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How You Can Contribute To MusicThinkTank

Anyone can join the discussion and contribute relevant articles to Music Think Tank.  Begin by signing up and then logging in to publish your posts directly to MTT Open. Please make sure that your posts are in the proper format before posting (see previous posts) and that there are minimal errors such as grammar or spelling. Popular articles are occasionally moved to the front of the site. Contributors own and operate this blog (more info).

Monday
Mar172014

Social Media Secrets for Indie Musicians 

Today, social media is the cornerstone of your music career. It’s what lets you stay in touch with your fans and easily notify them with exciting news. With all the social media guides out there, you’d think no one remembers one of the key behavioral aspects to being human – socializing. I know, it’s hard to find a balance between social and promotional – afterall, you still need to sell your show or record. Here’s 5 secrets to help you find that social media balance.

1. The 80/20 rule.

So exactly what is the balance between personal/interesting content and marketing content? I don’t like putting a formula to something as spontaneous socializing, but a general rule of thumb is that 80% of your content should be personal, funny, interesting, and entertaining, and 20% should be reserved for marketing pushes. Go beyond 20% and people start ignoring you. Keep it social. Keep it fun.

2. Drive interest.

Just like the flow between social media and the offline experience, you should also create a flow between your social media channels and your website. Your website is the hub of your career online. It’s where you make sales and have more detailed information for fans. Link creatively to your website, so that you give people fun and interesting reasons to visit.

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Monday
Mar172014

How to Use House Concerts to Create Career-Sustaining Superfans

There’s a buzzword I see popping up a lot lately in articles about how to become a career artist: superfans. The idea is that if you have a subset of your fans who will support everything you do – buy every album you release, go to all your shows, buy all your merch – then you can build a sustainable career with the support of these hyper-dedicated fans.

As someone who has made a career as an independent artist, I have found no better way to build a collection of superfans than partnering with existing fans to put on deeply connective concerts in their homes. The remarkable success I’ve experienced with this model has led me to abandon traditional club touring, instead performing almost 150 house concerts in the last 2 years.

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Saturday
Mar152014

MusicThinkTank Weekly Recap: 15 Very Quick and Simple Things You Can Do to Help Your Music Career

Thursday
Mar132014

15 Very Quick and Simple Things You Can Do to Help Your Music Career

Quick. Simple. And they make a huge impact. What’s not to love? 

#1 Remember Peoples’ Names 

Ya ya ya, you meet a lot of people… we get it. If you want people to remember your name, you better sure as hell try to remember theirs. Find a good system. Make notes. Facebook stalk. Do something.

#2 Send Thank You Notes 

A small and simple gesture that goes a long way to ensure you leave a great impression.

#3 Database Relentlessly

Keep organized and detailed databases of your mailing list, the local media, your supporters, promoters, and everything else. This will save you tons of time and help you manage relationships with ease. There’s a kazillion great databasing tools out there and a simple spreadsheet does the trick as well.

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Monday
Mar102014

Cyber PR’s 2014 SXSW Survival Guide

Having attended every SXSW for the last 17 years, I’ve seen it all. The following are some tips on how to successfully navigate your through the most overwhelming music conference of them all.

Envision What You Want Before You Arrive

My first bit of advice: Arrive prepared. Know who will be attending and create some goals before you get there.

Attend at Least One Music Conference Each Year

I believe all serious musicians should make it part of their job to attend at least one conference a year.  They can be expensive to get to, but think abut it this way: music lessons and equipment were at one time expensive, and those things are also vital for your career. Conferences are the best place to meet people who work in and around the music industry, and conferences are a relaxed environment to connect with people in the industry who can change the course of your career.

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Monday
Mar102014

How Understanding Publishing Can Help Independent Artists Make Money

I have read a ton of articles over the past few months about how important understanding publishing is to the independent artist, and it is. What confounds me is that even with all of this information, there is still confusion in the marketplace on how this works, especially when it comes to streaming services like YouTube, Spotify, SoundCloud and others.

Lots of people in this business don’t understand it. Friends of mine at labels and management companies don’t understand it, independent artists don’t understand it and as more music consumption services come online, it is becoming more valuable to get the whole picture.

