Content Marketing For Musicians

In this new series of the T.I.M. Talks podcast, we'll be talking about content marketing for musicians. This post will grow and change as new episodes in the series will be added to it.

Listen or download to the episode above!

Content Marketing For Musicians

Content marketing is all the rage these days. Seems like everyone and there mother's uncle is a content marketing guru, trying to sell you their over priced SEO services.

For better or for worse, content marketing isn't just a buzz phrase, but a real thing that is here to stay.

What is content marketing?

Content marketing is simply the use of free content - whether it's a blog post, or a video, or a podcast episode, or an info graphic - to serve an audience looking for a specific solution to a real problem.

Quality content marketing is the combination of keyword research, search engine optimization, and some kind of conversion on a call to action. You have them on your site, you have done well, but it doesn't end there. Converting them into a subscriber or a lead is that hard to get next step.

Listen back to this series each week to get my thoughts on how musicians and artists should be leveraging content marketing in their music career to build an audience online.

#10 - Five Reasons You'll Fall In Love With Marketing

[alert type="success"]Win $100 To Sweetwater Music (MUST ENTER BY 3/26/2015 FOR THIS DRAWING)[/alert] Today I give you permission to stop being scared of marketing, and I give you 5 reasons you will fall in love with it.

TIM Talks Episode 10!

We’ve been focusing on a lot of mindset stuff here lately.

In episode 6, we defined "platform".

In episode 7 we looked at "direct-to-fan" through the lens of an email marketer.

In episode 8 we compared awareness marketing with direct response marketing.

And then in episode 9, the last episode, I may have gotten in there and meddled a little. I shared with you why I believe artists have a hard time with selling, and as a result don't make any money.

But with this episode let's just obliterate the starving artist myth.

Five Reasons You'll Fall In Love With Marketing

This episode is basically part 2 of that last one.

Remember I told you not to worry? Remember I said there was a happy ending?

Well here it is....

The word marketing (much like the word business) has bad connotations for many people. I’d like to demysitify it a little bit and give you a new picture of what marketing could mean for you moving forward.

5 REASONS

Here are five reasons you'll fall in love with marketing....

Doing marketing the right way makes you braver

BRAVE-BIKE

I remember when my first born started learning to ride a bike.

At first it was a little scary for him, but as he got out there and discovered his ability, he also discovered his courage.

Putting yourself out there in the marketplace is one of the bravest things you can do as a creative person.

Marketing is simply bringing something you think has value (whether a product or a service) to the nondiscriminatory marketplace, where the market decides it’s value.

If there’s demand, there’s value.

To quote Austin Kleon:

"When people are asked to get out there wallets, you find out how much they really value what you do."

That’s a little scary right? We talked a little about fear in the last episode, but when you put yourself out there, asking people to buy what you make, it bolsters up your confidence account. It makes you braver.

But you don't become a jerk.

No one likes jerks and jerks ALWAYS lose in business.

Which brings me to my next point....

Marketing makes you a better people person

PEOPLE-PERSON

This is common sense right?

When you get out there and do marketing the right way, you have to work with people. In the online space, you’d actually be surprised by how many phone conversations you'll have with real people.

So it just gives you practice with communication.... and manners....

And when you become a better people person, you attract more people to you!

Win/win

Great Marketing Builds Your Audience For You

CONVERSATIONAL-SPREADING

Great marketing includes a great product, and it spills over into word-of-mouth, viral exposure.

David Oglivey, an advertising guru famously once said....

“Great marketing only makes a bad product fail faster"

Do you know what happens when you begin sharing great work with people?

They share it with others.

We’re going to assume you have a great product here at T.I.M. Having something great is a given these days.

But if you have something great, and you simply get out there and hustle a little bit, it will get noticed and it will spread.

Great marketing exponentially builds your audience for you. The key here, to quote Austin again, is to "be findable".

He says....

“you don’t really find an audience for your work; they find you. But it’s not enough to be good. In order to be found, you have to be findable”.

It’s true. And to be findable you need to get out there in the marketplace where people are.

When you do that, your marketing builds your audience.

