[This post is written by guest contributor Jamie Léger, creator of the Music Business Blueprint. At the end of the article you can click to download a free copy of Jamie’s new Complete Artist Development report.]
The Modern Music Business (technically) now exists in the cloud.
Many of us are unfamiliar with the technology and tools available — but it’s about high time we stepped up our game.
First, we need to adopt the Modern Artist Mentality. Next, we have to understand the tools and resources available and harness their power more effectively. That will help us set up an optimal workflow structure to get more done, and have more fun.
That’s what we’re going to start diving into today: Music Business Automation.
Music Business Automation = The Death of Human Creativity?
Let’s talk about Music Business Automation.
What do I mean by that, you might ask…
Of course we’re not referring to replacing the humanity or creative nature of running a music business…
Cue the synchronized sighs from the robot legion…
No, it’s just time to discuss upgrading your career’s infrastructure.
Why would you want to do that?
Well in the modern world the majority of our work and project workflow happens somewhere in a vast, globally connected digital universe.
We are instantly, all the time, less than a handful of clicks away from putting a pizza in an oven somewhere that magically pops up at our doorstep.
We are literally, less than 5 minutes away from any product, song, piece of content, answer to a question, or two hour time-suck of unintended distraction.
So the question is… HOW are we as artists utilizing this technology to work FOR us, and in what ways should we be thinking about how it could or SHOULD be working for growing our careers.
Today I want to get you thinking about ways to make your digital channels interact and work with each other, and then give you a few simple examples I use personally to hopefully trigger your creativity and increase your productivity.
Music Business Automation Basics
Let’s start with a couple of original gangsters; these won’t be new to many but definitely fundamental to staying up on your space, interests and automatically alerted to mentions of your brand across the web. After that we’ll go over a couple content workflow automations and then end with a killer MBA Hack that will directly lead you to more fans, and can be used at your next show to get more newsletter signups.
RSS is brilliantly simple. It actually stands for really simple syndicate. It is a universally used format that allows you to subscribe to “feeds“ from your favorite online publishers and blogs, and automatically receive instant updates, conveniently organized and fed into an aggregator service, or feed reader.
For more on RSS, here’s an article on managing your RSS feeds.
RSS saves us massive amounts of time by not having to go visit each and every website we are interested in in order to see what new content they have published.
Exercise: When you find a blog or website that publishes content of interest, click on the little orange icon with white stripes and add it to Google Reader, or whatever feed reader service you prefer.
Google alerts allow us to monitor the worldwide news on whatever it is we’re specifically interested in, delivered to our doorstop, consolidated, instantly.
You can set up keyword alerts for anything. You can use them for tracking keywords you’re trying to rank for, and words you want to know when they get mentioned such as your name, album name, and research terms such as music market research. Also — article titles (so we can keep track of article placements/syndications) and FAQ’s in your niche.
Exercise: Go to google.com/alerts, create an account if you don’t already have one, and set up a couple alerts. Start with your name and some keyword phrases you are interested in hearing about.
—> Quick Tip For Avoiding Overwhelm
The only real problem is… You guessed it… There’s so MUCH stuff. Many many blogs, sites, ideas, ahhh!
We can only read/write so many blog posts and keep up with so many different channels.
The ANSWER is a simple, targeted strategy
1. Pick topics.
2. Choose the number of blogs to read and keep up with, reasonably…
3. Don’t overdo it on the google alerts.
4. Just start slow and conscious about what you are doing at first.
Music Business Automation – Workflow Hacks
Here is where we can start getting into Workflow hacks for content production and social connection.
The tools I use which let me connect my central career operating system (the Music Business OS) to just about any two tools that i use throughout all of my digital channels is Zapier and IFTTT.
Zapier is more geared to connecting business related web apps and services, and IFTTT is much more general and broad in its uses.
To cut the snake off at the head right at the jump, perhaps one of the first automations one might consider is an Automation that posts new tweets and/or blog posts to Facebook, or new status updates to Twitter automatically. While this may save time I want to make it a point to advise you NOT to do this. You will find better results just posting manually between these platforms. It doesn’t take that much longer to do, and more people will get to see it (because Facebook’s algorithm doesn’t like when you’re auto-posting between platforms).
Feedly ‘saved for later’ item to Tumblr blog post.
This Feedly To Tumbler Recipe let’s me curate a Tumblr blog from Feedly “Save for later” items. (Easy flag with the S keyboard shortcut in Feedly).
Instagram to Twitter/Tumbler
RSS to Google + page
For many of us Google + is the often neglected, ostracized stepchild of our web platform and social media properties… but unlike posting new blogs directly to Facebook, posting your latest blog posts automatically to Google + is gravy. I know, the rules can be confusing… I get it. But here is an automation hack that you can use to keep your Google+ properties feeling the love and working for you by automating new posts from your blog’s RSS feed and pulling them into G+. All you have to do is plug the RSS feed of your blog into Zapier and automate posting to your Google+ page through your Buffer account. You can even define the format of the post and include a short description, hashtags, etc.
Now, let’s end off with a bang.
Subscribe by SMS
Aside from subscription forms on your site and Facebook, you can have contacts subscribe to your fan relationship database through SMS. Here’s how it works with the Music Business OS, though there are many other platforms that you can use to do this.
1. Go to the Lists page.
2. Under the list you’re setting Subscribe by SMS for, click Integrations > Subscribe by SMS.
3. Choose a number you want to use for subscription. There are currently 4 countries supported (US, Canada, UK, and Spain).
4. Add a Keyword. The keyword is what you’re contacts will Text to the number in order to subscribe. Note on keywords: Your keyword should consist of at least 5 characters (letters, numbers, and/or underscore) and should not use spaces.
5. Click the Activate button to activate Subscribe by SMS. After activating, you have three response options that you can customize.
First response/Request for email address – This is the first email you will send after contacts subscribe by text. Since you don’t have the email address yet, you should request that they text back their email address.
Successful subscription – Once they send you their email address, this is the message contacts will receive. A message confirming the subscription is recommended.
Email address problem – If there is an issue with the email address, this message will be sent o your contact.
Here’s an illustration of a contact using Subscribe by SMS.
1. Contact sends an SMS with the the keyword.
2. Contact receives a request for an email address, sends the email, and get confirmed.
For more information about any feature of The Music Business OS, please contact our support team. We’ll be happy to assist you.
Some Other Useful Music Business Automation Hacks (that we don’t have time to cover right now) include:
- Building a list of people who share your content
- More customized event correspondence with fans
- Create email draft following a form submission
- Followup Message Sent to a New LinkedIn Contact
- Cross Platform Contact Syncs
- Email Followup Reminders
What are your favorite ‘MBA’ Hacks? Go ahead, add your voice to the conversation below.
[Discover the next level of Music Business Growth – Get your Free Copy of our new special Report – Complete Artist Development. Enroll in Music Business Bootcamp! and get the step your game up now! Apply for early access to The Music Business OS.]
[Smartphone picture from Shutterstock.]