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!

JustinHow to Better Engage Fans Using our Powerful New Feature ‘Questions’
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Bands: Target Ads at Fans Based on What They’re Listening to on Spotify, Rdio, Facebook & more

If your band sounds like The Flaming Lips, wouldn’t it be great if you could promote your music to people who are actually listening to The Flaming Lips on Spotify, Rdio, Rhapsody, Deezer, or MySpace?

Now you can!

We’ve taken our Promote It Facebook advertising solution (which, by the way, has been used over 100,000 times by artists since it’s launch lasts August!) and amped it up a level. Now you can target your ads to the fans of artists with a similar sound…when those fans are actually listening to that similar artist (or at least soon after.)

Choosing similar Artists is the key!

When you set up a Promote It campaign, we ask you to name up to five ‘similar artists’ whose fans might be receptive to discovering your music.  We then use that info to not only target fans who have listed those similar artists as a ‘like or interest,’ but who have also recently listened to them on Spotify, Rdio, Rhapsody, Deezer, or MySpace.

 

 

 

This is huge!  After all, the best time to tell someone “If you like Artist X, you might like Artist Y” is when that person is engaging with (or has recently engaged with) Artist X.

Now, to be clear, we’re not able to target the ads to show up only at the very instant that the fan is listening on one of those services (although that can happen).  We’re targeting fans who have listened  ‘recently’ as defined by Facebook.

Easy and “baked in”

This targeting tech has been ‘baked in’ to all of our existing Promote It campaigns, and ANY Artist can try it for as little as $25 per campaign (our minimum).  Artists don’t need to pay anything additional, or check any new boxes, this amped-up targetting comes standard.

How can you use it?

1. Promote a Song
The new targeting shows ads to people who have recently listened to a similar artist on one of the five sites mentioned above, driving them to a landing page where the fan can play a song by the new artist and download the song in exchange for a “like” and, potentially, a share and their email address.

2.  Promote a Facebook Page
Same as above, but a click sends people to a Facebook page of the Artist’s choosing — including your Band Profile page.

3.  Promote a Show
Same as above, but it targets only fans that live near the upcoming concert being promoted.  It directs them to a landing page that allows them to play music from all the Artists on the show bill and prompts the fan to RSVP and buy tickets (or get them for free if the Artist does a ticket give-away).

Bottom line? If you sound like Radiohead, now you can advertise to their fans when they’re still humming “Lotus Flower.” Think you’re the next Skrillex? Put your ad in front of his devotees right after they’ve blasted “Bangarang.”

Now you can reach new fans right when they’re primed, pumped and ready to discover their next favorite artist — YOU! 

Try PROMOTE IT today.

JustinBands: Target Ads at Fans Based on What They’re Listening to on Spotify, Rdio, Facebook & more
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Why Musicians Don’t Need to be Signed to be Successful

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

What is it that holds unsigned artists back from achieving the widespread recognition that’s all too often reserved for the signed artist? Is it the advances poured from the pockets of record labels? Is it the connections that labels facilitate? The reality is that whatever it is, unsigned musicians might be better off without it.

“David’s victory over Goliath is held to be an anomaly. It was not. Davids win all the time” – Malcolm Gladwell

Unsigned musicians are the music industry’s equivalent of David in the biblical account of David and Goliath. They’re the equivalent of the self-funded startup in the business world, or the outnumbered army in a one-sided battle. Unsigned musicians are often relatively weak in comparison with musicians who are backed by a label, or at least that’s what we’re led to believe. But just as many of the weaker forces mentioned above have defeated their stronger combatants, unsigned musicians have the potential to become just as, if not more powerful than the behemoths of the music industry. It just requires a slight change of mindset.

If you want to punch above your weight, get creative.

Bombarding journalists with demos and performing the same old gig circuit won’t make you stand out — you’re a small fish in a very, very big ocean. If you want to punch above your weight and manifest power, you’re going to have to get creative and go where few other musicians have already been.

Linda Chorney at The Grammys

For example, take ReverbNation artist Linda Chorney, who secured a nomination at this year’s Grammys by introducing herself and her new album to voting members of the Recording Academy through its Grammy365 website. Linda also funded a nomadic tour across the world by trading her performances for flights, scuba dives, ski passes, health care, and other travel expenses.

