Thursday, 22 November 2012

Detour can help you choose where to play

This is only in Beta testing at the moment - and I hadn't heard of it.

But, its great. And since it has the people behind SongKick behind it, and becuse of the way it works, I have a feeling it will succeed.

In a nutshell, fans can pledge to attend a gig by the band that uses Detour to route their tour. 

I know there have been other services that try to allow fans demand that a band play their town (GigWish and Eventful being just two) but they haven't ever really quite nailed the method like Detour seems to.

Maybe that's because it's in private Beta and there are just a few bands using it but I think it's more to do with the fact that it's not just wishful thinking - it's about a band saying they will tour and looking to fans to help them suggest places that they might not otherwise play.

I really hope it works!

Read the Songkick piece about it here.

And the FAQ's here.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

YouTube - InVideo Programming is a killer feature for musicians

We mentioned this new YouTube feature a week or two ago, but it is SO important here's a little round-up of posts about it.

In short, you can now put an image linking to your channel page or an image and link featuring a video across ALL your videos - all with one click.

This means that when you have a new video uploaded, you can promote it across all your existing videos. Alternatively, you can create a custom image that links to your channel with a 'call to action' asking people to subscribe.

The ability to promote a new video automatically across a whole channel is a very big deal - get to it.

Here's Prescription's piece on it:

Here's YouTube's own -

And, this from the ever brilliant Smart Passive Income site covers it as part of a longer post which is well worth a read -

Friday, 19 October 2012

100 Great social media tips

Don't click on this link unless you have some tiume on your hands!

It's a list of 100 great socila media tips but each tip links to another article and pretty much all of them are really worthwhile. It just cost me well over an hour of productivity.

Bookmark it for sure.

Click here for the 100 tips.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Want to link from your YouTube video to your site...or iTunes?

This is a killer update from YouTube and something that every artist I work with has wanted to be able to do for sometime.

You can now create an annotation in a video on YouTube and link it so people can click through directly to your site or to your music on iTunes or a whole host of other places.

Well, you can....if you're a premium partner. 

And I know most DIY musicians aren't.

So having gotten you all excited, sorry to dash your hopes, but there are a whole load of DIY and Indie musicians who are already premium partners on YouTube and if that doesn't include you, it's yet another incentive to make YouTube a major priority.

Plus, of course, often the features that first appear on premium partner channels find their way to all of us.

Here's hoping.

Here's the link to YouTube to read all about it.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

MySpace - Maybe?

MySpace has launched a little teaser video to let us know that the new owners have revamped the look and the functionality and that a relaunch is on the way.

We'd all dismissed this once almighty platform (with our advice being just to keep a basic presence there) but maybe we've been too hasty and perhaps it can rebuild itself as a definitive destination for music lovers, and therefore for artists.

We'll see.


But, there seems to be some excitmenent amongst the DIY musician fraternity as this post from Music Ally says:

When advertising firm Specific Media bought Myspace – complete with investment from Justin Timberlake – it’s fair to say the most common reaction was a shrug. Dying brand, no chance of a comeback.

Yet if you thought of Myspace less as a falling social network, and more as (potentially) the largest music discovery site in the world, there was a glimmer of hope. Well, a video teaser of the new Myspace has fuelled that hope.

As one heavily-retweeted Twitter user put it: “Instagram + Pinterest + Windows 8 + Justin Timberlake = SexyBack”. It’s very beautiful, heavy on images, and light on clutter. Music remains a key ingredient too, with mixes, trending artists and songs, a radio option and a whole section spotlighting ‘This week’s Top Fans’.

Besides the obvious Pinterest comparison, we’re seeing elements of Vevo and music discovery site TheSixtyOne, as well as iPad app Aweditorium. It’s a world away from previous incarnations of Myspace, and even – whisper it – makes Facebook’s artist pages look a little old-hat.

Check the video here


Monday, 20 August 2012

5 Key Points to Help Make a Low-Budget Video / VYCLONE Iphone APP


In todays social media world, the video seems to be the optimum format for getting your music across. As much as we like to listen to music, the art of discovery is often helped with a video.

With all the low budget tech out there, it is now within everybodies reach to create a video. I succesfully filmed a band at a live gig recently with just two iphones just to see how it would work, and it didn't turn out too bad! 

So if you fancy giving it a go, there are a few simple things you need get right before you embark on your first video production.

Peter Gavin has put together a list of 5 key points that will help you create your first video in a post that i found on evolver FM.

He says you need to consider these things..

1. It takes 2 (cameras) to make a thing go right

2. Lighting is the more important than your camera

3. Audio quality can make or break your video

4. You already own editing software

5. Resize your videos without losing quality

He goes into depth in the full article that you can read here. Which also has more leads/links to more info that will guide you through to making your first video.


Another interesting way to create a video is to use a useful app that has just appeared on the Web.

Vyclone is a new free iPhone app which allows you to include and remix your own video footage with the ones of your friends recording the same event.

Vyclone synchronizes and edits everyone's clips to create one movie with all the angles cut together.

Sounds awesome, you just make sure you get a few friends to install the app at your gig and get them filming, all the pain of syncing is taken away so you can just use the best shots!

For more info go here

Go on give it a go... it's not as difficult to make a video as you think!





