Sales and Marketing

3×5 Contact Management System

Back in the good old days, before such things as computerized contact management systems, salesmen created a physical contact management system.  I learned this system many years ago, while working in the Network Marketing world.  For those of you who prefer the tactile sensation of a physical contact management system, but are finding that just having an address book or a notebook or a pile of papers isn’t working for you, try this:

Supplies (links go to the site for purchase):

  • Index Cards (3×5 or 4×6)
  • 2 Index card file boxes (also 3×5 or 4×6)
  • 3 sets of dividers (size appropriate to the cards you choose):

Set one box up with the numbers in front and the months in back appropriate to the current date.
e.g. – Today is May 8th.  You would have May, 8, 9, 10….31, June, 1-7, July, Aug…..
As each day passes, you put that number tab divider into the next month.

The second box is set up with the A-Z tabs.

For each contact, you make up 2 cards.  One card just has name, address, phone number, and basic information and that card is filed in the second box alphabetically. (For easy access by name).

The second card is an ongoing tracking of every interaction you have with that person.  So let’s say you meet someone at a networking meeting on 5/1.  You make your first call with them today 5/8 to gauge interest in your services.  They are going on vacation next week for 2 weeks.  They are interested but could you call them back after 5/21.

You make a note of all the pertinent details on the card under 5/8 (where are they going on vacation, any personal details they mention, the fact that they are interested, etc.).  You also make a note on the card “5/21 f/u call to pursue booking a gig (or whatever).”   Then you file that card behind the #21 divider.  If a contact says, call me back after the summer, you file their card behind the September tab.  Always noting what the next action is on the card.  Assume that you have no short term memory.  Write everything down.  Any information they give you about themselves, their circumstances, what they’re looking for, everything gets written down.

Each day you check that day’s divider and take any actions scheduled for that day.  Every contact should have a future action scheduled unless they have unequivocally said, “No thank you.”  Then you can decide to either toss the card (if they were a jerk about it), or clip it to their alphabetically filed 2nd card.  You never know when they may call you in the future or send you a referral.

In this way, nothing ever falls through the cracks.  Even if you only work your business 3 days a week, you just check the actions for the days preceding.  Any calls you didn’t get to today, immediately re-file under a future date.

This system can be modified for 3 ring binders or accordion files.  Whatever works for you.  What’s nice about the index card is that it is incredibly portable.  What’s challenging is the lack of space for copious notes.  You can also get creative using colors.  For example, venue owners could be one color, agents/managers another color, fellow artists yet a third color.  Whatever makes you happy, helps keep you organized and supports you in taking action!

PR vs. Advertising

Small Business owners who do not have a background in marketing often confuse PR (public Relations) and advertising.  Advertising refers to a very specific thing – buying space/time in a public medium such as print, radio, TV, or billboard.  Public relations refers to everything else we do to promote ourselves and our business.

Frankly, unless you’ve got a serious marketing budget, it hardly pays these days to advertise.  The point is to create name recognition and visibility.  And in order to do that with advertising, even in a small market, you have to spend serious cash over a long period of time.   The generally agreed upon statistic is 7-15 exposures to your name/brand to even begin to create name recognition through advertising.

So, as a small business owners – the key is niche marketing (not niche advertising) using a global approach to reach a very small targeted niche segment of the market.  By global I mean – all the avenues within your reach:

  • Live events
  • Media Exposure (print, radio, tv) through press releases, interviews, etc.
  • Social Networking (FaceBook, Twitter, MySpace, Linked-in, etc)
  • In person networking (going to where your niche is hanging out)
  • Internet Marketing (including blogging, pay-per-click, SEO, etc.) driving people to your website (where you have created a single action for them to take – that gives you their name and email)
  • Sponsoring, volunteering and community service

How do you do all of this while working a job, raising a family, having a life?  You absolutely must have a plan and time management/project management systems in place.  Because these things all need to happen with some consistency in order to create success.

And you need to include follow-up for the leads that these things create.  Because if you don’t follow-up, the energy that you initiate with these activities will very quickly dissipate.

Multiple Streams Step 5: Generate Traffic

Artists MBA, Professional ProgramThe temptation is to start building your Multiple Streams of Art/Music Business here. But the magic of this process is created in Steps 1-4.

Do you have a website?  Or is it a cobweb?  Are you a rest-stop or did your site get bypassed by the information super-highway?

Do you have a mailing list (either email or snail mail)?  When you have an event, do people show up?

The major purpose of marketing, for any business, is to create awareness and desire for you and your product.  You can have the finest quality product.  But if no one knows about it – how can you create a prosperous living?

This isn’t about forcing people or manipulating people.  It’s about giving people the information they need to make up their own minds and then making it easy for them to take action.

But how do you do that?  In this class, we explore:

  • The three main sources of traffic
  • How to use your knowledge of your niche (established in Steps 1 through 4) to create awareness and desire
  • How to generate high-quality traffic
  • How to use the internet as the least expensive and most expansive traffic generating tool.

