Archive for February, 2014

An incredibly poorly named article but one that seemed to be well received.

How do I find a music manager? How do I find a booking agent? I just need to find someone to get my music to the next level. I’ve heard these questions and statements before and fifteen or so years ago I sounded exactly like this. As it turns out I wound up on the industry side of the fence and traded in the crowded smelly van for a record company desk job but I do have some answers for you. Chances are you won’t like what I am going to tell you but I implore you to keep reading.

Let’s start at the very beginning – do you have anything to manage? I know – sounds like a stupid question, but is it? I’m not asking you if you have lots of work that you could use help with, nor am I making light of the pure volume of work that is the creation of both recorded and live music. What I am asking you is do you have something ready to bring to market that needs managing or are you still building out your product? There is no shame (I’ll repeat it again) NO SHAME in being in the developmental phases of your career. We live in an instant gratification kind of world, which is why when I write articles like this I know statistically that a majority of people won’t have made it this far because they were looking for a “get famous now” button. Take your time and develop your product – this will help you rise above the MILLIONS of other people who went out to guitar center purchased their first instrument and recording gear and had the first song they ever wrote up on MySpace the next day hoping for some kind of miracle won’t ever come.

Back to management – let’s talk about what you should have together before even considering approaching someone to invest in your career. *** Notice I said invest because whether or not they spend a dime on you management is an enormous expenditure of someone’s time*** Before approaching anyone to manage you- have most of these together:

  1. No apology recordings of your music
  2. Professional looking photos of you or your group
  3. A basic – findable website (custom URL) you can update yourself
  4. A Mailing list and a place where people can sign up on said list
  5. A social network presence (twitter, facebook, myspace, youtube)
  6. Live performance footage (preferably in front of a crowd)
  7. A well written bio highlighting your accomplishments

These are the building blocks and the marketing materials you will use over and over and over again. There are no words, no email sales pitch and probably not even naked photos of an executive in compromising positions that will get you taken more seriously than having the items above in place. Many of these items can get pricey so do your homework and shop around if you feel that any of these items are best done by work for hire. Having these materials will get your more gigs, will get you taken more seriously by your peers and potential fans and ultimately (if you have a product people want) will help you build a business in music.

“Okay – wait – isn’t this super basic? Does he think we are Idiots?” No, absolutely not.  All I can tell you is that if you buy into Google querries as a representative sample of the population (I do) it would seem that aspiring musicians are searching for the wrong things to get ahead. Check out what people search for online for music related terms according to a Google AdWords querry in June 2010:

Term: “Get My Music Heard Online” Global Monthly Searches: less than 10

Term: “Get more people to my shows” Global Monthly Searches: less than 10

Term: “Make a Living In Music” Global Monthly Searches: 46

Term: “Marketing My Music” Global Monthly Searches: 110

Term: “Get a Music Manager” Global Monthly Searches: 590

Term: “How to Get A Record Deal” Global Monthly Searches: 18,100


Draw your own conclusions but I think too many people are looking for a shortcut to fame that barring an act of God or Justin Bieber just doesn’t exist.

I wrote several articles in this increasingly poorly named series on my website.  Feel free to check out part two on how to get a music manager.

This is a guest post by Marcus Taylor, a musician & founder of several music industry projects, including The Musician’s GuideMusic Law Contracts, and Music Job Board.


There’s no shortage of lists on how bands can get free music promotion, but I’d like to add one more. My hope is that this one is a bit more up to date, and shines light on some of the great free tools that have emerged in the past 2-3 years. If you have any other great tips for promoting music for free, feel free to add them in the comments below!


#1 Host a free virtual show With has long been one of my favourite music marketing tools. The fact that it’s free is just the icing on the cake. If you’ve not used Stageit before, it’s essential a ‘Skype for bands’, where you can perform gigs from your kitchen to fans all over the World. Many good friends have used it and also found that it was a good way to raise a few hundred dollars for a couple of hours of performing.


#2 Add a Bands In Town app to Your Facebook Page

BandsinTown is a must-have app for your Facebook Page. In short, it displays all of your upcoming gig dates in a slick-looking Facebook App. A great way of passively raising awareness of your upcoming shows.


#3 Create a FanDistro project to help charities & reward your fans

FanDistro is another favourite of mine. After creating your project page and sending it out to your fans, each fan receives a unique link, which they can send to their friends. If their friends then share your music or buy any of your products, they are rewarded with free merch and 20% of the sales go to a charity in the fan’s name. FanDistro is a brilliant way of increasing your social media engagement – artists like Cosmo Jarvis generated ~19 new fans for each fan who shared his music on the site!


