Most independent musicians don’t have large marketing and advertising budgets to spread the word about their #music. You’ve spent most of your money on the recording itself, why not use that as your marketing tool? Giving away your music might seem counter-productive if you’re ultimately trying to sell it, but giving away the right amount, and to the right people, can help you build your email list, learn more about your audience, fuel word-of-mouth marketing, and spur greater sales in the long run. After all, the end goal of any marketing, advertising, or promotional plan is to get people to listen to your music.
How much should you give away?
Usually one free track from your new album will do the trick. It’s hard enough to get people’s attention, so focusing on a single track will help even a small amount of buzz gain some critical mass. If you have older albums or demos, perhaps you can make some of that music available for free as well, but keep the focus on your new material.
How should you give it away?
Just because you are giving away your music for free does not mean you should give it away freely. Employ some strategy, using the following ideas, to make your free music work for you.
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Devine Jamz Gospel Network

Devine Jamz Gospel Network is the hub for  Premium  And  with four sister websites and Affiliate Partners working together to promote Gospel artists. They also assist  Radio Stations, , and related organizations with sales and exposure.

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Midiman's Musician's Online Clinic

Midiman is announcing his own God inspired method of teaching! It is called the G..(Guided)..O..(Online)..D..(Directions) method! I will do all teaching via Skype and I will be posting numerous video tutorials explaining all of the concepts that are taught; music theory; functional keyboard; and music composition! If it is your desire to learn any or all of the areas of music training mentioned here, please fill out the form on this page and contact me with your name, location, training desired, and times that you want your training? I will be looking forward to hearing from you! Also, I ask you to let all know who may be interested to also take this training and I will give you a discount on every person who signs up, 10% off up to 50%! May God bless you! 

Take My Hand the Music Video!

Mo Nicole,
I wrote this song at a time when I needed to hear God's voice the most! You know those real alone still moments? Where you are just looking for some sweet comfort? The restlessness before the peace. These moments happen in life y'all. Its all about how we make it through. 
This is the response I quietly heard Him say..My Prayer closet song in the still of the night! When it's Just you and God. Intimacy and truth. This song truly come from my heart at a time when I wanted to hear God's voice the most. This what I heard Him say and I just added a melody and a video. 
This song is the answer to many silent prayers I have. A reassurance of comfort peace and love in a moment filled with worry and confusion, questions for the future. 

I pray that it touches your heart as much as it touches mine!

Published on May 21, 2014 By: Morrissa Nicole
Music Video: Tristan Barrocks and WMF Media 

How to Promote Your Music on Twitter: Intermediate Tweeting for Bands!

