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5 Twitter Marketing Strategies

5 Twitter image

By Johnny Dwinell

Twitter is an awesome surgical marketing tool

Twitter

With over 250 million active users, you have an amazing FREE tool for finding people that are like-minded and connecting with them; like a cocktail party of sorts.  After you have recorded your masterpiece, you need to bring it to the world.  Twitter allows you to find people that are predisposed to liking your kind of music and facilitates a relationship if you have the balls to reach out and the brains to do it intelligently.  Here are 5 Twitter marketing strategies to help you get your music out there and build a tribe

Define And Find Your Audience

Who is your audience?  Is it EDM?  Is it Metal?  Is it Folk?  Is it Country?  Twitter even allows you to find sub genres within a certain genre, like Pop-Country, Country-Rock, Death Metal, Black Metal, etc.  I always tell file0002005996090my artists to think of what artist they would love to open for if they could be on any tour.  Typically this is going to get the artist thinking of the type of audience that would most likely dig their music.  For instance, if you are a Metal band and think that Metallica fans would love your bands music as well, then an opening slot on a Metallica tour would be super beneficial to your band, right?  Well Metallica has about 2 million Twitter followers that you can connect with.  Simply go to the search bar and type in Metallica.  You will then pull up their Twitter account.  Now, click on “Followers” and you have all their followers at your fingertips.

Twitter # Search and @Search

file3371281797656Continuing on with the Metallica example, anybody on Twitter that is talking about Metallica would probably like your music as well, yes?  So if you go to the search bar and type in @Metallica you will bring up many different Twitter accounts that have recently posted a comment about Metallica.  You can also use this same method for #Metallica.  What if you have a song that has the same vibe as a certain song, say like “Margaritaville”.  Simply type in #Margaritaville and you will find a slew of people who just used #Margaritaville in a recent tweet.

FOLLOW THEM!

Now you need to follow these people.  If you have a relatively new account you can start by following 30 people per day for a month and avoid account suspension.  Then Twitter Follow imagebump that number up to 60 people per day for a month then you can safely follow up to 120 people per day and not be suspended.  If your account is older than 1 year and seasoned (meaning you have been tweeting every now and again) then you can start following 60 per day for a month and then bump up to 120 people per day.  This is called the “follow first” method.  Think of it as an introduction and a handshake.  A certain percentage of these people will follow you back.  Then you will want to Unfollow the people who don’t follow you back.  I would only Unfollow as many people as you follow each day.  Tweepi, FriendorFollow, Tweetdeck, Hootesuite, are all different sites that will allow you to easily discover who is following and who isn’t; they all have free account levels for you to try out.

Content, Content, Content

The more you tweet with content that you like the more you will build your Twitter Content imageTwitter tribe.  For instance, live footage from shows, BTS (behind the scenes) footage backstage at a show, videos of music you like, videos or links to your favorite movie scenes, links to other artists you like, inspirational quotes or quotes that resonate with you are really good content that tends to get retweeted often.  Avoid hype for your band.  Hype works when you are using a branding marketing approach because there are tons of eyeballs or ears that are watching or listening to one message at the same time.  Please understand that hype doesn’t work on social media because everyone’s experience is 1 on 1.  If you use hype on any social media platform you will just look like an idiot; total turn off.  This content will begin to foster and deepen relationships with people online.  At Daredevil Production  we blog every week so this provides content that people like to consume.

Expose Your Music

HINT: Start THANKING and stop asking.  I hate it when someone follows me on Twitter or when I follow them and they come right out of the box with “Check out my music”; it’s annoyingTwitter Exposure Hand image.  Even if they ask politely it’s a total turnoff.  It’s REALLY EFFING annoying when they panhandle, like “I really need help PLEASE check out my music”; ugh.  Think of it this way, you meet someone for the first time at a cocktail party and you say “Pull your pants down I want to have sex”.  Oh wait, you ask POLITELY for them to pull their pants down because you want to have sex.  99.99% of the time it’s not gonna work man.  Twitter is the same way.  Think of it as a cocktail party.  I recommend you start THANKING people and give something back.  You are NOT using social media to sell so much as you are using it to create relationships.  GIVING is a great way to start a relationship.  Send a DM or Tweet “Wow!  Thank you so much for the follow.  I want you to have 7 free songs!  Enjoy!”  Watch how many downloads you get!  Now, assuming you are not sending out total crap, you will begin to develop a following.

Are you using Twitter to expose people to your music?

Are you thinking of Twitter as an appreciating asset?

With this method and CONSISTENT cultivation and Twitter activity you can gain at least 1,000 new, targeted followers each and every month.  I can tell you that Daredevil Production gains a solid 1,800 per month so 1,000 per month is easily doable.  Do the math, man, that’s 12,000 followers per year; and it’s constantly growing.

P.S. if you use Tweepi you can find your audience and then sort by location.  Think about that, you can use it to follow every like minded Twitter user in your region to help boost your live following!

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Percentages and Branding

By Johnny Dwinell

I hate to say it but even though it is easier than ever before to make a living as an artist these days, artists are starving more and more in large part because they suck at business.  The most iconic Percentages and Branding team building imageartists we cherish today are literal business titans as well musical geniuses; they understand percentages and branding.  Artists like Madonna, Bono, Sting, Bon Jovi, Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Daft Punk, Deadmau5, etc. truly understand how to operate as a business and what percentage is required to give away in exchange for an opportunity to grow the brand.  They also have a talent for team building which is a requirement to any success story.  Even with a huge record deal, do NOT underestimate the vital business necessity of team building.

 

Percentages and Branding

Think about Levi Strauss for a second.  Everybody is aware of Levi’s.  Hell, back in the cold war days one could make a fortune selling boat loads of Levi’s to the sheltered, ravenous-for-Western-culture residents of the U.S.S.R.  Levi Strauss & Co Percentages and Branding Levi imagedelivered the first pair of blue jeans in 1873 after Jacob Davis (not from the Levi Strauss family), a tailor who regularly purchased bolts of denim cloth from the Levi’s wholesale house, came up with the idea of using copper rivets to reinforce the main stress points of pants (such as the pocket corners and the base of the buttonfly) after one of his customers constantly came in to reinforce torn pants with the cloth.  Jacob Davis couldn’t afford a patent for his idea so he wrote Levi suggesting that they go into business together and they obviously came up with a plan to split the percentages.  I’ll bet this plan was heavily weighted in favor of Levi Strauss as they were taking all the risk by putting up all the capital to pay for the patent.

Here we have a symbiotic relationship where 2 separate entities work together to create something great and have to somehow split the profits.  Next, we need to remember that there was no internet so how on earth would you expose your brand to the masses across the United States in 1873?

 

Distribution

Think about this using your business brain for a second in today’s world.  If you can graph-backgroundpurchase a set of Levi’s from Wal-Mart for $38, and we know that Wal-Mart requires a profit to be made, how much do you think Levi’s sells the jeans to Wal-Mart for?  Back at the beginning of the 1900’s the biggie distributor was Penney’s (A.K.A. J.C. Penney)  Levi’s HAD to sell to J.C. Penny to get their product exposed and out into the market place.  It was much later AFTER the brand was solidly constructed that Levi Strauss began opening “Outlet Stores” where consumers felt they got a discount and Levi’s not only took 100% of the money (saving on distribution percentages) but also ONLY sold Levi’s.

