Grassroots Promotion – How Your Biggest Fans Can Help Promote Your Tour

This is a guest post from Indie on the Move. Indie on the Move is a collaborative music venues database & tour booking resource for independent musicians to book their own U.S. tours – for free. In this post they discuss ways to get your fans to help promote your shows for a tour. Hope you find it helpful!

Word of mouth is as important today as it has ever been, plus now it’s got the engine of online social media behind it. People are more connected than ever and music fans, as you know, love to spread the word about their favorite music and bands. Fans also enjoy being a part of the discovery process and the more you enable them, the more effective their promotions can be. After you win them over with your awesome music, it is key to engage your fans regularly and show them that you really appreciate their support.

We put together some ideas on how your biggest fans can help promote your tour and your music. It all hinges on your engagement on stage, online, and in the streets. If you connect with your fans and provide the material, they will spread the word.

Online Grassroots Promotion

a. Social Media – Claim it and use it. Get all your social media profiles optimized, invite all your friends, and be as active as possible. Your updates and posts will spread to friends of friends quickly through newsfeeds and sharing. If you’ve got a little budget for marketing, consider using twitter and facebook ads to promote posts and reach a larger audience. The right video, interview, or review can spread like wildfire within the platforms if presented properly.

b. Music Sharing Sites – Music sharing sites like Spotify, SoundCloud, and MixCloud are made for grassroots promotion. Playlists and music are shared both within the platform and on connected social media newsfeeds. This is a great way for your fans to share your music and get the word out about an upcoming tour.

c. Forum Sites & Blogs – There are some valuable, high quality music forum sites where your fans could mention your band or your upcoming tour. If you get in on the action and post threads, comments, and genuinely engage with the users, your efforts could really pay off in terms of growing your fan base. Some popular forums include jambands.com, jambase.com, indierockcafe.com, raeyourmusic.com, and bandmix.com. You can also check out the Indie on the Move Press Directory HERE for some more options.

d. Podcasts on iTunes – You may have fans who publish their own podcasts about musicians, the music scene, or their favorite live bands. Reach out to get an interview, share their podcasts, and comment on the iTunes store. If it’s a popular podcast, this could be a great way to get your fans to help publicize your tour.

e. YouTube – Allow your fans to post videos from shows, even if it’s not the greatest quality or it’s not your favorite show ever. Fans will still appreciate it. If they were at that show, they can relive the moments. If they missed it, they can live vicariously through the video.

Offline Fan Promotions

a. Pound the Pavement – Go out to see other bands and DJs. The more that you support others, the more likely they are to support you. Feel free to talk up your tour or latest project while there. Maybe even hand out some flyers and/or free downloads to interested parties. You could also buy tickets for a friend or fan to go to a show and do the same. Old fashioned word of mouth is still a valuable form of promotion.

b. Merchandise – This goes without being said, but make t-shirts and other merchandise to sell online and at your shows (in addition to selling your music). Merch is a great way to get your fans to promote your band without a lot of effort on their part. Maybe even give away t-shirts to some of your biggest supporters in exchange for them spreading the good word. Every t-shirt serves as a moving billboard promoting your name and brand.

c. Local Record Shops – These shops still exist and can be the heart of a city’s music scene. Discuss possible consignment and/or in-store performances. Die hard music fans inhabit record stores and this is a great place to connect with them.

d. Radio Stations – Reach out to the local radio station that plays your style of music. If any of the DJs are a fan of your band, connect with them directly about ideas for promotion. If you don’t have an “in” at the radio station yet, attend the local events that they put on and network while there. As mentioned above, people tend to support those that return the support. If you have a budget, you can also consider running an ad the week or two before your next show in that market. This will not only spread the word, but will make the DJs familiar with your name if they don’t already know it. Use the radio media list on indieonthemove.com to find contact information in desired markets.

e. Local Newspaper – Invite the local music columnist to your next show with free tickets so they can write a review or an opinion piece about your performance. This can reach a lot of locals and get them to download your music or show up at your next gig. Before your tour, reach out to newspapers and periodicals along the tour route. A publicist can be helpful here, but if you can present your act as newsworthy, this can be effectively accomplished in a DIY fashion. Indieonthemove.com has an extensive press list you can use to get started.

There are lots of ways to involve your biggest fans in a grassroots campaign to help promote your music or your next tour. The most important factor (besides stellar music) is your engagement with these fans. Connect with them, show your appreciation, and they’ll make an effort to spread the word. Providing them with some direction (a playlist they can download and share, flyers they can distribute, videos, or merchandise) will go a long way towards promoting your act.

★ Posted by DaveCool on May 30, 2013 | No comments ★
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7 Habits Of Highly Successful Entrepreneurs

happy, sky, sunset
Successful entrepreneurs often follow similar work practices and develop common habits that help lead them to success.

