written by Wendy Day (wendyday.com)

money2Marketing is the overall image and awareness that is put forth by your brand as you advertise, promote, do interviews and basically spread the word about your music (which is your product). One of the keys is to know exactly who will buy your music, and tailor your marketing campaign to them. The best method to draw in fans is “word of mouth,” so therefore your goal should always be to spark positive conversation (word of mouth) about you and your music.

Who Is Your Potential Fan?

Taking it outside of music for a minute, can we all agree that the person who shops at K-Mart is different from the person who shops at Neiman Marcus? The person who drives a Hyundai, may have different interests from the person driving a Bentley? So back to music now—the person who is listening to or buying Justin Bieber’s music is different from the person who supports Trae. Beiber has a younger audience, more pop music, radio, and internet driven, while Trae makes music to ride and/or smoke to—meaning the fan is older and probably more likely to be male. They are also more likely to buy a CD at the local Swap Meet or the Car Wash, while a Bieber fan may be more likely to download his music to an iPod, smartphone, or MP3 player, or buy the CD at the Best Buy next to the Mall for $9.99.

So, if I was marketing a young pop artist, I might try to book him on Nickelodeon shows and set up a high school or Mall tour. With a rapper who doesn’t appeal to a teenage demographic, I’d probably do more of a college tour, and club dates reaching a 21 and older crowd. So, it’s important to know who is buying your music. You need to be able to figure out the demographic for your music or your song, and that will let you know the direction your marketing needs to take. If you are not able to determine who your fan base is yourself, you need to find someone around you who can. But they better be right. If you are making music that appeals to white skateboard twenty-something kids and you market to young inner city teens, you are fucked in the gate!

When I was out on the road with BloodRaw in February of ’08, I kept dragging him to college campuses because he makes anthem type party raps, and he kept telling me’ “Let’s go to the ‘Hood.“ It’s not that one is right and one is wrong, but that he knows who buys and listens to his music. In this case, we blitzed the ‘hoods first and then grew out to the college and party crowds. He had a perfect understanding of who his market is.

How Will You Reach Them?

Once you know who will buy your music, it becomes pretty clear what your image needs to be to reach your market. In Young Jeezy’s case, he’s that dope boy turned rapper who’s about making money, partying in the clubs, buying material items, and driving expensive cars. In Jay Z’s case, he’s that Billionaire Mogul running his own empire and living the life that this brings. Kanye is the intelligent around-the-way guy who dropped out of college to pursue a dream and feels a need to voice his opinion about everything publicly. Lil Kim and Foxy Brown are the old school ‘hood chicks that every guy knows and loves while Nicki Minaj is the new “Barbie” on the block. Odd Future are the zany “I don’t give a fuck” guys who act a fool and hate everything. Wiz Khalifa is your boy who all he wants to do is smoke weed.

In terms of imaging, Jeezy could rock a suit, but you’d assume he was going to court. He’s much more at home in some high end black jeans and a white or black T shirt with some Gucci or Prada shoes. Jay Z is more likely to be recognized in a button down shirt with cuff links or an expensive Italian suit. Image is a big part of marketing. What is your image? What sentence would a fan use to describe you? Is that description unique or does it fit ten other rappers?

Now, as you promote your image to the masses to gain awareness, it’s important that your message is clear, concise, and easy to understand. A flyer with 20 things crowded on it, and no empty space for the eye to rest, is a waste. Having things mis-spelled or grammatically incorrect is terrible too. Photos that are too low resolution that they look grainy and out of focus make you look cheap and clueless. The look of your promotional materials says a lot about who you are as a person. It would be easier for Yo Gotti to get away with something grimy and street than Jay Z or Puffy. Image is everything, and yours should be consistent.

If you have no understanding of design or aesthetics, find someone who does. If you suck at writing copy, find someone who has that talent to write the words for your flyers, social media pages, website, bio, and CD booklets (liner notes). Find people who are good at what they do and hire them to help you. Know your role and play it. Don’t try to do everything yourself. Teamwork is key here.

When you choose your own lane, try not to bite what has come before you. There is already a Jay Z, already a Lil Wayne, already a Drake. Try not to copy their style or image or sound. Usually the one who does it first, does it best, so be unique.

I suggest to small labels all of the time that they use one image of the artist to have consistency in marketing. First of all, you don’t have the budget of a major label who can afford to market Rick Ross in a suit, a sweatsuit, as well as street clothes. Pick one image and use that for your CD cover, vehicle wrap, website, flyers, posters, etc. It is very rare that a fan recalls a new artist’s name. There are just too many new artists. So very often they will go into the store asking for the kid who is rapping next to a Lamborghini on his posters, or that kid who is into skateboarding, etc. Make it easy for people to figure out who you are. Use one strong image that stands out to market yourself, and sets you apart from everyone else.

When I first started working with TMI Boyz in 2008, our t-shirts were so ugly that I would never wear them. We gave out like 10,000 of those ugly shirts. Finally, we had the logo and shirts redesigned. We had everybody asking for our shirts and wearing them (including me). We even had folks offering to buy them from us (truth is t-shirts are more expensive to print, so we should sell the t-shirts and give out the CDs for free. Ha ha ha ha).

