Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Play Often No Matter What

Original article by Christopher Knab 
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Play Live Often and Don’t Worry About Getting Paid For Every Gig.

You can always tell the difference between a musician who is in it for the money, and a musician who is in it for the music.

The dedicated musician can’t NOT play music every chance they get. 

Money-focused musicians whine about the fact that they can't get club gigs that pay anything. Well, If you think that you can make your living solely as a musician in the first three to four years of your career, you're headed for a breakdown and disappointment. 

Think about it... almost every legendary, gifted musician who has made a mark on our culture has been a musician who struggled long and hard at their craft, and never gave up. Playing live as often as possible was as natural to them as breathing in and out. 

So, eat determination for breakfast! Go out there and play on the streets if you have to, play at schools, fairs, festivals, do benefits to help other people and organizations.

Offer your services to non- profits, charities, church groups, and any other companies or organizations you can think of. 

Hang out at clubs, look for jamming possibilities, or start your own jam sessions. 

Look around your city or town, and you will see many places and venues where musicians can play. 

As you establish yourself and more and more people show up at your shows, the paid gigs will increase. 

Remember... play live, and then after you play live, play live again, that’s what musicians are supposed to do.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Social Media Lesson 3


So what do you do when you can’t seem to get the results you want for products you’ve spent a lot of time and money developing and promoting. Upon many tools and strategies you may already have in use, you want to employ (CTA) Call To Action Techniques. Now we all know what (CTA) is we just may not be aware of how much it influences our decisions.
In the digital age, applying  (CTA) techniques to your social media marketing is vital. Without creating and implementing call to action techniques, what you have is possibly a tribe audience over just unknown and uninvolved fans, (which a tribe audience is always better) but if you’re not using CTA techniques then most likely your product and message is not being followed through. Without using CTA, what you have is an audience that doesn’t know what to do with the message or product being sold to them.
Below is a step by step guide on how to prepare and how to implement (CTA) Call To Action Techniques into your social media marketing plan.
Call To Action (CTA) - is an instruction to the audience to provoke an immediate response, usually using an imperative verb such as "call now", "find out more" or "visit a store today".[1]
A CTA can be a simple non-demanding request like "choose a color" or "watch this video", or a much more demanding request. An obvious CTA would be requesting the audience to purchase a product or provide personal details and contact information
 1.       First, It’s All Mental
Conversion consultant, Jeremy Smith, writing for Kissmetrics, says the modern web audience is accustomed to the call to action.
“This doesn’t mean they are going to convert,” he says. “It simply means their minds are prepared for the experience of being called to act. They know it’s coming. Their minds have already decided that there will be a CTA.”
According to Smith, the trick to capitalizing on this “perceptual set” is by making the call to action obvious and designing the page in a way that leads a viewer to it. Fortunately, the big social media platforms have done the hard work for you in terms of user interface design — all you have to do is get the calls to action on them.
But, when you’re creating calls to action on social, it’s important to keep Smith’s point at front of mind. Don’t bury your call to action because you feel guilty about prodding your audience with it. They expect it, so give them what they want.
 2.       Want Action? Ask for It.
 Next, always remember you are asking for an action. As much as you might want to share information with your readers, that’s not the purpose of a call to action.
You may’ve noticed I keep mentioning the word, “action”. That’s intentional. Calls to action are called that for a reason.
For them to really work, the team from says you need to build them with action words: Download my eBook. Click here to join my team. Contact me here with your questions. Secure your spot in my course here.
In addition to action, Zack Fagan from says you also want to create urgency. “Don’t miss out! Secure your spot in my course here,” sounds more compelling than, “Secure your spot in my course here.”
“Anything that makes your users think that there is a limited amount of time to complete the action will make the CTA more effective,” says Fagan.
Alex Beadon creates this sense of urgency perfectly with her calls to action on Instagram. Notice how the phrase “Last Day” is in a different style font? The copy also alerts visitors that they will receive early bird pricing (the benefit) if they sign up quickly (urgency). This technique can motivate the doubters to pull the trigger.
 3.       Images are Crucial
 Mike Parkinson from Billion Dollar Graphics suggests that we humans process images and numbers close to 60,000 times faster than we process words.
What does this mean for calls to action on social media? If you aren’t grabbing people’s attention with impactful graphics, you aren’t grabbing people’s attention.
Jenna Arak knows the importance of embedding attention-grabbing graphics into social media calls to action. Her Twitter cover is composed brilliantly, with the photo of her hard at work on the left, her logo in the center, and a simple but eye-catching call to action on the right side.
 4.       Make the Benefit Clear
 What do people get for doing what you ask them to do with your call to action? If you don’t make the benefit clear to them, or the benefit isn’t worth their click, why would they bother?
