ManageMental Episode 105: Advice From the Industry: Part 2

Hypebot article "19 Marketing Predictions From Music Industry Experts" by Ariel Hyatt of Cyber PR.

Chris Robley –  DIY Musician Podcast: Pay For Social Media Ads & Boosts Without Bitterness. 2019 will be the year your AVERAGE independent musician starts budgeting for online advertising without feeling nauseous or bitter AF. We’re getting used to the idea that reach requires money, especially the highly-targeted reach enabled by big social platforms. So you can count on organic/viral engagement and be disappointed 999 times out of 1000;  you can reluctantly pay to boost a post, feel cheated, and walk away from your fans on a particular platform; or you can embrace the fact that social ad platforms provide you with tools worth paying for.

Ryan Kairilla – Break The Business: Embrace Live Streaming. Embrace live streaming! Platforms like Twitch and Facebook Live are becoming very important platforms for musicians. Live streaming presents an exciting opportunity for artists to not only present their art but also cultivate deeper relationships and have genuine interaction with their fans.

Melissa Garcia - Collective Entertainment: Get Creative On Socials. Don’t be afraid to get creative with how you connect with your fans. The vast majority of artists out there are all communicating with their fans the same way. Instead, create unique experiences to draw your fans in and find ways to get to know them. This can be in the form of dinner gatherings at a city you’re touring in. Creating conversation by harnessing social media/communication tools. Starting a Fan group on Facebook to communicate with your fans directly (as opposed to depending on Facebook’s algorithm).

Rick Barker – Rick Barker Music: Meet Your Fans Where They Want to Meet You. One of the biggest mistakes I see artists make is that they make it hard for fans to find them. Discovery happens in so many ways today. Social shares, playlist, word of mouth. It is what happens next that determines whether or not they truly discover who you really are. Meet them where they are at, not where you want them. What I mean by that is, make sure you have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube. You don’t have to be crazy active on all 4 but you at least better have something recent. They will use their social media platform of choice, not yours.

Marcio Novelli – Bridge The Atlantic: Don’t quit your day job. Don’t quit your day job… But don’t give up on your dreams either. The old adage that it takes money to make money is almost always true, even in the music business. And, it’s just that – a business. As artists, we don’t want to admit that but it’s true. And, it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In fact, a more empowering term is to call ourselves music entrepreneurs. We all want to support ourselves doing what we love but, until we have the financial support of a label (and, sometimes, even when we do), the reality is that we need to pay to record, release and market our music, not to mention all costs associated with touring, online presence and merchandising, to name just a few. So, there is no shame in having a day job that provides consistent income in order to pursue our dreams. Just make sure to never wake up!

Check out Finn McKenty's Punk Rock MBA Website and YouTube Channel.

What’s the Difference Between the Producer, Engineer, and Mixer?

ManageMental Episode 104: Advice From the Industry: Part 1

Hypebot article "19 Marketing Predictions From Music Industry Experts" by Ariel Hyatt of Cyber PR.

Ariel Hyatt, Cyber PR: Have A Plan With Your Goals Included. If you don’t have a written plan and a long-term strategy, it will be very hard to get where you want to go. I see way too many artists wasting their hard earned money on publicists, Spotify Playlisting companies and radio promotion before they are really ready.

Bryan Calhoun, Music Business Toolbox: Don’t Blow Your Budget on Recording Only. The biggest mistake I see indie artists make is to spend all of their money on recording, leaving nothing for marketing.

Bree Noble, Profitable Musician, Female Entrepreneur Musician & WOS Radio: Clearly Communicate Your Story. My biggest piece of marketing advice for 2019 is to know how to communicate your story.

Suzanne Paulinski, The Rock/Star Advocate: Put Your Fans First. As we move forward in this new era of the music industry, it’s become more and more apparent that the only gatekeepers in the industry are the fans.

Emily White, Collective Entertainment: Build An Industry Email List. Retain email addresses of journos, bloggers, and playlist/tastemakers so you can contact them in the future about your work.

How to Save Money in the Recording Studio.

