Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

Music marketing ideas for DIY artists, managers, promoters and music biz pros


April 26, 2005

Being Perfect vs. Being True to Yourself

Author and journalist Anna Quindlen was on the Today Show this morning. Apparently, some years ago she gave a commencement speech at a college graduation ceremony that caused such a buzz, Random House just put it out as a short book called Being Perfect.

Her original speech is available online here, among other sites. For a taste of what Quindlen said, here are some excerpts:

" ... nothing important, or meaningful, or beautiful, or interesting, or great ever came out of imitations. The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.

"This is more difficult, because there is no zeitgeist to read, no template to follow, no mask to wear. Set aside what your friends expect, what your parents demand, what your acquaintances require. Set aside the messages this culture sends, through its advertising, its entertainment, its disdain and its disapproval, about how you should behave ...

"This is the hard work of your life in the world, to make it all up as you go along, to acknowledge the introvert, the clown, the artist, the reserved, the distraught, the goofball, the thinker. You will have to bend all your will not to march to the music that all of those great 'theys' out there pipe on their flutes.

"They want you to go to professional school, to wear khakis, to pierce your navel, to bare your soul. These are the fashionable ways. The music is tinny, if you listen close enough. Look inside. That way lies dancing to the melodies spun out by your own heart. This is a symphony. All the rest are jingles."

It's pretty profound stuff. Read the entire speech and apply her wisdom to your own life and creative career.

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posted by Bob Baker @ 11:45 AM   0 comments


April 21, 2005

'Females on Fire' Compilation Disc

My friend and self-described "warrior girl" Gilli Moon has been setting the indie world on fire with her unique brand of pop-art-rock for years. Now she's helping to ignite the careers of other talented women with her Females On Fire compilation CD series. The first one is due out in May.

If you'd like to be considered for inclusion on the second compilation, visit www.femalesonfire.com. (Note that if you are accepted, there is a production fee involved.) Come on, girls. Check it out and set the world on fire!

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posted by Bob Baker @ 9:50 PM   0 comments


April 14, 2005

Groovy Judy Is Far Out, Solid & Right On

I've written about indie artist Groovy Judy before. And for good reason. She knows how to communicate with her fans online.

A recent issue of her fan e-zine starts off with the heading ...

"The Groove News -- the hip happenings of Groovy Judy and her funky band."

Then she opens with ...

"Greetings and Happy Spring! If this is your first time receiving the Groove News, welcome!

"My goal as an artist is to spread positive vibes through my music and performances, as well as inspire people to be the best they can be. The songs I write are about relationships, social issues, love, peace, and enjoying life to the fullest."

If Judy were right in front of me, I'd plant a big kiss right on her groovy cheek. Why? Because she gets it. Those opening lines spell out who she is and what she does for newcomers, while also reminding more familiar fans that she is still there cranking out the good vibes for them.

Head to www.groovyjudy.com and subscribe to her e-mail list. Then watch and learn from someone who gets it and isn't just funkin' around.

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posted by Bob Baker @ 10:09 PM   0 comments


April 07, 2005

New Artist Empowerment Podcast

I'm loving the direction that new technology is taking us. Since podcasting is all the rage these days, I just started a new Artist Empowerment Radio Podcast page. There you can subscribe to the podcast feed, or simply stream or download the MP3 files of each show as you would with any other audio file online.

This podcast is an extension of the Artist Empowerment Radio show I started last year at Live365, filled with my spoken word tips and inspiring ideas. In fact, the first podcast show contains segments from the other one. The only difference is, you can download the shorter podcast versions, whereas the longer Live365 show is streaming only.

In addition, note that in the right-hand column of this page (under Feed Me) you can now subscribe to this blog using RSS or Atom, or add the feed to your My Yahoo, Bloglines, NewsGator or My MSN reader.

Enjoy!

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posted by Bob Baker @ 12:01 PM   0 comments


April 06, 2005

Marketing Lessons from an 8-Year-Old

This morning I was driving my 8-year-old daughter to school when she asked me to cue up a very familiar song on the CD player. If you have kids, you know that children often love repeated exposure to stuff they like. They'll contently watch a favorite movie over and over again, driving the adults in the house batty from the repetition.

One of her favorite songs these days is "Accidentally in Love" by Counting Crows. I'd like to think she enjoys it so much because I recently played it in a part-time cover band and dedicated it to her at a show she attended. But the truth more likely has something to do with the Shrek 2 soundtrack :-)

Anyway, this morning we were on our second spin of "So she said, 'What's the problem, baby' ..." when I finally asked her, "Why do you like this song so much?"

Her answer: "I don't know. It just puts me in a good mood."

