Author Archive

How to sell out an out-of-town music club

April 17, 2015{ No Comments }

Lots of artists can draw a big crowd in their hometown. The big leap comes when you can fill music venues with fans every night on tour.

So, how do you start building an audience in a city where no one’s ever heard of you before?

Here are 5 tips to help you bring a crowd to your next out-of-town concert:

[Note: These same tips can help you build a following in your own hometown if you’re new to performing, or if you’re returning to music after a long hiatus.]

1. Get to know bands in other cities

Opening for established acts in other towns is the best way to build your out-of-town draw, and to ensure that there are people in attendance at your shows.

Read more »

“No matter what you think about Facebook, you have to market your music there”

April 15, 2015{ 12 Comments }

Facebook marketing for musiciansAs a musician, do you NEED to be on Facebook? And if so, how often?

A couple months ago we posted an article written by singer-songwriter Eric Eckhart called “Time to STOP marketing your music on social media?

In it, he talks about his frustrations with online music marketing and how it can easily become a distraction from the things that matter most: improving your craft, writing better songs, etc.

Plenty of people agreed with Eric, while many others thought the article ignored the fact that social media marketing, when done right, can be a great way (and is sometimes the only way) to build an audience in a world where everyone is online all the time. Read more »

10 ways to get your music in the press (besides the usual album release and tour PR)

April 14, 2015{ 3 Comments }

How to get music pressAs a musician, when are you most likely to contact the press?

Probably when you’re putting out a new album or heading out on tour. Well hopefully a few months prior to those events, actually.

But there are a lot of other ways to get press and blog coverage for your music besides the usual tour and album-launch publicity push.

A perfect stranger will probably need to hear your name at least a few times before they say to themselves, “hey, maybe I should check out their music.” If that’s the case, then you need to be taking advantage of as many of these press opportunities as possible.

If you start with a few of these in advance of your next album release, you might just have a whole new audience primed for your music!

So, here are some additional newsworthy events in your music career that you can pitch to journalists and bloggers

Read more »

13 things every DIY musician should know how to do

April 13, 2015{ 11 Comments }

Photo of the band Black Light Discipline taken by Sabine Van Gameren at Tulliklubi-Tampere, Finland.

If you’re one of those artists who thinks it’s enough just to be a good musician, check out Pigeons and Planes’ recent article “Things Every Indie Artist Should Know How to Do.”

It’s a good kick-in-the-pants for anyone clinging to the very 20th-Century fiction (because it wasn’t true then either) that musicians can get by on talent alone.

Work ethic and attitude have always been important for success in the music industry (particularly for independent artists). They just might look a little different today than they did 15 years ago.

Check out Pigeons and Planes’ full article HERE, or check out my quick summary below.

What you should know how to do if you want to be a successful musician today:

1. Manage your expectations — Read more »

How Starbomb used YouTube to drive 6000 CD sales in one week

April 7, 2015{ No Comments }

Starbomb: how one band used YouTube to sell 6000 CDs in one week through CD Baby“If your music is good, your fans will want to buy the CD”

In one week, Starbomb sold almost 6,000 CD copies of its Player Select album through CD Baby, including 3,438 in pre-sales. The comedy synthpop/hip-hop group (comprised of Leigh Daniel Avidan and Brian Wecht of Ninja Sex Party and animator/internet personality Arin “Egoraptor” Hanson) went on to become Billboard’s third best-selling comedy artist of 2014.How’d they do it? YouTube.

“There’s no doubt in our minds that YouTube is a big part of the reason our albums have done as well as they have,” says Starbomb’s Brian Wecht. “Through YouTube, we reached the people we were trying to reach — and anybody can do that with time and effort.”

New media fueling old media

Read more »

Instagram for Musicians: how to use the social photo platform to promote your music

April 3, 2015{ No Comments }

Instagram for musicians (and its dirty secrets)More than a thousand artists are now using HostBaby’s Instagram tool to display awesome photos on their websites, and it reminded me… we’ve written quite a few articles over the years about promoting your music with Instagram.

Time for a recap!

Here are 6 articles about Instagram that might give you some new ideas on how to promote your music with pictures and video:

1. Why you should be using Instagram as a musician (and all its dirty secrets) Read more »

How to get your music on TIDAL

April 1, 2015{ 9 Comments }

Get your music on Tidal

CD Baby artists’ music will be available on TIDAL

You’ve probably heard a lot of talk recently about a newly launched music streaming service called TIDAL, which offers:

* high-fidelity sound quality (yes, hi-fi streaming)

* high-def music videos, and…

*  curated editorial content

Oh, and it’s also partially owed by Jay Z, who threw a launch party for TIDAL with appearances by Madonna, Alicia Keys, Kanye, and lots of other big names.

Subscribers can access TIDAL’s catalog in high-fidelity for $19.99/month. There’s also a $9.99/month tier for subscribers who don’t need the high-quality audio.

If you’re currently distributing your music to music streaming services via CD Baby, your music will also be available on TIDAL. If you’re about to sign up a new album or single, we’ll distribute it to TIDAL so your fans can access your music in high-quality streaming audio! Read more »

“Start with the assumption that the person listening to your music is going to hate it”

March 30, 2015{ 1 Comment }

Radio promo 101: assume the listener won't like your music

Radio Promotion 101: assume the listener won’t like your music

That’s basically what Bob Boilen (creator/host of All Songs Considered) advised during the “Public Relations, Public Radio, & More” panel at SXSW, emphasizing the importance of a great artist story when you’re trying to get radio play on NPR.

Ari Herstand wrote a great recap of this panel discussion for Digital Music News, with info on how to pitch your music to different producers and hosts at NPR. But the thing that struck me most about the discussion was Boilen’s insistence on having a good artist story.

According to the DMN article:

Boilen explained that when he was the music director of All Things Considered he always “made the assumption that the person listening to this music is going to hate it. And if you work from that premise then you have to find some way to tell a story and give [the listener] a reason to understand why this person makes the music they make and why they’ve chosen this path in life. You might hate the music… BUT you understand why they’re playing that music.” Read more »

The best days and times to post new videos on YouTube

March 27, 2015{ No Comments }

The best and worst time to post a new video on YouTube

When are your fans most likely to view your latest video?

Channel Frederator, a network of animators, recently shared some interesting data (compiled from over 1,300 YouTube channels) that shows when it’s best* to post new videos to YouTube based on highest and lowest levels of audience engagement — broken down by hour, day, week, and month.

* “best” based on those channels’ viewers

According to the report posted on TubeFilter.com, the best hours (EST) to post a new video on YouTube are:

YouTube: best time to post videos Read more »

When should you release your new music?

March 27, 2015{ 3 Comments }

World release day for new musicHow independent artists can work with (or around) World Release Day

The International Federation of Phonographic Industry (IFPI) has announced that starting this summer, “new albums and singles will be released at 00:01 local time on Fridays.”

In the US, we’re used to new releases coming out on Tuesdays, but the IFPI is making Friday the international standard for a couple reasons: 1) they hope that releasing new music on payday will equal more music sales, and 2) since everyone is online these days, staggered release dates don’t make a whole lot of sense anymore.

According to Benji Rogers (president of PledgeMusic), in a recent interview he gave on the subject of World Release Day:

… the shift will work well for the major labels that have been lobbying for such a move, since they will continue to receive the lion’s share of attention…

Attention on social media will likely cater to the ones putting significant ad dollars behind it, creating a funnel effect where everyone vies for attention at the same time. Read more »