Posts Tagged ‘Social Media’

I’ve switched into vacation mode. It always happens when I go back to Ohio for breaks in between semesters. BUT I’m getting back into it, finding time between relaxing and working for my parents’ sandwich shop to write to you beautiful people. The posts may be a little scattered for the next couple weeks, but there will definitely be a schedule once again when I’m back in Boston and in school.

The end of my internship was August 13th…it was bitter sweet to say the least. I learned so much this summer and am really happy to have found such a phenomenal place to work, but I was ready for a break.

A couple weeks before the end of my time there, they had their annual Digital Press Conference (which was sponsored by Reverbnation, so that’s cool). I was lucky enough to be able to interview all the artists that performed, so here’s an overview of the day!

The schedule was packed full of amazing musicians. I asked each of them to describe their music in one word – here’s what they said:

3:15 Amy Lynn & The Gunshow – Sassy-fresh
3:40 Tom Fuller Band – Brilliant
4:05 Jesse Terry – Timeless
4:30 David Bronson – Honest
4:55 Crazy Mary – Psychedelic
5:45 October Project – Romantic
6:10 Block – Complicated
6:35 Jenn Summers – Colbie collait/Jack Johnson driving down the PCH in a VW van heading to a Beach Boys concert
7:00 The Plaine Truth – Soul-Rock
7:25 Trew Music – Alternative Hip-Hop
7:50 Pete Herger – Rock & Roll

Some of them took creative liberty on the definition of “one,” but hey, they’re musicians.

I also asked the artists what methods – online or offline – bring them the most fans. The most popular answer was, in fact, live music! It makes sense to me, because I’ve found many bands that way. The second most popular was using social media sites and actually connecting with people. Tweet conversations, responding to Facebook comments, etc. Also, not surprising. It’s good to know that connection is still that important.

Being way up on the third floor, I was slightly separated from the chaos of the main floor, which was good for me, because it was pretty intense! There were 30+ people in the living room, kitchen, and back yard when I finally made my way down to the action. I staked my claim by the hummus and Stacey’s Pita chips (seriously, I could eat two bags of these), and mostly observed.

Each performer had the stage (the raised section of Ariel’s living room – awesome) for 15 minutes. In that time, the acts that I was able to see managed to get their essence across and blow everyone away. The two that stick out most were The Plaine Truth – with powerful female/male vocals – and Trew Music – with an attitude of someone doing exactly what they should be.

Trew Music!

The Plaine Truth rockin’ out

Trew also premiered his music video right after his performance. He started it with a warning that it’s not the usual music video, which I had a hard time believing, but he was right. It had a futuristic narrator that took us to different sections of the song, and the story it told. You can check it out here and let me know what you think!

The music video director himself. Trew’s entire crew were incredibly close and just seemed like great people.

The staff at Ariel Publicity ended up staying until around 10:30, which left us all exhausted the next day, but it was a great experience and I met some people I hope to meet up with whenever we manage to be in the same city! Couldn’t ask for more than that.

Oh and every aspect of the house was utilized to accommodate all the people – including the roof.

The staff of Cyber PR, ladies and gentlemen

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I don’t need to tell you that networking is one of the most important aspects of success in the music industry – I’m sure it’s been rammed down your throat sufficiently without my help. At Berklee, the first pieces of advice given to incoming students include the mantra “network, network, network,” and it comes back time and again in every panel and Q&A session available.

As a more introverted person, it’s difficult to keep up with the amount of networking I feel I should be doing. I’ve spent the past three years pushing myself out of my comfort zone and learning, through trial and error, what does and doesn’t work when networking as a non-extrovert. It’s been rough, but completely worth it. Now I bring to you, networking advice for the introvert:


Baby Steps

All the networking advice out there says to work a room, give out (and collect) cards out the wazoo, send follow up emails, and potentially meet with your new contacts.

I know that this was overwhelming for me. At functions, I’m the wallflower, the one standing near the food or drinks to have an excuse to not be talking to anyone, so striking up conversations with multiple people was incredibly daunting at first.

Instead of feeling like it’s all or nothing, find one person to talk to – you are building your network one person at a time after all. It could be a fellow wallflower, or someone who seems extremely friendly and easy to talk to. If the conversation is going well, definitely exchange information! BUT don’t feel like it’s a requirement. If you don’t find a natural opening, don’t stress about making one.

Also, choose events that interest you or that you feel will yield good results. Instead of attending EVERY event, which will cause networking burnout, you’ll only go to the amount you can handle, and will get much more out of each event.

Common Interests

I rarely strike up conversations with people I don’t feel I can connect with. Luckily, in this industry, if you’re at an event you automatically have something to talk about! Ask them what their involvement is or what they love to do (I find asking people what they do often leads to awkward answers – many people in this industry aren’t doing what they really love just yet). If you can get someone talking about their passion, most of the time you can just sit back and let them lead the conversation.

