Wouldn’t it be nice to have an assistant helping you with routine online stuff, like posting on social media the way you want, helping build your Twitter lists, informing you about new PR opportunities and doing other such handy things?
While web apps are rarely referred to as “assistants”, there are two tools I use actively and treat as virtual (literally) assistants – they are IFTTT and Zapier. IFTTT (stands for If This Then That) is a free app which I recommend you to start with.
When social media first began taking over the world over a decade ago (!), a lot of people initially focused on nothing but the numbers. Who had the most social media fans, which photos were getting the most likes, and pretty quickly, thousands turned to tens of thousands, which became hundreds of thousands, which in turn was replaced by millions. Now, the biggest stars on the planet can collect followings in the tens or even hundreds of millions depending on the platform…but that’s not necessarily how the world counts a success on social media any longer.
Though I’d reaaaallllly like to say we’re the only way to obtain unbiased music feedback from consumers, that’s not necessarily the truth. Brian Hazard, he of the ten-album Color Theory and head mastering engineer at Resonance Mastering, put this belief into play recently when he took to Twitter to solicit some lyrical recommendations from his followers.
Music may be your main focus, but if we’re talking social media, graphics, photos and videos are grabbing fans’ attention first — whether they’re at their computer watching YouTube or checking Instagram on their phones. So, to get your 2015 social posts off to a solid start, we’re sharing this helpful infographic from SetUpABlogToday.
Check back here for more tips on maximizing fan engagement in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, get cropping!
As an Artist, you’re probably relying on some form of social media to spread the word about your music. But today, it’s not enough to only update your fans with messages about your music.
We sat down with social media marketing expert Jim Tobin, President of Ignite Social Media, to find out where musicians often fall short in their social media strategy, and to learn how they can start making improvements today.
Watch the full interview above and read some of the highlights below:
Twitter has been rolling out tons of new changes recently. Taking a page out of Instagram’s playbook, the folks at Twitter recently made updates that take a more photo-friendly approach to your feed. While it’s always been possible to post photos to Twitter, now you can:
Post multiple photos at once
Add filters to a photo
Tag your friends and followers to keep the conversation going
Show, Don’t Tell
Ever heard this old saying? It’s more relevant than ever, especially since highly-visual platforms like Instagram and Facebook have become the places we share news about our life and music. Enhanced photos options on Twitter will provide another way to share with your friends and fans. Plus, the new features can help drive more social engagement with your posts, spreading your music even further than before.
You’ve got heart, kids! Thanks to your help, we now have over 100,000 artists supporting Music For Good. An idea that started 10 months ago has turned into a movement, and one that has built some amazing relationships between charities and independent artists. We could tell you all about it, or you could watch for yourself in this video below:
100,000 artists joining in 10 months to help 13 charities. Pretty great, right? We think so, and we are excited to see how Music For Good will continue to grow.
Special thanks to all of the charities who are a part of Music For Good!
We want you to celebrate with us! If you watched the video above, you probably have a good idea of how we’re sharing the good news with our friends, family and fans: Through a campaign we’re calling “100,000 Hearts.” Since you’ve put so much heart into Music For Good, we want you to show us your heart! And, no, we don’t mean like this:
We were thinking something more like this!
Take a picture of you “showing your heart” in any way that you choose. Then, post your photo to Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or our Facebook timeline using the hashtag #100kHearts. We’ll retweet your tweets to our 200,000+ followers and you’ll join thousands of other artists in celebrating this fantastic accomplishment. Be on the lookout for a brand new Pinterest board with a collection of all the 100,000 Hearts submissions!
While we could talk all day about how great the program is and how great all of you are, we’ll let our artists and charity partners speak for themselves! Take a look at the quotes below to see how this program has made a difference in the lives of those involved. And if you aren’t on Music For Good, check it out and consider becoming a part of the program today!
Bob Ferguson, Creative Alliances & Music Outreach Project Manager, Oxfam America: “Oxfam America is incredibly excited at the growth of ReverbNation’s Music For Good initiative. Through MFG, Oxfam has over 8000 artists pledging their support and music to us, and that’s the kind of loud noise we love!”
Christy Turlington, Founder, Every Mother Counts: “Through ReverbNation’s Music for Good, 2000 musicians and bands are now spreading the word about Every Mother Counts, which allows us to reach wider audiences with our mission. By sharing these universal stories, we bring more global awareness to maternal health challenges and solutions. Together, we can make pregnancy and childbirth safe for all moms.”
