[TIPS] 10 Ways To Get Your Music Video More Views

Back in the day there were only a few outlets to watch music videos, mainly cable channels. The Internet Era has obviously changed this, which means it’s easier for your video to get lost in the shuffle. Music promotion is not just about amazing content, it’s about how you share it.

Let’s assume you have amazing, high quality content, like a music video posted on YouTube that you just spent weeks pouring your heart and soul into, and it hasn’t quite gone viral yet. How can you boost views and downloads and likes without bugging the heck out of your fans or spending a gazillion dollars on ads? Here are some tips to get more views on your music video.

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1. Make A Great Video Of A Great Song: OK we are going to take this point as universally understood and assumed by all.

2. Have A Hook: Is there something interesting and noteworthy about your video? Take Kopecky Family Band’s video for “Heartbeat” for example.  They shot the video for just $9.00. Are you going to click on something to see what a $9.00 music video looks like? Of course you are.

3. Distribute, Distribute, Distribute: Know your audience and know where your audience goes to get their music fix. Identify the blogs that may be tailor made to feature your music and send them your video. Don’t make it too pitchy and overbearing. A simple, ‘Hey we think you’d like our new video. We shot it for $9! Let us know what you think.’ will suffice for sure.

4. Centralize Your Distribution: There are so many video hosting services out there. Make sure you distribute THE SAME link. This may seem silly and obvious, but it cannot be understated. I recently asked the dudes of Clear Soul Forces what one of their keys to success were and this is what they told me:  “Blogs sharing your links are a sure fire way to get views more than letting them post their own links. Keep everything centralized.” Their video for Get No Better has more than 2 million views, so yeah, I’d listen to their advice.

5. Master Your MetaData: What is MetaData? Well, someone smarter than me could answer this way better but, in layman’s terms, it’s all the info that describes your piece of data; in this case the video. So when you’re filling out the description fields in YouTube it’s very important for that MetaData to pick up keywords.

6. Create An Official Channel For Your Band: Wow you’re video was great. How can I see more? Oh you have an official YouTube channel that a) houses all of your video uploads b) I can subscribe to c) I can view a playlist if you want me to? How perfect. Set this up yesterday.

7. Create A Game: I don’t mean re-invent Chutes and Ladders. I mean make a game of a short term goal that you can measure, like getting up to 1,000 YouTube views on your new music video in 24 hours, or to get 1,000 Facebook likes by the end of the week, or trying to get 20 shares on your iTunes single’s link. I create a game once a month or so and present it to my fans. I always see positive results, even if the game isn’t “won,” i.e., our exact numbers weren’t reached.

8. Make A Powerful Direct, Specific Request: Make a request in such a way that people will take an action. For example, “my new video is up on YouTube!” is not a request. “Check it out” is a request, but it’s not powerful, specific, or direct. “I’m playing a game to get 1,000 views on this music video before the end of the day tomorrow. Will you please share this link today?” is powerful, direct, and specific.

It’s powerful because it’s straightforward and honest. Plus, people like to play games and you have invited them to be a part of yours. It’s direct because you are asking them directly to share the link, not just posting a link hoping they’ll share it. It’s specific because there is an action they have to take by a certain time (sharing your link, today, or choosing not to). They will think in their heads “no,” or they will share it. Either way, making a powerful, direct, specific request causes people to take a second to think about what you are asking.

9. Acknowledge Every Share: Once you’ve made your request, people will share your link, I promise. Stay on top of the shares, and make sure to acknowledge every share, whether “liking” the share, or commenting on their page, thanking them. Keep track of and respond to all comments. By creating this game, you have also created a community. Anyone who shares is now part of it and wants to win. It has gone from being about you winning to them winning, too.

10. Keep The Players Updated: Throughout the designated time you’ve established for your “game,” post updates on how far you have to go, how far you’ve come, etc. Keeping tabs on the progress will also allow you to post mentions of the game without feeling like you are bugging people to share. You’ve made the request and now are following up on the results and keeping your fans informed.

It’s not about winning the game, by the way. It’s about generating more views and a connection between you and your fans. If you hit your marker, cool. If not, you’ve tightened the bond between your fans and your content and presented yourself in a powerful light.

