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January 21, 2016

Still Here Folks

Filed under: Marketing — ian @ 1:50 pm

Just to say that I’m still here but having a bit of a sabbatical. Will do more blog posts after the Spring.

Should you wish to contact me, please do so, I’ll get back ASAP, which means hours, not seconds or weeks!

New look website too :-) xXx

@BandPromotion - tweeps

May 26, 2012

Target Fan Profile Checklist

Filed under: Band Promotion, Marketing — ian @ 1:25 pm

I have already posted this information in: How To Take Your Band To The Next Level Online, but I thought it was worth a posting by itself!

Target Fan Profile Checklist

From your 10 true fans (who tend come to gigs) and 10 other loyal fans, create a target fan profile of your ideal fan by investigating their similarities. Use social media and the art of conversation to extract the information, you will soon build up an intimate understanding of your target fan :) Here are a few ideas:

  • Where do they live, is location important to you? Postcode information can be helpful!
  • Do they live in a little village or a big city?
  • Where do they hang out? Birds of a feather flock together ;)
  • What about climate, is that an issue?
  • Age (average & range 25 - 60), sex (males% females%) and marital status?
  • Occupation and education? Income is difficult to acquire!
  • And other demographic factors like, habits, attitudes, tastes and moral standards?
  • What is their fashion style? Where do they buy their clothes?
  • What is your target fan’s general personality like?
  • Their behaviour and life-style choises, do they buy their music from iTunes and listen to it on their iPhone?
  • How do they normally listen to music?
  • Are they consistently active users of social media, do they have a favourite like twitter?
  • How many friends/followers have they got?
  • If they work, are they on the net at lunchtime, what time, when?
  • When (what time of day) are they active on social media?
  • What type of internet connection are they using?
  • When you release a new album, are they excited - in what form do they buy it?
  • How did they find out about your band?
  • Is there a third party online/off-line who recommended them?
  • Do they look for and talk about other independent blues bands?
  • Are they listening to and following other blues bands? - who are they?
  • Are they knowledgeable champions of blues music?

May 21, 2012

Discover User Reviews - Yahoo! Marketing Dashboard

Filed under: Marketing — ian @ 6:35 pm
  • Business listings ─ Find out which search engines and directories include your business, if their listings are accurate, and if there are new listing opportunities you may be missing.
  • Online business reputation ─ Learn what customers are saying about you across the Web, so you can be responsive to their needs and provide better customer service.
  • Web site traffic ─ Discover how well your web site is performing by viewing Yahoo! Web Hosting, Yahoo! Merchant Solutions, or Google Analytics site traffic reports.
  • Marketing campaigns ─ Track key metrics from email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, so you know what is working.
  • Online sales ─ Know how your daily sales are doing with order and revenue reporting from your Yahoo! Merchant Solutions online store.
  • Marketing ideas – Learn about new marketing approaches and leading marketing service providers, like Constant Contact and OrangeSoda, which can help your business grow.

Measure Website Performance - Yahoo! Marketing Dashboard

May 8, 2012

Promote Your Band On Somebody Else’s Back

Filed under: Band Promotion, Marketing — ian @ 10:24 pm

PUNKS NOT DAD on spreadshirt
On Spreadshirt & @PunksNotDad

I was talking with Dan, a friend, about making money from his band’s website - which is in desperate need of updating BTW amigo ;) This is what I basically said during our conversation, “Dan, the main factor in making money from your band’s website is getting loads of incoming traffic; selling stuff from your website is a numbers game, the more visitors you get, the better the chance of a favourable outcome. Successful ecommerce websites also attract repeat visitors - as first time visitors often don’t buy. It’s quite easy to get the visitors to return by giving them high quality, relevant content and by creating the right environment; yeah, it really is that simple! Then it’s just a matter of constantly fine-tuning and updateding your website until you get a decent level of sales.”