Your marketing mix should consist of whatever you can afford from the following–

Promotions:
Street promotion
Radio promotion
Club promotion
Retail store promotion
Internet promotion
Social media marketing
Publicity (blog, magazine, and media mentions)
Promotional Tour

Advertising:
Magazine ads
Billboards
Cable TV
Radio Ads
Internet Banner Ads

Tools:
Videos & Behind-the-scenes footage
Snippet CDs
Mixed CDs
T-Shirts
Wrapped Vehicles
Posters/Flyers/Post Cards

Don’t forget to incorporate the internet as part of your campaign. While we still aren’t 100% digital yet in this era, it is a crucial part of your marketing mix. To those of you with no budget who think free internet promotions is enough to build an artist, you are wrong. It is exactly what it is: inexpensive promotions, but just one part of your whole marketing pie. You still need the streets, clubs, and real world promotion.

I can’t stress enough the importance of your imaging and marketing. Make sure your messages are clear, well designed, spelled correctly and grammatically correct. And most of all, make sure you are reaching the people who will buy your music, with your imaging, your design, and your marketing mix. This should put you one step closer to success whether your plan is to stay independent or to attract legitimate deal offers from established record labels. (2/2013)

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Building A Buzz

February 25, 2013

by Wendy Day (wendyday.com)

In the early 1980s, when rap started, there were few rappers and producers, so they had no difficulty standing out. Today, it seems everyone wants to be a rapper or a producer. I sometimes think we have more rappers than fans…

As more people want to get into the rap music business, it gets cheaper and easier to do so. The price of production equipment, recording equipment, and microphones has dropped substantially, making rapping and producing open to more people. And it has become easier than ever to get music to the masses by uploading finished songs to the internet to share them with the world on free social media pages (Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, etc), music sharing pages (SoundCloud, BandCamp, ReverbNation, etc) or inexpensive websites. Marketing has become cheaper and easier as one can sit at home and use the internet to market, promote, and drive traffic to one’s website or Tumblr page. Because of this, it seems that everyone wants to be a rapper.

Distributing music is easier than ever. Today, an artist is rare if his or her music is NOT for sale at iTunes or available for streaming at Pandora or Spotify. The playing field has been leveled. Any artists smart enough to market and promote their music, and who have some money (budget) to invest into themselves can build a career in music–or at least feed themselves with their music. Hopefully.

The days of needing a record label are over. So why do so many people still want to be signed to a record label?

Regardless, there are less labels, less money in the industry, less people buying CDs, and less positions for artists to get signed to record labels. So if you really want to be an artist, and have your heart set on being part of the traditional music business, you will need to STAND OUT!

You stand apart from all of the others by building a buzz.

As I travel around the country, I meet tens of thousands of people who say they want a career as a rapper (and even more who say they want to be a producer) yet very few stand out. Handing a demo CD to anyone is a waste of time, energy, and has never been very effective at catching someone’s attention. What I do see, are the artists who stand out because they are putting in the work and building a buzz.

Grinding. An artist’s grind is far more important than their talent. Talent is easy to find—people who will work hard are less easy to find. You may think you are the most talented rapper around, but the truth is that talented rappers and producers are a dime a dozen. There are more than 300 million people in the United States.

Not only are you competing with other artists from your area, but you are competing with artists from all over the country. The odds of winning a lottery are probably greater. So how will you stand out?

The best way to do so is to choose an area that’s workable. I suggest taking a map and drawing a circle around your city that extends about a 5 hour driving time away from where you are based. That will become your territory—your marketing area. Your first step is to own the city or town that you are from, and then expand out slowly in that territory (the 5 hour circle around your home).

After you’ve made your songs, you will choose the best one to focus on as a single. It’s best to ask for feedback from strangers (malls, gas stations, and high schools are good places to get feedback) as to which song is your best one. Strangers will be far more honest than people who know you, plus they are your potential fans. To build a buzz in your own area, you will work that single locally. That means you will attend all of the legitimate open mics and showcases, perform as much as you can (if a major artist comes to town, you should be the opening act and you accomplish this by building relationships with the key clubs and promoters in your area), hang posters, distribute flyers—basically get your image and song in front of as many people as possible. Make sure all of the local DJs know who you are (club DJs, mixtape DJs, and even eventually the radio DJs). All of the employees at the local record stores and nightclubs should also know who you are.

It’s important to promote your song in as many places as potential consumers who’d buy your music will be. So, marketing yourself to retirement homes and nursery schools would not make sense, but college campuses, high schools, and ‘hood malls make perfect sense. Anyplace where large amounts of your potential fans gather is ideal. As your song and name catch on in your own area, you can begin to expand your buzz within that 5 hour circle. You can also begin to attend the regional conventions and record pools. You should already have some sort of buzz before traveling, unless you are attending to learn more about the business (there are many free websites these days where you can go to learn how the music industry works, however).

On the record label side (I’m talking about the real record labels—the ones that have a track record of success in putting out rap records, not Lil Rey Rey from down the block who printed up business cards saying he has a record label), the people who sign artists to their rosters are called “A and Rs.” Their job is to help the artists who are already signed to the label make their records, and to find new talent. Since there are tens of thousands of rappers and producers, it’s hard to catch their attention if you do not stand out. Almost all of the major labels prefer the A&Rs to find the artists making noise in their own areas: getting radio spins, building viral followings, and selling music on their own.

