How to Break Your Band on
Methods, Tools & Tips
By Ian Clifford
For Make It In Music
About Ian Clifford
Worked in the music business for over 20 years
4 years as a music lawyer
Managed songwriters & producers / artists
Owned Indie labels – Classic / Illicit
Hit records as a manager and label
Studied ‘music marketing’ at Berklee
Consultant – DTF, marketing, records & publishing
Set up ‘Make It In Music’ in 2009 to advise DIY
Started as music lawyer
Moved on to become manager of songwriters & producers – managed the team that helmed the
careers of the Spice Girls.
First client, Happy Clappers signed to WEA and had several European hits, inc ‘I Believe’ going
top 10 in the UK.
Career as a manager saw number of artists signed to major label deals covering dance music
(DJ Rap (Sony) / Freeform Five (Atlantic and Universal)), indie (Chikinki (Island)) and electronica
(Deadly Avenger (Sony).
Labels – set up with DJ’s – legendary house music label run with Derrick Carter, Chicago. With
Deadly Avenger, pioneering big beat label – Illicit.
Those labels releasing one record a week and we were involved in every aspect of their
recording, manufacturing, promotion, marketing and release. We also promoted gigs for the DJ’s
and artists in the UK and abroad as well as learning to promote to press, radio and online –
ourselves and with specialist PR companies & pluggers.
Biggest hit as a label was Fatman Scoop, ‘Be Faithful’ selling a million copies across Europe.
Many hits as managers of writer/producers.
Currently, we have returned to managing a core group of writers & producers who between them
write for LadyHawke, Little Boots, Robbie Williams, Delphic & Tracey Thorn – to name a few.
Recently completed the Online Music Marketing course at Berklee Online and became early
accredited Topspin user.
Now adding a role as a consultant on music marketing, Direct to Fan and any aspect of the
modern music business.
And, teaching those skills online through our musician resource and advice site, Make It In
Apologies – this seminar is a little text heavy to start with, but there’s a lot to cover and I want
you to have a complete picture and a plan.
Don’t worry, I will be giving you the whole thing, with my notes as a pdf, which you will be able to
download when you get home.
What is Success?
What does it mean to you to ‘break your band?
Is it self-sustaining your career / lifestyle?
Is it getting a ‘record deal’?
Is it being a DIY musician?
Is it local, national or global success?
Is it success in your genre or the mainstream?
ALL are achieved the same way
By building a fanbase that wants to buy your music
And the internet is the greatest way ever to do that
Before we start, we need to define what we mean by ‘breaking your band’ as it means very
different things to people.
Can be done without the internet or with basic site
Can be done without social media
Can be done without freemium
Can be done instantly – without a build up over time
THIS method is intended to give the BEST CHANCE
Can’t be done without hard work
Can’t be done without great music
It’s hard to make great music and learn to do all this
Get good quality recordings of GREAT material
before you start!
Done without site and interaction = cult of mystery – Wu Lyf
Can be done without social media - Not everyone wants to tweet. Although it doesn’t have to be
As we’ll see in a bit, you have to fit all social media activity in to your life as an artist and place
your public shared life in that context. And you have to find a style that you’re comfortable with.
Much debate about whether freemium works - http://yourbandsbestfriend.com/2011/07/07/sorrythe-choice-is-yours/
In my experience it does and builds fanbase. See Little People giving away half an album for
email (sales go up) and an EP for ‘likes’ on Facebook.
No build up, but get all your sites ready and slick and then promote all at once. – Weeknd. Helps
if you get an endorsement! (Also Fanfarlo)
Why the Internet is the Answer
An artist’s enemy is obscurity, not piracy
Now we all have access to the ‘4 keys to commerce’
Production, Distribution, Promotion, Marketing
“The cost & difficulty of publishing anything by anyone to a
global audience just got a whole lot easier” – 2004
You can build long-term relationships directly
You can reach everyone, not just potential fans, but
It’s a 2 way conversation. Give people the tools to spread the
You can engage and sell – direct!
Social media is a total culture change over the last few years –
allows viral spread
It’s a multi-platform world – you need to be seen everywhere
An artist’s enemy is obscurity, not piracy – Tim O’Reilly:
For ‘Marketing’, read ‘Advertising and Marketing’.
Having access to these 4 keys, which were previously in the hands of the few is revolutionary.
For a while the means of quality production has been in the hands of all musicians with home
studios powered by computers and software and now we all have access to global distribution
over the web – through your own sites, social media and digital distributors who give access to
“Cost & Difficulty” quote - http://www.shirky.com/writings/information_price.html
It’s GLOBAL & INSTANT!
There is now a pool of producers that you have access to (bloggers, fans on social media,
podcasters etc). Tap into that pool of producers and give them a reason to start a conversation
about you and spread the word for you!
You can build long-term relationships directly – no gatekeepers or middle men when the
relationship is established. Hence the importance of email and followers / fans on social media.
You can reach them when YOU want, not when someone else allows. Also, the reason why you
are ‘always on’ - not just in an ‘album cycle’
You can reach everyone, not just potential fans, but influencers too – Influencers used to be
radio, TV and journalists, but now it’s blogs, Twitter users and people on Facebook.
As we can see form the way people behave on Facebook and Twitter, people want to hear, talk
about and share music. Music IS social.
Fans are not just the best buyers – they are also your best supporter and most vocal – they are
now Influencers themselves. Peer review and friend’s recommendations are now crucial.
Know your niche
• You cannot compete with the ‘push’ marketing of
• Identify your Fan
• Demographic – age, income, education, location &
• Psychographic - likes/dislikes, attitudes, opinions &
• Niche marketing – target the ideal fan
• In a niche the cost to acquire each new fan is higher
but the cost to satisfy them is tiny
• Target the niche and the rest will follow!
• Think mainstream, act niche
Push (Interruption) marketing of the majors is marketing the music though mainstream radio,
press, TV and retail where the idea is that the music and therefore the marketing message
interrupts the consumer / fan.
The Internet and social media has changed this equation entirely; it's now about millions of
channels reaching tens of people.
Demographic – age, income, education, location, occupation. Also called the Who, What, When,
Psychographics are more esoteric - likes/dislikes, attitudes, opinions, and motivations.
Demographic is less important post web as the web has rendered age, physical location, and
income largely obsolete as a way to identify fans. Online people tend to band together over
mutual interests and shared values.
Demographic also simply not as applicable as the web is global and age is no barrier.
Also music is not easily pigeonholed as something that a particular age, education or location or
sex would be interested in (Pure pop excepted!). Two very different people can like the same
Psychographics are a much better measure for musicians to use to identify their potential niche
(or tribe), particularly online.
“Rather than taking an external outward-facing view of your fans, the key to effective use of
psychographics is to look inward, identify your own interests and strengths as an artist, and find
groups of people (online and off) that share these interests.” Mike King, Berklee
Apply this psychographic online not just to fans of similar artists (musically but also in terms of
attitude) but also other shared groups – cultural, TV, politics, hobbies.
