Onesheet BAM! Just like that.

One sheet:

In the entertainment industry, a one-sheet or one sheet is a single document
that summarizes a product for publicity and sales

 

Thanks to Madalyn Sklar for posting this link on my Facebook page: http://techcrunch.com/2011/07/07/onesheet-is-about-me-for-bands/

Madalyn never fails to alert me to great stuff on the web for bands.  This time it’s Onesheet. Founder of ArtistData, Brenden Mulligan (@bmull) , has created an easy way to compile all the info about your band into a beautifully simple, virtual onesheet. The beauty of it: you hardly have to do a thing.

It’s like this:

1) Upload a background image

2) Connect your social networks by filling in the blank URLs

3) Save

 

Then:

Onesheet

You can customize color and position if you want to but, otherwise, you’re done. It’s all there! You don’t have to update. It’ll update itself. Sweet! Super easy. 

You know how everyone keeps saying that you need to maintain your Myspace profile because programmers and booking agents want a uniform place to find all your info? Yeah….beat this!

 

Social Networking No-No’s: Responses (blog)

I’ve drawn a line…

On one side, people who agree that mass emailing people on Myspace is getting pretty pointless (and annoying). On the other side, people who get all offended that we think it’s annoying. 

But, it’s not about who is right and who is wrong. It’s about what’s effective. And, I get it. I mean, if this kind of mass emailing is working for you and it’s translating into tons of people at your shows and sales galore, then, well…I stand corrected. I know that Myspace has been a very effective tool for many musicians. It’s helped me too. And, it’s still important to some radio promoters who say they prefer to listen to bands via Myspace because they always know exactly where to find the music. I just wonder how often they read your emails when they are addressed “Dear, fan”. 

To be fair, it’s not Myspace’s fault that I have to wade through pages of mass emails from bands to get to one person who is actually trying to reach me personally. It’s just that there is no way for me to make a connection this way. So, I’ll put my energy elsewhere and into places where I can better connect with people. 

But, maybe your goal or experience is different. Maybe you’d like to get as high a number of “followers” as you possibly can. Perhaps you’ve heard of all the people who got picked up by record labels and handed all their dreams simply because they had huge numbers. Name them. And, are you sure? I’m willing to bet that most of them did more work for longer than you think they did before they hit it big. Sure, there might be a handful who sprang to fame “overnight” but, of all the millions of musicians out there, do you really want to go with a strategy that equates to getting struck by a bolt of lightning. Believe me, plenty of people want to sell you on the idea that big numbers are your goal. (They are usually the ones selling you a program on how to boost your numbers). I guess I just want to sell you on the idea that good music is your goal. And, I don’t want anyone to lead you astray. 

Think about all the hugely successful musicians who made it because they were simply awesome and don’t stress. Be awesome. The numbers may come slowly at first but, I believe, if you are consistently putting out great music and genuinely connecting with fans, the numbers will follow. Keep the momentum going and they’ll eventually snowball. Have a strong online presence but don’t put your cart before your horse. 

So, anyway, I sent the blog out in a mass email to Myspace. Subject line: Can we all agree this is stupid?

Hypocritical? Absolutely. But, I couldn’t resist. Since I don’t regularly send out mass emails on Myspace about my music, I thought I’d give it a try with my blog and see how many people agreed with me or even bothered to read it. I mean, maybe I was totally off base and missing a gold mine of dedicated followers! I needed to find out. The results were completely mixed. I was actually thinking that everyone that is still active on Myspace would disagree. That was not the case. It was a mixed bag. Several musicians agreed. A couple called me out on the irony of using a mass email to point out the ridiculousness of a mass email. A few were really upset with me and, to my delight, some did just what they always do. Here you go:

Response2Response7Response3Response1ResponseResponse4Response5Response8

 

And, this says so very, very much:

Response10

 

 

