The Biggest Misconception Musicians Have About Email

A few months ago, ReverbNation surveyed artists and asked what digital tactics they use to promote their music.

Surprisingly, we found that Artists don’t think it’s important to use email marketing to communicate with fans. Why?

“I’m not a senior citizen, that’s why I don’t do email marketing.”

“Email is for old people.”

“Nobody cares about email anymore. They care more about social media.”

Ferol Vernon, SVP of Artist Services at ReverbNation (and our resident digital marketing expert) analyzed the survey results firsthand. I sat down with Ferol to learn where this perception of email came from and why he thinks it’s a dangerous view for artists to have.

SamThe Biggest Misconception Musicians Have About Email
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Building Your Fanbase: How To Use House Concerts To Create Superfans

This is a guest post from Shannon Curtis, an independent musician, recording artist, and author based in Los Angeles. 
Shannon Curtis, ReverbNation artist

“If only …

… that one music supervisor could hear my new song, then …”

… that one label rep could catch one of my shows, then …”

… that one venue would return my email and give me a good time slot on a great bill, then …”

… then what?

Independent musicians, myself included, often think that there is one road to “success” when it comes to a career in music.

The reality is, being a career musician looks different for everyone…and the roads we each travel can be extremely varied. I believe I’ve discovered path to independent success for artists who want to build their fanbase, create a successful music career, and own 100% of the results. [Tweet This]

SamBuilding Your Fanbase: How To Use House Concerts To Create Superfans
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ReverbNation Artists Rock NBC’s The Voice — Exclusive Interview with Stars James Wolpert, Matt Cermanski & Will Champlin

Sweaty palms and butterflies. A few last touch-ups in the mirror. Replaying the song over and over in their head. These are just a few things that ReverbNation artists on Season Five of the hit NBC show “The Voice” experience before taking the stage every Monday night at 8 p.m.

Last night we were on the edge of our seats wondering if ReverbNation singers Jonny Gray and James Wolpert would be safe. Luckily, James made it past this round and into the top ten, but we were sad to see Jonny go. Since the show’s beginning, we’ve seen these artists, plus Reverb vocalists Kat RobichaudBarry BlackJonny GrayMatt Cermaksi, Matthew SchulerWill Champlin and Tessanne Chin give their all each week to wow the judges and entertain the excited live audience hanging on their every lyric – not to mention the millions of fans watching them on TV.

For singers James WolpertMatt Cermaksi and Will Champlin, competing on “The Voice” was a dream come true, and a result of hard work and perseverance. The singers sat down with us to talk about their pre-show rituals, offer advice to aspiring singers and talk about what it’s like to work with some of the biggest names in the business.

ReverbNation Artist Matt Cermanski NBC's The Voice

Matt Cermanski is one of the top up-and-coming singer-songwriters from Philadelphia, PA. After not making a team on Season Four of “The Voice,” Matt took the coaches’ advice and began taking vocal lessons and performing at local venues. He returned to The Voice with the hope of connecting with America and jumpstarting his career. Matt was eliminated on the October 21 episode, but he will continue to promote his music, primarily his debut album “Long Road Home.”

ReverbNation artist Will Champlain on NBC's "The Voice"

Will has music in his veins: His dad was a singer, songwriter and keyboardist for the rock band Chicago. Even though he grew up with music, Will didn’t begin singing until around age 17! After graduating from Berklee School of Music in Boston, Will left for LA to play gigs around the city. He provided backup vocals for Glenn Frey of The Eagles and even played on Michael Jackson’s last album. Today, Will’s musical inspiration is his one-year-old daughter.  A favorite on “The Voice,” Will is currently Team Adam, after he was stolen by Christina and then stolen back by Adam!

James Wolpert The Voice ReverbNation NBCAfter attending Carnegie Mellon for two years, James dropped out to pursue music. Despite his family’s hope of re-enrollment, he moved to Pittsburgh, where he was an Apple Store Genius by day and musician by night. His life-changing choice to follow his passion ended up leading him to audition for “The Voice.”  James is proud to represent Pittsburgh on the show, but recently moved to LA in hopes of furthering his career. He, along with Matt and Will, represent Team Adam!

 

 

What was the audition and selection process like?

Matt: The audition for “The Voice” was a long but rewarding process. Everyone that works with the show, from production to the casting department, were a pleasure to work with. As you go through each level of the auditions it gets more and more exciting to know you are getting close to being on TV.

