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MUSIC SENSE MONDAY: TIPS TO MAXIMIZE THE USE OF YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE

MUSIC SENSE MONDAY: TIPS TO MAXIMIZE THE USE OF YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE


Hey there…On today’s Music Sense, We’d be highlighting some tips to maximize the use of your Facebook page. In a time when not much importance is placed on having a Facebook page with the vast majority going on Instagram or Twitter to source information or other related content. The question then is; Do you still need a Facebook page? Emphatically YES!! Amongst many other reasons, Facebook offers a very large audience, with over 1. 23 billion monthly users and can potentially be that platform where your content gains the traction you desire. But for some reason, lots of artists don’t optimize their Facebook pages. Below are some often ignored components of a Facebook page that are easy to customize, and can have an impact on your page’s usefulness.

A COVER VIDEO
Having a cover video on your page is a very good way to create the fan engagement you desire. Best practice is; a 20-90 second video right at the top of your page. The video starts playing automatically whenever someone visits your page. The video should convey your art, brand, message, and any other thing about your artistry. Make sure the audio quality of the video is good too- it’s an added advantage, just in case the user un-mutes you!

CALL-TO-ACTION
Want to sell CDs or gigs?  Promote your latest release or website? Start a conversation and enjoy massive engagements?… make sure the big blue C.T.A. (Call-To-Action) button right at the top of your Facebook page reflects that priority. Remember, it’s all the more important to drive action NOW because you can’t tell if the visitor will ever visit your page.

THE ‘ABOUT’ SECTION
Many artists are guilty of not filling out the ‘ABOUT’ section of their profile. This gives you the opportunity to sell yourself and your craft to your audience. Hence, satisfying the curiosity of visiting audience and creating a better connection between you and your audience. Our counsel is; Fill it out. Rock it.!!

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Music Business

More Music Business Tips That can ‘UP’ Your Game in the Music Industry

Merely getting by in the “music game” these days is not enough to stay relevant, to achieve true success, you have to be willing to switch it up and stay on top of your game. To this, we will be sharing a few tips that can help you stay relevant in today’s music industry from some of the greatest in the field.

  • Focus on what Works: “We are no longer subject to what was, only to what works. We can honor what came before us, but at the same time, we have to be constantly aware of how fast this new generation moves. The new does not have to be scary and it’s allotted less risky than it ever was. It just looks radically different than it ever did and we have to embrace that. Yesterday’s fans are not coming back and so we should simply stop trying to find them.” – Benji Rogers, CEO, Pledge Music
  • Pay Attention to Details: “Treat everyone that comes into contact with you with as much interest and interact with them as much as you can manage. You will be amazed at how your one extra minute of attention will compound and contribute to your future.”– Ariel Hyatt, President, Cyber PR
  • Business is not about Money: “Business is not about money. It’s about making dreams come true for others and for yourself. Making a company is a great way to improve the world while improving yourself.”
    – Derek Sivers, Founder, CD Baby
  • Your Biggest Challenges aren’t those in the Industry: “Don’t let your perception of who you think you are limit who you can become. Your biggest challenges aren’t those within the industry, they’re the walls you build in front of yourself with limiting beliefs, lack of confidence, fear of the unknown, and having the wrong priorities. Fill your days with an endless pursuit of chasing your passion, taking tiny steps each day to push you progress further, and your persistence will pay its rewards. Exceed expectations, be remarkable… and people will notice.”
    – Brian Thompson, Founder, Thorny Bleeder & The DIY Daily
  • Listen to your Customers, not critics: “Listen to your customers, not your critics. Only invest your efforts into something you enjoy, and don’t outsource anything until you fully understand the principles of that task yourself.” – Lee Parsons, CEO, Ditto Music
  • Follow your own path, not others: “Know your competition but focus on your own product and how it can be best delivered to achieve market fit. Follow your own path and not others, everyone achieves success in different ways. “. – Stan Mcleod, Co-founder, Bandwagon

This post was originally made on www.ventureharbour.com

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Take Charge of Your Instagram Following

With 500 million active users, Instagram is a great visual social media platform to build your online community. Instagram allows you to give your fans a peek into your world through your photos and videos. While funny memes, quotes, and viral videos may get attention, building a community of fans for you and your music requires the right strategies. Here are six tips to grow your fan base on Instagram.

Instagram Following

1. Tell your story
Think of your Instagram feed as your personal online magazine. Use your photos and videos to visually tell your story. Pick main content themes that show who you are as an artist, and build a consistent feed. Some example of content themes are performing, recording, your musical interests, fashion/style, and religion/spirituality.

2. Decide on the overall look of your photos
When someone visits your profile, your first nine photos should have a consistent look. Decide if you want your Instagram feed to feature photos with an array of bold, eye-catching colors or if you want your photos to have a more minimalist, monochromatic look. You also need decide to whether you want your photos to have cool undertones or warm undertones.

Use a photo-editing app like VSCOCam to edit your photos to match your theme.