In a similar vein, Melyssa Griffin at The Nectar Collective creates her call to action with a question. The benefit to the viewer is again quite clear, both from the question (earning $1,000 in 60 days) and additional image text (free webinars). The description accompanying the picture explains to the reader what the purpose of the webinars is, as well as how to sign up for them. This call to action in the image will convert viewers into wanting to sign up.
 5.       Test, Test, Test
 Tim Ash, writing for, highlighted how important it is to test your calls to action after he profiled the AB testing done by some designers working at Unbounce.
The designers decided to change the text in this call to action from second person (“Start YOUR free trial”) to first person (“Start MY free trial”), to see if that would increase conversions. Surprisingly, they saw a conversion increase of 90%.
In an article for the Optimizely blog, Anne Murphy (Senior Managing Editor atKapost) reported that 66% of the highest performing calls to action on their site included the word “get” and 60% included the word “your”.
“Given this information, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that “Get your” was our most effective word combination,” she said.
 Creating Calls to Action That Convert on Social: Examples and Best Practices to Follow
 1.       Use the Main Image Header
 Peg Fitzpatrick employs this technique to promote her book, The Art of Social Media, on her own Facebook page.
She includes the title of the book on one side of the image, with an arrow pointing directly to the “Shop Now” button, then invites visitors to “Click here for more info”, both of which have a clear and direct purpose.
 2.    Emphasize with Design
 Louise Myers uses the design of her Facebook cover photo to draw visitors’ attention to her call to action.
She emphasizes the word “Free Report” by positioning it in a styled banner, which tells visitors they are getting a special deal. Myers also has an arrow pointing to the sign up button, which is accompanied by the phrase, “Get it here”.
Myers skillfully uses the design and layout of her cover to clearly identify the benefit to her visitors (free report) and what action she wants them to take, which can easily be replicated on your own social page.
 3.    Be Impactful With Design
 ShortStack, a software program company, was looking to generate likes on their Facebook page. The use of two simple words, a combination of eye-catching colors, and an image literally pointing to the “Like” button, was all it took to create an impactful cover photo call to action. And given their Facebook page has over 75,000 likes, it’s probably a technique worth paying close attention to.
4.       Use Calls to Action Within Posts to Spark Conversation
 Using your Facebook cover photo is one method to get visitors to take action, another is to use posts that create buzz.
Food delivery service, Munchery, created this Facebook post in an effort to get people commenting on their dinner plans, but it’s coupled with a friendly call to action.
5.       Go Full Graphic for Instagram
 Instagram is tailor-made for image-based calls to action and Allyn Lewis makes the most of it for her PR company, which focuses on blogging, social media, and press outreach.
What we can learn from Lewis’ approach is the need to go graphic with Instagram-based calls to action. This example uses contrasting colors for the text, which creates visual interest, and uses arrow images to show you where to join.
 6.    Use a Question
 Melyssa Griffin nails the call to action again with her post on joining her #Blog Full Time program. As mentioned previously, using a question draws readers in, since they will see it and want to respond. Her question is followed with the call to action: Read This. Melyssa then details the program and how to sign up in her photo description. The entire process begins with her compelling call to action that commands viewers to read and learn.
7.       Employ Layout Techniques for Visual Guides
 The layout of this call to action by graphic designer, Emily Cummings, guides the viewer down, dripping important pieces of information as it goes. The trigger of the call to action is made most prominent, thanks to the largest text in the image, and the rest is positioned skillfully to draw visitors in.
8.       Make Prominent the Word, “Free”
 Everyone loves to see the word “free” when they find something that looks amazing, don’t they? The call to action in the cover of the Marketing Solved Twitter page seems to think so.
Their call to action (“Join our free community”) stands out front and center and sits above the company website urging visitors viewers to join them.
9.       Build Exclusivity
 Like urgency, exclusivity can act as a psychological driver to get people to act. Caitlin Bacher deploys this method in her Twitter header. She introduces her “private community”, and outlines the benefit people will get from joining (“profitable social media strategies”). Her use of bright colors and contrasting black text also contribute to its success.
10.   Be Concise
 Christine Schwall knows how to create bold, concise calls to action. Using just seven words, displayed prominently, her call to action is big impact.
11.   Show Your Personality
The sassy text used in the call to action on Miranda Merten’s Twitter cover — “I love followers, and I know you want to” — tells the world exactly who she is, which can bring down the invisible barrier that often stands between the public and a social media marketer.
The contrasting colors of the text and images also make them aesthetically powerful, and this call to action definitely serves its purpose of getting followers to join Merten on Twitter.
 Getting Started
Social media calls to action are important and they aren’t always easy to create. But by using the five tips from the beginning and gathering inspiration from the case studies we’ve included throughout, you should now be able to create calls to action that actually convert on your social media platforms.