Last year, I attended 12 music industry conventions/gatherings/record pools. I received over 1,000 demo CDs, and I can’t even sign anyone to a record deal. Additionally, I receive over 100 emails, tweets, Facebook posts and links to music each week. So someone that CAN sign an artist, how many CDs and MP3s do you imagine they get in a week? The ONLY way you are going to stand out is if you put in the work and effort to build a buzz for yourself. Instead of going to them, you want them to come to you.

The chance of you sending a CD to a record label and getting their interest is so slim that the odds of you getting struck by lightning or winning a lottery are greater. Even someone very connected in the music business (like me) can’t help you if you don’t stand out among all of the other rappers and producers out there. Great music is no longer enough. You have to have a strong buzz, and you have to be willing to work harder than everyone else—not just in your own area, but in your own region. Without a buzz, you may as well just go get a job and make music to be happy as a hobby. By the way, there is nothing wrong with doing it for the love!!

Meanwhile, how will YOU stand out?

Reblogged from: BundlePost, courtesy of: Robert Caruso

A frequent question I get from my connections in the social graph is “How do I build a relationship with an influencer for my brand/product”. Though it is a common question, the answer isn’t as common.

Since I sincerely believe that social media marketing is a parallel universe to the real world, I always take a step back and consider what we do in real life. What are the steps we would take in our local offline environment to accomplish this? What adjustments can/should we make within the social sphere to help us achieve what we are wanting to do.

First, we need to understand that social media marketing is NOT about you. You have to have a mindset of giving, providing value to others and a willingness to help them succeed.

Secondly. you need to clearly define what you hope to accomplish by building the relationship with the influencer. Review your product? Have a phone call? Share your link? There are many different goals one could have for wanting to build a relationship with someone specific within social media. know what yours is.

Once you have aligned your thinking with the first and second points above, you can then follow these steps to best position yourself for a relationship:

1) Identify – Be sure that the person/brand you are targeting for the relationship makes sense. Identify the person(s) that are best suited for your brand, product or service.

2) Observe & Document – Do your research. Make sure you know what they do, their website and blog locations. Monitor their social posts and conversations and take note of who they are as a person and what drives their conversations. Pay specific attention to the human/personal topics that they engage around and document the information.

Don’t rush the observation step. Take time to understand the influencer. Rushing will usually result in missing the important subtle things that are most important! This can take a week or a month, depending on the person. Take your time…

3) Engage – Once you understand the topic drivers and personality of your influencer, begin to engage with them. Specifically comment on their posts, share their content and facilitate meaningful conversations with that person. If they have a blog, share their articles and comment on them. Look for ways you can assist them by furthering their reach, introducing them to prospects and retweet their relevant content.

*Important – A big mistake made at this stage is to do too much too quickly. Do NOT like/share bomb. (don’t like 5 posts on their wall in a row or RT their last 4 posts, etc.) This can come across as stalking or an obvious ploy. Use common sense and ramp up these activities over several weeks or months.

4) Build – Build a relationship with the influencer through more and more frequent conversations.

5) Ask/Answer – Ask open-ended questions about them, their articles and their business. The goal here is to continue to further the relationship building, but also foster a climate where the influencer begins asking YOU questions about what yo do. This is the point you know you have earned the right to talk about what you do and what you would like from them.

*Important – DO NOT ask for anything at any point before this stage. You must do the work prior to requesting a call, review of your service or sharing of your content. Also, be sure that you continue steps 3, 4 and 5 on an ongoing basis. Don’t make the influencer feel as though they had a horrible one night stand and were played.

I cannot stress enough that patience in the entire process is crucial. If you follow these techniques and take it slow, you will develop influencer relationships that will bring value to them and benefit your brand.

Robert M. Caruso
@fondalo
Founder/CEO – Bundle Post

Increasing Your YouTube Views

February 20, 2013

youtube-facts-figures-by-techwelkinGetting people to watch your videos on YouTube is a process. There is no one simple solution that’ll make your video go viral. First we have to realize that people upload 60 hours of video to YouTube EVERY MINUTE of EVERY DAY! Pause for a second….that’s an hour of video that just got uploaded to YouTube! It would take 8 years to watch the videos uploaded to YouTube just today.

 There are over 500 million channels on YouTube. The site gets 800 million visitors per month and of course is accessible worldwide. YouTube Mobile gets 600 million views everyday. 500 YEARS of YouTube videos are watched everyday on Facebook alone. 100 million people take a social action on YouTube (likes, shares, comments, etc.) every week.

 The first thing I’d like to point out about YouTube is that 70% of the traffic comes from outside the U.S.; this means that YouTube is truly a global force. Since this blog is written for the purpose of helping aspiring artists, our focus is going to be those 8 million people in the U.S. who visit YouTube every day. We’re not going to ignore the international market, but the truth is that most of you are on a limited budget and can’t afford the hundreds of thousands of dollars that a national ad campaign costs, much less the millions required for an international ad campaign. (To our readers outside the U.S. there is still pertinent info here.) Now let’s talk about the process of getting views.

