Monthly Archives: October 2019

How to Avoid Music Marketing Information Overload!

I want to give you a little mantra you can use in your music marketing that goes like this…

“I will spend 80% of my time producing amazing music, 15% music marketing and then 5% learning music marketing material.”

This is kind of like cutting off my nose to spite my face because I produce a lot of music marketing content myself, but if you spend your whole time eating up all the information it’s very hard to ever get around to actually producing any music of worth.

…and marketing crap music has a name…SPAM!

You need to think of all the online courses, guides and books like shiny objects that are pulling you in all different directions and stick with one method until you make it a success. But the fact remains that if you don’t actually make any music of worth you are not really a musician.

Have you ever been in music marketing information overload?

This morning I approached my computer with excitement after a long weekend away with the idea that I would pump out a bunch of blog posts and start work on my new ebook. But the plan seems to have gone all wonky…

I opened my Twitter client to see that my friend sent me a link to a great article about how to “sing like a rockstar”, and that led to another and then another.

So now I know the theory of killer vocal delivery but I’m no further on with my mission to give you guys the best music marketing info I can muster. ๐Ÿ™

Note to self, never open Twitter in the morning, it’s a total bloody time suck!

There are a few things that I have learned over the years (but that I sometimes ignore) which have helped me be more productive in my music marketing and in music in general.

– There are only a very small number of things that really need your time. These include making music and marketing music, forget everything else or do it in short bursts of 25 minutes each day.

– Reading music marketing training does not count as work, you have to actually set a timer and start getting something done as well.

– Work in 50 minute bursts of focused activity with a short break in between. This will help you tap into your body’s natural rhythm.

– Don’t read your email until 4 O’clock and set a 30 minute timer for this task. Set your band email account to let people know that you are doing this to be more efficient and will get back to them as soon as you can.

– Give yourself monthly commitments. This can be anything from writing blog posts to calling at least 5 music contacts everyday.

What does an unproductive morning look like for a musician?

1. Read 20 articles on music marketing and music industry news.
2. Scanned Facebook and Twitter for 45 minutes and followed links at random.
3. Worked on the design of the music blog on an element that only the perfectionists would notice.
4. Spent 30 minutes in the music forums.

Now the thing is that none of that stuff is bad and you could be forgiven for thinking that you had gotten your hands very dirty in the music business and made a contribution. But unfortunately that is not the case because there was no focus and no planning.

Now let’s look at a morning to be proud of…

1. Spent a solid 50 minute period working on 2 new blog posts.
2. 10 minute recharge.
3. Spend another 50 minutes editing blog posts from the previous day and posting to the blog.
4. 30 minute recharge.
5. 50 minutes songwriting / recording a video for YouTube to bring traffic to the blog.
6. 10 minute recharge.
7. Added a couple of emails to the newsletter sequence that automatically goes out to the fans.
8. 30 minute recharge.
9. Called 10 venue managers and booked 2 gigs.
10. 10 minute recharge.
11. Spent 50 minutes answering email and learning new music marketing tactics in my focus area.

If you make a commitment like that everyday you will find that your work increases ten fold and then you can spend the rest of the day reading your email or learning new music marketing stuff if you like.

The problems can come when you use that early burst of energy in the morning to just consume material, and then when you get down to doing some actual work you totally forget what you were doing and have no focus.

It’s very hard to start producing great work half way through the day because your body has run out of will power and energy.

To be honest it’s all about focus and you really can achieve more in 4 hours than most people get done in a whole day, if you just shut off all that crap pulling you away from the task at hand.

But this article is sooo important

A lot of times you might even find that you are reading something that seems like it’s going to change your life, and you will tell yourself that you really are making progress with your music career if you just get the hang of the information.

Well…I will let you into a little secret.

You know enough right now to become a professional musician if you just use what you know and make progress each day. We all know what to do, because it’s not rocket science.

So when should you feed your brain?

Now if you have read up to this point you may be thinking that I’m suggesting that you never take the time to learn or plan and that you are always blindly just mashing away at your keyboard. This could not be further from the truth because the mind is kind of like a car, if you are going to run miles and miles you need the right amount of fuel at the right time.

As musicians and music marketeers we need to know what others are saying so that we can form an opinion and add new ideas to our songs and marketing plan.

Here is what I would suggest if you have a full time job:

Find 4 hours a day to work on your music marketing then think of it like this:

– Hour 1 – produce content be it music, blogs or videos.
– Hour 2 – use auto-posting sites like Ping FM, Onlywire, Social Oomph and Tube Mogul to push out your content fast.
– Hour 3 – Edit your new music and blog posts and get it ready for publishing tomorrow.
– Hour 4 – Refuel, use this time to check your email, read blog posts and make notes.

Have a rest…

Another important part of this is that you need to have time each day when you totally turn off from everything and just do something that does not take any brain power at all. Sometimes TV or video games can work. You will not feel guilty now because you will know that you have done great work that day!

I remember when I was making my first album I convinced myself that if I really wanted to make it work I should focus 22 hours a day for the period of the recording and put everything into making it the best thing we ever did. I would spend hours and hours a day just listening to the recordings like some kind of freaky Howard Hughes dude.

NOT GOOD!

But what I did not realize at the time was that a break can actually make things work better and give you more perspective. While on your break you are more likely to think of an amazing new guitar hook or a lyric that is going to resonate deeply with your fans.

If I had just taken a little step back I think I would have made a lot more progress and enjoyed things a lot more.

I now take regular breaks throughout the day and this keeps me focused on the task at hand and my energy levels stay high throughout the day, which is great.

