Social Media & Musicians: The Danger in Being Everywhere | CDBaby.com

Untitled 1 01 Social Media & Musicians: The Danger in Being Everywhere

Why less is more when it comes to promoting your music on social media

Since the dawn of social media and time (ie Myspace),musicians have always been the unchallenged and unquestionable early-adopters of tech. With so many new platforms sprouting up all over the web every day, it’s no surprise that so many feel the need to be everywhere.

Some of us are driven by the mentality that more profiles equals more chance of being discovered. Others cling to the fear of missing out on a chunk of potential fans by not being there.

All-in-all, I think it would be fair to say the average musician has far more social media accounts than they know what to do with. And you know what – I totally get that, because I’m guilty of being ‘the average’ as well.

Oh no, not another profile to maintain!

Obviously Facebook and Twitter are a given for pretty much anyone, musician or otherwise. Then let’s throw in the mandatory muso hangouts, SoundCloud and ReverbNation. But beyond the no-brainers, we start to spiral down into a truly bottomless pit of music marketing possibilities – YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, Myspace, LinkedIn, Tumblr, StumbleUpon; the list just goes on, and on, and on….

Now I’ll be the first to admit that the temptation is strong and the immediate gratification is great – each of these platforms are quick to sign up to, easy to set up, fun to play with, and above all else, free to use – free in the fiscal sense of the word.

But wait a second, what about the two pricey pals that we forgot to factor into that equation:

* Time: yep, you probably knew I was going to say that. But it’s true – the amount of time required to effectively maintain multiple social platforms is significant. And as an artist, time is one of the most valuable resources you have, right?

Presence: perhaps a cost that you had not considered. Online presence is a lot like real world reputation – not only will people judge you based on it, but they will talk about it when you’re not around; for better or for worse. Maintaining a healthy online presence is an absolute necessity for any musician that’s serious about their art. For each new social platform you sign up to, don’t forget to grab your toolbox and hammer one more nail into the coffin of ongoing commitment.

Running an agency of 18 spritely digital marketing obsessionists serving 60+ artists, I know first hand just how much work is involved in managing the online assets of an artist with a presence spanning 4 or 5 different networks — a hell of a lot.

By signing up to 2, 3, 4, or even 10 different social media platforms, you are exponentially increasing both the amount of involvement required to keep things up to date, and the risk of your presence on at least one of these platforms slipping into an almost inevitable state of disrepair *cue tumbleweed*.

Can I ask you something…?

WHAT exactly are you trying to achieve with your music?

Is it satisfaction, respect, royalties?

Take a moment to think about that.

Now, every time you feel the urge to sign up to yet another platform ask yourself why – WHY are you there? HOW does this fit with your ultimate music goals?

Let me leave you with some final food for thought:

1. When building your presence online, don’t aim for quantity – aim for quality. Being everywhere with your music won’t be any help to you if you’re not doing it well. On the contrary, it’s actually more likely to do you damage than good.

Got a bunch of half-complete profiles you’re not using? Shut ‘em down. Pick one or two key platforms and do them right!

2. Choose the social networks that suit your objectives, and best amplify your voice & image as an artist.Social media sites are not all the same and believe me, regular users will not forgive you for ignorantly employing the same syndicated social strategies everywhere you go.

Want to be artsy and mysterious? Take a ticket and join the queue on Tumblr. Want to be more visual and a fashionista? Pinterest is your new pal.

3. Understand which platforms your audience is most likely to live on and invest your energy and focus there– why waste your story on a virtual room of people who could care less?

A little thought before action when setting up your socials will help you understand where you are currently, and where you want to be in the short and long term. Then it’s a simple matter of working out which social media channels will get you there the fastest.

Here’s to utopian dreams of a world with one less Myspace graveyard!

About the author: Nic is the managing director & co-founder of Jaden Social, a creative Digital marketing agency based in Sydney, Australia. If you want to hear more from Nic you can catch him for weekly instalments on his blog, Musician on Vacation.

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3 Things to Keep in Mind When Submitting Music to Industry Professionals | CDBaby.com


shutterstock 59481760 300x300 3 Things to Keep in Mind When Submitting Music to Industry Professionals
[This article was written by guest contributor Anthony Ceseri.]

