Archive for September, 2013

A post by Marie Wise from Christian Band Help…http://christianbandhelp.com/

College Campus Booking for Christian Bands

By Uni-ico.png: Kamalanand Karel Černík derivative work: Furfur (This file was derived from:  Uni-ico.png) [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsSeveral nationally famous secular bands and comedians built the beginning of their careers on playing at college campuses.  There is certainly some money to be made and some exposure to be gained on campus. But playing college campus gigs, as everything else in life, it’s not always as wonderful as it appears to be.  Before your Christian band spends quite a bit of money and time trying to book shows on college campuses, let’s look at how it works and what you should realistically expect.

There are two major bookers on most campuses:

 The Student Activities Center

 The Performing Arts Center

Identifying which venue your bands fits into (if either) is probably the most important step to take in determining if booking college campuses is right for your Christian band.

These venues are looking for particular types of entertainment. No amount of time or money that you spend on attempting to book your band into these venues will produce results if your band is simply not a good fit for their needs. These venues are run differently, have different goals and different needs than almost any other venue your band might play. So, it behooves us to gain a little understanding about them before we hit them up for booking a show.

The Student Activities Center provides entertainment for students on campus. They are funded by fees collected from students for campus activities. The total of these fees determine the budget for the activities for the year. The Student Activities Committee can increase their budget if they sell tickets to the events, but many schools do not want or require them to do so. Student Activities are booked by a student committee which is overseen by a staff member.  These students are not necessarily music lovers. Most often they have signed up to be on the committee to build their resume or get credits from a class. Although there are always some students who choose this committee because they have an interest in the entertainment industry, in my experience, it seems that many students choose this particular committee because they want to be associated with something cool and popular.

The Performing Arts Center is interested in the cultural advancement of performing arts such as theater, dance, classical, international groups etc. This center is usually booked by the Director of the Performing Arts facility.  Often they are a full time staff member who is also a Music or Theater Professor. The Performing Arts Center can be funded by grants, and usually receives an additional budgeted amount from the school. Ticket and concession sales add to the total amount they can spend each year.

It is important to note that unlike most other venues your band might play, both the Student Activities Center and the Performing Arts Center are more interested in spending their entire budget than in making a profit.

The reasoning behind this is that if they do not use their entire budget this school year, they are unlikely to get the same amount or more next year. This one difference is why many performers believe that playing school campuses can be much more lucrative than other venues.

There are several organizations that both serve and unite the different campuses:

Performing Arts Centers are united by one main national organization called the Association of Performing Arts Presenters.

Campus Performing Arts Centers are included in this group along with every other type of Performing Arts Center. Most of these centers are nonprofit organizations funded primarily by grants and donations. Performing Artists and their managers or agents as well as an assortment of vendors also join this group in order to network with the Performing Arts Centers.

CLICK HERE to go to their About page. 

Annual Membership Fees for artists range from $300 to $2,475 depending on your bands income.

There are also several Regional Performing Arts Organizations:

 Southern Arts Federation

 Mid-America Arts Alliance

 Arts Midwest

 Western Arts Alliance

Each of their membership fees varies but is slightly less than the national organizations.

Student Activities Centers primarily use two organizations that are devoted exclusively to college campus activities.

Performers, managers or agents and the campus booking committees join these organizations, as well as an assortment of vendors.

• National Center for Campus Activities (oldest and most well known organization)

CLICK HERE to go to their Associate FAQ’s:

Regional Associate membership (for Indies) starts at $240. National Associate membership (for Indies) starts at $586

• Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities

CLICK HERE to go to their About page for artists and agents.

Basic Package starts at $299

All of these organizations provide an assortment of resources and advice for their members. But, the big deal for bands is the showcases at the conventions, also known as booking conferences. These organizations each hold at least one major showcase per year (many hold several smaller ones as well) at which performers do a short set to an audience full of bookers from campuses all over the country. Almost every school sends at least one representative to the showcases to check out which performers will be the best fit for their venue. So, one short set has the potential to net hundreds of booked gigs.

All this sounds great so far doesn’t it? More money and more gigs all from joining one or two organizations and playing a short set… who doesn’t want that?

Now let’s discuss reality…

General Problems with Booking Campus Gigs for Christian Bands:

• The number one problem bands face with trying to book gigs on campuses is that the music they produce is not a good fit for the campus.  If your bands music does not appeal to college students, you will not be booked not matter how much time or money you spend. Know your bands audience before you start booking.

• Christian Bands have an especially difficult time getting booked on campuses because schools do not want to get involved in religion. Your band must be willing to eliminate the Christian speak and focus your marketing and stage show on wholesome entertainment. Some bands feel this eliminates their Gospel message; other bands view it as a way to start a conversation with non Christians. You need to do what is right for your bands ministry, but do not waste your time and money trying sell a message that schools will not pay to hear.