Niche marketing targets the ideal fan and works to increase the revenue from that fan
rather than looking for a larger share of the overall market – that can come after dominating
It’s about millions of channels (each focused tightly on specific interests) reaching tens of
people, but if you identify those tens accurately and they become fans they will each influence
tens of others in that niche.
Seth Godin says that a record is a ‘hit’ because people want to listen to what everyone else is
listening to. In the past there was one ‘everyone else’ (the mainstream fed by few TV, radio and
press channels), but now there are thousands of ‘everyone else’s’ each sector of which is a
tightly focused niche. An individual music lover may like many types of music and be in many
niches or they may be in a few (or even only one) but in each niche they will have trusted
sources – they are your target!
Focus on your specific market niche where people are desperate for new music (and related
content, news etc) and share it with each other triumphantly and readily.
Niche marketing is also a lot cheaper overall!
In a niche the cost to acquire each new fan is higher but the cost to satisfy them is tiny – you
might have to give away free music and spend proportionately more per fan but the long term
engagement is much easier and cheaper and the long term income from each will be much
higher, over years.
The trusted filters for each tribe are members of each tribe. Lead an existing group of people
who are already connected by an ethos, interest or activity. Music is one of the most tribal
Provide a soundtrack to the lives of your tribe!
Start in a niche and later you can reach the masses – Tommy Silverman maintains that every
artist really breaks from a niche - http://www.musicthinktank.com/100
His examples - Almost every Tommy Boy superstar broke out of a niche they dominated if they
did not invent. Examples: De La Soul: hip hop hippies, House of Pain – Irish hip hop, Queen
Latifah: first proud and powerful African American woman in hip hop, Ru Paul, first drag queen
with dance hit.
Target the niche and the rest will follow! Start in a niche and later you can reach the masses.
Tailor ‘Pitch’ to your niche
• Create a ‘pitch’ that defines your sound and
resonates with your niche
• No artist is 100% new and unique – claiming to be is
• Your pitch succeeds by association
• Analyse the online and offline press in your niche
• Align your image (photos / logos / design) to your
pitch and niche
• Create a STORY that backs up your pitch
Elevator pitch is classically that very short explanation of anything that can be delivered in about
15 seconds which explains the concept (your music), references comparables and leaves the
listener with a clear view of what to expect and intrigued to find out more.
Supposed to be what you’d say if you had one chance when you get into a lift by accident with
the most important influencer who could give you that ‘break’ – so get it right!
Sticking to your pitch and targeting your niche are key to the later stages of your marketing
We will look at finding the most searched for terms online that relate to your niche – the
keywords – later.
Bear in mind that these days a lot of places the images will be very small online / phones so
make them simple and graphical.
Reach your potential fans with:
• Permission marketing – email, Twitter,
Facebook, YouTube, mobile
• Viral marketing – shared songs & videos,
Bookmarks, RT’s, Shares
• Paid marketing – Facebook Ads, Google
Permission marketing is where the fan has expressed interest in hearing more from you.
Examples would include e-mail, follower on Twitter, fan-of (like) on Facebook, friend or
subscriber to your YouTube channel, friend-of on MySpace, mobile app user.
All my experience to date shows that permission marketing where you can talk directly to your
fans has the best results in terms of action – which is why email lists and Facebook fans are so
Viral marketing is an ‘earned’ channel – where your fan passes on your content because it is
worthy of being shared.
Examples of viral marketing would include e-mail to a friend, embedding widgets/players on
blogs or social media profiles, post to Facebook, a Retweet or link share on Twitter, post-toMySpace, post-to-Digg, bookmark-on-Delicious or other social bookmarking sites.
Paid marketing can be used to get access to very highly targeted (and therefore pre-qualified)
potential fans. This is an awesome development for the indie artist as Facebook and Google’s
ad services provide (in different ways) access to very highly targeted demographics and
psychographics at a very low, controllable, per fan (or at least per fan view pre-conversion) cost.
Called ‘Search Engine Marketing’ or ‘Pay per click’ advertising.
Paid marketing may also include ad and banner (or widget) placement on all sorts of
psychographically suitable platforms – blogs, lifestyle sites, in Spotify etc.
We have generally found that organic (permission or viral) marketing will convert into fans and
sales far better than paid marketing – although paid marketing is GREAT for kickstarting
campaigns and showing intent.
• Use internet to identify fans
• Generate awareness of your
• Give them opportunities to
• Allow them to show a
• Make them take an action
• Cement their loyalty with
• Build trust and a strong
relationship = fans
Generate awareness of your music – let people know you exist
Give them opportunities to consider it – and to develop a view of you and your music
Allow them to show a preference – let them spread it virally by bookmarking, sharing,
embedding – even passing on by word of mouth!
Make them take an action – sign-up, tweet about you, come to a show, buy something
Cement their loyalty with engagement and communication (two-way), and do it constantly and
Build trust and a strong relationship = fans
Those fans then become not just fans and buyers but advocates, supporters and influencers
pouring more people into the top of the funnel
How to build awareness
• By leveraging your ASSETS and CONNECTIONS
• Get all your assets READY in plenty of time!
• Have a ‘content strategy’ for at least 6 months,
preferably a whole year – PLAN IT OUT
• Spread the content, build awareness, collect fans
• Do it regularly & consistently
• One small thing weekly and one large thing monthly
• What sort of things?
• Play shows!
Get all your assets READY in plenty of time!
Have a ‘content strategy’ for at least 6 months, preferably a whole year – PLAN IT OUT
This CANNOT BE STRESSED ENOUGH!!! Every time we have failed it can be traced back to
some failure to get all the assets that we needed lined up and ready to go before we needed
them. Delay, interruption and derailment will mess up your plans!
One small thing weekly and one large thing monthly – Topspin’s Ian Rogers coined this
approach and it’s a great thing to stick to.
What sort of things? – tracks (mp3), demos, covers, acoustic versions – all of these as audio
and/or video, podcasts, mixtapes (of your music and music that your niche likes), photos,
photosets, fan-sourced photos, tour diaries, tour videos, “behind the scenes” (photos, videos),
live shows, acoustic shows, online shows, solo shows, rehearsals (open to fans or online or
filmed), soundchecks (invites to, filmed), questions, surveys, artwork (reveals, sourcing, votes
on), remixes (suggestions, participation by supplying stems), surveys (underused and very
effective), and the biggie – BLOG POSTS!
Know when you need them all and get them on time.
I recommend a very detailed planner setting out exactly what you will do when and stating when
stuff is due to be done.
EVERY small and large thing to be announced and discussed on your own blog and on social
media – not all things in all places – you will find your style.
SMALL is routine and requires no fanfare but keeps you front of mind without asking or anything
other than some time to read, engage and perhaps respond – a blog post, some backstage
photos posted to a Flickr set and mentioned on your blog and Twitter, a review of another local
band’s show on your site but also submitted to your local newspaper or scene blog.
LARGE is something that requires a fan to take an action – a show you want them to come to, a
new track or tracks being offered for download, free or paid, a ‘proper’ video being release on
your site and YouTube (as in a video to a song rather than a video, roughly edited of you larking
about in rehearsal or in a studio)
Make it easy and fun for your fans to share how much they love your music and the experience.
