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Six Tips For Selling Your Music on eBay ~ Guest Blog by Georgina Pierce

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Six Tips For Selling Your Music on eBay
by Georgina Pierce

Believe it or not, you don’t have to be U2 or Coldplay to sell music CDs on eBay. Independent musicians can get their CDs sold on eBay, but it does take some strategy. Here are a few simple tips for success.

1. Set a low price.

Bear in mind that you’re competing with other sellers who are offering used or new CD’s from famous artists at low prices.

2. Be careful when using the names of other bands.
Some people get around this by using the names of similar, better-known artists in their titles. You’ll need to be careful when doing this, however, as eBay’s keyword spamming policy doesn’t permit buyers to use words that are not related to the product in a listing.

3. Include a picture.

Buyers perceive higher value when sellers include a picture. Upload your album’s cover art or a picture of your CD.

4. Feedback is important.

Always let the customer leave you feedback before you leave yours.

5. Offer a money-back guarantee.

Reassure buyers that there’s no risk to buying-they won’t have wasted their money if they don’t like your CD.

6. Keep in touch with that list.
One of the best things about eBay is that it’s a great way to collect a list of email addresses for people you can market to.

eBay can be a good place to get your CD’s into the hands of buyers. Follow these tips, and you may be able to build your fan base over time-and possibly make some money.

Ok that’s it for now. Hope you enjoyed the article. If you have any ideas or suggestions for content you’d like us to present on this topic please feel free to contact us via email or via the website listed below.


Georgina Pearce works for the CD duplication company Magellan Duplication. For more info on CD duplication and replication services visit:

Article Source:

Diversify Your Bad Self! ~ Guest Post by Doug Ross

Posted in A Day in the Life, Guest Bloggers, Recession Proof Musician | No Comments »


Strolling through the blogosphere this morning, I ran across a cool blog, Sound Music, Sound Money, by Doug Ross. Doug “has managed to make a living as a full time musician for over 20 years without getting famous or going broke”, and he has a lot to say about musicians wanting to manage their money. I wish I had found his blog last week when I was blogging about money beliefs, but what he says still fits well with HUSTLE, our focus for Week 3 of The Recession Proof Musician.

From Diversify Your Bad Self, Sound Music Sound Money Blog by Doug Ross.

One popular misconception about the music business is that most musicians make their living exclusively from live performances, or exclusively from studio session work. I’m not sure why people tend to make that assumption, but I suppose it may stem from the fact that most people only see and interact with us on stage. In spite of this romantic myth, the reality is that virtually all full time musicians these days earn their income through multiple activities. In fact, I can’t think of any players who limit themselves to gigs only, and I know hundreds of successful musicians all over the world!

There certainly must be exceptions to this generalization, but I would argue that even if you can make a good living through gigs alone, you will still be limiting the potential extra income and job security that greater diversification could offer you. Think about it. If you are playing a 4-hour steady gig 5 nights per week, that is still only a 20-hour work week — why waste your daytime hours?

Read Doug’s list of less commonly considered money making ideas for musicians and diversify your bad self!


Doug Ross

Doug Ross has managed to make a living as a full time musician for over 20 years without getting famous or going broke. He has a business degree from the University of Maryland, but didn’t learn any money-saving secrets in college. Most of the best advice he’s gotten has come from reading up on basic personal finance columns and books (hint, hint). For more info, please visit and consider purchasing a copy of his cool new album. It all goes to support Doug’s artsy-fartsy endeavors, including this blog!

The Kama Sutra of Music Marketing ~ Guest Blog by Bob Baker

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Kama Sutra

No series about The Recession Proof Musician would be complete without hearing from Mr. Buzz Factor himself, Bob Baker. I’ve been reading Bob’s writing for over 10 years now, when I first started learning how to market my music. Over the years, Bob has provided ideas and strategies that have helped me (and other musicians) think differently about marketing and promoting music, and I’m grateful for his online presence. Thanks Bob, for everything!

The Kama Sutra of Music Marketing
by Bob Baker

Reprinted from Bob Baker’s Indie Music Promotion Blog

When was the last time you thought about music promotion and making love at the same time? Been a while? Well, by the time you finish reading this column, you may do it more often. (Thinking about the combination, that is. How often you “do it” is up to you 🙂

This whole idea started when I ran across an article by Desiree Gullan called “The Kama Sutra of Marketing.” (In case you don’t know, the Kuma Sutra is an ancient Indian text widely considered to be the first manual on love and human sexuality.)

It reminded me of an analogy I’ve often used: Marketing is a lot like dating.