ManageMental Episode 103: Basic Concepts for Music Success: Part 2

Hypebot article "10 Basic Concepts For Success In Today’s Music Business" by Bobby Owsinski of Music 3.0.

Much has changed in the music industry over the last few years that affect an artist’s ability to be successful. Some of it is brand new and a result of the technology we use, while some of it is good common sense that’s been used over and over over many decades of the business.

1. Major labels want radio hits. They want an easy sell, so unless you create music that can get on radio immediately, a major label won’t be interested. This is what they do and they do it well, so if that’s your goal, you must give them what they want.

2. You must create on a regular basis. Fans have a very short attention span and need to be fed with new material constantly in order to stay at the forefront of their minds. What should you create? Anything and everything, from new original tunes to cover tunes, to electric versions to acoustic versions, to remixes to outtakes, to behind the scenes videos to lyric videos, and more. You may create it all at once, but release it on a consistent basis so you always have some fresh content available.

3. YouTube and Facebook are the new radio. Nurture your following there and release on a consistent basis. It’s where the people you want to reach are discovering new music, at least for now.

4. Growing your audience organically is best. Don’t expect your friends and family to spread the word, as they don’t count. If you can’t find an audience on your own merits, there’s something wrong with your music or your presentation. Find the problem, fix it, and try it again. The trick is finding that audience.

5. First and foremost, it all starts with the song. If you can’t write a great song that appeals to even a small audience, none of the other things matter much.

I’m sure you’ll agree that the music business is both exciting and invigorating in it’s current form. It’s not dying and it’s not wilting, unlike what you’ll hear and read from the old school naysayers. It is constantly evolving and progressing, and those who don’t progress with it will fall behind. That said, these 10 concepts will help anyone navigate the road to success.

Songwriting Collaborator - Do You Need One?

ManageMental Episode 102: Basic Concepts for Music Success: Part 1

Hypebot article "10 Basic Concepts For Success In Today’s Music Business" by Bobby Owsinski of Music 3.0.

Much has changed in the music industry over the last few years that affect an artist’s ability to be successful. Some of it is brand new and a result of the technology we use, while some of it is good common sense that’s been used over and over over many decades of the business.

1. It’s all about scale. You can’t think about numbers the same way as in the old days when sales ruled. A hit that sells only 50,000 combined units (album and single) may have 500 million YouTube views or Spotify streams or more. Once upon a time, a sales number like that would’ve been deemed a failure, today, it’s a success. Views don’t equal sales, and vice-versa.

2. The scale is not the same. In the past, 1 million of anything was considered a large number and meant you were a success. Today anything with that number hardly gets a mention, as it takes at least 10 million streams or views to get a label or manager’s attention. 50 million is only a minor hit, while a major hit is in the hundreds of millions.

3. There will be fewer digital distributors in the future. It’s an expensive business to get into and maintain, so in the near future there will be a shakeout that will leave far fewer digital competitors. Don’t be shocked when you wake up one day to find a few gone.

4. It’s all about what you can do for other people. Promoters, agents, and club owners are dying to book you if they know you’ll make them money. Record labels are dying to sign you if you have have an audience they can sell to. Managers will want to sign you if you have a line around the block waiting to see you. If you can’t do any of the above, your chances of success decrease substantially.

5. Money often comes late. It may not seem like it, but success is slow. You grow your audience one fan at a time. The longer it takes, the more likely you’ll have a long career. An overnight sensation usually means you’ll also be forgotten overnight. This is one thing that hasn’t changed much through the years. 

Three Ways To Determine Songwriting Credits.

ManageMental Episode 101: Industry Predictions for 2019 Part 2

Hypebot article "10 Music Industry Predictions For 2019" by Bobby Owsinski of Music 3.0.

Predictions can be a tricky thing, but if we look at the trends in the music business over the last year we can see where things might be going. Here are 5 more predictions for how the industry will fare in 2019.

