Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

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


March 27, 2008

Terry Prince Teleclass March 31

Remember the inspiring musician I interviewed on the Santa Monica pier last fall? The guy who sold 15,000 CDs in 18 months street performing? The video has been viewed about 4,000 times on YouTube.

If you missed it, you can watch it now at
www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUfXB5uY9KA
Well, Terry will be my guest on this month's Insiders Club teleclass conference call. Please join us starting at 9 PM Eastern this coming Monday night.

You will not only get a big dose of Terry's uplifting and empowering philosophy, but you'll also be able to ask Terry questions directly: "Exactly how DID you sell that many CDs working only seven and a half hours a WEEK?"

There are two ways to access the live call and an MP3 audio download of it soon after.

One way is to join my Music Marketing Insiders Club. As a member, you'll get access to the Terry Prince teleclass AND more than a dozen interviews I've conducted over the past 14 months, plus future calls as long as you're a member.

Details at www.MusicMarketingInsiders.com.

Otherwise, non-members can gain access to the call and MP3 download for $14.95. If you want to go this one-time access route, use this link to purchase using PayPal.

However, I guarantee the Insiders Club membership is a far better bargain.

-Bob

indie music publicity pr promotion
Ready for a Major Publicity Boost? Check out the new Indie Music Publicity Bootcamp. Ariel Hyatt and I have 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 @ 8:44 AM   0 comments


March 26, 2008

Music Think Tank: New Group Blog

I've been a fan of Andrew Dubber and his New Music Strategies blog for about a year now, and I recently got the chance to chat with him and get to know him better. He's a smart guy with an interesting perspective on music, new media, and the changing entertainment landscape.
That's why I was thrilled when he invited me to join a new group blog he created called Music Think Tank. Check it out now at www.MusicThinkTank.com.

In addition to Andrew and me, contributors include Derek Sivers (CD Baby), Anthony Volodkin (Hype Machine), Bruce Warila (Unsprung Media), Ariel Hyatt (CyberPR), Syd Schwartz (Capitol Records), and more. Good company indeed.

See the complete list of Music Think Tank authors here.

It's off to a good start with diverse conversations about music trends and tactics. The cool thing is, since no one person has all the answers, we won't always agree with each other. Which makes it more interesting for readers and gives a wider perspective on each topic covered.

Check it out!

-Bob

Indie Buzz Bootcamp Music Conference & Workshop
Register now to get discounted tickets!


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 @ 9:54 AM   0 comments


March 19, 2008

Trent Reznor, TVT Records & iTunes

Here are four music news stories that are a clear sign of the times:

1) Last month TVT Records laid off most of its staff and filed for bankrupcy. Founded by Steve Gottlieb in his New York apartment in 1985, TVT achieved success after releasing music by Nine Inch Nails and KMFDM. In recent years, the label has focused on hip-hop acts such as Lil Jon, Pitbull and Ying Yang Twins.

Sources: Rueters and AllHipHop.

2) In recent weeks, Trent Reznor (former TVT Records act with Nine Inch Nails) earned $1.6 million in sales with NIN's new album, Ghosts I-IV, which was released independently, without a record label. Ghosts was offered to fans at various price points, from a free download to a $300 deluxe package.

Sources: News.com and The Globe and Mail.

3) iTunes has surpassed Best Buy and Target to become the second largest seller of music on the planet, second only to Wal-Mart. However, the first-place retailer is cutting back on space for music CDs in its stores while download sales continue to grow, which means iTunes will likely surpass Wal-Mart by the end of 2008.

Apple says 50 million customers have bought over 4 billion songs since iTunes started, with 20 million downloads sold on Christmas Day 2007 alone.

Sources: News.com and Engadget.

4) A December survey by The Pew Internet & American Life Project asked participants which technologies would be hardest to give up. The Internet, at 45 percent, narrowly edged out TV, at 43 percent. Five years ago, a similar survey rated the Internet at 38 percent and TV at 47 percent.

Sources: St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Pew Internet.

-Bob

Indie Buzz Bootcamp Music Conference & Workshop
Register now to get discounted tickets!


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.

Derek Sivers, president of CD Baby, calls it "The most directly applicable, start-tomorrow, creatively inspiring book I've ever seen on promoting your music!" 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.


Or just sign up using this quick and easy form:

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posted by Bob Baker @ 10:59 AM   5 comments


March 13, 2008

Ashley Alexandra Dupre: Sudden Celebrity

There aren't many things that can thrust an independent musician into the national spotlight. One way is to become a finalist on American Idol (or its equivalent outside the U.S.). Another way is to be identified as the high-end call girl who brought down the governor of New York.

