For the Indie Do-It-Yourself-er

The following are helpful tools I presented to Elite members of the GoGirls in one of our “secret” meetings at Folk Alliance in Memphis this year. This is a list. It is only a list. If you need further help or have questions about any of these, please post in the comments below. I’ll share my experience as best I can.

These are just some great places to start if you don’t have a team around you and are working on a limited budget. And, yes, you should have your own “.com”. A Facebook fan page will not suffice. And, if you are a band and have a Facebook profile and are using it as a fan page…stop it. Now. Please. 

 

Helpful Tools for Indie Artist

 

Easy and affordable DIY websites: Hostbaby.com and Bandzoogle.com

Both sites now have customizable templates that are affordable and allow you to update your pages and sell your music with very little hassle.

 

Most affordable iPhone app (and Droid to come…): getsoundaround.com

Now owned and also available through Reverbnation.com. Price cannot be beat!

 

Update all your social networks at once: Hootsuite and Ping 

Both of these services allow you to update your social networking sites and FACEBOOK FAN PAGES from your computer and both have iPhone apps for your convenience.

 

Landing pages for your Facebook fan page: Rootmusic.com and FanBridge.com 

Social Networks 4 Musicians has a sweet deal for custom pages but, if you have some DIY skills check out Rootmusic. And, if you are already using FanBridge, they’ve made it easy for you. 

 

DIY CD Sales: Bandcamp.com, Tunecore.com and CDBaby.com 

There are benefits to each. If you haven’t checked them out, do it now.

 

Credit Card sales at your shows: CdBaby.com and Square iPhone app 

Securely swipe credit cards on your iPhone and get direct deposits or get the affordable swiper through your CDBaby.com account.

 

Get your music on the radio: Airplaydirect.com

Get professional and beautiful download cards: Dropcards.com

Get royalties: Soundexchange.com (lengthy application but, do it. If your music is streaming anywhere online, you could have money waiting for you)

Get songs licensed: Pumpaudio.com (They are pretty selective about the music they choose so, be prepared with professional quality recordings of songs as well as instrumental versions. Some people hate the terms so be sure to read them over carefully. All I know is that I’ve received some pretty nice checks without having to shop my songs on my own.)

 J

 

  -Laura Marie

 

Up Next:

Bands: Social Networking No-No’s #2

(Updated!) FanBridge goes Facebook!

(Scroll to the bottom for the update!)

Woah! For those of you musicians who use FanBridge for email management, lucky you!! Lucky us! 

FanBridge just announced that it acquired damnthradio, Inc. which will enable you to create some sweet Facebook pages. Enablers! I love it. 🙂

Here is the article: FanBridge Acquires Damntheradio, Inc.

 

I’m going to have to give it some thought before I switch. Currently, I use BandPage by RootMusic:

Root

check out the bells and whistles here

They offer a free version that is a bit more basic. Customization will cost you $20 a year so, I’m wondering what the terms are for FanBridge integration. I’ve known them to be incredibly conscientious when it comes to working with musicians trying to stretch a dollar so, I’m betting it will be a good deal. It’s also a plus to have Facebook integration and email management in one place if you go the FanBridge route. 

 

Also, @makeitinmusic (a great follow, by the way) recently tweeted about MoonToast as a new way to sell, share and in all ways market your music on Facebook. It looks like they’ve included all the things a musician needs to connect with fans but you have to “request a demo” to get more info which tells me they are likely to be pricey or they are not targeting the indie musician. I want you to know I gave up my phone number to get info on this. Geez! I hate that I have to do that. It probably means I’m going to get a pushy sales call. I’ll keep you updated. 

 

 – LM

 

UPDATE: Guess what? MoonToast contacted me. Kudos to them for using email. No phone call. Yay!!! Ha-ever…(that was southern speak) all you get for free is a very (and I mean very) basic widget to sell music only. And, you have to click a link to get to it. (That is not helpful for impulse buying at all). So, in my opinion, it’s not as cool as RootMusic’s $20/year widget but, hey, it’s free. If you want MoonToast’s fancy-schmancy, full-fledged store like the one, say, Reba McEntire has (I still don’t think it’s as sweet as RootMusic’s) then you have to pay a very large set up fee plus make a minimum of $250/month. Ok, clearly for the big time artists with a lot of sales.  

Now I’ll have to wait and see what FanBridge has in store for us. 🙂

 

 

That’s APPropriate (wink wink)

Some new iPhone apps that are making me happy:

 

Reverbnation: If, as an indie musician, you don’t have a Reverbnation account…get with the program. Seriously, it’s easy to use and integrate with Facebook and other social networks. Basic account is free so no excuses and NOW there is the iPhone app that lets you update your status, check out your profile stats, create an email, check email stats and (TUN TUN TAH!!!!) contains a mailing list sign-up form. Yeah…sweet. Imagine you and your minions at gigs standing around with your iPhones and signing people up directly like geniuses hovering around the genius bar at an Apple store. Serious nerd alert. I love it. 

It’s called CONTROL ROOM it’s in beta for and available through iTunes for iPhone. Check it out. And, thanks to fearless GoGirls leader and Social Networks 4 Musicians founder Madalyn Sklar for giving me a heads up on this one. 

Reverb

Speaking of dumping that mailing list clipboard, FanBridge has a FAN COLLECTOR that works for that purpose as well. It’s simple, it works and now I just have to have my minions set up to use it. I love using FanBridge for managing my mailing list but I really need to update my landing page. Ugh!

Fancollecter

 

And, believe it or not, I’m going to heap some praise on My_____’s new iPhone app. Yup. That’s right. I really like it. I’m not kidding. Let me tell you, it makes it easier. I don’t have to log in on my computer. I don’t have to be bombarded with auto-players on my new and “improved” home page stream. I can easily CLEAR all my notifications. I can even DELETE messages with telltale subject markers that reek of spam without having to read them. Yes! YES! WTH, My______. I don’t know how or why but “pat, pat, pat” on the back for that one. 

Myspace

If you will notice, my friend requests are cleared. My notifications are cleared. I can totally avoid the stream if I so choose and I now only have 3 unread emails. Woo-hoo! Get it here

 

 

Okay, so good stuff. Well, I think so. Plus, here is another one that Madalyn sent my way that is a ton of fun. 

Instagram

INSTAGRAM according to the site it’s a “fast, beautiful, fun way to share your life with friends…” ( I ❤ alliteration)

SUPER NERD ALERT! You will be SHUNNED by some users on this app if you edit your pictures prior to uploading them. I’m just sayin’…it’s some sort of nerdy rule but whatever…

 

That’s it for now. Let me know what you think about any of the above. 

 

Laura Marie

(check out my other blog too: http://lauramarie.posterous.com/