Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

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


February 27, 2009

Social Networking & the TGIF Word Play Challenge

Last Friday I posted this simple message to my Facebook and Twitter accounts:

Bob wants you to give him another meaning for TGIF. Like "Thirsty Goldfish Ingest Fervently." Your turn!


I received a LOT of creative and funny responses left as Facebook wall comments and Twitter replies. Here are some of the better ones (with a social networking lesson at the end):

Those Gams Invite Fondling
David

Today Gratitude Is Foremost
Margaret

Tempting Girlfriends Incite Foolishness
Deepak

The Gnome Is Frolicking
Cheri

Tomorrow Gets Interesting, Frodo
Kathy

Try Getting It Fried
Lisa

True Greatness Inspires Frivolity
David

Try Guinness, It's Fab
Though Guinness Increases Farting
John

Twitter Goes Idio-Fanatical
Arnold

That Guy Is F**ked
Macdara

Tweeple Gather Interesting Friends
Rocky

Time Grows Increasingly Fractal
David

This Genius Is Frisky
Matt

Why am I sharing this with you? Two reasons.

First, these responses are amusing. And if you want to add one of your own, I encourage you to leave one in the comments below.

Second, this is a good example of how to use social networking beyond pure self-promotion. Yes, I plug my books and other things on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc. But I balance those promotional messages with conversations.

You should do the same thing.

Many people go too far one way or the other. No, I don't need to know every move you make on Twitter. But sharing some snippets of your personal life is fine, especially if it engages people and stirs some discussion.

Some "social networkers" do nothing but post sales messages. I don't know about you, but after a while I start tuning these people out and unsubscribe from their feeds.

Check out how John Mayer and Ryan Seacrest (and even MC Hammer) use Twitter to communicate. It's a mix of personal and promotional. And it works!

So, start using these sites to plug your new songs, live events, and media coverage -- while also asking questions, replying to other people's comments, linking to amazing sites and blog posts, sharing funny thoughts, etc.

Got it?

Great. Thank God It's Friday!

-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


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

Connect with

posted by Bob Baker @ 9:31 AM   3 comments


February 24, 2009

How Is the Economy Affecting Your Music Career?

Please take a moment to fill in a quick poll about how the economy is affecting your music career. It will only take a few seconds.

Try this survey link first.

If it's maxed out on responses, try this one.

And if it's really popular, here's a third poll option.

Paying attention to the financial news these days can be painful. No doubt, these are crazy times.

But I'm not interested in what the media says about the economy. I want to know how it's affecting you and your music career.

Let me know at the survey links above. I'll report the results within a week or two.

-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.


Or just sign up using this quick and easy form:

Your First Name
Your Primary Email


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

Connect with

posted by Bob Baker @ 12:22 PM   0 comments


February 19, 2009

Music Web Site Design Tips & Re-Branding Yourself

Is your artist, label or music company web site getting the results you want? Or do you simply think there might be ways to tweak your current music site to get more out of it?

If so, check out the tips I share in the audio clip below. It features a three-minute segment from my new Killer Music Web Sites report. It just may help you attract more fans and make more of an impact with your music.

Have you ever thought about switching genres or releasing new music that is completely different from what you've been known for? And what do you do about all of your previous musical history that can easily be "Googled" online?

That was the dilemma that Nancy faced when she called in during my most recent Ask Bob Teleclass. You'll hear my answer in the audio clip too.

There are two ways to listen. If you want to stream it and listen now, just click the arrow on the player below:


Or you can download the MP3 file directly:

Download the MP3
(To download the file, place your cursor over the link and right-click your mouse. Then select "save target as" or "save link as" to save it to your hard drive. Mac users: Control-click and select "Download link to disk.")

Make sure you know when I present the next Ask Bob Teleclass (and submit a question of your own) by going here.

To your success!

-Bob

P.S. Would you like me to critique your music web site? Or maybe you'd like my feedback on a pressing music marketing issue or project? If so, check out my music consulting and coaching page for details.
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


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

Connect with

posted by Bob Baker @ 9:03 AM   0 comments


February 18, 2009

The Facebook Terms of Service Uproar

It's been the talk of the social web in recent weeks. If you haven't heard, Facebook recently updated its Terms of Use. Many bloggers who paid attention to the details were outraged. One of the more popular posts on the topic (Facebook's New Terms Of Service: "We Can Do Anything We Want With Your Content. Forever") has been viewed more than 550,000 times.


But just today, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted the following message, which demonstrates a smart move for the growing company -- and the power of citizen voices in corporate policy:

A couple of weeks ago, we revised our terms of use hoping to clarify some parts for our users. Over the past couple of days, we received a lot of questions and comments about the changes and what they mean for people and their information. Based on this feedback, we have decided to return to our previous terms of use while we resolve the issues that people have raised.

