BY: MACKENZIE CARLIN
Music professionals are at a strange crossroads. On one hand, it’s easier than ever to make music with great sound quality, so there’s more competition than ever. On the other hand, the number of opportunities to make money through music is at an all-time high. Whether it’s new platforms that pay musicians online or mobile technology that makes it easier to accept credit cards at gigs, 21st century tools are changing the game in music. If you’re a new musician or an experienced player looking for a new way to get by, these ideas may lead to your next paycheck. Play on.
The Internet is the new engine that delivers music to listeners. From Spotify to Sound Cloud, various online platforms pay artists per play or enable paid downloads. The trick is getting your music on the most prominent sites. That’s where CDbaby.com can help. CDBaby helps independent artists sell music on iTunes, Amazon, Facebook, Spotify and a number of other platforms. CDBaby can also license your music for film, TV and Youtube, so you get paid anytime your music is used. CDBaby charges $49 for an album and $12.95 per single. If your believe there’s a market for your music, CDbaby will make it available. For independent musicians, it’s all the perks of a major label without the commitment.
Musicians and bands who are making money the old-fashioned way are using new technology to boost their sales. Bands who sell merchandise at shows have traditionally only been able to accept cash. Now, any band member with a smartphone can turn his device into a POS system. Square, Paypal and Intuit all over offer free credit card readers that correspond with an app. Users can link their bank accounts and process transactions. Providers usually charge between two and three percent. By using their mobile devices, musicians are following a common trend in the workplace. Bring your own device (BYOD) gives professionals the familiarity of their personal devices at work. Blackberry is a leading mobile provider for the BYOD trend. With it’s BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10, IT managers can track devices from a unified platform. It’s cutting costs for businesses, and now musicians are jumping on board.
Perhaps it’s time to explore a new project in your music career. Entrepreneur.com lists a number of viable business opportunities in the music industry ranging rehearsal space rental to record label foundation. If you have an ear for talent, you may the perfect candidate to start your own label. You’ll hire bands, rent a studio, have music mixed and conduct any other high-level logistics needed to get an artist off the ground. Other opportunities involve emceeing events and managing music festivals. Ask around music insiders in your community. You’ll be surprised how many opportunities you find.
Word of mouth will always be the best way to earn new fans, but artists are getting creative in how they market music. Social media provides platforms to connect with listeners. A bar musician may hand out business cards with a list of links to music and social media accounts. Not only can fans listen to music, they can also connect on a personal level. More and more, bands with strong social media presences are scoring new fans and generating buzz.
BY: SARI DELMAR
Everyone talks about networking and how it’s so important for your business, but when it comes down to it, not many people know how to do it and why it’s so valuable. Here are a few tips for all the new networkers out there.
No matter what your business, if you’re a up and coming musician, a publicist or an accountant, it’s important to know people in your industry. Industry connections, no matter the context, can make a considerable difference when it comes to growing and maintaining your business. People you meet along the way in life can help you to learn new things, and with our ever changing culture, you never know who you will need in your corner in the future.
Now you know why you network, but how do you go about doing it? First and foremost, it’s important to always look presentable. No matter where you are, whether it’s at the office, at a concert, or running errands, first impressions are crucial! There’s nothing worse than meeting your future employer looking like a total mess.
But you can’t always expect people to come to you. So really make an effort when it comes to networking. Seek out places to meet people and engage accordingly. You can always count on conferences and festivals, but with all the access we have in the digital age, tools like LinkedIn can be a great asset for connecting and networking. Join relevant groups and start discussions. Share contact information, and always be sure to follow up with the connections you make along the way. After all, you never know when you might need something down the road.
Networking also isn’t limited to your industry. Be sure to, wherever you are, ask. Ask people what they do for a living, get to know them better and see how they might be able to help you in your business.
Hopefully these few tips clear up all your networking questions and make a difference in in all your future business endeavors. And incase you want to connect with us. You can add us to LinkedIn! We’re always looking to connect!
Facebook recently admitted that the Organic Reach of Facebook pages (or the number of unique people who see your content on your page or on their own News Feed) is declining and will continue to do so over time.
According to Ignite Social Media, the reach of a Facebook brand page is as low as 3%. That means that brands (bands included) are only reaching 3 out of 100 fans every time they post content. Much of this has to do with changes in the Facebook algorithms. These new changes will make it increasingly difficult for DIY artists to connect with their fans on Facebook for free, thus encouraging paid advertising options.
But for many artists, Facebook advertising would either be too expensive, or the ROI (return-on-investment) would be too difficult to measure. So what can you do to leverage this platform without paying for it?
Here are three cost-free things that artists can still do to maximize their presence on Facebook:
1. Produce engaging content
This tip may seem the most obvious, but it’s arguably the most important too. Creating content that engages people keeps you on their News Feeds more often. Facebook encourages social activity and rewards pages that people engage with, therefore it’s important to consistently create content that people want to see.
You can test different factors of your posts in order to see what is most effective. Some options for this include:
* A/B testing headlines
* monitoring the “clickability” of certain types of images
* using different words to test which ones draw the most attention
2. Better timing
In order to maximize each post, it’s important to know when most of your fans are online. Remember that News Feeds are sequential for the most part. The most recent content falls at the top (with some exceptions, of course). Facebook provides you with insights as to when your fans see content within their News Feed. You can find this information in the “When Your Fans Are Online” part of the Posts section under the Insights tab. The graph will tell you the days and hours that your fans view content, and can give you an idea of the best times to schedule your posts to get the highest engagement.
3. Utilize Story Bump
Story bumping is an update Facebook made to the News Feed that allows old content to be inserted near the top of the News Feed if people are still interacting with it. You can do this by replying to comments that people have posted in the past, or link back to an older post in a new post. In order to utilize this, be sure that you’re creating content that stimulates conversation so that people will want to comment. Encourage your fans to interact by asking their opinion on a song, or their thoughts on one of your new videos.
While you’re focused on maximizing your Facebook presence, remember these two important details:
Facebook isn’t the only marketing platform available to artists. Twitter, Instagram, Vine, and even Google+ are valuable platforms that you could utilize to build your online presence. Also don’t forget about email. It’s one of the most effective tools that a musician can use to reach fans. Because of this, it’s a good idea to get all of your Facebook fans onto your email list. By diversifying, you’ll still sustain contact even when a social network makes a change that may not be best for the marketing of your music.
More effective measuring
Getting good data is essential in marketing your music. It’s the only way to know where your time and money is best spent. There are plenty of free tools that allow you to get the data you need so that you can make informed decisions on what you are posting and how you ar posting on Facebook. Some important things to measure include:
* fan engagement ( by looking at Facebook Insights)
* traffic from Facebook to your website (by looking in Google Analytics)
* purchases (by setting up tracking codes)
Billy Bones, a music marketing expert who works with record labels in improving their marketing strategies. He also runs BBE Booking Agency, a music booking agency that works with event planners in talent acquisition and event production.