Category Archives for "Tips"

February 23, 2017

4 Things That Will Get You A Record Deal Before Social Media

This will get you a record dealIt wasn’t that long ago that A&R execs at record labels were scouring the online platforms, looking for acts with the high view numbers, page visits or Likes. All that’s changed as artists and their webmasters became more sophisticated in gaming the system by using bots or fake users to drive up their numbers. Today you can easily purchase big numbers of views or likes for a relatively small amount of money, but does that actually help you get that elusive record deal?

A&R departments are well aware of how it all works these days so as much as they want to see them, they’re wary of those big numbers. If that’s the case, what metric do they use then? Believe it or not, A&R execs are pretty much back to the way they did it in the pre-Internet days. They look for things like:

1. Do you actually draw an audience when you play a gig?

2 .Do you connect with an audience in a live show as well as you do in an edited video?

3. Are you charming and memorable in off-the-cuff interviews and interactions?

4. Do you actually sound good live?

If there’s a “yes” to all the above, then A&R will go online and look at the the artist’s online presence. If you have millions of views, for instance, even if some of those views are bought, chances are that there’s still a buzz happening and the label will take notice. Have lots of likes, shares and followers across a number of platforms, then that’s going to confirm that there’s a lot more going on than meets the eye.

  • Finally, no matter where live in the world, no matter how small the town, or how small the venue, a line of fans around the block will draw more attention from a label than just about anything else.

Your online presence is important and it’s absolutely necessary, but it’s not the only thing when it comes to getting the music industry to notice you. A record deal can come from a massive online presence, but more and more it’s what’s on stage that counts.

You can read more from Music 4.1 and my other books on the excerpt section of bobbyowsinski.com.

January 26, 2017

7 Tips For Live Event Tweeting

Twitter live event tipsWhen it comes to a live event like a gig or conference that you’re attending, Twitter can be the best way to keep your fan base both active and up-to-date. The idea is to maintain your visibility by sharing some worthwhile information that they’ll want. Here are 7 tips to do just that so you have have a successful live event Twitter campaign.

1. Use the right hashtag(s). If you have a following that regularly attends your gigs, start your own hashtag that you can consistently use. Something like #(yourband)live could work. Also find out if the venue has a hashtag and include that as well.

2. Let your followers know. If there’s going to be a flurry of activity in a short period of time, let your followers know beforehand. No one likes their feed dominated by one poster, but at least they can tune you out if they’re not interested if they know its coming.

3. Be interesting. Try to give a unique perspective that only you can give. What’s the venue like? Did you meet anyone interesting (give them a shoutout)? Is there a meet and greet or something happening preshow or aftershow?

4. Retweet others. If there are others tweeting about the gig, retweet them as well.

5. Take pictures. Tweets are a lot more interesting when a picture is included and the engagement is increased as well.

6. Follow other tweeters. This includes the promoters, venue and other bands on the bill.

7. Don’t forget the video. Twitter is more than just text, so don’t forget to share a video about meeting a fan, what’s happening backstage, from the stage, etc.

Twitter is especially cool for communicating at a live event, and that’s the perfect time to engage your fans. Follow these tips to keep you fans interested and have them continue to come back for more.

How To Measure Online Audience Engagement

Measuring engagementWhen we think online audience engagement, we usually think of views or streams. There’s a lot more to it than that though, as this infographic from Statista shows how industry insiders evaluate true engagement.

As you can see, Shares are the #1 most valuable engagement element, closely followed by the actual amount of time users dwell on a piece. The number of comments is also high on the list, but page views and page visitors less so, mostly because many can be quick bounces that leave after a few seconds.

The whole idea is to post content that makes users want to watch or read all the way through, then share with their friends and maybe even leave a comment. While this can’t be done with every post, the more you do it, the more likely that you’ll have an energized following.

Infographic: How to Measure Audience Engagement Online? | Statista
You will find more statistics at Statista

Recognizing Your Two Types Of Fans

2 types of fansEvery artist, whether they’re selling out arenas or still working in clubs, has two types of fans. Most artists never bother to differentiate between the two and therefore don’t grow their fan base as quickly because they tend to cater to the wrong group. In this excerpt from the latest edition of my Music 4.1: A Survival Guide For Making Music In The Internet Age book, you’ll see the differences between these groups and why one is more critical to your success.

“Music 4.0 is totally dependent upon the development, care, and feeding of your fanbase. Your core fans or “tribe” is only a piece of your total audience though. Your audience can be broken down into the following two categories: your casual fans and your core fans.

