Celebrate With Us: Music For Good Hits 100,000 Artist Milestone!

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!

World Vision, Sweet Relief, Oxfam America, Love Hope Strength, Keep a Child Alive, Heifer International, Half the Sky Movement, Fender Music Foundation, Every Mother Counts, charity: water, CARE, Camp Southern Ground, Beat Making Lab

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:

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We were thinking something more like this!

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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 AmericaBob 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

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: waterScott 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 CountryMike 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 MovementToby 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, ReverbNationJed 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.”

To read more about artist and charity partnerships, check out our other Music For Good blog posts.

JustinCelebrate With Us: Music For Good Hits 100,000 Artist Milestone!
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Ready to ROCK Your Facebook Profile?!

It’s simple: Just add the NEW ReverbNation section to your timeline! Now you can express to the world the activity you care about most on ReverbNation AND spiff up your profile in the process.

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1. Preview your custom ReverbNation section on Facebook.
2. Click “Add to Profile.”


If you’re an artist
, you can highlight your new songs and videos, showcase your upcoming shows, and let your fans know what music you’re currently listening to…all in one place!

If you’re a fan, you can show off your music taste with your recently played songs, favorite artists, and downloads. We’ll be adding new stuff, too.


 

Not seeing this on your Facebook profile?

Your ReverbNation profile must be synced with Facebook to add this custom section. If you haven’t already synced, here’s how:

  1. Go to your Social Sync settings on ReverbNation (Account > Social Sync).
  2. Select “Sync to Facebook” and log in with your Facebook account.
  3. Follow the directions above to add your custom section to your timeline.
  4. Keep doing what you do on ReverbNation. Before you know it, your section will be populated with all sorts of cool stuff.

Move your ReverbNation section to prime position!

You can easily move your ReverbNation section higher up on your timeline. Ensure that your friends see all your awesome activity by following these two quick steps:

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See you on Facebook!

JustinReady to ROCK Your Facebook Profile?!
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6 great tactics to connect with fans on the road

In this guest post, blues and rock musician Josh Urban shares the social media tactics he got from his recent railroad touring experience.

The greatest advantage of being an independent artist today is ironically also its biggest challenge: Anyone can jump in the game. So while the playing field may be level, it’s crowded. Access isn’t the issue – recognition is.

Here are 6 suggested tactics I’ve had success upping my game using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to go beyond music and build a fan base:

Josh used Amtrak to tour the East Coast.

1. Create an experience

Good music and showmanship are vital — but here’s a radical idea:  What if there’s even more that we can do?

Musicians have always been the ones bringing the coolest thing to town. If the traditional live show is already saturating the market, what else can we do to create an experience?  In my case, I decided to take a tour by train, harkening back to the blues musicians of old. I invited people to virtually “tour” with me using hashtags and social media.  I believe that everyone has a story, so I invited them all to share their worldview by using the hashtag #JURT (Josh Urban Rail Tour.)

“My stage became theirs as they posted text, photos, and ideas back to the tour, creating an exciting environment of inclusion, democracy, and conversation.”

At the end of the tour, I assembled all of the photos posted into a giant collage, a collaborative view of the world as we saw it.  The question is: what can you do to create a unique experience for your fans?  Ask yourself:  Do I have interests outside of music I can draw on? Is there a cause I care deeply about?  What else moves me?  

2. Involve people

For a long time, I forgot the first word of the phrase “social media.”  Unlike traditional media, social media allows conversation.  Engagement with fans turns them into friends.  People like to be heard, and to have others hear their opinions.  Check out the comments section of a news article, and you’ll find folks debating viewpoints — and the input has little or no outcome on the story.  It never seems to stop people, though!

So, instead of talking at people, I like to invite them to talk with me.  Since they’re doing it anyway, we might was well have a conversation.  The challenge: Give ’em something cool to talk about!  My tour turned into not just a journey, but a sharing of sights and ideas for everyone.  Plus, it made it a ton of fun!  How do I suggest involving people?  Which brings me to…

3. Make it easy

For me, I’ve never had much luck with asking people to remember things like “See this website on my CD?  Go to that later when you go home and sober up, then follow the link, and like my page.”  But  if I’m putting on a colorful show, people are probably going to snap a few Instagram shots of me.

On the rail tour, I told them that if they simply use the hashtag #JURT, they’d be part of a worldwide project.  I handed them a business card with the tour info on it and guess what – it worked great.  It was easy, and most importantly, they were doing it anyway.  I was able to throw a hashtag at them and get them to join in (and of course, follow them back on the networks!)

There are many other ways, but just remember: the simpler, the better.  I love hashtags, because you don’t have to know the person to interact, which is vital for building a fan base.