Or take Merton, ‘the piano guy’ who got wide acclaim for his innovative use of Chatroulette. And Arcade Fire, who released their album using a Google Maps integrated HTML5 music video that blew the technology industry away, getting home page features on almost every popular tech blog.

There’s been no shortage of case studies in the past few years where DIY musicians have punched above their weight and achieved mainstream success, but what every one of those case studies has in common is that the artist was willing to put forth great effort, get creative, and go where few musicians had previously been, thus putting themselves in a position to stand out and attract attention. As the saying goes, “the hardest place to sell a book is in a bookstore” — the hardest place to get attention as a musician is where the other musician’s are already playing their music. This creative route to success may not be easy — but getting to the top requires hard work, just as getting good at writing music takes practice.

Attack the point of weakness, not the point of strength.

Last year I met up with Jon Morter, best known as the activist behind the Rage Against the X-Factor Campaign where he got Rage Against The Machine’s controversial song ‘Killing in the Name of’ to Christmas #1 in The UK.

Jon explained to me how did it: he read the chart guidelines back to front several times over for weeks, found a tactic to become the administrator of thousands of Facebook Pages with millions of followers and then message those followers about his campaign, amongst many other ways to get extra votes for songs and trigger people’s desire to join his movement. By getting creative, Jon (an ordinary computer programmer from London with little involvement in the music industry) beat one of the most powerful men in music industry at his own game.

What is Jon’s secret? Attack at the point of weakness.

In a report from The New Yorker, political scientist Ivan Arreguín-Toft studied the instances throughout the past 200 years where weaker combatants have defeated stronger forces with their creativity. He found that “the Goliaths” (the more powerful forces) won 71.5% of the time.

What he found, however, was that when the underdogs acknowledged their weakness and chose an unconventional (often more difficult) strategy (as Linda, Jon, Arcade Fire, and Merton did), their chances of winning increased from 28.5% to 63.6%. In other words, when a weaker force gets creative, and is willing to put forth great effort, they have a higher chance of winning than the stronger force.

Let me rephrase that in context — when an unsigned artist with little budget and few music business connections gets creative with their approach and works harder than their signed equals to succeed, they’re more likely to succeed than a signed musician with a large financial advance and a label to facilitate connections.

“When underdogs choose not to play by Goliath’s rules, they win, even when everything we think we know about power says they shouldn’t.” Ivan Arreguín-Toft

Remember this:

The point that I’ve hoped to get across in this post is an incredibly important one — power is a catalyst that can propel you towards success as a musician, and more often than not signed artists receive their power through the conversion of money and connections into opportunities. However, two of the most underused resources that we (musicians) can convert into power is our creativity, and our ability to work harder for ourselves than any label or manager ever could. You don’t need a large advance or a pocket book full of highflying music business contacts to be successful; you just need the creativity to acquire the same results in an unconventional way.

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.

 

JustinWhy Musicians Don’t Need to be Signed to be Successful
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Hard Rock crowns ReverbNation Artist as champion of their Global Battle of the Bands – Find out who won…

Hard Rock Rising grand prize announcement

Hey Monea! battled through 3 rounds of voting, sweating it out on the live stage and securing thousands of votes online to make the top 10 in Hard Rock Rising – the global battle of the bands contest held by Hard Rock Cafe in exclusive partnership with ReverbNation. When the judges convened and the dust cleared, Hey Monea! was left standing tall. We couldn’t be happier for this 3 piece rock band with their soulful vocals and playful, poppy guitar riffs.  If you’re new to these heart-breakers, let us help make an intro:

(excerpt from their bio)

Hey Monea!’s recognition is rapidly moving beyond their hometown of Canton, Ohio. Lead singer and guitarist, Dan Monea, knows there is no such thing as “overnight success” and eventually hard work will pay off…
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Hey Monea will take the stage this year at Hard Rock Calling 2012 to offer their picture perfect brand of pop rock to folks across the pond in London.  The cherry on top? Hey Monea will be accompanied by this year’s two runners up: Brass WIres Orchestra and FOS!

