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MusicThinkTank Community Manager Natalie Cheng Bids Farewell

image from up7.typepad.comNatalie Cheng, the dedicated longtime Community Manager of our sister publication MusicThinkTank has graduated and is moving on. I can’t thank her enough for all that she’s done for MTT and Hypebot. As she hits the pavement in search of a job, readers who run companies would be well served to contact her. Here is Natalie’s own goodbye:

Dear Hypebot and MusicThinkTank readers,

 Thank you for all your support of Hypebot and Music Think Tank. I have enjoyed reading your thoughts on the music industry, writing about interesting music apps like Uberlife and, and discussing the future of the industry. I wanted to announce that I will be leaving my position as Community Manager of Music Think Tank and transitioning the role over to Laura. It’s been fun managing Music Think Tank and I’m very thankful for Bruce and Kyle for giving me this opportunity. I’m currently looking for entry level opportunities in digital marketing, social media, and in the music business.   

If you would like to contact me to chat about the music industry, social media, or any opportunities, please send me an email at: natalie.cheng88 at  

Thank you Bruce Houghton and Kyle Bylin for giving me the opportunity to work with Hypebot and Music Think Tank! Thanks to you all for reading Hypebot and Music Think Tank!


 Natalie Cheng, MTT Community Manager (@ncswim881)


Copy and Waste: Personalizing Artist Outreach for your Business Should Not be Optional! 

Earlier this week I received a typical inquiry in my inbox. We’ve all received these copy and pasted emails - where some poor soul is blasting out to artists just hoping for anyone to reply! I get them a lot and I also delete them A LOT. I usually am not compelled to say a word. But this time I thought maybe I’ll just give my 2 cents… this poor girl has not replied so either she is a robot with very little email response capabilities OR she rolled her eyes and moved on. Probably the latter!

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The Artist Side of Internet Radio and Audio

Our digital age has not made it easier for indie artists to get exposure; it’s only created more options to consider for reaching that end.

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49 Ways to Get Free Music Promotion

There’s no shortage of lists on how bands can get free music promotion, but I’d like to add one more. My hope is that this one is a bit more up to date, and shines light on some of the great free tools that have emerged in the past 2-3 years. If you have any other great tips for promoting music for free, feel free to add them in the comments below!

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Aug172013 Weekly Recap: Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals for Your Music Career


The Challenges Facing Musicians In 2013. Free Research Report.

Back in June Right Chord Music launched The Big Survey in association with Farida Guitars.  Our aim was to better understand the realities of being a musician in 2013. The online survey was completed by 200 musicians, of which three-quarters were unsigned or independent. Two-thirds of the respondents reported they had released at least one single.  The vast majority of respondents came from three countries: UK, Australia, and the USA.

Results highlight the increasing number of sites and services used by artists to promote their music. It’s no surprise that Facebook dominates, but it’s interesting to see the growing importance of Soundcloud and Bandcamp and the much heralded fall from grace of Myspace.

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Toronto Get’s a Music City Twin - What Does it All Mean? 

Well, it looks like Toronto and Austin are now twins. Music city twins, that is. Each city’s respective council have approved a musical alliance partnership between the two cities.The music city initiative, 4479 (named after Toronto’s longitude and latitude coordinates), is lead by Music Canada. 4479 will be a collaborative effort between Toronto city official and members of the music industry to increase attention and tourism towards Toronto’s music scene. 4479 also plans to make Toronto a leading music destination. The city of Toronto will work to strengthen relationships with other music cities around the world, particularly Austin, TX.  Austin is a city that has seen amazing growth and tourism traffic in recent years thanks to music industry events such as South by South West and Austin City Limits, among others. This seems to be an exciting time for the industry here and for the city of Toronto as a whole; but while this is a great step for our city, one can’t help wonder just how much of an impact this alliance can make on the culture and economy of Toronto - in actuality.

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Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals for Your Music Career

This is a chapter from my book The Independent Musician’s Survival Guide. You can see more chapters here.

So now you know that it’s possible to make money from your music career, and you also know you should take things one step at a time. But before you go out and start trying to earn money from your career, it’s important you take time to set goals for what you want to achieve.

While it’s easy to say, “I want to get a lot more fans” you have to ask yourself, how is saying this actually going to help you achieve your goal? It’s a non-specific “want,” rather then a well thought out business plan.

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Aug102013 Weekly Recap: Progressivism: 4 Easy Ways Artists Can Stay Relevant


5 Country Music Meccas of the South

Country music is as American as apple pie and baseball. The genre, a combination of American folk music, blues and western music, originated in the southern American United States in the 1920s. Since then, country music has evolved to appeal to a broad, international audience. Said Scott Stem, the Media Relations Director for the Country Music Awards (CMAs), “We are a very real-life music, based on real-life experiences.”

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Progressivism: 4 Easy Ways Artists Can Stay Relevant

Keeping up with the times is something almost everyone struggles with.  It’s a challenge to step out of our comfort zone and try something new.  However, in a professional setting, the only way to survive is to submit to the idea of change.  For musicians, progressivism can sometimes be an especially challenging concept.  However, it is imperative that we continue to adapt to new trends, and stay relevant to our fan base.  

 I’ve picked four basic methods every musician can implement to ensure they are ‘with the times’:


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Aug032013 Weekly Recap: Your Fans Won't Come to Your Shows...


Blogging Sucks

Some artists are just good at Social Media, and some artists even love interacting with other people. In my lectures & panels around the world I have always told musicians Twitter is a medium which works best for an artist who enjoys going to the merch table at the end of a show, shaking hands (a bottle of anti-bac in pocket) and signing vinyl, possibly even breasts. But for creative introverts, Social Media is a dish best served cold.

For those who don’t reside in the digital media bubble, blogging is still an abstract verb looming over the undercurrent of social media nuisances interrupting the daily routine of an otherwise productive artist.


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Your Fans Won't Come to Your Shows...

That’s right, on average, 75% or more of your fan base won’t make it out to a show on your next tour. Proximity. Sold out. Cost. All factors which can keep your most loyal fans from attending your next killer show. Learn some creative ways to engage your non-attending fans.

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