Sales and Marketing

How to Integrate Social Media into Your Multiple Streams Business

Artists MBA, Professional ProgramWith Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Reverbnation, Instagram, Youtube and on and on), you have an unprecedented opportunity to connect with, interact with and deepen your relationship with your fans, clients and customers – FOR FREE! For every artist who is taking great advantage of these tools, there are thousands of you who are using them poorly, quitting after a few weeks, or even avoiding them all together.  And I say, what a wasted opportunity!

In this class, we will examine:

  • Why you absolutely MUST be active in social media to build a profitable business in the 21st Century
  • How to use the Multiple Streams model to make your Social Media strategy effective and efficient
  • The top 3 mistakes to avoid with Social Media
  • How to use Social Media to your best advantage for all 8 steps of the Multiple Streams model

No matter what business you’re in, you simply cannot afford to miss this opportunity.

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Your Tuition ($79 per month) includes all Foundation level classes PLUS the Professional level classes PLUS the Time Management Mastery Course & App.

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Ready to get serious? Enroll in the Artists Marketing & Business Academy Professional Program to access these classes today!

Your Tuition ($79 per month) includes all Foundation level classes PLUS the Professional level classes PLUS the Time Management Mastery Course & App.

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Marketing for Musicians

This is a post I put up on the FAR-West list-serve (Folk Alliance Region-West).  It got a fair bit of reaction and so I thought I’d share it with you.

Warning – a bit of a rant here… And I expect I’ll be flamed, but that’s just fine with me, because one of my jobs as a coach is to say the things people don’t want to hear, but need to hear in order to get their goals – OK, here goes:

One of my pet peeves, is the level of resentment I see from artists against artists who’ve learned the business side of the music business.  As if that
somehow demeans their validity as an artist.  Or the validity of their music as an expression.

Artists who are also good at marketing – are what we call – um -professional.

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2 Lessons from American Idol – Top 11

In last week’s American Idol episodes, I felt there were 2 lessons worth exploring.  The first has to do with the choices the Contestants were making – and you’re making as an artist whenever you create.  I felt that the American Idol Contestants fell into two categories.  The first are Artists who were making decisions and choices that were about the music.  These Contestants consistently get feedback from the judges that they know who they are as artists.

So, what does that mean?  I don’t think it means that they know what genre or type of music they should be classified as.  It’s more that they are focusing on songs that suit their instrument (their voice) and then invest time and energy to serve the music in a way that is uniquely theirs.

Lesson 1: Focus on expressing yourself in a truly unique way that serves the art and the audience.

Miley Cyrus put it really well when Katie asked her what she does when she gets negative feedback – and Miley said – “You have to remember why you’re doing this – it’s about the music.”Which makes a huge assumption.  I think with some of these contestants and perhaps many of the musicians in the world trying to “make it” in the music industry.  For some of them, it’s NOT about the music.  It’s about ego.  It’s about the fame, fortune, or filling some emptiness inside of themselves – not by making art, but by getting attention and recognition.  It’s not about the music.

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3 Lessons from American Idol – Top 24

OK – yes, I’m a few weeks behind in my American Idol viewing.  Let’s face it – the artificially inflated suspense (3 hours for the Top 24 results? Gimme a break!) just didn’t compete with the actual suspense available in the Olympics.

For Season 9, I will be commenting on AI every week, so I’ll catch up shortly.  I’m sure many blogs will be talking about this – but my perspective isn’t about who should win or lose.  It’s not about are the judges drunk or whether this contestant is gay or that contestant is cute – seriously…

I will be listing the lessons a music business professional can learn about how to create success promoting your career and your music.

In the episodes where they announced the top 24, there was one contestant in particular that I found very interesting.  Jessica Furney, when handed the very sad news that for the second season having made it to Hollywood Week, she would not be chosen to participate, did something very interesting.

First she begged – not only unattractive, but really not effective.  What, did she think they’d change their minds?  After 8 seasons, we’ve seen the judges overrule the audience’s vote and we’ve seen the judges change the rules to allow an extra person in.  But we’ve NEVER seen them change their minds.

Begging just made Jessica feel bad about herself and did not move her closer to her goal.  And when she realized that it wasn’t working, she changed tactics.  Well, that’s just BRILLIANT!

Lesson One: When you notice your strategy isn’t working, try something different.

I love that flexibility.  And then, she made a very interesting choice in tactic.  She asked for feedback.

Lesson Two: There is no failure – Only feedback!

Now asking for feedback can be a tricky thing.  (I’ll be writing a Words to the Wise Newsletter article about how to avoid the pitfalls when asking for feedback, so be sure to subscribe to the Newsletter, if you haven’t already.)   And sure enough, Jessica fell into one of the key pitfalls.

She asked a bad question.

Lesson Three: Ask Good Questions!

