Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

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


July 30, 2008

Does Your Live Show Suck?

Why do so many musicians pour so much time, energy and money into their gear and recordings ... then just show up to do a live gig?

Watch this video clip of performance coach Tom Jackson to get some insight into what's wrong with the way most artists approach live shows.


To learn more about Tom Jackson, visit www.tomjacksonproductions.com.

This clip was recorded at Indie Buzz Bootcamp 2008. For more info on the next event, visit www.IndieBuzzBootcamp.com.

-Bob

P.S. For more inspiration in audio format, subscribe to my Artist Empowerment Radio podcast.

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.
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posted by Bob Baker @ 2:15 PM   3 comments


July 28, 2008

Book a New Music Gig - Tonight!

Want to book more live shows? Want to get results fast? It's quite possible. In fact, if you wanted one, you might be able to land a new gig tonight. Seriously.

Traditional advice tells you to plan months ahead and follow all the right protocols. You should allow enough time to win over the talent buyer and secure a date.

Good advice, but ...

I had an online chat session with my Berklee Music Marketing 101 class students last night. And one of them referred to mistakes made when she started booking her own shows. "What mistakes?" I asked.

"Not having a band ready to play at the last minute," she replied. "We missed out on a few gigs that way."

That immediately reminded me of a time several years ago when I wanted to book some solo shows. I took the first step one Friday afternoon.

My goal was simply to call local venues and get the name of the person who booked the music. Once I had a list, I planned to follow up later with post cards, promo kits and phone calls.

To my shock, the second call I made had me on the phone with a bar owner. He wanted to know if I wanted to come in and play THAT NIGHT -- sight unseen.

I had to scramble and gather the gear I needed. But I played the show and got four more paid bookings as a result.

Rae Solomon -- an indie country singer near Seattle, WA -- told me there's a band in her area called the Last Minute Men. All they do is fill-in gigs for 10 different clubs when they get cancellations. I bet they stay pretty busy.

The lesson here ...

Go looking for gigs when you're ready to play one right away. Sure, many places will blow you off or try to book you months down the road. But, to your great surprise, you just might end up on stage somewhere ... TONIGHT!

But you'll never know until you try.

-Bob

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posted by Bob Baker @ 10:12 AM   4 comments


July 25, 2008

What Is MySpace Up to Now?

That's right, MySpace has a new trick up its sleeve. One that could very well impact you.

In recent weeks, MySpace has started hyping a new way for independent acts to advertise on the mega site. The new service, called "Find Your Fans," works a lot like Google AdWords.
As MySpace describes it:
"Your ad will run on MySpace and be targeted to the users that you have chosen. Your ad will continue to run until your campaign has reached the maximum spending limit or the scheduled end date you have set for the campaign.

"You do not pay for your ad to simply appear on MySpace. You are only charged when someone clicks on your ad."
How much does it cost?
"The minimum spend for a campaign is only $25. You only pay when someone clicks on your ad and visits your profile (.25 cents for each click). You tell us how much you're willing to spend upfront, so you'll never spend more than planned."
Where will my ads be shown?
"Your ad will be shown across the entire MySpace site. You choose who you want to see your ad, and we make sure only the individuals matching that profile see your campaign."
I have no idea what kind of results anyone has gotten yet, but it sounds interesting. Read more about it here.

And if you've used it and have some feedback to report, please leave a comment below.

Of course, for non-advertising strategies, check out my popular MySpace Music Marketing book.


-Bob


P.S. Get FREE access to my special report 4 Ways to Attract More Music Fans Faster and hundreds of other music career tips, tools and resources. Go grab your free music stuff now.
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posted by Bob Baker @ 2:01 PM   4 comments


July 23, 2008

Jonas Brothers: Be Famous to Someone

Last night I took my daughter Kelli to see the Jonas Brothers and Avril Levine. Kelli turns 12 next month, so it was an early birthday present.

I've been to many concerts in my life, but this was the first as an adult in the midst of so many teen, tween and pre-tween girls (along with many parents). Lots of Beatlemania-esque screaming took place, and my ears are feeling it this morning.
Not sure if you're hip to these Jonas boys, but they're a Disney/Hollywood Records act that has been stirring up a ton of attention from their young female followers, including my own kid.