But most self-promoting musicians don’t think of it that way. And because of that, they struggle to get noticed, connect with fans, and make more money.

So, here are some valuable lessons from the Kama Sutra you can apply to your music marketing efforts:

1) Don’t settle for anyone – search for your music fan soul mates

You’ve heard the jokes. “He’s not Mr. Right, but he’s Mr. Right Now.” When dating, especially if people feel desperate, they settle. Instead of finding the right match, they pursue relationships that have little long-term potential. “Well, it’s better than being alone,” they say.

Do you do the same with your music promotion? Are you out to catch the interest of anyone who will listen? Or are you more discerning? The best way to proceed with a music career is to first decide who your ideal fan is. Who is your music-related soul mate?

How old are they? Do they tend to be male or female? Where do they hang out online and off? Where do they shop? What magazines, blogs and web sites do they read?

Get a handle on who you want to attract. Then focus on reaching only those types of people.

2) Get to know your fans first

What do you do on a first date with someone you really think has potential? Do you talk endlessly about yourself and how great you are? Or do you listen a lot and have a two-way dialogue?

Sadly, most people feel the need to impress others with how cool they are. So they launch into a laundry list of everything they’ve accomplished in their lives. Unfortunately, this approach leaves the other person feeling more neglected than impressed.

It’s the same with music promotion. It’s not all about you and your needs. Get to know your audience and what their interests and concerns are. Listen more than you talk. Share some of yourself and your story as you get to know them better. Give your fans a chance to know, like and trust you.

3) Don’t forget foreplay

Okay. You’re excited. You met someone new who really likes you. You anticipate the potential pleasure you will both experience together so much, you can taste it. It’s time to move in for the grand finale, right?

Wait! Hold your horses, Casanova Carl (or Valerie Vixen). Ease into the blessed event. Warm each other up first.

From a marketing standpoint, that means you don’t have to be so quick to ask for the sale. Wine and dine your fans (figuratively) before you flash your “Buy Now” button. Tease them a little with samples and insights into your songs. Leave them wanting more!

Consumers generally need to be exposed to something they enjoy 7 to 10 times before they get out their wallet or credit card to make a purchase. So expect and allow for this delayed gratification as you promote yourself.

4) Be a great lover

When the time comes to consummate the relationship, make sure you deliver the best goods you can. Make it a joyful and stimulating experience for all concerned — one your fans will remember (and maybe even tell many others about) for years to come.

That means you must create an unforgettable experience (be it a CD, music download or live show) filled with benefits that make each fan feel good. Make yours the best music in your genre. Thrill your fan partners so much, they’ll want to recreate the experience again and again.

That’s your goal as a self-promoting musician: Create moments your fans will want to duplicate over and over – all the while telling their friends about you and the great time they had.

5) Contact them and ask for another date

Finally, don’t leave your fans hanging after your first meaningful encounter. Get back in touch soon to thank them and let them know how much you enjoyed the experience.

This means you must follow up after the sale. Why? Because, if it was good for both of you, you want the relationship to continue. You want to interact more and enjoy more positive experiences (including music and merchandise sales) together.

Therefore, you must put a huge emphasis on building and using a fan mailing list. Capture the name and email address of everyone who has a positive experience with your music. Then input those details into a database and send messages to your fan list on a regular basis.

See, there is a connection between the Kama Sutra and music marketing.

So, from now on, when you’re engaged in music promotion activities, I encourage you to think about dating and making love.

But vice versa … you might think twice about that one 🙂



Check out Bob’s free report, How to Recession Proof Your Music Career

Bob Baker is the author of “Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook,” “Unleash the Artist Within” and “Branding Yourself Online.” He also publishes, a web site, blog and e-zine that deliver free music marketing tips and self-promotion ideas to musicians of all kinds. Visit for more details.

Bob has been a panelist at SXSW and the Nashville New Music Conference. He’s been featured in Music Connection, VIBE, American Songwriter, Canadian Musician and Electronic Musician magazines, among others.

In more recent years, Bob has cranked out several new books, reports and audio programs, including MySpace Music Marketing, and Guerrilla Music Marketing, Encore Edition, Unleash the Artist Within, and Branding Yourself Online

In addition to writing and presenting workshops, today Bob enjoys life with his girlfriend, Pooki, and his daughter, Kelli-Rae. He serves as president of the St. Louis Publishers Association, and continues to write and perform music as much as time allows. Curious about what Bob’s music sounds like? Take a listen to his old band, Roomful of Jimmys.

