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 It’s better to have a presence on 2 or 3 sites that you will regularly maintain than 12 sites that are outdated.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!

10 Reasons Why All Musicians Should Have Their Own Website

Branding is one of the most important things an independent artist can do to stand apart from the competition.

Since the digital takeover, artists have more resources and tools at their disposal than ever before to build their own brands.

While social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are essential to growing your online presence, you should not rely on them as the only components of your online branding strategy. Give your brand the solid foundation it needs with your own domain.


Here are ten of the many reasons why every musician should have their own website:

1.    It makes you look professional and serious about your career.

2.    You can setup business email addresses ending in your domain name.

3.    You are in control of everything from content to advertising to the user experience.

 4.    You can make more money by creating your own e-store to sell your music and merchandise.

 5.    You can completely customize the design to fit your brand image.

 6.    Having your own domain gives your brand a stable home base, so you don’t have to rely on the existence of third-party websites. 

 7.    Registering your domain name prevents others from claiming it.

 8.    You can increase your online following by promoting and driving traffic to your social media profiles and pages.

 9.    Hosting only costs $5-$10 a month and there are many inexpensive (and even free) options for designing your own site if you cannot afford to hire a professional.

10. You can strengthen your fan base by creating your own online community where you can interact with fans through message boards and offer them exclusive content.


If you have more reasons you’d like to share, please let us know in the comments section below!

The Business of Music: Writing Emails

No matter the situation, learning how to communicate effectively through email is a vital skill to have while networking your way through the music industry. A well-written email can make the difference between getting a reply from that producer you want to work with or getting ignored. Follow our guidelines below to create a well-written email that will help you make the connections you need to further your recording career.


Set Up A Business Email Account

Don’t send business related email from your personal account. It doesn’t matter how tame or crazy your address is, you want to show people that you take career seriously by spending the little extra for a professional email account that ends in your domain name. Luckily, there are ways you can connect your new account to your personal email provider like Gmail, so all of your emails are in one place.


Research Your Recipient

Before writing your email, read up on the person (or company) first to understand what they do and ensure that they can actually help you with what you need. Check out their website and social media pages. Not only will this research save you the time and embarrassment of emailing the wrong person, but it will also give you some extra information to put in your email to show the person that you know and respect their work.


Use the Subject Line Wisely

The recipient might decide just based on the subject line alone whether or not they want to read the email, especially since they are likely bombarded with emails on a daily basis. You want your subject to be as eye-catching as it is descriptive. When in doubt, just be straightforward. For example, if you are writing to a blog about interviewing you, the subject line might read, “Setting Up Interview with (insert artist name) for (insert blog name).”


Avoid the Copy & Paste

Take the time to personalize each email and you will be doing yourself a favor in the long term. Never start your emails with a non-specific salutation like “Dear Sir or Madam” or “Dear Company.” Always find out to whom you should address your email. Go on to explain why you want to work with this person (e.g. you found their blog interesting, you love their production, etc.). Your recipients will appreciate the effort and a little flattery always goes a long way.


Be Clear & Concise

Remember that those you are emailing may be extremely busy. They could be checking their email via a phone while in transit or in the middle of a meeting. Keep their attention by keeping your email short and sweet. After a brief 1-2 sentence introduction, state the purpose of your email and make sure to include all necessary info. For example, if you want to book a gig, tell the booking agent what dates you are interested in and what type of setup you need. This will cut down on unnecessary back-and-forth.


Write Like You Mean Business

It is very important to establish the right tone in your email so as not to offend or turn off the recipient. We’ve actually received entire emails written in all caps with multiple exclamation points. This style of writing is often interpreted as aggressive and loud. To avoid this bad email etiquette, use standard capitalization and punctuation rules.


Link Up Your Email Signature

Your email signature is the perfect place to promote your sites. Setup a signature for all your emails that includes your name, contact info, links to your website, Facebook Page, Twitter account, and any other relevant site you want people to check out. Don’t forget to update this signature if any of your URL’s change.


