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We’re halfway through the year. If you haven’t been paying attention to the following ideas, it’s time to start.
1. Stop trying to do everything yourself
Think of your career like your social life: you need to get different things from different friends. You have certain friends for when you feel like partying, certain friends for when you want to be coddled, and others who are always good at giving out tough love. And you need all of these people to feel balanced and well-rounded. It’s the same thing with any artist’s music career – no one is good at everything. The most successful artists aren’t the ones who can do it all themselves, but rather the ones who appreciate the value of really smart collaborations and partnerships. Let 2014 be the year that you put a lot of energy into working with amazing, smart, talented people who will make your music better and your career more mobile.
If you’re a performer and songwriter, of course you want to record and perform your own songs…
But you might be missing out on a very effective and easy way to take your music career to the next level: Cover songs!
Email marketing is one of the most important elements of digital marketing for bands and musicians.
First of all, it’s one of the only forms of online communication between you and your fans that is entirely future proof and within your control. Think about it - you don’t own your Facebook fans or Twitter followers, Facebook and Twitter do - and it’s entirely legal for them to charge you to reach them.
Email hasn’t changed an awful lot since it was first introduced in 1993. It probably won’t change much in the next decade either.
But that’s not enough for me to recommend it so highly. Email is also incredibly effective when used well. The combination of effectiveness, ease of use, scalability and control are what makes it so appealing, and a powerful tool for savvy musicians.
One thing a lot of indie artists procrastinate on is tackling their email strategy. There are lots of things you need to get your head around, from which platform or service to use, to what content to include, to how often to send emails. On top of that, you also need to figure out how to get people to actually sign up for your email list - a marketing role that many musicians are uncomfortable with.
Despite all this, your email list is still one of the most powerful assets you have. I’ll break it down into 5 main points so you can easily update your email strategy.
If you don’t already have one set up, you’ll have to choose a platform to send your emails out. If you try sending out an email to hundreds of fans through services like Yahoo and Gmail, it will often get marked as spam or won’t even go through. You can, of course, opt for generic platforms like Mailchimp or Constant Contact. Keep in mind though that many services you already use have email functions like Pledgemusic, Bandzoogle, and Fanbridge.
- Kelland Drumgoole | How To Effectively Promote Your Music Video on Facebook
Being an up and coming musician can be both a delightful and dreadful gig. You’re always writing music, recording, performing in bars and/or clubs, and trying to sell yourself on social media platforms. Selling yourself also means shooting a music video for your best song. You can always just upload the video to YouTube and engage with trolls, or upload to Vimeo and engage with trolls. But you want to, not only sell your music video, you want to engage with your growing audience and earn more fans. Facebook is the answer for that.
Create a Page
It seems like a no brainer to create a page for your music video but most musicians seem to overthink it. You’ve encountered pages on Facebook before but they’re usually for products, films, or some cause to have you donate money to. You can create a page for yourself (or your band) to garner an online following and inform people of events, concerts, and more. Creating a page for a music video seems kind of redundant but it’s a great step forward for you.
In and around Ontario, the war on internships rages on. It’s been a hot topic in the press as of late since 2 Canadian magazines (Toronto Life and The Walrus) dismissed their interns after the provincial government questioned the ethics behind unpaid youth employment. This isn’t the first time internship drama has made an impact in the media – there was the Fox ‘Black Swan’ lawsuit that created quite a swell of excitement in September 2013 and it’s got me thinking.
As an intern you have an opportunity to prove to a company why you deserve to be hired over anyone else. In J.J. McCullough’s article for the National Post titled ‘Why Internships Should be Illegal‘, he likens unpaid internships to “something [that] can be very good for business yet still ugly and immoral.” He even goes as far as to educate young internship victims (eyeroll) on “9 tips for ending your internship on a positive note”. As a business owner who employs unpaid interns, I regularly come into contact with many people who agree with McCullough’s point of view on a practice that is a personal career choice many young professionals make. A wise career choice, if you ask me.
If you’re preparing for an upcoming showcase, or a live gig with new players, you need to be skilled at giving musical direction. There’s nothing more frustrating than going into a big gig hoping to capture a certain energy, sound or vibe, only to have it completely miss the mark.
- Leah Taylor | 4 Ways For Artists To Get The Most Out Of Bandsintown
- Dave Kusek | 5 Steps to an Amazing Band Website
You’ve booked your tour, you’ve practiced your songs, you’ve packed the van, but you’re feeling like something’s missing. How can you get more people to come out to your shows? With gross ticket revenue up nearly 30% worldwide and touring having eclipsed record sales as the main source of artist income, Bandsintown’s Artist Platform has become an indispensable promotional tool for alerting fans when you’re on tour.
Over 10 million concert-goers use Bandsintown to discover shows, buy tickets and share tour dates with their friends. It automatically generates alerts for your fans through email, mobile notifications and Facebook notifications, and if you use Auto Promote or Twitter Sync, Bandsintown delivers alerts to your fans there too. Today Bandsintown powers the tour dates for over 215,000 touring artists, ensuring their fans never miss another live show.
Bandzoogle makes it easy to add an intro or “splash” page to your website. When used properly as a landing page for your visitors, they can be an effective marketing tool for your music.
4 Common Mistakes To Avoid with Intro Pages
Here are four common mistakes that we see with intro pages that you should avoid:
1. Permanent intro page: Intro pages should only be used for short periods of time and for specific calls-to-action. It becomes annoying for repeat visitors to keep having to click through to your main site.
Also, Google picks up text content on your page, and if the first page of your website is an Intro page, there isn’t much to tell Google how your site is relevant to search queries, which can hurt your rank.
By now I’m sure you understand the importance of having a website for your music. However, a sloppy, hastily thrown together website may actually be hurting your brand more than not having one at all. I’m sure you’ve all visited a website that was unorganized, out of date, or unprofessional looking and clicked off without even giving the content a chance. You don’t want that happening to your website!
The fact of the matter is that with all the tools and services out there to help you build a clean, professional website, you don’t really have an excuse. There’s also a ton of people with basic web design skills these days. There’s probably someone in your extended group of friends and acquaintances who knows all about Wordpress or can write HTML. Even with all that, building a new site or refurbishing an old one can seem a daunting task, so I’ve broken it down into 5 things you should keep in mind through the design process.
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(Updated Sept 29, 2014)