Category Industry Resources

Networking for Artists: How to Avoid That Awkward “Check Out My Music” Convo

Networking. You’ve Heard the term, you know you should be doing it but what exactly is “it?

Most artists think waaaay too hard about it, while others don’t think about it at all. In both instances, the artists fail to make any sort of real connection. So this article is here to hopefully uncover the “mysteries” of networking and put it in simple and easy steps to help you make better relationships.

Because that’s essentially what networking is about, relationships. Truly and genuinely connecting with people.

Misconceptions of Networking

Many people hate the term “networking” because they see it as “talking to people only because you want something from them” which is definitely NOT the case.

As a matter of fact, the best networking happens when you are genuinely interested in learning about the person you’re networking with.

So lets start by talking about the two different types of people, or in this case, artists.

Most artists tend to be introverts. So if you’re one of those people who just likes to focus on the music and you’re not really a “people” person – see this as an advantage. Why? Because the fact that you generally don’t want to be bothered means that you’re probably not a pushy person. You understand that people don’t like to be pushed into anything, which can be an advantage when it comes to networking because it’s all in the approach.

Now on the other hand, you might be the social artist – the one that enjoys going out to events, meeting new people and of course, you don’t have a problem with hitting someones inbox with a music link. That’s all good and well and can also be used as an advantage when it comes to networking, however in order to really connect with people, you might need to tone it down a bit.

The key is to find a happy medium between the two. BALANCE  is key to networking.

My best networking tactics: The Rules of Networking

Personally, I’ve gotten indie artists posted to numerous mainstream outlets, have made some amazing connections with people who I personally am a fan of and truly look up to, and I’ve built a community of artists, bloggers, journalists and just all around amazing people who keep me motivated, teach me new things on the daily (whether they know it or not) and ultimately support my endeavors. Because of this, it’s given me numerous opportunities to continue to do what I love on a daily basis.

But I don’t do this by speaking with every person I come across and telling them about what I’ve got going on. I do this by genuinely and selectively building relationships with people who I could possibly help in some way.

So networking rule #1 is: Don’t try to talk to everyone. Instead, look to build relationships with people who you can help or those who already show interest in what you have to offer..

Now if we want to relate that to an artist, there are a few ways that you can help people: you can pack out a show, you can use your audience to bring exposure to their brand, you can supply background music to their commercials, you can give them content needed for their outlet, or maybe you can put money in their pockets for their services. Whatever the case may be, you must understand that most of the time, just saying “hey check out my music” is NOT networking,

As a matter of fact, networking is never about YOU, it’s about THEM. Your first conversation with someone should be mainly about the person on the other end, it should never be a sales pitch. That’s where most artists go wrong. You wouldn’t believe how many times artists hop in my mentions or DM’s with just a random link to their music – they don’t follow me, they don’t introduce themselves, I don’t know them from a can of paint, yet all I get is a music link. I see other industry professionals express their aggravation towards this tactic ALL the time.

Can you see how that’s just NOT an effective way to network?

If not, let me break it down even more.

You are sending your music link because you want that person to take the time out to listen to your song and maybe even share it AND give you feedback – YET, you didn’t even have the common courtesy to say hello.

In the words of Stephanie Tanner from Full House, HOW RUDE!

You have to remember that these are REAL people on the other end. People with emotions. Popping up out of nowhere with a request is unheard of in the real world, and this same rule applies online.

Networking is not a 1 time thing (I call that “wham bam thank you mam” networking). That’s not the goal here. When it comes to networking, the ultimate goal should be relationship building – and great relationships take time to build. So your ultimate goal when networking should be to make a connection and a good impression. You want to create a good start to a budding relationship.

So although you may want that person to listen and give you feedback or maybe even post your music, that probably shouldn’t be the first thing you EXPECT when networking. The only expectation you should have when networking with someone is to make them aware of you and have a great start to building a real relationship.

So Networking Rule #2 (which happens to be one of the BIGGEST and most effective rules of networking) is that your first conversation is never about you, it’s always about them.

Don’t worry about pitching your music. Don’t worry about asking to get booked for a show. Just genuinely “build” with the person. Ask them about what they do and how they got there. Talk about their experiences and relate to them.

Great networking happens when you take the time to learn about the person. This of course doesn’t necessarily apply to meeting people out at events, but outside of that, networking takes time.

Networking Rule #3: Give it time.

The key to making the best connection is to learn more about the person before reaching out to them. That way, you can relate to them, plus it shows that you’re genuinely interested in supporting them too.

So Networking Rule #4 is: Researching those who you want to build a relationship is a MUST.

I’ll give you a scenario from an artists standpoint:

Lets say you really want a certain outlet to post your new video.

