Music Marketing Blueprint Template [INFOGRAPHIC]

Music Marketing Blueprint Template [INFOGRAPHIC]

Earlier this year, I wrote a post called How to Create Your Own Music Marketing Blueprint.

The objective of that article was twofold:

  1. To help you understand how marketing works. When you see marketing as something you need to do on an ongoing basis – rather than something you do in phases – it helps you to stay consistent in your promotional efforts and by extension helps you build your momentum. Momentum is only achieved through consistent effort.
  2. To help you create your own music marketing blueprint template. I shared with you how to create your own mind map to begin to think about the various marketing channels that are out there, how to make your written plan, and how to bring your plan into alignment with your goals. When you put all of these elements together, you have your own music marketing blueprint.

At the very end, I gave you an example of what a music marketing blueprint could look like. That is the graphic you see below.

Ideally, you should go through the entire process of building your own music marketing blueprint, as that’s where you’ll get the most value out of this “infographic”. When you create your personal blueprint, it helps you to clarify your goals and make a plan for their achievement. It helps you to recognize your strengths and weaknesses, and it helps you to identify potential marketing opportunities too.

But fundamentally, it all comes back to the why. If you don’t have any leverage on yourself, it can be hard to persist to make your dreams a reality. You need to get in touch with your desires and feel them in your gut.

In any case, thanks for checking out this week’s “infographic”. Please share it with anyone you think could benefit from it!

Music Marketing Blueprint

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What is a Musician Entrepreneur?

What is a Musician Entrepreneur?

It may seem obvious, but a musician entrepreneur is a unique combination of a musician and an entrepreneur.

This is a concept that I have talked about in the past, and will be talking more about on the blog in the future (I wrote a detailed guide on the topic of musicpreneurs a while back).

So let’s take a look at what it means to be a musician entrepreneur.

Why do Musicians Need to be Entrepreneurs?

Though music entrepreneurship courses have existed for some time at various colleges and universities, I would argue that the concept is still relatively fresh.

The need for music entrepreneurship stems from the changing music industry climate as well as the quickly evolving technological advancements of the modern era. We are witnesses to some of the most significant shifts in information and technology today.

Experts like Seth Godin have long been warning us of the death of the industrial age, and today’s events and circumstances are forcing us to take this reality more seriously.

In the early days, schooling systems were designed to train factory workers who would show up on time, do what they were told to do, and not rock the boat. Businessmen like Henry Ford sought to create workers that would fit a certain mold and be loyal to the companies they worked for.

However, with the emergence of the information age, the status quo of getting a good education, finding a good job, and working really hard as a general model of success has crumbled. Job security is a joke. Pension plans are becoming a thing of the past. Today, not rocking the boat could mean becoming a victim of chance and circumstance.

Godin advocates the value-first money-later approach. From that perspective, money is a side benefit of adding value to the world and solving people’s problems. A lot of people seek to make money first, and their shortsightedness doesn’t allow for the development of genuine value, trust and relationship, which is really the cornerstone of business today.

Entrepreneurs are essentially self-starters. Instead of waiting for things to happen, they make things happen. They choose themselves.

Music entrepreneurship is the synthesis of creativity, artistic vision, people skills, leadership, value-based marketing, and business sense. It’s the process of turning passion into profession.

Musicians don’t need to be entrepreneurs, but it can be extremely helpful to develop an understanding of business, or build a team that can help them with the business side of things.

And, in a manner of speaking, musicians already are entrepreneurs, though some aren’t ready and willing to accept it.

What it Means to be a Musician Entrepreneur

A musician entrepreneur is defined by:

  • Their ability to find motivation internally. They are self-driven, make-it-happen people.
  • Their mindset. They see challenges as opportunities for learning and growth.
  • Their business sense. They understand what it means to operate and own a business and how that fits into their artistic vision.

Skill-set and talent are still important aspects of being a music entrepreneur, but that’s where most musicians stop; their personal development begins and ends at music itself.

Musician entrepreneurs know that developing skills outside of music can aid them in their vision towards creating a more profitable and sustainable career for themselves.

The music industry already has a sizeable component of business attached to it, whether musicians are aware of it or not. To many musicians, creativity and business appear to be two completely different worlds, and they either don’t want to acknowledge the business side of music, or simply don’t want to deal with it.

The fusion of creativity and business actually provides a great deal of opportunity, and could prove invaluable to the careers of many. Creativity and problem-solving skills are both assets in many business situations.

Musician entrepreneurship isn’t necessarily a superior approach to creativity. Fundamentally, it is defined by its connection to business, which a musician entrepreneur readily acknowledges and understands.

The Goal of Music Entrepreneurship

The primary objective of music entrepreneurship is to facilitate the growth and expansion of music careers in every capacity. Music entrepreneurship is the meeting place of art and business.

