5 Traits Every Musician Needs to Have to Be Successful Online

No one artist is guaranteed to be successful promoting his or her music through social networking sites. While there are methods and tricks of the trade to help increase your visibility and impact online, a site or app can’t do its magic if the person using it fails to do his or her part. Below are 5 basic traits that every artist needs to possess and work at maintaining in order use social networking as an effective way to promote upcoming shows and new music.


As we’ve already discussed, with all of the resources available to help promote your music online, the worst thing you can do is sign up for all of these sites and fail to maintain them with updated, relevant information. It’s better to have a presence on 2 or 3 sites that you will regularly maintain than 12 sites that are outdated. An easy way to turn off fans is by making them play a guessing game as to which of your profiles is more reliable.



No one said social networking is easy. However, with 800+ million people logged into one social media site or another almost daily, many assume promoting online is a no brainer. The Top 6 most followed people on Twitter are musicians. However, unless you’re mother monster, a teen heartthrob, or pop princess, garnering a solid following takes effort. If fans post to your Facebook wall or send you a message on Twitter, and you are not there to answer them in a timely fashion, they will lose interest.


Social is the key word in social networking, so it’s safe to say it is one of the key traits one must have to be successful at it. Scheduling tweets and posts is useful, but you cannot simply talk AT your fans, you must talk WITH them. Social networking is a TWO-WAY street. You can’t expect to become a topic of people’s conversations without first getting involved in a few conversations of your own.


As an artist you most likely already possess an abundance of creativity. Turn your talents towards social media when finding ways to engage with fans. Maybe it’s through video blogging, behind the scenes photo shoots, contests, fan input, free giveaways, etc. Maybe it’s something like this. The most important thing is to know your audience, give them what they want, and find ways to keep them coming back for more.


You can’t be successful at promoting yourself online if you’re not busy creating things to promote! It’s a hard line to straddle, but you do need find a balance between spending time online and spending time doing things to then post about online. The best way to keep fans engaged is by giving them something different to come back to each time they visit your pages. Connecting your social media sites to your mobile phone is a great way to stay connected without staying glued to your computer 24/7.

Remember, even the overnight success stories don’t exactly happen overnight. Anything worth having takes time and commitment. If you possess these traits you’ve already won over half the battle.

Have you come across any other great tips for using social media to promote your music? Share them with us below!

The Music Industry Is Bigger Than You Think

According to Hypebot.com the music industry is not completely headed for certain doom. There are plenty of facets that are still living large


The Music Industry Is Bigger Than You Think [STATS]

This guest post comes from Bobby Owsinski, producer, author and social media advisor who blogs at Music 3.0.

Whenever someone mentions the phrase “the music industry” we immediately think of record labels and music sales, be they via a digital file, CD, vinyl record, cassette or some other method where we listen to songs. The business is a lot bigger than that, especially if we look at all the different categories.

The IFPI (the world-wide music industry trade association), recently released some figures from 2010 which shows the real reach that the business has. Here are the following revenue streams of the world-wide music business, from highest to lowest:

·       $32.5 Billion: Radio advertising

·       $27.6 Billion: Recorded music retail sales

·       $25.0 Billion: Home Audio systems

·       $24.2 Billion: Portable digital players

·       $21.6 Billion: Live Music

·       $16.4 Billion: Music Instrument sales

·       $9.0 Billion: Music and television magazine advertising

·       $4.8 Billion: Publishing

·       $1.7 Billion: Performance rights

As you can see, it’s a huge industry worth $168 billion. Sure, there are a lot of facets to it, but it just goes to show that there are also a lot of consumers out there who are still willing to part with their cash in exchange for something to listen to, play or enjoy music with. Don’t believe what you read about the music business dying. The numbers don’t lie.

Life After Learning

Dear readers,

I have taken some time to re-familiarize myself with today’s music practices. Although I have extensive knowledge and contacts within the industry, today is a different day and age. As many of you have experienced, gone are the days where you submit your demo via snail mail to an A&R rep at a major label. Now, all you need to do is take your webcam into the bathroom, record yourself, post it on YouTube and pray it catches on to a few hundred thousand (thanks to the help of some tweets to a few thousand believers) and wait for the label to contact you.

Although I have been easily able to adapt to new practices, sometimes you have to teach an old dog some new tricks. With music apps being launched at an unimaginable rate and the rebirth of Indie labels, there was some re-educating to do. To be able to provide you with the most up-to-date information and lead you to the virtual pot at the end of the Photoshopped rainbow, I have been meeting with many colleagues as well as making new connections to establish a strong foundation for information.