Many of us at Facebook spent most of today discussing how best to move forward. One approach would have been to quickly amend the new terms with new language to clarify our positions further. Another approach was simply to revert to our old terms while we begin working on our next version. As we thought through this, we reached out to respected organizations to get their input.

Going forward, we've decided to take a new approach towards developing our terms. We concluded that returning to our previous terms was the right thing for now. As I said yesterday, we think that a lot of the language in our terms is overly formal and protective so we don't plan to leave it there for long.

More than 175 million people use Facebook. If it were a country, it would be the sixth most populated country in the world. Our terms aren't just a document that protect our rights; it's the governing document for how the service is used by everyone across the world. Given its importance, we need to make sure the terms reflect the principles and values of the people using the service.

Our next version will be a substantial revision from where we are now. It will reflect the principles I described yesterday around how people share and control their information, and it will be written clearly in language everyone can understand. Since this will be the governing document that we'll all live by, Facebook users will have a lot of input in crafting these terms.

You have my commitment that we'll do all of these things, but in order to do them right it will take a little bit of time. We expect to complete this in the next few weeks. In the meantime, we've changed the terms back to what existed before the February 4th change, which was what most people asked us for and was the recommendation of the outside experts we consulted.

If you'd like to get involved in crafting our new terms, you can start posting your questions, comments and requests in the group we've created -- Facebook Bill of Rights and Responsibilities. I'm looking forward to reading your input.

Congrats to Zuckerberg for his honesty and for responding to the people who have made Facebook the success it is. And a big Thank You to the bloggers and Facebook users who rattled the cages enough to get the attention of those in charge.

-Bob


Have you seen the new, improved Music Marketing Insiders Club? Get exclusive, members-only resources delivered every week. And, depending on your membership level, you can get access to the incredible "Indie Music Success Vault," 4 free bonuses, and a 30-minute coaching session with me. It's probably a LOT more affordable than you think! Visit www.MusicMarketingInsiders.com for the entire scoop.
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


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

Connect with

posted by Bob Baker @ 9:39 AM   2 comments


February 13, 2009

Elizabeth Gilbert on Creative Genius

Just watched this video last night and had to share it with you today. It was recorded this month at the TED conference.

Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses -- and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person "being" a genius, all of us "have" a genius. It's a funny, personal and moving talk.



-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


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

Connect with

posted by Bob Baker @ 9:51 AM   3 comments


February 12, 2009

Indie Artists Get Grammy Award Nominations & Wins

According to an email sent by Tony van Veen and CD Baby, the following independent artists (all unsigned CD Baby clients) were nominated for Grammy Awards this year. Some of them even won!


Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance
Linda Jones - Baby I Know
http://cdbaby.com/cd/lindajones

Best Urban/Alternative Performance
Wayna - Higher Ground
http://cdbaby.com/cd/wayna2

Best New Age Album
Peter Kater - Ambrosia
http://cdbaby.com/cd/peterkater13

Best Tropical Latin Album
Gonzalo Grau Y La Clave Secreta - Frutero Moderno
http://cdbaby.com/cd/ggylcs

Best Tejano Album
Tortilla Factory - All That Jazz
http://cdbaby.com/cd/tortilla8

Best Traditional Blues Album
Elvin Bishop - The Blues Rolls On
http://cdbaby.com/cd/elvinbishop

Best Traditional Folk Album
Tom Paxton - Comedians & Angels
http://cdbaby.com/cd/tompaxton3
Peggy Seeger - Bring Me Home
http://cdbaby.com/cd/peggyseeger5
Winner! Pete Seeger - At 89
http://cdbaby.com/cd/peteseegerat89

Best Hawaiian Music Album
Various Artists - Hawaiian Slack Key Kings Master Series, Vol. 2
http://cdbaby.com/cd/hskk2

Best Reggae Album
Winner! Burning Spear - Jah is Real
http://cdbaby.com/cd/burningspear10

Best Zydeco Or Cajun Music Album
Cedric Watson - Cedric Watson
http://cdbaby.com/cd/cedricwatson

Best Polka Album - Vocal or Instrumental
LynnMarie & Charlie Kelley as The Boxhounds - Speechless
http://cdbaby.com/cd/boxhounds
Walter Ostanek and His Band, Jerry Darlak and The Touch, Bob Kravos and His Band -
Back To Back Hall of Fame Polkas
http://cdbaby.com/cd/wojdbkbands

Best Musical Album For Children
Brady Rymer And The Little Band That Could -
Here Comes Brady Rymer And The Little Band That Could
http://cdbaby.com/cd/bradyrymer6

Best Spoken Word Album For Children
Buck Howdy With BB - Around The Campfire
http://cdbaby.com/cd/buckhowdy3

Best Recording Package
The Ditty Bops - Summer Rains
http://cdbaby.com/cd/dittybops

Yes ... Elvin Bishop, Tom Paxton, Pete Seeger, and Burning Spear are officially considered indie artists. I haven't checked out the facts, but I assume they are no longer signed to labels and are running their careers as free agents. Amen to that!