You see, if you get a record deal the major label is going to try to take about 91% of the revenue created from record sales; this was standard back in the glamor days of the music business.  The sad reality is that Kelly and I have many friends who are/were famous stars selling millions of records and they never made a dime selling records, they only made money touring.  So why on earth does everyone always feel they have “made it” once they get the deal?  Why would you want a major label deal when you could make far more revenue selling 50,000 units yourself that you could selling 700,000 with major label??

Worry About What You Are Getting Paid

I was thinking of this after remembering a couple separate business deals that never came to fruition because the artists got hung up on percentages of possible future revenue.  They were laser focused on what they were going to be paying out vs. what they were going to make.  I created these deals to deliver DSC03525-Brevenue only on the back end (mostly because the artists were broke) so anytime the artist was making money, we were making money.  In other words, if we generated $10 of gross revenue, and we each got $5 a piece, then the artist had $5 that he didn’t have before, right?  The common response to this proposal was “I have my heart and soul into this project, I can’t give you 50% to market it, man.  It’s not you; it’s the principle of the matter”.  Currently each of these artist’s principles, along with $2.54 is good for a coffee at Starbucks and nothing else; they have each sold ZERO copies but thankfully retain 100% of absolutely NO pie.  It was funny, one of the artists argued that all his friends, none of whom had ever had a record deal (thus no frame of reference on how that all works), told him the 50% back end percentage was too much (WTF, if I was Warner Bros offering to take 90% they would have all said YOU MADE IT MAN!).  Another artist argued that if he hired me to sell light bulbs he wouldn’t be paying 50% on the back end, which is true.  But then again everyone is familiar with a light bulb and nobody is familiar with this artist.

There is a difference between branding and simple sales, exposure and distribution.  Most artists don’t get this.

Do you?

My advice to y’all is that if you can hook up with anyone willing to work at exposing and selling your CD’s for a percentage on the back-end; that makes your deal “performance based”.  This means that everyone makes money together or you don’t make money together.  Performance based contracts ensure that the entity providing the service is “putting their money where their mouth is” by basing their compensation on their ability to create revenue as very few people will put the time and energy into a project without realizing some kind of compensation.

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10 Music Marketing Facts

Music Marketing feature

By Johnny Dwinell

Here are 10 facts for your consideration with regards to the music business, marketing your music, and overall perspective on what some of your favorite stars had to go through to “make it.” Even back in the heyday of the record business, it still required hard work, y’all. You would also be surprised to learn how many of your favorite history-changing iconic records wouldn’t, and almost didn’t, happen because of marketing snafus. Bottom line is that you need more than just an epic record to make it.

10 Music Marketing Facts For Your Consideration

 

  1. Guns & Roses Appetite For Destruction – was released and available to the public in 1987; the firstMusic Marketing American single was Welcome to the Jungle released in October, 1987. The record didn’t “break” until 1 full year later. After 1 year of hard work, the Geffen Records marketing machine wasn’t getting the traction that it wanted partly because MTV refused to play the 1st single video Welcome to the Jungle. This record was just about to be considered “Dead on Arrival” when A&R executive Tom Zutaut pled with label owner David Geffen to throw some weight around and somehow get MTV to play Welcome to the Jungle. David finally acquiesced and got MTV to add the video to their after-hours rotation. It was played once on a Sunday morning at 3am; the phones LIT UP at MTV and the rest is history. If it hadn’t been for the one phone call David Geffen made, that record never would have broken through. This is proof positive that it takes far more than simply recording one of the best records ever made to reach an audience. If you build it you have to TELL THEM ABOUT it before they will come!
  2. Van Halen – recorded a demo that was passed on by every record label –  TWICE!!! Gene Simmons from Music MarketingKiss produced and shopped a demo (with On Fire and Runnin with the Devil from the first record on it) and then bowed out after Kiss’s management told Simmons that they had “No Chance” of making it. Then Warner Bros. label head Mo Ostin and Ted Templeman (who would become their producer) saw them live and decided to take the risk and sign the band. Proof that relationships are just as important as good music when it comes to creating momentum (this would have been the third time Warner Bros. took a serious “look” at Van Halen). This proves that Van Halen’s lane was not in the studio as much as it was a “live” phenomenon. Once they were able to get some execs to see them live, they got it.
  3. KISS – was signed to Neil Bogart’s Casablanca Records in 1973 and released their first effort Kiss in 1974. Music MarketingWhen that record failed to gain traction in the marketplace, they quickly came off the road to record Hotter than Hell also released in 1974. When that record failed to sell well, Kiss was pulled off the road immediately to record their third release Dressed to Kill which contained Rock and Roll All Night and fared a bit better than Hotter Than Hell but still didn’t sell well. At this point Kiss and Casablanca Records were almost bankrupt. The band’s records sold poorly but they were definitely developing a reputation as an amazing live show. So, in a “Hail Mary” fashion the band released Alive! (their pseudo live record) with the intent of capturing the live show on tape. It did just that and not only saved the band but also saved Casablanca Records. Proof that hard work, perseverance, and grit was mission critical to Kiss’ success.
  4. George Michael George was a HUGE multi-platinum (25 million records) international star with the early 80s duo called WHAM! before he shot to superstardom as a solo act with his amazing first solo effort called Faith which sold 25 million copies worldwide. In between George’s first record, Faith, and his second solo record Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1, CBS records was purchased by Sony. As a result, his trusted friend and artist, beloved label executive, Walter Yetnikoff, was let go. George had a “Key-man Clause” in his contract with CBS stating that if Walter left for any reason, George’s contract was null and void. Also during this time, George wanted his audience to focus on the artistic quality of this latest effort as opposed to his ass in a pair of jeans. He refused to appear in any videos to promote the record. The new label head, Tommy Mattola, was miffed not only that George wouldn’t appear in any videos to promote the record but also because he felt slighted that George had no interest in even giving Tommy and Sony a chance to work with him. As far as George was concerned, the Japanese and specifically Sony had no clue about “art” and he didn’t want to participate in any business arrangement with them. The result was arguably George’s masterpiece. Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 1 sold half as much as the predecessor Faith simply because Sony sat on it and refused to market it. HE WAS FAMOUS ALREADY AND FANS LIKE ME DIDN’T EVEN KNOW THE NEW RECORD WAS RELEASED. Again, the lesson is that you need to create great art, and then someone has to tell people about it; which means…it has to be marketed! Gasp!!!
  5. Winger If you listened to our podcast interview with Paul Taylor, you would know that Paul met Kip Winger when they toured together in Alice Cooper’s band. Their demos were passed on by every record label multiple times before Alice’s producer, Beau Hill, agreed to produce the band. BOOM! Atlantic signed them. Proof that it takes more than good music to get that elusive record deal! Work on your relationships!
  6. Bruce Springsteen Bruce recorded Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J., his first major label release, for Columbia in 1973. After he slaved over that record and handed in the masters, Clive Davis told Bruce that he didn’t hear any singles they could use on the radio to promote the record and told Bruce to write some more before he would release the record. Consequently, Bruce quickly wrote Blinded by the Light and Spirit in the Night both of which were released as singles (and didn’t do that well, FYI). Manfred Mann’s Earth Band covered Blinded by the Light and it went to #1 in 1977. This proves to me that Bruce, who was young and real smart, knew enough that he didn’t know and went back to the drawing board to give the label what they requested to promote the first record. While it didn’t do much to help the first record, it certainly paid off in the end. You can never go wrong doing a little more work. Ultimately Billboard Magazine named Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. #398 of the top 500 records ever recorded in large part due to the last songs he wrote and recorded for that record.
  7. Sony Purchase of Columbia Pictures Entertainment and CBS Records Wanna know why Sony purchased these 2 hugely expensive assets back in the late 80s? The Betamax video tape format. Sony ignored the first of the 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, The Law of Leadership; it’s better to be first than to be better. Sony believed that because their Betamax format was (arguably) better than VHS, consumers would naturally pick Betamax over Phillips’ VHS format. Subsequently Sony was not so quick to license and release uncut movies in their original format on the Betamax platform, and Phillips was. For the first time, people could own their own copies of movies but mostly on VHS, so consumers chose the VHS. Sony spent $1 billion dollars developing the Betamax and lost. Buy purchasing CPE and CBS Records, they ensured that whatever new “widget” they come up with next would have plenty of entertainment titles to flood the market and ensure that time-to-market was expedient.
  8. In 1991 Columbia Re-Signs Aerosmith to a $30 Million Dollar Deal ($8 Million Signing Bonus) While the Band Still Owed Geffen Records 3 Releases Wha? That’s right, why would a label exec with common sense make a deal like that? Who knew if Aerosmith would be relevant or even alive after 3 more releases and tours? Answer: the Aerosmith Catalog. Remember Aerosmith’s Truckville commercials for Dodge with Just Push Play? The band received $1.8 million + 1 car for each of the band members in exchange for 1 year of licensing. I don’t even want to know what they got for this Nissan Commercial with Dream On. Cha-CHING!! These are the publishing cash registers. Are you taking advantage of this on YouTube?
  9. Def Leppard’s Hysteria Def Leppard got their deal and released On Through the Night then got some Music Marketingtraction with High & Dry which sold about 250,000 copies on the strength of Bringing on the Heartbreak. Deeply in debt to their record label, they went into the studio to record Pyromania which was a history maker and history changer. They made enough money to satisfy the debt to the label for all three records and make a nice profit. Wanting to move away from Mutt Lange’s lengthy and arduous production methods and Mutt citing exhaustion, the band signed Bat Out of Hell co-writer, Jim Steinman, to produce Hysteria. Then, they changed their mind when they realized that Steinman’s different production methods would alienate their audience and went back to Mutt Lange. Def Leppard still had to PAY Steinman AND Mutt Lange. All this on top of the fact that the drummer lost his arm when he lost control of his Corvette. Bottom line; the band was so in debt just for Hysteria that they needed to sell 5 million copies to break even. Talk about GRIT!!! Hysteria went on to sell more than 20 million copies worldwide and is still their best-selling record to date. BTW, Pour Some Sugar On Me was a last minute addition; it almost didn’t make it on the record. I submit this is as proof that you need to get off the couch and get to work. Even after you get the deal, the “dice are still tumbling”. Could you handle adversity in your artistic career like that?
  10. Zac Brown Band Did you know that Zac Brown had been playing more than 200 dates a year since 2002Music Marketing LONG before he was ever signed? He opened a music club/restaurant with his father called Zac’s Place in 2004 (Zac was the chef so enter 90 hour work weeks plus the band duties). A developer purchased the restaurant; and the band used the profits to purchase a tour bus and get back on the road. The band couldn’t get any attention from the labels who told Zac that he was “too county for pop” or “too pop for country” until they sold a TRUCKLOAD of self-released CDs on their own. Consequently, when the majors started to pay attention, Zac Brown came to the negotiating table with a HEAVY HAMMER and has one of the best record deals in town which includes his own label imprint called Southern Ground. This is how you need to do it today people. HARD WORK is required to make yourself a success. Nobody is going to press the “EZ Button” and do it for you!