Promoting your music on Twitter: the next steps
[If you're just getting started on Twitter, check out THIS and THIS.]
So… you’ve been using Twitter to promote your music for a little while now. You’re starting to get the hang of it. You’ve uploaded your profile pic, chosen a sweet background image, and posted a bio. You’ve been tweeting, re-tweeting, favoriting, replying, following, and gaining followers yourself. You’re familiar with hashtags, mentions, and direct messages. You’re using Twitter in order to share stuff that you’ve found interesting, to post exciting news about your own musical life, and to join existing conversations happening in the Twitterverse. (i.e. — you’re not a Twitter spammer; you’re not just screaming “listen to my latest track” every couple hours.)
If the above describes you — congratulations! You’ve graduated to the status of intermediate tweeter. (Sounds like a condition, right?) In this article, you’ll learn a few new tricks to take your Twitter game to a whole new level. And you can do all your tweeting for the week in less time than it takes to cook, eat, and clean the dishes.
Effective music promotion on Twitter in less than 2 hours a week
Monitor the Twitterverse using TweetDeck or HootSuite
The advanced search on is ok for finding people to follow, but it doesn’t let you monitor multiple conversations on Twitter in real-time. That’s where 3rd party platforms like HootSuite or TweetDeck come in.
Imagine if you could graft instant Google Alerts over everything being said on Twitter.That’s essentially what these social media apps/dashboards allow you to do. You can set up multiple “searches” — for instance: your band name, your album name, your genre, etc. — and see who’s talking about the things that matter to you.
When I started my poetry blog (to use a non-music-related example for a minute), I knew I wanted to follow poets, editors, and poetry publications on Twitter  — but finding READERS of poetry was equally important. TweetDeck helped me do that by monitoring who was discussing the poets I was writing about, as well as more general terms like “contemporary poetry” and “American poetry.” If someone out there in the Twitterverse mentioned Charles Olson, for instance, I’d see it right away, check out their profile to assess whether they’re actually interested in poetry, and reply to their tweet with a link to a video about Olson I’d just posted on my blog.
If you’re in a Zydeco band, well — add a search for “Zydeco.” Anyone who’s talking about Zydeco on Twitter will appear in the search column for that term, and then you can check out their profiles. It should be pretty easy to tell at quick glance whether someone is a fan of your kind of music, or if they’re complaining about having to listen to Zydeco in their college music appreciation course. If they’re a fan of Zydeco, follow them and  reply to their tweets.
TweetDeck and HootSuite also let you manage multiple Twitter accounts from one dashboard. That’s particularly useful for me when I’m managing my personal Twitter account, the account for my poetry blog, as well as occasionally monitoring the Twitter accounts for CD Baby and BookBaby! Saves me from having to leave Safari, Firefox, Chrome, and IE all open at once.
Use Bitly and Google Analytics to track interactions
Bitly — the popular URL-shortening site — also lets you see how well those links you’ve tweeted are performing. Are your followers clicking? When are you seeing the most clicks? This information will help you determine what content is most engaging, and what times of day you’re most likely to see a response. You can then use that information to more strategically schedule your tweets. (More on scheduling tweets below). Knowing what to post and when is key for interaction, and high engagement is more likely to lead to sales.
For details on the specific kinds of data Bitly provides, click HERE.
If you’re not already using Google Analytics on your website — do it! Once you are… add campaign tags to to the end of your website URLs before you shorten them with Bitly. Suddenly you have another window into the effectiveness of your Twitter links, since Analytics will provide you with detailed info about the traffic Twitter referred to your website.
Once you know what kinds of tweets have the most reach, and when they get seen by the most eyes…
Schedule your tweets
Ever wonder how some people are just ALWAYS on Twitter, day and night?  Here’s a secret: they’re not. They’re actually golfing, or gigging, or sleeping.  Those people are using the aforementioned TweetDeck or HootSuite tools to “schedule” their tweets for the day or week in advance. They write a bunch of tweets at once, feed ‘em in, set the date and time that the tweet should go live, press save, and bam! Back to living in the real world.
I highly suggest you create a tweet schedule to simplify things. Here’s one way to begin:
Determine how often you should be tweeting — 
I recommend at least twice a day, and as high as 40 times a day (if spread  reasonably throughout the day). Remember, Twitter users will usually only see your content if they’re logged on at the same time as when your posts go live — so it’s ok to be highly active as long as you don’t see a bunch of unfollows in response.
It’s also ok to send multiple tweets about the same subject or link throughout the day or week, but it helps if you change the approach or wording each time. For instance, you could post a YouTube video Monday morning and say, “Here’s a new video of me playing a Ke$ha cover song in Miami.” And then later that night, tweet the same video and say ,”Check out this nasty sunburn I got in Miami — and it doesn’t look any better under stage lighting!”
Determine what kinds of content you want to share — 
I suggest an even mixture of original stuff from your blog, news and announcements about your music, re-tweets of other people’s content, links to articles you find interesting, follower-engagement questions, etc.
Draw up your schedule — 
If you decide two tweets a day is ideal, it might look something like this:
  • Sunday morning – Link to an article about the music industry
  • Sunday evening – Personal anecdote about your music life
  • Monday morning – Link to your album on sale at CD Baby (or iTunes, or Spotify, etc.)
  • Monday night – Recommend something you’re currently listening to
  • Tuesday morning – Share a review or other bit of news about your music
  • Tuesday night – Link to a video of one of your favorite bands
  • Wednesday morning – Tweet your latest blog post
  • Wednesday night – Complain about something in a funny way
  • Thursday morning – Ask a question of your fans
  • Thursday evening – Re-Tweet something from one of your heroes
  • Friday morning – Announce a special Friday giveaway contest, or post a new Spotify playlist
  • Friday evening - Get CRAZY — the weekend’s almost here!
  • Saturday morning – Talk about something controversial
  • Saturday night – Thank people who retweeted or followed you throughout the week
Look at that; your tweeting for the week is done! Just spend 20-30 minutes on Sunday night writing and scheduling all those posts, and check back in on Twitter once or twice a day for 5-10 minutes of replying and you’ll be set. Easy maintenance!
 Use Twitter lists
With every Twitter account, you’re allowed to create up to 20 lists. What is a Twitter list? It’s a curated group of Twitter users. Basically, you can lump people together and view a stream of only their tweets.
Now it’s important to know that lists don’t allow you to target your tweets. They’re used only for READING tweets. But by grouping people that you follow into lists (and even people you don’t follow), you can more easily manage your own tweet reading. You can also subscribe to/follow lists that other people have created. Put bands in one list, labels in another, manangers/booking agents in a third, record stores, your own fans, etc.
Hopefully this gives you a few new things to play with while you’re using Twitter to promote your music career. Try ‘em out and let me know how it goes.
For some other resources, check out:
10 Little Known Social Media Tools You Should Be Using — Now
Your Twitter activity as an instant infographic
Also, check out Chris Seth Jackson’s “Twitter Guide for Musicians.” He does a nice job of distilling some of the information above while clarifying with real-world examples.

