Thursday, February 23, 2012

Rowing the boat in the same direction (Pt 4 of series)

During the month of February, I am featuring additional ways you can get more visibility as a Indie Artist.

Are you rowing the boat in the same direction as everyone else?
I am not suggesting you alter your rebellious ways in any way, or to cave to conformity.
I am suggesting that as you grow your creative business, you soon discover you need help! Volunteers, which may start out being your girlfriend or boyfriend,  or band mates sweat and  hard work,  eventually grows to others in your network that  that want to help you.

This is your opportunity to  build your “A” team who will be key to helping you get to your final destination for a long or short term project.
To help keep everyone sane, and contain costs, you want to get everyone in the boat rowing in the same direction.    What Can you do? 


Your network, is the  key to your growth and success!  Are you actively connecting with new people?  and reconnecting with folks you haven't seen since before the holidays??  Check in with your creative friends and connect with others doing what you love to do.  Then, watch how your audience of supporters grows!

There are numerous events to perform, raise money, honor a business or individual who is a community supporter.  The individuals and organizations that are passionate about the same things you are, will be more likely to be interested in what it is you are doing.   Besides you are helping others, nothing but good can come from that!

If your searching for a organization to support?

My Favorites include:

In this post   I share the important legal reasons you should have a newsletter platform vs just email and how not to  be tagged as SPAM! 

Content for your newsletter should include:

Your upcoming performance calendar, (include a link to purchase  tickets for the show)
If your on Tour share behind the scenes video while your driving, or rehearsing before the show,   Like this great video with musical artists Coyote Grace and the Indigo Girls

 Announce contests that include your fans so you can interact with them.     I like to suggest events that help others-

Harry Connick in New Orleans after Katrina
Connect with your local chapter of Habitat for Humanity- ask them if they would mind if you invited your fans to meet on a upcoming construction day, to help HfH build a home?
Coordinate a date, and invite your fans down to roll up their sleeves with you.  The good news is you don't have to wait for a natural disaster, If you are able to handle tools and enjoy physical work it is  a awesome opportunity to help some one less fortunate than you by doing something really cool with your fans!
Talk about connecting! 
I bet you will also see those faces at your next show, (probably helping you load your gear in!)
 *Try this during a tour to break up the monotony of being on the road, you'll sleep REALLY well I promise!

 Create as many fun different ways to connect with your  fans and share your musical journey with them .
  Often missed tip:Don't forget to Include LINKs if you are showcasing a new song or cd you want people to buy!

Collaborate on a upcoming project:  
You build a much stronger art community when you work together,  Partner with other artists to host events, Shows, or tours your blended audiences with another creative partner and host a benefit, show or tour. 
There is power in numbers, work together, divide the tasks, and be prepared to work HARD!

Realistic Expectations: 

 Getting visability is a expensive business, in 2011 New artists expecting to compete on the charts were working with budgets over $1million US dollars.
If your a Superstar, Then plan on spending about $4.6million.

To seriously compete professionally and make a living wage in your home town, or region You need a dedicated  budget toward developing your business, next project, and promotion of your new projects.

A professional  can help answer your questions,   put together a plan, budget, and network development recommendations  Which will save  you money, time, and avoiding unexpected expenses will all keep you in high spirits as you move forward.

What are ways you have successfully connected with your fans, share them with us in the comment selection below!

Tamra Engle is a independent music business strategist based in the S.F. bay area she is available for private consultations  to help you develop your independent music business, & manage a balanced creative lifestyle, regardless  where you live in the world, You are only a skype and email away.   You can read more about her and join her mailing list at  you can email her at

Thursday, February 16, 2012

How high can you go? (pt 3 of a series)

February posts are are focusing on ways you can get additional visibility as an Indie Artist. 
How high can you go? is part 3 of this series.
Transitions occur in the music industry, the brightest stars, suddenly, ridiculously, gone.

Fame comes at a price, for a addict that is generally a fatal combination.

Think carefully about how high you want to be.