• All the showcases at booking conventions are EXTREMELY DIFFICULT to get into. Being accepted into the showcase seems to be a combination of producing an exceptional video to submit with your application and the current whim of the judges. Your band cannot control the judges, but the importance of spending a large amount of time and money on the video cannot be understated. Your bands video will be up against the very best and out of hundreds of submissions the judges will choose about 20.

• Showcases at conventions are expensive. Some of the costs involved are: joining the organization (membership fees), producing an amazing professional quality video, paying the organization to play at the showcase, booth fees at the convention, travel to and from the convention, housing and feeding the band during the convention, and all the promotional materials you need to stock your booth.  All this will cost the band thousands of dollars.

• Campus gigs usually have small audiences. Remember that your band will not be working with bookers who must make a profit. They are not as concerned with the audience size as with spending their budget. So, even though the band may be paid well, in the long term playing too many poorly attended campus gigs can be detrimental to growing your bands fan base.

Problems with Booking Campus Activity Center Gigs:

• Student committees have a high turnover. Most students do not stay on the committee for more than a year. Many of these committees do not have or keep specific office hours. So, contacting the student committee at any time during the booking process is a challenge in itself. Contacting them to rebook is nearly impossible. The best option is to ask for the name, phone number, and office hours of the staff person who oversees the committee. If after several attempts you cannot reach the student committee, you should be able to contact the staff advisor.

• Student committees are the least experienced promoters you will ever work with. They do not know how to advertise the concert. They also have very little knowledge of even your most basic needs as a performer (think electricity or a stage area). You must ask specific basic questions during the booking process and be prepared for chaos when you arrive.

• Student committees are usually run by voting. This means that only the most popular styles of music and the bands with the most fun stage shows will be booked. Extreme music styles or overly artistic bands will not be considered.

Problems with Booking Performance Arts Center Gigs:

• Your bands music must be an artistic and cultural experience in order to be booked. This may be a great venue if for example your band plays Celtic music and most of your band members are classically trained instrumentalists. But if your band plays an extremely hard style of music you will not be considered for booking.

• Performing Arts Centers typically host very few concerts because they prefer to keep their roster diversified with all the performing arts. This means that the centers are very difficult to book even for the best musicians because there are so few openings to be filled.

• Performing Arts Centers booking are most often decided or predominately influenced by one person. This one person has their favorites, their likes and dislikes and if your band is not it you will not be booked.

Understanding how the campus venues handle booking, what kind of musicians they are looking for and the problems of working with these venues should help your Christian band determine if campus gigs are right for your bands ministry. These venues can be very difficult to book and to work with, but they also can pay more than most of your bands other gigs. So, the extra time and up front expenses may be worth it for your band.

Stay tuned for Part Two of Booking College Campuses: How to Make the Most of College Campus Gigs.

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A Guest Post by Crowd Audio

 

website marketing for musicians

 

We’ve touched upon the importance of your web presence slightly in our earlier post: The Ultimate Guide to Creating Press Kits for Musicians.

While the EPK(electronic press kit) can substitute for your website, you shouldn’t neglect making your website the hub from which you make your presence known.

Relying on Facebook and other social networking services can be a great way to build your following, but you ultimately want total control over your musical message.

It’s simply too dangerous to rely on other companies to care about your music more than you do.

Don’t “Digitally Sharecrop” Your Music

Reverbnation, BandCamp and all those sites are amazing services for the musician. But they are all third-party services that you ultimately don’t have any control over.

When Facebook decides it’s not interested in promoting music anymore because the new Myspace is so good at it, what’s gonna happen to all those fans you’ve reached out to on Facebook?

Will you still reach them? Or will Facebook just shut down all your hard work?

That’s what digital sharecropping is. Relying on a service you have no control over and then being the victim of their whims.

That’s no good. Didn’t you become a musician because you wanted to do things your way without people telling you what to do?

Your website is the most important thing for your presence online. You shouldn’t ignore all the awesome social networking sites that are available to musicians, but make it a goal to bring your fans to your website.

Why Have Your Own Website?

Including everything I’ve said above, the most important aspect is that it allows you to structure the experience you want your fans to have.

All the social networking sites are the same. The layout is basically the same for any band, whether they’re hip-hop or grindcore. But on your own website you can show your fans what your most important thing is.

And not only that, you can design your website so that you focus on the most important action you want your fans to take.

  • Your Music – Are you trying to sell your music? Have an obvious way for your fans to listen to and buy your music as soon as they land on your site.
  • Your Tour – Are you currently touring? Display your tour dates prominently on your website and allow your fans to sign up to your email list so you can notify them when you play a show close to them. My friend Ian McFeron lets you choose  whether you get notifications for the whole tour schedule or just when he’s playing close by.
  • Your Funding – Bands have really jumped on the crowdfunding bandwagon, especially on websites such as PledgeMusic. If you have a campaign going and you need some extra funding, advertising your crowdfunding campaign might be a good priority.

