Ariel Hyatt is a bona fide expert in the social networking sphere. Over the years, her Ariel Publicity and Cyber PR firms have helped connect hundreds of bands with blogs, podcasts, Internet radio stations and social media sites. Ariel shared some helpful tips and valuable perspective with us in this interview, right before a signing for her new book The Musician’s Roadmap to Facebook and Twitter. For more info:arielpublicity.com
Ariel Hyatt of Arial Publicity (http://arielpublicity.com/) explains how she helps artists make the most of social media, with impressive results: explosive fanbase growth, discovery of new territories & artistic angles… all in all, good for business! If, of course, the artists remain as authentic as possible… Hyatt’s at MIDEM to host a MidemNet Academy session on this topic.
Originally Posted Here: http://www.musicthinktank.com/mtt-open/music-career-interviews-ariel-hyatt.html
An ode to Ariel: “Buy her books, read her blogs…go see her at a conference.”
Ummm…I can’t really think of anything to rhyme with conference, and to be honest I think the whole poem thing was a bad idea
But I’m just kind of excited…why?
Well so far I have read the interview below twice and my notebook is already full with new ideas, book recommendations, websites to visit and new musical strategies to implement. I can’t wait for you to start using this information so I’m going to shut up now and hand over the stage to the real first lady of music marketing.
Quick Fire Questions:
Favorite music career book or course
I can’t choose just one, so here are three! The first is my favorite Music Business Book, the second is a book every entrepreneur (that’s every musician) should read, and the third is all about money – if you are interested in making money in the music business (or anywhere in your life), I’ll suggest my favorite money book too.
1.Music 3.0 by Bobby Owsinski – This book is wonderful as it explains the CONTEXT of what in the heck happened in the music business and why. But Bobby doesn’t stop there. He next lays out a clear concise plan about what you need to know about to set yourself up for success. His philosophies are very much in alignment with Music Success in Nine Weeks and our books mention a lot of the same theories (1,000 True Fans) and suggestions (use the Internet or die in obscurity).
2. The E-Myth by Michael Gerber – It really opened my eyes to what it means to be an entrepreneur and the difference between working in my business versus working on my business. I wish every musician would read it because every musician is now an entrepreneur.
3. The Secrets of The Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker - I read this book 6 years ago and it completely shifted my perspective on money. I meet so many artists who believe that they can’t make money while making music and this book will help you get rid of limiting stories you may have unconsciously created.
The best music-marketing tool
Artists: if you are trying to build your career in any way and you don’t have an email newsletter and an email management program you should get one now.
Musicians who are positive and never give up, in whatever form that takes…They inspire me every day to keep doing what I do for a living, and to keep going after my own dreams and goals.
There are two….
1. Hypebot: It’s where I look every day to stay on top of music industry happenings and stories (Full disclosure: I blog on a site that they also edit called MusicThinkTank).
2. Mashable: Everything you could ever want to know about Social Media, news, tools & tricks.
How I started and what I’m doing at the moment.
How I started…
I started my business, Ariel Publicity, in 1996 as a traditional PR firm (and for a few years we were also a booking agency). I got very good at the usual public relations grind: Blasting out press releases, mailing CDs to journalists and placing articles in magazines, newspapers, TV, and on radio by pitching my head off. As the years went on and more music was coming out, I realized that traditional PR was no longer as attainable or effective for independent artists, and I began to feel really disheartened with the results my firm was producing (while working harder than I ever had before).
Seven years ago, I began to transition my company from traditional PR to digital PR. It was during the transition when I realized that my artists were really confused and confronted about all of the online tools and techniques that they needed to understand and use. In order to stay ahead of the curve, so I started writing a newsletter and posting articles on my website for artists and music business professionals looking for useful tips. Those articles turned into multiple blog posts and two books.
What I’m doing at the moment…
I do four separate things…They break down like this:
1. Author – I have written two books: Music Success in Nine Weeks & Musician’s Roadmap to Facebook and Twitter, which is co-authored with musician Carla Lynne Hall. I also blog for MusicThinkTank.com, ArielPublicity.com/blog and MusicSuccessinNineWeeks.com. My newsletter & video series called Sound Advice goes to over 10,000 music industry professionals each fortnight.
