Archive for February, 2010

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Artists – The 5 BEST ways to spend money promoting your music career

February 25, 2010

The last email I wrote was called “Artists – Stop wasting your money – The top 5 ways bands waste money and how to stop!!!”

This email is about 5 good ways to spend money promoting your music career.

I want to state, for now, this list is a work in progress.  I might tweak it and send out a revised list of 5-10 things in another few weeks but since the last email I wrote was so popular, I wanted to follow up while the iron was still hot.  Upon further reflection, I might add or take away some of these items.  Hey, a woman reserves the right to change her mind, right?

So here are the 5 BEST WAYS TO SPEND MONEY PROMOTING YOUR MUSIC CAREER:

1)  Pressing CDs/Gas for your car or van.  Ok, pressing CDs may not technically fall under “marketing and promotion” but to me, it could.  It may sound positively old school and if you don’t plan to tour or do anything to promote your music, perhaps pressing up 100 CDs makes more sense than pressing up 1,000.  However, if you plan to do ANY type of effective radio promotion, film/tv promotion or music publicity, many people still want CDs.  Not to mention, you need product to sell at shows!   The last thing you want to do is play out anywhere without physical product to sell.  And let’s face it, your fans are MUCH more likely to shell out $10-15 for a fully pressed CD with professional artwork than a CD you burned at home on your Mac.  Make sure your artwork looks professional – no photos of kids or dogs on the album cover please!  Now way more important that pressing the CDs is a plan on how you’re going to sell them.  The best way?  Play out locally and play anywhere and everywhere you can.  I guarantee you’ll sell a lot more CDs if you play out 7 nights a week than none!!  CDs don’t sell themselves.  Artists do.  The biggest mistake I see most artists making is not getting out there and playing enough live shows!!!

2)  Film/TV promotion.  You knew I was gonna say this, right?  Hey, I didn’t get into the music pitching, licensing and promotion world by accident (ok, maybe I did) but I did it because it made sense for me 8-9 years ago (waaaaay before it was so hip) and it still makes sense today.  Promoting your music to film/tv (and also ads and video games, etc) is one of the ONLY things you can do in the WORLD right now where you actually stand to make some if not all of your money back, and then some! Some indie artists and composers make upwards of $100,000 a year licensing their music (and they may never play a show in their life!).  Not only can it be a decent if not very lucractive pay day, it also is press (my song was featured on MTV or “90210”, so much so that many labels build entire artist marketing campaigns around a huge placement – heard that Phoenix song in a Cadillac ad about 5,000 times lately?  Hello Grammy!) and that sets you apart from the other million artists on myspace that can’t say that!  Plus, it adds value to your publishing catalog.  You’re MUCH more likely to get signed to a label and publishing company if you have a list of placements on your resume.  Plus, fans discover a lot of new music through exposure in films, TV shows, ads and video games.  A song on a video game plays over and over and over again – generating many more impressions than even commercial radio spins!!  I could go on and on about the importance of film/tv promotion but we’ll save that for another email.  I’ll just say it’s competitive as hell these days, but it’s still worth doing!!!  Frankly, if I only had $1000 or $2000 to promote my music, if I were an artist, this is absolutely where I would put it!  Yet most artists aren’t that smart…and therefore aren’t that successful.

3)  Social media marketing.  I’m not sure if I’d recommend hiring someone to do your social media marketing for you since I only know one person that does this for a living – but if you’re clueless in this area, why not?  Get someone to promote you to new people on myspace and facebook if you don’t know how to do it – or don’t have the time.  Now, these days, this is not thought of as “acceptable” by some label social media marketing gurus I’ve talked to.  They say “A label wants an artist that does their own social marketing”.  But, realistically, there are only so many hours in the day, right?  And maybe you work a day job.  Not everyone is 16 years old, lives at home and has 5 guys in a band that can spend hours online a day writing new fans on myspace.  Or maybe you need to spend more of your time writing and recording songs and playing shows.  So why not hire a kid or tech expert to help you with this?  Why not also hire some college kids to be your street team if you don’t understand or have the time to navigate myspace or promote your music online effectively?  Pay someone to get you promoted on the important music web sites, blogs, Internet radio stations and music web sites.  Sure, there’s still no guarantee it will lead to anything but EVERYONE is online these days and I’d much rather see you spend your money on social media marketing than a lot of other things!