Marketing makes you more money

MO-MONEY

Great marketing brings you more sales, and more sales makes you more money. Remember you don’t just need to buy paint brushes as an artist, you need to feed yourself too.

Great marketing is the only way revenue is made.

Marketers are the rain makers. They’re the ones who go out and get the business.

I once heard Ray Edwards describing how when he first started in radio he was a radio DJ. He had the voice. He was the “talent”. But he began to notice that it was the radio marketing and sales guys who were making the money. The guys behind the microphone weren’t making the same amount.

Why?

The marketers and sales reps were the ones out there getting the business. That's why.

"It’s not enough to be good. In order to be found, you have to be findable”.

As artists, we need to understand that the art has to be shared, it has to be promoted, it has to be sold in order for it to make money.

To me that’s exciting, because it tells you that by getting something of value out into the marketplace, you get value back in the form of....

Paychecks.

But it's not just about the money. It better not be. If it is you're missing out on the best part....

Marketing gives you an opportunity to make an impact on the world

LASTING-IMPACT

This is probably where I get the most excited.

Good economics tells us about the symbiotic relationship between free-markets, growth, and impact.

If you were to really grow in the first four areas and see success, not only will your music and your art - or whatever you make - be able to provide for you, but you'll make an impact on other people's lives.

Hey, you might even be able to hire people and create jobs. Free-markets help create wealth and are good for the world.

Great marketing gives you the opportunity to - as Steve Jobs said....

“make your dent in the universe”.

Action Items

Read to take some action?

In my opinion, leaders and entrepreneurs need to be readers. Go check out these books and give yourself to continual growth in learning about marketing.

New Series On Email!

In episode 11, we'll be kicking off a new series in email marketing and list building with 4 specific parts:

  • #11 The 5 Things To Look For In Email Marketing Software
  • #12 Different Broadcast Types And How Often To Send To Your List
  • #13 What To Actually Send People
  • #14 How To Finally Get Email Subscribers

See you there then!

I'm Taking An Even Bigger LeapInto Podcasting... (You Should Too)

Ready or not.... 2015.

2014 was quite the year for my family:

Here's a 30,000 foot view of what happened from Jan 2014 to now....

  1. Tried to start a software business with these guys and realized that was a mistake (I talked a little about that here)
  2. Attended the LIFT conference in May and got some much needed clarity.
  3. Combined CMB with natefancher.com with a redesign of my blog.
  4. Had baby number 2.... (Ian Maxwell Fancher was born Sept 3rd! Definitely the highlight of 2014)
  5. Did a much needed survey of CMB listeners....
  6. Launched a songwriting course.
  7. Got the idea of T.I.M.  (more on that now...)

2015 Is The Year Of The Podcast

Podcasting is bigger than ever. Shows like Serial have proven that. But it would be a mistake to think that it's just a fad.

With technology increasingly going mobile and people leading busier lives that require more of an "on-demand" way of consuming content, it makes perfect sense that audio podcasts would only increase.

Everyone from college profs to marketers and even celebrities are seeing its unmatched ability to intimately connect with an audience, share a powerful story, and spread a compelling message.

CMB.podcast.cover3

My Story

I jumped on the podcasting bandwagon back in 2013 with the CMB Podcast and for the last few years it's been a journey learning about the medium itself.

Gathering a community and building an audience is not easy.

When I started I had never done a consistent audio broadcast thing before. Speaking and being a clear communicator was something I left up to the preachers and pastors in my church.

I was much more comfortable playing guitar and singing.

It has taken 65 episodes to "find my voice" and a year of searching for clarity (see 2014 points above) to come to this point.

The CMB Podcast will yet again see some changes this year (I'll talk about those in an upcoming post) and to say I'm excited about it would be an understatement.

What I can share now is something I've already been talking about....

TIM Talks Launching In March

T.I.M. talks

On March 2nd I'll be launching an all new podcast on an overwhelming subject for many indie artists:

The internet.

Here at my blog you've seen me post on a few things related to this, but this new podcast will be a deep dive into the often confusing world of digital marketing and online business.