Most artists would do something like this…

spam sample

 

When instead they should do this:

  1. Check out the content that gets posted to the outlet you want your music on. See if your music would be a good fit.
  2. While reading through the articles on the site, take a peep at the author. Follow them on Twitter. As a matter of fact, connect with them on as many social networks as possible. Share a post that you really enjoyed and shout them out.
  3. Engage with their tweets over a period of time (retweet them, share your thoughts on something they posted, check out their personal website if they have one, etc.). Get to know them over time. Don’t be in a rush to reach out and ask them for a favor. Support them.

And when you do finally decide to reach out, formally introduce yourself. By that time, they’re probably already at least somewhat familiar with your name because you’ve been interacting with them on social media for a while. So simply start a conversation with them. Don’t send them a link to your music. If anything, ASK them if they accept music submissions and find out how they prefer to receive them. Actually, check their twitter bio before you ask if they accept music submissions, they might have their submission email right there in plain sight (in that case feel free to send them a professional email addressed to them personally). Whatever you do, don’t send a link to your music until they let you know they’re interested in hearing it.

So Networking Rule #5 is: Don’t force the connection. 

Which leads me to my next and last rule of networking…

Networking Rule #6 – When all else fails, be professional.

What do I mean exactly? Well, there’s a few characteristics of being professional. All of the above points I’ve made represent professionalism, but what I really mean is – make sure that you’re representing yourself in a professional manner. Speak to people like you would speak to your boss. Be respectful. Use proper grammar and formal introductions.

Overall, when you decide to take yourself serious, other people will too, and things like this just won’t cut it anymore…

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Now go out there and make those relationships! You can start by tweeting me your thoughts about networking @BreezyB215

 

If you’re looking for new ways to get your music out there and ultimately make money doing what you love, be sure to check out www.MusicBusinessHowTo.com

How To Find Out How Many Fans You Have

Do you know how many fans you truly have?

If not, have no fear because we’re here to show you how to find them.

But first, let’s define what a fan actually is.

A fan is someone who checks for you (they want to know everything that you have going on). They’ll share your music, they’ll tell all of their friends about your new song.

A fan is also someone who will spend money on you – they’ll purchase your music, they’ll buy your merch, they’ll buy a ticket to a show if you’re in their area.

Fans interact with you.

Basically, a fan is NOT just someone that follows you on social media.

So how do you find out exactly how many fans you have?

You can do this in a few ways, but my favorite (and most accurate) way to do this is by having a NEWSLETTER.

Your NEWSLETTER is your VIP section.

Your SUPER fans will want to be on your newsletter because your newsletter gets all of the exclusive stuff (they are the first to get the new music, discounted merch, free giveaways etc.) Reaching out to your current audience and seeing how many people you can get to subscribe gives you a very measurable idea of how many fans you have.

When someone subscribes to your newsletter they are giving you permission to market to them.

Do you realize how awesome that is?

These are people that WANT you to send them your new music so they can share it with their friends.

These are people that WANT you to send them a discount code for your merch because they want to buy it.

These are people that WANT you to send them an email about your new show because they want to see you perform.

Do you understand the magic that can come of this?

 

So for instance, you recorded a single off of your upcoming album and you’re looking to release it next week.

You have 1200 people that are subscribed to your newsletter.

The night before your new single drops, you send out a newsletter to your fans with a link to the new song. You express how much you need their help in spreading it around.

Even if only HALF of those people open up that email, you’re still getting 600 plays, almost IMMEDIATELY.

AND if it’s a good song, you should also have at least 50-100 shares, depending on how in-tune people are on your list.

All of that and all you did was send out ONE EMAIL!

Imagine the possibilities!

Here’s another scenario…

You just dropped this new line of merch and you’re selling it for $25 a shirt.

(Remember, you have 1200 people subscribed to your newsletter.)

So, the day that you drop the new merch, you send an email to your newsletter with a discount code for your new merch. You let them know that because they’re on your newsletter, they get the discount code which will give them the shirts for $20 instead of $25. The kick is, the sale will only be available for 24 hours.

Even if only HALF of your list opens the email, how much do you wanna bet that you make AT LEAST 25 sales of your shirt within 24 hours?

…and again, all you did was send out ONE email.

ONE EMAIL!!

You just sent ONE email and made $500. 

Can you imagine all of the money that you’ve been missing out on????

ALSO, did you know that when you send out an email to your newsletter, you can track exactly who opens it, what links they click on, and you’ll even see where they are located! This means that if you have fans in a certain area, you can actually travel to that area for your tour. And since you can track who opens your emails, you can create a new list of people that always open up your emails and give them the super crazy discounts and exclusive updates. I can literally go on for hours about the many ways you can utilize your newsletter.

 

So now it’s time to create your newsletter and find out exactly how many fans you have.