Do you want to be a known nationally touring act?
Do you want to rock your local scene and live off your tip jar earnings?
Perhaps  tour in your geographic region once or twice a year?
Do you seriously want International super-stardom?

All  levels require lots of hard work.  The last one requires something more for a select few that have that "special something"

The best way to maximize your visibility is to take a hard look at how big the fishbowl you want to rule is.  There are levels of success in any industry.
 In the entertainment industry there is tremendous pressure to produce results and sell records.  No spotlight is hotter than being a  pop / RB Female artist- Listen to Grammy winning producer Narada describe working with Whitney Houston and what  her schedule was like during the peak of her career.

Master the tools of your trade at each level in your career, much like playing  a video game you need to find them and  learn how to master them in order to advance to the next level in your career. Imagine if you were going to to pick  instrument for the first time would you expect to jump to the level of playing  like a  concert master?  If so, your going to be frustrated and disappointed, because you were not properly prepared for what was expected for you to be a successful concert master musician. No magic short cuts, just lots of hard work.

Measure the size of your pond, master the tools at each level  and word will get out about you.
 hire a strong team of A list players to help you, remember you get what you pay for! And always be true to yourself.

If you are struggling with addiction, friends are here to help, there are resources available to you:
MusiCares established in 1989 by the Grammy foundation to provide musicians services and resources which cover a wide range of financial, medical and personal emergencies, and each case is treated with integrity and confidentiality. 

Narcotics anonymous  both provide resources to assist individuals while maintaining their anonymity.

Tamra Engle is a independent music business strategist based in the S.F. bay area she is available for private consultations to help you develop your independent music business, & manage a balanced creative lifestyle. You can read more about her and join her mailing list at  you can email her at

Thursday, February 9, 2012

“Lead with your heart” {pt 2 of Visibility series}

During the month of February, I am featuring additional ways you can get more visibility as a Indie Artist.
Yoga instructors queue poses and transitions by encouraging students to push or lead with their heart.
The physical act of pushing your chest forward, head held high, feeling a gentle lift and pulling from the center of your chest creates an emotional lift visible to all who see you.

As you build your business pay particular attention to the sensations your heart gives you as you are making decisions, and presenting your work.  Have you ever felt the sensation of “something not feeling right” later to discover your instincts were dead on? 

Your fans can see, hear and FEEL the work that you create from the heart, the beauty, pain, and joy all laid bare for all to see.

Stop focusing on features of your product or services, your fans, like all humans want to see WIIFM  (what’s in it for me?) or what are you giving me?

Fan’s want to feel cool,sexy, a “part of”, help them blow off steam, save them money, or the biggie, make them look good to others.   

When you tap into two basic human instincts Pleasure and Pain- Make a direct connection to people feeling good, and removing a pain point for them, and they will follow you everywhere!

A very recent success at massively increasing their visibility is the Canadian band “Walk off the Earth” who in addition to recording their own original music has has enormous success by creating clever You Tube covers of hit songs.  In a very recent example, they took the 2012 Grammy nominated super hit of Goyte “Somebody I used to know” and put a very clever twist on a spot on cover, tricky since the original video is SO unique.
 When I first saw it this video had less than 1 million hits…. It currently has over 48 million views, changing the trajectory of the bands career.

Before you dismiss the success of this technique to growing your visibility, it has a history of success.
 Carlos Santana (Fleetwood Mac’s -Black Magic Woman), and a kid named Jimi Hendrix (Dylan’s -All along the watchtower) Jeff Buckley (Cohen’s Hallelujah)

Here is a Link to the best cover songs of all time
I bet your favorite cover songs are songs that you have a strong personal “heart felt” connection to.   Share links or comments to work where you have lead with your heart in your creative work in the comment section below.

Tamra Engle is a independent music business strategist based in the S.F. bay area she is available for private consultations to help you develop your independent music business, and record your demo. You can read more about her and join her mailing list at  or  can email her at

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Increase your visability Pt1

 During the month of February I am featuring  additional ways for you to get more visibility  as a D.I.Y. Indie Artist.

