Indie Max 100: Category 5 – Social Media

53: Have A Killer Website at Your Custom Domain URL

Create a webpage that lures in the “just looking” visitors and gets them to upgrade to level 2 of your site when they give you’re their email / contacts. The level 2 experience of your site should be enhanced from the level one “tire kicker” level in terms of content quality, quantity and how quickly it is updated. Once you have enough level 2 members you will want to create a level 3 experience that is another big step up from level 2. This is for your best customers and most devout fans. At some point this can become a subscription site but early on it will be a la carte. It just rewards your street team/super fans for their support. Here you will sell exclusive merch and sell advance tickets to shows and music no one else gets to buy.
- Tom Silverman

The best place to be is Artists who have their own domain make more money than those that do not. Period.
- Jed Carlson

54: Use the Social Networks Properly: Build That List!

When people pass thru your social network profiles (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter etc.) get them to come back your own web site that YOU CONTROL. To do this, give songs away for free in return for email addresses. ReverbNation’s Fan Exclusive Widget will facilitate this. Offer fans something special that makes them feel like they are a real fan and you really care about them. Social networks are all good, but they should be treated as lead-generation sources. They are free billboards on the super highway of information. Be there, but have something that extracts value and move those listeners down the fan funnel to something valuable for you.
- Lou Plaia

55: Be Active On Facebook

Almost every advance in your career will happen thanks to who you know AND how you treat them, and Facebook is where you can deepen relationships with fans and industry contacts. Ye olde FB gives you one-click access to countless industry folks who have the power to do something about your work. If they don’t respond, leave them alone. If they do, keep the convo going, nurture the relationship, and leverage it when the time is right. Four developments in my career in the past 3 months that started on FB: 5 concert bookings in NYC, 2 new songwriting collaborations, adds of two of my music videos to the HBO Zone channel, and being hired to write a daily column (I’m a writer too) that is now published to every Sprint and Boost Mobile PDA in the world. No joke. Love the FB. Login NOW.
- Phil Putnam

56: Tweet, Please

Twitter has been really big for me and it gives me direct contact w the people who want to listen to me – literally. When I released my new DVD I asked people to check it out and within a few minutes my tweet made it to 100, 000 people who were pre-disposed to care about it, which is a remarkable marketing message. I sold hundreds of them online just using my Twitter connections. I use Twitter as another entertainment channel to say interesting things and show people interesting things and share photos. To share photos with your Twitter friends use these easy sites: &

Between these 2 things Twitter has become my main focus. I no longer am always thinking about updating my blog – I’m always thinking about Twitter.
- Jonathan Coulton

57: Create Twitter Contests

We have had several different types of contests that have caused small frenzies on Twitter but the ones that I think are the most effective are the ones where we have asked people to post links to an actual song via blip or just download links. We have had hundreds of songs posted in a matter of minutes, which means that each of those people’s followers could potentially be listening. I estimated 10,000 potential listeners in just a few min with our last contest. We usually give away tickets to shows or CDs or other prizes. In fact, I should be doing one right now…
- Jason Walsmith / The Nadas

58: Actively Start Conversations With Your Twitter Followers

Artists need to foster the all-important online two-way conversation. Just using status updates for only promotional means is not the best way to do this. Ask fans to comment back/@reply/direct message and they actually will. The more intriguing the question, the more likely people will respond. For example, the other day I asked the fans on my band’s Facebook page “Who is cooler, Nicholas (the guitarist) or Christopher (me)? Please provide reasoning for your explanation haha.” There were 20+ comment-backs by the end of the night. Provide fans with quirky questions that fit your personality. Use status update/micro-blog opportunities to create an environment that your fans want to continually be a part of.
- Chris Gesualdi

59: Rock The YouTube: Make A Sticky YouTube Video

Michelle Citrin made 20 Things To Do With Matzo and it has received over 1,000,000 views. It’s the kind of video that is so captivating and interesting that people share it with their friends.
- Derek Sivers

Before Kina Grannis won the Doritos contest, she was releasing a YouTube video each week, which built her a loyal following and worldwide “street team”. Similar to a TV show, Kina released a video of herself playing an original tune, or cover tune. At the end of her videos, she’d give birthday shout outs, read fan mail, and open gifts that fans had sent her. When she needed votes to win the Doritos contest, her loyal following supported her all the way to the Super Bowl. She later signed a record deal, and she has a ready-made audience waiting to buy it.
- Carla Lynne Hall

Let fans in. Take video of the fans themselves, or encourage them to submit their own videos to you Post these regularly and the fans will watch along and continue to grow as you post.
- Michele Samuel

