Posts Tagged ‘Bob Baker’

Make a niche for yourself

October 25, 2011

I figure if I write songs from my heart, about love, heartbreak and other things that are universal, then my potential audience is everybody, because everybody can relate to love, right? And that’s the goal, to get as big a number of listeners and CD buyers/downloaders as possible, no?

But Bob Baker says that’s casting too wide a net. He says that by picking one of my passions and writing about that, I will really zero in on a much smaller potential audience (and repel others), but that audience will be much more likely to respond (become fans). When it comes to fans, smaller is better, if it’s small but committed, as opposed huge and apathetic.

Bob Baker always seems to have a good idea. Read his article here.

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3 simple keys to success

May 18, 2010

The full title is The Three Surprisingly Simple Keys to Success by Sonia Simone, from her blog copyblogger. And the cool thing is, you only need two out of three to reach your goals. Find out what she means.

Thanks to Bob Baker for turning me on to this post.

Guerilla Music Marketing

August 19, 2009

Guerilla Music Marketing Handbook

Here’s a tip for anyone trying to market their music on a budget. It’s the Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook. I own an early edition and I refer back to it almost daily. It contains more than 201 self-promotion ideas for songwriters, musicians and bands on a budget.

Expand your definition of a live performance

July 23, 2009

by Bob Baker

(The following article is excerpted from my new audiobook, What Every Musician Should Know About Self-Promotion.)

Let me ask you … What has to happen for a person to be converted into being a fan of your music? There are a number of possible answers, but at the most basic level, one thing has to happen: The person must hear your music.

And there are only so many ways someone can hear your music: on the radio or on television, on the Internet, in a dance club or a retail store, from a friend on a home or car stereo or … during a live performance.

Let’s focus on that last one, because even with all of the advancements in technology, live performance continues to be one of the best ways to connect with fans, sell CDs and prosper as an artist.

Hopefully, your marketing plans include a heaping helping of live shows. But what type of live shows do you plan? The problem is, many musicians get stuck in live performance ruts and fail to think outside the box. For instance, most rock bands flock like lemmings to nightclubs. Most acoustic singer-songwriters obsess over coffee shops and folk venues. That’s fine, but they end the thought process there — and then complain that there aren’t enough gig slots for all of the acts who want to play.

The solution: Redefine your live performance goals. And ask yourself the right questions. If you only ask, “How can I book more shows at clubs?” you’ll rarely look outside that possibility. But if you ask, “How can I reach more of my ideal fans through live performances?” then your list of potential venues is suddenly wide open.

Where can you play in front of more potential fans? If nightclubs is one answer, great — continue to pursue that. But what about community festivals, neighborhood block parties, grand openings, rallies, auto shows, craft fairs, the finishing line of a city marathon, a public beach on a sunny day … anywhere that large groups of people gather is fair game.

Sure, not every option will have the logistics for a sound system, a stage, etc. But any glimmer of an idea along these lines is worth looking into. And I guarantee you, the number of other acts competing for a spot at one of these offbeat events will be much less than the number you find at the traditional live music venues.

So … expand your definition of a live performance, ask yourself empowering questions, and open your mind to the many new ways you have to reach fans through live performances.

Bob Baker is the author of “Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook,” “Unleash the Artist Within” and “Branding Yourself Online.” He also publishes TheBuzzFactor.com, a web site and e-zine that deliver marketing tips, self-promotion ideas and other empowering messages to music people of all kinds. Get your FREE subscription to Bob’s e-zine by visiting http://TheBuzzFactor.com today.

A Secret to My Success

July 10, 2009

by Bob Baker

Would you like to know one of the secrets to my success?

I learned long ago that positive, successful, empowered people do certain things a little differently than the majority of people. One of these things I started doing years ago, before I even knew it was a secret to success. I just naturally (and accidentally) gravitated toward doing it.

It’s a powerful thing. In fact, I believe it is one of the biggest reasons I’ve accomplished so many cool things in my life: becoming a published author, releasing three independent music releases, publishing a music magazine, becoming recognized as a top source for indie music marketing ideas, and more.

So … what’s the secret?

It’s simple, and something you can start doing right now to empower yourself. Here it is: Regularly feed your mind with positive messages, useful information and mind-expanding ideas.

