112 – What is Music Entrepreneurship?

You’ve heard me talk about it before. It forms the foundation of everything I do online and offline.

What am I talking about? Music entrepreneurship, of course.

In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, I offer a brief explanation of what music entrepreneurship is, and resources you can tap into to learn more about it.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:14 – What is music entrepreneurship?
  • 00:20 – Launching The Essential Guide to Music Entrepreneurship
  • 00:31 – Music entrepreneurship: an uncommon term?
  • 00:53 – Ideas about music entrepreneurship
  • 01:09 – An emerging way of approaching your music career or business
  • 01:22 – An entrepreneur is someone who put forth an extraordinary effort
  • 01:36 – The mindset of an entrepreneur
  • 01:42 – Bonus content

Transcription:

And in this video, I wanted to answer the question, “what is music entrepreneurship?”

As you know, I recently launched The Essential Guide to Music Entrepreneurship. And, this is my latest mini book, detailing what it means to be a music entrepreneur.

But I had a question from an artist – a friend of mine – and he asked, “what is music entrepreneurship? It seems like a term that’s not commonly used in the music industry.”

And, he is partially correct. There isn’t necessarily a lot of people calling themselves musicpreneurs or music entrepreneurs, although I would argue that is beginning to change.

So, you might be saying to yourself, music entrepreneurship… that’s somebody who has a business in the music industry, right? Or, you might be saying to yourself, that’s a musician who’s approaching their career like a business, right?

And the answer is… both!

I actually look at it as an emerging and new way of approaching a music career or business that allows you to create the types of results that entrepreneurs have.

Music entrepreneurship is a new way of approaching your music career or business that allows you to create the types of results entrepreneurs have. Click To Tweet

Because, as you know, there are many entrepreneurs out there. And, it’s not necessarily that they’re extraordinary people. They just put forth an extraordinary effort. And that’s how they got an extraordinary result. And you and I can do that too.

So, I wanted to share with you what the mindset of an entrepreneur is, and that’s what my mini book gets into.

Now, you can also find all the bonus content I created for this – the action sheet, the audiobook and the video training, if you go to davidandrewwiebe.com/essential. So, I hope that answers your question.

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Top Tips for Making Your Website Mobile SEO Ready

Making your website mobile ready is more important than ever. If you aren’t taking a mobile-first approach, you could quickly get left in the dust.In this guest post via Helen, content marketer at Ahrefs, you’ll learn what steps you can take to ensure you’re offering your users the best experience possible.

By the way, if you think you’ve got what it takes to be a contributor, you can find our guest post guidelines here.

With that, here’s Helen!

How often do you see people on the streets listening to music on their smartphones? Quite often, I bet! Stats also show that mobile device usage is growing exponentially.

One Statista report shows that mobile usage for music services outperforms usage on desktop computers. Smartphones have fast become the go-to for music consumption.

Mobile music streaming stats

That’s why music entrepreneurs should pay more attention to mobile SEO. Here are a set of tips for making your music website mobile-ready.

Perform a Mobile Audit

Google has a couple of tools that can help you test your website for its mobile usability. First, there’s the Mobile-Friendly Test where you can type in your domain and see the issues that keep your site from being mobile-ready.

Another worthwhile tools is Google Search Console, which will let you know what mobile usability issues your website has. You should log into your account and go to “Search Traffic” tab; then click “Mobile Usability.”

By using these tools, you can identify whatever issues you need to fix. It could be clickable elements that are placed too close to each other, the use of Flash, font sizes that are too small or too big, and so on. Mobile Googlebot will also check if it’s able to access all your website elements.

Keep an Eye on Loading Times

Heavy-loading websites annoy even desktop users. Mobile users hate it even more, especially when streaming music. You must identify all the issues that may cause slowdown on your website and eliminate them.

Google’s mobile page speed study shows that the probability of a user bouncing off the page increases in direct ratio to the page loading time. And, due to the mobile-first algorithm, Google is prioritizing pages that load quickly.

Mobile page speed study

So, you must get rid of any issues that slow your website or its elements down:

  • Reduce file sizes where you can. Of course, you may not want to sacrifice the quality of your music files. But you can optimize the album/single covers, your photos and other imagery to save bandwidth.
  • Use caching. Google advises using caching on your website to save on loading times. You’d better follow that advice.
  • Consider CDN. These networks deliver page elements much faster, improving the overall loading speed of the website.

