Monday, July 31, 2006

Using Your Heart To Sell More Of Your Music To Fans

Public Relations (PR) in the music business seems to be dead. The days of red hot recording artist warming the hearts of fans have been frozen in time by cold yet ubiquitous marketing tactics.

Artists used to stay at the top of their fans hearts by doing really cool things for their fans. Artists used visit fans in the hospital, dedicate songs at concerts, to fans who were sick or dying, and artists used to actually meet the President's of their fan clubs.

If artists are going to differentiate themselves and sell more records to fans, they are going to have to start what I call "Heart Marketing" . Heart Marketing involves touching the hearts of fans - or, more importantly, showing the fans that the artist has a heart.

For example; Ludacris went to the school of one of his[female]fans to perform at a pep rally. "Luda " did this just as the media was starting to bash him for his lyrics ("move bitch..."). Needless to say, Luda's critics all fell silent (for the moment) after this great show of heart (PR). Oprah Winfrey (one of Luda's most powerful critics) even had Ludacris on her show, as a panelist for the movie Crash.

Most major labels and artists have ignored the fact that fans are more than money. Fans have feelings and can be moved to buy more units with Heart Marketing. Artists can turn fans into artist advocates and walking talking advertizements with one act of kindness.

Rascal Flatts, while accepting a Country Music (CMA) Award, in 2006, sent a shout out to a woman who was not doing well in the hospital - that's Heart Marketing. Country Music has Heart Marketing down to a science. Other formats should really consider Heart Marketing as part of it's overall marketing strategy.

Heart Marketing is a win win for everybody. All labels need to consider that fans look to artists for more than just music. Fans look to artists for many things including; inspiration, style and the ability to stir their emotions.

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Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Ugly Truth
About gifts and airplay

I'm really pissed. As I was clicking around the web today I came upon a blog that suggested that an artist can get airplay by sending pizza or some other gift to a radio station - WTF?

Providing a gift of any kind to a radio station is considered Payola - Plugola. A radio station employee (Program Director, Music Director, Air Talent etc) cannot accept any gift, from any artist, or record company in exchange for promotional consideration or airplay. No radio station (nor any smart DJ) will take the chance. Between the fines, the possible criminal record, the embarrassment and possibly ruining their career, no smart radio employee will accept your gift (or money).Don't waste your time trying to get radio airplay. I know that game and it's stacked against Indie Artists - in favor of Major Label Artists.

All the best,
Jeronimo Black

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Monday, July 24, 2006

What is more important in today's music business?

A.) Having a great sound?
B.) Executing a great marketing strategy?

If you chose "B", you may be on your way to stardom. In today's music business, having an effective web marketing strategy can make the difference between you being a local, national or international music star.

A key element in your web marketing strategy should be the selection of your bands name. Why? Because your bands name will also become your bands keyword on the Internet.

I'm sure you've heard of references to AOL Keywords, but AOL isn't the only place where people use keywords for search. Google, Yahoo, MSN, ASK and many other search engines use keywords to help millions of people find what they are looking for on-line.

If someone is looking for information about your band on the Internet, they are most likely, going to type your bands name into a search engine. When the search engine returns the results, you'll want your website, or your myspace page to be in the top of the listings.

My suggestion is to choose a crazy (or very creative) keyword. A crazy band name, when used as a keyword, will help your listings in search engines beyond your wildest imagination.

For example, let's examine two keywords for two music acts - "Panic At the Disco", a rock band and "Algebra" a soul and r&b group. When I Googled Panic at the Disico, Google returned 10,300,000 results. On the first page of Googles search results, every listing led me to information about the rock band, Panic At the Disco.

The very first Google listing, for Panic at the Disco, was for the bands video "It's Better If You Do". The second listing for Panic at the Disco was their bands website, The third result was Panic At the Disco at The fourth result was Panic at the Discos' myspace page. Fith was Panic at the Disco lyrics.

