Kickstarter and fanfunding, are the buzzwords of the moment. Thank you Amanda Palmer!

But realistically, how easy is it to reach a target?  

You have an email list of fans, but how many will give you some of their hard earned cash?

There are many questions like this that the average musician needs answers to, so John Oszajca of Music Marketing Manifesto has recently interviewed someone at the other end of the scale to Amanda Palmer, singer/songwriter Kat Parsons, who recently reached her modest amount (in comparison) of 20,000 US Dollars to record her album, and asked her why she chose Kickstarter what her pledges were, how she engaged her fanbase to reach her target.

The interview is a podcast on his website and you can hear it here.







Last week here on our posterous page we posted an article on How To Increase Your Reach On Facebook. Explaining that the reason your posts are not being seen by your entire fanlist is becauuse of a system called Edgerank, which basically puts your posts into more newsfeeds depending on how viral your previous content is. This judges your content as relevant and worth spreading.

One system that I have personally seen to bring results is to run a poll.  Facebook has a section in create a post section called ‘Ask Question’. Working for a band, we decided to get the fans involved and created a poll about what songs the audience wanted to hear at an upcoming London gig. We placed just few songs in there to start, and allowed the fans to add more songs to the list, effectively creating a chart of what were the favourite songs of the bands fanbase. 

The engagement was amazing, and the chart filled up nicely bringing many songs they hadn’t played for a while to the list, which were then added to the setlist on the night of the show.

This also had a positive effect on the edgerank, as other posts seemed to reach further and be viewed by more of the fanbase. Just the result we needed! Polls can be useful, our reach definitely increased and the fans got to hear songs that they wanted!

Polling fans can also be used to obtain different information you may need to move forward with your career, such as what songs should i finish for my album?

You could very easily do this on Facebook but there are other applications that can help you get feedback and be even more engaging to your fanbase such as the online app called Popplet, and DIY musician Abi Robins did just that.

Mark Boyd has written an article for about how Abi used Popplet and she shares some of her ideas about fan polling that can help you build and maintain a loyal audience for your music.

She states in Marks article,

“A lot of my fan base thought it was really cool to use Popplet as a way to provide feedback. It gave fans an insight into the new album production – much more than just asking a  poll question – and a lot of people thought it was a really neat idea. It was a way of presenting the information that they hadn’t seen before, which, I think, turned quite a few heads. The fact that it looks really neat and it is easy to navigate helped a lot, too.”

She also gives 5 Tips For Effective Fan Polling, so its worth reading the whole of Marks article here.

And find out more about Popplet here

Of course you can be very imaginative about the things you poll your fans about, fans love to be involved. Remember in this Social Media age you are now their property, with them you are nowhere.





Above photo is of the artist Modest Mouse checking out what his fans have to say. photographer unknown.




The music industry today looks to be full of artists that seem to come from nowhere. All of a sudden they have a viral hit, whether it’s from a video, or a trending tweet. 

The DIY musician needs to realise that this kind of thing doesn’t happen purely because they have have written an amazing tune. There are thousand of undiscovered brilliant tracks out there. More often than not, it has become succesful because of their canny use of Social Media. And probably even more so because they understand what their niche is.

So what is a Niche?

Cyber PR’s Jon Ostrow puts it like this,

a niche is simply a specific or ‘specialized’ market. In other words, it is not ‘the whole world’ or ‘rock fans’. A niche is a very detailed, smaller sub-section of a bigger market, but most importantly those who are characterized within the niche are far more likely to be loyalists than fans of a more generalized market. Not to get too ‘marketing-jargen’ on you all, but typically speaking, the more specific a niche, the more dedicated those within it will be, and visa versa, the more broad a market becomes, the less dedicated the fans will be.

So clearly, all music genres fall into niches, the trick is, How do you conquer that niche to get your message/brand across? Well, you need to define and locate the fans of your niche, Jon suggests collating the following information to help you determine that.

    • Demographic (age, gender location)
    • Similar / influential artists (remember to start locally, then branch out to the regional, national and global scale)
    • What are the influential promotional outlets?
    • Where do the fans exist online?
    • What blogs do they read?
    • How do they find out about new music?
    • Are they into fashion? If so, what brands?

Check out the Jons Full article for cool tips on how to understand and conquer your niche, you can read his full post here.




If you use Facebook as much as I do, you will see many disgruntled users complaining on how their fan page content is not reaching all the fans they have. This is because Facebook doesnt work in the same way as other social media tools do. it uses an algorythm called Edgerank. Once you understand this and how it works, you will definitely see an improvement in your views, and your content should be becoming more viral.

The Edgerank algorythm determines what gets placed in a users newsfeed. You will notice that in the ticker at the side of a facebook page that not all the content displayed there gets put into your main newsfeed. with the thousands upon thousands of posts going on every minute, there has to be some way of seeing what is of interest to you, and this is judged upon engagement.  

Since the last major facebook update, the two main websites I am blogging on  I noticed through my statistics for those sites that the amount of traffic coming from Facrbook was declining. 

These sites are feeding by an RSS feed all the posts created on them to their respective Facebook pages, but the engagement created by them is becoming less and less. 