 

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Are You A Sellout?

Sellout feature

By Johnny Dwinell

What is the tribal dynamic that we encounter when other artists and purists admire a great artist (and for that matter great art) upon discovery and reject them (or at least get sour) after the work ascends into the stratosphere of pop culture and begins making pant-loads of money?

Should You Sellout?

Why is there an implication that this kind of popularity somehow degrades the quality of the art and artist? How exactly does this kind of regard or esteem for a certain piece of work really make the artist less of an artist?

Sellout Neon sign imageIs this because a mass audience cannot truly experience the same art in the same way with the equal intensity as a fellow artist and/or original fan would?

Who cares? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. As an enthusiast, I only need to be concerned with the fact that I LIKE the art, not how or why other people like the same art and certainly not how many other people like the same art. I would also need to consider the fact that If I was an artist with my finger on the pulse of the community, or if I was an original fan, I was simply EXPOSED to the brilliant work earlier than everyone else; after all, if its REALLY good its REALLY good, why wouldnt I expect everyone else to react in a similar fashion?

Is there some kind of grief, sorrow, or sense of loss that arrives when too many people join a group or tribal experience that we like to associate with? Is there a psychological dilution of perceived value (or ownership) in this artwork to the (early) beholder when mass quantities of people are exposed to it and hop on the bandwagon?

I know that I feel the closest to God when Im creating, so as an artist, I would define Heaven as the ability to create whenever the muse arrives unencumbered by monetary responsibility. In plain English, man, I wanna create when I wanna create and not have to worry about paying the bills.

But wait

Make a Living Creating

The only way to really accomplish this (my) idea of Heaven is to actually make a living creating; otherwise the production has to wait until Im done with my crappy job and any other hurdles, challenges, and/or speed bumps that life is going to throw my way today.

An artists job is to create, emote, and continually improve the quality of the works, right? By this definition then, an artist is truly improving everyday they are making a living at it. My artist experience was GREATLY improved and elevated the very first time I went on the road. Up until this point we had lots of rehearsals and maybe 1 or 2 gigs a week at the most. Then, BOOM, we did 28 shows in 28 days. WOW, we were a different band after that run, truly professional because we had the luxury of applying any knowledge, mistakes, epiphanies, and creativity to the very next performance which was happening today! That was an artistically amazing growth experience.

I would argue then, that If the ultimate purpose of art is communication, and artistic communication is derived from the sharing of said art, then isnt an artist becoming more of an artist the more people are exposed to the art?

More exposure means more communication is happening, right?Sellout exposure image

More exposure means more people are being moved by a brilliant piece of work, right?

How then is someone who wants to make money as an artist, presumably constructing an environment allowing them to grow into a better artist, to be considered a sellout?

Is it jealousy amongst the have-nots?

Thou Shalt Not Covet!

On the inside here in Nashville, I can tell you the true artists understand the ups and downs of an entertainment career. They understand that there are fluctuations in success AFTER they begin having hits, AFTER their mainstream career has diminished and thus, appreciate any successes of any artist because they know its special when it happens. I also feel this is good karma, man.

I get that some artists get to that elite top-tier status and begin creating art to satisfy the pressure from the suits (and ultimately their own spending habits); thus, making art for the purpose of making money. I agree this degrades the quality and intent of the art. But thats their trip, not ours. As artists, we alone are responsible for, and therefore must control the quality of our art.

Extraordinary art is a gift!

I propose we all take a breath and just experience the art in front of you. Open up to it. Learn from it. Feel it. Grow from it. And keep the negativity to yourself.

Id love to hear your thoughts on this!

