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November 28, 2010

What’s Going Wrong With Your Music Career - imperceptible bollocks logic

Filed under: General Musings — ian @ 10:38 pm

Young People Dancing to Unseen Rock Band Brigada S at Luzhniki Stadium I’ve just got back from talking with Jeremy, an old friend, about his music career, web promotion and monetizing his website; coincidently, I’ve also just received a question from a band that asks, “We are looking for help to get noticed so we can earn enough money to do this full-time.”

It’s my strong opinion that if an individual musician or band wants to ‘make it’ on the music scene and make a living from their music, the most important area to get right is their musicianship and stage act (Music and Performance). Fundamentally, how good at ‘doing it’ are you? This is The Core Essential and best indicator of whether you are going to make it or not. Nine times out of ten, if you are having trouble getting noticed and making money out of your music, then you probably can’t ‘do it’ - seek criticism and advice from an independent and qualified person whose opinion you value and trust. Then act on their advice.

To make a money out of your music, you also need a Business Plan - talent is sometimes not enough! “How much money do you want to make/earn?” Have a consultation with a music industry accountant, see: UK music business accountants list on Vocalist.

Here are my potted thoughts: if you want to make £24K gross (that’s without deductions) per annum from your band’s/artist’s website, you’ve got to take about £480.00 per week. And that is five times more than I’d expect an average band/artist to make from their website with: ad. space, affiliate marketing, donations, Google Adsense, merchandise, downloads and CD sales! Which is why I say, “Don’t concentrate on your website in isolation to everything else.” But, it Is important that your website is a part of your overall business, marketing and promotion strategy; look at the big picture and be open-minded - you need an aim and a plan. The usual ways of earning a living as an independent artist are: Performing (sessions, gigs and touring - I’m not too sure about busking Jez?), Selling Music and Merchandise (CD physicals, downloads, T-shirts, button badges etc.), Publishing (see: PRS for Music (formerly the Performing Right Society) a ‘not for profit’ organization). Also: have a gander at a blog post I wrote in July 2009 Make Money From Your Band’s Website.

If you are having trouble getting your music noticed, revisit Your Core Essential Music and Performance, and take a second look at your Business Plan.

Hang-on, there is a third element, Connectivity. You’ve got it, “How you connect with people.” And Oh My God, this is also where it all goes wrong. You come over as a Tosser and you can’t write a fucking sentence without thinking of yourself first, in fact you can’t write a fucking sentence, why would anyone just say “CHECK OUT OUR MYSPACE” and not give their MySpace address In An Email? Would even the most desperate, half-arsed, alcoholic band promoter bother to scratch around trying to find out who you are? <UNDERSTAND>Delete Button</UNDERSTAND> Noone cares about you, actually, they don’t like you, so don’t fuck them off even more with shitty, egoistical emails.

It’s all about how You come over. How people see you. How They interact with you and how You respond. Yeah, respond. Maybe, how well you listen! Artists need to listen as well as project and promote their point of view. What does your address book/database/mailing list look like? Up-to-date is it? Have you got it sorted, categorized, cross-referenced? No? Well you’re wasting your fucking time then. Because if you don’t know who your talking to, you may as well be talking to your MySpace friends - who don’t give a fuck because they’re twats like you.

Connectivity is being on the same wavelength as the person with whom you are talking, it’s empathy, rapport. As a band or musician, you are going to have to connect with a lot of different people, fans, friends and family (when was the last time you said thanx with some flowers or a box of chox for all the hard work they’ve done?) - are you talking with your local: Pub Landlords, Venues, Gig Promoters, Press, Radio and DJs about “Strictly Come Dancing”? How many hours have you lost, squandered and wasted on FaceSpace this week? …it’s not easy - nobody said it’s easy.

I came across a helpful blog post by Vinny Ribas, Measuring Your Success - that may help you a little Jez.

Music and Performance, Business Plan then Connectivity - imperceptible bollocks logic, one thing follows on from another.

Unsigned Band Promotion (me) play a microscopic part in all this, I help musicians and artists to get their websites noticed by fans, search engines and the music industry in half the time they could do it on their own, and I’m the best.

November 25, 2010

BandPromo For DIY Band Promotion

Filed under: Band Promotion — ian @ 11:59 am

DIY Band Promo | Indie Band Promotion | Band Marketing | How to Promote Your Music Online | BandPromo.Me

BandPromo.Me is the new kid on the block with high aspirations of providing DIY indie bands and musicians, with the tips, tools and resources they need to promote themselves Online.

As with ALL band promotion websites of this nature (including: UnsignedBandPromotion), they need your support - especially a link and/or a mention. BandPromo.Me have a competition running where they are giving away 1,000 Facebook fans (closing date: Dec. 31, 2010) - the competition requires you to: create, download and add fans to a free customized toolbar for your website from Conduit - it’s an affiliate thing (don’t be put off by that), but it is also a free band promotion tool.

Good Luck with your Band Promotion Project Keith, and I hope Portland isn’t too wet or cold over the next few months - keep taking the hot coffee to keep those drumming hands and feet warm ;)

November 23, 2010

Band Flyers and Banners

Filed under: website promotion, Band Promotion, Marketing — ian @ 11:50 pm

Band Flyers A5

I’ve been looking at the standard sizes of banner ads, to see if one would translate into an Online Flyer (Hey! It’s a good idea to include your flyer on your website and various profiles). Obviously there are a number of well-known standard banner ad sizes: 728×90 Leaderboard, 468X60 Full Banner (standard), 120X60 Button, 88×31 Micro Bar, 125×125 Square Button, 300×250 Medium Rectangle, 180×150 Rectangle… but there wasn’t a size that would fit with the reduction of an A5 flyer (140mm x 210mm). So, I took a look around the Web and I’ve come up with the 180px X 255px Vertical Rectangle.

