3 things musicians can learn from brands about Customer Relationship Management

This guest post from Mark Knight explores ‘Customer Relationship Management’ (CRM) to show how the principles can help independent artists promote their music more effectively. As founder of Right Chord Music, a management and consultancy business, Mark calls upon his 12 years of experience working as a music marketing consultant to brands like Coca-Cola, Nokia & T-Mobile, plus his seven years as an artist manager for independent artists.

In the business world, a whole industry has been established around ‘customer relationship management’ or CRM. Fancy acronym, but what’s it really mean and how does it apply to you and your music career? In basic terms, CRM is a plan to understand and manage a brand’s relationship with customers. Using technology, this can get pretty complex, but really CRM efforts all stem from three goals:

  • Identify, attract and win new customers
  • Retain existing customers
  • Re-invigorate relationships with former customers

It doesn’t take a genius to realise there are clear parallels between the value of CRM for a brand or business and CRM for a band or artist. In order to have a successful music career (“business”) you need to have fans (“customers”). And those fans won’t come unless you work hard for it. Below are some details on just what I mean, but first I want you to keep in mind two widely accepted business principles:

  1. Pareto’s 80:20 rule suggests 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers.
  2. Winning new business from existing customers is cheaper than winning new business from new customers.

Okay, that said, here is how a musician or a band can apply the 3 CRM goals to their music career to develop better relationships with their fans:

1.  Identify, attract and win new fans and supporters

Most independent artists don’t have money to spend on ‘push’ advertising or PR to reach a mass audience. Your best chance of success lies in ‘pull’ marketing where you supply your fans with compelling content and they promote you to their networks. Your ultimate audience is not your ‘Friends;’ it’s the ‘Friends of your friends.’ If you can burst out of your network into each of theirs, your potential audience will suddenly rocket. So encourage and incentivise them to share your posts. Reverb Tip: Online tools like Band Profile on Facebook and Promote It have built-in abilities for social expansion.

Remember the second principle: It’s cheaper to win new business from existing customers, than win new business from new customers. So use your existing ‘Friends’ as advocates.

2.  Successfully retain existing fans and supporters

On social media: Sometimes it’s important to remind yourself why you are growing a fanbase on Facebook or Twitter. Many bands seem to spend all their waking hours collecting new ‘Likes’ and ‘Followers’ but never interact with any of them.

Facebook uses a system called Edgerank to prioritise the news in your feed. If you don’t interact with you fans you’ll become invisible very quickly. So when a new ‘Like’ or ‘Follower’ arrives, you have work to do. This is important: social media quantity should always go hand in hand with quality. Without engagement those ‘Likes’ quickly become meaningless.

With mailing lists: Mailing lists are another key tool for retaining fans, but only if you use them in a smart way. Lazy mail-outs containing a summary of old news are pointless. Set rules for your mail-outs: “I will only ever contact fans when I can reward them, or offer them something exclusive.” “I will never just repeat news I’ve posted on Facebook.” Reverb Tip: The tool FanReach has made it very easy for emerging artists to grow their fanbase through newsletters. Check it out >>

Always be critical of the communication you send. If it doesn’t genuinely interest or excite you, why would anyone else care? You don’t build relationships by spamming people.

Finally, don’t forget to ‘Surprise’ & ‘Delight’ your fans; it’s a proven brand tactic to retain interest. How about you surprise the next three fans that contact you on Twitter with a free t-shirt or free remix?

Also, you should be able to personally name your biggest fans. Who are the people that engage with you the most on Facebook? Who are the people that come to all of your shows? Who buys your music? By identifying these advocates you can start to create tailored rewards to encourage continued support. You could offer exclusive previews for a select group of top fans.

3.  Reinvigorate relationships with former fans and supporters

Make full use of the analytics provided to you by Facebook and YouTube. If you don’t already know, take time to find out (learn more about Facebook Insights and YouTube Analytics):

Picard engage meme

Do like Capt. Picard: engage.

Find out which 10 Facebook posts had:

  • The greatest ‘Reach’ in the past three months
  • The most ‘Engaged Users’
  • Were the ‘Most talked about’
  • The highest levels of ‘Virality’

What are your most engaging (based on % of video watched) videos on YouTube?