Creating the Perfect Pitch ~ Guest Blog by Ariel Hyatt

Posted in Guest Bloggers, Recession Proof Musician | 5 Comments »


Creating the Perfect Pitch
by Ariel Hyatt

Branding yourself both online and offline will really set up this coming year to be a break through one for your musical career.

To do this you must start with the most fundamental aspect of you as an artist: Your Pitch!

Two things happened recently to inspire this article.

Scenario #1: I was out at the Mercury Lounge seeing music and between bands I was standing at the bar talking to some friends and someone handed me a show flyer. I was taken with him immediately, I always appreciate anyone who is self -promoting because its not easy to do and it’s especially not easy to do at a crowded bar on a Wednesday night in downtown Manhattan. So, I looked down at the flyer and my heart sank. It said the following:

Name of artist (name is not mentioned to protect the innocent)
Venue (which was the Mercury, where I was)
Date & showtime

There I was, a perfectly primed potential fan, a customer, standing at a bar, out at a live music show, and he lost me forever. Why?

Because not one sentence was included about what genre of music this artist played much less what his music sounded like, who he was compared to (sound alike). In other words what I could expect by coming out to his show. In short I had no idea what this artist sounded like.

That was an opportunity totally LOST. Unbeknown to him he also handed his flyer to one of the most successful entertainment attorneys I know who was in the middle of signing 6 artists to record deals, an A&R executive and one of the best booking agents in the business.

We all looked down at the flyers in our hands, shrugged and carried on with the conversation we were having. He had totally BLOWN it.

Scenario #2: The second thing that happened was an artist called my PR firm to talk about hiring us for a Cyber PR campaign, and two minutes into the conversation started, my blood was beginning to boil. It went something like this:

Me: What do you sound like?

Artist: I sound like absolutely nothing you’ve ever heard before.

Me: (annoyed and now understanding why he’s not where he wants to be as an artist) Really? So you have invented a new genre of music, and you don’t sound like anyone else in the history of music?

Artist: Yes

Me: Can you at least tell me what type of music you play?

Artist: It’s old school Hip-Hop

OK finally we were getting somewhere and, I totally understood his point, but here’s the problem with having an approach like his:

People are constantly looking for a context to put things into. And if you don’t provide them with one, they will move on to the next thing that their little pea brains actually can grasp.

The critical that was missing in both scenarios was: The Pitch

So, you need a pitch or as marketers call it a USP (unique selling point), or, as my friend Bob Baker calls it a BIS (brand identity statement) or as my fellow mastermind group member Laura Allen calls it, a 15-second pitch. Call it what you want, this thing, my friend, will change the way you market yourself and your music and give everyone a context. It is critical that you have a concise and easy to understand pitch that will help you shape your brand. The rest of this article will help you focus on creating the perfet pitch.

It does not have to be lengthy to be effective, it just has to explain your sound in a few words or sentences.

Here are some of my clients’ pitches to help jump start your brain:

Leftover Salmon – Polyethnic Cajun Slamgrass

John Taglieri – If Vertical Horizon and Third Eye Blind got hit by Train!

FIGO – Influenced by groups like Primal Scream, NIN, The Misfits, The Chemical Brothers, and The Ramones, the band fuses intense raw live energy with pounding beats and samples.

Devil Doll – Jessica Rabbit meets Joan Jett.

Girls Don’t Cry – An all girl rock band featuring edgy guitars polished with five-part vocals, retro synth sounds and danceable grooves.

Creating Your Pitch

First, take a deep breath, clear your head, and tell yourself that what you are about to do is exactly like writing a song. You do not record the first thing that comes out (or at least I hope you don’t but that’s a different conversation) it takes some honing and some tweaking and possibly some collaboration.

Take out a clean piece of paper, and write down the following:

(I suggest writing this by hand with a pen and paper instead of using a computer because the ideas flow differently through a pen)

1. Write out the type of genres you play. Roots, rock, reggae, folk, punk, jazz, AltCountry, Chillout etc. No more than two or three should actually be selected in the end.

2. Write down all the artists that other people say you sound like.

3. Write down a list of all artists (or authors or famous people) that influenced you.

4. Write down all of the feelings and vibes that you want to create or convey with your music

Use these elements as a guideline to help come up with a few words or sentences that sum you up.

Now, go to this fabulous website:

This will help you structure and hone your pitch and it will TIME you too! (This site is more of a personal pitch site but the structure that it provides is very helpful)

Now write out on a blank note card or a small piece of paper your mission statement. Read it out loud standing in front of the mirror. Do you love it? If you don’t, then don’t use it. I once worked with a band that chose the term “Soul Rock” to describe their sound and after it was published countless times, they were hating it, so make sure it’s something that you can deal with in print over and over again, and something that you won’t get sick of. Now stand in front of the mirror and practice saying it. Does it feel comfortable saying it, or do you feel like a dork? If you feel like you’re speaking your truth, you will absolutely know, and then it is the perfect pitch for you.

