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Music Success in Nine Weeks, Week 1

Original Content posted at www.true-northmusic.tumblr.com

January 28, 2010

For those of you not familiar with the Cyber PR/ Marketing book I am discussing below to help promote one’s band, you can check out Music Success in Nine Weeks online at http://www.arielpublicity.com.

I have to preface the first True North blog post for the “Music Success In Nine Weeks” contest with a statement:  Ariel RULES!!   Ok, that little hurrah aside, had the pleasure meeting Ariel in November 2009 at the Taxi Music Conference in Los Angeles; attend several of her sessions for musicians on Cyber PR & Marketing.  Ariel’s energy, tips, website links and ideas give me a significant head start on the Music Success adventure.  True North was already fairly well positioned online, but Ariel’s ideas gave me a clearer direction, focus and simplified all the various social networking avenues.   I will most likely summarize content from the first several chapters/ weeks because True North implemented many of Ariel’s ideas post Taxi conference (yes, we were super pumped up after that networking and education opportunity)!

I liked the book began with a section on Goal Setting.  This has been a key element of our group’s success the past several years.  Every few months True North sits down, reviews group and individual goals and retools where we want to be.   It was extremely difficult beginning this practice several years ago, but as we regularly scheduled more planning or strategic sessions, the goal setting task became easier and almost “second nature” for the group. 

I also appreciate the mention of tracking my individual and the band’s Five Successes each day.  My philosophy for our band has been if each of the six members of the True North group completes five band related tasks each day, resulting in thirty potential opportunities every day for the group, that is a significant amount of energy expended towards goals and future endeavors.  One success happens for me each day, on an amazing day, twenty successes occur; I tend to take the good with the not so positive and roll with the experience.  True North is fortunate that its members tend to be “task oriented;” something always seems to be happening or moving forward for the band. 

The section mentioned in the text titled “Writing Down Your Focus Areas” is important, but not as important as identifying each band member’s strength/ weakness and capitalizing on the strengths/ areas he is passionate about.  Once the group has identified who is accomplished and accountable for certain tasks, then the group can assign individuals to be responsible for key task and create a directed focus.  Having each band member take on a specific task or area, such as connecting to Festivals, PR/ Marketing, Bookings, Social Networking, Song Writing/ Recording/ Technical, Lighting or simply running Sound is critical.  As Jim Collins, author of Good To Great phrases, “it is all about putting the ‘right’ people on the bus, in the ‘right’ task and continually pushing the fly-wheel in the ‘right’ direction.”  Having a directed focus and active, participative players has been an element which continues to guide True North into new avenues and musical adventures. 

Six Goals for 2010:  Music Recording Projects & Performances

Six highlights for the band…of course, many of these have subcategories, so welcome to multi-development tasking!

1.  Calendar

     Festivals/ Outdoor Events—Book band every weekend from May through October in appropriate music venues

     Find venues in Kansas City marketplace which provide exposure for the band (Art Festivals, Speedway, Free Music Concerts)

     Discover/ Identify opening acts which are a fit with True North; support bringing additional fans to shows

2. TAXI/ Recording Content for Pitching

     Write & Record 5-8 uniquely crafted new tunes, instrumentals or songs for pitch to A/R

     Compose content which is in line with TAXI guidelines or general music (country/ pop) practices/ arrangement

3.  Social Networking & Cyber PR/ Marketing

    iTunes Artist Profile Project

     Pandora Radio (Amazon.com) profile and submission for play

    Online Radio:  Identifying more online independent radio to help extend listener-ship and market share

    Streamline Cyber platforms for continuity, information access and flow  (FB, MS, SonicBids, Revernation, Twitter, Website, etc)

     Outreach:  Educating local/ regional artists about Cyber possibilities and connecting to other individuals in the music scene to assist with creating greater music/ artist presence in the Midwest. 

4.  Fan Email List/ Database

     Increase Fan Email List by 200+ individuals every 4 months

     Convert FB fans and other social media fans into viable fans/ email contacts

5.  Special Trip/ Performance

     Plan a trip for the group, possibly Europe of Asia Winter 2010

     Refocus efforts on playing for Armed Forces Tour or finding a way to play/ give back to military service individuals

     Gifting:  Play or sponsor one special fundraiser event (individual/ group) which band donates time for a good cause

6.  Plan Special Events for the band which are not music related

     Set aside a few dates/ weekends during the year the band gets together for a “guys night out,” ski trip, vacation or something that is non-band related.  A weekend of “Playing,” but not playing music out…something fun for the whole group to bond

      eg. T-Bones Game, NASCAR, night out in Lawrence, see other bands in KC, etc. 

Well, that wraps my thoughts for week one, probably will have a few more comments forthcoming over the weekend for weeks two and three of the text.  Hope you enjoyed….Will Gladhart

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