Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

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


September 28, 2006

Terry McBride: Crazy Music Marketer or Just Plain Crazy?

Want to read something that will give you faith that the music business may be slowly turning in the right direction? Then head over to Wired magazine and read this article on Terry McBride and his Nettwerk management company.

The article's subhead says it all: "Terry McBride has a maverick approach to music management: Take care of the fans and the bands, and the business will take care of itself."

Here's an excerpt:

To all appearances, Nettwerk is just a midsize music management company with an indie record label on the side. Many of the artists on its client roster -- which includes Avril Lavigne, Dido, Sarah McLachlan, and Stereophonics -- are mainstream acts. But McBride, the company's cofounder and creative force, is quietly carrying out a plan to reinvent the music industry, including legalizing file-sharing and giving artists control over their own intellectual property.

The article then points out the many flaws of the traditional record business. (If you're not aware of these flaws, you REALLY need to read this.) It continues ...

Industry insiders like McBride think the old model is as antiquated as the 8-track. "The future of the business isn't selling records," McBride says. "It's in selling music, in every form imaginable."

McBride's first real test is the new release from Barenaked Ladies, the popular Canadian band that, on McBride's advice, left the Warner Music Group imprint Reprise Records three years ago to create its own label, Desperation Records.

BNL's new album, Barenaked Ladies Are Me, debuted this week at #17 in the U.S. and #7 in Canada. In a news release, McBride had this to say:

"Nettwerk and BNL are trying to get people to see beyond the physical number. Generating revenue, especially in the artist-run model, is about selling music in various mediums, selling concert tickets, licensing music to TV, ring tones, packed USB drives, etc. That is how success is measured, not by the physical album sales.

"The artist-run model is the future. If we can break bands using this model, the industry will be forever changed," McBride says. "We are making a music company, not a record label."

Again, read the entire Wired story here:
www.wired.com/wired/archive/14.09/nettwerk_pr.html

And the Barenaked Ladies news release at
www.mi2n.com/press.php3?press_nb=93582

-Bob

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posted by Bob Baker @ 12:26 PM   2 comments


September 26, 2006

Can You Hear Me Now?

I've been spending a lot of time on the phone lately. Not gabbing with friends or working business deals, but instead doing phone interviews of various kinds. Last night I hosted my first-ever teleseminar with special guest John Taglieri. (I've been a guest on a few such conference calls before, but this was the first one I presented myself.)

We had a few dozen people on the line, John did a great job talking about his passion for music and the indie music career path ... it was a blast! I hope to do more of them. So stay tuned to this blog and the Buzz Factor ezine for details on future calls. I'll be posting a link to last night's call soon, in case you missed it.

Last week I had a great conversation with brothers Phil and Jason Montero, hosts of The Anywhere Office. The show covers work/life balance, virtual offices, mobile work technology, Internet marketing, and more.

Phil and Jason are musicians, so they asked me lots of questions about my background, the good and bad things artists do to promote themselves, and general online branding principles.

You can stream or download the show here.

-Bob

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posted by Bob Baker @ 5:44 PM   0 comments


September 25, 2006

MySpace Favorite Friend Adder

Here's a great way to prioritize your growing friend list on MySpace. This tip is courtesy of Dave Stasiak, a singer-producer with the band Dream/Clone (www.dreamclone.net).

Hey Bob, just got your Myspace Marketing book (already own the Guerrilla Marketing one) and am almost done with it. One possible addition for future editions would be this ...

There is a function called "Add Friend to Favorites" which is a sub-list you can create with some of your friends. I believe this can help with the two clashing schools of thought:


1) It's good to have a lot of friends because it makes you look more legitimate and popular.

2) It's better to have more quality friends that will actually listen to your music and potentially support you and buy your music.

If you find the friends that are most dedicated (the ones that comment and visit your page frequently) and add them to your favorites, you can keep them organized and separate from your "filler" friends who are just there to bump up your friend numbers. This makes it easier to target your true dedicated fans, while still keeping the advantage of a lot of friends.

Fantastic advice! Thanks, Dave.

-Bob

P.S. Dave uses a short, sweet description to describe his band, Dream/Clone: "Techno-fueled hip-hop with edgy pop hooks." Now that's what I call a powerful little Brand Identity Statement!

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posted by Bob Baker @ 10:56 AM   2 comments


September 21, 2006

Free Teleseminar Sept 25

I'll be doing a no-cost, one-hour conference call with John Taglieri called "Living the Full-Time Indie Music Mindset" -- and you're invited to join us. John is the artist I interviewed for the How to Make a Living as a Full-Time Indie Musician audio book I just released. This call will be a great opportunity for you to hear John speak and ask him some personal questions yourself during the call.

When will it take place?

Monday, September 25
9 to 10 pm Eastern / 8 to 9 pm Central / 6 to 7 pm Pacific

This teleseminar is available only to the first 100 people who call in. So I want to send the call-in number and access code only to people who are seriously interested in participating. So, if you want to be part of the call, please send an e-mail to Bob AT TheBuzzFactor.com and let me know to "count you in." I will follow up with the call-in details. Again, there is no charge to participate.

I hope you'll join John and me on the phone Sept. 25. In fact, go ahead and mark it on your calendar right now.

-Bob

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posted by Bob Baker @ 2:15 PM   2 comments


September 19, 2006

14 Words or Less

If you've been reading or listening to my stuff for long, you know that I'm a big believer in clarity. Being clear about who you are and what you do musically is one of the most powerful marketing weapons you can unleash on the public. Why? Because so many artists confuse people and blow great opportunities to reach fans by being vague and mysterious about their music.