Connections – all your profiles, your fans, and all the outlets you have found – blogs, press etc.
Cool online remix tool - http://remixwizard.mixmatchmusic.com/
• Acquiring the PERMISSION to regularly contact and
market to your fan is the KEY to breaking your band
on the internet
• The basic step is to trade something for an email
• Email for music – mp3. Full tracks not clips!
• Do not just offer a newsletter or a single free track.
An EP or half your album is better
• A Twitter follower, a Facebook ‘like’, a YouTube
friend or subscriber & a mobile app user or number
• 2500 emails is the minimum target for sustainability
We will look at the systems and mechanics of how to trade an email for mp3’s later.
A Twitter follower, a Facebook ‘like’, a YouTube friend or subscriber & a mobile app user or
number should ll, if at all possible give rise to a trade of contact permission in return for
something of value for free – usually music.
YouTube is difficult for that!
• Again – regular & consistent
• SHARE the assets and other people’s stuff too!
• Big TIP: Share your music and how it and being a
musician fits into your life. Therefore engage over
your interests & other music you like
• Be involved on your site, but also on others in your
genre, niche and local
• Support your scene – network offline as well as
• Constant – not just when you have something to
• Free mp3 for email is still a sale – requires time to
listen & consideration of whether to support your
• Casual fans – free basic mp3
• Once a fan, converting is selling
• Paying fans = stonger advocates
• Avid fans – expensive packages
• Sell everywhere – site, Facebook, Mobile App,
Bandcamp, iTunes – wherever your fans want to buy
• Pre sell systems for die-hard fans
• CwF + R2B = £££
Don’t think that giving away music for free should devalue it. By getting someone to commit to
giving you an email or Facebook ‘like’ they are offering their time to listen to your music and to
decide whether they like it and then whether they are prepared to recommend it to others.
This last decision should not be underestimated – the step to advocacy is a MASSIVE one as it
risks failing if others don’t like your music. The better your music the easier this is!
Once someone is a fan (but really you shouldn't be selling until you have 2500 plus fans), you
need to convert them to paying fans. Once someone has paid for something, they find it harder
to turn their back on that decision and argue that they were wrong (it’s called ‘cognitive
dissonance’). Therefore they will become more vocal in their support and that in turn should
attract new fans.
Having purchasable music shows intent – makes you into a true DIY / indie musician with a plan.
Needn’t be a full blown CD / album release – very cool limited 7” or special digital 4 track
package is enough o get the ball rolling – of itself attracts more awareness and refills the funnel.
Start small! Sell out. Then do something else.
Buyer fans are worth maybe ten times as much to you as casual fans in money and advocacy.
Awareness & Engagement - Where
Create an online hub for all your activity
YOUR ARTIST SITE IS THE HUB
Your site is where you focus your email list building
All viable Social Media sites
Blogs – music and niche related
Achieve by sharing your assets in line with your
Advertising – creates awareness as stated earlier and drives potential fans into your funnel.
Awareness through sales channels is achieved by having a presence (when the time is right to
sell you music with enough fans who you can rely on – i.e. 2500) on all the places where your
fans might choose to buy. Even if you offer direct sales form your site (as you should) many fans
won’t buy there as they prefer to buy from, say, iTunes – simply because they have their credit
card registered there or as they trust it and are familiar with it. Don’t fight that – give them a link
in your emails and off your site and social media so that they can buy where they like.
Your Online Hub
The hub sites are essential and we’ll look at each of them.
Optional is just that.
Use what works for you.
Building your Artist Website - 1
Buy a domain name – namecheap.com
Buy hosting – hostgator.com
DON’T buy domain and hosting from same provider
No dashes or underscores in your URL
.com is best, then .net or .org
At a push, .mu or .tv but these cost a bit more
If your band name is gone (likely), go for
‘artistnameofficial’, ‘artistnamemusic’ or
‘artistnamehq’ or similar - .com
Namecheap currently has .com for $9.98 per year
Hostgator currently has 1 year hosting for $3.96 per month (Hatchling) – although we always
buy the ‘Baby’ plan (Unlimited Web Hosting>Baby) for $6.36 per month as it gives more than
one domain – which can be useful!
Never have the domain name and hosting from the same company as this can cause problems
if anything ever goes wrong. The domain points to the hosting where your site is so if something
goes wrong with one you can point the domain to different hosting – can be a nightmare if they
are at the same company.
Building your Artist Website - 2
DON’T use any of these as your hub!
Your own site on your own hosting is CRUCIAL – total
control, ownership and flexibility
Your own site on your own hosting is CRUCIAL – total control, ownership and flexibility. Where
are Geocities, Friendster and MySpace now – what if you had made them your hub and didn’t
have an email list that you’d built there?
HostBaby and Bandzoogle use their own systems to take your content and build a site using
your content. Therefore although it might work OK (and Bandzoogle is pretty slick), it’s not fully
flexible and what if they go out of business or get hacked?
ReverbNation builds a site from your ReverbNation profile and content – similarly lacks the
ability to really make it your own. The appeal is that everything (including email tools) is all in
one place – but it’s not yours!
Nimbit is different in that it uses your content in the Nimbit system (a direct to fan platform) to
build a Wordpress based site. So, more acceptable as a quick solution and can be upgraded to
a standalone Wordpress site at a later date.
Tumblr is really best left as an interactive social network built around blogging and although it
can be built to provide an artist site, I see it as another social media site to be on with simple
posts rather than all your content – and , again, it’ not owned, controlled or hosted by you!
Bandcamp is an essential part of your portfolio but not the place to have your only presence for
the same reasons.
Keep it Simple!
Much debate about this.
People want it to look cool and be weird and different – NO!
The music is what is on sale – not a trick website. Make it a simple, easy to use place for your
fans to come!
Building your Artist Website - 3
• Who’s heard of Wordpress?
• Two versions – one hosted by them
(Wordpress.com) and the other a blogging platform
for your own site (Wordpress.org)
• The most simple to build and use system for your
• Very flexible AND its standard layout is the most
used and recognised on the web
• 2 or 3 column layout
• Customise yourself or with 1000’s of Themes
• Do It Yourself or hire a freelancer – very cheap!
Simple to install – if in Hostgator , simply find C-Panel and Fantastico Deluxe and install.
This is the best book I know on how to do it yourself – don’t be afraid – it can be learned.
Find lots of themes online with a simple search. Many free – lots of good ones paid.
Can use Nimbit theme as a viable option.
Have a look at this post for some ideas - http://www.huzzer.com/17-wordpress-themes-formusicians-which-will-make-them-sing-all-day-long
Best paid theme for musicians is Band WP Theme - http://miimusic.nolimitnet.hop.clickbank.net
It’s easy to set up and use and has full support. Using it you can get set up for less than £40
including domain and hosing. And, the beauty of Wordpress is that you can redesign at any time
without losing any of your very valuable content!
