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Debra Recommends ifanz

Debra Russell, Artist's EDGE, Art and Entertainment Industry, music business, marketing, web 2.0, contact managementifanz is a very cool resource originally developed for musicians, but really applicable for creative professionals in all walks of life who are building their career by building their relationship with their fans.  More than just a database and newsletter management tool, it also offers one-stop shopping for many of the needs of the small business owner!

As I teach in Multiple Streams of Art Income, Step 7 is “Strengthen Relationship”, communicating to your fans is critical for this step and ifanz can help.  This one-stop-shop can also help with steps 4 and 6.

From the ifanz.com website:

Invented by Musicians – For Musicians

Ruth McCartney, our CEO, grew up in Liverpool, England in the 60’s. She heard her step-brother Paul and his partner John Lennon lamenting the business side of the Beatles and grew up knowing that “the suits” as John affectionately called them were basically accountants who cared little for the future of music.

When the awesome task of sorting literally tens of thousands of pieces of fan mail fell to her Mother Angie, she made her pocket money by helping to catalog and answer some of the mail. She soon learned that a relationship with the fans is the second most important thing a musician can have – apart from great song material that is!

With the advent of the internet in 1995, Ruth and husband / business partner Martin Nethercutt decided to build a system to collect names and send out newsletters. Today, nearly 10 years later, iFanz now allows thousands of folks just like you to:

Collect names >> develop a relationship and a dialog >> get guidance from your peers >> blast out gig calendars >> download your data to see where your Fanz are geographically >> send a personalized automated birthday greeting to each fan on their big day>> send newsletters by State or Zip >> and much much more.

In addition to communication and database management, iFanz also offers NetShop, a turnkey online store that comes complete with credit card processing and order fulfillment. We offer CD burns on demand and over 30 items of merchandise all available with your custom imagery. One fan, one order, one royalty check. Never again worry about creating huge inventories that might not sell. NetShop products (100% cotton t-shirts, mousepads, mugs, caps, totes and more) are made to order using your design (or we can create one for you) so there’s never any over-stock. And never any upfront costs to you.

The bottom line: if your Fanz have a relationship with you, they are much less likely to steal your music. Who knows, 3 years from know you might be selling them cookbooks, paintings, photography or guitars. iFanz. Because your fanz ARE your future.

 

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Debra Russell Recommends Indie Band Manager

Debra Russell recommends, Artist's EDGE, Art and Entertainment Industry, music business, marketing, web 2.0, IndiebandmanagerMy friend, Charlie Cheney, designed this system based on filemaker Pro for his own career in music.  But when he saw how many musicians, agents and other professionals in the music industry needed this product, he made it available to the public.

This program is a comprehensive contact management, booking and tour management system.

And I have used it for my own Contact Management System – it’s great for both my Speaking Business and my Private Coaching!  I’m honored to be his first affiliate.

Here’s what his website says:

More and more musicians are proving they only need 1000 true fans to make a living playing music. Indie Band Manager is the complete and affordable database management system for musicians, freelancers, agents, labels, publicists and managers alike to cultivate those 1000+ (up to 5 million) true fans. Over 3000 people in 21 countries and all 50 states have purchased it (and raved about it btw) because it’s the most complete and affordable solution anywhere. Take your career, business, or hobby to the next level. Try it for free right now!

NoCover Magazine calls it “an incredible way to stay organized”; Performing Songwriter says it’s “fabulous and will have you up and running in no time”; and American Songwriter Magazine raves “it works because it was made by someone who knows what it’s like out here on the independent scene.”

Check out Indie Band Manager

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Debra Russell Recommends ReverbNation

Debra Russell recommends, music business, marketing, web 2.0, reverbnationI’ve been hearing nothing but great buzz about ReverbNation as a one stop shop for contact management and social networking for your music business. Here’s what they say on their website:

ReverbNation.com is a Music 2.0 company that is responding to the changing music business paradigm.

We provide innovative marketing solutions that musicians need to compete, cooperate, and differentiate in an increasingly noisy online environment. Unlike typical “closed” communities, artists use ReverbNation as their home base for approaching marketing and promotion across the Internet as a whole — be it via social networks, blogs, or the artist’s homepage. Tools like TunePaks, FanReach, and Widgets give the artist the power to spread their music and information virtually anywhere. Real-time stats then provide a 360-degree view of how the music is spreading, who is listening, and which fans are actually passing it on to their friends and posting it on their pages. For more information on what ReverbNation can do for artists, click here.

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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 Amazon.com 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!

Debra Recommends Daylite – More than CRM for Mac

Debra Russell recommends, Marketing, time management, contact management, project management

So, first let me say – I am not a Mac user.  However, I have a lot of clients who are, and so I have been looking for a CRM solution for my Mac clients.  One of my clients brought me this product and he is thrilled with it.  So, I wanted to pass it on to you.

Here’s what Amazon says:

Product Description

Designed for the unique needs of Mac-based businesses of 1-50 people, Daylite3 is a new generation of productivity management software. Daylite 3’s time-saving features include shared calendars, seamless integration with Apple Mail, project and activity delegation, multiple pipeline views, a built-in report writer, sophisticated offline and sync capabilities, and a clean, easy-to-use interface. Daylite 3 is a milestone achievement for the Mac community, directly addressing the day-to-day productivity needs of Mac users. Daylite 3, with its many new features and upgraded Daylite Mail Integration (DMI) module, provides Mac users and Mac-based businesses with the tools they need for command-and-control business productivity.

What my client says is that, while there is a learning curve and it is significant.  This program solves so many time management and project management and contact management problems that it’s worth the learning curve.  From my viewpoint, I’ve seen him get much more productive and much calmer.  And isn’t that the point of productivity tools?

Buy Daylite Now

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Debra Recommends AWeber – Email Marketing at it’s Best

email, marketing, InternetAWeber is a supercharged email marketing tool. Priced competitively, it allows for more targeted marketing than some of the other tools I’ve recommended. However, if you tend to get completely overwhelmed by technology, I wouldn’t recommend starting here. They’ve significantly improved their interface friendliness, but it can still be a bit overwhelming. But take a look, it’s free to try.

Aweber is a very powerful tool with backend interface with WordPress and 1ShoppingCart, and the ability to really parse your contacts into different lists.

But it’s a learning curve.

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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.

Read the Class Transcript

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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.

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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 Music, Money and Success

Debra Russell recommends, licensing, music business, music for film and TV

The Insider’s Guide to Making Money in the Music Industry

by Jeffrey Brabec and Todd Brabec

My friends, Jeff and Todd, have written a comprehensive and incredibly informative book about the world of music licensing.

From Amazon:

The music and entertainment business means money for songwriters, composers, recording artists, musicians, music publishers and record companies. Whether it’s videogames, worldwide blockbuster movies, television programs which make instant stars, advertising commercials touting products via hit songs and records, cell phone ringtones or downloads and subscription services, Music Money And Success tells you how the business works and where the money comes from in every area of music. Whether you’re just starting out, looking to move up to the next level, been making a living in this business for years or are a major superstar, Music Money and Success is the blueprint for your financial success. This well reviewed book is now in its fifth edition and has been completely revised with updated information.

Now includes a section of entertainment law contract templates

Written by well-known industry insiders, Jeff Brabec, VP of Business Affairs for Chrysalis Music and Todd Brabec, VP of ASCAP

Endorsed by Billboard, Vibe, the American Bar Association, The Hollywood Reporter, Library Journal, Entertainment Law Reporter, and many others

Buy Music Money and Success now