Seasonal- Current Events:

Valentines day is less than 2 weeks away.
Regardless of your customer or fan base demographic  it’s not hard to find fans who Love, Love. 

Marilyn Manson on Love: 
When you're taught to love everyone,  then what value does that place on love?”

The most popular topic in best selling music is Love... endless, unrequited, or broken dreams these are all themes that we can all relate to.

Whether you “Set fire to the rain”  a perfect example of a well written metaphor for burning tears.   Rhianna's “we found love”  ,  or Good Feeling by Flo Rida.

What song has had the longest reign at #1?   
A love song of course!  “One sweet day” sung by  Maraih Carey and Boyz 2 Men held the top spot for 4 months!

Let’s assume you don’t have the fanbase that Adele, Flo Rida, Rhianna or Mariah have. 
How does this help you?   
Photo Credit: Tamra Engle-  Artist Vincenta Flores Ataucusi:  
Look to your heart. 
Most of us have had our heart broken, and have fallen in love at one time or another, with a human or special pet.  Describe in in broad themes what that was like for you, Have fun, and write the best song you can, then  make a  good  quality demo recording of it.   Allow yourself enough time to print them with out expedited shipping charges to save money.

Are you extra creative? You can make a very cute limited edition artwork Valentine CD covers. Love themed packaging.

*On the CD make sure you have a printed label, 
because quality matters!
 Don’t forget to include your name, or the bands name, the URL to your website, and  email for booking inquiries.     Make sure the holder of the CD can find you again!

You have so many options, to creatively get your music into the hands of other “lovers”- Savvy business owners are looking for easy ways to bring more customers into their stores.

Some possible idea’s:

 Think of the places you would pop into to get that person a little treat or take  “that special someone".  
Create a  Partnernership w/ your local card shop, specialty chocolate shop, local winery, or gift boutique.

Offer to help organize a special musical shopping event- where shoppers are  given a free copy of your valentine song to everyone that purchases something. Include special shopping times  to have a in store solo acoustic performance to bring more shoppers into their store. 

 Or do you have cool limited addition Tshirts that tie into the song theme?  you have created a additional revenue opportunity around the holiday theme  for upcoming shows, or to add to your online merchandise store.

Another idea:

Offer your fans to purchase a extra "special valentine"-
You can sell :30 acoustic solo dinner performance(s) in the homes of special valentines- make it “affordable”  so you can book several in a evening.
Decide how many :30 sets you want to play on and around Valentines day.
Think of it as a mini tour in a day or two, at the end of a couple of days you will have full pockets.

Not a fan of Love?  Then take on a current event.
There is SO much material right now just begging to be used.  

Topics for you to consider?

Love Sucks:  Taking a counterpoint view on the holiday
Super bowl- Madonna Parodies anyone?  Please I’m dying to see them!
Occupy Movement- Remember, we are still mad at the banks?
The Election / Presidents day:  You can make a career poking fun at the power mongers, and so much rhymes with Newt, Mitt, Barak…

Partner with other local business owners to create a fun event, make sure you have something to give your fans so they remember you, grow your business network, and help another business owner.   Utilizing the momentum of a holiday that has shopping involved, allows new fans to spend money buying your products.

Do you want to  increase your visability even more?  Share the links to your songs, and video’s in the comment section below. 

Tamra Engle is a independent business strategist and artist manager based in the S.F. bay area.  She is available for private consultations, and project management services to help you develop your creative business.  You can read more about her at  email her at

Photo Credits:
Baking Love- Photo Credit: Tamra Engle-  Artist Vincenta Flores Ataucusi:\
 Marilyn Manson photo credit:

Links that were mentioned in this blog:

Adele: “set fire to the rain”
Flo Rida Good Feeling
“One sweet day” (Maraih Carey & B2M)
Jimmy Fallon Kirsten Dunst Madonna parody