“Of course you’ve got to have something to sell other than your music; T-shirts are a very popular product, and they’re a good way to advertise your band at the same time; Rachel should be able to come up with a brilliant design. The Eton T-shirt Company 60 High Street, Eton, Berkshire, SL4 6AA, are a good local T-shirt printing and design company! They said to me that they’d print short runs to keep the cost down. Sales can be made from your website by using PayPal. A couple of online T-shirt companies that make it easy to set up an online store are CafePress.co.uk and Spreadshirt.co.uk.”

I would recommend Spreadshirt. Oi Dan, PUNKS NOT DAD is my featured band’s T-shirt shop :) …actually it’s easy to create an attractive shop like theirs with Spreadshirt.

spreadshirt on youtube
Spreadshirt’s YouTube Channel

Spreadshirt’s YouTube Channel is worth a gander, some of it’s in French and German, but there is English too! I think the main advantages with using this type of online store Dan, is that there are no costs, it’s free to get up and running :) they offer an extensive range of quality apparel - no to be sniffed at - and most importantly, Spreadshirt handles the processing, customer service, payments and shipping, meaning, the only thing you’ve got to do is the initial setup. I’d also recommend that you run the shop using Spreadshirt’s platform (i.e. YourBandName.spreadshirt.co.uk - you don’t have to have your own website people), it’s easy to create a distinctive look and feel by adding your own header and footer graphics.

Go on Dan, open your own free online T-shirt shop now! NOTE: go to nav. tab SELL then Open a Shop for more information on their website - Let me know how you get on and I’ll give you a shout out - Good Luck :)

In Conversation With Bands
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.

April 8, 2012

Sell Downloads #MusicMarketing

Filed under: Music Marketing, Marketing — ian @ 8:03 am

Payloadz 234 X 60

Sell Downloads with PayLoadz

PayLoadz offers another outlet for bands to sell their music online as a download. There is a free demo account so you can try, before you buy :) I’m an affiliate I hope that doesn’t put you off! The Payloadz platform supports PayPal, Google Checkout, 2Checkout, Amazon Payments and TrialPay - the coice makes it easier for both you and your fans to use ;)

February 29, 2012

Marketing Music With Affiliate Marketing

Filed under: Music Marketing, Marketing — ian @ 12:11 am

Ages ago @JonnyScaramanga Tweeted: @BandPromotion I want to run an affiliate scheme to pay my fans a commission when their friends buy my merch. Any idea how I could do this?

Such an interesting question, I couldn’t possibly answer it in 140 characters. I conversed with Jonny and I’d love to share my additional thoughts with you.

A Brief Overview of Affiliate Marketing

Firstly, there are usually four parties that make up the affiliate marketing circle:

  • The Advertiser (the merchant - the seller)
  • The Network (the intermediary)
  • The Publisher (the affiliate - the referrer - the reseller)
  • The Consumer (the purchaser - the website visitor - Joe Public)

Looking at affiliate marketing from the Publisher’s point of view; affiliate marketing is the practice of getting rewarded by a merchant for sending visitors or customers to their website. After joining an affiliate marketing network you (the affiliate) select merchants to be affiliated with; when approved, you display their advertising banners and/or text links on your website. After your website’s visitor makes a purchase, fills out a contact form or clicks their link (clickthrough marketing) you earn a commission; typically your commission is a percentage of the sales price or fixed amount per lead/ clickthrough. It’s a simple way to earn some extra money and get paid for your performance!

In the case of @JonnyScaramanga, he wants to be the merchant and run his own in-house affiliate program. Jonny wants to pay a commission for referred business - maybe by utilising affiliate tracking software?

Affiliate Tracking and Management Software Providers

Please Note: I think I had better state, I am NOT endorsing or promoting any of these affiliate program products. You use them at your own risk!    Warning: always be cautious of ‘free software’, do your homework and check them out.

