Tag Archives: Advice

Pictures Speak Louder Than Words – A Musician’s Guide To Pinterest

Remember the good old days when you would gather your favorite pictures, articles and photos and stick them in a scrapbook? Or pin postcards and notes on your kitchen pin board? Well, the art of the keepsake has just gone digital.

Pinterest is a digital scrapbook of your life. A way to tell the world who and what you are with visual snapshots. A way to follow and connect with a community of like-minded people without talking. Digital stalking has just gone artsy, and apparently 10.4 million users have jumped on the bandwagon. 140 characters is just too much. Pictures speak louder than words.

But is this new social media site relevant to the music industry? Can musicians harness the power of Pinterest to their advantage? In a word, “yes.” Below is my guide to Pinterest for musicians.



  • First and foremost, Pinterest is another powerful viral marketing tool for music videos. It allows you to share Youtube and Vimeo videos on your page.
  • Your Pinterest page is automatically public which instantly strengthens your online brand identity, increases your search engine optimization and boosts your viral power.
  • It compliments your existing social media sites by allowing you to share your “pins” on Facebook and Twitter. You can also link to other social media sites in your bio section.
  • It’s a cross-promotional tool that allows you to connect with people in other industries such as fashion, photography, film etc.
  • It gives your fans a visual snapshot of your personality and interests, revealing the person behind the music.
  • It allows you to filter and categorize your interests. Unlike Facebook, nothing gets lost in a timeline.
  • It can be used as a digital resume—you can “pin” tour posters, press photos, album covers, videos and articles to Pinterest. Check out ReverbNation’s page for ideas on pinning.
  • People can follow certain boards on your Pinterest page rather than following everything. This filter function allows you to be more specific about your information stream.
  • Other people can pin to your page, forming a creative, two-way sharing process with your fans.




For a step-by-step guide on setting up a Pinterest account, check out this great article by Sorta Crunchy. Also bear in mind the following:

  • Similar to other social media sites, the success of your Pinterest page is based on authenticity. Create a balance between your personal and professional identity, and don’t create a Pinterest account unless you enjoy it and want to use it regularly.
  • Ensure you create personalized boards specific to you, such as “Bands I love”, “music websites I follow”, “lyrical inspirations”. This personalization of your page enables you to categorize your interests more clearly, allowing fans more freedom to choose what they want to hear about. Check out music biz coach Madalyn Sklar’s page as an example.
  • Utilize the search box in the top left hand corner to search for other people with similar interests.
  • Utilize key words and descriptions in your bio.  This may determine whether someone will follow you. Make sure it is consistent with your branding.
  • Add your website URL and links to your other social networking sites in your bio section.
  • Don’t forget to categorize your pins and use key words in your tags so they appear in key word searches.
  • Utilize the iPhone app for Pinterest to pin photos you’ve taken onto your Pinterest page.
  • For other ideas of what to pin check out these great articles by Gig Masters and Kimbee Jabber.
  • Check out the Indie Ambassador list of musicians and music industry professionals on Pinterest to help you get started building a Pinterest community, and enter your Pinterest contact info in the form at the bottom to be included in the list!




When you first start using Pinterest be aware of the following:

  • Other than videos, there is no other way to directly share your music on Pinterest. Hopefully this will change and the Pinterest team will develop a way to share music via music players on Pinterest.
  • You can’t pin posts from Facebook or Twitter to Pinterest. It’s also difficult to post pins to Facebook without cutting and pasting a link, unless you use the Pinterest iPhone app. You can, however, “tweet” your pins very easily.
  • The Pinning function online only picks up HTML files and videos. This means that text files cannot be pinned to your page. This can make it difficult if you want to pin specific text (such as a press quote) from a WordPress blog.
  • If you want to pin something from another website, the wrong thumbnail picture is often picked up in the pinning process (like an advert). This can be frustrating if you feel that picture doesn’t represent what you want to pin.
  • Currently the social media site has a predominately female user base. You need to evaluate your target audience before deciding whether Pinterest is right for you.

Overall, Pinterest provides another creative direct-to-fan resource for musicians. It incorporates and highlights three fundamental elements of music marketing – the importance of video sharing, the importance of visual branding, and the rise of ADD culture.

So without further ado, get pinning!

Pictures Speak Louder Than Words – A Musician’s Guide To Pinterest


New Music Seminar June 17-19, 2012 (NYC)

Sunday, June 17-19
Webster Hall
125 East 11th Street
New York, NY 10003
(212) 353-1600 Phone
The New Music Seminar’s mission is to create a music business in which talent can rise to its highest potential based solely on its merit, without regard to its financial resources or connections. To help artists and their representatives achieve success. To create a new economic model that better rewards both artists, their investors and those in artist services.

For Media Inquiries

For Information

902 Broadway 14th Floor
New York, NY. 10010

Planning Your Radio Promotion Campaign by Christopher Knab

The commercial radio industry couldn’t be less friendly to the independent musician. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t some significant radio airplay available to you if you know what you’re doing. Outlined below is a plan to consider if you have the three important ingredients necessary for working your record to radio.