Those are just some ideas. Your situation might be different and you might want to focus on something else that makes your band special. Just focusing on capturing your fan’s email is an important aspect of marketing your band. It doesn’t have to have a big reason behind it.

What it all comes down to is the importance of customization. You want to have the final say in how your band is portrayed.

Other Important Website Content

As well as your #1 Call to Fans, your website has to have all the other things that make up a website or a press kit.

  • Contact – Email, phone number, contact form or whatever. Make sure your easy to contact. And respond to fans! Nothing is more exhilarating than getting a response from a band you admire.
  • Music – Don’t bury your music deep down in some page on your website. If it’s not your #1 Call to Fans, then it should be the second thing everyone sees on your site. You are a musician after all, and your music is what you’re all about. If you’re not ready to publicize your music because you don’t know how to mix it, our engineers can take care of that for you.
  • Bios – Let your visitors know who you are about, but don’t bore them to tears. A simple, concise bio focused on your music and your successes is better than a long life story nobody cares about because you’re not famous yet.
  • Shows – Bands don’t tour all the time so tour dates aren’t always relevant. But if you’re playing locally you should put up your dates on your website so that potential fans can come see you live.

How to Set Up Your Band Website?

The reason social networking sites for musicians work so well is because they are so easy to set up. Everything is done for you and you just need to upload some pictures, videos and music along with your bio and you’re good to go!

Creating your own website isn’t as easy, but it’s far from difficult.

One of the biggest hurdles with creating your own website is the matter of hosting. Having your own website does cost but it’s not expensive and it’s definitely worth the investment. However, if you are seriously strapped for cash then there are free resources out there.

Free Website Resources

tumblrTumblr – Tumblr is extremely popular and can be used for a variety of purposes. I’ve never used Tumblr but Music Think Tank has a pretty good good on Tumblr for musicians.

wordpress

WordPress.com – WordPress.com is the free version of WordPress, not to be confused with WordPress.org which needs separate hosting.

WordPress is my blogging/website tool of choice and it extremely versatile for musicians.

It is a great way to start out, especially if you’re planning on migrating over to a paid WordPress site in the future.

Self-Hosted Resources

I won’t go into the details of which hosting company you should use. Plenty of websites have done that before me, with differing results.

The bottom line is that you need to make the website creation process easy on yourself. Whatever hosting company you go with, make sure they have one-click installs on popular blogging platforms such as WordPress.

You don’t want to have to learn FTP to set up your website. You should only need to click one button before you can start customizing your website.

Domain Name

If you buy hosting and set up your own website, you must also buy your own domain name. Every hosting company will sell you domain names along with their hosting, and that’ usually the simplest way to go about it.

I think GoDaddy.com is still the cheapest when it comes to domain names, but you would have to go through some hassle with moving the domain name over to your other hosting company.

Additionally, your band name might not be very unique, in which case your domain name is probably already taken.

The simplest way to fix this problem is to add -music or -band behind your name when you register your domain name. So if you’re band name was 10th Street Yuppies and http://www.10thstreetyuppies.com was taken by some weird brokerage firm you would simply buy the domain name http://www.10thStreetYuppiesMusic.com

It’s not the most perfect solution but it’s the easiest one.

Conclusion

In the following weeks I’ll go into more detail on specific themes and plug-ins you might want to use on your WordPress site. If you choose to use another service I think you will still get some value from those ideas.

To sum it up, a solid website is a great asset to have. It enables you to showcase exactly who you are and what you are all about. It differentiates you from all the other bands that have the same, lame-looking social profile on the newest music network.

Make those profiles as well, but every road should lead back to your own domain.


 

Crowd Audio helps you take your music to the next level. They connect independent bands and musicians with excited audio engineers eager to help them with their music.

If you’re a musician, Crowd Audio gives you access to a community of audio engineers eager to mix and master your music, giving it that professional sound.

If you’re an audio engineer, Crowd Audio creates a community of like minded individuals looking to gain experience by doing the audio work they love.

Through community and crowdsourced competition, bands get a professionally produced sound while audio engineers get exposure and experience.

 

Katelyn’s IMEA nominations were recently reported on in one of her hometown papers !   Don’t forget to vote !! http://imeaawards.com/

Katelyn also just returned home from Nashville, TN where she completed recording lead vocals for her debut project for Dreamin’ Out Loud Entertainment.

