Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

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


October 31, 2008

Holiday Music Marketing Ideas

It's Halloween, and my mind is racing with scary marketing ideas related to the holidays. Here's what sparked the idea for this post ...

I picked up a flier this week. What caught my eye was the headline:

"Cranksgiving"

At first I assumed it was promoting a Thanksgiving concert by a metal band. But a closer look revealed it to be an annual bike ride to collect canned goods for the homeless. Very cool concept.

But I still think Cranksgiving would be a great name for a rock show in November.

Wondering how you might use this idea? Here's how ...

Write down a list of holidays that will take place over the next six months or so. Also write down any common phrases associated with those holidays. Examples:

  • Merry Christmas
  • Holiday cheer
  • Turkey Day
  • Plymouth Rock
  • New Year's Eve
  • Happy new year
  • Etc.

Now take each word (and even syllable) and play with it. Go to a site like www.rhymezone.com and see what sound-alike words you come up with.

  • How about "Hairy Christmas" for a hair band?

  • "Plymouth Rock" has a lot of possibilities.

  • "Merry KISSmas" for a tribute band.

  • What about "Crappy New Year"?

  • "New Years Heave" anyone?

See, this marketing thing can be creative and fun!

Got any good holiday music theme examples or ideas? I bet you do. Click the Comment link below and post yours.

-Bob

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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 @ 11:23 AM   3 comments


October 29, 2008

Send Me Your Top Music Marketing Question

I want to know what's on your mind.

In particular, I want you to send me your #1 question about guerrilla music marketing, publicity, Internet promotion, sales, or music career planning.
I'm collecting these questions now, and I will answer the best ones submitted during a special FREE teleclass on:

Wednesday, November 19
starting at 9 PM Eastern
(8 PM Central, 6 PM Pacific)

To submit your question and get access to the call-in number and access code, please go to this page.

I've been wanting to do a call like this for a long time. My friend Angela Stevens, who does the great voice-over work on my Artist Empowerment Radio podcast, will host the call. I know it will be fun and informative.

So submit your question and register now here.

-Bob



Get your FREE copy of my Music Marketing Secrets special report. It shows you how to get more exposure, attract more fans, and sell more music! Go here to grab your copy now ...
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posted by Bob Baker @ 12:57 PM   0 comments


October 27, 2008

Music Press Kit Essentials: The Positive Quotes Page

There are many elements that make up a great music press kit. Here is just one of them ...

A media person will rarely listen to your CD all the way through -- especially the first time. The same goes for reading all of the articles and reviews included in your press clippings. That's where the Positive Quotes Page comes into play.

Music Press Kit

Use these two tips to create yours:

1) Pull out highlights from published reviews

You know that sprinkled throughout all of the write-ups you've earned are some golden nuggets of praise. I suggest you do what major motion picture marketers do ...

Pull out the best one- or two-sentence quotes from a variety of media sources, as in "'Two thumbs up!' -Roger Ebert." Go through all of the published write-ups in your collection of press clippings and find the most sparkling endorsements.

Examples:

"Acme Rock Band sizzles on its debut CD!" -The Podunk Gazette

"The new disc from Acme Rock Band is chock full of catchy, three-minute pop
gems." -New Music Dispatch

Take these quotes and display them all on a single sheet or web page. You might put a headline at the top that reads: "Here's what the media are saying about Acme Rock Band ..."

I also suggest using this positive quotes sheet as the cover page for your stapled collection of press clippings. That way, someone could get a quick overview of the great things media sources have been saying about you. And the full-length articles are in the same package for those who want to read a little deeper.

2) Ask select industry people for a comment to include in your kit

What if you're just starting out or have a newly formed band? You may not have many (or any) positive quotes or press clippings. Now what?

Approach people you know in the music business (nightclub owners, studio engineers, disc jockeys) and ask them for a comment you can use. "I can always count on The Porcupines to put on a great show at my club!" -Ted Smith, owner, the Cool Club. That's a good start when you're short on traditional media quotes.

Also, when gathering these blurbs, feel free to suggest the wording for the person's comment. He or she can always change or tweak it, but you may be surprised by how many people will accept the blurb you wrote as is and let you use it on your Positive Quotes Page.