I told you it was simple, but doing it makes all the difference in the world. Let me explain …

Our brains need constant stimulation to stay flexible and focused on reaching our goals. Think of it as a fitness program for your mind. You need to exercise regularly to keep your body in shape, right? The same thing applies to your brain, soul and spirit.

But there’s one more secret …

One way to feed your mind is with books, and I hope you do that (whether you read my books or anyone else’s). But the best way I’ve found to keep mentally fit is to soak up a lot of this great info with your ears. That’s why over the years I’ve built a growing personal library of audio programs covering everything from marketing, sales and publicity to health, wealth and spirituality.

By regularly feeding my mind with these ideas, I get energized and stay on top of the things I want to accomplish.

And best yet … audio is one of the most convenient ways to absorb great ideas. I listen a lot while I drive, turning my car into an intensive workshop on wheels. I also listen at home while exercising or working around the house or before going to bed at night.

I encourage you to do the same thing!

So, where do you start? What are the best titles to add to your personal success library? Only you can answer that question with certainty. But here are some titles that have inspired me that I suggest you consider:

I’m so sold on the audio format, I’ve made a vow to release more of my own material in this format. I’m kicking myself for not doing more of this sooner. I think more music people should benefit from this “secret to success.” Therefore, I also recommend you take a look at (and listen to) these new titles:

Your ears are powerful. They not only enable you to hear and enjoy music and voice and the sounds of nature. They also serve as an entry point for great ideas that can inspire you to greater heights and achievements.

Bob Baker is the author of “Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook,” “Unleash the Artist Within” and “Branding Yourself Online.” He also publishes TheBuzzFactor.com, a web site and e-zine that deliver marketing tips, self-promotion ideas and other empowering messages to music people of all kinds. Get your FREE subscription to Bob’s e-zine by visiting The BuzzFactor today.

The ultimate music business conspiracy theory

May 11, 2009

by Bob Baker

Whether it’s the second gunman on the grassy knoll, the alien mystery at Roswell or what really is hidden within the high-security confines of Area 51… conspiracy theories abound. Many of us are amused by the speculation, while hardcore buffs examine every nuance looking for clues to support their version of the story.

If you’ll notice, all of these conspiracy theories involve some type of dastardly deed or cover-up. Someone is out to brainwash us or hide the facts from the public. After all, “the truth is out there,” according to X-Files scripture. I never seem to hear people suspecting, for instance, a conspiracy by furniture salesman to stuff money into the nooks and crannies of the couches they sell. Yet I always find change under the cushions when I clean. Hmm… maybe they’re secretly… Oh, never mind.

There’s another kind of conspiracy conjurer. You know the type. The artist, musician or writer who believes the deck has been stacked against him or that nobody will ever give her a break. “This town is just not artist-friendly,” he/she proclaims. “This sucks. Why bother?”

To listen to these people, you’d think the radio stations, theatre groups, art galleries (or whatever venue applies) were all part of a sick joke, trying to obliterate creative growth. And just like the bigger conspiracy nuts, they find clues and plenty of ammo to support their claims.

“See, that guy never returned my call,” they announce. “I can’t buy a job in this town.” Anything even remotely inconvenient that happens to them lends credence to the devious master plot.

Here’s a fun little game that I challenge you to play. It’s called the Inverse Conspiracy Game. For one entire day, I encourage you to go through the day believing wholeheartedly that there is a conspiracy involving you. Only with this Inverse Conspiracy, the whole world and everyone in it are involved in a conspiracy to help you succeed.

If you’re familiar with the recent Jim Carey movie “The Truman Show,” you know what I mean. In the film, everything that happens to the main character is a preplanned scene — only he has no idea it’s fabricated.

So for one day, imagine that everyone is pitching in on a secret mission to help you. There’s a positive reason behind everything that happens to you. Even seemingly negative events are put into action in order to propel you toward a reward that’s just around the corner. And it’s your job to break the code and figure out exactly how the world intends for you to use what happens to your advantage.

True, this isn’t your father’s conspiracy theory. It will take some brain work to reorient your mental perspective — especially to keep it up for an entire day. But just think how this shift in attitude might alter your progress. You’ll be forced to view everything in a far more constructive light. And when bad things do happen, it will be your mission to find the hidden opportunity (instead of more reasons to stop trying to reach your creative goals).

Give this inverse conspiracy theory a try. You can always go back to looking for evil schemes and cover-ups. In the meantime, you just might discover an alien on a grassy knoll waiting to help you succeed.

