Chris Brogan Talks Music and Websites

In any line of work, it is usually a good practice to stay up on the latest developments and trends in a particular industry. My industry – digital marketing – could not require a deeper necessity for keeping up with the Joneses. There are many heros in the digital space. One of them happens to be Chris Brogan.

Brogan recently wrote a blog post about a band called Spirit of the Stairs and he noted that the band did not have a web home. It is worth the read for the takeaway message. In Brogan’s post, he basically suggests that the band should have its own website. This digital marketer agrees wholeheartedly.

I am going to take it a step further and give reasons for why bands should invest in having a stand-alone website for your music.

  • Autonomy – Control your domain. If MySpace, Facebook, ReverbNation or [insert free band website resource here] went belly-up and shut down, you would have nowhere to go. A self-hosted site is like owning a home. Sure, it can be somewhat of a hassle, but having your own place is definitely an ego-boost, right?
  • Analytics – Sure, some of the social media sites offer analytics or “Insights,” if you’re Facebook, but the charts and graphs they offer are limited. Say you wanted to know when a person was on your site to see when it might be good to post new content for them to see, only applications like Woopra offer such information. You cannot reliably add Woopra to your MySpace page though (yell at me if I’m wrong). Analytics is where the big boys play when they are looking to increase their bottom line. How can you know if you are successful in your pushing your new single if you do not know when your traffic changes?
  • Legitimacy – Having your own self-hosted site let’s people know you are serious. Go on GoDaddy, buy your domain for 3+ years and see how Google treats your site.
  • Options – Feel restrained with your Facebook “Like” Page? Do you know many people that can program in FBML? Heh, you can easily switch gears if you have your own space. There are many options out there for building websites – WordPress, Joomla, Squarehost… heck, you can even just trick out a Tumblr page. Endless options lead to endless potential. Potential equals growth, so there. GROW UP.

Do you believe bands need stand-alone websites? No? Tell me why in the comments. Yes? Is there anything I missed in my bulleted reasoning?

#1 Music Industry Secret to Success – Be Yourself

I have developed a set of music industry “secrets.” In the coming weeks, I will be laying out a step-by-step ideology on the right way to market yourself as a music artist. These “secrets” are designed to develop positive behavior, so do not expect a ton of tactical talk. Strategy will be the ultimate takeaway. In each shared “secret,” we are going to give ideas that should help you make the right changes toward a substantial music career.

The Internet has given you all autonomy and boy, are there many of you. By you, of course I mean music acts. You all are in this big Internet sea looking to wash ashore as something that people will want to take home. The thing is, it seems that very few of you know how to appear as a beautiful sea shell or a starfish. It seems that the Internet has been sullied by a corporate toxic waste dump which has infected many budding music crustaceans. When the tide comes in, all we tend to get is underdeveloped slug-looking material that has no character or distinguishable markings. It is sad, much like a Humane Society commercial with Sarah McLachlan music (Amazon affiliate link for “Angel”) playing in the background.

There is one thing that is very obvious from watching artists trying to garner attention and that is the trend of people trying too hard to look special. While it is understandable why you are trying so hard, you just need to STOP. Just Be Yourself. What is the point of trying to look cool on the Internet if you are socially-awkward in person? Your fans should like you for you. Alter-egos aside, we tend to attract those that are much like us in thought, look and personality. Music is a medium that has that natural attraction power, so you should let it do the talking.

If there is anything you should be doing, then it is looking to see how you can be you while helping others. We gave you the 5 steps to a successful music career with 1000 fans and OUTREACH was the name of the game. You should seek those that are more like you and add value to their lives. Share their messages with your network. Give them free music that you believe they would like. Acts like this comes easy when you act natural and attract those that are like you.


BE YOURSELF – doing this will help you attract the right kind of attention you need to get to building 1000 true fans.

Hey, let me know what you think of this advice. Don’t worry. I have a thick skin. Let’s chat in the comments.

Rhymesayers Releases Stimulus Package as a Collectable CD

I get this tweet from one of my good friends:

Instantly, my life has been changed. The momentum for this blog build a little more. It is packaging like you see in the video below that fortifies my belief that artists need to make collectable goods. It only took 15 seconds for me to find my wallet and make a pre-sale purchase. I am a fan of Jake One and I dig some Freeway stuff, but if not for the creative shelf-worthy packaging, I would have passed or waited for a friend to send me a CD rip of Stimulus Package.

Holy Collectable CD, Batman!

Now none of this would not be happening if not for forward-thinking independent labels like Rhymesayers Entertainment were not on the job. This particular packaging was designed by Brent Rollins, who has been deemed by Jeff Chang to be the best graphic designer in the hip hop space for the past decade. Rhymesayers fans may remember the unique packaging for Atmosphere’s last album When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold.
Mind you, both Atmosphere and Freeway have seen success on a career level, so they can afford to put that kind of money into their projects. It is probably going to be a stretch to see a lot of the smaller acts having packaging as lavish as Stimulus Package, but that does not mean you should be lazy on your physical goods you plan to sell.

Make sure you buy it at Fifth Element Online or Amazon (affiliate link – I make money if you use this) for Stimulus Package.

SMART Goals – The Key to a REAL Music Career

In my quest to become one of the premier music marketing minds, the first thing I did was jot down the things I wanted to accomplish while being a music marketer.  My longstanding goal is to become a serial entrepreneur, so in developing my goals I realized that being in marketing is only a means to an end.  This would not have been realized if I had not taken the time to write it all down with pen and paper.  Writing my SMART goals down keeps me focused and accountable to something actual; it also fulfills my human desire for purpose.

This site is a part of my plan to achieve my goal to become a full-time music marketer, which I hope will lead to entrepreneurial opportunities.  Writing blog post on here is not all I feel I need to do, so you can expect the following in the coming months:

  • Video Blogs (vlogs) with quick tips, exclusive interviews with music professionals and artists on the move
  • Case Studies from my applied work with various artists
  • e-Books with practical advice on the sensible to try and build a career as an entertainer
  • Branded Products – for all those that just want to show support and keep me along in my quest to achieve my goals

When I consult with individual artists now, I always ask them to prepare a list of SMART goals before we begin to talk about strategy. In doing this, I can give them practical advice that will actually resonate with what they want to accomplish. Sure, every person that makes music will say they would like to be able to do it full-time, but when they note their other interests it may be easier to see how they will be able to make that goal a reality. In some instances, it might be obvious that a music act is not as serious as they think they are about making music a career; thereby, saving us all a lot of time.

Sometimes my artists are clueless as where to start or how to approach coming up with them, so for setting music goals I always forward them Ariel Hyatt’s tips on Setting Goals article for inspiration. I still use it personally as a reference when I need to re-evaluate my goals.

Artists, do you actually have goals written? If so, what resources do you use to keep yourself focused on achieving your goals? Let me know in the comments.

Related articles by Zemanta