Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Perfect Friday Night

How often do you get to see ALL your favorite Bay Area artists on one bill?
All you need is chocolate and your got a perfect date for this  Friday Night

@ Club Fox,Redwood City
(formerly Lil'Fox)

join the tweet re:Friday night @guitartam

This Can't Be My LifeHurricane  Ocean Dreams

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Truth and lies about buying

One of the great gifts my parents gave me, was the love of books.
I  LOVE reading biographies. I am a sucker for a good story about about how someone overcame odds to be very successful, and used their success to help others.
These books usually share space on my nightstand with several  other books / blogs that I enjoy reading before I go to bed each night.
These are some tools I use to stay current on trends, and business models so I can help all of my  clients be as successful as possible.

I just read a awesome book by Martin Lindstrom called Buy-ology.
I have included a link to the book at the end of this blog which I really  recommend you buy!
If you haven't already read it, Martin explains  how "neuro-marketing" influences buying decisions for all the brands that we grew up with, and  have in our homes and businesses today.  These brands are using the neuro-marketing data to sell their products quite successfully despite the economic climate.
  Before you yawn, check out the book! There you'll see your favorite brands and understand why YOU are subconsciously buy them again and again.

When ever I read books like this, I start looking at my world a little differently.
For example, most of us have Facebook and Twitter accounts right?  If your like me your Facebook inbox is overflowing with invites to no fewer than 50 local shows and events people want you to attend that week.
 Most of them you probably delete without ever opening them, because there are just so MANY of them.

Prior to writing this blog, I  opened 15 randomly, to share someone utilizing  "fan engagement" something to draw me in. However, each example was nearly identical as the next, with the message  COME TO MY Show/Event.
I know through the years I have spent hundreds of  hours promoting shows, sending out invitations, flyers, using a variety of platforms with very mixed results.

Here's my question to you, can you describe your brand? and how is it unique? If you can't, then neither can your customers and fans, and then they don't buy your product.

In earlier blogs I have shared  the importance of developing your on unique brand- creating a compelling marketing strategy, as well as properly targeting your audience.
For the 1st time readers you can get started with my  tip sheet   which has 10 things you can do to create your personal brand- it is only $5 and has lot's of great things to help get you started. I made it very  affordable, and I know each of you think your business is worth a $5 investment. 

 Do something different:

When you are promoting a event you need to engage your fans.  Here is your chance to show how you are different from everyone else-  Include a video clip from your last event,  (pick a clip or highlights that give the viewer a peek into what one of your shows are like, don't pick some blackened room with distorted sound, that doesn't SHOW people what makes you unique. It doesn't have to be professional quality, it can be a flip or phone video or even a  :30 slide show of pictures from previous events-You want to really get your fan's excited INCLUDE THEM in the promo. put a favorite new song behind the video images  and include the written info during the :30-:45 video that invites people to the event  and don't forget to  include a link to your website!

In your brief message perhaps suggest, if you have enjoyed a recent show or event,  I hope you can make it on XXXX night, or IF YOU CANT make it, please  send this invitation to 2 friends that you think might enjoy the event.

Use your mailing list, these are your real content buying FAN's not the 900 people who have friended you on a social media page. These are  the individuals that said by signing your mailing list  "I like you and want to know what you are doing, and probably have bought something from you!" But using your mailing list , that alone isn't enough.
By taking this simple step you have just engaged me, I have a video to watch listen to, and a call to action. The bonus is the message is delivered directly to someone who cares about your event, show, or product, NOT the person who is  one of your many social media "friends" that have never laid down any money to see your product.  Get CREATIVE!

If your ready to simply get started on your personal branding strategy  CLICK HERE  and let's talk!

I would love to hear and SEE your favorite successful "brand"promotion stories, comment below
OR  subscribe to this blog and then send me your video promo's to   I will select the best video from my subscribers and  run a follow up blog highlighting YOUR cool promotion.  It's a excellent way for you to get you some more business too!

"Providing business solutions for creative minds"

Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy

Photo credit:

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Investing in you

Every day  you are  surrounded by thousands of “Brands” all competing for your attention and dollars.

Shiny boxes seem to scream “OH BUY ME! BUY ME!” 
 Typically, when we are buying things we are motivated by what we feel is cool, good quality and a good value. Right? 

Many of us have brands that are our “go to” brands, you may be firmly in the  iPhone or Android smart phone camp,  or you buy a particular car because of reliability, gas mileage, and maintenance costs or the "cool factor".  The things that make you as a consumer buy, are the same things that make people buy YOUR product as a artist.  Fans and manufacturers you might  want to partner with- are looking for the best partners to represent their product.
Reliability, a strong brand, really good value and how YOU will strengthen THEIR brand.

We are in the wake of another huge music industry show NAMM  (National association of Music Merchants) and  have spoke to no less than a dozen musicians that have made the annual trek to check out the new goodies, as well as  forge new business relationships with equipment manufacturers.  You may even be a attendee with a mountain of cards from people you want to do business with you in 2011. 

