Posts Tagged ‘website’

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Using Social Media to Promote Your Music. Part 2 – Where to Begin

October 5, 2010
5 Ways to Cultivate an Active Social Network

Image by Intersection Consulting via Flickr

As covered in part 1 there are numerous forms of social media that can be used in a variety of ways. Each has its own strengths and weakness and it is not always necessary to use all forms, rather concentrate on a few that fit you and your situation best.

It is important that before you begin you have devised a strategy and outlined what you want to achieve. This can be numerous things. Maybe you want to increase your profile in the local area, or promote upcoming events.  Initially focus on one or two of these key goals, making sure not to over complicate your message.

List what resources you have to use to aid your promotion. Do you have band artwork, audio tracks, video and an EPK? If you do not have the later this is your fist priority (see our guide). These various mediums can be used to promote your work.

After setting out your goals and evaluating your resources you able to review the social media options and choose those that best fit your needs.

If you are a beginner it is advisable to begin with Facebook as it allows you to use the most varied amount of promotional materials in the simplest way. Chances are you already have a Facebook account with links to your friends and family. By creating a ‘Like’ page for your music these contacts can help by being advocates for you and your work, spreading the word to their networks. Below is a video that details the advantages of promoting on Facebook and how to go about it.

As a musician it is also important you have a Myspace page. Myspace can act as an online EPK. With the number of musicians and music professionals using this site it is a good idea you have at least a basic presence.

The key thing to remember when starting to promote your music using social media is to be focused. Start using one or two networking sites and build from there. It is better to build and maintain one quality network presence than numerous poorer less maintained ones. As your networks grow it becomes easier to expand into other forms of social media and begin to cross promote with these networks.

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A Guide to EPK’S and Artist Promotion

June 10, 2010

by Simon Miminis

Today we delve into part 1 of a two-part column that will focus on artist self promotion and marketing. Unfortunately, many “non-mainstream” musicians tend to lack the knowledge required to self-promote and help sell their music to fans, concert/festival promoters, bar owners, record labels, etc (and the list goes on). As artists we tend to get caught up in our art forgetting the importance of letting people around us know what we are up to and encouraging them to buy our music and attend our performances. Unfortunately, the old “if you build it they will come” mentality doesn’t work so well if you apply it to musicians. So, let’s start by looking at the primary tool for a musician’s promotion… The EPK.

WHAT IS AN EPK ANYWAYS?

EPK stands for (Electronic Press Kit) and is an extremely useful, inexpensive and convenient tool for self-promotion. It will usually take the form of a website and include things such as news, pictures, bios, audio samples, video samples, tour dates and even stage plots. Many concert organizers (and especially festival organizers) will require these things from you before they even offer you the gig. So having all this information on an easily accessible electronic format such as a website is extremely important. Make it available for download if you can for media, festival promoters, etc. Let’s break it down by category.

BIO

Keep it short but sweet, you want people to get a good feel of where you are professionally in a paragraph or less. After you introduce yourself mention your style of music, how it came to be, who your influences were, who you’ve played with, where you’ve played, places you’ve been showcased and any awards or achievements that you feel have been important in your career. People love stories; you’ll want your bio to be captivating in order to attract people to your music and the stories behind it. Include anything that makes you seem more diverse or any life altering events that you feel people may find interesting. If you can, try and include some quotes and acclaim from SME’s (Subject Matter Expert’s). Maybe Bob Dylan once called you a great songwriter, Herbie Hancock said you had some inventive solo ideas, etc. Include any quotes you have that apply to you from a well respected and well known source, that will quickly and effectively establish your success to a listener (be it a fan or a record label exec, etc). Keep in mind that your bio will usually be read word for word by the media and press so make sure it’s well written, concise, up to date and no more than a page – if it’s longer, have a short version and a long version available. If you still don’t know where to start simply “Google” some of your favorite artist’s bios and start from there.

PICTURES

Went on tour in Rome? Met the President? Take any pictures of these things? Put them up! There’s not much to be said about this section except that you’ll want at least one professionally shot high rez photo (300 dpi) available for download for press or festivals to use in their programs, ads, etc. Chances are, the more readily available your press materials are for promoters, that more promotion you receive!

