Monday, June 27, 2011

"A body can pretend to care; but they can't pretend to be there."

Indie Female Artist Must Consider, Daily, these Questions:

  • Who Are You
  • What is your style
  • How Is It Special
  • How is it Different from Other Artists
  • Plans for the next 10 years; stepping stones to success. Need breaking down into 2 year specific increments.  Will need adjusting, dependent on your success and failures.
  • Stage Presence
  • Fans and True Blue Fans
  • Music (Originals/Covers)
  • Song Development ( How many do your and your band know; how many sets can you perform at each gig...must know 3-5 sets to get booked at a majority of venues)
These are but a few of the many areas a Indie Artist must know.

Some Keys To Becoming A Successful Artist

Invest in your act.  Learn how to play your instrument.  Connect with
your fans.  Make True Blue Fans! Put tons of images and photos on your 
Website.  Don't give up to go to law school.  There are NO OPTIONS if you want to make it in the music business.

But today a video won't buy you much.  All the old nineties can employ them, but you come up empty-handed.  It's a new
music business now.  It's about bands and fans.  It's about
relationships.  That's what the Web offers.  All those assholes who
lost their jobs running labels who said that no act ever broke on the
Internet just don't understand that THEIR kind of act hasn't broken on
the Net, a ubiquitous superstar...but acts are breaking.  Rather,
they're building.  Growing.  Into sustainable entities.  And it takes

The whiners are gone.  The easy money is history.  Only the lifers
remain, the people who NEED to be in the music business.  And they're
working with acts with the same passion they possess.

And that's what it's about, PASSION!  Hearing that record and needing
not to buy it on iTunes, but STEAL IT, because you just don't have
enough money to feed your music addiction.

The old players have got it all wrong.  It's not about a walled
garden, charging a fortune for admission.  It's a matter of connecting
with people, making music that they want to hear forever.  They'll
give you all the money they've got.  The most passionate down loaders
are the most passionate concertgoers, they'll even buy the CD to hear
the music of their favorite bands in a PRISTINE FASHION!  But they
want the privilege of being able to surf and find new acts.  They're
always in search of greatness.  They're fed up with the pabulum that's
been fed to them by the media manipulators.

A successful career is not about impressions any long....bands are
sold by word of mouth, one fan to the next. And you can no longer
manufacture buzz.  Buzz has got to be real.  Because there are people
out to bust you for your shenanigans, and most don't have time to pay
attention anyway. But if people find something good, they'll give it
ALL their attention.

That glow from the show?  That high you had for twenty four hours?
That's what cemented your FANDOM.  It had nothing to do with the
backdrops, the special effects, but the vibe, the music.

The music is king once again.  You don't have to look good, you just
have to play/sing well and have something to say.

Will vapid pop stars continue to be flogged?  OF COURSE!  But there
will be fewer and fewer, because it's almost impossible to make any
dough doing that anymore.  You need a 360 deal and advertisements and
movies...  It's damn hard.

But if you make one great record, and you're in it for the long haul,
and you can wait for the virus to spread, you can play music for the
rest of your life.  You may not own a Rolls.  Your mother's friends
might not know who you are.  But when you hit the stage, you're going
to hear a roar of appreciation that will put a grin on your face just
like when your first grade teacher gave you a compliment.  You're
gonna feel like life's worth living.  Because you know what you mean
to these people.  You're part of their lives.  You help them get
through.  You have a RELATIONSHIP!
No relationship, no future.
Forget branding, forget sponsorship, forget placement.  Focus on
music.  Great music finds its own way.


PS: I love that word: FANDOM .... OUR KEY TO SUCCESS!!  FANDOM!!! equals True Blue Loyal Fans (TBLF)

Independent Music Promotion on the Web: 3 Steps to Success

Let's face it, the wildfire spread of web-based portals designed to introduce independent music to the world has created a bewildering array of opportunities and costs. So where do they all balance out? When does the cost of signing up to yet another music promotion service yield results? What results are we looking for anyway?

The key is to make your web promotion targeted, systematic and rich.

What is the main drive for independent artists promote their music on the web? The fundamental incentive for web promotion is the opportunity to get your music heard by people who might otherwise never know that you exist! If people know you exist they can become fans and repeat-listeners. Which of those fans buy CD's and downloads? Targeted listeners.

The most important goal of web promotion is to attract targeted listeners.

Any independent artist who says they use the web to sell their music has missed the primary target - attracting targeted listeners. Attracting targeted listeners should be every independent artist's first priority. Remember, you don't sell your music - listeners BUY your music. It's a buyers market. The more targeted listeners you have, the more sales you make - provided you are systematic in getting your targeted listeners.

The best way to get targeted listeners is to be systematic.

