Branding Butterscotch

Branding for Musicians: Simplifying the Basics (Part 1 of 2)

By | Branding, Marketing Basics | No Comments

“Your music is the last thing that matters. Once they listen to your music, your music it the only thing that matters.” – Lisa Lepine (Music consultant)

It’s normal to think that your music is the most important asset you have as a musician. I mean, it is but it isn’t. Your music is only important if you can actually get people to listen to it, and it’s become increasingly harder to get someone to press play for the first time in this new digital world.

Many think being a musician means throwing some songs on some social media accounts and hope that something will magically catch on. Yeah, it’s not happening.

The fact is there’s just so much great talent out there competing for attention that it’s not easy for musicians to rise above the clutter. With so many options for music and entertainment, people have to make judgments and decisions about what they may or may not like before actually hearing the music. Read More

Chance the Rapper in Sacramento

Was Chance the Rapper lucky? 7 Principles Indie Artists Can Apply From his Success

By | Branding, Music Business, Music Distribution, Strategy | No Comments

Whether or not you are a fan of hip hop, I’m sure you’ve probably heard or seen the name Chance the Rapper before.

I had the chance to see Chance the Rapper live here in Sacramento recently on April 27, 2017. Although I can’t say I’m a huge fan as a big focus of his branding (Christianity) doesn’t resonate with me, he does make great music and a down-to-earth guy you want to root for.

Those who have read a few of my previous blogs know that I have referenced Chance a few times as the poster child for this paradigm shift that music should be freely accessible. Embracing this shift is a mindset and approach I believe will be critical to the future success of all musicians. Offering your music without a price tag and knowing that the days of records sales are dying so all musicians need to start adopting now. Read More

Live Performance Mistakes

13 Live Performance Mistakes Artists and Musicians Need to Avoid

By | Live Performance, Music Business | No Comments

It’s no secret that one of the most important skills you can have as a musician is putting on a good show. The income stream from live performances can be a big one that will help you sustain a music career in the age of music streaming. It’s also an effective way to make a good impression and win over new fans who have not heard your music before.

But just because you make music, does not automatically mean you are a good performer. A good performance takes planning, practicing and rehearsing. Read More

Marketing for musicians

Simplifying the Concept of Marketing for Musicians

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Are you unclear about what marketing is and why you need it for your music?

Marketing, just like branding, is a fundamental component of business, so it’s vital that indie musicians do not dismiss marketing as something only big businesses or major artists need.

If you want to make a living as an artist or musician, you need to treat your music like a business. As with any type of business, you need to have a product or service to sell and customers to buy it. In this case, the product or service is your music, and marketing comes into play to help you find the right customers to buy your product. Read More

Chance the Rapper

Stop Thinking Transactionally: 7 Reasons Musicians Need to Adopt a Branding Mindset in 2017

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Photo Credit: Rob Loud

The music industry is not the same as it was 20 years ago. You no longer need to be signed by a record label to actually have a legitimate career in music. Now, it is much easier to be an independent musician, but at the same time, growing a fan base and making a decent living from music is a challenge.

One of the problems in an evolving music economy is that selling records has become an unsustainable source of income for music artists. Buying music is becoming a thing of the past… at least as a form of music discovery. This romanticized idea of musicians selling music as a product is, strangely, fading. Read More

Rebecca Black Friday

Going Viral: 6 Research Based Principles to Increase Music Exposure

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“Compelling content hinges on one key detail: its sharability. It’s not enough to have a Facebook page or tweet every once in a while. Facebook and Twitter are technologies, not strategies in and of themselves. You have to understand why people share some things rather than others in order to use social media to your advantage.” – Jonah Berger

Have you ever wondered why certain artists or songs go viral and achieve a cult-like following? What separates them from the millions of other songs and video uploads flooding the internet? Just imagine what the dramatic increase in exposure could do for your music career.

If you’ve ever questioned why certain content spreads faster than others, this blog will offer insights to answer the questions of why we love to share and how to get more people to talk about your music. Read More

Give away free music

Should Musicians Give Away Their Music for Free?

By | Music Business, Music Distribution, Strategy | No Comments

Musicians and artists always want more exposure and fans. After all, that’s what you need to build a fanbase that will help financially sustain your career in music.

One of the fundamental ways to getting more exposure is making your music easily accessible in the right places. The more people who hear your music, the quicker they can decide if they like it, and hopefully convert into a fan down the road. The biggest barrier to this process is poor marketing and limiting access to your music, which usually happens if people have to pay to discover your music or you only provide snippets of songs. Read More

Musician website

11 Things Musicians Need On Their Website (Plus Bonus Tips)

By | Marketing Basics, Websites | No Comments

Having a website is an important step towards becoming a professional musician. Depending solely on social media is just not going to cut it for most artists out there. You need a piece of online property that you can call your own and have full control over.

If you’re creating your own website or having someone else doing it for you, this blog will provide a complete run through of what should be on your website. If you already have one, this will help to make sure your site is optimized for a positive user experience so fans, writers and bookers find what they need. Read More

How to choose stage name

How to Choose the Best Stage Name For Musicians

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Are you a new musician still trying to decide on a stage name? If you have racked the most inner crevices of your brain in search of the perfect name and have come up with nothing but cobwebs, this guide will get your creative juices flowing.

Unless you want to perform under your given name, you should devote a considerable amount of time researching and strategizing what your stage, artist or band name should be. For a new musician, choosing a name to perform under may not seem like that big of a deal, but you can avoid a lot of potential headaches down the line if you invest the time to research your preferred stage name. Read More

How NOT to get booked for shows

10 Ways for Independent Artists to NOT Get Booked for Shows

By | Music Business | No Comments

It is safe to say that if you want to make a living off of music, you need to book gigs. Lots of them. Not only does it put money in your pocket, but gigs are a great way to get exposure and reach new fans.

Performing live is the biggest source of income for most independent artists. Unfortunately, many artists inadvertently sabotage their chances of getting booked. To avoid this, here’s a list of ten things you should NOT do, brought to you by the Super Duty Tough Work podcast created by underground hip-hop pioneer Blueprint.. Read More