#4 Build an app for your music with BandApp

Created by a good friend, Adam Perry, BandApp is a great platform for getting a free mobile app for your band.


#5 Find some gigs using BandWagon

Bandwagon is a fantastic platform for finding gigs and applying for them for free online. Currently UK focused only.


#6 Upload your music to Soundcloud

Soundcloud is arguably one of the best sites to host your music on, especially now that they’ve announced heavy integration with many of Google’s services. If you haven’t already, upload your music on Soundcloud, tag it well, and encourage fans to leave comments on the tracks.


#7 Run an Adwords Campaign (with a £75 free voucher)

I have to admit, Google Adwords tends not to be a very effective way to promote music, as you’re relying on people clicking on your ad when they’re searching for something else. However, Google do offer free £75 vouchers (which you have to pay £25 to activate), so it might be worth a try. If it were me, I’d spend this on targeting terms like “gigs in London” if I had a gig coming up in London, or on similar artist terms like “bands like Metallica”. It’s a long shot, but it may work!


#8 Shoot a video & upload to video hosting sites via One Load

Oneload is a huge time saver that can help you get more exposure from your videos. It’s completely free and enables you to upload your video to 15+ video hosting sites, such as Vimeo, YouTube, Viddler, and MetaCafe, all in one click. You no longer have to waste hours upload them one by one – and ultimately your video appears on more video hosting sites, enabling you to reach a slightly larger audience (some ‘niche’ video hosts receive a surprising amount of traffic).


#9 Create a professional EPK using

In my opinion, offer the slickest looking press kits currently available to artists. If you want to send your music to promoters, press, and others in style, creating a free EPK is a must. What’s particularly nice about these EPKs is that they’re designed responsively, so they look great on any device.


#10 Search through Reverbnation’s opportunities and apply

There are a lot of services like Music Xray, Sonicbids, and Reverbnation who list opportunities for artists to apply to. They’re all great – and I recommend giving them all a shot, but Reverbnation is probably the most extensive feed of opportunities. The downside is that it’s probably also the most competitive. If you have a few minutes spare, have a scan over their opportunities here, and apply to any that look like a good fit.



#11 Apply to play at MIDEM’s upcoming festival

Every year Midem puts out a call for bands to play at the annual music industry conference. This is an excellent place to promote your music & learn about the industry.


#12 Create a Dizzyjam store & sell your merchandise for free

Dizzyjam is a free service that allows you to build a merch store to sell your merch directly to fans online. They take care of all the printing and shipping, you just upload your designs and you’re ready to go.


#13 Reward your fans & raise money using Pledge Music

Pledge Music is a great service for simultaneously raising money for your release (or tour, or video) while developing loyalty with your existing fan base, by offering them cool experiences and gifts for ‘pledging’ on your campaign.


#14 Find 3-4 relevant forums & get stuck into the community

There are literally hundreds of forums for musicians on the web. Pick 3-4 and actively participate in the community. You’ll ‘meet’ lots of like minded artists, and find lots of good tips on getting gigs, and building your fan base.


#15 Setup a fangate for your Facebook Page using Woobox

I’m a big fan of Woobox, and have used it many times to increase social engagement for my projects. While some of their tools are paid, you can quickly install a like gate and run basic social competitions free of charge. Like gates area good way of encouraging people to ‘like’ your Facebook Page, in return for accessing some exclusive content, such as a free download.


#16 Use to find & talk with potential fans

Twitter is an exceptionally powerful tool when used correctly. I encourage all artists to learn how to use to their advantage. Use it to find potential fans in areas where you’re performing – or similar artists who may be able to connect you with promoters or good contacts. The unique thing about Twitter is that it’s not unusual to reach out to people you’ve never spoken with, making it a great way to break the ice with potential fans, and contacts.


#17 Schedule some tweets using Hootsuite

When you have a few minutes to spare, logging in to Hootsuite and scheduling a few tweets can be a great way to ensure that you’re continually communicating with your fans. For artists with a global audience this is particularly important as it means you can reach fans on Twitter in different time zones.


#18 Write a guest blog post on a high profile music blog

There are a handful of artists who I only know because they blog heavily on music industry websites. Tommy Darker, Brian Hazard, and Simon Tam are all musicians who I probably wouldn’t have connected with if it weren’t for their participation on blogs like Music Think Tank. If you enjoy writing and have some constructive criticism or ideas on improving the way in which the music industry functions, why not put a post together on one of these sites?


