Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

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

April 29, 2013

5 Best Podcasting Tutorials - Promote Your Music with Your Own Podcast

The funny thing about podcasts is ... you never know where people stand on them.

Many musicians are totally hip to podcasts, subscribe to several, and listen while they drive, walk or jog. Some use the Apple podcast app, know what an RSS feed is, have heard of Spreaker and Stitcher, and maybe even produce a podcast themselves.

But others have only a vague notion of what a podcast is, and even if they do, they've never really heard one or taken the time to learn more about them. If you fall into either camp, keep reading ...

According to one research study, 29% of Americans have listened to an audio podcast. Also, one in four podcast consumers plug their MP3 players or smartphones into their car audio system "nearly every day." That equals many millions of people consuming media in this way, and the numbers have been growing every year.

Essentially, podcasts are online radio shows that anyone can create, publish and distribute digitally. Certainly, as a self-promoting musician, you should be on the lookout for podcasts that might play your music or feature you as a guest.

But beyond that, you should also consider publishing one yourself. Why beat down someone else's door begging for exposure when you can simply create your own vehicle for exposure?

I've been producing my Artist Empowerment Radio podcast since 2005. If I can do it, you can too.

Of course, there are more technical requirements involved when producing a podcast compared to a simple text blog. But if you're a musician, there's a good chance you already know your way around recording software and microphones. So it might be a lot easier than you think.

Maybe some day I'll create a how-to-podcast resource myself, but for now I want to direct you to the five best podcasting tutorials that I know of. Use these free guides to help you start your own online radio show:

How to Start a Podcast - Pat's Complete Step-By-Step Podcasting Tutorial

Pat Flynn has become an Internet sensation with his Smart Passive Income blog and podcast. Every week he shares exactly what he does to make a good living online. This tutorial is amazingly detailed and truly is "complete." In fact, you may not need another podcasting resource beyond this one.

Learn How to Podcast 101

Cliff Ravenscraft is known as "The Podcast Answer Man." He doesn't just publish a podcast by that name. He's created a podcasting empire in which he has produced more than 2,800 individual episodes of more than 20 different shows. In this free eight-part video series, Cliff shows you how to do what he does.

The Definitive Guide to Setting Up and Marketing a Podcast

Chris Ducker's guest post on the ProBlogger website is likewise a pretty complete overview of the podcast creation process - from planning, recording, publishing and marketing your podcast to the hardware and software you’ll need and post-production work, he covers it all.

Audacity Tutorial for Podcasters

My pal Jason Van Orden (of the Internet Business Mastery podcast and author of the book Promoting Your Podcast) created this handy tutorial. In six free videos he shows you how to use Audacity, the free open source audio software, to record and edit your podcast.

Making a Podcast

One of the biggest distributors of free podcast content on the planet is the iTunes store. Apple offers a lot of helpful info on how to format and submit your podcast once you have one ready for prime time!

There you go, in five links - what amounts to a college education on how to produce and distribute your very own podcast. Start studying and get ready to broadcast yourself (and your music) to the world!


The microphone photo above is by Matthew Keefe. The RSS feed logo is by derrickkwa.
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posted by Bob Baker @ 11:40 PM   0 comments

April 17, 2013

How to Respond to Tragedy as a Musician

This is a very different blog post than you're used to getting from me. But after the events of this week, I feel compelled to share this with you ...

Like you, I was stunned and immensely saddened by the explosions that took place at the end of the Boston Marathon on Monday. So far I'm not aware of anyone I know who was at the scene or otherwise directly affected. But that really doesn't matter. When tragic events like this occur we are all affected in some manner.

And we each have different ways of reacting to and coping with disturbing displays of senseless violence. I mean, don't natural disasters wreak enough havoc on our lives? Why would certain individuals be so hard-pressed to ruin the lives of innocent people?

What can we do about it? And as a musical artist with a fan base to speak to, what can you do about?

Here are a few important aspects of this to consider:

1) Write a song about it. You're an expressive being. That's why you became an artist. So put that creative sensitivity to good use and channel your confusion and emotions into a song.

The song can be an obvious or not so obvious reference to Boston (or Sandy Hook, Aurora, Egypt, Israel, Baghdad, Kabul, etc.) Also, a song inspired by such an event doesn't have to be sad or political or only about loss. It can also be about the care and helpfulness on display by the majority of people when bad things happen. Choose an aspect of the tragedy that resonates with you and write it.

Doing that alone can be therapeutic for you, even if you never let anyone else hear it. But if you decide it's worthy of public consumption, share it. Your song just might touch and help a lot of other people too.

2) Do a fundraising event - if appropriate. Think this one through before you commit to it. An event to raise money for a cause should have a purpose and be very focused. With a natural disaster, it makes sense to raise money for widespread general purposes, such as the Red Cross. But with an event like the one in Boston, a more personal touch is best.

