Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

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


July 31, 2007

Webb Wilder on Joining the Van

Check out this hiliarious video clip of Webb Wilder, compliments of Music Business Radio. Webb gives his best advice for touring artists, delivered like no one else can.


While you're at it, watch another clip of Webb dishing out a secret to artistic success at www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIM60aXieL4.

It'll make you laugh ... and think!

-Bob

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Guerrilla Music Marketing HandbookWanna create a music buzz online? Check out my special report 50 Ways to Promote and Sell Your Music on the Internet.
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posted by Bob Baker @ 12:32 PM   0 comments


July 30, 2007

5 Ideas That Will Rock Your Indie Music World

As much as we like to focus on web applications, gadgets and new tech toys, the thing that really propels human progress -- including your indie music career -- is the way you use your brain.
Just a simple attitude adjustment or a fresh mental perspective can make a huge impact on your music career. With that in mind, consider these five ideas and see if they help you shift your thinking in more empowering ways:

1) Understand the truth about music industry upheaval.

2) Realize that attention is all about context.

3) Know that today's hits suffer while niches bloom.

4) Fully embrace these two keys to music success.

5) Use ideas like this to create a viral video buzz.

-Bob

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Promote Your Music on MySpace
Make the most of the world's biggest social networking web site with this great primer on MySpace Music Marketing. Available in paperback or ebook format. Get more details here.
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 @ 4:37 PM   1 comments


July 25, 2007

Sum Yourself Up in One Sentence

Last week I blogged about a funny fake music news story over at TheOnion.com. And it reminded me of a marketing lesson we should all make good use of ...
A couple of years ago I heard an interview with some of The Onion's editors on NPR. They talked about the writing process and how they choose which funny fake news stories to run. The answer: It all boils down to the headline.

At editorial meetings, each writer comes to the table with a list of possible story ideas. To introduce each idea, all they do is read the headline they've written for the story. If everyone laughs, they know they have a winning concept that may be worthy of a full story.

To demonstrate, here are some recent Onion headlines:
  • Open-Minded Music Lover Likes All Kinds Of Metal
  • Acid Trip Better Planned Than Vacation
  • Outdoor-Music-Festival Grounds Mistaken for Refugee Camp
  • GEICO Saves 15 Percent or More by Discontinuing Advertising
  • Singer Cites Girlfriend as Reason He Lives, Dies, Breaks Down, Cries
  • Average Age of Wacky TV Neighbors Dropping
  • Single Bee Sends Gathering of Humans Into Helpless Panic
In The Onion world, a good headline delivers the whole story, complete with the punchline. The rest of the news story simply takes the core idea and expands on the joke.

So where's the music marketing lesson?

Well, what's your headline? How do you describe your band or your new CD or your next gig so that people immediately "get it"? Because, once they get it, then -- and only then -- can you expand on the premise and feed them more.

If an Onion writer has to take even one minute to explain a funny premise, the idea is dead in the water. The Onion's editors believe their readers shouldn't have to work hard to comprehend and enjoy entertainment. Treat your fans and potential fans with the same respect.

-Bob

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Guerrilla Music Marketing HandbookCheck out Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook, my bestselling, "must-have" title. Now revised and updated, with four new chapters on Internet music promotion. Get more details here.
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 @ 10:40 AM   0 comments


July 23, 2007

Top 5 Music News Stories

Here are a few pieces of music news you might want to read ...
Judge: RIAA Owes Wrongfully-Accused Defendant Over $68K
The RIAA must pay P2P defendant Debbie Foster $68,685.23 for accusing her of sharing copyrighted music over a P2P network.

Clear Channel Rethinks, Updates Indie Artist Contract
Clear Channel has dropped a licensing agreement that requires independent artists to waive royalties to be considered for airplay on the chain’s more than 1,100 stations.

Prince: The New Music Business Power Model
With a sponsorship deal here and an exclusive show there, worldwide television appearances and music given away, Prince has remade himself as a 21st-century pop star.