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5 Simple Music Marketing Tactics

Music Marketing Tactics

By Johnny Dwinell

 In my last blog I really dug into the difference between distribution and marketing because I have had way too many conversations with artists who feel they are marketing their music by having it on iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, their website, etc.   Once again, that is electronic distribution; that is definitely NOT marketing.  In today’s blog I’m going to get into some serious music marketing tactics.

Music Marketing is Influencing Buying Decisions

Marketing is the art of influencing buying decisionsBuying Decisions Music Marketing TacticsFor Instance, when you and your friends are in a disagreement as to which movie to go see, each side serves up their best reason to spend money on their preferred movie choice; this is marketing.  Granted, it doesn’t seem like marketing and it doesn’t feel like marketing but y’all are EXACTLY marketing; you are trying to influence your friend’s buying decision on the movie.  Effective marketing influences buying decisions which, in turn, drives traffic to whatever distributors are selling the product like cars, or iPhones, or Tide detergent, or your music.  This means the ultimate goal of marketing is to drive traffic to where ever you are selling or streaming your music.  Once you get the traffic online you will get a mathematically predictable amount of sales.   This is cool, because if you want more money, you just have to drive more traffic.

I’m always telling you guys to think like a record label; so, let’s start there.  When you have a major label deal, the label will try to use radio as their main form of promotion.  They will have distributed your product (aka your CD) to the very same electronic distributors that you can get on your own, with the difference being they will also have companies like Anderson Distribution placing physical CD’s into Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, Best Buy, etc.  They will use PR (Public Relations) and Radio to expose you to the general public and ultimately influence their buying decisions.  I think the magic number is 7, so once John Q. Public hears your song 7 times (if he ever does) the song is in his brain and that’s where the buying decision is influenced.

You have to think like a record label and understand your main goal is to influence buying decisions after the record is made.  Let’s discuss 5 different ways to market your music and drive traffic to your cash registers for a purchase.

  1. Twitter – This is undoubtedly the most surgically effective marketing tool.  We use Twitter to Twitter Music Marketing Tacticsindoctrinate our future fans by creating relationships and letting the music do the talking; we give away the single.  Well, we give away the single in exchange for their email address via a squeeze page.  I say surgical because we have an Outlaw Country artist named Craig Gerdes (@craiggerdes) who has a single called Haggard Fan (Haggardfan.com).  Merle Haggard has 90,000 Twitter followers and growing; are you kidding me?  That one is like shooting fish in a barrel.  Everybody LOVES “Haggard Fan” from that lead source.  We are firing up a marketing campaign for an artist named Jeremy Calley (@jeremycalley) whose record Kelly and I mixed.  Jeremy is a good looking Texas Country rock & roll guy; the ladies go crazy over him.  I went right to Brantley Gilbert’s Twitter following for Jeremy.  We are growing everyday and the lead source is predisposed to love him.  I could also go to Luke Bryan for the same effect.  Get it?  It’s so perfect, but it’s not everything.
  2. YouTube – If you’re thinking like a label, you need to think of YouTube as your radio source; YouTube Music Marketing Tacticsespecially if you have amazing performance talent.  Artists like Karmin, Noah, and Macklemore have been launched into the stratosphere from YouTube.  Karmin and Noah used a clever strategy of recording artistically stylized cover songs with their talent that eventually blew people away and created viral videos.  Karmin’s biggie is at 84 million views now and Noah’s was around 18 million last time I checked.  When you start getting that kind of traffic there are many ancillary cash registers that will pay you money as well (see my blog on 6 Ways To Create Cash Flow On You Tube).  Macklemore release a killer single with a KILLER video and blew up that way, but he blew up on YouTube.  Remember last week’s blog where I spoke about strategy and tactics?  YouTube is a great strategy, but you have to put in the work.
  3. Live Shows – Live Show Music Marketing TacticsThis is probably one of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your cash registers.  First of all a CD from a live show where a fan loves the band is a souvenir as they are (hopefully) intoxicated with the emotion of your live show.  Indie artists like Anthony Orio (AnthonyOrio.com) play over 200 shows per year and move 7,000-10,000 units a year from the stage alone.  Do the math 7,000 x $8 (avg price) = $56,000; that’s enough to record the next record, y’all; and for a bunch of you, that’s a huge step up.  There are some great tactics to push product (aka your CD) at your shows.  Anthony or his bass player Chris will literally hold up a bunch of CD’s in their hand for 3 songs straight while some other band member does a little portion of their endless 4 hour set.  When the first CD is sold, they get which State the buyers were from and start a competition; works every time.  “We just got a sale from KY!  Who’s gonna kick KY’s ass??” get it?  Another tactic was to get the bar owner to agree to give away a $25-$50 bar tab (which costs the bar $6-$12 in booze) in a raffle environment.  To qualify, fans just have to go to the roadie at the merch table with a computer or their smart phone to opt in to the squeeze page.  The artist gets email confirmations from people who opted in and chooses a winner at the end of the night.  Who doesn’t want to trade an email address to a band they like for a shot at winning a $50 freakin bar tab?!?!  Anthony shoots out these really inexpensive rubber wristbands you can purchase for like .09 cents each with his website on them.  Cool little free souvenirs that have a call-to-action on them.  Google search to find tons of competitors for these rubber wrist bands, the company we use is http://24hourwristbands.com/
  4.  PPC Campaigns – PPC stands for Pay-Per-Click if you don’t already know that.  When you PPC Ad Music Marketing Tacticsare on gmail or Facebook typing about lawnmowers in an email to your mother, did you ever wonder how lawnmower deals magically pop up on the right hand side?  Those are PPC ads.  You only pay for them if someone clicks on them.  If someone clicks on them they immediately jump to your squeeze page get a free track which jumps them to your store and puts them in the sales funnel.  These are a bit more advanced as it’s not too difficult to spend too much money, but they are quite effective once you get your head around it.  PPC is an amazing marketing technology that allows you to reach a more targeted audience.
  5. PRWeb.com – Look, this costs money, but for $250 you can purchase a 1-time Press Release PRWeb Music Marketing Tacticsthat will go to tons of music magazines, music blogs, radio stations, newspapers, etc.  The more places you are seen the more traffic you will drive.  On this note, you may consider a PR firm, especially if you’re touring, this can be quite effective especially for the beginning of a marketing campaign.

There you have it.  Hope this helps you get your head around marketing a bit more

If you like this post, please SHARE it and/or leave a comment thank you!

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6 Ways to Create Cashflow On YouTube

Create Cashflow On YouTube spicket image

By Johnny Dwinell

Josh Rice is a monster on YouTube. He is having a hell of a time doing what he wants and loves to do; making music and writing songs. He started posting songs on YouTube in 2009 and has grown that initial artistic spiritual risk into a regular business with at least 5 or 6 cash registers that when combined, make him a decent living.

Wanna give a shout out to Jason Jerzewski for turning me on to this. THANK YOU! LOVE IT!

I just watched this video of Louis Howes interviewing Josh about how he is making a living as a writer and a musician on YouTube; HE BREAKS IT ALL DOWN MAN. He starts from the beginning and lets us all in on what he had to do to INVENT this future of his. I LOVE this kid!!! FYI, Josh doesnt know squat about the internet, HTML, coding, etc., hes just a singer and a writer.

This means you can do it too.

Heres the video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxfRqNvI-sw&feature=youtu.be

I dig that hes not waiting around to be discovered.

I dig that hes not letting the disintegrating music industry become a speed-bump on his journey to artistic success.

