If you ain’t measuring, you ain’t marketing – Advice from Bobby Borg

In Music Marketing for the DIY Musicianself-made artist and entrepreneur Bobby Borg outlines the best business methods to help up-and-coming musicians effectively achieve their goals. In this article he wrote for Echoes, Bobby emphasizes the importance of “measuring” in the music marketplace. Read more here!

 

Want to increase the effectiveness of your music promotions? The importance of measuring when marketing your music can’t be ignored.

Measure Marketing

A student recently approached me with a complaint that only six people showed up to his live performance. He sent out an email to 1,000 names, posted on a few social networks, and told his friends and family. Feeling like a promotion loser (his words), he was ready to call it quits.

But after using some basic analytical tools, we quickly discovered that fewer than 10 of the 1,000 people on his list were opening his emails. We focused on re-writing his emails with catchier headlines, more benefits, and a specific “call to action.”

At his next gig, not only did 628 people open his email, 66 people showed up and paid. That’s a pretty strong increase!

So make no mistake, marketing your music – in fact, any marketing – is not about “doing things,” it’s about “doing the right things.” This is the essence of marketing measurement and why it is so important to your career.

How to measure

Measuring is the process of creating systems to collect, analyze, and act on information that is relevant to the goals of your marketing plan. These “systems” can include anything from using web analytical tools (like the ones on Facebook and YouTube that tell you the geographic regions in which people are most interested in your music), counting your sales every night and analyzing thoroughly why you experienced an increase or decrease in revenue, or just asking people at your gigs, “How did you hear about us?” In the latter case, if no one responds with, “We saw your ad in the paper,” then you had better stop placing ads in that paper. It’s that simple!

What to measure

You can measure virtually anything you want. For instance, measuring your customers’ awareness of your brand, and whether you’re at the “top of their minds” when discussing a certain category (such as “local bands in L.A.” or “studios in Nashville”) can be helpful in determining the success of your public relations strategies.

Measuring your fans’ attitudes about your products and services can help you determine their level of satisfaction with you and their likelihood to recommend you to friends and family. And paying attention and measuring how well your products and services perform in each of your distribution outlets can help you see where you’re generating the most sales and where you’re wasting the most time.

Read the rest of the article here.

Watch: Pensado Papers Promo

The Pensado Papers takes readers behind the scenes on the journey that Dave Pensado has shared with his manager and best friend, Herb Trawick, all the way from death’s door to platinum records to Internet sensation. It features unique insights into the engineering regime of a recording genius, a creative philosophy that results in achievement and success, examples of Dave and Herb’s powerful and inspirational friendship, amazing teachings from guests on Pensado’s Place, and above all, fun! Here, Herb and Dave discuss the making of the book.

Marketing tips from Bobby Borg: Getting approval from your fans

In Music Marketing for the DIY Musician, Bobby Borg provides tons of tips on how to promote and distribute your work as a musician. Bobby recently wrote an article for Sonicbids Blog on one of the best (and most affordable) resources you can use to prep your music before sending it out to any record labels – fans! Read more here. 

Testing and Feedback: 5 Steps to Getting Approval From Your Fans Before Committing Your Valuable Resources

Testing and feedback is the process of getting your music into presentable form, trying it out on your most likely fans, and making necessary improvements before committing your time and money manufacturing, distributing, and 00124611promoting it. Without market research, you could easily spend thousands of your hard-earned dollars recording music that’s unmarketable to music supervisors, labels, radio stations, and even your own target fans – and that would be tragic! Make no mistake: testing and feedback increases your chances for success. Remember that creating music in a vacuum and simply hoping that people will love it is like shooting in the dark.

1. Develop and demo your products and services

The first step in the testing and feedback process is to get your music (or other products) into presentable form so you can test them on your target audience. This could mean simply putting together a pitch to present your ideas conceptually, or creating an “inexpensive”demo/prototype. Whatever approach you take, just be willing to pay some dues! Don’t rush the process. If needed, you might even enlist the professional advice of consultants, co-writers, and others to set you on track. This is crucial! Great marketing campaigns start with great songs first and foremost.

2. Test your products/services out on your most likely fans

Once you’ve invested the necessary effort to get your products and services into presentable form, it’s time to craft a variety of simple survey questions. Your questions might include: “On a scale from one to five, how unique do you think my style is?” or “On a scale of one to five, do you think this song should be included on my forthcoming debut EP?” Whatever it is you want to test, just make your questions precise so that you collect the most accurate and unbiased results.

Read the rest of the article on Sonicbids.

The Art and Science of Sound Recording – The Book

More than simply the book of the award-winning DVD set,  Art & Science of Sound Recording, the Book takes legendary engineer, producer, and artist Alan Parsons’ approaches to sound recording to the next level. In book form, Parsons has the space to include more technical background information, more detailed diagrams, plus a complete set of course notes on each of the 24 topics, from “The Brief History of Recording” to the now-classic “Dealing with Disasters.” Get a taste for what Parsons is all about in the excerpt below!

