Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

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


September 16, 2005

Stupid Mistakes Musicians Make

Sometimes the most important things you can do for your career advancement are the simplest things. This e-mail provides a case in point ...

"Hi Bob, it's Beau Wadsworth with the Rude Street Peters. I'm a big fan, bought your books, etc. Anyway, you have talked in the past about how important it is to put contact info on ALL of your materials -- every single piece. So I thought you would appreciate this."

Beau sent me this forwarded e-mail from the Film Music Network mailing list:
"We received a CD from a group for a documentary that I'm supervising and there is no contact information on the CD. I'm interested in licensing one of their tracks."

Later in the same message, the mailing list moderator added:

"This music supervisor is ready to license this music, but the band failed to put contact information on the CD. Putting it on the tray card or case is not good enough, especially if the CD gets separated from the case. SO ... if you're the band who submitted it, please contact (details left out for privacy reasons) and we'll get your info to this music supervisor."

There's no need for me to elaborate on this much further. The point is clear. Don't take anything for granted. Assume the items in your promo kits will get separated, stepped on, mutilated and run through the ringer. Package them securely and make sure EVERYTHING is labeled properly and clearly.

Don't miss out on a great opportunity because of a simple, stupid mistake!

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posted by Bob Baker @ 11:00 AM   2 comments


September 14, 2005

Why Your Audience Needs You

I just read something that literally gave me chills as I absorbed the significance of it. In a recent blog post, Joe Taylor Jr. described how many of his clients had expressed a feeling of insignificance after watching all the events related to Hurricane Katrina.

Musicians asked him questions like "Why is anybody going to listen to my music when they're glued to CNN?" or "Will anyone even come to my show if they're spending all their money on overpriced gasoline?"

Joe explained that these are all understandable questions to ask. Then he issued the following challenge:

Your audience needs you today, more than they have ever needed you before.

You possess gifts that deserve to be shared with as many people as possible.

This week, like the weeks that try us all in private or in public, should remind you that your talents are more rare and more valuable than you believe. Sure, you might surf every indie music weblog and bulletin board around, and maybe everyone you hang out with is a musician just like you. I know that it can sometimes feel like everyone is trying to do the same things as you are.

Pull back to the satellite view with me for a minute.

Very, very few people on this planet understand how to play an instrument, write a song, or even stand in front of an audience. You didn't get these gifts by accident.

Now, more than ever, is the time for you to share those gifts.

Send that newsletter to express your sympathy for audience members and loved ones touched by tragedy. Unite your audience to help relief efforts. Show them -- by your example -- that the world keeps spinning.

Later in the post, Joe adds this wisdom:

Finally, entertain your audience. Let them escape into your world through your music, your lyrics, your art, and your craft. If you sing about the world and political affairs, let your audience use your shows to share their grief and their anger. If you sing about love and fun and happy days, let your audience come to you for a well-earned respite from the depressing and bizarre news of the world.

As with all things about your music career, the relationship with your audience is the most crucial factor. Putting aside all of our usual discussion of achieving success and breaking away from a boring day job, your audience needs you right now. If you take the time to read this note, you are a beacon, a leader, and a shining example to at least ONE person in your audience -- whether you believe it yet or not.

Awesome! Thanks for this important reminder, Joe.

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posted by Bob Baker @ 11:33 AM   3 comments


September 12, 2005

Music Biz Headaches: You Need the Eggs

At the beginning of the movie "Annie Hall," Woody Allen's character, Alvy Singer, tells a joke about a guy who goes to a psychiatrist and says, "Doc, my brother's crazy. He thinks he's a chicken." The doctor says, "Well, why don't you turn him in?" And the guy says, "I would, but I need the eggs."

At the end of the film, the joke comes full circle when Alvy ties it into the roller coaster ride of a relationship he's had with Annie (played by Diane Keaton):

"I guess that's pretty much how I feel about relationships. You know, they're totally irrational and crazy and absurd, but I guess we keep going through it because ... most of us need the eggs."

Funny stuff -- and more true than many are willing to admit. The same sentiment can be applied to the music business. Can you relate?

Have you ever been frustrated by the actions (or inactions) of a booking agent or club owner? Ever felt like pulled out your hair over a stubborn singer or guitar player? Ever been disappointed by the amount of money you spent or made doing something music related?

Of course you have. And you probably wondered if it was all worth it. You may have even considered chucking the whole thing and accepting the idea that you're not cut out for this business.

Then what happened?

Most likely, you worked your way through it and found the ideal final member to round out the band. Or finally played the big show you've been dreaming about. Or got the CD recorded and released. Or landed the big article in the local newspaper.

And it was then that you felt fantastic and realized the journey was totally worth it. The ups and the downs. The joys and the frustrations. It's what you have to go through to reach meaningful goals and enjoy your passions.

And that's true whether we're talking about romantic relationships, music business success or just about anything else in life that's worth doing.

So get busy pursuing your goals. Because, admit it ... you need the eggs!

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posted by Bob Baker @ 11:57 AM   0 comments


September 07, 2005

Make Money Selling Digital Downloads

Being the hip independent music person that you are, you're already well aware of the growing number of consumers who are buying digital downloads of their favorite songs and even full albums. Just check out these news stories to brush up on the latest trends.

Perhaps you've already signed up for CD Baby's Digital Distribution deal, which makes the songs you select available at the biggest online sellers, such as Apple iTunes, Rhapsody, Napster, MSN Music, AOL's MusicNet, Yahoo MusicMatch, Sony Connect, MP3tunes, etc.

But there are a number of smaller sites popping up that offer music downloads for sale to the public and encourage indie artists to join them. Here are some that I found. Inclusion on this list does not imply an endorsement. In fact, I encourage you to leave comments on your experiences with these and other download sites and services.

Jamzilla.com
Mperia.com
DownloadMusicMart.com
MyGlobalSound.com
IntoMusic.co.uk

And here are a couple of sites that can help you set up your own secure download sales system on your web site.

Tradebit.com
Payloadz.com

Your turn. What's worked and not worked for you? Just click Comments and start posting.

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posted by Bob Baker @ 12:24 PM   6 comments