Still not sure?

Read it to a bunch of friends and fans and ask them to work on it with you!

Don’t overthink it. Keep it simple and as concise as you can.

Where You Must Place Your Pitch

Online Branding:

1 On your website’s homepage (yes on the HOMEPAGE not buried in the site).
2 On your MySpace.
3 On your Facebook.
4 On all social networking sites that you use and anywhere else you have an online presence.

Offline Branding:

1 On your postcards.
2 On your show flyers.
3 On your posters, and anything else you have in print.

So now when you’re out somewhere and you hand someone a flyer announcing your show, you’re handing someone your brand. People will know exactly what you do, and it will be effectively marketing instead of just spinning your wheels.

Not sure if you hit the nail on the head? E-mail me your pitch and I’ll give you my honest feedback.

Good luck!



Ariel Publicity
was founded 12 years ago, and has since represented over 1,400 artists. The publicity game has changed radically over the last few years, so the company went 100% digital to accommodate the new landscape in January of 2007. Cyber PR is currently handling campaigns for artists of all genres and at all levels of their careers.

“This is just about the perfect service. It is really thought through to be easy for the podcaster to use. Oh boy, is that necessary in some cases! Good work and really, really cool.” – Peter Clitheroe, Suffolk and Cool Podcast

Teaching and educating musicians is Ariel’s passion and a major part of the Cyber PR platform is to empower artists to take charge and get into action around their own online marketing. Several times a year, she leads sold-out workshops to musicians and music industry professionals looking to learn about community building and online promotion in the “new” music business.

Her bi-weekly ezine “Sound Advice” has over 6,000 musicians and music professional subscribers. Her first book, Music Success in 9 Weeks, came out in June 2008 and is selling swiftly. She is a contributing blogger to New Music Ideas and Music Think Tank and her articles have been featured in the Discmakers and ASCAP online newsletters. Ariel Publicity also offers Band Letter, a musician’s newsletter service to handle fan outreach.

Ariel has spoken at dozens of music conferences including SXSW, The Philly Music Conference, NEMO, The East Coast Music Awards, OCFF, & Les Rencontres (Canada), A2A (Amsterdam), CMJ, BMI Music Panel Series, and The Connective Panel Series.

Ariel’s Blog
Ariel Publicity on Twitter
Ariel Publicity on MySpace
Ariel Publicity on Facebook

How to Get More Disciplined with Your Music Career ~ Guest Blog by Kavit Haria

Posted in Guest Bloggers, Recession Proof Musician | 5 Comments »

Sit Ups

How to Get More Disciplined with Your Music Career
by Kavit Haria

One question I am asked quite a lot is “how is a musician supposed to do their own marketing when they haven’t got enough hours in the day and want to make music?” Although I give a selection of answers to this question when asked, in planning this article, I wanted to put them all out here because it leads nicely into what I want to write about today.

(1) If you haven’t got the big bucks to spend on a marketing firm, you can’t change that. You’ve got to do your own marketing. If you don’t market, no-one will hear of you.

(2) There’s not enough hours in the day? Ha! The truth is, you have as much time as you need. You just need to make it. Most don’t. They just spend most that time complaining.

(3) Marketing each day requires not more than 30-45 minutes if you’re going to get consistent results that grow each week. If you’re a full-time musician and can’t spare that time, then you’re not doing the right thing. If you’ve got a 9-5 and do music on the side, then you’ve got to be able to spare 20 minutes for a bit of daily promotion. If you can’t do that, there’s something seriously wrong with your time co-ordination and management. Wake up early or sleep late. Find some time. You need to do your marketing. More important than that, you need to get more disciplined so let’s look at that.

As good musicians, we know about discipline, probably more than anyone else. In order to be disciplined you need some rhythm. We’ve heard the talk about “you need to practice every day and changes in this schedule will disturb concentration and performance” a gazillion times and we live and breathe it. But why don’t we do this when it comes to promoting ourselves? Because we don’t like it? Well, tough, you’ve got to like it. Marketing is the core of our music sales.

Discipline is related with focus. If you play piano three hours per day every day of the week you will have less time to play football or to watch television. It is possible to reserve one hour per day and dedicated this to one activity; many people run during the morning before they go to work. This requires discipline and is relatively easy to continue, your body and rhythm are expecting this activity and it will generate a lot of energy.

