Monday, August 29, 2016

25 Ways to Get More Fans for Your Band Using Instagram

Your fans have the attention span of a goldfish (less, actually!). So every time you engage with them, you need to hit 'em with a one-two knockout punch. The best way to do that is through consistent visual content. We process visuals 60,000 times faster than text, and since graphics evoke emotion, this connects you to your fans more quickly (if you have the right images).
The king of images and videos right now is Instagram. Since then, Instagram has exploded, so here are 25 more ways to make your Instagram (IG) account work for you:

Friday, August 26, 2016

Be Your Own Record Label: The Essentials of PR and Promotion

Pressing a record is one thing; distributing it is another. PR and promotion are the last part of this holy trinity and, like distribution, it takes a ton of time and effort. 
The following tips are based on my personal experience running a label and being in bands, trying to get the word out about music I put money and time into. Feel free to tell me your methods that have worked better in the comments below! Maybe we can help each other out.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

6 Signs Your Music Career Is on the Wrong Track (And How to Fix It)

Has your music career gone wayward? If any of these six signs apply, the answer is likely yes. Don't lose hope, though. The first step in getting back on track is identifying where you went wrong and avoiding those mistakes in the future.

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Sneaky Way to Promote Your Music Without Actually Talking About Your Music

I know it sounds completely counterintuitive to promote your music and raise awareness for yourself as an artist without actually talking about your music – or your music career, for that matter. But it’s being done more and more and has become a really powerful way to make a name for yourself by bypassing the crowded indie-musician market.
Let me explain. The key is to establish yourself as an expert in some related topic like gear, self-releasing music, or songwriting. It’s about sharing valuable information on a topic you have a lot of experience in to draw potential fans. They find you by searching for “how to write a song,” or “how to book your own gigs,” or “guitar pedal review,” and discover your music through that connection.

Friday, August 19, 2016

What Your Band Photo Says About You

Band photos can be tricky, but even if you’re camera-shy, they’re an absolute necessity for your press kit.  If you’re working with a label, they may subsidize a photo shoot with a professional photographer, which is the best way to guarantee you’ll end up with well-composed and useful band photographs. For some artists this isn’t an option though, and hiring a pro can seem like an unnecessary expenditure if you’ve got a friend with a decent eye and a DSLR. Either way, you’re going to want to make sure your photos satisfy these key  requirements:

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

5 Ways to Get Professional Band Photos Done Cheap (Or Free!)

Every band needs good photos, and it’s best if you not only have several different kinds, but if you continue to acquire new ones. You should always own high-quality images that you can use for publicity and on your social channels, but having pictures of everything from behind the scenes to playing live to just hanging around can come in handy, too.

Where are all these images supposed to come from, though? You and your bandmates can only take so many, as you need to actually be in the shots! You can always have a friend snap some, or maybe spend the money to hire a professional photographer. Those are fine ideas, but they won’t always work out. If you're looking to get some new pictures taken and you don’t have much of a budget, here are some ideas that might help you out.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Ways to Fill Awkward Silences During Your Performances

They say in radio that having too much dead air is the one of the biggest mistakes you can make, and the same is true while performing music onstage. The more time you spend standing up there with no music or crowd engagement happening, the less interested the crowd will be, and the more uncomfortable it'll get for everyone.
Awkward silences can occur during a set for any number of reasons. Most often, they're the result of one band member having technical difficulties and trying to fix the problem as the rest of the group stands around waiting for them. Or perhaps your frontman just isn't particularly comfortable onstage and has trouble finding things to say in between songs.
Regardless of the reason, any silence that occurs onstage needs to be filled as quickly as possible. Below, I've come up with a list of my four favorite methods to fill awkward silence onstage.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Dead Giveaways That You're Uncomfortable Onstage

Performing live music is a nerve-racking experience. No amount of singing in the mirror or head-banging in the garage can quite prepare you for the moment when the lights come up and you're there. The center of attention. The subject of scrutiny. "Here we are now, entertain us."