Wednesday, 15 August 2012

The Reason We Are All Addicted - The Scientific Power of Music

The way music can effect people is fascinating, it seems to be able to effect you physically and emotionally, but have you ever wondered how?

I came across the following video which gives you cool insight into how music really does effect you, and the reason we are all addicted to it.

Check it out, music really is a drug.....

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

10 Ways To Grow One Gigantic Mailing List


Hi! We're back from our Summer Holidays, Ian spent a lovely 2 weeks down in Devon dodging the rain, whilst I avoided the Olympic madness in London and spent the time in Berlin. So we are back now bringing you more tips and suggestions we have scoured from the web, and as we were away there's a lot to catch up on.

The first thing to catch my eye is an article on how to grow your mailing list. This in my mind is the single most important thing a band should be doing, after writing some amazing music!

Musicians have to get over the fact that their music won't be magically discovered as it was before the internet, and staying connected to your fanbase is imperative, and the best connection you can have (after their telephone number which is highly unlikely) is their personal email address.

Jon Ostrow, Cyber PR’s publicity director has written an article that hits the nail on the head and lists 10 Ways To Grow One Gigantic Mailing List.

Continual and correct engagement with your fanbase is crucial to keep them loyal, and with sense of exclusivity you will continue to keep them that way.

He mentions in his article...

When building and nurturing a fan base, your objective is always to strengthen loyalty, then size. Going way back to the ‘1000 true fans‘ theory, having 1000 super fans who buy everything from you and are in constant support of you is far more beneficial (and lucrative) than 10,000 casual fans. So, creating a strong sense of exclusivity is very important when offering something in exchange for an email address. You want your fans to feel as though giving their email address to you is meaningful, as if they were joining a club or community, ultimately strengthening their loyalty to you.

Check out his 10 winning ways to grow your mailing list here




by Steve




Tuesday, 31 July 2012

How The Internet Has Rocked The Music Industry - Infographic


We seem to be awash with infographics here at Make it in Music!  I just found this other cool one (courtesy of Mashable) displaying the facts about How The Internet Has Rocked The Music Industry. Sometimes its good to see the details! 


Monday, 30 July 2012

15 Top Tips to Record Like A Professional - Infographic


I love Infographics, especially when they are well designed and informative. So i just had to share this one with you. Here is 15 Top Tips on how to Record Like A Professional. 



Friday, 27 July 2012

The Friday Five - 27th July 2012

It's almost here! The Olympic Games in London starts in just a few hours, the buzz here is pretty intense and the City seems to of gone mad. And amongst all that we have still managed to get out of the pub, and bring you 5 Olympic nuggets for you to peruse at your leisure.  See you at the finishing line! And in no particular order....


1. How To Make A wikipedia Page For Your Music

Excellent set of guidlines and rules for crafting your own wikipedia page. you got to make sure you create  something that doesnt automatically gets removed. Thats happened to several people i know.


2. Utilising Fan-created Content In Your Next Music Video.

Useful examples of getting your fans in to help create your next viral video!


3. Top 5 Mistakes Musicians Make with Their Live Show

This is real solid advice, all musicians should read this one.


4. The Totally Colourblind Man Hears Colours As Music

There are times I wish i could do that!  Just Watch.....


5. More Free Samples! This Time Some Out Of This World Weirdness

Sometimes, you're looking for a beat, chord or riff that you can use as the basis for a track, but on other occasions, what you need is a bit of other-worldly weirdness to add atmosphere.


Enjoy the sports fest! See you next week....



Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Kickstarter for the Average Musician


Kickstarter and fanfunding, are the buzzwords of the moment. Thank you Amanda Palmer!

But realistically, how easy is it to reach a target?  

You have an email list of fans, but how many will give you some of their hard earned cash?

There are many questions like this that the average musician needs answers to, so John Oszajca of Music Marketing Manifesto has recently interviewed someone at the other end of the scale to Amanda Palmer, singer/songwriter Kat Parsons, who recently reached her modest amount (in comparison) of 20,000 US Dollars to record her album, and asked her why she chose Kickstarter what her pledges were, how she engaged her fanbase to reach her target.

The interview is a podcast on his website and you can hear it here.




Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Fan Engagement - 5 Tips For Effective Fan Polling


Last week here on our posterous page we posted an article on How To Increase Your Reach On Facebook. Explaining that the reason your posts are not being seen by your entire fanlist is becauuse of a system called Edgerank, which basically puts your posts into more newsfeeds depending on how viral your previous content is. This judges your content as relevant and worth spreading.

One system that I have personally seen to bring results is to run a poll.  Facebook has a section in create a post section called 'Ask Question'. Working for a band, we decided to get the fans involved and created a poll about what songs the audience wanted to hear at an upcoming London gig. We placed just few songs in there to start, and allowed the fans to add more songs to the list, effectively creating a chart of what were the favourite songs of the bands fanbase. 

The engagement was amazing, and the chart filled up nicely bringing many songs they hadn't played for a while to the list, which were then added to the setlist on the night of the show.

This also had a positive effect on the edgerank, as other posts seemed to reach further and be viewed by more of the fanbase. Just the result we needed! Polls can be useful, our reach definitely increased and the fans got to hear songs that they wanted!