The most important thing about getting disciplined is your eagerness for it. You must have your reason. You run every day because you practice for the marathon. You run every other day because you like it but there is more in life, you walk on Sundays because you’re fond of nature… You play music because it’s your life and you’d live for it. Set a schedule for your marketing. There are tons of tactics out there. Nearly all of them work. All you need to do is select the ones you like and do one a day and keep that same routine every week and month. I guarantee you will see results within 3-6 weeks.


Kavit Haria

Kavit Haria is the Founder and Director of Inner Rhythm, a music business consultancy. He speaks, writes, and consults on the themes of independent music business strategy, music entrepreneurship, and music marketing.

Kavit himself is a musician – as a Tabla player for the last 13 years who has trained under the great Pandit Sharda Sahai of Benaras – and uses his training and passion of results psychology and Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) to fuse together marketing and music business basics to help musicians create a winning strategy.

Inner Rhythm is Kavit’s idea of a learning hub – a place where musicians can come to glean inspiration, take away ideas and create their music career in the way they desire – with exposure and fruitful results.

Since 2004, Kavit has built up an internet newsletter readership of 12,000+ musicians worldwide to his well-known weekly Musicians Development Newsletter. He has also produced a number of small reports detailing strategies on how to get more gigs, attain financial independence and promote a newly-released record. His most popular resource to date is the Musicians Mastermind – a five-month program that walks you step-by-step to promoting your own music and getting sales.

Today, Kavit speaks about 40-50 times a year and consults with musicians and resides in London.

Keep Your Elbows on the Table ~ Guest Blog by Kate White

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When I was about 12 years old, I started reading Cosmopolitan magazine, which has earned its reputation for sexy articles. But Cosmo also has a tradition of having Editor-in-Chiefs that also write books. Founding editor Helen Gurley Brown wrote Sex and the Single Girl, which became the catalyst for Cosmopolitan Magazine. Ms. Brown later wrote Sex and the Office, and Having it All, which also found their way into my personal library.

When Kate White took the helm of Cosmo Magazine, she wrote Why Good Girls Don’t Get Ahead, but Gutsy Girls Do, and 9 Secrets of Women Who Get What They Want, which features this article expanded as an entire chapter. This book has helped me navigate my way through various issues, and I’m including a snippet in the hopes that it may inspire you as well.

Elbowing out

Keep Your Elbows on the Table
by Kate White

A few years or so ago Ted Koppel devoted one night of “Nightline” to opera, in conjunction with a special event at the Kennedy Center and one of his guests was. An eighty-something year old woman named Kray Vayne who in her prime had been considered one of the great opera singers of her time. And yet despite her extraordinary voice she achieved only a modest level of success. “I went forward,” she said, “but I never hit the jackpot. I was always on the periphery because I didn’t belong to any company.”

Why didn’t she achieve the fame she deserved? An opera critic on the show offered this explanation: “In order to make a career in any of the performing arts,” he said, “you’ve got to have elbows. It’s not enough to have talent. You have to have the ability to put yourself out there, to put yourself in front, and, quite evidently, she was lacking in the last of these qualities.”

It’s pretty sad to think that a remarkable singer didn’t get the attention she deserved simply because she refused to elbow her way to the center of the room. And yet that’s a fact of life. In some situations you will be given what you want because your passion bowled them over or your ingenious idea won the day, but there are times when you absolutely have to be a little pushy. If you want to be the one chosen, you have to be noticed—and noticed for the right things.

Consider what a male reporter said not long ago about Barbara Walters: “I always think back to the time when, as a reporter, she used to beat out the assembled male press corps, elbowing her way to the front of the pack and driving her high heels into the feet of her colleagues.” Barbara Walters wasn’t afraid to use her elbows when necessary.

You don’t have to go everywhere, but you should go places where your presence will remind the people who matter that you’re definitely in the mix. And don’t just show up. Wear something fantastic (have a couple of outfits to wear for these occasions) and introduce or reintroduce yourself to anyone in a position to change your destiny.


Kate White

In addition to being a book author, Kate White is the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan, the largest-selling women’s magazine in the world. Under her editorship, guaranteed circulation has increased by over 500,000 and Cosmo now sells on average two million copies a month on newsstands alone.

White became editor-in-chief of Cosmo in 1998. She is the recipient of the Matrix award, which honors “extraordinary achievements of outstanding women in the communications field.”

Kate White has now expanded into fiction writing, and you can read more about her and all of her writing at her Kate White website.