4)  Making a decent sounding recording/hiring a great mixer.  Note I did not write “hire an expensive studio, producer or engineer”.  Find an up and coming engineer or producer/engineer in your home town and go record in their home studio.  If you spend more than $20,000-30,000 recording and mixing and mastering your record you’ve spent WAY too much.  I’ve heard GREAT, amazing albums that were recorded in home studios or someone’s bedroom (released on major labels no less).  You can go into the studio to track the drums and bass and record the vocals at home.  In the end, a great mixer will make ALL the difference in the world in your song! So spend some money there.  Besides, people today care less and less about the sound quality of music (it’s sad but true!)  If people are buying more and more songs digitally, the record quality only matters to true audiophiles, for licensing to major films and trailers and for well, listening to on a big, expensive, old school stereo.

5)  Spend no money AT ALL.  I know, I know.  It sounds crazy but in general, every artist I meets whines to me, “Oh, if I only had money for a HUGE ad campaign, a media blitz, ads in Times Square, a music video, to hire a big name publicist and radio promoter, I’d be a HUGE star.”

I guarantee you, if you had (and spent) the money for these things, you’d likely be NO FURTHER ALONG than you are right now.

And I don’t know about you, but I rather be no further along with tens of thousands of dollars still in the bank than being no further along having spent/wasted tens of thousands of dollars of my own money.

Artists always wants the “easy way” the “shortcut” the way to “leap from from obscurity to superstardom overnight with NO work.”  Let me tell you something.  This is all code for “I’m too lazy to do the REAL work it takes to become successful.  And I know it.  And any smart label or manager these days knows it too.

True, it can take YEARS upon YEARS of back breaking touring playing to small or non-existent crowds to develop even a small following.  It can takes months, if not YEARS of promoting on myspace and facebook and other social networking sites to develop any real fanbase.  Yet, you HAVE to do it if you want to become successful.

Because while you’re sitting there whining “I would be more successful if only I had a publicist and record label” – some other artist is busting their ass on the road, promoting on myspace, working on their songwriting craft, making $300 YouTube videos, and gaining fans and selling CDs and becoming “successful” while you sit home and complain about “if only I had money…”

My friend saw U2 play a show in her home city on their first album.  It was in the middle of a snow storm so only 20 people were there.  20 people to see U2.  So if your ego is too big to perform in front of small crowds, well, just remember this.  U2 had to do it and they are the biggest band in the world!!  Get over your fragile ego and get out there and play!!!  Play free shows for high schools, colleges, coffee shops, bars, anywhere and everywhere you can!

Jennifer Yeko
True Talent Management
9663 Santa Monica Blvd. # 320
Beverly Hills, CA  90210

~Music Marketing~Music Licensing~Music Publicity
http://www.truetalentmgmt.com

“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”
-Yogi Berra

“Don’t bunt. Aim out of the ballpark.”
-David Ogilvy

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Rejection – remember, don’t take it personally! It’s just tough out there! If you believe in it, keep going!

February 24, 2010

What if you pitch a song and you don’t get it placed?

What if you pitch 10 songs, 50 songs, 100 songs, or 500 songs and still – nothing?

What if you do anything and don’t get anywhere – or worse yet get a “no” – or multiple no’s??

Well read this email a friend of mine wrote.

****

Remember, selling a book is like selling a house these days.

It’s not personal or necessarily a critique of your/his efforts despite some of my suggestions above.

It’s also just tough out there and what used to be an easy sale in the past can be so very ridiculously obstacle-laden for even the most promising projects.

If you believe in it, keep going!

Good luck,

Sabrina

***

A friend of mine wrote this to a writer who was trying to get his book published (she was a prominent book editor) but I thought it was a very important email to share with all of you as well.

Whether it’s in finding a home for one of your songs on a film or TV show, or submitting your CD to a radio station, magazine, A&R rep, etc. or pretty much anything in life….