I dig that hes INVENTING his own future as an artist!

This is what YOU need to do.

Too many of you are not grabbing the bull by the horns here. You are basing your future on the dying business model of the old record industry. You dont need a label, you dont need to be discovered, you dont need to wait for your big break; you just need to write and/or sing! JUST DO IT. Create your own artistic business. Build it and they will come! Josh Rice is proof that this is really possible! I love how Josh was raised in Washington State, and moved to New York City, then Los Angeles, before ultimately landing in Nashville to pursue his musical dreams; he wasnt afraid. In the new music business, artists careers will be built from the bottom up, not the top down. Its a harder road, but the reward is the journey.

Look, I KNOW how artists think, so if your success as an artist or writer is dependent on ANYTHING that you feel is outside of your control, you are consciously or subconsciously using that as an excuse to wait; to protect yourself from the unknown. Think about it. Yeah, now you are admitting to yourself that you really need not wait for anything or anybody.

This video INSPIRED me, man! I LOVE IT when somebody pulls the curtain back on all this new Wizard of Oz shit and shows us how they succeeded.

This video interview is 43:45 long and if you want to be a player at all you should watch the whole thing. Partly because the information is so vital to your artistic success, but MOSTLY because this Josh Rice is so much like you and me!! This kid is just using a little fearlessness, hustle, and common sense to make a living with his music. If he can YOU CAN TOO!

Again, you should watch the whole thing because its worth it, but I broke down some of the key points for yall if your pressed for time.

4:50 he gets into collaboration with other huge YouTube stars and how that helped him grow a following. Remember when I said you need to surround yourself with people that are smarter and farther along than you? Boom! This is a perfect example of how that helps you flourish.

7:30 Josh discusses how many times he was rejected by some of these YouTube stars and how that was good karma. He CONTINUED to create relationships.

9:20 he discusses how he had to learn everything. He goes into how his first videos werent even synced with the audio so they sucked but he didnt care, he just kept on getting BETTER. He learned the audio program by himself and actually took an online course to hone his video editing/production skill-set.

11:05 he reveals numbers. He talks about his subscriber numbers and how many views he has had.

11:38 he discusses how his goals changed once he got into working his plan. I huge reason was that he kept writing songs and they were being hacked. So he changed his plan to adapt to problems that were occurring.

16:00 REVENUE STREAMS Josh discusses the different revenue streams he has created and how none them look very pretty by themselves, but put together he is able to make a good living. Those revenue streams include:

  • iTunes sales of his own music
  • iTunes sales of covers that he has licensed.
  • Ad revenue from the hits on YouTube
  • Streaming revenue
  • Merchandise Revenue
  • Mechanical Royalties from the cover songs

22:44 Josh Discusses how he was able to obtain more traffic to his videos.

24:00 He discusses how he did it RIGHT. The YouTube, Twitter, and Google algorithms are constantly evolving so the old tricks of putting porn keywords into the metadata no longer works. The key is to put out REALLY GOOD material! That will go viral.

25:25 Keywords process / promotion strategies

28:00 Website to drive traffic.

29:10 Psychology behind driving clicks

30:00 How often he is posting videos

31:10 Approaches to building a brand and working on YouTube.

36:30 Strategies behind likes, comments, favorites, and subscribing.

39:20 Related videos, gaming the system, all this doesnt matter anymore with search rankings.

40:30 How YouTube is ranking now.

Hope this provides some inspiration for Y’all!

BE FEARLESS!!

 

Please leave a comment below.

If you like, please share this blog post as well.

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Where Are The Taste Makers?

Tastemaker Feature image

By Johnny Dwinell

Where are the taste makers? Does anybody take the time to go down the Rabbit Hole on ReverbNation?

Does anybody click on If you like this, then youll like this” on Pandora?

I did once. The song sucked. I never did it again. There’s no filter, man, I don’t have time to risk it.

We Need The Taste Makers

What is really missing in the new music industry is the trusted taste maker, man. We need a taste maker and platform that allows the taste maker to curate. I mean terrestrial radio had the DJs and then the Program Directors thatTaste Makers Radio DJ image ultimately decided what you were going to be exposed to. Of course their filter was the record labels, which was a pretty effective filter as the labels really needed to believe, back in the day, that the artist would break before they sunk 3 albums worth of capital into the project. My buddy Brian down the street who turned me on to all the cool bands was quite effective. I also had MTV (believe it or not they used to only play music videos) which created their playlists using the labels as a filter, a curator, if you will. You either liked it or you hated any new songs BASED ON YOUR TASTE but the quality of the recordings and the quality of the songwriting always had a certain level of professionalism; the bar was high.

This techie, algorithm crap that keeps getting shoved down our throats by EVERY ONE of these startup internet radio companies SUCKS. It is NOT EFFECTIVE. Want proof? What band has ever BROKE on internet radio? What artist has ever been launched into orbit after being discovered on Spotify, or Pandora, or Slacker, or Deezer, or any of these other dumb-ass online sites? Its definitely happened on YouTube but that isnt really internet radio, although it can behave as such. The video aspect of it helps create the viral effect. Many artists have broken on YouTube, btw; new, incredibly talented artists. This doesnt happen with the websites that are audio only.

Theyre fucking it up.

Music is personal. Music is spiritual. Music is emotional. They will never invent the perfect algorithm that takes the place of the taste maker. They dont realize this because theyre techies. Trust me; this isnt the first time that a bunch of engineers have thought that the solution was all scientific. Without Steve Jobs understanding the need for both science and control, Apple products would suck just as much as your Android and PC do; and they do suck, you just dont want to admit it.

CONSUMERS DONT HAVE TIME TO GO DIGGING DOWN SOME SHITTY RABBIT HOLE TO FIND THE NEXT BIG ARTIST THEY WILL SUPPORT! They will only continue to visit these sites to hear the crusty old songs they are searching for.

And theres the rub. You have to be exposed to something that you like first, before you go searching for it. So to me, every one of these sites is nothing more that big-ass, worldwide Tower Records Store. I never went into Tower Records (back in the day they used to have record stores and stuff, they were massive like Wal-Mart spaces with Taste Maker MTV image

droves of music available to purchase) to aimlessly walk around looking at random Album or CD cases to find some cool music, I actually had an agenda. I actually KNEW what I was looking for, because I was exposed to it via terrestrial radio, MTV, or my good buddy, Brian. OK, there was a little stretch of time where I went into the Mom & Pop record store in Lake Geneva, WI to aimlessly meander around and look at CD covers, but thats because I was in love with Nancy the check out girl; I was trying to get laid! FYI, she was really hotand really crazy.

I realize there are some of you ARE the person that would buy music based on the album art, and you what I would define as the local TASTE MAKER. You are the one that always has the killer new CD first before anyone else on the block did. Brian was my local taste maker and a trusted friend but even he didn’t consume music by searching for it, he had an older brother and sister that turned HIM onto the good stuff. However, while this local tastemaker is an important role to be sure, mass consumers do not consume music this. They simply dont have the time. So why are we consistently setting up the new internet radio sites to enable mass consumers to behave like a local taste maker?

Curating

Who will be the first company to create an internet radio that is for just the indie artists?

Who will be the first company to pick good, solid, NEW music and market it online to the world? I mean, creating web traffic is not as much of a mystery these days as it once was, right?