How To Pay for Your Music Career ~ Guest Blog by Heather McDonald,

Posted in Guest Bloggers, Recession Proof Musician | No Comments »

Musician's Money Pot.jpg
Musician Piggy Bank

Working in music can mean an almost constant struggle to find the money to keep things going. Whether you’re a band in need of money to tour or a label in need of cash to press some CDs, it seems like it is ALWAYS something. Music business funding is never easy, but you do have options. Find out how to uncover the cash you need to make your music career dreams take off.

How To Pay for Your Music Career
by Heather McDonald

1. Identify Your Needs

You know that you need money to get your musical endeavor off the ground, but one of the most important steps in getting the money you need is figuring out just how much of it is going to be required. Hint: the answer is not “as much as possible.” Figuring out a realistic budget for your project will help you keep everything running smoothly and will help your case when it’s time to start applying for loans/grants. For instance, you don’t need $100,000 to do an indie release – ending up with more money than you need leads to bad spending. Start your project off right with understanding your costs.

2. Put It In Writing

If you’re going to apply for a small business loan or for a grant from an arts council or other funding body, you’re going to need a business plan. Even if you’re planning on financing your music project with your own credit cards, writing a business plan forces you to think about the potential of your project and how you can make it happen. Your business plan should include:

* Overview of the project
* Details about the market/consumers/similar businesses
* Costs
* Projected returns (including how long it will take to see returns)
* Marketing plans
* Your qualifications (info about career, education, etc)

3. Investigate Your Sources

The available sources for music business funding vary from location to location to location. For instance, people in the UK are lucky enough to have a network of arts councils who are a first stop for grants to get musical projects under way. In the US, there are few grants in place and most people have to try for traditional small business loans. The best way to learn about what is available to you where you live is to ask around among your fellow musicians and check out your local government website for more information.

4. Approach Your Sources

After you’ve identified the people most likely to come through with funding for you, it’s time to start making your pitch. One thing you should keep in mind here is that yes, you’re trying to work in the music business, which can be a bit more laid back and casual than a traditional industry – but the people whose money you want will almost always be more “business-y” types. Showing up late to a meeting wearing last night’s clothes and smelling like you bathed in lager? Not so good. Be professional and give the impression that you are capable of pulling off your proposed venture.

5. Get Ready for the Long Haul

Getting funding for any business can be tough, but the creative industries are a special case (largely because the people who control the purse strings are secretly convinced we can’t be trusted to manage the money). Finding money can take a long time, and you may have to apply for money from several sources to fund one music project. When you’re planning your project, make sure to build in plenty of time to tap into the right funding sources.


1. Look for the RIGHT Funding Source

Sure, when you want to get your project off the ground, it can be tempting to take an “I’ll worry about that later” attitude towards loans and debts you are racking up. In the long term, if you spend unwisely at the beginning, you won’t have anything left to make sure your project gets the push it needs. High interest loans and credit cards might seem like a fast and easy way to get things rolling, but they should be your last resort. If you have to take on some debt, take the time to make sure it will be manageable enough to let you pay it off and keep your project going.

2. Get Help When You Need It

Even where there are no nice arts councils or arts grant sources, there usually are groups to help small businesses get their stuff together. If you need help writing a business plan or coming up with a budget, do a quick internet search for small business assistance groups in your area. You may be able to get free (or very cheap) assistance in putting together a professional proposal that will help you get the cash you need.

3. Do Your Homework

This is especially important if you are looking for funding to start a business like a record label – make sure you REALLY understand your market and what you are getting into. Just because you’re a music fan and read a lot of music magazines doesn’t mean you really know how the business side of music works. If you don’t have any specific experience in the part of the music industry you want to get into, investigate before you take the plunge. Seek out other people who are doing what you want to do and get their input so you have a clearer picture what’s required and who your customers will be.


Heather McDonald,

Heather McDonald blogs about music at Guide to Music Careers

Heather has worked in the music industry since her teen years. She started out sitting behind a record store counter, first as an employee and then as the manager of a small, independent record store. During her time at the record store, Heather worked closely with both major and indie labels on new release promotion and worked on in-store performances from artists across all genres.

Heather then moved to Glasgow, Scotland and worked at the Shoeshine Records indie label. There, Heather got to do a little of everything: dealing with manufacturing and distribution, securing international licensing agreements, artist management, tour booking, show promotion and album promotion.

Heather now works as a freelance writer, covering music for many print and web outlets. She also works in PR for various bands and record labels. She is currently involved in the set up of a label designed to give Caribbean based musicians opportunities in the US and Europe.