 There are several ways to get your video seen by more people. Here, at A Scratchy Throat we like to keep it simple yet effective. We assume that you’ve already created a YouTube account and named your channel. Once your account is setup and you have the video ready that you want to upload, the very first thing you’re going to do BEFORE uploading is rename the VIDEO FILE itself to contain relevant keywords about the content of the video. For example, a video name would be:

“cupid shuffle dance video.mov”

While your renamed video is uploading you can add your tags. Since I’m using an R&B artist like Cupid as an example, my keywords might include:

Cupid, New Cupid, soul, Lafayette, Hub City, Louisiana, music, family friendly, dance, dancing, fun, shuffle, “cupid shuffle”, “line dance”

 Some people even tag their video with other popular rappers names or events in hopes that their video pops up when people search for “Lil Wayne” or “Miami Heat” or “Rihanna”. I don’t suggest you try this, because it doesn’t get you more views. If you’re having problems choosing, the YouTube Keyword Tool will help you figure out what keywords to add to your video.

 Next is your video description. Start your video description with a link to your website or blog (make sure that your video is embedded on the page you link to). Write up at least 2 paragraphs for the video description section that tells what the video is about. Be creative and include your keywords in the natural flow of these two or three paragraphs. YouTube uses this description when people search for videos, so the link and the description will help you to get views more than you may think.

 Once you’ve got your tags and video description done, double check to make sure that ALL the keywords that relate to your video are included in the “tags” section of your video. This helps with Search Engine Optimization for YouTube searches.

 Now that the groundwork is laid, and the video is uploaded, it’s time to start sharing your video.

 Embed the video to your site or blog. Encourage you’re your friends and fellow bloggers to visit and comment on your video. When you “embed” a video to your site it allows your fans to view the video on your site without having to go to YouTube. If you have friends with websites, ask them to embed your video as well. Make sure you do the same for them. Multiple people working towards the same goals (increased YouTube views for all) is the definition of networking.

 On Facebook, embed your video to YOUR OWN page and your fan page. Don’t bother posting it to your friends’ pages, or putting it in people’s inboxes, it annoys people more than influencing them to check out your video. It’s better to post the video to your page, tagging your CLOSEST friends in it. Post the video as a status and either to pay to have it promoted ($7) or post it several times a day for the first few days, then maybe twice a day afterwards. You CAN ask your friends to share the video to their pages. Think about it, isn’t your video more likely to be seen if 100 people share it with their friends, instead of you posting it all over their pages without their knowledge? Don’t be the ass clown who posts their video to all of their Facebook friends’ pages. These are the posts that get deleted, not watched.

 On Twitter include the link in tweets about your new video. Do NOT @people your video link. This is annoying, doesn’t increase views, and often gets you blocked. Twitter is a means of communication and interaction. Don’t be the person who just @s links and tweets about their new “hot” mixtape or “smash” single. This doesn’t draw you any extra attention or give you more views. Engage in conversation with people on twitter, and as you connect with each other introduce them to the OPTION of checking out your video. @ing a link to your video to your followers or “important” people in the music industry is SPAM. It’s a waste of time and does much more harm than good. Don’t be the douchebag spammer who gets muted or blocked!

 Lastly, no matter which social network you’re using, encourage sharing and commenting. With our example above, “The Cupid Shuffle,” you might even ask your fans to create their own response video doing “The Cupid Shuffle” and then you can tweet and share the links to THEIR version of your video as well. You could even conduct a contest and give a prize to the person with the best response video. The Harlem Shake is an example of this promotional idea that went viral.

 The possibilities and probabilities for your new video are endless. Just realize that Rome wasn’t built in a day. You’ll have to stick to your guns and not give up. Don’t get discouraged and start doing what all the other guys with 100 views are doing. Don’t become a spammer. The “easy” techniques aren’t working for THEM and they won’t work for you either.

 Everybody can’t be the next “Psy” and have a BILLION views of their video. Although, you DO have a chance to be successful!! Follow these basic tips and continue to educate yourself on how to get the most views for your video, and you’ll see your channel subscribers growing daily.

 Lastly, just in case you didn’t know, buying views doesn’t work. Knowledge, dedication, hard work and persistence do work. Do what works and maybe you’ll see us tweeting about how much we like your new video (but don’t spam us your link!! LOL).

Tony Guidry is Senior Marketing Manager for A ScratchyThroatA Scratchy Throat – the brainchild of industry mainstay Wendy Day – provides professional social media marketing specifically designed for today’s aspiring artists.

The primary focus of the blogs contained here at A Scratchy Throat  are to help you boost your social reach in today’s online market. Every day, people use social networks to help them sell their music, get shows or sell merch. You can become one of these people with the right amount of research and determination.

 Negative people always know how to fail. They say YouTube doesn’t work because you can buy views; or that Facebook doesn’t give you a proper percentage of fan interaction; or that Twitter isn’t a proper platform to market your songs. They tell you that Reverbnation and Soundcloud are like ghost-towns (nobody goes there). That MySpace is dead. Negative people say that nobody buys music anymore; and that everyone downloads their music for free.

 Negative people tell you these things because they actually believe them. It’s your job to do your research and find out for yourself if what these negative people believe is true.

 Kendrick Lamar went platinum last year, and before you say it’s because he’s signed to a major label, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are independent artists and their single Thrift Shop just went 3x platinum.

It’s your choice to make the most out of every networking opportunity that comes your way. Don’t forget to look at your own expectations of social networks and decide HOW to approach promoting your music online.

