Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

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


December 14, 2007

Beyond MySpace and Facebook: Octopus Marketing

I must be insane. My plate is already full with enough projects, errands and to-do list items to make anyone's head spin. But I've still found time lately to wade into the deeper waters of social networking online.
Sure, I already have a presence on Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, Ning and Digg. But after months of putting it off, I finally set up accounts at StumbleUpon, Del.icio.us and Meebo. You should consider doing the same. Why? I'll explain in a second ...

On top of that, I just set up a Music Marketing Video Showcase page at SquidVids.com -- a sister site to Squidoo, where anyone can create a "lens" on the topic of their choice. My new showcase page offers a bare bones video list to start, but I plan on adding to it in the weeks and months ahead.

Why all this posting to so many different sites? I do it for the same reason you should: to reach people online in as many ways as possible.

My friend Scott Ginsberg encourages people to think of themselves as an octopus. Why an octopus? Because an octopus has tentacles -- and lots of them.

To make an impact on the Web, you must stretch your promotional arms in many directions. You have to show up in the places where lots of people are hanging out online. You must be seen and discovered by people who are looking for the kind of stuff you create.

So, if you play in a Tex-Mex blues band, set up a Tex-Mex Music Video Showcase at SquidVids.com and link to the best YouTube videos in the genre. Set up accounts at StumbleUpon, Digg and Del.icio.us and link to the best Tex-Mex music sites you know of (including your own).

Write your own blog about Tex-Mex blues music and plug your posts on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. In other words, spread yourself around so Tex-Mex music fans have many places to find you.

Better yet, fans will eventually see your name popping up on several web sites and think, "I see this band all over the place. They must be something worth listening to."

Now wouldn't that be nice?

Hop into the deeper social networking ocean. The water's fine. Just keep an eye out for the octopuses.

-Bob

P.S. Note that the "squid" of Squidoo and SquidVids is another aquatic animal reference. Coincidence? I think not!

Guerrilla Music Marketing HandbookWant to 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 @ 12:13 PM   3 comments


December 12, 2007

5 Music Web Site Design Tips

There are millions of music web pages across the Internet. Most are poorly designed (and that's being kind), many are serviceable at best, and a rare handful are truly attractive and effective. How does your site stack up?

Use these five music web site design tips to make your pages more appealing and profitable.

  1. Focus on the upper left. Eye tracking research reveals that web users look first at the upper left corner of a web page, then work their way down and to the right. So place your artist name or an eye-catching image in this powerful upper left-hand corner.

  2. Give visitors "eye anchors" lower on the page. People generally scan lower portions of a web page. So don't place lots of long, scrolling text on your pages. Instead, use short paragraphs, bullet points and bold sub headlines to draw attention to the things you want people to read, know about, and click on.

  3. Place navigation links along the top. You probably already know that it's a good idea to place your navigation (links to other sections of your site) in the same place on every page. But where? On the top, right side, left side, or bottom? The verdict is in: Visitors respond best to navigation links placed along the top of the page.

  4. Spell out your "call to action." On each page of your music web site, you should have a goal -- something you want a visitor to DO while on that page. It might be hit the play button, subscribe to your ezine, read your bio, purchase a CD, etc. Whatever it is, make that clear and include a "call to action" -- clear instructions to do that thing now.

  5. Watch someone surf your web site. Corporate types might call this usability research. You can call it whatever you want, but you'll learn a ton by simply watching different people go to your web site for the first time. Don't interrupt or make suggestions. Just observe. Then ask and answer questions. This exercise will prove invaluable when it comes to making your music web site better.

December 2008 Update: Want more music web site design tips? Check out the brand new Killer Music Web Sites special report and audio. On it I critique 19 artist and record label web sites and point out in detail what's working, what isn't working, and what needs to be changed. Don't promote yourself online without these music web site design essentials.

For even more web page design tips, visit

10 Landing Page Optimization Tactics

9 Common Mistakes in Landing Page Design

Creating Effective Landing Pages

10-Point Checklist for Landing Page Design

The Best of Eyetrack III: What We Saw When We Looked Through Their Eyes

-Bob

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 @ 3:53 PM   6 comments


December 10, 2007

Automate Your Music Marketing

As you may know, I advocate a personal approach to marketing, especially for independent artists. One-on-one communication with your fans is far better than the mass marketing techniques of the major labels.
But ... there are only so many hours in the day. No matter how passionate you are, you must learn to spend your energy wisely, and focus on the things that will bring the most results.