Indie Music Out Of The Closet

 

Indie music is well known for its low profile and refusal to conform to current trends. The artists take pride in their individuality and their ability to survive in a cutthroat industry without compromising on their beliefs. But even the most dogged and persistent artists need a bit of help and luck in breaking into the scene and establishing indie credibility.

Showcase events are an ideal way for artists to perform to a wide audience, gain experience, and start building reputations on the indie scene. The Independent Music World Series is one of the largest showcase events for indie music in the US. Tony van Veen, the vice president of sales and marketing for one of the major sponsors, says that indie artists play a vital role in keeping the music industry energised and thriving.

IMWS insists that the showcase isn’t a popularity contest, but a search to discover and reward genuine talent. Despite its reputation as an indie showcase, artists from all genres are welcome to enter. The panel of judges consist of 12 music industry professionals. Artists are judged on their song writing abilities, originality, musical performance, vocal and lead instrument performance, as well as their “overall vibe.”

Other showcase events include the Palais de Festivals held at Cannes, France. The event consists of talent showcases, a conference track and networking events. The showcases are meant to serve as a platform for emerging artists and to teach artists and their managers innovative promotion techniques. All those involved in bringing music to the public’s attention, such as media programmers and record company representatives, attend to find new trends and sounds.

The Mid-Atlantic Music Conference in Charlotte, NC is a music conference that has been growing in popularity and credibility since its inception. Artists from all genres have to qualify to win one of thirty coveted slots for the final performance, which takes place in the Halton Theatre. Talent scouts and music executives who attend the conference give it excellent reviews and use the opportunity to sign up and coming artists to their labels.

Music industry enthusiasts John Phillips and Bryan Banks launched the Steamtown Music Showcase in September 2006. Eastern Pennsylvanian bands use the showcase to demonstrate their original music and song writing capabilities. The event is held in a different town every year. This year that honour goes to downtown Scranton, Pennsylvania.

The Music in Gossip Girl Episode 1 – “Summer Kind of Wonderful” Season 2 Premiere

Gossip Girls first episode of the season was filled with denial, lies and then a whole lot of coming clean– and so was the music. True to the shows musical past, the first episode of the second season, Summer, Kind of Wonderful, was an eclectic mix of indie and pop tracks beginning with Reverse of Shade by The Windupdeads.

Reverse of Shade runs through the recap of last year and plays into scenes of summer with several of the main characters. Just as the new scenes of summer begin with Nate and his new best friend locked together at the jaw, the track Buzzin from Shwayze belts on in the background. The lyrics fit the mood perfectly even as Serena passes Chuck on the beach with a set of topless beach bunnies.

Another catch all song in the show was Fell in Love Without You by Motion City Soundtrack, which does a good job of capturing the strife, heartache and denial that most of the characters are so obviously feeling over each other. The song plays through two of Chuck scenes, including his trip to the airport to welcome Blair home only to see her with another man. The show ends with the song as well when Dan and Serena make up and meet on the beach after the White Party.

The rest of the show takes on an upbeat that is reflected with faster music and more of a poppy beat. At the White Party, Google Me by Teyana Taylor plays in the background as everyone mingles. Later, when Nate needs help making Catherine jealous, Paparazzi by Lady GaGa fills the void.

Five Factors to Break Into the Music Industry As an Unsigned Band

I have previously worked as a music journalist for a music magazine, reviewing local gigs, as well as new releases and upcoming talent. For this job, I was based in a small cramped office in Leeds producing a semi-weekly magazine and maintaining an online blog.

Firstly, I should say that Leeds is an absolutely amazing place to work and I found all my time working there very enjoyable; however Leeds is a markedly expensive place to live, as rents are increasing and there is a lack of supply for young professionals.

Listed below are my top tips for breaking into the music industry and becoming successful, without worrying about the age of the band, current popularity in the scene or history of gigs.

5. Sign up to a plethora of online blogs and magazines NME and Kerrang are generally thought of as the best magazines to keep up-to-date with music news; however there are a number of alternative magazines with unique stories in which you can retrieve news and get a lot of information from. Online blogs written and published independently can also provide up-to-date information before any magazine can publish; you should however check that the writer of the blog is using reliable sources. Using this information, you can help to improve your band and increase publicity.

4. Make use of Last.fm to get your music out there and promote your band: Last.fm can become a very powerful tool in band promotion as you can build a band page for free, upload any personally recorded demos and stream them for free, as well as linking to music stores, netting you a small profit. Whilst other social-networking sites allow you to create band pages, using Last.fm is the most generally recognised way to get your band out there.

3. Blog about it: You might think that displaying writing prowess is a waste of time, however it is a highly effective way to boost SEO ratings and publicise your band name. An important determining factor of band popularity is Google and an intelligent SEO strategy can be highly effective – however you should try to write blogs on music news or industry activity instead of personal information, as this will engage the reader more.

2. Pay attention to newsletters, small bands and attend a number of festivals: Whilst not attracting as much popularity as others, small bands are the perfect way of latching onto the potential popularity of the other band and improving yours through osmosis. Support acts will also become easier to obtain within this partnership. It is very helpful to build a localised fanbase in your own region before breaking out. My time in an office in Leeds has given me a lot of access to regional bands and into the future of music.

1. Make friends in the industry Akin to working in a young, small company, a great deal of your prosperity will depend on business relationship and contacts. It can be highly beneficial to attend music industry networking events and speak to professionals within the industry. Even an e-mail address or telephone number can be a highly effective way to breaking through.