  1. Go to mailchimp.com and create an account (it’s free). There are other programs that you can use to create your newsletter but after experimenting with many of them, Mailchimp is our favorite for numerous reasons. Once you have an account, go to LISTS and “create new list” – you can call this list whatever you want (I suggest calling it FAN NEWSLETTER). Once you’re in the list, you’ll see an option to “create subscribe form.” You can design your subribe form to match your brand.
  2. Start collecting a database of emails. You can collect emails in many ways. We suggest that you start by personally reaching out to everyone you typically interact with (feel free to text the people in your phone). You can also share the link to your subscribe form on your social networks (say something like “To get exclusive updates and new music, make sure you subscribe to my newsletter [include link to subscribe form]”
  3. Send out your first email. You do this by logging into Mailchimp and creating a new campaign.Everything is drag and drop so it’s really simple. You can even create a template that you can save and utilize again. Once you send it out, wait a little bit and click on REPORTS to see who opened it.

It’s really that simple.

But there’s something very important that you need to know before you go.

Your newsletter will only be effective if you collect emails from people who are genuinely interested in receiving updates from you. This means that you should definitely stay away from finding random emails online and adding them to your list. Also, blogs and press don’t go on this list (unless they personally subscribe on their own). Blogs/press get personal emails directed to them specifically.

 

 

How to Go Into 2016 A Few Steps Ahead

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Alright artists, it’s time to really buckle down. 2015 is coming to an end, so how are you going to make sure that next year is really your year? Here’s a few tips to start you off on the right foot:

  1. Make Google Your Best Friend – There’s so much free information out there for you to utilize, the fact that most indie artists do not research every little thing is really baffling. If you want to know how to book shows, if you want to know how to promote your music, hell if you want to find someone’s contact info, 99% of the time you can find the information online. You just have to look for it. So in 2016, make a vow to yourself that you will research every little thing that you are unsure of and read more articles like this one EVERYDAY. To help you out, here’s a few sites to bookmark: exclusivepublic.com (shameless plug lol), Sonicbids Blog, raprehab.com, hypebot.com, and musicthinktank.com to name a few.
  2. Spice up your social networks – If utilized the right way, social media can really be an awesome asset to your music career. For 2016, make sure that all of your social networks have the same name, same profile photo and same mini bio, that way you’re both easily searchable and easily recognizable across the board. Also make sure that your photos are high quality (go take a photo shoot if you don’t have professional photos).
  3. Create Your Website – One of the first steps to really stepping things up a notch in 2016 is making sure that your digital presence is professional. Having a website that represents your brand, where people can go to listen to your music, watch your videos, get updates and subscribe to your newsletter is extremely important and helps tremendously when it comes to promotion. If you don’t already have a website, contact us and we can create one for you. If you do have a website, give it a new look for the new year.
  4. Plan Out Your New Releases – The days when you recorded a song and then posted it online as soon as you hop out the booth are OVER. You really have to utilize your time wisely and plan out your strategy for success. This year, make a vow to build anticipation for your new music by creating a strategy for each release (and don’t drop a project until you have an army of fans checking for it!). If you need our help, contact us, we got you covered.
  5. Curate Your Own Show(s) – This year it’s about making waves for yourself and not waiting on anyone to grant you an opportunity. This year, instead of paying for a showcase slot or relying on people to book you for shows, I want you to go find a venue, book it yourself, book a few other upcoming acts for the line up and put on your own show. It will be extremely fulfilling and you will learn a lot. I promise.
  6. Organize Your Contacts List – Do you have a spreadsheet that contains all of the blogs, writers, DJs and outlets that you can send your music to? If not, you’re totally missing out. Before you start promoting your music, you must know WHO you can send it to. You should never just “wing it” you should have a plan. Create a spreadsheet using google docs or Excel, write down the names of your contacts, their email, their outlets and their social media. This will save you a huge headache.
  7. Create a Mailing List and send out your first newsletter – Imagine getting an INSTANT 500-1000 views on your new video the hour it drops? Imagine selling out your latest show within the first week? Imagine selling enough merch to support your music career? Having a mailing list and sending out consistent newsletters to your fans is a great way to accomplish this. Go to mailchimp.com right now and create an account. Start asking your fans to sign up to your newsletter if they want your new music first. If you need help with this, contact us.
  8. Delete all Unmixed music from online – First impressions are lasting impressions. If your music is half finished and not even close to being mixed or mastered, it has no businesses being anywhere near your soundcloud. Before 2015 is over, clean up everything that you have online that doesn’t give people the best first impression of you. The last thing you want is to make a bad impression because you put up your music before it was ready.
  9. Create an email signature with your links – Do you know how many emails we receive whether it’s for business inquiries or music submissions that do not have any links or contact info? TONS! In order to avoid this in 2016, I highly suggest that you create an email signature (you can do this in your email settings) that contains your contact info and social media links, that way you don’t have to worry about it.
  10. Make a Vow not to spam anyone this year at all – What does this mean exactly? DO NOT SEND A LINK TO YOUR MUSIC TO ANYONE THAT YOU DON’T KNOW. Effective promotion engages people. It’s not pushy or spammy. The best way to reach new people is to get the people that are already in tune with you promoting for you. If you can’t make 10 of your friends share your music to others, you have to ask yourself how hot your music really is. So in 2016, engage, do not spam. Resist the urge to @ people and tag people that you don’t know with a link to your music. Instead, engage with them. Retweet them. Join in on their conversations. Ask them how they prefer to receive music submissions before you send a link to your music.

