4 Ways to Help Others [Using Social Media] – Kosha Dillz-style

Justin Boland of Audible Hype recently had a guest post by hip hop performance artist Kosha Dillz. Dillz lends advice that is not often uttered by any artist, much less someone in hip hop. His post “Help Yourself by Helping Others” feels like it is right out of the FiV playbook. While it would be nice to say that it was, it is likely that Dillz’s compassionate side is probably as natural to him as it is learned.

Here is where the church of FiV says “AMEN” –

Fact is people help you out for the sake of helping out. We are all living the dream. They might not even like the music but might find someone who will, and they want to support, all of us.

This is the brass tax. It is not about what you are to get out of it. It is about supporting one another with the idea that you believe we are all pursuing our calling. It is about paying it forward to the next man.

As always, it is the practice here to supply you with usable advice and even tactical information that you can put into action immediately, so without further ado, here are ways to help others

Use your social media accounts

… to do more than just promote yourself and alert people to what kind of fast food you plan to have.

  • Twitter – If you were to post ten (10) tweets in a day, try to make at least five (5) of them helpful to your followers. Tackle two things with one move by sharing content by other creatives or businesses that you support. That still give you four (4) tweets to overshare about your bathroom habits and one (1) “ask” of your followers.
  • Facebook (regular account) – Respect your friends and share things with them that they will not find anywhere but you. Why waste time and bog up everyone’s news feed with trite material that everyone spews. Status updates have stronger staying power, so you don’t need to post more so much to gain attention. Again, consider pushing the work of others before yours, because more than likely, your friends know what you do.
  • Facebook (fan page) – Again, updates on Facebook last longer, so make them count. Also consider building your long-tail with content that you would like to be associated. The more interesting your fan page is, the more likely people will actually visit it and see what you have going.
  • YouTube – Music videos and vlogs are great, especially if you can keep them going with some consistency. If you want more views, engage other artists on their profiles. The more active you are, the better chance you have to get your content showing more as “related videos” and the like. Plus you help others build their credibility on YouTube by interacting with them!

What advice do you have for folks interested in trying to “give first?”

Mind Map Your Next Music Blogging Strategy

If one of your 2011 SMART goals is to blog more, then great! Blogging is a great way to build your long-tail and strengthen the search engine optimization (aka SEO) on your website with fresh content. Were you lost at “long-tail?” Well, fear not. Basically, the more you blog about certain subjects, the more likely that search engines will acknowledge your site for it. That is why it is good to use well-placed phrases or keywords in your posts, because when the search engines comb your site, they will note them.

Now you might wondering, “how do I know what keywords to try to be known for on Google?” This is a segment that I plan to discuss extensively here on FiV Alive. You will find that there are opportunities to be had on the interwebs for specific things that may resonate well with who you and your music are. In the meantime, consider writing down who you are and what you create in the form of a mind map.

photo by dumbledad

What is a Mind Map?

mind map is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items linked to and arranged around a central key word or idea.

When working on your music blogging strategy, it is best to have your blog posts to be linked to you and your music. A mind map can help you visually figure out where to start. If you are as bright as I think you are, then you probably realize blog posts about you will get boring pretty quick if you are posting at least once a week. That is why it is better to spread the love around and share things that may be near and dear to you, but not so YOU-specific.

Mind mapping can help you segment your interests in neat sections. It is in these sections that you can pull blog ideas. If you are passionate about muscle cars, 50s paraphernalia and leather, then it will be good to share those things. When Google, Bing and Yahoo! pick up on it, so will the people that are interested in the same things. Post the right stuff and you can get a post to go viral, then you are really cooking with gas!

Organizing Your Mind Map

The other day on Hip Hop Distribution, they posted a content checklist PDF to help you organize your blog ideas, which is crucial if you really plan to blog regularly. Sometimes the creativity may be running a little low and you will want to post something. It is always best to work on your ideas in advance. Download their checklist and put it to use after you mind map your music identity. There is a cool tracking section of the checklist, which is also great in terms of figuring out where you should concentrate your writing time.

Now this is where you help me organize my post topics, is there anything in this article that you would like fleshed-out? Would it do you any good to see mind mapping in action? Let me know!

Let’s Make 2011 “Hammer Time”

I posted a fourth music industry “secret” on Music Think Tank, which is a music community resource for news, marketing tips and other relevant information. The fourth “secret” is Have Integrity. Give it a read, leave a comment and share it.