If you want to run your own in-house affiliate program, you will need a real website and an affiliate tracking software package (hosted packages do also exist). Fans, friends and family will be able to join as affiliates, then login, get links, view their stats and get paid! You, as admin, will be able to perform all the administration duties:

  • Cosmic Affiliate Click They say it’s lacking in detail and doesn’t have any major features but, it works and it’s free! Because this script is free it isn’t supported - which is normal, most free scripts usually have a helpful forum - somewhere!
  • Best Option (@JonnyScaramanga ?maybe?) (Basic, Hosted $19 (£12) /month): Post Affiliate Pro Affiliate software to power your affiliate program - so they say… Easy to set up and manage - recruit new affiliates, give them promotional tools and track their referrals. Integrates with many third party payment processors. BTW I am NOT an affiliate of PAP - maybe I should be, but I’m not!?

Note: Professional Affiliate Tracking and Management Software costs range from approx. £200 - £1,000 (for a hosted option there’s usually an additional monthly charge from approx. £15).

Be Aware Of The Security Issue

Security (in all senses of the word) is a very important and wide-ranging subject from the consumer’s, the affiliate’s and the merchant’s point of view. It can simply be about trust as in, “would I buy from that website!” Most affiliates are small-time, they worry about getting ripped-off, they want to feel safe and they want to get paid for their hard work; but obviously there is more to security than trust! Where there is money, there is corruption and the merchant who doesn’t prepare for trouble will get into difficulties and fail. Before using affiliate tracking software or signing up to a hosted affiliate package, carry out exhaustive checks and ask questions about their fraud protection and security arrangements - one can’t be too thorough; we all worry about the security of our personal information online, don’t we?

Low-Fi Methods of Running an Affiliate Program

These ideas are not perfect, they all have flaws or loopholes, I would recommend that you only invite superfans, friends & family to begin with. Do a lot of testing and keep a close eye on progress, because what makes these ideas work is trust, for instance: a real world affiliate might come round to your house and pick up 20 T-shirts & 20 CDs on a sale or return agreement, then proceed to market them to his friends - choose the wrong, aggressive salesman and it may harm your band, not help it!

1. This first method isn’t really an affiliate scheme, it’s promoting your band through ‘affiliate style’ marketing in the real world. This should be a casual and friendly project that you can expand, develop and improve.

To start, pick ten close friends and offer them five CDs each at cost price (e.g. 5 CDs x £2 = £10). They can sell the CDs for whatever they feel is the correct price (e.g. recommended retail price: £7 each). They keep all the profit. You give them a complimentary CD and a fake tattoo - get yourself a photograph of them for your website. BTW, make sure you include all your contact information on the CD and rear inlay or cardwallet.

I also recommend that you get your music on to a website like http://www.tunecore.com/, they distribute to itunes, amazon, emusic, nokia music store and others. Fans, friends and family can join amazon’s affiliate program and promote your music from their social media. Tune Core is always looking for affiliates as well!

At this early stage it would be worthwhile creating a database of names and emails of superfans, friends and family who may be interested in helping your band. Use http://mailchimp.com/ a brilliant free email marketing program.

2. An advancement of the first method would be the “Sale or Return.” method; Sale or return is an arrangement whereby the merchant (you, the band) sends CDs to an affiliate (the reseller) who pays the band when they’ve sold the CDs. The CDs (or goods, merchandise) remain the band’s property (the band is known as the ‘title holder’) until they are paid for in full (by the reseller). The band should allow a reasonable period before unsold CDs are to be returned by the reseller and/or payment is made, say 30 days; the reseller receives an agreed discount (a commission payment) of say, 20%, depending on their performance (how many they’ve sold).

Obviously you, the merchant, will need to set up a Reseller Agreement. The terms of agreement should include: Ownership and copyright details. Recommended retail price. Commission rates. sales/payment time scale and recovery of CDs due to late returns. Loss or damage. Transit liability. Their consumer legislation responsibilities, and your liability waiver. Etc. etc.