A while back, one of my newsletter readers sent me a CD of his music. It was a burned CD-R with a sloppily written name and phone number on it. I was perplexed by the mailing for a few reasons. I was pretty sure the person who sent me the CD wanted me to listen to it, but beyond that I didn’t know what he wanted from me.

A few questions came to mind. Who is this person? What does he want me to do with this after I listen to his music? I own an informational website for songwriters — what does he think I can do with his music? With these questions in mind, I wanted to outline a few tips for you as you send your music to people in the music industry.

Here are some of the guidelines musicians are expected to follow when submitting their music:

1. Know who you’re sending to and why

This might seem obvious, but unfortunately many songwriters simply send out a shotgun blast of their music to whoever they can, hoping “someone” important will hear their music and make them famous. That strategy simply doesn’t work.

Are you sending your music to a music supervisor for a film or TV placement? Are you sending it to a label for a record deal? Are you sending it to a venue owner to get a gig? Are you sending it to a critic for a review?

Know your audience; address them and tell them specifically what you want. Just sending out a bunch of CDs or mp3’s with a generic message because it’s easier for you to do that isn’t going to help you much. You need to speak to the person you’re sending your music to specifically in order to get their attention and let them know what you want. It will make it much easier for them to help you with what you need. Only having a link to your music just isn’t good enough.

2. Have a professional presentation

Again, this sounds like an obvious concept, but unfortunately it’s often neglected. If you’re sending an email or letter to someone in an attempt to get them to listen to your music, treat it similar to how you would if you were sending someone a resume to get a job. Just because you’re a musician doesn’t mean it’s okay for you to be unprofessional. Unprofessional or sloppy presentations won’t make you a cool musician in the eyes of those who will potentially listen to your music. It’ll simply make you appear unprofessional or sloppy, which will give your music a lesser chance of getting heard.

With this in mind, don’t leave email subjects or bodies blank. Don’t overuse exclamation points, or other types of punctuation either. Use a proper salutation, body and closing. Simply saying “check out my music” isn’t good enough.

3. Don’t submit unsolicited emails with mp3 attachments

A major pet peeve of music industry professionals is getting an email they didn’t ask for with your music attached to the email. There’s no quicker way to clog up someone’s inbox than with large attachments they weren’t asking for in the first place.

Of course, if you find a radio station or music supervisor with a webpage that encourages you to send them mp3 attachments, then by all means do it. But most of the time, you’ll be asked for links to your music online, as it’s a much easier and quicker way for someone to listen to your songs.

While having your website in your signature is okay, in most cases you won’t want to put a link to your music in the body of your first email, unless it’s asked for. Many times, it’s best to ask permission to send your music first, as that will help develop a relationship with the person you’re submitting your music to.

Last note

If you’re not sure about how to proceed with submitting your music to someone, put yourself in the recipient’s shoes.If you were receiving dozens of music submissions each day, what would you want to see in someone’s presentation to make it stand out? What would make you want to develop a relationship with someone and listen to their music?

When you start to think like the receiver of the music and not the submitter, approaching these submissions will become much more obvious to you. Hopefully the three ideas you were presented with here will get you to start thinking that way. Let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Hearing Protection and Your Music Career | DiscMakers

by MICHAEL GALLANT

When it comes to hearing protection for musicians, it’s worth finding a solution to prolong your career and livelihood

 

[Ed: This is a subject near and dear to my heart.  Please get protectors that aren’t the squishy things.  They don’t block low frequency energy which is where most of the power is.  Get the Etymotic Musician’s Earplugs.  They run around $100 but that includes a hearing test, fitting, and post manufacturing test to be sure they work.  I’m on my second pair, and they’re the best money spent!    – JT]

 

Hearing protection for musicians

About a decade ago, I worked with a drummer who refused to use any sort of hearing protection when playing, even though many of our rehearsals and gigs were decidedly decibel-heavy. “I just let the sound wash over me,” he told me.

After a year or two of not playing together, I had another conversation with that drummer, who, not surprisingly, was beginning to experience ringing in his ears, which could be a sign of tinnitus and other potential hearing damage. He was on his way to an audiologist to get an exam and custom fitted musicians ear plugs.