Bob Baker is the author of “Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook,” “Unleash the Artist Within” and “Branding Yourself Online.” He also publishes TheBuzzFactor.com, a web site and free e-zine that have been delivering marketing tips and inspirational messages to music people of all kinds since 1995. Get your FREE subscription to Bob’s e-zine by visiting http://TheBuzzFactor.com today.

CD sales success stories

March 31, 2009

by Bob Baker

There are nearly as many ways for musicians to sell self-released CDs as there are CDs. The following stories show how two artists colored outside the lines.

Taking Your Music to the People

Tony, an acoustic folk singer/guitarist in New Zealand, says one method he uses to drum up sales is day-long appearances at record stores.

“The best deal I got was through a local retail chain that liked the sound of what I was doing and allowed me to promote through their store on three different occasions,” Tony says. “I spent all day in the store, played my CD through a stereo system, handed out leaflets, gave a special discount, talked to people, signed CDs — all in all, I sold
about 60 copies — and these to people who normally wouldn’t have glanced twice at the album cover anywhere else.”

Tony also does a lot of busking (playing live for tips in randomly chosen locations) at country fairs.

“I always have a table beside me with CDs,” he explains. “The trick here is that I busk acoustically, but take regular breaks during which I play the CD through a Peavey Solo amp and a Sony Discman, both running on rechargeable batteries. I’ll sell a dozen albums this way, plus earn busking money and make contact with people who want to hire me or my band.

“As an independent, you’ve got to do it all yourself — and there’s absolutely no substitute for personal appearances and live performances,” Tony adds. “It’s all geared to self-promotion, and it just snowballs. If you sit at home like other really good (much better than me) musicians and say, ‘You can’t make a living from your music in New Zealand,’ then it’s true, you won’t. However, playing music is my full-time job now.”

Using Your Unique Qualities to Your Advantage

Josh of Josh Max’s Outfit says his band has sold more than 550 copies of its “Make It Snappy” CD. Not impressed? You may be when you find out how.

Josh explains: “We sold 150 to fans at our shows so far, but the way we moved 400 CDs was to hook up with a fashion magazine for plus-size women and promote our singer, Julie James, who is plus-sized and an amazing, sweet yet powerful singer. Julie has loads of personality — and the media love juicy people like her.

“The magazine bought 400 copies of our CD,” Josh continues, “and distributed them in goodie bags at trade shows around the Northeast. It’s a great deal because it’s free publicity and the bulk sale made us back a lot of the money we laid out for the disc.”

It’s also a good example of a band taking what some in the business would perceive as a weakness and exploiting it to the band’s advantage. Therein lies the lesson: Any characteristic of your band can be repositioned to be perceived in a fresh light.

Bob Baker is the author of “Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook,” “Unleash the Artist Within” and “Branding Yourself Online.” He also publishes TheBuzzFactor.com, a web site and e-zine that have been delivering marketing tips and inspirational messages to music people of all kinds since 1995. Get your FREE subscription to Bob’s e-zine by
visiting http://TheBuzzFactor.com today.

Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook

March 5, 2009

One of my favorite idea books for independent musicians is Bob Baker’s Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook. I got one of the early copies and it’s only gotten better in his new improved editions.

The handbook can be seen, carried by Jack Black, in the movie School of Rock. It contains more than 201 self-promotion ideas for songwriters, musicians and bands on a budget.

The First Question You Must Answer When Promoting Your Music

March 1, 2009

This article is excerpted from Bob Baker’s Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook.

I’m going to use up this entire article dealing with one subject, because I think it’s vital to the success of your music promotion efforts. Every day I see the same mistakes being made in this area and feel I owe it to you to drive this crucial point home.

Suppose you walked into your local record store and one of the employees (a complete stranger to you) came up and handed you a box filled with CDs and said, “Here, these are extra promo copies. You can have any CD you want out of the box.”

Now let’s pretend that you were not familiar with any of these artists. As you picked up each CD to consider whether or not you wanted it, what would be the first question to pop into your head? In other words, what basic question would you need to answer first before you could make an intelligent (and quick) decision on which one you’d take?

Would it be “Who produced this CD?”

No.

Would it be “What record label put this out?”

No.

How about “What are the names of the musicians and what instruments do they play?”

