Monthly Archives: July 2014

THE HIGH PRICE OF EXPOSURE

One of the greatest EntreMusician moments I’ve experienced occurred in Summer 2010, Downtown Youngstown, when SounDoctrine released “Inspire.” I was sharing with Wilma that the CD was finally out. While talking, she was toying with her phone and then flatly refused to purchase the CD I’d reached into my bag to hand her. Noting my awkward surprise, she turned her phone around to show me the album artwork, smiling, “I just bought it from iTunes!”

“Very Cool!” I thought. “The New Music Biz is Working Great!

I had always utilized the aggregate CD Baby since our first release, “Perseverance” in 2002. As the technology expanded, I would sign up for the new music services – blithely agreeing to them all. The Wilma moment convinced me I had made the right decision.

When we released “Endurance” in 2006, I noticed that CD Baby offered more options, including signing up for services which ‘Did Not Pay,’ implying those sites would increase our Exposure…

Now there’s a word I’d wrestled with before, mostly with promoters, asking us to travel, pay for our own gas, food & lodging, play multiple sets, sometimes multiple venues for ‘showcases,’ ‘workshops’ and ‘conventions,’ all in the Almighty Name of EXPOSURE…Sometimes I flatly refused, but most often I’d jumped at the chance, hoping and a wishin’ and losing more than a few band members along the way. Money Talks. Dreams Scream.

The download and streaming thing, however, seemed fresh and exciting. You know, ‘The Long Tail’ leading to the Grammy acceptance speech and all. But watching companies like Pandora, Spotify & ITunes Radio boast profits in the Millions* and Billions** on the backs of Songwriters & Artists who look at royalty statements that compute to about $0.00087 a track, even with a couple thousand Wilmas listening, means your day job IS far more promising.

I’ve seen cats dial up SounDoctrine on Spotify and listen to our songs with glee. It’s bittersweet to know you’re immediately accessible but won’t be paid for the access. It’s not so sweet watching your manager refuse to add up zeros to try and make a penny. It’s akin to the Seinfeld episode where Jerry’s hands are crinkled and sore from signing all of those foreign 12 cent checks. Most bands would kill for one million 12 cent checks.

On the performance side of the coin, companies like Sonicbids take the Promoter thing to an entirely new level by making the Artist pay for the right to be be exposed to knowledge of the gig and then pay again for asking for the opportunity to play. Gigmasters acts more like an online booking agent, but unlike living, breathing agents (unscrupulous as some can be), you can’t see them fight for you. Radio Play charges you directly for ‘plays’ and in no time at all, you can amass a spitload of email addresses of “fans” who never email you back. Ever.

Needless to say, I’ve been over & over this issue of EXPOSURE. Having done all of this, I’m not comfortable telling you Not To. I am very confident in saying that the price of Exposure cost you real money, real time for very little ROI. Stay Creative. Be Vigilant and Persevere. Build Your Friendship from the Ground Up and make Your Website the main stop for your artistry.

*http://goo.gl/2YMw92
**http://goo.gl/pIqmIt
**http://goo.gl/yUPmI3

I’ve been listening to mixes I’m preparing for Janis Jones. We begin recording next week.

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

BREAK A TAKE!

I am blessed to be posting today from an undisclosed location with the ocean right outside my window. My beautiful wife Lori & I arose extra early to sit out on the beach with our toes in the sand to watch the sunrise. Truthfully, other than a few power weekends, it’s been a looong time since we’ve taken a ‘real’ vacation, so the sabbatical was completely overdue!

Taking this week off has reinvigorated my thinking about the entire concept of EntreMusicianship and the myriad of ways music can flow through us, on the beach, in the pool or from the hotel balcony. In future blogs, I will share more of what I am processing, but today I want to introduce new technology that will keep your creativity stoked!

There’s this Incredible new app from Propellerheads called TAKE.

If, like me, you’ve hummed, whistled, burped, spit or worse into the Voice Memo on your iPhone, to get as close to your song idea before losing it, then you are going to adore this app. The Propheads have tweaked the memo to the exact space EntreMusicians have needed since day one.

And it’s FREE!

There are three unique tracks to overdub, mix and edit with a variety of beats, a click track, tempo and the ability to share your noise online (albeit with one potential drawback*). Like everything else Propellerheads does, TAKE is Super Easy, Intuitive and will more than likely spark a bold revolution in mobile recording.

You already know that my signature production software is REASON, so anything these guys & gals do has my immediate attention. In the few short hours I have played with TAKE, I am overwhelmed with its potential and certain that no idea will ever elude me again, unless my phone is…

*There is only slight one pause I have with TAKE, albeit a personal one. In order to share your ideas online, you must allow others to be able to use and remix or mangle your song. I know this totally works on platforms where this behavior is expected, but for those of us who are looking toward other benefits of our original expressions, this type of sharing may be prohibiitive.

Another option is to output your mixes through the headphone jack into another recorder. I just know the day will come when Propellerheads will allow us REASONers to upload straight into the program which beckons an entirely new era EntreMusicians are ready for!

Enjoy Your Vacation! Mine’s almost over!

I was listening to the rhythm of the sea as I typed this.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Big Enough WHY

WHY is the foundation of every endeavor. WHY is the cornerstone of every great organization. WHY is the only WHAT that Matters.

HOW Always Plays Second Fiddle to WHY.
It never really matters HOW, if your WHY is On Point.