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This Amazing “FREE” Software Allows You to Work on Projects in an International Collaboration. You can be in Another State or Country and Work on a Project as if you were Right There in a Studio Session

How Indie Artists and Songwriters Bridge The Money Gap

 By Vinny Ribas On May 8, 2014
© 2014 Vinny Ribas
Ok, let’s face it. Most indie artists are finding it harder and harder to make a living playing music.  You can point fingers at the live music industry because there are lesser gigs these days, or the ‘pirate’ websites for taking royalties out of your pocket, or the record labels for locking up traditional radio. The list can go on and on. Or, you can take a close look at exactly what you’re doing and not doing to be successful. After all, some artists ARE making it! Here are some ways that artists are bridging the financial gap for themselves. 
  • They gear their show is towards venues that pay well. For example, you can perform at a convention for 10X what you will make in a club. Theaters, country clubs, colleges and a host of other venues pay much more than the typical nightclub.
  • They don’t let their limited fan bases keep them from touring. Instead, they seek out gigs that already have great attendance and just need their acts to be great entertainers and hold the crowd. Good examples are venues in tourist areas, venues attached to hotels, theme parks etc.
  • They find alternative ways to fund their careers. These can include fan funding (e.g., getting investors, attracting corporate sponsors, recruiting individual patrons, developing a fan club, performing house concerts, performing online concerts (StreetJelly, ConcertWindow, Stageit etc.). Another great idea is partnering with nonprofit organizations that pay money for tour support in exchange for recruiting patrons.  In other words, they don’t just rely on gigs and selling CDs or downloads.
  • They tap into their fan base for ideas, leads to gigs, places to sell their music or post videos, to promote gigs, get reviews, get write-ups, to host house concerts and a lot more.  They turn their fan base into an army of proactive supporters, and they reward them for their help.
  • They have created multiple streams of income. Many artists make money from licensing their songs to film, TV, commercials and even products. They might use unique technologies such as Music Powered Games to boost their income.
  • They sell unconventional merchandise that their fans love. Yes, they have CDs and t-shirts for sale. But they also have unique, branded items that their fans can’t get anywhere else. They know what to sell because they know exactly what their fans like and are willing to buy. They also know how much their fans are willing to spend on merchandise, and offer items that are priced accordingly. For example, you might sell a tee-shirt to a fan for $10 when they would have been willing to buy a high-end polo shirt for $40 if you had them.
  • They use available technologies such as BombPlates (web design) andSongspace (song tracking and collaboration), Band Posters and Artist Growth to free up time and money. There stay on top of the newest apps and websites that can make their lives easier. They take credit cards for CDs and merchandise at their gigs by using a tool such as Square.
  • Many subscribe to the 1000 true fans concept. They work to identify 1000 fans who will spend at least $100 each year on their music, merchandise, shows etc. That is an income of $100,000/year just from those fans. They treat them royally, making them feel important and letting them know that they are an integral part of the artist’s success.
  • They budget wisely. Most importantly, they invest heavily in the marketing side of their careers. Whether they master the marketing themselves or pay someone else to do it, they ensure that it is done properly and effectively.  They collect email addresses everywhere and send out monthly newsletters. They submit their music to blogs worldwide. They promote their music where their core fans discover and buy new music. They are or have a marketing machine.
  • They differentiate themselves enough to create a demand. Smart artists know that if they are just like everyone else in their genre, they just get lost in the crows. By offering something unique in their sound, their show, their branding, their song choice etc., they create a demand that only they can fill.
  • They niche market themselves. Instead of trying to please everyone everywhere, they determine who their core fans are and what they have in common. Then they put a majority of their energy, marketing and promotion into reaching and attracting that demographic.
  • They pursue internet, secondary and tertiary radio airplay. Some hire a radio promoter while others use a do-it-yourself service such as Airplay Direct.
  • They make sure that they are getting all of their songwriting royalties due them because they belong to their respective performing rights organizations. In the US, they are BMI, ASCAP and SESAC. Most countries have similar organizations.
  • They make sure they are getting artist royalties (and royalties for owning the master recordings of their music) from Internet airplay. In the US that means joining Sound Exchange.  Outside the US, inquire about how to collect these royalties.
  • They learn how to build a solid regional fanbase and then become their own concert promoter. In other words, they put on a show, sell the tickets, pay the venue (or work a deal with them for the food/drinks, pay for the sound and lighting) and make the profits. But they only do this when they know their fanbase is large enough to sell more than enough tickets to cover the costs.
  • They leverage online opportunities such as advertising income from YouTube. Some let YouTube sell the advertising for them, and some get their own video sponsors. Of course, they know how to produce videos that will attract a lot of views.
  • They don’t do it alone. They assemble a competent team to help them grow. They understand that having a team helps them position themselves for bigger and better things. They invest in themselves by sharing some of the pie with people who have the knowledge and knowhow to take them farther than they can go alone.
This list can go on and on. The truth is that there are no opportunities popping up every day. As the traditional income sources morph and dwindle, artists need to take advantage of as many of these kinds of financial sources and more in order to stay financially stable and profitable. The smartest ones seek out or create their own opportunities!