DJs Create Music Environments for Corporate Clients
Allen Klevens and Jason Shapiro don't spin vinyl at parties or nightclubs, but they might just be the ultimate DJs.

Band Plays a Brand-New Game
Jonny Dubowsky, 29, has exploited corporate partnerships to get exposure for his indie band, Jonny Lives!

-Bob

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Promote Your Music on MySpace
Make the most of the world's biggest social networking web site with this great primer on MySpace Music Marketing. Available in paperback or ebook format. Get more details here.
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posted by Bob Baker @ 12:33 PM   0 comments


July 22, 2007

New Indie Music Success Network

Yesterday I announced a new free resource in my Buzz Factor ezine -- it's a new online forum I created called the Indie Music Success Network. But I made the announcement in an unusual way. I delivered the message primarily as an audio email.

Want to hear it? Just click the play button below:


Or, if the button doesn't display, click this link to listen now:
www.audioacrobat.com/play/W9jMzTls

(Note: A new browser window will open and the audio will automatically begin to play.)

Give your eyes a rest. And if anything I say interests you, you can always grab your mouse (or whatever you grab) and click a link below to learn more.
Here are links to the stuff I talk about in the audio:

My new "Indie Music Success Network" at
http://indiemusicsuccess.ning.com/

Share success tips with other indie artists here.



Reminder: Monday, July 23, teleclass with indie rock veteran John Strohm (Blake Babies, Juliana Hatfield, Lemonheads, Mike Watt). This will be a good one.

Call-in details (no cost):

Starting time: 9 PM Eastern (6 PM Pacific, 8 PM Central)

Dial-in number: 1-218-339-7800 (a Minnesota number)

Access code: (enter this number when prompted) 37251



Two classic books you should own ...

Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook
(newly revised and updated)
www.bob-baker.com/buzz/music_marketing.htm

Guerrilla Music Marketing, Encore Edition
www.bob-baker.com/buzz/encore-music.html



New at the Indie Music Promotion Blog ...

- Smart Ways to Use Twitter for Music
- Making It: Today's Music Success Model

Read them at www.MusicPromotionBlog.com
(Of course, as a blog reader, you're already here.)



If you've been thinking about getting the "MySpace Music Marketing" book, check out the special offer this month at:
www.bob-baker.com/myspace/music.html



I'm now on Facebook.com. If you're there, look me up at
www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=605029417



See what's available now at the ...

Indie Music Marketing Insiders Club
www.MusicMarketingInsiders.com



Would you like to add audio to your own emails and web pages? Then pay a visit to this page.



Until next time ... make music, connect with fans, get out there and promote yourself!

-Bob

http://TheBuzzFactor.com/
http://Bob-Baker.com/podcast/
http://MusicMarketingCrashCourse.com/
http://FullTimeAuthor.com/
http://MySpace.com/thebuzzfactor
http://YouTube.com/user/MrBuzzFactor
http://Flickr.com/photos/bob-baker/
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 @ 4:10 PM   1 comments


July 20, 2007

Mystery Artist Sings No. 1 Hit Song

I gotta admit. I'm hooked on fake news. My two favorite sources: The Daily Show and The Onion. Here's the latest from the latter:

No One Admits To Singing, Writing, Producing Nation's No. 1 Song


LOS ANGELES -- As of Monday, the CD single "Baby Baby (Luvya Girl)" has rocketed to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 on its debut week, despite the fact no one has claimed credit for singing, composing, or producing it.

The single's success marks a rare occasion in which both critics and the music industry find themselves in agreement, as magazines such as Spin call "Baby Baby" "a wasteland" and "creatively brain-dead," and major recording labels such as Interscope and Sony BMG distance themselves from it.

"This is a first in modern recording history," Billboard Magazine writer Jim Shapiro said. "Even third-place American Idol contestants and Diddy have not come forward as the creators, though it's obviously a solid hit and could make them a lot of bank."

