Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

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


April 27, 2011

The Essential Music Website Marketing Ingredients

Do you have 3 minutes and 45 seconds to hear my best advice on what to do with your artist, label or music company website?

I just recorded this short audio that quickly details what I believe should be the #1 goal of your music website. I also reveal the three questions you must ask yourself when designing your music website for maximum impact.

There are two ways to access the audio:

1) Listen now using this streaming audio player:


2) Download the MP3 using this link

I welcome your comments below.

This is one in a series of short audio questions and answers I've been posting here on the blog. Visit this page for a list of links to all of the audio Q&A posts.

The photo above is by Katie Anderson.

-Bob
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posted by Bob Baker @ 10:07 AM   6 comments


April 21, 2011

Artist Career Breakthrough: Your Current Reality Is Old News!

The title of this post is not a joke. Your current reality is old news. Especially when it comes to the state of your music career.

(By the way, this principle also applies to writers, visual artists, stage performers, and artistic entrepreneurs of all kinds.)

A quick story to explain this ...

When I was in eighth grade, I became fascinated with astronomy as I learned about the vastness of the cosmos.

One thing that blew my mind was the idea that whenever you look up into a twinkling, star-filled night sky, you are actually looking into the past.

Yes, the past.

The light that is hitting your eyeballs was emitted from those stars years ago -- some many thousands of years ago. What you are seeing is the state of the galaxies long ago.

It's old news!

The same concept applies to your current status as a songwriter, musician, artist manager, or promoter.

The real-world details of your reality are a reflection of stuff that was set into motion in the past.

Your circumstances today are a direct result of the ideas you thought, the emotions you felt, the decisions you made, and the actions you took days, weeks and months ago -- and sometimes, years and decades ago.

That's what I mean when I say, "Your current reality is old news."

The reason this is such an important thing to comprehend is this ...

Most musicians and creative people get stuck in the NOW. "What you see is what you get," they say.

Your current struggles are real and seem so solid and permanent. Your current level of success seems stalled at a plateau that can't be overcome. I've been there. We all have. And it can be frustrating.

But ...

When you wallow in that frustration, you're focusing on old news -- stuff that exists today because of what you did yesterday. And, staying in the energy of "what is" will only keep you stuck there longer.

Remember, where you are is a result of what you thought, felt and did months and years ago. So, logic would tell you that what you are thinking, feeling and doing now is paving the way for where you will end up in the not so distant future.

That's where I encourage you to live, create, and act from -- the very real state of where you are going (instead of where you are or where you've been).

This idea may seem "out there" or a little "woo woo" to you. But give it some thought. There's a part of your brain and soul that knows the truth of it.

My question to you:

What light are you emitting now -- right now -- that will be vibrantly visible to the eye in the months and years ahead?

Live and pursue your career from the perspective of where you are going ... and you will see things develop and materialize much quicker.

I welcome your comments below.

-Bob

The images above are by David DeHetre and Karoly Czifra.
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posted by Bob Baker @ 9:51 AM   16 comments


April 09, 2011

April 17 Meetup in Los Angeles - I'd Love to Meet You

I'll be in Los Angeles for a few days next week. While I'm there I will hold a "meetup" or a "tweetup" or ... let's just call it a casual get-together.

Here are the details if you're in the LA area:

Sunday, April 17
4:00 to 6:00 PM


Makai Lounge
101 Broadway
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 434-1511
www.makailounge.com

Please RSVP on this Facebook event page.

Makai is at the corner of Ocean and Broadway -- just one block from the Santa Monica Pier. You'll find no-cost three-hour parking at the Promenade garage off of Broadway and 2nd St.

No workshop, no teaching. Just a casual get-together with cool, creative friends in the area. It's Happy Hour at Makai from 4 to 6 that day.

I'd love to meet you and hang out if you're in the area!

-Bob

P.S. Want a subscription to my Guerrilla Music Marketing Confidential newsletter and access to a monthly Music Marketing Mastermind call? Click here for details.
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posted by Bob Baker @ 7:58 AM   0 comments


April 08, 2011

6 Things to Help Your Music Marketing This Week

Whew! It's been a busy week here at Buzz Factor Central. And things ain't slowin' down. Here's a quick rundown of music stuff you need to know about ...

1) Get a Ton of Music Marketing Advice for Next to Nothing - now through Monday, April 11, at 5 PM EST only. Click here to get access to a live Music Marketing Mastermind call, my exclusive interview with "Tour:Smart" author Martin Atkins, and four issues of Guerrilla Music Marketing Confidential. But hurry, there's only a few days left. Check it out ...

2) NEW at Music Promotion Blog: "Shift Happens." It's my alternative view of radical change in the music biz. If you ever feel frustrated by the confusion of the digital music era, this is a must-read.

3) Marketing Lessons From Gene Simmons & KISS. My interview with Michael Brandvold is featured on the latest episode of Artist Empowerment Radio. Listen to it here ...

4) Funny Songs: How to Use Humor to Connect with Fans. Laughter can be a powerful fan magnet. Learn more about it ... and watch a new funny original song of my own that I just posted.

5) Guerrilla Music Marketing Online - the paperbacks have arrived! I just got the first several cases of my latest book from the printer. Quite pumped about that.

Have you seen the new video I posted on the page? It's the first time I ever captured a moment like this on video! Take a look ...