Next, note down the commonalities to identify what an engaging post looks like. E.g.,

  • Posted on a Monday morning
  • Personal, warm friendly style
  • Contain a question
  • Include a good quality photo
  • Contains a video

Once you understand the rules of engagement you can repeat the trick, and hopefully win back some of the people who have switched off in response to your less engaging posts.

Bonus tip: Get organised.

Create a basic Excel database, to collect and manage your relationships. Start with a separate tab for:

  • Artists
  • Blogs
  • Labels
  • Promoters
  • Publishers
  • Radio stations

Then whenever you come across a new contact, add their key details: Name, Company, Job Title, Email, Phone.

These 3 additional details take this from being a flat database into an active, useful CRM tool:

  • When: Date last contacted
  • Why: Reason for last contact
  • What: Outcome of last contact

Keeping a track of when, why and what ensures you can tailor your response and follow up in the most appropriate way, only sharing information which is relevant to them.

Don’t be afraid to follow up. If someone really has no interest they will tell you so. Don’t assume a non-reply is a no; it is often just a sign they are busy or disorganized. As a blogger I welcome reminders “Have you had a chance to check out our track yet?” Often a reminder will be enough to guarantee you a review (if the music is great).

A little thought and planning can really help improve the effectiveness of your fan communication, so don’t be in a rush to promote until you are ready. How about you? Have you tried any of these goals before? Leave your thoughts and questions in the comments below.

Mark Knight can be reached at his Twitter account @RightChordMusic.

Sam3 things musicians can learn from brands about Customer Relationship Management
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How to get a great manager: 6 tips from music executive Jeff Rabhan

This guest post is written by Jeff Rabhanartist manager, music-industry executive and international consultant. His clients have garnered twelve Grammy Awards, sold more than one hundred million records and generated over one billion dollars in global receipts. Rabhan currently serves as Chair of the Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

After 20 years in the business and hundreds of showcases under my belt, I’ve seen a lot of aspiring artists who have two things in common: They’re all looking for a manager and all trying to get signed. But for the great majority, that’s a pipe dream. The odds are against you. I know it sounds harsh, but in truth, many artists miss their opportunity by not being prepared.

Finding a proper manager can be a painful and frustrating process for many artists; the seemingly endless amount of pitching, sending out unsolicited material and inviting seasoned pros down to showcases only to be met by rejection on the other end can be debilitating. Many musicians blame the managers — it’s easy to convince yourself that their blind eye and stone ears can’t see and hear your musical greatness. But in truth, artists often are not properly prepared for management, nor are their careers in shape to the point where an experienced manager would be interested. So how do you know the right time to get a manager and what are the best ways to secure proper management?

DIY until you no longer can

If you’re sitting at home on the couch right now, chances are you don’t need a manager. You should be your own booking agent, publicist, marketing exec and radio promotion person before anyone else. For one, you’ll learn about all of the different aspects of your career and become educated. Second, you’ll build the relationships yourself instead of hiring a manager based upon who they “know.” Hopefully, by the time you’ve reached the point where you are so busy that you can no longer handle the tasks, proper management will have taken notice. After all, if you have a lot going on, the buzz of a band finds a way of reaching music execs.

In fact, there’s a funny saying amongst music industry people: “If you’re unsigned and great, I’ve heard of you;” meaning, if all of the pieces are put together and you’re ready for the major leagues, managers will find you, as will labels, and lawyers too.

Trust me. Rock bands are famous for handling their business correctly. They split up the chores, handle the tasks and operate their band like a business. This is one sure way to impress a possible manager. I remember before Incubus was signed to Sony Music, they had a strong relationship with their fanbase in southern California, kept meticulous fan lists and had plenty of merch to sell so much of the groundwork was done. The rest is history. Remember: If you’re a new act, no one is waiting for your music to come out. So get all the elements right first.

Get your online presence together

Any manager worth his salt will want to see an organized online presence. That doesn’t mean a website with a few old songs and bad pictures! Managers, labels and executives alike will want to know that you are part of an active community that includes a destination website for your project or band, as well as Facebook, Twitter, a ReverbNation profile, or even a Tumblr. The website should be updated, platforms linked, and the artist active. This is the bare minimum! In today’s market, artists are getting deals with labels and managers based upon the strength of their online presence alone. You could be one of them if you “work” your social media fanbase. Just ask Justin Beiber if YouTube helped him….