Polling fans can also be used to obtain different information you may need to move forward with your career, such as what songs should i finish for my album?

You could very easily do this on Facebook but there are other applications that can help you get feedback and be even more engaging to your fanbase such as the online app called Popplet, and DIY musician Abi Robins did just that.

Mark Boyd has written an article for about how Abi used Popplet and she shares some of her ideas about fan polling that can help you build and maintain a loyal audience for your music.

She states in Marks article,

“A lot of my fan base thought it was really cool to use Popplet as a way to provide feedback. It gave fans an insight into the new album production – much more than just asking a  poll question – and a lot of people thought it was a really neat idea. It was a way of presenting the information that they hadn’t seen before, which, I think, turned quite a few heads. The fact that it looks really neat and it is easy to navigate helped a lot, too.”

She also gives 5 Tips For Effective Fan Polling, so its worth reading the whole of Marks article here.

And find out more about Popplet here

Of course you can be very imaginative about the things you poll your fans about, fans love to be involved. Remember in this Social Media age you are now their property, with them you are nowhere.



Above photo is of the artist Modest Mouse checking out what his fans have to say. photographer unknown.



Monday, 23 July 2012

Music Marketing - How to Target and Conquer your Niche


The music industry today looks to be full of artists that seem to come from nowhere. All of a sudden they have a viral hit, whether it's from a video, or a trending tweet. 

The DIY musician needs to realise that this kind of thing doesn't happen purely because they have have written an amazing tune. There are thousand of undiscovered brilliant tracks out there. More often than not, it has become succesful because of their canny use of Social Media. And probably even more so because they understand what their niche is.

So what is a Niche?

Cyber PR's Jon Ostrow puts it like this,

a niche is simply a specific or ‘specialized’ market. In other words, it is not ‘the whole world’ or ‘rock fans’. A niche is a very detailed, smaller sub-section of a bigger market, but most importantly those who are characterized within the niche are far more likely to be loyalists than fans of a more generalized market. Not to get too ‘marketing-jargen’ on you all, but typically speaking, the more specific a niche, the more dedicated those within it will be, and visa versa, the more broad a market becomes, the less dedicated the fans will be.

So clearly, all music genres fall into niches, the trick is, How do you conquer that niche to get your message/brand across? Well, you need to define and locate the fans of your niche, Jon suggests collating the following information to help you determine that.

    • Demographic (age, gender location)
    • Similar / influential artists (remember to start locally, then branch out to the regional, national and global scale)
    • What are the influential promotional outlets?
    • Where do the fans exist online?
    • What blogs do they read?
    • How do they find out about new music?
    • Are they into fashion? If so, what brands?

Check out the Jons Full article for cool tips on how to understand and conquer your niche, you can read his full post here.



Monday, 16 July 2012

How To Increase Your Reach On Facebook


If you use Facebook as much as I do, you will see many disgruntled users complaining on how their fan page content is not reaching all the fans they have. This is because Facebook doesnt work in the same way as other social media tools do. it uses an algorythm called Edgerank. Once you understand this and how it works, you will definitely see an improvement in your views, and your content should be becoming more viral.

The Edgerank algorythm determines what gets placed in a users newsfeed. You will notice that in the ticker at the side of a facebook page that not all the content displayed there gets put into your main newsfeed. with the thousands upon thousands of posts going on every minute, there has to be some way of seeing what is of interest to you, and this is judged upon engagement.  

Since the last major facebook update, the two main websites I am blogging on  I noticed through my statistics for those sites that the amount of traffic coming from Facrbook was declining. 

These sites are feeding by an RSS feed all the posts created on them to their respective Facebook pages, but the engagement created by them is becoming less and less. 

So what is needed is a better form of engagement that can get traffic from these views to get to your site.

Check out this infographic from the Mariposa Agency for some facts on different forms of engagement other than status updates and how well they perform.


On the two websites I mentioned earlier, we have taken steps to change this, by utilising images placed on facebook with a link in the text we've noticed a vast improvement of engagement and traffic.

Bryan Kim director of Biz Dev at Tracksby, personaaly admins over 100 facebook pages for musicians. He has written a brilliant article going into detail on how to get your facebook page performing better. He says,

No matter how facebook slices it, your actionable instruction remains the same: GET MORE ENGAGEMENT! Get those likes, those comments, those shares. Make it your main goal with Facebook. These engagement points build on top of itself, ensuring better and better distribution on news feeds over time as your engagement improves. It’s something like a credit score for your Facebook page, and the algorithm lends you more impressions the better you perform.

How to increase your reach on Facebook?  Read his full article 'The Definitive Guide To Facebook For Musicians'  here.

Written by Steve




Friday, 6 July 2012

The Friday Five - 6th July 2012


Another week over! Here's a bunch of thing we liked this week across the musical web.


1. Why are verse lyrics so hard to write?

So you have the hook, now you gotta get the story right. Some top tips on getting the verse lyrics sorted on your next song.


2. Lego step sequencer

This is not a trick is actually works. Built at a Hackathon in the States, a webcam detects the colours of the bricks and plays the appropriate sound. Cool!


3. Using QR codes to promote.

QR codes are great, they are the funny looking square patterns that are popping up everywhere.

