More suggestions from Disc Makers and CDBaby:
- Protect yourself from clubs that rip you off: Did they deduct money for catering and didn't provide you with adequate food and beverages? Did they print posters and run ads unique for your band or did they include your band in their regular ads with a list of shows? Did they declare the night “slow” and let in a lot of people for free?
- Let your fans capture live concert footage. The Beastie Boys supplied 50 camcorders to 50 fans and collected them at the end of evening. Radiohead collected footage from smart phones and synced it with a master recording. Ask your fans to video a single song and give them a link where they can upload it. Encourage them to share with their friends.
- Enhance your videos with YouTube annotations (text boxes and links you can place throughout your YouTube videos.
- 10 Ways to brand your band: memorable logo, website layout and design, fashion choices, band photos, amazing CD packaging, vinyl release, free giveaways, blog, music video worth sharing, graphic T-shirts.
- Make sure your Facebook main profile is a really captivating picture of you. And make it as big as possible: 180 pixels wide, 540 pixels tall. The extra height could contain text as well as an image. Use the “edit thumbnail” option to choose which portion to display.
- Find a band to split the bill and take the whole bill to a club, rather than letting them chose a bill that might not work for you.
- Increase traffic to your website: Have a domain name that is easy to say, spell and remember. Put your website address on posters. Put your website address on the inside of your CD. Add a QR code to your poster and CD that links to a song on your site. Announce a contest at your shows that requires visits to your web site and signing up for your email. Created branded matchbooks, lighters, stickers, buttons etc and give them away. Film or take pictures of your fans and announce you'll upload them to your website the next day (and do it). Record your audience singing your song or doing a shout-out, then put it on your website to download. Put your website and QR code on your business cards and give them away.
- Ask yourself questions before booking studio time: How many fans do you have? How many shows did you play last year? How many CDs or downloads did you sell from your last CD? How many shows do you play / month? How many CDs do you think you can sell at each show?
- Get your music on blogs: Have a clear grasp on your story—personal, specific, brief. Keep it local. Do focused research to choose your contacts. Send personalized emails. Don't send more than two emails.
- Set up a Facebook page you as a performer. Anyone can see your content. It is for your fans, not your friends. It can have multiple admins. You can run a Facebook ad.
- Put a CDBaby MusicStore on your Facebook page. Customize it to your brand.
- Attract attention to your Facebook presence: Link to your Facebook page from your website, blog, and email newsletter. Use Facebook Connect to let visitors interact with your content outside of Facebook. Put your Facebook page's URL on your press material, one-sheet, info at your merchandise booth. Spread videos, MP3s, giveaways, tour diaries, essays and status update across Twitter, Facebook, your blog, and other social websites. Let folks know that they can find other content in other locations.
- Properly encode your music for digital distribution by optimizing your mixes for various digital distribution channels.
- Optimize your web site for search engines to lead to sales.
- Put the merchandise table and tip jar as close to the stage as possible, so you can acknowledge your fans. Be at the merchandise table during intermissions and after the shows.
- Boost gig sales: Make your merchandise table intriguing. Avoid clutter. Use it to convey our artist aesthetic. Make your merchandise table accessible. Diversify products. Offer a bundle for a reduced price. Have small bags available to carry your merchandise. Accept credit cards. Put your email list front and center. Be visible at the booth.
- Submit your music, videos, web pages, blog posts, streaming tracks to StumbleUpon.
- Treat your fans like VIPs: Use a Google Voice hotline and offer cool stuff to the fans who leaves the most inventive messages and texts. Write songs for your fans. Sell a subscription for your music in digital download format. Make customer art for fans. Make a web comic about your band's escapades. Send them a free song for their birthday.
- Give back to your fans: Give them a live experience. Teach them the lyrics to the chorus and let them sing it for you. Give away CDs or T-shirts from stage. Make it easy for them. Do more than say thank you. Give them a free song.
- Use CD Baby sync licensing options to earn money from ads placed on YouTube videos that include your songs.
- Move your career forward: 1. Do one "business thing every day. 2. Join/start a songwriting group. Don' Don't wait for a publishing deal to act like you have one. 4. Make one song pitch every week. 5. Reply promptly to any opportuinity, no matter how small.
- Improve your odds in film/TV song placements: 1. Make sure your song is professionally recorded and performed. 2. Do your homework. Make targeted pitches. 3. Make sure you have complete ownership of the recording. 4. Get known for a style.
My own suggestions:
- Take care of yourself: exercise, eat healthy, get enough sleep, and reduce stress.
- Laugh, love, and practice gratitude. Adopt a happy, positive attitude.
- Practice, practice, practice.
- Be creative. Use these ideas to come up with other ideas.
- Don't let fear of failure stop you. Visualize what will happen if you succeed.
And, my email folder is cleaned out! I hope this helps you have a happy and prosperous 2012. Thanks for visiting AcousticByLines.