Prepare Your Attachments

Your file name should include both your name and what the file is. For example, “(Artist Name) Press Release.” It is important to do this so that the recipient can easily identify your files. Also, make sure that the files are in a universal format. Saving your materials as a PDF will prevent them from being edited or changed by anyone. If you are sending multiple files or large files, consider compressing them into a properly titled zip file to save space.


Check It Twice!

We cannot stress enough how important it is to proofread! Typos are not only unprofessional, but they can change the meaning of what you are actually trying to say. While most email programs have built-in spell checks, they will not pick up “there” when you mean “their”, and you will want to double-check the spellings of proper names and places.


Now you’re ready to make a great first impression! Don’t forget to make note of who you have contacted and when. It will make it easier to set reminders for follow-ups.

5 Steps to Keep Track of Your Social Media Profiles

One of the most common problems Vicki and I see artists having when trying to promote their projects online is keeping track of so many profiles! In today’s world of online social media, it is difficult not to have a Twitter account, a Facebook account, a LinkedIn page, etc. For an artist, add to that list a ReverbNation account, a Bandcamp page, a YouTube channel, and (possibly still) a Myspace page. Below are some tips to keep in mind to help artists like you stay on top of all the social media messiness that comes with promoting an album or show.

1. Make a List of ALL Accounts

As an artist there are many “staple” sites in which it is crucial to maintain a presence, such as ReverbNation, PollStar, Bandcamp, and of course, Facebook. There are even sites that you may have had to create a profile for simply to access other people’s music, making it easy to forget every site. Do a Google search of yourself to see what comes up and make a full and complete list.

2. Make a List of Usernames & Passwords

As many of these sites use emails as usernames, it is best to link as many sites as possible to one email address in order to keep track of email updates and notifications. While you may want different passwords, keeping them all related to one another for easy recall is also helpful.

3. List the Purpose of Each Profile

While many profiles may feel as though they repeat the same information, it’s important to know why you are on a certain site. If you can’t think of why a site is beneficial to the promotion of your music, is the profile worth maintaining?

4. Narrow Down to What You Can Manage

Be realistic of what you can handle, especially if you are a D-I-Y artist. If some profiles overlap in purpose and benefits and you’re likely to not spend time online updating these sites, narrow down your list.

5. Get Organized & Simplify Your Life Online

Figure out what works for you. Whether it’s a spreadsheet, post-it notes, or an app like Hootsuite, find a way to stay organized and up to date with your online promotions. An editorial calendar is also a great way to plan out your Facebook posts and tweets for the upcoming days or even weeks.

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.

More Than The Music

Thank you all for tuning in. As this is my first post on my newly
renovated site, I expect you to flip through the virtual pages of my
business catalog. Take time to explore, learn 48 ways to achieving your

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m G48, but as my business matures,
so have I and am now known as George 48. So when you breeze through the
site and see “48″ this and “48″ that, I’m referring to myself and the
knowledge I offer you, not a literal 48 numbered checklist.

Now on to more important matters, and that’s what matters to you. I
specialize in consulting aspiring music artists. The dream is the same,
record music, hear it played on the radio (do a jig by yourself in the
living room), GET PAID! The difference is HOW? You’ve all seen the
thousands of contestants in each city that will sacrifice hygiene or
would sell out their grandmothers for a spot on the American Idol stage.
So what do the rest of you do? You call me.

Excuse me, the phone is ringing…

Where was I… Oh right, music. You get it, I have vast connections and
knowledge of the music industry. But my experience and company are about
more than the music. Through this blog and consulting, I will provide
insight on establishing yourself through all walks of life. You want to
be established and successful in any line of business. I want to make
sure you are.

I will give you my philosophies, insights, answer questions and share
experiences that will inspire you to harness your talents and believe in
the power of you (Self help section, second floor to the back). But
seriously, why would you need help if you knew what to do. So let me.
I’m looking forward to it.

George 48

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.