Original article(s) via: Discmakers, Sonicbids and Cheryl B. Engelhardt, a singer/songwriter and composer. Her website is cbemusic.com and she authored the killer eCourse, “In The Key Of Success: The 5 Week Jump Start Strategy,” which will get your career moving in the direction you want.

[TIPS] Top 10 Mistakes Musicians Make When Trying To Get Into The Music Business

If you want to become successful in the music industry, there are many things you need to know and do. But even if you get all that right, you can prevent yourself from reaching big success by making critical mistakes along the way (and there are many potential mistakes one could make, when not being careful). The same patterns of false assumptions, problems and mistakes appear over and over again.

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Here are the top 10 mistakes:

Mistake #10 – Not having a compelling image that is congruent with your music. Most musicians (and bands) severely underestimate the importance of their image. Yes, music is about ‘music’, but music business success is about a total package that includes music, image and visual stage show among other things that need to be fully developed in a congruent way.

Mistake #9 – Trying to ‘get your name out there’. Although this seems to be a main goal of most musicians and bands, it is the wrong approach to start with. Before trying to be seen and heard as much as possible, it is often more important to focus on ‘converting’ the people who hear and see you into becoming actual fans. This ‘conversion’ is the first key to your promotional success, NOT getting seen or heard as much as possible.

Mistake #8 – Believing that social media websites are the keys to online music promotion for musicians and bands. Social media websites are a tool. They are ONE piece of the online music marketing puzzle. Music industry companies (record labels, artist managers, booking agents, etc.) are far more interested in the popularity of YOUR website, not how many friends you have at MySpace, YouTube, Facebook or any other website that you do not own and control. Want to impress the industry with your band’s promotion? Build your website traffic.

Mistake #7 – Not investing enough time into building your music career. Most musicians spend most of their time on music, but put very little effort into the many other critical elements needed to make it in the music business. If you are already a talented musician, you should invest at least 50% of your time into starting or advancing your music career. If you are still developing your musical skills, you should still invest around 25% of your ‘music’ time into building a future music career.

Mistake #6 – Surrounding yourself with people who are negative, lazy and lack ambition. If you are very serious about becoming a professional musician and building a great career in music, then you absolutely must surround yourself with like-minded musicians.

Mistake #5 – Having merely mediocre live performing skills. Many musicians, who are not yet in a good band, put off developing their live performing and stage presence skills. This is a big reason why talented musicians don’t get into really good bands that they audition for. Your music may be good, but a live ‘show’ requires more than great music. If people only wanted to hear the music, they would listen to you at home. Both fans and record labels want (and expect) to see a REAL show. Neglecting this area results in talented musicians and bands becoming quickly forgotten.

Mistake #4 – Focusing on increasing the ‘quantity’ of fans instead of the ‘intensity’ of your fans. The ‘number’ of fans you have should always be your secondary focus (not your primary one) if you want to become successful in the music industry. The fact is, it is not the number of ‘fans’ that matters most, and it’s the number of FANATICS which will contribute more directly to your success (or lack of it). This is particularly true in the beginning of a band’s music career. Focus more effort on converting your existing fans into raving fanatics. Learn to do this and the number of your overall fans will increase through powerful word of mouth.

Mistake #3 – Not enough cash flow to support your music career. Like it or not, it takes money to build a music career. Even if other people/companies are paying for your record, tour support, merchandise, etc. you still need to have the freedom to pursue opportunities as they come. Sadly, many musicians miss opportunities because they can’t afford to take advantage of them. In addition to a decent income, you also need the flexibility of being able to take time away from that income source to go into the studio, go on tour, etc. That is why learning how to teach guitar is such a great way to achieve both if you learn how to become a highly successful guitar teacher.

Mistake #2 – Not enough depth in your music relationships. There’s an old expression, “It’s not what you know, and it’s who you know.” In music this is often modified to, “It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you.” The truth is, it’s not about either. The most important aspect of connections within the music industry is how deep are the current relationships you have now and will develop in the future. You don’t want to simply know people or be known, you want people who know you to have a real deep connection with you so that you are always on the top of their mind when opportunities present themselves. Ask yourself, “What can I do right now to deepen my existing relationships further on an ongoing basis?”