Know who you are

Very few managers are interested in figuring out who you are for you. Without a strong sense of identity, a sonic footprint, and a dialed-in look you are wasting time pursuing representation. Take the time to experiment and know exactly who you are, who your audience is and how you communicate with them first. A manager can help you execute but only you can determine those key points. Stepping forward without these three things intact is like a guitar player leaving his instrument at home the night of a gig. Branding is the phrase that pays and every artist needs to be in the branding business.

Some artists take offense to the term “branding” and feel that it goes against their artistic ethos. Think again. As a wise manager once said, “No one wants to manage the greatest band you never heard of.” Branding is music.

Captivate a following in your hometown

A manager friend of mine once told a band looking for management “Don’t call me until you can sell out the best club in your hometown!” I believe that message holds true. If you’re not popular where you are, how can you expect to be in demand anywhere else? Work on establishing yourself in your hometown and making yourself a household name at clubs, radio stations and the musical community. Bands that are making noise locally are usually the ones that get snatched up long before projects that have no local development.

Master your live performance

These days, an artist with no live following looking for management is like a tree falling in the forest. With so much income reliant upon touring and merchandise sales in today’s market, most managers will want to know that you are capable of earning on the road and building a fan base every time you get out and perform. This means that if you’re a band, you are tight and know how to sell it from the stage. If you are a solo artist, you should have a band together that showcases your talents and they are prepared to perform your material at any time.

I can’t tell you the number of times I was hyped on a band that I went to see and they couldn’t deliver it live. It’s a deal-killer every time.

Avoid “Uncle Joey Syndrome”

Many musicians fall prey to this horrible disease! Rarely is an artist served well by having a family member or close personal friend as their manager. More personal relationships are destroyed in this scenario than successful careers made. Plus, opinions are so subjective that often family is blinded by the reality of your situation. Hire the best person with the most experience you can find. Occasionally you meet the artist who believes that their career is the family business. I’ve managed artists who have insulated themselves with family and do not have the ability to see themselves clearly. Objectivity is the key to great management and blood rarely possesses it.

Having great songs is truly just the beginning. Without building your base and utilizing all of the tools available, you may find yourself in the unpleasant situation of waiting to be heard. So get off of that couch and know that success is in your hands. If you build it, they will come. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Jeff tweets daily at @JeffRahban.

SamHow to get a great manager: 6 tips from music executive Jeff Rabhan
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September’s Breaking Artists: Kudos to these ReverbNation opportunity winners!

Do you ever wonder who submits to those opportunities you see in your email inbox every week? Do you wonder who gets picked to perform or chosen for a feature? We thought you might. Our monthly Breaking Artists newsletter features a sampling of those artists, along with this nice and shiny blog post you’re reading right now. The whole Reverb community will get the newsletter (all 2,000,000+ of them). Yep, it’s kind of a big deal.

Please, support your fellow musicians by listening to their music and sending them kudos in the comments!

PS: Breaking Artists are selected by Reverb staff from opportunity winners. Increase your chances of being one of them by submitting to opportunities here >>

Rocking Out at Iceland Airwaves…

Singer/songwriter Ghost Town Jenny.

The Foreign Resort

Alternative band The Foreign Resort.

Ghost Town Jenny and The Foreign Resort will play the Iceland Airwaves annual music festival in Reykjavík. The five-day festival has been called “the hippest long weekend on the annual music-festival calendar.”

“I am just over the moon about playing our first major music festival, especially when it’s in such a magical place like Iceland! I will be forever grateful to ReverbNation for being the platform we needed to get our music heard by more people…” 

-Ghost Town Jenny

“We have not played Iceland Airwaves before, so this is going to be a great experience for us. We thought it would be a long-shot, so we were absolutely thrilled to get the acceptance email! (…) We have now started applying to more opportunities through ReverbNation as we are now also seeing a lot of great opportunities that are in line with our goals.” 

-The Foreign Resort

Performed at Reverb’s Hopscotch Day Party…

Casual Curious at Hopscotch.

Casual Curious performed at ReverbNation’s “United by Music” Hopscotch Music Festival Day Party. Hopscotch is an annual independent music festival held in Raleigh, NC.  This year’s event featured 175 bands that played across 15 venues!

DJ’d the Electric Zoo Main Stage…

Julien Loreto

Toronto-based DJ Julien Loreto.