Additional Resources for this Class:

Prerequisite Classes:

Listen to the Class:

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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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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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Debra Recommends TAXI

Debra Russell recommends, music business, success skills, marketing, record deals, music publishing, A&R, licensing

I’ve been working with TAXI as a speaker for the yearly conference, the Road Rally, since 2005.  I’ve come to know many TAXI Members, as well as Michael Laskow and the other staff who tirelessly work to help their members create a prosperous living doing what they love.

I can without hesitation recommend TAXI Membership to anyone who wants to take their music to the next level through licensing to Film, TV and music libraries, who wants to be exposed to A&R reps in their genre without having to move to LA, New York or Nashville.

If you join TAXI on my recommendation, you will receive a $25 rebate for your first year’s dues from me.  In order to do that, you must do the following:

  • After you join, call TAXI and tell them you were referred by Artist’s EDGE,  Studio number #ST1490
  • Then send me an email with your full name, mailing address and date you joined TAXI.
  • As soon as I get confirmation from TAXI, I will cut you a check!

Even if you’re not quite ready to join TAXI, I recommend you hang out on The TAXI forum.  There is a ton of information, support and opportunity to get feedback to improve your songwriting and recording.



Debra Recommends Ruthless Self-Promotion in the Music Industry

Debra Russell recommends, music business, music industry, promotion, sales and marketingby Jeffrey Fisher

Product Description from
Despite the ever-changing nature of the music industry, one constant remains: you must become a ruthless promotion fanatic to achieve success. There are no quick fixes or shortcuts to fame and fortune in the music business. But if you truly desire success and are dedicated to putting your time, energy, money, patience, and talent to the task, you can achieve the notoriety you desire…if you learn the art of ruthless self-promotion.

“Ruthless Self-Promotion in the Music Industry, Second Edition” is not a book about how to compose, play, or produce music; it’s the key to the magic forumula for building your music career, reaching your goals, and achieving what you want, need, and feel you deserve. Effective promotion is a journey that never ends, and you will find yourself returning to this comprehensive, up-to-date reference again and again as you pursue your musical goals.

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Multiple Streams of Income

msociI’ve been following this model in building my business and it has made a tremendous impact on my income, on my success with my clients and on how much fun I have working!

While these products are primarily focused on Coaching or Service and Consulting businesses, I’ve very successfully coached my clients in the Arts and Entertainment Industry to apply these concepts to their businesses.

I’ve also been teaching this business model in several classes recorded for the Artists Marketing & Business Academy.  And I’ve delivered the Multiple Streams of Art / Music Income workshop in Industry Conferences across the country.

Buy Multiple Streams of Income now (click through to the “Store” for the book.

Debra Recommends Book Yourself Solid

Debra Russell recommends, business success, niche marketing, multiple streams of incomeSuccess in Your Service Business

by Michael Port

I use many of Michael’s stratagies in my own coaching business.

Amazon’s review:

A complete instructional guide for starting and growing a successful service business.  It gives you simple, yet effective techniques for creating relentless demand and endless leads.  It includes more than 200 proven marketing strategies for attracting new clients, earning more referrals, and building profitable, long-lasting professional relationships.  If you want to take your service business to the next level, start here and Book Yourself Solid.

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Debra Recommends Blogwild! – Key to a Successful Business Blog

by Andy Wibbels

blogging, InternetThe world seems to have gone blogwild. More and more personal blogs appear every day, and businesses large and small are realizing that blogging can be a dynamite sales, marketing, and communications tool. Blogs are cheap to set up and operate, and they can humanize a company’s image, start the buzz on a new product, and get instant customer feedback.

Do you have a blog? Does your business? It’s not too late to get started. Written by a well-known blogging expert and evangelist, Blogwild! walks would-be bloggers through the entire process and shows you just how easy it is to get up and running. More than just Blogging for Dummies, this humorous and indispensable book includes:

  • a brief history of where blogs came from, where they are now, and where they’re going
  • eight keys to a successful business blog
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and lots more!

With Blogwild! you’ll discover that wildly effective blogging is within the reach of every business.

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Debra Recommends 1ShoppingCart

All Your Shopping Cart Needs in One Place!
Debra Russell recommends, shopping cart, internet marketing, sales and marketing

I use 1ShoppingCart and it solved so many problems for me out of the gate, I didn’t mind the expense.

Now, if you’re good at html, programming and what not – you could probably use one of those free shopping carts that comes with your web host.  Or bring in Zen Cart or one of the other shopping carts out there.

But if you’re like me and you want something that requires very little programming to customize the look and feel.  And a system that offers all the bells and whistles you want and need from your shopping cart – this is a great solution!

  • Flexible Shopping Cart
  • Single Page Checkout
  • Real-Time Shipping
  • Physical & Digital Products
  • SSL Secure Checkout
  • Custom Tax & Discounts
  • Track Orders & Payments
  • Online & Offline Payments
  • Affiliate Program
  • Up-sells & Cross-sells

Debra Recommends Audio Acrobat – Easy Audio!


Create Audio for your website, record teleclasses, testimonials, podcasts – quickly, easily, and inexpensively.  No equipment to buy.  No special skills necessary.  I’ve built my entire Artists Marketing & Business Academy based on this tool!