14 Online Tools for Independent Musicians

Independent MusiciansI follow a good number of music blogs. It seems that bad news comes out of L.A. or Nashville on a weekly basis. The record labels are scrambling for ways to monetize their artists and sales of physical media are plummeting. Strangely though, sales of vinyl LP’s rose 10% last year, but that’s another blog post.

As I’ve mentioned on previous posts, the tools available online to independent musicians are quickly making the labels obsolete in many areas. I wish I’d had these resources available when I worked in the industry. So, here’s a quick overview of some of those tools. This is not an exhaustive review, but it’s a good starting point.

If you are an artist or a member of a band and have not made use of at least a few of these resources, you are missing the boat my friend.

1. Discmakers. I have already done a review of these guys and I still think they are a great tool. You can read it here.

2. CD Baby. These guys have been around a long time and are very good at what they do, which is being your very own personal distribution system. You supply them with a few copies of your new CD and they will make it available all over the place. They will sell the CD’s for you as well as distribute them into all the major online sales forums like iTunes, Rhapsody, Amazon, etc. They’ll also get your music inserted into the various streaming sites, e.g. Spotify and others. They offer other package deals and services as well. Highly recommended.

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Is Twitter Worth the Time?

Twitter bubblesI was sitting with some friends yesterday discussing their new website and strategies for increasing their online presence. We discussed the usual suspects and, of course, Twitter came up in the conversation.

Their response was typical, “I don’t get Twitter. Why should I use it?” If I had a dime for every time I’ve heard that, I’d have a stinkin’ load of dimes.

I am no Twitter expert, but I can share what I’ve learned. LIke most everyone else, I joined Twitter and wondered the same thing. What was the purpose of Twitter? What do you say? Over time, I’ve gained a bit of an understanding.

Twitter has many uses and many different end results. As I’ve started following people, it seems to me that the main purpose of Twitter is marketing, be it full-blown intentional marketing campaigns or something as simple as a slightly narcissistic interest in talking about what your doing. I don’t say this as a negative thing, merely an attempt to explain the “psychology” behind Twitter use.

There are a few Twitterers out there who go against the flow, so to speak. I’ve seen a few who do nothing more than follow hundreds of people and say nothing. I compare these people to my mother who used to go to the mall just to sit and watch people. For the majority, the goal is to gain followers.

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5 Tips for Effective Facebook Marketing and Content

As I continue to study and immerse myself into social media, I’ve picked up several very good recommendations on making social media marketing work for you. The landscape is constantly changing and marketing solutions change with them. I am concentrating on techniques that are broad in their application and should (hopefully) continue to work amidst the changes. With a shout-out to Hootsuite University, here are five great techniques for creating effective Facebook marketing and content.

Your Content Must Tell a Story

If someone comes to your page, they are obviously displaying a base-level interest. The root of our social media experience, perceived or not, is driven by our own self interests. Consequently, your content must tell the story of how your products and services interact with your customer’s lives. To catch someones attention and keep it, you must offer more than personal blurbs about your lack of sleep, or how much you dislike the current team that made the playoffs. Your posts must appeal to your readers, even if minimally, in a way that demonstrates a connection to what you have and what they want (or might wish for).

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