View pics from that trip here…Nashville trip #2

Newspaper article on Katelyn

By , About.com Guide

It’s not who you know, it’s how you do it! Whether you’re trying to promote a club or service organization event, a new product or even your business, here’s how to get a plug on the radio.
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: varied

Here’s How:

  1. Whatever it is you want to get a plug in for, dress it up. For instance: look for an interesting angle, maybe something a little wacky, new or different about your event, product or business.
  2. Write a press release. It should not be longer than one standard page.
  3. Call the radio station(s) you are interested in and ask for the name of the Public Affairs or Promotion Director, the News Director and the Morning Show producer or host(s).
  4. Fax or email your press release to all the people you put on your list.
  5. Several days after you send your press release, follow up with a phone call. Leave a message if you get voice mail.
  6. If everyone ignores you, call the morning show live and convince the producer you have something worth telling the hosts.
  7. If you are put on hold, don’t panic. Relax and smile. When the host(s) picks up your call, thank him or her and tell your story.
  8. If you can’t get through, a sure fire way to get a moment on the air is to arrive at the radio station with breakfast for the morning show. Make sure you tack on your press release to the food.
  9. Follow up and send a quick thank you note or email to the morning show if they put you on.

Tips:

  1. Always sound upbeat, friendly, and willing to be flexible to promote your event.
  2. Food almost ALWAYS gets you a plug. DJs are weak.
  3. Dressing in a goofy costume will almost always get you a moment on the air. Add food to that and you’ll probably be given an air-shift of your own!
  4. Don’t give up easy, but don’t waste your time with stations or hosts who are continually nasty or totally non-responsive.
  5. Remember: some events lend themselves to different stations depending on the demographic you are seeking. Think about who you are trying to reach with your plug and then pick the appropriate station.

What You Need

  • Word processor
  • Telephone
  • Computer
  • Food

Some Helpful Tips

Posted: September 13, 2013 in Breaking News, Helpful Tips

Here are some articles that contain some very helpful tips…

http://socialmedia4music.com/2013/09/11/96/

 

Creative recording artists needed for a unique ‘Homesick’ project…

Hi fellow independent recording artist group members!

My name is Oliver and I’m the founder of a new music platform called SoundShoots –http://www.soundshoots.com/

At SoundShoots we’re currently looking for talented and forward-thinking recording artists to create a new demo about being ‘Homesick’.

This project provides you with an opportunity to land a commercial remix of your ‘Homesick’ track by one of the fastest rising stars in breaks and bass driven music, Refracture. The remix of your ‘Homesick’ demo will be commercially released and you will receive a 40% revenue share of the remix of your ‘Homesick’ track.

Background: Refracture, aka Paul Dobson, is one of the UK’s fastest rising producer talents. He regularly scores top 10 placements on Beatport and has a number of creative remixes to his name, ranging from upcoming talents, to established acts including Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails.

What Refracture is looking for: Refracture challenges you to create a brand new 2-3 minute nostalgic track that captivates being homesick. He is looking for you to create something emotive that centres around a lead hook, or a series of hooks, that will form the basis of his remix of your track. This ‘hook’ could be an original vocal recording, a guitar riff, a string arrangement or otherwise. The genre and general style of your track can be anything you like!

What happens if you’re chosen: If your track is chosen by Refracture then he will create a remix of your track, which will be released through Refracture’s record label, Fractured music. The remix will be distributed digitally through Beatport, from which you will in earn a 40% share in the sales revenue (after commissions taken by Beatport).

For more information of this project, please head to http://www.soundshoots.com/create. Submissions for this opportunity close at 10am on 16th September (UK time).

If you would like to create and submit a track for this opportunity, or if you have any questions about it, then please feel free to get in touch with me either via posting on this thread or emailing me directly at oliver@soundshoots.com and I’ll be very welcoming of your contact.

I hope you find this opportunity of interest and I look forward to your contact!

Oliver

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How to Succeed with Marketing Automation: A Change Management Lesson Plan


How to Succeed with Marketing Automation: A Change Management Lesson Plan
Implementing a marketing automation solution is just the beginning to achieving marketing greatness. You need to make sure your people, process, and technology are aligned to get the fastest speed-to-results. But you can’t map bad processes to new technology, you need complete user adoption in order to be successful, and you need to proactively grow your solution as marketing continues to evolve.

It’s like buying a Ferrari and keeping it in the garage. You need to get out, drive it around, and get the full experience! It is the same philosophy with marketing automation. You need to be proactive an dimplement th eright processes in order to maximize the full potential of your technology solutions.

Fortunately, there are many techniques you can use in order to enable your teams and identify the skill sneeded to see significant success. Download this resource to learn more.

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Implementing a marketing automation solution is just the beginning to achieving marketing greatness. You need to make sure your people, process, and technology are aligned to get the fastest speed-to-results.

 

The sixth issue of MACKIE Magazine is now out !! Included in this issue are profiles of Benita Bellamy, Canopy Red, Donna Gray, Rachel Belman, Gerald Purify and many, many more !! The Indianapolis Gospel recording group Zion’s Joy are featured on the cover !!

 

Be sure to check it out…..http://www.dreaminoutloudent.com/mackie/