This has been a roller coaster ride for myself as I've already described, and I'm confident that I've landed on an area that I know many indie-artists these days have been wrestling with.

The energy needed to keep up with all the changes in the music business these days is massive, and I'm offering an alternative:

Forge your own path and build an audience using the internet. It's more than possible.

But you'll need a guide.

That's what TIM is all about. TIM (An acronym for "the independent musician") will be a dedicated platform built around a new podcast that will be published twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays, with shorter episodes that give you at least one an actionable takeaway every time.

With 88 episodes (and perhaps a few bonus ones) in 2015, I'll be covering everything from growing your email list, social media, and even why you should think about starting your own podcast.

Here's a look at the first 14 (tentative) episodes:

The TIM Mission The 4 Pillars Of TIM Online Take A Step Back And Define Your WHY How To Stop Getting Distracted By Social Media How To Find Your Sound And Discover Your Niche Online What Is A Platform Really? True "Direct To Fan” (why you need to build an email list) Why direct response marketing rules the roost (the best way to market and sell anything) The truth behind why artists hate selling Stop being scared of marketing (why you MUST learn how to sell) Email Marketing for musicians 101 (list services) Email Marketing for musicians 102 (how often to send to your list) Email Marketing for musicians 103 (what to send your list) Email Marketing for musicians 104 (the money is in the list - growing your leads)

Who This New Podcast Is Not For

It's important to say something here.

Not everyone who has been a CMB listener or who has followed me over the last few years will enjoy this stuff. It's NOT for everyone.

It's not for you if:

You're A Hermit Artist

If you are disgusted with the thought of being a business person, and all you want to do is write songs in a remote cabin all the time, then this is definitely not for you. I'm not saying there's something wrong with you. You should be true to yourself. The only thing I would say is that if your art is awesome and no one gets the chance to hear it, that's a waste.

You Don't Enjoy Learning New Things

Much of what I talk about will have a learning curve. I will try to teach in such a way that you can easily grasp the concepts, but there will be some stretching for sure. Especially if you're not used to technology.

You don't have to be a coder or anything that fancy. All you need is a hunger for learning. If you don't have that, then this new podcast will not be for you.

You Think That Technology, Computers, Social Media, and the Internet Are Necessary Evils

I've heard several artists say that before. They look at all this online stuff, and begrudgingly do certain things online because they feel like they have to, since guys like me are saying you should.

I've honestly been in this boat before. I can't count the number of times I have said something like "Oh man it's been forever since I've posted something on my blog... I should probably write something soon."

I would drag myself to the computer and try to force something because it was a "necessary evil".

Evil is never necessary.

I now firmly believe that all these things are given to us by God to use either for His glory or for our own. Yes there is a responsibility to honor the Lord in it all, but that doesn't mean you call something given by God a necessary evil.

Who This Podcast Is For

Here's who this podcast is aimed at:

Indie Artists Trying To Forge A Real Career Out Of Their Art

If you're working to produce something of value that the world will be served by, and put food on the table in the process, then you will be served by this new podcast.

If you want to make a real, sustainable career with your art, then you must be online. Yes there are a lot of different ways that can look, but if you want something that scales and keeps you from starving, the internet has to fit into your business plan at some level.

Musicians Who Don't Want To Be On The Road All The Time

David Nevue is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. He has been able to bring in a healthy income with little to no touring.

He's not the only example. There are many more that I'll be talking about on the podcast, but this is an important issue.

Artists Who Are Wondering If There's Another Way To "Make It" In The New Music Economy

This is tied to the previous one, but would you rather do it the old way, touring 200 dates a year and making 50K, or would you rather stay at home with your family and make twice or even three times that much?

Seems like a no brainer.

Artists Who Aren't Afraid To Talk About Money

It's about to get real.

Why is money such a touchy subject for artists? ESPECIALLY some "Christian" ones?

If Jesus talked about money as much as he did, then it must be an important subject. When it comes to business, how you handle and view financial matters will either make or break your pursuits.

If you're with me on this, then this new podcast will resonate with you.

2015 Is The Year Of Podcasting

I'll be publishing more podcast episodes this year than the last two years combined. I'm pretty zealous about the process and have a system in place that will allow me to pull it off (one that I will share with you here someday) but....