It was a pretty impressive spectacle. During a summer of reported economic stagnation and slow ticket sales, these guys packed thousands of people into the outdoor Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis.

I'm sure Avril had many of her fans there too, but she was the opening act (or "co-headliner" who performed before them). This was clearly a crowd that had come to see the Jonas Brothers.

Confession: I was familiar with their music before the concert because Kelli plays it around the house. I already liked their brand of emo-pop rock. And seeing them live made me even more impressed.

They don't rely on the safe boy band sounds of the past. These guys can rock it up -- and play some catchy tunes.

But here was the big insight last night ...

As I looked over the crowd of cheering and screaming thousands, there was no denying the energy level that a large crowd of enthusiastic fans can generate.
And I remembered why so many young musicians want to shoot for the highest pinnacles of success.

In that moment, even I thought how great it would be to have the drawing power to attract a huge audience. Heck, I had the same rock star dreams in my teens and early twenties.

Big dreams are great. I never encourage anyone to play small. So by all means, picture yourself on a big stage with a huge crowd of adoring fans.

It's okay to want to be famous (as long as, in my opinion, it's tied into a bigger mission to serve others through your music).

But how do you define "famous"? For most people, it's based on the number of people who know who you are -- and like what you do.

If you're in the building stage of your music career, that number might be small. Maybe 100 people know who you are, and 12 of them are enthusiastic fans.

In that case, realize that you are famous ... to someone. Or a modest number of someones.

Congratulations! You've reached one phase of your goal!

You're famous to a small core group of fans. Now build on that. Pour your heart and passion into serving and pleasing those first 12 people.

Before you know it, you'll be famous to 23 people.

Then 47.

Then 92.

Then 183.

You'll be living your dream, and you'll be famous ... to someone!

-Bob

P.S. For more inspiration in audio format, subscribe to my Artist Empowerment Radio podcast.

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.


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posted by Bob Baker @ 11:18 AM   6 comments


July 21, 2008

Are You Breaking the Law?

The other day my girlfriend Pooki and I were riding our bikes along the Katy Trail near our house. There were a few times along the route we slowed down to take in the view.

And I noticed something that suddenly struck me as profound. You've probably noticed this too but didn't think much about it.

Let me explain ...
You see, I'm a big believer in Laws. That certainly applies to most state and local laws (although there are exceptions :-). But what I'm referring to here are the bigger, more important laws: The Laws of Nature and the Laws of Physics.

What the heck am I talking about?

Here's the thing: These are the laws that power everything. Gravity, the sun, weather systems, ocean currents, the rotation of the earth, even nuclear reactions. Those are some powerful laws!

Therefore, I believe if we behave in accordance with these laws, it only stands to reason that we'll live more natural and harmonious lives.

Okay, back to the bike ride and the big revelation ...

Whenever you reduce your speed on a bike, the slower you go, the more wobbly your balance becomes. The faster you go, the more stable the bike is.

I'm sure it has to do with inertia and the gyroscope effect -- all laws based on physics.

So if this is an irrefutable Law of Nature, how can we apply it to our lives?

That's simple: Keep moving on your quest! Keep moving forward with your music, your passion, your purpose as an artist, your pursuit of happiness. It's only through constant motion and progress that you gain your balance and hit a steady, confident stride.

Of course, you'll hit a few potholes along the way. There will be speed bumps that force you to shift direction. But that doesn't mean you have to stop moving.

And if you do slow down, get distracted or neglect your true calling for a while, things will get wobbly. You'll feel off balance.

And it's only natural. Because it's the Law at work.

So if things have been off kilter lately, ask yourself:
  • How have I been slowing down my forward motion?

  • What's been holding me back?

  • And, most important, what can I do to get steadily back in motion?
-Bob

Ready to turbo-charge your music marketing campaign? Check out all the new Crash Course packages on Music Marketing, Music Publicity, and Internet Promotion at TheBuzzFactor.com.