Although creating and running your own small business has a steep learning curve, you can shorten that curve as you endeavor toward success.
No matter what type of business you’re in, you still have business operations to tend to, people to deal with, a brand to build and a reputation to maintain. Incorporate these smart habits into your day-to-day work to streamline your business, help build your reputation and customer base and make it easier to avoid common mistakes:
1. Set achievable goals
It’s important to have long-term goals to work toward, but your short-term goals will help build the foundation that supports business growth. Enthusiasm often leads entrepreneurs to become overzealous and set goals that are hard to accomplish.
Start out with small goals you can achieve in a day or less and continue to expand from there.
2. Measure your progress
Keep track of short-term and long-term goals. Check your progress weekly or monthly to ensure that you’re on track. One way to know if you’re progressing at an appropriate rate is to research similar businesses to see how they evolved.
A business mentor in the same field can also help you determine whether or not you’re moving along at a rate that promotes growth without becoming overwhelming.
3. Know your strengths and weaknesses
As much as we’d all like to be experts at everything, some areas are better off in the hands of someone with experience. Be honest about your business strengths and weaknesses, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when your business is better served by doing so.
4. Set a schedule and plan your day
Entrepreneurs can find themselves being pulled in many different directions. It’s important to have a schedule to guide each day. Take time at the beginning of each week to plan a week-long schedule that includes appointments, tasks to be completed and any communication that needs to be made.
Be flexible enough to make changes, if necessary, and use your schedule to help avoid time wasters that prevent you from getting work done.
5. Network with other entrepreneurs
One of the least expensive and most effective learning opportunities to help grow your business is networking with other entrepreneurs. Whether the people you meet are novices or experts, the “two heads are better than one” line of thinking can help you find a solution to problems or learn something new that will enhance your business practices.
6. Continue learning
Many entrepreneurs have gained their knowledge and experience through hands-on learning. In addition to continuing to learn in this manner, it can be beneficial to take classes or attend workshops and exhibitions pertaining to your business. Knowledge you can put to use in your business will always pay for itself in the long run.
7. Acquire and manage talent
The day will come when you can no longer run your business as a one-person show. When this day arrives, it’s essential to hire people who share your vision and feel enthusiastic about helping you achieve your goals. Seek talented people whose experience and knowledge complements yours.
The habits and practices you bring to your new business can either help you achieve success or cause you to struggle needlessly. To avoid struggling or failing, incorporate these seven tips from the get-go. Although it might be tempting to cut corners to save money or time, you can gain efficiency through smart business habits.
Plan accordingly so you can set achievable goals and measure your progress along the way. As your small business grows, bringing others aboard—whether through networking or the hiring of employees—can help you continue to grow and succeed.

Read more: http://blog.brazencareerist.com/2013/05/29/7-habits-of-highly-successful-entrepreneurs/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=7-habits-of-highly-successful-entrepreneurs#ixzz2UpFwWf1L

How to Ace Your Music Business Meetings


This is a guest post by Wes Davenport. Wes is a music marketer, blogger, and publicist based in Nashville, TN. He writes about ways modern musicians can thrive at wesdavenport.com. Follow him on Twitter @wesdavenport for more music industry insights. 
In this guest post, Wes offers some great tips on making the most of your meetings. Enjoy!





If you’ve ever had a corporate day job, you know how terrible meetings can be. The worst meetings can be mind-numbingly boring wastes of time. Just because the music business tends to be on the creative end of the spectrum doesn’t mean it’s immune to bad meetings.

Given the swift pace of the industry, no one can afford to burn time on an unproductive meeting. You may land only 15 minutes in front of an important decision maker, so every minute counts. 

But don’t stress. There are three components of a successful meeting: preparationthe meeting itself, and the follow up. Here’s how to pull off each one so you’ll ace your next music business meeting.

Preparation

“Opportunity is a haughty goddess who wastes no time with those who are unprepared.” – George S. Clason 

Going into a meeting with full confidence in yourself is invaluable. If you don’t have faith in yourself, why should anyone else? The best way to bolster your confidence lies in preparation.

Set a time

If you’re the one requesting a meeting, arrange the meeting time around the other party’s schedule. This is just common courtesy. It would be rude to ask for an appointment, then demand for someone to conform to your schedule. 

If someone requests a meeting with you, throw out two or three times that would be convenient for you. By giving them options, you’ll save time by not going back and forth repeatedly until a date is found that works for everyone. 

While you’re at it, set a clear time limit. Meetings tend to drag on if they don’t have a specific end time. Time boundaries will make everyone involved more focused.

Set a place

The environment often sets the tone for a meeting. Consider your audience and your reason for meeting up. 

A casual brainstorming session will thrive if held outside on a beautiful day. Contract negotiations would be right at home in an office environment. The coffee shop is a popular networking locale. 

Clear your schedule

Imagine you have the fortune of getting in front of someone who could make a major impact on your career. You take great care in setting up a time and place. Then, after all that, you forget to ask off of work, find a babysitter, or tell your significant other you can’t make it to dinner that night (uh oh).

If you want to save face (and stay out of the dog house), clear out your schedule so you don’t have any conflicts. Stay organized with a calendar app like Google Calendar.


Know Your Stuff

Research whomever you are speaking with and their company. Check the company website and social networks for the latest news. Those will give you good conversation pieces and may lead to more insight on partnership opportunities. 

Also narrow down essential items that need to be discussed so nothing important gets left out. During a meeting, you have someone else’s undivided attention, a rare thing nowadays. Do you really want to leave a big question at the mercy of an overflowing inbox? 

All this information can be tough for one person to remember, so bring a team member along. They’ll be able to take notes and bring up crucial issues. 

A manager is appropriate for just about any situation, but keep lawyers, publicists, and producers in mind, too. Just be sure to let whomever you’re meeting with know who will be attending.

The Meeting

Regardless if this is a meeting with a CEO or a get together with a potential agent, productive meetings are often made up of the same components. 

Be on time

Just kidding. Be early. Sure, everyone says to take traffic and travel times into account, but factor in restaurant wait times, too. Waiting around at the front of a restaurant after just meeting someone can be a bit uncomfortable and awkward, so grab a table before everyone arrives.

Appearance

Most music business meetings are fairly casual, but it doesn’t hurt to dress a step nicer than your everyday attire. 

If you usually wear dirty t-shirts, opt for a (clean) button-up shirt instead. You can always roll up your sleeves and show off your tattoos if you need to casual it down. Bring a blazer or tie if you need to take it up a notch.

Ladies, I’m probably not your best resource on specific wardrobe recommendations. But another gender neutral appearance tip is have good posture. Keep your chin up, back straight, and shoulders square room make you feel and look more confident. 

Silence the phone



Or turn it off. Trust me, you don’t need to live-tweet this one.

Take the conversational temperature

Within about five minutes, you should be able to tell how much of a meeting will be strictly business. 