Learn more about Hard Rock Calling >>

1st Runner Up: Brass Wires Orchestra (Lisbon, Portugal)

2nd Runner Up: FOS (Jakarta, Indonesia)

JustinHard Rock crowns ReverbNation Artist as champion of their Global Battle of the Bands – Find out who won…
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Get Your Honky Tonk On and Play Country Throwdown Tour

Now in its third year on the road, the Country Throwdown Tour is set to do the boot scootin’ boogie all over the U.S. this summer! Dubbed the perfect blend of “grand-scale country with the intimacy of a sweaty honky-tonk” when it debuted in 2010, this year’s Country Throwdown maintains the excitement with a premier list of country celebrities stopping in multiple cities over two months.

And, since Country Throwdown is always on the hunt for new music, you could be one of the performers featured in their renowned Bluebird Café Tent. If you’re within 500 miles of any of the locations below, submit your Reverb Press Kit (RPK) for a chance to perform an acoustic set and get your country strains in front of an appreciative crowd. The submission is free and open to singer/songwriters as well as country, bluegrass, and folk artists. Click the links to submit!

 

(JUST ADDED!) Bonner Springs, KS (ends May 14th)

(JUST ADDED!) Bangor, ME (ends May 20th)

Lampe, MO (ends May 14th)

Glen Allen, VA (ends June 3rd)

Rockford, IL (ends June 13th)

Bridgeview, IL (ends June 20th)

Chosen artists will be performing nationwide alongside country superstars Gary Allan, Josh Thompson, Justin Moore, Corey Smith, Eric Paslay, Sunny Sweeney, Rodney Atkins, and many others!

Happy submitting!

 

JustinGet Your Honky Tonk On and Play Country Throwdown Tour
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Interview with Daria Musk, the Queen of Google+ Hangouts

If you’ve heard of Google+ Hangouts, you’ve probably heard or seen Daria Musk. A Reverb artist since 2008, Daria pioneered the use of Google+ Hangouts for musicians when she hosted an 8-hour hangout concert last August (a month before will.i.am from Black Eyed Peas hosted his). On this impromptu interview in front of Kingdom Club in Austin, TX, Daria tells us about her SXSW experience and how the whole Google+ Hangouts experience happened in the first place. She also told us her favorite color.

Much like everything else that goes down at SXSW, I ran into Daria by total chance while walking on the busy streets of Austin. Her bubbly, outgoing and energetic personality made our connection that much better. I’m proud to say we became BFFs for a night.

Make sure to read our other blog posts on SXSW and watch the other cool videos on our YouTube channel!

JustinInterview with Daria Musk, the Queen of Google+ Hangouts
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Vote! Send a ReverbNation Band to London’s Hard Rock Calling and Download 80+ Free Songs

Back in January, ReverbNation partnered with Hard Rock Cafe to launch an epic global competition. The goal? Narrow down a field of over 12,000 applicants from cities around the world to find the buzziest, most beloved band. The contest started at the local level with 86 download competitions hosted on each participating local Hard Rock Cafe’s Facebook page. Only locals were allowed to vote to ensure we were starting with the best local talent pool available. Then it moved to the live stage. Over 850 semi-finalists geared up and trucked in to Hard Rock locations around the world to perform their hit song and face judging from their peers. For the full details, we wrote a blog post about it.

Well folks, after three months and two rounds, we’ve slimmed the competition to one finalist from each city. In this last phase, all 80+ finalists will battle it out online to see who can gather the most votes. Anyone with a valid Facebook account may vote, but you can only vote for one band. So choose wisely. The top 10 vote-getters will be judged by a celebrity panel but only one will win a trip to London to open Hard Rock Calling!

FREE CURATED MUSIC
Music discovery gives us that warm and fuzzy feeling. Do you feel it too? All 80+ songs in this final phase are free to download!  Support your local city rep by voting their song then discover and download as many songs as you want!