Hello there!
 Is this hello for the very first time, or have you got the video series as well? If the former, we also produced a video series entitled Alan Parsons’ Art & Science of Sound Recording, and this book is both based upon and an extension of territory we covered in the videos. We hope you will find one to be a good companion to the other. Alan Parsons’ Art & 00333735Science of Sound Recording—The Book is a complete rewrite and reappraisal of the original video version. Because it is a book and not an audio-visual experience, we’ve been able to examine all of the topics in greater detail. With the videos we strove to keep you visually and aurally entertained. Now, you can be reading this at home, or in a busy Starbucks, or on a plane . . . you can read one page at a sitting, or one chapter, or just dive in here and there using the index or the glossary. Ingest the words, look at the pictures and diagrams, and if something is not clear first time around, well, read it again. It’ll make sense eventually; promise.
 The great thing about a book is that you can go at your own pace. Plus it’s the ultimate in nonlinear formatting. You can flip from here to page 145 in less than a heartbeat. Eat your heart out, modern media! (Readers of the ebook version possibly have the best of all worlds, of course.)

For the book, we have kept the same basic tone as the video. We hope it is both intriguing for the new- comer to recording and interesting to the seasoned professional. We’ve dug a little deeper into all aspects of recording technology. Chapter 1, “A Brief History of Recording,” may still be a relatively brief version, but it’s now not quite so “on a pinhead.”

A question that often cropped up on the video series was, “How do I use the videos? What order should I view them in?” Sensing potential for the same line of enquiry here, here’s what we recommend you do.

This book does have a logical flow of chapters. First we look at how sound is created and how it behaves, before moving onto the different sources, components, and equipment involved in making and reproducing sound recordings. With these pieces of the puzzle in play, we then look at all the processes involved in manipulating sound recordings, such as EQ, reverbs, delays, compression, and so on. Then we look at how the various types of sound sources respond to the various processes and how they are best applied for particular sonic needs.

The rubber truly hits the road when human beings are tossed into the mix and we actually have to record real live musicians sitting there right in front of us. We look at drummers, guitarists, bass players, singers, choirs, keyboard players . . . all of whom can have very different mindsets, roles, temperaments, and functionalities.

Finally, even though the word “mix” is now more of a formality than the “performance” process it used to be in the days of analog technology, the mix is still the point where decisions and choices have to be made. And that, in itself, is an art and a science.

So if you can, read this book from here . . . right through to the end—at least once.

Learning anything—especially something as nuanced as sound recording—is a journey, and that journey is half the fun. You can fly from Paris to Istanbul, or you could take in the delights of Lausanne, Milan, Venice, Belgrade, and Sofia along the way by traveling on the Orient Express—same destination, but a very different experience.

As with the Orient Express, a top-to-toe read of this book will introduce you to topics you may not fully appreciate the first time around. But you can always come back to Venice and look at its sights and virtues. Although we will try not to dazzle you with clever-sounding words and concepts, important messages can be missed if you speed by too quickly.

Finally, a great debt of gratitude is owed to the many engineers, producers, and artists we interviewed for the video series, whose words of wisdom are included here. Music is so often best when it’s a team sport, and although there are actually some incontrovertibly bad ideas (e.g., don’t try recording a kick drum with a ribbon mic), sound recording is definitely NOT a place for closed minds.

Experimentation—within some context of tried and tested sound practices—should always be on the menu.

You’re in good company. So enjoy your journey.

Q & A with Bobby Borg

Bobby Borg recently met with Tom Lohrmann of Tom Lohrmann Music, a  musician, writer and marketing consultant from Washington DC. Here, Bobby answers some key questions about his brand new book from Hal Leonard, Music Marketing for the DIY Musician. Click here for the rest of the interview!

00124611Tell us about Music Marketing For the DIY Musician. Where is the book available?

“Thanks for asking, I’m really proud of the new book. It took years to write it. Essentially, the book is a step-by-step guide to producing a fully integrated, customized, low-budget plan of attack for artists marketing their own music. The goal is to help artists take control of their own destinies, save money and time, and eventually draw the full attention of top music industry professionals. It’s ultimately about making music that matters and gets heard! Right now Music Marketing For The DIY Musician is available at Hal Leonard’s website under “Trade Books”. Eventually it will be on Amazon in both physical and digital form and on my website. ”

How is Music Marketing For The DIY Musician different from other industry books?

“The biggest difference is that it is written specifically for DIY musicians by a musician with DIY, indie, and major label success, making it a more credible, focused, practical, and relatable resource for artists. It also covers the complete marketing process—from vision through execution—with handy templates and samples in each chapter to help artists create fully-customized marketing plans. Finally, it introduces sophisticated business and research tools (SWOT, SMART, AIDA, and PFB Charts) not found in most music marketing books, enabling artists to choose confidently and even scientifically the right strategies for their own career path.”