4. Their words, not mine 

People like to talk about stuff that involves them.  My new EP does not involve a stranger yet, so no matter how loudly I shout about it, they have little reason to listen to it, assuming they’ve never heard me play.  But, if they take a picture of me playing guitar and post it, now it’s in their worlds, and has something to do with them. This translates into interest, which turns into “Hey, I saw you in New York!  When’s your new EP coming out?”

“The more you get people to talk about your music in their own images and words, the better.”

5. Crossover appeal

By getting out of your comfort zone, you end up meeting people you would normally never meet. Future collabs anyone?

With the rail tour, I was able to interest not just fans of blues music, but also people who were intrigued with the idea, or who liked any aspect of it, such as traveling, trains, adventure, or stories.  It broadened my base, and made each conversation relevant to the project.

And believe me, I told everyone about it, meeting great connections accidentally! It also made it much more interesting to traditional media sources.  I was able to successfully pitch the tour to radio stations, newspapers, and even community television.  Another question to ask yourself:  Who else besides fans of your genre would enjoy knowing you?

6. Refine 

After every experiment, learn, refine and improve.  (Examples of things I learned: never try to eat a microwaved bagel, and give magazines plenty of lead time to meet their publishing deadlines.)

Remember to get busking permits ahead of time!

I’m looking forward to applying those lessons — and others — when I tour again this week, this time on my Search for Good Tour.  I’ll be touring by rail, playing children’s hospitals, street corners, cancer centers, and places that don’t have music.  I’ll be looking for the people, sights, and sounds that rock the world and I’ll be putting some good on the news for a change. (You’re invited to join me, of course!  Find some good, and post it with the #JURT hashtag!) I’ll be adding some other “cool factors,” such as bringing my home-built cigar box guitar and releasing an album on download cards in the form of a tour lanyard.

I’d like to end with six questions you can ask yourself:

  1. What can you do to create your own experience?
  2. How can you involve people?
  3. How can you make it easy for them to join in?
  4. How will they express it in their own words?
  5. Who else will this appeal to?
  6. What will you learn from the project?

I’d love to hear what you cook up!  Leave a comment below with your social media ideas and questions.

Josh Urban is currently recording an EP inspired by his first rail tour, and will be touring by rail again to support its release in May and June of 2013. He firmly believes all the world’s a stage, as shown on his Instagram feed. He can be reached via his website, Facebook, Twitter @DontJoshMe and Instagram @JoshUrban.

Justin6 great tactics to connect with fans on the road
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ReverbNation band wins the 2013 Hard Rock Rising Global Battle of the Bands! Drum roll, please…

Over 12,000 bands entered for a chance
to win an opportunity of a lifetime.

Only one was left standing: The Carnabys survived three rounds of voting, battling it out on the live stage and securing thousands of votes online to make the Top 25 in Hard Rock Rising 2013 – THE global battle of the bands contest held by Hard Rock Cafe in exclusive partnership with ReverbNation.

Chosen as the grand-prize winner by a panel of music industry experts, The Carnabys secured a spot on the bill at the Hard Rock Calling festival in London as part of a WORLD TOUR. “This year we saw some really high-level competitors and with such an amazing prize on the line, the scoring process for all of us on the judging panel was more difficult than ever before,” said John Kirkpatrick, Hard Rock International’s Head of Music & Artist Relations.

“Ultimately it was The Carnabys who stood out because of their songwriting, musicianship and performance level. We look forward to welcoming them to our Hard Rock stages!”

In addition to sharing the stage with Bruce Springsteen, The Black Crowes, Zac Brown Band and Alabama Shakes, The Carnabys won tons of new band gear, earned the opportunity to make an album and video with Hard Rock Records, and are lined up to go on a World Tour with stops in amazing cities such as Sydney, Chicago, Tokyo, and Honolulu. Now that’s rock star treatment.

Let’s not forget about this year’s two runner ups: Bop Skizzum and Sunwill! With $10,000 worth of new band gear and their music exposed to new fans around the world, they’re certainly not going home empty-handed. Check ’em out here:

Bop Skizzum (Denver, Colorado)

 

Sunwill (Moscow, Russia)

 

A huge congratulations to these talented and well-deserving bands!

JustinReverbNation band wins the 2013 Hard Rock Rising Global Battle of the Bands! Drum roll, please…
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5 Tips for Preparing for Your Hip-Hop Mixtape Release

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.

3. Mix

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.

 

Justin5 Tips for Preparing for Your Hip-Hop Mixtape Release
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VIDEO: Jed Carlson discusses promoting upcoming shows and more on Renman Live!