This won't be a big year just for me as a podcaster.

You should start your own podcast too.

This is something I'll be talking a lot about at TIM Talks, but I think you should start a podcast for your music this year.

Why?

You need to discover your real voice and sound. You need to share your story with the world. You need to build a tribe around your message and art if you want to make a lasting career.

Have you ever thought of starting one?

Leave Your Thoughts Below

If anything I've said resonates with you, or if you've been provoked and annoyed by me, I'd love to know!

:-)

Post a comment below....

How To Use Sniply

http://www.youtube.com/embed/NfG9QZLSVsk

Ready for a great new tool for getting more visibility and traffic to your blog? Meet Sniply

How To Use Sniply To Get More Traffic.

how-to-use-sniply

Sniply is a fantastic way to highlight great content on the web and point people back to relevant content on your site.

By simply "snipping" the URL, with either their browser extension or their web app, Sniply creates a call to action button to show up directly on whatever content you're sharing.

Watch my video tutorial above to see exactly how I use it.

It’s an awesome win/win scenario for promoting someone else’s content, while creating a call to action button that shows up on their content that links back to yours.

Here's a likely scenario:

Let’s say that you’re a singer/songwriter with a new album that’s coming out to help raise awareness about the horrific problem of human trafficking.

You partner with the great organization Freedom Firm and drive traffic to their site, while having a call to action button show up at the bottom of the page, directing people to a landing page that you created on your blog where you’re selling your album.

It’s an awesome new tool. You don’t need to do a line of code, or anything super advanced.

It’s as easy as cutting and pasting!

Step 1

Copy the URL from the site or blog post that you want to share

Sniply

Step 2

Paste the URL in the "snip" field back at Snip.ly as shown below....

Sniply

Step 3

Screen Shot 2014-10-24 at 3.20.08 PMSniply will then ask for the relevant details to include in your call to action button.

The main items to have are:

1. A message for the readers 2. The link on your own blog to send people back to 3. A title for the call to action button

This is what it generates on your shared content:

Sniply

After everything is the way you want it, just click on "create" and then move on to step four.

Step 4

You'll see a new window, with a place to get the newly "snipped" content with your call to action button on it.

Screen Shot 2014-10-24 at 3.03.45 PM

From here you can share your link on the social media outlet of choice, or even preview the way it looks when people will check out what you shared.

(If you've been following me for any length of time, you know that I suggest you to use Buffer. Check out this video on how I use Buffer.)

For all you guys who like to geek out over this kind of stuff, you might want to know how it works. It simply generates a new URL with an overlay of the call to action button. The new URL looks like this:

Screen Shot 2014-10-24 at 2.54.13 PM

Step 5

Screen Shot 2014-10-24 at 2.52.53 PM After you've shared it, you can go back to Sniply's "Dashboard" to track clicks, conversions, manage your snips, and even add RSS feeds from sources whose content you'll share on a regular basis.

Pretty sniptastic.

To drive more engagement from content that you already share and get more traffic back your site, it's easier than ever.

Just learn how to use Sniply.

What's currently in your tool bag for content promotion? Let me know in the comments!

For an even deeper dive on some other great tools including Sniply check out this post at Digital Marketer. I snipped the link..... :-)

     

Top Blogs For Christian Musicians

top blogs for christian musiciansThe internet today is filled with junk. God willing, us CMB-ites can make the internet a better place.

In this post, I want to encourage you to check out some blogs that I've come to know and love. They're fantastic sources of encouragement, and practical tips for my music making.

It's definitely a variety.

Not all of them are musical. Not all of them are overtly "Christian" either. Some are all about your musicianship, some are about business and marketing, and others are purely sources to challenge you in your faith.

Either way, each of these will have a direct impact on you, and as a result, impact your creativity as well.

It reflects some of my top destinations on the web. I've gleaned much from each of these sites. All provide value of a different kind, but I'll explain how each blog can benefit you and your music making along the way.

So here we go...

