The #1 most important thing you can do to market your music

email2 The #1 most important thing you can do to market your musicEmail is still the most effective form of online marketing

When you want to encourage fans to purchase your music, or leave a review, or tag you in photos that they took at your show, or watch your newest YouTube video, EMAIL is the best way to get someone to take action.
According to many studies on internet habits, you’re far more likely to see results from a well-written email newsletter than from a series of tweets or Facebook posts. Plus, when you collect a fan’s email address, you have the opportunity to market to them again and again. THAT’s why building your email list should be your top priority when it comes to marketing your music. 
But there’s another important reason why you should be focusing most of your marketing efforts on building your email list: you need to OWN your fan relationships.
When you build a following on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, those companies are in control of not only HOW you communicate with fans, but also WHO gets to see your content. Plus,… remember MySpace? You don’t want to spend years collecting likes on Facebook only to lose those fan connections to changes in social media trends or functionalityYour email list is forever!

How to grow your email list

1. Place an email collection widget on your website
2. Give away a free MP3 download or offer some other incentive on your website in exchange for an email address
3. Give your email newsletter subscribers access to exclusive content
4. Put clear calls-to-action on your website (for example, “sign up for my monthly newsletter” or “get email updates about our music”)
5. Prominently feature your email signup list at your merch booth
6. Give something away for free at shows in exchange for email addresses (guitar picks, posters, stickers, etc.)

For some more tips on how to build your list of email newsletter subscribers, check out:

OK. Great. So you’ve built your email list. Now what?

How to effectively market your music to the fans on your email list

You want your email newsletters to connect on an emotional level with your fans, provide some insight into your creative process, and show your appreciation for their support. But you also want to your emails to drive music and concert ticket sales too. Here are some tips to help you do just that:
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#New "Euphoria" Will Downing – Album Review by Justin Hayes – (@RealJMHayes)

  

        Will Downing is back again with his newest album titled euphoria, released on his own record label titled sophisticated soul records. This album is packed with remade classics that the beloved singer put his own jazzy soulful twist on. There are 8 tracks on the album, including “Turn off the lights” originally performed and sung by teddy Pendergrass and a sweet soulful Brazilian television theme song titled “Meu Bem Querer,” which is sung entirely in Portuguese by Will Downing. Downing stated that this record was the “hardest record that he has ever recorded because it was in a different language” Downing also gave a lot of praise to his New Jersey neighbor who speaks Portuguese and helped him get every word correct. Euphoria is Downing 26th album that he has released to his fans, and stated that like the others, these songs have captured his feelings enough to remake with a twist. Downing was was most glad that he is still able to give music to his fans.  

How to create and tell your band’s “story” by @CDBaby

marketing your music Marketing Your Music 101: how to create and tell your bands story
In a previous article I talked about the importance of STORY when it comes to marketing your music. “Story” is a vague catchall word, I know. But what I mean is this: an extra-musical impression that develops in a potential fan’s mind, something visual or biographical or thematic which captures their imagination and makes them want to listen to your music right away!
In a crowded marketplace where literally millions of other people are creating music, competing for gigs, and asking for fan support, a good story — and how well it’s told — can mean the difference between obscurity and stardom. A good story is also essential when approaching the media; it makes it easy for the press to write about you and your music. If you present something that already reads like an article, or at least has a good hook that will excite their readers, you’ve basically done their job for them.

But what IS your story?

In order to effectively communicate your story, you have to know what it is first. Is it your bio? Your musical achievements? Your struggles and triumphs? A description of your sound and style?
It can be all of these things and more. But most importantly…
1. Your story should be focused
Your story won’t reveal all of the beauty and complexity of you as a person or as an artist. That’d take too long to tell. Instead, think about the three things you most want to convey about your life and music. Maybe you already have the makings of a great band story in those few details.
2. Your story should be authentic
Don’t pretend to be something you’re not, unless that persona/gimmick is crucial to your music. Your audience (and the media) will see through it.
3. Your story should be unique
What sets you apart from other bands? What aspect of your life will connect on an emotional level with listeners? THAT detail is what fans will be drawn to, what music critics will write about, and what should be supercharged at the center of your story.

Still having trouble finding the heart of your story?

Think about the following:
* your musical inspirations
* career highlights
* the origins of your lyrics
* any technical innovations in your music
* personal revelations that inform your music career
* your own struggles and triumphs
* anything funny or gimmicky about your music
* band drama, setbacks, etc.
* themes that run throughout your songs
* horror stories from touring
* the things you’re proudest of in life
Anything memorable or noteworthy? That’s the beginning of your story right there!

How do you think about YOUR musical story?