-Bob

Killer Music Press KitsP.S. The ideas above are excerpted from my Killer Music Press Kits package. In addition to this popular resource, here are some other publicity related titles:

Music Publicity Crash Course collection (scroll down the page a little)

Online Music PR Hot List

Music Publicity Bootcamp (now at a reduced price for a limited time)

Do-It-Yourself Internet Music Publicity
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posted by Bob Baker @ 9:45 AM   1 comments


October 22, 2008

Will I See You Oct 27 in St. Louis?

I'll be speaking in my hometown next week. If you know someone in the St. Louis area, please pass this on to them.

Monday, October 27
St. Louis Musicians Unite meeting
Cruisin' Route 66
7895 Watson Rd
St. Louis, MO 63119
8:00 to 9:00 PM

I'll present a talk on the basics of guerrilla music marketing to this St. Louis music group. Get more details here:

www.StlMusiciansUnite.com

For all my upcoming live events and performances, visit this page.

-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 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 @ 9:36 AM   0 comments


October 20, 2008

The Do-It-Yourself Music Interview

Sure, it would be great to get magazine feature writers to interview you and run your life story in print. But if that goal is slow in coming, don’t give up. Do it yourself.

Here's how ...

Imagine your ideal interview. What questions would you like the interviewer to ask you? What sort of fascinating answers would you provide to amaze and inspire readers? Have some fun thinking this through.

Next, write out your fantasy questions and answers. But don't ramble about everything under the sun. Stay focused on your musical identity and why people should care about you and your songs. Make your responses lively, interesting, and maybe even a little shocking and controversial.

Take this self-produced Q&A and put it in your press kit and on your web site, or use it as a stand-alone item sent to the media. Journalists will use it to learn more about the artist behind the music, and they may very well use your quotes in the articles they write about you.

-Bob

This tip comes from Guerrilla Music Marketing, Encore Edition: 201 More Self-Promotion Ideas, Tips & Tactics for Do-It-Yourself Artists

Check out the amazing things people are saying about the ideas in this book.
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posted by Bob Baker @ 10:44 AM   3 comments


October 16, 2008

Sell a Lot More Music & Merch for $7

One of the keys to making money in any creative field is giving your customers a variety of ways they can interact with and support you.

On one end of the spectrum is free stuff -- for you that might be free MP3 downloads and video clips; for me it's this blog, my free ezine, podcast, articles, etc.

Way on the other end you'd have your highest price offerings -- corporate gigs, licensing, and sponsorship deals for bands; and more expensive home study packages, online courses, and consulting services for authors like me.

In the middle is another range of options -- you sell CDs, merch, and admissions to live shows; I sell books, special reports, audio programs, and live workshops.

It's good to give people various points of entry like this. You don't want to price everything so low that you become the Wal-Mart of your genre or field. And you don't want to overprice everything and scare people away before they've even had a chance to sample what you do.

How can you apply this concept to your situation?

Make a list, from free to very expensive, of all the music products and services you can offer. Then be sure to make your fans and business partners aware of the various options they have to experience and enjoy you.

I'll practice what I preach right now ...

Last month, Nick Nanton and I launched a new resource called 7 Secrets to Making Real Money with Your Music. It's available as both an online course and a physical product that comes in a binder with two audio CDs.

And it's not cheap. The online version alone is $77. And I think it's worth every penny.

But not everyone can afford (or they convince themselves they are not worthy of) that amount of money.

And that's fine. Not everything you create will be suited for everyone. We produced this title for serious music makers who are ready to take their passions to a higher and more profitable level.

Yet ...

I know that in the current economic climate, there's a great need for ideas on how to spark new sources of music income. So here's what I'm doing to satisfy people on the other end of the spectrum:

I'm making a 39-page section of my Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook available for just $7.

The section is called "Guerrilla Music Money & Sales" and includes the following chapters ...

  • 39 Ways to Sell a Lot More of Your CDs, DVDs and Music Merchandise. One solid idea after another on how to boost your CD and merchandise sales. Includes a list of the top web sites and e-commerce channels where you can sell your music worldwide.

  • The Easiest Way to Make Money in the Music Business. Stop buying into the "starving musician" stereotype. The most prosperous musicians use this technique to support themselves. Here's what you need to do to thrive in the music business.

  • 25 Ways to Finance Your Next Recording Project, Music Video or Major Equipment Purchase. It's one of the age-old music biz challenges: how to overcome a lack of money. Use these ideas to make, save and raise the extra cash you need.

