MusicThinkTank offers some practical music marketing advice...check it out.
I finally got a chance to check out the SoundLot. It's a service for musicians, as well as artists and filmmakers, to connect with one another.
At the SoundLot you’ll discover a group of like-minded folks to connect with locally. The site boasts your ability to build relationships with local musicians, local artists and filmmakers to build an active community online that you'll hopefully be able to take off line to collaborate on projects, shows, etc.
I like the site. It's super simple and clean - not a whole lot of navigation to figure out what you need to do. The concept is simple. It's apparent the idea is to build professional artistic relationships to learn from each other allowing those who participate to further their craft beyond what they could alone.
The site offers user generated resources, tips, other sites to check out and more. If you're looking for a place to interact with others facing similar things as you, then the the Soundlot is the right place.
Groups are split up by the three main categories, music, art, and film and beyond that there are local groups by city.
Here are some of the features highlighted on the site:
-Field specific profile sections (music, art, film)
-Join local and regional groups
-Shared group documents (to keep info that the community can use)
-Rate posts (reward the best contributors)
-Share your bandcamp, soundcloud, flickr, deviantart, youtube, vimeo, twitter, and personal site
Also, here's an infographic explaining the site (click the image to make it larger):
Not long ago I was contacted through the Local Music Journey website by Glenn, the creator of SongGIG.com. The message encouraged me to take a look at SongGIG.com, a music video discovery service. Glenn claimed it could be useful for my readers. So I went over to SongGIG.com and discovered it and it's artists for myself. I have to say, I really like the concept.
For undiscovered musical talent YouTube is great, but it's over saturated with tons of videos in many categories that can make it hard to truly discover new music without specifically knowing what it is you're seeking. On the flip side, if you are looking for new music and could at least narrow the parameters of your interests on a site that is only focused on music then you've just set the stage (pun intended) to make some fun, serendipitous music discoveries.
SongGIG.com is that answer, and it's free to use. SongGIG is focused on making it easier for musicians, music professionals and of course fans to find what they're looking for, or make discoveries of music they didn't totally know they were looking for. SongGIG allows you to search music by band name or artist name, you can even do an advanced search and select the genre of music you're interested in discovering.
If you're an artist SongGIG makes it easy to set up a profile with your bio. Then you just need to shoot video of yourself performing your songs, post them to SongGIG.com and share them with the SongGIG community. You can upload your own video or if you already have video on YouTube SongGIG makes it easy to embed your YouTube video to share on SongGIG. That's what I did for my first SongGIG post.
It's free for both fans and artists to register and the site is super simple to navigate, which is refreshing. SongGIG.com has one purpose: to help users find undiscovered musical talent.
Here's a quote from Glenn, the creator of SongGIG:
"My daughter sings and it made me wonder just how new singer's get discovered or seen. There is YouTube, but there are so many videos on there and how does one get found on there? Unless you know what you are looking for. Some of the cream does rise to the top, but I am sure there are many great musicians on there that never get heard. I wanted to develop a resource for musical talent that is easy to navigate (think Apple simple) and for one purpose only."
The only suggestion I would give right now to SongGIG is is to offer Facebook "Like" buttons and one-click Retweet options on every song video web page on SongGIG. Simple tools like this can help SongGIG fans and artists spread the word about their own videos or favorite videos (if they're a fan) to their social media audiences helping spread the word for the artists, fans and SongGIG.
Feel free to read about SongGIG straight from the horse's mouth.
Posted by: Nick Venturella
I was recently followed by Indie Band Solution on Twitter. This was my first introduction to Indie Band Solution. I read their short bio on their Twitter account and quickly followed the link to the main Indie Band Solution site.
It turns out Indie Band Solution is a basic blog of useful information. If you're an independent musician I think you'll find this site and the content there valuable. I thought the content had some useful tips and ideas. It's worth noting that I have no affiliation with Indie Band Solution, I just think the kind of information written about there is very much in line with the kind of information readers of the Resourceful Musician blog are interested in.