If you’re not happy doing anything technical, post the job on http://www.elance.com/ or
http://www.guru.com/ or even http://www.fiverr.com to find someone to install it and set it up
(about £50-75) or do that and design and pre-fill using your content and my layout (£200 -£350
Pages have static content – like a Bio – or can have plugins that help display things like photos
or videos (but all on one page that scrolls down). Posts are the consecutive regular articles that
you publish to the home page or a ‘news’ / ‘diary’ section that fills up a scrollable page and then
flips to another and so on. Just like every blog you’ve ever visited.
Final reason is that knowing how Wordpress works helps when you start targeting other blogs
an bloggers for traffic and reviews / features – you’ll understand the commenting system and
• EMAIL CAPTURE!!
• Relevant current info (tour,
release, inc. where to buy &
• Current biography – short &
• Contact details
• PR photos – Hi-Res / Group
• Comments – Facebook &
Merchandise / Store
Social Media links
Share buttons (Sexy
Facebook / Twitter boxes
XML sitemap plug-in
Email capture – possible in up to 5 places – Top right on all main pages is essential, Pop-up (I
know some people hate them), in the foot of each post (get your designer to do this in a custom
CSS box – see our site for an example at the end of every post), in a Footer slide-up, in a plugin for comments that asks people if they want to sign up,
AND, on a DEDICATED SQUEEZE page!
Topspin – our preferred system to match up email (and so much more) on your site, does sales,
data tracking, embeddable and sharable player and buy widgets, Facebook store – it’s
Social Media links – button sets available everywhere online for free – link to all your other
Share buttons – next to your posts, on your pages and all content to allow sharing – minimum –
Facebook ‘Like’ (and ‘send’), Tweet this button. Maybe Google +1 now. Sexy Bookmarks is a
plug-in that does all that but the individual Tweet and Like buttons are now more popular. Also
Wordpress has a default comment system where people leave a comment and their email
address and website URL – this is fine as we shall see. But, now best practice also to have
Facebook comments as these show up on your site but also in the commenter’s News Feed at
Facebook. Great for viral traffic.
Google Analytics is a plug-in that tracks activity on your site. AWESOME MUST-HAVE!
Feedburner is the right way to run your RSS feed (as it is trackable) and requires the FD
XML sitemap plug-in helps with SEO and discoverability – getting your site properly indexed by
Pdf HAND OUT!
http://karminmusic.com/ - example of great ‘engagement device’ – could be even better if they
had made it clear that there was free stuff for each action
Also – best practice on their store – see final slide – allow people to buy direct from the site but
make it VERY easy for them to go elsewhere to buy.
TIP: Make all off site links / buttons open a new tab on the browser so that you never actually
take anyone off your site!
http://florrie.com/ - example of good use of more free music than the simple sign-up. Offers lots
of catalogue but ASKS people to share.
Both sites overall VERY good examples of best practice design, functionality and marketing.
Website – Do’s & Don’t’s
Simple design & Layout
Clear purpose per page
Focus on your core
activity (current goal)
• Good visuals
• Easy to listen to &
• Highlight Fan
• Make it too text heavy!
• Use large images – take
too long to load
• No Flash
• No fancy URL
• No ‘splash page’
• No music on start
Maybe allow a ‘splash page’ if you have a good reason! See http://www.LiverpoolFC.tv for a fair
BUT, every extra click to get people to where you want them is a chance for them to leave.
Search Engine Optimisation (‘SEO’)
• Is search important to you?
• SEO can help you to be discovered
• Use niche Keywords that you know relate to your
• Google External Keyword Tool / Adwords account
• On-page SEO - Meta Tags / URL, Title, Bold, Images,
‘anchor’ text, short URL’s
• ‘All-in-One SEO’ and ‘SEO Friendly Images’ PlugIns
• Off-Page – linkbuilding / backlinks
Read and watch this post - http://www.makeitinmusic.com/band-website-seo
Google Keyword Tool - https://adwords.google.co.uk/select/Keyword ToolExternal
Demonstrates the basic keyword research process more completely explained at
Use your knowledge of your niche to select some key terms – see what Google suggest when
you type these in to a standard search – this is Google using its data in the most simple form
See what else the ‘External Keyword Tool’ suggests.
Look for keyword phrase (at least 2 or 3 words together) that have something like 2000 exact
match Google searches per month.
Export them to a spreadsheet and refer to them when putting pages or posts to your blog.
There’s a lot more to it! Search Google for ‘search engine optimisation’ – there’s some great
stuff on the web and it’s worth educating yourself about.
• Post on your site 2 to 3 times per week
• Post whether you’re building up to a release or
event, or not – don’t abandon your fans!
• Mix up the type and content of your posts
• Make sure that you are up to date!
• Good visuals, well written
• Curate content about your niche
• 80/20 rule
• Bookmark your posts – Onlywire.com
2 or 3 times per week is NOT TOO MUCH!
You’ll be tweeting links to these posts and posting them to your Facebook page (either
individually or by using an app such as Networked Blogs) and as long as you maintain the
quality your fans will come and read it.
Pick the best posts over a 2 or 3 week period to point out in your emails to fans.
PLUS, every post is an opportunity to increase the SERP’s (Search Engine Results Page)
results of your site for keywords that you’re hoping to rank for.
Mix it up. Remember that you can just post simple videos or audio of any type – works in
progress, demos, covers.
If you are finding it difficult (or as a policy for your sit content, you can curate other web content.
See this guide for more - http://info.getcurata.com/rockstarebook.html
In essence, curating is reporting on posts on other sits, taking a snippet and adding a comment
with proper accreditation of the source and a link back. Makes you a trusted source and you
could do this for your local scene, genre etc.
80/20 – classic rule of marketing that applies to all sorts of data and behaviours (80% of your
revenue will come from 20% of your fans for example) but here apply it to the nature of your
posts. Make only 1 in 5 a direct pitch for something of yours that requires an action – like coming
to a gig or buying something. And, try to keep to that ratio as to self-promotion so that only 1 in 5
posts is even directly about you – that will help to make you be seen as a central figure in your
Social bookmark your own posts – this is a bind and only works well if you get in to the habit of
doing it A LOT on third party sites as well. But it has several very large advantages – you get
your posts indexed by search engines quickly, you get a backlink from each bookmark site and
some traffic if you become a trusted source. So, bookmark your posts but lots of other ones on
music generally and your niche in particular.
Set up an account at Onlywire which will then let you bookmark every site in one go. Takes best
part of a day to set up and then set up all the accounts at each bookmarking site – BUT it’s
Email Capture - 1
• ALWAYS have a sign-up box top right
• Consider having a ‘squeeze page’ to send people to
Previously we talked about having sign-up in a multitude of places, but top right on Home page
Always make your sign-ups and free music offers as easy to find as possible.
A ‘squeeze page’ is a page on your site (almost certainly without the right sidebar – removing
them on set pages is an easy option in Wordpress) that you can send traffic to (particularly good
for ads) where the sole aim is to get people to sign up to your email list.
Social proof (reviews, star ratings, fan comments) are great to have on that page as they work!
Make the only possible exit signing up or leaving the page if possible.
