Monthly Archives: April 2014

Dealing With Criticism [Indie Artists]

We all wish that everyone would love, appreciate and understand our art, our ideas and, basically, us. It would be so much easier if they could just “get it”, wouldn’t it? There’s no reason at all for people to cruelly bash others or go on the attack and yet it happens everyday. Every day someone deals a harsh word, a negative opinion, an attack or an insult.

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Now, it’s true that opinions differ and no one is going to like everyone and everything. Still, for some reason, while each of us can have very strong opinions about others, we oftentimes get hurt, offended or bothered when someone has strong opinions about us.

First, grow a pair

You have to learn to take it. You have to learn to both brush it off, but also see when it might actually be constructive criticism or have a seed of actual honesty. When we hear bad things about ourselves, especially relating to things we feel good about, the natural reaction is to go on the defensive. But take a step back and take a breath. Before you go on a counter-offensive, take a look at what has been said or written and see if it is something you should consider.

Still, on the other side of things, there are people who are just going to be brutal. They are going to tear into you and, really, do the reasons matter? Why justify it as jealousy or a personal grudge? It doesn’t really matter. Let go of it.

I have been writing this blog for almost two years. At least once a week, I put out my thoughts. They are my thoughts, approaches and ideas that I have experienced firsthand which have shaped my view, my opinions and my approach. Without a doubt, it is different from others, but I do not think I have ever been completely off in any of the articles I have written.

Now ask some of the readers who have both publicly and privately sent scathing comments, harsh emails and calling me every name in the book. They accuse me of being a hack, a scam artist and someone who doesn’t have a clue about the music industry. Hell, I got one guy who says my writing pisses him off more and more each week. Side note: stop reading. I don’t intentionally want to upset people, but I am not going to stop and I am not going to cater to you, so skip my blog. Easy enough right? But for all the rude comments, I get many more nice ones. Very kind emails and wonderfully supportive comments, so I keep on trucking. It can hurt sometimes, but when it is more good than bad, it is better to just let the bad go.

I was walking downtown in Seattle and a guy actually shouted from across the street that my articles are retarded. I actually kind of felt like a rock star in that moment. He hates my stuff so much, yet continues to read it and even knows what I look like. It really didn’t phase me at all. And instead of giving him the reaction he might have been looking for, I bowed, thanked him and said the next article will be out Monday morning. But still, the point is, take a look at first. If it isn’t something constructive and it isn’t something you want to change, whether it is your writing, your music or anything else, then take it with a grain of salt and brush it off. Let it go.

Sometimes communication can be bad

Literally let it go. I know I have repeated that a few times, but it needs to be repeated. Do not get into the habit of responding to these people. If you are getting genuine questions, well, that’s one thing. But if someone says you suck, your song sucks, your picture sucks or whatever, let it be. I used to erase the negative comments and more often than not now, I just leave them up. It is their opinion and it is their right to say what they want. Responding is only going to light a fire for them to attack you more. The more you react, the more you set them up to respond, to bother you more. You let them under your skin and by responding, you just give them the power to crawl around more.

Every time I have responded to someone being negative, they have only become more of a jerk. When I don’t waste the time or the effort, they usually go away or bother me less frequently.

Wasted energy

Regardless of your job, what you create and what you want, people are a little more tired these days. Energy levels are down and we need to be at 100% to get what we want and have the endurance and energy to continue to go after it. Worrying about people that are being negative, giving you shit or just being mean takes away from the effort you can put toward what you want and bringing it to the people that actually want it and are appreciative of it. Don’t short out those that like you for wasted energy on a few that don’t.

Conclusion: It will only get worse 

Realistically, it will only get worse. The more reads I get on my blog, the more kind comments have come my way, but, at the same time, the increase of the rude and harsh ones has jumped up as well. The more you play out, the more you are heard, the more you get your music out there, your writings, your image and yourself, the more people there will be to tear you a new one. The more people will give you shit, the more people that will mock you, tease you, attack you and all around try to get you all pissed off.

Take it with a grain of salt, let it roll off your back or any of the other thousands of sayings that are out there. Move forward in confidence and assertiveness and create what you want to create. That power will allow you to reach many more people than playing scared, responding to every bad comment or getting into it with every person who doesn’t like you. Don’t waste the time trying to turn a hater into a supporter. Spend your time going after as many people as you can to build a strong fan base that supports you.

Stay sensitive to your art but become less sensitive to criticism or it will eat you alive. If you can’t handle the scrutiny, you are going to have a rough go in any art or entertainment related business.

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Marketing Strategies For Indie Artists.

marketingCloud

Your album is finished and you want to share it with the world. You lack the patience to put together a comprehensive marketing plan and you just want to get the music to your fans. 

I decided to put this post together because I wanted to benefit you, artists that are excited to release material. When you are marketing an album you have to remember that visibility is key. In order to get more sales or more downloads you have to reach more people. You reach more people by creating shareable content. 

 

1. Digital Distribution

Figure out how you’re going to digitally distribute the album, and a physical CD only release or selling the CD and mp3′s strictly on your website is not the way to go. You need to make your music available everywhere digital music can be streamed and bought, such as on iTunes and Spotify, and the best way to do that is work with a digital distribution company like CD Baby or Tunecore. With that said, I talk to people all the time who then take this one step too far and sign up with multiple distribution companies because they think they are covering all their bases this way. Which they are not. All that does is put multiple copies of the same album on iTunes and the like, which looks silly and can cause unnecessary confusion. And if you plan on working with a PR company to promote the release don’t set the release date until AFTER you have talked with them first.

