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Helpful Resources

The Indie Bible
The bible of contacts, P/R, & Review sitesfor the DIY Indie-Artist


 

A Must-Have Guide for Marketing Your Independent Music

Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook

MySpace - If you do it right,
it can help explode your career

MySpace Music Marketing

Check out all of these career advancing resources


Expose Yourself

To Over 10,000 Musicians
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Please!   Don't take your electronic press kit lightly!
Make sure it's  as Professional as possible

Tips for creating an
EPK that works !

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How to Promote your Music on the Internet

Online tactics and strategies for creating awareness

I don't think we have to tell you that as an independent artist  and unsigned artist in today's music environment the Internet is without doubt one of, if not the most, powerful strategy for marketing your music that you could possibly employ. With the playing field level'd for independent musicians and artists, any hard working band can create a major buzz on the Internet.  There are many unknown indie artists who have used this medium to their full advantage and have gone from a relatively unknown, unsigned artist to stardom utilizing online and digital tactics.

In this brief video clip Jerry Goolsby professor of music marketing at Loyola University explains why the Internet is a powerful medium to promote your music

Although it's not brain surgery and a lot of the techniques are pretty easy to employ and in most cases very inexpensive (not to mention the multitude of free advertising) a lot of indie musicians still do not know where to begin.  Like any other marketing plan of attack you must first map out your strategy.
 
Put a digital marketing plan together.  Organize your thoughts and marketing efforts.

 Ariel Cyber PR banner 9 120x240 

 If you are not organized and do not have a mapped out, step by step, plan of action your music marketing and music promotion efforts will be scattered all over the place.  What usually happens in this event is "nothing".  You are so overwhelmed with ideas and half completed marketing campaigns that you wind up getting nothing done.  The effort is half baked and not effective.  As an independent artist or independent band you have a huge opportunity to create awareness for your project on the Internet.  As much of an opportunity as any other artist;  Hence, you need to take full advantage of this music marketing medium.  A qualified professional  Internet music marketing consultant or a manager can assist and facilitate the entire campaign.  Beginning with analyzing your current level of development, and your particular scenario as an artist.  Then preparing, writing, and putting into place your plan of attack.

If you are self-funded and on a shoestring budget, we highly recommend MusicSubmit.  This is a great, inexpensive, easy to use submission service that gets your message out to thousands of Internet music media outlets.  So if time and money is an issue as it usually is with most hard working independent artists, we highly recommend you checking them out.  Just click on the message below and take a look-see:


Here are some strategies you can do yourself as a DIY independent artist.

The Strategies are Endless:

Your Online EPK (Electronic Press Kit)
Needless to say, you need two versions of your press kit.  A traditional paperback version for snail-mailings, and an EPK (Electricronic Press Kit) for promoting yourself or your band on the Internet.  It is crucial in today's digital world that you have an electronic press kit as well as a traditional music press kit. when you are doing your Internet marketing.  Having an EPK allows you to save an enormous amount of time and money and they have become a well accepted medium in the industry..  It's so much easier just to send venues, promoters, media outlets, and labels a link to your online press kit then it is to put together a physical package and mail it. 

There is a few different versions of the EPK out there but the most popular and widly accepted EPK is Sonicbids.  Sonicbids is the website that helps bands get gigs and promote themselves online. 
Join now free for festivals, contests, licensing and more.   You can email your Sonicbids EPK with confidence that it will be immediately reconized and accepted by venues, promoters, media, etc.   So make good use of your EPK.  Prominently  diplay the link to your press kit from your official website, and your myspace website.  The best part about this form of music promotion is that it can be utilized in your email marketing efforts and is quickly becoming the industry standard for online music promotion.

Sonicbids - The EPK used by over 160,000 Independent Artists

Sonicbids helps bands get gigs. Sign up now, free.

Write your digital music marketing plan
This is essential in your overall strategy.    Your music marketing plan will be used to lay out your plan of action for marketing you or your band but it can also be used for seeking the "ALL IMPORTANT" investment money that can be used for serious promotion.  This being said you should include elements that may not be pertinent to you or the band as ways to promote yourself but what you'll have is an overall music marketing plan that can assist greatly in attracting investment backers in your career. 