1. Streaming Services Remain Unprofitable. Almost all dedicated streaming services are very good at what they do except for one thing – making money. Choked by the weight of label licensing deals, these platforms struggle to find a way to become profitable, leading to a major market consolidation that begins in the new year.

2. Article 13 Brings YouTube Chaos. Be careful what you wish for, major labels, as YouTube is plunged into chaos following the passage of EU Article 13, which holds streaming platforms responsible for the files that their users upload. With YouTube (and other streaming platforms) having to purge so many videos, artists and labels take a big hit in revenue, but even worse, in exposure as well.

3. Artists Use Social Media For Promo Less. Many artists have relied on social media as a method of both growing and engaging their fan bases, but that changes in 2019 as the only way to large-scale engagement comes from paid promotion on the various social platforms. Many artists drop off because of principle – even more because of the cost. Instagram carries the load, at least for a while until it focuses more on revenue that users.

4. Live Music Legends Replaced By New Faces. The concert industry has long worried about what would happen after the 60s, 70s and 80s legends stopped touring, but a new crop of superstars prove that there are stadiums that they can fill. The live portion of the industry continues to grow despite higher ticket prices and perceived price gouging.

5. Streaming Changes Song Structure Even More. Over the last couple of years song structure has changed because of streaming, with fades giving way to beginning a song right on the chorus to hard endings. Now song length will be the next to change as artists make songs shorter. After all, it’s more profitable to have a fan listen twice instead of to only one longer song.

Four Ways To Make Your Recording Demos Work For You.

ManageMental Episode 100: Industry Predictions for 2019 - Part 1

Hypebot article "10 Music Industry Predictions For 2019" by Bobby Owsinski of Music 3.0.

Predictions can be a tricky thing, but if we look at the trends in the music business over the last year we can see where things might be going. Here are 5 predictions for how the industry will fare in 2019.

1. Apple Music Nearly Catches Spotify. Spotify is still the king of the hill when it comes to streaming with 83 million paid subscribers, but Apple Music is coming on strong at 57 million at years end. Apple Music’s growth was significant in 2018, so look for the gap between the two streaming powerhouses to close even more in the coming year.

2. Tencent Music Makes Its Move. Now that Tencent Music had its more or less timid yet successful IPO, look for the company to set its eyes on acquiring more if not all of Spotify. Of course, this only happens if the market rebounds and tech stocks (especially music related ones) again become investor favorites. If not, look for an acquisition down the road.

3. Smart Speaker Growth Is Kind To Amazon Music. Love them or hate them, smart speakers are here to stay and that market will grow even more in 2019. The biggest beneficiary of that has been Amazon Music, and the trend helps it even more, especially right after a holiday with big Echo sales and a boost in Prime memberships.

4. The Charts Mean Less And Less. Billboard has ruled the music world for more than 50 years and its charts have been the bible for artists and labels everywhere. That ceases in 2019, as the charts become more irrelevant and playlists (especially from the major streaming services) gain more influence.

5. Major Labels Lose Their Mojo. Once the dream of every artist, today’s artist is more likely to shun a major to go it independently, since so many of the benefits of a major can be had without actually signing to one. Indie and boutique labels continue to grow both in numbers and revenue as artists thrive in a more DIY world.

ManageMental Episode 99: How To Use Rejection to your Advantage

Hypebot article "5 Ways to Deal with Rejections in the Music Industry" by Alice Berg.

Beatles were rejected by Decca in 1962; Lady Gaga was kicked out by Island Def Jam Records after only three months, Beethoven was called “hopeless compositor” by his teacher. "American Idol" has rejected Colbie Caillat, Hillary Scott, Bebe Rexha and many others. As you can see, producers make huge mistakes sometimes. However, there is no possibility to promote every singer or music band – some have to be rejected.   If you feel you have been treated unfairly, there’s no reason to stress about it as well. All you need to do is to learn how to deal with those refusals and find the motivation to go on trying even when dealing with constant rejection. Here we discuss 5 simple steps that help to overcome the failure and grab the needed inspiration.