3. Post consistently
Along with having a consistent theme, you also need to be consistent in your posting. Consistency is key in building your followers over time. Sporadic posting could actually cause you to lose followers.

Post to your page one to three times a day to build your following. Create some of your posts and schedule them ahead of time with apps such as Hootsuite and Later to stay on top of your social game.

4. Use the right hashtags
Think of hashtags that both represent your brand and what your fans are searching for on Instagram. Use an analytics tool such as Iconosquare to see which hashtags are popular among your fans. Switch out your hashtags every few months to keep them fresh and correlate with your fans’ interests.

5. Spark engagement
You have to give in order to receive likes and comments on your Instagram content. Ask your followers questions, and post call-to-action photos to engage them. Like other people’s photos, and leave genuine comments on their content. Commit to engaging with a specific number of people per week to grow your following.

6. Post at the right times
In order to receive the most engagement, you must post your content at the right times. Post your content morning, afternoon, and evening to reach your fans in different time zones. Use Iconosquare to analyze when your followers are online. Study your followers’ behavior for at least a month and make adjustments to your posting times based on your findings.

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When it comes to choosing a digital music distributor to get your music on sites like iTunes, Amazon MP3 and Spotify, you want to feel confident in your choice.  If music is important to you, you want to know who’s handling your music assets, the quality of the service and the value you’re getting for the distribution fees you’re paying.

Here are 10 questions you should ask any digital music distributor before you entrust your music to them.  Choosing the right distributor is just as crucial as picking the right guitar (or microphone or drum set or, well, you get the point).

1. Is music distribution their primary business?

Many companies provide other products and services in addition to distribution.  That’s not a bad thing, but you want to make sure that they equally support and invest in the distribution portion of their business and are not using it as marketing “hook” to build other parts of their business.

2. Do they take any portion of the sales revenue your music generates from distribution?

Different distributors have different business models.  Some distributors will charge so much for distribution to cover their overall cost but we (Freeme Digital) will take a cut of the distribution revenue you earn from the downloads and streams of your music.

3. Do they have a dedicated Customer Care team? 

Let’s face it. We all need a little help sometimes.  If you run into trouble during the distribution process is there a team that can answer all of your questions quickly and get your music back on track and headed to stores? That’s exactly what you’ll get by distributing with Freeme Digital.

4. Do they have an online help tool so you can easily find answers to questions you might have?

Many of your distribution questions can likely be answered very quickly, and without the help of a living, breathing human. An easily searchable help section can often get you the answers you need to get through a few minor hiccups.

5. Do they provide guidelines on how to format your release so you have smooth distribution to stores?

The digital stores have very specific requirements when it comes to the format of your release (audio files, artwork, and release information). You’ll want to know these details ahead of time so you won’t experience any holdup on distribution.  Does the distributor monitor the assets being delivered to double check that everything is formatted correctly? Freeme Digital will always make sure your materials are in the right format before any digital distribution.

6. Do they support their artist community?

As an artist, you want to feel like you’re part of a large, creative community.  The distributor you choose is lucky to have you, and should provide you with the kind of support you deserve.  Are there opportunities for you to increase your fan base?  Or do they give you tips from other artists to help your career move forward? Freeme Digital gives talented artists the opportunity to enjoy more exposure in the music industry on our weekly production “ZoneOut Session” , a platform set aside for rappers to showcase their talent. We go further by hyping it on social networks giving the artists a voice.

7. Do they offer iTunes trend reports so you can see how your music is selling in stores soon after it goes live?

When your music goes live in stores you’ll likely be very eager to see how it’s selling, so you want to make sure the distributor offers iTunes trends reporting. Ask them if the reporting is updated daily or just weekly.  Do you view the data in csv files? Or do they offer a dynamic web-based tool so you can sort and view sales by release, track, geolocation and more? Freeme Digital provides quarterly report to let you see how your music is performing or upon request.

8. How transparent and detailed is the sales reporting?

It’s important for your digital distributor to be completely transparent with respect to your digital sales and streaming revenue from all the stores you sent your music to. You should know exactly which songs/albums were downloaded and streamed where, and for how much (to the penny).  Do you have access to your sales information 24/7? Is it presented in a way that is easy to understand, filter and sort? Freeme Digital provides artists with all of these and more.

9. Do they offer Publishing Administration to help you collect your worldwide songwriter/publisher royalties?

If you’re a songwriter, you earn additional royalties from the sales, streams, and use of your music around the world.  When a distributor offers a publishing administration service, there’s a built-in audit trail that lets the distributor make sure you’re receiving the correct amount of songwriter royalties.  Also, ask them if the service is in-house or if they use a third party.

10. Do they offer Ringtones?

Ringtones are a great way to make more money from your music by turning a 30 second snippet of a song into a ringtone to sell in the iTunes store. Why not make a little extra money and let your friends hear your music whenever someone calls?