Am I that far off to believe that once you build something like this, provided the quality of the music is GOOD, people would catch on? I think about this on a business level often. New York City is the #1 radio market in America. With some 14 million people living there, how many of them are listening to the Rock or Country station at any given time? More so during drive time to be sure, maybe a few million? 750,000? Once this WiFi thing becomes ubiquitous in automobiles (say 5-7 years), a REAL Internet radio station could do some serious damage. Creating a listenership that would dwarf any station in New York, or L.A., or Mexico City.

We need a site with a program director that pours over countless entries and DECIDES what artist is good in their own opinion.

We get that started, with some serious capital to promote it and BOOM! The 22 immutable laws of marketing will Taste Makers 22 Immutable Laws Of Marketing imagetake effect, its better to be first then to be better!

We simply dont need another site that requires us to dig or do any work to be turned on to cool, new music. Create a playlist and PLAY IT for the love of Pete!! Use a good ear to decide who will make it on the station. People that tune in wont have a choice as to what they hear, other than genre.

This is what we need.

I wanna COOL station to listen to, man.

I wanna trust you, Mr. DJ. I wanna be turned on and inspired by your next selection.

This whole business of allowing everybody the space just results in too much noise on the radar screen. My ex-wife is a TV producer so I have tons of friends in the TV industry. Did you know that if you say NO to a project someone is pitching you will be statistically right 80%-90% of the time? This is a fact they actually teach!! This is because most people suck at art. That is why we are so blown away by the people who excel at art; its why music is so fascinating! There has to be a filter of sorts to weed out the dregs. Additionally, we will grow to LIKE some of these taste makers, well, taste! I predict this is the way that new artists will be able to break to a mass audience again.

It will come around, eventually. Lets face it, 90% of the indie crap that is on these online radio stations is shitateous. They consist of absolutely horrible songwriting, horrible performances, horrible recording quality, just plain horrible. Ugh.

Could you imagine if TV was set up and distributed like these online radio stations?? Oh wait, it is, its called local cable access and it BLOWS.
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PANDORA BLOWS

Pandora inet radio image

By Johnny Dwinell

Pandora Blows. Ohand they certainly dont give a shit about you. Not for one second.

Pink Floyd Blasts Pandora

Pandora Pink Floyd image

Pink Floyd wrote an op-ed piece in USA Today blasting Pandora and their douche-bag CEO Tim Westergren for essentially tricking musicians into signing a petition disguised as a letter of support for internet radio that was REALLY about slashing musician royalty rates by 85%. Read it HERE

Pandora Digital Music News imageI initially read about it HERE in Digital Music News. Btw, if you intend to make a living in the music business, youre a moron if you dont subscribe to this magazine. Someone has to at least attempt to keep their eye on the moving target.

So, we have to get educated on this people. The world is changing; fast. Ultimately for the better with regards to the music industry as it relates to indie artists, but we cant let the freakin wolves guard the henhouse any longer.

 

You can thank Sean Parker and Steve Jobs. Yes, I mean thank them. Thank them for actually making it unbelievably easier to make a living in the NEW music business. Right after you thank Sean you can kick him in the balls for stealing the music and making it worthless in the marketplace, well, at least he won, right? Hes rich at our expense; stealing is stealing and Parker is SHADY. What he did do was prove to the world that digital music was happening right now and put the train on the tracks in a very public way for digital distribution; which is mission critical to our survival as indie musicians. Digital distribution creates real revenue.

Steve Jobs put it all together in a neat little amazing package and got the artists PAID. Steve Jobs believed in artists and liberal arts. Kelly and I just listened to his biography on a long drive home from a WI visit. The reinvention of Apple was based on the intersection of art and technology; around CREATIVES and CREATION.

Eventually the dust will settle on some pretty great new soon-to-be VERY popular delivery methods of music; new and old. Until then, the shakedown will continue. We will continue to have companies who come in and exploit musicians by making millions on their music and paying NOTHING in return.

This is not news. Its been going on for decades.

Record labels have done it. Terrestrial radio has done it, MTV did it, Sean Parker and Napster did it, and now Pandora, Spotify, and a host of other companies are doing it; doing it to us.

The essence of the Pandora shakedown is to convince our Government that they are paying too much money to license your music, which generates all their revenue; thus,

Pandora cant be profitable!

But heres the rub for us. This is really important yall. THINK ABOUT THIS.

Ubiquity is gone. Get over it.

Sadly, the days of the Rockstar are gone. You really have to get over it! If you are truly over the dream of becoming rich and famous as an artist you will damn sure be paying more attention to what is going on right now with your future revenue so you can at least get paid!

As we now have literally thousands of immediately accessible internet storefronts from which to be exposed to and ultimately consume music (although the exposure comes in the form of shitateous algorithms made by techies that are as effective as screen doors on a submarineI mean if you like this then you will like this..WTF, whenever someone figures out that 99% of music consumers dont have time to search for new music, they just want to be EXPOSED to GOOD music, the world will be a better place; and someone will be super rich. But I digress) the market place is fragmented.

When its this fragmented the BIG exposure business model disintegrates and the marketplace descends down into lots of little profit centers. We have already seen it happen with television. In 1979 there were 3 stations. The US Pnadora Farrah Fawcett imagepopulation in 1980 was 226 Million people that 3 networks divided up between them; this is the definition of ubiquitous. If you were lucky enough to be, say Farrah Fawcett, on a hit TV show in the 70s you were HUGE. You were FAMOUS. You were RICH. Everyone knew who you were, what else were they gonna watch? You had a 33% chance of viewership; thats freaking huge! Nowadays, if you are a star on TV you just dont have that kind of exposure because there are 500 channels. Therefore you cant possibly be as famous. Make sense? You cant possibly be as huge. Its impossible to be ubiquitous.

 

So what DO we have?

We have clicks.

We have tribes.

We have cult followings that REAL GOOD content attracts.

Did you hear that? We have tribes, clicks, and cults, oh my. You are exposed to the actors from the shows you like but you are completely unaware of actors on shows that you do not watch because there is just too much content to be able to keep track of 10% of it all, and have a life.

Back to ubiquitous. In the 70s, if you didnt watch Farrah (or any TV star because you preferred a competing program in the time slot) YOU KNEW WHO SHE WAS, because your friends were talking about her. Everyone knew ALL the TV stars then whether they watched the shows or not. Remember Battle of the Network Stars?? They had all the biggies on one competition show and it got great ratings! Now we dont, there are just too many shows and too many actors to keep track of; too much noise on the radar screen.

So goes the music business. Get it?

The thing is, TV actors get paid. All 500 TV networks understand that the actors are going to get paid so they can create interesting content that they can broadcast to generate advertising revenue.

Tim Westergren wants to make sure that doesnt happen to you. He wants your money. He wants to literally take the food off your plate, man.

You are not going to be famous.

But you can make a living. As long as you dont allow assholes like Tim Westergren to screw you out of the revenue he creates from YOUR hard work!

If you wanna be famous, be crazy on a reality TV show, its a long shot but far better odds than getting famous in the music business. Please, do that, and leave the music business to people who really have talent and NEED to create to keep from climbing a tower with a gun. It belongs to us, and eventually this new business model will weed out the wankers and the posers.