Of course, reducing an A5 flyer down to 180X255 can cause problems - one can’t read the information - so that’s no good!

Band Flyers A6 180X255

I made a very basic A6, postcard size flyer (102mm x 152mm, 5.75″ x 4.375″, 1/4 A4. Yeah, I know You can design a better flyer), and by keeping it simple it resized very well (BTW, Thanks Menendez for allowing me to use their ‘old’ flyers and cobble one together using their name) - see above.

  1. To keep life simple and the results awesome, I recommend you start off with an A6 (102mm x 152mm), postcard size flyer - they’re easy & cheap to print, four flyers to an A4 (normal printer paper. Black & white or monochrome?). Creating an effective flyer may not be that easy if you don’t have the tools or talent - you’d better find someone who has! The idea is to create a flyer that works: clear, informative and easy to read text. Interesting and eye-catching graphics. Reduce the A6 flyer image to make a 180px X 255px Vertical Rectangle flyer ad.
  2. Think about your fans and the information they’re seeking from your flyer - are there any special factors like age restrictions?
  3. If entry to the gig is FREE, make sure it’s displayed clearly - people are interested in the word FREE, so it will make your flyer more eye-catching!
  4. The best position to place the 180×255 Vertical Rectangle flyer is about halfway down on the right-hand side of your website’s opening page.
  5. You definitely need to spread the word about your next gig. You can do this by asking fans, friends & family and local bands of the same genre to display your flyer on their: Website, Facebook, Myspace, ReverbNation, Wordpress, etc… Can you see the problem? What happens after the gig, and your wonderful flyer becomes obsolete? Make a 180×255 Vertical Rectangle banner advertising your band. Name the image YourBandName-flyer.jpg (this is the file everyone links to, it will always be the filename of your flyer AND banner images - get it?). Now you only need to change/manage the filenames and replace/swap the image as and when required! - - Oh God! even that solution can cause problems, so provide a selection of the two (different image names) and let the ‘advertiser’ choose.
  6. Encourage other local bands of the same genre to swap flyers/banners/links with your website. Create a ‘Your Flyer Here’ or special flyer page - it’s a good idea to provide your flyer/banner link code (the HTML). This is all good for website promotion too!
  7. Keep an eye on your website’s access logs to get an idea of what flyer/banner design works best - you may need to create some alternative flyers/banners, don’t stick with the same old design.

Helping Indie Bands With Website Promotion,
Unsigned Band Promotion
UnsignedBandPromotion.com
Helping musicians and artists get their websites noticed by fans, search engines
and the music industry in half the time they could do it on their own.

November 11, 2010

Next Day Flyers Print Flyers!

Filed under: website promotion, Band Promotion, Marketing — ian @ 7:17 pm

Online Printing Company Providing Offset Printing Services | NextDayFlyers.com

I was contacted by Leslie, who I assume is part of the Next Day Flyers promotion/link building team! She sent me some blurb, and here it is:

How are you promoting your upcoming shows? Naturally there are many methods including online marketing and offline marketing. One of the most common ways to create buzz about an upcoming performance is to utilize printed club flyers. Printed event flyers can be distributed via the venue you will be performing at a couple of weeks prior to your show. This gives potential guests time to plan and schedule around your gig. Flyers can also be distributed to businesses in the area where there is a potential crossover in the fan base you are trying to attract. For instance, if there are music shops, coffee shops, and book-stores located nearby your venue, you may want to leave your flyers on hand at those businesses. If a band of a similar genre is performing at a bar, don’t be afraid to place your flyers on the windshields of cars in the area. Every bit of exposure helps.

Next Day Flyers is an online printing company offering custom printed materials. Their service meets the needs of bands, DJs and musicians who have the goal of spreading the word about a performance and attracting more visitors. Next Day Flyers has themed templates offered on their website designed specifically for musicians to use. Custom layouts can be created online in a matter of minutes. Be sure to think through your next marketing tactics and do what is needed to attract a large crowd.

Of course, Next Day Flyers is a USA based printing company; I’m sure they’re not targeting bands and clubs based in the UK, costs would be far too high (actually, don’t most people go locally for printing so they can build up a relationship with the printer?). I thought I’d give you a Price Check and a rough idea what the costs would be for a typical band’s flyer: 100 X half page (A5) ‘Night Club Flyer’, full colour front & blank back, 100lb glossy paper, printing turn around 2-4 business days: Sub Total $39.95 Plus shipping @ $11.53 (that’s to Houston, TX, they’re in Rancho Dominguez, CA).

Is $51.48 expensive for 100 flyers Leslie? At Band Flyers they’re Free - one has to print them off oneself though!

I have always recommended that bands use both online and real world techniques to promote themselves; flyers bridge the two, you can post them as an image on social networking sites and hand them out at gigs (promoting your next gig), they are almost always good value for money, even at $51!

If you give Next Day Flyers a try, please let me know how you got on.

November 8, 2010

The Queen’s On Facebook

Filed under: General Musings — ian @ 3:19 pm

Sex Pistols- God Save The Queen

The Queen’s on Facebook!

Are You?

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