Get the picture? The first page in Googles' search results were all Panic at the Disco. Panic at the Disco is on an Indie Label.

Now let's briefly look a Algebra, a R&B Group on a Major Label.

I Googled Algebra, and you can guess my results. The term "Algebra" returned 86,000,000 results in Google. Algebra, the R&B Group wasn't listed anywhere in the first 10 pages of results. Most people doing searches will not dig past page two - in any search engine. The likelihood of the R&B Group Algebra, having any success on the Internet (from a marketing stand-point) is very slim.

So the lesson to be learned here is: choose a crazy or creative keyword and band name. With a crazy keyword people can find you easily on the Internet and that can improve your on-line marketing efforts by over 100%

To learn more about succeeding in today's music business, visit my website,

Wishing you music success.

Jeronimo Black

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Thursday, July 20, 2006

If you are a Hip-Hop Artist, then you should know Wendy Day, founder of Rap Coalition.

Below is a great article broadcast yesterday on NPRs' MarketPlace.

All the best,

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Monday, July 17, 2006

While chillin' with my son today, he casually said to me "Man I just want to get a record deal so I can get my music out there.." When he said that, I would have pulled out my hair if I hadn't shaved it off this morning.I told my son "it isn't really difficult to start a record label..." He then replied "I don't think I have the money to start one..." Now, I'm thinking about pulling out my eyebrows because he obviously hasn't been to my website. I have a free article that basically gives away the information on starting a record label.I informed my son that "...starting a record label only cost about $500 - max. Of course, I encouraged him to check out my website and read the article Start Your Own Record Label. I hope he checks out the article and I hope you do to.All the best,Jeronimo!!

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Thursday, July 13, 2006

Women: Band Together to Re-tune the Sound of Today's Music
by Jeronimo Black

If you're a woman in the Music Business, I know you're tired of talentless 'Fem-bots' and their pop drivel. I know you're tired of the music charts being stacked with artist who amount to lip-gloss and boobs on legs. If you're a woman in music, you must be sick of truly compellingly emotive lyrics being ignored, while bubble-gum limericks top the music charts.

You may ask yourself, "how is it that my songs reach deep into the soul of every woman, but I can't reach more than a few?" If you've asked [or your close friends] this, the answer is inside of you.

What organizations are you a part of? There are many Women in music organizations that can help you with your music. From songwriting, to music promotion, there are many organizations that serve Women in music. To get started, check out Browse around and join some of the Women in music groups.

In the Music Business, a woman's need for individuality, and the need to be 'the one', is only reinforcing the sonic glass ceiling in the Music Business. The sonic glass ceiling the invisible organizational barrier that prevents many women, in the music biz, from attaining the results, they desire from the Music Business.

The women who do succeed in the Music Business, use their leadership abilities to force cracks in the sonic glass ceiling and burst into the stratosphere. This article provides some tips that Women in music should consider in order to dance in the stratosphere.

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Saturday, July 08, 2006

The Digi-Indie Label: The New Sound Wave of the Future

The Major Labels have been known to be unfair to artists. Many Major Label artist are now speaking up about, Major Label shady accounting practices, non-disclosure clauses and delayed payments.

On the postitive side, Major Labels have a great promotion and distrbution structure. This means that if your project is released, the the chances of it being properly promoted and makes money increases greatly.

Although, many talented artists signed to a Major Label, have had projects put on hold, or, "shelved". It's been reported that Alicia Keys was shelved by her first record company because the A&R staff couldn't hear a market for her material(WTF!??).

Major Labels are not the way to go (IMO).

Many Indie Labels fail within the first three years (like your average business). Although Indie Labels are dedicated to the creative proccess,they often lack the capital or connections to compete with and beat the majors at selling records.

There is a third way - a better way that allows you to control your own works. I call it a Digi-Indie Label. A Digi-Indie Label is an Independent Label that is digital based.

