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my career tips  


Yan and Boris host this bi-monthly series.

my career tips is about web 2.0 artist image and communications management.

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the social web and the artist : an overview
biography career facebook fan fans landscape management media myspace newsletter pitch press release social website

This week, let me share with you a (French speaking) presentation about being a musician in the digital age. Enjoy.

social media for musicians in 35 images
landscape management media social

No words today but a slideshow: social media for music artists in 35 images. Nex time I'll use prezi.

are you the next big sound?
dashboard facebook fan management media myspace nextbigsound social soundcloud stats video

Artist: Fichtre

Ten months ago (time flies, huh?) I reviewed a social stats platform called Next Big Sound (NBS). Firstly, I am happy because it is still around. Secondly, its bosses must be happy to have classy partners and users such as Billboard or Topspin. Finally the industry and some (self managed number crunching) artists should be happy about the release of Premier - NBS's premium offer - enabling even more counting and crunching.

First things first though. What's the basic purpose of NBS? As we all know, the world has changed. Selling music has changed. Sharing music has changed. Talking with fans has changed. As an artist or record label, you have to maintain several social media profiles on top of having your good old website. You might have a blog, a myspace account, a facebook page, a playlist, a youtube channel, a sound cloud. It all depends on your will, your time resources and your social media strategy (we'll be coming to that sort of things in later posts).

And there you go : you post, update, friend fish, tweet, share, accept requests, blog, webcast, comment, submit, stream and so on and so forth. And then what?

That's the time when you realize that - in the end - some stats might be useful. When did people comment and view a lot? Was it after you tweeted a nice reharsal picture? Or when you posted this very long text telling the tour bus story? Or maybe was it about this quick and dirty concert video you shot with your phone? Stats are useful not only regarding the number of plays, views or fans (although we all agree about the basics), they can also be a useful help in detecting what kind of interaction your followers prefer. And thus help you define your priorities when producing the (non audio) content that nurtures your social media presences.

So that's what NBS enables you to see in an friendly and comfy way: stats. The site enables you to follow up to 16 of your social media profiles and generates time graphs picturing the evolution in number of fans, plays, views and comments, be it on a combined basis or platform per platform. Nice.

Now, for the true businessmen, the Premier option is THE dashboard, enabling you to have the complete view on an artist online activities : blog mentions, iTunes album sales, P2P activity, radio plays, geographic and demographic fan base breakdown. Definitely worth a look if you're an artist manager.

It may sound a bit geeky but trust me, it's full of information if you ask yourself the right questions.

myspace or not myspace
fan fans media myspace reverbnation social soundcloud stats website

Artist: Adam de la Mare

It was in the news today, Myspace is laying off 500 employees, nearly half of its staff. That's quite rough, although predictable. The platform already had a major round of layoffs in mid-2009 and face an uncertain future. One must remember that News Corp. bought it for US$580 million in mid-2005, so the thing has to bring back money.

And there we are. The once leading social media site has lost the mainstream fight. Everybody is facebooking, tweeting, tumbling, youtubing or instagraming nowadays. Myspace changed its logo recently and no one cared. Lame. The platform has been deemed ageing, useless, conservative, clueless and mainstream. Even in the music world, bands are now using other ways, such as bandcamp, soundcloud or big cartel to store and share their tracks (these platforms will be covered in later posts).

More and more, artists or bands ask me if it's still worth to keep their myspace accounts up to date ("it takes time", "the new interface is not friendly", "I prefer Facebook", etc.). Time being a scarce resource, the question is worthy.

However, as Michael Doernberg - CEO of Reverbnation - says : "MySpace is still the de facto music destination on the web. If you want to go to single place to see a comprehensive presentation of a band, MySpace is still the biggest." Just think about it. What do you do (maybe not if you're a scene insider) to give ear to a band or artist? And, more importantly maybe, what do bookers, festivals and clubs artistic directors, radio DJs or journalists do in order to get quick and dirty information and sounds about prospects? They go "band name" and "myspace" on Google. As simple as that. They do that for four reasons :

  1. one is never sure to get songs in a simple and clear way on an artist's website

  2. there is a lot less artists on the other above mentioned platforms

  3. you don't go 1 + 2, given all the uncertainties (and given you've got 100+ bands or artists to review), if you can go Myspace instead

  4. and then, if you like what you found in 3, you digg and go 1 and 2 

Moreover, Myspace may be slashing employees, it still has a lot more cash than its competitors, which makes it easier to pass deals with Google. The specifics of the deal are kept secret, however one can assume that it might help search engine optimization. Oh, and the former place for friends also recently - and finally - launched Fan Management Tools.

In short, keeping an updated profile and using it as an entry door to your other online presences is still a savvy time investment.

an introduction to the career tips section and the 1.000 true fans theory
career fans management media social video

This is my first blog post here and I am quite honored to join the SEM team. With Boris – our multimedia conception specialist – our aim is to issue a bi-monthly post on the present platform. We also plan to have a few guests posting interesting stuff about career management in the web 2.0 world.

Just a few words about me: I am a brand marketing and communications professional, now specializing in social media management. I currently live in Lausanne and work in the Swiss media industry. Here are links to my Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter profiles.

I also love electronic music (better do so on the present platform, don’t you think?). Next to my daytime job, I notingly act as event coordinator, promoter, booker and DJ for the Digital Natives collective, have been amongst the founders of Biolive party throwers association and serve as speaker and teacher for the CMA Foundation, the ETM in Geneva and the HEMU in Lausanne.

One has to acknowledge that we live in a more and more specialized and professionalized scene, and that new information technologies and the social media world have dramatically changed the way we communicate. People now socialize via their smartphones, share and recommend stuff they like, browsing in a sea of information, channeling interests to and through communities of interest.

To partially illustrate my point (and to bring in some air to this pretty dry post), here’s a hype video about social media nowadays.

A Day in the Life of Social Media from DBA Worldwide on Vimeo

Let’s face it, it’s the jungle out there. We’ll try to stress out some – hopefully - useful strategies and tools that will enable you to reach your audience, spread your word and your world, and eventually get some attention, bookings and sales. If MUSIC is still the main driver of success, caring about the way YOU channel it to the world is the aim of the present weekly series.

This said, our focus here will be mainly on online image and communications management, thus some of our post may concern marketing, rights and organization.

I said above that the new web is a jungle for the modern artist. Thanks to information and communication technology and to this thing called social media, everyone has access to a tremendous amount of information, be it through his social networking contacts, audioblogs, music platforms, preference engines and so on. This can be seen as an enormous opportunity (the whole world being your potential target audience, basically) or a daunting threat (the whole world being your potential competitors, in fine).

To start off the series, let’s cite Wired Magazine’s former Senior Editor Kevin Kelly, who wrote a great post called 1.000 True Fans two years ago that got lots of attention around the blogosphere. Kelly essentially argues that to be a success online, you don’t need a huge audience. You just need 1,000 true fans who are willing to buy stuff from you. You should definitely read that.

Of course there have been lots of responses and criticism to Kelly’s theory. Some called it simplistic, over optimistic or not accurate (I find this one very interesting and complete). And they are right as well.

I personally think that the whole topic can give creative artists the motivation to manage their image, presence, availability and communications online. It draws the line between the opportunities and threats of the contemporary mega connected web (I always wanted to use the words contemporary and “mega” in a same sentence). It also underlines the fact that managing a fan base is an enormous and time consuming job.

We’ll try – throughout the posts to come - to give you advice, hints and tips about how to do this job in a strategic, efficient and – why not – fun way.

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