09. SEO for Musicians (like Music to your Bank Accounts)

A FUNNY STORY: My wife, Kimberly, who works professionally as a virtual assistant for several big name bloggers (can’t legally put any anchor links here, LOL, but this is where they’d go) has learned a lot of information about SEO. The niche that she primarily writes for are “deal blogs” that feature online coupon codes, in-store savings and product reviews.

It’s common practice in this niche business venture to use words in the title such as:

  • HOT HOT HOT
  • Smoking Hot Deal
  • *HOT* Check It Out!

A-N-D…bloggers who commonly use exact or similar taglines (like the ones above) were pulling a lot of SEO for traffic they may not be interested in receiving. So many of these (sometimes cut-throat) deal bloggers are such staunch conservatives. So through her research, Kim found it hilariously ironic that other’s massively successful deal websites were trending on sites like www.alexa.com for porn searches!

So the lesson learned for those bloggers and their sites is that search engines will only pickup what you say is important within your post; so if you have a lot of ambiguously descriptive words or details are vague, other people’s sites will get ahead of yours on Google.

 

Okay, one VERY successful tool for getting your SEO up is to create a blog for your musician adventures or life experiences and find ways to involve your songwriting. This might help with lyric development; to write based off of one experience per week, thus generating a bunch of new funny relevant content, all while growing as a musician. specifically on sites like YouTube, I’ve seen artists do cover songs of very trending and popular songs. They list “band name – song they’re covering space (their name) then the word cover”.

And doing it this way is EXACTLY what types of tasks you need to be doing as an artist. The “searcher” AKA your audience DOESN’T want to know that it’s a cover – they’re looking for a specific artist or song. And if it happens to be your rendition, you might be surprised how many loyal fans you can get on YouTube simply by following this business model. It really is all about SEO or else your songs, image, lyrics and yes, your heart – they’ll all fall on deaf ears. And blind eyes in the case of YouTube.

Finally, another element is to have all of your videos monetized on YouTube, so when one of the hundred or so go viral, you’ll be collecting the check. Now THAT’S getting paid for your music. Selling your CDs at a merchandise booth might’ve been a really good way in the past to generate some finances for your art form and touring act, but now it’s not the only way.

As the “electronic society” that we’ve grown into, we owe it to ourselves to “figure out” SEO and how it relates to our niche market. And as my amazingly HOT HOT HOT wife Kimberly knows all to well from other’s missteps, do the due diligence and reap the real benefits.

08. Massively Transform your Music: with TUNECORE !

Before the dawn of time, Man found things in his environment and transformed them into instruments. Then, no so long ago in the distant past, we created ways to capture and record the sounds of these tools on materials. The premise in part was that if you weren’t physically at the concert hall or auditorium where the music was playing, you could experience it long after the last note had resonated into silence. And finally after the birth of the early internet and it’s associated systems/operations, we’ve arrived at what is called “Web 2.0″ which has birthed so many tools to make the music industry the ever-changing and widely growing endeavor that it always was. This is where game changing tool like Tunecore comes into play!

We’re seeing savvy artists, arist managers and even some tender-hearted show promoters utilizing services like: Tunecore, Reverbnation, CDBaby, Topspin, Nimbit, Sonicbids, and Bandcamp as the most recent that I’ve heard. And while there is always a dollar to be made, these types of services are becoming like guitar strings to a guitar player. It’s a vital role to have a definite reach towards as many listeners that love music as possible. And you might have 5,000 Facebook friends online who all know you personally and support you, but if your album isn’t on iTunes (for instance), then they reach a dead end and chalk it up to, “well, i don’t know how this works if i can’t use my account infomation from something I already have set up”.

Sometimes, it takes an individual thousands of dollars to learn a lesson. Others out there in the world seem to find the gems early. And as soon as they do, they act. This single service will solidify dreams as well as songs. And it’s as easy as an elevator ride. So why are people still “taking the stairs” with their online and physical prescence? Why wouldn’t you use a service like Tunecore?