US Terrestrial Radio Stations Do Not Pay Mechanicals

This is why this article is so important. You cannot trust the Government to think for us no matter which side of the isle you sit on. They gave terrestrial radio a pass on mechanical royalties back in the 40s; we songwriters and musicians paid for that. How important were the mechanicals? Heres a great example. Remember the 80s band Kix? The bass player wrote all the songs for that band. They had a triple platinum record, lived the Rockstar lifestyle, but the bass player was the only one that got paid because he was the writer; the rest of the band made $400 weekno mechanical royalties were paid by radio. Due to the fact that the US terrestrial radio stations dont pay mechanicals royalties and European terrestrial radio does, American artists DO NOT get paid mechanical royalties from European radio spins simply because we do not pay European artists mechanical royalties. See how huge this decision was?

Our Government gave MTV a pass on ALL royalties until they were operating in the black which magically never happened; we musicians paid for that too (although MTV really did have the power to break a band wide open, huh?). MTV was so ubiquitous, it made the non-payment of royalties worthwhile, but stillthey build a whole network on just music back in 1980 and didnt pay a dime for it.

Now here is another really important fact. MTV was so POWERFUL that they single handedly broke Guns & Roses. You know the story, 1 spin of Sweet Child o Mine at 3am on a Saturday morning and BOOM, the phones blew up! Heavy rotation followed and they were huge; Guns & Roses was saved by MTV. Would have never happened without MTV because as you may or may not know, the Appetite For Destruction record had been out for a year at that point; the band was over. Believe me the labels all quietly argued that MTV should pay royalties but didnt want to piss anyone off over there because they were so ubiquitous; they had the power to seriously launch band up to the stratosphere. MTVs argument to the government included New Technology and Massive Exposure components as they spun a tale of how important these things would ultimately be to the music industry. MTV was right. They were that important.

Paul Westergren (aka Fuckface Von Shitstick) is making the same argument with the Government that MTV did. He is working the New Technology argument, and the exposure argument. MTV was exposure. Pandora is a cacophony of noise on the radar screen that exposes nobody. You really have to be looking for a song to get to it. This is not exposure; its distribution. Westergren really believes that the search algorithms which allow people to discover new music based on what they are currently listening to is exposure. It isnt. How long has Pandora been around? Which bands EXACTLY broke to worldwide success by being played on Pandora? Come on, name ONE!!! I sure as hell cant and Im in the business. So they suck, plain and simple; there is no exposure. Pandora is essentially providing a huge haystack for artists to hide their proverbial needle and calling it important because its possible to be heard there. Ugh.

Isnt it already quite clear that if we are not paying attention to this next congressional episode headed up by Tim Pandora Inet Fairness Act ImageWestergren for Pandora, the Government will do the same thing; cave to big money. How the fuck can you really sell music for a living and go to the Government and tell them that you pay too much for the products you sell and ask THEM to change the rules? How about CHANGE THE BUSINESS MODEL!

How is this different than TV manufacturers saying we cant make a profit on flat screens so you need to tell the parts makers we are cutting their pricing by 85%?

How is this different than your boss going to the Government and saying Im paying too much for labor, so I need you to mandate a wage cut of 85% so I can make more money?

How is this even the Governments problem?

HOW IS THIS EVEN ON THE TABLE FOR DISCUSSION??

I mean, Pandora has literally doubled their subscribership in the last 2 years but 70% of their subscribers become ghosts. Again, I reiterate, NO EXPOSURE.

Pandora is a hustle, a farce. Why?

No new bands will break worldwide as a result of the worldwide exposure Pandora is giving them. So the whole business will die with the old music that creates the traffic which in turn pays the advertising revenue. Why else would all the executives immediately exercise their options and sell them?

European radio stations pay writers royalties AND mechanical royalties and manage to make a living and keep the businesses going for decades. The business model of profiting off of creatives while the creatives get paid is not a fantasy. It happens every day, just not here in America.

Steve Jobs managed to put together a new platform that pays royalties to artists and writers AND make a profit.

So I would like to say this to Tim Westergren: STFU

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Are You Paying Attention To The Losers?

By Johnny Dwinell

Do you? Are you paying attention to the losers to learn from them or just the winners? I sincerely hope you are all really researching the marketing methods I gave you the broad strokes on in previous blog posts. This is MISSION CRITICAL that you get this.

Why?

This is how you will actually make a living. If I told you that you could replace your crappy $30K per year job that Losers winners imageyou suffer through to work on your music, with revenue FROM YOUR MUSIC, would you quit your job? Thats a No-Brainer! The only way that is going to happen is if you change your outlook, stop coveting the rock stars. Stop coveting the old music business and market your music INTELLIGENTLY in the NEW music business! If you keep doing what youve always done, youll keep getting what youve always got; and hows that working for ya?

 

Far too many of you are still so nave as to think that you just need to record that demo of your 3 cool songs and then someone important is going to hear them and sign you. WTF? That business model went out the window 10 years ago. Record labels USED to find talent and develop that talent.

But then again, record labels USED to make money selling music. (Btw, do you see the dichotomy here?? If you are the millennia generation, you want the music for free but yet, you still fantasize and believe in the old record business model which was only financially capable of developing talent with the MONEY THEY MADE FROM SELLING MUSIC?? LOL, but I digress.) So you have to recognize that your music no longer matters to the major labels because they cannot afford to develop you. It doesnt matter if youre more talented than Prince, THEY JUST DONT DEVELOP ARTISTS ANY MORE; IT IS NO LONGER THEIR BUSINESS MODEL.

You have to develop yourself.

You have to create a PROFITABLE small business that the major labels will be interested in investing in.

I would like to touch on the old record business in this post though. I want yall to explore the reality of the old record business. I think once it really sinks in, the reality of the shitateous chance you had to make it in the old record industry, it will be easier to embrace the new record industry. It will be far more attractive to embrace the mathematically predictable reality of online marketing.

How are we going to do that you ask?

By studying the losers; FYI, theres a lot.

Read this article. Its a little bit of a long read, but if you have a brain, it will be well worth it. If you are a person who chooses to think rather than just believe you will make the correlation. This article is not about the music business but about a phenomenon called Survivorship Bias. In short, we dont covet the losers. We covet the winners. Thou Shalt Not Covet!! This article is about learning as much as we can from the losers just as we learn from our mistakes; just as we learn from our failures.

Here it is: http://youarenotsosmart.com/2013/05/23/survivorship-bias/

Now, how does this associate with the music business?

What do we have to learn from the losers?

For starters, lets talk about how many of them there are; 90% is an accurate number. Back in the heyday of the record business, when the labels make billions selling records, only 10% of the artists signed to just about any label made any money. CBS (now Sony), Warner Bros., Atlantic, Polygram, A&M, Elektra, Epic, all had hundreds of artists that were signed to their respective labels and only 10% of those signed artists made any money.

Only 10% were profitable.

Wow. Talk about planets aligning; you used to need the whole freaking Universe to line up to make any money at all.

Lets really put this in perspective. I was a hair-farmer back in the day, an 80s metal band front-man, and I STILL love 80s metal bands! I loved going to the concerts, I loved seeing them kick ass and shred (or NOT lol) live! (Check me out HERE if you want a little giggle) I was SO disappointed when I discovered the evil truth

Most of the bands I saw were in debt.losers debtor prison image

Most of the bands I saw had the record, made the video, were on tour, were doing tons of media interviews, they were living the rock star life style, they were living my dream, and they were deeply in debt. Man, all that work to get through the velvet rope, to get yourself in the door and POW, youre broke.

