Sunday, May 24, 2009


Oh advertising! Is it really worth it as a musician? Well, it depends. Where are you advertings? What are you advertising? And do you have money? Of course you want to try to get as much free publicity as possible. If you can do it for free, definitely go for that option!

When you do get the funds, check into these ideas. The great thing about the following options is that you can advertise at whatever price is affordable for you.

And in continuation to Monday’s blog, Finding Your Niche, the below suggestions allow you to advertise directly to your niche.

Its a great source for people who wanna find good things online. StumbleUpon doesn’t just focus on music. It exposes surfers to every type of website in the world. How does it work? Lets say you wanna get your myspace out to a unique type of listener (See yesterday’s post: Finding Your Niche). Click on StumbleUpon Advertising and create a campaign. As you create your campaign, you’ll see that you can choose what types of people you want to visit your website – everything from people who are history buffs to people who are vegetarian, to people who like kayaking. Tons of random categories.

So what if your music appeals most to men, maybe you’d want to pick people who fall into the following categories: home improvement, mens issues, video games. Or if you think your music has ambience that best fits the spiritual guru/yoga type crowd; you might want to pick people who fall in the following categories: yoga, self improvement, ambient music.

You’re also given the option of choosing age range, geographic location and other demographics. StumbleUpon only costs .05 cents per view. So you could spend $20 on advertising and that would expose your website to 400 people. Check out their short video tutorial.

Facebook (and Myspace)
Its much the same concept as Stumble Upon: i.e. target audiences, demographics and all that jazz. One thing I’ve noticed and like about Facebook ads is that it allows you to pay for impressions by the thousands. So that means, if you set your ad price as 20 cents per 1000 impressions, your ad will show up on the side panel of 1000 facebook pages. Whether 5 people or 500 people click the impression, you still only pay 20 cents per 1000. I’ve found that Facebook isn’t as straighforward as StumbleUpon and takes a little time to understand.

I haven’t tried Myspace advertising, so if you have experience, please comment below.

The Pizza Boy (ya, for real!)
During the week of his CD Release, Pittsburgh artist T. Mitchell Bell stopped into his local pizza store, and asked them if they would be able to distribute flyers for his CD release everytime they had to make a delivery. AWESOME idea! They let him do it for free b/c he was a very regular customer!

Stop into your local restaurant, whether it be a pizza store, or something else. Ask them if they’d be willing to do the same. You might have to pay a little something but its a great idea ( they’ll treat you better if they know you). It’s one of the best ideas I’ve heard lately and I think its probably effective.

House Concerts

Ever wanted to have a captive audience in an intimate setting where you could share your favorite songs, a few jokes and stories, make a few bucks for your efforts and do a little healthy self-promotion all in one evening, maybe without even leaving the comfort of your own home?

This sounds a little too good to be true but “house concerts” have been a growing trend, especially for acoustic artists over the last two decades. What works for the singer-songwriter can also provide good venue vibes for vocalists. Remember that you don’t need an elaborate performance to make an impression, you want to keep it simple to minimize potential headaches and glitches.

So what do you need to get started and pull things off without freaking out or having too many technicalities to overcome?

Setting The Scene

Obviously you need a staging area. This can be a rec room, sunroom, or large living room. It can be a porch or sundeck, a backyard, front yard or garden area. If you’re in the country it could be a barn or stables area. Near the river or ocean, it could be the sand in front of a beach house. You want an area that will be easy to set up, maintain and control traffic flow. You can ask people to bring chairs or lay out blankets and tablecloths to create a casual, picnic atmosphere.

If you don’t have a space of your own to perform in, check with a neighbor or friend who might have a space or get them to ask around. The first goal is to secure a spot for your concert so that you can get the word out and set up some future gigs. You might even ask around about who is holding yard sales and set up your house concert as entertainment for the neighborhood after a day’s hard work, sort of like a block party.

Dishes And Tip Jars

It’s also a great idea to have food available. It could be a potluck or simple finger foods and drinks. You might have an outdoor grill or pit for barbecue. Again, you want to keep it simple but satisfying for those who show up to hear you.

To be financially rewarded, you can set up a tip jar, pass the hat or a basket, or charge a flat admission fee. Just to be on the safe side, check with local zoning laws for the area where you’ll be performing. If it can be implied that the concert is a business venture you may have to comply with safety issues and permits. In most cases this will not be an issue.

Building Support

One of the reasons that house concerts can be a viable way of making some money and building a following is that people crave a sense of community. Music has a way of building bridges and bonding people together. It is a shared experience that is frankly good for the heart and soul. It’s also a good idea to include songs that lend themselves to audience participation on occasion. Just to make it a little more fun.


House concerts are usually promoted via the Internet, fliers, and word of mouth. Ask each of your friends to bring two of their friends to the concert. This is one way to guarantee that you’ll have a relatively full house.
After your concert make a pitch for your availability. Have ready-made flyers or business cards available with contact info or even a CD with a few songs.

This is a great way to make a cozy connection between heart and home. It’s a connection that is naturally reinforced by the human voice engaged in song.

Publicity or PR (Which Do You Need?)

Most PR firms do publicity, not PR.

Publicity is the act of getting ink. Publicity is getting unpaid media to pay attention, write you up, point to you, run a picture, make a commotion. Sometimes publicity is helpful, and good publicity is always good for your ego.

