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How to Open for a Major Artist/Band

There are a few ways to make sure you get to open for a major artist in town:

  1. Develop a consistent reputation with promoters in your area that you can pack out whatever venues you play. Part of getting this great buzz about your music is getting into local press or radio stations (usually with the help of a publicist), being proactive about promoting your shows, and demonstrating that you’d make a good fit for the show.
  2. Buy your way in. Either you’ll be asked to sell a minimum number of tickets (and pay the difference if you are short) or pay the performer up front.
  3. Enter a random contest that you have no control over (sometimes local promoters or radio stations have a contest for local artists to enter), but the results usually have to do deal with option #1 (how much of a buzz do you have).

The first option takes time, energy, and hard work. In the process, you’ll gain the respect of the local music industry. You’ll build true fans that will come to other shows, buy your merchandise, and support your career. It’s the equivalent of a business building solid, regular customers. If the act you’re opening for likes you, you’ll be invited to do future shows with them and they’ll probably encraouge their fans to support you.

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A Musician’s Guide To Setting And Achieving Goals For 2012

The last half of 2011 was intense for a lot of us.  The financial news across the world remained bleak, Occupy Wall Street was all over the news as the 99% spoke up to be heard.

The music business continued to take hits with Spotify’s arrival and news of more layoffs at record labels, management companies as we all scratched our heads to blog about positive things and good outcomes

Many of you may have seen this article (or another one) on setting goals as they crop up at this time of year.

It’s a new year and a clear slate is in front of all of us. The turning of the calendar from 2011 to 2012 is an ideal time to set your goals. I see a marked difference between artists who set finite goals and those who do not regardless of what is happening in the world and in the news.

Ask yourself: Is this the year I want to make a difference for my music career?  And if so – what difference and how?

Think of goal setting as if you were driving in a foreign place – You wouldn’t get where you expect to go without a clear set of directions. Goal setting is like drawing a map for yourself.

This article is designed to assist you in creating a personal roadmap for achieving what you would like with your musical career this year, whether you consider music your hobby and you do it part time or you are making a living out of it full-time.

I have included a few links from some of the best musician related posts on how to think about and achieve goals as well.  So, bookmark this long article and refer to it throughout the year!

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Digital Piracy Vs. The Music Industry [Infographic]

The Music Industry has been struggling to battle the revolution of Digital Piracy for years, with countless musician’s speaking out against it.  This struggle has gone as far as the creation of a few ill-advised bills being proposed by Congress, known as SOPA and PIPA, to protect Hollywood’s movie and music industries from dropping drastic levels of revenue.  However, these laws were far from desirable, and the Music Industry still faces a challenge in battling piracy, despite the activists against it!

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The 5 Most Important Skills Twitter Teaches Us

Picture this: one day, a company comes out of nowhere to introduce a service that renders Twitter obsolete. Overnight, all of those hours you spent cranking out tweets are useless. Or are they?

Let’s face it: Twitter is not so much about our follower counts, retweets, or mentions. Those are just numbers. Here’s the real deal: Twitter prepares us for the future by teaching us valuable, real-world skills.

So even if Twitter dies tomorrow, here are the five most important skills we can learn from it.

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The Real Reason Why SOPA Didn’t Pass: Marketing

I’d like to believe that the two recent controversial bills, SOPA and PIPA, were stopped because they were poorly written but the real reason had to do with the power of messaging and branding.

Let’s face it: bad laws are passed everyday. In 2009-2010, Congress passed 8,970 bills alone. Most of the time, things go by unnoticed. SOPA and PIPA had great intentions (even praised by their strongest opponents) to deter piracy but their problem had to do with messaging. Both bills had been making steady progress for months with bi-partisan support and hardly any opposition. However, during the last several weeks, things exploded online when major Internet companies such as Google, Wikipedia, and Facebook got involved. A lot of things were said about the bill that weren’t true…but by then, it didn’t matter. People were buying the new story: SOPA and PIPA would “break the Internet.”

This is what they did wrong from a marketing perspective:

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The Music Business Is Not Dying

We read so much doom and gloom about the record business every day that it’s easy to think that pretty soon the whole thing will come crashing down. Cheer up. It’s not as bad as you think.