Social Media Lesson 2

Social Media Pyramid

View Social Media Pyramid

Group 1. Direct Engagement
Frequency 3-4 of every 10 posts
Make sure you’re in a two way conversation with people consistently.
 Facebook: See something interesting on a fan, friend or band’s page Facebook pages? Don’t just “like it” write a true comment about it and get more involved.
 Twitter: Send messages to people or mention you are with them by using the @sign and their username. Retweet (RT) Tweets you like by others.
 Blog Reading: read and share great post on your socials and leave comments!
 Tumblr: Tumblr is a simple to use blogging platform that will allow you to comment on and re-blog others’ links, quotes, videos and songs with a click of a button.
 YouTube:  Make custom video comments or greetings with a smartphone; post them as comments or contributions.
 Instagram: Like and comment on others’ photos!

Group 2. Shine A Light On Others
Frequency 3 out of every 10 post

All the best social media users know this and use it well. This takes all of the attention off of you and puts it onto others, and people will appreciate you kindness because you are recognizing them in front of new potential fans and followers and therefore helping them to get known.
 Facebook: Quote people you like by sharing their profiles and videos on Facebook and share (re-post) on your page. Also link to articles and interesting things that catch your attention.
 Twitter: Use hashtags, @’s and RT on Twitter – talk about why and how particular tweets influenced or touched you.

Group 3. Curate Content
Frequency 2 -3 out of every 10 posts

Content may be king but curation is queen!
 You can set up a RSS reader to pull interesting content for you, just select what you like and share it. And if it’s interesting to you it’s probably interesting to your community.
 Music: Use Rdio, Spotify or Soundcloud to share songs, albums and playlist.
 Recipes: Post links to food you like from Pinterest, Epicurious or The Food Network.
 Media: Post book reviews, music reviews or film reviews.
 Blogs: News, politics, celebrity gossip, parenting, fashion, art sports – all make good topics for people to connect around.

Group 4: A Picture Says a 1,000 Words
Frequency 2 of every 10 posts

Instagram: take photos often and tag.
 Twitter: Mix up your tweets with photos and videos – they go straight into your feed and they get stored on your homepage.
 Pinterest: It’s a wonderful way to share photos of anything you are passionate about and create boards for your own connect and anything you sell.
 YouTube: Post videos on your YouTube channel embed them and your post across socials too! Post your videos and other peoples videos that make you laugh or subjects that are thematic to your niche.

Group 5: Shining A Light On Yourself (AKA Self Promotion)
Frequency 1 out of every 10 posts

It is after all vital to tell people if you have anything that’s newsworthy, noteworthy and important for your fans and followers to know about.

Don’t forget to use specific call to action techniques are these won’t be that fruitful. We will learn more about call to action techniques in lesson 3.

