WordPress Websites for Musicians – An Interview with Middle Tennessee Music

artists-marketing-business-academy-interview-with-expertsI’ve been saying it for years, MySpace, Facebook, ReverbNation – I don’t care – If you are (or want to be) a Professional Musician or financially sustainable Band:

YOU MUST HAVE YOUR OWN WEBSITE!

 

Thanks to platforms like WordPress, building your own website or hiring someone to build it for you no longer has to cost thousands of dollars.

But whether you build it yourself, or you hire someone to do it, it is up to you to decide what goes in it, on it and how it looks and feels.  I’m thrilled to have 2 specialists in building websites for musicians, Josh and Bret, to help us figure out:

  • What must every Musician/Band website have?
  • To blog or Not to blog?
  • What are the best WordPress plugins for musicians’ websites?
  • How do you integrate and brand yourself from Social Media to your website?
  • And what about SEO?

We’ll be talking about this and more!

Additional Resources for this Interview:

List of Plugins from Josh and Bret:

  • Plugins
    akismet
    easy iframe loader
    tubepress and/or smart youtube
    wp smush.it
    wp dbmanager
    wp super cache
    wp touch (automatically optimizes site for mobile devices)
    nextgen gallery
    all in one seo
    simple google sitemap xml
    google analytics or statcounter
    shareaholic (aka sexy bookmarks)
    contact form 7 + download monitor + email before download = collect e-mail addresses for downloads
    tweetblender
    social media widget
    If you use Genesis Framework:
    genesis simple edits
    genesis simple hooks
    genesis simple sidebars
    genesis slider or wp-cycle (for slideshows)

Additional ArtistsMBA Classes on this Topic

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Middle Tennessee Music is comprised of C Bret Campbell and Joshua Smotherman:

Our Work

 

Joshua Smotherman, Bunks Media, Middle Tennessee MusicJoshua Smotherman‘s Bio:

Back in 1999, along with a childhood friend, I started writing, producing, and recording full-time as part of the hip hop duo, BUNKS.  With no desire to ever sign a recording contract with a big label, we decided to build our own label and to use the Internet to promote the music.

Back then, Social Media did not exist, but we had services such as MP3.com and Soundclick which allowed us to create profiles, upload music, and share it with listeners across the world.  Forums and Messages Boards were the go-to sites for interacting with the independent music community. Specifically in Hip Hop, large numbers of emcees, producers, and fans spent hours engaging in writing lyrics, sharing recordings, and collaborating on instrumentals.

When Myspace became the most popular social networking site in the U.S. in 2006, we dove head-first into Social Media and began sharing and promoting our music with the Myspace community.

Shortly after, it was YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, ReverbNation, and an ever growing list of social networking services.  It became hard to keep up with everything going on, but we quickly learned that the World Wide Web was changing, growing, and evolving on a daily basis.  It was necessary to learn and maintain flexibility as well as spend a few hours each day reading and researching the latest developments.

The more time we spent with Social Media, SEO, and all the research involved; the less time we had to focus on writing music, booking shows, and releasing albums, BUT…

Other bands, venues, and indie labels noticed our presence and began asking questions. Then they began asking for help. Then somewhere along the line people started paying us for our advice as well as asking us to oversee their Internet Presence (from the Website to all their Social Media accounts).  Things began taking off in unexpected directions but we rolled with the punches and soon realized the music community could use our help.

After years of learning, researching, and throwing ideas back and forth, Middle Tennessee Music was born.

Small Barn Sound, Middle Tennessee MusicC Bret Campbell‘s bio:

C Bret Campbell is owner of Small Barn Sound recording studio in Hillsboro, TN; known for it’s artistic vibe and down home feel. The philosophy at Small Barn is that beauty and integrity of performance comes first. The drive is a desire to see the underdog succeed.

He is also Vice President of Middle Tennessee Music. Founded in 2011 as a merging of Small Barn’s promotion services with those of BUNKS Multimedia, Mid Tenn focuses on independent musicians, labels, venues, publications and web partnerships. Along with free information and promotion services Mid-Tenn act as consultant, webmaster, and online marketing director for bands, artists, indie labels, radio promo companies, and others. We build, host and maintain websites, handle social media campaigns and help build the professional team that an artist on the rise needs.

Bret has been a musician for 35 years, and involved in the music community in some way or another all of that time. He is currently making music, and writing PR and reviews. He covers Social Media forThe Saturday Independent newspaper, the Tennessee music scene for 101 Distribution, and a multitude of topics on Mid Tn and Small Barn Sound. He also organizes and participates in charity concerts for several organizations.

He is blessed to be a happily married father of 3 beautiful children who constantly give him inspiration to be the best he can be.

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S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Step 4: How to Create The Plan

Artists MBA, Professional ProgramOnce they’ve set a goal, most people make the mistake of jumping right into action doing the stuff they think they should.

Which may get them to a level of success, but more often they get stuck at that level, because they are only doing what they already know to do –

And they don’t know what they don’t know!

Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing. Thomas A. Edison

Create the Plan is the 4th Step in the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Roadmap to Success.  In my experience, people who try to go after their goal without first creating a plan often have sadly limited success and may even quit on their goal at the first sign of a challenge or obstacle. A plan will enable you to:

  • Work through or around obstacles
  • Maintain momentum in the face of challenges and distractions
  • Take advantage of serendipity and opportunities that come your way.

In this class, you’ll learn:

  • The 3 things that stop you from making a plan
  • What to do with the results of the first 3 steps of the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Roadmap to Success
  • A fast, simple and natural way to create the plan for any goal or project
  • Some tips and tricks for implementing and moving forward with the plan

They say that Luck = Opportunity + Preparedness

Creating the Plan will help you be Prepared for the Opportunities!

Additional Resources for this Class:

Prerequisite Classes:

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Read the Class Transcript

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