You gotta read the rest of this. Hilarious.

-Bob

Did you enjoy this blog post? Subscribe now and get all of my newest ideas delivered by email or RSS feed. Learn how here.

Guerrilla Music Marketing HandbookWanna create a music buzz online? Check out my special report 50 Ways to Promote and Sell Your Music on the Internet.
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 @ 2:21 PM   0 comments


July 18, 2007

Smart Ways to Use Twitter for Music

You've no doubt heard of Twitter. It's a relatively new social networking site that allows users to send short, 140-character messages to mobile phones or instant message applications. You can also read these messages on the Twitter web site.
According to the site, Twitter exists to help its users answer that probing question, "What are you doing?" Users then inflict ... er, share their bite-size messages with whoever signs up to receive them. (I know, because a few months ago I started my own Twitter account.)

For better or worse, users have taken this Q&A theme to heart. Most people use Twitter to let people know what they're doing -- EVERYTHING they're doing! Common messages report such meaningful activities as "Stopping to get gas and buy a pack of cigs" or "Running late for the photo shoot" or "It's raining outside and I'm bored."

You're bored? Try reading through this mountain of trivial Twitter updates! Then you'll know what true agony is.

There's got to be a better!

One restaurant in Buffalo, NY, twitters its Daily Special to everyone who subscribes to its feed. Now that's useful. Mashable sends a headline and link for each of its new blog posts. That's smart.

How could an indie musician, music site or service business make the best use of Twitter? How about a ...
  • Song of the day
  • Recording tip of the week
  • Music video of the day
  • Indie artist of the week
Artists and bands should use Twitter to alert fans about gigs, new song samples, new blog posts, media coverage, or where their music can be purchased.

This isn't spleen surgery. It's just making *smart* use of new technology. So give people tidbits of info they can use. Even at a mere 140 characters, wasting time is still wasting time.

Unless your fans really want to know how many times a day you go to the bathroom :-)

Here are a few other online musings on Twitter worth reading:

Twitter: Use it Productively


The Top 5 Ways Smart People Use Twitter

Eight Ways Twitter is Useful Professionally

Twitter: Marketing to the Masses

-Bob

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YouTube music video promotionJoin the YouTube revolution. Read How to Use Video to Promote Your Music Online. Learn how to create, promote and profit from your own low-cost music videos.
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posted by Bob Baker @ 12:57 PM   5 comments


July 16, 2007

Making It: Today's Music Success Model

Another spot-on commentary by Bob Lefsetz. One of my favorite parts:

Success at this point is making a living making music and being able to continue to make said living. The major label hypes make a living for a year or two, but thereafter most go broke/mean nothing.

Take that option if you want instant cash and want to use the fame to branch out into other areas, whether it be movies, TV or clothing … But, if that game doesn't fit you, because you and your music don't fit, you're on your own.

First, make your music. By yourself. Then distribute it, via MySpace, via MP3s, via burned CDs. Get it into the hands of people you know. Sure, it's easier to break if you play live, but there's room for a non-playing Steely Dan-type act on the Web ...

Get people excited. At the beginning, it's all free. You're building your career. You charge after you've gotten some traction. The major label feels it's got to charge immediately, because of its large investment. But you're operating on a shoestring and can invest in your career before you expect a return.

And if and when you do make it, you won't look like a star of old. In your world, everybody will know you, people will sing along with your songs at your shows. But the people walking by outside the building? They'll probably have no idea who you are.

Read the entire thing here. It's a great reminder of the new model for music success.

-Bob

Did you enjoy this blog post? Subscribe now and get all of my newest ideas delivered by email or RSS feed. Learn how here.