2. Speaker & Educator – I love to travel and meet people, and I do this by speaking at music conferences and teaching master classes around the world. I teach artists, music business students & music industry professionals how to understand and improve their own online marketing and PR. I also discuss trends in social media and how artists can set themselves up to succeed.
I started my company when I was 23 years old and a dream for me is to help music industry students understand that they too can create success in this business if they want it.
I am honored to say that MTSU will be debuting a Cyber PR® course this fall, based on my agency’s practices and my philosophies. Ariel Publicity will be matching students in this course with our artists, giving them an opportunity to experience what it’s like to work with active musicians. I’m thrilled to be mentoring some next generation music business professionals.
3. Founder & Owner of Boutique PR Firm – My digital PR firm Ariel Publicity is currently running Cyber PR® Campaigns for approx. 50 musicians. Cyber PR® Campaigns help artists get reviewed on blogs, played on podcasts, and added to Internet radio stations. At the same time we coach them on how to improve their social media strategy (Twitter, Facebook etc.) and online marketing (Newsletters, blogs, website etc.).
4. Cyber PR® Software Developer – I’ve spent the last few years developing the online platform that delivers our Cyber PR® Campaigns. This boutique PR agency management system automatically disperses press materials, videos, & MP3s, and facilitates relationships between new media makers, PR agents and clients. Cyber PR® creates a fully transparent experience between my PR agency, new media makers and publicity firms.
My biggest achievement in music and how it happened
In the past few years I’ve been invited to spread the Cyber PR® gospel throughout Europe, Canada and Australia. Here’s how it happened:
Step 1: I felt inspired and compelled to pivot my business into one that could change with the times and with emerging technologies.
Step 2: I learned as much as I could about social media and the changing PR world, so that I could stay relevant as an owner of a PR firm.
Step 3: I followed three passions (writing, self development, helping artists) and I started blogging, created my Sound Advice newsletter and YouTube series to express what I was experiencing. I turned those articles and ideas into two books, and the books led to invitations to music conferences and festivals around the world.
What’s The Most effective Way to Increase a Fanbase
The most effective way I have found to increase your fanbase is: create one authentic relationship at a time. This will make you connected to people and, as a result, remarkable to others.
I think artists become completely tripped up with the feeling that they need to have thousands (or millions) of fans, or plays, or impressions to succeed.
What I know is: They don’t. Just think about creating one fan, then two fans, then five fans. I’ve seen miracles happen from very small groups of engaged and committed fans.
Do something that you feel passionate about using a social media tool or a real life tool. Start with just Facebook or Twitter and use it thoughtfully as if you were talking to just one person who represents your ideal fan (or the type of fan you would like to have). When you play out live, stand by the merch table and meet fans and potential fans one at a time.
You will become successful sooner
If you do something every single day to move yourself towards creating more fans. So write a newsletter, write a blog post, book a show. Do something every day to move yourself towards more exposure.
You should not be focusing on
How to do it fast. Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts in today’s music business.
So, if you come across something that feels like a gimmick or get rich scheme, or anything that looks like a “fast track,” be aware.
Some artists come to me and say, “I want to buy email lists.” That is spam, and not a great way to capture and engage potential fans.
Here’s a great place to focus: Find something important to you in your heart and express it (it doesn’t have to be life changing, it can be a small thing that is meaningful to you).
Nobody knows a magic formula. A lot of people in this business would like to take your money and there are multiple ways to spend a lot of money really quickly, so be very careful when adding new people to your team. Do your research by asking for references or using Google. Trust your gut and your instinct and remember that it’s not about them, it’s about you. So as you’re looking to put anyone on your marketing, PR, radio plugging, booking, management or branding team, or expand your horizons in any way, trust your instincts.
How You Can Find Ariel…
The best way to get me is on Twitter, I’m @CyberPR, or on my blog at
Originally Posted Here: http://popwreckoning.com/2010/02/12/interview-with-ariel-hyatt-of-ariel-publicity/
Have you ever met a Rock Star? I mean someone who just walks into a room and has all eyes on them. Believe it or not, every industry has them, not just in the music world. Ariel Hyatt of Ariel Publicity is her industry’s Rock Star, and Thomas Starks of PopWreckoning got on the phone with her to find out why and how she got to the top of her game.
