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MusicThinkTank Weekly Recap: The Musician’s Guide to the Sales Funnel: 10 Steps to Selling Tons More Tickets, Music, and Merchandise


The Cyber PR Guide to Creating an Effective Music Marketing Plan (Part 1 of 3)

Happy almost end of summer ya’ll!  WE are in total denial that it is almost over BUT we are clear that it’s time to get back down to work.  In this 3-Part series Chris Hacker breaks down how to begin to build an effective log-term plan.  Enjoy this post.  Love, Ariel @CyberPR

Chris Hacker here, I lead the Marketing Plan team at Cyber PR® and really enjoy working with our artists who are in diverse genres and in all stages in their careers.

Over the years I’ve seen the same problems occur again and again. An artist will call us up looking for help promoting a new album that they’re planning on releasing in a few weeks or less! And often their only plan is just to hire a publicist. It completely baffles me that an artist will work so hard on an album, spending hours and hours writing songs and practicing these songs and then spending large sums of money recording, mixing and mastering, only to rush the release without being ready and having a complete plan in place. Especially in today’s saturated climate where even small music blogs are getting inundated with hundreds of emails a day from artists looking for coverage, just making an album and then wanting to “get some press”, is not enough of a plan. An artist needs to be working many different angles and taking many different approaches to get seen and heard.

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The Musician’s Guide to the Sales Funnel: 10 Steps to Selling Tons More Tickets, Music, and Merchandise 

If you’ve been struggling to get results from your marketing efforts and continue to spend more money than your band makes, then this is a must-read.

 Independent - (adj) - 1: Not influenced or controlled by others in matters of opinion, conduct, etc. 

2: Thinking or acting for oneself. 

As musicians, we tend to think we can do it all. We’re independent artists. We’ve got our music, our talent, our fans—and nothing else matters. Well, at least that’s how it works in theory. 

The reality is we need help, and lots of it. I don’t care how good you are—there is simply not enough time to do everything and still be a master at your craft, which is the music itself. You need tools and you need to outsource. You need to learn how to run your band like a business, and being resistant to this fact is the fastest way to kill off whatever income—and independence—you have left. 

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Musicians Guide: How to Get and Keep a Good Day Job

Working for others doesn’t have to suck – plus, you can even learn to make any boss love you …

The situation

Many players, composers, and engineers start their careers in music and find they still need that side job while they get going. Others might find themselves without a gig for the first time in years and need something to fill in the gap. Getting better at our craft is a life-long pursuit, one full of ups and downs. We have all been there. So here are a few tips we hope will help keep you on the path toward growing your career in the music business.
The interview: Always make a good first impression

Don’t spew all your hopes and dreams at the interview. The manager at Best Buy doesn’t want to hear about the summer tour you are hoping to book. Remember, at the start, you likely will have to overcome some anti-musician prejudice, especially if you’ve got long hair, tattoos, and piercings. In addition, if the first impression you make as a prospective employee is “Hey man…but I’m gunna need some time off next summer,” you might not even get past the first interview, never mind the job.

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MusicThinkTank Weekly Recap: Musicians as Entrepreneurs


New Value in a Song for an Address

Follow the history of musicians and you’ll find a time when the minstrel played and was paid, but not always in the currency of the day.

Go back a few decades. You’ll find a time when musicians were led by record labels who would pick up the promotional tab and pay artists in cash. Far more groups were on the major circuits of shows. Merchandising became a major revenue source (for a few), and song sales succeeded because of thousands of record stores. As an artist, it was far easier to dream of striking it big.
“I went to see a local band last Saturday night. Great music. Enjoyed myself. Yet, at the end of the evening the wife and I got up from our table and left. The only revenue generated went to the bar.”

Look around at what you have to work with today; fewer artists are getting broadcast radio play, song sales have crashed because music is everywhere, and merchandising is weak (except for those few major acts receiving major label support).

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Musicians as Entrepreneurs

The music industry isn’t the same as it was in the past. A lot of people have spent a lot of time complaining about this following the rise of the internet, but like everything else, it’s just change. Change isn’t positive or negative, rather it’s what you do with that change that matters. The successful musicians and music business people are embracing that change and running with it as a new breed of entrepreneurs.

In today’s music industry there is no one-size fits all model. We are all free to experiment and find out what works best for us, our fans, and our music careers. This is the true definition of entrepreneurship. Today’s music business approaches would not have worked in the past when technology was expensive and valuable connections were hard to come by.