Utilize Social Media

Social media is a godsend for those with social aversion. A quick Tweet or message on Facebook is so much easier than approaching someone in person. It takes away the fear of stumbling over words and appearing confident. It’s much easier to craft a confident message than a confident demeanor.

Don’t be afraid to talk to people who are at a much higher level than you either! Social media has helped tremendously to level the playing field, and oftentimes musicians and industry professionals respond to every message they receive.

You Don’t Have To Use The Phone

Well, mostly. Luckily, the majority of people today view phone conversations as a time-consuming interruption instead of a necessary way to communicate. If given an option, always email. The only reason I ever use the phone is if the other person insists on a phone call, and that only happens very rarely.

Of course, if it does seem like the better course of action, definitely use the phone.

If I had advice for making it a better experience, I’d share it with you, but phone conversations still vex me.

Bring A Friend

Have an extroverted friend? Bring them to events! I’ve had friends that have essentially been networking wingmen, and it works extremely well. Have your friend start the conversation and chime in when you feel comfortable. If they’re good friends, you can share your trepidations and hopefully they’ll be willing to turn the conversation towards you and what you do in the industry.

Don’t forget that friends ARE your network. Ask them for favors (as long as you reciprocate) and find out if they know people who you may be interested in getting to know.

Push Yourself

Finally, the most difficult part – you have to push yourself. Create an atmosphere where you feel comfortable, and then use that support to push outside of your comfort zone.

The best way to do this is to REFUSE to think about how it could go wrong. People generally like meeting new contacts, and if you show a passion for the industry they’ll see that and appreciate it.


Your network is your way into the industry, whether you like it or not, but there are ways of growing that network with minimal stress.

Links:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/career-transitions/201010/networking-101-introverts

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/self-promotion-introverts/201007/networking-isnt-about-using-and-getting-used

http://www.inc.com/karl-and-bill/networking-for-introverts-3-tips-for-success.html

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-introverts-corner

I can definitely feel the end of my time in NYC coming up. I feel like I’m preparing, but in the wrong way. I should be pushing to do as much as possible before I leave, but I’ve started feeling like I’m already done instead. Not such a good thing with about a week left!

This week started off with some insanity and just got better from there:

Ariel Publicity had our 2012 Digital Press Conference and there were SO MANY awesome artists. Trew Music (above) was so much fun to talk to and see perform.

Helped a friend film a promotional video…on a rooftop in the upper East Side. Beautiful.

Brick + Mortar posted my review! I was pretty fucking pumped. You can read it here.

Checked out Alice’s Teacup with my friend Hannah. They have awesome “brookies” (brownie and cookie). Good way to celebrate an awesome week =]

If anyone knows of some awesome New York bands, I’m looking to get to know the scene more so let me know! I’ll totally bake you cookies (or mention you in a Tweet if you have an aversion to baked goods)

The insanity of this week was just beyond…everything. I had the New Music Seminar (and work), more open mic nights, and a couple shows. The only way I could be more surrounded by music is if I had a mariachi band as my posse.

I’m okay with that.

Sunday, the New Music Seminar opening party started off with the “Fiery Sensations.” I was not prepared for this:

There were some…interesting people at NMS (press pass ftw)

Monday and Tuesday consisted of a gaggle of music industry people discussing why we’re in such a shithole and how we should dig our way out. The head honchos of Pitchfork, Hypemachine, Fluxblog, and Okayplayer hashed out the role of music discovery blogs in the world on Pandora and Spotify Radio.

My favorite panel was the Social Media Movement, by far. I tweeted a quote from the CEO of ReverbNation and they TOTALLY RETWEETED ME. I was feeling pretty famous for about 5 seconds there.

Social Media powerhouse right here. Representatives for Facebook, Spotify, Reverbnation, Bandpage and more discussed social media tactics and changes. I’ll be posting an article about this panel soon.

My friend scored a gig from an open mic night last week, so our little group headed out to Caffe Vivaldi in the blazing heat to hear his beautiful voice (he totally played The Beer Pong Song)

Back to The Bitter End! I’m starting to really dig that place. My friends Cosmodrome rocked the house (funked the house? idk…) and we met some awesome musicians.

Not Captured in Pictures:

Met a lot of new people this week, which always makes me happy. At NMS, I made friends with a band from Mexico City called The Oats. You should probably check them out if you like The Strokes or The Pixies.

After meeting a musician at an open mic a couple weeks ago, I discovered he actually graduated from Berklee 2 years ago. The vast Berklee network continues to amaze me…

I started contributing to Berklee’s internship blog! Check out my first article and, if you like it, check in every week for another!