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posted by Bob Baker @ 12:26 PM   15 comments


July 17, 2008

Just Stop It!

Are you feeling fearful about the state of the economy and sky-high gas prices, and how they are affecting your music career? Here's an inspiring, in-your-face message from Joe Vitale that might shake some sense into you.
I first spoke with Joe in 1995 when we was a copywriter and marketing guy in Dallas (who also played a little music). Since then he's become an Internet marketing guru who now weaves a lot of spiritual and positive thinking messages into his work. He was one of the teachers featured in the book/movie The Secret.

Here's an email Joe sent out just today ...

Stop it!

Stop paying attention to the media.

Stop paying attention to the doom and gloom of anyone and everyone around. Stop getting sucked into being a victim.

STOP IT.

You won't go anywhere buying into the cultural trance that there isn't enough and times are tough.

You won't accomplish your big goals, or do anything of real greatness, as long as you give in to outer circumstances.

You have to take back your power.

You have to take back your control.

You have to "awaken."

Recently I told a woman who was interviewing me that I was homeless and in poverty only as long as I stayed stuck in survival "thinking."

As soon as I put my mind on what I "wanted" to have instead, I began to shift and get better results.

This can happen for you, too. It took me ten years. You can do it in one weekend.

But you have to stop listening to the media paint a picture of darkness.

The media paints it by finding something dark to report on, whether it's true or not. You and others listen to it, believe it, and before you know it, you have "created" what the media painted.

They predict a recession before there actually is one.

But people believe the media, fall into fear, stop spending, and suddenly a recession is here.

This has to stop. And it can stop right now.

Break free from money worries.

Break free from job worries.

Break free from health worries.

Break free from love worries.

Break free -- PERIOD.

This great message was admittedly sent to promote Joe's Miracles Weekend event in September. But even if you take the event completely out of the picture, there's still a lot of power in his words.

So ... are you ready to STOP IT?

-Bob

Ready to turbo-charge your music marketing campaign? Check out all the new Crash Course packages on Music Marketing, Music Publicity, and Internet Promotion at TheBuzzFactor.com.


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posted by Bob Baker @ 11:39 AM   7 comments


July 15, 2008

Your Best Recession-Proof Music Tips Wanted

How Are You Surviving High Gas Prices and a Slow Economy?

You've read the headlines about touring bands having to cut back. You've paid high prices at the pump. Perhaps you've directly felt the pinch of rising costs and a slow summer economy.


So, how are you working through it? What are you doing to make the most of it?

If I can compile enough tips from smart people like you, I'll publish and distribute a free ebook filled with ways to cut down on expenses and weather the current economic climate.

Send me your best tips on saving money, stretching a dollar, and reaching fans in creative new ways. Especially if you refuse to be a victim of the group "recession consciousness," I want to hear from you.

Post your best economy-busting strategies and ideas in the Comments section below, send me an email, or contact me via the sites in the right hand column of this page.

-Bob

Ready to turbo-charge your music marketing campaign? Check out all the new Crash Course packages on Music Marketing, Music Publicity, and Internet Promotion at TheBuzzFactor.com.


Did you enjoy this blog post? Subscribe now and get all of my newest ideas delivered by email or RSS feed. Learn how here.
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posted by Bob Baker @ 3:13 PM   2 comments


July 02, 2008

Tough Love From John Taglieri & Nancy Moran

I'm on a roll with new video clips. On this one, John Taglieri offers some tough love on how to choose band members, while Nancy Moran talks about the many opportunities with Internet radio airplay:



For more info on the next Indie Buzz Bootcamp event, visit www.IndieBuzzBootcamp.com

To learn more about John Taglieri, visit www.johntaglieri.com. Also check out his How to Make a Living as a Full-Time Indie Musician audiobook.

For more on Nancy Moran, visit www.nancymoran.com and www.azaleamusic.com.

Camera work by Lee Mueller of 100th Monkey Productions.

-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.


Did you enjoy this blog post? Subscribe now and get all of my newest ideas delivered by email or RSS feed. Learn how here.
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posted by Bob Baker @ 9:54 AM   1 comments