Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

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


August 28, 2009

Reader Q&A: Does an Artist Really Need to Be on EVERY Networking Web Site?

A Buzz Factor ezine subscriber and indie artist named Melodie sent me the following question. She gave me permission to answer it publicly here:

Here's a question I've had for a while, and it may be one many artists have.

How many web links/web sites does an artist need? I have my own web site with a link to iTunes, and I'm on MySpace. That's it. No Twitter, no Facebook, nothing else. I wouldn't check out more than two links for an artist. I don't have the time. I do think YouTube would be good because it has such a large audience.

But other than that, does an artist need to be on EVERY networking site? Aren't we more interested in selling units and promoting ourselves than being on every site?

Thanks for the question, Melodie.

Yes, it's the most common frustration I hear from artists and practically anyone who tries to promote themselves online. "How do I find the time? Why do I need to be on all these sites?"

Here's the thing ... You don't NEED to do anything. You don't have to be on the Internet at all. But obviously you have decided it's worth at least some of your time to create your own web site, build a MySpace music profile page, and get your songs on iTunes. That's great!

But why did you do those things in the first place?

I assume it's because you realized the value of being "reachable" on the Internet. You wanted people to be able to find you online, and you wanted to have places to send people when you communicated with them - destinations where they could hear your songs, buy your music, etc.

So ... why should you consider being on other sites too?

For the same reasons. To improve the likelihood that music fans will find you.

If you really want to make an impact with your music, you must be willing to take the action necessary to connect with the people most likely to love your music. You do that by reaching out and establishing a presence in the places where those types of people hang out online.

It's All About the P-word!

To improve your odds of connecting with fans, I contend that you need more than a couple of web sites and pages. You need a Web PRESENCE! Which means you need to show up in multiple places.

I understand why you won't visit more than one or two links provided by another artist. That's not the point of having multiple profiles. Your goal isn't to have them visit every place you exist online. The point is to give people options.

There are many millions of people who primarily use Facebook as their networking site of choice. Others are mostly Twitter people, while other groups prefer MySpace or LinkedIn or iLike. Meet people where they are!

Another Reason to Jump In

Social networking online is becoming a bigger and bigger part of how people discover new things and recommend stuff to their friends. So if you want to tap into that power, you just have to bite the bullet and make time as you can.

Reality: You don't have to do it ALL today, but you can start chipping away at it a little at a time. That's how I built my own Internet-based career over the past 14 years.

Finally, you asked, "Aren't we more interested in selling units and promoting ourselves than being on every site?"

I don't recommend you jump into social networking to "sell units," but I do strongly believe that a byproduct of expanding your online presence is greater awareness of your music, closer connections with fans, and increased sales. So I think they are one in the same.

It's up to each individual artist to decide how to invest their time. If you spent the time to create and record your songs, you might as well invest the time and energy to share them with as many people as possible.

Thanks again for the question. I hope these ideas will inspire others to consider their own time and energy priorities.

-Bob

P.S. Here are some related posts on this topic:

Gatekeepers & Music Promotion Overload: The Good News

The Future of Digital Music for Indie Artists

Social Networking & the TGIF Word Play Challenge
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posted by Bob Baker @ 12:21 PM   6 comments


August 21, 2009

The Beatles: A Historic Day

One of my earliest childhood music memories took place when I was 6 years old.

My mom took me out for a drive with friends one warm summer night in St. Louis. At one point, the car came to a stop and Mom asked me to stick my head out the window and listen.

I heard screams coming from several blocks away. But these weren't wails of agony. They were cheering screams of ecstatic enthusiasm -- from what must have been thousands of people.

And under the reverberating crowd noises I heard music. It was a song with an unusual melody that I had heard on the radio many times: "I'm in love with her and I feel fine ..."

Yes, it was The Beatles performing live in my hometown of St. Louis, Missouri, at Busch Stadium in 1966.
In recent weeks, the Beatles have re-entered my mental radar. My daughter Kelli has become enamored with "Across the Universe," a creative movie musical based on Beatles songs. To encourage her appreciation for the music, I bought the two-CD soundtrack and we've been playing it around the house and in the car a lot.

Just last night, the lads from Liverpool popped up again when I read the new Rolling Stone magazine cover story on "Why the Beatles Broke Up." It's a sad tale of personal differences, control, insecurity, financial battles, and poor choices.

But one thing that remains clear is the powerful chemistry these four men had and the indelible impact they had on music and history.

Then, just this morning, I get an email from Beatle Bob. The subject line read ...

"It Was 43 Years Ago Today!"

He is in Nashville emceeing the Fab Four Festival. He used the email to point out that today -- August 21 -- is the anniversary of The Beatles only live performance in St. Louis.

Too weird.

Take some time today to think about your musical memories and influences. Who keeps popping up in your consciousness? Appreciate them and the gift they have given you.

And while you're at it, turn the table. What impact has YOUR music had on other people? Even if it's in a small way, how have your songs touched someone's life?

What positive memories will you and your music inspire in others?

-Bob

P.S. Guerrilla Music Marketing, Encore Edition is the sequel to my popular Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook. It's not an updated version of the Handbook, it's a completely separate book with different content. So if you enjoyed the Handbook, you'll love the Encore Edition too.
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posted by Bob Baker @ 10:32 AM   4 comments


August 13, 2009

The Smoothie King Guide to Music Marketing

I absolutely love the example that reader Will Duke used in a comment on my blog recently regarding the Ideal Fan vs Fringe Fan debate:

"It [this post] actually made me think of my local Smoothie King. I spend at least 150 dollars a month on 40 oz. Peanut Power Plus smoothies (which, by the way, you have to try -- peanut butter, honey, bananas, strawberries ...) I think I'm an ideal fan.
"But the owners of the Smoothie King wouldn't know if I was (since they don't keep track of who their customers are, much less the ones who are most loyal); I get the same punch cards everyone else does.

"For an artist, it's crucial to know who your fans are, and who your best fans are -- the ones who represent the highest returns (in revenue, in word-of-mouth, etc.).

"It's hard to measurably improve what you aren't already measuring."

Thanks, Will. So true.

I was going to edit out the comments above where he raved about the Peanut Power Plus smoothie. But I quickly decided to leave it in. Why? Because it demonstrates the power of an Ideal Fan.

Not only does Will spend a good chunk of change at the shop every month. But he also raves about it and inspires more customers to come on board.

And that's what YOUR ideal fans do too. But do you know who they are?

If you have identified them, what are you doing to send them some extra love?

Have you thanked them, or given them extra bonus material or special perks, or encouraged them to spread the word even more?

If not, you should be!

-Bob


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posted by Bob Baker @ 11:31 AM   0 comments