07. Digital Literacy? – What the Heck are They Talking About Yo?

I have found that people who are “digitally literate” are more likely to be economically secure and sound with choices they make be it with their job or the content they share with many in Facebook.com

Most jobs require a working knowledge of computers and the Internet to perform basic functions. Sometimes, if you can’t operate the instore kiosk for the application, you won’t even get to the interviewing process. So when wireless technology improves i nthe future, more jobs will demand proficiency w/ company and personal cell phones/PDAs and your specific career will either be hindered by your expertese or heightened.

As technology has become cheaper and more readily available, even the more “blue-collared” job types have begun using and thus reqiuring digital literacy in some cases. Collection and analysis of raw data about productivity and market trends are beginning to be the “sword in the stone”  of smart and ethically transparent business models just to stay competitive. And sometimes, all you have to do is call the front office up and come in to drop of your resume and be unethically judged of your skillsets within the realm of Digital Literacy. This is exspecially true when your resume reflects the content of your character and preferneces in clothing and attire.

Also, as applied in the music and film world – try to study key words and phrases that you hear people using. This will help greatly when you get your interviews. It will also help the team you’ll be joining (regardless of the time length of the project), and they’ll love you for taking the time to get to know the field on your own time. Even if you have questions that you think are basic - that’s the point; you really do need those huge chunks of knowledge in order to recall them when everyone is counting on you.

Also, take the information gathered in you mind or on a notepad with a few grains of salt – keep in mind everyone has their own personal episteme and life experiences that color and shape their ideology about the current question or principle you’re learning. And lastly, remember that you and all the people you get to interact with are human; never treat anyone subhuman. This is hugely important when you have an international itenary on your project. Some colors in your pictures might be offensive or not commonly used in or overseas cultures. Do your homework. :o)

06. Connecting with Fans + Buying Reasons = An Artist’s Business Model

The Musician can not longer afford to be unsavvy when it comes to marketing themselves. They have to truly care about where they play their songs and who gets a copy of their latest EP or full length CD. Giving something of worth out for free is saying that you have 250 typewriters that nobody will accept and you’re here at a festival let’s say (with their favorite band) and you wanna waste their time by akwardly plugging your new album.

piano-typewriter-300x217

So we as artist promoters, budding composers, and photographers need to realize that the model in which we deliver the goods is based on the format in which we do it. And also, “what got us here (in our current reality) isn’t always going to get us (there), to the place we want to be.”

A perfect example is genuinely befriending other like-genred bands and asking them to walk towards your merchandise table. BUT! - there has to be incentive there. They can’t just waive their hand like a Jedi Master and have it be so.

Another way to approach this is that you have a new song that they’re recording tonight and there’s a part where the crowd can yell back and interact with the band. THAT will be a huge selling point for wanting to buy their CD. It would naturally lead to what you should already have at your table; an email listing and beyond that would be a manned kiosk of some sort for them to win a contest by signing up with a texting program.

CWF+RTB business model explained:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Njuo1puB1lg

This is a great discussion with Michael Masnick on his: Trent Reznor case study for the above principle.

05. Making a Living in the New “Media Landscape” (Discovering Old Skillsets & Developing New Ones)

We’ve had discussions in my Web Fluency about the possible negative impacts of the “WWW” on musicians and other creators of cultural works. Many think/find that it seems necessarily difficult to make a living as a creative entity in the era of Web 2.0. My thoughts on this matter are definitely on the side saying it’s hard but I really believe that thousands of ideas that were thought “yesterday” were still created using the model of positive self-fulfilling prophesy and not just thinking that you can but really knowing in a deep part of your psyche that you can develop that idea and effectively create within the realm of 1′s and 0′s.

It seems to be a highly boring and rigorously monotonous job to program entire websites and code for each project, but there lies a heart-felt love of what these people do. Many people from other career fields entirely look upon this exact type of creation and see the impossibilities that exist within the areas of creating something out of nothing.”

 

SO here are some basic strategies for making a living in our new 2.0 transformed “Media Landscape”:

1. Make a list of skills that you can do. This will similar to a business executive’s elevator “pitch” or selling points about you, as well as the viability of the service and/or the products.