That's easy to say, but not always easy to do.

What if there was a way to automate at least some of the personal dialogue you have with your fans? Something a lot smarter and cooler than mindless MySpace autobots?

Well, guerrilla marketing expert (and indie musician) Mitch Meyerson and I just put together a free three-part mini course called "Automate Your Music." You can sign up for it now at

www.AutomateYourMusic.com

Each day we give you a quick audio lesson about this simple way to stay in touch with your fans. It's a technique used by hundreds of Internet marketing superstars, but it's rarely used by musicians at all. Until now.

Sign up for the three-part "Automate Your Music" mini course now at www.AutomateYourMusic.com

-Bob

Guerrilla Music Marketing HandbookCheck out Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook, the classic guide to indie music promotion. Now revised and updated, with four new chapters on Internet and Web 2.0 music marketing. Get more details here.

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posted by Bob Baker @ 9:38 AM   1 comments


December 07, 2007

Book More Shows: The 10 Best Music Gig-Getting Books Ever

Wanna play more gigs? Looking for fresh ideas on how to find venues and inspire them to book your band or solo act? These are the best books out there on how to do just that:


How to Be Your Own Booking Agent: The Musician's & Performing Artist's Guide to Successful Touring by Jeri Goldstein

The Complete Guide to House Concerts (and Other Satisfying Alternative Venues) by Nyree Belleville

The Musician's Guide to Brides: How to Make Money Playing Weddings by Anne Roos

More Gigs Now: Concert Booking Secrets of Successful Musicians by Joe Taylor Jr.

The Business of Getting More Gigs As a Professional Musician by Bob Popyk

Getting Gigs: The Musicians & Singers Survival Guide to Booking Better Paying Jobs by Mark W. Curran

The Gigging Musician: How to Get, Play, and Keep the Gig by Billy Mitchell

Making Money Making Music: The Musician's Guide to Cover Gigs by Quint Randle and Bill Evans

The Touring Musician: A Small Business Approach to Booking Your Band on the Road by Hal Galper

Gigging: A Practical Guide for Musicians by Patricia Shih

Have other books on this topic you recommend? Want to comment on the titles listed above? Click the comment link below and post one of your own.

-Bob

indie music publicity pr promotion
Ready for a Major Publicity Boost? Check out the new Indie Music Publicity Bootcamp. Ariel Hyatt and I just released an in-depth home study course filled with insider secrets on how to reach the music media and get the exposure you deserve. Get more details here.

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posted by Bob Baker @ 9:59 AM   0 comments


December 06, 2007

90+ Essential Music and Audio Web Sites

I've expanded the list of blogs I subscribe to lately. One I've found extremely helpful is Mashable.com, described as "social networking news."
A post titled "Online Music: 90+ Essential Music and Audio Websites" is an indie music promoter's wet dream. Check out the exhaustive list of music web sites on this list.

Even if you think you know it all, you're bound to find some cool music sites you probably never knew existed. Internet radio, music discovery sites, widgets, music sales sites, and more.

Also see ...

Podcasting Toolbox: 70+ Podcasting Resources

Blogging Toolbox: 120+ Resources for Bloggers

Great resources for active online indie music marketers!

-Bob

Guerrilla Music Marketing HandbookCheck out Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook, the classic guide to indie music promotion. Now revised and updated, with four new chapters on Internet and Web 2.0 music marketing. Get more details here.

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posted by Bob Baker @ 9:37 AM   1 comments


December 05, 2007

This Is Your Brain on Success

On the latest Artist Empowerment Radio podcast, you get a quick but potent lesson on how to turbo-charge your music career with a guerrilla marketing mindset.

Why does success seem to cling to some indie artists while it is repelled by many others? Get answers on this episode, which features an inspiring segment from a teleclass I did with Julie Blake of GetMusicSuccess.com.

Visit the podcast page now and start listening.

-Bob

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.

Did you enjoy this blog post? Subscribe now and get all of my newest ideas delivered by email or RSS feed. Learn how 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 @ 9:55 AM   0 comments