  • The money to fund the campaign
  • The time to spend working all the stations consistently
  • A product that is ready for national airpla 

Forget About Commercial Radio Airplay
When it comes to commercial radio, the chances of getting significant national airplay for your independent record are next to none. We live in an era when a small group of powerful media conglomerates own and control the most important radio stations in the land. Unless you are connected to a major label, or are independently wealthy, the costs of promoting your songs nationally to commercial radio have spiraled out of sight.

There are, however, lots of mix shows and specialty shows on commercial stations that may offer limited airplay, and at least will get you some awareness in the markets across the country. There will be a lot of work involved in finding these stations yourself, city by city, and music format by music format. I suggest you subscribe to or get a copy of the annual CMJ Directory.

If you have money to invest in radio promotion it’s possible to hire an independent promoter who may be able to open some doors to these shows for you. Be prepared to spend several hundred dollars a week for their services.

Important rule about securing ANY airplay: If you have NOT made your music available in stores (either through traditional distributors or distribution into online stores like iTunes or Amazon.com) then FORGET about investing the time and money trying to get airplay. What’s the point? If a station plays your recording and people like your music – but can’t find it in their favorite store online – then they can’t buy your music. So get your distribution in place first!

A more realistic approach for airplay is to consider the options available on the noncommercial side of the FM dial. (88.1 FM to 91.9 FM) With the combination of college radio stations, community stations, and even some of the larger National Public Radio affiliated stations, your chances of getting your record played are much better.

Also, don’t forget those thousands of Internet radio stations that stream millions of songs a day. Google the phrase “Internet radio stations list,” and you will be amazed how many stations on the web play independent music of every imaginable type. Finding the most appropriate online Internet radio stations for your music can be a time-consuming process, but if you start by browsing the radio broadcast directories at Live365.com and Shoutcast.com , you’ll get a quick start. Many of these Internet stations play alternative acts. There are also channels on Satellite radio (XM/Sirius) that you can do some research into. If you own a Blackberry or an iPhone, there are several free apps that will give you access to these web broadcasters.

Below you will find an outline based on how Major and the better Independent record labels plan for their radio promotions. Seeing what they do might help you organize your thoughts for your own radio promotion campaign.

You need to prepare:

  • A database of commercial and non-commercial and Internet stations that realistically may play your music.
  • The timeline you’ll use to put the promotional material together (setting your deadlines).

Your radio promotion plan may be distributed to any helpers, volunteers or employees you may have for your own label, or any independent promotion people you may hire. This plan will be their introduction to your or your artist, and is the plan they will base their work on

Design a detailed overview of your radio promotion plan.

Consider all marketing and promotional ideas listed below. Propose what you think would work best in each of the areas to help market the record to radio.

Remember to keep cohesiveness between all areas: Give reasons why your music is appropriate to each station you approach. You will need several practical tools/materials to achieve your goals. (Computers, Smartphones, reliable Internet connection, hardware/software, office supplies, etc.)

Address the following specific topics in your plan:

  • Background/Goals: Give a brief history of the artist, and describe your goals
  • Image: Describe/ maintain the artist’s image consistently in all promo materials.
  • Radio: What radio format(s) will be targeted? What markets? Which songs? Any station promotions? (On-air concerts?) Hiring any Independent promoters?
  • Publicity: Describe your plans to create a “buzz” in the print media. Any press releases to the music industry trades? Update any bios, fact sheets, and electronic press materials.
  • Sales: Describe Distribution and Retail plans. Any in-store play/ promotions? Other specific sales opportunities? Mail order, live shows, Internet sales. Any store promotional tie-ins with radio stations?
  • Video: Is a video cost effective? What airplay opportunities are there for the video?
  • Touring: Describe the time frame for touring, and other promotional events to coordinate while on the road. Consider specific clubs, halls, fairs, festivals, club/venue promotional tie-ins with radio stations
  • Social Networking: Mention any Facebook, Twitter or other SN plans
  • Misc.: Having a record release party? Novelty items? Any other clever ideas?

Explain each idea in-depth !

Design a 12 week plan for the product and promotional tools.

  • Lay out what needs to be accomplished each week to get the record out.
  • Consider the: artwork, mastering, credits, sequencing, printing, pressing, booklets, layout/design. And be sure to convert your songs for online downloading!
  • Include in the timeline when to start working on your promotional tools
  • Design the timeline with deadlines for each element of your project.

Remember that your radio promotion campaign is part of what I refer to as the ‘Four-Fronts of Music Marketing’, and your plan must connect to all the other Fronts in order to be successful.

Always have distribution and sales plans, as well as publicity, advertising and touring plans coordinated carefully with your airplay campaign. The worst thing that can happen to any song on the radio is that someone hears the song, but can’t find a way to buy it. Professional record labels always have distribution and sales connections set up before they secure airplay. You should do the same..

Professional record labels always have distribution and sales connections set up before they secure airplay. You should do the same.