Email Capture - 2
There are other
options, but DO choose
a hosted email system
• Topspin, FanBridge and
ReverbNation deal with
mechanics of email for
• Pro email systems need
more knowledge to
make that work. Not
too hard but a factor
• Trade simplicity for
depth of features
We prefer Topspin for he fully integrated nature of the email, sales and promotion tools and the
way that it allows you to work with Wordpress easily.
Aweber is the VERY best stand alone email system – too good for most musicians but if you are
techy it opens up a world of data and cool ways to sub-divide and interact with your lists.
Mailchimp is another pro (non-musician) system that I rate.
FanBridge and ReverbNation are both designed for musicians and perfectly acceptable – I
The pro systems can be set up to send a fan to a page where they get their free music on signup but it’s a little more work than in the Music-centric systems. What the pro systems don’t have
in that regard they make up for with their other functions
If I had to choose, I’d go for Topspin every time as an all-in solution.
Email Capture -3
• Email for FREE music – mp3. Full tracks!
• Do not just offer a newsletter or a single free track.
An EP or half your album is better
• Collect the first name and email as a minimum
• Have a ‘No Spam’ statement
• Use the same email sign-up on Facebook etc
• Offline sign up at gigs & put them on system
• Double opt-in if possible
• Advanced – upsell for album with discount
Collect the first name and email as a minimum. This allows you to personalise emails to each
fan by name
The more you ask for the less names you get.
Do you really need postcode, city and mobile now? Geo-targeting emails is great but need to
balance getting that data against people not being bothered enough to fill out he form. For every
additional piece of data you ask for reckon on half the people ditching!
Have a ‘No Spam’ statement under the sign-up box – we will never sell, rent or spam your email
address and you may unsubscribe easily at any time. Good form and increases sign-up.
When you can put a sign up box on a third party site – Facebook, a blog, Tumblr – do so and
send them to the same email system but set up a sub-list so that you know where they came
Some email systems have an iphone app for gigs – if not, do it by paper and input them yourself.
Double opt-in systems are better, SPAM safe and to be used where offered. Means that the fan
is sent an email asking them if they want to go on the list that they have to click to confirm. Might
seem like you’ll lose some, and you will, but better in the long-run as it avoids SPAM.
Once you have a sizable fanbase you can make the page that the fan is taken to host a discount
offer for a current product. Make the discount real and substantial and you will make sales.
Requires coding but worth it if you have 2500 fans and works particularly well if your free offer is
half an album – make the upsell the whole thing.
• At least once a month – best results approx. every
• HTML or plain text?
• Personalise email with first name
• Importance of catchy headlines
• Have a standard signature asking for Facebook like
and Twitter follow with links
• Autoresponder series to follow original sign-up
• Call to action – not all selling – info, free, news and
• Three links to the same destination
• 1:3 ratio
As long as you have something to tell your fans it’s better to mail them regularly and keep the
mails informative, short and clear than it is to leave it months apart. If you lose some fans every
time you mail, so be it, they weren’t going to stick around anyway.
Make the emails short and simple with a SINGLE main purpose and related call to action. If the
email is to sell something (a gig, record etc) make it JUST about that and have three links in the
email – spaced out – to the place you want the fans to go.
AND make it CLEAR what you want them to do. Make the call to action unambiguous and ASK
them to do the thing you want.
That said only 1 in 3 emails should be a sale or asking them to support you directly (a vote to
radio for example), and the rest should be general info and news or tips about your niche. In
those you MAY have links to different destinations. These mails are not so much about action
and more about remaining front of mind. A round up of a few posts on the site would be a good
In all mails it is acceptable to have a few other links in the footer below the sign-off, generally
asking the fan to add you on Facebook and Twitter or reminding them of some other free music
offer that you made recently (not the original sign-up offer, obviously)
Headlines will affect the number of people that open your emails DRAMATICALLY. Massive
topic – Google it. VERY IMPORTANT.
If you send a mail and stats show 15% have opened it, segment the list and resend to those that
didn’t open it with another headline – NOBODY does this!
Traffic – Basics
• Get traffic to your site!
• Pour people into the
• Article marketing & web
2.0 marketing –
resource box, backlinks
• Online Press Releases
• Trade email lists and JV
• Niche, Genre, Local
• Big Boards, search
• Look at users & activity
• Create a profile = link
• Post once a week. No
promo for 10 posts.
• NO spam
Article marketing is another massive topic that we can’t cover here today.
The lesson is that you CAN get traffic to your site proactively – looking back at my info about the
‘Balearic Music’ site, I wrote articles and submitted them to article directories. In each article you
put a link to your site in the resource box and use ‘anchor text’ as we talked about before. That
tells Google what your site is about (it gives a backlink to your site that tells Google the topic)
that helps it rank in the SERP’s but also you get that article to rank in the SERP’s itself and then
get traffic to your site from that.
There is a paid course on this here from John Oszajca tailored to musicians and it DOES work –
Music Marketing Manifesto
Alternatively, search ‘article marketing’ and you’ll find out.
The same strategy can be applied to sites like Squidoo, Blogger –search web 2.0 sites. Here,
rather than writing an article, you write a few or in depth and have links to your site from them.
So, I could have made a page on Squidoo about ‘Balearic House’ and I would’ve got traffic from
Online Press Releases – again, search this topic. Creates backlinks, can give a very high
Google ranking for a short period of time as Google likes current news. Can end up being
Trade email lists and JV with other bands in your genre and locality – think of other ways you
can do this – other psychographic matches and brands. Mail them and send them to a Squeeze
page that fits your offer.
Big Boards - http://www.big-boards.com/
Look at users & activity – don’t waste your time in dead forums!
When creating a profile in a forum you’re usually allowed to create a link – use BB code to make
that anchor text - [url=http://www.yoursite.com]Your keyword[/url]
Don’t put the links into the profile and your forum signature until you’ve been there a week and
already made a few posts.
Post once a week. No promo for 10 posts. Don’t SPAM. Be generally involved and helpful and
you will get traffic.
Traffic – BLOGS -1
• BLOGS are the single biggest way to get
traffic & break your band
• Search on Hype Machine, elbo.ws & We are
Hunted – niche keywords and similar bands
• Google Blog search
• Local ‘what’s on’ & niche & local band search
• Start with the smaller blogs, get coverage and
work your way up
• Comment first, be involved, pitch later
Search these music blog aggregator sites by niche and specifically by band that you know you
are very similar too or bands that you have a relationship with (normally local / scene).
Do the same in Google Blog search.
Also search for local what’s on blogs that cover events in your area, niche (psychographically
related) blogs and any blog that you think might be interested in you and your music.
Make a target list of logs that clearly get traffic – get the Alexa toolbar
(http://www.alexa.com/toolbar) and look or sites under 1,000,000 – or that clearly get
aggregated by Hype Machine
Aim for 100!
Record them some way – in an XL document – Do you use Google docs? Group access for the
band. Or Dropbox?
DON’T just pitch them straightaway – get to know them and what they write about. Comment on
them, without pointing them to your site or even revealing that you are a musician. Be interesting
and useful in comments.