Guerrilla Music Marketing HandbookCheck out Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook, my bestselling, "must-have" title. Now revised and updated, with four new chapters on Internet music promotion. Get more details here.
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 @ 10:04 AM   0 comments


July 13, 2007

The End of Music Business 1.0

If you haven't had a chance to scour the music news headlines in recent weeks, here are some stories worth reading to get up to speed:
Digital Singles Sales Up Nearly 50% in UK (Macworld)

My favorite factoid from this article:

"The long tail effect is clearly visible in digital. Last week more than 198,000 different titles were sold digitally from the 4 million plus tracks available. And in the first half of 2007, the Top 40 accounted for just 12.6% of all single track downloads sold."

Here are four other music news stories:

Music Business Still Groping for a Digital-Age Plan (NPR)

EMI's DRM-Free Approach Bolstered Its Digital Music Sales in June (Wired Blog Network)

Universal Gets Tough with iTunes (Pollstar)

The Plunge of the Major Music Labels (The Future of Music blog)

-Bob

Did you enjoy this blog post? Subscribe now and get all of my newest ideas delivered by email or RSS feed. Learn how here.

Promote Your Music on MySpace
Make the most of the world's biggest social networking web site with this great primer on MySpace Music Marketing. Available in paperback or ebook format. Get more details here.
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 @ 9:06 AM   1 comments


July 11, 2007

Blair Witch Music Project?

Here's an interesting way to create a little mystery and buzz about a band.
Sofie Dhondt is the lead vocalist for the Belgium band Colorless Green Ideas. She reportedly was a contestant on a Belgium Pop Idol show, which she unexpectedly dropped out of. (I can't find anything online in English to verify this except the band's blog, but let's assume it's true.)

So, Colorless Green Ideas apparently took a cue from the successful indie buzz film Blair Witch Project and created a story about how Sofie had suddenly disappeared. The members started asking their fans for help in locating her. They registered the domain name FindSofie.com and posted mysterious clues little by little over a period of months, including a video and digital pictures of the missing singer.

Check out the band's YouTube video clue, MySpace page and web site.

I'm not sure how much buzz they actually created with this idea. But it seems like an excellent concept with a lot of viral marketing potential.

Could you do something similar with an aspect of your musical story?

-Bob

Did you enjoy this blog post? Subscribe now and get all of my newest ideas delivered by email or RSS feed. Learn how here.

Guerrilla Music Marketing HandbookWanna create a music buzz online? Check out my special report 50 Ways to Promote and Sell Your Music on the Internet.
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 @ 11:01 AM   3 comments


July 09, 2007

10 Ways to Turbo-Charge Your Indie Music Career

Need a motivational shot in the arm to get cranking on your indie music goals? Here's my list of 10 things you can do right now to kick-start your music career, based on my favorite blog posts from earlier this year:

1) Take Action Now

2) Get Friendly With Google

3) Use John Legend's Approach to Fans

4) Focus on Singles

5) Triple Your Odds of Getting Media Coverage

6) Connect With an Audience - One Person at a Time

7) Get Outrageous With Publicity

8) Be Creative With YouTube Music Videos

9) Develop a Guerrilla Music Marketing Calendar

10) Make Yourself Spreadable

-Bob

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Music press kits PR for bands
Are your press kits going straight into the trash? Make sure your PR materials are actually read ... and help lead you to more media exposure. Check out Killer Music Press Kits today!
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posted by Bob Baker @ 12:30 PM   2 comments


July 06, 2007

What Should I Write Next? You Decide!

As you probably know, I've already published a lot of books, reports and audio programs on music marketing and artist empowerment. Some people say I'm prolific. But to be honest, I'm often frustrated because I haven't produced more.

The list of titles I'd like to create is more abundant than the time available to write them. So I need your help. Right now, please take a moment and go to this page and vote for the topic you'd like me to write about next.

I've whittle down pages of possibilities to my six favorite titles. But I need you to help me decide which one to focus on and complete next. Select your favorite and see how it stacks up against how other people have voted.