Julien Loreto performed on the Main Stage at Electric Zoo 2012 in NYC! Check out a short documentary about his experience here. Electric Zoo is an annual electronic music festival held over Labor Day weekend. This year, more than 110,000 people showed up to see the show headlined by Pretty Lights, Above & Beyond, and Skrillex.

“It was my first time DJ’ing at Electric Zoo and it was an honour to perform at such a world class festival. (…) Thank you to Reverbnation and MADE Events for the special experience. Electric Zoo in my heart. Hope to be back next year!.”

-Julien Loreto

Came Together for Make Music New York…

230 ReverbNation artists played Make Music New York.

230 ReverbNation artist performed at the Make Music New York music festival in NYC! The event took place on June 21, the first day of summer, and featured more than 1,000 free concerts throughout New York’s five boroughs. Good going to everyone who came out and participated!

Featured in Substream Music Press…

Come What May

Athens-based prog rock band Come What May.

Come What May got a feature in the Warped issue of Substream Music Press! Substream Music Press focuses on discovering and sharing the best new music– especially the stuff sometimes missed by the mainstream media.

More Winners: The World’s Fare, TreeHouse!, Ajam band, and Alexander Cardinale!

The World's Fare

Prog rock band The World’s Fare performed at the Masquerade Musician’s Showcase in Atlanta.

TreeHouse!

Reggae band TreeHouse! played at the Creative Food Drive in Durham, NC. “ReverbNation has helped us gain gigs, exposure, and press, and has facilitated our exhibition of professionalism throughout this process, with quality RPKs, widgets for our website, and several methods of keeping up with all our fans!”

Ajam band

London-based Ajam band performed during the Olympics at London International Arts Festival!

Alexander Cardinale

Singer/songwriter Alexander Cardinale won a Dream Recording Package from Seagate Creative! “Reverb is my ‘home base’. And it’s the only place I use for my industry EPKs!!!” Follow him @XanderMusic

Congrats to all of September’s “Breaking” Artists!

Don’t want to miss out on next opportunity?

There are four ways you can use to stay up-to-date on the latest gigs (we recommend using all of them to ensure nothing gets missed!):

  • Follow our updates on Twitter and Facebook
  • Check the email updates we send you
  • Check the latest Opportunities on this page
  • Go to your Control Room on your Reverb page > click “Opportunities”

So, where’s your next gig?

ShellySeptember’s Breaking Artists: Kudos to these ReverbNation opportunity winners!
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Breaking Artists #1: Highlighting winners of performances and feature opportunities

Do you ever wonder who submits to those opportunities you see in your email inbox every week? Do you wonder who gets picked to perform or chosen for a feature? We thought you might so starting this month, we’ll pick a sampling of those artists and send out a new, monthly Breaking Artists newsletter along with this nice and shiny blog post you’re reading right now. The whole Reverb community will get the newsletter (all 2,000,000+ of them). Yep, it’s kind of a big deal.

Please, support your fellow musicians by listening to their music and sending them kudos in the comments!

PS: Breaking Artists are selected by Reverb staff. Increase your chances of being one of them by submitting to opportunities here >>

Maren Morris

Singer/songwriter Maren Morris was named “Artist On The Verge” by the esteemed New Music Seminar (NMS), beating 99 other talented artists.

“It was all around a great experience. (…) I thank ReverbNation for giving me the opportunity to be discovered by NMS in the first place!” 

Listen and download Maren’s track Best of Me.

Veilside, Losing Scarlet, and The Heroes Lie

Hard rock bands Veilside (above), Losing Scarlet, and The Heroes Lie played the ReverbNation stage at WIIL Rock Fest 2012. Veilside told us they were honored to be asked back to WIIL Rock’s annual Rock Fest, this year celebrating 20 years of the Radio Station by sharing the stage with 20+ of their favorite acts like, Black Stone Cherry, Texas Hippie Coalition, Fear Factory, Saving Able, Static X, and much more. Listen to Veilside’s Dust in The Wind, Losing Scarlet’s Learning to Bleed, and The Heroes Lie’s I Am a Fighter below.