Your total audience, or your fans, are fervent about a particular small niche of music that’s usually a subcategory of a larger genre, which means that they love speed metal (as opposed to the much larger metal or hard-rock genres), bluegrass (as compared to the larger country-music genre), or alien marching bands (as opposed to either of the larger alien-music or marching-band genres). If you’re an artist in that particular niche, your audience will automatically gravitate toward you, but still might not be your fans. This includes casual fans, occasional listeners, and people who like what you’re doing yet aren’t particularly passionate about it.

Although this part of your audience can’t be ignored, it’s probably not a good idea to expend all your energy on it. They’re aware of you and will probably give you a try with every release, unless they’re disappointed too many times in a row. They can be turned into passionate fans though. One “hit” song or album, a change in image, or a change in general perception, and they become the passionate critical mass needed for the breakout that turns a respected artist into a true star.

In Music 4.0, your most important core audience contains your most passionate fans, or your “tribe.” They’ll buy whatever you have to sell, work for free, recruit other fans, and basically do anything you ask. All they want is access to and communication with the artist, which is the basis of Music 4.0.

So to summarize:

  • Your audience consists of your casual fans and your core fans
  • Fans may like an artist but may not be particularly passionate
  • Your core fans (true fans, uber-fans, super fans, tribe) are very passionate about everything you do
  • Most of your energy should be directed towards your core fans”

Knowing the difference between fan groups can make a difference between chasing your tail trying to please casual fans that only marginally care about you, or growing your audience by cultivating your most passionate ones.

You can read more from The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook and my other books on the excerpt section of bobbyowsinski.com.

Facebook Video Chat A New Promotional Tool

Facebook video chatVideo is an important part of every artist’s tool box these days. While many prefer to stay within the confines of produced videos uploaded to YouTube or Facebook, live streaming video can be extremely effective as well. Google Hangouts and Facebook Live have been the predominant ways to broadcast to fans and followers, but Facebook has now introduced an alternative with Messenger Video Chat.

Video Chat is similar to Google Hangouts in that you can interact with others that are streaming on the same call. It beats Hangouts though, in that up to 50 people can stream both video and audio simultaneously (Hangouts is limited to 10, as is Skype). The limitation (although it may not be if you’re using it for promotion) is that after 1o people, Messenger will display only the dominant speaker’s feed.

There are other alternatives to Messenger Video Chat. Both Slack and Snapchat also introduced this same feature recently. The difference is that pretty much everyone is on Facebook, so it’s as universal as you’d want if you need to get your message out.

Live streaming can be an easy alternative to produced videos when it comes to promotion from the standpoint of ease of use and timeliness. As with everything social, consistency is important, and if fans and followers expect a video at a certain time, sometimes the only way to deliver is with a live stream. Not only that, it’s the perfect tool to be able to broadcast from events like gigs, backstage, release parties, in-store signings, and just about anything else that you can think of.

While video chatting, Messenger’s other functions still operate, which means you can still send texts, stickers, and other animations while video and audio are transmitting.  iOS also has one additional exclusive feature called Live Masks, which is similar to Snapchat filters that animate a visual overlay over your face in real time, Facebook’s live masks tale this a step further and allow the user to overlay animation to the live video chat. The feature should also be arriving on Android soon.

Give it a try and let us know how it works out.

December 19, 2016

7 Great Music Business Holiday Gift Ideas

If you read my Production Blog, the you’ve probably seen my 10 Cool Holiday Gifts For Musicians post a few days ago. Here’s another gift guide, but this one concentrates just on music business and social media.

Music 4.11. Music 4.1: A Survival Guide For Making Music In The Internet Age
You know that I’m biased about this, but I really believe that if you’re looking for one book that best outlines the new music business, Music 4,1 is it. With lots of great traditional and social media tips to help you market yourself successfully and efficiently, the book (now in it’s 4th edition) is currently used in music business courses in colleges and universities around the world.

crowdstart2. Crowdstart: The Ultimate Guide To A Powerful And Profitable Crowdfunding Campaign
If you want to know the ins and outs about crowdfunding before you begin a campaign, there’s no better resource. There’s also a lot of great social media info here as well. Ariel Hyatt is the queen of social media PR and her Cyber PR company has been a huge help to hundreds of artists, so you might want to check out her other books as well.

3. All YoAll You need To Know About The Music Businessu Need To Know About The Music Business
This is the 9th edition of LA music attorney Don Passman’s excellent book and there’s a good reason why it’s been popular for so long. Let me put it this way, if you’re in the music business, this book is essential reading, since it outlines just about every business scenario that an artist might come up against. The best part is that it’s written in plain English so that even complex ideas (and there are lots of them in the music business) are easy to follow. Highly recommended.