AN ONLINE PRESENCE IS NECESSARY FOR YOUR SUCCESS IN TODAY’S MUSIC INDUSTRY.

So where do you start? What network do you use? Well, that depends on the kind of music you make and who you believe is your audience. Billions of people use social networks. Here’s a list of the more popular ones for our purposes:

Now before u choose the site with the most visitors, let’s look at the ages of the users of some of the various network sites:

Modified graphic from pingdom.com

We all know music doesn’t appeal to everyone in all age groups (although I’ve heard many of you say “everyone is my target market”). Even though there are 60 year old women who like 2 Chainz, his main target market is 18-34 men. Even though some 10 year olds may like to groove with Maze & Frankie Beverly, the band’s target audience is 35+ (they haven’t released new music since 1993). So evaluate your music and content. You don’t want to target people 45+ years old if you’re a hipster or gangster rapper; and you don’t want to target 0-17 year olds if you play traditional jazz. Choose your target audience appropriately, and use the network where you will have the biggest possible audience.

Paying close attention to the chart above, you’ll notice that Tumblr has the most 18-24 year old users. If you’re a young rapper and want to engage people from 18-34, then it looks like your target audience uses mostly Tumblr, Blogger, & MySpace. But if you’re more of an R&B type artist and want to target ages 25-44, your audience is biggest on Twitter, Blogger & WordPress. Finally, if you cater to a more mature audience, like 35+, then Facebook, WordPress & LinkedIn hold bigger parts of your target market. Now these indicators don’t mean that you should shut down or not use ALL social networks. This is just an example of the research that you have to do to locate your potential audience.

If you dedicate the time, an internet search will show you which social networks have the most women, the most college graduates, or the most high school dropouts. I think that I’ve given you enough to get you started in locating the people you want to share your music with online. Now it’s up to you to get your profiles setup and to start engaging the people who have similar interests to you. Remember, DO NOT spam your links to people’s pages!!! That doesn’t work!! Get to know ’em first– you’ve narrowed down your prospects and are talking to your target market. Make sure that your aim is steady before you fire!

Tony Guidry is Senior Marketing Manager for A Scratchy Throat. A Scratchy Throat – the brainchild of industry mainstay Wendy Day – provides professional social media marketing specifically designed for today’s aspiring artists.

“I can post my music to facebook and reach millions of people.”

While it’s true that over a billion people visit facebook every month, you must have a strategy and plan in place if you’re trying to get a portion of them to actually view your page and listen to your music. There are tried and tested methods that will boost your exposure on Facebook. Today, we’re gonna look at the more basic ways to bring attention to your page and your music so that you can get more “likes” and “listens.”

First, just posting your music to your Facebook page and hoping that people listen is not enough. Posting a link to your song or your video on your friends’ pages is NOT networking and DOESN’T work. (To be honest, when you post links to people’s pages or inbox them your link unannounced, it gets deleted – the reality is that most people aren’t going to your Soundcloud or Reverbnation link just because you post it on their page.) You have to establish a relationship with a person first in order for your networking efforts to be successful. Any unsolicited links you “give” them are considered SPAM!!! You don’t need to spam your music to gain new fans. You only need to learn how to use the social media tools Facebook makes available to you.

So I hope you understand that uploading your music on Facebook is only seen by the people you interact with–and you hope they listen to it. Your closer friends will probably like and comment on your music (they like everything you post anyway). You won’t engage many new people this way though– and what’s the point in posting your music online if you’re not going to reach new people? Of course you could just stick to street & club promotions (which can be very effective), but what’s the purpose of making music if you’re not doing what you need to do in order to MAKE SURE that new people give it a listen?

Secondly, the reason you want Facebook “likes” is because they may eventually lead to sales, and in the BUSINESS of music, money needs to be made in some way shape or form. So whether you use your likes to ask people to buy your music, attend an event, or purchase a T-shirt or whatever it might be, you’ve got to find a way to make money from your craft if you’re in the music BUSINESS. If you’re someone who makes music just for the love or as a hobby, then this post AIN’T for you.

Now, for those artists, managers, or label owners, etc, who are interested in using Facebook to get seen and heard……..let’s talk about the simplest ways to get facebook likes.

I’m sure that most of you have seen an offer to buy “likes”. The websites selling the “likes” promise hundreds or thousands (or tens of thousands) of likes for a low cost. I’ve seen it range from $30 for 1,000 to $1200 for 100,000 likes. These so-called services promise you likes in a “few days”. Which leads us to the question: do these services work? Well, they work to get you likes, just not the ones you’re looking for. The problem is that with fake likes you don’t have a genuine fan. A fake like will never listen to your music or buy your song. A fake like will never tweet or post a status about your music so a fake like is worthless in the music industry. Add to that fact that Facebook, as a company, will remove the majority of fake likes eventually, making you look worse than before! Buying fake likes won’t solve the problem of marketing your music–just like most business shortcuts, it’s non-effective and likely to do more harm than good.

So what’s the most effective way to introduce new people to your music and reach the people who are interested in what you make?? You pay for it.

Facebook Ads for business are the simplest way to reach new people on Facebook. The setup is simple. Facebook literally walks you through the steps:

Take your time and pay attention as it’s all laid out for you: from how to build and customize your page, to how to invite your friends to like and interact with you. You’ve gotta START with your friends, and build from there. Fortunately, Facebook gives you the key elements necessary to get started.