I riddle my website with videos where I talk about the people in my songs and the stories behind them. Every time I add a new one to the site, downloads of that song go up on iTunes. And new people learn very quickly (1) if they like me personally and (2) if they respond emotionally to the kind of work I do.
- Dudley Saunders

60: Create Cover Tune Videos

Indie band Boyce Avenue created a video of the latest Coldplay when the only version of it could be found on an Apple commercial. Since the song had not been released yet, Coldplay fans searching for the song online found Boyce Avenue’s video instead. The band repeated this technique with video covers of popular songs, and gained millions of YouTube views. This led to a tour of the Philippines where the indie band received a Beatles-like welcome.
- Carla Lynne Hall

61: Get Played On Podcasts – Build a Rabid Loyal Audience

Even small podcasts with only 100- 200 listeners count if you get played on lots of them. The key to understand here is: Podcasters listen to others podcasters podcasts and they get ideas from each other and rebroadcast pieces of each others podcasts – it is a pre- selected audience and Podcasters will help you find your niche if you are not even sure what it is.
- Jonathan Coulton

Podcasters have two things that musicians need: an audience, and a medium to play music. And musicians have something podcasters are looking for: audio content. Since podcasts are “The Radio Of The Internet” musicians should reach out to them the same way they reach out to radio shows. Some musicians make the mistake to just try to get played in music podcasts, but there’s no need to limit yourself that way in this thriving medium. Instead, use podcast directories like or and find popular podcasts about topics that you enjoy. Become a fan, send an email, and offer your music. In return, they’ll usually link to your website, and talk about your band.
- Randy Chertkow

62: Post Photos on Flickr & Cross Post on Facebook

They say a picture says a thousand words, and it’s true. Flickr is one of the user-friendliest Web 2.0 sites, and Yahoo owns it so millions of potential new fans are waiting for you to discover them and make friends. Flickr works just like MySpace or Facebook. You create a profile, upload your main image, join groups, and make friends, and you can also message people and leave comments on any photo you like. Flickr is a great way to show yourself as multi-dimensional. You can post photos of things other than your band activities (such as vacations, kids, your home, and hobbies) to show your fans you are a well-rounded individual. And if you go to conferences, this is a great way to get people to link back to you and pay attention to you (remember – the most interesting thing for people is THEMSELVES so taking pictures of other people is well advised!). Use this link to synch back to Facebook too!
- Christina Duren

63: Study Your Analytics – Google ReverbNation & Rockdex

Use the data you can easily get from Google, ReverbNation, and Rockdex (among others) to learn more about your fans – who they are, where they are listening, what they are listening to, for how long, etc. The more you know about them, the easier it is to connect with them and market to them. You can also use this data to easily get sponsors. Brands want to know who your fans are, how many you have, how engaged you are with them, etc. They don’t care about “Friends”, they want to know about your real fans, your engagement with them and the size of your mailing list.
- Lou Plaia

Rockdex can see who is talking about you online and can track how many people are added to each of your social networks by searching blogs, micro-blogs, music sites and delivering you the hard results via reports with actual metrics on how many potential fans have visited your social networking sites.
- Christina Duren

64: No Money For A Tour Publicist? Artist Data To The Rescue!

If you don’t have enough money to get a tour publicist for tour press then no need to worry Artist Data is tour press for musicians made easy! ArtistData allows you to update your tour dates at Jambase, Eventful, Sonicbids, MySpace Facebook and Twitter. It not only updates your social networking sites but it also allows you to submit each of your shows info to the calendar editor at local newspapers and magazines in the specific regions you are touring.
- Christina Duren

65: Ping.FM – 55 Sites Updated At Once – Hours of Your Life Back

Ping allows you to update over 55 social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, and your blog all from one easy to use website simultaneously. There are no more excuses for becoming overwhelmed with logging into several websites. This one interface allows you to update all of your statuses at one click.
- Christina Duren

66: Understand The Power of Tagging

Be super descriptive when tagging the titles of your songs, videos, photos, blog posts, and more. The Internet is filled with multimedia these days. But people still search for stuff using words! Make sure your online content is loaded up with the key words your potential fans use to find stuff that interests them.
- Bob Baker

67: Use Search Engine Optimization

When I first heard Jamie Foxx’ “Blame it on the Alcohol”, I fell hard for the groove of the song (although not the message), and considered writing a parody of the song. After searching online for the chords and tabs for the song, I also found a performance video of another singer/songwriter performing an acoustic version on guitar. I was so impressed with the cover version, I blogged about the tune, the cover video, and links to the chords and tab. By twittering links to my blog post, I unwittingly created more powerful links to my blog post. Soon, my blog post ranked on the first page of Google for this song, and to this day, that blog post is one of my most visited pages, which has also led to new readers and subscribers to my newsletter. Now I’m adding more chords and tab blog posts for cover tunes that are actually in my genre!
- Carla Lynne Hall

68: Scratch The Back That Scratches Yours Online: Give Thanks!