Music Registry4. The Music Business Registry
This is actually the site for a series of different specialized registry’s, including Film & TV, A&R, Publisher, Attorney, Music Blogs and more. If you need some contacts in the music business, this is a way to find them.

This Is Your Brain On Music5. This Is Your Brain On Music: The Science Of A Human Obsession
This is indirectly about the business of music in that if you know the phycology of how your music works on your fans (and you, for that matter), then you’ll be in a better position to present and promote it to them. Fascinating!

lynda.com6. Lynda.com Video Courses
Lastly, you’ll find all sorts of great business and software courses on Lynda.com, the absolute best portal for learning on the Web. If you’re into Social Media, Mixing, Recording, or Mastering, you’ll find some of my courses there as well, but just about anything else you can think of that revolves around tech or business is available there. Here’s a free 7 day trail pass.

Social-Media-Promotion7. Social Media Promotion For Musicians

If you’re interested in some big picture strategies about how to approach your online presence this is the book for you. Although some of the social aspects are a little dated, the approach to your online music and video promotion is still current.

Each of the above makes a great holiday gift, but don’t forget to treat yourself to a present as well!

December 12, 2016

5 Tips To Get Bloggers Interested In Your Music

5 tips to get bloggers interestedIt used to be that just one good review in a magazine could sell loads of albums. Even a bad review could be really good for business if it was in a publication like Rolling Stone. That’s all changed since magazine reviews have become pretty irrelevant as the music world has moved online. Now its the music blogs like Pitchfork or Stereogum that can make the difference not so much in sales, but visibility to a new audience. Sometimes those larger blogs are tough to break through, but the smaller bloggers still provide more of a one on one chance to state your case.

But how do you approach bloggers in the first place? There really is a right and wrong way to do it, and I’m writing from experience when I offer these 5 tips to get a blogger interested enough in what you’re doing to actually post about it.

1. Read the blog for a while to become familiar with the theme and feel. You can turn the blogger off completely by sending something cold without knowing the backstory of the blog.

2. Make some post comments without any overt marketing. Just try to move the conversation along on a few posts. The idea is for the blogger to recognize you as someone who contributes regularly and adds to the conversation.

3. Only after the blogger becomes familiar with you is it safe to reach out about what you’re doing. If you’re a regular reader and contributor, the blogger is much more likely to read a press release or take a listen to your music.

4. Sometimes asking a question about your project gets a response. While many bloggers are too busy to answer every email, many go out of their way to accommodate a regular reader and contributor. As a result, it’s perfectly okay to follow up after you’ve sent something to the blogger and there’s a good chance he’ll answer.

5. Never hard sell, just inform. Hard sell is a turnoff in general. Don’t do it. It’s okay to state the relevant information, but keep the superlatives like “Best band ever!” out of the equation.

As a blogger who gets hit on multiple times per day by PR people, record labels,  artists and startups, I can tell you that if you follow these 5 tips, you’ll have a much better chance of getting bloggers to pay attention to you and your music.

If you want additional tips and tricks about promoting yourself or your music online, check out my Social Media Promotion for Musicians book. You can read excerpts at bobbyowsinski.com.

December 5, 2016

12 Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Make That Post

12 questionsAs I’ve said many times here and in my book Social Media Promotion For Musicians, just being on a social network doesn’t mean that you’re using it effectively for promotion. There’s a mindset that’s need before you can use any network as a promotional tool. Here are 12 questions to ask yourself (thanks to this Time article) before you post to any social network that will help you focus your content for greatest impact.

1. Is the message educational, informational, or entertaining? Stop if it doesn’t fit into either of these categories.

2. Is the voice correct? Remember to stay within your brand and not get too personal.

3. Is it too long? Shorter posts get more engagement.

4. Is the URL correct? You did remember to include a link, right? Make sure you check that it’s working

5. Should I target a specific audience with this message? Sometimes it’s better to just address a specific portion of your audience or fanbase.

6. Did I use the right keywords and hashtags to maximize exposure? Keywords and hashtags are still important.

7. How many times have I already posted something today? Too many posts in the day may mean that this one could be ignored.

8. Did I spell check? Poor spelling is something that people notice immediately and it detracts from the message of the post.

9. Will I be okay with absolutely anyone seeing this? Stop and rewrite if you feel the slightest bit uncomfortable about something in the post. Follow your gut on this one.

