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Tuesday
May282013

4 ‘Normal’ Challenges to Building a Strong Online Brand


The key to establishing yourself online and within your niche, is building a strong brand. Unfortunately this is far easier said than done. The process of designing, building and nurturing a new brand means you have established:

  • A unique voice
  • Consistent compelling content
  • A trustworthy reputation



The problem for most comes down to the simple fact that there is no single path to achieving any one of these things. And yet, you need to achieve them all in order for your brand to blossom.

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Saturday
May252013

MusicThinkTank.com Weekly Recap: The 3 Most Profitable DIY Revenue Streams, And Why Many Artists Succeed at Only One of Them

Tuesday
May212013

The 3 Most Profitable DIY Revenue Streams, And Why Many Artists Succeed at Only One of Them

This is an essay by Jay Frank (DigSin) from Divergent Streams, a collection of essays edited by Kyle Bylin (@sidewinderfm) and written by influential executives, startup founders, and thinkers in the music industry. Download a free copy of the e-book here.

Independent artists can make more money than ever before. The walls of major label distribution have crumbled, and have been down for a decade. Social networks make promotion to fans easier and cheaper. Add in home recording, crowd-sourced artwork, and other cost cutting maneuvers and DIY musicians can be financially successful.

Or so goes the myth.

Reality is far murkier. Yes, it is possible to make money as a DIY artist and many are doing it. However, they are not making it from selling recorded music. That can certainly bring in money, but even modestly successful DIY artists generally gross $20,000 to $50,000 from sound recordings annually. These are artists who have many songs in their catalog with some momentum. After you take into account recording costs and splitting revenue amongst band members and the producer, there’s not a lot left. Even those with a big enough fan base to do deluxe packages get a decent gross, but profits can be elusive.

Yet, DIY artists living below stardom are consistently finding profitable careers. How are they achieving this if iTunes and Spotify revenues aren’t paying the bills? The ones who are making a profit mostly fall into one of these three buckets:

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Tuesday
May212013

The 4 Places You Should Be Entering All Of Your Concert Dates To Increase Concert Attendance

Entering concert dates is one of the most annoying parts of playing live. It’s both time-consuming and annoying to keep up with. Thankfully, it gets easier and easier each year to do this menial task. Entering dates into the services we have outlined below increases the chance of getting both fans and potential fans to your shows. Some of them can put them in the places where your fans go to hear and discover your music, where as others alert your fans who have liked you on Facebook that you will be in their town. Entering your dates into these services also increases your chance of being added to local concert calendars in local papers and radio stations. Making sure your dates are always up to date in these four services will increase the likelihood of getting fans out to shows and we will explain why.

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Monday
May202013

10 Great Tips For Home & DIY Recordings

1. Start with some good gear A good microphone coupled with a good audio interface is the very foundation of a good recording. You don’t need a $1000 mic, but a decent microphone will do the job. The audio interface needs to have clear preamps and introduce minimal noise in the recordings. Your recording software needs to be good, so that there are no latency issues. Take some time to know your gear well before starting to record.

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Saturday
May182013

MusicThinkTank Weekly Recap: Who Needs A Record Label?, 3 Simple Ways To Cut Through The Noise & More

Thursday
May162013

Cut Through the Noise: 3 Simple And Effective Ways for Musicians to Get Noticed

Smart musicians know that their career depends on building a loyal relationship with as many fans as possible. But before you can start to build that relationship, you have to get people’s attention…

So how do you cut through the noise?

Well, here’s a simple rule: What stands out gets remembered and talked about. What blends in gets forgotten - or worse - goes unnoticed.

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Tuesday
May142013

Who Needs a Record Label?

There has never been a better time than now to be an independent artist. More easily and efficiently than ever, you can build a digital recording studio in your home, connect directly with fans through social media, and distribute your wares around the world through artist-friendly companies like CD Baby and Tunecore. It’s a DIY world, right? Thanks to powerful, affordable technology, you can cover the bases — from creation to marketing to distribution to retail — without anyone’s permission, entirely on your own.