Thomas Starks, PopWreckoning: Thank you so much for taking my call Miss Hyatt.
Ariel Hyatt, Ariel Publicity: The pleasure is all mine, thanks for liking what we do!
TS: You know what, I’ll tell you what, I actually put your plan into action, and I along with my fans found some success! But we’ll talk about that in a minute, we are chatting with Ariel Hyatt of “Ariel Publicity” and we are very pleased to speak with you, thank you so much.
AH: Pleasure is mine.
TS: So you got into this some 10 to 13 years ago?
AH: I got into my own PR firm approximately, gosh it’s almost 15 years ago.
TS: You’ve obviously done pretty well for yourself, can you tell us the story of how that actually came about?
AH: Sure, we founded as a traditional P.R. firm and we’ve always represented and worked primarily with artists who were independent, meaning non major label affiliates. For many many years, I clicked along very comfortably with a successful traditional P.R. firm., meaning we promoted to newspapers and magazines and television and radio,we also did a lot of tour P.R. and it was going along quite swimmingly until September 11th, 2001. At that moment, when that tragedy happened, I noticed a very very sharp downturn in the success rates of the campaigns that we were managing, and what I noticed was, all of the local beat music writers at all of the smaller newspapers around the country were getting fired, or, they were beginning to cover different types of events that were not locally focused on music. I realized that we had a big problem and that problem was that my clients were literally paying me thousands of dollars of a month to get them wide coverage and I couldn’t provide it. So that’s when we started looking for other solutions. Luckily, we had been heavily involved with the internet and it just made perfect sense to me to go where there were ENTHUSIASTIC fans. I mean at the time there weren’t even blogs, it was like, “news servers” and “zines.” That was the big thing, “webzines.” And it was before internet radio really took off, so you know, we started promoting to passionate people in those domains, and obviously that’s all morphed into what we NOW know as blogs, podcasts, internet radio stations, and social media sites.
TS: I did notice that just in the last week or week and a half you have changed your web site.
AH: We have indeed.
TS: Your site has always been user friendly and now as I see is much more user friendly. I’m also aware that with the social media aspect of all this, I do know that you were always prescribing that to your clients. What exactly keyed you into that?
AH: As far as how we represent artists?
TS: Let’s say you have a company come to you and say, “We are such and such website…we would like to help promote to musicians.” What is your process of sifting through the thousands of web sites that want to assist musicians?
AH: You know, our whole philosophy is, even if a web site seems like it’s small, maybe they don’t have a ton of readers, maybe it’s kind of homemade or homespun, but we think it ALL counts because with Google, it ALL counts. So we’re not only going for the top top top players, you know, like the large sites where there’s millions of readers. We are also going for anyone that wants to show love. We have a vetting process obviously, like we don’t want the web sites to contain anything offensive or that we deem inappropriate, but basically, if there is someone with passion on the other end that wants to cover our artists, we pretty much want to work with them. So our vetting process is liberal and we really believe ourselves to be the solution if you’re looking for a long tail solution as opposed to “Just promote to the top 10”…we don’t believe in that.
TS: So when an artist comes to you and says “I would like to figure out how to succeed in the music industry…” What is the first thing you say to them?
AH: You know one of the first things we try to do is find out how open to social media they are. Obviously, I’m a social media coach and this is my area of expertise, so I come with a very biased opinion of how I think survival will happen for them. So if I get someone that is completely resistant and is saying, “I hate this; I hate all this communication; I hate social media; I don’t like it.” It’s going to be very very hard for me to work effectively with that person. I need to know that the person is educable. Because if they are really negative about social media and really feel that it is so confronting and so upsetting, I’m not going to be able to be effective. So I think the one key we are looking for with all the clients we represent is how willing to do this are they? That’s really the number one deciding factor. Then it’s up to us to help them identify an audience and connect with them in a way that makes them feel comfortable. So obviously there are so many different ways to focus in on social media. You might be into Twitter, maybe you like Facebook, maybe Last FM is how you like to share with different artists. Maybe you just want to blog; maybe you like to take photos. You know we don’t want to limit anyone’s preference online. There are so many ways of expressing yourself online, so if some one says, “Look, I really think Twitter is dumb. I have so much to say. I can’t say it all in 140 characters.” I’m not going to force them to tweet. If they say, “Look I’m really long-winded and I like writing long essays about my traveling or my tour schedule,” well than I’m going to say maybe blogging fits better. So then it’s how do we identify what the artists resonate with.