One artist who understands this clarity concept is Lanette Pennell of the Almost Patsy Cline Band (www.almostpatsycline.com). Last week she told me, "We recently held a contest where we asked our fans by e-mail to describe our music in 14 words or less. We got some really funny and wonderful replies that we have used in our promo materials."

Fantastic idea. Artists are often too close to their music to view it and describe it objectively. Why not turn to the people who matter the most -- your fans! Ask them to describe who you are and what you play. You just might get a cool phrase out of it that will help you lure even more fans.

-Bob

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posted by Bob Baker @ 10:20 AM   0 comments


September 14, 2006

Indie Music Success & Nerves

Check out this video blog post on which I make a personal confession ... and transform it into a crucial music marketing lesson.



-Bob

P.S. You can also watch a streaming version of this video at
www.audioacrobat.com/playv/W5dbh1cQ

To learn more about Bell's palsy, visit www.bellspalsy.ws


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posted by Bob Baker @ 7:51 PM   3 comments


September 13, 2006

The Psychology of Music Sales

Subscriber William Zeitler of GlassArmonica.com sent in this great tip on sales psychology at live shows:

When someone walks up and is thinking about buying, I am NOT into hardcore sales -- anything but. But if you understand what's going on, you can at least not scare them away. I've read a lot of books on sales (Zig Ziglar, etc.) and have gleaned what is relevant and appropriate -- and easy! -- for musicians in this context.

For example, and this is so obvious in hindsight: People buy music to benefit THEM. So 'casual' comments about how your album will benefit the customer will close lots of sales. You might say, "This album is really great when you need energy to clean the house," or "This is a kickin' dance album!" or (in my case) "This album is really great to listen to when you go to sleep," or "This album is really good for traffic jams."

Anything along these lines paints a picture in the customer's imagination of what it would FEEL like to own this music and how that would be a GOOD THING! That's when they get their wallets out.

Great advice. Thanks, William!

-Bob

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posted by Bob Baker @ 8:49 AM   0 comments


September 12, 2006

Radio Airplay in 7 Days

Buzz Factor subscriber Jason Fladlien of Straiht Wikid Crew just wrote an article on how he got a song of his written, recorded and played on the radio in one short week in Iowa City, Iowa.

Here's a summary from the article:

Sunday night I got the idea for a song that would gain me expsoure with returning college students. Monday I wrote the song. Tuesday I recorded it. Wednesday I contacted the music director of the college radio station. Friday I delivered it to him, and by Saturday it was on the radio!

The only thing it takes to get your band out there is an idea, some focus, and an understanding of others and their needs.

Read
Jason's inspiring article at
www.kaliyugademolition.com/7daystoradio.html

-Bob

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posted by Bob Baker @ 9:21 AM   1 comments


September 08, 2006

Full-Time Indie Musician: Are You Ready?

It's the dream of virtually every aspiring musician. Being able to generate enough steady income from your music to quit your day job -- and live a fulfilling life centered around music and creativity, on your own terms.

Does this describe you? If so, please visit this new, special web page right away:

www.bob-baker.com/buzz/full-time-indie-music.html

What you'll find there are details about an in-depth interview I did with indie success story John Taglieri. I've been so impressed with John over the years, I've featured him in three of my books. He lives the essence of what it means to be a self-empowered independent artist.

Several years ago John set a goal of playing music full-time. Through sheer determination and drive, he worked methodically toward that goal. He quit his last job nearly two years ago and has since sold thousands of his self-released CDs, tours the country when he wants to, and has thousands of fans around the world.

John is a living, breathing example of what a focused artist can accomplish on his own.

There are lots of places to turn for good ideas and music career advice. But much of it is abstract theory. The best way to learn is from someone who has not only done it, but is doing it right now. John Taglieri is doing what most musicians only talk and dream about. Listen to him. Learn from him. Be inspired by him. Visit this web page now:

www.bob-baker.com/buzz/full-time-indie-music.html

-Bob

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posted by Bob Baker @ 9:02 AM   0 comments


September 06, 2006

Sell Your Music on MySpace

In case you haven't heard, the almighty MySpace.com will soon be more than a place to make friends -- it will also be a place for indie musicians to make money.

According to an article at Red Herring:

MySpace, the social networking phenomenon, [will enter] into the crowded digital music business with the launch of an outlet that will allow artists to sell their music directly to consumers.

The service, which is based on technology from Snocap, a San Francisco-based digital music distributor, allows bands and other artists to upload their music to their MySpace profile pages.

Unlike the set pricing that has become the hallmark of the digital music industry, the service will allow for variable pricing. The artists can set the prices for their songs.

This new music sales feature is supposed to be in a beta stage (although I have yet to see a MySpace profile with downloads for sale) and is expected to be widely available on the site later this year.

Joe Taylor wrote a cautionary blog post with some great advice:

Selling music to your fans through MySpace should be just one of your revenue streams. The most effective musicians use MySpace as a funnel into their own web sites, street teams, and shopping carts. The sooner you can move folks off of any external platform and into your own database, the better you'll be in the long term. That way, if any one platform disappears overnight (like MP3.com did), you'll still have other ways to get support from your audience.

Smart thinking!

For more stories on the MySpace/Snocap partnership, check out these Google News links.

-Bob

P.S. Too bad I wasn't able to add this development to the MySpace Music Marketing book. I guess it will have to wait for the revised edition :-)

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posted by Bob Baker @ 8:50 AM   0 comments