#19 Create a list of relevant bloggers & befriend them

In most genres there is still a collection of music bloggers who influence the listening decisions of many people. This is most certainly the case in the R’n’B and hiphop World. Use sites like Hypem to create a list of potential bloggers, and then begin communicating with them (but don’t jump straight to promoting your music).


#20 Create a list of promoters in your area & befriend them

You’d be surprised how quickly you can compile a list of all the key promoters in your town. A few years ago I had the (tedious) task of doing this for the whole of the UK, and that took about 8 hours. That said, it was worth it. Start building a database of promoters in your area, and then create a plan to be-friend them, perhaps by adding them to a Twitter list and talking with them, or inviting them for a coffee / lunch.


#21 Write a sponsorship proposal & email 10x local companies it

Sponsors can be a great help in providing your band with a bit of extra cash. The key is to understand what you can do that will help to grow their business. If you have a small number of fans, pick a local sponsor that doesn’t make you seem like a sell out (alcohol sponsors are always a good choice). The more fans you have, the more options there are.


#22 Find some zero-cost promotional partnerships

I’m a huge fan of zero-cost promotional partnerships. This is where you partner with someone and offer them a favour, in return for them offering you a favour, for free. A great example may be to speak to local stores and ask if you can put up posters in their store, in return for you promoting their services or listing them as a sponsor for an upcoming gig.


#23 Find a list of upcoming music industry conferences

Music industry conferences are a goldmine for artists. Not only do you have the smartest minds in the industry sharing their case studies and tips on what does and doesn’t work, but you’ll also meet lots of music industry contacts. Check out this list on music industry conferences, pick one, and go! If you want to keep it free of charge, stand outside the front and just chat to people as they walk in / offer them demos. You’d be surprised how few artists do this, and how valuable an opportunity it is.


#24 Set up a charitable event

While there are many altruistic benefits to supporting great causes, it’s also a fantastic way of getting the support of local press. Host a charitable concert, donate album sales to a charity, or even use something like Reverbnation’s Music for Good.


#25 Set up a mailing list on Mailchimp

If you don’t have a mailing list set up, fix that. Now.


#26 Get some free business cards & use them as download cards

There are many services like Vistaprint that offer free business cards. A cool trick is to order several hundred of these with a custom design that includes a URL to download your music. This can be a cost effective alternative to download cards.


#27 Start your own blog

I’ve written about why artists should blog before, but in short, it’s one of the best ways to build up a passive audience, communicate with your fans, while getting countless opportunities for you and your music. The only thing I will point out, that I’m sure many bloggers will confirm, is that you really do get out what you put in. Sticking a few rambles up on Tumblr is not going to cut it.


#28 Build relationships with key bloggers by commenting on their blogs

There are many people who I only know through them commenting on my blog posts – some of them have become very good friends over the years. For the sake of a 30-60 seconds, commenting on other blogs can be a great way to plant seeds, that may blossom into fruitful relationships.


#29 Give your music away for free on torrent sites

This one is slightly controversial, and I understand not everyone will like the sound of it, but I’m of the belief that your music is your business card. Sure, it costs money to make and you want to redeem that money, but I think a longer-term strategy is more valuable here. Seed your music on torrent sites, and encourage it to be shared far and wide. The more fans you have, the easier it will be to negotiate better gigs, sponsorships, and other high value opportunities.


#30 Find DJs to remix your music & post their mixes on Mixcloud

When I began my career as a dance music producer (after years of drumming in a metal band…?!) I managed to get my music released on various labels by offering to remix their existing artists. I’d simply approach a label and say “Hey guys, I’d love to do a remix of your artist X on the house. If it’s of interest could you fire over the raw files and i’ll get to work”. It worked so effectively because it was essentially free promotion for the label’s artists. Looking at this from the other side, try to get DJs to remix your music, and then you (or they) can then promote this on sites like Mixcloud.


#31 Read some music marketing blogs to sharpen your skills

There are many fantastic people sharing their tips on what does and doesn’t work in music marketing. I recommend following Brian Hazard’s passive promotion blogMichael Brandvold, and Ariel Hyatt. Follow these guys and you’ll be in good hands.