If you know a specific person who was injured or whose family is being adversely affected, having an event to raise money to cover their expenses would be a good one. The more specific and personal, the better.

3) Address it at your live shows. This week in particular you should think through how and if you will mention the Boston tragedy when you perform in public. And if you do bring it up, in what context will that be?

Here's my two cents ...

It's real easy in the aftermath of these senseless, unthinkable acts to feel angry. It might seem like a great outlet to vent your frustration by lashing out at whoever did this. You could create solidarity by whipping the crowd into a frenzy of "we're fed up" unity.

But is that the best use of your platform? Is anger the response you want to create among your tribe? Is revenge the feeling you want to leave your fans with?

I can't answer that for you. Only you can. But another option to consider is focusing on the goodness of people that is on display in horrific situations. Consider the mass of people who raced to help those in need on Monday. You could use your clout to generate more love and cooperation ... and less fear and hate.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying we should roll over and turn the other cheek. I'm all for the proper authorities tracking down exactly who did this and apprehending (or eliminating) them. But if I'm not in a position to do that myself, focusing on anger and frustration doesn't do me or anyone any good.

Again, it's your call. But I suggest you take a breath and get clear before expressing your views on tragic events - now and in the future.

4) Reference it online and by email. The same sentiments I expressed in the previous paragraphs apply to your online and electronic communication with fans. Think about the ultimate message you want to convey and the real feeling you want to leave people with. Is it one of sorrow? Grief? Hope? Change? Love?

There's no one right answer here. But thinking it through can make all the difference in the world.

When you're an artist with any amount of a fan base at all, you have a responsibility. Your words matter. People care what you think. You have the power to sooth people during tough times and help them get through it.

Don't take that power lightly.

With much love to you and yours,

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posted by Bob Baker @ 11:39 AM   0 comments

April 02, 2013

Don't Make THIS Music Publicity Blunder

(This post is adapted from Chapter 12 of the Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook, as well as Module 3 of the Guerrilla Music Marketing Master Class series, which starts April 15.)

Okay, you have a new album coming out or an important gig to promote. You've identified your ideal media sources. Now it's time to get busy asking for coverage, right?


There's one important step you need to take before you start pitching yourself to the media. First you need to answer this all-important question:

What are you going to say to each media person when you email or call them?

Sorry, but "Hey, I want some free press for my band's new album" is not the right answer. You must put some thought into what comes out of your mouth or what emanates from your fingertips in an email.

I know I've already covered this concept, but it's so essential I want to stress it again: Stop talking so much about yourself in "I-Me-My" terms. Most band bios, cover letters, and email messages are littered with "I am ... We want ... I think this ... We did that ... I, I, I ..."

Perhaps you're not clear about why this is important. You may be asking, "How else am I supposed to tell media people about me and my music?"

The answer: By focusing on what's in it for the media person! The problem with all of this "me"-centered marketing is that it is usually void of the most important marketing word of all: "You."

Let's face it. Most people are motivated by some level of self-interest; they naturally focus on themselves. It's probably an ancient human survival instinct left over from the caveman era. And that's fine. It's not a crime to put a priority on your goals and aspirations. But when you communicate with others, it's important to resist the urge to focus on yourself.

To get what you want, you must cater to other people's goals and aspirations. You have to figure out how your needs can be met by helping others meet their own desires.

From now on, keep in mind that what motivates media people (and all people, for that matter) is what they get out of various relationships. Whenever you communicate with someone -- whether on the Internet, in person, on the phone, or in writing -- he or she is either consciously or unconsciously asking, "So what's in this for me, bub?"

Your job is to answer that unspoken question and deliver something of value. So before you make a connection with media people, determine what your benefit-oriented angle is. Why would your story and music be of interest to the readers, listeners, or viewers of this blog, show or publication?

Can you find an interesting angle beyond "we have a new album out"? Thousands of new albums come out every week. You have every right to be excited about yours, but the simple fact that you just released one is not "news." So dig deeper for an interesting hook that ties into a current event or something the publication has covered before. Is there anything unusual about your project, a band member, or a theme that runs throughout your music?

Also, the PR angle you use with one publication can be different from the angle you use with another. It's important to find the overlap between the theme of the media source and some aspect of you and your music.

Bottom line: When you blindly start asking for coverage without a plan, you'll fail more often than not. But, when you know your publicity angle before you contact media people, and when you keep THEIR NEEDS foremost in mind, your odds of success are greatly enhanced.


P.S. If you want to take a deep dive into Guerrilla Music Publicity, check out the four-week class that starts April 15. You can take it from anywhere in the world.

For info on the Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook, just head to this page.
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posted by Bob Baker @ 7:51 PM   0 comments