Haven’t seen Renman MB Live? Then you’re missing out on one of the music industry’s best kept secrets. Steve Rennie — AKA Renman — is the longtime manager of Incubus and a driving force behind the band’s multi-platinum commercial success.

Last year he launched a weekly live web show, Renman MB Live, to provide “insider access” to the music industry. His no-holds-barred feedback on what musicians are doing right – and wrong – is fueled by 30+ years of music industry contacts turned guests; producers, promoters, marketing execs, breaking and signed bands.

This week, our own Jed Carlson, President and Co-Founder of ReverbNation, joined in right after Seth Hurwitz, owner of the legendary 930 Club, and shared some true pearls of wisdom (and some colorful language!)

In the video below, Jed gives insights on promoting shows. He includes a quick demo of how artists can “poster the web” with the details on their upcoming show, targeting likely fan on the very day they’re set to play using Promote a Show (after all, 81% music venues say same-day concert marketing is critical to drive awareness).

Jed concludes with a quick tour of Music For Good — our innovative music download platform that connects artists, fans and 13 amazing charities. Check out this video and discover just how much good downloading music can do!

JustinVIDEO: Jed Carlson discusses promoting upcoming shows and more on Renman Live!
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STUDY: Most music venues sell at least 75% of tickets at the door

81% say same-day concert marketing is critical to drive awareness

We recently surveyed 470 music venues around the world and their answers revealed that the majority of music venues sell most of their tickets at the door through walk-up traffic. Over eighty percent described day-of-show marketing and promotion as ‘important’ to driving that attendance.

While this may not come as a surprise to touring artists working to pack a house, these statistics suggest that consumers have a lot of choice when it comes to things to do on a Saturday night. And that many of them may be making their decisions about whether to go to the basketball game, the movies, or the concert, on the day of the event.

“Day of show promotions can be critical and with many shows, pulling out all the stops then is key to a successful event.” — Tonya Cooke, The Roxy Theatre, West Hollywood

We asked some artists and venues exactly how they create awareness for their concerts on the day of the show and consolidated this checklist:

Q: Is there a way to “poster” the web?

 

A: Actually, there is!

It’s the latest innovation in our Promote a Show service and it essentially makes it a snap to digitally poster the Internet with details on your show.  It blankets potential concert-goers that live near the venue with online ads across virtually every website they might visit on that day – making them aware of the concert as an option for their evening plans.

 

Here’s how it works:

 

The ads blitz fans through repetition about the show — increasing the awareness and the probability that consumers will recall the concert and suggest it to friends.

“Promoting shows used to mean shipping posters to venues and hoping for the best. But with Promote It, we can reach 1,000’s of local fans online for the cost of a stack of posters!” — Blameshift

Artists and venues are becoming more sophisticated about same-day awareness and promotion, and we hope these ideas help. 

Ready to “poster the web” for one of your shows?

JustinSTUDY: Most music venues sell at least 75% of tickets at the door
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SXSW 2013: Through the eyes of independent bands

Delta Rae shares their excitement for being at SXSW through Vine, Twitter’s 6-second video app. It seems that bands are using Vine just as much as they’re tweeting!

Many, many incredible musicians are at South By Southwest (SXSW) Music Festival in Austin, TX, right now. Bands of all genres, ages and corners of the world.

Check out the SXSW social media diary of 4 amazing emerging bands!

Sure, there are plenty of big-time performers there (Dave Grohl, Snoop Lion, Paramore), but the artists we’re really interested in are the under-dogs, the emerging bands that  DIY’ed their way into gigs and music festivals like SXSW.

This is the day-by-day diary of a few of our favorite bands, as told by the bands themselves via social media! Tweets, Instagram pictures and Vines… head out to our >> Storify page << to see them all in one place.

The bands: Delta Rae (Americana from Durham, NC), Vinyl Thief (rock band from Nashville), Congo Sanchez (drummer of Thievery Corporation and See-I, from DC), and Andy Suzuki and The Method (acoustic pop from NYC).

Vinyl Thief (obviously in the wee hours of the morning): “Hey, hey, HEY! Serious time.”

Vinyl Thief goes bowling the minute they arrive in Austin, as shown by their first Vine of their SXSW trip.

Andy Suzuki and The Method ran into Jared Leto (of 30 Seconds to Mars) in Austin. No big deal.

Delta Rae plays in front of an awesome crowd at the Nikon Warner Sound stage!

There are plenty of other fun pics and videos on our Storify page! Check it out: http://storify.com/ReverbNation/sxsw-2013-through-the-eyes-of-independent-artists

JustinSXSW 2013: Through the eyes of independent bands
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