#32 Learn what’s working and what’s not with Next Big Sound

Despite my reservations against vanity metrics, I am a big fan of Next Big Sound. If you use it correctly, you can identify lots of handy information on what is and isn’t working in your music promotion strategy.


#33 Set up Google Alerts

All bands should have Google Alerts set up on their band name – find out what fans are saying about you online by getting a real-time or weekly summary of all mentions of your band name across the web.


#34 Be active on niche social networks like Pinterest

Despite being largely populated by foodies and interior decorators, Pinterest receives huge amounts of traffic, and is relatively uncompetitive for musicians. The challenge with promoting music on Twitter and Facebook is that you’re competing with every other band – this isn’t the case on Pinterest. Remember, the hardest place to sell a book is in a bookstore.


#35 Record a cover of a popular song & upload it to YouTube

A lot of artists I know are very against recording cover songs, as they feel it comes across as selling out, or not being able to write original music. Some of the more successful artists I know use covers in an incredibly smart way – to attract the attention of likely fans, and introduce them to their original music. There may be 100,000 searches on YouTube for Bastille’s new song. If your fans are also Bastille fans, consider covering one of their songs to grab the attention of those 100,000 people looking for Bastille.


#36 Get free Internet radio play with Jango Airplay

Jango (or ‘radio airplay’) is a huge network of online radio stations. If you head over to their site you can get 100 free radio spins free of charge. For tips on getting traditional radio airplay for free, I thoroughly recommend this great post that EmuBands put together by interviewing Ally McCrae from BBC Radio 1, and Julie Barnes, a radio plugger.


#37 Organise your own meetup

There was a good post on FanDistro’s blog recently that suggested that you should become the hub of your local music scene by hosting meetups for the community. Having organized a few myself in London, I can definitely vouch for this.


#38 Ask for help

It sounds simple, but most artists are too afraid of asking for help. If you don’t believe me, I recommend watching Amanda Palmer’s great talk from TED, where she explains how asking for help has helped her music career.


#39 Tag your fans in photos on Facebook

The image below is of a genius marketing campaign by DJ Tiesto. He put up a banner of himself in the entrance to one of his shows, and his fans got photos taken in front of it. Afterwards, he uploaded all of these photos to Facebook for fans to tag themselves in. This is so effective, because the friends of the fans who were tagged would have then been exposed to DJ Tiesto. Another easy, free, powerful tactic.


#40 Use BandPage Connect to update all of your profiles in one go

Bandpage Connect is another fantastic time saving tool that enables you to update all of your social profiles (Facebook, Reverbnation,, Twitter, Myspace etc.) in one go. There are several other similar services, but Bandpage Connect is probably my favourite of the bunch.



#41 Order some free flyers

Similarly to business cards, there are some services like Club Flyers that offer free postacards and flyers. While I suspect they may have an advert for the company on the back, this is a good way to print a bunch of flyers for you gig free of charge.


#42 Recruit an intern / street team to help get the word out

The limitation with music promotion is that you only have so many hours in the day, and so while there may be hundreds of options to promote you music, you need to prioritise – or outsource. Recruiting a street team is a great way to encourage others (your fans) to do your marketing for you.


#43 Host a Google Hangout with your fans

Google Hangouts on Air have become increasingly popular over the past six months, especially as they can be automatically uploaded to YouTube afterwards. Why not host a hangout with a bunch of your fans to do a Q&A or studio update?


#44 Do something remarkable

This may be the single best piece of advice in this blog post, as it essentially applies to every piece of advice here. By definition, people remark on things that are remarkable. If you want to spread word of mouth about your music, you need to be doing things that are worth them talking to their friends about. Lady Gaga is a master of this – while her music may not be particularly remarkable, her costumes, videos, and lifestyle certainly are.


#45 Post your gigs on local Gumtree / Craigslist pages

While Gumtree may not seem like the coolest place to list your gigs, it gets a huge amount of localized traffic, which is perfect for promoting your upcoming gigs.


#46 Try out a new (controversial) service

When uStream and ChatRoulette came out, it was musicians who jumped onto the opportunity and reaped tonnes of PR value out of them. Keep an eye on emerging services and think creatively about how you might be able to use it to get coverage for your music.


#47 Improve your merch designs

Your fans are unlikely to buy your merch if your designs suck. Hire a designer to make them so good that even someone who’s never heard your music would want to wear them.


#48 Enter music company competitions

Admittedly, most competitions suck, but not all. Keep your eye out for good competitions and offers hosted by music companies. FanDistro and DiscMakers recently gave away $500 worth of free CD duplication & t-shirts to give away on Tip: follow the Facebook Page of artist service companies to keep tabs on competitions that may be worth entering.