2. Online presence

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Make sure your online presence is complete, effective and contains all the necessary promotional tools. There are lots of places online that artists can have a presence, here I talk about three of the most important sites: Official Website, Facebook and YouTube.

Official Website – Your website should have a place where people can easily listen to and buy your music (but not a player that plays automatically when a person enters the site, can’t stress that enough), a homepage that has a news section where people can read the latest happenings with your career, and a newsletter sign up form, one that offers an incentive for signing up such as free music or discounts on merch. Plus it always surprises when I go to an artist website and can’t find any contact information or links to their social media networks.

Facebook – Just as important as your website is your Facebook Fan Page. On the new timeline there are three tabs that are on display; one tab should be a band profile that at a minimum contains a music player, tour dates and press quotes. Next is a newsletter sign up form, and again, this should offer an incentive for signing up. And the last visible tab should be a Store.

YouTube – Another important piece of your online presence is YouTube. I’m always curious how people listen and discover new music and time and time again the response I hear back is YouTube. It’s critical to have videos up on YouTube for every song of the new release by the release date or soon after. Not saying these have to be well produced music videos, but just the songs themselves. To do this some artists just put up an image of their cover and leave it at that, but people are much more inclined to listen to your music if there are scrolling lyrics they can read as they listen or if there is a slideshow to watch. Taking free archival footage and editing together to make a music video is another relatively easy and inexpensive way to create a video for your songs, and can be a lot of fun too.

3. Newsletter

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This is real simple. Have one. And contact your mailing list once a month with news. Don’t cut corners on this either, a newsletter is where you’ll see the greatest impact on sales. All the tweets and facebook posts about a new album out for sale won’t equal the results of a well crafted newsletter, so spend money on a mailing list service provider that can help you design a rich looking email and provide analytics and tracking capabilities so you can measure the effectiveness of your newsletters and make adjustments where need be.

4. Touring

Ideally you’ll have a tour booked immediately following the release, which greatly helps a PR campaign. A local blog or local newspaper will be much more inclined to cover a new album for an artist if a show is booked in town. And not saying this has to be a month long tour, just a few regional dates will help with your press efforts. Now timing can be tricky here, just like setting a release date too soon, you don’t want to book a tour and then not have the album ready or press plan in place. So wait until you have a better idea of what that will look like and then start booking a tour, and if the tour doesn’t happen until a month or so after the release that is quite alright.

5. Merchandise

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Pretty much everything in regards to your music career takes longer than expected, from making the album to creating the artwork to booking shows, and this definitely applies to any merchandise you want to have available to sell with the new album. And merch isn’t limited to T-Shirts and tote bags, handmade items can make for great unique offerings. Here’s a tip, at your merch booth bundle your music with these items cheaply and easily through download stickers from MerchMusic.com, where 120 codes will cost you just $10. Even though people aren’t buying CDs much anymore, they are still interested in supporting artists they love so give them lots of different ways to support you and purchase your music instead of just having a CD and leaving it at that.

So remember, plan early so you can have these items when you’re ready to release a new album, which I will be getting in to in more detail in the next blog post where I will discuss some basic principles for an effective pre-sale and album launch.

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New Music Video: GMC- I’m Back[Prod. by GMC]

Music video by Caribbean Hiphop/Rap recording artist GMC performing “I’m Back”. 
GMC explains:

This joint is my final recording repping the UBMG camp & as i prepare to step into the “Future”, i’m finally getting back to my old style of doing things and it feels damn great to be “back” after so much distractions. and with TBKII on the way & the #FuturistikMusicGroup Movement in gear, we’re about to lock the streets of #Bridgetown once again…. I’m Back

Check out the official music video below:

 

Powered By: Futuristik Musik Group | Uneasy Riders Wear | 246Mixtapes & Flight Skool Ent.


-Links-

Currently #1 on the ReverbNation charts for BB: 
http://www.reverbnation.com/gmc246

GMC’s Website/Blog for the latest releases & updates::
http://www.GMCOfficialMusic.wordpress…

‘Like’ the official GMC fanpage On Facebook and stay updated: 
http://www.facebook.com/GMCOfficialMusic

Check out GMC’s Youtube Channel for more GMC videos:
http://www.youtube.com/mrgmc246

Follow GMC on Twitter for those live updates: 
http://twitter.com/gmcubmg

GMC’s Artist Profile On Soundcloud:
http://www.soundcloud.com/gmc246

Check Out GMC’s Instrumental Profile On Soundcloud: 
http://www.soundcloud.com/gmcbarbados

—————–
*Mixtapes*
—————–

GMC- Futuristic Dreams(Apr 2013) Download link:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/9cdav4fhkyb…

GMC- Re-construction(Jun 2012) Download link:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/8sqmslmugcz…

For More Info, Bookings, Recording sessions & features, Email GMC @ gmcofficialmusic@gmail.com

Feel Free To Download , Comment , Share And Like These Pages & Thanks In Advance For All The Support! 

-The Bridgetown Knight II coming soon!!!
-GMC.

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