Many artists tend to approach their web promotion thinking that since they have a website and have signed up to a couple of artist showcase sites, that the listeners will just come pouring in. Yes you have managed to target some potential listeners, but you still have to shout, "Hey, over'll like the sound of this!" A systematic approach to getting listeners to hear your music will attract and maintain their interest. But remember to make sure you have the content ready for the listener to enjoy.

Sites rich in content will retain your targeted listener.

In the independent artist's case, the rich content is the music. This may seem like old news, but look at the amount of independent artist websites that give the visitor loads of info about the band but very little (or hidden) ear candy. Music should be the first thing a visitor gets. At the very least they need an obvious link to where they can listen to your music. And not just one or two tracks but a variety of your music. Independent artists have to remember they have not had the radio exposure to model the presentation of their music after more well established acts. Listeners need to be convinced they like your independent music before they will buy it.

So the question is how to make your web promotion targeted, systematic and rich?

Tips for Targeting

The best targeted listeners on the web will be those that make it to your website. Find a way to know who they are. Setup a newsletter and make it easy to sign up to it. People interested enough to want to receive news about you are your hardcore web fans, keep them happy.

The next best group of targeted listeners are those that hear your music on other sites. Try to pick sites that allow listeners to link to your site. If they like your music they might click on that link to visit your site. You can then find out where these visitors are coming from. Find a good web statistics package that lets you know which sites your visitors are being referred from. Take note of those sites and focus your efforts with them accordingly.

When choosing sites on which to promote your music, check to see if they offer any individual stats relating to your music. Like how many track plays or page views you and your music receive on their site. This way you can check in periodically and monitor your performance with these sites.

Systematic Steps

The key to being systematic is organization. Keep a note of all the sites you use to promote your music, a brief description of what they do and how much it costs. Try to get into the practice of monitoring all of them regularly. Take note of which sites are getting better results than others and focus your efforts accordingly. You might pay for minimal promotion on one website, while another gets you loads of listeners for free. Naturally you'll want to put more effort into updating the sites that are getting better results.

Provide a link on your website and newsletters to all of the sites you use to promote your music. Remember your website visitors are your hardcore web fans and are the most likely to check out and spread the word about your spot on other websites. So encourage them to visit your profile on other websites. At the very least it raises your stats on those websites - making your music look more popular!

Try to create a ring of sites that link to each other though the content you supply. For example, you might have your music on your own website and two other showcase sites - Site A and Site B. Your site should without a doubt link with Site A and Site B. Site A should link with your site and Site B, Site B should link with your site and Site A and so on. What if these sites don't allow you to setup links to other sites? Put a web address in the areas where they do allow you to supply content. Like biogs or descriptions.

The ultimate aim of linking all your sites is to provide your listeners with a variety of access points to your music, as well as access to the different ways various sites may deliver your music. Remember to link to your specific page on the site and not just the site itself. Your site linked with a site that play your tracks on Internet radio, linked with a site that sells your downloads, linked with a site that sells your CD's provides for a powerful combination of exposure.

Be Rich

Without money! That is the challenge that most independent artists face. The conventional approach to selling music is that it should not be too readily available to listen to, should the incentive for listeners to actually buy albums be undermined. This has persuaded independent artists that they should limit web listeners to low-quality snippets of streaming audio.

Independent artists have to remember they don't have the resources and finances to support the "shotgun approach" of spraying their music across radio and music television. Big artists have big companies behind them that need to recoup the costs of mass media exposure, and therefore try to limit the extent to which listeners can sample their music on the web. Listeners have already heard the music and are trying to find a copy of their own.

Conversely, listeners haven't had a chance to listen to independent artist through conventional media. Therefore independent artists can't assume that people will buy their music off of a website if they don't get a chance to really listen to it. If people have already heard an artist's music, and like it, the value they pay for is in owning a copy they can play whenever they like. If people have not already heard an artist's music, the value is in being able to sample as much of the music as possible.

So being rich is providing your listeners with as much of your music as they want to listen to before they buy it. Now you don't have to make all your tracks available for free download, but you can provide good quality, full-length streams that impress the listener and enhance your sound. Not tight-fisted snippets that lose the listener because they are lo-fi and over before they attract the listener's interest.

Being rich is also making your music available in a variety of formats for different audiences. Telling fans that your music can be heard via Internet radio, on-demand streams, mp3 downloads and mail order CD means you can appeal to listeners who prefer more than one type of media. You can also use your web promotion to go beyond simply plays and sales - consider licensing.

Licensing your music for use with television, film, advertising, websites, video games and other multimedia will open up your listening audience, provide revenue and introduce a degree of professionalism to your career that attracts the notice of industry reps and A&R. Adding this depth to your web promotion helps to enrich the presentation of your music and retain targeted listeners.

So remember:

a) maximise your targeted listeners, 
b) be systematic in obtaining them, 
c) retain them by making sure your own site and other sites are rich in content.