Visit Heather’s Guide to Music Careers Blog
Visit Heather on MySpace
Follow Heather on Twitter

What Does Money Mean to You? ~ Guest Post by “Sterling & Jay” of Internet Business Mastery

Posted in Guest Bloggers, Recession Proof Musician | No Comments »

Have you heard about the Internet Business Mastery podcast yet? Created by Sterling (Jeremy Frandsen) and Jay (Jason Van Orden), this podcast is #1 in iTunes and other sites for internet business and marketing. I love listening to this podcast, as Sterling and Jay are two regular, friendly guys who enjoy sharing what they’ve learned about lifestyle design.


What Does Money Mean to You? Are Your Money Beliefs Holding You Back?
by Jason Van Orden & Jeremy Frandsen

[NOTE: This post is best read while listening to Pink Floyd’s Money. Please click here to open it in a new window. It will start playing on its own.]

People spend a lot of time thinking about money. In fact, we may think about money more than we think about sex. Your beliefs about money significantly impact your life and business. Whether you’re conscious of these beliefs or not, they conduct your behavior on a daily basis. Do you have money beliefs holding you back?

As I look back over the last several years and my progress as an entrepreneur, most of the critical mindset shifts I’ve gone through relate to money in one way or another.

Listen to Internet Business Mastery Podcast (IBM 39) and learn more!


Jay & Sterling
Jason Van Orden & Jeremy Frandsen

Known as “the iconoclasts of the 9-5”, Sterling & Jay have built a community of fans with their friendly podcasts. Their newly-designed Internet Business Academy program is designed to help internet entrepreneurs learn the ropes. They’ve also created a free report, The 3 Pillars Of Designing Your Ultimate Internet Lifestyle
which will help you clarify your vision.

Beliefs About Money ~ Guest Blog by Susan Velez

Posted in Guest Bloggers, Recession Proof Musician | No Comments »

thinking about money

Beliefs About Money

by Susan Velez

Beliefs about money are essential for your success. You can easily take a look around your life and find out what your beliefs about money are. Are you currently struggling to make ends meet or are you living an abundant lifestyle with more than enough? Be honest with yourself because only you can change your thoughts and actions to achieve what you truly desire. Changing your mindset will have a significant impact on you achieving more money and reaching your goals.

We have all heard about the power of positive thinking it has become such a huge topic in the last couple of years. Does it actually work? How can your beliefs actually help you reach your goals? Yes it can I am willing to bet that if you are currently struggling to make ends meet; it is probably because you have placed a majority of your thoughts on lack of money to pay for your bills, or some other thoughts of lack. You can not focus on lack and produce wealth. You beliefs about money have shown up in your life. It may not be what you would like; however the great news is that you can change it.

Wealth is nothing more than your mindset. Many people would love to possess the mindset that will help them achieve all the money they desire. However they are not willing to do the mental work that is required. Your mindset is not all that is required to begin achieving the success that you desire, however if you can begin believing that you already possess the money it is the biggest step towards achieving the success you desire. Anything you desire whether it is wealth, abundance, happiness, health or anything else; you must be able to see it as already yours. This takes practice and effort on your part. What is it that you desire? Are you wanting more money? How much would you like to possess? If you want to make $7,000 a month then you must be able to see that amount in your mind clearly. It must become a reality in your mind before it will become a reality in your outside life.

This is the biggest step that people fail to accomplish, they feel like they would like more money and are not willing to put in the mental effort to accomplish what they desire. You must be able to influence your subconscious mind that you already possess what you desire and then it will begin bringing opportunities to you that will assist you to achieve what you desire. Most people do not understand this; they feel like they have to do everything they can do physically to make it a reality.

Now if you dream about it and just spend your days dreaming without any action on your part; then you will not succeed. Nothing will fall out of the sky into your lap. The bottom line is that our beliefs and actions become our truths and reality. Henry Ford explained it best when he said, “Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right.”



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Top 10 Ways Musicians Can Get More Money From a Gig ~ Guest Blog by David Hooper

Posted in Guest Bloggers, Recession Proof Musician | 2 Comments »


Top 10 Ways Musicians Can Get More Money From a Gig

by David Hooper

You are an artist, it’s true. But just because you’re an artist doesn’t mean you don’t need to get paid. Money makes a lot of things possible, including time in a recording studio, new and better instruments, and paying your rent so you don’t have to live in a cardboard box and burn your guitar for warmth. There’s nothing wrong with making money from your shows, and if you’re smart you’ll try to optimize that earning power. You don’t have to be a marketing genius or a public relations guru-just think outside the box and make the most of what you already have going for you.

1. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you’re worth.