Could you provide one crucial tip from the book?

“Do not create music in a vacuum with the intention of just throwing it out there and hoping for success. Hope is not a strategy! Instead, have a clear sense of what you stand for, while also trying to uncover where the world is going. Look for ways where you can be unique and do something that has never been done before. As hockey legend Wayne Gretzky said, “The key to success is to skate where the puck’s going, not where it’s been.””

Hal Leonard and Groove3 Announce Strategic Partnership

Music Industry Leaders Team Up to Create and Deliver the Future of Online Tutorials

 

MONTCLAIR, N.J., and AUSTIN, Texas – Hal Leonard Books, a division of Hal Leonard Corporation, Milwaukee, the leading publisher of books and digital content on the music business, audio technology, and instrument history, and Groove3, the audio community’s best source for informative and effective online tutorials, announced today a long-term strategic partnership to develop and deliver authoritative content to the world.

This collaboration will transform Hal Leonard’s industry leading content, including series such as Music Pro Guides and Quick Pro Guides, using Groove3’s proven online video delivery system and subscription model, while expanding Groove3’s reach beyond the robust community the company has built over the last 10 years, addressing all aspects of the music-making process, including recording, production, engineering, mixing, songwriting, DAW guides and more.

“Groove3 has always had the end user’s best interest in mind and is dedicated to delivering the best tutorials about today’s audio tools and recording and production techniques. Now having the opportunity to partner with Hal Leonard and offer their first-class content along side ours, it’s a match made in heaven for all audio professionals and hobbyists alike around the world,” said Groove3 Vice President Antony Livoti.

“Groove3 is the most trusted and time-tested online quality resource for training videos for musicians, and bringing Hal Leonard’s reputable brands and content into their community will be a huge benefit to all musicians interested in learning online,” said John Cerullo, Group Publisher of Hal Leonard Books.

“Hal Leonard has been a pioneer in offering digital content to active music makers for decades, and the Groove3 partnership, along with our many other recent digital and web based initiatives, will allow us to continue to offer the best in music instruction for years to come,” added Hal Leonard Corporation President Larry Morton.

Groove3 currently offers more the 850 hours of top-notch online training. The new, exclusive content from Hal Leonard will include product by world-renowned recording, audio, and music experts from many fields, including the Hal Leonard Recording Method by Bill Gibson, the Bruce Swedien Recording Method, Rikki Rooksby’s series of books on songwriting, and much more. Additional courses and products will be announced and released in the coming weeks.

In addition, the partnership allows for the development and offering of customized online programs for traditional resellers, such as musical instrument dealers, and licensing programs to audio-trade outlets, secondary and higher educational institutions, and industry organizations.

 

 

The Future of the Music Business

In December, Hal Leonard Books will release the fourth edition of The Future of the Music Business by Steve Gordon, an invaluable guide on how to succeed in the ever-changing music industry. Here’s a look at what’s new in the fourth edition.

The Future of the Music Business

4th Edition

Similar to prior editions, the purpose of the fourth edition of the FUTURE OF THE MUSIC BUSINESS, which is scheduled to be published in December 2014, is to provide a roadmap for success in the music business – not only for musicians, songwriters and producers – but also for entrepreneurs and industry professionals. Technology has profoundly changed the recording industry and the music publishing business.  Entirely new rules, business practices and  models have emerged at breathtaking speed including in the several years since the publication of the third edition in 2008. The fourth edition explains the most recent rules,  business practices and models, and offers insights into how to take advantage of them.

Part I provides an overview of the basic rules and business practices that apply to the record and music publishing business today. We discuss how copyright law protects  songs and recordings, standard contracts including management, label and producer deals and the most recent rules and business practices that apply to the new means of distributing music, that is, downloading, streaming and webcasting, and how those rules differ in foreign countries.

Part II is intended for producers of audiovisual works such as films, documentaries, and television. This section includes information on audio-only projects such as compilations and music sampling, special projects such as musical theatre and fashion shows, and stand-alone digital projects such as web series and digital sheet music. The emphasis is on how producers seeking music for their projects can save money.

Part III offers a history of the recording industry’s struggle to come to grips with the digital era,  analyzes the current state of music piracy, explores various current  controversies, and provides some hope for the recovery of the record business.

Part IV provides a “how to” in the digital age on topics ranging from ranging from how to write hit songs in the digital era to using digital tools such as YouTube to succeed to how to use a music education to succeed as a creator or music business professional.

DVD and two free CLE credits: Attorneys will be able to obtain two free CLE credits by viewing the DVD included in the 4th edition. The DVD contains a conversation between myself and Bob Clarida, a leading copyright litigation lawyer and adjunct professor at Columbia Law School, about Robin Thicke’s copyright infringement case involving his monster hit “Blurred Lines” and Gaye’s song “Got to Give It Up.”
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