Jessica asked a question that was sure to illicit information that would NOT be useful.  She asked (I’m paraphrasing here) – “What did the top 24 do that I didn’t do?”  And Simon Cowell answered very clearly, “They sang better.”  Well, duh, no kidding.  But that’s not really useful feedback is it?

So what could she have asked, that might have yielded more useful feedback?  Here are some suggestions off the top of my head:

  1. How can I improve my singing?
  2. What should I work on to improve for next year? (this is a bit broader – not just about the voice, but the whole package)
  3. What song choices would you recommend for me?
  4. What did I do right, so I can do more of that?
  5. If there were one thing that you would have changed if you were my coach, what would it be?

Notice that these questions are very specific, and yet open ended (not “yes” or “no” questions) and they were questions focused more on the future than on the past.  They also didn’t ask “why”.  See, Jessica asked a “Why” question in disguise – why didn’t you pick me?  Why questions are generally not useful from a feedback perspective.  Because they elicit reasons why or why not.  The reasons aren’t that helpful, as we saw here.  What will be helpful are the answers to “how” and “what” questions.

What question would you have asked if you were in Jessica Furney’s shoes?

So to review, the 3 lessons for me were:

  1. When you notice your strategy isn’t working, try something different.
  2. There is no failure – Only feedback!
  3. Ask useful questions.

What did you learn from this episode of American Idol?  And how can you apply that to your music career?

And a word for Jessica, if you happen to be reading.  You made it further this year than last year.  Keep building on your success.

Social Media Do’s and Don’ts

Just read a great blog post with an overview of Do’s and Don’ts in the Social Media world.

The How To’s of Social Media

(Resource no longer available)

By Talia DeVault
Having just returned from a Bay Area Women in Film event on “Utilizing Social Media,” I felt compelled to share the knowledge of the creative professionals that spoke on the panel…

There’s a lot of great suggestions here and it gives a good overview of SoMe etiquette. I recommend reading it (resource no longer available).

I added a comment there and wanted to expand a bit here:

Excellent review! Thank you. I’d like to add a few do’s and don’ts:

DO automate your promotional and repetitive tweets (remember, the stream is moving so fast, that any message should be tweeted 2-3 times a day), AND be sure to personalize your connection with your friends/followers – respond, engage, be a resource. That CAN’T be automated and must be real and must be your voice.

DON’T be the same across the medium – DON’T automatically push your tweets to facebook to linkedin, etc. Different mediums require a different kind of interaction. I think of it this way:

Linkedin is the business networking event
Twitter is the cocktail party
Facebook is dinner with friends.

You wouldn’t wear the same out fit or have the same demeanor at the networking event as you would either at the cocktail party or dinner with friends.  What works and doesn’t work in real life works and doesn’t work on social media.

In addition, think of blogging and your email newsletter as an opportunity to build value and familiarity with your fans and clients – and both need to be different from each other as well. I don’t know about you, but I hate getting the exact same message from 5 different places – I’m likely to unfollow and unsubscribe so I only get the information once.  Blogging is like an ongoing conversation.  It doesn’t need to be long or drawn out, because you’ll be back again soon.

Your newsletter needs to be a bit more formal, very value driven as well as bringing your list deeper into relationship with you.

And the concept that underpins all of it, is that people buy from those they know, like and trust.  Your goal in Social Media should be to establish yourself as an expert, and allow your fans, followers, friends and customers/clients to get to know you, like you and trust you.

Twitter for Artists – An Interview with Carla Lynn Hall

artists-marketing-business-academy-interview-with-expertsIf you’re not using, or haven’t gotten the hang of, Twitter yet, it’s a great social networking tool that enables you to get your point across in 140 characters or less. It’s a great way to start and build relationships in less time than it take to send an email.

People who are unfamiliar with Twitter often get bored before they see the opportunity that’s available. If you’ve given up on your Twitter account, or want to learn how you can use it to build your business, this workshop is for you!

In this class you’ll discover:

  • How to get followers
  • How to promote your gigs, music, photography, etc
  • How to get new visitors to your website
  • How to meet and communicate with fans and industry professionals

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Carla Lynne Hall

Debra Russell, Artists Marketing and Business Academy, Carla Lynn Hall, Twitter, social media, outsourcing, Social Networking, Sales and Marketing, internet marketing, listCarla Lynne Hall is a musician and music marketing consultant based in New York City. Her mission is to make music and share her knowledge with other musicians. As a musician, she has released three CDs on her own label, and has toured the world as a singer/songwriter, and professional vocalist. In addition, she also has spent a number of years behind the scenes in the music industry, in publishing, management, publicity, and radio promotion.

Carla is the host of Musicians Lunch, a monthly musician’s gathering in NYC, and other cities around the US. Carla has given indie music lectures at many venues, including ASCAP, Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, The Indie Music Forum, and Philadelphia Music Conference.

