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The Musician's Desktop

Michael Allison By Michael Allison

2001-2002, Michael Allison. All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission.

NOTE: Unfortunately, Michael doesn't have as much time as he used to (due to professional obligations) and is stepping down from writing articles for the time being. He may very well be back writing in the future though, so keep watching this spot. Thanks for all your great contributions, Michael! Best of luck in the future.

Hello everyone and welcome to The Musician's Desktop. Throughout my many years as an indie artist, a music critic/writer, and a music editor, I've gained a great amount of knowledge for this business and hope to share it with anyone looking for it. I've always been a huge supporter of independent musicians. Many of the artists I work with on a daily basis are lacking in similar areas. These are the areas that I would like to focus on the most. Sometimes things like press kits, submitting music for review, building websites, and simple promotion are often overlooked, or just rushed through by artists.

Most of the aspects of being an aspiring musician start at the desktop. Hence the name of the column. I would like to focus on the important aspects of gaining exposure on the web and in the real world as well. Unlike many writers, I always try to keep things simple. I do not see a need to get too complicated with this stuff, because in reality it's not. I like to point out the problem areas, and then show easy ways to remedy the problems. Though much of this is fairly simple, it does involve a little work on your part. Anything worth doing involves work, and this is not something that will be attractive to the lazy artist/musician.

One of the secrets to my success as a writer is my blatant honesty. I seldom hold back my thoughts, and consider a good old fashion kick in the ass to be a great motivator. I'm also one who believes that this sort of thing goes both ways. By no means do I believe I'm better than anyone, and always appreciate a good ass kickin' myself once in a while. Your opinions and comments are always welcome as long as you present your thoughts in a mature manner. I have an undying passion for independent music. I get an indescribable feeling of accomplishment when I hear how I've helped someone become more successful. That's what we are striving for here. This pursuit of success, on whatever level, is what this column is all about. It all starts at the musician's desktop, so let's get started.

A short bio

Articles:

  • Building Your Marketing Campaigns Around Your Demographic Profile - This is the follow up to the article Who Is Your Target Audience?. In this article, we take what you've learned from the previous article, and put it to use in your marketing campaigns
  • Who Is Your Target Audience? - When trying to sell your band/music, you need to know who it is you are trying to attract with your marketing campaigns. It's difficult to build a marketing campaign without knowing the demographics of your potential fan base. Here we will attempt to make this subject as simple as possible and easy to put to use as well.
  • Name Recognition - Advertising can be pretty costly, not to mention a huge undertaking for a band. There are several ways to do this on a small budget, but if you're not getting your name stuck in the heads of music fans, it can be a big waste of time. We'll discuss name recognition and how to apply it to your marketing campaigns.
  • A Real Reality Check! - Need a reality check? My guess is that you probably do, but you're probably not expecting what you'll receive here with this article. Be cautious when reading this one, because you might not like what you read.
  • Rehashing the Hash & Refrying the Beans - Tired of reading the same old promotion/marketing tips? Tired of seeing the same old information about the music business? This artlce may make you feel better about it. Caution: Some of what is said may be offensive to some folks.
  • Web Marketing For Musicians - Here we cover the basics of web marketing and web page set up. For some this is a refresher course in the basics of getting music fans to your website, but for most it's something that is often overlooked or neglected. We will discuss meta tags to band pages, referral scripts, search engines, and music directories.
  • Designing a Great Band Website - Here we will take an in-depth look at designing and maintaining an effective and professional band website. I list the Top 10 things that all successful websites must have, and also common mistakes that most designers make.
  • Getting Interviewed and Featured in Magazines - This article details how to encourage music editors and writers of both online and print publications to interview and feature you and your music. This is one way that will aid in getting the most exposure that you can from each publication that you submit to.
  • The Importance of Professionalism (part 1) - Before going into detail with any promotion or tips, artist first need to start with the basics. Here we will focus on the problem areas for most artists, and discuss how a professional presentation will open doors for you as an artist.
  • The Importance Of Professionalism (part 2) - This is the continuation of understanding the importance that professionalism brings to the table if you're an independent artist. Here we discuss important areas that almost every artist needs to work on, as well as a few website fixes.

Q&A:

  • Q&A: Is It Time To hire A Publicist? - When is the right time to hire a publicist? My band is starting to build a pretty good following, and I was wondering if it's time to hire a publicist to help get the word out about us. What things do I need to consider with a publicist? Is this a big undertaking? When do we know we are ready for one? All of these questions are answered here!
  • Q&A: How Do We Find Places To Perform? - Our dilemma at the moment is finding places for them to play immediately to get themselves promoted. How or where do we look for venues? Is there any specific ways that we should go about this?
  • Q&A: What Is Cross Promotion, and how do I use it? - I just read an article about cross promotion and really didn't understand what it was. The author said that cross promotion is a great way to advertise. Could you explain this to me in plain english?
  • Q&A: Do Indie Artists Really Need A Website? - I am wondering if an indie artist really needs a website. If so, should I have a professional designer make me one, or should I do it myself?

A short bio:
As the former Editor of The Global Muse Music Magazine, Michael Allison has written well over one thousand music reviews, artist features, as well as editorials and articles and an eBook on artist development and music marketing. He continues to share his promotion/marketing and artist development advice throughout the web, and through this and other popular online sources. Michael is also an associate writer/reviewer for Music Dish, reviewing music from almost every genre. Please visit http://musicdish.com/tgm for music review submission details.

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