1. Don’t Take It Personally
2. Work on Your Mistakes
3. Be Confident and Persistent
4. Reflect on Your Music and Ask for More Comments
5. Music Failures: Use That Rejection as a Tool

All things considered, keep doing what you love as it is the most valuable thing ever. Don’t lose that passion that made you fall in love with music and start writing or performing songs. Keep it fun driving engagement with new songs! Remember that competition in the music industry shouldn’t have a big influence on you as an artist. Almost every music legend has faced dozens of rejections on the way towards worldwide fame. Grab inspiration from them and go on working on your masterpieces.

ManageMental Episode 98: Tips For The "Stay At Home" Musician

This week Blasko & Mike take some questions from one of our loyal listeners.

Hey guys, thanks for the show! I hugely appreciate what you're doing for aspiring musicians like myself. I've got a topic that I don't think you've covered yet that I know applies to not only myself, but to a massive contingent of my fellow musicians!

I'm a full-time mechanical engineer with a demanding job and commute, so I've opted to devote my limited available free time resources to creating the best music that I can. I’m starting work on my second album, and trying to build some hype and a modest fanbase prior to release, and am looking for advice on the best path forward that maximizes the effectiveness of my time!

Thanks for your time! Cheers!
Dan

The specific questions:

What, in your experience, is the most effective way to connect with and build a fanbase as a non-gigging solo studio musician? 

Are low-effort real-time updates more or less effective than infrequent high-production-quality posts? Would I risk losing connection with my fanbase by posting too infrequently, or do fans tend to wait it out and stick with you for months between updates?

How can I self promote to fans directly without turning them off or participating in online groups like it's a full-time job? Maintaining one or two requires enough of my time as it is!

Are there legitimately beneficial label arrangements available to solo artists to market and distribute physical merch, or do they tend to not really work out in the artist's favor? Are labels only interested if the music has not yet been made public?

How do I get taken seriously as a total nobody with no real connections without needing to quit my career? 

ManageMental Episode 97: Revisiting Our Predictions for 2018

This week, Blasko & Mike recap Episode 49: 10 Predictions for 2018.

1. Traditional record sales will continue to decrease. 
2. Apple will begin to shut down the iTunes music store with an estimated final closure date of Jan 2019. 
3. Spotify will go public.
4. VR technology will not replace the live experience.
5. Cryptocurrency will not become an overly accepted form of payment for anything music related.
6. Print on demand services will become more of a necessity.
7. More independent artists will cross over to the mainstream.
8. Streaming only record labels will begin to sign and break bands.
9. Festival attendance will level off or decrease.
10. If we are looking for different results we will need to implement different strategies. 

ManageMental Episode 96: Marketing Strategies That Work!

Music Think Tank article "7 Top Marketing Strategies For Musicians" by Patrick McGuire of The Bandzoogle Blog.

For many artists, marketing is somewhat at odds with who they are and what they do. Since music and the act writing songs is often deeply personal and emotional, getting into a music marketing strategy mindset might seem foreign, fake or forced for some musicians.

Sadly, this doesn’t change the fact that it’s never been more difficult for new artists to put their music in front of listeners. Between music streaming platforms and the cheap cost of DIY home recording technology, there’s more music being released now than at any other point in history.

Tens of thousands of new songs are being released each day, and, in many cases, what determines whether each of these songs will go on to find an audience or not depends on how they’re marketed. 

ManageMental Episode 95: How to Connect With Your Fans

Hypebot article "5 Things You Should Share With Your Fans Besides Music" by Michael Hahn of LANDR.

While sharing the music they've created should certainly be an artist's number one priority when it comes to interacting with fans, but as the distance between audience and creator shrinks, it becomes important for artists to share other information with fans as well. Today’s communication tools have broken down boundaries between audience and creator. It’s clear that sharing your music with your fans is the number one priority. But your community is looking for more than just tracks. They want the extra details that bring the sounds to life. Your music has a story, and it’s up to you to bring that story to your fans—it’s the part of speaking to your audience that’s more than just music. There’s tons of ways to tell the story around your sound. But to get you started here’s 5 useful ideas of what to share with your fans beyond your music.