Do Mobile Keyword Research

Google shows desktop and mobile results in different ways. And often SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) for mobile show a different picture. On mobile people may type their keywords into the search field or use Voice Search. You should do keyword research for mobile with all these peculiarities in mind.

People often search on mobile using questions. You can check for those questions in two ways:

  • Use Google search for the keyword that fits your page or content. Then scroll to the bottom of the page and check out the “Related searches” section for more keyword ideas.
  • Use Google’s Keyword Planner for more keyword ideas. You can also use a “Questions” tab in Ahrefs and see what people ask when they are searching for related topics.

Mobile keyword research - voice search

Whatever method you choose, remember that your goal is to keep the searcher’s’ intent in mind. Target the keywords users are searching for when surfing the web.

Pay Attention to Your Content

Content is what mobile users are looking for. They don’t care about the gimmicks you use to decorate the desktop version of you website. They want to get the answer to their question, and they want it now.

Focus on the readability of your fonts. A small font size is the worst choice for mobile screens. A larger font size is also a no-no, because it takes up too much space and clutters the above the fold area. It’s better to use sans-serif fonts with a good amount of kerning between the letters and space between the lines.

Make your header images smaller to put essential info above the fold. Again, mobile users need information, not the decorations. So cut the imagery a bit in favor of giving your visitors the information they’re looking for.

You should optimize your media content for mobile viewing and listening. Use HTML5 videos and forget about Flash. Optimize your videos for touch (big buttons, full-screen playback, streaming preferences).

Rewrite Your Titles & Descriptions

Getting on the first page of Google is the primary goal of most music website owners. But it’s not enough if no one clicks the link and lands on your website. Only clicks bring your website traffic.

The titles and descriptions are the main things that users will see in mobile SERPs. Thus, you should lure the user to click the link. Here’s how:

  • Keep the title length short. A 45-characters title is the best option.
  • Smaller screens require shorter meta-descriptions too. Again, there are no clear rules for the description length. Just keep it around 155 characters.

Remember that Google gives no evidence that the title and description have any impact on website rankings. Sometimes it even shows the first phrase from the text instead of the meta-description if it finds it more relevant. You must write your metadata with your audience in mind.

Implement Schema Structured Data

Mobile SERP structured data

Google uses Schema.org structured data to show mobile results, especially when it comes to media and photos.

Mobile results above the fold are displaying in the form of cards. Music website that uses structured data will benefit in mobile search since its content will look more attractive. With the help of structured data, you can also show review stars, tour dates, posters, media files, and other relevant information increasing your page CTR.

The Bottom Line

The above are the main tips you should implement on your music website. There are more minor improvements you can make. For instance:

  • Optimize for local search. According to stats, over 40% of mobile searches are local. You can benefit from leveraging local-targeted keywords or geo-positioning features (e.g., HTML Geolocation API).
  • Use larger buttons when it’s possible to avoid the “fat-finger” issue.
  • Make sure any clickable elements are easy to tap on the mobile screen. Use the click-to-call function for phone numbers.

Check how your optimized elements look and behave on different devices. And do some testing to find out if there any other improvements that can be made.

111 – The Life of a Musician, Conductor, Life Coach and Author – with Dobbs Franks

If you’re in your 20s or 30s now, project yourself ahead 50 to 60 years. Where would you be? What would you be doing? How will your life have turned out?

In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, I have a chat with musician, conductor, life coach and author Dobbs Franks, who shares about the wonderful journey of life, and the advice he wants to pass on to the younger generation.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:14 – Introductions
  • 00:40 – Tell us about yourself
  • 11:14 – Tell us about your book, So, You Want to be a Musician…
  • 20:30 – As a musician, you could spend your entire life in relative anonymity
  • 24:25 – Your personal relationships will have to write their own rules
  • 27:23 – What’s the number one thing you see getting in the way of people living a happy and fulfilling life?
  • 35:04 – The traditional model of success
  • 36:27 – If there was one piece of advice you could pass onto young people, what would it be?
  • 40:54 – There’s no instruction manual to life
  • 42:30 – The moment you take complete responsibility for your life
  • 43:23 – Are there any books that have helped you on your journey?
  • 45:43 – Is there anything else I should have asked?