AUDIO SAMPLES

Obviously the meat and potatoes of your EPK, we won’t delve into this in too much detail because this article would become a thesis but I will mention that you’ll want to pick tracks that represent you well and that are properly mastered for online streaming (i.e. high pass filters at 40 Hz to avoid any buzzing in laptop speakers). Remember that people will be listening to your music through laptops or small speakers so make sure they’re mastered so that they’re audible when you play them through your own laptop speakers.

VIDEO SAMPLE

Similar to audio samples except that these can be rougher recordings so don’t be too concerned with audio quality. If you have any live footage or Television appearances, interviews, etc, just post them up here. Youtube is probably the most convenient way to upload videos to your site as it’s easily imbedded into any website/Myspace that accepts embedding code. For presenters especially, there’s nothing better than being able to get a feel for how an artist handles the stage and interacts with the audience. Having a video might just be the thing that gets you the gig.

NEWS

Keep this updated for fans as much as possible and include any major events happening in your career (cd releases, awards, media exposure, etc). You can also include tour dates in here or have it as a separate section.

STAGE PLOT

If you include this have it available as a download and include a picture (trust me, come set-up time a picture can mean 1000 words) with the instrumentation and positioning of your band. Also include a mic list as well as what instruments should be mic’d and a tracklist. This avoids any confusion for your sound tech and it means a lot to logistics coordinators who are trying to look out for your best interests but have to keep bothering artists for their riders.

These days a web presence is so simple to have. You can easily set-up a Myspace account in a few hours and if you’re feeling brave even set-up your very own website using a website editor such as wix. It will make you (or your band) look far more professional and undoubtedly help attract a larger fan base as well as the eyes of other professionals in the industry.

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Ten of the Best Jazz Websites on the Internet

March 30, 2010

There are numerous websites dedicated to Jazz on the Internet but there are several that stand out above  the rest. Here is a guide to ten of the best Jazz websites we have found on the Internet.

All About Jazz (www.allaboutjazz.com)

All About Jazz one of the most complete sources of jazz information and news around. The site publishes numerous articles, reviews and showcases new works and keeps you up to date with the latest goings on in the jazz world. Checking out this website is a must for any jazz and music fan.

E Jazz News (www.ejazznews.com)

E Jazz News like All About Jazz has a wealth of information on jazz and the jazz scene. It also hosts its  own radio station and video channel on Youtube.  The site also features blues and world music.

Jazz Improv TV (www.jazzimprov.tv)

Jazz Improv Tv is an is an offshoot of the magazine of the same name.  This website features video performances by various current Jazz artist plus an archive of videos from the past. It also includes video tutorials for musicians.

Old Time Jazz Online (www.jazz-on-line.com)

A website where you can listen and download vast amounts of classic jazz works, mainly from the middle 20th century. Downloads are free due to the expiration of copyright with the option of makeing a donation.

The Jazz Page (www.thejazzpage.de)

The Jazz page is a site that lets you play music, view art and photographs form the jazz world and also watch videos. The sites music catalog is large and contains may rare songs. The site also contains article on various jazz related topics such as jazz in movies and jazz history.

Jazz Corner (www.jazzcorner.com)

Jazz corner has a wealth of information from the current jazz scene including articles videos and reviews. I also produces podacasts and has information on up and coming performances  and the latest jazz news. Jazz corner is an excellent source for any jazz enthusiast.

Get Into Jazz (www.getintojazz.com)

Get Into Jazz is a site ran by the Greater Manchester Region and the Manchester Jazz festival. The sites aim is to give an entry to jazz music. The site contains guides to types of jazz and terminology, host forums to ask questions, find information and get involved in a the community and links to other resources around the web.

Herman Leonard (www.hermanleonard.com)

A photographer with a passion for jazz, Leonard has photographed some of the greatest jazz musician . He has published many several books which feature his jazz photography. This site showcases a small selection of his work.

The Canadian Jazz Archive (www.canadianjazzarchive.org)

This site, as the name would suggest archives jazz recordings to create a lasting record for the future. It stores music interview and other audio presentations which can be searched and listened to on this site. A very worthwhile endeavor and a very interesting site.

Twitjazz (www.twitjazz.net)

Twitjazz network is a blog to support jazz fans and posters on Twitter. On this site you will find discussion, articles, videos and the best jazz on the Internet as suggested by Twitter uses. The interactivity of the site allows the public to influence the site and participate with musicians to express their ideas and views of jazz music.

If you know of any other great jazz websites and we will be sure to add it. You can leave comments below.

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