How to Avoid Burnout as a Musician

As I write this, I’m currently facing my own version of burnout. It’s Friday afternoon and it’s been an especially long week of fielding emails, putting out fires, managing mini-crises, and trying to find time to actually build my business and look to the future. Did I mention also working in three miles of walking my dog each day, yoga, trying to eat right, and really, really, wanting to catch up on Bates Motel if I could just find the time to sit down, relax, and get my mind to stop racing?

We live in a society that is all about the now, while working in an industry that romanticizes long hours, sleepless nights, and a work schedule that never quits. We are constantly told that we need to be on call 24/7, and that there is always someone else ready to take our spot, so we’d better answer that email, take that gig, make that call, and play that show – and we’d better do it all right now. Because if we dare hesitate, there is someone right around the corner who will gladly snatch the opportunity from us.

DaveHow to Avoid Burnout as a Musician
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5 Guerrilla Marketing Tactics for Your Next Album Release

Here’s a sad story you may be all too familiar with if you’ve been trying to make it in the music world for a while:

Band works for months (or maybe even years) writing, rehearsing, and playing their songs at venues around town. Band meticulously records their debut album, books a release party at the best local venue they can find, and throws up some Facebook statuses and colorful posters around town up to promote the show. Band brings 45 people to a venue with a 300-person capacity. Band is sad. Band is also disappointed to find that none of the 391 blogs they sent emails to over the past three months wanted to review or even mention the new release they’ve worked so hard on.

With a constant cacophony of distractions, getting the world to care about the music you release can be a massively challenging endeavor. Conventional ways of getting the word out are proving to be fruitless even for bands on labels that can sell out shows.

The fact is, the music industry is more competitive than ever, and if you want any hope of getting people to care, you’ve got to be unique. Try these five guerrilla marketing tactics to help make your next album release more effective.

Rebecca5 Guerrilla Marketing Tactics for Your Next Album Release
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How to Make Your Band Website Less Boring

In our fast-paced, competitive industry, there’s no room for a boring website. (Or worse—no website at all!) With the advent of social media, it can be easy to forget just how important having this central hub really is—a place to store your music, videos, bio, press photos, and tour dates, all in one neat little package for your fans and potential industry partners.

But neglect your website and you neglect your career. So here are some tips on how to make your band website less boring. 

DaveHow to Make Your Band Website Less Boring
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Copywriting Tips for Musicians

According to the late, great Nora Ephron, “Everything is copy.” As a writer, I love that; as a sometimes copywriter, I know it’s true. The phrase, which is also the title of a documentary about Ephron’s life, means that anything and everything in life is up for grabs to be written about. But I prefer to interpret it as everything that’s written needs to be as effective as copy.

How is copy different from writing?

Great question. Technically, there’s no difference; the two words are often interchangeable. The only time copy is drastically different is in copywriting.

You may be familiar with that term through that advertising course you took in college or from Peggy Olsen’s role at Sterling Cooper on Mad Men. Basically, copywriting is writing for business, promotional, or journalistic purposes. Copywriting can be creative, but it needs to get the point across clearly to a chosen demographic.

As writer and marketer Ray Edwards put it, “Great copy addresses a problem, makes a promise, offers proof, and ends with a proposal.”

Copywriting as a musician

You may think that, as a musician, copywriting has no place occupying space in your brain, but if you ever want to sell anything (albums, tickets, T-shirts, you name it), you need to bone up on your copywriting skills. Without words that are compelling enough to drive your audience to action, you may as well not even bother posting your wares at all.

Check out these copywriting tips to help you get started.

DaveCopywriting Tips for Musicians
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How to Use Direct-Response Marketing to Get People to Buy Your Music

At this point in your career, you probably already know that you can’t constantly push your music and expect a powerful, positive response. You have to have a finely tuned mix of messages and content to keep your fans engaged. But there comes a time in every musician’s life/album release/merch launch/etc. when you need to create a strategy for promoting your wares.

Enter direct-response marketing. Basically, it does what its name claims: it provides a direct response to a specific command or prompt. This can be especially useful if you’re testing out a new sound, style, or even something as simple as a logo. In fact, you probably already use direct-response marketing without realizing it by asking your fans, “What do you think?”

But it’s time to take that to the next level and figure out how to use direct-response marketing to refine your messaging, particularly in the place where you’re probably doing the bulk of your advertising: social media.

How is direct-response marketing different from all other marketing?

DaveHow to Use Direct-Response Marketing to Get People to Buy Your Music
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7 Tips to Maximize Your Crowdfunding Success

We’ve all been wowed by crowdfunding campaigns that have surpassed their goals by thousands, and we’ve all been bummed for the folks whose effort raised drastically less than what they hoped for. The thing is, crowdfunding—the hit-your-goal-and-then-some type, at least—is really difficult.

Loads of work goes into running a successful campaign, from strategizing and launching to constant upkeep throughout. The way you present your project and the motivations behind it truly matter; in crowdfunding, those factors are almost as important as the music itself.

Read on for seven tips that’ll help you lay the best possible foundation for your campaign and guide you through making the most of it while it’s running.

Mike7 Tips to Maximize Your Crowdfunding Success
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How to Use Instagram Pods to Get More Fans

In social media, we’re always chasing the algorithm, figuring out a way to beat it and rise above the eternal shuffling of what platforms think we want to see. As a musician, it’s frustrating to announce an exciting new tour or album release, only to watch your post sink slowly down your feed until it disappears. But a new Instagram technique called Instagram pods can help save your photos from fading into oblivion – and it might just strengthen your bond with your fans, too.

DaveHow to Use Instagram Pods to Get More Fans
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10 Subgenres We Guarantee You’ve Never Heard Of – Volume 2

Right when we thought we uncovered all the deep sea creatures of the genre world, we’re back again with 10 more that you’ve definitely never, ever heard of. Seriously, if any of these genres ring a bell, chances are you’re some sort of extraterrestrial super nerd.

To provide some background, when musicians join ReverbNation, they choose a genre – or multiple genres – to match their style of music. Since every artist is different, they have the option to write in whatever genre they can dream up. And boyyyy, are there some unique ones!

If you’re bored with your current playlist, check out these 10 subgenres to find some new and interesting music.

Rebecca10 Subgenres We Guarantee You’ve Never Heard Of – Volume 2
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