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Entries in marketing (99)

Wednesday
Oct062010

Music Think Tank Brings On New Intern

Good afternoon all, I wanted to take a moment and announce that we have a new intern that’s helping around Music Think Tank. Her name is Natalie Cheng (@ncswim881).

She is from Sugar Land, TX. She is twenty-two and is very interested in music marketing and branding, new trends in the music and record industries, and distribution. She wants to learn more about the changes affecting the music industry and how artists are changing the way they interact with fans.  Her career goals include working in a marketing position at a music company or label and working as a session musician for major artists. Currently, she is seeking a job/internship at music labels and companies in the Texas area or to continue her education, possibly pursuing a master’s degree in music or marketing. 

Here at Music Think Tank, she’ll be focusing on tagging posts, writing post summaries, approving comments, and getting involved in a myriad of other ways with Hypebot too.

Take a moment to welcome her to the community.
Wednesday
Sep222010

The College Bound Musician's Checklist

It’s that time again. School is now in session, which means a whole new breed of young musicians are heading off to college for the first time. Whether or not your focus of study is music,  the college experience can be an excellent opportunity for you to hone your chops and establish the sort of demand that will launch your career. 

But as you will soon realize, four years will go by in the blink of an eye. It is critically important that you have something to guide you through all of the important baby-steps that will take you from a dorm room band to the most important act in the surrounding area. Use the following checklist to ensure that no opportunity is overlooked as you begin to establish yourself in your new local scene:

[  ] Create Your Ideal Fan

As a musician looking to establish a fan base, you have to know exactly who and where your fans are. A marketing technique taught in college, one that can be very useful, is to create a highly-detailed description of who your ideal fan is, summed up into one person. Give that person a name, and describe every aspect of that person on paper: what is their background, what clothes do they wear, where do they shop, what are their hobbies, what other music do they listen to, what sort of food do they eat, what beer do they drink, maybe they don,t drink beer but rather drink wine, etc. Once you know EXACTLY who your fan is it will be much easier to pin-point exactly where they will be.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Sep082010

Using Fan-Funding Techniques to Help Direct a DTF Marketing and Sales Campaign

One of the online sales techniques I’ve been advocating in my online courses at Berklee is for artists to create different physical and digital products and make them available on their own site at tiered price points. The idea is that you can offer something for all of your fans – the hard core fans might be interested in something from you that is a little more personalized and rare, and newer fans might be able to get something from you that wont break the bank. All the while you have the ability to offer something that cannot be purchased at traditional retail, which makes the experience of purchasing off of your site more rewarding for your fans. Here’s an example from the Yim Yames site:

Click to read more ...

Monday
Aug162010

The Musicians Guide To Fan-Funding

Emerging musicians are in an eternal struggle against two evils: funding projects and growing a fanbase. In the past, musicians have funded their own albums, and have used it as leverage to gain more fans. But artists on a fixed income may run into issues funding their own projects, which can have harmful effects on the quality of the final product.

Of course, the next option is to release a demo or EP and work on building a fan base, meanwhile shopping around for a record deal with a major or indie label. The benefit here of course is that all of the financing of the album is accounted for, but lets face it, this is not the easiest thing to pull off. Labels typically won’t even look at you until you’ve crossed the 10,000-units-sold mark, and unfortunately that is becoming an increasingly difficult task to accomplish:

…in 2008 there were 1500 releases that sold over 10,000 album units. Out of that there were only 227 of them that were artists that had broken 10,000 for the first time. So in the whole year only 227 of the artists were artists that had broken what we call the “obscurity line.” When you sell 10,000 albums, you’re no longer an obscure artist; people know about you. You may not be a star yet, but you’re in the game. That gets you out of the glut and into the game. We looked at the 227 and identified that only 14 of them were artists doing it on their own and all the rest were on majors and indies; a little more than half were on indies.

 

~Tom Silverman Founder, Tommy Boy Records


And more often then not, you as the artist are stripped of some if not all creative control, resulting in an album that may work for the fans, but doesn’t work for you.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jul152010

Reality TV Killed The Rockstar. But Is That So Bad?

In a time where reality TV has become the most popular form of programing - everyone from the famous (or infamous) celebrity drug addicts, to the not-so-famous, money-desperate “reality show” competitors have been cashing in on transparency as a way to connect with an audience and build a brand.

Would the sudden death of Corey Haim, the 80’s child-star who seemingly feel off the face of the earth around the same time as acid wash jeans, have made as big of a splash if his addiction hadn’t been documented on the A&E series, The Two Coreys? Probably not. It seems that Reality TV has created a wave of transparency that everyone wants to ride. Even MTV, a MUSIC video driven channel, has since officially removed music television from their name in order to focus on following pop culture in its own element.

But beyond reality TV is the internet, and the continued development of social networking, blogging and microblogging, which has been giving musicians all around the world the ability to be as little or as overly transparent as they would like. So this brings up a very important question: Is transparency a good thing for musicians to take part in?

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Thursday
Jun242010

A&R Tips: The Art Of The Press Kit

If every artist, band or group represents it’s own brand, and must be sold as such to the public and to the music industry, then every brand needs to be packaged in a way that will effectively showcase it’s strengths and marketability. By now, most musicians understand the importance of a press kit- it is your brand, your image, it is you in a package and is the key to selling venues and a&r reps from both major and indie labels on the fact that you WILL make them money. But just making a press kit isn’t enough. In an industry with such a low barrier of entry, anyone can make and submit a press kit, decreasing your chance of actually getting recognized by those who matter. So what will you do to make your press kit more remarkable than the rest?