Make 2016 YOUR YEAR, FOR REAL THIS TIME!

WE BELIEVE IN YOU!

If you need help, don’t hesitate to contact us! We have basic packages to get you started all the way up to full blown PR campaigns for your music. Contact us directly at admin@exclusivepublic.com and one of our representatives will reach out to you shortly.

5 Ways to Make Money With Your Music Right Now

This post was actually inspired by our good friend Matt Whitlock (@mattwhitlockPM). The other day he sent out some really amazing tweets about ways to get paid as an indie artist, so we decided to expand on those tweets in more detail.

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As you all have figured out by now, having a career in music is very expensive. You will need to invest lots of time and money in order to succeed at a certain level, BUT there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be seeing some sort of return of investment along the way. One of the biggest mistakes artists make in this situation is that they want to get paid, yet they don’t give anyone a way to pay them. What I mean by this is that although you have DREAMS of one day getting paid a ton of money for your music and by just being you, are you actually SETTING YOURSELF UP to get paid right now? Do you have a store on your website? Do you sell merch at shows? Or are you out here giving away free music and expecting to just magically start getting paid once you get a record deal? Let me just say this, there is money out there for you RIGHT NOW. So are you getting it? Or, are you waiting for it to fall on your lap?

What a lot of indie artists fail to realize is that there are many other ways to make money with your art ASIDE from selling your music. As a matter of fact, with all the streaming sites out there now, music sales definitely shouldn’t be what you count on to fund your music career. You have to make money in other ways. Now we know that there are actually many articles that discuss the different ways that artists can get paid, but most of those articles talk about ways to get paid once you already have a big fan base built and already have songs on the radio. Our focus, right now, is to show the newer indie artists how to make money to invest back into their career.

In order to help you, we’ve created a list of ways that you can make money right now to help fund your music career:

1. Sell MERCH at your shows. This has got to be the number one way for artists (even those just starting out) to get paid. Everyone loves a cool t-shirt, hat, or hoodie. Most people will buy it if it looks cool, regardless of who’s t-shirt it is. Our suggestion to you is to get some merch designed and set up a merch table at EVERY show. (Make sure that you have a friend to run the table while you’re performing.) You can start with the basics like shirts and hoodies, and then get creative with it and design things that are really tailored to your brand. For example, Wiz Khalifa sells lighters and marijuana paraphernalia. If you are looking for someone to design your merch, feel free to check out some of our designs and contact us. You can also use Denial Printing to get everything printed. (From shirts, to hats, to everything in between, they do it all and they have great quality and prices.)

2. Set up an online store where you can sell all of your merch items. You can even offer discounts (using discount codes) to people that subscribe to your mailing list AND you can bundle your music and merch in a package. The easiest way to do this is to use bigcartel.com to create your store and then link it to your website. (Then, when people go on your website and click STORE, it’ll take them directly to your bigcartel.com page).

3. Throw your own shows and make money off of ticket sales. Aside from getting booked to perform at other people’s events, you can actually contact the venue of your choice, work out a deal with them, and throw your own show. (Maybe add a few other indie artists from your area to the bill so that you’ll be sure to pack the venue.) Since it’s your show, you’ll make the door money. Depending on the size of the venue, you can come out with a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. It’s hard work, but who said this would be easy? If you’re interested, we can help you curate your own show, so feel free to contact us for help!

4. Monetize your YouTube channel. Regardless if you are getting a ton of views on your videos, you should still make sure that your YouTube channel is set up to bring in revenue. Collecting small amounts of money is better than no money at all, which leads us to our next point…

5. Get your music on streaming websites like Pandora, Spotify, and Tidal. We know that streaming doesn’t pay artists what they deserve to be paid, HOWEVER music streaming is now a really big way that people listen to music. So if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em! You can get your music on Pandora by following these steps. You can get your music on Tidal directly through their discovery platform, or by using a digital distribution service like TuneCore or CDBaby. You can also use either one of those to get your music on Spotify.

These are only five of the easiest ways to get paid right now. There are many other ways that we will discuss in future articles. One of the most important things to remember is that in order to get paid, you have to make it easy for people to pay you. You have to offer a product. You have to remind everyone that you have products that are available. And, you have to make sure to get your music on platforms that have a large amount of listeners.

If you need any help with this, don’t hesitate to contact us.

30 Content Ideas That Are Guaranteed to Grow Your Following

Marketing yourself as an artist is an everyday thing. That’s the difference between marketing and promotion: marketing is an all the time thing, while promotion is for something specific (e.g., a music video), and it’s for a certain period of time.