I GUARANTEE that the blogger will come and check your site out. When you comment the
blogger is notified and on all but he biggest blogs thy read and approve comments themselves –
hence why spamming doesn’t work but why being real and interesting is the EASIEST way to
alert them to your existence.
If you look good they will feature you.
Stick with it and keep checking off on your record XL when you comment or have an email
exchange (or you’ll forget) and go back a lot – be genuinely involved.
Pitch those that you have developed some relationship with when you have a release – offer
them Topspin widgets or ready made SoundCloud players and ASK for coverage. BUT don’t do
Definitive free eBook on this – GET IT PLEASE! - http://tightmixblog.com/e-books/
Don’t worry about the larger blogs until you have managed to get a fair bit of smaller blog
coverage and then use that coverage to leverage the big blogs that you know will cover your
style of music
Aim for Pitchfork, Stereogum, Brooklyn Vegan, Clash, Drowned In Sound, The Fader,
DummyMag, NME.com, The Quietus, Arts Desk, The-Fly, Inverted Audio, NPR Music (The
Record / All Songs considered) etc……
Traffic – BLOGS -2
• Search tip – Google Reader
Google Reader search. Search for ‘Keyword blog’ in the ‘Add a subscription’ box at top left and it
will return blogs with their RSS readership numbers allowing you to easily see which blogs you
Set up Google Reader, or my preference, NetVibes, with an RSS fed of EVERY blog in your list
and then comment on them as you see a story / feature that you think you can add value to.
Traffic – BLOGS - 3
• Do you all know how to
leave a comment?
• At the foot of most blog
posts - ‘Comments’
• MAY use your artist
name as Author– but
might look spammy
• URL is the key – use the
• Careful use of HTML!
Traffic – BLOGS - 4
• Set up an avatar for your [email protected]
address at Gravatar
• Guest post on other blogs
• Create a blog for your scene / niche
• Interview the bloggers behind the influential
sites you’ve connected with for your site
• Link off your site to the blogs you target =
• Give the blogger a Topspin player or sign-up
Gravatar – will allow your logo to be seen all over the web where you comment. Also, Google
Friend Connect and Disqus. This will become obvious as to what you need ton have in place
depending on what systems are being used by the blogs that you are habitually commenting on.
Guest posting will bring you traffic. Approach the sites you have identified. This is easier if
Create a blog for your scene / niche / local in addition to your own site and make it an authority.
Obviously your music and site will be referred to.
Interview the bloggers behind the influential sites you’ve connected with for your site – people
LOVE to talk about themselves and how great they are. If there’s a big blog for your scene or
local area, see if you can talk to the people behind it and feature them on your site – skew the
interview to topics that highlight your music but don’t overdo it.
Every time you link to a site the receiver gets a ‘pingback’ that tells them you’ve linked to them –
very often they will come and check your site out. This is another way to get the attention of a
blogger you want to send you traffic or review your music down the line.
Curate some content from their site or link to them at the end of a piece that relates to
something on their site saying ‘for more check out this post at this great site blah…’. It works.
Site & Traffic Tips
• Get your music on
• Set up a Wikipedia page
– but not too soon
• Amazon Artist page
• iTunes Artist page
• iTunes iMix
• Online Radio
Next Big Sound
• Hype Machine button
Pandora – not necessarily direct traffic but awesome online awareness via their clever music
discovery – REALLY works - http://www.makeitinmusic.com/how-can-pandora-help-you-toreach-people-who-already-like-your-musicbut-dont-know-it/
Wikipedia page – not something you can do until you are of note – try before then and you’ll get
deleted - http://makeitinmusic.posterous.com/get-your-wiki-on
Amazon artist page - http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/2011/06/creating-your-artist-store-atamazon-com/
iTunes Artist page – I’m no expert - http://createdigitalmusic.com/2010/09/want-to-get-on-itunesping-tunecore-artist-ping-pages-go-live/
iTunes iMix for traffic - http://www.musicthinktank.com/blog/how-to-use-itunes-to-drive-up-youritunes-revenue.html & http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/2011/03/how-to-sell-more-music-on-ituneswith-the-imix/
PODCASTS – I have never really mastered this but I know people who swear by it. All I know is
that they need to be available on iTunes and there are various ways to do that http://www.liveunsigned.com/blog/2011/06/why-should-bands-start-their-own-podcast/ & you
should submit your music as podsafe – i.e. free for people to use in podcasts – at
Online Radio – again not something I’m an expert in but I know it works! Look into
http://amazingtunes.com/ as a way to sell music and be on Amazing Radio. Endless
opportunities elsewhere. Google ‘online radio’.
Artist Data – updates a LOT of online presences simultaneously
SongKick – this is the new essential ay to list your dates – claim your artist profile and it will give
you code to use on your site, Soundcloud, Facebook and Bandcamp that will automatically
update all gigs and have links to buy tickets.
Big Cartel – a great way to sell merchandise.
Buzzdeck etc – Buzzdeck is the best way to monitor online activity about your band and music –
it’s unbelievable detailed. £65 per month. Shows location of YouTube viewers and that sot of
crazy weirdness! RockDex and Net Big Sound way less detailed but still useful.
If you get big enough and it’s your genre (HypeM is very electronic biased) and they give you an
Artist Page on HypeM, get their button and put it in your ‘social media links’ bar. People who
know will be impressed.
Bit.ly – the best way to track what people are doing with links that you share. Shows clicks and
Why Social Media?
Word of mouth
It’s where everyone is
Music is MASSIVE on Social Networks
Viral sharing is key to social media experience
It’s a two-way conversation
Try and register the same vanity URL on all
social networks wherever you can
Music is MASSIVE on Social Networks – 2 of the 5 largest Fan Pages on Facebook are Music –
GaGa and Eminem. Twitter loves music!
Facebook – Set Up - 1
• Fan Page, not Group or
• Brand as per site image
• Use long profile pic 200
x 600 px
• Hack the Photostrip
• Get username
• Set up Facebook
• Use Topspin widgets on
• Set up chosen Tabs
WE WILL BE COVERING EXACTLY HOW TO DO THIS IN A SERIES OF POSTS ON OUR
SITE VERY SOON!
Facebook – you MUST have a FAN PAGE, not a group and not a personal profile.
Personal profiles are limited to 5000 friends and if Facebook sees you using it for your band they
will shut it down.
Caveat – if you are a singer / songwriter performing under your on name you might get away
Advantage of personal profile is that you can email / message all your Facebook friends which
you cannot do in a Group or Fan Page.
Some people set up a new / second personal profile in order to add people and direct them to
their Fan Page and their site – it’s against Facebook’s terms of service and I’m not sure it’s a
One trick is now available that if you have built up your fanbase on your personal profile, you
can switch it to your Fan Page - http://www.insidefacebook.com/2011/03/30/facebook-nowallows-personal-profiles-to-be-converted-into-business-pages/
So, as a singer / songwriter you might take advantage and build a personal profile to switch to a
Fan Page later – risky strategy.
Groups are not controlled by you.
Fan Page is designed to be used to promote a band or brand – use one. Set up as a ‘musician’.
