Monday, November 29, 2010

Grow your business & WIN a free gift!

This is the time of year as a artist, you are working hard to finish up your holiday installations and performances. You also begin to look toward next year as a time when you actually grow your artistic business and create consistent earning opportunities.


  • Grow your Fan Base w/ more paying customers?

  • Help you contain costs where you see positive results.
  • Create exciting new PAYING projects that consistent w/your goals to build your success upon.  
  •  Grow your professional network with contacts that can make a difference to YOUR business.
If any of these are items on YOUR "wish list"?Then, it is time for you to get started?


I have set up easy getting started packages for the artist(s) on your gift list.  You can purchase a gift right from your computer by clicking on the link below the words pay online on the coupon( Debit, MC, Visa, and PayPal accepted).


I will be GIFTING a free 1 hour consultation to one winner (who will be announced during the month of December).


Just give me a free consultation!

If you purchase two (2) "gift packages"* you automatically get 1 hour free!!!   
That is a total of 7 hrs for ONLY $398.00 *you save $167!!! *(must purchase 2 packages by Friday Dec 10th)

Enter to win a free consultation:
    • When you buy a "getting started" or "gift package"  gift consultation(s) you are entered automatically to win a one (1) hour consultation.
More ways to win:
    • You can also be entered to win by sharing this gift idea with other artists.  Click the LIKE button or re-tweet and share with your friends. (the more you like and tweet the more chances for YOU to win!)
I am really excited about announcing all the WINNERS of 1 hr FREE consultation! *WINNERS also get some FREE cross promotion via the announcement!


"Providing business solutions for creative minds" 



Initial 1 hr. Consultation    $75.00

  • Assessment  of your current business 
  • Planning of a upcoming promotional event.

(upcoming special event, installation exhibit, or discuss how to get the 
most from conference showcases for 2011).
(remote consultation available via phone / email /skype)

PAY ONLINE (visa MC paypal  accepted)



Artist Gift Package

1 hr initial consultation + Two 1 hr "project" consultations.
Only $199.00!   (a $46 savings!)
*Purchase 2 "gift packages" Before Dec 10th and get 1 hr FREE!  Save  $167!!!

Serious about making a living with your art?
Struggling being organized?
Take control of your artistic career
Simple customized program
Keep you motivated and moving forward
  • Regularly scheduled consultations and follow ups
  • Free subscription to "the Business Strategist" Blog
  •  Network growth opportunities
(remote consultations available via email/phone/skype)
    PAY ONLINE (visa MC paypal  accepted)

    Friday, November 26, 2010

    Low Cost Gifts for Artists

    During the holidays don't you find you  have LESS money at the end of the year, than during the more "flush" summer months?
     Usually the sudden demand for gift giving all around you sucks what few extra dollars you had tucked away. 
     When you have very little money you often need to get creative in your gift giving.

    On the other side of that, you find you are also suddenly the recipient of many "wonderful" gifts.  Hopefully, there are the uber cool gadgets, and the odd fuzzy socks that your favorite Aunt knits for you every year that you look forward to.

    And it seems there is the gift that gets a thank you card, but in your heart you know it will NEVER see the light of day again. 

    As a gift giver AND gift getter neither one wants that!

     So what can you give (or get) that special someone?

    How about something  precious, so fleeting, and your always looking for more of it?  

    T I M E!

    This is a small gift that I would love to give to each of your for the holidays,  just a taste of some  time management tricks, that help give you the "gift of time" When it seems like there is NONE of it. 



    1) List 3-5 big things on your to-do list for today.  
    (if you have  experience w/ time management tools then list 1 week's worth of big  to-do items, you'll find as you gain experience doing this that you will be able to add more tasks to the list).

    *It's important that this list is written somewhere, so when you accomplish a task, you physically cross it off your list.
    Then you can see your progress as things are "crossed off"  and at the end of the day marval at  all you have accomplished as a result of your effort!

    2) Divide and conquer 
    Divide your day into  One hour segments- (set a timer on your watch, phone, or egg timer to keep you honest)  The key here is you don't work on any task longer than one hour, before you move on to the next one.  Keep in mind some tasks simply take longer that 60 minutes, but mentally and physically you need to move to the next task to keep up your effeciency.
     (if you have a REALLY hard time staying focused break the time into  :30 blocks).

    3)Check it 3-4 times 
    Each day is to ONLY check your email / social media accounts 3-4 times a day, (start of day / mid day/ end of day /if you absolutly have to after your evening meal, (keep these check -in's at :30 minutes.).   