Social media is a very important aspect of promoting your brand and music. Most artists have a love/hate relationship with it, most don’t use it properly, and some don’t use it at all. However when you get the hang of it, social media can help you reach a huge audience.

One of the biggest mistakes artists make when using social media is that they use it strictly for promotion. Social media should never be used strictly for promo. It’s called social media for a reason – you need to be social!

Think of it this way, social media should be:

20% PROMO

80% CONTENT AND INTERACTING

People don’t want to see promotion all day. They will get annoyed and start to tune you out, so you need to produce consistent, entertaining content.

Here’s a list of 30 examples of content that you can use for promotion and your overall social media strategy:

  • Document your recording process with in-studio vlogs and photos.
    • – Take a video of you sitting in the studio with your song playing behind it. (You can do this for numerous songs.)
    • – Take a video of your friends in the studio jamming to your music.
    • – Take a photo of yourself in the booth recording.
    • – Take a video while sitting in the studio of you talking into the camera.
  • Document your musical journey with behind the scenes photos and videos.
    • – Take a photo and/or video of you rehearsing.
    • – Take a photo/video of you at sound check.
    • – Take a photo/video on the way to a show.
    • – Take a photo/video of you writing a song.
    • – Take a photo/video of you at a music event.
    • – Take a photo/video behind the scenes at a photo shoot.
    • – Take a photo/video behind the scenes at your new music video.
    • – Take a photo/video behind the scenes at an important meeting.
  • Share photos with fans.
    • – Take a photo of a fan holding your new album.
    • – Take a photo with a group of fans backstage at your show.
    • – Repost photos that fans put up at your shows and shout them out.
    • – Get videos of fans talking about your music.
  • Show love to others.
    • – Take a photo with another artist while you’re at their show or at an event. Share it, and tag them in it.
    • – Take a photo/video with the people you meet along your journey (e.g., radio personalities, bloggers, event promoters, publicists, etc.) and shout them out.
  • Get personal from time to time.
    • – Post cool photos of your surroundings (e.g., random nice views from your city or wherever you are at the moment, cool art from your area, etc.).
    • – Post a photo/video of your lunch/dinner. (You can add a caption like, “Just had a long day in the studio and decided to reward myself with a good meal from my favorite restaurant.”)
    • – Post random behind the scenes of your day-to-day activities.
  • Inspire others.
    • – Post quotes and sayings of things that inspire you. (You can write your own using an app such as Textgram or use screenshots that you find online.)
    • – Write inspiring captions for some of your photos/videos.
  • Post professional photos.
    • – If you take a new photo shoot, you can upload a pic to Instagram.
    • – If a photographer takes a cool shot of you performing, post it and tag the photographer.
  • Post snippets of new singles and video releases.
    • – Create mini clips of your new music video and post to Instagram. (Make sure you tell people where they can find the full video.)
    • – Use Flipagram to create a clip with your album cover art and music playing.
  • Repost almost everything that you’re tagged in.
    • – If a fan or friend posts a photo of you, repost it!
    • – If someone takes a video at your show, repost it!
    • – If someone posts a screenshot of your new album cover, take a screenshot of their post and repost it!

In order for your efforts to really make an impact, you need to be consistent and entertaining. If you’re not consistent enough, it will take people a lot longer to catch on. And if you’re not entertaining enough, people won’t pay attention. It’s not just about reaching more people, but getting your current fans/supporters more active (which actually brings more attention to you in the long run).

Here’s a few things to remember when posting the above content:

  • – Try to tie in your everyday photos with your music.
  • – Make people laugh.
  • – Show your personality.
  • – Post high quality photos as much as you can. (Phone photos are cool, but think about investing in a camera.)
  • – Use an app like “square instapic” to make your photos look cool.
  • – Use an app like “instashot” to add a cool white background to your videos.

If you need some help getting the hang of things, we can create a social media strategy for you. Contact us to learn more.

6 Things You Can Do Right Now to Make Your Brand More Visible

Your music is good, you’re live show is good, so why is it that you’re not seeing the traction that you want in your career? If you’re having a hard time getting new people to notice and take a listen to your music, there are a few small things that can make a big difference. Here’s a list of 6 things that you can do right now to make you easily searchable, look more professional, and attract new followers and fans:

1. Take Your Profiles Off Private. Being an artist and having a private social profile is one of the biggest contradictions of today. How do you expect a million people to like your photos, follow you, and retweet you if they can’t see your pics or tweets because your profile is private? You either want to be seen, or you don’t. As an artist, you want to be seen right? If there are certain individuals who you do not want lurking around on your Instagram or Twitter page, just block them, it’s that simple!

2. Make sure all of your social networks have the exact same name.  When you’re on stage, would you rather tell the crowd to follow you on Twitter @Best_Rapper784_ or follow you on Twitter @BestRapper? What’s easier to remember? The second option of course. And wouldn’t it be even better if all of your social networks had the same name? That way they can follow you everywhere without you having to tell them a different name for each one. We also suggest that your username is the same as your website domain. For instance, we’re @ExclusivePublic on all social networks.

