You outta be in pictures! In fact, as a performing musician in today’s self-promoting, DIY world, every one of your shows should be photographed and everyone who is there supporting your music should be included. Take pictures of your fans having a great time at your show. You should also have pictures taken of the band performing, the crowd interacting, the sound man, the club manager, the show poster on the door, the waitresses… everyone! (Of course, if you do children’s music, it’s important to secure the proper permissions before taking pictures of your audience.) Then, immediately after each show, follow up with everyone who was there using the pictures from the gig for viral marketing!

There are several web-based applications, such as Flickr, that will provide storage for your images online, and easy-to-use tools that enable you to share your memories with fans through your email newsletters, and Web sites such as MySpace, Facebook, Reverbnation, and your band’s own Web site.

Before you know it, your fans will link to the images from within their own personal blogs and social networking sites, and your gig pictures will quickly become viral marketing vehicles, making more and more people aware of your music!

With Flickr, you can upload pictures, add descriptions, links, and keyword tags, and then organize them into “Sets.” Here’s a link to my gig Sets on Flickr. A screen capture of my gig Sets page is presented below. Notice, each Set is focused on a particular show.

Picture 10

Each thumbnail image above leads to a Flickr Set page. Here is a link to a Set of pictures from a recent Debbie and Friends gig at the Cape Playhouse in Dennis, MA. The Set contains 17 pictures. Interesting to note that even though I only sent the link to a handful of people, the gig Set has been viewed 290 times on Flickr as of this article’s writing. The hits came from link-sharing and viral marketing efforts by a few fans. Nice!

You can add descriptions and thank you messages to the fans as a way to personalize your gig picture Sets, along with a link to drive traffic to your band’s site, after the images have been enjoyed. See an example of this below.

Picture 9

Here’s a quick, step-by-step list on how to get started using Flickr for your band’s gig memories.

1. Create a Flickr account. There are free- and fee-based versions available, depending on your needs. You will also need a Yahoo email account to create a Flickr account.
2. Log into your account.
3. Upload pictures.
4. Edit your pictures with comments and tags.
5. Organize your pictures into sets.
6. Spread the word: embed the set page link into your email newsletter and on your Web site(s).

There are many more features to explore on Flickr. To learn more, take the tour at http://www.flickr.com/tour

Sharing pictures after a gig is a great way to help build community with your fans and provide tools that enable them to share their excitement about your music with others.

You really outta be in pictures!

In fact, as a performing musician in today’s self-promoting, DIY world, every one of your shows should be photographed and everyone who is there supporting your music should be included. Take pictures of your fans having a great time at your show, the band performing, the soundman, the club manager… EVERYONE! Then, use your concert pictures as a viral marketing tool!

There are several web-based applications, such as flickr, that will provide storage for your images online, and easy-to-use tools that enable you to share your memories with fans through your email newsletters and Web sites.

Before you know it, your fans will link to the images from within their own blogs and social networking sites, and your gig pictures will quickly become viral marketing vehicles, making more and more people aware of your music!!

Here is an example of a set of pictures from a recent “Debbie and Friends” show. Interesting to note that even though I sent the Flickr link to only a handful of people, the page has been viewed 130 times on flickr as of this post’s writing. The hits came from link-sharing and viral marketing efforts by a few enthusiastic fans.

Sharing pictures after a gig is a great way to help build community with your fans and provide tools that enable them to share their excitement about your music with others.

You really outta be in pictures! More information can be found here.

How does a brand new, unsigned artist get Amazon and CD Baby to stock up on a new release, and then immediately sell through by the dozens?

In addition to an integrated marketing plan that includes press, radio, and touring, good old-fashioned word-of-mouth is a marketing power-tool, especially when fueled by the reach of an email address list that contains trusting colleagues and friends.

Here’s an example word-of-mouth email that my brother sent to 100 of his colleagues and friends, upon the release of my children’s music CD
Debbie and Friends Story Songs and Sing Alongs:

“Pardon the bcc: email but I am compelled to share with you the best kid’s music CD in existence! Now I acknowledge I am biased and possess no musical talent – BUT I’ve listened to a ton of this stuff and no one has done it better than my sister Debbie with her most impressive newly released CD. Please consider buying it (via the below link) for your kids, friends, nieces/nephews, grandkids! It is great to give as birthday present or stocking stuffer! I’d appreciate it if you would forward this along to some others who might be interested! You can also click on the link at the very bottom to learn more about the remarkable musical career Debbie is in the midst of! Thank you!
Best regards, Bob”

As a result of this email, my Web site traffic, Amazon, and CD Baby orders went crazy for two solid weeks. The people who received my brother’s email message went on to buy and then recommended my CD to some of their friends, and the activity continues to flourish. One heartfelt email message written by my brother ignited a flurry of activity and helped to support other promotional efforts that were underway.

This word-of-mouth (email) approach has been replicated by other friends, neighbors, and family members who love the music and want to share it with their contacts. I’m more convinced than ever that word-of-mouth marketing works, whether promoting a new CD, a music program, or any endeavor you are passionate about. Enthusiasm is contagious and word-of-mouth (email) marketing works!

P.S. Thanks Bob!

iMix for Promotion

Oct 27 2007

How can you put your music in front of people who are searching for better-known artists of your genre? Create an iMix with their music and yours combined!

What is an iMix? Think of it as a playlist that you share with the entire iTunes community. It’s designed to help the listener, but it is also a wonderful promotional vehicle for artists.

I am a children’s music artist under the name of Debbie and Friends and have a new CD that needs some buzz. Part of my marketing strategy includes creating iMixes that combine my music with better established, highly-searched children’s music artists that, like me, cater to the pre-school demographic.

Here is my first kid’s music iMix (my songs are listed on tracks 4, 7, and 12):

Higher-rated iMixes get more visibility, so it’s important to send it to as many folks as possible! For example, promote the iMix link on your blog… ; )

I’ll report back on the results after a few weeks. In the meantime, I’d love to know how some of you are planning to use iMixes to promote your music.

Good luck!