Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

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


October 17, 2005

Guerrilla Music Marketing, Encore Edition

Posts to this music promotion blog will be light for the next few weeks. Why? For the next month or so I'll be focusing my energies on finishing up the sequel to my most popular book, the "Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook."

The new book is called "Guerrilla Music Marketing, Encore Edition: 201 More Self-Promotion Ideas, Tips & Tactics for Do-It-Yourself Artists." It will be filled with 200-plus pages of innovative and inspiring ideas -- an entire collection of creative, kick-butt marketing tactics that I've written since the first Guerrilla Music book was published.

The only thing is, none of this newer material has ever been available in book form. Until now.

Here's the cool part (if you're interested) ...

If you pre-order the book by November 4, 2005, you'll get your name and web site (or band/company name) listed in a special Indie Music Supporters Section of the book. Which means you'll be exposed to thousands of people who will read the book for years to come.

Plus, to show my thanks, I'm springing for shipping (to the U.S. and Canada), personally autographing each copy, and throwing in a couple of extra cool music marketing titles to boot.

Complete details can be found at

www.bob-baker.com/buzz/encore-music.html

I'm really excited about this new title. That's why I want you to know about it and have a chance to get your hands on the book as soon as it rolls off the presses.

To your success!

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posted by Bob Baker @ 11:43 AM   1 comments


October 12, 2005

Still More Outrageous Music Marketing Ideas

In the first part of this post (which was actually a followup to an earlier post on creative promotion ideas) I shared a few "outrageous" ideas on music marketing. Here are a few more examples to get your mental wheels turning.

My pal Lee Mueller points out that more artists are releasing CDs with bonus material. "I know that Wilco featured a bunch of QuickTime videos, documentary stuff, live performances, as well as a launch to their web site with a code that allowed the consumer to download four extra songs," he says. "Kings of Leon and Flaming Lips both had similar multimedia bonus material."

Lee continues, "A nice treat would be for an artist to offer a 'guest list' pass. On the CD, there would be a web site launch that would take me to a page where I would put in a unique code -- verifying my purchase, of course. I would enter my name, city, etc., which would match my location with an upcoming tour, notify me of the dates, and then verify my name will be on the guest list. That would rock."

Indeed! Three more cool ideas:

Lynn Julian (aka Cookie Cutter Girl) wrote a song called "Get the Picture" that is basically an Internet dating ad. "I run a contest every gig to win a date with me," Lynn explains. "Fans must sign up on my mailing list. The single is on over 500 TV and radio stations, so they feel like it's a big prize to win too."

Jimmie Vestal has written songs that reference certain restaurants and tourist attractions in the southeast U.S., and even a gourmet steak sauce called Bald Head Diva. Of course, he makes these establishments aware of the exposure and tries to set up promotional opportunities with them.

Finally, Pixie from the band Cuir Bleu posted this blog comment: "My band does electronica with a fetish slant, so we're planning a corset fashion show for an upcoming gig." Great example. Find a way to add an extra dimension to your events -- a dimension that reinforces your identity and the type of music you play.

Lots of smart ideas here. So, are your wheels turning yet?

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posted by Bob Baker @ 9:47 AM   1 comments


October 05, 2005

More Outrageous Marketing Ideas

You asked for it. And now I'm delivering. Because, as you know, I aim to please. A few weeks ago I wrote about Outrageous Music Marketing Ideas, and the response was tremendous. So here are some more out-of-the-octagon concepts to get your self-promotion wheels turning.

Stimulate the five senses. Don't think of yourself as someone who only creates music. You're an artist who also creates experiences for your fans -- especially when it comes to your live shows. One way to make an impact and truly reach people is to involve as many of their senses as possible.

You probably focus on the audio quality of what you do more than anything, which makes sense if you're a musician. Next, you probably think about your visual appearance. Of course, you want to look good, professional and appealing. But what else might you do with the visual impact of your shows? For instance, how might you spice up the stage or your sales table?