3. Put up the same profile picture on all of your social networks. Make sure that you’re using a high quality photo (preferably one from a photo shoot or a cool shot taken at one of your shows). You are representing your music, your artistry and your brand. It’s important that you look professional and that you’re easily recognized.

4. Spice up your Twitter bio with something catchy. Whether you add a cool lyric to your bio, or add your own unique tagline, you’ll definitely want your Twitter bio to say something other than indie artist, for bookings contact [email] – BOOOORING! There’s a million indie artists out there with booking info in their bio. What makes you stand out? Show your personality. Make people want to follow! And don’t clutter it up with a million hashtags either.

5. Buy your domain name and put up an official website. When people search for you, what comes up? Can they go online, buy your music, buy a t-shirt and a ticket to your next show? Can they subscribe to your mailing list? Can they even find you at all? Having your own official website makes it much easier to find you online and it’s an amazing way to keep your fans in tune with you and coming back for more. Once you create your website, be sure to add it to your Twitter bio, Facebook page, Instagram Bio, Youtube page, Soundcloud, and any other website that you use for your music.

6. Create a logo that represents your brand. Put this logo on all of your digital marketing materials (your flyers, cd covers, etc.) as well as on your merch. This is completely optional, however you must remember that the more people see something, the more it sticks in their head. If your logo is found on all of your flyers, banners, business cards, album artwork, website, stickers, your merch and everything in between, the more it will get stuck in peoples minds. Take Nike for instance… we bet you just thought about that check mark or their tagline, “just do it.”

Overall you’ll want to remember that most of the time, the simpler the better. The easier you make it for people to find you, the more people will find you. The easier you make it for people to contact you, the better.

Need some help promoting your music and brand? Let us help you.

10 Ways to Get More People to Your Next Show

Performing live is one of the most crucial aspects of having a successful career in music. It’s also one of the best ways to earn an income as an artist. Booking shows takes a lot of work, especially in the beginning of your career, however packing out each show is an even bigger task.

Here are 10 promotion ideas to help bring more people to your next show:

1. Talk to the venue about ways to promote the event. Can they post a flyer at the venue? Add a digital flyer to their website? Post the flyer on their social media pages?

2. Offer pre-sale tickets at a discounted rate using eventbrite.com or splashthat.com. You can take it a step further by making it required for someone to sign up to your mailing list in order to have access to the discounted pre-sale.

3. Get social. Attend a lot of events around the date of your event. Support other artists in your city. Mingle at the events, and maybe even have tickets on you and give out free tickets to a few special people.

4. Create a Facebook event 1 month before your event and post on the page daily (Facebook sends everyone notifications every time you update your event).

5. Create a Facebook Ad the week of the event and boost it to everyone in your area.

6. Put up big flyers in your area and the area surrounding the venue. Nothing looks more like a big deal than seeing someones face plastered really big all over every street corner. You can use clubflyers.com to print your flyers at a reasonable price.

7. Text people and let them know about your show. Do not send a group text! Send individual texts with special invites to those that you feel would be interested in going.

8. Promote your show regularly (daily) on all of your social networks. You can even give an incentive for others to share/post by telling them whoever shares the flyer with a certain hashtag gets in the show for free (or for a discounted price, or they get to attend the pre-show meet and greet).

9. Add a few other upcoming artists in your area to the bill or add a headliner. If you don’t think you can pack out the venue on your own, you might want to think about inviting a local artist with a decent buzz to headline the show for you. Make sure that it’s in your budget and also make sure that they agree to promote the show and that their fan base would enjoy your music.

10. Send a special invite out to your mailing list to announce the show and the pre-sale tickets (a few weeks before the show) and then send another email the night before reminding them of the show.

If you are located in Philadelphia (and surrounding areas), we can help you curate your own show. Contact us directly for more details.

The Components of a Pre-Release Plan for Your Music

You put your heart and soul into recording your project. You spent tons of time trying to get the sound right. You’re excited to finally release it, and then BOOM, you’re disappointed because after a few weeks, you only have a few hundred listens, views, and downloads. You’re definitely not alone in this; there are many others in this same situation. But why? Let us clear it up for you.

Typical indie artists release way too much music. The main reason is because when they release, they don’t get enough traction or “buzz,” so they feel like they have to release another song or another video. A year or so goes by, and they have released three projects and countless videos, and still haven’t built up a substantial buzz. This is a reoccurring situation for many artists.

There are many possible reasons why you’re not able to build up enough buzz. The first thing that comes to mind is the music just isn’t that great. Either it doesn’t have enough commercial appeal or the mix just isn’t good. So, overall, it’s just not “marketable.” Or, your marketing materials didn’t catch people’s eyes. For instance, your cover art wasn’t that great, you don’t have a website or electronic press kit (EPK) so that people can search you, and/or your social media names are either all different or they don’t match your artist name. These are just a few examples. There are TONS of possible reasons. HOWEVER, if you’re one of those artists that’s thinking, “But I have all of that, and I’m still not seeing the results I want,” then this might be the perfect article for you.