But what are they for? What you need is a QR reader in your smart phone. It scans the square which then opens the phones browser and takes you directly to the content. Check out how this band used them on a poster for ideas.


4. Complete Guide to Sync Licensing

After our article on our main site about Cover Songs, I found this great video article all about Sync Licensing from DIY musician


5. Beatsurfing - The Organic MIDI Controller Builder

This is an awesome new programmable midi controller for the iPad.  Especially if you like your music glitchy. Check out a few of the videos and demos to get an idea of what this is truly capable of.

Don't forget to check our latest post on our main website  Do you need a license for a Cover Song?

Have a good weekend!   Steve  :)


Thursday, 5 July 2012

4 Tips to Get You Acting Like You're In The Music Business.


I have been in the business along time. And I would freely admit back when I started, the industry was a different beast, and being an artist had a definite amount of roleplay come with it.

It seems like a cliche, but that was a time when musicians felt like it all had to be done by someone else and all you had to do was keep on turning out the music, everything else was handled by your management.

The hedonistic lifestyle is still portrayed in the media, but really, how much of it is still true today. The music marketplace has become a very competitive area, and it is important to be on top of your game, as someone else just might be more 'on it' than you and clinch that gig/deal/contract.

Alas there still seems to be a contingent of talented musicians that are following the DIY approach that havent quite fully made the shift.

Things need to tighten up.

Cheryl B. Engelhardt is a musician and has written an interesting article with basic points to help you to start acting like you are in the business.

Her four very simple points are:

1. Don't Flake Out

2. Be On Time

3. Craft Your Emails, Don’t Spit Them Out

4. Keep Your Receipts Organized, Finances Clean

She states:

So here’s the cold, hard truth: you are in a business now, so play the part. As a musician, I see more responses (which lead to more results) when my communications are clear and professional. I tend to be [annoyingly] persistent, so I want to make sure my messages are not annoying to read or decode. When I’m on the other end of those messages, I have an easier time reading a longer email that is well-written than reading a short-hand email, trying to figure out if the writer meant “there” or “they’re.”

Seems like she has some advice well worth following and reading, i suggest you keep an eye on her and check out her  “In The Key Of Success: The 5 Week Jump-Start Strategy,” an incredibly effective, result-oriented eCourse for independent musicians who are serious about breaking through plateaus in their careers.

You can read her full blog post here

and check out her music here

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

CDs and DVDs - Contrary to Belief They Do Not Last Forever


I remember back in the seventies on a British TV show called Tomorrows World a presenter showing us what the future of music will be.

DIGITAL SOUND!  I watched in awe as he presented a small silver disc, 12cm across and said you can fit 74 minutes of music on this. I could not believe what I was hearing. 74 minutes of pristeen sound, that would never wear out on a robust medium that you could scratch get finger prints on, (oh yea they got that wrong) and nothing will happen to the music on it. This definitely was the future.

I remember when the first CD players came on to the market, quite a few years later, and trying this for myself, and yep for the best part, he was right. It seemed like we had finally got a medium for music that would not wear out, last for ever, create exact copies, (that's another issue) and store any recordings we had made in the 'analog' age so our music can last forever.

Well it looks like he was WRONG!

CDs and also DVDs are not the things we thought they were. It appears they can rot and go moldy, just like tape does, (ok not quite but you see what i mean), so it could be time now for you to check out your old cds and see what condition they're in.

So how can you tell if something's up? Tina Sieber has written an article on the subject, she says,

You can do a simple visual check. If you see light shining through tiny little holes when you hold a disc against light, then the reflective layer has started to disintegrate. Also check your CDs for discoloring, especially around the edges. See whether the different layers are still tightly together or have started to de-laminate.

If you are getting worried you better check out the rest of her article here.

Written by Steve



The World Without Internet


We have all come a long way in the past 15 years. The internet has completely changed our Music Industry and our day to day lives. What would the World be like now, without the internet?  I found this great infographic, and just had to share it with you.


The World Without Internet

We've come along way in the past 15 years. The Music Industry is now pretty much totally dependent on the internet to survive. What would the world be without the internet? I found this very cool infographic i wanted to share with you.


<img class="aligncenter" src="" width="500" alt="" />



Tuesday, 3 July 2012

8 Skills That Your Social Media Manager Needs


So, with your schedule busying up, and with alot of deadlines to meet before the upcoming tourdates, maybe you should leave the running of your acts social media to someone else?

Social media is changing on a weekly if not daily basis. New technologies come and go, some successful, some not. How on earth do you have the time to try each one of these and see which is effective for your act/band/project.

Well maybe it is time to hire someone to take on this ever growing list of tasks, but with the whole world offering you solutions out there, how can you make a descision on who is right for the job of taking care of your online presence?

Here are some keys attributes here which were selected by writer Stephanie Winans in an article she originally wrote for her website that you can check to see if the person or company you are picking is the right one.

