Wednesday, July 06, 2005

A Story...

I just recently discovered an incredible resource for a guy like me in the Indie Music Promotion Blog by Bob Baker. What a wealth of information and encouragement it carries for a musician facing the daunting task of making his/her name known in a sea of musicians.

See, the Internet has changed everything about the music industry, and it will yet drive even more change. One of the ways it has changed things is in opportunity. Let me tell you a little story…

Ten years ago—No, twelve—I recorded and released an independent cassette called, “A Joyful Noise”. It had ten songs, and I was really proud of it. I managed to sell a few of them, but most of them I gave away. I don’t think it got more than a few miles from my Salt Lake City home. Actually, now that I think of it, I remember giving a copy to a friend from my home town in Indiana.

The internet was in its infancy then, and I hadn’t even heard of it.

Fast forward a few years, to the later ‘90’s. I had discovered the ‘net, and had learned how to make web pages, and had been doing them for others and teaching them how to promote them for a few years. A good friend of mine convinced me to start promoting my music on the web again. I was looking for a way to share samples of that cassette, plus the newer songs I was writing. That was the time just before when mp3’s were starting to break out into the popular culture. I set up my site, and posted up a couple of songs. Gradually adding more as I recorded them, building up my fan base, and my mailing list.

Fast forward to now. I’ve got a CD out that’s selling from my website. I’ve had over 15,000 downloads of my various songs. I’ve gotten emails from fans from all over the world, from as far away as India, Europe, and Indonesia. And I’ve never signed a record contract with a label, small or otherwise.

My point? That without the Internet, my music would have never gone much farther than my immediate circle of family and friends. With the Internet, I am worldwide. It’s not a question of whether or not the ‘Net helped me do things “better”. It allowed me to do things that were IMPOSSIBLE without it.

But that’s also the problem.

Because along with me discovering that the Internet was a great place to promote my independent music, millions of other indies also were discovering the same thing. Go to and type “Music”. You’ll get, on any given day, anywhere between 300 and 500 MILLION results.

That brings me back to the blog at hand. It’s all about how to find your audience and connect with that audience so that in their minds you rise above those 300 to 500 million to become the one they turn to first.


Sounds to me like what any business should be doing, right?

The similarities are amazing. As you go out and do searches on the ‘Net, don’t you find there are millions of others doing the same kinds of businesses? There is nothing new under the sun. There is always going to be competition. How do you rise above it to become the one that your audience turns to?

Well, first of all, you have to identify your audience. Trying to be all things to everyone is a great way to become nothing to anyone. Who do you really want to come to your store?

Second of all, you have to reach out to them. Here’s an excerpt from one of Bob’s recent posts:

“Every day, do something to promote your music (read: “your business”). Reply to an e-mail from a fan. Send a review copy of your CD to a new media source. Call a club owner to set up a gig. Talk to another artist about a cross-promotion idea. Search online for new Internet opportunities.

”The activity doesn't have to be earth shaking. As long as the actions you take are focused on connecting with more fans, doing something simple every day will reap huge rewards just three to six months from now. I guarantee it.”

I guarantee it, too. It’s happened to me. It’s happening to me. Make it happen for you.

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