So what is needed is a better form of engagement that can get traffic from these views to get to your site.

Check out this infographic from the Mariposa Agency for some facts on different forms of engagement other than status updates and how well they perform.


On the two websites I mentioned earlier, we have taken steps to change this, by utilising images placed on facebook with a link in the text we’ve noticed a vast improvement of engagement and traffic.

Bryan Kim director of Biz Dev at Tracksby, personaaly admins over 100 facebook pages for musicians. He has written a brilliant article going into detail on how to get your facebook page performing better. He says,

No matter how facebook slices it, your actionable instruction remains the same: GET MORE ENGAGEMENT! Get those likes, those comments, those shares. Make it your main goal with Facebook. These engagement points build on top of itself, ensuring better and better distribution on news feeds over time as your engagement improves. It’s something like a credit score for your Facebook page, and the algorithm lends you more impressions the better you perform.

How to increase your reach on Facebook?  Read his full article ‘The Definitive Guide To Facebook For Musicians’  here.

Written by Steve






Another week over! Here’s a bunch of thing we liked this week across the musical web.


1. Why are verse lyrics so hard to write?

So you have the hook, now you gotta get the story right. Some top tips on getting the verse lyrics sorted on your next song.



2. Lego step sequencer

This is not a trick is actually works. Built at a Hackathon in the States, a webcam detects the colours of the bricks and plays the appropriate sound. Cool!



3. Using QR codes to promote.

QR codes are great, they are the funny looking square patterns that are popping up everywhere.

But what are they for? What you need is a QR reader in your smart phone. It scans the square which then opens the phones browser and takes you directly to the content. Check out how this band used them on a poster for ideas.



4. Complete Guide to Sync Licensing

After our article on our main site about Cover Songs, I found this great video article all about Sync Licensing from DIY musician



5. Beatsurfing – The Organic MIDI Controller Builder

This is an awesome new programmable midi controller for the iPad.  Especially if you like your music glitchy. Check out a few of the videos and demos to get an idea of what this is truly capable of.


Don’t forget to check our latest post on our main website  Do you need a license for a Cover Song?

Have a good weekend!   Steve  🙂



I have been in the business along time. And I would freely admit back when I started, the industry was a different beast, and being an artist had a definite amount of roleplay come with it.

It seems like a cliche, but that was a time when musicians felt like it all had to be done by someone else and all you had to do was keep on turning out the music, everything else was handled by your management.

The hedonistic lifestyle is still portrayed in the media, but really, how much of it is still true today. The music marketplace has become a very competitive area, and it is important to be on top of your game, as someone else just might be more ‘on it’ than you and clinch that gig/deal/contract.

Alas there still seems to be a contingent of talented musicians that are following the DIY approach that havent quite fully made the shift.

Things need to tighten up.

Cheryl B. Engelhardt is a musician and has written an interesting article with basic points to help you to start acting like you are in the business.

Her four very simple points are:

1. Don’t Flake Out

2. Be On Time

3. Craft Your Emails, Don’t Spit Them Out

4. Keep Your Receipts Organized, Finances Clean

She states:

So here’s the cold, hard truth: you are in a business now, so play the part. As a musician, I see more responses (which lead to more results) when my communications are clear and professional. I tend to be [annoyingly] persistent, so I want to make sure my messages are not annoying to read or decode. When I’m on the other end of those messages, I have an easier time reading a longer email that is well-written than reading a short-hand email, trying to figure out if the writer meant “there” or “they’re.”

Seems like she has some advice well worth following and reading, i suggest you keep an eye on her and check out her  “In The Key Of Success: The 5 Week Jump-Start Strategy,” an incredibly effective, result-oriented eCourse for independent musicians who are serious about breaking through plateaus in their careers.

You can read her full blog post here

and check out her music here http://www.cbemusic.com/


I remember back in the seventies on a British TV show called Tomorrows World a presenter showing us what the future of music will be.

DIGITAL SOUND!  I watched in awe as he presented a small silver disc, 12cm across and said you can fit 74 minutes of music on this. I could not believe what I was hearing. 74 minutes of pristeen sound, that would never wear out on a robust medium that you could scratch get finger prints on, (oh yea they got that wrong) and nothing will happen to the music on it. This definitely was the future.

I remember when the first CD players came on to the market, quite a few years later, and trying this for myself, and yep for the best part, he was right. It seemed like we had finally got a medium for music that would not wear out, last for ever, create exact copies, (that’s another issue) and store any recordings we had made in the ‘analog’ age so our music can last forever.

Well it looks like he was WRONG!

CDs and also DVDs are not the things we thought they were. It appears they can rot and go moldy, just like tape does, (ok not quite but you see what i mean), so it could be time now for you to check out your old cds and see what condition they’re in.

So how can you tell if something’s up? Tina Sieber has written an article on the subject, she says,

You can do a simple visual check. If you see light shining through tiny little holes when you hold a disc against light, then the reflective layer has started to disintegrate. Also check your CDs for discoloring, especially around the edges. See whether the different layers are still tightly together or have started to de-laminate.

If you are getting worried you better check out the rest of her article here.

Written by Steve