No.

Would it be “I wonder how great these folks think their own music is?”

No.

(more…)

The Universe is Your Dog

February 25, 2009

I knew Christine Kane by her music first. I heard The Four Bitchin’ Babes cover her song (No Such Thing As) Girls Like That and I loved it. Then I heard her singing again in a podcast from Bob Baker. That’s when I discovered her blog. Here’s an article of hers for songwriters and performers.

The Universe is Your Dog
by Christine Kane

“Start by becoming a pack leader in your own world and healing your own world, and the effects will ripple.” – Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer

One of the fun assignments in my Uplevel Your Life Mastery Program is what I call “Mental Dress Up.”

This is a game that you can play daily. It is designed to bring intentions to life by literally embodying them in your own being.

Here’s how it works:

Take a few moments throughout your day and Be [Fill in the Blank with Desired Thing].

As you’re driving you can become a published writer. What would that feel like? When you’re at a party, try being someone that everyone wants to talk to. Be wise. Be someone who has so many clients, you can hardly get through a day without turning people down. Be someone who is certain of what she wants. What does that feel like?

Don’t get all scrunchy-faced and try to VISUALIZE – which is a very high-pressure word.

Instead feel the effortless shift in you, and BE successful. BE a fun person. BE wealthy. BE a rock star. Whatever!

My client Isabella started using this technique when she decided to “be someone who loves to run with her dog in the morning.” She was amazed at the results.

Typically after a few blocks of running, she’d start wheezing and feel awful. But when she became “someone who loved running with her dog,” she had more stamina and felt great during the run. She got better and better at this game until she actually began to love running with her dog!

One morning, she was returning from a run. Another dog and his owner were walking in her direction. Isabella’s dog, Bruno, is still healing from an abusive past and can be aggressive with other dogs. So, Isabella started to get anxious, clinging to Bruno’s leash.

Then, she remembered Mental Dress Up.

Instead of getting nervous and reacting to her dog’s bad behavior, she focused on how calm she felt and how much she loved her dog. She also played Mental Dress Up on Bruno, feeling that he was always very loving and peaceful around other dogs.

It worked! Bruno was fine. He followed her energy, and they both headed home without incident. To Isabella, this was a nice little miracle.

At this same time, Isabella was beginning a new business. She had experienced a whole range of emotions from enthusiasm to fear to excitement to disappointment during the process. At one point, she met with her accountant. The accountant was skeptical, issuing warnings to Isabella about the numbers and telling her the reasons why the business wouldn’t work.

During our coaching call, she shared these stories – about the triumph with her dog, and about the discouragement from her accountant. She wanted to know how to deal with her emotions after this deflating meeting.

Here’s what I told her:

I said, “Your accountant is your dog.”

Huh?

It’s true!

People follow your energy. It doesn’t matter if they are mentors, accountants, lawyers, audience members, listeners, friends, or customers. People follow your energy, just like dogs. You always have a choice to step up and lead them. Just like Cesar Millan has been telling dog owners for years. And just like Bruno showed Isabella in that one situation.

I told her that the success of her business would always be up to her. I told her that every business owner, artist or entrepreneur experiences bad news, good news, depression, loss, gain and insecurity. The decision to quit, fail, or succeed is always hers.

In that moment, her accountant might have sensed her fear and found all the negative stuff he could muster up to dissuade her. He became her dog and followed her energy.

You don’t have to be a Jedi master to tap into someone’s emotional state of being. You just have to be human. Had Isabella been feeling confident, most likely the accountant would have presented his views in a different light.

Ultimately, during our coaching call, I told Isabella this:

“The Universe is your dog.”

Everything and everyone follows the energy and emotional state you bring to it. Decide that you can do something, and the Universe follows that decision. Choose to radiate love and wisdom, and the Universe follows that radiance. This is not always an easy place to go. But it almost always teaches us about our own power to create or transform any situation.

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Performer, songwriter, and creativity consultant Christine Kane publishes her ‘LiveCreative’ weekly ezine with more than 4,000 subscribers. If you want to be the artist of your life and create authentic and lasting success, you can sign up for a FRE*E subscription to LiveCreative at http://www.christinekane.com.

WANT TO SEE HUNDREDS MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS ONE?
See Christine’s blog – Be Creative. Be Conscious. Be Courageous – at ChristineKane.com/blog.