Look for my first album review on Thursday!

Is there anything you want to know more about (social media, interning, etc)? Let me know either in the comments or by email to Musikleigh@gmail.com.

 

First week down! Fuck, I love this city. Every day has been better than the last and I barely have time to think. So here are some things I did this week:

Snakes on a sidewalk. Because New York, that’s why.

Found a sweet panini place, Funini

Walked for two hours Friday night, passed by NYU

Partied at Cafe Wha?

listened to their pretty damn good house band until 2am, met the guitarist for K’naan (kinda blew my mind)

Saw the sunrise due to inability to sleep at all in this city. I’m not complaining:

On top of exploring New York and being sexually harassed more times in one week than I have in my entire life, I started my internships! I work 5 days a week, two days one place, three at the other, and I seriously love it. The venue I work for has a few interns and we get a lot of bitch work…I kind of prepared myself for it though and it’s good to know all the little things that have to be done just to keep a venue going. I really want to prove myself though and get some responsibilities so that’s not ALL I do this summer. I might go mad if I have to redo chalkboard menus every week (I mean really, I have horrible handwriting, they don’t want that anyway). The other place I’m interning does social media marketing and it’s a phenomenal place to work. There are more interns than there are employees, but we all get so many responsibilities and they really cater to what we are interested in. I’m more excited to go back there than is cool to admit.

On top of getting experience working for those companies, I also get some pretty badass perks: free shows, lots of networking events, free food (sometimes), and making some solid friends in the industry.

I don’t want to sugarcoat anything that happens during my internships this summer, but there are some things I will omit and have to be tactful about. Anything that I feel is important will be on here though. I made this blog for the purpose of sharing my experience and advice and I’m going to stick to that.

Got some suggestions for things to do in New York? I’m such a newbie, I’ve mostly just been walking around finding random places to check out.

Facebook’s been annoying people lately, but it’s still an important way to promote yourself and your music. These do’s and don’ts of Facebook marketing are geared towards musicians, but they really can apply to any business or product.

DON’T tell your fans what to do

Have you ever been solicited with “Vote for us to be the #1 band on (insert site here)!!!” or “Listen to our new EP and follow us on Twitter!” It gets annoying. Many bands and musicians make this mistake because they believe that the best way to get people to listen is to advertise like it’s the 1950s. Unfortunately, that won’t work anymore, and the most successful bands find ways to connect to their audiences FIRST, and then use those connections to promote more effectively.

DO Share Your Journey With Your Fans

The better way to promote is to present information similar to how you would your life to a friend. Let your fans know what you’re up to (writing, recording, music video, etc), don’t shout it at them. Provide content they will enjoy and make them want to be active in promoting your music. If you want them to vote for you on some blog or magazine competition, make a request, not a demand, and make it seem like they would be contributing to your success and ability to make more awesome music.

Ideas For Content:

Marketing Plan Tactics For Independent Musicians Part 3: Content Is King

DON’T Require “Likes” To Unlock Your Songs

Of all the sins committed on Facebook, this one irks me the most. At best you have a “like” that may or may not be attached to an actual fan (they won’t know until they listen to your music) and at worst, you lost a potential fan because they decided it wasn’t worth the “like.” It may seem like a good idea on the surface, but requiring someone who isn’t yet a fan to do something is likely to end up in fewer fans. If they like your music, they’ll like your page.

DO Request Emails For Track Downloads

If someone is looking to download your music, they’re already a fan. You have something they want and you can use that leverage to get something valuable from them. Emails are incredibly important, especially for bands who are taking the DIY approach. They allow you to target your fans specifically for shows or promotions or even exclusive content. By all means, still put a price on your music – someone may prefer to pay $1 rather than give out their email – but make sure there is at least one song available for download in exchange for an email (make it a single, not an album cut).

Platforms:

Bandcamp is great for this. As is Topspin.

DON’T Rely On Likes Alone

Likes are not a great representation of how many fans a band actually has. For example, a percentage are likely from friends and family of the band (who may not actually listen to the music), from people who listened to a song and then forgot about you, or from people who are interested in the music, but don’t take initiative when it comes to spreading the word.

DO Look At Stats

Facebook did a great thing for bands and businesses when they added the “reach” and other stats to pages. If you can get people talking about you, that’s a sign you are gaining popularity and a fan base. Try to get as high a ratio of “talking about this” to “likes” as possible. Those are your true fans. You can count on these people to share your content and reach people who might not have heard of you yet. Facebook keeps track of both the people talking about you and how far their posts reach.

Get Started:

Understanding “Talking About This”

100 Ways To Promote Your Band

Seth Godin Agrees

What do you do to keep your presence on Facebook interesting?