Musicians can broaden their horizons and opportunities by growing in their understanding of business. It’s a way of tapping into skills, talents, and potential they may not even be aware of.

Many musicians have glass ceilings over their potential. They don’t necessarily have an awareness around everything they are capable of, and they may even think that they are incapable of developing skills outside of music.

An individual’s potential can be better understood through the following illustration:

First, try reaching out as far as you can with your right arm. Go ahead; try it now.

Now reach an inch further.

More than likely, when you were told to reach an inch further, your arm actually went further than it did the first time around, despite the fact that you were told to reach as far as you could in the first place!

A lot of people’s potential is exactly like that. We think we can only reach so far, but in reality, we can go even further than that. We can continue to grow, expand, evolve and change.

Musician entrepreneurship doesn’t replace musical training or education. It’s important to develop your skill on your instrument, and if you want to become a virtuoso or a craftsperson, that’s still a worthy goal.

However, there is the opportunity to supplement what you already know with new personal growth habits, business sense, and leadership skills. This can open up new possibilities for your music career.

As previously noted, you can also develop a team that helps you with business matters as well as whatever you aren’t good at, or whatever you don’t enjoy.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you now understand what it means to be a musician entrepreneur, and why it’s important.

In these times of fast change, we have to embrace new developments and be willing to adapt. If you sit around and wait, viable methods will quickly become invalid, and old models will get replaced by new models.

Entrepreneurs train themselves to be sensitive to change, because change is often where new opportunities can be found.

What do you think? Do you consider yourself a music entrepreneur? Do you believe that musician entrepreneurship will become a necessity in times to come?

Let us know in the comments section below!

Also, for a more in-depth guide on music entrepreneurship, have a look at: The Essential Guide to Musicpreneurship

Interested in Learning More About this Topic?

The Essential Guide to Music Entrepreneurship: 2018 EditionIf you’re looking for all the latest information on music entrepreneurship, and you’d like to explore this subject in more detail, we recommend checking out David Andrew Wiebe’s latest book, The Essential Guide to Music Entrepreneurship: 2018 Edition.

In addition to everything covered in the original guide, there are fresh insights, new sections and experts quotes, stats, and bonus content in the short volume.

Don’t miss out on cutting-edge information that could help you go beyond in your musicpreneurship career.

Order on Amazon

6 Website Essentials for Musicians [INFOGRAPHIC]

6 Website Essentials for Musicians [INFOGRAPHIC]

Musicians: do you know what your website needs? Are you aware of the different items you should be incorporating?

The following hand-drawn, digitally-painted infographic shows you exactly what components you need to be thinking about as you develop your home on the web. They are:

  1. Your music: you need to be able to show your visitors what you sound like. Whether you use samples or full-length tracks is up to you.
  2. High quality photography: don’t cut corners with your pictures. You need some great shots, especially for your home page as well as your bio page.
  3. A bio: you need to introduce your band to the world with your band bio. You need a well-written account that covers the five Ws; who, what, when, where, why.
  4. An opt-in form: for collecting email addresses. It is absolutely critical to be building your mailing list as a musician.
  5. Tour/show dates: so your fans know when you will be performing next! Show dates can also help with your overall credibility when media people and venue owners come to check out your website.
  6. A blog: a place to update your fans and chronicle your journey. You can even write articles from time to time if you enjoy writing.

In addition to that, there are three good-to-haves:

  1. Video: video is a powerful promotional tool that enables you to show the world who you are, what you look like, and what you sound like.
  2. Store: if all you have is one EP or album, you may not need a store yet, but as you expand your merch offerings, you should definitely be looking at setting up your own online store.
  3. EPK: your electronic press kit.

Thanks for visiting, and don’t forget to share this “infographic” with your friends!

What Your Website Needs [INFOGRAPHIC]

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How to be a Live Sound Engineer Your Clients Love

How to be a Live Sound Engineer Your Clients Love

I tend to think that being a good live sound engineer isn’t rocket surgery.

It mostly comes down to modifying your approach based on the band or artist, the situation, the venue, as well as the audience.

I’m not necessarily a schooled live sound engineer, and yet the reason I keep getting calls is rooted in the fact that I demonstrate sensitivity in every situation I walk into. I don’t just turn the soundboard on, adjust a few knobs, step away, have a few drinks and hit on the band’s girlfriends!

Sound isn’t necessarily hard, but you do need to exercise professionalism if you expect to get more gigs.

If people like what you do, you can bet you’re going to gain a positive reputation and be more in-demand. You’ll start getting more calls!

So, here are a few things to keep in mind if you want to be a live sound engineer your clients genuinely love.

Sound Engineer Tips

In my experience, the following tips are the most crucial to making every gig a success.