Your body language can convey a confidence in your music that's contagious to your audience, but can also betray self-doubt that will be perceived just as acutely. It's your goal to put a room at ease, whether that's them leaping into a mosh pit with selfless abandon or applauding politely at a seated jazz club. Here are six notorious "tells" that can subtly indicate that you’re actually feeling more of a Woody Allen than a Buddy Holly underneath those bright lights.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

7 Apps That Will Make Musician Life a Million Times Easier

We live in the age of convenience and efficiency, and our smartphones and tablets are probably the greatest manifestations of this cultural truth. Chatting with our friends, uploading pictures and videos, getting food delivered to our door, and much more is made infinitely easier with these gadgets – and why stop there? As a busy musician with a million different things on your plate, there are a myriad of apps that will make your life that much simpler. You'll probably be surprised to find what you can streamline or cut down on with just the touch of a button!

Monday, August 8, 2016

3 Reasons Why Comparisons Hurt Your Music Career (And How to Stop)

When she removed her entire catalog from Spotify, Taylor Swift made musicians of all types begin discussing the effects of streaming on our industry. Her exit from Spotify also resulted in articles, blog posts, and left bands and artists wondering if they should do the same thing.

"Should we still be on Spotify?"

"Should we be more careful about streaming?"

My answer: It depends – because you aren't Taylor Swift. You're a unique artist with unique marketing and business needs. Your formula for success won't be the same as anyone else's, especially not a multi-platinum recording artist's. 

Now, this article isn't about the good and evil of streaming music – that's a completely different topic on which novels can be written. This is about the self-imposed obstacles that will inevitably occur if you decide to plot your business moves solely based on what other musicians do. Comparisons are hurting your career and stunting your growth – and here's why.

Friday, August 5, 2016

How to Sing Night After Night Without Straining Your Voice

As a gigging vocalist, you’ve got a different box of tools you need to care for than the rest of the players in your act. When your schedule has you playing a couple of shows a month, your voice may easily recover in time for shows and rehearsals with no problem – even if you're yelling for high notes.

But let’s say your new record comes out and things start progressing and you become very popular. Now, more and more fans want to see you as often as possible. If you did any yelling on the record, it's going to be hard to repeat that over and over again during the multitude of weekly shows. With recording sessions, you may have the luxury (in some cases) to rest your voice and go back and record when you’ve recovered. Live performing doesn’t allow for that. And if you do start to grow your act and start amassing a crew, more and more people will depend on you to be able to perform.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Musicians, Please Stop Giving Out CDs (And What to Do Instead)

As a radio producer and host, I get a lot of CDs. Sometimes they're mailed to me, but the majority of physical albums I receive come when I'm out at a concert, at a meeting, or at a conference. People walk up and hand them to me in the hopes that I’ll listen and perhaps feature the artist in some way.

This isn’t a “bad” idea in that it makes a lot of sense to give someone music if you want them to hear it, right? Sure, but I have something I need to admit to you: I never, ever listen to your CD. I really don’t. I’m sorry you wasted a copy of it, but that’s why I’m coming clean now.

I have a few CDs sitting in my apartment, but for the most part, I end up leaving them behind in hotel rooms, conference centers, and so on. I do this because, believe it or not, I don’t actually have anywhere to conveniently play your album, even if I found the time.

The computer I use doesn’t have a drive for the medium, and I certainly don’t have a CD player at home anywhere. On top of that, if I’m traveling, there is absolutely no chance that I’ll take up space in my suitcase with an album I’ve never heard by a band I don’t know.

I've mentioned this problem to other music writers, and many of them agree. CDs are inconvenient, they take up space, and for those who listen to new music all day, they’re kind of outdated (except for the ones that we really want). Some people like CDs, but they typically ask for them specifically, while everyone else has moved into the digital age.

Now, this isn’t to say that you can’t intro yourself to someone, hand them something physical, and ask them to give your art a play. Instead of lugging around albums, there are a few other options you should consider.