Just because you want the gig doesn’t mean you have to beg for it. If you’ve got experience performing, and you regularly draw a crowd, your venue stands to benefit as much-if not more-than you do from the show. So don’t let them tell you that you’re not worth paying as much as a “bigger name”. It is also a good idea to go in and tell them exactly what you’re doing to generate a buzz about the show. If they can see that you’re working to get a crowd in, they’ll be a lot more willing to pay you a good rate.

2. Don’t run up a huge bar tab.

Take a lesson from the Blues Brothers. If you’re buying your own drinks at the show, it’s going to eat in to your bottom line. You don’t want to end up owing them money for playing a show. A couple beers to keep you loose isn’t a big deal, but when you start buying round after round of top shelf drinks you’re going to rack up quite a bill. Not to mention that it’s going to affect your performance. You might not think it’s a problem…but then, neither does Amy Winehouse. Stay on top of your game while you’re on stage. There’s plenty of time to party after the show.

3. Sell T-shirts, bumper stickers and CDs at the show.

A small investment in your own marketing merchandise can help generate income. Make sure whatever you’re selling is cool in design and functionality. You can’t go wrong with T-shirts, as long as they don’t look cheesy. Don’t try to sell them for $40 each. You’re not Pink Floyd (yet). The kids that are going to your show aren’t loaded, but they’ll gladly buy and wear your shirt around if it’s affordable and looks good. That’s free advertising. Stickers and other inexpensive items can also bring in some extra money. Remember, you’re not trying to get rich off this stuff-just clear a little profit and get your name out there.

4. The Tip Jar

It never hurts to set it out there. And even if you only get a few bucks, it’s a few bucks more than you had before. Make sure that you sincerely thank the audience for their tips before you close the show.

5. Generate a buzz to ensure a big crowd.

If you’re getting part of the cover, you want to do everything in your power to get people in the door. That means going out and hitting the streets for weeks before the show, printing flyers and cards, asking friends and family to spread the word, and using your contacts to get people to the show. Even if there’s no cover, the more people at your show, the more opportunity you have to sell your CD’s and T-shirts and get tips. Don’t leave it to chance-work hard to get people to the show and it’ll pay off in more ways than one.

6. Make sure your venue will attract people who will like your music.

If you’re an acoustic singer/songwriter, don’t try to play at a club that is known for head banging. It sounds simple enough, but there’s something to be said for playing up to the regulars that are used to going to the venue where you’re playing. Go to a few shows at the same venue beforehand and hang out. See who’s there and talk to some people about your upcoming show. People that are already at the venue are more likely to come back than people who’ve never been there before-even if they know who you are.

7. Look for different types of venues-not just the same old bar scene.

There are lots of places you can play to earn a few bucks. Big corporations often throw parties a couple times a year to celebrate holidays or sales performance. Schools have festivals and events. There are endless places where you can attract a crowd and sell your CD’s. Think outside the box!

8. Make sure you have a website and blog-and a mailing list to remind people where they can see you!

This is such an important piece of getting recognition and money. Make sure people know how to find you online. Every piece of advertising or marketing you do should have your website address on it. Keep your site updated regularly and post information about upcoming shows. When your shows are over be sure to immediately post pictures and videos. Respond to inquiries from fans, prospective venues, and press. You can also sell MP3’s of your songs or the entire CD on your website to generate income. There are literally endless possibilities, and with today’s web tools, it is easier and easier for anyone to create and manage their own website. Most importantly, once you’re on the web, people from all over the world can find you and hear your music. Think big, and make yourself available to an unlimited fan base.

9. Treat your booking professionally.

Make sure you keep track of phone numbers, dates, and venue contacts. This is going to ensure repeat bookings. Until you make it big and have yourself a real business manager, you’re going to have to keep things organized. Some people are naturally good at this, and some people, well…aren’t. Bare minimum, get a big calendar and scribble phone numbers and important dates and times on it to keep track. The more you treat your band like a business, the more money you’re going to make.

10. Stick around after the show and work the room.

Don’t just pack your stuff and high tail it out of the club when you’re done playing. Unless it’s closing time, spend a while chilling out with the crowd and talking to people. When you’ve finished your show, you’ve got a little bit of ‘star quality’ that comes from having been the center of attention for the duration of the show. When you take the time to walk around and thank people for coming, introduce yourself to people and tell them your CD is for sale, or hand them your card with your website on it, you are doing yourself an invaluable service. Try this for three shows in a row, and I guarantee you’re going to see huge results.

David Hooper is a music business expert based out of Nashville, TN. He is host of the syndicated radio show, Music Business Radio. He is also the author of Twitter for Musicians: The Complete Guide. For more on David, visit him at

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Band photo credit: Stuart Rollinson [Dammies, Thurso, Caithness, Scotland]