But it's not PR.

PR is the strategic crafting of your story. It's the focused examination of your interactions and tactics and products and pricing that, when combined, determine what and how people talk about you.

Regis McKenna was great at PR. Yes, he got Steve Jobs and the Mac on the cover of more than 30 magazines in the year it launched. That was just publicity. The real insight was crafting the story of the Mac (and yes, the story of Steve Jobs).

If you send out a boring press release, your publicity effort will probably fail, but your PR already has.

A publicity firm will tell you stories of how they got a client ink. A PR firm will talk about storytelling and being remarkable and spreading the word. They might even suggest you don't bother getting ink or issuing press releases.

In my experience, a few people have a publicity problem, but almost everyone has a PR problem. You need to solve that one first. And you probably won't accomplish that if you hire a publicity firm and don't even give them the freedom and access they need to work with you on your story.

Are You Different...You Should Be

We all have our favorite artists that we relate to, but it's not a
good idea to try to be just like that artist instead of finding
our own unique style and sound. I can't tell you how many
submissions we receive from people who try to be just like their
mentor. It's obvious who their favorite singer is... because they
imitate that artist by dressing like them and trying to sound just
like them.

By listening to a wanna be artist, we can tell that person has all
of that artist's records, and has sung all their songs for years,
acting and sounding a lot like them. There is nothing wrong with
practicing with your favorite singers and imitating their various
vocal qualities, because you can learn vocal tricks and skills by
copying what successful singers have done to get their sound.
Singing with your favorite artists can teach you a lot about
singing, give you confidence, and help stretch your creativity.
It's really great experience, but while you are singing along with
your favorite artists, try to develop your own style. Try to outdo
your mentor and try something different. At some point in your
development as a professional singer, you need to figure out who
YOU are as an artist. You need to discover your own distinctive
sound and style and capitalize on that special quality that is
distinctively yours.

Be yourself. What is it that makes you different, that sets you
apart from everyone else? What is your niche? Be the very best at
what you do, and develop vocal tricks to help you sound
interesting, fresh, exciting, powerful, unique and special.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Creating True Blue Fans

Many artist & their bands can sing & play, but, they are amazed (sometimes mad) when the audiences fail to connect with them.  When, in reality, the artist and her band have failed to connect with the audience.

Artist and bands work on perfecting their play list of songs to sound like the studio version or the 'cover' version they hear. They throw in some comments; a few dance moves, differenct uses of the mic, etc.

Isn't that a 'Good Thing'?  To some degree, but when an artist and her band take the stage, their show becomes an experience that must entertain their audiences!  Everthing happening, on stage, is live.  There are no edits to make the show more entertaining.  What an audience sees & hears is what the artist and her band have created for them.  

If I go see a movie and it doesn't entertain, connect, or excite me, then most of the time I actually take short naps.  Do you want to look out, from the stage, and see many with their backs to you or sleeping or walking out the door during your first or second set?  Absolutely want their attention focused on you and your band.

Most artist/bands never think about changing up a song to allow it to 'CONNECT' with their audience. And, if you don't connect and create special moments of memory, then, in most cases you will not have won over new fans & you certainly will not have what every artist should strive to have and that is:  

TRUE BLUE FANS!  Yes, that is a KSE exclusive.  TRUE BLUE FAN (TBF) are WHAT EVERY ARTIST MUST HAVE to sustain longevity as an INDIE touring band.  

TBF will become the most important part of your TEAM.  They will always be your biggest asset.  Without them, you're headed for a short lived career in music.  

TRUE BLUE FANS are fans that will show up for your shows with new fans. They are the ones that will buy tickets, merchandise, and leave tips in your tip jar, call radio stations, campaign daily for you.  They will create and help maintain a buzz about you. 

Most young inexperienced bands and some mature bands can only tour if they can meet expenses. To me there is nothing more boring than watching a talented band that never changes anything in their act except songs.  If you want to develop into a successful touring female artist, you and your band must have an everchanging show that makes audiences want to come out time and time again to feel and experience new memorable moments they feel connect you & them for a lifetime.  I assume all aspiring artist want to perform their music for a lifetime??

Developing into a "live" exciting and passionate entertainer takes time much practice, money, and developing TRUE BLUE FANS!  It's like going from grade, Jr. High, and High School to getting your Bachelors, Masters and your PhD.  After you have completed those degrees, you need continuing updates and training.  

All Roads lead to the STAGE must be incrementally & continually improved by mastering all the baseline stages.  Once this is accomplished, an artist & her band will forever be developing their passion into creative performances which make connecting moments that create lifetime memories that will change audiences into new fans.  These new fans will become lifetime TRUE BLUE FANS, which means SUCCESS,  for you, The Indie Female Touring Artist & Band.


Female Promotion/Marketing On A Budget

1. Read about you (in your ezine, blog and media coverage)
2. Hear your music (and you speak about it)
3. See photos of you
4. See and hear your music in a visual format (videos, audio slide shows)
6. Experience your music live
7. Talk about you
8. Share your music with others
9. Explain something remarkable that you did

In other words, how can you bombard their senses in such a way that your ideal fans won't forget you?

It doesn't take a ton of money to accomplish that. It just takes lots of creativity and action on your part.

Lay our your plan and work it continously...update it as things change...make sure you are unique.