Get more information about Carla and check out her ebook – Twitter for Musicians at:

Twitter For Musicians

Debra Recommends John Braheny

Debra Russell recommends, John Braheny, Craft and Business of Songwriting, Music Business

From left: Joann Braheny, Debra Russell, John Braheny

I met John Braheny and his wife Joann several years ago at the West Coast Songwriter’s Conference and they introduced me to Michael Laskow, CEO of TAXI. When I recommend a place to get expert feedback on your songwriting – John is always one or two or three names on the list.

John is in demand as a top consultant for songwriters, performers and industry entrepreneurs. He is a consultant and screener for, the worlds leading independent A&R company and offers valuable feedback on songwriting craft and business and career strategies for performers.  He is one of the most respected people in the music industry, and, more specifically, in the songwriting community. He is referred to as “the songwriter’s best friend” for his tireless efforts to create education and discovery opportunities for songwriters, to help bring public attention to songwriting as an art form and to champion songwriters’ rights. His activities in these areas include:

It is with devastating sorrow that I give you the news that John Braheny has left us.  On January 19th, 2013, John died of cancer.  He will no longer be able to teach you songwriting in person.  He will no longer be offering in person songwriting and music business advice to songwriters.  But his brilliance lives on in his book and the videos he did for TAXI TV.  And in our hearts.  We miss you, John.

John’s book – Craft and Business of Songwriting

John’s Website –



Debra Recommends Ann Evanston – Social Networking Coaching Club

Debra Russell recommends, internet marketing, Social Media Marketing, Ann Evanston, Warrior-Preneur, twitterI took a Twitter Technology class with Ann and I learned SO much, that I signed up for her Social Networking Coaching Club. I’ve been learning a lot – and really diving deep into the social networking world as a result of her support! Many of the principles I teach my Members and clients I learned at her knee!

I recommend Ann and her Social Networking Coaching Club! She is committed to teaching the strategies and tactics to successful social networking to grow your business, increase traffic, and generate revenue!

Most people do NOT understand the social psychology of how to market their business online without wasting tons of time and energy. Truly build credibility and have your marketing go “viral” with this system!

The Social Networking Coaching Club provides a customized coaching process, online rather than 1:1 which is far more costly! Get results quickly and feedback specific for what YOU are trying to achieve!

Growing your business online makes smart business sense these days. Learning how to do it right the first time is critical. There are many people out there who claim to be “Social Media Experts.” And they charge some pretty nice fees to “coach” people to improve their online marketability. There are also many people out there trying to be “helpful” but have no clue of how to extend strategic help!

What Ann says about her experience with Social Networking:
I am a HUGE fan of social networking – it has expanded my internet presence and closed business for me. As a matter of fact I ran 3Q numbers and I have pulled $30,000, and a book and radio deal for business in 2008 from social networking! (Oh, and I was a featured speaker at BizTechDay – I loved the “heavy hitters” I got to play with that day!)  The opportunities are endless on the internet! And if you practice what is in my Social NetWORKing article you can be successful at it!

If you are serious about true social networking to grow your business, not shoving your business at everyone (it gets old!) then this site is for you! Learn the secrets for success! Go to the Social Networking Coaching Club to sign up or learn more!




Debra Recommends Ning – Create Your Social Network

Debra Russell recommends, Artist's EDGE, Ning, Social Networking is a very cool thing!  Ning lets you create your own social network and/or join others.

Based in Palo Alto, Calif., Ning offers an easy-to-use technology platform enabling you to create and join Ning Networks for your interests and passions.

With over 1.3 million Ning social networks created and more than 30 million registered members, millions of people every day are coming together across Ning to explore and express their interests, discover new passions, and meet new people around shared pursuits.

Ning also enables artists, brands and organizations to simplify and control their online presence with their own unique Ning Network that beautifully integrates with other social media services while providing the most direct, unique and lucrative relationship with fans, consumers and members.

Founded in October 2004 by Gina Bianchini and Marc Andreessen, Ning launched the Ning Platform in October 2005 and Ning social networks in February 2007.

Check out Ning!




Debra Recommends Patrick Schwerdtfeger Internet Marketing Expert

patrick-l1I met Patrick in 2006 through his San Francisco Bay Area Meetup – The Entrepreneur and Small Business Academy.  I am tremendously impressed with his vast knowledge of marketing on the internet, SEO and social media marketing.

Patrick is, frankly, a self-described geek and ridiculously passionate about all things internet marketing.  And he has a way of using his passion to make this stuff comprehensible and actually interesting to those of us non-technical people.  I’ve attended several workshops he’s taught and interviewed him for the Artist’s EDGE Membership.  His class for the Membership garnered more enthusiastic feedback than any other class or interview I’ve done.

I strongly recommend Patrick’s books, classes, and CD’s if you want to learn about promoting your business on the internet.

Check out Patrick Schwerdtfeger and Tactical Execution.