Mistake #1 – Having a fundamental misunderstanding about what record companies look for – and expect from new bands. This is a huge topic, but in a nutshell, it’s very useful to think of record companies like a bank that lends money to people or small businesses. Record companies make most of their decisions about whom they will work with and what the terms will be in much the same way that a bank will determine who they will loan money to and what the terms of the loan will be. Both record companies and banks basically want to see 3 things:
• How much value do you bring to the deal right now?
• How much risk do you bring with you right now?
• How much potential value and risk might you bring to them in the future after they invest in you?

If you want to buy a house, the bank wants to know a lot about the specific house you want to buy and EVEN MORE about YOU. Record companies are the exact same, they want to know about your music, your talent and your band, but they also care as much (or more) about YOU (and your band mates) as people. What about YOU makes a record deal a good or bad investment for them.

Written by: Tom Hess (Rhapsody Of Fire), via Dre Ducati Payton
Edited by: Matt Whitlock

[TIPS via @MrHawthorn] How To Properly Utilize Collaborations As A Marketing Tactic

When it comes to Hip Hop collaborations in the underground, they’re rarely thought out. The most frequent strategy when it comes to features is if they’re cheap (mostly free), in the same popularity status and if they’re of a similar style to you. In this post, I’d like to shoot down those points and give an insight into how you should utilize collaborations as a marketing strategy and gain more fans as a result of features.

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1. Cheap Collaborations Cost More Than Money

If you’re main concern when it comes to collaborations is how much it’s going to cost you, you’re probably unlikely to go far in this business. The truth is, you get out, what you put in. When it comes to collaborations in Hip Hop you have to speculate to accumulate. Any serious artist will very rarely give you a free sixteen. I’m not saying you should break the bank for a collaboration with a musician who has a distinctly diminutive fan base, you need to be careful and tactile.

Imagining you’re serious about this music malarky, you should be gaining a considerable fan base yourself by now – and if you’re creating a mixtape, I’d advise having at least one thousand followers on Twitter otherwise you’ll just be another drop in the ocean of an already over saturated mixtape market. So I wouldn’t be paying for a feature from an artist below that count either, and if you believe they deserve more followers, then perhaps you should offer them a discount on how much you’d ordinarily charge for features.

You should be utilising features to reach a wider audience, and that means paying people with bigger fan bases to attract their fans over to you via a featured verse. Have a look at who’s currently having a growth sprout of fans and get in contact with them, or someone with a dedicated demographic. There’s no point in paying for a feature from someone who’s only taking your money and then not promoting the song they’re collaborating on, or they’re about as useful as someone with a small selection of fans.

If you don’t pay money for collaborations, you’re more than likely to pay by having less hype, less downloads and less people caring about you – and in the long run, that’s likely to cost you even more money.

2. Variation Is Key To Unlocking Door To New Audiences

If you’re paying for Hip Hop features already, then you should be around about reaching the majority of hip hop heads who support others with a similar style. It’s now time to branch out, broaden your horizons and start infiltrating the ears who are sleeping on your style in favour of another’s. If you’re a conscious emcee collaborate with a club-hop artist, if you specialise in horror-core, reach out to those more tuned in with street records – there’s a whole genre of artists to work with.

Even more so however, there’s a whole spectrum of genres in music that you could collaborate with. Look at Jay Z, he’s made collaborative projects with R&B (R. Kelly) and Rock (Linkin Park) musicians, and you can’t tell me he didn’t get more ears listening to his raps because of it. Every emcee needs a couple hooks from a singer, why not collaborate with someone from another genre for it rather than sampling old choruses from the sixties?

If you’re wanting to unlock the door to new audiences, you have to differentiate and use other types of artists, otherwise you’re limiting yourself to the same demographic, and you’ll never advance to the next level, and remain an unknown artist. Forever.