Meetings taking place during meals tend to be more conversational. Don’t be afraid to kick back and tell a couple of stories. At other times, if the other party seems hurried or humorless, stick to discussing what needs to be addressed.

Just be aware of the other person’s demeanor, and you’ll catch on. 

Take notes

Here’s where having a team member present comes in handy. 

Taking notes shows you’re engaged with the discussion. Ironically, doing so on an electronic device tends to make you look disengaged. Attitudes are changing, but for now, stick to taking notes on paper. 

Note: If you are going to take notes on a phone or tablet, at least let everyone know you’re doing that instead of goofing off.

Recap

At the end of the meeting, briefly recap what was said and what needs to be done going forward. Confirming the who/when/where/how makes sure everyone knows exactly what to do. As a bonus, it shows you paid attention. 

Get contact info

Before you leave, be sure to get the contact info of everyone involved. See if the info you have needs to be updated and find out preferred channels of communication.

Post Meeting

After the meeting is when things actually get done. Here’s how to capitalize on your preparation and productive meeting. 

Review notes

If you took notes on paper, transferring them to a digital format is the perfect time to go over your notes. Personally, my brain and professional life runs on Evernote

This beautiful, life-saving tool syncs notes to your desktop, your mobile devices, and to the Evernote website. That way, you have your notes wherever you go. Since Evernotes are digital, they are particularly coffee and fire-resistant.

After a digital backup, review your notes and refresh on what was discussed. 

Follow Up

The purpose of the follow up depends on why you met in the first place. You may simply thank them for their time. Or you could review action items to make sure everyone is on the same page. Regardless, send a follow up message within a short time after a meeting so everything is still fresh. 

Execute action items

Whatever action items were agreed upon, go get them done. Be prompt. Be efficient. Always deliver quality materials on time. 

A Flexible Framework

No meeting is the same, but this is a flexible framework to give you confidence, make a powerful impression, and open doors to future gatherings. Use it for pitch meetings, contract signings, job interviews, and first dates (OK, maybe not the last one). 

Good luck with your next business meeting! With these tips, I’m sure you’ll kill it.

1 Important Music Business Skill You REALLY Need To Learn

One Very Important Music Business SkillHey guys. Today I want to look at one very important music business skill that will greatly benefit you in your quest for a ‘successful’ music career. We all have our own idea of what success is, but if to you it involves getting known on a wider scale then you already are, the below strategy will definitely help.
I’ve already looked at three other essentialbusiness skills for musicians, but this additional skill is just as important, if not more so. You should use it alongside the others for a more professional and faster moving music career.
So, let’s have a look at what the subject of today’s guide is:
Leveraging other people and platforms who currently command more influence than you.
With that in mind, let’s get into it!
Important Note: This strategy is intended for musicians who already have a good level of talent which is ready to be showcased to the world. If your musical talent isn’t at that stage yet, this strategy won’t work for you. That said, still give it a read so you’ve got an idea of what to do when your abilities are at a more mature stage.

Leveraging The Influence Of Others In Your Genre

Leveraging the power of others is one of the most underused skills in the music industry. Businesses however do this all the time, often reaching out to other businesses that are bigger than themselves.
By doing this they know they can reach a whole new targeted audience in a short space of time (if successful). Yes they’ll need to offer the bigger business something back in return, but often this is worth the larger benefits they’ll get by being associated with this brand and being exposed to their audience.
While this tactic is used by some independent musicians, often it’s not. Networking with brands bigger then yourself is something that many musicians start out trying to do, but when they don’t get very far, they focus on reaching fans one by one. I’ll give you an example, but first let’s look at some of the types of people and businesses you can reach out to as a musician.

What Are Some Business And People You Should Be Collaborating With As A Musician?

While there are more than these, here are some of the main ones:
  • Other musicians in your genre with a bigger fan base.
  • Big Youtube channels who cover up-and-coming musicians.
  • Radio stations, whether local, Internet, or mainstream.
  • Event organizers who hold weekly, monthly, or one off events.
  • Djs who play your kind of music.
  • Companies who deal with music licensing for films and TV.
  • Etc.
All of the above often have access to a load of people interested in the type of music you make, and are therefore worth trying to build a professional relationship with.

Why Collaborating With People Bigger Then You Is Worth Your Time

Collaboration Skills For Musicians.Now let me make this clear; Building up a good relationship with these people and companies isn’t always easy. You could literally spend months trying to get just one of these connections with no luck. That said, in my opinion, it’s still the best path to take as a main music marketing strategy (You can still work on your general music marketing tasks alongside this).
The alternative to the above method is reaching fans ‘one by one’. Messaging people on Twitter trying to get them to listen to your music. Buying fans on Facebook and hoping they’ll turn into buying fans. Telling people you meet that you make music and giving them your web address in the hope they’ll listen. While these type of things can and do work, they’re very slow, and won’t allow you to build up any significant momentum with regards to giving your music career a boost.
If however you spend a couple of months getting just one of the above links and have them push you, you’re going to get a load of targeted listeners, based on a strong recommendation from a company or brand that they actively follow, know and trust. And that recommendation is worth a lot more than a random person (That’s you) messaging them on Twitter and telling them that your music is the bee’s knees.
I can’t stress enough how important this strategy is in terms of having your music take off a lot quicker. If you’ve spent years trying to build up your fan base but with not many significant jumps in the right direction, then you may want to start focusing purely on leveraging other people’s platforms and fan bases. If your current marketing strategy’s broken, fix it!