I will leave you with this, pick up Steve Stoute’sThe Tanning of America” How Hip Hop Created a Culture That Rewrote the Rules of the New Economy. Take a look at the blog site TanningOfAmerica.com. I’m just about wrapping up the book, but it’s an informative read on how historic minority pioneers in the industry revolutionized music and how Steve was able to harness and bridge the marketing gap from artist to consumer.

If you’re in the Tri-State area, check him out at one of his upcoming tour dates:


Influencer Conference 2011

A Conversation with Steve Stoute

Event Description:

250 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10013
Twitter: @influencercon



Advertising Week

Bloomberg Roundtable

Event Description:

Leading the way forward on the competitive brand-building battlefield.
Times Center Theater
242 West 41st Street
New York, NY 10036
12:00PM – 12:45PM
Twitter: @AdvertisingWeek

I’m off to another meeting, but stay tuned for my thoughts on the subject…

- George 48


What are the main deal points in a music producer’s agreement?

A music producer or the producer’s “loan-out” corporation may sing a deal with artist, a production company, or a record company. The producer’s job is to help create and deliver quality master sound recordings. A music producer’s agreement may be for a single song (master), or may cover an entire album.

Some of the following key terms may be addressed:

(1) Responsibilities: In your music producer’s agreement, make sure to clarify what is meant by “production.” For example, does it include selecting the songs, selecting the instruments and vocals, and help in writing or arranging songs, etc.

(2) “All-in” Deal: An “all-in” record company agreement is in which the artists is responsible for hiring the producer. In this case, the producer will want the artist to be responsible for any “overages” in the recording budget. Try to limit your liability for overages to only those caused by you (the artists), and not caused by or within the control of the producer, engineer, or recording studio.

(3) Producer Royalties: Producers generally charge royalties (“points) which range from 2.5% to 3% of suggested list retail price (SLRP) of an album, depending on the producer’s reputation, skills, and track record. For beginning artists, you can usually get a new (unestablished) producer to charge from 1% to 2% of records sold. Hot (established) producers can charge from 2% to 4%, while superstar producers can demand from 5% to even 6%. A producer’s royalty rate may also be increased at specified sales plateaus (e.g., an increase of 3% to 5% after 500,000 record sold.)

(4) Record One Royalties: Unlike artists, producers are customarily paid on all records sold, without recoupment of recording costs. These are called “record one” royalties because they are paid from the first record that is sold. Try to strike this language, if you can. If you are unable able to avoid a “record one” clause, you may be able to negotiate a better deal in terms of when those record one royalties will be paid.

(5) Other Royalty Deductions: As an artist, you may be under contract with a record label whose recording agreement provides for various royalty deductions, exclusions, and limitations. Producer royalties are generally calculated on the same basis as the artist, including the same deductions for “packaging”, “CDs”, and “free goods.” Moreover, producer royalties should also track the lower royalty rates paid to the artist in the same proportionate reduction (e.g., lower royalties from foreign, budget, and mid-price sales.)

(6) Producer Advances: Like artists, producers also get “advances.” The amount of the advances varies (like the points), depending on the stature of the producer. New (unestablished) producers can get anywhere from free, to $2,000 – $3,500 per master (song). A mid-level producer can charge anywhere from $3,500 – $7,500 per master. And superstar producers can get up to $10,000 – $15,000 per master, and sometimes even higher.

(7) Masters: Take time to commit in writing what each others’ rights are vis-a-vis the finished product, i.e., the masters and CD’s. Obviously, ownership of the masters should be in the artist.

(8) First Right of Refusal: Sometimes a producer will want to do the first re-mix and/or recording of the masters that he/she helped to create. If you want total creative control over your masters, avoid this.

Design Matters

Design matters

Sometimes writers think that design and communication are separate. That it’s the writer’s job to communicate with well-chosen words, and then the designer’s job to “make it pretty.”

Design is actually much more important than that.

The right design doesn’t just look good. It actually communicates something important to your readers.

  • Good design conveys your authority. Professional design shows your commitment to your audience, and that you aren’t some “fly by night” who slapped a site together.
  • Good design enhances your content without drawing attention away from it. You don’t want your readers to say, “what a great-looking design.” You want them to say, “what a remarkably useful blog, I’m going to read this every day.”
  • Good design allows you to highlight what matters most to you. Clean, open design with plenty of white space allows the ads and images you choose to stand out on the page.

Good design always serves the needs of the project. A wonderful theme for a photography blog would be the wrong choice for most writers. A craft shop owner has very different needs from a real estate agent.

Real designers takes into account what you’ll be using your site for, and supports your purpose beautifully.