When it comes to hearing, the truth is your ears don’t care how good the music is, how hot the jam, how deep the connection, or how much you let the sound “wash over you.” Noise is noise, and too many decibels for too long will permanently damage your hearing. (For more on this, check out my article in M: Music and Musicians magazine on hearing protection).

That said, many musicians feel that ear plugs act as an unwelcome barrier. Whether foam, plastic, or silicon, plugs make it difficult to connect with the sound or audience, or muffle the nuances of a player’s instrument, the argument goes — so ears go unprotected.

In my own experience, I’ve found that working with ear plugs as much as possible during practice sessions and rehearsals — especially when mics and amplification are involved — helps me maintain my connection to the music, the audience, and my bandmates without putting my ears at undue risk. I try to practice the same songs or techniques with and without hearing protection – and sometimes with one ear plugged and the other open. This sort of repetition gives me a frame of reference, so when I hear something with ear plugs in, I more quickly imagine what it would sound like with ear plugs out.

Living in New York City, I also have ample opportunities to protect my ears from loud subway screeches or bus air breaks, and I sometimes wear my musicians ear plugs out and about during the day. The more time I spend with them in, especially while engaging in conversations on the street or bouncing around the city, the more comfortable I become with them in general, and the less like I’m walking around — or making music — inside a bubble.

It’s worth experimenting to find the hearing protection solution that works for you. While specially molded musicians earplugs are my favorite choice for now, plenty of players opt for other options, including inexpensive foam ear plugs that you can get from any drugstore. The key is to see what works given your instrument, decibel level, and performance habits, and not to give up on hearing protection as a whole, just because one solution is not be the best fit.

As musicians, we’re in this game for the long haul. Ears are a precious asset, and anything that can be done to maintain hearing acuity while still connecting with your performance is energy well spent.

Read more: Hearing Protection and Your Music Career -Disc Makers http://blog.discmakers.com/2013/09/hearing-protection-and-your-music-career/#ixzz2fG8ql3ta

 

 

 

 

 

5 Tips For Keeping Your Music Gear Safe On Tour | Hypebot

Thief-vbc17-flickr

Ari Herstand tells an all too common story of having his music gear ripped off and then goes on to share a series of tips for keeping your gear safe. Planning ahead and thinking things through can make a big difference even for local shows. If you have additional tips for keeping your gear safe, please share them in the comments with Hypebot readers.

As Ari Herstand puts it, “Your Gear Will Get Stolen” (via Dotted Music).

Reducing the odds of that happening requires some forethought and a clear plan to follow no matter how you’re feeling after the show. Here are some points to consider when you’re thinking it through.

5 Tips for Keeping Your Music Gear Safe On Tour

“Don’t Forget The Sheet”

Ari advocates camouflaging your gear if it’s otherwise visible through the windows of your vehicle. For example, a bunch of equipment in the back of an SUV can be covered with a sheet so it’s not so obvious that the cargo is valuable.

“Don’t Advertise Your Band On The Side Of Your Van”

Part of camouflaging is not painting a big sign on your vehicle telling crooks that valuable gear is stored inside. That’s good advice from Ari but tough for the marketer in all of us to accept.

“Get An Alarm Or Bright Blinking Light”

It doesn’t always help but it can sometimes make a huge difference.

“Walls Are Your Friend”

Back that thing up! If you’ve got a van or trailer with a back door, backing it up to a wall at night is a smart move. Note that, in a pinch, light poles and similar obstacles that are positioned to block access to the lock may suffice.

“Insure Your Equipment”

After getting shafted by State Farm, Ari found MusicPro Insurance to be a much more effective solution to musicians’ needs.

Bonus:

The only time I’ve been seriously conned by a stranger was when I was in extremely familiar and safe surroundings. I was mislead by the context to assume the best rather than objectively evaluating the situation.

So just cause you’re back at your favorite hometown club with all your friends coming to the show, don’t get sloppy with gear security. That’s a bad way to kill a homecoming party.

Tips? Tales of woe? Tell us about it in the comments!