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  •  The EvO:R-Pedia Musicians Tips Section

    Welcome to the EvO:R Tips Section. We call this section EvO:R-Pedia because it is like a complete reference library for Indie musicians...Just about every tip has been used so you won't find false promises and a series of books to buy after reading each tip. This section was put here by musicians so that people that followed can take this knowledge and use it's power.

    Wait! Before You Write Your New Marketing Plan...
    By Tim Sweeney http://www.TSAMusic.com

    At the beginning of each year or when your career comes to another point of frustration, you will sit down and write out an extensive marketing plan. It will focus on all the goals you want to accomplish this year or even throughout your career. Unfortunately, it will also focus on repeating some of the same mistakes of the past simply because you have forgotten to do one of the most important elements of your career.

    Before you sit down to write the “ultimate marketing plan” that will give you the direction your career needs, start writing your “book.” If you have gotten signed to a “Priority” status record deal in the past or if you have gotten to that point in negotiations with a record company where the head of marketing has asked for a copy of your “book” then you know what I am talking about. Your “book” is slang for your Promotion and Marketing Book. If this is new to you, here is the simple explanation.

    Your Promotion and Marketing Book is basically a journal where you have documented in detail, each and every week, all of your promotion and marketing activities for your CD, live shows and any other aspect of your music career. It is your detailed notes of how you have been promoting you, the artist and your music. What has worked and most importantly, what hasn’t. And what the results were! (Special note - if you are in a band you need to write your own individual book and share copies with other members.)

    Your “book” will become the cornerstone of your future success in your music career. It is your guide of what you did in the past, how you did it, where you did it, what the exact results were, what your personal thoughts were as to doing it again and whether or not to expand or contract it. It will be your saving grace from not repeating the mistakes of the past by helping you truly analyze each and every promotion and marketing situation.

    Since I am guessing that you haven’t done one before, let me get you started. Your new book is nothing more than a simple notebook to begin with. Start by writing a comprehensive review of all of your goals of the last year, what you accomplished and especially document in detail, what you didn’t. After you have done that, document as many of the live shows you played as you can. Where were they? When were they? Times of the year, days of the week, time slot you played. How many people came? What did you do to promote the shows? How many CDs did you sell? How much did the venue pay you? How much did you make at the performance? Etc. Be sure to write in detail what didn’t work!

    If you are honest with yourself, you will see where you have let yourself down. Promoting and playing shows the same way each time. Only promoting to your mailing list which isn’t properly set up or structured. Not doing enough to generate new fans. How your emails don’t distinguish the differences between one show and another. Etc. Now do this same process with other aspects of your career.

    Once you have written a comprehensive review of last year, it’s time to write out a realistic marketing plan for this year. Not one that has you selling millions of CDs based upon a grid from some marketing book that doesn’t apply or software where you input imaginary numbers. Start small and work your way up. You are not going to go from not having a CD before or selling only 100-200 CDs last year to selling a 100,000 CDs this year. Set real goals and plan to exceed them.

    Once you have your yearly goals down, pick 3 or 4 small goals you need to accomplish first, this month. Then write in detail how you are going to attack these and accomplish them. Once you have done this, decide on a plan of what you can do this week, even today to help accomplish these items!

    Your new book needs to be updated weekly. Write detailed notes every weekend! Then at the end of each month, type your notes into a Microsoft Word document or file. The two reasons you do this are one, when you type your notes you will expand even more on them and your mind will generate more ideas and keep you focused on your goals and tasks. Two, by having it on your computer in a Word document or file, you can use your “keyword search” in the future to rediscover the places you played or sold CDs at and what the details were. After all, can you remember all the details regarding a show you played six months ago?

    Your book (if you are honest with yourself and dedicated) will keep you on the right path. Even when nothing seems to be working. Hundreds of bands and solo artists signed to labels wouldn’t be in trouble if they had given the record company a copy of their book so they could build upon their past success and not copy their past failures.

    So before you go charging ahead making a marketing plan that will let you down and don’t know why, provide yourself with the foundation you need to succeed.

    Stuck? Not sure how to move forward? Call me directly at 909-303-9506 or email me through my web site at http://www.TSAMusic.com to schedule a time we can review where you are in your career.
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