Usually you would hire a publicist (or a few publicists) to help with the promotion of your upcoming project. However, even if you do have a PR team, there’s still a lot that you should be doing on your own. You might not have the budget for a full-blown PR campaign yet, since you’re putting your all into this project. So, we’ve compiled a list of things that you need to be doing to build up the anticipation for your project with or without a publicist on board:

  • Document your recording process – A big part of promoting yourself as an artist is being able to document your journey. Photos and videos of you in the recording studio are great content to promote your project via social media. You can sit in the studio with a song playing in the background and take a video for Instagram. Take video of people in the studio listening to your music and get their reaction. You can even record the whole process and create a mini documentary, release it in clips, and promote via social media.
  • Get feedback behind the scenes – A great way to add to the promotion of your next project is to let people hear some of your music before it’s released. You can invite people to your studio sessions (and not just your boys; as a matter of fact, keep them home) and record their reactions to your music. Maybe even get them to take a photo or video of you while they are in your session and post to their social media. Do this with 20 people and you have 20 people spreading the word about you already.
  • Utilize your mailing list – Send out an email announcing the release, and ask people to reply if they want to hear a sneak peak. Leak a single to those that want to hear it. Give special invites to your release event. Closer to your release date (a few weeks before), leak the cover to your list, and ask them to share on their social media channels. Keep your mailing list in the loop and get used to collecting email addresses and being in direct contact with people. This will allow you to measure how many fans you have, and market right to them.
  • Plan the release around a mini tour – Putting on a great show is a huge part of promotion and a great way to tell everyone about the release while also selling merch at the same time to put more money into your project. Set up shows in your area. Even if you have to book your own venue and throw your own shows, make sure you’re actively performing around your release date.
  • Update your contact list and start reaching out to fill them in on your upcoming release – Once your project is mixed and mastered, start reaching out to people that have blogs, radio shows, etc. See if they want to hear it, and maybe even write a review. Remember, most blogs want to have your music before it’s released, not after. You might even want to reach out to a few blogs to see if they would be willing to premiere your video or project on their website.
  • Offer an incentive to your fans – Whether you want people to share your cover art on their social channels, or buy your album in advance, give them an incentive to do so. This even works in other ways, too. For instance, if your fans request to listen to your new single before it’s released, have them share your cover art before you send them a download link (or set up a pay-with-a-tweet campaign).
  • Network with DJs – Do some research. Find out what type of gigs they play. See if their audience would benefit from your music. Let them know you have a few records for them. (Or, even ask about giving them an exclusive record, meaning they get it first.)
  • Craft a professional press release to get people excited – Once you have a release date, write a press release announcing it and explain some further details. Send this press release to your list of contacts and share it on social media. If you have a publicist, they would handle the writing of the release, as well as distributing it.
  • Set specific goals – Keep track of your stats. Make note of how many followers you have on all of your social networks. Use google analytics to see how much traffic is going to your website, how many downloads your last project received, how many average views you get on your videos, etc. Once you can see that information, you’ll be able to set realistic goals for yourself in order to measure the success of your campaign. You can also set goals for your pre-release campaign to make sure you’re not jumping the gun and releasing too early. For instance, I’ve seen artists tell their fans, “I’ll release the new video once 100 people share my album cover,” or something of that sort.
  • Create a timeline – Put a timeline together in written form so that you can really see the bigger picture. Include shows, when you’ll send email blasts and what they are about, and include special dates like when you’ll release the cover, etc.
  • Set up a pre-release – Set up a pre-release via iTunes or your website and encourage people to purchase in advance. Maybe even give them an incentive, such as whoever gets it in advance gets a sticker or a pin or a ticket to your private release party.
  • Use artwork to build anticipation – This is where having a great graphic designer comes into play. Some artists get their cover art and do a countdown 10-15 days before the release. Each day closer to the date, they’ll post the graphic to their Instagram and other social media accounts with something like “10 more days,” then “9 more days,” etc.

Overall, you really want to build the anticipation for your music as much as possible before you officially release it. This takes time, so don’t try to rush it. Start planning your release a few months in advance. We know that you’re eager to release your amazing music to the world, but that’s only an even better reason to take your time with it and make sure that you’re going to get the results you deserve.

Having trouble? Want us to help you with your pre-release plan? Contact us here.

How to Use Incentives to Sell More Music and Merch

When was the last time you bought two of something because if you bought one, the second was free (or half off)? PayLess sells a ton of shoes because of their BOGO (Buy One Get One) deal. Jordan makes a ton of sales when they offer three pairs in a bundle. BJ’s makes a ton of money offering products in bulk at lower prices. You get the point. Brands make a killing offering incentives everyday and this same technique can and should be used when promoting your music.