Planning Your  Radio Promotion Campaign

Online Music Marketing – step by step plan by Ian

I came across this brilliant pdf report by Virgine Berger about a month ago that sets out a blueprint for your online music marketing and asked her if we could pass it on to you for free.

She was happy to let our readers have it, but we didn’t get round to posting it until now as we are still busy redesigning the site and preparing more great stuff that we will be adding when we have the makeover – we’re hoping that will be at some point in September. Thanks for putting up with our delays. Oh, and I am on holiday a lot with my kids too!

Social Media Strategy Map 300x255 Online Music Marketing   step by step planSo, when I read the pdf, I was very impressed. It covers all the things that you should be doing for music promotion online – why MySpace still counts, how to use Twitter, what Facebook can and can’t do for you etc. More importantly, it ties together all the strands that you need to be providing to your fans.

You can get your copy of Virginie’s report here –  ‘What is a good digital music Strategy’ pdf.

Why should you listen to Virginie?

Well, she is the former head of marketing for MySpace France. Now she works as a music marketer and with more than ten years in the entertainment industry (television channels, radio broadcast industry and digital music industry), she knows her stuff backwards.

Online Music Marketing – step by step plan

Making New Music Distribution Models Work

In this clip Interscope Records head Jimmy Iovine talks about what a new business model for the music industry would look like from a business and consumer perspective, and what changes need to happen if record companies are to successfully make the switch.


How To Start Your Own Record Company by Lori Kozlowski

There are music lovers, and then there are music lovers. The thing that separates the casual vinyl buyer from the collector with 50,000 records. It’s that deep love that pushed Cheryl Pawelski to leave her first job in advertising to work in a record store.

She had such a curiosity about how records are made — both physically and figuratively — that she left Milwaukee and headed to Los Angeles to find out. Pawelski started as a temp at Capitol Records. She went on to spend 12 years at Capitol, became Vice President of Catalog Development at Concord Music Group, and then became Vice President of A&R at Rhino Entertainment.

The three-time Grammy nominee learned a great deal as a producer, saw the music industry change, took the lessons, and then built her own monolith.

“Labels are caught in a technological interruption. The scale is such that the labels can’t sustain as big as they are. I wanted to reduce the scale and be a conduit to the fans,” she said.

Starting a record label seems like an overwhelming task — the talent, the manufacturing, the contracts — even for a seasoned pro. But Omnivore Recordings is about examining what the market needs, meeting all the needs, paying attention to where industry pitfalls have happened, and remembering why you got into the business in the first place. It’s about keeping something alive.

Together with three partners — Dutch Cramblitt in sales and marketing, Brad Rosenberger in publishing and product, and Greg Allen in photography and design — the label was formed in 2010.

Without question, the music industry has changed — we are reminded of this all the time, as other industries look to the giant to figure out what went wrong and how they can avoid it.

“The music business was kind of co-opted by other businesses for their own profit. There’s a misnomer that ‘iTunes saved the music business’ or ‘Spotify is saving the music business.’ To me, they are just using the end product of the music business to sell hardware or subscriptions. That’s no longer the music business to me. The music business was about selling records and music, not about selling iPods,” Pawelski explained

“Our goal really is to sell music.”

Omnivore is not your father’s record company. It’s a multiple revenue stream enterprise with a publishing arm, an effort in music documentaries and films, and a consulting service that helps estates preserve and catalog their assets. Omnivore recordings are available on CD, vinyl, and digital. You can get their music directly from the label, at a record store, in iTunes, or on Amazon.

“We’re everywhere that you need to be, which is what you need to be,” she said.

Omnivore seeks ways to be unique. For instance, in honor of Record Store Day (an industry effort to drive traffic back into indie record stores) — her label is putting out two limited edition products: a vinyl 10-inch by the band The Knack, and a vintage Buck Owens coloring book that comes with a four-song flexi disc and a download card.

Artists on the label tend to be musicians she has worked with for a sustained period of time, or reactions to fluctuations in the marketplace. Musicians currently on the label include: Big Star, Alex Chilton, Jellyfish, The Knack, The Motels, and Buck Owens, among others.

“My job for a long time at big labels was to look for the holes in the bins. I ask myself: What’s the next chapter of the story I can tell for this artist?”

With less bottom line pressure and less overhead, her own venture has afforded Pawelski all the benefits entrepreneurs want — she’s able to be a lot more creative, take more chances, surprise fans, and produce high quality work every time.

How To Start Your Own Record Company

The Reality of Artist Development Deals at Major Labels

Owen Husney, a manager, talks about today’s lack of artist development by the record companies and the importance of a fan base. If bands want quality guidance from a label they need to have already proved themselves independently.


Importance of Touring, Musical cycles & Authenticity w/ Music

Skepta & @Amarudontv talk about the importance of perfoming as a artists, not being concerned about musical trends on the radio & authenticity in the music you create to keep the connection with your fans + more.

Advice for Touring Musicians

Todd and Jeff Brabec — Music Publishing

Jeff and Todd Brabec talk about their careers and their book, “Music Money & Success : The Insider’s Guide to Making Money in the Music Business”

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