Once you have your page setup, start posting content. Invite your friends to like your new page first and do NOT just spam links of your music or videos! Have conversations with the people who like your page, engage with them, share interests and insight. Again, Facebook gives you insight on how to do this effectively:

So far, everything we’ve covered is free. You can research and learn how to build your followers and likes from here. You don’t NEED to pay for anything at this point. Once your page is created, you have to consistently post interesting statuses.

Eventually you’ll reach a point where investing into targeting other markets makes sense, and when that time comes you’ll want to start an ad campaign for your page. Don’t jump the gun here though. Be consistent in posting to your page and talking to the people who’ve liked your page.

Before you even think about buying ads to draw people, you will want to have at least 100 legitimate likes from friends, etc. Remember, you gotta have those 100 likes before you even think about taking it to the next level.

Setting up your ad is simple and, again, the folks at Facebook have everything laid out for you. At first, it may seem confusing when you’re asked if you want to:

Get More Likes
Promote Page Posts
Advanced Options

You’ll make your decision based on what you’re trying to do. (I know that you have goals, right?) So depending on your goals, you’ll choose to promote individual page posts, or to expose your page to as many people as possible, or simply to get more likes. Once you make that decision, you can move on to deciding WHO to reach.

You can choose to target a city or even a particular zip code INSIDE a city (so u can target an actual neighborhood if you want to!). You also have the choice to target people with certain interests. You can target people who like Pop music or R&B; or you can be more specific and target people who like Rihanna, Beyonce, Lil Wayne, or Drake, for example. You can target married people, single people, or people who love sports. There are numerous categories that allow you to really pinpoint the people most probable to like your page.

Below is an example of a campaign designed to target Facebook users in Jacksonville, FL (including 25 miles outside the city):

If you noticed, the target audience is aged 13-40, with an interest in Music– specifically Hip Hop/Rap and R&B/Soul music. Our choices have narrowed down potential fans in the Jacksonville area from over 457,000 people to almost 172,000. This isn’t a bad thing because it targets people who list music as an interest and these people are more likely to become a fan.

So what will it cost?? Well, that’s totally up to you. The good people at Facebook allow you to choose exactly how long you want to run your ad, how much you’re willing to pay for people to see your ad, and how much money you’re willing to spend per day on your ad campaign.

As you maneuver through the options available, you’ll be able to cater to the appropriate audience for you. It’s not hard to get your Facebook ads started. It will take some tweaking and tinkering to get the best results but with the right effort, focus and determination you can build an ad campaign that converts clicks to your page into likes and likes into fans who you can THEN reach out to and ask to listen to your music or watch your latest video.

At the end of the day, your Facebook page and any ad campaign associated with it is only a small part of the total work you’ll need to do in order to succeed. Internet presence is becoming more and more important in today’s digital age.

Tony Guidry is Senior Marketing Manager for A Scratchy ThroatA Scratchy Throat – the brainchild of industry mainstay Wendy Day – provides professional social media marketing specifically designed for today’s aspiring artists.

The Brand YOU: Your Bio

by: Brian Kush, reposted from: http://ow.ly/hBbbU

Personal branding is about promoting what makes you unique and what allows you to stand out from the crowd. A major piece of branding is creating your professional “bio” or biography. That bio is, after all, a specific place to capture your “story” …. so it is personal.

For many CPAs, your bio is likely already on the web and accessible by anyone and anywhere. Since it is so accessible, it presents a nice branding opportunity – to spread your message about the value you provide and the opportunities you want to attract.

When reviewing your bio, consider three Cs of personal branding – Compelling, Consistent and Clear:

Make your bio COMPELLING and answer the following questions:

WHOM do you specifically help? What kinds of people? What types of businesses?
WHAT challenges do you help them solve?
HOW do you help them? What is it you uniquely “bring to the table” to help them solve their challenges?
WHAT do your specific skills allow them to do? What is the benefit to them? Do you save them time, money orpain, or bring them joy or success?
HOW have you acquired these skills? Why are you credible? This is the his“story” part of your bio where you can provide your experience and relevant accomplishments.

Make your bio CONSISTENT.
If someone visits your organization’s website and reads your bio and then finds you on a social network with a profile that describes a completely different person, you have created brand confusion!

Tip: create one master biography and use it to create your shorter bio and all your profiles instead of doing it the other way around. Google yourself and compare your profiles and bios. Do they send an overall consistent message about what you want to be known for and what distinguishes you from everyone else?

Make your bio CLEAR.
Harry Beckwith, the author of You Inc., The Art of Selling Yourself, says, “What convinces people that you excel? Your clearest evidence is just that: clearness.” Be direct. Get to the point. If you cannot articulate your expertise in a concise and clear manner, then how can you be an expert in your field? Attention spans are dwindling. Even your “long bio” should not be much more than half a page.

Additional Tips

Keep it fresh: update your bio as often as it needs to be so that your message is current. A stale bio sends a message about your brand.

Consider a call to action: decide what you want the readers of your bio to do. Is it just to view you as credible or would you like them to take action? If you want them to follow you, such as via a blog or Twitter, ensure that information is in your bio.