You'll find the Choose My Next Title mini-poll page here:
www.bob-baker.com/buzz/poll.html

If there's a topic you'd like me to write about that isn't covered in the poll, leave a comment on this page below. I'd love to hear your ideas.

Thanks for your help. I really appreciate it!

-Bob

Did you enjoy this blog post? Subscribe now and get all of my newest ideas delivered by email or RSS feed. Learn how here.

Promote Your Music on MySpace
Make the most of the world's biggest social networking web site with this great primer on MySpace Music Marketing. Available in paperback or ebook format. Get more details here.
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 @ 10:18 AM   8 comments


July 05, 2007

Two Great Tele-Classes in July

It may be summertime, but these are certainly not lazy days for yours truly. I'll be busy this month hosting two fantastic live conference calls with three great guests as part of my Indie Music Marketing Insiders Club series.

And I invite you to join us live ... for FREE.
Monday, July 16 - How to Use Podcasts to Promote Your Music Online

This teleclass will feature two expert guests: Jason Van Orden, a podcasting consultant, speaker and author of Promoting Your Podcast; and "Jammin" Dave Jackson, host of "The Musicians Cooler" podcast and author of Get Your Band Out of the Basement (and Keep Them Out of the Asylum). During this hour I'll pick their brains on the best ways to use podcasts (your own and other people's) to get widespread exposure on the Internet.

Monday, July 23 - Music Biz Lessons From Indie Musician/Attorney John Strohm

In 1986, John Strohm co-founded the indie rock trio Blake Babies with Juliana Hatfield and Freda Love. He's also performed and recorded with Lemonheads, Mike Watt, Polara, Antenna, Velo Deluxe, and Hello Strangers. John now works as an entertainment lawyer, representing musicians, songwriters, and independent record labels. On this call he'll share invaluable stories of life in the musical trenches, as well as the most important legal matters indie musicians should be aware of.

Both calls will last an hour or so and have segments for caller questions and interaction. Here are the call-in details for both teleclasses:

Starting time: 9 PM Eastern (6 PM Pacific, 8 PM Central)

Dial-in number: 1-218-339-7800 (a Minnesota number)

Access code: (enter this number when prompted) 37251

There's no cost to access the call. Only your regular long distance charges will apply. The number of participants is limited, so call in near the top of the hour to make sure you get in.

Please note: Joining us on the live call is free. But if you miss it or want to access the MP3 download later, you must be a member of the Indie Music Marketing Insiders Club. Joining is easy and comes with a ton of benefits, including access to my previous teleclasses with Ariel Hyatt, Geoff Byrd, Musician X and more. Get all the details here and here.

-Bob

Did you enjoy this blog post? Subscribe now and get all of my newest ideas delivered by email or RSS feed. Learn how here.

Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook
Check out the revised and updated edition of Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook, with four new chapters on Internet music promotion. Get more details here.
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 @ 11:19 AM   0 comments


July 03, 2007

5 Music Sites You Should Know About

TuneCore
www.tunecore.com
This service will get your digital music sold on iTunes and other leading online stores. You keep all profits after paying some modest annual fees.

CustomFlix CDs and DVDs on Demand
www.customflix.com
This company will store your digital audio files, video files and artwork, then produce physical CDs and DVDs only when orders come in. They can also set up your titles with Amazon.com.

Snapvine
www.snapvine.com
A free service that lets you record a voice message that you can place on your web site, MySpace, Facebook, etc., using its custom widget. People can also call in and leave voice comments. Kind of like an audio version of blog comments.

Session Sound
www.sessionsound.com
A Singapore-based site that lets musicians set up free profiles and sell downloads and physical CDs. Send them one master and they'll also burn your CDs as orders come in.

Saki Mobile Undiscovered Band Contest
www.sakimobile.com/ingrooves
Enter your band. Winners get lots of cool stuff. Drive your fans to the Saki Mobile site.