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Friday
Jun182010

Avoid These Mistakes! 15 Critical Marketing Mistakes That All Musicians Need To Avoid

Musicians are entrepreneurs whether they want to believe it or not. By writing music under a band name, pen name or even just their own name, they have effectively created a brand that must be properly marketed if it is to thrive and flourish. But there in-lies a major problem: not all musicians know anything about marketing and they will eventually make some critical mistakes that lead to the demise of their short-lived venture. It is, however, the musicians who take the time to learn from past mistakes made by other musicians, and furthermore learn to correct these mistakes, that are the ones who build up the kind of influential brand that has lasting power.

These are 15 potentially crippling, yet ultimately avoidable marketing mistakes that are all too commonly made by the emerging music community, along with tips to help you as an artist to overcome and succeed in the best way possible:

1. Social Media is not the only way to market your band. This is the number one mistake because it can absolutely cripple a band from ever finding success. Far too many artists forget that social media is a device to be used within a strong, well-rounded marketing campaign. If you, as an artist, expect to just sit in front of your computer, friend thousands of people and wait by the phone for the call from an A&R rep, you will be severely let-down when that call never comes. And please do believe that it will not come.

If you are going to use social media as a part of your overall marketing strategy, and it is strongly advised that you do, use it wisely and properly, and as a part of a bigger strategy. A great example is one of the hottest emerging bands on the jam band scene, The McLovins, who found literal overnight success on Youtube when their cover of Phish’s You Enjoy Myself had close to 100,000 views in the blink of an eye. While it was clear that this video had gone viral, The McLovins didn’t just sit back and wait for people to friend them on Facebook or follow them on twitter- they went out on tour, taking their music to the people who had a newfound interest in the band. Only two years later, they have been covered in both Rolling Stone and Relix magazines and have performed at Gathering Of The Vibes and Mountain Jam.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Mar232010

How To Make Your SXSW Sticky! Advice From The Indie Max 100 Experts on How To Keep Your Conference Alive

So you FINALLY went to SXSW, and now after days of music, food, panels and networking (*phew*), you’re back home. So what can you do now to maximize your time spent in Austin? Here are a few pieces of advice.  Plus a few photos I took at SXSW 2010 - Full album on Facebook

AFTER YOU GET HOME

Create Your Own Lasting Media
So, no blog covered your performance?  No photographer snapped your photo for Rolling Stone?  That’s OK!  Make your own media around your experience at SXSW.  Write up a blog about what you did, and who you met, and post it on your MySpace, Facbook and Last.fm. Snap photos and post them on Facebook and Flickr with tags, or record some videos for your YouTube Channel!  Let your experience live online for years to come!
- Ariel Hyatt

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Sunday
Nov012009

Posting and announcing your gigs. 

So you have a show and you want to promote it. Many artists take this pretty simply. They post on their website, announce it on Myspace, share it on Facebook, sometimes list it on Craigslist and then maybe send it to a local music magazine. There is this idea that people will just make the effort to find out about you. Now in some cases that can be true, but with each gig and show it is much more effective to pull those that already know you, reach out to those that might be some what familiar with you and connect with people that have never heard of you before.

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Wednesday
Oct142009

The Lottery Model, The Free Culture Model, The Click Control Model

Q: What happens when you put a lawyer, an economist, a business executive, a government bureaucrat and an artist into a locked room?  A: The business executive assaults the economists, the lawyer sues the executive, the bureaucrat falls asleep, and the artist writes a song about it.  This is the copyright debate.

Over the last couple of years, and as a background task, I have tried to make sense of the copyright / copy restriction debate.  Is more or less copy restriction better or worse for rightsholders?

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Wednesday
Sep302009

How much is a fan worth? - Part 1

Most aspiring artists intuitively understand that there’s value in building an audience for the long-term rather that focusing solely on short-term revenue.  Bands offer free downloads, play free shows, and spend countless hours on- and offline interacting with listeners in hopes of developing a fan base that will support them over their careers.

But how much is a fan actually worth?  How much should an artist be willing to sacrifice (or spend) today to acquire fans?  And how many fans are needed to be able to make a living as a musician?

Click to read more ...

Monday
Sep212009

What would YOU do with freedom and a healthy budget to break a new artist?

Over the past several years, I’ve spent much more (non-billable) time than I should have trying to convince old-school label execs, independent artists, managers (both big and small) and others that the traditional rules don’t work any more in this new music business.  

When trying to “break” a new artist independently, spending a large amount of money on radio, downplaying internet marketing and direct-to-fan communication and spending a lot on expensive videos rather than producing less-expensive but more interesting/innovative videos (e.g., the now famous OK Go treadmill video) are usually bad moves.  Top-down marketing just doesn’t work any more, unless you’re a very young pop act signed to Disney/Hollywood.  As my marketing friend would say, it’s all about “pull” rather than “push” marketing.

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Thursday
May142009

Basic Marketing Principles For Artists - Part 1: Increase Your Fanbase

As many of you know my company Cyber PR specializes in Internet Marketing, Social Media and PR. I am an avid Internet Marketing student and I gather the nuggets I learn from my studies of musicians.

I recently spent two intense days in Los Angeles, where I attended an Internet marketing retreat led by my mentor, Ali Brown. I belong to her mastermind group and participate in her yearlong program.

It was a whirlwind, and the core principles I learned were both basic and critically important.

Click to read more ...