Use a long profile picture and customise the photostrip - Photostrip images allow you to
advertise and link back to your site and other profiles from a link under the enlarged photo.
Username - http://www.facebook.com/username/
Facebook Insights – on your site as well as for in Facebook data.
Topspin provides widgets for players and for sign-up and also an automatic on Facebook store.
Facebook – Set Up - 2
Proper use of Events
Involver app for YouTube or native app
Have a store tab – various options
Twitter feed – Involver tab
Questions, Photos, Discussions, Notes all
• Networked Blogs – imports your blog posts to
• You WON’T use all of these - Pick to suit
Proper use of Events - http://www.marismith.com/six-ways-promote-events-on-facebook/ &
Facebook’s native app for creating a YouTube tab requires you to mess with your ‘favourites’ on
your YouTube channel – I use it – but the Involver app for Youtube is probably easier.
Store – Topspin, Nimbit have auto set-ups
Twitter feed – I used to advocate RSS Graffiti feed to your Fan Page wall – I don’t now! Twitter
and Facebook are very different and the types of engagement are very different – so pulling one
to the other makes no sense.
Have Twitter feed it in a separate tab so people can see it if they want to.
Networked Blogs – imports all your posts on your blog to your wall (or can be turned off) but also
is another network in itself where you may get some traffic.
Facebook – Set Up - 3
The Music Tab / Page
Everyone wants one!
Free and Paid options
RootMusic Bandpage is the
Reveal / Gate built in – at a
Music Tab combines a lot of what you want in one place and you can set it as the default landing
tab for all visitors to your Facebook Fan Page
But, whilst I think they are essential and you should have one (to look serious!) I think multiple
tabs give you a better way to control what you want people to do on Facebook – the reveal /
gate tab in particular
http://www.damntheradio.com/ - integrates with your FanBridge list
Facebook Reveal Tabs - 1
Who’s seen these on Facebook? A page that asks you to like the Page?
This is a classic from the old Facebook layout, tabs at top.
Simple reveal tab has a 520px wide image pointing up to the Like button asking people to ‘Like
the page’ – Install this on a tab – see next – and set that tab as the default landing page for all
new non-like visitors to your Fan Page.
Arrows up generally point to the ‘Like’ button.
Then a simple 520px square image is hosted on your site or Flickr / Photobucket and installed in
Facebook Reveal Tabs - 2
Before and after ‘Like’
The ‘like’ opens the free download but once opened you can also offer the email sign-up for
Facebook – Reveal Tabs - 3
• Reveal tabs use iFrames – no more FBML
• iFrames allow pretty much anything to be
embedded on a Facebook Tab
• 520px wide and approx max 800px high
designed in HTML and hosted on your site
• LOTS of iFrame tab systems
• But easiest to use is ‘Static HTML for iFrame’
Some Facebook Tab companies - http://www.allfacebook.com/10-facebook-page-creation-tools2011-02
Mari Smith – Fan Page apps guide - http://www.marismith.com/social-media-successresources/#apps
But easiest to use is ‘Static HTML for iFrame’ – search for this – edit page>apps>static html and
it’ll come up.
There will soon be a tutorial on our site!
Whatever you have had designed in HTML is then inserted in the app – one set-up for before
the ‘Like’ and one for after – where people can actually get the download you have offered.
Get someone to design the HTML for you.
Facebook – Best Practice - 1
Set up all your tabs first
Seed with friends from your personal profile
Get your username when you hit 25 ‘Likes’
Move your MySpace friends to Facebook
‘Like’ all your keyword and ‘soundalike’ Pages
Post a ‘status update’ once or twice per day
Respond to comments
80/20 rule – general / pitch
Post videos, photos, links
Ask Questions using the Tab
Try these methods to get your MySpace friends over to Facebook http://www.garagespin.com/2011/01/14/how-to-move-your-myspace-friends-to-facebook/
By liking Pages that relate to you, you can show them in the ‘Likes’ box on your Page and can
post links to their pages – so you can post your blog post direct to the wall of the Page of a
magazine that covers your niche – be careful of spamming.
Facebook – Best Practice - 2
Use Events to promote gigs
@Tag other people and Pages
Time posts to your audience
Thursday is statistically the best day – so do 3
11am to 4pm EST (4pm – 9pm GMT)
Best, worst, most, why, how
Edge Rank affects position in News Feed
Fans don’t come back to your Fan Page!
Test full length links vs Bit.ly for clicks
Tagging - http://makeitinmusic.posterous.com/facebook-tagging-a-full-guide
Learn when your audience is online and post to suit them. Many people check Facebook early in
their day but you need to know your demographics so that your posts stand a better chance of
Best, worst, most, why, how – query words get the best response
Edge Rank - http://www.prescriptionmusicpruk.com/the-prescription/2011/6/8/making-sure-yourfacebook-posts-get-seen-by-your-fans.html & http://blog.photobiz.com/facebook-edge-rank
Fans don’t come back to your Fan Page! – They consume your news, interact and comment on
it in their News Feed – so Edge rank and getting seen are important.
See our guide!
Set-up and add custom background
Write a clear Bio & link to your site
Start following – follow back etiquette
Target users & lists that relate to your niche & fans
of similar bands
Involvement & Engagement are the key
10-20 times per day is fine
More personal than Facebook – put your life in the
context of being a musician
Twitter is very simple BUT CRUCIAL!
YouTube - 1
The place for music search – more than Google
Video is the fastest growing medium on web
YouTube plays is a key indicator of online ‘buzz’
Set up your channel and skin with your image
Add friends and encourage subscribers like other
• Post ALL you music – whether there’s a video or not –
static images, Animoto
• Lyric videos are HUGE!
• Inventive video WILL get noticed
How to set up YouTube channel - http://www.ampmusicmarketing.com/the-musicians-guide/themusicians-guide-to-social-media-how-to-create-a-youtube-channel/
Converting or setting up as a musician account allows you to have ‘events’ listed http://www.google.com/support/youtube/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=95491
Add friends and encourage subscribers like other social networks – people don’t do this, but it’s
a key part of getting your videos seen as all friends and subscribers see new videos when they
are posted. It also influences how you can get featured on the various home pages.
Lyric videos are great – if you don’t do them your fans will and it’s a pain having stuff on
YouTube getting views that aren’t on your channel!
Inventive video WILL get noticed - http://www.thecreatorsproject.com/blog/cartoon-violence-youwont-see-on-tv
YouTube - 2
• What to post?
• Gigs, Tour diaries, behind the scenes, rehearsals,
soundchecks, band chats to camera etc
• Get 2 or 3 cameras and Final Cut / Sony Vegas
• Film as much as you can
• TIP: ‘http://...’ full link first thing in description
• TIP: Tags – copy from high ranking videos
• Tip: Annotate and link to other videos
• Video responses
• Become a ‘YouTube Partner’
• Covers – good and bad!
TIP: ‘http://...’ full link first thing in description – as this is the only bit visible – first 50 or so
characters and it’s a functioning link. So “http://.... Click link to get a free download of this song”
an send people to your site to sign up.