You will get rejected.

And you will get rejected often.

It’s just part of the business.

It’s just part of life.

Remember – don’t take rejection personally.

In fact, it’s not “rejection” – it’s just not a yes….yet!

Learn not to get upset, take a step back and breath and remember the person “rejecting” you is just doing their job.

For example, someone, like me, may LOVE you music or really like a song you submit – but if it doesn’t meet the description of exactly what’s needed for a film or TV project, I can’t pitch it. Why? Because it’s not about LIKING something. It’s about someone asking you for an apple and giving them an apple.

If they ask for a nice green, round, large, granny smith apple, that is EXACTLY what they want and need for their project.

So if you send them a golden delicious or a macintosh or an orange, or a wheelbarrow or a puppy or a new car, it doesn’t matter. Because that’s not what they need and not what they asked for.

Because if they are making a pie, they need that exact apple – pies made with wheelbarrows or puppies or new cars simply don’t work and other types of apple pie might be DELICIOUS but it’s not what they want or need.

Get it?

The climate for book publishing, the music business, the record business, the TV business, the music publishing business, the movie business, they are all rapidly changing and as such the amount of “rejection” the number of “no’s” and general dischord you’re going to feel is going to be high.

Just remember.

The successful artists and songwriters (and successful people in life) don’t take rejection personally.

In fact, they don’t see it as rejection at all.

They look at every “no” as a good thing – as a challenge.

They’ll get the next one!

And with a positive attitude, they probably will!

Jennifer Yeko
True Talent Management
http://www.truetalentmgmt.com

http://www.truetalentmgmt.wordpress.com – Read my music blog for advice on making it in the music business


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A MUST READ amazing article: “David Byrne’s Survival Strategies for Emerging Artists – and Megastars”

February 21, 2010

This article by David Byrne is a few years old but still very relevant and important and a MUST READ for EVERY artist out there today:

http://www.wired.com/entertainment/music/magazine/16-01/ff_byrne?currentPage=all#s

In case you’ve been living under a boulder the past oh, 4-5 years, there have been seismic shifts in the way music is being consumed and as such, the “old school” ways of marketing and promoting your music are changing, evolving, sometimes dying.

Are YOU adapting to the DRASTIC changes in the music business?

For example:

If you’re still trying to get signed to a record deal, you’re likely 3 steps behind other artists. (Major label deals can work if you’re extremely hard working, young, write pop songs and have thousands of fans on myspace. A major label these days is unlikely to sign you unless you’re in this boat. But who cares? CD sales are declining and major labels have less and less power each year….)

If you’re still playing gigs only because you’re hoping to “get discovered” you’re 5 steps behind other artists. You should be playing gigs to get more gigs — and to sell CDs and MERCH, not because you’re hoping some A&R guy will “discover you”.

If you’re still focused on the “old school” ways of marketing and promoting music i.e. taking out print ads in local newspapers or magazines, worried about getting CDs into retail chains, or going after traditional press and radio, for most indie artists, you’re just swimming up stream.

If you’re still pitching songs off a CD and not able to write and record new songs, to spec, in a home studio, within a few hours or a few days, you’re less and less likely to get a song placed. Why? Because there are artists who do have these resources at their fingertips and they’re getting placements left and right!

Right now I have an artist who just recorded a cover of “Sugar Sugar” for a TV commercial and it’s being considered for the spot! But you probably aren’t in this boat because you didn’t join the tip sheet and get in the studio to do it.

Right now I have songs being considered for major feature films that were pitched to me from my tip sheet.

And TV. A hit show in primetime TV asked me for a cover of a hymn and one of my versions is up for the spot (but just barely because the artist didn’t send it to me as fast as other artists did)….

***

The future is here and ready or not – here it comes.

The future is the Internet – connecting with fans directly, one on one, on myspace, twitter, facebook and other social networking sites.

