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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.

    Understanding Your Music Is A Key To Promoting & Selling It.
    by Tim Sweeney (http://www.tsamusic.com)

    Now that January and the new year have arrived, we will see two usual and traditional events happen this month. First, a slue of articles from so-called music industry experts, who will try to convince you, now is the time to sit down and write out a year long plan for your CD and your music career. Second, panicked artists, who will desperately rush to try to do this with all their hopes, dreams and promises of a new year. Unfortunately, bad advice leads to bad results.

    While most of the articles will be trying to convince you to do things that you canít possibly succeed at (national radio promotion, extensive touring, industry wide press coverage, etc.), they also lack the "real" advice of what the "true" first step is to becoming successful. "Understanding" your music.

    While it is well known that I am a strong believer in focusing on your home market and home state first (at least until you sell 10,000+ CDs), it is important to understand that to succeed in your home market, you can not continue to promote yourself and your music the way you have in the past. To be successful in promoting and selling your music, you must "understand" it and use it. What does that mean?

    You have to look at yourself, the artist, to realize where your music comes from and how it can help you. For example, most independent artists who send me their new CDs, focus a large percentage of their songs on personal relationships. Instead of rushing out to figure what radio stations you can send it to based upon format, or which publications you want to buy print ads in or try to get a review from, take a step back and "understand" how your songs can help market themselves.

    If personal relationships is a common theme through out your CD, how can it be used in your home market? While radio and television can get you some exposure, it also limits your ability to personally "bond" with your new and existing fans. Obviously radio stations and television advertisements donít allow you to explain what your music is about and how it directly relates to your fans. (Unless of course, you can get on talk shows). So you need to think of creative new ways to promote your music using the content of what your songs are about and how that relates to your fans. All in the hope of generating the all important "word of mouth."

    So lets use "relationships" as our common theme in our new CD. How can we use it in creative ways to generate more attention and sales in our home market?

    Off the top of my head, I would look for discussion groups in your area or organizations that present meetings or seminars on the topics that are in your songs. Attend some of the meetings. Get to know the people who attend. Talk to them about your music and how you talk about your own experiences regarding past relationships in the songs on your CD. Talk to the person running the meeting. Can you play for the group? How about setting up a cocktail "mixer" to draw more attention to the group and introducing it to new people? Can you play at that? Can the organization buy your CDs and give them out as a premium, to the members of the group?

    Then take the idea to the Web. Where can you post messages or talk about your songs online? Newsgroups? Chat rooms? Web sites that focus on the topics you sing about?

    What if your common theme or even a key song or two, was about politics or an environmental issue? What organizations in your city can you play fund-raisers for? They can invite thousands of people who donated money. Can they buy your CDs and give them away as a premium?

    The ideas are endless, let your mind go!

    What about non-music related stores to sell your CD in? "Romantic" music can be sold in candle stores, to gift basket companies to be included in their packages, flower vendors, Victoria Secret stores, etc.

    I once convinced a hotel chain to buy copies of a romantic CD to be given away to people staying at the hotel over the Valentineís weekend. Little did I ever imagine they would order 5,000 copies!

    The point Iím trying to make is, before you follow the advice of one of these "so called" experts and waste your valuable time writing out an over extended marketing plan which features things you canít possibly hope to accomplish at this stage of your career, start by aiming for reachable goals in your home market. Use your own music as a creative factor in generating new ideas, instead of just another mail out to radio or the media.

    Tim Sweeney
    TSA Music offers an incredible array of products that enhance our services. Books, Audio Workshops, and Internet Tools are available to further your music career. You can read and hear excperts from all of our products. Don't delay your success any longer, order today.

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