In my earlier blog:
Post conference success I provided tips on your conference follow up strategy. If you have or are planning to send emails to say “Hey great to meet you, remember me?”   What is the first thing they are going to do when they check you out?  They are going to go to your website.  
What makes you stand out from the thousands of people they have talked to?

Your customers and potential business partners will form a opinion of your brand in 10 seconds of coming to your site.

A well planned website has content and images that provide buyers with the impression of business stability and a strong brand.   You want to make it a easy decision for new customers and partners  to feel comfortable returning your call and ultimately doing business with you. Or  else they wont.

  What if you don’t have your own website? 
What if you use one of the many social media pages as “your site”?  
 Perhaps you have have "made your own site".

The bottom line is, It seriously impacts whether or not people will consider you a legitimate business, and whether or not they will do business with you.  

Do you wonder why despite what you thought was a great face to face meeting at the last show or conference that no deal has happened?  or will it  just one more missed opportunity that you had no clue how or why? 


Do you want to grow your business in 2011?
Do you want decision makers to view you as a artist serious about their business?

Then you have to have a proper business foundation before ANYTHING ELSE. 
That means that instead of dedicating your money on a recording or mastering budget you need to look at how you are running your business.
  If people are not buying product now, producing more inventory is not the solution to your problem.

 Get your own Website (blog link)

Spend your energy on having a expert help you create the proper business foundation, help you define your goals and objectives;  THEN, that content can be utilized within a professionally designed and maintained web site that reflects YOU, as a professional that has their act together.

You may be thinking forget this, I will design and build a site myself, it’s "cheaper".   
Is it?               or is it costing you MORE money?

Your self authored content is what you have been using on your social media pages.  Ask yourself, How much are you making each month from following that strategy?

 If you are spending more than $65 a month on growing your business and not getting that money back?  In business you measure your "return on investment" or R.O.I. before you spend money, Invest in strategies that will get your money back AND make you MORE money.

 Isn’t it time to put yourself ahead of your competition? and make it a no brainer for other’s to invest in doing business with them?

I would love to hear how having your business plan and website in place transformed your creative business.  

If your ready to made a difference in your creative career, then lets talk!
I have partnered with top quality Web design & development team to my to help you transform your creative business. 

 Put yourself ahead of your competitors, and start making a living doing what you love.

Here is to making 2011 the year you turn your business around.


Photo credit:

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Growing by Giving

I have noticed a shift in corporate marketing.
Two huge brands have shifted the focus of the advertising budgets in a positive way.         To help our communities.

Corporate grants  or “corporate giving” programs are not new, but typically they are only available to 501© organizations. 
These highlighted groups have kicked open the doors to individuals.

Google Science Fair :  Remember when you were a kid, the chemical rotten eggs? Volcano erupting? Flying June Bugs lifting items with a string harness?
Google is offering scholarships, trips to the Galapagos Islands, and trips to partner corporations around the globe for intern positions (not bad for a 13-18yr old).

This is the 2nd year Pepsi has offered up a $20 million budget to fund great idea’s, former grant reciepients have help fund school lunch programs, rescue animals from underserved communities,  starting a aquaphonics school program to grow lettuce,  The funding goes to the idea that garners the most votes.

Were all “one Tribe Ya’all”!  

As we approach Dr. King’s- National Day of Service  on January 17th-  Each of us needs to have a way to “give back” built into our business plan- 

What do you do to support making our world a better place?  I would love to  hear about it,  in your blog comments below!

Are you interested in getting started?  Let's talk!

Recommended reading to help 
Kids get in the habit of healthy giving: 

Photo Credit:

Thursday, January 6, 2011

10 steps to creating your Personal Brand

To be in business today, The most important job is to be head marketer of a brand called “you." If your not clear on what the brand is, it will not be clear to your customers. You will know, because they aren’t buying.

Are you selling lots of “product”? Are your shows, exhibits, and business humming? If not, then you need to spend some time clearly defining who “you the brand” are. I have listed some quick steps to help get you started on creating your own “personal brand”.

Step 1: Create your unique value proposition:
What makes you different than your peers? Your strengths, your passions, and your goals? If you left your job today, what would your colleagues miss? Know who you are, as well as who you are not. And play to your strengths.

Step 2: Find out how others see you: 
Ask trusted colleagues, co-workers, and friends for four or five adjectives (action words) they would use to describe you. What are you good at? What are your strengths? Write them down.

Step 3: Identify your goals/ priorities for the Year:
List 5 big priorities for yourself. To insure success make them
Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timebound?
This helps you craft a message to reach them.

Step 4: Identify your target audience:
Just like Starbucks knows that their target audience is coffee drinkers, you need to define to whom you want to send your message.
This will not only help you clarify your message, it will help you deliver it to the right places.

Step 5: Pay attention to the details
Everything you do ultimately contributes to your personal brand.
Once your brand has been defined, make sure that the little things -- the way you dress, your body language, how you behave with co-workers, the emails you write – are all consistent with your brand message.

Step 7: Update your Bio / resume
Go through your Bio and resume to determine it is consistent with your brand.
Ensure they accurately defines who you are, and is in line with both your short-term and long-term goals. Self penned bio's stand out a mile a way invest in having a professional craft these for you! 