A good marketing plan includes the following elements.  Ask yourself first, where do you want to be in 6 months, one year, and 3 years as an artist or band.  Be clear, truthful, realistic, and concise, with yourself.  Write it down. 

The music marketing plan should be professionally laid out and prepared mainly because you may want to use this to entice potential investors.  A plan that can be used to employ your plan of attack and also attract investors should include the following:

Include a band member summary:  Each band member’s individual bio outlining their musical background and experience  then write down the marketing strategies you plan on employing in the order of implementation.  Note under each category the methods you'll use, how you plan to finance them, resources you will use for the strategy, if you are in a band you may want to share the duties so you must write down the delegation process.  Here is more detail of the elements necessary in your music marketing plan

 Official Website Marketing
Vigorously promote your official website, which if you don't have one, you should,  Pay attention to this. Just about every independent band has a myspace site which has become a staple for any artist online.  However, any professional band of any significance also has their official home on the web ... the official site.  This is where you brand yourself online.  This sets you apart from all others.  It raises you up to a higher level in that it exhumes professionalism of a band that's going somewhere.  Although design and functionality ability on myspace has come along way, it is still a networking website whereby you should market and have fans visit your official site.  It is still no substitute for your official site where you have total control.  If you do not have a professionally designed and highly functional official website, you should.  If you need one developed at a very reasonable price, we recommend you
contact us for a quote.

Myspace and other online marketing
Although your myspace, purevolume, broadjam, facebook, etc. site should not take the place of your official website, it is still pretty much a must in your online music marketing efforts.  You should have one.  Myspace if used properly as a networking website can be highly effective and create a tremendous amount of awareness for your project.  Labels, venues, promoters, etc. still in a lot of instances judge you by your myspace popularity.  There are many ways to market your myspace and generate friends and more importantly plays.  Promoting your myspace site should be an everyday occurrence in your effort to promote yourself online.  This nifty eBook can walk you through all the strategies on how to properly market your myspace site for maximum exposure

Mailing List / Fan Newsletter
Do you have an electronic mailing list?  If you don't you need to get on the stick.  A mailing list  and/or digital newsletter for fans who have opt in to receive email alerts from you is an unbelievable tool for getting the word out on shows, tours, new merch, news, etc.

You must constantly interact and keep in touch with your fans.  You must show them you value them as a friend and fan.  An effective mailing list or newsletter will keep fans informed, bring more people out to your shows, sell more CDs and merchandise.  Not to mention create fan loyalty.  Having an electronic mailing list developed with a database and all the necessary elements needed to be attractive and effective can be a daunting and expensive task. 

There are Internet companies out there that will completely develop and manage your fan list for pennies a month.  Yup ... They do it all for you.   The most popular and most effective fan mailing list that we have come across is Fanbridge.  This is the fan list management system that we endorse and recommend to our artists exclusively.  Here's a brief overview:

FanBridge – Is Free Email and Mobile list management for bands

FanBridge gives bands the tools and resources needed to easily 
build their email and mobile fan lists and create/send highly
customizable and targeted campaigns and newsletters via email
and text messaging, all from one account! With FanBridge.com you can: - Create custom signup forms for your website, MySpace, PureVolume, etc. - Have all your fan info in a single searchable database - Schedule campaigns/newsletters/text messages to be sent in the future - Geo-target campaigns/newsletter to specific areas along your tour route - Separate your fans into custom groups (and target messages to these
groups) - Easily collect emails at your merch table
(with the merch table signup program) - And much more! You can signup for your FREE account now at Fanbridge

Build and grow your mailing list.  It may be one of the most valuable tools in your arsenal.

Digital Music Distribution
In-Store retail product distribution is awesome.  We all know that.  If you can get it, you certainly have done more than most other independent artists. However, the playing field has been leveled.  With the Internet, any indie artist can now distribute and sell their music online through digital downloads.  There are literally thousands of eMusic portals where you can sell digital downloads. For those on a shoestring budget, this is the most popular way to go. There is the ever-popular iTunes.com, Napster, Rhapsody, Amazon, etc.  the list is endless.  There are a couple ways to make your music available on these portals.  You can deal with each one individually or you can hook up with a distributor that will get your music to all of them such as CDbaby.com or Tunecore.com. 
However, getting your music on these Internet portals is the easy part ...  getting people there to buy your downloads is the trick.  This is where you must implement the marketing, and link strategies that will facilitate your sales.  Cyber publicity, reviews, links, newsletter, and more will help to facilitate this. If you would like some advice on this, contact us.