Obviously there’s a lot to consider when it comes to choosing a digital music distributor.  Getting your music for sale online is a big deal!  We urge you check out our website for answers to all these questions and more, and always feel free to reach out if you can’t find what you’re looking for [email protected], [email protected]

Did we forget some critical questions to ask?  Let us know in the comments.

 

FreemeDigital | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Blog

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You’ve worked long and hard on your new album, but all that work is for nothing if no one knows about it! That’s where promotion comes in. The key with album promotion is to start early and to be really active. Just changing your Facebook cover photo to the album cover and announcing the release the day of isn’t going to cut it. You need to build up hype over time and keep on going even after the album drops.

The fact of the matter is you don’t need the marketing department of a record label you can launch an album campaign of your own. With all the tools available on the internet, you can spread the word for little cost, or even for free. In fact, the creative campaigns executed by agile indie musicians tend to be more effective than the one-size-fits-all strategies employed by big labels. Here’s four cool creative strategies you can use for your next album release.

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1. Employ your fans

For the most part, as an indie artist you need to make things happen on your own, and that includes marketing. But, you actually have a whole team of marketers out there just waiting to spread the news – your fans! While you can’t email them a plan and expect them to finish appointed tasks, you can, and should, build a strategy that encourages them to share.

One of the best ways to get fans talking is involvement. If people feel they have contributed something meaningful to a project they are more likely to share with their friends. This could be as simple as asking fans for photographs to use in your single’s music video. Crowd funding platforms let you offer fans cool rewards like using their name in a song, allowing them to write a line of lyrics, or personally thanking them in the album booklet.

Contests are another great way to get fans sharing. Make sure you offer something really awesome, like a live webinar/Google Hangout concert and Q&A in which you’ll be exclusively premiering a new song. Ask fans to share something, like your single, via social media to be entered in the contest. You’ll be getting the word out while also encouraging the winners to talk about their awesome experience.

2. The live promotion

These days, album releases are becoming more and more digital. You don’t need to worry about getting your album in the big stores and then going to signings on the day of release. Instead, you just have to press the upload button, send out a few tweets, and call it a day. However, just because you can release entirely online doesn’t mean you should. The person-to-person experience is still extremely important in the music industry.

I know recording an album can be a little chaotic as you scramble to get everything done on time, but this is exactly when you want to start playing some gigs. Let your fans know that you’ll be premiering a new song at your shows. Not only will this bring people out and get them excited for the album, you’ll also have a chance to tweak the songs based on your audience’s reaction. If it doesn’t sound quite how you wanted when played loud, you can still make some changes! You could even schedule four shows in the month leading up to the release and tell your fans that you’ll play the entire album at one of them. This way, if they really want to hear the new songs early, they’ll have to come to every show.

We all know the live show can be used to build up local hype around your album after the release. It’s pretty common practice to have an album release show or party and then set off on a tour, but you need to be thinking about how you can take this strategy to the next level and deliver something that will really get your fans excited while simultaneously spreading the word about your album. Doing a mini house concert tour in your local area is a great way to give your biggest fans something extra special. You could even run some cool contests or sell two CDs for the price of one to encourage sharing.

3. Constant content

The last thing you want to do is start working on your next album and disappear for a few months. After months of silence, when you finally come out with an announcement your fans may not be listening or looking out for your content.

Social media is one of the easiest ways to stay on your fans’ radars. Post Twitter updates about the recording process, pictures from the studio, or short teaser Vines. If you have a blog configured on your website, keep the content flowing! Share stories from the studio or your inspiration behind the album or certain songs. You want to get your fans coming to your website on a regular basis leading up to the album release. That way, they’ll be able to purchase the album and maybe even some merch when it drops.

You could even go a little deeper and open up the door to show your fans the writing process. A lot of people find the creative world of musicians really interesting. Post short videos of rough songs you’re working on or photos of short lyrical ideas. Ask for your fans’ opinions and talk to them about your inspirations. Not only will they follow your interesting content, you’ll also be able to forge a more human connection.

4. Bloggers and press

If you want to reach out to an audience beyond your active fan base, bloggers are the way to go, and placement on a blog is totally within your reach as an indie artist if you have a strategy in mind. The best part about blogs is that they tend to have a dedicated following that really trusts the blogger’s opinion. On top of that, their following is usually very niche specific. This means you’re guaranteed an audience that already likes the type of music you play.

Do some research and find blogs that cover musicians in your genre and at a similar career level to you. Next, you’ll want to send out an email. You can usually find the blogger’s contact information pretty easily with a little digging through the website. Make the subject line clear and the email personal, short, and to the point. Share an interesting story about your album with a link to your music, but don’t send them a long, drawn-out life story. Remember, the point is to intrigue them enough to check out your music – the music should do the talking.

If you want to convert the blogger’s followers into fans, try offering them an exclusive first-look at your single or a free download for their users. If they get one song and like it, they are more likely to go and buy the rest of the album.

FreemeDigital | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Blog