    4) Keeping it work related 
    Keep your social media updates business related, (if your a band or artist have a "business page" then a social page)  If your posting show announcements you should be using your monthly newsletters for those updates, Spamming your "friends" with endless requests to go to your show will not make more of them come to your shows, only annoy people and make them NOT want to go to your shows.  
     If you are presenting a show, exhibit, or merchandise items that are  top notch and innovative, post video clips, pictures, showing people what they will be enjoying when they come to your show.    Save the personal stuff for  your "social page, after work hours".

    Facebook's Growing  Dominance
    In June 2009, Nielsen estimated that the average U.S. user spent 4 hours and 39 minutes on Facebook per month. That’s about 9.3 minutes per day in a 30-day month.
     In August, that number rose to 5 hours and 46 minutes, or 11.5 minutes per day and the numbers keep growing.  The avg american US internet user spends more time on Facebook than any other internet site.

    5) Touch it Once
    Read an email or piece of paper and classify it so that you are not re-reading it multiple times.
    Set up folders using Google Gmail (I like the google email service, I notice a much improved spam filter, and email management over other email platforms)

    6) One Calendar-

    Have one calendar that you record everything on – personal and work commitments and time-sensitive tasks. Use Google calendar that you can list work and personal events (and sort them for views, depending upon which calendar you want to be public or Private

    At the end of your day (or week) look at your check list and the items you were able to cross off, congratulations, this is a small sample of what you can be accomplishing on a much larger scale.

     If you or a loved one need the gift of more time, Or need help creating a plan to achieve the goals that are important to them with minimal distraction.

     Purchase  a  Gift Certificate  for my consulting services-(email / phone / skype consultations available, to help artists in other time zones)! 
     Packages and special rates to make your gift giving easy this year.  

    Wishing you and your loved ones a holiday season filled with health happiness, and doing all that you dream,


    Providing business solutions for creative minds


    Tuesday, November 23, 2010

    Small Business Saturday

    If you have grown up in the US you are well aware of what I call the consumer related holidays,
    Holidays that were invented to give consumers REASONS to buy cards, gifts...
    BLACK FRIDAY was one of those days, so named by the shopping frenzy that takes place the day after Thanksgiving.
     The resulting sales were hoped to get the company "in the black" from a accounting standpoint.  This was a marketing gimmick that has resulted in billions of dollars in the big business market.

    If your like me, your pretty tired of the big corporations clammoring for all your hard earned money with little in return.  This year you may have heard of SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY  This is a terrific way to support the small local businesses, restaurants, and services you love and who do not have access to "bail out money" to help survive these crazy economic times.

    These are wonderful opportunities to look toward your local art community for your entertainment and gift giving solutions.

    Check out these recommendations I have for your gift giving:


    5297A College Ave.
    Oakland, CA 94618
    P: (510) 547-1630  

    Purchase gift certificates for Personal Training sessions, Pilate's, Massages. This state of the art facility and staff has something special for EVERYONE!  Weekend warriors to Olympic / Professional athletes.
    One session at this clinic and you will see why it's winning awards year after year as the BEST place for performance and rehabilitative care.

    La Peluqueria Hair Salon - Patricia Lewis
    1600 Shattuck Ave,  BerkeleyCA 94709

    Tierra Tech Corporation Lucy Perry  Owner                                

    Web design, quality assurance, business support svc. 
    If you have been holding off on getting a "real" website or support services Tierra Tech is the best!

    Blue Water Ventures:  
    Kim Powell, Owner                   
     Santa Cruz, CA 
    During the holiday months trying to figure out what to do with
    the family?  Call or email Kim she can put together a very affordable fun event (in locations here and all  over the world!!!) that everyone will be asking for!  OR buy gift certificates for later in the year!

    Caryne Mount- Zesty Scraps
    Designer- Zesty Scraps and so much more, Caryne designed two outfits for me for the Grammy awards, she's done costumes for the Diablo Valley Ballet Nutcracker.
    This season she is offering super affordable fun bags, that are perfect for yoga, the studio, or shopping!  (email her she can send you pics)
    AND you can commission her to do just about anything that involves a needle and thread and she is a genius!


    My sponsors are here:  NOTE: when you click on the links in my website and you get bigger savings!


    Giving CD's is always a easy inexpensive gift.  This year I suggest  you  book these artists for a upcoming living room concert!  it is very easy and affordable!

    Jason Cale:  (Amazing emerging artist, producer you will be hearing alot of, toured w/ John Popper, Doobie Bros and more, big bands to acoustic he can cover it all!)
    Savannah Jo Lack  (Amazing Award winning artist who you have heard on Alanis Morrisette, Rod Stewart, and many Nashville artists who are too many to name! Catch her while you can she is JUST back from her Australian Tour)
    Coyote Grace  Americana harmony based duo fresh back from tours w/ the Indigo Girls & Girlyman, one of my very favs! )
    Ruth Gerson (You have seen her in your living room on Conan, Letterman, and Craig Ferguson Shows, one of the biggest hearts and voices around!).