2. Next, you’ll need a separate category of skills that you aren’t necessarily extremely an expert at yet but you’re familiar with.

3. This approach is best utilized for projects that you have a lot of time to explore and try new things to excel the project beyond competition.

4. (You should already be doing this but just in case), Reopen old project with your fresh eyes, ears, and maybe even try to change the medium in which you’re working. For example, if it’s a jingle for a huge company that they was to use for rebranding, try approaching it by creating a slogan from words that describe the company, service or goals of the current project. then! – you can revert back to the jingle (or whatever medium you’re working within) and apply your brilliant billboard direction into the song.

5. Finally, from the above lists you can start reconnecting with your” loose ties” the people who AREN’T your close friends and family.

This means asking questions about them, not about your new project or what key the song needs to be in or what hue of colors go well when you’re buying 5,000 yards of fabric for an unveiling ceremony. Really truly care about what they are concerned with and what they have on their minds. Ask about their team. If you can do anything for them. VOlunteer to be a guest speaker or to find one FOR them. Lighten their load a little and it’ll be amazing what opportunities open up.

6. Remember, these people are often the ones who can provide you with paying work to help uplift their own work projects to make them shine even more so that they already are.

5. When cold calling past clients, future project creators, or gathering your own dreamteam of creative members, it also important to understand your audience and see what their mental calendar looks like; it might be a bad time to call that one semi-millionare design in Italy to invest in a new project, especially if they already have their plate full. Whereas, if you get a good baseline of where they’re at, you can more effectively fund your kickstarter project or locate a better bank of potential angel investors.

6. Lastly, you really just have to take the chance; you must have heart – and if you’re too focused on the “bottom line”, you’ll get “the boot” for the current project as well as them calling their secretaries to “make a note” to never let your team/presenter into their office again. Don’t fuel poor proposals; keep the recieving audience in mind Always!

7. Be timely but don’t let time rob you of the energy you put into each project.

8. Treat every customer and “The Media Landscape” like the beautiful things they are, and you’ll no doubt be rewarded.

9. Also don’t be afriad to ask the question that nobody wants to chime up and pose to the group.

10. Develop a love for your competitors because you could be working for them one day. And why would you segregate yourself from future potential clients? Be tactful and have a gentle yet ardent stance on what it is your creating or selling.

 

03. The Progression of the Internet (Within the Context of Sound)

http://www.ted.com/talks/chris_anderson_of_wired_on_tech_s_long_tail.html

In this post we’ll be exploring how this thing we call the Internet/ WWW began and our interaction with it over the years. A huge question is “When should technology go viral? It’s presence is usually geared towards something of comedic value or something similar to the email forwards of massive amounts of cute kittens and cats literally flipping out to common household objects and other pets. But is there something more to a video or picture “going viral”?

And more importantly, as creators of audio and video, do we have control over that snowball effect of notoriety in online communities?

Also, with if we were to poll the processing power of let’s say 500,000 users who would back a cause or forward the work of a http://www.kickstarter.com project significantly? How would we internally gauge this and turn it into raw usable data so that we could share this with as many people are possible? Well, all of these questions are now the new normal for technological advanced users and even the “smart people” who have been the cause of all the boom of the app market.

Technology and Computers in general have been said to have the shortest lag time in the business world, and conversely - primary education (K through 12th grade) has the slowest lag time when we’re talking about an idea being born and it being implemented within existing curriculum at schools.

truth passed through 3 distinct stages violently opposed, lastly accepted as self-evident

04. Production Projects and How to Effectively Storyboard ANYTHING.

Many of you have or have had a mashup project in your production classes. Blog about this process. Share the tools you used, experiences you had, trials you’ve overcome, etc… Share with us your work in progress or a finished work if you have it:

My production project in Principles of Design was interesting in that It allowed me to learn beyond the foreground middle ground and back ground of the 2-d objects we were creating. Layering is a huge premise to understand that i felt my mind and knowledge base growing from those ah-ha moments. It was a mashup of each student’s face. We laid down on a white background and took several serious or funny-faced pictures. All the lighting was the same so that helped with editing within Adobe Photoshop CS6.