-Bob

Did you enjoy this blog post? Subscribe now and get all of my newest ideas delivered by email or RSS feed. Learn how here.

Guerrilla Music Marketing HandbookWanna create a music buzz online? Check out my special report 50 Ways to Promote and Sell Your Music on the Internet.
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 @ 1:26 PM   3 comments


July 02, 2007

Prince Pisses Off UK Music Retailers

The news headlines border on ridiculous:

"Prince Album Freebie Draws Industry Ire"

"Music Industry Attacks Free Prince CD"
Here's what all the supposed fuss is about:
  • In August and September, Prince will perform 21 shows at the new, state-of-the-art 02 Arena in London. The first 15 shows sold out in hours, so six more were added. These will be his only European dates on this tour.

  • As with his previous album release, everyone who attends the concerts will get a copy of Prince's new CD, Planet Earth, as part of their admission price.

  • What's causing the uproar? Yesterday (Sunday, July 1) UK tabloid the Mail on Sunday gave away about 2 million copies of Planet Earth with every copy of the paper.
UK music retailers are upset, because His Purpleness has cut out the middle man and is giving away his new CD directly to fans, which leaves little incentive for people to go to stores to buy it.

Years ago, Prince got out of his contract with Warner Bros and has been operating as an indie. But he uses BMG, one of the major label corporations, to distribute his physical CDs worldwide. With the news of this massive giveaway, the UK arm of Sony BMG is refusing to distribute the CD to stores on that continent.

So, what's the real story here? Who are the losers and winners?

To imply that "the music industry" is enraged by this move is nonsense. Yes, retailers are pissed. They feel that Prince is snubbing the businesses that supported him for so many years. And the music industry establishment (especially at BMG) is upset because an artist with clout is challenging their outdated, decades-old business model.

But the real winners are fans. They are getting access to music easily and without having to jump through hoops.

Prince is a winner, as well. Fans may be getting the CD for free but, reportedly, the Mail on Sunday paid $1 million US for the right to give away the Planet Earth discs.

Plus, the publicity generated by this controversy is creating awareness and buzz about the new CD (which officially goes on sale July 24). Do you think that will lead to sales in countries where the album is not being given away?

The funny thing is, banning the record from UK retail stores makes it even more alluring in that country. If people didn't get the freebie CD and want one, they can still go online and buy one -- and they will.

Other winners: Independent artists the world over who are seeing a great example of alternate ways to reach a lot of fans while also getting paid.

Want more details? Read the Mail on Sunday CD giveaway promo page and Prince's own 3121 label site.

-Bob

Did you enjoy this blog post? Subscribe now and get all of my newest ideas delivered by email or RSS feed. Learn how here.

Music press kits PR for bands
Are your press kits going straight into the trash? Make sure your PR materials are actually read ... and help lead you to more media exposure. Check out Killer Music Press Kits today!
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 @ 11:42 AM   3 comments


July 01, 2007

Subscribe to Indie Music Promotion Blog

Do you like what you read on this blog? If so, there are two ways you can subscribe to it:

1) Get my latest blog posts by email. Every time I add something to the blog, it will arrive in your Inbox. Just fill in this quick and easy form:

Enter your email address:

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Your email address is safe with me. I'll never sell, rent, trade or give away your contact info to anyone. And you can unsubscribe easily at any time.


2) Subscribe using RSS. Just enter this feed address into your blog reader:

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Not sure what in the heck RSS is? Read this excellent primer.


Bonus Subscription Option
: You can also subscribe to my popular free Buzz Factor ezine, which I've been sending to self-empowered artists like you since 1995. I send an email update two or three times a month filled with my latest tips, ideas and special offers. Find out more about that option here.

However you subscribe, I hope to share my indie music marketing tips and inspiration with you soon.

To you success!

-Bob
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.


Or just sign up using this quick and easy form:

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posted by Bob Baker @ 11:16 AM   1 comments