Making The Most Of Your Big Business Collaboration

While getting others with more influence than yourself on board to help you out can initially be a mammoth task, it does get easier. Unless you get very lucky, most likely you’ll have a load of doors shut in your face before you have your first taste of success. You’ll face rejection at nearly every turn, and you may even question if you’re wasting your time doing this. But, don’t give up!
Once you get that first respectable business or person putting their name alongside yours, you’ll have some leveraging power yourself. You can say you’ve worked with ‘xyz’. Not only is that great for the initial new set of eyes that will be on you (Hopefully their fanbase or viewers will take notice of you), but you can also use their name to make it easier to collaborate with other influential people and businesses.
Want an example? Ok.
Let’s say a big Youtube channel in your genre gave you a chance and worked with you in some way (Maybe a interview, a feature, or they recorded a mini video for you). Let’s also say you approached another big Youtube channel in the past, and they didn’t reply or said they were busy and couldn’t collaborate with you in any way. What you can now do is re-approach this previous channel who didn’t want to work with you, and let them know that you’ve worked with this other Youtube channel and was wondering if you’d be able to offer them something of a similar nature.
Now that you’ve worked with one of their competitors, you’ll be someone they take that bit more seriously. As both Youtube channels are in the same genre, they probably both keeping tabs on what each other are doing. If you work with one of them, the other will most likely be a lot more open to potentially working with you too. After all, no one wants to miss out on something that’s potentially big news!
I’m not saying that all previous companies that have rejected you will suddenly want to work with you because you’ve worked with someone they know, but it’ll be a lot easier to get that second collaboration in the bag. And once you’ve two big names you’ve worked with on you CV, you can use both of them to get you even more collaboration in future. The more you have, the more people will think you’re big news and be open to working with you.
Be sure to mention these names both on your website, and when you’re approaching new potentially collaborators. If you don’t showcase your achievements, there will always be people who won’t notice and overlook you because of this.

One Huge Tip For Approaching Big Businesses (Don’t Do This Or You WILL Fail)

Music Marketing And Music Business Skills Aren't All About YouBefore I go, I want to make one thing clear:
When approaching other businesses and big brands in your genre, don’t make the communication all about you!! Do that, and the majority of people you’re trying to collaborate with won’t give you the time of day.
What I mean by this, is you don’t want to open your communications like:
Hi ‘xyz’. My name’s ‘me’, and I’m a talented singer from Ohio who is building up a big buzz in my local area. You can hear some of my music here.
I think you should let me come on your TV show one time as that’ll help me get a lot bigger and get my name out there more. Call me on +0-NO-CHANCE and we can start working together right away. Thanks.”.
If you approach people like this, know that you won’t even get a reply in most instances. Not because they listened to your music and didn’t like it, but because they didn’t take your email seriously and therefore didn’t even listen to you at all.
Yes I know it’s your main aim to get out there more, but it isn’t theirs. Their main aim is to keep what they’re doing going, whether it’s providing a successful Youtube channel, playing the best songs on their radio station, getting the best artists for their gigs, and the like. So if you want to get them to work with you, you need to make it about them, and show them how working with you can benefit them. Do that, and people will be a lot more likely to give you a chance, fact.

Essential Music Business Skills Conclusion

Ok, so this guide turned out somewhat longer than I expected. In all honesty, I could go on about this subject a LOT more, and know I probably missed out some things that could make this strategy work even better. That said, I know long guides aren’t for everyone, and I just wanted to get across some key points which can get you started with with this game changing marketing method asap.
If you want to learn more about leverage marketing for musicians as well as a load of other business skills you could use in the music industry, you may want to check out my course or book. Additionally, my website has a load of addition free music guides and information which you may find useful.
If you’ve any questions or any additional tips for people, feel free to leave them in the comments section below. You can also join me on my Facebook page for more discussion and updates, so you may want to ‘like’ and get in contact with me there.
As always, it’s been a pleasure. I hope you enjoyed this guide, please share it around if you did. We’ll speak again soon. 🙂
Shaun Letang,
Music Industry How To.

What The Music Industry Isn’t Talking About – And How To Improve Music Curation

Pic_questionsBy Kyle Bylin of sidewinder.fm.
In this interview panel, three influential thinkers in music and tech — David Dufresne (Bandzoogle),Emily White (Whitesmith Entertainment), Frank Woodworth (Thrillcall) — talk about important issues in the music industry, interesting shifts in listener behavior, and how they would improve curation on subcription services.

sidewinder.fm: What is an important issue that no one is talking about right now?
David Dufresne | CEO of Bandzoogle: Something that folks don’t discuss enough is the fact that music is losing grounds to other forms of entertainment, in terms of mindshare and “wallet-share.” Apps, games, movies, professional sports, books, restaurants, travel, etc. It seems all of those have been innovating, creating new products, new distribution models and creating more awareness. All this while music has been at somewhat of a stand-still and with the main gatekeepers incentivized to actually slow down innovation.
“Fan attention” is becoming the most valuable commodity in entertainment. The music industry is trying really hard to optimize how the attention it currently has gets monetized, but very little trying to increase that relative attention. In other words, everyone is fighting for a bigger part of the existing slowly shrinking pie, instead of thinking of baking a bigger and tastier one. Innovation gets stifled, startups get killed, and in the long term, everyone suffers.
Emily White | Founder of Whitesmith Entertainment: There is a huge debate between people complaining that artists don’t get paid enough and like they used to vs. seeing a really exciting, open and limitless future in music. But the fact is: we are competing with free. Since media digitized in the late 90’s, music (as well as other content of course) immediately shifted from a physical product that had to be created to an intangible good that is easily accessible and transferable instantly. People forget that when they are griping about album sales or complaining that rights holders aren’t compensating artists and songwriters enough via streaming platforms. Instead, we need to be applauding these platforms for legally providing a way for the public to consume music in an organized and modern fashion. It only took our industry 15 years to accomplish this feat from the dawn of Napster to everyone freaking out to Steve Jobs calming rights holders’ nerves by launching the iTunes Store to subscription services finally emerging in the form of Rhapsody, Spotify and Rdio that make sense.
Frank Woodworth | Director of Business Develop at Thrillcall: I think one of the most important things that no one is talking about right now is the reversion of copyright. When the copyright act of 1976 was instituted the lawmakers decided that anyone who gave up the rights to their work could have it revert back to them in 35 years. Due to the legislative process the first date eligible are works in 1978, which means that starting this year and every year thereafter the rights to some of the most lucrative catalog works in our musical cannon could no longer be in the catalog of the major labels and publishers.
No one is talking about this because it is incredibly complicated. There are a number of legal rules you have to know to do it properly, and for co-written songs and deceased artists a variety of additional things come into play. No one is also talking about this because the labels and publishers probably do not want to draw any more attention to it than necessary.
This issue needs to be discussed for two reasons. The first is that the potential migration of catalog needs to be discussed in the valuation of any company that relies on copyrights for revenue. Anything post 1978 needs to be discounted at the year it reverts in terms of future revenues. Additionally labels and publishers could put a likelihood of reversion equation for each copyright and build strategies to minimize migration. The second reason is that all of these legacy artists will require help managing their catalog, which opens up opportunities for companies that can demonstrate proven success in marketing catalog and collecting publishing royalties.