A Digi-Indie Label has it's headquarters in your inside of your computer. With a Digi-Indie Label, you can record your material, manage the administrative, promotion, marketing, distribution and sales of your material all from your computer.

I personally think that the Digi-Indie Label is the next wave of the music business.

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Friday, July 07, 2006

One Reason Why Radio Won't Play Indie Music
And What You Can Do About It

by Jeronimo Black

As I clicked on a popular music business forum, I was greeted with a question. The question was posted was "why won't commercial radio play music by Indie Artists?"

My reply to this person was as follows:

"As a former Operations Manager and Music Director on both the Comm and Non-Comm sides, Let me break the reason down for you.

Commercial Radio needs ratings to get paid from advertisers. Most advertiser's, on radio, are ad agencies. Ad agencies base their "buys" (sponsorships) on a Cost per point ("CPP") basis. CPP is based on how many thousands of listeners a radio station can capture in a 15 minute period (or cume).

Many commercial radio [Program and Music] don't want to put thier ratings at risk, by airing an 'untested song' on the air. So what these commercial radio directors do, is, air music based on the national charts provided by Radio and Records, Broadcast Data Systems (BDS) and Billboard.

These charts are mainly influenced by the major labels via promotions and strategic alliances.

Your best best is to do like Knarles Barkley. Knarles Barkleys' single "Crazy" went #1 on the internet and radio couldn't help but to get them the single on the air.

Get your music on music submission sites, make some noise on the net, and get a account so you can get your music on iTunes and start promoting.

I suggested this because the music business is going digital. Clear Channel has a partnership with where they will feature a certain amount of new artists every week in on their website. Since Clear Channel is the biggest and most innovative broadcaster in the music business, it's just a matter of time before the other cowardly copy-cat broadcasters will follow suit.

Log onto my website to learn more about how to get your music to music submission sites.


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Thursday, July 06, 2006

7 Rules of Successful Myspace Music Promotion

In a very short time, has become the hottest music promotional tool available to anyone. Here are the 7 rules of successful myspace music promotion, brought to by Succeed In the Music Biz.

Get a music page.
Getting a music page is free so there is no reason not to have one.

Make sure your page is user friendly.
Many music business professionals have myspace pages that take too long to load. If your myspace page loads too slow, you could be losing potential fans. Mega bandwidth graphics and images will prevent your page from loading quickly. Your myspace page should take no longer than 20 – 30 seconds to load.

Many artists on myspace use layouts that emphasize their creativity but are a nightmare to navigate. To prevent your friends from living a waking nightmare on your page, refrain from using dancing cursor’s, raining text, and distracting images on your myspace music pages.

Other myspace artists have 'about me' blurbs that go on forever. Keep about me blurbs short (no more than 1000 words), if people want to know more about you, they will ask.

Have your music on your myspace page.
Don’t put someone else’s music on your myspace page unless you were involved in the creation of the music. How can you be discovered if your music isn’t on your page?

Reach out for friends.
Networking on myspace is one of the most powerful tools you can use to build your fan-base. Take advantage of the opportunity to reach people with like interests. Never ignore or decline a friend request. You never know who can help your career.

Treat your Myspace friends like friends.
Common courtesy applies on myspace just as in real life. Be willing to thank your friends for adding you as a friend. Respond to friend’s emails (if appropriate). Never post your ad as a comment on someone’s myspace page without acknowledging them. Limit the size of your “ad comments”.

Promote yourself in appropriate ways on Myspace
Noteworthy career benchmarks, or new music added to your page are good reasons to promote yourself on myspace. List your performance dates on your page and use bulletins to let people know where you are performing. Limit the number of bulletins you post. Posting irrelevant bulletins, or posting bulletins too often, will force your friends to ignore you.

Let people know about your page. Putting your unique address on your website and business cards will make it convenient for you to build your network and fan base faster.

Provide ways for people to purchase your music from your myspace page.
If you sell your music anywhere online make sure there is a direct link from your myspace page to the location where people can buy your music.

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