Wow. That might sound like a simplistic answer, but when you think about it, isn't that at the core of enjoyng any type of music, at any stage of life? You enjoy your favorite music because it makes you feel good.

The key words there are *feel* and *good*. Generally speaking, music makes the person enjoying it feel good -- or better about themselves than they might have before hearing it.

There are exceptions: Sometimes people listen to particular types of music when they are sad or angry or not feeling "good." In these instances, people use music to match their mood -- to cradle and support them in whatever state they happen to be in. But, regardless of the mood, people always use music to "feel," whether it's good or otherwise.

But I contend that most of the time people turn to music to feel better about themselves. To, as my daughter says, put themselves in a good mood. Music fans might say they love an act because of the vocalist's skills or the guitar player's chops or the groove laid down by the bass player. But those things are just the means that lead to the ultimate fan payoff: feeling good.

How does your music make your fans feel? In what way do you elevate their mood to "good" -- or, better yet, great? The answers to those questions can be different for every artist. But asking them and pondering the answers will help you understand the true relationship you have with your fans.

Bottom line: Putting more people in a "good mood" will help your music career more than just about any marketing tactic you could ever conceive.

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posted by Bob Baker @ 10:50 AM   3 comments


April 04, 2005

Free Radio Commercials for Bands

Don't know too much about this, but it's worth looking into. On Michael Anthony's blog, he reports that "Brocket 99 entertainment is giving bands, web sites and small businesses a chance to promote themselves to thousands of listeners through the VR Radio Network of online stations. You get one free 30-second radio spot which will be played on the VR Radio Network. The only catch is that you have to produce the commercial yourself or have someone do it for you."

Read his full post here for more details. Happy promoting!

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posted by Bob Baker @ 6:28 PM   3 comments


April 01, 2005

Your #1 Success Tool: Choose Your Thoughts Wisely

Here's a piece I wrote in my e-zine last year in the pre-blog days. It got a good response from readers so I thought it was worth posting here for those who missed it the first time around.


Let me ask you something. Do things come easily for you? Or do you struggle to get ahead?

Do you find new musical opportunities every day? Or only more obstacles to success? The way you answer these questions can reveal a lot about the way you think and process your world.

As I ponder this topic, I'm reminded of something once written by Dr. Wayne Dyer (author of The Power of Intention, Real Magic and other fine books):

"What you focus on expands in your life."

It's true. Whenever you concentrate on or obsess over a particular thought or attitude, you attract more of that thought or attitude like a magnet -- and better (or worse) yet, those mental images often materialize.

In a very real sense, thoughts become things. In the same way that the idea for a song becomes a tangible recording, so do your attitudes and beliefs manifest themselves in the real world.

Another thing Dr. Dyer wrote: State your goals in terms of what you are for, not what you are against. For instance, instead of being against the war, be FOR peace. Instead of being anti pollution, be FOR a clean environment. That simple switch in perspective can steer your entire manner of tackling the issue.

This attitude can be applied to your music career, as well. Are you against corporate rock, or PRO indie music? Do you rail against commercial radio, or show support FOR community stations?

Some may think this is empty, semantic flimflam, but I think it goes much deeper than that.

One more idea from Wayne Dyer: He has said that the Wright Brothers did not make aviation history by focusing on the "staying on the ground" of things. If they had, their early failures would have convinced them that human flight wasn't possible. They made history by concentrating on what they wanted: the flight of a powered airplane.

Do this with your pursuit of music ... and with life in general. Focus on the positive outcomes you fully expect to materialize. As you get in the habit of doing so, you will become aware of and attract to you all sorts of wonderful "coincidences." Your accomplishments will grow. Small successes will breed larger ones. Amazing things will begin to happen to you.

But if you elaborate on how hard it is to succeed in music, how little money there is to go around, how much competition you face ... I guarantee you will attract a river of real-life examples to prove your negative claims. You'll start hanging out with people who share your pessimism, you'll put out vibes that you're cynical and lack confidence, people will "sense" you're someone they don't want to work with -- much less help.

Your circumstances are a merciless mirror of the thoughts you've had, the decisions you've made and the actions you've taken to this point in your life. What do you think of the reflection you're seeing these days?

If you'd like to get better results, start examining the thoughts you focus on. Paint brighter, more empowering mental pictures. Be more upbeat in your conversations with others. Expect to uncover more opportunities. Concentrate on the end results you desire. Raise your energy level.

Then watch the material world slowly take on the shape of your inner world of positive ideas.

Now get out there, get busy and empower yourself!

Get more tips like these when you subscribe to my free Buzz Factor ezine — the longest running music career tips email newsletter on the planet. Since 1995. Learn more about the free subscription here.


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posted by Bob Baker @ 12:10 PM   1 comments