And what about the other senses: smell, touch and taste?

I recommend you organize a See-Hear-Smell-Taste-Feel event
. Your act (and perhaps others) can supply the sound. Invite artists and photographers to exhibit to feed the eyes. Maybe incense or aromatherapy to tickle the noses in attendance. Including food vendors will take care of both smell and taste. Maybe having a massage therapist or a fashion designer with clothes to try on would satisfy the sense of touch.

What if you combined all of these into one stimulating sensory event? Call it the Five Senses Festival or the Five Senses Celebration or Tour. On a smaller scale, you could simply throw an art-music-film-book-food house party.

Earlier I wrote about turning your CD into an interactive trivia game. Here's another idea: A drinking game based on your music. (Although you might get some understandable flack for encouraging alcohol consumption.) This would work like the old Bob Newhart show game. Only instead of sipping after every "Hi Bob," players would take a swig whenever a certain lyric (such as "yeah" or "baby") is sung.

Or add some mystery by announcing that there's a secret message to uncode within your lyrics, song titles or CD liner notes -- a la "The DaVinci Code." Make a game out of it and you just might get an infectious buzz going.

More outrageous ideas still to come.

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posted by Bob Baker @ 9:37 AM   1 comments


October 03, 2005

What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?

It's the age-old question you've probably been asked repeatedly since you were old enough to recite the alphabet: "What do you want to be when you grow up?"

Comedian Paula Poundstone once quipped, "Adults are always asking little kids what they want to be when they grow up because they're looking for ideas."

Joking aside, it's a reasonable question, but considering the context in which most people ask it, it's not completely accurate. The real answer that people are looking for is "what do you want to do" when you grow up -- meaning what job title you will carry, what type of company you will work for, what type of duties you will carry out in a career.

You've no doubt encountered this thinking when well-meaning friends and relatives try to steer you away from music and in the direction of a traditional day job.

Again, these are understandable questions. But they miss the real point of finding one's ideal vocation.

According to Sam Keen, "There is no easy formula for determining right and wrong livelihood, but it is essential to keep the question alive. We have to stop pretending that we can make a living at something that is trivial or destructive and still have a sense of legitimate self-worth. A society in which vocation and job are separated for most people gradually creates an economy that is often devoid of spirit, one that frequently fills our pocketbooks at the cost of emptying our souls."

So how do you determine the best way to fill your soul? Answer: Ask better questions. Instead of "What do you want to be or do?" ... answer these two questions:

- How do you want to feel most of the time?

- What type of person would you like to become?

Your emotions are a great indicator of when you're connected and in the flow, as opposed to when you're disconnected and frustrated. The key is to identify the feelings and states of being that make you feel the most purposeful and alive. Your ideal vocation will be directly linked to the activities that generate these positive feelings within you the most.

Tip: Although these states of mind make you feel good, they are rarely only self-serving. They almost always come from doing something that serves others -- such as creating music that touches people in meaningful ways. But these feelings can just as easily come from teaching children, tending a garden, writing a novel or play, etc.

The second question above will also lead to a better understanding of your right livelihood. When pursuing a purpose and activities that are in line with who you truly are, you grow as a person -- far more than you would in a job you tolerate to pay the bills.

Who you become as you invest your time and energy into a worthy pursuit makes all the difference. Again, this is far more than a job title such as "lead singer" or "artist manager." Who you become can also be described with such words as respected, trusted, creative, determined, passionate and happy.

What words describe who you want to become?

Let's examine one more quote, this time from poet Robert Frost: "The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts working the moment you get up in the morning, and does not stop until you get into the office."

There are times when you have to take on a brain-dead "real job" to make ends meet. No doubt, you must take care of your basic needs in whatever way you can. But as you think about your life long term, focus on how you want to feel and who you want to become.

Because that's where you'll find the true path to what you should be when you grow up.

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posted by Bob Baker @ 3:30 PM   0 comments