Test it for authenticity: what is the most important thing about any item you use to promote your brand? It needs to be authentic. You need to feel it. You need to own it. Read your draft bio out loud to an audience. If it comes from your heart, if it is truly “on-brand,” then your audience will know that when you read it. And you will know it too.

Brian Kush, CPA, CLC, President, Moxie Partners. Brian is an ICF certified coach, and specializes in leadership, executive presence, and personal branding coaching. He works with executives, entrepreneurs, and aspiring professionals in a personal coaching relationship to challenge them to show up as the biggest version of who they already are, and get the new results THEY want.

How to Be the Real You in Your Blog Writing

In September, I spent a week in Germany. I look German and even lived in the country as a child, but I speak the language only well enough to be dangerous. I can order a glass of wine, but then the charade ends.

My elderly aunt isn’t fooled. She has trouble understanding my ungrammatical babble.

“Was sprichst du?” (What do you speak?) she asks. “Hoch Deutsch (high German) oder Platt Deutsch (Low German)?” “Schlecht Deutsch (Bad German),” I reply. I speak well enough to get by, but not well enough to really say anything.

And that was the problem. After three days in Germany, I had no beliefs, no opinions, no personality. As a blog writer, I missed being able to express myself.

Having a platform that lets you communicate your personal brand is a rare gift. So go for it when you write your blog: Tell us what you think.

Say it in plain English. And celebrate who you are.

Get your personality across

Do this even if it’s abrasive. Especially if it’s abrasive.

If you’re writing authentically, your audience should know immediately that you authored a piece. My own style has been described as warm, witty, quirky. Whether you agree with that or not, you should be able to tell a piece is by me by the way I use words, by the positions I take, by the refusal to be serious for more than a few lines.

If your blog doesn’t sound like you, it’s time to rewrite until it’s genuine.

Take an outlandish position

Your blog gives you a chance to make a stand—so don’t wallow in the middle ground. Choose a position and defend it. I read a marketing blog post recently about Features and Benefits. For once, it did not say that every feature should also have a benefit. Quite the contrary. After hearing same old same old for years of copywriting, it was compelling to see a post that tore it all up.

Be that person—the one who opens eyes wide.

Don’t mince words

At dinner recently, a friend mentioned that his former wife had been in a car accident. Was it bad? our hostess asked. Not bad enough, he replied. OK, that’s cold, but we’re pretty clear how he feels about his ex-wife. So if you need to mince something, make it onions. Say it like you mean it. Forget the qualifiers and euphemisms.

If every word is a cloak for some more dastardly term, then you’re writing in another language.

Provoke disagreement

If you have a flock that follows you and it isn’t completely comprised of sheep, then engage them enough to disagree with you. Loudly, if necessary. I wrote a post once suggesting people use Readability Indices to make their posts more accessible to their audiences. One commenter said he’s tired of dumbing down his writing—and if his audience doesn’t understand it, he doesn’t want to talk to them anyway.

Bully for him.

Get rid of people

Go all the way—provoke disagreement to the point that readers unsubscribe from your blog. No one’s unsubscribing? You’re not trying hard enough. Sure, they’ll be there as long as you’re so bland they hardly notice you. Or don’t bother to read your blog. But when you unmask, they may recoil. Good.

Distance yourself from the people who simply tolerate you.

Keep the people who love you

In some ways, business relationships work the same way as personal ones. You want to keep the people close who love you no matter what. I have three friends who would stick with me even if I become an axe murderer—although one admits she’d be disappointed.

Ultimately you want blog followers so avid that they love you even when you quarrel and want to work things out. Those people will advocate for you like the blasé folks never will.

And that, my friend, is the start of a beautiful relationship.

Guest author: Diana Kightlinger is a professional print and digital copywriter and content writer for high-achieving businesses, from solo entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies. For more helpful info, like Eclipse Communications on Facebook and follow her on Eclipsewriter Blog….

What are Facebook Ads? These Glossary of Terms will get you Started

Whether you are a business owner or a social media professional who is familiar with the power of Facebook, chances are you have probably asked, “What are Facebook Ads?” You already may have been introduced to Facebook Ads through your social media training; they’re those ads that appear on the right-hand column of almost any page within Facebook, from your home page and news feed, to your profile and apps pages.

Facebook Ads attract fans of all demographics, reaching out to hundreds of millions of Facebook users. With Facebook Ads, you can raise awareness of your product or service to people who otherwise may not have known about it, and you can create ads to promote events as well as products or services.

When asking, “What are Facebook Ads?” it’s important to understand and become familiar with the terminology used with regard to the ads. This glossary of terms provides a solid introduction and a better understanding of Facebook Ads:

Ads Manager. This is where you can view all of your Facebook ad campaigns, revise bids and budgets, pause and restart ads at any time. The Ads Manager is your main hub for Facebook Ads.

Ads. When creating an ad, you are attempting to reach different target audiences by highlighting your products or services in an interesting manner. Use an interesting photo or a company logo, and then complete the ad by writing a concise description that cannot be ignored by those in your desired demographics. Each ad has a daily or lifetime budget.

Campaigns. Group your ads into “campaigns” based on whatever criteria you deem necessary. For instance, you may want to create a campaign from all of your ads geared to a specific demographic.

Ad Auction. This is the system that Facebook uses to decide which ads are best to run. They base this on the ads’ maximum bid and previous ad performance. The ads that Facebook decides are the best to show will be the ones most prominently featured.