  • How to Double Your CD Sales (in 90 Days or Less). Want to sell a lot more of your music? Here's what the smart indie artists are doing to profit from their hard work and creativity.

Click here to order it now.

There you go. If 7 Secrets to Making Real Money with Your Music is out of your range right now, I understand. I've been there myself before.

Then take me up on this offer to get a ton of money-making music tips packed into these 39 pages -- for only $7. Click this link to order.

Note: If you already own the Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook, you already have this section. But if you don't, it's a great way to get a very inexpensive taste of the great ideas contained in my best-selling book.

If you want the entire Guerrilla Music book, the PDF download is only $24.95, and the paperback is $29.95 plus shipping.

See? I just gave you a number of options to get more involved in my world and come play with me. Do the same thing with your fans.

Variety is the spice, baby!

-Bob
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posted by Bob Baker @ 10:09 AM   2 comments


October 15, 2008

Hollywood Launch a New Music Release

What can musicians learn from software developers about introducing something new to the public? Maybe a lot. But it's probably not what you think.

According to this page on the 37 Signals web site, it boils down to three steps:

1) Tease
2) Preview
3) Launch

Read it for more details, but I think there's a lot that can be applied to music here.

Bottom line: Promotion shouldn't start the day the CDs arrive from the manufacturer (or the songs are available on iTunes). A whole string of activities can take place in the weeks and months leading up to the "for sale" date.

Thanks to Nashville musician Christopher Joel for turning me on to this concept!

-Bob

Get your FREE copy of my Music Marketing Secrets special report. It shows you how to get more exposure, attract more fans, and sell more music! Go here to grab your copy now ...
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 @ 2:27 PM   2 comments


October 08, 2008

How to Thrive With Music in a Down Economy

I admit it. We are living through some uncertain times right now.

I'm one of the more optimistic people you are likely to meet, and even I am concerned about the downturn in the world economy and financial markets.

But being aware of financial markets and consumer confidence does not equal being immobilized by them!

If you're an active musician, manager or promoter ... this is not the time to run for cover and hibernate. In fact, you should be doing just the opposite: taking proactive steps to insure your short-term and long-term cash flow and security.

Here are some steps you can take to thrive in a down economy:

If you play music full-time or part-time ...

  • Step up your promotion efforts. That's right. Instead of retreating in fear, get more active. And don't use the "I don't have money to spend on marketing" excuse. There are hundreds of ways to spread the word that don't cost a dime.

  • If you depend on gig revenue, make sure you stay in touch with your venue contacts. Sure, some establishments are cutting back on entertainment. But when they do book live acts, make certain you are "top of mind."

  • Communicate with your fans even more. If you have a decent mailing list, use it. If you don't, why not? Your list is your most valuable asset, so start building one -- or put a higher priority on building one.

  • Realize that people need music in good times and bad -- especially bad. View yourself as the provider of a valuable resource. Because that's what you are.

  • Write songs about the economy. Funny songs, serious songs, upbeat songs, or reflective songs that mirror current events.

  • If you live in the U.S., tap into the media frenzy surrounding the presidential election. Offer to play at a political rally or record the next "Obama Girl"-like viral video.

  • Pursue media coverage of all kinds. It's free exposure. And you don't need a fancy press kit to get it. All you need is a good idea that keeps the needs of the journalist, blogger, podcaster, or radio show host in mind.

  • Make smart use of the Internet. Has your web site been updated lately? Haven't published a new blog post since May? Are you making the most of MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, etc? If not, get busy.

If you just lost or are about to lose your day job ...

  • My heart goes out to you. But this could be a blessing in disguise. Most people who lose jobs are happier with where they end up a year later.

  • This could be an opportunity to finally pour some energy into that musical passion you've been suppressing for years. Take this time to explore your creativity and see where it takes you.

  • Take all the steps above.

The bottom line here is this: Don't become a victim of the real or imagined economic woes so many people are fearing today.

Instead, embrace the philosophy behind this quote from playwright George Bernard Shaw:
"People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can't find them, make them."
-Bob



Get your FREE copy of my Music Marketing Secrets special report. It shows you how to get more exposure, attract more fans, and sell more music! Go here to grab your copy now ...
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
Your Primary Email


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posted by Bob Baker @ 11:10 AM   7 comments