Sunday, March 16, 2014

5 Ways I Would Market Myself as a Musician

I co-run an Internet Marketing Roundtable (Club) each month at a community college in Detroit.  Some months, we will present specific topics, but more often than not we simply take a Question & Answer (Q&A) session.

Most of the months we do Q&A, someone in the audience (if not MORE than just one person) will ask us how we suggest they market themselves as a musician so people find them (and their music).

I am NOT a musician, but there are some marketing steps that I’m confident are smart to take.  Here is what I have to offer people who want to increase their chances of getting found, either singers or people who play instruments.

1. Create an Online Library
2. Take Advantage of YouTube Playlists
3. Build a Marketing Funnel to My Library
4. Find & Contact Influential People
5. Find People I Can Help

Let me explain each of my initial suggestions a little more thoroughly (if you’re interested):

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Want to make sure something gets done? Pay someone to do it!

For me, one of the most frustrating things is when I KNOW I need to do something—and know how to do it—but I keep putting off what I’m supposed to do.

Bucket of BS Excuses I Use (Pick One)
--I don’t have time to do it.
--I’m too busy doing other things.
--It bores me.
--I’m not real good at it.
--I know how to do it, but it takes me forever.
--I know that once I get started I won’t be able to get anything else done.
--I’m just feeling too lazy to do it.

I’m sure I’m missing some excuses, but those are MY most common excuses I tell myself.

If this happens to you, maybe you’re being lazy; maybe you’re not.  Honestly, I don’t really care.

When this keeps happening, I’m learning to do something about it.

Sometimes, I get a sudden surge of energy and just do it.

Most of the time, it just keeps sitting there.  So what do I do?

I PAY people!  That’s right…I pay people to do it.

What types of things do I pay people to do for me?

Saturday, March 1, 2014

7 Things I Do to Make My Presentations Less Imperfect

All of my presentations are perfect!  Ummm….NO!  (Not even close!)

Some presentations go REALLY well (not all of them :), but I’ve NEVER made a PERFECT presentation.

…and that’s okay!

However, there are some things I do to reduce my chances of really blowing it.

1. Arrive Early
2. Know—in Advance—What You Can Remove
3. Give Moments to Mentally Relax
4. Learn about Your Audience
5. Make It Clear WHY They Should Care (about Your Topic)
6. Use the Audience for Your Explanation
7. End with a Question

Some of these might be obvious; others might need more explanation.  In fact, I might even be missing important things.  However, I KNOW that if you incorporate ANY of these, you will improve your chances of delivering a presentation well enough…well enough to compensate for the fact that your presentation WILL NOT BE PERFECT.

1. Arrive Early
Someone had to tell me this one.

Do you know WHY this is really important?  (HINT: Though it’s important, it doesn’t really have to do with making sure that will be there “on-time.”)

Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Business Communication Lesson That Could Apply to Married Life

To explain a simple yet important concept, I’m comparing two (2) of my clients.

(NOTE: This does not make any connections to marriage…until the end.)

 “We need to communicate.”

*cue eye roll*

If you’re anything like me, you probably roll your eyes whenever you hear someone utter this phrase.  (…and UNDOUBTEDLY, you’ve heard this phrase.)

Why do we roll our eyes?

I can’t tell you why YOU roll them, but here’s why I do.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

7 Times Your Tweet Will Make Me Click

So what makes YOU decide to click on a link when you’re on Twitter?

There is SO much info on Twitter, it’s tough to READ all of the Tweets, much less actually click on the different links and READ what’s on that link.

That got me thinking…WHAT makes ME click on different links when I see them on Twitter?

I know we all have different reasons for selecting what we want and are willing to read, but after giving it some thought, I realize that these are MY reasons:

1. I feel like I might learn something I want without it being too painful.
2. I might find a resource that will benefit my targeted followers.
3. I’m curious about your seemingly (or potentially) contrarian view.
4. I think there is a chance you might make me laugh.
5. It’s a review of a place I might want to visit (or already have).
6. It’s a review of a product or service I might use.
7. You’re someone I want to promote, and I’m trying to find something of yours I’m willing to promote.