Vinny Ribas is the founder of 
Indie Connect, an entertainment management, consulting and training company. He has been a full-time musician, booking agent, manager, studio owner and the Entertainment Director for the Nevada State Fair.  He is also the co-founder of Leaderbridge, a business consulting and training firm, the author of ‘CEO Secrets – What They Know About Business That Every Entrepreneur Should’ and has coached over 1000 entertainers and entrepreneurs.

Record Deal vs. Independent Artist

I have been hearing a lot lately that it's better to remain an independent artist rather than pursue a record contract. Is this true? There are many advantages to remaining an independent artist, yet the pursuit for a big record deal remains a top priority for many talented artists.

Honestly, the odds of getting a record deal with a major label is getting extremely harder and harder everyday. When you think of the number of talented musicians and vocalists that you see on television (like the top 10 of American Idol finalists each year) you realize that there is some serious competition...and that's only a handful of people. A lot of the time, the most talented individuals aren't even heard on the latest reality show. Couple this competition with the labels continuing inability to break even, never mind make a profit, and you see why it is getting harder and harder. Record labels are closing...unable to sell their product through conventional means (currently the compact disc). The labels have to move online into the legal downloading community if they want to survive.

No matter how big, or small you are, with the internet you have the ability to create a worldwide audience just like the major labels. The main issue is lack of a huge advertising budget. This is where having a targeted email list can make a million dollars on your next release. With low, or no cost email communication, you have the ability to market directly to the fans that enjoy your music and look forward to hearing from you. It takes a lot of work and time to get email addresses, but using viral media like YouTube can help your friends spread the word for you, get new people to your site, sign up for your email list and purchase your music.

The biggest benefit of a major label deal is a lot of money behind you. They are able to advertise and get you into bigger venues. All of this money behind you comes at a price though. You essentially are owned by the label and are considered an employee. You get paid based on their profits, not on your drive to succeed.

You really don't need a major label to pick you up in order to become hugely successful. Matter of fact, a lot of indie artists are finding it a lot easier to put their time and effort into promoting themselves. With Internet Radio a lot more accessible to musicians than terrestrial radio, you have the ability to get "radio airplay" in your genre of music, even if you don't fit with any mainstream stations.

One of the main reasons indie artists like to remain independent is that there is no contract! They don't have to sell out to what will make the label the most money. They can do what they want, and perform where they want. It's just making a lot of sense now for independent bands to go with their own small business. You can always hire out Promoters and Distributors, should the need arise. You can keep your expenses low, duplicating CD's on your own if you'd like, or have one of the any number of CD duplication houses do it for you.

Once you decide to be an Independent Artist, that's it. "You're Signed"! You can treat yourself as if you are a success and take your career where you want it to go.

Remember that the only ones responsible for your success is you and your band mates. You'll make mistakes here and there, but you'll learn. There is just so much information out there that can help you succeed. Take your time and enjoy the ride!

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