#49 Record a video testimonial for music services you use

Virtually every service built for musicians has a website with testimonials on it. Most of these sites list their testimonials on the home page, in front of vast numbers of people. Do these services a favour by emailing them a quick testimonial that they can use on their site. It’s only a little bit of extra exposure, but it’ll sure help and is a great way to establish a relationship with these companies.



I hope these tips have all been useful – if you have any other tips, please post them in the comments below. As an aside, I’m going to be re-launching the next few weeks as a free platform that ranks different music marketing tools, based on what artists believe are the most effective. If you want early access to the new version of the site you can request beta access over on The Musician’s Guide.


This isn’t new information: People will like you if you make them feel special. INTIMACY, therefore, is one of the key ingredients in creating loyal followers and Superfans. How do you do this if you can’t give each one a gift or a hug? There are so many ways to get closer to your fans.
Here are some of the best ways to establish that warm connection:
The usual blogs of musicians are mostly informative. They simply talk about their gigs and about their latest album. That’s okay since that’s necessary but blogging about those stuff alone won’t help you build any connection to your followers.  You have to share a bit of yourself to your followers even (especially!) the most shallow details of your everyday life.  Check out Amanda Palmer’s blog. The girl is an expert on this.
You will get more loyal followers by playing in smaller venues like art shows, bookstores, and bars than in big concerts where there are lots of bands competing for attention. If you can play in the living room for a bunch of loyal supporters, do that!
The internet and social media have provided artists a more creative venue for collaboration. The digital cameras and apps make it easier for fans to create and share content. Crowdsourcing will not only help you get things done fast and good, it will also make your followers feel good simply because helping feels good. Plus, they’ll be rooting for you even more once they’ve invested their time, talents, or money in you.
There are so many affordable band merch (less than a dollar) that you can give your supporters when they approach you. A little something goes a long way.
Not only will this help sell your merch, you will also establish an intimate connection to your fans. While you’re there signing autographs, let them write down their e-mail addresses for so you can update them on your next gigs.
Do not just post updates about your band on your social media, send them personal messages or e-mails, too! Personal messages are more…uhm, personal thus they will really feel like they matter to you. Send special videos during holidays if you can! You get the drift.
Have a video conference with them. Let them ask questions through chat or Twitter and answer them one by one. Not as good as meeting them one-on-one but better than nothing.

Important Note: This is not one of those guides with no substance that says “Work hard and you’ll achieve it”. Have a read to see what I feel you need to give yourself the best chance of success in the music industry. If you find it helpful, please share with other musicians and band members.
Shaun Letang.

Making it in the music industry isn’t an easy task at all. If anyone’s ever told you it would be, they were lying!

That said, it’s not impossible to get where you want to be either. Want to make an additional part time income from your talent? Or want to play sell out tours by yourself or with your band? There are acts out there that are doing this as we speak, so it definitely is achievable.

But what factors are needed in order to succeed in the music industry? What should you be doing to ensure you hit your aims and objectives? This is exactly what we’ll be looking at today.

Below I’ve shared 4 key things which I feel are all important for hitting your goals.

4 steps to succeeding in the music business

I hope you find my incites useful, and get involved with any additional things you thing are important at the end of this guide. But first:

Early Disclaimer 1: I’m not saying these are the only factors needed to become a success in the music business. That said, these are what I feel are the most important, and will give you the best chance if you put them all into practice. All of the below 4 factors are broad overviews, as going into any level of real detail would require bring the length of this guide up to book level at least. Thankfully, a lot of the needed finer details can be found scattered around Music Think Tank and my website.

Early Disclaimer 2: Everyone’s has a different idea of what ‘making it’ is. Some would be happy with an additional part time income from the music business, for others making it means being both commercially and financially successful. Whatever your idea of making it is, these tips will still be relevant. All are good practices, and traits which generally encourage success.

Now I’m not saying it’ll be easy or happen within the next few months, but get these things in place and you’ll be on the right path. With that out of the way, let’s get into it. Here are the four factors your should be striving towards:

1: You Need To Have Undeniable Talent

Musician with undeniable talentThe first thing you need in place, is a good level of talent. Without this, your music career most likely won’t be very long lived. Sure if you have a strong marketing team in place and they spin a good angle on why people should like you, you don’t have to be the most talented musician in the world to see some level of success. That said, do you really want to be that person who has more people disliking them then supporting them? My guess is you don’t, even if you are financially successful.

