Friday, February 26, 2010

Going Back to Basics

~ Interesting... kinda basic, but sometimes that is an effective strategy. I found this via Daniel Kohn and you can check out his blog here: and check out his book here: Inside The Music Biz

1. Never Take “NO” For An Answer

In this business persistence is everything.

I know so many bands that get disheartened by one sour review or one agent who doesn’t like them or one radio station that will never play their music.

Remember this fact and be inspired by it – The Beatles were turned down by every single major record label before they released their first single.

The Offspring recorded a bunch of albums and toured for ten years before having their breakthrough album Smash. TEN YEARS!!

The point is that there are so many times and cases where you just don’t know where or when that big moment is going to arrive and the key is to never stop and never ever, for any reason take NO for an answer.

2. Find That Little Wedge or Opening and Milk It

The same holds true with the music business. There are so many ways to penetrate and get to the right people in this business. The first trick is to really know and understand who your prospect actually is. This is really a whole process in itself.

Once you’ve covered this ground, then it’s a matter of understanding how to pull their strings and find their soft spots. Finding that wedge or opening to lure them in and get whatever it is your looking for from them.

In most cases, it might just be the need to have a great story up your sleeve to suck them into your world or being able to rattle of some compelling statistics about your band to prick their ears up, but the key is to be able to find that wedge and milk it.

3 Frequency Frequency Frequency

When a message is thrown at you over and over again in a concentrated period of time, the chances of escaping is very hard.

Frequency works!

All successful ad agencies will tell you that a consumer needs to hear a message at least eight times until they’ll act or respond.

I guess for bands, it means that to really create any sort of ground swell you must be out there working all the angles in your music scene so potential fans and industry insiders cannot avoid you.

Play play play. Even if it’s to no-one at first. Even if it’s at your local library BBQ. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that your creating some sort of frequency and consistency.

Email your fans once a week, post on your facebook page every few days with updates. Whatever it is, just keep doing it….. If anything, just for the sake of frequency.

Once an A&R guy sees you in three or four places that he himself is already prowling for new acts, or hears about you from two of his trusted friends or see’s you in a trade journal he trusts, you’ll start to see how the tides turn and the interest in your band will take shape.

Frequency for your band’s profile also involves understanding the different types of “media” (radio, TV, online, print etc) that are out there and knowing how to get free exposure and frequency from them.

Again, there is so much to be said about each topic, however leveraging these “medias” and creating frequency is so important to help attract industry attention and build your fan base.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Can You Handle the Truth?

~ This is an excerpt from an article I found on you can read the entire piece here:

The tried and true methods of creating success in the music industry are over and are never coming back. The economics just don’t work for most acts anymore. The greatest risk in the next 5-10 years for music is that no one will want to fund the development and promotion of new musical acts the way the major labels did in the past, until we see a new financial model.

To survive, musicians and their managers need to innovate and break out of the old ways of thinking about the business. The oft quoted conventional wisdom that artists can survive on touring and merchandise income is simply not going to work for most bands. Instead, real blockbuster success in the future belongs to those ready to break the rules and create new engaging musical experiences, and unique products and services that cannot be duplicated.

Musicians of the future need to face the fact that living a life in music is a privilege that they will have to earn through hard work, preparation, innovation and collaboration. Young artists need to be willing to take risks and push the edges of creative expression by embracing the reality that nothing about music is normal anymore.

We need fresh thinking and risk capital to fund the next wave of musical innovators. The Challenge for the Music Business is to create value in the place of falling revenue and to energize the new generation of music fans to really support music. Do you have what it takes to reinvent the business? What ideas do you have that could light the way into the future?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Advice for Newbies!

~ The following was copied from the interview pertaining to Music Think Tank

1) Decontextualize first, promote second. Artists are in love with their songs/music, and they should be. However, prior to throwing a year of your life into promotion, force yourself to get anonymous feedback from at least thirty friends, twenty artists, and from ten industry professionals. If most love your songs, then promote. Otherwise, go back to the classroom/studio and learn how to make “better” music first.

2) Don’t listen to industry promotion professionals that were successful in 1999.
Nobody has the answer to obtaining and sustaining mass-market exposure. Nobody! I don’t care what someone says they did in the past; make them demonstrate the success they obtained six months ago.

3) Seek experienced production people.
When it comes to making music, experience is way under-rated in this industry. Studios have gone out of business because everyone is a producer/engineer now. Find the most experienced/successful producers, engineers and songwriters you can find. Money spent on a successful producer or a great songwriter will go further than money spent on a promotion “expert”.

4) Don’t go it alone, it’s almost a waste of time! (translation: promote and collaborate with other artists)

5) Act like a software startup. Expand your definition of a “band” to include people that can handle things like social media, video production and software development. Find someone to help you use the equity in your venture to compensate everyone involved.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Looking for More Fans?

~ I found this article from the LA Times. You can check out the full read here:

1) Play nice with search engines. So the obvious thing is to get people’s email address. One of the less obvious ways to get new fans is to have good [search engine optimization]. Thirty percent of new fans come from emails. But 30% come from Google or Yahoo. It’s people who are using search engines to find you. You need to make sure that if people look for you, they will find you. – Ian Rogers, Topspin

2) Use SMS texting. You can give away a song download or wallpaper or ringtone to people who text you their email address. Next time you’re playing in town, you can tell them and let them in free if they bring three friends. So your 100 fans suddenly become 300 paying fans. With live concerts, the goal is to sell 300 tickets. That’s incredibly hard to do. – Tom Silverman, co-founder, New Music Seminar

3) Buy a Facebook ad. "I spent $10 on a targeted Facebook ad and got 50,000 impressions and a good click-through rate. You can target only people who work at certain companies, like Google. You can target fans of other bands like yours. You can target only people in L.A. or San Francisco. So go to your band page on Facebook. There's a link that says, 'Get more fans. Promote your page.' Just click it." – Corey Denis, music marketing consultant, Not Shocking

4) Speak to the fringe. "We had a client who spent 11 months out of the year sailing and one month recording an album. Her songs were all about sailing. And she pitched her story to these boating and yachting magazines, and they all did these stories on her. She sold 10,000 albums a year, and most of them were to other sailors." – Derek Sivers, founder, CD Baby

5) Talk to your fans. A lot of bands disappear when their show is over when what they really need to do is come out and talk to them. Have them engage in your show. Give them a video camera during the show and have them pass it around. Get their email addresses and then send them a notice when you post it so they can embed the video on their own sites. – Mike Doernberg, founder,ReverbNation