Scott Harrison, CEO and founder, charity: water: “The Music for Good program through ReverbNation allows us to connect with different types of artists. Being a charity partner has allowed us to tap into a unique, new demographic we have not previously been able to reach, creating a relationship where artists can use their gift for good and bring clean and safe drinking water to people in developing countries.”
Mike Peters, Co-Founder, Love Hope Strength & international touring musician with The Alarm and Big Country: “Through ReverbNation’s life affirming Music For Good campaign we have not only raised much needed dollars, but we have also engaged thousands of artists in our mission to ‘save lives one concert at a time’ by registering marrow donors at artists’ concerts.”
Toby Lightman, ReverbNation artist and supporter of Half the Sky Movement: “Being a part of Music For Good has been an amazing experience, and has allowed me to learn about and support a charity I knew nothing about previously. It’s an indescribable feeling knowing that your music not only entertains people from around the world, but goes towards a greater good and is a part of something bigger.”
Jed Carlson, President and Co-Founder, ReverbNation: “It’s obvious that well-known musicians, like Bono and Willie Nelson, can influence fans to connect with great causes. What’s so gratifying about Music For Good is the confirmation that independent artists in the aggregate can affect the same behavior. In fact, Music For Good really surpassed our expectations in terms of both artist participation and global significance. What started as an idea — downloads that donate — has evolved into a movement, one that establishes and nurtures philanthropic mindsets. It’s reinforced the premise that independent musicians have influence that can lead to real impact.”
In this guest post, Kayla Calloway gives independent and up-and-coming hip-hop artists tips on how to effectively prepare a mixtape release.
Whether you are prepping for your first mixtape or this is your next go round, here are 5 tips for preparing for a successful mixtape release excerpted from “The Essential Guide to Hip-Hop Marketing & Publicity.” So in the words of Trinidad James “Lemme give you a checklist:”
1. Choose a DJ
When starting out, especially if it’s your first mixtape, choose a DJ who is on the come-up as well and who truly believes in your music. Or you can go the latest route used by emerging Atlanta hip-hop artist, Rich Homie Quan, and host your own mixtape.
2. Find a Studio
Find a studio that you are comfortable recording in, and once you have blocked time, make sure that you come prepared. Write your rhymes at home and be ready to go when you arrive to the studio.
Have your mixtape cleaned up and mixed by a professional engineer who knows what he is doing. Make sure that the sound is clear and crisp and that the sound levels are balanced throughout your mixtape.
4. Hire a Graphic Artist
When hiring a graphic artist for your mixtape cover, you need to make sure they understand your music and brand and that they can bring your ideas to life or that they can bring forth their own creative cover ideas that will represent you and your mixtape effectively. So, with that being said, here are three tips to consider when hiring a mixtape cover graphic artist:
Versatility: When selecting a graphic artist, make sure that they are versatile, creative, and have a range of design skills, because you want someone who can convey your individuality and the themes and messages of your music, not someone who has a one-size-fits-all approach to designing mixtape covers.
Track Record: Request to see work they’ve done in the past. Additionally, when you’re hiring for services, such as PR, marketing, or website design, check track records as well.
Professionalism: I know that the hip-hop industry can be a little casual, but business is business. Make sure you have a timeline for the work and ask that the graphic artist is being consistent with you and communicating effectively with you throughout the process.
5. Use Social Media to Gear Up for Your Mixtape Release
Engage: Follow other hip-hop artists, both up-and-coming and established, who have similar fan bases and followers. Additionally, follow DJs and other hip-hop influencers, such as hip-hop editors, bloggers, etc. Keep track of who’s mentioning you.
Get Fans to Promote for You: Constantly engage with your fans and include them on your journey. For example, you can ask fans for feedback regarding the title of your mixtape, which track to promote, mixtape cover art, etc. Join their conversations; don’t just always flood them with links pertaining to your music.
Plan: Plan a content strategy so you do not get distracted from the bottom line.
This list covers the basics. However, I would like to also mention the importance of working to build your fan base prior to releasing your mixtape. For more hip-hop marketing and publicity tips, visit kaylacalloway.com. Got any questions for me? Leave a comment below!
All the best with your mixtape release!
Kayla Calloway is a hip-hop enthusiast with over 5 years of PR experience, with specific concentrations in media relations and writing. Kayla has a strong rapport within the hip-hop editorial community and is the author of “The Essential Guide to Hip-Hop Marketing & Publicity”. She has secured media placements in XXL, The Source, Allhiphop.com, Creative Loafing, AJC and more. Kayla can be reached on Twitter and Facebook.