I’m filling in on bass for a band that’s gearing up to release their new CD. When filling in for a band, I try to take a back seat on the band’s business. However, I sometimes just cannot keep my big mouth shut. In this case, the guys were discussing details of their upcoming CD release, and I had to chime in. Here’s a rant based on both my experience with my former band and quite a few drunken conversations with various bands over the years.
How important is it to know who really cares about your business or your music?
Until very recently, most successful businesses would aim to market their goods or services to the ‘safe centre’, the large section of society that follow the crowd in seemingly predictable ways.
Trend setters, geeks and super-fans were not worth marketing to directly because there are never enough of them to sustain growth.
It’s true that industry professionals and artist mind sets could not be farther apart. They are on two totally different sides of the game, yet working together as a team. All industry people probably receive anywhere from 15 to 200 emails or calls a week from indie artists wanting to work with them or get their advice. This is not an exaggeration. Most of these calls/emails are unfortunately misguided and are not going to get the artist anywhere just based on their approach. As an indie artist I am sure this must be incredibly frustrating… constantly sending out emails to industry people and not receiving replies. You’ve been told that to be proactive you have to mail, call, email, and send presents to industry representatives to get their attention. This is NOT true… let me help you out here.
How Middle Class Musicians Navigate the Nodes on the Network: Topspin Media's CEO Ian Rogers Says "It Just Takes a Long Time"
I recently asked Ian Rogers, CEO of TopSpin Media, about the role of the press in music careers in the new era of the music industry. Topspin Media is a direct-to-fan marketing and retail service, so Ian observes a lot of bands stepping through the stages of development from unknown to known. Here’s what he had to say:
I was at a digital music event earlier this year, and was shocked to find out how many people had not heard how easy it is to monetize your YouTube channel through Ads. YouTube will pay you for doing what you already do! Take your money!
Here’s how it works…..
I am a songwriter. I typically work from home using a small studio set up and have been fortunate enough to have written, co-written or produced many songs that have been commercially released.
Indie bands and musicians - What can we learn, if anything, from the viral marketing techniques employed by the world’s biggest pop star (except Justin Bieber of course), Lady GaGa? If at this point you’re grumbling “Not my thing” or “I hate pop music” you’ve quite possibly closed some of the potential doors available to you and sorely missed out as a result. Let’s also forget the obvious point that GaGa has millions of followers anticipating her every move. I plan to use this individual simply as a conversation starter on the topics of controversy and originality, which are becoming ever-more important in today’s music industry.
When you think of DIY bands, chances are the acts that come to your mind are not on the billboard charts. At least not yet. When we first reached out to 3OH!3 for an interview, we had our doubts as well. However, as you will see below, 3OH!3 was born and raised in DIY ethos and continue to move forward with the same mentality even today.
So you’ve got it in your head that you must be signed to be happy. As you know, I am very much against labels as they are 95% of the time a terrible financial decision. However, you don’t care. Cool, let’s work with that.
A little over a year ago I read a chapter in Ariel Hyatt’s book Music Success in Nine Weeks on newsletters. After reading it I felt like I had made many many mistakes with how I was writing my music newsletter. I began a journey in salvaging whomever I had left that was reading them to use a new format to re-engage them in my music career. One in which I feel many musicians will have to do based on what I am going to say below.
There has been a lot of talk about Google+ recently, and rightly so. When the Goliath of the internet launches a new product, we’d all be wise to pay attention. And while I agree that it can be a powerful tool for musicians to share their work, everything I’ve read in the music blogosphere has missed the point. So far, the articles I’ve seen have focused on the eventual addition of “brand pages”, or pages that are attached to a band rather than an individual. But Google+ is for people, not bands.
Welcome back to Musician’s Arsenal! In this edition, I’m very excited to be presenting Onesheet to you. Onesheet is a very easy and effective web presence solution for musician’s struggling to create an attractive website. For those of us who can’t build a nice WordPress site to save our lives, Onesheet is here to save the day (while I don’t want to give the impression that creating a Onesheet excludes you from needing a website, this is a fantastic option that can take care of your web presence needs while you build a website the right way).
Part of being a DIY artist is marketing yourself like an entrepreneur or small business owner: You’re presenting the brand of “You, Inc.,” comprised of all the unique things about your music and you as an artist. And while putting some tracks up on social media platforms like Facebook and Myspace or on your own website is an important part of your larger portfolio of marketing tactics, you can’t just leave it at that and hope that someone will eventually stumble across you. A very important part of your PR campaign as a DIY artist is presenting yourself well to blogs, podcasts, online music communities, music websites and magazines. It’s a given that if you’re at the stage where you’re ready to approach the press about your music, you should have at least two things: a professional-sounding collection of your songs – whether that is in the form of an LP or a full-length album – that represents you at your best; tangible proof that you are playing whenever and wherever possible, working hard at providing an engaging experience for your fan base – who essentially act as your paying “clients,” buying albums and coming to your shows – and to turn new people onto your music. Assuming you have both those things going for you, what comes next?
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(Updated April 6, 2015)