Behavior Changes

sidewinder.fm: What is the most interesting shift in listener habits that is emerging right now? Why is this shift interesting to you?
David Dufresne: Since the cost of access to music has gone down dramatically, I feel like people take more risks and get out of their comfort zones more. In some cases people do it on their own, but some tastemakers, critics, app makers are also helping steer them down the rabbit hole.
For example, 15 years ago, if one of my friends was into metal, then he mostly would buy metal albums, only go to metal concerts, read metal magazines, etc. He couldn’t afford the money or attention efforts to seek out great jazz, for example, or hip-hop. Too risky and too expensive. Now, with music flowing freely, with social media (tons of friends saying what they like) and tons of different ways to discover music, I feel like people are discovering new genres and scenes, not just new bands.
There are major opportunities there to help create new experiences with recorded and live music to make people love more music, go to more shows and hopefully spend more money and attention on music. There are opportunities for rights holders to leverage their vast catalogues, as people discover or rediscover genres (Brazilian tropicalia, anyone? How about French hip-hop?) eras and scenes (British Invasion, Seattle 90’s grunge, etc.), and there’s opportunities for new bands to associate with those “brands”. I love the recent wave of shoegaze bands, for example, and I love that it’s making kids look into the history of Creation Records and find out about Ride, The House of Love, The Jesus and Mary Chain, etc. Is it all happening by accident or are people working on specifically creating value by nurturing those decades-spanning “scenes”?
Emily White: The biggest shift is the amount of music that’s out there because now anyone can record high quality content on their own and immediately distribute it worldwide. I love it as it has completely leveled the playing field because everyone has access to these tools, even taking it a step further and marketing to some extent on their own. How exciting and liberating! In the past, artists were beholden to signing to a company who sometimes had great intentions but sometimes didn’t always listen to the artist or do what was best for them. Of course, this abundance of music also means there is that much more competition in the marketplace and in daily life. May the best artists win, or rather, create long-term sustainable careers. From Medieval minstrels to now, we have all loved and needed music in addition to there being people who need to create music because they just can’t not. Thus, people will be creating and enjoying art forever.
[Read Frank Woodworth’s answer, which we ran as a full post: 
YouTube: Go To Discovery Source, Important Revenue Stream .]

Music Curation

sidewinder.fm: If you were given the role of chief curator at a leading subscription music service, what you would do?
David Dufresne: I’d do three things:
1. A lot of the current music curation is, “Hey! You love indie rock, here’s the hot new indie rock bands you should learn about before your friends do.” It’s like if Yelp recommended only sushi restaurants because I said sushi is my favorite food. I want music curation to expand my horizons and make me listen to better music, not just more music.
2. I also think curation needs to get more personal and context-aware. If I live in Montreal, local bands and bands that are coming on tour soon are probably relevant to me. If a few of my Facebook friends have a new favorite band and RSVP’d to their next concert, my curation service should know that. If I always listen to instrumental music during office hours, my “curator” service should learn that I have this preference and take that into account.
3. I would let anyone sign up to be DJs and create “stations” on my service, both in “long playlist” form, live “on-air” shows, commented (podcast-style) or not. Users would have a lot of fun, the good curator-DJs would get more followers, draw in more users, and the data mining would provide tons of value. Basically, crowd-source the curation.
Emily White: I am convinced we need to be thinking about how people listen to music from a completely different angle and perspective than we have in the past. The industry has gone from vinyl to CD to digital retail to streaming. I can’t help wondering how 15-year-old me would consume music, as even though I love it, when I look on Spotify, Rdio, etc. it’s just an evolution of how albums are presented to the public. I mean literally, looking at the screen on those platforms and seeing the album covers is just the 2013 version of row of vinyl hung up at a shop in the 1960’s. It has just evolved.
We need to truly think differently about what role music plays in the bigger picture of society because it will always be there both in the sense of being created and being enjoyed. We need to forget just turning an album into a CD and then onto iTunes / Amazon and then onto Spotify / Rdio. I do think giant leaps and bounds have been made in fan education with regard to the importance of direct-to-fan. But for the more casual listener, particularly anyone that grew up in the pre-iTunes era, we need to think about how and why those people listen to music and how we can create the best possible experience for all. I’m not sure yet, but I don’t think we can ever over emphasize fanatics, but we also need to realize they are just a small piece of the larger puzzle.
Frank Woodworth: I’m not sure if curation is the answer to the problem, but I think streaming services lack artist involvement and a strong editorial voice. So, if I were made chief curator, I would incorporate more writing by the artist, the users and the editors of the service to give context for the featured selections. I would break the service down into layers to give structure to the editorial.
Many e-commerce companies are creating content around their offerings because they know that voice drives sales. Streaming services have largely avoided doing this because they are already paying significant amounts for content. They believe that the content speaks for itself. In a way, this is true, but when their competitors have all the same content context becomes very important.
The infrastructure needed to facilitate this content is accomplished by layering the service. Layer one is artist pages. Layer two is user pages. Layer three is the genre pages. Layer four is the main page. Each of these layers work together to form a cohesive path to float quality content up through the service starting with the artist pages.
Each artist would be given control of their page, so that they can curate their catalog within the services framework. This ensures that anyone who is interested in an artist can experience their music as they think it should be heard. These pages would also allow the artist to write liner notes for every song and album. They will also have the opportunity to post about non-recorded music endeavors so that they can reach those interested in their music.
Then users would have the opportunity to build playlists on their page. Again, they will have the opportunity to give editorial context to their selections. A main priority for this division would be to partner with trusted blogs and magazines and other music companies to make the most of the capabilities offered by the service.
Genre pages would highlight both new releases and catalog music as well as the most interesting user playlists. These require a strong editorial voice and would have a writer/curator to populate the page. Albums and songs would be reviewed creating a hybrid of the magazine review system, and the preview ability afforded by streaming.
Layer four would be the main page. This would be a highlight of all the editorial selections for the most relevant music in the service regardless of genre, leading to the appropriate artist or user page.
This streaming service would end up resembling a hybrid, of the best parts of iTunes (main and genre Pages), the original Myspace (artist pages) and classic Rolling Stone (expert reviews and commentary).
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Sidewinder.fm is founded and edited by Kyle Bylin of Live Nation Labs. If you would like to contribute a post to be featured on the site, please reach out.