Social Media Lesson 1

“The problem with social media and social marketing is this, brands treat social media like it is the great unknown lol.”
 In my profession as a publicist, I have watched social media go from the Myspace days to its current glorious and almost monstrous state. What held true back in the Myspace days still holds true today. Social media is a very powerful tool that when used and worked correctly can work wonders for bands and brands in general. The problem is that most people and organizations for the matter, don’t know how to correctly work their social media.
When artists or organizations seeking a publicist’s representation send me their press kits or information, one of the first things I do is look at their social media. Now since we live in a time where you can buy views,likes and plays, I also take a look at their followers and comments left by individuals and fans. This lets me know how organic their social media accounts are and from the comments and followers I can see how well engaged the individuals or fans are and the artist or organization.
 Next I look at how well networks are optimized. Network optimization is very simple to do but often overlooked. In laymen’s terms network optimization in this instance means “ the preparation of networks to be presentable to the public” A good example is this- all of an artist’s or brands networks should have similar cover work. What I mean by this is that the same banner photo used for Facebook should be the same banner photo on Twitter etc. Another good example of this is URL handles. All of your social networks should have similar URL handles. Here is a good example, if your artist name was DJ King you would want-  (considering if djking was already taken)
 The point here is to make your URL handles as similar as possible not only does this look more presentable but it helps fans/individuals and search engines in general find you easier.

Now I always review Soundcloud, Youtube and similar platforms first, before I review Facebook and Twitter. The reason I review these first is this - artist and organizations  usually do not know the difference in discovery networks and delivery networks. Soundcloud and Youtube are discovery networks. What this means is that these platforms is where people go to discover music and other similar media content. People do not usually go to Facebook and Twitter to discover music or similar media content. The reason people do not go to Facebook and Twitter to discover music or similar media content is because the networks were not designed for this purpose. Consider your own social media habits and you will see exactly what I mean. Facebook and Twitter are delivery networks. What this means is that people use Facebook and Twitter to have content delivered to them. They want to see what their friends, family, bands and brands are doing, watching, reading, posting etc… What I often see when I navigate over to look at an artist’s or organization's  Facebook and Twitter is the same old boring “please go listen to my music post,” “please donate now to our cause.” Now granted they may post a little bit of content but usually catering only to one specific tribe. The perplexing thing is usually an artist or organizations personal page is very well optimized and worked versus their band or brands page is boring not optimized and poorly worked. The reason this is perplexing is what an artist or organization is doing on their personal page posting original content (funny videos, pics post etc.. ), sharing other friends and peoples content ( videos, pics etc.) is what they should be doing on their band or brand page. Why artist/organizations use their band or brand pages to only send blast out about their music or cause makes no sense to me, and this is usually the reason the network is not well followed or worked.
 Now by this point I have done a pretty good review of the social media networks. Also at this point I have pretty well determined if I am going to give them any more of my time or not. Now here is something to remember, every other individual in the  music industry or media industry is going to review your press kit, media kit, email etc. exactly the same way I do. When you send your information into labels, radio, media etc. They’re going to look at your social networks first and foremost and if you aren’t relevant, if you don’t have your networks optimized, if you aren’t working your media accounts and nothing’s happening, well…. That’s just it nothing’s happening. Whoever is reviewing your music or information is most likely not going to consider you for anything. The reason for this is the bandwagon effect. It held true back in the old days and still holds true now . You got to be relevant, you gotta have fans, followers, likes, shares, post, new music, new videos etc. No one is going to want to sign you, play your singles, or write about you in their magazines and sites if you’re not happening and relevant now.
 Now that is the end of lesson one. I am sure that most of you never considered these things applying to social media at all but they do. You would be surprised how these little considerations and changes to your social media and how you use it can have a big effect. In lesson two we will be breaking down the frequency of post and how to work them on your networks.  

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


Below is a list of opportunities available for indie musicians around the web. Please visit us at for more information.

Emotional Singer/Songwriter Songs For New TV Series

Maybach Music Group Seeking Great New Urban Talent

Nashville Publishing & Artist Development Company Looking To Sign A New Act

Blue Track Records An Indie Label Is Looking For Artist To Cover Songs

Become The Next Featured Artist In Infectious Magazine

Sunday, May 7, 2017


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Access more tools by visiting our hub page at

Below is a current list of opportunities available for artist on various platforms. 