Talent comes before all else. Until you’ve got a good level of talent, you shouldn’t do anything to promote your music. You want people’s first impression of you to be a good one, as it’s not a easy job relaunching yourself to a group of people who have heard you but weren’t very impressed. Chances are they won’t try and listen to you the second time around, even if you tell them that you’ve improved.

As you may notice, I didn’t just put “you should be talented”. I mentioned you needundeniable talent. There are lots of levels of talent, and while you can be quite successful with a ‘good’ level of talent, if you’ve undeniable talent (combined with the other factors in this list), it’ll be hard for you not to have some sort of financial success in the music industry. In all honesty, there are a ton of talented musicians out there who make really good music that will make their target audience very happy. That said, there are a lot fewer musicians whose talent is generally undeniable. If you can get your talent to this level, you’re going to be a lot closer to your music career goals.

2: Drive And Motivation Should Be Flowing Through Your Veins

Stay motivated to succeed in musicNext up, you need drive and motivation to push your music career forward. This is just as important as the above step, as without drive, your talent isn’t going to count for much.

You could be the world’s best singer, rapper, or bass player. If however you haven’t got the motivation to get your music recorded, to promote it in any way, or to generally do the things needed for a successful music career, then you might as well be talentless. Because you won’t make a success of yourself in the public eye. If you’re only interest in making good music for yourself, that’s fair enough. But I’m guessing as you read Music Think Tank, you want more then just that.

Making it in the music business takes a lot of hard work and effort on your behalf, so if you aren’t willing to invest the time needed, don’t expect to get very far at all.

Now I know someone in the comments is going to say that not everyone has a lot of time to dedicate to their music career, and I understand that. That said, do what you can. If you’ve the other factors in place and you dedicate as much time to your music as humanly possible, you can still have some level if success. It may take longer to achieve then it would for someone who has 7 hours a day to dedicate to their music and who has more disposable income. Furthermore, you might not even reach the same heights they achieve. But if you dedicate a few nights a week after you’ve finished work and put the kids to bed, as well as half a day on the weekend to what you need to do, there’s no reason you can’t make at least an additional income from your music. It is possible, but you need to put the work in. Now the question remains; Do you want it enough?

3: You Need Good Marketing Knowledge

Good music marketing knowledgeThe third factor you need in place is the ability to market your music in the correct manor. In the same way having talent won’t help you get out there if you don’t have the drive to push yourself, if you spend 35 hours a week doing the wrong kind of marketing, you’ll find it very difficult to make much progress; both in terms of building a fanbase and gaining recognition.

Marketing is what you need to do in order to raise awareness of you and your music. Without marketing, people won’t know you’re a musician, let alone hear any of your material. That said, not all marketing is made evenly. In fact, some types of marketing are pretty much a waste of time, as it’ll stop you doing the things that would really benefit your music career.

For example, let’s say you read somewhere that Twitter is a great way to promote your music. So you go on to build up 23 fans (You’re following 106), and you spend all your time sending Tweets to these fans thinking it’ll increase your exposure. In reality, it won’t.

Now I’m not saying you’re personally going to do this, but I’m using this example to illustrate my point:

If you don’t promote your music in the RIGHT way, you won’t go very far at all – Click To Tweet This

If you want to learn more about music marketing, check out my free music marketing ebook. It’ll get you on the right path with regards to raising awareness of your music, so give it a read.

4: And You Need… Luck (?)

Do you need luck to make it in the music industryOk, so I wasn’t sure if I should put this one in. I myself have mixed feelings about how big a factor luck plays. Sure you can get lucky and be in the ‘right place at the right time’, moving your music career forward faster then it would have gone otherwise. But if you’ve the above three things in place, it’s going to be pretty much impossible for people to ignore you for very long.

If you’ve an undeniable talent, you will make fans. If you’ve the motivation to get your sounds out there and the marketing knowledge to know how to effectively do that, you will get more people hearing you. That effect will snowball, and you will gain more opportunities and money if you market things right.

It’ll be silly for me to deny that luck doesn’t play any part in a lot of musicians careers. That said, I’m a firm believer that you make your own luck. By putting into place the previous three mentioned points, you will have made yourself more ‘lucky’ then a lot of musicians out there.

If you’re lacking in one of the above three areas, you’ll need luck to play a much bigger part in your music career. If you’ve the others in place to a good level however, you won’t have to rely on this factor quite as much.