We’re hEAR For You Aims to Protect Hearing for Crowds and Musicians

The ringing in your ears after catching a set by your favorite band may be evidence of a souvenir you didn’t count on taking home. It’s incredibly easy to permanently damage your hearing, and noise-induced damaged is the leading cause. As a music lover your ears are the most important sense you have and protecting them is paramount—and We’re hEAR For Youa non-profit organization based out of Athens, Ga., aims to help you do just that.

Spreading the Word

Through its free-earplug program, We’re hEAR For You spreads awareness of hearing loss at festivals, concert halls, clubs and other live music spots. Since its founding in 2009 the organization has distributed tens of thousands of free earplugs, sponsored hearing clinics and traveled to festivals across the United States to promote the use of earplugs wherever amplified sounds occur.
Co-founder Katie Carmody, an experienced venue marketing manager and lifelong music aficionado, attributes her interest in this issue to her father, who developed tinnitus after attending a particularly loud concert. Her years of personal experience added to her inspiration.
“I attended Bonnaroo after graduating high school, and recall being in the front in one of the big tents- it was great, but so loud.” she says. “I looked back and realized the speakers I was standing right in front of were putting out enough sound for 30,000+ ears.”
The issue was co-founder crystallized for her years later when attending a show with We’re hEAR For You’s other co-founder, speech language pathologist Caroline DeCelles, who’d attempted to purchase earplugs at the venue but found the machine empty. “We realized that between her knowledge of the scientific aspects of hearing conservation, coupled with my connections in the music industry, we had the knowledge and the resources to make a difference,” says Carmody. 

Protecting Ears Nationwide

Although founded in the Southeast, We’re hEAR for You also has chapters operating in Denver and Boulder and its founders and volunteers make a special effort to be on-site for each major event the organization has a presence at. So far these include Amberland,AthfestSXSWHangout FestivalJam CruiseShaky Knees Festival and the Snowball Music Festival. Their earplugs are also found on the road with such high-profile acts as Drive By Truckers, Widespread Panic and Bassnectar.
Carmody says the only resistance she ever experiences from people is due to lack of knowledge about hearing loss. “The only opposition we have found is by those who are not educated about noise induced hearing loss,” she says. “Some people will laugh when we offer earplugs at concerts & festivals, but once we have a moment to educate them about why they should protect your ears, they first are very surprised to learn the facts- then are grateful for what we do.”
We’re hEAR For You is committed to this distribution scheme even when they must purchase the earplugs they give away. “Over the years we have purchased earplugs wholesale from a couple different distributors,” says Carmody. “[But], this past fall we reached out to [earplug company] Howard Leight by Honeywell [http://www.howardleight.com/] to inquire about sponsorship and they graciously donated over 50,000 pairs of earplugs. So far, the organization provides jars of free earplugs to twenty eight live music venues. 
wereHEARforyou1

Growing the Cause

With their eyes focused on the future, and staying committed to working with their means, the organizations expansion is a thoughtful, yet steady, one. Carmody says, “We have been contacted by venues and organizations all over the country to get involved, and as much as we would love to say yes to every opportunity we need to remember to pace ourselves and work within the budget we have.” The next towns on We’re hEAR For You’s expansion list are New Orleans, Austin, TX and Asheville, NC. Free hearing screenings are a regular occurrence already in Athens and Nashville. The organization pairs up with local audiologists to make these happen and there are plans to expand this aspect of the program, also.
[Note: If you’re associated with a venue in the organizations current areas of operation and are interested in what they can provide you’re welcome to drop a line to werehearforyou@gmail.com. Carmody says if you reach out, “We will handle the rest!”]

The More You Know, The More You Hear

For as much effort as has been put into education over the past several years there’s still a good way to go. Widespread knowledge of noise-induced hearing loss really doesn’t exist in music communities and that the myths of earplugs “ruining” the sound of live music is still a common belief. “The truth is,” she says, “[that] noise-induced hearing loss is 100% permanent and 100% preventable.”
Further, she reports that people sometimes think it’s too late for them to do anything for their ears because they’ve been so damaged already. “You can always protect the hearing you have left,” says Carmody. “A normal conversation between two people is about 60 decibels. Exposure to noise above 85 decibels results in Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL). Concerts are regularly in the 95-120 decibel range.”
The 100% volunteer run organization has doubled its level of distribution each year since its founding and Carmody is humbly gracious about what they’ve achieved in a relatively short time. We are so thankful for the support we have found in all areas– from our donors and sponsors, the venues that support us, the bands who take our earplugs out on tour with them, the festivals that host us and everyone who wears our earplugs,” she says. “Things are really starting to take off and we could not be more excited to continue to educate people and protect their hearing.”
For more information on We’re hEAR For you, hearing loss, the free earplug program, how to get involved and more please visit them online.