    When contacting these artists and businesses make sure and let them know I recommend you! (it helps manage our small business more effectively when we know where our business is coming from!)

    Please post your comments after you have experienced these incredible businesses, & artists let me know your thoughts!  

    And know that buy supporting local artists your are helping support local communities!
    what a wonderful gift that is for us all!

    Happy giving and receiving, 


    Providing business solutions for creative minds


    Tuesday, November 16, 2010

    Final Curtain for RockBand?

     ROCKBAND has promoted its’self as the “next generation of the ultimate social and interactive gaming".
    I caught up with them  at this years AES Convention in San Francisco.
     A game audio track Titled  “Rock On”  “The Rock Band Network Demystified”  was promoted as a session targeted to engineers, & producers, to provide musical content for the RockBand Network (or RBN)
    RBN currently has 6500 registered users, 
    with approx. 40 new users per day w/ 1300 songs in their current catalog.

    Rock Band got a huge publicity push in Sept 09 (09-09-09) when they released  the Beatles rockband .  
    Admittedly I am not a gamer,  but I am a huge fan of the Beatles catalog, and thought  this would be a big money maker.
    Not even the Beatles can save RBN from themselves, I read today that
    Harmonix the maker of Rock band is up on the Chopping block By their parent company Viacom.
    Expensive add on’s – for plastic guitars and partial drum kits- and poor business strategy has caused the brand to flounder, and continue to lose money.


    RBN "executive producer" Jim Marshall Hosted the T-mobile sponsored session detailing how engineers can offer their clients the opportunity to have their original music to sell on the RBN.
      There are currently 43 studios that offer to get your tracks on RBN, and they would like to increase that number significantly, so the RBN team (Jeff Marshall & his partner) are hitting the AES circuit to sell the idea to the engineers.
    During a quick google search I found studio’s charging between $500-$1000 per track to upload your song.


    What steps are necessary to get your track loaded into RBN?
     It’s not as easy as simply uploading the track.
     Create Playtest Review
    ·      Intense instrument programming is required  you create a MIDI chart for each instrument. each little block has a hand movement, head turn, lip move, strum pick move fingers, which drum or cymbal to hit,  go to a  solo…you get how detailed this is). And this needs to look real, for the gamers to approve the tracks that aren’t realistic looking.

    ·       Select a venue and setting (you have a few “skins” to choose from, and you get the house band that is programmed in that “theme skin”. There is NO option to pick and choose the gender or number of players in your band.
    ·      Once the programming is all done THEN you can upload the song for play testing and feedback within the “creators club community (which costs $99/yr to join).
    ·       During this phase if you expect to get out of the “play test phase” and into the store to sell your song, as a song submittor must also play test and give feedback on other’s songs loaded into this testing environment.  Per Marshall, "If you don’t interact and give feedback don’t expect your file to be tested and given feedback for approval".  This Playback session allows you to correct any programming bugs before the final upload.
    ·      When your song is ready for final upload, it 1st goes into a “holding pen” where 8 other RBN creator  club members must play test it and approve it for final release.  Once you get the 8 RBN member approvals; your song can then go live and be available for sale.
    ·      Songs that are approved for publication are then loaded to the RBN store.  Song in the store  are priced to sell at $1-$2 *NOTE: whoever submits the song for peer review is who gets paid from Microsoft after setting up a XNA creators club profile.

    ·      Here is a FAQ for artists to read before they consider having their music submitted to RBN.  Read it- it answers all your questions about how payments and reporting are provided for the RBN creator and NOT the artist, As the artist YOU have to go to the expense of hiring a legal expert to draft  a contract w/ the engineer doing the song uploading to forward the payment and any sales reports you.  You will end up spending about $1,000 to simply get the song programmed and tested and hopefully approved to sell in the store ONLY to  see nothing for it.

       Marshall took questions at the end of the presentations, and responded by laughing and  and asking  for “next questions” when audience members asked the following questions:
     if the “Has the RBN song search been improved?” 
    "How long the process of programming and play testing on avg took"
     and "how artists got paid".

    It appears to be the final curtain for RBN. 
    For artists, even if the RBN product future was solid, I would advise you to pass on asking your favorite studio to load your tracks up on RBN- that money is much better spent on investing in strategies that will give you a return on your investment. 

    If you need help figuring out what makes the most sense for YOUR career, then let’s talk!

    Tamra Engle is a performing songwriter and business strategist who offers business solutions for creative minds to help them succeed in the evolving music and entertainment industries. As a performing singer-songwriter she has worked as a studio musician in Los Angeles; toured the U.S. and enjoyed the placement of her songs on television and nationally aired commercials. Her recent album was on the final round ballot for the 2008 Grammy's in the Best Contemporary Folk Album category.