Friday, January 29, 2010

Building a personal music brand with blogs and RSS...

Blogging is an indispensable tool for building a personal brand online. RSS feeds provide a slick way to manage blogs and stay on top of your online community. Here are a few things musicians may find useful:
  • If you are using a Mac, as many musicians are, you can add a folder to your Bookmark Bar for your favorite music related blogs. When viewing a site in Safari, click the RSS button in the URL address field. The page will change into a list of all blog posts for this site. The view can be customized with the tools in the right sidebar. Add a bookmark to the folder you have created for this page. When new posts are added, a number indicating new posts will appear to the right of your bookmark (as well as the Bookmark Bar folder). You can do the same thing with any RSS reader, but this is particularly easy with Safari.
  • Review your favorite blogs each day and add comments to posts you are interested in. Be sure to direct folks back to your blog or website to keep the connection and conversation going. This is a simple, effective way to stay connected with like-minded musicians and industry bloggers.
  • You can use RSS feeds to deliver customized content in any number of other ways as well. For example, if you are looking for a job, you can create a custom search at (or any number of other sites), view as RSS and bookmark. This is much more efficient and manageable than sorting through piles of daily email notifications.
  • Make sure that your website and blog are set up for RSS so that your community can follow you and easily engage in the conversation.
  • If you visit topical websites that are not RSS enabled (for example, local live music listings wherever you may be), let the site owners know that you want to subscribe to an RSS feed.
RSS is a powerful tool that will help you to keep your blog current and communicate with your community, whether you are at home, on a laptop somewhere, or using a mobile device.

Just remember, always be authentic in your communication. Before you hit the 'post' button ask yourself if you really have something to say that is adding value and coming from a deeper personal place.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Support live music in LA...

One of the things I have really enjoyed since moving to Los Angeles a few years ago is the incredible wealth of skilled musicians living here. The boom years of the recording industry attracted and developed a remarkable pool of talent. One could work in music in this town for decades and still not meet half of the great players and writers.

The live instrumental music scene in LA is perplexing. Any night of the week you can hear world class musicians that would be A Big Event anywhere else, particularly outside of the United States, yet the local scene never seems to take off. I would love to do my part to instigate change. One of the best ways to start change in a difficult situation is to figure out what's already working and do more of that. On that note I have some ideas to start a conversation with local music fans:

  1. CD release parties and special gigs always seem to be well attended by friends who generally spread the word. Even if you don't get out to see all the shows you would like, keep track of what's happening each week in the clubs and post upcoming gigs by your favorite artists on Facebook, Twitter, your blog. It only takes a minute.
  2. Email artists you like. Get on their mailing lists. Ask them what they are doing to promote local music and what you can do to help. Are they using social networking and the web to it's fullest potential? What clubs do they like best and where do they see the most potential growth? Let them know you're a fan!
  3. Become a fan of local musicians and venues on Facebook, etc. Comment on gigs you like and let the club owners know what's working.
  4. Blog about local music. Spread videos and recommendations.
  5. If you don't know where to find great live instrumental music contact me and I'll share what I know!
Any other ideas?