Want some proof?

Check out this article on RIAA accounting practices for the bands with major label deals HERE

Want some more?

Heres a great article written by Danny Goldberg (Google him), he was one of the heavyweights back in the day. Pretty grim, read it HERE

A Radio Promo Budget Doesn’t Mean Success

I submit this to you artists that have any kind of brain at all; why the fuck would you want this? Why would you want to deal with this when you can make WAY more money selling 70,000 units yourself than you can selling 700,000 with a major? Whats that? Oh, you wanna be on the radio? In Country music radio still rocks, radio still breaks new artists, but by the time you get there nobody will care. Nobody will be listening; just like nobody gives a shit about the network news anymore. So why bother on a million dollar bet? Thats right a BET! Ask me, Ill tell you! Just because you get a major label record deal and they spend 1 million dollars to promote you will not guarantee that you will get any spins. It does mean you will get a ride, maybe about 6-12 months, and then its over and you are in what we affectionately refer to as the Artist Protection Program. Locked away in a deal and nobody cares; nobody can hear you screaming either.

Why would you do this when you can PREDICTABLY make money online?? You just have to figure out how. Its not rocket science. For you artists who hate or simply cant imagine the art of business, FIND SOMEONE who does! $70,000 CDs sold at an average of $7 gross = $490,000. After expenses, after the necessary BS and cash flow required to sell 70,000 units, splitting the profit in 2 is still way better than never ever seeing a dime from a major label. Right?

Just ask the RIAA and Danny Goldberg.

Please share this if you like it!

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HOW TO GET PAID FOR YOUR MUSIC ONLINE

How to Get Paid For Your Music Online get paid image

By Johnny Dwinell

So we just got done with CMA week here in Nashville this past week. Crazy!!! Tons of fans and tons of artists and Tons of INDIE artists!!! I can’t believe that the indie artists are not educating themselves on this important business aspect of selling music.

 

Step two is LEAD CAPTURE (a.k.a squeeze pages).

 

If you are unsure what a squeeze page is, then check on our blog section to read about it. I devoted a whole blog post to the subject; because its important. The short answer is a squeeze page helps you capture email addresses. So now we have the email address and the attention of your new fan. These email addresses should be considered SALES LEADS; get it?

 

Once we have their email addresses they are clearly interested in what you have to offer, at least the free download. Now, assuming you have a KILLER sounding track and most importantly a KILLER song, the market is going to respond. I remember the first time I heard Metallicas Enter Sandman on the radio, THE FIRST TIMEyes, yes, I was already exposed to Metallica and I was prepared (or at least hopeful) to LOVE the track. God, that riff was UNBELIEVABLE!!! The song was so DAMN GOOD I FREAKED OUT!! Ill bet you all have had many experiences like that with your favorite artists; after all, this is why we are here, we freaking LOVE music. Well, if you take care of business with the writing and you take care of business with the recording then the internet market will have the same reaction! HOLY SHIT!! This track rocks!! Where can I buy the CD?? Thats the response you should be getting. If you are not, then youre music isnt that good or your fishing in the wrong pond.

Now begins the marketing process.

Step three is MARKETING.

This is where you begin to cultivate your following with constant, appropriate contact and content.

This is where you make money.

This is where a big cash register is located for your business that none of you are minding.

When you have their email address and the consumers Opt In, you now have permission to market to them through their email; where you will stay until the email is opened or discarded opposed to social media where you here and gone in a few seconds. Think about that for a second, while you will take everyone in social media, the whales with big followers/friends/etc. are quite ideal because if they like you and give you a shout out, now youre exposed exponentially to more people. However, the more followers/friends one of your followers has, the more chatter is constantly on their RADAR screen. For instance with Twitter, any tweet is going to show up momentarily before they have to dig for it. Make sense? With an email address youre inside the circle.

It is important to remember that you cant blast anybody with BUY THIS NOW and BUY THAT NOW, because if they feel like they are being marketed to, they will unsubscribe so fast your head will spin!! So there is a definite art to the language you have to use to peak their interest.

There is an art to sales.

Dont believe me? Dont like the word sales? I know, I KNOW, we all hate the sales guys, right? We all hate the smarmy sales guys. Its true; but we dont hate the good ones, because we dont FEEL like weve been sold. The fact is that EVERY PERSON HAS to go through a certain mental process before they will part with money. This is the art of sales.

Sales, is the act of walking someone through the psychological steps they need to satisfy before they purchase and then ultimately asking for the money. Its been proven for over 130 years! Its been taught with many different names and metaphors, but the simplest program is a 4-step program called AIDA.

Heres a breakdown of those steps in the simplest form.

AIDA

  • A Attention (or Awareness) – This is where you attract the attention of the customer. (This is whatHow to Get Paid For Your Music Online AIDA Sales Chart the free download is for!)
  • I Interest – This is where you raise customer interest by focusing on the benefits of what you have to offer. (Packaging works well for this like 2 for the price of 1)
  • D Desire This is where you increase the desire of the customer to get your product, you convince them that they need it NOW! Scarcity still works well here, i.e. limited time offers etc.
  • A Action This is where you take action to get the customers to take action and purchase the product. This is the CLOSE. This is where you get paid!!!

Check out the definition of AIDA and the history of it HERE

Every infomercial has these elements, watch for them now that you can define themyou will be amazed. Every sales pitch, every deal ever made has these elements with the exception of drugs, LOL. Like Chris Rock said, I dont know why people should be busted for selling drugs. Drugs sell THEMSELVES! I never knew a crack dealer who was quoted as saying WHAT AM I GONNA DO WITH ALL THIS CRACK!!!

Well, yall participate in sales/marketing constantly every day. When one of your best friends calls up to tell you about a party he wants to attend in lieu of your current plans, he/she is marketing to you. When yall are trying to decide what restaurant to go eat at, someone is marketing to you about their favorite place because thats what THEY want to do. Thats where THEY want to go and they want you to convert to their way of thinking. In short, they are influencing (or not influencing) your buying decision. Consider this, you deal with sales and marketing from your friends every day but it doesnt FEEL like marketing, does it? It doesnt FEEL as invasive as the sales phone call, or the used car salesman, or the CRAZY EDDIES ELECTRONIC STORE COMMERCIALS!!!!!!!! (Every town has a Crazy Eddie of some sort!)

Why?

The answer to this question is the secret to online marketing. Its because yall are friends.

Crazy, right? This is the secret. People will give you much more of their attention and at least RECEIVE the information you want to give them (i.e. hear you out) if they feel an attachment to you, a connection of some sort. So when you focus on this aspect of your relationship building on social media sights along with your marketing once people are in your sales funnel and become LEADS, you have a far better percentage of people who will convert.

There is an art to the language you will use to market to your prospects without them feeling like they are being marketed to and you can AUTOMATE the responses and the email drips for everyone that enters the sales pipe.

There is an effective formula for what language is on these emails and when, exactly, they go out. There is also some gangsta technology like exit pops and redirecting that helps increase your percentages.

How to Get Paid For Your Music Online MMM imageAgain, Im sure there are hundreds of companies that offer in depth data on these processes, and I feel the best one is from John Oszajca. This program costs money, but its worth the education if you are serious about making a living. You can check it out HERE

Dig in Yall. You can do this. You can make money selling your music, but its no different than selling anything else, ok? You have to be a business person to make it happen or surround yourself with a business person who is willing to do it for you.

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