Pay Attention

It doesn’t do you or your client any good if you “set and forget”.

Sometimes, there are gigs where you can literally set the faders and EQ and never need to change a thing for the remainder of the performance. But that doesn’t mean you can set the board (and your mind) on autopilot.

A lot of singer-songwriter shows may allow you to walk away from the soundboard after initial setup, but when it comes to bands – especially bands that are made up of three or more members – you should be keeping a constant watch on the stage, so you can make adjustments on the fly.

You never know when the guitarist might need an extra boost for her solo.

This communicates care. Your client wants to know you care about your work and their sound, and when you can demonstrate you do, they will love you for it.

Be sensitive to the artist or band you’re doing sound for. They may have multi-instrumentalists that needs to switch out instruments from one song to another. They may have multiple vocalists within the group, even if there’s one primary singer.

Sometimes, you’ll need to adjust on the fly.

If you simply aren’t sure, talk to the band beforehand and get a sense of what they’re going to be doing for the show.

Use Your Ears

It’s a great idea to get your education in sound engineering. But if you do “everything by the books”, your education is all for naught.

Fundamentally, sound engineering is about how things sound, and regardless of what your training has taught you, setting certain instruments at specific thresholds without listening to the overall mix will get you in trouble.

Some musicians are exactly the same way – they practice in a room all day, only to show up on stage “without an ear”. Sure, they can play, but they’ve lost all sensitivity to the music!

By all means, take advantage of what you’ve learned in school, especially when cutting frequencies to eliminate feedback. But don’t be a slave to your education!

It’s dangerous to assume that every situation will be exactly the same, because most of the time, the rooms and the gear will change from one gig to another.

Even if you’re using the same gear, the weather, the environment, and sometimes the band may not remain a constant, so you must match the sound to the situation.

Sometimes this will go against your instincts, and sometimes you will find that what shouldn’t work does! I’m speaking from experience here.

So, do yourself and your clients a favor by leveraging both your experience and your ear! You’re a sound engineer, remember? If you can’t hear the mix, you’re not going to do a great job no matter how many years of education you have behind you.

Stay Open to Feedback

Sometimes education and training can puff us up and make us proud.

It’s great to have confidence in yourself and your work, but if it gets in the way of taking feedback, it’s a weakness rather than a strength.

Sound is subjective. That may not be what you learned in school, but running sound isn’t just a science – it’s the practice of shaping an experience.

Have you ever been to a show where the sound ruined the experience? Hopefully, you have, because that instance should show you what can happen when you aren’t hearing what others are!

Now, don’t get me wrong – you can’t please everyone, nor should you try. But you can’t ignore smoke signals, because they could be indicative of fires that need to be put out.

The band will have their own thoughts, and the audience will have their own thoughts too. There’s always a delicate balance of trying to make everyone happy.

You don’t need to accept all criticism launched at you, but do keep in mind that feedback could be revealing weaknesses within your game.

Other Common Questions

In this section, we’d like to address other common questions related to sound engineering.

What do Sound Engineers Get Paid? What is Their Salary?

According to PayScale, sound engineers in Canada, on average, get paid $19.65 per hour.

Glassdoor tells us that sound engineers receive $34,922 as an average base pay.

In my experience, you can easily command $50 per hour, independently, if you’ve got some experience under your belt.

But just know that you won’t be working all the time, and when you’ve got a business model that resembles that of a mechanic or a plumber, you’ve got to charge more per hour than minimum wage.

What does a Live Sound Engineer do?

A live sound engineer is typically responsible for mixing the artist or band for a concert performance. This means manipulating the overall levels of each voice and instrument, tweaking EQ (equalization) to achieve the ideal sound, and adding specific effects to specific tracks using a sound console.

A live sound engineer’s duties may extend to:

  • Bringing and setting up the necessary gear
  • Running cables to microphones
  • Setting up mic stands and microphone positions
  • Swapping batteries in wireless units
  • Communicating with the artist or band and understanding their needs
  • Playing sound effects or sound cues at specific times
  • Recording the performance
  • Packing up the gear and teardown
  • Pulling the curtain

I’ve had gigs where I had to do all the above and more!

Final Thoughts on Being a Live Sound Engineer

If you have the desire to do a great job for your clients, remember to stay flexible in your approach. It isn’t just about twiddling a few knobs and pushing a few faders – it’s about having a great attitude, being willing to experiment, and making sure you’re meeting the needs of your clients.

What do you think? Is there anything else sound engineers should know? Do you have any additional tips for them?

Let us know in the comments below!

Top 10 Social Media Sites for Musicians to Focus on [INFOGRAPHIC]

Top 10 Social Media Sites for Musicians to Focus on [INFOGRAPHIC]

I don’t know about you, but I like to learn things visually.