Get Free Music and Vote>>

WHAT CAN THEY WIN?
For making it to the Global Phase of Hard Rock Rising, all finalists are taking home a year of ReverbNation premium service  — RPKs, FanReach Pro, Pro Widgets, and MegaSong Storage — $500 in cash, $500 in Hard Rock Cafe credit, and $500 toward a sponsored PROMOTE IT campaign, to help them promote their song during the competition. PROMOTE IT is a revolutionary premium marketing service from ReverbNation that allows artists to promote a song on Facebook through our powerful and easy-to-use interface. Finalists in Hard Rock Rising will  have a custom banner on their PROMOTE IT landing page that solicits fans to vote and drives them to the Hard Rock Rising contest app with the artist’s song at the very top!

Second and third prize winners will also receive $5,000 and $2,500, respectively, in additional PROMOTE IT credits. The grand prize winner will be flown to London for the ultimate rock star treatment, including a spot on the bill at Hard Rock Calling 2012, headlined by Bruce Springsteen.

Learn More About PROMOTE IT

JustinVote! Send a ReverbNation Band to London’s Hard Rock Calling and Download 80+ Free Songs
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Meet The Revivalists — Winner of the 2012 Hang Loose Band Competition

A couple of weeks ago we let you know that the “2012 Hang Loose Band Competition,” presented by America’s premier beachfront music festival, The Hangout Music Fest, had picked the ten finalists and invited fans to vote. Well the masses have spoken and this year’s big winner is The Revivalists

The Revivalists

We’re sending our congrats out to the band and thought other Artists might enjoy hearing a little more about their success. So here’s a little background, a Q&A and link to their music so that you can take a listen.

Since forming in 2007, The Revivalists have earned their standing among the best original bands in New Orleans. The group’s blend of soulful, syncopated rock and earnest songwriting comes to life through a meticulously crafted ever-evolving live performance. In 2011 they were named Best Emerging Artist at Gambit Magazine’s Big Easy Awards. The band is proud to be included in New Orleans’ burgeoning independent, music scene.

Q. How did the band get together in the first place? 

A. Zack (guitar) and Andrew (drums) met at Tipitina’s Sunday Morning musician clinics. They had been jamming for a while when David (singer/guitar) moved into New Orleans in August ’07. David was out on his porch singing and playing guitar when Zack rolled by on his bike.  Zack stopped to enjoy the music. The two became fast friends and musical collaborators. The band had its first gig in October ’07. The other fellas were friends, jam mates, and class mates.

Q: What’s the best gig you ever played?

A: That’s a tough question. Everybody has a different favorite. It’s always great to play a huge festival stage, like when we played the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival for the first time two years ago, but sometimes there’s just more magic in a smoky little room in Jackson on a random Wednesday night.  I guess our shows are like children. We love them all equally, but for different reasons. Does that sound right?  None of us have kids.

Q: How did you learn about this opportunity? And what made you want to apply for it?

A: We learned about it from our ReverbNation email list and decided to apply. It’s a cool beach festival with a great lineup so we definitely wanted to play it.

Q: What was your reaction when you found out you were going to perform at Hangout?

A: We were on stage in San Francisco when our bass player got the news. He shouted, “Tommy just sold a half a million brake pads!” We all went a little nuts and then had a great set.

Q: Why do you think you stood out to the promoter?

A: Aside from our ROCKIN’ sound, we have a nice following in the Gulf Coast region. We’ve played The Hangout Venue. We love Orange Beach, Pensacola, and all the beach towns.

Q: How did you market the opportunity to your fans and get so many votes?

We made an event on Facebook and invited a lot of people, and it just kind of snowballed and took on a life of its own.  We’ve always been lucky to have such amazing friends and fans, and a lot of them really took it to heart.  We had people making their own Facebook events, or posting the link to vote with comments like “vote for The Revivalists or we’re not friends anymore.” We had aunts walking door to door around the neighborhood, friends forcing office mates into voting, famous bands, radio stations, and musicians tweeting and posting.  It was really humbling and gratifying to see so many people get behind us like that.

Q: What other advice would you give to other bands wanting to play festivals like Hangout Festival?

A: Just keep plugging away. Stay positive, stay productive, and stay busy. Work on yourself and all the other stuff will work itself out.

 

JustinMeet The Revivalists — Winner of the 2012 Hang Loose Band Competition
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