Late Cambrian

Brooklyn indie rock band Late Cambrian performed at LUCKYRICE Festival 2012 in NYC! Here’s what they have to say about the experience: “We entered the LUCKYRICE Contest a few days after we joined ReverbNation. The head of LUCKYRICE said he listened to over 250 bands before choosing us. It was an honor really! The Festival itself was amazing. Some of the most delicious food we’ve ever tasted! They gave us free passes to 3 of the 5 nights of Luckyrice. Our show, on an outside stage, under the Manhattan Bridge was an awesome thing to be a part of. It was professionally run and we sold a bunch of CDs.”

“Thank you ReverbNation for connecting us with the contest… It was one of the highlights of our time as a band.”

Listen and download Late Cambrian’s track I Gave You My Limit.

D.V.S*

Brooklyn-based guitarist and producer D.V.S* performed at the 2012 Gathering of the Vibes’ Silent Disco. This year’s lineup included big acts like The Avett Brothers, Yonder Mountain String Band, Keller Williams, and ALO. Definitely sounds like a good crowd to be part of! Listen to D.V.S*’s Shortness of Breath.

Herukhuti Ausar

North Carolina rapper Herukhuti Ausar opened up a SOLD OUT SHOW for Logic and Tayyib Ali at The Roxy in LA! He said: “It was great! I really enjoyed the opportunity to communicate with the Roxy crowd. I got a real good vibe from there and the fans let us know that they enjoyed the performance. GREAT ENERGY!!” Listen to Herukhuti Ausar’s track Carolina:

Eitch, 4onthefloor, Sumilan

Eitch played at Wakarusa Music Festival this year (last year she went as a fan and promised herself she would do everything in her power to play there this year). “I honestly believe that if it weren’t for [ReverbNation’s] update in my inbox, it may have never come to my attention that Wakarusa was gathering their artists in time for me to act.” 

“ReverbNation was definitely the catalyst in making a dream come true.” 

Along with Eitch, 4onthefloor and Sumilan also got the amazing opportunity to play at Wakarusa Festival this past month! Listen to Eitch’s Sun and Moon, 4onthefloor’s On Tuesday, and Sumilan’s How Now Does It Feel below.

The Nearly Deads, One Days Notice, Zak Smith, Slave To The Day

The grunge rock band from Nashville, The Nearly Deads, got a feature in Substream Music Press.

Pop rock band One Days Notice opened for The Offspring at House of Blues Cleveland. “We had an AWESOME time! The Offspring, the crowd, and the House of Blues staff were GREAT!”

NJ rock band Zak Smith opened for Carbon Leaf at Brooklyn Bowl. “It was awesome playing at Brooklyn Bowl with Carbon Leaf, who are an unbelievable band. It’s by far one of the greatest venues to play in NY.” Photo by Vernon Webb.

Metal band Slave To The Day played Dirt Fest 2012 in Birch Run, MI.

Listen to The Nearly Deads’ The Perfect Cure, One Days Notice’s Shake It Out (free download), Zak Smith’s Crawling (free download), and Slaves To The Day’s The Waking below.

Congrats to all of August’s “Breaking” Artists!

Don’t want to miss out on next opportunity?

There are four ways you can use to stay up-to-date on the latest gigs (we recommend using all of them to ensure nothing gets missed!):

  • Follow our updates on Twitter and Facebook
  • Check the email updates we send you
  • Check the latest Opportunities on this page
  • Go to your Control Room on your Reverb page > click “Opportunities”

So, where’s your next gig?

SamBreaking Artists #1: Highlighting winners of performances and feature opportunities
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We need your vote to send our panelists to SXSW 2013!

Vote to send our expert panelists to Austin!

I know, it may seem that South By Southwest Festival was the other day, but believe it or not, we already have our eyes on next year’s festival. Our team has proposed two cutting-edge panel topics to lead at SXSW this coming March… they just need your vote (yeah, I’m talking to you) to get to Austin! ReverbNation staffers have led panels at SXSW for the past three years and are looking forward to making it four straight!

HOW YOU CAN HELP
Follow the links below and give us “thumbs up” for our panel suggestions. Voting ends on August 31st, so please take a moment and vote for us if you can. Anyone may vote. You don’t have to be attending the festival, or even live in the United States! You may vote for both topics.

Why Artist Development Matters: Then and Now by Victoria Camera (ReverbNation) and Jason Lekberg (Eleven Seven Music)

Artist Development is a second thought at the major labels as they rely more and more on hit singles at Radio and on iTunes. But to have a long term successful career, you need artist development to grow your fan base. This panel will talk about all the key elements in artist development.