Music X Ray 

Emotional Singer/songwriter songs for new TV series

Skateboarding Film Seeks Rock and Punk Rock Songs - Synch Payout $1,000

Music Supervisor looking for Urban/Soul/Hip Hop songs for Urban TV Network Ad Campaign

Music Gorilla 

Blue Track Records an indie label is looking for artists to cover Nelsen Adelard's songs


Placement company seeks music for their library

Music Clout 

Highly thought of Hip Hop blog is looking to showcase undiscovered talent

Unsigned music focused radio program is looking for talented indie artists to feature

Be a Master Musician

One of the curious developments of the late 70’s was the huge increase in garage bands, punk bands, and ‘do-it yourselfers’, who just picked up an instrument, or started to sing with some friends, and 6 months later recorded a record and began to play live. Some great music, and new directions in music, came out of that situation. But now, 30 odd years later, the novelty of hearing amateurish thrashings has gotten a bit dull. 

Referenced from

Original Author Christopher Knab

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Prior to the late 70’s, more often than not, the music that is our heritage was made by musicians who, from the time they took up their instrument, worshiped at the feet of some master rock n’ roller, blues man, jazz player, folk legend, songwriter, or whatever. The habit of these inspired musicians was an appetite for perfection. A need to be not just good enough but GREAT.

Why settle for less? Whatever developing stage you are at, go beyond it, re-commit yourself to your instrument or voice. Take more lessons, or better yet, sit yourself down with your iPod or CD player and choose a favorite musician's record, and listen closely to what they are playing. then re-play it, and re-play it again. Challenge yourself to go beyond your limitations. Who knows, maybe you will come across some new inspiration, wherein you will find yourself, your own "sound", and thereby Increase your chance to stand out from all the mediocrity that is your competition. 

Believe it or not, most music lovers (and your fan base) love to hear innovative, accessible new sounds. Actually in their heart of hearts, that is what they are really hoping to hear every time they search-out so men new act, and from every act they go see at a live venue. You see... in the business of music when we hear something new, original, and accessible... we can invest in you with some sense of security. We believe that if we put our "label brand" on you, and add our talents of promotion and marketing to the mix, then we "have something", and your music becomes our music, and we can work together to broaden you audience appeal. 

It’s like a partnership... something about "Art and Commerce"... they can work together, you know. Be a professional musician because only a professional lets the best come out of themselves.

Ignorant Musicians Finish Last

Referenced from  

Original Author Christopher Knab

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Ignorant, mis-informed musicians are a menace to themselves. Enough already! 

Over the decades there have been countless stories of musicians who were ripped off by their record labels and music publishing companies. Why? Exploitation was the name of the game. Keeping musicians in the dark was standard business practice. However, the past has passed, and today, any musician who signs a record contract, and learns later what he or she signed, has only themselves to blame. 

The amount of free information on the web is astounding these days. Type any topic about the business of music into Google and you will be drowning in resources. 

In addition, there are many schools that now offer 2-4 year programs on the business of music. Also, there are many seminars and workshops available on a year round basis in most major American cities. 

Consultants, Attorneys, and Business Organizations abound, and so it is only myth, superstition, stubbornness, and immaturity that stand in the way of any musician making a commitment to educating themselves about the business that exists to exploit their music.

When people said to you “ Spend money on quality instruments and equipment”... you did that. 

When they said “Spend time and money on practicing and rehearsing”, you did that, for the most part . 

When they told you “Spend time and money finding the best recording studio, producer and engineer you can”... you also did that. 

Well, nobody until now has told you “Spend time and money learning all you can about the business of music”. 

But I just did! 

So…do it!

It has been said (about education) that we don’t know anything until someone tells us. If that is true, the fault in "not telling" musicians is that they MUST spend some time and money on educating themselves on music business issues is the fault of the businessmen and women who kept their clients uninformed. 

( Ignorance IS bliss as far as the old guard of music executives are concerned). But, KNOWLEDGE IS BLISS should be the byword for the musician of the new millennium. Please... spend some time and money educating yourselves about the music business. A few dollars and hours spent now can protect your future forever.