Is Your Music for Everyone?

Liner Notes May 20, 2014

There are over 7 billion people in the world. Is your music perfect for all of them?

Michael Jackson, Jesus Christ and Elvis all are super-popular figures in our culture. What can their success/failure teach you about your music career?

Who is your music for? Chime in below…

How to Automatically Send Your Fans an MP3 Download

Every music marketing guru will tell you to offer your fans a free download of a song in exchange for their email address.

email an mp3 downloadBut how do get your song from your computer to theirs?

It may sound simple –just add the mp3 as an attachment to your email. Not so fast!

If you’re using an email service provider, then that’s not an option.

Email Service Providers, such as MailChimp, aWeber, Sendpepper and our own Music Fan Attractor, won’t allow you to attach a large file to an email.

Attachments from an email service look spammy to email filters. Gmail, Outlook and Yahoo all are on the lookout for spam and do their best to keep it out of your inbox. Because of virus threats, files are a major red flag to the spam filters.

Your email service provider knows this. They want your email to get delivered, so they protect you from yourself by not allowing you to attach a file.

Some services will allow you to attach a small file – usually less than 1MB. Others will only let you attach a PDF or JPEG. So what’s a musician to do? Here a few options…

email an mp3Send an email out manually

If someone signs up for your email list you could send them a manual email from your regular old email account with the song attached. If you only get a few email signups a month this might be practical. However, it doesn’t make for a very good experience for you or your new fan.

You’ll need to constantly be on the lookout for new signups. You’ll also need to find time to send each of them an email.

Your new subscriber won’t get their download instantly. Nowadays, folks are very impatient. If you wait more than an hour or two to send them their song they may forget they even requested it. You’ve lost the momentum and the excitement.

Generally, sending emails manually is a bad plan. Besides, there are much better ways to handle it.

Send them a link to Dropbox or Google Drive

Dropbox is a great way to get around using attachments. Simply upload your song to your Dropbox and email the new subscriber a link to the file.

If you don’t have Dropbox, you can do the same thing with Google Drive.

Dropbox and Google are better options than uploading the file to your website. You won’t be using up your hosts bandwidth and the files aren’t crawlable by Google. You’d hate for someone to be able to download your song without signing up on your list first!

Also, your hosting provider will likely frown on hosting your media files for you. Most of them explicitly prohibit hosting media files if you read their fine print. Download speeds are not always the faster either from your own website. Especially if you’re on a shared hosting plan.

That’s why Dropbox and Google Drive are better options.

Use Bandcamp or Bandzoogle

Both Bandcamp and Bandzoogle will send your new fan a download in exchange for their email address. As far as the delivery of your song goes it’s a pretty painless system.

Both systems have an option to select a song to give new subscribers of your list.

However, Bandcamp doesn’t have an email service. They stop at the delivery of the song. From there you’ll need to download the database of new subscribers and add them to your list. Not automatic.

Bandzoogle has an email service but without autoresponders built in. If you’re using email as a sales system for your music you absolutely need autoresponders. If you’re just doing monthly newsletters, then this may be an option for you.

email for musicUse an email service that hosts your mp3 files for you

A few email service providers will host your file for you and make it available for download from their servers. Our own Music Fan Attractor is one of those systems.

Music Fan Attractor hosts your song file (up to 10MB) on our super-fast Amazon S3 server. Your fans will get instant access to their requested song and it will download fast. Automatically!

And because we offer full-service setup of your autoresponder system, you don’t need to know anything about hosting files, or even setting up an email sequence. We’ll do it all for you!

That’s got to be the easiest way to get your songs to your fan yet!

 

 

 

Stand Out in iTunes and Keep Them Coming Back

Not including the full metadata in your free mp3 downloads can be devastating to your marketing efforts.

Take this screenshot from my iTunes as an example…

Metadata for mp3 song file

Take a look at the ratings column. You’ll notice there are several songs here that I’ve rated as three and four star. In my world that means I would like to hear more from that artist. But I can’t…

I have no idea who they are because they didn’t take the time to include the metadata as part of the file!