Link to vote: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/5596

Ditch the Headliner! Big Brands Need Small Guys by Glenn Goldman (ReverbNation)

Brands have traditionally focused on soliciting support from big-name spokespeople for marketing campaigns. The assumption was that paying a lot of money for the right spokesperson was worthwhile due to their embedded network and social status — people ‘look up’ to celebrities because they want to be like them. This panel will reorient this old school logic by concentrating the core ideas and scaling it vertically for larger reach. We’ll propose solutions to attract more fans with less money by empowering the long tail. We’ll learn how to maximize the potential of small groups. The panel looks at the formation of social nodes and identifying the ‘social leaders’. We’ll discuss how non-monetary motivators can solicit better engagement than money. We’ll go in depth on the variety of technical tools available for this approach, including the use of Facebook developer tools and the Facebook API.

Link to vote: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/5879

Thanks!
THE REVERBNATION TEAM

SamWe need your vote to send our panelists to SXSW 2013!
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7 Ways to Build Music Business Contacts

This guest blog post was written by Marcus Taylor, founder of The Musician’s Guidea website that helps DIY musicians learn about the insides of the music industry, and download useful resources including music business contracts and contact lists.

We all know that “who you know” and “being in the right place at the right time” play an important role in attaining success as an artist. What we often forget, though, is that we’re the ones responsible for building those connections.

While researching the intricacies of how successful people network for my book last year, my co-writer Rob and I noticed that for two people to meet, they must go through a 3-stage process.

First of all, they must be aligned in the same space at the same time, either geographically (e.g. in the same room) or virtually (e.g. on Twitter). Secondly, they must connect through some form of introduction, and finally they must engage in deeper conversation to create a long-term relationship.

In this post I want to focus on those first two points, and share with you seven tips to help you meet more music business contacts (I’d write a post on how to engage in deeper conversation but I figured you already know how to do that ;)). 

1. Know who you want to meet but remain open to meeting others

The first step to meeting more of the right people is knowing who you’re trying to meet. Are you looking to meet publishers, record label managers, or music venue promoters?

When you know who it is you’re trying to meet, you can start to think about where they spend their time (both geographically and virtually), and what opportunities exist for you to be in the right place and time to meet them. If, for example, your band could really do with a more gigs in New York City, you can begin to identify the places where New York venue promoters hang out online and in the real world.

That said, never be afraid to go off course and meet people who may not seem to bear obvious opportunity right now. They might be of great use to you in the future.

“Build your network before you need it” – Keith Ferrazzi, author of Never Eat Alone 

2. Make an effort to meet other bands & ask for introductions

Let’s say that you did want to meet music venue promoters in New York City. In my experience, one of the best ways to meet venue promoters is to simply turn up to music venues and ask the bands performing to introduce you to the promoter. You may have to prearrange meeting up with the performers before their set, but this approach is incredibly effective as it differs to how most bands approach venue promoters, and the introduction from the performer acts as a recommendation.

If you went to two or three gigs a week you’d be surprised at how quickly you could fill up your gig calendar.

3. Attend music business conferences

When I’ve attended music business conferences in the past, I’ve been surprised by how few bands choose to attend. Sure, the entry fees are generally quite steep, but if you take into account the fact that these events are usually swarming with label managers, publishers, and music promotion companies, it’s almost certainly worth the investment if you’re willing to get out and build those connections.

4. Join local music business Meetups

If you’re not already using Meetup.com to build connections, I thoroughly recommend giving it a shot. In most major cities you’ll find various musician Meetups that offer great networking opportunities. If you can’t find anything nearby, consider creating a music industry Meetup in your area and inviting local music companies to come and share ideas over a coffee or beer.

5. Use Twitter to break the ice

Twitter is one of the most efficient and effective ways to break the ice with music business professionals. Almost every serious record label, booking agent, and music companies will have a presence on Twitter, so it’s a great platform to start building these relationships.

Familiarize yourself with the advanced search operators on search.twitter.com and create separate lists to keep track of which companies you’re trying to meet (click on image for help on how to create Twitter lists)

6. Show your gratitude

This may seem like a slightly strange tip, but bear with me. If you pick a music company, radio station, music blog, or website that you enjoy once a day and send them a quick email to say thanks for doing what they do, you will build contacts very quickly.