Congrats to all the "indie" nominees and winners!

-Bob


Have you seen the new, improved Music Marketing Insiders Club? Get exclusive, members-only resources delivered every week. And, depending on your membership level, you can get access to the incredible "Indie Music Success Vault," 4 free bonuses, and a 30-minute coaching session with me. It's probably a LOT more affordable than you think! Visit www.MusicMarketingInsiders.com for the entire scoop.
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


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

Connect with

posted by Bob Baker @ 6:57 PM   0 comments


February 11, 2009

TheBuzzFactor Story Revealed!

Check this out. TheBuzzFactor.com and I are this month's featured company profile at Indie-Music.com!

Suzanne Glass sent me 11 questions about how I got started, the story behind TheBuzzFactor.com, and what has driven me to do this crazy stuff for so many years.

One of my favorite questions comes near the end, where I answer: "What are your top 3 pieces of advice to help indie musicians succeed?"

A big thanks to Suzanne Glass and Paul Bultman for their many years of work to support indie artists!

-Bob



Would You Like Me to Help You Promote and Sell More Music? Writing and performing songs is hard enough. Getting them recorded and manufactured is another hurdle. Now you have to promote and sell them!

If you could use some advice and guidance, I may be able to help. Read more about my music consulting and coaching services.
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


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

Connect with

posted by Bob Baker @ 9:13 AM   0 comments


February 10, 2009

My Best Music Career Advice

Do you really know the best way to succeed with your music? Are you certain about the best path to get there?

Not so fast!

Watch this video clip before you commit to any new music career plan or marketing campaign.




-Bob

P.S. Did you enjoy this blog post? Get more tips like these when you subscribe to my Buzz Factor ezine -- the longest running music career tips email newsletter on the Internet. Since 1995. Go grab your free subscription now.

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.
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


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

Connect with

posted by Bob Baker @ 8:03 AM   3 comments


February 05, 2009

What Do You Want From Me?

Here's a message I sent to my Buzz Factor ezine subscribers this week. It moved a lot of people to bare their souls and reveal some deep personal issues that many musicians face. Here's the message ...

I would really like your input on something.

For the last few months I've been feeling like I'm on the verge of evolving into a new stage of my career.

It seems that every 5 or 6 years, some shift occurs that takes me into a new phase of this life adventure. And considering the last one happened in 2004, I'm about due.

Only thing is, I'm not quite sure what shape this new phase will take. A new product? A new service? A new information delivery method? A new direction altogether?
I believe that the best way to serve others and make a living doing something you love is to find that sweet spot where your talents, gifts and passions overlap with a need or hunger in the marketplace.

So the questions we need to ask are: Who can really benefit from and crave what we love to do? And specifically, what do they want and need?

So I ask you ...

What Do You Want From Me?

What book, report, program, workshop, course, or service should I offer to satisfy your most pressing need?

What valuable music resource would you be willing to pay for that would help you the most?

I welcome your ideas. Of course, I won't act on all of them. But I will keep my mind open to what resonates as something I can deliver in the next stage of my journey.

I also encourage you to ask these same questions of yourself. Are you ready for the next stage of your musical evolution? And if so, what shape will that take for you?

I want to share some of the common responses I got to this email, but first ... Some people thought I was implying that I'm getting bored with my work, or that I might be ready to completely switch gears. That's not true. I love what I do and am still quite passionate about it.

In fact, the real motive for this message is a feeling that I want to impact more people in a bigger and more effective way. I don't want to coast or ever feel that my current success is the finish line, because it isn't. It's all part of an evolution to do greater good in the world -- and enjoy the fruits that come with it.

Thanks to the dozens of people who responded and shared their biggest challenges. So far, I'm seeing some patterns.

One of the biggest needs has to do with prioritizing an infinite number of career and promotion choices. There is no shortage of activities to spend time on. But there are only so many hours in the day. How do you decide which ones to focus on?

I've been aware of this one for some time. I experience it myself on a daily basis. So one possibility is a resource or planning system to help indie music people prioritize their time. Another is some sort of music marketing blueprint -- a step-by-step, fill-in-the-blank system or checklist that anyone can follow to build a buzz.

Despite all the attention on social media and Internet exposure, live performance continues to be one of the best ways to build a fanbase and a music career. So I got a lot of responses related to booking more and better gigs, and how to leverage them. That's another resource I'm pondering.

What else do you have for me? Leave a comment below or send me an email. I'm all ears. And I thank you for helping direct me to the next stage of my own career!

-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


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

Connect with

posted by Bob Baker @ 11:15 AM   1 comments