Cyber publicity
Without publicity, your music career can "pass you by like a ship in the night" . Creating the necessary awareness for your project is crucial if you really hope to succeed.  But traditional publicity can be extremely expensive.  However, there are ways to do your own publicity and there are very effective - low cost cyber publicists out there that specialize in Internet publicity.  Having your CD reviewed on high-profile Internet music media portals can be very effective and draw traffic to your digital download sites.  Feature articles, interviews, etc, are just as effective.  You can
arrange all this yourself with a lot of diligence and hard work and one of the best possible resources to independent DIY artists, the Indie BibleThe Indie Bible lists THOUSANDS of places where you can get your music REVIEWED and your songs PLAYED on the radio.  ALL genres of music are covered!
The contacts listed are music reviewers and radio personalities from around the world that will listen to your music, and if they like it, will present it to their readers and listeners. The Indie Bible shows you where to promote your music, regardless of your musical style, and will save you MONTHS of valuable time!  Truly the Indie musician's bible for Promotion!!
 
But sometimes as an unknown independent artist it's not always easy to get the attention you deserve with the insurmountable amount of competition out there.  There are millions of independent bands seeking this exposure.  That is why you may want to stick to the creative end of your career and leave the publicity and promotion to a professional firm ...  one that won't rape your finances and kill your budget.   We hands-down highly recommend Arial Hyatt of
Arial Publicity.  Arial and her firm have been around for a while, specializing in cyber publicity, and have the industry connections and ability to create tremendous awareness for your project on the Internet. They have the ability to break through the barriers, and have a repoir with the significant music journalists that will feature you as an artist.  So you may be thinking ...  Hummm ...  We're on a shoestring budget and this sounds expensive.  Well maybe not-so ...  If you want a pleasant surprise check out Arial Cyber Publicity.

Internet radio play
There are numerous Internet radio stations that will be willing to play your music online.  Gaining online radio play is a lot easier than trying to get traditional terrestrial radio play and in the digital age, it may even be just as, if not more, effective.  The fact that Internet portals playing your music can easily relate, and link to your websites, and digital download portals, makes Internet radio play very attractive.  It can be as easy as just contacting Internet radio stations that specialize in unsigned indie music.  A lot of these stations are looking for great independent music.  A good reasonably priced  
cyber publicist can also hook you up with Internet radio play. If you do your Music Promotion with musicSUBMIT.com! they guarantee radio play results. They are highly effective and extremely affordable.

Banner advertising
Banner advertising on high-profile Internet music media portals can be very effective in driving traffic to your websites and creating awareness throughout the music community for your project.  Although there is a cost to do this, it's relatively inexpensive for the amount of exposure you can get.  Some media portals charge only $20. - $30. bucks for 10,000 banner impressions.  This form of marketing is just another in your overall promotion strategy that should be considered in order to enhance your overall effort.  It should not be used as a primary focus.  Because after all, if you advertise on many Internet media portals, it could eventually start to get a little pricey.  The AMEG Advertising Network for indie artists is a reasonable high exposure alternative to other more-expensive advertising.  For less than a dollar a day, you can place your banner in significant sections of our network.  Gaining exposure to new fans (creating awareness and selling music) and music industry professionals that frequent the AMEG website networks.  Artists and bands advertising on the AMEG network get their CD reviewed and are placed in our featured artist section.  Take a look at what you get and the very reasonable advertising fees.

Digital press releases
Distributing press releases to online music editors is a great strategy for getting the word out.  You should consider doing a 
press release
for a new product release, a tour, or some new and exciting news.  Editors will only consider relevant, professionally written press releases for publication consideration.  The story must be newsworthy so make sure you send in only  relevant press and make sure that you are sending it to the correct media editor.  There are various press release writing and distribution services that you can use. We highly recommend that you do your Music Promotion with musicSUBMIT.com!