Maybe at one point I did know who they were. Somewhere someone gave me their song. More than likely, I received them as a free download from their website. I don’t remember, but somehow I ended up with their music on my computer.

I don’t always have time at the moment the file hits my iTunes to go in and add all the relevant data so I can find them later. But I shouldn’t need to.

It’s not my job!!

As a fan I shouldn’t have to fix your mp3 file so I can find you later. It’s basic marketing 101. Put your name on stuff.

Have you ever gotten a free pen from the bank and they DIDN’T put their name on it? If the bank is going to give out free pens they want you to remember where you got it and think about them. Maybe you’ll come back and open an account.

Same for your music. Don’t give it away without a way for people to find you in the future.

The basics of mp3 metadata

Metadata is hidden information within your mp3 file that identifies some standards about the song. Including

  • Artist
  • Track Title
  • Album Name
  • Album Art
  • Composer
  • Producer
  • Year
  • Genre
  • Lyrics
  • Almost infinite possibilities

This information is used by programs such as iTunes, Windows Media Player and others to display your song information in their directories.

 How to get your metadata in an mp3 file

If you’re a PC user then download this FREE mp3 tag editor. It’s the most powerful one I know of and it’s the one I use on a daily basis to edit client files.

edit mp3 file metadata

MP3 TAG

If you’re an Apple user, sorry. I don’t speak Mac.

You can use iTunes to edit your tags. However, a word of caution. Not all devices can read Apple’s data. Better to find a universal editor for your Mac.

 

I found a great tutorial video for using MP3 TAG. Watch this short video to get the basics of how to edit your file.

What fields to use

At an absolute minimum you should fill in the following fields:

  • Title
  • Album
  • Artist
  • Year
  • Genre
  • Album Art

If you are editing files to be given away as free downloads add your website URL to one of the fields. Make it easy for prospective fans to find you.

Follow these tips and you won’t get lost in the iTunes shuffle.

 

Summer Festival Marketing Strategies

Liner Notes May 6, 2014

Summer festival season is almost here!

What are you doing this year to take advantage of every live festival opportunity?

Summer festivals are tough, because the crowd is more than likely not there to see you. You’re playing for a large group of half-in-the-bag, distracted folks. What is your plan for getting them to take action and become a lifetime fan?

How will you approach festivals differently this year than last? Chime in below…

How Can You Copy Record Store Day?

Liner Notes April 22, 2014

Record Store Day is becoming more and more popular each year. How can you use the same concepts as Record Store Day to promote your music?

Did you get out on Record Store Day to your independent record store? Chime in below…

Don’t be the Enhancement Drug of Music

Liner Notes April 15, 2014

Adding people to your email list without permission is not a good idea. Not only will it not help you find more fans, it might also directly hurt your efforts to reach your existing fans.

How do you add fans to your email list? Do you ever blindly email someone? Chime in below…

How to Double Your Income From Music

Liner Notes April 8, 2014

There are many ways to make more money in music, but this week I focus on one of the simplest.

It’s often overlooked as artists rush to chase more fans and fame. But it really is one of the easiest ways to instantly increase your income.

Register for the PLUG networking event on April 15th.

What products/services do you offer to your fans to increase your average fan value? Chime in below…

A Brand New Record Label For Indie Artists

Liner Notes April 1, 2014

Edit *** Straight up – this a really lame April Fool’s prank. I’m leaving it up here for fun. But don’t believe anything you hear in this video 🙂 ***

This week I have the inside scoop on a new record label that’s coming to help indie artists.

Get the pre-release details in this video

Discover Elk Zoo Records http://elkzoo.com

Is Your Site Leaking Fans?

Liner Notes March 25, 2014

Are you inviting fans to leave your website before they even get settled?

It takes a lot of time, money and energy to get fans to your website. Don’t send them right out the back door before they have a chance to discover how awesome you are!

What links do you have on your site?  Shout out below…

I’m NOT Your Personal ATM

Liner Notes March 18, 2014

So many independent artists treat their email list like a personal ATM.

Fans didn’t sign up on your list to get the hard sell every time they open their email inbox. Here’s what they want instead.

What emails have you sent to your fans that they really got excited about?  Shout out below…