Step 8: Own your own website
Remember how your Mom used to tell you “you never get a chance to make a 2nd 1st impression?”
Your website is a direct reflection of YOU, a home-made site stands out a mile away, and reflects a level of quality readers will associate with your brand. Find web sites you really love and look at who built them, those are the people you want to set up your site, let the professionals do the work to make YOU look your best. This is also the hub of your social media network, here you own content, look and feel, AND your fan list. It should highlight your professional accomplishments, your skills and knowledge, what you stand for, and your overall value.

Step 8: Become a social networker
Set up accounts at social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Connect with those in your target audience, don’t friend EVERY person that comes to you. Remember you want to focus on QUALITY not quantity. It doesn’t matter if you have 3,500 fans if only 10 of them buy from you. Create a relevant network of colleagues, fans, & businesses to subscribe to your pages. Contribute and interact to relevant updates on a daily basis. Make sure your updates are consistent to your branding message.

Step 10: Have a Newsletter
Constant Contact and My Newsletter builder are great Newsletter platforms to help you promote yourself to your target audience.
Commit to posting a newsletter no more than 1-2 times a month to announce shows or projects you are working on. Do not add people to your mailing list unless THEY have signed up, and do not mass text, or email groups of people (unless your using your newsletter platform.  These platforms offer subscribers a UN-subscribe link; so they can opt out, don’t be bummed if you lose a subscriber, you want a base of product buying show supporting fans. If your a spammer you will lose your fan base!

Would you like to share any personal brand success stories? add your comments below

If your ready to get started,  Then lets talk! 

Photo Credit:


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Rediscover your inner Rhythm

When did we stop taking the long way home?
Remember, when you were a kid? The adventures you would find along the way?
When I was a kid during the summer we would take family “road trips”.
Generally driving from our house in Southern California to to visit my grandma’s farm in Kentucky.
We traveled what was then the old Rt 66, parts of which still exist as detours along Hwy 40. 
Along the way there were stops in little dusty towns, cafes, and Indian Reservations.

 In the olden days there were no casino’s, just trading posts to sell Chatzki’s to the passing tourists.
As we traveled through the Southwest, I remember hikes into deserts that had forests that turned stone in the ancient arid temperatures.  Meteor craters and Canyons split so deep into the earth you couldn’t see the bottom.
 My parents felt I couldn’t understand and appreciate people, and our world unless I got to see and experience it first hand.  No classroom or history book allowed me to meet Indians who still live in their Pueblo’s, how a Grizzly catches a salmon in it’s mouth, or the abundance of flora, fauna, and  breathtaking colors that fill our beautiful country.  

Fast forward many years and “suddenly” you’re the adult and your rushing to catch a train to work, then race to the grocery store, pour over and answer emails, texts, profile updates AND run a household. –GASP- Suddenly it’s the holiday season and the huge scramble to finish everything so you can zoom to the airport to hurry up and “relax” for a few days No wonder we are chronically tired!

 Aren’t you sick of rushing to the airport to be strip-searched?  Airfare is costly, Fuel costs are skyrocketing (no pun intended) your hassled and hustled, your bags are rummaged through, and if you are lucky, your suitcase arrives in one piece at the same destination you are in!

My Year End holiday vacation reminded me that we take in so much so fast that we are missing all the important things-and not completing anything thing to our satisfaction. 
This is because it is impossible to keep up with the barrage of data and information that hits you constantly.   Sometimes you just need to STOP and  hit the reset button. 

Take a road trip-  allow yourself to find the “joy in the ride” you will find yourself in a relaxed state, where inventive ideas and inspiration can take hold. 
You will re-discover YOUR own rhythm, while meeting a variety of people, cultures and communities along the way.
Last week for only  $10 per car we wandered for hours through the valley floor of the Painted Desert in Arizona,

Here 93,500 acres entire forest of trees had been turned to stone, red lava, white sand, rivers of clay- and moonscapes surrounded us.  The beauty and colors were staggering.
 All for less than the cost of a movie!

Then drive to Winslow Az, where you guessed it I had to to stand on “the corner”.
 The town most known in the Eagles song “Take it Easy”.
We stayed at La Posada Inn,  Designed by Mary Coulter and watch the trains as they deliver clothing, cars, and all the goodies you buy everyday at the store or market all around the country.

 There isn’t much else to do in Winslow, but chill at this wonderfully restored Inn, and wander to the Hubble Trading post. We felt like we were guests in a wealthy Don’s home, sitting by the fire, playing piano, and reading. We were so smitten with the Inn we stayed a extra night before continuing on our journey.  
On our drive home we saw the license plates of 25 states, 3 countries-( 3 Canadian Provinces and Mexico).

I invite you to pack up the car and rediscover your inner rhythm- you will have a adventure of a life time, and you get to witness the beauty and diversity and fall in love with America all over again.

 If your looking for idea’s for your next trip hit a national park or go get your kicks on Rt 66!


Rt 66:
The Painted Desert:,_Arizona
Photo credits: