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

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

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.

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Georgina Pearce works for the CD duplication company Magellan Duplication. For more info on CD duplication and replication services visit: http://www.magellanduplication.com/cd-duplication.htm

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Georgina_Pearce

Diversify Your Bad Self! ~ Guest Post by Doug Ross

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

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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!

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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 www.dougross.net and consider purchasing a copy of his cool new album. It all goes to support Doug’s artsy-fartsy endeavors, including this blog!

Success Leaves Clues

Posted in Articles, Recession Proof Musician | No Comments »

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Success Leaves Clues
by Carla Lynne Hall

Excerpted from The DIY Guide to the Music Biz

So you want to be a rock star? Or perhaps you want to sell 5,000 copies of your CD? Or maybe you just want to pack the house for your next gig. “How do I do that?” you ask. In this life, there are no guarantees, but one way to become closer to your goals is to study how other successful musicians and performers got where they are. I’m not just talking about Behind the Music, although those shows are an education of their own. I mean studying the techniques that others have used to become successful.

In Anthony Robbins groundbreaking book Unlimited Power, he writes, “Success leaves clues. It means that if I see anyone in this world producing a result I desire, I can produce the same results if I’m willing to pay the price of time and effort. If you want to achieve success, all you need to do is find a way to model those who have already succeeded.”

This is a brilliant concept. Even if you tried, there is no way that you could really be a clone of anyone else. However, you can still learn skills from the best if you’re willing to put in the time. Be original, but you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

We live in a wonderful time where information is as close as our fingertips, thanks to the Internet. A visit to the Google search engine can lead you to new ideas to take you closer to your dreams of success. Reality shows such as American Idol and Making the Band give you a private (although biased) peek into the world of the platinum-plated music industry. If you’ve decided that you want to reach the top, then you have to do your research before you get there.

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

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

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 🙂

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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 TheBuzzFactor.com, a web site, blog and e-zine that deliver free music marketing tips and self-promotion ideas to musicians of all kinds. Visit TheBuzzFactor.com 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.

Read This Blog!

Posted in A Day in the Life, DIY Diva, Recession Proof Musician | No Comments »

I’m in hustle mode, just like everyone else, and while surfing the blogosphere, I ran across a blog from Chuck Westbrook, who’s doing his part to end the problem of great blogs with few readers.

And what is Chuck’s “Big Idea”?:

1. Gather some nice bloggers who believe in helping good content rise. The more the merrier. This becomes our group for the project.

2. A good, lesser-known blog is chosen. Everyone in the group will read that blog for two weeks.

3. At the end of the two weeks, the group moves to another blog to read.

With scores of bloggers focused on a particular blog, the author should see many nice things happen over those two weeks, especially if the blog really is a hidden gem. This includes discussions, traffic, constructive criticism, encouragement, and connecting to some of the bloggers in the group. That author then joins the group and we move along and do it again.

I like this idea! If you would like to add your blog to Chuck’s list, visit his blog for more info, and sign up for his RSS feed.

See you at the top!

Creating the Perfect Pitch ~ Guest Blog by Ariel Hyatt

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

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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: 15secondpitch.com

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

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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 www.suffolkandcool.com


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.

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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

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

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.

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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.

A Hustler’s Guide to Gig Promotion

Posted in Articles, Recession Proof Musician | 4 Comments »

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A Hustler’s Guide to Gig Promotion
by Carla Lynne Hall

The saying “The early bird catches the worm” is based in fact. In the professional concert industry, a concert promoter “advances” a show in the months and weeks before a major artist is scheduled to perform. That basically means that he or she will do everything possible to promote the show and bring paying fans to come out. Even if you haven’t hit the big leagues yet, there’s no reason why you can’t follow their example in your hometown.

Some suggestions may be considered “beneath” a normal recording star, but until you reach the top, take every possible advantage to get the word out. These guidelines are based on the best possible lead times, which make it easier for fans and journalists to put your show in their schedules. When you’re performing multiple shows, your promotion duties may overlap a bit. It may not be possible to do all of the things listed here, but the main thing is to step up your guerrilla marketing skills. Rehearsals are not included in this list because it’s a given.

