Facebook for Musicians: FAQ #1

I have been receiving lots of great questions about the original Facebook tips for musicians post, so I decided to start addressing some of them directly on the blog.

From Richard S.

Hey Noah—

I agree with your general points; potential fans flock toward quality on their own terms. I also agree that the constant stream of facebook events can be annoying. But…

I checked my facebook page and it turns out that it doesn’t allow me to invite any of my ‘likers’ to events made by that page. The only way I can publicize an event made by a page is to make a status with the event in it. This does not guarantee that everyone who ‘likes’ my page knows about when/where I’ll be performing.

My conundrum: whenever I have a performance and do not invite all of my personal facebook friends to an event, after the gig a number of people say to me “dude, why didn’t you tell me you were playing in _______?” What would be a good way to eliminate that problem? Would you recommend I limit gig notifications to an e-mail list? etc.

Talk to you soon!
Richard S.

ANSWER:

Hi Richard,

Thanks for the comment. Having email list is a great way to remind people about your shows. If you have a website, make sure that it’s easy for people to 1. sign up for your email list, and 2. join you on your social media platforms. There are also other steps you can take to maximize the amount of people who follow you online. For example, under every YouTube video, ask people to find you on Facebook and put a link. That way, anyone who likes your music on YouTube has the chance to follow you on Facebook and receive all of your statuses and updates.

Other important tips to consider:

1. When you post. Make sure you post at times when the most people are online and active. I personally find that this is between 9:30pm and 12:00am given the musician demographic.

2. How often you post. You want to post at least once a day. However, the way Facebook works these days, your post will get lost if you don’t get lots of “likes” and comments, so it’s OK to post multiple times a day, every couple of hours (though I would change up the posts. Don’t just post the same thing over and over). You’ll probably reach different people each time.

I think for most musicians who read this post, there will have to be a transitional period between using their normal Facebook profile and their Facebook page. It takes time to build up your “likes,” and not all your fans will “like” your new page right off the bat. However, social media is really a word-of-mouth business. By providing value to those who follow you online, they will spread the word (or “share” it) and you will gain new fans.

The most important tip I can give you is to be as creative as possible. Before you write a post, think beforehand: “What would make me click on this link?” “What can I say about this that will provide value to those who read it instead of just straight up promoting my show?” That’s really what good marketing comes down to in general. Doing something surprising, creative, or valuable. You want to stand alone. When people thing “singer,” you want to be one of the first people they think of.

Example:

1. Post your event to your Facebook page and Pin it to the top of your page so that anyone who visits will see it first.

2. Come up with a really hilarious and creative poster/picture for your show and hopefully people spread it around and hundreds of people will be drawn to your page. (By the way, pictures have been proven to be the most viral form of media on Facebook.)

And there you go. Many people who like the poster will be drawn back to your page, where they will see the event at the top and hopefully join.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you have more questions.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please go to the top right of the home page and follow the blog! Also, please write me with any more questions or leave them as a comment below. 

Left Hand Technique: Taylor Eigsti

While I was at the Brubeck Institute, in Stockton, CA, I had the priviledge of working with a great young pianist, Taylor Eigsti. Taylor is one of my favorite people to study with and I go back to him for lessons whenever I feel in need of some inspiration. Whenever I feel bored with a subject, he instantly finds a way to challenge me. I have lots of great ideas and exercises that I will eventually get around to posting about that I have learned from Taylor, but I wanted to take a look at this video of him playing “Like Someone In Love.” You’ll notice that throughout the video he uses lots of great runs in his left hand to fill up space, acting as exciting, modern-sounding fills.

Twitter Tips for Musicians

Do you ever wonder how to market yourself as a musician by using a site like twitter? Because I wondered for a very long time.

So here’s how to use Twitter to your advantage.

Twitter is great for a couple reasons:

1. Everything you tweet (a tweet is basically like a little status update) is searchable. That means that Google will find your tweets if you include keywords in them (see the earlier post about using keywords if you don’t know what they are!).

2. Twitter is a constant gigantic conversation. If you look in the right places, you can meet lots of interesting people who could really help you down the road. (That being said, if you don’t look in the right places, you’ll find a lot of spam and people who really don’t care about what you’re doing.)

Some extra basics for new twitter users:

  • A tweet can be many things.
  • Everyone can see any of your tweets.
  • If you click reply, then you communicate with someone else by mentioning them in your tweet so that they see it. This doesn’t stop anyone else from seeing it.
  • When you click retweet (two overlapping arrows under a tweet), this basically just repeats what someone else tweeted as your own tweet.