3. Keep Frequent Collaborators To A Minimum

Hip Hop is hounded by musicians who think it’s a good idea to begin collectives and act like they only need to collaborate with one another on songs. That’s one of the worst things you could ever think of, because once again, you’re limiting yourself to the audiences you could potentially reach. You should always keep the amount of people you frequently collaborate to a minimum, their fans have already had their chance at listening to your music, they’ve probably already decided whether to follow your sound or not, there’s no point in trying too many times when there are others who haven’t heard you yet.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t have any, it’s always good to have an artist who you can rely upon to help promote your newest project – but choose wisely. Take into account whether the first collaboration was well received, nobody ever wants to hear B.o.B collaborate with Hayley Williams, but I think it’s safe to say that they do want another with T.I and Ludacris, that’s because first impressions mean everything and that Airplanes single was terrible which consequently resulted in every Paramore fan I know, hating the Grand Hustle artist without giving a second chance. Whereas collaborating with Tip and Luda, was a success and their fans (like me) wanted to hear more of Bobby Ray, and so it’ll happen over, and over again.

You want a frequent collaboration that will guarantee a buzz, yours and their fans both hyped up like “oh my god, there’s another … and … song coming, it’s bound to be great”. But don’t feed them too much, or the hunger will subside. Make sure it’s an occasion every time you collaborate, otherwise there’s just no point.

In conclusion, you should NEVER collaborate for the sake of collaborating, always have a motive and always think about it. Is it going to help you? Promote you? Make you look good? If so, then go ahead, but if not, do so at the risk of wasting of your time. You should be utilizing collaborations as a marketing strategy, to open yourself up for more opportunities – not wasting your time. Work smahtah, not hahdah.

Written by: Lee Hawthorn
Edited by: Matt Whitlock

[ARTICLE x TIPS] The Saturation Of The Mixtape Game

The free mixtape/street album phenomena is killing the revenue flow in Hip Hop. Artists are not getting paid, producers are not getting paid, etc. I say, leave the multiple mixtapes for the DJ’s, the rappers should go back to giving out singles and samplers while creating quality EP’s/albums that they can market and sell. One hit single can generate millions for an artist via digital sales, publishing, paid shows, endorsements, ring tones, etc.

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Rappers have trained their audience to expect free music all of the time with the multiple releases of free street albums. Stop painting rap fans with a broad brush. Not every rap fan wants free throw away music. Rap fans are not demanding this free clutter music; it’s being shoved on them. You can put out a free single or sampler and still spark a lot of interest in your brand. Who told you that you MUST put out a FREE street album/mixtape? Many aspiring Rock & Roll, Pop, Country and R&B artists are building solid fan bases without giving away free albums. Rappers, take note.

You don’t have to keep putting out multiple free street album/mixtapes of original music to attract fans. You can release other free content from your brand like music videos, freestyles, video diaries, audio from radio interviews, video from concert performances, etc. Nowadays, it’s no longer just about selling CD’s; it’s about selling or providing “content” and conveying the mission of your brand and your movement.

Try something different to build a fan base. Look into the possibility of producing and starring in your own short films or long version music videos and add your music as the score. Think outside of your circumference. Give away a single or a sampler to attract fans and then get them excited about buying a full length album or EP from you. Give them something to look forward to. When rappers constantly give away whole street albums of original music right out of the gate, it’s like a woman giving up everything on the first date. There is no momentum, no excitement and no build up to what comes next because she gave up everything on the first date. And it’s the same with artists.

Many upcoming rappers take the mystique & excitement out of their brand by giving away everything up front, for free. At least 70% of the independent rappers who put out multiple free street albums last year did not make a dime from their endeavors…FACT!

The crazy thing is that my next door neighbor’s 10 year old daughter made more money selling lemonade last summer than many unsigned rappers made all year from their music endeavors, which included free mixtapes and showcase performances. The little girl gave out samples, she advertised, did a raffle and then she sold lots of lemonade drinks and icees. Apply basic business principles to your music projects and watch your revenue grow by three fold.

The average rapper spends $1,500 to put out his free mixtape. Who’s getting paid off of your FREE MIXTAPE/STREET ALBUM? LET’S SEE (count with me): the studio, the engineer, the graphic designer for the cover, the CD manufacturer, perhaps the DJ you paid to host it, the producers of the original tracks, the mixtape marketing company and Datpiff/any other mixtape website that posts your mixtape in order to draw traffic to their site with the expectation of selling ads based on that traffic, etc.