1. Why you make music
2. Your studio, gear and recording process 
3. Your influences
4. Other creative projects you’re into
5. Other artists in your community 

ManageMental Episode 94: Are You Threatin Me?

Threatin coverage on MetalSucks: http://www.metalsucks.net/tag/threatin/

Jered Eames, who goes by the stage name Jered Threatin, began Threatin as a solo act after his departure from Abigail Williams. In 2015, Threatin released a single, "Living Is Dying". In 2017, the album Breaking the World was released, with Jered Threatin performing all instruments. 
 
In November 2018, Threatin was booked to tour the United Kingdom and Europe having informed venues they had sold hundreds of tickets and had paid the hire fee before each gig. However, the tour achieved widespread news coverage when it became known that the shows had been played to empty rooms. 
 
It was later discovered that the 38,000 likes on the band's Facebook page had been bought. It was also found that Threatin created a series of fake websites for a booking agency (StageRight Bookings), a record label (Superlative Music Recordings), a PR company (Magnified Media PR), a music recording studio (Mindframe Studios), a film production company (Glass Castle Film & Photography), and various music press websites (Top Rock Press, New York Music Review, Celebrity Music Scene) in an attempt to give his band credibility and secure the tour, and referenced other made-up companies (Universal Web Group) and bands/artists. Doctored footage of Threatin performing in an arena to audience stock footage was used to produce a promotional video for the European tour. 

ManageMental Episode 93: Is Your Album Release Ready?

Hypebot article "Checklist To Decide If Your Album Is Release Ready" by Angela Mastrogiacomo of Muddy Paw PR & The Symphonic Blog.

So you’ve just recorded an incredible new EP or album and you’re dying to get it out into the world. After all, this is your latest masterpiece—your best work to date—and your fans are going to love it! Plus, you’ve been promising them something new for a while and it’s time to deliver on that promise.

Before you go releasing an album on a whim, make sure you are release ready so you get the maximum impact and exposure for the album. Ask yourself, do you have the following?

1. Enough Time
2. A Gameplan
3. Hi-Res Press Photos
4. A Professionally Written Bio
5. Active Social Media
6. Grit

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Register for Release It Right here.

Support the Dan Rozenblum Family Fire Relief Fund here.

ManageMental Episode 92: How To Crush Your Next Release

In this week's episode, Blasko & Mike discuss the Hypebot article "3 Reasons Your Last Music Release Failed" by Suz Paulinski of The Rock/Star Advocate & Ariel Hyatt of Cyber PR.

Reason # 1 You Took Your Time Writing & Recording But Then You Felt a Sense of URGENCY to Release (So You Did Without Really Preparing!)

Reason # 2 You Hired A Music Publicist or A Radio Promoter and They Didn’t Get The Results You Expected

Reason # 3 You Put Off Learning How to Release Your Music Properly Because You Thought that “Great Music Will Always Find it’s Way and “The Cream Always Rises To The Top”

ManageMental Episode 91: Likeness Rights, Trademarks & Partnerships

This week Mike is joined by special guest Ryan J. Downey. Ryan is the founder of Superhero Artist Management, representing Demon Hunter, Killer Be Killed, Throwdown, and Zeuss (whose producer credits include Rob Zombie, Queensrÿche, Hatebreed). He is a longtime journalist who has contributed to MTV News, Billboard, the Hollywood Reporter, and other outlets. Downey hosts Speak N’ Destroy, a podcast about all things Metallica, and No-Prize from God, which features conversations with creative people about belief, unbelief, and everything between.

You can find Ryan on Twitter @ryandowney and Instagram @superherohq.

Original article "ACE FREHLEY Would Only Participate In KISS's Final Tour If He Could 'Take Back' His 'Make-Up, Costume And Character'" on Blabbermouth.net.

"Don’t give up your face! Ace Frehley has said he will only return to KISS if he is able to take back his makeup, costume, and character. How does someone end up without the rights to their own likeness? We dive in to the complicated histories of some legendary hard rock and punk acts to stress the importance of protecting your beautiful mug.”

