Leverage Your Way to Success

Scott James concertIn the course of your journey as a musician there will be some things that go right for you. What you choose to do about those things will go a long way towards determining your success (or lack thereof).

The concept of leverage is all about finding your opportunities to capitalize on the things that will give you the best return for your efforts. Read more…

@ – A Simple and Powerful Social Promotion Tool

There is one character that should appear in most of your Facebook posts and tweets. No, not YOU, silly! I’m talking about the “at symbol” (@). For many of us, it resides on the same keyboard key as the number 2. And now that we know WHERE it is, let’s look at WHY you should regularly use it in your social media communications.

The simple answer is that the @ symbol has the ability to create a linkage between your social media profile and that of another person’s. Read more…

Hot Links! How Hyperlinks Can Make Your Music Easier to Find Online

hot linksDid you know that the hyperlinks you create can boost your search engine ranking and improve your web presence? It’s true! Using relevant link text when you link back to your website, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace etc. will boost and broaden the search ranking of the page you are linking to. These keyword-studded “back links” will make it easier for your fans to find your web pages in search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing because these pages will rank better in search results. Read more…

Music Marketing 2.0: The Digital Brand Manifesto

Every artist needs a fully customized DIGITAL BRAND to succeed. Proper branding requires the following:

  1. A unique web domain separate from an artist profile on the record label website. The artist’s website functions as the central web hub for that artist’s digital brand.
  2. A simplified e-commerce system on the artist website. Easy check-out store supporting various forms of payment (PayPal, credit, debit, etc).

Read more…

Progress vs. Perfection

About 8 years ago I used to smoke two packs of Marlboro Red cigarettes a day. It was hard for me to imagine what it would really take to quit. I tried to kick the habit cold turkey a few times and it just made me want to crawl out of my skin. Then I heard about the patch and decided to give it a try.

I put it on one morning and made it until about 10PM before I ripped it off and started smoking. The fact that I don’t smoke today has a lot to do with how I chose to look at what happened that day. Read more…

Achieving Success with your Music – Disc Makers Seminar

LA seminarJoin us at our Los Angeles seminar where we will share years of knowledge about what it takes to be successful as a musician in today’s world, including:

• What Makes an Artist or Band Instantly Signable
• How Good Your Demos Really Have to Be
• How to Dramatically Increase Your CD Sales
• Radio Airplay: Myth Or Reality for Independent Artists?
• How to Get Distribution and Not Get Burned
• And Much, Much More! Read more…

More Music, Less Marketing

I am sitting at the edge of the Grand Canyon with a teaspoon trying to fill it in. That’s what marketing and self-promotion can feel like in the digital age or at least, that’s the way it feels to me.

I walked into a cavernous Barnes and Noble a few months ago. They opened another location by me on East 86th street in New York. I can’t begin to describe how big it is. I’ve lived in Manhattan my entire adult life so I do a double take when I see wasted space- but this? This place is ridiculous. It completely freaked me out. I felt a primal fear that I haven’t felt since Sylvia Rhone (former CEO of Elektra) used to scream at me- but that’s a whole other blog post. Read more…

Finding a Manager – Part 1

“How do I find a music manager? How do I find a booking agent? I just need to find someone to get my music to the next level.” I’ve heard these questions and statements before, and fifteen or so years ago I sounded exactly like this. As it turns out I wound up on the industry side of the fence and traded in the crowded smelly van for a record company desk job but I do have some answers for you. Read more.

Creating a Budget for Your New Album

creating a budgetCameron Mizell, freelance guitarist, producer, and consultant in Brooklyn, has written yet another excellent article for independent musicians. This article comprehensively details the time and costs involved in creating a new album. Mizell put together “a realistic cost scenario for every stage of creating a new album,” which could serve as an indispensable guide for those about to embark on the process. Read more…

Five Huge Takeaways from the New Music Seminar

Last week, Disc Makers CEO, Tony van Veen, spoke at the New Music Seminar in New York City about how artists, no matter where they are at in their career, can make more money. Digital Music News, the premier news and information authority for the music industry and technology executives, put together their top five takeaways from the three-day seminar, which we thought was worth sharing: Read more…

Stop Pushing Buttons and Start Baking Cakes

cakeDoesn’t it just stink when you do something that seems like it should work, but it falls flat and leaves you more confused and frustrated? This can seem like a way of life for many independent artists. We try to do something to promote ourselves but instead we end up just spinning our tires in the mud and getting nowhere. We want to make something happen but can’t see the relationship between our actions and our results. Read more…

The Self-Made Musician

Sharon Jones & The Dap-KingsGabe Roth is the bass player, producer, main writer and founding member of Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings and the head of their label Daptone records. Gabe also recently won a Grammy award for engineering the Amy Winehouse record “Back to Black”. I was lucky enough to be in a band with Gabe in college back when he was a drummer. He is one of those enviable musicians who can pick up any instrument and make it look effortless. Read more…