Prince’s New Record Deal

Prince image


We tend to think of record labels not changing much even in the face of the major paradigm shift that is Music 3.0, but while that may hold true for the major labels, there are a few that are forward thinking. Take Kobalt Music, for instance, which is an independent publishing company that launched their version of a label last year with the idea of giving control back to the artist, allowing them to not only maintain ownership of their work, but when and how it’s made available as well.

The latest to sign a deal with Kobalt is superstar Prince, who joins the likes of Dave Grohl, Paul McCartney, Dave Stewart and Eddie Veder (among others) who’ve decided that this is the way to go in the future. Of course Prince is all about control, even changing his name to that unpronounceable symbol in order to get out from under the clutches of his deal with Warner Bros.

One of the things that he gets in the new Kobalt deal is access to their new software that closely monitors the streaming world, thereby increasing the royalties. Every artist and songwriter is concerned about streaming and what it will do to their career, so any way to get a foot up is attractive, which is why Kobalt seems to be making the splash that it is at the moment.

It’s still to be determined just how successful their software tools actually will be, but there’s a lot of music heavyweights that are convinced that Kobalt has something they need. You’ll hear more about them in the future.

Read more: http://music3point0.blogspot.com/2013/05/princes-new-record-deal.html#ixzz2UVKopYn2
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike

Top 13 Sites for Women to Follow

  1. Catalyst: This website by nonprofit group Catalyst hosts research about women in business and an insightful blog, Catalyzing.
  2. Daily Worth: A personal finance and business site for women updated daily with money tips and blog posts. Their motto is: “We believe all women should be in charge of their financial health.”
  3. BlogHer: The premier women’s blog platform is celebrating its siwebsites for women 300x196 Top 13 Sites for Women to Followxth year this year–and it’s still going and growing.
  4. Change The Ratio: The tumblr presence of the Change The Ratio campaign, which aims to tip the scales on women on the corporate and entrepreneurial level, features updates from women’s events and inspirational content. Take Sheryl Sandberg’s Harvard grad address: “If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat. Just get on.”
  5. Daily Muse: A career advice hub for the Gen-Y careerist, the newly relaunched site features accessible (and entertaining) advice for recent grads and working gals and a bang-up portal for job hunting.
  6. Dooce: With stunning pictures and crisp wit, mom and former Web designer Heather Armstrong chronicles her life and the world around her.
  7. Feministing: An online community and blog with a feminist perspective that analyzes how pop culture and mainstream media reflect modern women.
  8. Women Entrepreneur: The female arm of Entrepreneur.com, this site is a resource for current and aspiring women business owners, featuring in-depth profiles of success stories as well as up-to-date advice on funding.
  9. Babble: A community for new parents with advice, recipes, news and resources, plus a witty blog called Strollerderby.
  10. Jezebel: Owned by Gawker Media, a must-visit blog about celebrity, sex and fashion that bites into the media’s representation of women and critiques gender in pop culture.
  11. Ms. Magazine: The Web presence of feminist frontrunner Ms. magazine, the website boasts the most extensive coverage of U.S. and international women’s issues.
  12. Pioneer Woman: Ree Drummond juggles homeschool, career and life on a ranch, and blogs her recipes, photography and family stories. Inspiring and delicious.
  13. The AtlanticThe Atlantic covers news and analysis on politics, business, culture, technology, national, international and life on the official site of The Atlantic Magazine.

BMI Members Receive 25% Discount to 2013 New Music Seminar

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As part of Broadcast Music, Inc.’s sponsorship of the 2013 New Music Seminar to be held in New York City, June 9-11, 2013, BMI members will receive a 25% discount off registration! This seminar is a great opportunity to network and form new contacts within the music industry, and will feature more than 150 leaders speaking on topics from music publishing to booking agents to independent labels and more. In addition, you can hear some of the latest breaking artists perform at eight venues over three nights.
To view some of the top players who will be participating this year, visit: http://newmusicseminar.com/conference/2013-players/.
To register, go to http://newmusicseminar.com/registration and use code: NMSBMI13 at checkout.
The event will be held at:
New Yorker Hotel
481 8th Avenue
New York, New York 10001
Phone: 212-388-8323
With your registration, you will also receive access to special low rates at the conference hotel.  