1.    Is An Online Social Butterfly

2.    Has An Understanding of Your Target

3.    Gets Customer Service

4.    Knows What’s Going On

5.    Can Spell

6.    Knows The Devil is in the Details

7.    Is At Least A Little Techie

8.    Is Okay With Being “Plugged In”

Music marketing master Micheal Brandvold has also expanded on her list, he added the following comment to her number one item 'Is An Online Social Butterfly'

This is definitely the number one item you should research. Is the person who is going to help you walking the walk and talking the talk? Do they live what they preach? If they are going to help you with Twitter see how they use Twitter. How many followers do they have? How well do they engage with their followers? How well do they use all of the various sites out there that they are claiming to help you with? Here is what it comes down to… do you want someone who has only 35 followers to advise you on what to do?

You can read Michael Brandvolds article here.

Written by Steve


Friday, 29 June 2012

The Friday Five - 29th June 2012

Yep it's the end of the week, and here are this weeks five things we thought you might just want to take a look at.


1. Fanfunding Tip: Offer Imaginative Incentives to Entice More Fans

The DIY Musician have created a great list of pledge ideas to hook in new fans.


2. Musical ‘Stock Market’ TastemakerX Puts Your Money Where Your Ears Are

An Iphone app/game that allows you to invest in your favourite acts with virtual currency, sort of like the stock exchange meets the pop charts.


3. Get Venues to Ask You Back: 8 Tips You Can Use For Your Next Show

Nice small article from Reverbnation on how to get a venue to ask you back. Could be useful....


4. How To Make Your Facebook Timeline POP!

Ariel gives a whole bunch of tips on getting your Facebook timeline to work better for you.


5. Free Music Making Samples Download

There are beats and hits aplenty for you in this week's bundle, plus a collection of FX stabs.



Thursday, 28 June 2012

3 Legal Tips for Amanda Palmer-Style Crowdfunding


Here at Make It In Music we have been following with interest the Amanda Palmer Kickstarter story. It has definitely been a game changer. Indie musicians everywhere are now looking at the DIY approach in a new light. There is money to be had.

Earlier this month we took at look at this, with Crowdfunding - Beware of the Goldrush - 20 Things You Must Consider  looking at things that concern your commitment to the fans that have invested in your music.

But we forget there are other implications to suddenly having a million dollars fall in your lap.

Martin Frascogna has written an article covering possible legal and financial implications to consider when setting up a kickstarter project.

Martin states,

Raising millions via crowdfunding doesn’t come without questions, and more so, legal implications. Where does all the money go? Is there a legal obligation to investors? Because Amanda’s successful Kickstarter will inevitably inspire others to initiate crowd funding campaigns, artists can avoid future pitfalls by implementing the following techniques.

1. Treat It Like a Contract

2. Assure the Proper Entity

3. Transparency Is Key

You can read his full article in the Midem Blog here




Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Rizzle Kicks' Top 5 Tips for Getting Noticed as an Artist

It was the BBC Radio 1 Hackney Weekend in London this weekend, the UKs largest free ticketed festival over two days on Hackney Marshes. 

Brighton based hip hop duo Rizzle Kicks played on the main stage on the afternoon of the first day, not even a year after the release of their debut album Stereo Typical (released on 31 October 2011). As of May 2012, Rizzle Kicks have sold 1 million singles and 300,000 albums in the UK. Not bad, they must be doing something right.

In a TV interview for BBC 1 Jordan (pic left) listed the top 5 tips for getting noticed as an artist, definitely something worth sharing with you, as he seems to be 'keeping it real' and looks like he has his feet firmly on the floor.

You can see the video here



Tuesday, 19 June 2012 - A New Online Mobile Presskit For Bands to connect with Industry Professionals

This looks like it could be a useful online application,, is the music industry’s first cross platform portfolio web app designed to aid individuals in organizing, protecting, & sharing their creative identities. Consider it a digital business card for the 21st century that houses all of your relevant career info and media without the clutter of social networks and official websites., the first product from Boston-based music-tech startup Indie Ambassador, was created after its founders, all of whom are lifelong music entrepreneurs in their own right (see below), realized there was no tool designed to allow their demographic to neatly and securely showcase their projects in a manner that was ideal for industry professionals to access and interpret.

The app allows users to grant select access to unreleased content (audio, video, images, & files) via private streaming and download, while assigning custom expiration dates from a mobile accessible dashboard. A recent integration with SoundCloud is the first of many third-party services that will be built into the app in the coming weeks.

Currently in private Beta, is optimized for use across all Internet connected devices, enabling users to proficiently network in-person and online. 


Friday, 15 June 2012

The Friday Five - 15th June 2012


We spend everyday at the MIIM Mansion scouring the web for news to bring to you. Usually we find top tips and guide you to things can be especially helpful for the DIY musician/Artist in the new music economy. But with all that reading we cover a whole lot of news, articles and nuggets that are equally as useful, informative and often downright funny.

So from now on, on a Friday, we are going to give you our Friday Five. Five cool things we found this week, that didn't quite get to our post of the day, but feel we just had to share with you in some way.

So in particular order....


1. Songstarters

Need help in starting to get that tune in your head out? Then try this....


2. The Top 100 Must Follow Music Resources on Twitter

Seems like a useful continuing series from Chris Robley, broken down into groups of 10.


3. Is Your Music In An Art Gallery Or At Ikea?  

Read this a while back, something to consider though...

4. 8 Simple steps to Formating a Proper Press Release

Just incase you didnt know...