As it turns out, what's disastrous for Eliot Spitzer may pay big dividends for the 22-year-old woman who hooked to pay the bills while also crafting hooks with her dance club style music.
Since her identity has been revealed, hits on Ashley Alexandra Dupre's MySpace profile have skyrocketed, plays and sales on her Amie Street page have jumped, and -- get this -- radio stations around the country are playing her tracks (she appears to have only two available).

On top of that, Penthouse and other men's magazines are knocking on her door, and there's talk of a book deal. However, according to this MSNBC story, "Major labels would be unlikely to sign Dupre."

(Oh well, when you have notoriety on your side, who needs a label? Come to think of it, if you're completely unknown, who needs a label? Oh, and by the way, what IS a record label these days?)

So, what's the point of blogging about Ashley Dupre and her music? What can you learn from this?

For starters, I don't recommend you run out and start renting your body for any amount of money. But you might learn that ...

  • Attention gives you leverage. Consumers can generally pay you with two things: Their time (also known as their attention or awareness), and their money. Money doesn't always follow attention. Ms. Dupre may very well gets loads of short-term exposure and still not sell much music, but she'll likely cash in some way. Money grows where attention goes.

  • You can take a perceived burden and turn it into an opportunity. For instance, Stevie Wonder or Ray Charles could have used their sensory limitations as a justification for inaction. Instead, they moved forward anyway, despite the obvious challenge. (Strange comparison, I know. But you get the point.)

  • Guard your brand. Usually, your brand identity is what you present via all of your promotional avenues -- your web site, album covers, photos, live shows, press kits, etc. Most people slack off beyond that. But, as speaker Jim Bunch says, "The game is always on." The decisions you make in all areas of life can affect your brand. So conduct yourself with the big picture in mind.

Who knows what will become of Ashley Alexandra Dupre. But one thing's for sure: she's an indie artist who suddenly has a lot of media attention. What she does with it, only time will tell.

-Bob

Indie Buzz Bootcamp Music Conference & Workshop
Register now to win tickets!


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 @ 11:18 PM   1 comments


March 10, 2008

Folk Alliance: Pictures to Prove It

Had a great time attending the Folk Alliance conference in Memphis a couple weeks ago. Here are the pictures to prove it.
Ran into the lovely Dalis Allen, who produces the 18-day folk music extravaganza known as the Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas. Photo by Pooki.

Had an interesting time doing the "Internet Is Your Friend" panel with Jim Schultz of Sonicbids; Madlyn Sklar of GoGirlsMusic.com; Martin Folkman of Musicians Atlas; Michelle Conceison of Market Monkeys, and Lydia Hutchinson of Performing Songwriter magazine. Photo by Pooki.

Not even out of her teens yet, Sierra Noble is an amazing fiddle player from Manitoba Canada who has accomplished some impressive things. See for yourself at www.sierranoble.ca. Photo by Pooki.

It was great to run into my Nashville-based friend Kari Estrin at Folk Alliance. She specializes in managing Americana and folk music acts, as well as acoustic radio promotion. Visit her at www.KariEstrin.com. Photo by Pooki.

What a thrill for Pooki and me to meet Joel Plaskett, an award-winning rocker from Nova Scotia. We'd seen him play live before and even covered one of his songs at gigs in St. Louis. But we'd never met him until Folk Alliance. Thanks to Kari Estrin for taking the great photo with the King!

Ms. GoGirls herself, Madalyn Sklar, with yours truly in the exhibit hall during the conference. Photo by Pooki.

(l-r) Singer-songwriters Jenn Franklin and Annelise Le Cheminant (my Nashville/Salt Lake City friend who wowed us with her solo showcase slot) strike a pose with Pooki at Folk Alliance.

Standing across the street from Sun Studio in Memphis, TN. The place where Sam Phillips, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, and Johnny Cash launched a new brand of music in the 1950s. Photo by Pooki.

Pooki soaks up the big ass glowing lights along Beale St. in Memphis, TN. Evidently, you can get your beer to go at this fine establishment :-)

-Bob

Indie Buzz Bootcamp Music Conference & Workshop
Register now to win tickets!


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.

Derek Sivers, president of CD Baby, calls it "The most directly applicable, start-tomorrow, creatively inspiring book I've ever seen on promoting your music!" 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.


Or just sign up using this quick and easy form:

Your First Name
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posted by Bob Baker @ 2:15 PM   0 comments


March 06, 2008

1,000 True Fans to Make a Living

When Seth calls something the "best riff of the year," people notice. And lots have.