Top blogs for Christian musicians

15) http://musicclout.com

Music Clout is filled with helpful articles in a variety of subjects that are relevant to music makers. If you're wanting to pursue a career as an artist, you'll definitely get a lot out of this site. [read it here]

14) http://www.theblazingcenter.com/

I love these guys. It's not every day you find a father and son blogging together. Mark and Stephen Altrogge provide wonderful insights for believers. Musical or not, you'll grow in your faith, and be challenged in your creativity too! [read it here]

13) http://www.worshiplinks.us/

This is a newer site that I recently came across. The creator Brad is doing an outstanding job at collecting resources for worship leaders all across the web and sharing them with you. [read it here]

12) http://socialtriggers.com

If you're terrible at sales and don't have a clue about marketing, let Derek Halpern challenge you. Sometimes he gets a little out there, but I believe musicians have a lot to learn from this guy. His insights on blogging and building an online presence are extremely valuable. [read it here]

11) http://thegoodchristianmusicblog.com

My man Stephen Bradley from episode 10 (and future episodes in our podcast for the "New Music Segment"), is a great resource for discovering new Christian music that is fresh and inspiring. Already he's exposed me to artists that I probably wouldn't have found without him. Check out his site! [read it here]

10) http://www.musicianwages.com/about/

If you're looking to figure out how to earn some income with your musical abilities, check out this site. It's filled with all sorts of ideas on how to turn your musical skill into a marketable one. [read it here]

09) http://challies.com

Author and blogger, Tim Challies, is a strong voice within the evangelical church for understanding the issues we face in our time as Christians. We had him on the podcast for a great conversation about technology in CMB 034. His blog is a wealth of wisdom for believers of all kinds. [read it here]

08) http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/

CD Baby is a leading resource for independent musicians and artists. Their blog is always cranking out current insights into the world of do-it-yourself, musicpreneurs. [read it here]

07) http://mysonginthenight.com/

This is a great blog on songwriting by Bobby and Kristen Gilles. It is gospel-centered, practical, and chock-full of great ideas to equip you in your songwriting. [read it here]

06) http://www.doxologyandtheology.com/blog-pages/

We had Matt Boswell on session 9 of the podcast, and not only is his book fantastic for worship leaders and pastors, but his blog is also a wonderful source of encouragement for people who find themselves in music ministries at their local churches. GREAT. [read it here]

05) http://davidsantistevan.com

To keep things going in the church music vein, David Santistevan, author, worship pastor, and podcaster, has a ton of value each and every week at his blog. We also had David on the podcast in CMB 028. I've personally gleaned a lot from his insights on leading our own worship team at my church. Definitely check him out. [read it here]

04) http://michaelhyatt.com/

Artists and songwriters: If you're looking to improve your blog, writing, and learn the very important skills needed to have an impact online, you should definitely learn all you can from Michael Hyatt. His book Platform is also a practical help to anyone who has a message that needs to be heard in this noisy world. [go check it]

03) http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/

If you're wanting to glorify God more in your music (and I hope you do), you need to give yourself to the study of God's word and how to apply it in today's world. TGC has a vast arsenal of content to help serve you in this regard. There are several blogs here to check out, but generally speaking, this movement is an extremely important one to be aware of. [go check it]

02) http://blog.masonjarmusic.com/

Again, I can't stress this enough: Learn from other musicians and artists who are great. What these guys are doing to bring fresh music and video together is incredibly inspiring. It almost makes me a little sick seeing how innovative they are... :-)

[go check it]

01) http://theresurgence.com/

As long as I'm repeating myself, I might as well repeat this: Knowing Jesus is the most important thing in your life.

With or without your musical skills, you are always a Christian first. Your identity isn't in your music making, but in Christ.

What makes this so freeing is that you can now leverage your abilities for God's fame and glory. If you know me well, then you know that I'm somewhat of an Acts29 and Mars Hill junkie. These guys not only inspire me, but they remind me why I'm doing the things I'm doing: for the fame of Jesus... [go check it]

What about you?

These are only my picks for the top sites this year that every believing musician should be aware of. Perhaps you have a few you'd like to share?

Let us know in the comments below!!!

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