ManageMental Episode 90: 5 Steps to Success for New Artists

Hypebot article "5 Key Priorities for New Artists" from The TuneCore Blog.

1. YOU HAVE TO BUILD A TEAM

If you have decided to pursue a career as an artist, you must know that you cannot do it alone. Having a strong team with experience and connections can be the key to furthering your career. These people will represent you and guide you through the tumultuous early days as an artist, as well as through the many challenges you will face on the road to success and beyond. This team can include, (but is not limited to), a personal manager, business manager, booking agent, attorney, publicist, publisher, tour manager, and producer.

As your career continues to grow, the more of these positions will need to be filled. For many, the most effective starting point for building a team is with a personal manager. A personal manager can be integral to an artist’s career. The key is to find a manager who also has time and energy to dedicate to your career. (A seasoned manager will know the ins and outs of the industry and will help you navigate different obstacles.)

While beginning with a personal manager is beneficial, it is by no means the only route to building your team. You can start by filling any of the positions mentioned. For example, a live show is integral to building an audience for a lot of artists, so it may be that a good booking agent could be first on the list.

2. CRAFT

As an artist, you have to practice your musical craft like a professional athlete practices their sport. Even the best practice; only the best practice the small stuff. There are two main categories of your craft: musical/technical ability and live performance.

An important part of artistry is creating a distinguished sound. When practicing, you should find a common theme in your songs and develop a unique style. Practice is the most important part of developing your musical and writing abilities.

Additionally, taking lessons, playing with other artists, learning music theory, and listening to music enhances your craft. Extend your musical palette to find new material that will influence you and inspire you as you make your own music. Practice does not make perfect, practice makes permanent. There is no shame in taking lessons because a teacher can drastically speed up your progress. Practice takes time and dedication; the benefits will not arrive overnight, but they will come.

The second aspect of craft is live performance. Performing live is a requirement in entertainment, so having the tightest band on stage will give you an edge. Your set should be built around your audience. From song choice to stories between songs, every decision should have a purpose. You need to develop the presence you create on stage and the image you project to the audience. You should be genuine, but remember that you are putting on a show. There is no better way to develop your live set than to start playing shows. More on that next!

3. BUILDING A GREAT LIVE SHOW

When it comes to establishing a position within the industry as a new artist, putting together a great live show is crucial. Live shows contribute to an artist’s income, and also give them the opportunity to potentially develop their fanbase early on.

In putting on a great live show, it is important for new artists to be on time. When starting out, it is essential that the artist establishes a good reputation among promoters, venue owners, and potential fans. If an artist is constantly running late, people will be less likely to be willing to work with them in the future.

An artist’s genre will influence the direction of the live show. With pop artists, the audience will typically expect more production, such as lights and dancers, to accompany the singer. On the other hand, a singer/songwriter is typically judged purely on their instrumental and vocal talent, with little or no bells and whistles in the production department.

No matter the genre, live shows cannot happen without fans. To heighten an artist’s performance, they should focus on stage presence and fan interaction. It is important to keep fans interested and engaged so that they will come back to the show next time you’re in town.

4. MEDIA

Record labels are not signing artists anymore – they are signing audiences. The first step a new artist can take to attract record labels is to build and establish a digital presence.

A firmly established social media presence, as an example, can strengthen an artist’s credibility and help accumulate a fan base across channels. Social media platforms have become a crucial part of an artist’s marketability to potential labels. A strong fan base lessens the risk of investment, because a label will have to put in as much time and money into an artist to get them to the next level in their career.

Having a social media presence comes with more benefits than just a potential record deal. An artist can also attract the attention of potential managers or booking agents for gigs. Social media channels also function as safes zones for unsigned artists to soft release new singles, tracks, videos, etc. This allows the artist to interact with and receive constructive criticism from fans without the cost of publishing new materials through formal retail outlets. Fans want to have access to their favorite artist as much as possible, and they want to feel like they know them in real life. Social media is a powerful tool to facilitate a fan/artist relationship that can grow an artist’s audience and further their career.