The reseller, affiliate is able to sell your music (and merchandise?) under agreement from their online shop :)

3. I’m sure you are thinking what most people are thinking by now, affiliate marketing is, “a fan sticking up our banner add on their Facebook page and selling our music to their friends!” O.K., here is how you do it Low-Fi style:

Sign up to PayPal and get yourselves a merchant account. When you have joined, go to: My Business Setup & click: Website Payments Standard. Go to: Create A Button Now. Set up a buy now image button (your CD cover) for each affiliate (could take about 15 minutes per affiliate, no advanced programming skills required!). Send your new affiliate the code to paste on their ‘web pages’. When “Joe Public” clicks and buys your music, you get the email from PayPal, so *You *Must keep records of the who, which, where and why affiliates, are selling your music. Then you pay-out a commission (10-15%) to the referrers/ affiliates.

Big Tip: treat your affiliates like gold dust. Why not get some distinctive and individual fake tattoos made, send them (maybe as a prize) to your top affiliates and post images of them flaunting themselves and having fun on your website’s blog. Definitely blog about your top affiliates and link to their ‘web pages’, it encourages others to join and buy.

Please be aware that most of your affiliates will only sell to about 2% of their audience - no one is going to make a fortune.

The Serious Online Marketeer

I’ve been an online/ affiliate marketeer since about 1994, that’s a long time in the affiliate world. Here is some sad news if you are a band looking to join an affiliate network like Commission Junction to market your music; NO serious online marketeer is going to touch your band with a barge pole - unless they are sleeping with the lead singer! Why? Because there wont be enough reward for the effort. It is the same for you (the band), joining an affiliate network (to market your music) would be too expensive! However, serious online marketeers do look for niche products and good profit margins - what’s your product & what’s the PM? Affiliate Marketing is a numbers game and it doesn’t matter what side of the affiliate marketing equation you are on, whether it’s the merchant or the affiliate, understanding the numbers is important - BTW, they’ll check you out!

However, the benefits of running an affiliate program could be worth the effort and expense: you should increase your website’s targeted traffic by 100+%. You will widen your fan base and get the opportunity to engage with, and reward your true fans. And ultimately sell more product.

Resources

September 15, 2011

Chief Technology Evangelist @ Yokto

Filed under: Marketing — ian @ 6:55 pm

I got an email from Oojal Jhutti who has the worlds best job title :) …

Add your bands favourite videos to your website or blog in minutes, for free! Here at Yokto we know you’re far too busy plotting global fame and super stardom to worry about the ins and outs of delivering mobile ready web video. So we’ve made it really easy, point, click, drag & drop and within a few clicks you can create entire TV channels of content for your fans to enjoy. Collect video from YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion and many more and combine them all into a single web player that’ll play on any device your fans might use - Web, mobile and tablet, for free!

Artists and bands the world over are using Yokto to maximise their exposure and help their fans share and enjoy their music, join them! - Get yours http://yokto.tv/

Good luck with that guys :)

February 14, 2011

Twitterific Affiliate Marketing

Filed under: Marketing — ian @ 3:49 pm

One thing that gets my goat is clicking on a bit.ly only to find some crappy affiliate style site at the other end - it always makes me feel like I’ve been schnookered. And it usually gets me thinking about MySpace’s ‘msplink’ and their daft attempt to ‘protect’ their users from URL bait and malware etc., but I really hope Twitter doesn’t go down the same road.

I’ve got absolutely no problem with affiliate marketing though, I’ve been doing it for around seventeen years, since 1994, and in that time, I’m sorry to say I’ve made many faux pas, however, one affiliate lesson I’ve learned is, ‘trickery is bad for business’.

I had a short ‘conversation’ with a musician after he tweeted an alluring affiliate style teaser, and I paraphrase: “Hey you guys, here’s some great music promotion ideas I’ve been using - Check Them Out!” And after we ‘chatted’, he asked “What should I be doing?” Having already looked at his background, I took that as an example of Socratic irony! UNFOLLOW and block!

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.

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