Will: It was definitely a lengthy process, but they really make sure you’re able to give your best and look your best as well. I just went in and sang a few songs and they ended up liking what I was bringing to the table and gave me a great chance that’s so far working out well.

James:  The whole process was a labor of love! It was super intense and rife with pressure— I couldn’t feel my legs walking through the stage door! I didn’t think that it could be so unnerving to have 4 people not-look at you.

How do you prepare for the show? Any special rituals?

Matt: Sadly no crazy pre-show rituals. I warm my voice up and kind of just chill out. I am thankful for all the hundreds of gigs I’ve played since I was 16-years-old that made me so comfortable on the stage. Of course I get butterflies right before a performance, but as soon as I hit the stage all that drifts away and I get lost in the music and the rush of performing.

Will: I go over the song in its entirety. I find the spots that I can make my own almost as if I’m writing my own songs. I try to inject artistry into these songs the same way that I would in my own music. I warm up some, but try not to over do it.

James: I try to center myself and remind myself of why I’m doing any of this in the first place. It’s for the love of music, man! I also think of all the people in my life that I love.

Matt Cermanski The Voice NBC ReverbNation

“My advice to all aspiring artists is think positive and positive things will happen. Never give up on your dreams, don’t let any one tell you that you can’t do something, and work as hard as you possibly can to improve yourself, if you don’t you are only lying to yourself.” – Matt Cermanski

What is the most important lesson you have learned from being on the show?

Matt: I learned so much, I don’t even know where to start. I learned a lot about my voice obviously, working with Adam Levine helped me learn what I need to do to get to the next level, as a singer. The whole show is just one big learning experience and I took every little piece of info I could get so I can use it to better myself all around as a singer-songwriter and musician.

Will: Don’t forget your own sound. It’s very easy for anyone to sing a song verbatim, but America doesn’t want that. Originality is the most important thing that will keep you in the game. “The Voice” is geared for artists who have a clearer idea of who they are and what they want to sound like, as opposed to other shows that simply throw on a track and say “good luck.”

James: To (counterintuitively) find a place where I can disregard the external consequences of performing on the show (What will people think of me? Will I be good? Will they vote for me? Will there be hayterz?) and completely immerse myself in the music. Because I love music :]. On a related note, Adam also likes to drive home an interesting work ethic mantra: “rehearse and rehearse and rehearse until it’s muscle memory. That way, by the time you hit the stage, you have the liberty to forget all of that and exude the song”.

What advice would you give to other aspiring artists who hope to be in your shoes one day?

Matt: My advice to all aspiring artists is think positive and positive things will happen. Never give up on your dreams, don’t let any one tell you that you can’t do something, and work as hard as you possibly can to improve yourself. If you don’t, you are only lying to yourself. My favorite quote is from rapper Macklemore: “The greats weren’t great because at birth they could paint, the greats were great cause they paint a lot”.

Will: Think outside your comfort zone and then take steps to grow beyond that. It’s a must. It’s all about finding your own formula and making it work for yourself. Music is changing so much these days. Nothing is pop or commercial until its literally popular and blasting on radio, TV and VEVO. Don’t listen to the wrong people. Trust your instincts and position yourself to prosper in your art by working hard and paying attention.

James: I refuse to believe I’m in any position to be pontificating, but here’s what I’ve learned so far:

Your love of music is going to be what carries you through! Allow me to repurpose the words of the late Mr. Steve Jobs in the context of music (or any art/thing for that matter) — Making music that puts dents in the universe is about being insane enough to press onward where any person in their right mind would quit. I loved music so much that I let it wreck my life a little bit— and as it turns out, that’s exactly what needed to happen :]

Will Champlin The Voice NBC ReverbNation

“Simply put, having a ReverbNation profile has helped me get my music heard…Amazingly, I also found out about the casting call of ‘The Voice’ Season Five through a ReverbNation opportunity, so I’d say it has been instrumental in my musical journey.” – Will Champlin

How has having a ReverbNation profile helped you?

Matt: ReverbNation has helped me reach out to fans and other artists who share the same love for music as I do. It is a great tool to market yourself, and in this day in age you need all the social media presence you can get. Why not take advantage of using the best for music, ReverbNation!

Will: Simply put, having a ReverbNation profile has helped me get my music heard, rather than getting lost amidst the chaos of the Internet. I feel that it is the hub of my online content, everything between gigs, as well as links to other essential social networking sites. Amazingly, I also found out about the casting call of “The Voice” Season Five through a ReverbNation opportunity, so I’d say it has been instrumental in my musical journey.