The future is music licensing (but realize supervisors are getting laid off left and right these days – and you’re now competing with EVERY major label artist and established band to get on even a crappy TV show. So crazy increased competition and way less demand)….but still you GOTTA do it, you GOTTA TRY!!! Because it may be a long shot but if you win, you get paid AND get exposure AND people may buy your song on iTunes because of a big placement.

****

People like me have become SO VALUABLE for indie artists (as well as bigger artists) as I can connect you to the film/tv world. Music supervisors can get literally THOUSANDS of emails a day from people like you that they don’t know – do you think they have time to read them much less listen to any music someone they don’t know is sending them? Or listen to music from publicists who “try” to promote their clients to film/tv? Yeah, good luck breaking through if you haven’t been at it for 8 years like I have.

The future is in artists making their own rules.

Thinking outside the box.

Getting fans and going after sponsors – even if they have to start with the local pizza joint down the street.

The future is in your hands – you can do whatever you want but if you’re waiting around to “be discovered” – well, you may be waiting a LONG time.

Put your time and energy to good use.

Take a chance.

Spend some money.

If it cost you $10-20K to record, mix and master an album, you’re CRAZY not to spend at LEAST that amount marketing and promoting it!

If I were an artist right now I would budget $5-10K for film/tv promotion, $5K for radio promotion (if I had a radio single) and $5K for Internet marketing/PR.

If you can’t afford that much, spend 1/2 that amount. Or 1/4 of that amount. But at least TRY!

Promote your music to film/tv. That’s what I do and what I do best – for the past 8+ years.

If you have a pop song or commercially viable single or two, hire me to do radio promo for you.

If you have something unique about you, I can do a small press campaign.

But film/tv and radio and press are the way to go right now.

And the Internet of course!

There are 300+ million people in the U.S.

How many of them have heard your music?

***

Listen, I know this may be a scary time for a lot of you out there.

Many people have lost their job and if you don’t have enough money to buy food or pay your rent, by all means, ignore this email and focus on your survival. That will always come before music.

But if you’re on the fence, or have a new CD that is coming out, or just came out in the past year or two – now has got to be the best time ever to promote it.

Why?

Because your competition is probably 1/2 or 25% or 10% of what it used to be.

Because labels and artists and people are cutting back, your music will get noticed more now if you promote it than if you did this 6-12 months ago or 6-12 months from now.

I just mailed out 100 CDs on one artist and already received word back from 2 supervisors about it. In fact, one is being passed all over the office.

That could be you!

Jennifer Yeko
True Talent Management
9663 Santa Monica Blvd. # 320
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

~Music Marketing~Music Licensing~Music Publicity
www.truetalentmgmt.com

“Anything worthwhile in life requires time, patience, and persistence.”
–Cheryl Richardson


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Still want a record deal? Read this and then tell me why!

February 12, 2010

http://www.laweekly.com/2010-02-11/music/a-r-star-makers-the-vanishing-gatekeepers/

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Paying for your music career

February 12, 2010

Here is a great article about ways to pay for your music career:

http://musicians.about.com/b/2010/01/06/paying-for-your-music-career.htm

Too often I hear artists complain and whine that they are “broke”.

Well you know what?

Most successful artists came from nothing.

NOTHING!!

Literally they were dirt poor!

Even pop stars like Britney Spears.

That “being poor” drove them to be successful because they worked their A$$ off.

Sure, there are lots of rock stars like Jon Bon Jovi who came from relatively well to do families growing up.

But many artists came from nothing.

So you can either complain and whine that you’re broke – and do NOTHING about it. I guarantee you’ll get nowhere in life with that attitude.

Or, you can get off your tail, work your butt off and become hugely successful in life.

What’s it gonna be?

Excuses?

Or success?