There is a great article here that gives a thorough overview of how publishing and other performance royalties work – so I don’t want to be repetitive, but I do want to take this opportunity to dive a little deeper into the way publishing works on YouTube – especially when it comes to cover songs.

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Saturday
Mar082014

MusicThinkTank.com Weekly Recap: 4 Amazing Mobile Apps for Musicians and Composers

Thursday
Mar062014

HOW TO GET ALL THE CRED OF PLAYING AT SXSW WITHOUT THE TIME AND EXPENSE

“Music is spiritual. The music business is not. - Van Morrison

It’s almost that time again - that time of year when every band and singer worth their salt makes that annual pilgrimage to Mecca (Austin) for the week-long SXSW festival. A week of no sleep, watered-down drinks, bad food, unrewarding performances and the heartbreak of the ultimate realization that it wasn’t really worth it. Never have so many spent so much time and money for so little notoriety and reward.

But wait! I bring news and hope for all who just can’t take it anymore. Even though you know that you’re really not missing out on anything, you were at least hoping to network and snare some sort of deal. After all, this could be the year! This could be our big break! This could be our time! Or not.

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Tuesday
Mar042014

4 Amazing Mobile Apps for Musicians and Composers

Although the stripped down sound retains a certain laid back charm, even the most old school sounding musicians appreciate the access to high-quality music tools made possible through the ownership of PCs, laptops, tablets, and phones. A 2013 survey from “Artist Revenue Streams” indicates that nearly half of today’s musicians feel comfortable with the idea of producing or recording music through internet sites and mobile apps, while an even greater share of artists are willing to promote their work and connect with fans in such a technologically savvy manner. The secret, of course, is finding an application that will streamline the process without negatively impacting the quality of your work.

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Saturday
Mar012014

MusicThinkTank.com Weekly Recap: 121 Things Not To Do In The Music Industry

Thursday
Feb272014

Google Adwords for Musicians

Dave Cool is Director of Artist Relations for musician website & marketing platform Bandzoogle. Twitter: @Bandzoogle | @dave_cool

Google Adwords might not be the first method you think of using to promote your band. But, if you’re looking to book weddings or other private gigs, Google Adwords can be an effective method of driving visitors to your website and reaching potential clients.

Getting Started

First thing’s first: anyone can use Google Adwords. You don’t need to be a huge corporation and you don’t need to hire expensive consultants to start running ads.

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Wednesday
Feb262014

Seven Ways to Get a Little Bit Closer to Your Fans

This isn’t new information: People will like you if you make them feel special. INTIMACY, therefore, is one of the key ingredients in creating loyal followers and Superfans. How do you do this if you can’t give each one a gift or a hug? There are so many ways to get closer to your fans.
Here are some of the best ways to establish that warm connection:
SHARE PERSONAL STORIES
The usual blogs of musicians are mostly informative. They simply talk about their gigs and about their latest album. That’s okay since that’s necessary but blogging about those stuff alone won’t help you build any connection to your followers.  You have to share a bit of yourself to your followers even (especially!) the most shallow details of your everyday life.  Check out Amanda Palmer’s blog. The girl is an expert on this.

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Tuesday
Feb252014

121 Things Not To Do In The Music Industry

All too often, we get wrapped up in new tactics, new ideas, new plans and new ways of getting bigger and better as musicians. With social media and the internet, there’s so much information that it’s almost become immeasurable.

This is great and all, but maybe we sometimes lose sight of what we shouldn’t be doing.

There’s lots of stupid shit you shouldn’t be doing.

Here’s a quick guide to what you shouldn’t be doing.

 

THE PERSONAL ELEMENT

  1. Don’t ever stop practicing your instrument.
  2. Don’t be an asshole.
  3. Don’t WANT WANT WANT WANT. Learn to give back first.
  4. Don’t get defensive. Learn to take constructive criticism.
  5. Don’t forget to learn how to take destructive criticism, too. You’ll get a lot more of it than you think.
  6. Don’t forget that everyone’s an asshole.
  7. Don’t stop learning.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Feb222014

MusicThinkTank.com Weekly Recap: YouTube for Musicians: The Advanced Guide!

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