5. Free Music Making Samples Download

Yes summer is here, are you feeling Balearic? Fancy writing some downtempo/chillout? Music Radar are offering a free download of 253 samples to help you create the mood...


And don't forget to check out our latest article on the Make it in Music website,

5 Rules of Fan Engagement in Social Media


see you next week,  Steve

Above image from Bjazz


Thursday, 14 June 2012

New Fan Engagement Facebook App - ChatWithTheBand

I get the feeling this one could be a biggie! ChatWithTheBand is a new Facebook application, currently in beta brought to you by RockNRoll Digital. A live video chatroom to get upclose and personal with your fanbase.

Once you have installed it on your Facebook page, you can choose when to schedule and promote a broadcast through Facebook. When the chat is live, all participating fans can see and hear the artist on their Facebook page, and can chat to the artist and each other in a live text stream. 

When the artist wants to chat to a specific fan, they can  click that fan’s name to start a direct video chat with them in front of everybody, Alternatively click the “Chat With A Fan” button to randomly select a fan to do the same, bit like Chatroulette that, while rest of the audience can view and comment on the curent video chat.

The artist can also play tracks and get direct feedback, which has got to be good, directly giving the fan the kind of engagement we encourage here ar Make It In Music.

There's going to be a whole load of extra features when ChatWithTheBand finishes its beta phase. In the pipeline are Kickstarter and TopSpin (one of our favourites!) integration, email list embedding, broadcast recording, and page customization.

Sounds wicked.

For more information go here.

Written by Steve



Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Four Business Factors Needed For A Successful Independent Musician


They absolutely frustrate the hell out of me. Who? Talented Musicians, thats who. I know and have worked with many, they are highly skilled, some with beautiful and distinctive vocals, they create amazing tracks and albums, but their downfall is that they believe that after the music has been made, that the rest of the business happens by magic.

I put this down to their childhoods. And their own discovery of artists and music. There was mainly 3 mediums of music discovery, TV, Radio and Press. It was very easy to get excited about a new artist, because on TV new music was scarce, there was total wonderment when you discovered something that affected you, it became very much a personal experience, something that you invested in, and something that you treasured.

These feelings eventually inspired alot of people to take that path, to becoming artists in their own right. But they seem to carry with them that these feelings of their own personal discovery of music will be the same process for anyone that discovers their own music.

Well times have most definitely changed. There's a whole world of new music out there waiting to be discovered through countless websites and devices for music fans to find something new. 

We have mentioned this many times here at Make It In Music, that the Industry as we used to know it is no more. The machine that used to create the paths to success through TV, Radio and Press no longer exclusively control the ways and means to a successful music carreer, there are too many independent routes to take now that anyone can access for little or no cost.

The thing that has changed for the musician is that being a talented songwriter/performer/band is not the only skillset you need these days. You need to get to grips with embacing a whole different set of factors to improve your chances in geting your music out there and building up a solid fanbase.

You now have the same tools at your disposal as the majors labels and industry players have.

What you have to realise also it's not rocket science.

Writer Shaun Letang of Music Industry How To has noted Four Business Factors Needed For A Successful Independent Musician, and of course there are more but he belives that these four things are key to getting you on the right path.


1. They Realize That Marketing Is A Key Factor In The Music Career


2. They Have A Good Online Base


3. They Don’t Burn Bridges Out Of Frustration


4. They Aren’t Afraid To Invest In The Music Career



On building up your own online fanbase he writes...




The internet is one of the best places to both build up relationships with existing fans, and gain new ones. Because of this, it’s important you have your online presence strategically set up, and make yourself stand out from the crowd.

While online properties such as Facebook fan pages and Twitter accounts are important for your online presence, they really aren’t a substitute for having your own website.

Your own website should be the base of your operations. All other account such as Facebook and Twitter should link to your site, drive traffic to your site, and in turn direct people to sign up to your mailing list. Once on your mailing list, you can build up stronger relationships with your fans, and communicate with them directly and effectively.


I don't know how many times I have said that to musicians and bands, for me it is the number 1 thing to consider in this new music economy. The chance to have a direct personal relationship is the single most important factor you need to embrace if you want your music to get out there. Your fans are what make you, they are the best form of promotion could ever desire. Keep them engaged.

You can check out Shaun Letangs article in full here.


Written by Steve.






Monday, 11 June 2012

Crowdfunding - Beware of the Goldrush - 20 Things You Must Consider


The music industry has been recently turned on it's head. Who by? Amanda Fucking Palmer that's who.

She seems to of got what she wants just by asking for it, and she has made it look easy. One million dollars in just a few weeks is an incredible acheivement, and one many people are thinking they can replicate with ease.

Amanda came from the fortunate position of having a healthy sized fanbase to start with, and has obviously displayed a knack on how to entice and engage the crowdfunding public. Even to the point of managing to get a number of fans to part with 5000 dollars each for her and her band to perform in their living rooms. 

But there are many many things to consider.  Writer Scott Steinberg has written a free book, "The Crowdsourcing Bible"  and puts forward these questions that anyone considering crowdfunding should ask themselves for starting their project, music based or not, the principles and questions remain the same.