I especially like posts like: THREE - Things Musicians Should Have In Their Dropbox, When Describing Your Music, and Artist Website + Flash = #FAIL.
Anyway, it might be worth checking out and following.
Join in February Album Writing Month (FAWM), it’s free!
From the FAWM.org website:
“The FAWM challenge issimple: 14 songs in 28 days.
Ifit's inspiration you are after, then FAWM is your club. Each February, thiswebsite forges a collaborative community of musicians worldwide, from all walksand skill levels. We are taking on the challenge of writing an album's worth ofnew music during the shortest month of the year. We ‘fawmers’ are a motley mixof music professionals, students, homemakers, and folks who work day jobs butrock nightclubs. Got questions? Check out the FAQ.”
I’ve officially participated in FAWM once before, back in 2008. I say officially meaning that I actuallylogged into the FAWM.org website and shared songs with the online communitythere in ‘08.
Though I didn’t officially participate online in 2009 and 2010, I didpersonally pursue the challenge on my own.
Each year I’ve attempted the challenge I’ve always gotten at least a few goodsongs out it.
The emphasis of FAWM is on songwriting, not recording or productionquality – recording your songs is simply a way to share them with the FAWMcommunity to get and give feedback.
FAWM is a worthwhile experience even if you don’t think you’ll be ableto write 14 songs in 28 days – just do the best you can, have fun and engage inthe FAWM community, you’ll be glad you did.
Plus, it will force you to work quickly while being open to more spontaneity,which is often new for a lot of songwriters…It forces you to write what I call,“first impression” songs, meaning you capture your initial song ideasimmediately as they happen and you really don’t have time to labor over theirdevelopment…just capture it and move on to the next one. If you think you still may have troublecoming up with song ideas FAWM provides regular challenges and potential topicsto write songs about. This can be reallyuseful for any songwriter who feels they’ve hit a creative block.
Probably the best benefit is the feedback you’ll get if you participatein the online community (be sure to give plenty of feedback as well – it worksbest that way).
So, are you up for the challenge?
Posted by: Nick Venturella (click my name to link to my first FAWM song of 2011)
Vertical Response recently put out their 10 Great Email and Social Media Marketing Resources PDF. It's worth musicians taking a look at because there are several helpful tools that can aid your efforts to reach fans and maintain relationships with them.
This document is also a useful resource because, while social media is all anyone seems to be talking about in marketing, email is still a much needed and widely used piece of the marketing puzzle.
The trick is getting all of the pieces of your marketing approach to work together moving in the same direction.
One of my favorites from the Vertical Response list is the Subject Line Checker, what's yours?
Posted by: Nick Venturella
A quote from Richard Branson’s book, Business Stripped Bare (Amazon affiliate):
“In an era of digital downloads and headphones that tune out the rest of the world, the live-music experience offers something different, authentic and communal.”
As indie musicians have no trouble these days distributing their music (via the internet, etc.) there’s still the issue of actually being heard amongst the enormous amount of new music now available. So how do you stand out and differentiate yourself--being discovered by new fans while also being completely dedicated to your current loyal fans.
That quote gets at heart of what I think music, business and life are all about--people. People being their authentic selves and creating relationships sometimes around a communal event or through various forms of communication.
Specifically related to music: Creating unique experiences like those of a live concert help to create a feeling of involvement in something larger than yourself, an experience that you know is fleeting. However, a shared fleeting experience creates long-lasting memories. I also think when people know it will be a one-of-kind experience, meaning they know it is only here for a short while, people become more acutely aware of being present, in the moment. That, ‘right here and now’ presence-of-mind creates electric energy shared amongst those gathered to experience whatever event it is.
Those who continue to innovate to create that heightened sense of authentic, communal real-time awareness with their music and/or creative pursuits, both on- and off-line, are the ones who will likely have the most success. They’re also the ones most likely to recognize that that formula is rooted in human relationships, which transcends any and all technological tools that merely help you more easily communicate your messages to be able to build those relationships.