Transcription:

Coming soon.

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How to Write a Press Release to Promote Your Music

A press release is a valuable tool you can use to promote various aspects of your music career. But you must use them correctly. That’s what you will learn in this guest post via Grace Carter.If you have something valuable to share here, you can find our guest post submission guidelines here.Now, here’s Grace to fill us in.

A solid press release can help you get some buzz for your latest album release, concert, or even tour. They play an important role in online marketing.

But there is a right way and a wrong way to go about writing a press release. Your must think of yourself as a journalist as opposed to a shameless self-promoter. Keep your news release simple and to the point.

Should I Write a Press Release?

When you would like to notify the media about something, it’s time to write a press release. Some common reasons for issuing a press release are a new album, an upcoming tour, signing to a record label, or a forthcoming local concert.

It’s best to reserve news releases for important events, because if you’re issuing press releases all the time, people will lose interest. Before you send out a press release, do a bit of research and see what the chosen media outlet’s policy and history are.

Note that you can write a press release and distribute it on your own. But in most cases, a distribution service can help you get it in front of more eyeballs.

Start with the Most Relevant Information

“You should adopt the rules of a journalist when you’re writing a press release. Explain the who, what, where, why and how, and do it in the first paragraph. You’re not writing poetry, you’re just trying to get some important information out to the people interested in it,” says Deborah Lawrence, PR writer at EliteAssignmentHelp.

Many people won’t read your entire press release, so share the most relevant information upfront.

Make it Simple & Concise

Keep your press release short and to the point. Your press release only needs to be a couple of short paragraphs. Relay the basic information and then wrap it up. If people need more details (i.e. to put together a write up for you) they can always contact you for more information. Keep the language simple. Don’t use elaborate fonts, colors, or images.

Send Links, Not Attachments

Don’t send out attachments of your press release. People are rightly distrustful of attachments in emails from people they don’t know. If you attach your release to your email, there’s a very good chance your email will just be deleted. Instead, just send links.

This goes for your music as well. Create a private SoundCloud link or Youtube video. This way you can share your music with a few select people before the wide release.

Don’t forget to include links to your website, social media accounts, and press shots. You’ll save bloggers or journalists a bunch of time. People appreciate it when you save them time, and you definitely don’t want to annoy someone who will be responsible for helping you grow your media presence.

Remember that it’s Not Self-Promotion

It might sound a bit counterintuitive to avoid self-promotion when you’re promoting yourself. What’s important is the tone you take in your press release. Yes, you are promoting yourself, but you don’t have to sound like you’re trying to sell yourself.

Tell people how to find your new album, get tickets to your show, etc. Keep it professional. You’re not trying to sell anyone on your music, you’re just letting people know that it’s out there if they’re interested.

Get Your Writing Skills up to Snuff

Writing is a skill that needs to be practiced. If it’s been a while since you wrote anything, it’s a good idea to get some writing help. Look into some online resources that can help you improve your skills.

Here are several that you may find valuable:

  • StateofWriting and MyWritingWay: These are writing guides full of advice on how to improve in all aspects of the writing process. Writing guides are a great way to learn as you write.
  • Essayroo and UKWritings: If you’re going to edit your press release, you’ll want to make sure you’re familiar with how to do it right. AustralianReviewer recommends these editing tools.
  • ViaWriting and StudyDemic: Grammar is something that many people struggle with. Bone up on your grammar skills so that your press release is of professional quality.
  • Boomessays and Academized: Proofreading is an important part of turning out a quality piece of writing. You can read SimpleGrad’s Academized review of these online tools.
  • WritingPopulist and Lets Go and Learn: Read these writing blogs to improve your writing knowledge. Take the lessons learned from these blog writers and use them to write a stellar press release.

Conclusion

There’s are many reasons why you might want to issue a press release. But no matter the reason, the rules for writing a good press release remain the same. Remember that your goal is to inform, not to sell yourself. Keep it short and don’t waste people’s time. Writing a good music press release isn’t hard if you follow the above steps.