How To Make It In The Music Industry Conclusion

So there you have it, four things that will greatly increase your chances of succeeding in the music industry. Regardless of what your definition of success is, if you put these things into place you’ll give yourself the best chance possible of getting where you want to be.

While all of the above are important, marketing your music is the only way you’ll get people to notice you enough to make a difference in your career. If you’re not 100% sure what music marketing involves or how to do it effectively, you may want to check out my free ebook. In there I give a nice introduction to the subject, and get you on the right path to getting your music better known. I hope it’s helpful. 🙂 Ok that’s it from me. If you’re on social sites, be sure to add me on Facebook and Google+ and come and say hi. Until next time. Shaun Letang, Music Industry How To.

We all know how hard it is to keep up with tasks. The sheer quantity of things itching for completion each day is a point of contention for everyone I know.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by how much work there is to be done and just dive in, rather than to take a second to step back and organize all the work before doing so. I would argue that taking 5 to 30 minutes each day (depending on your quantity of tasks) to organize and lay out your tasks will allow you to be more productive while you tackle them. Because of the 5 reasons below, I suggest you take a second to revamp your daily routine if it doesn’t already include planning time!

1 – You can be realistic with yourself at the onset 

Sometimes it is just downright impossible to complete and execute on all the items on your to do list on one day. If you start your day (or prep the night before) by putting together a realistic list of what you can complete you can quickly delegate or communicate with others about what will just not be possible to tackle for the day ahead. You can set yourself up for success rather than feeling like you never made a dent when 2am rolls around. Being real with yourself will put your mind at ease. It will remove some of the stress and you’ll have a chance to feel like you completed everything you set out to in a certain day.

2 – Others can rely on you

We all know those people who constantly say, “it’s coming by end of day” but it almost never does. Sure all their reasons why it couldn’t get done are completely legit BUT you just learned that you can’t rely on them to stick to their word AND when you loose that ability to trust someone’s word you’ll be quick to look for help elsewhere next time, unconsciously. If you take time to plan your day, communicate your realistic timeline to people who rely on you then you are giving them the best gift of all – a reliable and communicative co-worker, direct report, contractor etc. If you can’t get to something for 6 days and a client is waiting for it, you need to let them know it will take 6 days not “2 days”. Taking time to plan each day will help ensure you are accountable to those who matter most! This will do more for you then you know! Happy clients = happy bosses = happy you!

3 – Nothing will slip

You are in control of your work, not the other way around. With an organized system and time to plan there should be no out-of-left-field surprises, other than the good ones! Every day it should feel like you are doing an inventory recap of your pending tasks. I recommend using some great tools that can help you manage a huge number of tasks at once and break it down into daily lists. Asana and Action Method are two that I love!

4 – You can react more comfortably and confidently if something does come up

You have a better grasp on your workload and the details so if someone asks you something you don’t have to dig through files and emails to find the info; you have it fresh on your mind and can respond with ease. If something crazy comes up and a client all of sudden needs you to rush down to meet them, you can quickly assess what this change in plans means for your day and communicate with those affected about the tasks you won’t be able to complete. No panic, just calm and controlled chaos allowing everyone to get the best of you!

5 – You can be more creative with your energy 

By taking time to plan each day you can displace negative worry stress with progressive and creative energy about future projects! It should feel like a weight has been lifted and all of a sudden your best ideas can be realized. Oh and now you have the structure and ability to actually turn them in to action! It’s a great feeling that will bring great joy to your day to day.

And there you have it. By taking this extra time out of your day I truly believe you can make a great impact on your happiness and productivity.

However…WARNING: over planning can also be a form of procrastination, which I believe could be an issue of neuroticism. You can avoid falling in to this trap by capping the time you set aside for planning – for example: Every day from 7am to 730am I plan out my day. When 7:30am strikes I get down  to executing the tasks for the day. Don’t use the excuse that you have to plan your tasks out to actually avoid the work that needs to be done.

What works for you? How do you plan your day?

Thank you for reading!