Whether you want fans to listen to your new song, check out your new video, share your new video, or subscribe to your mailing list, giving them an incentive to do so will get you better results. You’ll notice that there are some fans that are fully in tune with you. They’ll check for new music and go to your shows and be the first ones in line at the merch table, but new fans need more of an incentive.

Here are a few ways to get your fans involved and ultimately get that return on investment:

  1. Offer your music in a bundle. T-shirts usually cost $15-$25 and albums usually cost anywhere between $5 to $12, so how about offering your fans a t-shirt and a copy of your album for $20?
  2. Offer a signed copy of your album for the first 100 people that purchase it (maybe even make a house delivery).
  3. Offer exclusive incentives to anyone that subscribed to your mailing list. This gives fans an incentive to sign up. Whether it’s discounted merch, show tickets, or the offer is strictly available to those on your list, you’re bound to get more email sign ups when you treat them as VIP.
  4. Premiere your new video on your new website (if you’re just launching it) or on your new phone app. This will bring more views to your website and more downloads of your app.
  5. Give a free sticker (or pin, or shout out, etc.) to anyone that pre-orders your album.
  6. Offer discounted show tickets for a limited amount of time (or for a limited amount of people).

That’s just the beginning. There are many ways to market your music and see the return on investment that you deserve. The key is to plan it out. Think about what you want to accomplish, and then set up an incentive to make it happen. It may take some trial and error, but it’s a technique that’s been around for many years and will be around for years to come.

If you’re having some trouble or need help finding more creative ways to get your music out there, contact us now.

8 Ways to Get People to Share Your Song

Does promotion often feel like pulling teeth?

Has it been hard for you to get people to share your music?

If so, continue reading. We’re about to clear things up for you.

The truth is, paying for promotion and getting your music on bigger outlets can do wonders for your career. HOWEVER, your core fan base is actually your most effective form of promotion.

If you can get all of your fans to share your music, their friends will catch on, and then their friends will catch on. Before you know it, you’ll have an army of people listening and sharing your music.

Here are eight ways to get people to share your song:

1. Ask them. This might seem obvious, but it’s so obvious that a lot of artists overlook it. In the marketing world, we call this a “call to action.” Sometimes you have to give people a little nudge and let them know what you need them to do. So for instance, if you post your new video and someone likes it, send them a personal message and thank them for listening and ask for them to share. Simple right?

2. Send an email to your mailing list. Maintaining a weekly or monthly newsletter is an awesome way to keep fans in tune with you. You can send an email out to hundreds or even thousands of people at once (but make sure you have their consent). Send an email out to your mailing list that informs them of your new release and politely ask them to share it if they like it. This also works with my next point…

3. Give them an incentive. When you see a commercial on TV, you’ll usually see an incentive to buy. For instance, “purchase this now and receive a free ____” or “log on within the next 10 minutes and get 10% off.” People love incentives. They make them take action. So when it comes to getting people to share your music, you can tell them that if they share it with a certain hashtag (so that you can keep track), they’ll get a free sticker, or discounted merch, or a ticket to your next show, etc. Get creative.

4. Set up a “pay with a tweet” campaign. This is an amazing tool that a lot of artists are still unaware of. However, I’ve seen it done, and it really works. With a “pay with a tweet” campaign, when you send out your song, in order for the person to download it and listen they have to click a button that shares the song first in order to receive the download link. Need help setting this up? Contact us here.

5. Have a contest. Having an interactive contest is a great way to get your fans involved and taking action. Something as simple as having people share your cover art with a certain hashtag and whoever gets the most likes or has the most shares gets a prize, preferably some sort of merch. People love merch.

6. Work the crowd at your concerts. When you’re on stage you have power. We do this at our events and we know it’ll work for you. When you’re on stage, tell everyone to take our their phones and tweet something (usually it’s a specific hashtag). By doing this, you’ll gain more fan interaction and you can personally reach out to everyone that shared the hashtag and get them to share your song too.

7. Reach out individually. You’ll notice that there will be certain people that always reach out to you, like your posts, like your pics, etc. These people are often your best candidates for helping you with promotion. Reach out to them personally in a private message and thank them for their support. Let them know that you need their help. I bet you can get them to share your song! Notice that we didn’t ask you to ask a random person. Only ask those that are already in tune with you; it’s much more effective.

8. Send them a text. Mobile marketing is awesome because you get right to the source – their phone. People always have their phones handy. So, if you have their number, shoot them a text and let them know you need their help. Ask them to share your song or video. The most they can say is NO, but if you have their number that means you know them so they might be more receptive.

Things to remember:

1. The easier you make it for people to share, the better. If they can click one button to share, you’re more likely to get better results.

2. People love to get free stuff. Give it to them (but grab their emails and contact info in the process).

Do you need help with your promo strategy? Contact us here.