I'm talking about Kevin Kelly's two-day-old blog post titled "1,000 True Fans," which has struck a powerful nerve online. He puts his own spin on what I and many others have been saying for years about succeeding in the arts in this modern era.

I've talked about this in my live workshops and touched on it recently when I wrote about tapping fans for funding and the benefit of having 10,000 people on your mailing list.

But this concept of attracting what Kelly calls True Fans (a diehard subset of a larger group of Lesser Fans) is very intriguing. Here's an excerpt:

Assume conservatively that your True Fans will each spend one day's wages per year in support of what you do. That "one-day wage" is an average, because of course your truest fans will spend a lot more than that. Let's peg that per diem each True Fan spends at $100 per year. If you have 1,000 fans that sums up to $100,000 per year, which minus some modest expenses, is a living for most folks.

One thousand is a feasible number. You could count to 1,000. If you added one fan a day, it would take only three years. True Fanship is doable. Pleasing a True Fan is pleasurable, and invigorating. It rewards the artist to remain true, to focus on the unique aspects of their work, the qualities that True Fans appreciate.

The key challenge is that you have to maintain direct contact with your 1,000 True Fans. They are giving you their support directly. Maybe they come to your house concerts, or they are buying your DVDs from your website, or they order your prints from Pictopia. As much as possible you retain the full amount of their support. You also benefit from the direct feedback and love.

Again, this all dovetails with the indie message I've been hammering home for years. You don't have to be a household name to be successful. Thousands of musicians, authors, artists, photographers, filmmakers, bloggers and more make a nice living serving their unique slice of the population. I proudly count myself among their ranks.

These self-empowered creatives work outside the traditional structure and usually make smart use of the Internet to bypass middleman roadblocks and take their craft directly to the end user: the fan. Reach enough fans in this manner and serve them well ... and you will eventually have a solid list of True Fans -- people who will reward you often with their time, attention and money.

Read Kelly's entire blog post and the reaction to it around the Net. Then get busy building your fan base ... and serving them well!

-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.

Derek Sivers, president of CD Baby, calls it "The most directly applicable, start-tomorrow, creatively inspiring book I've ever seen on promoting your music!" 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.


Or just sign up using this quick and easy form:

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Your email address will not be shared. Unsubscribe at any time.

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posted by Bob Baker @ 8:09 PM   3 comments


March 03, 2008

Fans: The New Source of Music Cash Flow

As I said in a recent YouTube video clip, the music business these days is like the Wild West. No one knows exactly how things will shake loose. No one can truly predict the future. Therefore, the best way to proceed into this new frontier is to do what everyone else is doing: Making things up as they go along.

So have some fun with your marketing and career development!

One cool concept is the fan-funded model. Kristin Hersh and Scott Andrew, among others, have effectively asked their fans to help them fund their recording projects. But now there are entire web sites set up to help indie artists collect money from their fans.
Sellaband.com and Slicethepie.com are two such sites. This Wired.com article by Eliot Van Buskirk spells out more details, but here are some interesting numbers:

Anyone can become an investor in a SellaBand artist by buying an advance copy of an album and a single share in the recording for $10. The site has raised more than $1.5 million from more than 25,000 investors. They've deposited an average of $50, but investments have run as high as $25,000.

Out of 6,500 bands, 14 have reached the $50,000 mark, which is when SellaBand helps find a studio and a big-name producer to record the album. (SellaBand artist Cubworld got paired with Gwen Stefani's producers.)

Slicethepie lets fans pay $10 for a share in the album and a free digital copy ... The site has raised $400,000 so far, while attracting 7,800 artists. Bands only get funded if Slicethepie's blind-listening reviewers -- who generate 10,000 reviews a day -- rate them in the top 2 percent of new artists. Reviewers are paid 2.5 cents per review, with bonus pay if they pick bands that prove popular.

I've been preaching the Focus on Fans sermon for years now. They are -- and have always been -- your greatest asset. Why not tap into your fans for financial support beyond buying CDs, concert tickets, and merchandise. Whether you use one of the sites above or not, allow your fans to play an even bigger part of your success story.

Welcome to the Wild and Wacky World of Music Business Change. Are you mixing it up and experimenting with different ways to get exposure and generate revenue? If not, you should be.

Whatever you do, don't make the mistake of simply watching from the sidelines. Get busy ... and have some fun!

-Bob

Indie Buzz Bootcamp Music Conference & Workshop
Register now to win tickets!


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.


Or just sign up using this quick and easy form:

Your First Name
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Your email address will not be shared. Unsubscribe at any time.

Connect with

posted by Bob Baker @ 1:22 PM   11 comments