6) NEW Music Career Interview. I'm one of the people featured in Chris Rockett's great new series. In my interview, I reveal the most effective way to increase your fan base, suggest one way to become successful sooner, and point out something you should NOT be focusing on. Read it now here ...

BONUS: Another Interview! Justin Lukasavige interviewed me for nearly an hour on his Coach Radio podcast last month. I shared how I built my business and my philosophy on following your passion and making a living while making a difference. Listen to it here ...

And what have YOU been up to lately?

:-)

-Bob

P.S. 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. Go grab your free subscription now here.
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posted by Bob Baker @ 6:38 AM   1 comments


April 06, 2011

Funny Songs: How to Use Humor to Connect w/ Fans

Do you write funny original songs? Have you ever done a song parody that went over well? Or do your live shows have some element of humor that gets your audience laughing?

If so, you may be sitting on a powerful way to connect with more fans!

I've often said, the best way to grow an audience is to produce music that creates some sort of physical and/or emotional reaction in people.

If your music inspires listeners to laugh or cry or relax or feel aroused or want to get up and dance ... your promotion efforts will be a lot more fruitful.

When your music or message gets people to FEEL something, they will have a much deeper connection with you -- and it will greatly increase the odds that they will share your music with other people ... because they were so touched by how you made them feel.

But there's something about laughter, in particular, that I find especially infectious. There's a lot of research on the positive effects and even health benefits of laughter.

A good laugh relaxes the body, boosts the immune system, triggers the release of endorphins, and protects the heart. What a great gift to give to someone!

I just posted a video of a funny original song I wrote called "Thankful." It's a little grainy and the sound quality isn't stellar, but I think the reactions from the live audience make up for it.

(Note: Hang in there until about the 2 minute mark, when the funniest parts start coming.)



So ... do you have any funny songs or humorous observations to share with your fans?

If so, record an audio or video of it and post it online. And make it easy for people to share it with others.

Go forth and spread a little laughter today!

-Bob

P.S. What are your thoughts on the power of humor to attract an audience and connect with fans? I welcome your comments below.

The photo above is by Martin Kimeldorf on Flickr.
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posted by Bob Baker @ 10:55 AM   6 comments


April 04, 2011

Shift Happens: A Story of Frustration & Opportunity

Here's a quick story about change that might surprise you ...

Leo and Harry knew firsthand that new technology has the power it turn the status quo on its head.

They were part of an economic boom in the music industry that allowed songs to spread faster and more efficiently to more people than ever before.

The movement they were part of had the additional effect of encouraging amateur musicians to participate in music in ways they had never been able to before. The wave Leo and Harry helped create affected the entire music industry.

However, within a short period of time, an even newer technology came along that disrupted everything. The stable business model these two men built and profited from began to crumble.

But an unexpected benefit came from the new developments. A number of artists and bands that previously operated in obscurity were suddenly becoming popular on a nationwide and sometimes worldwide scale.

Sound familiar?

This story is about Leo Feist and Harry Von Tilzer, two men who were influential in the sheet music business a hundred years ago.

The promotion and widespread sales of printed sheet music spawned a whole new industry in the late 1800s. It was a very profitable business model for many companies, as more and more music hobbyists yearned to play popular songs of the day.

Back then a lot of musicians were gainfully employed as "song pluggers" who made their living demonstrating songs to promote the sale of sheet music. Most music stores had song pluggers on staff. Other pluggers were employed by the sheet music publishers to travel and familiarize the public with their new offerings.

Then, in the early 1900s, the phonograph and radio came along to change everything. Eventually, many people once employed by sheet music companies or as song pluggers found themselves out of a job. At the same time, new opportunities opened up for forward thinking entrepreneurs who embraced the new technologies of radio broadcasting and recorded music.

What's the point of this story?

To illustrate that shift happens, and at times the change can be monumental. Humans went through the shift when the era of sheet music boomed, and they went through it again with the advent of radio and records.

And ... we're going through it again now.

After I published The Surprising Truth About Making a Living with Music in 2011 & Beyond, a number of musicians cried foul and said I was full of it. They cited many examples regarding ways they used to make money that aren't available to them anymore. So how could I possibly make the claim that there are more opportunities now than before?

So let me clarify ...

I don't deny that many income-producing aspects of the music business have changed. A lot of great players who once worked as touring musicians or had steady club gigs are hurting now. Good people are experiencing some very real pain and frustration over how they once operated in the music world.

I get that. And if that's your reality, my heart goes out to you.

At the same time, though, other musicians are prospering. It may be hard to see and admit that when you're in the midst of struggling to feed your family and getting caught up on bills. But there really are smart artists riding the new wave and doing well.

It's all part of the latest shift in the way that music is created, spread, and enjoyed.

It happened in the 1800s. It happened a hundred years ago. And it's happening again in a big way right now.

My goal in pointing this out to you: To get you to open your mind and embrace the shift instead of fighting it. To encourage you to look for creative solutions instead of being angry. To inspire you to look for new ways to express your passion, make a few dollars from it, and enjoy the process.

Change isn't easy. But the quicker you acknowledge it and accept it, the quicker you'll be able to move on and prosper once again.

-Bob

P.S. 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. Go grab your free subscription now 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 @ 9:14 AM   1 comments