I know an unsigned rapper who paid $2,500 to a well-known DJ to host their FREE mixtape/street album…and the DJ didn’t even promote it. Next, the rapper spent $1,500 to get a collaboration on a song with a popular upcoming MC that went on the FREE mixtape/street album. Then the rapper paid the studio and engineer to record and mix the FREE mixtape/street album and he paid a graphic designer to design the cover. Then the rapper spent $500 duplicating the CD’s. Finally, the rapper paid $1,500 to a mixtape marketing company to promote the free mixtape/street album. At the end of the day, this rapper spent close to $7,000 on a mixtape that he gave away for free. He got 12,500 downloads at the end of the day. Was it worth it? I say NO! Most independent rappers are just following Lil Wayne and Drake and have no idea what they are doing in a business sense.

Equally important, when you put a free mixtape on Datpiff, or any other mixtpape site, and generate thousands of downloads, do you know the demographics (sex, race or age) of those downloading your mixtape? NO! Can you obtain the email addresses of those downloading your mixtape? NO! Do you know the location of those downloading your mixtape? NO! On these mixtape sites you don’t receive any real stats and thus you don’t know who your potential consumers are. The only thing that you are doing is making money for Datpiff. They use the traffic you draw to their site to sell advertisements. RAPPERS WAKE UP! For many rappers these free mixtape/street albums are just vanity projects and an expensive hobby. Many spend little money advertising the mixtape releases. Most rappers put out multiple free mixtape/street albums just to stroke their ego, but they have no understanding that in many cases they’re just throwing away money and cluttering up the already saturated mixtape marke

…And some rappers are even going as far as to buy Datpiff downloads and manufactured stats! Fake downloads On Datpiff + fake views on YouTube + fake followers on Twitter + fake fans on Facebook = FAKE MOVEMENT.

Just about every independent rapper has a FREE mixtape on Datpiff, cluttering the market place. Try something different. Be unique. Stand out. It would make more sense to put the mixtape on your own website and draw traffic there. You can set it up so that people must enter a name and an email in order to download it. Also you can put a traffic tracker on your own website and gather analytic demographic data of the unique visitors who visit your site. Moreover, you can also sell advertisements, bonus singles and merchandise on your own site based on the traffic you draw there.

The bottom line is that many rappers are just following a trend. Instead of having a plan, most indie artists just make music and put it out like they’re throwing darts against the wall hoping to get lucky.

ATTENTION INDEPENDENT ARTISTS: Are you receiving publishing Checks? Do you sell merchandise? Do you sell digital downloads? Are you getting paid from shows? Have you generated revenue by licensing your music? Have you obtained funds from endorsements or sponsorships? Do you get paid from doing features? Who is your target market? What is your distribution network? Do you have a marketing plan and budget in place? Do you keep track of money you spend and money you take in regarding your music? Do you pay taxes based on income generated from your musical endeavors? How much did you earn last year from your music endeavors? How much do you expect to earn this year? How much did you invest in Promotion last year? How much do you plan to invest in promotion this year?

It is very important that every aspiring artist and producer know and learn the multiple revenue streams in the music business. Some of the music biz revenue streams include: CD sales, digital download sales, merchandising sales, tour income, licensing revenue, publishing income, ringtone revenue, Endorsement deals and sponsorship revenue.

The key is to ATTRACT the masses to your music. Convert folks into fans and capture them by being unconventional. As an artist you have to get out there and meet with the people, engage your supporters, hand out flyers, t-shirts, anything you can get your hands on. There are millions of aspiring artists and producers. So how do you expect to STAND OUT if you look, talk and sound just like everyone else?

Don’t be a backwards hustler. What dude you know in the streets who gives away all of his product and is able to grow in the streets? Big corporations give away free SAMPLES to attract buyers, but they also invest in advertising and marketing to sell the products as well. PepsiCo is boosting its overall marketing budget this year by as much as $600 million. SUCCESSFUL COMPANIES INVEST IN PROMOTION.