5. BRANDING

The fifth priority for a new artist is branding. Once you have put time and effort into your craft, building your team, establishing a digital presence, and getting comfortable on stage, your personal brand should fall right into place. Your brand is what separates you from every other artist in your genre.

For example, take up-and-coming artist Lainey Wilson (ed. note: also a TuneCore Artist!). She has a thick country accent and sings about whiskey; however, she dresses like a hippie with flare jeans, retro glasses, and printed shirts. She sounds like any other country singer, but her appearance helps to set her apart from other country artists.

When creating your brand, it is important to balance staying true to yourself with representing a personal style/image that correlates with the genre of music you play. There is a range of style and image norms within the different genres. Sometimes, breaking or bending those norms can be a good thing in order to stand out, but stark violations of them runs the risk of alienating a large portion of the intended audience.

Branding is one of the most compelling parts of the music industry because it can be changed and manipulated in different ways. In order for a brand to further an artist’s career, it has to be distinct. Although it may seem simple, it can take years of hard work and patience to change people’s perceptions. Branding is about the little details that build up over time to create something marketable and unique. Many opportunities for corporate sponsorships are available to an artist with a distinct brand and a positive public image. 

ManageMental Episode 89: 5 Hot Digital Marketing Tips

Original Article: "Five trends for digital music marketing in 2018" by Music Ally.

There are three pillars for music marketing in 2018: what you do with social media; what you do with digital service providers (DSPs, principally streaming services); and what you do with your own platforms – mailing lists, most obviously, and direct-to-fan sales be it on your own site or something like Bandcamp.

But what are the trends around those three pillars? That’s something we think about a lot at Music Ally, particularly for our fortnightly Sandbox music-marketing reports, and that has influenced the programming for our upcoming Sandbox Summit conference in London. Here are five trends we’d pick out:

1. Shifting responsibilities between managers and labels.
2. YouTube throwing its weight behind artist marketing.
3. Labels are bringing advertising in-house.
4. Augmented Reality offers playful potential for artists.
5. Flexibility is everything in the modern music-marketing campaign.

ManageMental Episode 88: Blasko and Mike Answer Your Questions

This week we answer some questions from you, our loyal listeners. This is gonna be killer, so let’s get mental!

——

It might benefit from an episode going over who the players are in a local show (the promoter, the venue, etc.) what they do, and what the best practices are.

Keep it Mental,
Robbie

——

I’m writing you because I heard the part about physical promotion in your recent Manage Mental podcast episode, and how you guys asked for feedback from a younger crowd on their opinions. I’m only 21 so I’ve only dealt in the age of digital promotion, however I see some serious benefits with physical promotion. These benefits aren’t necessarily for growing a larger fan base, but rather a stronger fan base. When it comes to getting the word out, digital seems to be the only way people really hear about things, but I think physical components are a key way to make fans feel more involved than they can on a digital platform, even with simple things like printing a handful of posters for a gig and giving them out for $1 or free at the show. One thing I’ve consistently seen with show flyers like that is that when they are available, they go fast and everyone who gets one tends to remember the gig better and feel more like they were a part of it personally. You guys also mentioned handwritten notes to go along with merch orders, I think that is a super easy and free thing to do to create a much more personal relationship between you and your fans. Those fans will be special and will be repeat customers at your shows and online stores, and help you out with gas money to get on tour to expand that fan base. If you do this consistently everyone will remember your band as a genuine group of guys and talk about you more. That’s just my thoughts based on my limited experience. 

Cheers,
Jamie

——

With regard to physical promotion tactics, I co-created a physical flyer concept with a team about a year and a half ago and it has yielded killer results for us. What we do is come up with a theme and title for a show and then organize a photo shoot just for the flyer. Thus far we have integrated band members into the shoots as well as models. We have utilized local cos players to collaborate which has expanded our reach into their scene as well. 