10. Is this reactive communication or is it well thought-out? If you’re angry, take an hour to calm down before you post. A quick reactive post is how flame wars start.

11. Did I make the most of visual content—images, video, slides? Visuals increase engagement on almost all platforms.

12. Did I make the most of my update text—headline formulas, polls, quizzes? You only have so many chances for attention so make the most of them.

The best way to use social media as an effective promotion tool is to post great content. Follow these 12 questions and you’ll always be sure that you’re in the ballpark.

You can read more from Social Media Promotion For Musicians and my other books on the excerpt section of bobbyowsinski.com.

November 28, 2016

4 Rules To Avoid Your Fans Wrath On Facebook

Facebook logoIf you’re an artist or band and you’re on Facebook, you want to make that audience grow and keep them engaged. The problem is that there are right and wrong ways to do this. Choose the wrong way and you either look like a schmuck or even worse, anger your fanbase. Here are 4 rules to follow on Facebook that will keep you out of trouble with those fans. They’re simple and easy, all you have to do is follow them.

1. Don’t Like your own post. This just looks bad and doesn’t serve any real purpose. It won’t help your Like count and it just feels like you’re patting yourself on the back for how smart you are. You’re not like that, so don’t do it.

2. Don’t post or tag photos of fans, crew or venue employees without their permission. You might think that the people will be flattered, and that may be true for most, but there’s always someone that’s there discretely and wants to keep it that way. Just ask permission first. Want to be even safer? Get written permission with a short release form.

3. Don’t tag people or pages that aren’t relevant to you. This one personally steams me the most. I just hate it when someone tags me in a photo that I wasn’t involved with in an effort to get me to check it out. It’s just bad form, doesn’t accomplish the task, and angers your followers, so don’t do it.

4. Don’t ask for Likes, Comments, or Share. This one is sort of borderline in that there’s an acceptable way and an unacceptable way to do it. First of all, it’s against Facebook’s terms to ask for a Like, although people do it all the time. A better way to do this, and also keeps it within FB’s terms of use, is through through a Facebook promotions company like Woobox. This allows you to set up contests or giveaways that hopefully will result in more Likes or Shares. You pay for it, but it’s a much more elegant and legal way to accomplish the same thing. As for Comments, the best way to get more is to ask more questions. Works every time.

Follow these 4 rules and you’ll not only stay out of trouble with your fans and followers, but look a whole lot more professional in doing so as well.

You can find more social media tips and tricks from my Social Media Promotion for Musicians book.

November 10, 2016

Understanding Your Fanbase

Understanding Your FanbaseYour place in our current music world is totally dependent upon the development, care, and feeding of your fanbase, and this excerpt from my Music 4.1 Internet Music Guidebook will help you better understand your audience so you can grow it.

First of all, understand that your core fans or “tribe” is only a piece of your total audience. Your audience can actually be broken down into the following two categories:

your casual fans and your core fans.

Your total audience, or your fans, is fervent about a particular small niche of music that’s usually a subcategory of a larger genre, which means that they love speed metal (as opposed to the much larger metal or hard-rock genres), bluegrass (as compared to the larger country-music genre), or alien marching bands (as opposed to either of the larger alien-music or marching-band genres).

If you’re an artist in a particular niche, your audience will automatically gravitate toward you, but still might not be your fans. This includes casual fans, occasional listeners, and people who like what you’re doing yet aren’t particularly passionate about it.

Although this part of your audience can’t be ignored, it’s probably not a good idea to expend all your energy on it. They’re aware of you and will probably give you a try with every release, unless they’re disappointed too many times in a row. They can be turned into passionate fans though. One “hit” song or album, a change in image, or a change in general perception, and they become the passionate critical mass needed for the breakout that turns a respected artist into a true star.

In Music 4.1, your most important core audience contains your most passionate fans, or your “tribe.” They’ll buy whatever you have to sell, work for free, recruit other fans, and basically do anything you ask. All they want is access to and communication with the artist, which is the basis of Music 4.1.

In the end, every fanbase has the same characteristics:

  • Your audience consists of your casual fans and your core fans
  • Fans may like an artist but may not be particularly passionate
  • Your core fans (true fans, uber-fans, super fans, tribe) are very passionate about everything you do
  • Most of your energy should be directed towards your core fans

Understanding exactly who makes up your audience will help you grow it.

You can read more from Music 4.1: A Survival Guide For Making Music In The Internet Age and my other books on the excerpt section of bobbyowsinski.com.

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