A Couple Articles to Read

Here’s some information that may be helpful and informative to music artists.

Great! You’ve Got Their Attention – Now What?

Everyone wants attention. You want it too, right? Of course, you do.

In fact, that’s the first crucial step in marketing: getting people (specifically, your ideal fans) to simply notice you among all the noise and chaos of their busy lives.

It’s such a challenge to get that fleeting hint of attention these days, you probably put most of your “marketing” focus on that aspect alone. That’s why you celebrate every small gain you make in getting Facebook fan page likes, Twitter followers, email subscribers, YouTube views, LinkedIn connections, and more.

You should celebrate those wins. No doubt. But your marketing efforts shouldn’t end there. As I’ve been harping on a lot lately in my live workshops, what’s really important is what you do with attention once you have it.

Getting it is great. People notice you. You appear on their mental radars for a few moments (or minutes, if you’re lucky). Awesome! But then those good people move on to other things and sadly forget about you.

What’s a self-promoting musician to do?

The answer: Build some sort of interactive element or “call to action” into many of the things you post online (including Facebook updates, tweets, videos, audio clips, images, etc).

One example of how this works can be found in a video that guitarist Walt Pitts published on YouTube recently. (Walt is one of only a handful of musicians I do some part-time consulting work for.)

Walt had an idea for a series of videos he would record at home that featured him playing live using a Boss Loop Station, which allows him to play and layer multiple guitar parts live.

Before posting his first video to YouTube, Walt sent me a sample to get my thoughts. Of course, his playing was great. But I noticed right away that he had positioned the camera to shoot vertically, so there were large empty spaces to either side of the frame.

Walt explained that he did it that way to capture everything – from the hat he wears and the guitars on the wall behind him to the footwork of hitting the effects pedals. This was also a good representation of what Walt does when he performs live.

I understood, but all that wasted space on the screen was bugging me. So I encouraged him to create some text and graphics that would use the empty space to let people know who he was and remind them of how to reach him.

Here’s what he came up with:

If I were to get hyper critical, I might make the text and graphics a little less cluttered. But I love the way the description on the left side explains who Walt is and what he does. And at the top right you find a clear call to action that invites people who need a solo guitarist in the Phoenix area to contact him.

This is a smart way to make great use of whatever attention this video gets.

(I also gave Walt the specific words to use in the title, description and tags of this video to help it get “discovered” in searches, but that’s a topic for another day.)

Compare this video treatment to your own music videos – or blog posts, fan page updates, etc. When a potential fan sees your stuff for the first time, do you make it clear who you are and what you do?

Do you have an “engagement objective” (a phrase I just made up) for every piece of content you publish? In other words, what do you want people to DO after they watch, read or listen to it?

From now on, decide ahead of time what those answers are. Then design the various things you post online to make the best use of the attention you get online and off.

What do you think? Have other examples of effective engagement and call-to-action strategies? I welcome your comments.

UPDATE: Since there are some fervent comments below concerning the design and use of effective calls-to-action, I wanted to share a link to this How to Master the Design of Compelling Calls-to-Action post on Hubspot. Some good advice there.

Bob Baker is the author of “Guerrilla Music Marketing Online,” Berkleemusic’s “Music Marketing 101” course, and many other books and promotion resources for DIY artists, managers and music biz pros. You’ll find Bob’s free ezine, blog, podcast, video clips, and articles at www.TheBuzzFactor.com and www.MusicPromotionBlog.com.

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Who should be in my team?

There are several key people that you need as an artist to make sure that you’re talent will have the best opportunities available.

Last week, we discussed two: Accountants and Lawyers.

This week, we’ll speak about another two: Agents and Publicists

The Agent

Agents vary depending on what kind of work you are looking for. A musical agent works to find live shows and maybe other venues like commercials. There are also other agents for various deals. You can get an agent for television deals, book deals, etc. Agents usually receive about 5 to 10 percent on what you make for securing placements. 

Agents sign contracts to work with you. They usually attempt to sign the longest term possible. If an agent can’t find you work, then you probably will be able to terminate his contract. However, if he finds you work and you don’t want it, you may not be able to terminate the contract because he is still doing his job. 

The Publicist

A publicist is key in promoting yourself and your music. Their job is to create publicity for you and get you media attention. Different publicists have different ways of doing this. Some are great writers and can create an excellent press kit for you, others may have better connections and are more well known and can get you an interview or feature in a famous magazine or website. Either way, be sure to always be prepared as far as your image is concerned because that is what you publicist will be promoting along with your music. Some record labels have in-house publicists available who may or may not see you as a priority. However, verify that you publicist has good people skills and and can communicate effectively so that you know you are in good hands.

For more info about the music biz, tips on music production, and hints about promotion, go to:


Who should be in my team?
There are several key people that you need as an artist to make sure that you’re talent will have the best opportunities available.
Today, we’ll talk about two: Accountants and Lawyers
At first as an aspiring star, you may need to wear several hats. You may have to handle multiple aspects of your music career, including management, promotions, etc. However, once you gain more popularity and have more offers on the table, you may get overwhelmed by the amount of follow-ups, networking and meetings. All of this can get in the way of your music. You may not have enough time to get it all done. Imagine booking shows, keeping the books, doing interviews and recording an album. As you can see, it can get hectic, especially since the music industry runs on a somewhat chaotic schedule. Each of those responsibilities are full-time jobs. Luckily for you, as the artist, there are people you can work with that will not only get the job done, but also provide opportunities through their own contacts.

The Lawyer
Any good team will always have a lawyer. Now, choosing the right lawyer is on of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. There are many parts to consider. First, make sure that your lawyer doesn’t represent anyone who is on the other side of the table when making a deal. This creates what is called a “conflict of interest.” This means one, if not both, parties will need to find other lawyers to work on the deal. Second, your lawyer should look over contracts and negotiate on your behalf to get you the best deal possible. Your lawyer should be able to explain the contract to you and what certain terms mean and how they affect you. Third, get the best lawyer for the best price. The higher profile lawyers may have more experience and contacts, but they may also have higher profile artists whom they give priority to. The most expensive lawyer may not always be the best lawyer for your situation. Also, in case it was not clearly implied, you should hire an entertainment lawyer, specifically one who specializes in the music industry.
The Accountant
Aside from a  lawyer, you’ll want to have an accountant. As you know, the accountant’s job is to make sure your finances are in order. You should get a CPA certified accountant, though it may cost more, it may also cost more not to have one. Also, if possible, hire an accountant experienced in the music industry. Not only will this make your funds more readily available, but it will also make deals fall through more smoothly. You should be able to trust your accountant with your finances, so choose wisely. Make sure their fees are fair and fit in with you needs.
Next week, we’ll discuss two more players that are key to your success as an artist. 

For more info about the music biz, tips on music production, and hints about promotion, go to