TS: So without playing favorites, can you tell us a story…a success story without having to say the name of a particular client that actually succeeded in your program?
AH: Now one of our crowning achievements, and this no secret because I’ve blogged about her, is Kelly Richey. She’s an artist that called me, literally lying on her kitchen floor two and a half years ago. She’s a blues guitarist who had toured literally the world, very successful in her own right. She had played HUGE festivals, you know, Europe and across the country. She had put out 13 albums and she realized that she had an enormous mistake. Now, the mistake was she tried to go for it in the major leagues. She hired the major publicist, she hired the major radio plugger, she got the glossy photos, she really tried to be the next Bonnie Raitt and she tried to do it without a major label budget. It’s pretty much impossible to do and she had spent tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars, chasing this dream. She had a stunning realization which was that she didn’t even listen to these radio stations that she was so desperately trying to get on to. Then she realized: “Wait a minute…if I am my ideal client, and I don’t even listen to these radio stations, what on God’s green earth am I doing trying to fit myself into this thing that I don’t even believe in?” And she figured there would be a better way, so by the time I got her on the phone, I got someone who had really taken a stab at achieving mainstream success the old fashion way and it wasn’t working. I said to her, “I would love to help you transform your career,” and she started a BRUTAL re-education. She did not know ANYTHING about Twitter or blogging or podcasting and months into this, she called me up and she said “I feel like I’m a Martian that got dropped down from the sky into a shopping mall and I didn’t even know what money was. Not only did you give me a fistful of money, you dropped me into a mall. I didn’t know what shopping was, I didn’t know what stores were, I had to learn EVERYTHING.” So it was really really interesting to listen to her equate that, but what I’m really proud to say is, she did it. She took on Twitter, she took on blogging, she took on photo sharing, she took on reinventing her sites, and she took on reconnecting one by one with her fans. It’s three years later, she emailed me last week and she said, “I’ve made a radical decision because of the thousands of people you helped me connect to online, I’m not going to be touring anymore, I’m going to spend time in my studio, I’m going to release things online and I’m going to use the base that you’ve helped me build up to make my future money.”
TS: And that is something, if we can dig into will truly be a success story with all of us. Miss Hyatt, I sincerely appreciate your time.
AH: The pleasure is mine and I can’t wait hear what you’ve been doing with your own career!
TS: HAHA. Yeah, I’m gonna get off the record here in a minute, but I just wanted to thank you OFFICIALLY. Where can we find you, our readers and musicians find you, to gain more success and knowledge on how to succeed in the music business?
AH: You can find me at www.arielpublicity.com.
TS: Again, thank you so much, Miss Hyatt.
*We spoke for another 20 minutes because that’s just what Miss Hyatt is about: connecting and being real about it.
1. Why did you start Y Travel Blog?
My husband and I had been living and travelling around the world for 14 years. We felt like we were not doing anything with the experiences we had travelling. After much thought and questioning we decided that our adventures were not just for us alone, but to share. We had always been great at sharing our stories and tips with other travellers we had met on the road, so we decided to write a travel blog and share it to those we could not meet in person.
2. What do you think is the current state of the social media industry is?
I think the social media industry has made it possible for anyone to become successful in their chosen field or niche. It has leveled the playing field. I love how social media alllows you to build your brand and platform and helps you build a community that you can connect with on a more personal level. I think we are only just seeing the beginning to the influence social media has on the decisions we make and how much smaller our world gets. I can’t wait to see how much further it goes.