Bands: Social Networking No-No’s #2-5

The ridiculousness of adding a bunch of people on Myspace and then treating them like your loyal fans is what has made Myspace a joke. Of all the emails you received from bands on Myspace, how many of them are from bands or musicians that you actually know and like? Chances are, if you’re a band, you’re probably treating all of them like your loyal fans too. If I didn’t know better, I know I would. Why? Because I don’t add people on Myspace. Haven’t in a long time. After I reached so many 1000 friends, Myspace automatically removed my right to approve friend requests and just adds them to my list. The only exception, I believe, is for those who are running paid ‘add’ campaigns. I have to manually approve those and, for the most part, I don’t. Initially, I did this so that I could safely assume that people adding me were fans. But, I can’t assume that at all. They add me and, in the backasswardsness of it all, I’m considered their  fan. 

Can’t we all agree that this is stupid? This was the reason Facebook created fan pages. And, now, bands are trying to bypass that by doing several things that are proving to be HUGE turn-offs to fans and fellow-musicians:

2) Adding you as a personal friend and then bombarding you with excessive event invites and personal email invites to shows. 

That’s a sure fire way to get deleted as a friend or have your events added to the “ignored” list as in “ignore all future invites from this friend?” Um, yes. Do send out invites but, be mindful of how many you send out to the same people or people who aren’t even in your area. You can filter friends by hometown and create lists for different cities. I’ll work on a how-to for that. 

Side note: If someone replies “no” to your event, don’t send them emails telling them it’s their “Last chance…” or “Change your mind….”. Or worse,  if they haven’t replied, don’t send them an email saying “Why haven’t you replied?” . Ugh!  I repeat, people are being bombarded with this stuff. Don’t add to it with your need to have everyone acknowledge you. 

3) Posting their events on your page or tagging you in their videos, pics, wall photos of band flyers so they’ll show up on your wall. 

Oh, no you didn’t! Don’t try and figure out how to make Facebook as “useful” as Myspace was for spreading the word about yourself. That’s not the way it works in other social networks. It’s just obnoxious for bands to post their stuff all over everyone else’s “walls”. Personal pages are for making personal connections! That’s what is important on Facebook. And, don’t get me started on people who post their gigs on other bands fan pages. Unless the musician your tagging is involved in the show: tacky. I even had one person comment on an event link and say “Hey, if you can’t make it to her show, you can go to mine over here…”. Really?!

4) Becoming a fan on any social network and then saying something along the lines of “I’m your fan, now be mine” or “I follow you, now follow me” (which always reminds me of Phil Collins ❤ but, that’s beside the point)

The definition of “fan”: an ardent admirer or devotee. Short for “fanatic”. Call me crazy but, I think, if you want fans, you want people who really like your stuff instead of people who feel obligated to like your stuff because you liked theirs. You can’t make people like your music but, if you are nice, they might support your music even if it’s not their favorite thing in the world. It’s fine to politely invite people to check out your music but, don’t take it personally if they don’t. Let it go and remind yourself that they’ll see what you are doing in their home feeds. If they are going to get interested in your music, they’ll do it as they get to know you. Post a link here or there (not everywhere and not all the time). Suggest your page to them (don’t post it on their wall). 

5) Taking it one ginourmous step further and asking you to do the advertising for them.

I’m not talking about bands asking their fans to help spread the word, I’m talking  about bands saying. “Hello, I like your stuff. Here’s my stuff. Tell all your friends about me.”

Can you imagine this in any other business? “Hey, Wendy’s? This is Billy Bob’s Burgers. Love the  value menu you have going on. We liked you on Facebook and/or follow you on Twitter. Could you tell all your customers to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, come to our restaurant and buy our stuff.”   Huh? I have so many of these…it’s like someone wrote a blog suggesting that musicians should do this. If so, please tell me who. I really want to know. 