Why Formal Music Education is Important to the Music Industry

Why Formal Music Education is Important to the Music Industry

How important is formal education? Should every musician receive training in an educational context?In this post, guest contributor Claire Temple helps us understand the value of formal education for both musicians and the industry at large.

Do you have something to share with our audience? Consider becoming a guest contributor for The Music Entrepreneur HQ.

With that, here’s Claire to enlighten us.

Although many successful self-taught musicians exist, I personally believe formal music education can unleash the true talent of a musician. This doesn’t mean getting music education is better than being self-taught. But music education can help you shape your musical path and “tame” your creativity.

Among other things, music education doesn’t just provide an intensive introduction to music theory, but most importantly, exposes the student to the cultural basis and implications of music in general. This knowledge is valuable not only to the musician but also to the broader music industry in which they operate. Here is how and why.

Are There Advantages to Not Having Formal Music Training?

Before we explain the importance and benefits of music education, we should discuss if there are any advantages to not having music training. Being self-taught is often associated with being adventurous and genius, while formal music education is associated with rigidity.

It is wrong to think that studying music will limit you creatively because you “all get the same education”. If you are unique, you will stand out one way or another. You will not sound the same as everyone else.

Being literate in music is never a bad thing. It helps you read music fluently, sight-sing almost anything, transpose to similar instruments, improvise vocal harmonies in nearly any musical style, jam with anybody and hold your own if called on to “take it!” and much more.

Without music training, you may think that you are completely free and that one day you might create an entirely new and original genre. But the opposite is often true. Without education, you may develop a stagnant or repetitive style leading to monotonous melodies and musical ideas.

So, in the end, you could end up sounding similar to an average musician. But due to the lack of ear training, you might not be able to hear it. If you are a music enthusiast who loves singing or creating music, take a few formal lessons to see how just a bit of formal training can affect your skills and style. Taking voice lessons or piano lessons may be a good start.

Benefits of Formal Music Education to the Industry

Formal training doesn’t just benefit you, the musician, but also the music industry you operate in. Through music education, you will learn to effectively communicate not only with other musicians but also with your audience. You will learn how to recognize and create quality music, and how to use your music as a tool to evoke specific emotional and behavioral responses from your listening audience.

If you are able to do this, you will be recognized as a successful musician who has the ability to attract an enormous paying audience. Here is why.

Music Communication

The primary point of an education in music is to make an artist literate in the language of music. Understanding the language of music doesn’t just give you the ability to read notes and understand rhythmic patterns, but above all, it gives you the ability to create unique melodic phrasings and convey your musical ideas successfully not only to other musicians who understand the language but also to your audience.

Knowing the language of music allows you to effectively “speak” with others and express your feelings and emotions through notes in a way other people can comprehend.

Being able to communicate with other musicians on a professional level makes collaborating with other artists much easier, and everyone (including you) can follow along quickly.

Creating Quality Music

The music industry depends on one thing, and that’s on artists who grasp the value of producing quality music. Lack of knowledge in music theory may negatively affect your flexibility and disable you from creating a piece that will adequately engage your audience.

On the flip side, being knowledgeable in music theory will help you create a high-quality composition that will have all the right elements to attract a large paying audience.

Music & Behavior

Music, like other kinds of art, is a powerful tool of expression that can impact and even shape people’s behavior. An interesting fact is that musicians who are particularly interested in understanding the relationship between music and people’s behavior often decide to obtain a degree in behavior analysis.

Since music can help an individual experience a wide range of emotional and behavioral responses, knowing how to write music that evokes specific behavioral responses may be the key of getting your audience to exhibit precisely the types of reactions you want to produce with your music.

So far as behavior is concerned, value to the industry lies in the ability to reach a specific audience. Music is of no value to the industry if there is no audience, and the audience responds to music based on the effect that it has on them.

Because of this, it’s essential for you, as a musician, to understand what impact you can expect your music to have on your audience. Otherwise, you will be making music that is potentially unappealing or continuously play a guessing game in your musical creativity.

Conclusion

The more you learn about music, the more you understand how it affects people. When you are aware of what music can do, you can create powerful music. Only when you know how your music affects people, can you create it in such a way to reach and connect with a targeted listening audience. As a result, you will receive recognition in the industry as an innovator in musical expression and sound.