While you are on Music Think Tank, poke around and read some of the posts on the main page. That is where I found the post by Michael Brandvold that inspired the 7 Reasons to Build Your Own Music Website. If you have music that you want to try and get more exposure, they have a place where you can post your music. The site has a little something for everyone that is interested in the world of music.

Enough about that though.

It’s Hammer Time.

"Hammer Cuddle" by Tiffany Day

When this posts, many of us will be contemplating how to make the new year better than the last. If you fall into this subset of humans, consider this anecdote provided by Eric Galen of Music180. In dropping “The Science of Becoming a Rock Star,” he shares a lesson he learned from his college professor on how one could tap a stick of dynamite with a pencil a thousand times and nothing will happen, but one blow from a hammer will make it explode. Instead of doing a bunch of little things to try to achieve a bigger result, consider what one big thing you could do to reach a greater goal. Galen sums it up best here:

To take your career to the next level, you’ll save time and money – and increase your chance of success – by focusing on the hammer and ignoring the pencil. Figure out what next step will have the biggest impact on your career, and concentrate your time and money on that.

With that, I deem 2011 is Hammer Time in every which way it can be viewed. Let’s all be a bit smarter about how we spend our time, so we can leave room to review, repair and retry if need be. In the meantime, let Hammer himself inspire you into the new year.

7 Reasons Why You Need to Build Your Own Music Website

If you do not have an autonomous website for your band’s music, then I really doubt your seriousness. The cost that it requires to get a basic site up is so low there just is not any excuse to not have one. In fact, in a couple clicks, you have a domain from GoDaddy.com  for around $10, then buy a year of web hosting from Bluehost for less than $100/year. Bluehost has automated features to install content management systems like WordPress for free. Considering there are thousands of free templates to personalize your WordPress page, you have the lowest barrier of entry to building your own music website in the history of Internet.

Some of you may think this topic is a retread and you would be right. I talked about this before on a piece featuring digital marketing expert Chris Brogan. That matters not, because I have not seen a proliferation of websites by the artists that are supposedly working hard to be heard and gain fans. Therefore, I write. Let’s review the seven reviews.


Sorry if this offends your senses, but let’s face it. You know you care about what people think. That is why you post your music on the web in the first place. Give yourself that additional piece of status.


I mentioned it before in the other piece, but it begs repeating. You have no control over the actions of Facebook and MySpace, which legally can do whatever they want because most people are using their sites for free. You should not rely on another to help you get your message across in the right way. You need to be in total control.


Yes, this coincides with the point of autonomy, but you must understand – YOU CAN DO WHATEVER YOU WANT WITH YOUR OWN WEBSITE. Want to show post a video that shows artfully-displayed nipples? Do not even think about it on YouTube or Vimeo. They do not care about art! The Moral Right has way more clout than you. Plus you can create the facade of your dreams with the right designer.


I am going to drill this point home. You can do whatever you want with your own website. Want your fans to focus on keeping the idea of buying your new record on their mind without having to update them daily? You can do it with your own website. You can get into landing pages and optimizing your site design, which is not really possible with the social networking sites. Then you can change things up again. It is your site!


In the other post, I called it “analytics.” I am dumbing it down though here. It is about INFORMATION. How can you ever understand the who, what, where, why and hows on the relevance of your work without it? Google Analytics will be your best friend when you come to learn it. If you use WordPress though, they have a stats generator that will tide you over until you get more education.


I hear a lot of complaints from artists regarding all the sites they “need to be on” to get their music heard. Personally, I think lies are being told. You do not need to be anywhere. Can having a Twitter or Facebook account help? Oh heck yeah, it can, but it is not necessary.

Instead of pondering which social network to focus on, focus on your own website. Make your life and the life of your (potential) fans easy. Have one place for all your information to be found. Sure, people can discover you on Twitter, but you should want them to check out your website. That is where you can truly get their attention.

Keeping it simple is great, but realize that social networks are tools that can help you make new fans. They can also be helpful in other ways too. Music marketing master Michael Brandvold gives some excellent advice on how you can use social networks to drive traffic to your site.


On this site, I plan to talk about a lot about opportunities in the new age of promoting music. One of the biggest, undersold places where opportunity can be had is on your own website. If you can build enough traffic, there are businesses that would love to work with you. The possibilities are only limited to your imagination. Hopefully you will find this sight a guide and an inspiration for what can be achieved.

If you need help setting up your first website or you want to improve what you already have, contact me today! I am here to help!