– Sari

Sari Delmar is the Founder and CEO of Audio Blood, Canada’s leading creative artist and brand marketing company. Through unique media and promotional packages, Audio Blood continues to be on the cutting edge of music marketing and promotion. Their client roster includes the likes of Pistonhead Lager, PledgeMusic, Iceland Airwaves, Canadian Music Week, Riot Fest, Beau’s All Natural Brewing, The Balconies, and more. At the age of 23, Sari leads a team of 10 out of the company HQ in Toronto, Ontario, has spoken at a number of music conferences and colleges, and sits on the Toronto Music Advisory Council. . Read more from Sari at

5 Reasons Why Taking Extra Time to Plan Each Day Will Make You a Happier Person

Warner Music Group and Shazam have formed a strategic alliance to discover new acts and sign them to a Shazam branded label. The Shazam label imprint will identify unsigned artists by combining traditional A&R with with the music ID app’s massive fan activity data.  The partnership will also market existing WMG artists.

Shazam has proven to be one of the few music apps that drive significant music purchases. During the 2014 Grammys, Shazam messaged 10 million app users to tune in for exclusive content. Those users Shazamed the awards show more than 1 million times, with 54,000 purchasing music by featured artists.  Shazam has 420 million total users in 200 countries.

image from a5.mndcdn.comA component of the new marketing alliance allows artists to directly engage with fans who Shazam them. WMG labels will receive enhanced data on fan behavior and can launch specially tailored promotional campaigns. In turn, WMG will provide Shazam with exclusive content and other benefits.

Initial joint projects included Shazam’s first video premier with Chromeo’s ‘Come Alive’ and first single premier with Wiz Khalifa’s ‘We Dem Boyz’. More than half of Shazam’s 700,000 tags throughout this year’s Super Bowl happened during the Halftime Show when fans were offered an exclusive Bruno Mars video. Further projects are planned for Jason Derulo and Hunter Hayes.

“By partnering with Shazam, we have forged a potent proposition: the first crowd-sourced, big data record label,” said Rob Wiesenthal, COO/Corporate, Warner Music Group. “While data and crowd sourced analyses will never be a substitute for the expertise and instincts of our A&R professionals, we do believe the information we obtain for this new label will provide very useful signals that will bolster our ability to find the stars of tomorrow.”

By Dave Kusek, former President ofBerkleeonline and digital media consultant.His latest venture, the New Artist Model, is an impressive online course for musicians and others learning to navigate in the new music industry.

Today’s indie musician plays the part of the artist, the business professional, and sometimes way more, and as a result, many find themselves juggling entirely too many tasks. Now it’s all well and good that artists today can be 100% in control of their career. The problem comes when you can no longer find enough time for what matters most – your music! Think of it this way: if you don’t quality music to build your business around, how can you build a musician business?

How do you find time to practice, create, and refine your craft while also running the business side of things, staying on social media, strategizing launches, and making important industry connections? The first step is to streamline. This really ties back to goal setting. If there’s anything you are doing that’s not bringing you closer to your goals, stop or take a close look. If you’re spending hours each day on tasks that don’t have much benefit, eliminate, simplify, or postpone.

The next step? Delegate! Many artists are defensive and controlling when it comes to their art. And with good reason – it is a very personal statement. However, you can delegate tasks to team members to get things done and really clear up a lot of your personal time. Your team doesn’t have to consist of big-shot business people – your band will do just fine. Just get in the habit of dividing up tasks instead of taking the whole load on yourself.

Each person should have a list of tasks that they need to complete. Try to prioritize the list. More urgent matters and tasks that you keep putting off and putting off should have a high priority. For those high-priority jobs, break them down into smaller tasks. Accomplishing these small stepping stones will help you feel like you’re accomplishing things and keep you in a state of forward momentum.

AND REMEMBER, make time for your music! It’s easy to get sucked into answering emails or managing social media, or making a website – but without your music, you don’t have anything to build a business on.

Michael Shoup is a musician and entrepreneur who turned his career around and started making profit with time management. After graduating college with a Bachelors degree in music, Shoup started his career as a musician, funding his tours with money made in freelance web design. After three years he had effectively gigged hiself into $6,000 of high interest credit card debt with little to show for his efforts. He gave up his professional music career and went into web design full time.

It wasn’t until he organized his time that he was able to succeed in music. He prioritized his tasks to free up more time, and delegated other tasks. He automated and scheduled anything that could be automated like email and social media, and he made sure he left time for the most important thing – his art!

Time management has helped Michael Shoup become debt free. On top of that, he’s managed to self-fund an album, started a music marketing agency,12SouthMusic, and created a social media app, Visualive. In the New Artist Model online course we teach you how to effectively manage the many aspects of your career from playing to marketing. By the end of the course you will have a detailed plan that will get you on track to your goals!