In Fact, if Your WHY is Big Enough, then HOW will Always Obey.
WHEN will take care of itself.

If Your WHY is Huge, You Can Pursue Your Dream with No Money, Zero Connections and a less than perfect Business Plan. In fact, A Hefty WHY can sustain you against multiple failures, losing tons of money and encourage you while you sleep in Your (or a friend’s) car.

Never fear, a Big Fat WHY will eventually lead to your Success

However, If Your WHY is a tiny little thing, it doesn’t matter how sterling the silver spoon you were born with or your uncle’s last name. A puny WHY ensures you’ll venture off course, become easily distracted and employ the wrong priorities. Little whys lead to larger HOWS, and a ton of them. Many of which you could’ve avoided if you’d began only began with a Super Sized WHY!

WHERE Are You?

You are never too far down the road to stop and begin again. In fact, you will be forced to if you’ve left home with a WHY way too small…

I stopped to write this blog while mixing a 25 year old funk track called “Love Roulette” coming to a groove near you!

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Broad Shoulders: Here a Mentor, There a Mentor (Final of 3)

I’ve spent the last two weeks discussing both the importance of & how you find and maintain Mentorship.

Today I discuss the equal necessity of being mentored by those you will probably never meet. Having expert access 24/7 makes a world of difference and continually sharpens you. I admit that I have mentioned these people and their books in past posts, but since they continue to strengthen and transform my thinking, their names and work bear repeating. For brevity, I am not going to rave on and on about them. Just know I’m sharing the real juice with you!

John Maxwell. Enough Said.

Michael Hyatt.
I am a monthly subscriber to Platform University. It’s around $30 a month. I got in early before the price increase
. His books, podcasts and blogs are constant inspiration and instruction.

Dave Ramsey. Read his book “EntreLeadership” – Join The Movement.

Seth Godin….Read It ALL!

Seven Books No EntreMusician Should Be Without:

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen R Covey
This Business of Music – Shemel/Krasilovsky
Integrity – Dr.Henry Cloud
Visioneering – Andy Stanley
Dreaming With God – Bill Johnson
All You Need to Know About The Music Business – Donald S Passman
To Be Loved – Berry Gordy

I am in the middle of the final mix of Jim Couchenour’s brilliant tune, “After All” for my band SounDoctrine

We are preparing to send it to a Grammy Winning Artist who has agreed to Guest on it. I haven’t listened to anything else in a week!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

BROAD SHOULDERS: Don’t Leave Home Without Them! (Part Two)

Every EntreMusician must have a Mentor!

It’s Not an Option!

To progress your life and career further than you could ever take it alone, you need to straddle the shoulders of someone (or those) willing to pour into you Clarity, Guidance, Wisdom and the Experience of the Journey.

As noted in previous posts, I have two mentors – Actually, “Spiritual Dads”: Pastor David L. Thomas and James Couchenour, Sr. Both, Men of Faith. Neither, a Musician (though Pastor Thomas dabbled with the guitar early in his career). Each reek of profound vision and Each balance risk & practicality daily in leading people of all walks of life through planting, growing and building churches and businesses.

Below, I share four tips on establishing a healthy, essential relationship once you’ve found someone willing to invest in you. But first a couple of guidelines in what to look for in a mentor.

I suggest being gender specific relationships with one who shares your primary life experiences: married, single, children, etc. They should be at least 10 or more years older and significantly more advanced in life and career – not necessarily the presidents of their organizations – but squarely in a position of leadership and influence. Again, I stress, they need not be in the same industry as you, but are able to look into your life and give proper insight. Finally, they should be broken. Someone willing to admit their faults, share their mistakes; what they’ve learned and how they’ve grown. You’re searching for transparency.

Now on Your Part:

1) Be Available, Flexible & Reliable

Your willingness to meet at their convenience, especially at the beginning
of mentorship will establish trust. Chances are their schedules are far
more unyielding than yours (or you’ve got the wrong dude/dudette). Be
prepared to reschedule as needed and once the appointment is set, have
your booty there – even if it’s 5:00AM! By the way, Pay the Check & Leave
the Tip!!

2) Be Teachable & Truthful

That’s All. Leave Your Genius in the Car – Even if you think you know
more. As Your Relationship Develops, You Can & Should Offer Your
Perspective, but only because it needs sharpened and honed. On matters
where you may disagree with their advice, you should be willing to have
iron clad reasons why (and many of them), but still be willing to be
molded by their insight. And ALWAYS be Truthful. If you’re working on a
project and it’s losing money or going sour, don’t pretend and try to
impress them. Admit your weakness(es) and get the help you need!

3) Ask, Ask, Ask!

Your Mentor has taken time out of their lives to provide help. They are not
with you to play chess or talk sports (at least not at first!) Use your given
time wisely by arriving with a notebook of questions and plow through
them, writing down the answers. If you happen to not finish them all,
(you most likely won’t) ask your mentor if you can email them and discuss
them at your next meeting or if they could simply respond to the email at
their convenience.

4) Do Your Homework

Apply what you’ve learned as soon as possible. Share their advice with
your team so you all grow together. The next time you meet with your
mentor, let them know what you’ve done with their advice and how it is
helping and then ask for MORE!

Next Week I will discuss a few online mentors I have and books which have shaped my EntreMusicianal Mindset.

I’m listening to the incomparable Joe Henderson’s Grammy Winning “So Near…So Far” as I write this and have had to stop and shake my head many, plenty times!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,