If you’re curious, here is a deeper explanation of each reason.  (Warning, this is a long post!)

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Twitter Doesn't Work, Unless You Do 1 of 2 Things Right

 When I first started using Twitter, I was convinced that it didn't work...

...and I was didn't work for me--the way I was using it.

I gave up using it for a while, and it was probably the best, because I really didn't have a clue how to use Twitter.

See: 4 Things You’re Doing on Twitter That Shows You Don’t Have a Clue about How to Use It for Business

I've finally realized that you need to be doing just one of two things on Twitter to make it work (for you).

No matter the technique, there are only two (2) different ways to connect with people on Twitter:

1. Create Invitations to Respond
2. Initiate Conversation

(NOTICE: I did not suggest playing the Follow Me, I'll Follow You Game)

It's better if you do both, but even if you only do one (1) of these things, you'll begin to experience success on Twitter.  Here's a closer look at each:

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Marketing in Real-Time vs. Reasonable Time

“Today, your marketing MUST respond in REAL-TIME.”

I keep hearing and reading several variations of statements like this, but does it really make sense?

I know it sounds really cool.  It sort of reminds me of Just-in-Time (JIT) shipments that many manufacturing plants are doing, but like JIT shipments, real-time marketing does not always make sense.

(NOTE: If you prefer to ONLY read about marketing, you can skip this coming section.)

The Wisdom of JIT Shipments

This is mostly a marketing post, but let’s make a few points about the wisdom of JIT.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Being an Expert: 1 Way to Separate Yourself from Nearly Everyone Else

This past week, I made a realization about something that separates ME from most everyone else, even those with MORE ability than me.

It has to do with data.

Yes, I AM good with numbers and patterns.  So those who know me well might claim that I have an unfair advantage that many other people are not able to duplicate.

That might be true; however….

There is ONE thing I do that separates me, and it does NOT require above-average data skills…just a little above-average INSANITY (used productively).


Honestly, a lot of times, I take projects for the sake of trying to learn things.  Usually, I am focused on learning a skill or testing the effectiveness of an idea I have.  I do this a lot.

However, I just realized that I get another extremely valuable benefit from doing (most of) these projects.  I obtain “get my hands dirty” data.

Yes, REAL data!

This allows me to provide suspicions—if not outright conclusions—with more confidence than almost everyone else I know.

Often I will read articles or hear people make claims—especially about online marketing—about what you can or cannot do.  Sometimes, they might be right, but the more data I get, the more I realize that most people are not really speaking from the perspective of actually having the knowledge.  They’re simply taking what they’ve read or heard elsewhere and pretending to make it their own (often without really meaning to “fake it”).

Here are some examples of things I’ve done that give me hands-on knowledge about things that most people wish they knew…and could if they did the same (or similar) work, too.

Google SEO: Searched over 1,000 phrases on Google (within 1 week)…to see what ranks…and what does not.

LinkedIn: Analyzed over 50 search phrases within its Advanced Search (within a day) to see which profiles it pulls…and how they determine it.

Twitter: Charted times (and dates) of tweets with links that generated clicks.

…and I’ve done plenty more crazy but valuable things…just like those.

There is nothing special about what I did, except that I was willing to take the time to do it.

After I get my own data, I can more confidently identify whether you’re telling me something that makes sense in theory, in reality, or is just plain bunk.

I have a lot of abilities, but one of my strongest assets has NOTHING to do with ability.  It simply has to do with effort…getting data and finding patterns within that data.

Key Point: If you want to seem greater than most, then get more data than most (anyone would be willing to get).

I guarantee that if you start getting your own data, you will know more than almost everyone else.  Heck, you just might know more than EVERYONE else.

That is one easy but difficult way to separate yourself from nearly everyone else.

If you want to take a step toward greatness, look for excuses to gather your own data…and analyze that data!

What are some things you wish you had the data to check?  Have you already done some similar data gathering projects?