Jennifer Yeko
True Talent Management
9663 Santa Monica Blvd. # 320
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

~Music Marketing~Music Licensing~Music Publicity
www.truetalentmgmt.com

““Take a chance. If you never take a chance, then you’ll never know the outcome. So basically, as an up-and-coming artist, you’ve gotta keep hustling and keep trying. Send your demo to people in the industry you respect.’”
HI-Tek

“Don’t wait for a label: be an artist without a label. The days of waiting to be discovered are in the past and labels want to see a bit of initiative. Get out there and play.’”
Richard Zito, Senior VP, A&R


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You must TRY if you ever want to succeed

February 11, 2010

From Betsy Mendel, Partner, Awareables:

“Adages are, as the saying says, a dime a dozen. Look before you leap, all that glitters is not gold, don’t gaze a gift horse in the mouth. They’re catchy, cute, and they contain good advice. The problem is, we don’t always listen. We burn candles at both ends, we count our chickens before they hatch. But here’s an adage of my own that, if I may be so bold, would change entrepreneurship as we know it if everyone took it to heart. Here goes the ace up my sleeve: Failure is certain if you don’t try. I know, it sounds so obvious, so simple, but really, it’s spot on. If you have an idea, a dream, a vision, you have a 100% chance of failure if you don’t give it a shot. 100%! Pretty scary, isn’t it? Think of it this way: If you DO try- 50/50! I’ll take those odds any day. If you want to succeed, you’ve got to get out there and TRY to succeed. Otherwise your cake’s not worth the candle.”

***

So, on that note, if you want to TRY, get your music out there!

Hire me to help with promotion.

Right now my February and March are pretty booked up but if you want a radio promotion, film/tv promotion or publicity campaign, email me!!

Email me:

1) What services are you interested in?

2) What is your budget for promotion?

3) Do you have CDs with artwork that are pressed up?

If you want a radio campaign, you better come to me with a radio friendly song. It must be well produced and radio friendly – i.e. catchy, notes sung ON KEY, and the song must sound like other songs that have been on the radio before!

Rates start at $1,000 and go up from there.

I get asked EVERY DAY by my music contacts for new artists I believe in and am promoting.

I can’t guarantee I’ll take everyone who wants to hire me but if I like your music and think it has potential either at radio, film/tv or in the PR world I will definitely consider it!!!

Jennifer Yeko
True Talent Management
9663 Santa Monica Blvd. # 320
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

~Music Marketing~Music Licensing~Music Publicity
http://www.truetalentmgmt.com

““Take a chance. If you never take a chance, then you’ll never know the outcome. So basically, as an up-and-coming artist, you’ve gotta keep hustling and keep trying. Send your demo to people in the industry you respect.’”
HI-Tek

“Don’t wait for a label: be an artist without a label. The days of waiting to be discovered are in the past and labels want to see a bit of initiative. Get out there and play.’”
Richard Zito, Senior VP, A&R


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Going the extra mile

February 2, 2010

This is a great email on “going the extra mile” that definitely applies to the music business!

Jennifer

Daily LaunchTip, March 23, 2009

From Victoria Colligan, Founder, Ladies Who Launch

Many success gurus talk about the importance of going the extra mile, but what does this really mean and why is it important? Have you ever been to a party that was “over the top”, had a meal that was outrageously amazing or seen a performance that “blew your mind”? In each of those cases, the producers of the party, meal or performance, all went the extra mile to deliver you something that was better than what you expected. When you exceed expectations, people take note and you will be compensated and rewarded whether now or in the future. In fact, I have found that over-delivering is the single biggest insurance for success of any action you take. The important thing is that you do not discriminate. Over-deliver on every level, with every constituent and with all of your employees. Not sure how to over-deliver? Start with preparation and communication. Do your homework on every issue and in every situation. Ask the right questions until you have the information you need to move a project forward. Make sure you are crystal clear on every issue and that those with whom you are dealing are also crystal clear. Clarity will give you the tools you need to over-deliver and stand out from the crowd.

Jennifer Yeko
True Talent Management
9663 Santa Monica Blvd. # 320
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

~Music Marketing~Music Licensing~Music Publicity
www.truetalentmgmt.com

““Take a chance. If you never take a chance, then you’ll never know the outcome. So basically, as an up-and-coming artist, you’ve gotta keep hustling and keep trying. Send your demo to people in the industry you respect.’”
HI-Tek

“Don’t wait for a label: be an artist without a label. The days of waiting to be discovered are in the past and labels want to see a bit of initiative. Get out there and play.’”
Richard Zito, Senior VP, A&R