Budget. The budget is the amount of money you are willing to spend on a campaign either each day or for the life of the ad. These two kinds of budgets are known as daily or lifetime budgets.

Bid. When you place a bid on the ad you’re creating, you’re indicating the maximum amount you are willing to pay per click (also known as CPC) or per thousand impressions of your Facebook Ads (CPM). The maximum bid determines your ad’s strength in the ad auction, giving it better chances of being displayed.

Suggested Bid Range. This represents the range of CPC or CPM bids that are winning the auction for the audience you’ve selected.
Clicks. When someone clicks through your ad to your website or a specific landing page on Facebook, you’re charged for the ad. Clicks are also counted when someone “Likes” your ad or RSVP’s to an event through your ad.

Impressions. Impressions are counted when your ad is shown on any part of the Facebook site, regardless of whether someone clicks on your ad.

Social impressions. Social impressions happen when an ad is viewed by a Facebook user who is friend of someone who has interacted with the ad.

CTR. CTR stands for “Click-Through Rate,” the number of clicks your ad receives divided by the number of times your ad is shown on the site during that time period. The CTR gives you an idea of how effective your ad is on Facebook.

Connections metric. This metric includes people who have “Liked” your page, RSVP’d to your events or installed one of your apps from seeing your ad on Facebook.

Reports. The reports give you all of the analytics information you need regarding your ads and campaigns. You can create and print out ad reports based on the parameters you wish to know more about, and you can export into an Excel or a .csv file.

Sponsored Stories. These are stories that are eligible to appear both in users’ news feeds and in the right-hand column with other Facebook Ads. Sponsored Stories respect whatever privacy settings a user has placed on their account, so if their activity is hidden it will not be used for Sponsored Stories.

Page Post Ads. This is one of the newest innovations for Facebook Ads. With Page Post Ads, you turn a post made to your page—a status update, picture, link or video, etc.—into an ad for your page. These are not subject to privacy settings and can be shown to anyone on Facebook.

50 Ways to Generate Leads with Social Media

If part of your marketing plan involves generating leads, then social media should be part of that strategy. Social media can drive the type of web traffic from those that are actively seeking your information. They may even be ready to buy. Using social media monitoring, content creation, advertising, and networking, you will be a hero at your organization by bringing in leads like never before. Here are 50 ways to drive leads with social media, as part of our ebook, How to Generate Leads with Social Media.

Build a network of strong ties

In order to create leads, you need to have interaction, affection and time, which are all aided by social media. Here are some ways to create strong ties:

1. Follow prospects on Twitter
2. Friend new connections on Facebook
3. Conduct a Google Hangout with industry leaders
4. Host a webinar with registration
5. Answer questions on social channels
6. Use Help a Reporter Out to offer information
7. Share peer referrals
8. Reach out to prospects where they’re engaging
9. Expand pool of prospects
10. Share a Vine video

Influence connections for content sharing

Publishing and sharing content online is the single biggest lever to increase lead generation. Here are some content ideas:

11. Write ebooks and gate them with forms
12. Crowdsource content and credit your community
13. Find a Tweet that promotes your content and share it
14. Reshare existing content to breath new life into it and encourage clicks
15. Make your content visual for Pinterest pins
16. Blog about helpful information (not product)
17. Optimize site and blog for mobile viewers
18. Share relevant content with prospects
19. Make a compelling presentation on Slideshare
20. Ensure all your content links together to create as much inbound linking as possible

Utilizing Social Media Monitoring

Listening at the point of need can help you discover opportunities to help by offering information or expertise — without sales pressure — at the perfect time. This results in lead generation. Here’s how to monitor for lead opportunities.

21. Monitor for buying indication terms within your product category
22. Monitor for recommendation requests within your product category
23. Monitor for discussions of your product category
24. Monitor target prospect personas to confirm accuracy
25. Monitor questions and conversations about your product category
26. Discover topics for remarkable content
27. Discover competitive insights
28. Monitor for key phrases customers are using when seeking help
29. Spot and answer direct questions from prospects
30. Monitor industry trends

Use Social Ads to Generate Leads

Paid advertising on social media, such as sponsored Tweets on Twitter or promoted content on Facebook can help you generate leads. Here are 10 examples of how to do it.

31. Use a Facebook ad to drive traffic to your website
32. Use a promoted Tweet to drive traffic to your website
33. Link back to dedicated landing pages for conversion
34. Sponsor a form on another Facebook Page
35. Create an ad on LinkedIn linking to a lead generation form
36. Promote a strong call to action
37. Promote offers
38. Make ads visually appealing for Pinterest pins
39. Advertise on relevant forums
40. Organize ad distribution by target personas

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search can be a huge driver to your website and utilizing key phrases in your content, social channels and throughout your website can boost your SEO. That will enable prospects to easily find your site, hence aiding in lead capture. Here’s 10 ways to do it

41. Include key phrases in your Tweets
42. Link to your blog from Facebook
43. Ask followers to link to your website
44. Use keywords on your LinkedIn company page
45. Include keywords in your blog post headlines and body
46. Tag and name your images
47. Categorize and tag your blog with key phrases
48. Share ebooks using key phrases
49. Upload videos to YouTube (2nd largest search…