And, it’s not even about competition…it’s about honesty. 
I don’t mind promoting other bands and musicians at all! I love doing it. I cross promote with several musicians I work with and some I don’t work with but, just because I love them.  I think it should be this way. We should be helping each other out in ways that make sense. It makes no sense for me to promote people I don’t even know or whose music I don’t like. I don’t expect anyone who doesn’t like my music to support or promote it. That would be silly. And,if you are only promoting someone because they guilted you into it (or, even paid you to do it), you lose credibility. No thanks. 
Now, on Twitter, it’s often customary for people to “follow back” when someone follows you. Musicians, please, don’t take this as an opportunity to address everyone on Twitter as your biggest fan. Big, huge, famous people can do this. You know, those that only follow 10 people but have thousands of followers. In that case, it’s safe to say that most of the people following them are fans. Also, on that note, don’t just follow people to have them follow back and then, stop following to drive your “followed” numbers up. That’s just silly and annoying. Again, social networking is about building relationships not making yourself out to be something you aren’t. 
All that said, go on… THINK BIG!
Be EVERYWHERE.  You should be making it stupid easy for people to find you. 
You are awesome, you are amazing, you are all that and a can of confetti! That in itself will draw people to you.  So, put yourself out there in a big way, just not on top of everyone else. That’s the old way. The playing field is different now. You have to find creative ways of standing out while being part of the music community instead of just trying to step over everyone else in it.  
 – Laura Marie
Next Up: SXSW stuff, the low down on apps used

 

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/

Myspace is killing me…

For so long…

For so long I said I wasn’t going to complain. 
I was going to refrain from making public complaints about the atrocity that Myspace has become. 

It is beyond ridiculous and gets worse with every passing moment. Where can I start? 

The endless spam emails. The “friendships” that consist of some band adding me without me knowing because I don’t have an option to approve or disapprove after so many connections, that band publicly thanking me for supporting their music or being a fan (still, no idea who they are) then endless posts with their music players or gig flyers regardless of where in world they happen to be in relation to me. The new layouts that make absolutely no sense. The new “news feed” that now brings the dreaded auto players and gig flyer posts right to your home page. Great.

Yup. I can’t even check my myspace mail (not that there is ever anything worth reading there) without having some unwanted music go off on my page. You know what that reminds me of? Those obnoxious people who drive around with their radio blaring so that you can’t hear yourself think. Closing your windows doesn’t help. Nothing helps. Until, you drive away. Just like Myspace. 

I’m not sure the people who run myspace even use it. You’d think that if they did, they would make it less annoying for users. Who is really using myspace these days? Clearly, a zillion musicians are on it promoting, promoting, promoting at a feverish pace, seemingly taking all their tips from some “how not to promote you music online” manifesto. 

But, yes, it is true. We must keep our Myspace profiles. As musicians, we need a page that music industry contacts recognize as a place to easily access our music. Music accessibility on Facebook is only as good as the app you choose but, you have to know which apps to choose, how to use them and how to direct people to them. And, just like our own websites, they aren’t uniform and searching beyond a few clicks can get tedious for contacts.So, for those reasons, Myspace is necessary. Increasingly frustrating but necessary. Does anyone read the bulletin board anymore?

If only there was some other site that offered free streaming music in a pretty much uniform format that music industry professionals could recognize as an easy place to hear the music of whatever artist they’re considering. 

Hmmmm:

Reverbnation – Not just the music but bios, show info, pics, fan info, etc. etc. and easily searchable too!!! Musicians have no excuse because the basic page is FREE!

Bandcamp – just the music but, again, free and free streaming. You are guaranteed to hear the tunes when you visit an artists Bandcamp page. 

Sonicbids – yeah, despite my recent beef with the ‘bids, their EPKs have all the standard stuff. Though, searching the website can prove problematic without a direct link to your press kit. 

All this to say that I’m going to keep my Myspace page. I’ll probably also keep bitching about it but I’ll likely keep the grumblings to myself until some new feature makes me blow a fuse. 

On that note, can anyone tell me what will happen if I connect my Facebook to my Myspace? I’ll try a lot of things just to share the experience with you but, the longer I can keep my Facebook page from becoming like my Myspace page, the better. 

 

Laura Marie