If you believe that nobody buys music anymore, then you’ve already lost. You’re just basically stating that you’re music career is a hobby. MONETIZE YOUR MOVEMENT AND MAKE YOUR MOVEMENT MAKE SENSE.

There’s a big difference between FREE music and GOOD music and some rappers confuse the two. Most rap fans don’t want FREE music. They want GOOD music that appeals to their emotions…and they will pay for it, if it’s marketed right. Your fans must either want to be you or believe you. You must know your target market and your music has to resonate with them. As an artist, you must understand that your fans don’t just buy your music; they buy your lifestyle, your brand and your movement, as well.

Original article posted HERE, via Jesse Atkinson (CEO of Urban Threshold, Inc., founder of the Underground Music Awards and The A&R Power Summit).

[REVIEW] Natural – “Ways To Go″

Enter Nathaniel Anglin, a 28 year old well informed/educated man who follows politics, sports, education and plays a major part in community activities, always giving back to his hometown whenever possible. Enter in his alter ego, Natural, who’s music touches on topics such as the above mentioned while showcasing talent, growth, potential and of course…BARS.

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I’ve personally worked alongside this talented emcee on the set of his single, “I Don’t Play”. I said to myself,  “this lyricist will make some serious damage here in Massachusetts” for I saw the work ethic of a man who knew exactly where he wanted to take his craft, the story he wanted to tell and the legacy he wants to leave behind. With a plethora of timeless freestyles, guest appearances and a couple of projects (The Bartender & 20 Something), he’s back with his third release, “Ways To Go”.

The album’s opening track, “Dark Clouds”, has Natural narrating D’Evils of the city he proudly represents over a deep bass riff and a soulful hook assist from Incredible Chuck (of Notoriety); “Debt rising from the rent and the school loans / Irony of graduates moving drugs in school zones…” … “Childhood mistakes same ones mothers chastised / Now we flicking ashes at police as they pass by.” DJ Fakts One, who produced for the likes of Illin’ P, O.V.M and Little Brother, gave life to Nat’s title track, which started with the late great Guru reciting some lyrics from Robbin’ Hood Theory (this is my favorite track on the album). JUST LISTEN.

“State of Grace” paired the lovely and talented April Stanford alongside Mr. Anglin with this coming-of-age tune (dedicated to Martin Richard who lost his young life in the Boston Marathon bombings), with the sales’ proceeds donated to www.richardfamilyfund.org, raising over 1 million dollars as a whole, and counting. This lead single gave life to the album and showed us Nat’s true colors. Boston Strong.

Make no mistake, Nat is a very hands on person to anything associated with his name. So when he screams out “BARGANG”, believe in the power of that word. His love for bars is highly evident. On “City Kids”, he enlists fellow #12for12 artists Charmingly Ghetto and Dutch ReBelle over a boom bap drum-banging masterpiece to showcase true emcee skills. This is a must listen for purists who long for that signature sound which made the 90’s-speak proud.

On “Michael’s Getaway”, Nat paints a similar story we see documented on the news over and over again: the life of crime and the sad painful endings it’s usually results in. Producer/Emcee, Mark Merren supplies a smooth groove on “How We Do”, in which J The S (the ex-greater good general) brings the heat creatively, matching Natural’s aggression for honest lyricism. Other standouts include “Wait Ya Turn”, “Firecracker” and “Tequila Sunrise”.

This album highlights Natural’s (natural) ability to create records from the heart with a deep love for the Hip Hop culture and everything it stands for. The author-poet wants you to hear an album: a.) designed to represent the values of an independent artist who loves the honest factor of it all, b.) by an artist who lives for the BARS that is lacking in rap music and c.) with the voice of a strong individual. Nat is not your average white guy…oh, are we just mentioning that now? Why does it even matter? If you think Natural is just a here today gone tomorrow emcee, then my friend you’ve got a LONG WAY TO GO.

Download: Natural – “Ways To Go”

Connect with Natural:
Website
Facebook
Twitter

Written by: DJ Daz-One
Edited by: Matt Whitlock