Many of the Billboard Maximum 100 “opportunities” and placements are the results of years of favors, legal agreements, negotiating and bargaining tactics, and just plain historical relationships from the labels and commercial outlets. They have little to do with the artist. I maintain all of my bands networking sites as well as my own blog, Youtube channel and My band and my music has been placed on 11 television shows, countless podcasts, radio programs, publications and video programs. For every single placement, I either re-posted the feature on a site, sent a tweet about it or let my fans know in some way. Most importantly, I said “Thank You.”
- Derek Nicoletto

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Feature Article: What Successful Internet Marketers Know and What Musician Marketers Don’t.

Most Internet marketers make money online, most musician marketers don’t.

The Backstory – The Big Seminar

My journey into the world of Internet marketing, began when I attended an Internet marketing conference and saw one of the keynote speakers. Armand is a bubbly and enthusiastic man who makes a fortune in the world of internet marketing, and he not only markets things that help him make money, he teaches people how to do it themselves.

Armand is also a musician and his alter ego is Micheal Lee Austin. When I saw him speak, he walked us through how he took took himself to the top of the Billboard charts using his own online marketing strategy. He sold thousands of CD’s using his own techniques. I was so intrigued I wanted to learn how he did it, so I signed up to study with him via a series of online courses and they came with a ticket to his “Big seminar” in Atlanta.

The big seminar completely shifted my reality. I went to Atlanta not knowing what to expect, I came home with my world rocked. At lunch on the first day, I struck sat next to an unassuming man, and we struck up a non-memorable conversation. Two guys approached him and began slapping him on the back and congratulated him on breaking the $1M mark so far that year, (and there were still many months left in that year.) I was amazed. How was this marketer making millions while most of my clients were making what seemed like less every year?

The answer is effectively applying marketing strategies. In this new age of blasting messages out on Myspace and Facebook, we have completely taken our energy away from traditional marketing.

Our focus has been diluted with a new online service that seem to crop up everyday to help musicians with everything from cross-posting show dates, to tuning your guitar with your cell phone. Many of these developments, are wonderful, but all of them take time and energy to learn and implement, and they take us away from focusing on traditional Internet marketing.


Selling Music is Not Like Selling A Diet Product

The act of selling music is not at all like selling goods or services which is where Internet Marketers have a leg up on musicians. You are ostensibly selling a feeling. People connect to music in a very different way than they connect to any old product, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t take the same basic principles and apply them. Here are the ones that I highly suggest.

What’s In The Internet Marketers Arsenal


Internet Marketer’s Strategy: Build a mailing list and communicate regularly adding value.

Goal: Get your list to interact with you and trust you, track how effective you are being by looking at open rates.

Product: e-mail list manager. You need an email list manager that measures results. There are many available I suggest Reverb Nation’s free system or BandLetter.


Internet Marketer’s Strategy: A website that captures leads by making an offer that people want – a free ebook, MP3, a special report, a video, etc.

Wth this system, a potential fan will sign up to your mailing list because he sees value in the offer (it is called a squeeze page because the email address is “squeezed” out of the fan).

I know what you are thinking! It is very easy to unsubscribe once signed up and so it’s not a ploy at all. You are providing a quality offer and you are askig for their email address in exchange for it.

Goal: Get as many people onto your list as possible.

Product: A website that has a backend that stores email addresses and instantly delivers visitors the requested offer (An MP3 is what I would suggest to all musicians).

I suggest talking to your webs designer to implement this. aweber and 1 Shopping Cart are two systems that can be integrated into your site to deliver these results.

Internet Marketer’s Strategy: A system and plan that offers multiple products potential fans in many price categories

Internet Marketers know that these are the three main ways to increase income.

  1. Increase your customer (fan) base.
  2. Increase the average transaction amount that you get from each customer (fan.)
  3. Increase the amount of times and frequency by which they purchase from you.

Goal: Earn more money! The thinking here is: it takes ten times more effort to make a totally new fan than it does to keep offering fans that already love you multiple items over time.

Product: There are plenty of mind mapping products and fancy software programs for planning out your strategy but good old pen and paper and a few brain storming sessions should get you off o the right path.

Final Goal: long-term success.

Strategy: An overall marketing plan laid out with goals, vision, and measurable results.

Product: A line of offerings to sell to your fans: not only CDs and MP3s but also private gigs, merch and special events.

I would love to hear some of your strategies and what products and ideas are working for you.

If you are thinking like an Internet marketer I want to know about it!

Please post what you do that gets you results!