James: Reverbnation has been the hub of my digital music life for a few years now! It’s a great way to get yourself out there and share your craft with the rest of the planet!

Anything else you’d like to add?

Matt: I am currently in the works of writing new music and working on a new album. But you can buy my debut album “Long Road Home” on iTunes. Check out my websiteTwitterFacebook and join my mailing list for new updates on shows and music. Thank you all for reading! Much love!

Will: It’s been an incredible journey to get to this point, and I really want to encourage everyone that is considering taking a bold step forward in their career to make the jump. It may take a few tries, and it may seem discouraging for a bit, but perseverance is the name of game. Just don’t be afraid to dream big, because amazing things happen everyday, and I feel like I’m living proof.

James Wolpert NBC The Voice ReverbNation

“Making music that puts dents in the universe is about being insane enough to press onward where any person in their right mind would quit. I loved music so much that I let it wreck my life a little bit— and as it turns out, that’s exactly what needed to happen.” – James Wolpert

Catch Will, James, Kat, Matthew, and Tessanne, every Monday at 8/7 central on NBC. See their fate on the results show, Tuesdays at 9/8 central. To learn more about “The Voice” and watch past episodes and performances, visit NBC.com.

SamReverbNation Artists Rock NBC’s The Voice — Exclusive Interview with Stars James Wolpert, Matt Cermanski & Will Champlin
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popchips Taps ReverbNation to Power Download Contest; Free Music for Fans

pop up live

popchips inc. the bay area snackmaker, has tapped ReverbNation to support their foray into the arts. ReverbNation was selected to provide custom app development, viral online marketing tools, and a pool of artists tens of thousands deep, for a web showdown of sonic proportions.  The result is pop up live, a fan-driven competition designed to expose new music to the masses, ultimately giving one artist the opportunity to play on the SPIN stage during Austin’s premiere festival, March 2012!

The bands have been chosen, the app is live.  It’s free to vote for anyone with a valid Facebook account. Download tracks from your favorites to vote and help crown a winner!

Get Free Downloads »


MORE DETAILS ON THE CONTEST:

250 ReverbNation bands were hand-selected out of New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and Seattle. The contest features an exclusive track from each artist, available for streaming and download on popchips’ Facebook page.  Every download registers a vote for the band.  On September 12, the four bands with the most downloads from each city will advance to the semi-finals. Each semi-finalist will win a $500 cash prize and a “pop up live kit” to help them create their own unique pop up live concert.  The gig is video-taped and judged by a panel of music experts including David Marchese (senior editor of SPIN) Tom Windish (windish agency), select top local music bloggers, and Jesse “the devil” Hughes of Eagles of Death Metal.

“We are excited to partner with SPIN and ReverbNation to give local musicians a chance to perform on a national stage,” explained popchips SVP Marketing, Brian Pope.  “We’re excited to see how creative these talented artists will get both with their music and getting the vote out.”

On October 31, popchips will announce the five finalists, one from each city, who will receive a $1,000 cash prize and an invitation to advance to the final round.  There, fans will vote for the grand prize winner on popchips Facebook page.

Get Free Downloads »

Glennpopchips Taps ReverbNation to Power Download Contest; Free Music for Fans
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From Exposure to Conversion “How to Create a Real Fan” – Part 2

This post was originally posted on Music Think Tank

Thanks for the comments I received on the Fan Funnel model we employ at ReverbNation.  I’m still looking for more feedback, so please speak up if you have any.

Now, to continue the train of thought begun in the first post…

ShellyFrom Exposure to Conversion “How to Create a Real Fan” – Part 2
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From Exposure to Conversion – ‘How to Create a Real Fan’ – Part One

This post was originally posted on Music Think Tank

Steve Lawson recently posted an entry on understanding and measuring the path that fans take from simply listening to a song, all the way to ‘conversion’ into a fan.

That got me thinking about the Fan Funnel metaphor we use at ReverbNation.  I am looking for feedback from Music Think Tank readers on the steps below and the process we use to enable artists to essentially operate a “Fan Funnel”.  Our goal is to provide a framework for understanding the process, and to provide tools for the Artists to experiment with marketing and promotion efforts so they can see what ‘works’ for them.  Here is a crash course in what the FAN FUNNEL  is:

ShellyFrom Exposure to Conversion – ‘How to Create a Real Fan’ – Part One
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