So who needs a record label?

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Monday
May132013

The Rise of the Musicpreneur (Part 3/3)

Written by Tommy Darker.

This is the last part of the 3-part series about the Musicpreneur. A link to the complete essay with all the parts and extra resources can be found at the end of the article.

III For the future

Somebody could say that we’re done. That the list is full. Almost.

The present is not all that counts; unless it points to something bigger in the future.

The past years I was working for NATO as an international military policeman. Last summer I decided to quit my job after 7 years of solid and educational experiences. All that because of my love for music.

During my transitional window to a full-time music devotee (active musician and marketing experimenter), I had a lot of time to dedicate and strong appetite to devour books that contained information outside the scope of the Music Industry, but indirectly connected with it.

And then it hit me.

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Saturday
May112013

MusicThinkTank.com Weekly Recap: The Music Marketing Manifesto. Ten Principles for Success

Friday
May102013

9 Things YouTube Recommends Musicians Do, That You're Probably Missing

A few weeks ago, YouTube released a creators guide for musicians who use YouTube—detailing best practices and techniques for musicians using the service. The 40 page guide holds much common knowledge but a few gems of wisdom stuck out to me. Below I rounded up a few key points they made, that you shouldn’t miss.

  1.  Put Popular Searched Items In Your Title - If you have famous guests or keywords users will search, be sure to find a way to add them to your title.
  2. Tag As Much As Possible - Tag as many terms that relevant to your video as possible. If you can find real relevance in these tags to the content in your video, there is no penalty for using as many as possible.
  3. Thumbnails Should Invite Curiosity - While you think it’s a good idea to post the picture where your singer looks cute, it’s a better idea to use a thumbnail of a picture where the viewer wants to know what is going on in your video. Seeing a 100 people throwing pies at once is much more compelling than just another pretty face.

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Wednesday
May082013

3 Ways Your Band Can Use Creativity to Make More Money

Money. Many artists struggle with it: either we’re poor at managing income or we lack creativity in getting it. It’s clear that with the shape of the music industry, most artists aren’t making a living from record sales. So how are they getting the support that they need?

You might argue that some bands make their money from performing: they command large guarantees when playing a show. Another popular idea is that most bands survive because of merch sales (few promoters provide a decent guarantee, if one at all). Others see crowdsourcing as the new golden calf.

I don’t think there is a one-size fits-all model for all artists. What artists need is something that is personal, transparent, and appropriate for their career. In 5 Non-traditional Ways to Promote Your Music, I called upon artists to use their creativity when it comes to music promotion. I think the same could be said of your sources of income as well.

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Tuesday
May072013

The Music Marketing Manifesto. Ten Principles For Success

1. Write, record and play high quality music

It seems like an obvious thing to say, but everything starts & ends with the music. If the songs are poor, the recording is bad, and the live show is dull don’t expect to make a living from music.

2. Continue to only deal in high quality

Some of the best new bands and artists are let down by terrible videos, bad photography and shocking design. Yes it is fickle, but judging a book by it’s cover is a reality. When you are choosing which artist to review, book, or even sign you are invariably drawn to the most attractive presentation. So why not increase your chances of being heard? Remember, you can have the best music in the world but if nobody listens ,you get nowhere.

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Monday
May062013

How Stuff Spreads – Gangnam Style vs. Harlem Shake

In a new study looking at ‘How Stuff Spreads’ Face has identified key components that make things go viral. Looking at the spread on Twitter of two global memes, Gangnam Style vs Harlem Shake, Face discovered eight common characteristics which it says led to them becoming viral phenomena, generating thousands of spin-off versions and billions of views.

The eight common characteristics are:

1. Bursts and Rises: There are 2 models of virality.

The Burstmodel is bottom-up:the variations are more powerful then the original seed and there’s no clear leadership or narrative. The meme relies on community relevance to spread.

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