Text is fantastic, and reading is probably the primary way I learn, but nothing quite beats images that reinforce the points and fills in the gaps.

The purpose of the infographic seen below (hand-drawn and digitally painted), is to show you the top 10 social media sites to focus on as a musician.

They are as follows: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr, Instagram, Bandcamp, SoundCloud and ReverbNation.

This is not to suggest that you should build a presence on every site! That would be ludicrous.

I mean, if you have the time, go right ahead, but I think you will find that your hands are pretty full with two or three sites, let alone 10!

No, the purpose of this infographic is to show you where to put your focus. I did my research, and these are the most popular social networking sites out there. From first place to seventh place, you will find Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr, and Instagram.

Any sites less popular than that on the top 70 list tend to be a little more specialized, like VK, Meetup, Ask.fm, and so on. As such, they may be useful in some cases, but aren’t quite as universally applicable.

And, of course, we had to include the most popular music-related social networks, which turned out to be Bandcamp, SoundCloud and ReverbNation.

In particular, SoundCloud is even used by podcasters these days, so it’s a good place to get your social on.

Thanks for being a part of the community, and don’t forget to share this “infographic” with your friends!

Top 10 Social Media Sites for Musicians to Focus on

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Why Use Facebook?

If I was told I could only use one social media site to market my music, I would pick Facebook. It’s the largest social network on the internet, their advertising platform allows you to do a ton of cool things, and it sends more traffic to my site than any other social media site available.

Why Use Twitter?

Twitter has certainly seen better days, and at this point it seems fated to wind up in the hands of Google. At that point, who knows what will happen? For the time being, it’s still not a bad place to be and to post quick, snappy updates. It’s even better if you’re regularly blogging, since Twitter is where news is broken.

Why Use LinkedIn?

LinkedIn clearly isn’t the best place for musicians to be, though I’ve also talked about the fact that you can use it to promote your music. If you’re planning to use it, I would focus on joining and interacting in groups, posting videos, writing articles (you can repurpose content you’ve already published), and sharing the occasional update.

Why Use Pinterest?

Pinterest is a lot of fun – perhaps too much fun. I use it to pin my blog posts, infographics, products, videos, and so forth, and there may be some benefit in you doing the same. I don’t think everyone should be – or even needs to be – on Pinterest, but it is one more site you can use to direct traffic to your site. Also, most people that pin your products are extremely likely to become buyers down the line.

Why Use Google+?

There is a sizable music community on Google+, since there is a heavy tech focus on this Google-owned social network. Sharing your site’s content or blog posts can also help it get indexed faster. That’s a simple way of saying you could be getting more traffic to your site from Google if you’re sharing your content on Google+.

Why Use Tumblr?

Does the word “millennial” mean anything to you? The main reason to use Tumblr is to connect with a younger generation. And trust me when I say there are plenty of people posting GIFs of their favorite pop and rock icons on Tumblr.

Why Use Instagram?

I’m not seeing huge traction from Instagram myself, but I know a few musicians that are, and they like the fact that they can use it as a brand-building tool. What I do like about Instagram is the amount of engagement you can get on a single photo, and the ability to push your posts to Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.

Why Use Bandcamp?

By default, most online music stores sell your music for 99 cents per track. But on Bandcamp, you can sell your music for whatever you want to. Some musicians say they only put their music up on Bandcamp for download. In a way, it has replaced MySpace, and honestly the fact that people can buy from you makes it that much better.

Why Use SoundCloud?

SoundCloud isn’t just huge among musicians anymore. Podcasters and other types of content creators are also utilizing the platform. It’s a great place to showcase your music. I also like that you can embed the audio you upload to SoundCloud on your website or blog. SoundCloud is also evolving as a subscription service, and it looks to me like there will be more and more opportunities with this audio sharing site in the future.

Why Use ReverbNation?

I don’t see ReverbNation as a music marketing tool as much as I see it as a music opportunity tool. Ask any of your fans – they probably don’t know what ReverbNation is unless they are musicians themselves. So, don’t use it to grow your fan base. Use it to connect with other musicians and find opportunities you might be able to apply for.

Is it Worth Considering Other Social Networks?

I once published an article titled 211+ Places to Market Your Music Online.

Those places include – but certainly aren’t limited to – social networks.

But honestly, unless you’re working with a team, you have a ton of spare time, or you’re using automation tools like OnlyWire, I can’t recommend putting that much time into just social media.

Is it worth considering new social platforms? Always, as there may be an opportunity to own your space as an early adopter. We’ve seen this play out time and again.

But you should only consider other networks if you know for a fact your fans like to hang out there, you’re getting a good amount of traffic from it, or it helps you tap into new opportunities.