I have a route of coffee houses, tattoo shops, clothing boutiques, vape shops, etc. that all display physical flyers for us. We, of course do boosted posts digitally and share from everyone's socials. I try to get some behind the scenes footage of every photo shoot and then blog about it as well as post on my personal and business pages. 

Thanks again, you guys rock!
Julia

——

Something that I know I would find very helpful as I’m sure other listeners would as well would be if you and Mike could dive into some of the tools available online to maximize the impact of social media marketing. I’ve been studying metrics on the website Next Big Sound and I was wondering if there any other resources similar to, or better than this that you guys can recommend so that bands such as my own are working smarter and not harder. 

All the best,
Scott Kelly

ManageMental Episode 87: How To Get Discovered in the Digital Age

Original Article: "5 Ways to Help Your Music Get Discovered in the New Digital Age" by Jeremy Young on Soundfly's Flypaper Blog.

Spotify’s algorithmic innovation still may not be very good at that quirky randomness and personal subjectivity of peer-to-peer music discovery but what it definitely does have is the ability to help listeners “discover en masse.” And if you’re an artist, you’ve got a better shot at reaching ripe global audiences now than ever before. So here’s some advice about what you can do as an artist to up your discoverability.

1) The community aspect is still important for listeners.

When you release new music, try to make sure all the relevant information gets sent to Discogs and AllMusic. But also, use your various communication channels (social media, email newsletters, your website, press releases) to actively promote those connections and build links between these projects wherever possible.

2) Platforms dictate differing listener behaviors. Use this to your advantage.

Normally, your music appears on almost all of these platforms anyway, so this only really applies to when you upload certain music to certain platforms, as a marketing and promoting strategy

Consider uploading to Bandcamp before Spotify and Apple Music, because it incentivizes people to buy.

On SoundCloud, tracks are very much isolated from album releases — they’re regarded as singles, or B-sides, or works-in-progress. Use this to build a relationship with your audience, and incentivize following you, so as to get these exclusives before anyone else.

Spotify is great for building a wide audience, showcasing public-facing play statistics, and leveraging the similarities of your sound to artists much bigger than you so you can chase opportunities.

3) It pays to hustle.

Why wouldn’t you send your newest release out to everyone on your press list?!

You really never know, it could be the right moment, right place, right music, and all it takes is one journalist to explode your band. It pays to send your music out to everyone that might write about it.

4) Never stop playing shows.

One of the best ways to reach new audiences is, still today, to get up in front of an audience and show them your best stuff. Pitch yourself as support for bigger bands touring through your city, or put together a bill of artists that you’re excited about. You might not get every opportunity you propose to venues or promoters, but just keep at it. Play live as much as you can and people will start discovering you organically.

5) Tag tag taggity tag everything.

Every tag, every blog post header, image caption, and very piece of oft-repeated text you generate on the internet, contributes to the building of an increasingly accurate picture of your musical project.

ManageMental Episode 86: How To Avoid These 10 Common Mistakes

Article: "10 Music Mistakes The Turn Fans Off" by Cari Cole: https://www.caricole.com/10-music-mistakes-turn-fans-off/

This list is not for everyone. It’s for you if you are ready to pull out all the stops and get serious about your career. It’s for you if you like to hear what no one else has the guts to tell you. This advice, which is my professional opinion comprised after 30 years of coaching thousands of independent artists, celebrities and Grammy-winning artists from my voice studio in New York City, is for the express purpose of helping you become a great artist (musician + songwriter) so you can get ahead and make a dent out there. It’s not for the faint of heart. Keep in mind that this is a list to work on accomplishing –  it’s not important to have all of this aced ~ consider it 10 lessons to work on.

1. You post your demos publicly.
 
2. You only have one or two or three songs up.
 
3. You think that marketing is what makes people convert into fans.
 
4. You did your vocals in one day.
 
5. Your record is better than your show.
 
6. You wrote your bio yourself.
 
 7. You’ve got tons of views on Youtube but few comments and even worse, numbers on social media that don’t warrant those views.
 
8. You don’t have a website – only Reverbnation.
 
9. Your website is a FIREHOSE.
 
10. Too much text, not enough images.