Month: August 2010

Msi9w Week 8 – Networking Tips!

I am writing this from my iPad while I wait for one of the many flights I am taking today (and tomorrow) to get me and the kids to the UK. This is a great way to pass the time (although the kids are bugging me for the iPad!)

I loved this chapter in msi9w for pointing out one of the simplest techniques, but one which many people (including myself) neglect to do.

Listening….

And Ariel is right, the more you listen to someone the more they find you interesting.

Having attended music business conferences I can tell you this is absolutely the case. It is those times that I merely got into an interesting conversation with someone, without thinking about trying to sell myself, that I have gotten asked for my card. As soon as I approach someone I think can do something for me, with the selfish goal of getting them to notice me, I go unnoticed.

I have never had a problem talking and I enjoy the banter at social and business gatherings but there is one thing that I have learned and this book confirms that…

If you want or need something, then give it. It’s amazing what comes back to you when you do this genuinely.

And I love the simple, non-business follow-up email idea and it is something that I am going to do more of. If nothing else, it’s always great to forge new relationships!

The section on the business cards was great! I had some great pics by Mckinnon Photography , so I put a big pic of myself (the one that is on my website, myspace, YouTube, this blog) and my pitch on the card, along with the obvious contact details. I have had SO many compliments on the card and I am so glad that Msi9w encouraged me to go bold!

Only 1 week to go…

Blog Challenge Week 7 – How to build you email list.

It took me a while to catch onto the building an email list thing until last year when I started my Song of the Week project. I figured I needed to send the links to someone somewhere.

So I started with the people I knew, both where I live and around the world (I used to live in the UK). I sent out an email asking people if it was ok to have them on a list to send out my new song each week and that if they didn’t want to be on it to let me know. One person asked not to be on the list, which was cool, as I had sent it to around 100 people. Good start.

I spent my year mailing out my new songs and news, all the time adding new names and always including a funny ‘get-out’ clause. I wanted the emails to be personal and wanted the recipients to know that I was grateful to be allowed into their inboxes. I also happened to pick the year where I started to get placements and won some competitions, so it was nice to have a group to share it all with.

Then I read Music Success In Nine Weeks. There are so many other ways to get new people on your list. Not sure about the list swaps though. I am always so cautious about looking like I am taking advantage of someone when it is not my intention. Maybe I am over cautious but I like to go on my instincts.

But I loved the free give away thing. So I added a paragraph to my home page telling people that if they let me add them to my list I will email a free download. This really worked when I had a song on MTV recently. I got new email address and I mailed out the mp3 of the song. Everybody’s happy!

I like the tip on asking mySpace fans to be added. I have done that with Jango fans with success. There is always more to do and I am grateful to all the people that continue to stay on my email list. I will try never to bore you! 🙂

New York Baby!

So I was lucky enough not only to have 3 songs placed in a movie recently, but also got the chance to go to NYC to watch the movie and play a gig afterwards. Here are some ramblings about the experience…

Back in October I got a call from Vicki Walls who very politely asked me how I was when I answered the phone. I nearly hung up thinking she was trying to sell me something on a Saturday morning. I quickly realized that she was responding to my Sonicbids submission for a movie that she was music supervising. Ahem… quick change of attitude and tell the kids to be quiet and we got into a conversation that lead me to a great new relationship.

So they listened to ALL my music and placed 3 songs in the movie “Mayor Cupcake” starring Lea Thompson and Judd Nelson. Very exciting.

Then I get an email saying come to NYC to watch the movie and would I like to play a gig at Gavin Degraw’s club Nation Underground afterwards. Would I? Hmm, let me see…. YES!!

So Wednesday Aug 4th, along with a good friend, Joanne (who insisted on walking 2 paces behind me!), we set off to NYC.

When I got to the movie theatre I was embraced by Vikki and Alex Pires (the director) like we were old friends and they seemed to be very excited for me. I found out why.

The movie begins with my song ‘Perfect Girl‘. Seriously… it’s the first thing you hear. It was SO cool!

It is a really great family movie and so interesting to hear how they had placed my songs. The other songs they used were ‘High Maintenance‘ and ‘Happy‘.

Then came the party and gig. There were 6 bands and I was on 5th, but people stayed around. They seemed to really want to hear me play. I was SO flattered. We hung out with the writer, Art D’Alessandro, some of the actors from the movie and, to add to it all, my cousin, who had moved to NY two days earlier. And a party with lots of cupcakes has to be a good thing!

I had one of the most fun gigs ever. I brought my looper and ukelele (my new favorite instrument)and played the 3 songs from the movie and then got an encore so played some more. I wanted to thank Gavin Degraw for graciously giving over his club for us to party and play, but he was surrounded and I didn’t want to intrude and then he was gone. So thank you Gavin!

So after a great day and a good sleep, NYC was waiting for us to be total tourists. We started with Ground Zero and then Staten Island, Statue of Liberty, Central Park, expensive lunch, which lead to expensive boots purchase (of course!). Then Time Square and lucked out by getting the last two tickets for Wicked (middle, centre), then a pedicab ride to a very nice bar for drinks.

The NYC trip exceeded my expectations and I feel I have a new energy. Where to next?

Connecting with Fans – Blog Challenge Week 6

This was a scary chapter as the Music Success In Nine Weeks asks us to take off our artist’s hats and put on business ones. We’re not in Kansas anymore!

I totally get the 1000 true fans thing… I really do (it’s an interesting concept). But I don’t want to bother the people who allow me into their inboxes with surveys so I can find out what they want, which sounds silly even as I write this. Surely I want to find out what they want, then I can give it to them.

Also, I don’t do a newsletter ( I know, I am a very bad student). I don’t like getting newsletters, usually as they have lots of images that don’t automatically appear in my email and I find them a little impersonal. Just my opinion. I find adding colour and images hides the message of what you want to say.

I prefer to send personal style emails to my email list and only when I have some news or a new project. There is usually something going on with my music as I obsessively try to get it licensed, so I send out an email around once or twice a month. If I need to ask them to vote on a competition, or leave an itunes review I always try to ask in a way that let’s them know that I still appreciate them if they can’t/don’t want to.

As I write a LOT… it’s easy for me to give away free downloads and I think my list appreciates that I do.

So call me a bad student and I will keep an open mind about the survey thing. I think we all have to do as our gut tells us.

About a Blog… Challenge Week 5

Blogging about blogging while doing a blog challenge feels a little like overkill but here goes.

Week 5 of Music Success In Nine Weeks talks about the importance of blogging (I shall be using that word a lot in this blog!).

I have to admit that I was an anti-blogger. Who wants to read others rambling thoughts? Well, it seem like a lot of people do, so I dipped my toe in the water a while a go and gave it a go. I like that the book says not to over-think blogging. It kind of gave me the permission for the blog not to be perfect and I am NOT a perfectionist (which is great for writing lots of songs but not so great when try to anchor a boat… long story).

So the blogging is going great I now have to concentrate on finding blogs that I want to read, which is time consuming. Can someone please make a list of the blogs that I would like to read and contribute to? No? oh ok… I guess I will get to it. I have found a few that I really like to read that are on my blog roll over on the right there. But 50! There is work to be done!

Another part of that chapter tells you never to self-promote on other people’s blog… hooray!!!

So I have contributed to some blogs, stuff that i find interesting and really think that I have something to say about or experience of (like writing LOTS of songs!). This lead to http://www.songwritingscene.com/ doing a feature on me for which I was very grateful.

So there we have it …a blog about a blog. I have to admit I kind of enjoy blogging now… as long as there are people who want to read what I have to say.

Blog on!