As soon as you get a date from the club booker:
Check a calendar to avoid slow holidays and possible double bookings
Get a poster to the club with photo, show date and time
Make flyers for handing out
Update ALL of your band’s web sites

Four weeks before show:
Send press releases to music editors in local papers. Invite them!!
Send press releases to local and college radio stations.

Three weeks before show:
Follow up with music editors and radio contacts
Send gig notices to community calendar/event listings (fax, email, or snail mail)

21 Days up til the day of show:

Mingle and schmooze at other local band gigs
Go to local music business events
Go anywhere that has potential fans
Hand out flyers and music samplers (if you have them)

14 Days up til the day of show:

Mail snail mail flyers (no later than 14 days before)
Confirm that posters are in a visible spot at the venue
Personally go to the venue and hand out flyers to audiences similar to yours
Perform at an open mic or two. Announce show & give out flyers.
Make sure that local stores carrying your CD are well-stocked.

7 Days before show:
Send notice to your email list
Give an in-store performance at an indie – friendly store
Perform live on a local or college radio show
– Hold an interview
– Give away tickets and/or free CD for lucky listener

2 Days before show:

Send reminder to your email list

Day before show:
Rest. You’ve earned it.

Show Day:
Give nothing less than a great show
Announce the availability of your CDs onstage
Announce your web site address onstage
Have CDs, merch, and mailing list available immediately afterwards

Day After Show:
Send thank you notes & emails
Perform gig followups (updating your blog, posting audience photos, etc)
Start booking your next show

Rinse and repeat this formula for each performance, and watch your fanbase grow!

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Originally published in MusicDish.com

The Recession Proof Musician: Week 3 ~ HUSTLE

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T-Shirt-Not Now, I'm Busy

Week 3 of “The Recession Proof Musician” is probably one of my favorite sub-topics of music marketing:
The Hustle!

An important part of being a musician or band is putting yourself out there so that people know that you exist. There is NO way around this, so if you’re not comfortable promoting yourself, fake it ’til you make it.

For those of you hoping that a Big Time Manager will somehow find you, pull you from obscurity, and then do all the self-promotion for you, please remember that A) You’ll have to do a bit of marketing yourself just to get into the same breathing space to even meet a Big Time Manager, and B) Big Time Managers primarily want clients who are already hustling (and will make money for them!)

If all you have to offer is talent, take a number. It’s your drive to succeed that provides the sparkle. Go back to Week 1 of The Recession Proof Musician series, and write down your Vision for your career. Then read Week 2, and think about how you honestly feel about finding success.

If you’re still with me, this week, I intend to Blow Your Mind. In the last 6 months alone, I’ve come across great music biz blogs and writers with inspiring words and great ideas, and I can’t wait to share them with you. Each day this week will be filled with multiple guest blogs on the topic of promoting yourself and your music, and I can’t wait to share. My music biz cyber colleagues such as Ariel Hyatt, Kavit Haria, Bruce Houghton and MANY others have agreed to contribute guest posts to the Recession Proof Musician series, and I’m so excited that I even updated my own articles for the occasion.

And wait til I tell you that the Great Squid himself, Seth Godin, has ALSO agreed to contribute to my blog. He has an article that is perfect, and I’m so excited that you’ll get to read it here at Rock Star Life Lessons. Can I tell you that I am over the moon? His article will be featured later this month, before Thanksgiving in the US, so stay tuned!

Since I’m not doing the heavy lifting this week (writing-wise anyway), I’m doin’ a blog contest. Yeppers, that’s right! I’ll be doing one of them old-fashioned blog contests, offering a $25 iTunes or Amazon.com gift certificate to a lucky blog reader. But shh! I’m not officially announcing this yet. All I’ll spill now is that I’ll be asking to know your favorite posts during “The Recession Proof Musician” series this month. If you haven’t found your way through this great month of guest blogs yet, I highly recommend it!

This weeks guest blogs will start tomorrow, but keep your eye out later today for an updated version of my article, “A Hustler’s Guide to Gig Promotion”.

Shake your Tailfeathers, Baby!