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Why Being Polite is Overrated

Negativity as a tactic is severely underrated.

We’re taught to say something nice or not say something at all. After all, art is subjective so even if we don’t like something, we don’t have the right to critique, right?

But what do we do when the execution of the song is obviously flawed?

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How to Book Your Band’s Tour, Step-by-Step

I believe that good information should be spread and even though I do booking for bands, I’m not afraid to share, step-by-step, how I go about this process. That’s what this music blog is all about, partnering up with artists to take the next step. I hope this helps your music career.

This is a more concise version of an earlier post which you can read here. I recommend you read that one too.

Once you’ve decided that you want to and are able to tour (and you’ve figured out the why’s), it’s time to plan the how, when, and where’s. This is what I do.

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Mobile Marketing for Independent Artists: Strategy

Take down your Christmas tree! Walk away from that last mouthful of turkey! Stop putting cranberry on everything! It’s 2012 folks. Time to get back to business. 2011 was the year of absorbing, observing and conversing about mobile marketing. 2012 is all about getting amongst it. But hold your horses! Before you jump in at the digital deep end, let’s start with the basics. What exactly is mobile marketing?

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The Compelling And Powerful Power Of Confidence

I’ve seen oodles of bands perform over the years in dark and dingy small clubs to soft seat theatres to hockey arenas. I’ve seen some of the world’s best and quite possibly the worst. I’ve also worked one-on-one with countless musicians and aside from sheer musical talent, one of the things that separates the good from the great is confidence.

When I think of bands without confidence, I think of shoegazers for example. You know, those bands who stand on stage and simply stare at their feet, too shy to truly connect with the audience. Too nervous to even look up and be ‘present’, for fear of being judged.

Think about it. Who’s more entertaining to watch on stage? Someone who has no confidence can be incredibly boring. In fact, you don’t even watch them, you end up watching the other guys. 

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Artistic Efficiency: How to Create More and Get Out of Your Own Way

Eight years ago, I left college with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music. Untested and honestly, quite naive, I spent the next three years using money from designing websites freelance to ineffectively tour as an artist around the country, gigging myself into over $6k of high interest credit card debt. Embarrassed and defeated, I stopped writing, I stopped playing music outside of my home, and my answer to “what do you do?” begrudgingly changed from music to websites.
Fast forward to today and I’ve been debt free for over 2 years.  Within that time, I self-funded my own full-length record from cash and recently started a music marketing company to promote independent artists. I took 2 months, wrote/recorded and shot a video for one song a week about anything my blog readers submitted and released them all for FREE, and I’m currently in the process of booking the most extensive tour I’ve ever played.
How did I do it? I want to show you and show that you can too with 5 simple rules.

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12 Ways to Increase Your Fan Base for 2012

As you look to the future you may be getting in the mode to set goals for your career.

I am always surprised when musicians I work for at Cyber PR®, are frantically trying to reach more and more potential fans without really focusing on the fans that they already have. These fans don’t need to be found, because they are already your fans.

Studies have proven that it is much harder to make a new client and get them to purchase something than it is to get a client that already knows you and trusts you to purchase from you over and over.

I always suggest that, in measuring fans, the best place to look is at your social networks and at your mailing list.

Your newsletter list is the only place where you can directly engage with your fans on your own terms and ask for money.

Here are 12 fail-safe ways to increase / engage with your fanbase by pulling from fans that you already know and have who trust and like you for 2012.

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Music mixing tips 

Mixing is where it all comes together whether you are a band or electronic musician it is an important stage. As a band you you might mix during a separate session with some other band members or as an electronic musician you may well mix as you produce a track. In any event some useful tips follow for getting an improved mix down.

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How to compose in 5 steps

I was asked to tutor a musician in my area who never faced composing from scratch.
Of course, there are several approaches to composition, but here’s what you will refer to as a composer:

- Harmony
- Melody
- Rhythm( and time )

These are the fundamentals of music. You can order these three milestones as you like, merge some together or even ignore some of them. A lot of composer experimented pieces with no harmony and/or no melody or no time and to me that is where music is going, to some degree.

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