Online interviews
As in the traditional print media, interviews can be a very valuable form of marketing yourself.  Fans want to know all about you.  A good interview will generate a lot of awareness.  There are a multitude of Internet media outlets that interview independent artists.  In an interview you can talk about your influences, tours, and a new CD.  Unlike traditional print, where your web address may be in there, the best part about an online interview is the links to your websites, and digital download portals making it easy for a fan to buy your music if they like the interview.  Interviews are a valuable form of marketing.  You can contact these portals, send in a press kit and request an interview.  Although, again, it's not easy with the amount of competition trying to do the same thing.  A good cyber publicist can facilitate these interviews for you if you are finding it difficult.

Music Blogging
As you might know, blogging has become very popular on the Internet.  It used to be that people would post blogs just to express themselves or their opinion.  Not so much anymore.  Blogging about your music can be a very good way to gain more exposure and get into the fans hearts and interact with them.  There are many ways to bog for free and are portals that can set up your blog instantly such as wordpress.com, blogger.com,, blogspot.com, and many more.  Another good thing about blogging is that fans can subscribe through an RSS feed and get your message sent directly to their desktop every time you post a new blog. As another part of marketing yourself and your product online you should blog along with all other forms of music marketing.  This is a great way to get you out there.

Music Forums
Getting involved in the online music community and posting relevant posts on music forums is another great form of creating awareness.  There are subtle ways to post news about your project on these online forums without being blatant about the fact that you are trying to market you and your product.  Getting involved with superior online music communities for indie artists is also a great way to get involved and get yourself out there.  One of the very best we have found is   Artistopia - Indie Music Heaven   Artistopia is the place for independent artists to manage and advance their careers via music marketing and productivity tools, peer-to-peer and peer-to-industry collaboration, and fan base ramp-up and communication. Join today for free! is one of the best you may want to consider:

 

SEO tactics and link strategies
Optimizing all of your websites to be search engine friendly is something else you should consider doing.  Although the likelyhood of this helping a great deal in your particular niche may or may not mean very much.  But it sure can't hurt.  Having your website come up on top at google or yahoo when someone does a search for "Great indie music" is always a plus.  Although search engine optimization technology is not easy and best left to the experts.  To really do this right, it can be expensive.  So, although it would be nice, if you're on a shoestring budget maybe you should set this tactic aside for now.  On another note however, link campaigns are usually free and can generate a great deal of new fans to your website if placed on the right portals.  There are many online music communities that allow you to place a link and description to your website.  Search around the Internet and look for invitations to add your link.  Whenever you see one, take advantage of it.  A great deal of external links from other websites to yours also makes your site more attractive to the search engines such as Google, Yahoo, or MSN.  So if you have some time on your hands, this is a good strategy.  If you can manage to get your CD reviewed on a high profile portal that links to your website, this is a major plus.  You can find thousands of music media portals that will review your CD in the
Indie Bible.

Online feature articles and reviews
An extremely powerful form of online marketing is obtaining feature articles and reviews on your band.  As stated above, this task can be very difficult for the unknown indie artist with all the competition that you have to deal with.  But if you are lucky enough to have online music media websites review your CD, or write a feature article on your band it can bring a good return.  Get involved with
high profile music communities and they will be more likely to write a feature on you or review your material.  Again, it's not easy and may be better left to a professional publicist to facilitate features and reviews.  There are also many online firms that will submit your music to a variety of music media websites.  You may want to do this to save tons of time and stick to the creative end if you have a couple bucks to spare.

Podcasting
A podcast is a series of digital-media files which are distributed over the Internet using syndication feeds for playback on  portable media players and computers.  The term podcast, like broadcast can refer either to the series of content itself or to the method by which it is syndicated; the latter is also called podcasting. The host or author of a podcast is often called a podcaster.  Podcasting can be used to send out a live performance over the Internet, conduct an interview, or can be used for promoting the band in general.  Podcasting takes a bit of technical expertise to put together but it's really not that difficult.

Showcasing to labels online
The all important showcase ........  But how to you get labels to listen to you online.  No easy ...  most of the time when you have created a story, sold records, and have a good history, they will find you.  One thing you may want to consider doing is place your muci on internet portals that generally work with the labels.  In other words, a portal that is frequented by label A&R.  They're not easy to find but they are out there.  You just have to search for them.

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