The basic point of twitter is to gain followers and interact with them. You have to be constantly sending out tweets and “replying” to other people’s tweets. If you like someone else’s tweet, then you can “retweet” it out to the twitter world form you account.

How do you get followers? Well, there are lots of ways to get followers. Like all social media, what it comes down to is making sure you direct people to and from your twitter account. So, for example, if you have an email newsletter, make sure you have a link to your twitter account in the letter. If you have a website, make sure you have a link to your website on your twitter profile.

The only other sure way of gaining followers is by following people in the first place. There are some tricks to doing this effectively, however. I would highly discourage you from going out on twitter and following tons of random people for no reason.

Here’s a step by step. We’ll use the fictional example of jazz pianist John Sailor, who lives in New York, NY:

1. Make sure your profile description is concise and to the point. John’s will say: “Jazz pianist from New York, NY.”

2. Search for people with whom you have a common interest. John will search for keywords like “jazz pianist,” “new york jazz musician.” When you’re sorting through people, click on people’s names to make sure they use twitter frequently and aren’t spammers. Follow them.

3. Make sure to engage with anyone who tweets to you by replying to them and retweeting their tweets.

4. After a few days, you will need to unfollow the people who didn’t follow him back. Go to tweepi.com and sign in using the free version. You will click “flush.” This will allow you to unfollow people.

5. Follow back any people who follow you, after you make sure they’re not spammers, that is.

5. Repeat steps 1-5 and make sure you continue to tweet regularly!

Important extra tips:

  • If you sign up for a Hootsuite account, you can schedule lots of tweets in advance so that you don’t have to be on twitter quite as much.
  • Try changing your profile description every once in a while. This might help you attract new followers. For example, maybe John grew up in New Haven, Connecticut. He should put this in his description before he goes onto twitter and follows people from New Haven.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please go to the top right of the home page and click “follow.” Much more to come!

What Rachmaninov Can Teach Us About Improvisation

Note that Kissin is not a jazz pianist. Rachmaninov is not a jazz composer. But check out the first piano arpeggio in this movement of the piece. I once asked my room mate, a classical pianist, to try to improvise for me. I noticed something very intriguing. He already sounded better than a lot of jazz pianists I know just because he had such a vast classical vocabulary. He took the riffs and arpegios, etc. that he knew from classical music and applied them over chords. What jazz musicians often don’t realize is that they can do this too! There’s an infinite world out there of beautiful material that can be used. This arpegio is a great example of such an instance. It is very different from the typical jazz arpegio which tends to just arpegiate a chord, but Rachmaninov adds in extra notes for color and effect. Why not do the same jazzers?

Social Media for Musicians: The Importance of Keywords

Picture this. You’re a jazz saxophone player named Bill Chaplain and you’re wondering just how prominent you are on Google. So you search your name. Turns out, there’s another Bill Chaplain who’s a killer visual artist. He dominates the search results, and all the images in “google images” are of him and his art work. This will not do…

Then you search for “jazz saxophone new york city” just to see if you come up. Instead, you find all of the other crazy good saxophonists in NYC. Once again, looks like you need some work there, Bill.

OK. So how do we solve this problem? One answer. Keywords.

In every single blog post I write, you will notice a wealth of tags that go along with it. For example, I tagged this post with “marketing for musicians,” “social media” “music business tips,” and here’s the best part, “noah kellman.” Give google a couple of weeks, and this post will show up when you search my name.

Let’s get down to business. Here’s what you need to know:

In order to show up in google, you will need to have a lot of content on the internet, and you will have to link it all to yourself with keywords. Here’s a list of steps that will get you started and on your way to being a search results master:

  1. Write a list of keywords with which you would like to be associated. (Don’t just write “Britney Spears” because everyone likes her. There are already millions of people out there who do this, so it won’t work. And besides, remember the old phrase “quality over quantity?”
  2. Go to Flickr.com and create an account. Upload tons of photos of yourself and tag them with your keywords.
  3. Make a blog on wordpress.com. You can start by posting these pictures on the blog. If you like writing, then write on your blog! Otherwise, you can always post videos from shows, interviews, pictures, updates, news, etc. Your fans will love it. The key here is to make sure that:
  • The title of each post includes some keywords.
  • Your first sentence includes keywords.
  • You put your keywords in the post tags.

From now on, anytime you post anything on the internet, make sure that you include your keywords in any of the text describing it and use tags! This will help google find you and everything associated with you.

Good luck!

If you enjoyed reading this post, please go to the top right of the page and click “follow.” There will be much more to come!