One key thing I have learned over the past few years of attending workshops and garnering techniques from some of the world’s most successful people is: Those people did not get there alone. Success takes support and this issue of Sound Advice will show you how to create a support group that can help you stay on track and achieve your music career success. It’s called a Mastermind Group.
I hear it all of the time – musicians call me up and say: “If only I had a manager,” or a booking agent or a record label etc. And I in turn say: It’s hard to get a manager when you are just starting out. However, it’s not hard to get some help!
For those of you in bands: Does this scenario sound familiar? One person is in charge of doing all of the business affairs and the other members of the band just show up (sometimes they don’t even show up on time!). If you’ve got a band of hired guns, this sadly is your cross to bear. However, if your band is considered an equal team, I highly suggest that you include your band members in your mastermind group. If you are the only active member of your band on the business side that’s OK – you can build yourself some great support with non- band members.
What a Mastermind Group is
A mastermind group is a small team of people that meets one to two times per month, sits down, and brainstorms together, creates goals, makes lists, talks about objectives, and keeps each other accountable so that that you will move forward with your goals and achieve them faster.
What a Mastermind Group is Not
A Mastermind is NOT band bitch session where you air your dirty laundry and get angry at each other (We call that a band meeting ;). A mastermind meeting is a place for goals and a place for action and a place where you can really focus on yourself and your career.
Setting Up Your Mastermind Group
I suggest you create a group of four to six people – if you are married or part of couple and you want to set and achieve goals with your spouse or significant other I suggest a group of 3 couples (it’s OK to have different goals). If you are not part of a couple, I suggest a group of three to four others in addition to you. These people do not have to be in the music business, and it may actually be better if they are not. These people also do not have to be reaching for the same type of goals – they will however need your good input to achieve them, and you will need theirs.
Steps to Take
- Choose fellow masterminders to invite that you admire and that you look up to.
- Choose people who are strong self-starters and who know how to get the job done, who perhaps own their own businesses. Having someone in your mastermind group who runs a business will really help motivate you.
- Preset a scheduled date and time every month or twice a month. The third Wednesday of each month, perhaps. Or a dinnertime every first and third Tuesday of the month – Don’t break your commitment – you need to keep this set time to achieve results. How you handle this mastermind is critical to your success.
Setting Achievable Goals Is Key
Be careful when setting your goals. Start with ones that you can achieve within the first month (redesigning your newsletter, re-writing your pitch, booking one gig, etc.) so you feel like you are accomplishing small victories along the way.
Please read my previous article on how to set goals and achieve them here:
At Your Scheduled Date and Time
- Come to each meeting with an agenda.
- Don’t make this a social hour – you are getting together to work. pe in quick and socialize when you are all done with your meeting.
- Choose a scribe. One person should be in charge of writing down what happened with measurable goals, actions, and results with dates set for each one and the scribe will e-mail the notes after each and every meeting so that everybody can keep up-to-date with each other.
- Hold each other accountable – Set check in times to stay on track.
Between sessions, you should be in touch a few times to make sure measures are being met.
Set up a Wiki
A Wiki is a great way that everybody can stay in touch without losing track of e-mails. I recommend
Ning – http://www.ning.com
PB Wiki – http://www.pbwiki.com/
Keep a Reading List
Have a reading list of books and links to articles that may be helpful to the group and reasons why you are recommending these books on your group Wiki. Books on time management or on small business or on how to tour – whatever you are trying to accomplish there is probably already a book or an article out there.
I’ve created a mastermind group that currently has almost 1,000 artists in it helping each other out with goals.
“Participating in the Mastermind group was so encouraging, engaging, and inspiring. In fact, it was a key component in coming up with my now-successful pitch!” – Deborah E, ScatandStyle.com
To get a free membership all you have to do is purchase my new book, co-authored by Carla Lynne Hall: Musician’s Roadmap to Facebook and Twitter http://arielpublicity.com/musiciansroadmap. Or purchase my first book: Music Success in 9 Weeks http://www.musicsuccessinnineweeks.com.
The last piece of advice I’ll give is: This process should be fun!
This is you creating your career as a musician and it should feel like a joy, not a dreaded homework assignment.
I’d love to hear about your Masterminds. Please report them to me at [email protected].