of the scenes in A Night At The Roxbury. Fast forward to the present day when mobile phones dominate nearly every facet of human behavior. They have disrupted how we communicate with one another, how we function in a work environment, and how we choose to spend our free time. You can’t walk by a crowd of people without seeing someone typing on their Blackberry or iPhone. With the amount of impact the mobile phone has had on daily life, it is only recently that this disruption has infiltrated music.

There are over 5.6 billion people in the world with cellphones. Statistically, if there are 7.1 billion people on this planet, that means three fourths of the entire human population have a mobile phone. With these kinds of figures and usage, there is a huge audience of people who have yet to be tapped for disruption and engagement. Through the use of mobile applications and successful leverage of mobile technologies, musicians would be able to reach an entirely new audience of people in a very personal way: mobile applications.

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Apr282012 Weekly Recap: Basic Marketing Principles For Artists & More


Q&A: Getting Music Placed in Video Games

This post was written by James Aviaz and originally appeared on the Songtrust blog.

After getting our first listen to the upcoming Halo 4 soundtrack – as written by former Massive Attack producer Neil Davidge – it seemed the perfect time to give some insight into video game music and placements.

We spoke with Josh Kessler, VP of Business Development for Downtown Music’s licensing agency dms.FM. Josh has been involved with the placement of huge artists into games like FIFA StreetSaints RowMLB 2K, and Guitar Hero.

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Pictures Speak Louder Than Words - A Musician’s Guide To Pinterest

Remember the good old days when you would gather your favorite pictures, articles and photos and stick them in a scrapbook? Or pin postcards and notes on your kitchen pin board? Well, the art of the keepsake has just gone digital. Pinterest is a digital scrapbook of your life. A way to tell the world who and what you are with visual snapshots. A way to follow and connect with a community of like-minded people without talking. Digital stalking has just gone artsy, and apparently 10.4 million users have jumped on the bandwagon. 140 characters is just too much. Pictures speak louder than words.

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When ‘If Anyone Else Likes It, It’s A Bonus’ Isn’t Enough

What would be the worst-case scenario for you as a musician? You might think it’d be having precisely zero fans, or having people actively hate your music. But unless the hatred reaches Rebecca Black levels, at least it’s feedback you can use to improve what you do. In truth, the most damaging situation is having a small, gradually growing fanbase, getting decent feedback, but not seeing how it’ll ever take off enough to generate a decent income any time soon. Is this you? And what can you do about it?

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Basic Marketing Principles For Artists - Part 1 of 3: Increasing Your Fan Base

As many of you know Cyber PR® is a hybrid of Internet Marketing, Social Media and PR. I am an avid Internet Marketing student and I gather the nuggets I learn from my studies for musicians.

For many years, I’ve attended internet marketing retreats and seminars; a favorite of mine was a two-day intensive course run by the incredible marketer, Ali Brown.

The course was a whirlwind, and the core principles I learned were both basic and critically important.

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MusicThinkTank Weekly Recap: Is Your Music in an Art Gallery or at Ikea? & More


How to Use Internet Trends to Market Your Band

If you use the internet frequently, chances are that you’ve been noticing a few things on the rise: meme images or animated .gif’s, certain types of videos, infographics, etc.

Why not use these viral trends and put your own spin on it to create fun, engaging, easy-to-share content with your fans?

  • Memes: Meme images have exploded online, especially in geek culture. These images have spread to billions, each with their own take of the images, from “Y U NO” guy to the ever so lovable Nyan cat. You can create your own memes for free using generator sites like and You can make it more personal fans by talking about specific points in your band’s history, favorite songs or themes, and also inviting them to create some of their own. Most meme websites also provide multiple examples of each image in case you don’t understand the logic behind that type of meme. Read a few, then create your own. Here are some that I made for my band, The Slants, that generated some great buzz from our fans:

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Turn Your CD into a Kick-Ass Marketing Tool

Many new bands today do not pay that much attention to how their album looks. They’re content with just having a nicely burned disc and a decent artwork- the cheaper, the better. Well, we cannot blame them. There are millions of bands sprouting everyday and everyone is doing all the hustle on the internet- viral videos, music downloads, compelling websites, you name it. Their competitors are using these tech for free! Why should they spend hundreds of dollars more for their CD artwork? Isn’t it enough that they have a CD?
What most bands do not know is that the CD packaging can be a good marketing tool. If you believe in the marketing power of the CD and you want to exhaust its marketing potential, here are the things you should include in your packaging to enhance its marketing power:

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The Four P’s of Playing Live Shows: Performance

Dave Cool is the Director of Artist Relations for musician website and marketing platform Bandzoogle. Twitter: @Bandzoogle | @dave_cool

The “Four P’s” is a term used to describe the traditional Marketing Mix: Product, Price, Placement, and Promotion. I’m borrowing from that expression to talk about the Four P’s of Playing Live Shows: Preparation, Promotion, Performance, and Post-Show. This series of blog posts will cover the things that you can be doing as a live performer to maximize each show. In Part 3, it’s all about your performance:

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How to Write Engaging Newsletters - Ariel Hyatt's Greeting, Guts and Getting!

Are you still not sending out newsletters to your fans? Studies prove you should be… Boston based research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey has completed a study that all musicians should know about. Here are the important highlights:

Three-quarters of web users are likely to share content with friends and family, and nearly half do so at least once a week. But while much social networking content is built around such shared items, most people still prefer to use email to pass along items of interest.

The study goes on to say:

Overall, 86% of survey respondents said they used email to share content, while just 49% said they used Facebook. Broken down by age, the preference for email is more pronounced, as users get older. And only the youngest group polled, those ages 18 to 24, reverses the trend, with 76% sharing via Facebook, compared with 70% via email.

So, if your audience is older than 24 you better be thinking about your newsletter strategy now! In conclusion the study says:

“Rather than focusing on sharing content they thought the recipients would find helpful or relevant (58%), most respondents cared more about what they thought was interesting or amusing (72%).

Here’s the entire study if you want to read it (with lots of pretty graphs too):

So, ask yourself: Are you including content in your newsletters that is interesting and amusing?


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