TIP: Tags – copy from high ranking videos that have relevance to yours – this will help your
video rank in YouTube searches.
Think about the Title – put he words hat will help the video rank first – eg on a cover put he artist
and song name first and end with ‘your band cover’
Annotation and clever stuff - http://makeitinmusic.posterous.com/youtube-viral-method
Annotation – you can’t link off site unless you’re a YouTube Partner – see
http://www.youtube.com/partners - http://www.youtube.com/user/PomplamooseMusic
This is a VIABLE route to success!
Covers – Bieber, Little Boots converted to artist career. Pomplamoose live within YouTube.
Karmin as well to a degree.
But, can you back it up? If you get loads of attention for covers what about your own material?
Create your Flickr page – link to site
Post your shots – use Tags
Create sets – private (for fans only) or public
Join Groups that relate to your music & niche
Create Groups that can draw in potential fans
Leave comments in Groups and on photos
Add people as ‘contacts’ to interact with their photo
• Sets – Fans / Audience / Behind the Scenes / Gigs
Search> Groups by niche and keywords and join those groups.
Be active in the groups adding photos
Groups to join:
The Others - 1
Brilliant streaming audio network
Customisable embeddable widgets
Push notification / Buy links
Bloggers love it – have your music there
Build a following – be active in Groups
Powers RootMusic’s Facebook BandPage
Powers MoRo and MobBase mobile apps
Set up your profile – http://soundcloud.com/101/profile
How to - http://blog.soundcloud.com/2010/06/10/bands/
Using SoundCloud - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKs2NbXjMdg&feature=related
Bloggers want your music as a SoundCloud stream – they don’t want to pay for bandwidth! They
also often have a SoundCloud dropbox for submissions.
The Others -2
• Recommends your music to people based on
taste / genre
• Set up or claim your profile & populate /
• Active listening of ‘similar artists’ creates
more plays for your music
• Add friends of similar bands
• Join Groups and ‘recommend’ your music
The Others - 3
• Is ESSENTIAL
• Sales platform but its importance is because
people love it!
• Embeddable widgets
• People (and Bloggers) search it for music
The Others - 4
Spam riddled and horrible for most genres
Traffic falling of a cliff
Stripped of all useful search functions
Ranks very highly on SERPS
STILL the first port of call for many music lovers & industry
Have an EPK like presence, well designed to fit image
Use it if it’s your email & fan data engine!
Keep MySpace until we see what happens to its high algorithmic ranking in Google and the
I also like the Sixty One! http://www.thesixtyone.com/
• Can be tasked with spreading your message across the web
• Manage though a Ning community or ReverbNation
• Take care not to spam and to give rewards
Advertising – 1
• Facebook Ads:
• Very highly targetable by demographic and
• Ads for Likes to Facebook Landing/Reveal Page
• Ads to off-Facebook Squeeze page for email
• Do NOT send Ad clicks to your Wall!
• Aim for maximum 50p per fan acquired - CPM
• Soundalike Ads – either direct or fact / story
• Create LOTS of variant Ads
Ads for likes within Facebook will land on the default landing page – so set that to a reveal page
and try the soundalike method – If you like ‘X’ get our 4 track homage free’ or similar!
The other thing that works is to ask a question or reveal a fact about the similar artist and then
send the traffic to a page (on Facebook – a rebuilt specifically designed reveal tab / off
Facebook – a squeeze page) where that fact/question is explained and then offers the free
music for a Like or email.
The key to Facebook Ads is to create a vast number of permutation of ads and tweak for best
Also try turning them on and off and resting them for a bit.
Important to target friends of people who are fans of a particular page (one of the targeting
factors) as the ad will carry their friend’s like and that social proof can increase conversion.
Test variant images, with and without borders!
Simple ‘Click ‘Like’ if you love ….’ works VERY well.
You MUST then engage the fans that you’ve acquired.
Advertising - 2
• Google Adwords:
• MUCH more difficult and generally more
• Consider one Ad targeted on your band name
and linked to Free music squeeze page
• Other Ads:
• Banner Ads, Spotify – can be very cheap!
• Pay for play
10% of all web traffic is already mobile
Apps & mobile will control the internet
Text Message marketing – pros & cons
Every musician will have a mobile App!
Your fan has you in their pocket ALL THE TIME!
Apps can be affordable
In-App revenue streams
Must be updated regularly – just like your website
Big advantage – you’ll stand out!
Text message marketing is very effective with near 100% open rates as opposed to 15-20%
averages for email (still great) and similar for Social Media.
Collect mobile numbers as ‘Number 3’ item in email data capture – above location!
BUT – very, very easy to piss a fan off by texting them all the time.
For some reason the ‘push’ notification in an App is les intrusive as the fan feels more affinity
from having downloaded the App.
For an artist app to work it has to keep the fans engaged on a regular basis with fresh and
exclusive content. This does involve a commitment level from the artist beyond just the required
Push notifications alert App user that there is new content – use sparingly as per text messages.
Apps have massive advantage over web especially for artists who have a youth audience as you
can have your music, news, photos etc in a fan’s pocket all the time – makes social sharing very
easy and likely.
Mobile Roadie - https://www.mobileroadie.com/ref/miimusic ENTER ‘miimusic’ as the ‘referrer
code’ for a 10% discount.
http://www.get-ctrl.com/. And one I just came across today - http://difrntapps.com/
• Who knows what a QR
• Direct fans to a specific
web location for info
• Gaining mainstream
• Not just web addresses
• Customise to fit your
• Likify – QR codes for
QR codes – how to – http://www.liveunsigned.com/blog/2011/06/how-to-promote-your-musicusing-qr-codes-2/
Customising QR codes - http://mashable.com/2011/04/18/qr-code-design-tips/
Best custom QR codes – http://qrlicious.com?ap_id=miimusic
Use to send people to your site or give gig details – put on merchandise, gig posters, badges.
Not just web addresses – email address, telephone number, contact details (VCard), Event
details, Youtube video etc
Again, early adoption means people will scan your codes just to see what’s on offer!
QR code generators:
Bit.ly – How to - http://mashable.com/2010/10/13/bit-ly-qr-codes/
Those cupcakes! - http://www.indulgencecupcakecompany.co.uk/
Seminar QR link - http://qrcode.kaywa.com/img.php?s=8&d=http%3A%2F
Seminar QR Code
• NOT in the 79p / 99c download game
• Must add value – use Topspin!
• Average sale from a Topspin DTF campaign is
over $20 per fan
• Create High Value products as well as mp3’s
• Sell on all digital retail outlets – use CD Baby,
Tunecore, Zimbalam, Ditto Music
• Link to iTunes, Amazon, Bandcamp and your
own ‘Buy’ button wherever you sell
Apologies, but this is a very quick round-up as we could do a seminar all on it’s own!
Three part post on Digital Distribution
The more committed the fan the more they will spend with you!
Identify your niche and refine your image
Build your site
Choose your social media outposts
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube minimum
Plan your ‘content strategy’ & gather assets
Target known niche areas – blogs, forums
Engage and interact