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it” William Arthur Ward

In the music business, selfless gratitude is rare. When I receive an email from an artist thanking me for writing my blog posts, for some reason I’m far more compelled to respond and listen to their music, than if they had just emailed me a link to check out their music.

7. Build 3 new contacts a week

I have to give Derek Sivers full credit for this last tip. Set yourself a goal of building three new music business connections a week, and in twelve months time you’ll know 156 new people in the music business!

Using all of the tips in this post, see if you can go and build three new music business contacts this week. If you have any thoughts or questions about this post, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below, or you can send me a tweet at @TheMusicGuide or drop me an email (marcus@themusiciansguide.co.uk). Tell me what you’re working on or what you need help with and I’ll do my best to help out.

Sam7 Ways to Build Music Business Contacts
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How to Better Engage Fans Using our Powerful New Feature ‘Questions’

“Whatever your business is, talk to your customers and
provide them with what they want”

– Robert Bowman, CEO Major League Baseball Advanced Media

For musicians, much the same as with any other business, success comes with knowing your customers or audience. That’s why we created Questions, a brand new feature that allows you to communicate with your fans directly and openly.

Questions is your personal fan forum and it’s FREE. It lets you engage fans of all levels, from those prospective early adopters, to casual listeners, to your core fanbase, to fellow musicians, to the VIPs who want nothing more than to plaster their walls with your posters and follow your every post on Facebook and Twitter. Your fans crave more than just your music; they want to know your history. Some may want to share their own experiences and find ways to relate to you and your music. Questions lets you open the window of communication and build fan relationships.

Josh Brown - Questions Page

A pinch of music, a shot of tour dates, stir in fan questions…

You might think of your profile page as a cocktail. Each ingredient works together harmoniously to build your story and satisfy your fans. Soliciting fan input makes your drink unique and gives your fans a personal stake in it. That’s what makes Questions really special — it is powered by your biggest asset, your fans!

Questions builds your mailing list

After a fan submits a question they are prompted  to join your mailing list. We did this to help grow your fan base with real, committed followers. Fans who ask questions are actively displaying their interest in you and your career. They’ve already raised their hand. These can be the most valuable fans and Questions is designed to help turn them into subscribers/customers. Every question asked is another opportunity to gain a new fan!

Why use Questions?

  • To make strong connections with your fans
  • To have a one-stop location for fan engagement
  • To create and tap into fan dialogue on Facebook and Twitter
  • To increase your fan mailing list — Questions is a powerful list building tool, especially for converting casual fans on Facebook and Twitter into customers you can contact directly.

How does it work? 

1. Invite fans to submit intriguing questions.
2. Post your answers for your entire fanbase.
3. Share your Q&A on Facebook and Twitter. It’s that easy.

*Reverb Tip*: Share each Q&A post 2-3x, at different times during the day, to ensure fans see them in their newsfeed. 

How do I get more questions from fans?

Simple. From the Questions module on your Reverb profile, click the “Share” link to invite Questions via Facebook, Twitter and Email. You can do the same thing from your Questions backpage by clicking the ‘Invite Fan Questions’ link.

We’ve highlighted these links in the screencaps below:

Mac Miller - Profile Page

Jana Mashonee

*Reverb Tip*: Invite Fan Questions at least once a week to keep your Q&A fresh and your fans coming back for more!

How do I get started?

This feature is turned on by default. View and manage your questions and answers from the My Home > Question tab in your artist Control Room. You can turn off this feature by unchecking the questions module in the ‘Customize’ section of your artist profile.

Invite questions on Facebook and Twitter to kick start your personal fan forum. Start using this FREE new feature today!

GlennHow to Better Engage Fans Using our Powerful New Feature ‘Questions’
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Rolling Through SXSW: Watch Interviews with 6 Emerging Bands

Did you go to SXSW this year? Well, these 6 bands did and they told ReverbNation what they thought of it. Watch the video to get a taste of what makes SXSW Music Week so special (hint: awesome live music everywhere, all the time)!

This is just the first of many videos we have prepared for you. Head to our previous blog post about SXSW for a basic recap of our experience at SXSW (and some pictures too).

And just for the fun of it, watch yours truly walking around with the infamous ‘ReverbNation sign’ while saying ‘Occupy South By’ and being thrown around by the wind:

SamRolling Through SXSW: Watch Interviews with 6 Emerging Bands
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