How to Ace Your Music Business Meetings


This is a guest post by Wes Davenport. Wes is a music marketer, blogger, and publicist based in Nashville, TN. He writes about ways modern musicians can thrive at wesdavenport.com. Follow him on Twitter @wesdavenport for more music industry insights. 
In this guest post, Wes offers some great tips on making the most of your meetings. Enjoy!

If you’ve ever had a corporate day job, you know how terrible meetings can be. The worst meetings can be mind-numbingly boring wastes of time. Just because the music business tends to be on the creative end of the spectrum doesn’t mean it’s immune to bad meetings.

Given the swift pace of the industry, no one can afford to burn time on an unproductive meeting. You may land only 15 minutes in front of an important decision maker, so every minute counts.

But don’t stress. There are three components of a successful meeting: preparationthe meeting itself, and the follow up. Here’s how to pull off each one so you’ll ace your next music business meeting.

Preparation

“Opportunity is a haughty goddess who wastes no time with those who are unprepared.” – George S. Clason 

Going into a meeting with full confidence in yourself is invaluable. If you don’t have faith in yourself, why should anyone else? The best way to bolster your confidence lies in preparation.

Set a time

If you’re the one requesting a meeting, arrange the meeting time around the other party’s schedule. This is just common courtesy. It would be rude to ask for an appointment, then demand for someone to conform to your schedule.

If someone requests a meeting with you, throw out two or three times that would be convenient for you. By giving them options, you’ll save time by not going back and forth repeatedly until a date is found that works for everyone.

While you’re at it, set a clear time limit. Meetings tend to drag on if they don’t have a specific end time. Time boundaries will make everyone involved more focused.

Set a place

The environment often sets the tone for a meeting. Consider your audience and your reason for meeting up.

A casual brainstorming session will thrive if held outside on a beautiful day. Contract negotiations would be right at home in an office environment. The coffee shop is a popular networking locale.

Clear your schedule

Imagine you have the fortune of getting in front of someone who could make a major impact on your career. You take great care in setting up a time and place. Then, after all that, you forget to ask off of work, find a babysitter, or tell your significant other you can’t make it to dinner that night (uh oh).

If you want to save face (and stay out of the dog house), clear out your schedule so you don’t have any conflicts. Stay organized with a calendar app like Google Calendar.


Know Your Stuff

Research whomever you are speaking with and their company. Check the company website and social networks for the latest news. Those will give you good conversation pieces and may lead to more insight on partnership opportunities.

Also narrow down essential items that need to be discussed so nothing important gets left out. During a meeting, you have someone else’s undivided attention, a rare thing nowadays. Do you really want to leave a big question at the mercy of an overflowing inbox?

All this information can be tough for one person to remember, so bring a team member along. They’ll be able to take notes and bring up crucial issues.

A manager is appropriate for just about any situation, but keep lawyers, publicists, and producers in mind, too. Just be sure to let whomever you’re meeting with know who will be attending.

The Meeting

Regardless if this is a meeting with a CEO or a get together with a potential agent, productive meetings are often made up of the same components.

Be on time

Just kidding. Be early. Sure, everyone says to take traffic and travel times into account, but factor in restaurant wait times, too. Waiting around at the front of a restaurant after just meeting someone can be a bit uncomfortable and awkward, so grab a table before everyone arrives.

Appearance

Most music business meetings are fairly casual, but it doesn’t hurt to dress a step nicer than your everyday attire.

If you usually wear dirty t-shirts, opt for a (clean) button-up shirt instead. You can always roll up your sleeves and show off your tattoos if you need to casual it down. Bring a blazer or tie if you need to take it up a notch.

Ladies, I’m probably not your best resource on specific wardrobe recommendations. But another gender neutral appearance tip is have good posture. Keep your chin up, back straight, and shoulders square room make you feel and look more confident.

Silence the phone

Or turn it off. Trust me, you don’t need to live-tweet this one.

Take the conversational temperature

Within about five minutes, you should be able to tell how much of a meeting will be strictly business.

Meetings taking place during meals tend to be more conversational. Don’t be afraid to kick back and tell a couple of stories. At other times, if the other party seems hurried or humorless, stick to discussing what needs to be addressed.

Just be aware of the other person’s demeanor, and you’ll catch on.

Take notes

Here’s where having a team member present comes in handy.

Taking notes shows you’re engaged with the discussion. Ironically, doing so on an electronic device tends to make you look disengaged. Attitudes are changing, but for now, stick to taking notes on paper.

Note: If you are going to take notes on a phone or tablet, at least let everyone know you’re doing that instead of goofing off.

Recap

At the end of the meeting, briefly recap what was said and what needs to be done going forward. Confirming the who/when/where/how makes sure everyone knows exactly what to do. As a bonus, it shows you paid attention.

Get contact info

Before you leave, be sure to get the contact info of everyone involved. See if the info you have needs to be updated and find out preferred channels of communication.

Post Meeting

After the meeting is when things actually get done. Here’s how to capitalize on your preparation and productive meeting.

Review notes

If you took notes on paper, transferring them to a digital format is the perfect time to go over your notes. Personally, my brain and professional life runs on Evernote.

This beautiful, life-saving tool syncs notes to your desktop, your mobile devices, and to the Evernote website. That way, you have your notes wherever you go. Since Evernotes are digital, they are particularly coffee and fire-resistant.

After a digital backup, review your notes and refresh on what was discussed.

Follow Up

The purpose of the follow up depends on why you met in the first place. You may simply thank them for their time. Or you could review action items to make sure everyone is on the same page. Regardless, send a follow up message within a short time after a meeting so everything is still fresh.

Execute action items

Whatever action items were agreed upon, go get them done. Be prompt. Be efficient. Always deliver quality materials on time.

A Flexible Framework

No meeting is the same, but this is a flexible framework to give you confidence, make a powerful impression, and open doors to future gatherings. Use it for pitch meetings, contract signings, job interviews, and first dates (OK, maybe not the last one).