1.  How good is your idea – really? Are you certain that people will be interested in it?

2.  Why is your product, service or venture destined to sell – what value does it offer the customer?

3.  What differentiates your project from existing competitors, or alternatives that have come before? Are you utilizing an existing brand, IP or personality that has a pre-existing base of fans or consumers? (Using an existing, if perhaps older, brand or IP which consumers have fond memories of can be a very effective strategy.)

4.  Can you express your idea simply and at the same time get people excited about it?  If not, it may be that the idea isn't all that compelling, or that you may not be the right person to communicate or present it.

5.  Do you have something tangible to show when presenting your venture – some visual aspect of your project that can help other people visualize it?

6.  How well do you know and understand your target audience?

7.  Do you have confidence in your ability to reach out and connect with potential backers?  Have you planned which vehicles you will use to reach out and connect with them?

8.  Have you calculated just how much money you need – truly need – to get your ideas off the ground? 

9.  Have you factored in all financial variables, including the costs of reward fulfillment, payments to the crowdfunding service, and taxes?

10.  Have you been sensible enough to build a budget that allows for breathing room in certain areas, and factors in conservative projections?

11.  Are you positive that you can fulfill all your promises, including completing the project in the allotted timeframe, and delivering on all features and content covered in your pitch? Have you considered the impact on your product’s brand identity, or your own personal brand, should your campaign not succeed?

12.  Do you have some great rewards in mind to give backers and fans incentive to donate?  Have you mapped out your reward tiers? How will you offer these rewards, and what dollar amount will you attach to them?

13.  Can you offer meaningful rewards at a variety of investment levels to attract all potential patrons?

14.  What specific or unique rewards will you use to get people talking? Can you create any singular ones that can be utilized in social media campaigns or for press outreach?

15.  Do you understand all the personal and professional demands that the process of running a crowdfunding campaign demands from creators? Are you prepared to put 110% effort into making your crowdfunding project a success?

16.  Do you have at least some marketing, public relations and social media connections and savvy?

17.    What promotional campaign activities do you plan to pursue leading up to and during launch? How will you keep the buzz going after your crowdfunding project debuts?

18.    Are you ready and able to take a big personal risk?

19.  Do you – and at least a few other people you can look to for support, whether financial, emotional or otherwise – fully believe in your project?

20.   Who can you turn to for help, whether in terms of assistance with asset creation, financial backing, raising awareness or just help spreading the word?


With the forthcoming crowdsourcing boom, there are bound to be many failures, don't let yours be one of them. Luckily for you Scotts book is available to download for free.  Just click here.






Friday, 8 June 2012

How To Spot 10 tell-tale Signs of an Amateur Mix


I've worked in recording studios most of my life, and also tutored Music production and sound engineering at Point Blank Music School. Over the years i keep getting asked the same question from musicians and students alike, "why doesn't my music sound like a professional record?"

Well this can be for many reasons, firstly as a music maker, I believe that just because you can add parts and infinite amounts of detail to a track, doesnt mean you have to. It's the point that just because he or she is a musician and can do it, doesn't mean that it has to be there in the track, it's not a contest!

Making a good tune is not about showing off your musical skills, it's about creating a track/song that people will love.

When asked to produce a tune I will take the parts supplied if its a song and strip it right down to its basics. Drums, Bass and Voice. Does it still feel like a vital tune? You should hope so, as good song should be able to rely on this basic interpretation, then everything else for me is production.

I have found people create tracks where they listen to it at a point in their production process, and think, 'hmm the tune ain't right, it needs something else'. So more parts are added and the production gets more layered and more complicated.

Well, over the years i have come to realise that the brain can really only handle about 5 components in a track, (drums/rhythm being 1), any more and the listener tends to find it complicated and hard to listen to.

So if you get to a point in your production, where you feel it isn't right and needs more, maybe you should be asking yourself, 'Are these parts I have the best they can be?' . Covering and layering more parts isn't a solution, and as a musician, dont think you're being a producer either. The sign of a good producer is know what to leave out of a production, and keeping what really works.

So what inspired me to pass on this nugget of information, is a very cool article and essential reading I found on the Music Radar website.

10 tell tale signs of an Amateur mix will help you find and spot faults with your production and help make your tracks stand out for the right reasons. Here they mention using the wrong sounds...

The wrong sounds

Sometimes tracks don't sound right because the constituent parts don't make a whole. This can be caused by using sounds that simply don't fit - synth brass being used in place of a real part, or a sample with slightly incorrect timing or pitch, for example.

It can also be down to the use of boring-sounding presets, too many or incorrectly applied effects, or roughly recorded samples. Don't misunderstand this last point, because rough, lo-fi audio can sound fantastic in the right context. It's all about getting the right sounds for the track.

The mix is also extremely important here. Of course, you want some sounds to stand out - the hooks, lead vocals and so on - but it can be jarring when other sounds that make up the arrangement are so poorly mixed that they end up taking over (we've heard tinny percussion loops that take your head off, and sub-basses that blow your speaker cones… we could go on and on!).

You can read the article in full here.


Thursday, 7 June 2012

Stop Putting It Off! - Top Tips To Help Beat Procrastination


Come on, we are all guilty of it. Always finding a reason not to do the things we should be doing right now.