As an indie musician, I already know you are extremely creative—more so than most business people out there! You may have never thought of it this way, but you have the same mindset, problems to solve and thought process as an entrepreneur. The key is to harness that creativity in your career, capitalize on this new artist ecosystem, and build it into your own model.

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MusicThinkTank Weekly Recap: How to Release Your Album Successfully (Even If You Don't Have a Record Label)


Could Video Games Teach Us to be Musicians?

With all the musical titles available on all games consoles, it is likely that you’ve given music a go through the medium of video games, be it from uncoordinatedly failing on Guitar Hero to a very out of tune rendition of your favourite song on Singstar. Although video games have been scientifically proven to help excel in many areas, with it sometimes being used specifically as a learning tool, it leaves the question; can my Xbox make me into the next big pop star?

For this piece, we won’t consider the dance games, mainly because they are awful, but also due to the fact that dancing is not a requirement of a musician; it helps, but is not a requirement. To begin we’ll discuss a staple for a musical artist, the singing. Most, in the privacy of their own home, probably consider themselves quite the singer, however when put into the bright lights of the karaoke set, tragically crumble. However with the vast number of singing based game which have been released, on nearly all consoles, the humble karaoke machine has been made redundant. But do these games help our singing, the answer; no. The reality is, these games are merely glorified Karaoke machines, which due to a clever marketing team, has got you needing a $300 console to play it on.

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How to Release Your Album Successfully (Even If You Don't Have a Record Label)

Whether you paid thousands of dollars working with a great producer or made your own bedroom recording, chances are you want people to hear your music.

Over my 20 years in the music industry I’ve seen bands and even record labels make the same mistakes which ultimately prevent their record from standing a chance for success.

In order for people to hear your music and increase the chances your album or EP release will be a success, you need to create a solid plan before you release the record.

1. Do NOT release the record the same day you receive your masters back or your CDs arrive on your doorstep.

This is the #1 mistake we see bands make. You’ve spent months, if not years, on your album and you just want people to hear it. I get it. However, as counterintuitive as it may seem, you greatly reduce the amount of people hearing your music by releasing it right away.

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5 Ways To Promote Your Music Teaching Business 

Do you want to start a private music teaching business? Would you like to find more students? A successful private music teacher possesses two essential features. 1) The ability to communicate and teach effectively 2) The ability to understand marketing and business. You can be a good teacher, and pick up referrals over time, but if you want to earn a full-time income and find students more quickly, you need to understand the business aspects of music teaching. This article contains five offline methods for promoting your music teaching business

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MusicThinkTank Weekly Recap: 11 Ways To Be A Happier Musician Person


11 Ways To Be A Happier Musician Person

As artists we are constantly evaluating ourselves…and others. In order to succeed we make many sacrifices such as financial, social, emotional, or physical. I don’t believe in the “tortured artist”. Being an artist can be a hard life, but it doesn’t have to be. If you are mindful of what’s going on with you and the world around you, you’ll realize being an artist can be the most rewarding and fulfilling path you can take if you’re willing to work for it.

1) It’s about the journey, not the destination.

Stop comparing yourself to others. Everyone has their own struggles that you know nothing about. Stop coveting others’ success. It’s cancer for your band. Stop perceiving others as a threat and try not to be so hard on yourself. It’s not about all about the numbers or followers. It’s about you and who is connecting with what you do. If you’re in it for fame, you’re in it for the wrong reason. Focus on what you have accomplished and what strengths you do have and try being happy for others’ success. Everyone has their own path…and if you’re not happy with where yours is taking you, change it.

2) Stop the hate.

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What Does Free Streaming Mean for the Music Industry?

Music lovers everywhere can rejoice! T-Mobile announced that customers can stream music without worrying about going over their data. Users will be able to use apps like Pandora, Slacker Radio, iHeart Radio and Spotify on the latest T-Mobile phones and tablets like the Galaxy Note 3 to listen to music whenever and wherever they want. While this is obviously great for consumers, what does this do for the musicians? How are streaming services affecting the music industry? While there are some doubts that this move benefits the industry, the outlook is generally favorable.

Increased Exposure for Artists

In 2013, Nielson reported that 68 percent of Americans used music streaming services in the past year, and that sales of music went down 6.3 percent. Although this could hurt bigger artists, independent and lesser-known musicians can enjoy an increase in exposure by putting their music on this medium.

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