Good luck with your next business meeting! With these tips, I’m sure you’ll kill it.

★ Posted by DaveCool on May 23, 2013 | No comments ★

Artist Branding 101- Things That Affect Your Brand

As an artist you are your own brand, whether or not you know it or acknowledge it. It is up to you to make sure your brand stands out from the rest. Branding has everything to do with PRESENTATION – HOW YOU ARE PRESENTED AND PERCEIVED BY THE PUBLIC – whether it be online or offline. It is essentially what you are known for as a whole and believe it or not, your longevity will depend on how strong your brand really is.
This is a type of industry where you must always be ready. Someone new can check you out at any given moment so you have to look your best at all times, all across the board. We live in a digital world, so how you present yourself in person is just as important as how you represent yourself online. A lot of the time, your music isn’t the first thing people are introduced to. You are first seen on social networks, blogs, websites, magazines etc. Think about it, when you hear about something new and want to learn more about it, the first thing you do is look it up! The last thing you want to do is portray a negative image of your brand. You want to make sure that at first glance, the image you put out represents YOU at your best.
Ask yourself:
If someone judges you by your cover, what do they see? What type of image do you put out? Does your image reflect how you want to be perceived by the public? Would you be a fan of YOU?
So what are we getting at here? In order to succeed with a career in music there are things that you really need to be aware of and put your all into in order for your brand to stand strong. To clear things up even more, I made a list with a few examples of things that affect your brand:
Things that affect your brand:
  • Your music and lyrics – Does the recording sound professional? Do your lyrics represent who you are and what you stand for? Does your music stand out or sound like everything else that people are getting tired of? 
  • How you use social media to interact – Yes, the way you use social media has a direct reflection on your brand. When you spam that gives off a negative image because it immediately shows that you are an amateur. When you engage with people and properly promote your music and are actively building a loyal following, it gives off a positive image of your brand.
  • How ‘up to par’ your online presence is – Do you have a professional custom website? Are all of your social networking sites up to date? Do you have professional photos? What about custom backgrounds and graphic images? These are the main things that have to do with your appearance online. You have to make sure that your brand can be clearly seen throughout your online profiles.
  • Your stage presence – Do you really know how to interact with the crowd and keep them engaged? Do you attract fans when you perform or do you give them a reason not to see you perform again?
  • Your music videos – Are they good quality? Do they enhance your song or take away from it? Visuals are a must, however you need to make sure that they are making you look good and drive even more traffic to your music.
  • How you dress and appear in images – Does your image reflect who you really are as well as what you want to represent? This is not saying that you need to be flashy everywhere you go, however you do want to represent yourself in a good way and often those that are a little flashy and show their uniqueness get noticed more than someone who doesn’t pay any attention to their appearance.
Let me give you a scenario:
You are performing at an event, there is only one other artist on the line up aside from you.
Other artist: Put on a decent performance and once he got off the stage, he made sure to mingle with as many people in the room as possible. He had business cards in hand that included links to his website and all of his social networks.
You on the other hand, put on a pretty amazing performance and once you got off stage people were coming up to you asking for your info – but you don’t have a website to tell them to go to, or a mailing list for them to sign up to, and since you have neither one, you didn’t bother making business cards with that info on them. So you shook hands and tried to remember as many twitter names as possible.
So now tell me, who got the best response from their performance? Who left the show with more twitter followers, more Facebook likes, and more people subscribed to their mailing list? You guessed it, the other guy.
What you show to the public has a direct correlation to what you stand for in general. Think about it this way: when you first meet someone, or hear about them, what factors go into making your first impression of them? What things affect them in a positive and negative way? Think of your brand as the core of your personality and what you are known for. If a girl dresses half naked and goes to the club every weekend, you’re automatically going to label her in a negative way, this is the same way you are judged as an artist. From the things that you do to how you present yourself to what you stand for, all make up your BRAND. You brand yourself through your actions as well as your professionalism and appearance.
While there are other aspects that go into building a solid successful brand (mentioned in the bullet points above), there are a few KEY components that an artist MUST HAVE to look professional and attract the attention needed to succeed. These same components also separate the professionals from the amateurs:
Key Things That Make You Look Like the Professional Artist That You Are:
1. You need to be easy to find. You need your own custom domain that is the portal to everything YOU. Your website needs to include your bio, music, videos, tour dates, a place to buy your merchandise and of course, links to all of your social media sites. Nowadays you just can’t get around it. In order to be considered a professional you MUST have a website.
2. If you want to be taken seriously in this industry, having a professional bio is critical. A well written bio is the ultimate marketing tool. Your bio is your first chance to get people interested in your music, plus it’s an amazing way to book more shows and get publicized in online magazines and websites.
3. Your brand needs to be recognizable from all angles. Your online presence needs to be crisp, clean and memorable.  Your social media presence must stand out! You can do this by having custom designs on all of your social media to match your personal website. Everything should have a similar feel to represent your brand.
4. You might want to use a symbol or tagline that people can use to relate directly to you.  Not every artist needs a logo, not every artist has a catch phrase or ‘tagline,’ however those that do have one have more chances of being noticed because they can post it everywhere possible and fans will begin to relate that image or tagline to a certain artist.
So ask yourself:
Have you released music and performed at showcases in the past and spent hours upon hours promoting but still didn’t get the response you were looking for? 
The answer to your problem is most likely BRANDING. If your brand is weak,  you won’t stand out – which ultimately means that you’re forgettable. So now it’s time for you to analyze your brand and make the necessary changes that will surely make you stand out (in a good way) and start to get a great response from your promotional efforts.
If you do not understand how to take your brand to the next level or if you are looking for someone to write your bio, design your website etc, please do not hesitate to contact me @BreezyB215 and take a look at my company site www.exclusivepublic.com