Posted by: Nick Venturella
Not long ago I was discussing music marketing tactics with a fellow colleague in the music industry. The discussion was great--there were some instances where we saw eye to eye and others where we didn’t, which is good, that’s typically where new ideas and growth come from.
It’s worth noting that my colleague is of the baby boomer generation and has industry experience prior to the steep decline of the major labels. In contrast, I’m on the cusp of gen X and Y, and my industry experience has only been of a DIY independent nature.
So, my music industry colleague asked me, “How would you market a new album if I gave you a collection of songs?” He asked this question, and in my mind I think he had an idea of what he thought the answer should be (perhaps I’m presuming too much, but that was my initial thought).
I tried to be thoughtful as I began to answer with ideas of building a buzz online via blogging and social media, utilizing online contests and related offline promotions and live shows, but my ideas kept driving everything back to online tactics that can help quickly build a community around the music, if done correctly.
His response, was, “Yes, but how would you market the album.” Clearly, we had a difference of opinion about what ‘marketing an album’ entails. I was thinking about building relationships with fans surrounding the album vs. interrupting fans with advertising and radio play. On one hand the audience being marketed to has some control regarding how they receive those marketing messages vs. having no control over how they receive marketing messages, with more interruptive tactics (ads and traditional radio play).
These differences illustrate experiential and possibly generational points of view. My question ends up being: Are both routes correct?
I ask that question because one crucial piece of this conversation that we both failed to address was, who is the target audience for this fictitious album we’re trying to market? Because, if my target market is baby boomers who are used to purchasing actual albums (on CD perhaps) then maybe what I perceive are my colleague’s thoughts toward marketing an album are correct. However, if the target audience are from my own generation, more comfortable with blogging and social media, then perhaps I’m right.
My main conclusion is that I don’t think there is a least common denominator for how to market an album to the masses. In fact, I don’t think anyone is marketing albums to the masses anymore in which case addressing your niche audience and catering your marketing specifically to that audience is perfectly acceptable and exactly what you want to do.
Posted by: Nick Venturella
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Not long ago the webmaster of EZ-Tracks contacted me about adding a link to ez-tracks.com from my Local Music Journey site. I figured it might be an opportunity to investigate ez-tracks.com and write a short blurb about it. So here's a few brief impressions about ez-tracks.com...
When I arrived on the ez-tracks.com website I will say, there was quite a bit going on visually and aurally. The site had a pretty busy layout, which didn't bother me as much as the music that automatically began playing as I arrived on the site. Even though, I myself am a musician, I dislike arriving on a web page where music automatically begins playing. I think the site visitor should have the option to turn any music on your site on or off (if that function exists on the ez-tracks.com site I apologize for bringing it up, but I couldn't find it).
I am not an avid ez-tracks.com user, but I did find it's business model beneficial for music listeners. Plus, the benefit for indie musicians I think comes from ez-tracks.com's Up and Coming Artists section. This is an area of the website to find indie music. There's even an opportunity to add your band to EZ-Tracks, which may be a helpful for indie musicians to be discovered by new fans (over 3000 Facebooks Fans have "Liked" EZ-Tracks, according to their site).
As stated on the ez-tracks.com website, here's the value they offer and how they offer it:
“EZ-Tracks.com is a free and 100% legal MP3 music download website. EZ-Tracks.com offers over 50,000 free songs, from virtually every conceivable genre. Popular songs are included as well as recordings from top musical recording artists.”
“EZ-Tracks.com is a legal music download site and does not offer peer-to-peer sharing. EZ-Tracks.com is able to make music available for free because it is ad-supported. Advertisements are shown on the website in order to cover royalty and operating costs. Music can be downloaded in the popular MP3 format, which can be played on the vast majority of portable music devices as well as a computer.”
I found the following article on search engine optimization as it relates to a musician. The article is titled, The Power of Long Tail Keywords, from a company called HubSpot. HubSpot’s main purposes is to help companies increase their ability to be found online.
There are definitely some good take-a-ways for musicians who really need to understand how to be found online and how to build relationships online to further their success and careers.
By: Nick Venturella
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