YouTube: 5 Videos Every Artist Should Have

YouTubeMost artists attack their social media the same way: get on Facebook, start a Twitter feed, open a YouTube channel, etc. Unfortunately, many of these artists stop there. Creating these pages is only the beginning. A Facebook profile (or, preferably, a Fan Page) or a Twitter account is not going to magically bring people out to your shows or to your website to purchase music. If a page isn’t updated regularly with interesting content, fans will lose interest; with access to an unprecedented amount of music, fans have the luxury of being fickle with whom they support.

“A picture is worth 1,000 words.” If that is the case, then a video is priceless. That being said, YouTube is free and easy to use, leaving artists with no excuse for failing to update fans regularly via video posts. Think of your YouTube channel as your own reality show that you control. Keep it interesting with these 5 different types of footage to ensure fans subscribe for future viewing:

Live Show
Fans will be more likely to come check out your live shows if they get a taste of what they can expect. Keep these tips in mind when filming:
• Make sure you have a person dedicated to getting a clear shot
• Shoot when there is a decent size audience (25+ people)
• Decide on what song to capture ahead of time
• If your show consists of dancing or lots of movement, try mapping out at what points in the song the camera should focus on you, and at what points it is better to scan the audience
• Use a good camera; try to stay away from camera phones unless yours has exceptionally good focus
• Keep a steady hand or use a tripod; shaky or unbalanced footage is a turnoff

Music Video
Every artist should aim to put out at least 1 music video per album, preferably of the lead single (or most catchy single). No one says it has to cost millions, or even thousands. Think outside the box and plan it out. The most popular videos on YouTube aren’t always of the highest film quality, but of the highest creativity. You can find tips for planning out a great video on a budget here.

Personal Diary
It’s not always about the music. Many fans support an artist because they relate to them on a deeper level. Allowing fans to get to know you outside of your music is a great way to connect with them beyond the stage. If you are not comfortable opening up on camera, try staying behind the camera and narrate something interesting you come across during your day, or interview other people you think your fans might enjoy checking out. With so much reality TV out there, fans expect a certain level of transparency with their entertainment.

Behind the Scenes
Speaking of transparency, an easy way to connect with fans is to take them on your journey with you. Everyone has at one time or another secretly wished he/she could be a rock star. Show your fans what’s involved in your day-to-day process by filming pieces from the recording studio, sound check, or on set of your music video or photo shoot. What may seem mundane to you will seem like a nice escape from another’s reality.

Haven’t gotten that call from Rolling Stone yet? Who cares! Your YouTube, your rules. Make your own press. If magazines and blogs haven’t knocked down your door to review your work, have a friend interview you and post it on your channel. Come up with a few key questions (How did you get started? What is the meaning behind your album title? What’s your favorite song to perform live?) and practice giving succinct, interesting answers. When you’ve nailed down what you liked, post it up! You may even want to break up the interview into sections (1-2 questions per clip).

And there ya go!

Play around with these different types of footage to get yourself started. Make sure your channel has all the proper information in the profile section, and all other social media sites are listed for easy access. You also want to label and caption each video for fans to identify and share. Happy filming!

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.

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 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


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.