Conversely, the same can be said for my Desktop Production 1 class assignment. We storyboarded several ideas and committed to the one we felt could be best expressed in the timeframe that we had to work within. This was challenging yet surprisingly refreshing. Our idea was a magic music room that had percussive elements as your stepped and moved throughout the room. When myself and the other student wwere collaborating it was difficult to really draw that idea into words.

So all in all, both projects we genric in nature but the goal of ours were to have seomthing unique, emotional and refreshing. IN hindsight, I now know that if a short film, book, or billboard design project can be effectively storyboarded, it has a better chance of making to that picture inside your mind of “the end state” for ANY project in the future.

Here’s a great recource that has helped me out in the past:
http://filmmakeriq.com/2010/10/500-storyboard-tutorials-resources/

02. Why Record in General?

Here are my top 10 reasons to become committed to recording on a daily basis:

10. With all the mobile phone apps that are available (and hundreds more in development), you’ve got well over 50 solid options to “capture” who you are.

09. Hearing yourself recorded can help you rethink your identity. It can forge new career fields that will open up for you. especially if you have your own website with a live voicemail of sorts that’s able to be heard by anyone you wish.

08. You can document your thoughts for super cheap and file these sessions for others to access or simply for you own benefit.

07. Your family can connect with you at different times – they can upload a file with a mobile application on their cell phones such as “HeyTell” and have and enjoy a higher quality short message than on a traditional cell phone or video conferencing call. Imagine hearing a traveling loved one with the same quality as if they were in the same room with you, no matter the miles apart. You don’t lose sound quality as the miles between you and them increase.

06. Recording a daily log can actually help police and local/national officials with detailed “clues” as to your whereabouts if you lose track of time, get lost while camping, become a hostage or get kidnapped. Even a message delivered to several friends and/or family before getting in a car wreck can provide vital information and proof of your location, motives, and alibi for legal reasons.

AND HERE ARE SOME MORE GOOD ONES:

05. Statistically, people who read, write and record are more likely to be smarter and become true critical thinkers.

04. You can record the spiritual thoughts and feelings for others to have after you die. You can even inspire hundreds of other through a medium of posting recorded dialogue called Podcasts. This is career-changing if you’re a clergy-member, motivational speaker or need to review your delivery of content to your specific audience.

03. You really owe this to yourself and those that know and love you.

02. Would you put a price on hundreds of sentences interlaced between the pages of a book your great-grandmother once used while she was in middle school?

01. You can essentially become immortalized through the thoughts, poems, dialogue, songs, or ditties you compose – however mundane or boring.

So what are some of your goals in recording and music or capturing who you are? Post them in the comments section or email me at troyinlasvegas@gmail.com

Wanna discover the real science behind your vocal cords and ears?

01. Getting Audible About How We’re Connected (how I found sound pleasant to be around)

Hi!

I’m really excited that you’ve chosen to click my way and perhaps book a free recording session and assessment with me. This is my way of gathering all the amazing gems that I’ve recieved through various mentors of mine as well as a few shared stars in the media limelight maybe too. I started out teaching guitar after winning 2nd place out of around 25 High School bands that entered and my vice prinicple approached me and asked me if i taught guitar. I didn’t but said yes and quickly and efficiently prepared for the seemingly huge task of taking everything that i had learned since 1998 and applying it to simplistic and digestable lessons for my then 11 year old student.

Each day after school, my well-practiced pupil and I would meet up in a quiet classroom where I would inspire, teach and quiz my very first student in the ways of the guitar’s fretboard and basic theory. This went very well and the check of around $15-25 dollars a week seemed like a fresh hundred dollar bill in my newly created bank account. It was a rush to teach so effectively but more so, i realized the power that teaching what i knew by heart was having on my students as i’ve taught through to March of 2012.

From there, I transistioned out of my offical career as an Air Force Entomologist spanning 8 years 7 months and 3 days. (Wow what a long strange and awesome trip it’s been) and am now pursuing an assosiates in Audio Production and Engineering. From there, i’ll be moving on to what i believe to be my life’s work and passion; Music Therapy.