Why do we do it?  Thinkers philosophers and psychologists come up with many reasons why you and I don't do the things we need to attend to that can help us achieve more in our life, and our carreer goals.

A common one, especially in the music business is 'Fear of Success'.  Writer Steve Pavlina gives a good explanation on this aspect here,

Fear of success can be far more insidious because it’s almost always unconscious. But it’s not fear of success itself that is the problem but rather fear of the side effects of success, many of which may be genuinely unwanted. Fears that are never evaluated consciously have a tendency to grow stronger. The reason is simple behavioral conditioning — when you avoid something you fear (either consciously or subconsciously), you automatically reinforce the avoidance behavior. So when you (even unknowingly) avoid working on your goal because of a hidden fear of success, you actually reinforce the habit of procrastination, so as time goes by, it becomes harder and harder to get yourself to take action. Insidious!

It's like a self destruct button that completely screws things up, months, years of work completely wasted because of an inabilty to act when you need to.  It is a form of self sabotage that you as an artist can really do without, and if you suffer from bouts of procrastination there are ways you can beat it.

I did a bit more research on the subject and found this very interesting article with a whole bunch of cool explanations and tips on dealing with it. Leo Babauta wrote this for, which i think is relevent for all creative types. My favourite tip from him follows....

Enjoy the process. When we dread something, we put it off—but instead, if we can learn to enjoy it, it won’t be as hard or dreadful. Put yourself in the moment, and enjoy every action. For example, if you want to go out to run, don’t think about the hard run ahead, but about putting on your shoes—enjoy the simplicity of that action. Then focus on getting out the door—that’s not hard. Then focus on warming up with a fast walk or light jog—that can be nice and enjoyable. Then feel your legs warm up as you start running a little faster, and enjoy the beautiful outdoors. This process can be done with anything, from washing dishes to reading to writing. Enjoy yourself in the moment, without thinking of future things you dread, and the activity can be very pleasant and even fun. And if it is, you won’t put it off.

You can read the full article here



Thursday, 24 May 2012

How To Market Your Music On Pinterest

Pinterest, it is one of the fastest growing Social Media networks of all time. It currently has over 11 million users, and it's format is even changing the way people are designing their sites and blogs. The answer?

Well it must be that people just love looking at pictures, and seeing a large selection on a page just takes one more step out of the browsing experience, making much easier to consume the data presented.

I myself have already created a pinterest profile for my visual website It is bringing to the site a lot more traffic, but the interesting thing for me is the use of the 'Boards'. It gives you a chance to present your content in a different way, maybe with more fun aspect, and can be used to help develop your online personality. Example: we post loads of things to do with Star Wars, so we create a board called 'These are not the droids we are looking for..'. Each of the items displayed are on bloodyloud as a serious art/news item, here we re title them with something more amusing, and we get more traffic. Also we can use multiple images from same item differently, attracting the user in different ways.

So now as i work here at Make It In Music too, it was great to see an article on Hypebot explaining how you can use pinterest to maket your music.

Writer Valeria Bornstein of Fame House says:

If you have fans that are passionate enough to follow you across multipleplatforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, it is safe to assume that they will also likely follow you on Pinterest as well. Pinterest is a great place to connect with fans on a personal level because it allows you to showcase your tastes, as well as things that interest you individually. On Pinterest, users share primarily pictures (videos too), and again, there isn’t much writing involved so it is more visually appealing and can be easier to capture people’s attention. Pinterest is not a site that is driven by music at all, so it is essentially a platform for purely sharing content with fans.

Pinterest can be an effective platform for building relationships with audiences, but is an ineffective platform to “sell” to them. By sharing on Pinterest, your fans get a better sense of who you are as a person, and you can build emotional connections with them, which should be one of the main goals of any brand-fan relationship. Fans are more willing, by far, to spend money on and support (word of mouth shall not be discounted!) those artists that have made a personal connection with them.

Check out more of her in depth article here.

Written by Steve



Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Build A Loyal Fanbase - 13 Tips On How To Turn Fans Into Superfans



I've just read an interesting article on Hypebot, all about what's needed to build up a loyal fanbase. The interesting thing about it is how they have noticed it is quite similar in a way to building a cult! And as artists i guess you all want a little praise every now and then, so it is boiled down here into 13 tips on how to turn your fans into superfans! ( err and not the darkside!).


Building A Loyal Fanbase:

1. Give Your Fans a Name

2. Tag Fans in Your Panoramic Concert Photos

3. Give Approaching Fans Your Undivided Attention

4. Always Have [Cheap] Merch Handy [For Free Giveaway]

5. Share Dark Secrets on Your Blog

6. Send Special E-mails

7. Develop Shared Symbols

8. Use Loyalty-based Apps to Connect to Your Fans

9. Play in Smaller Venues

10. Stay on Your Merch Table

11. Conduct Live Webcast

12. Showcase Them In Your Music Video

13. Post [Photos of] Their Gifts on Your Website and Social Networks


You can read each part of these 13 tips here on the oiriginal post by Unified Manufacturings blog site.

They manufacture merch both sides of the atlantic for majors acts, hence the emphasis on merch, but hey in this DIY approach we push here at Make It In Music, merch is a really good thing. It can really strenghten the relationship between you and your fans, as well as being packaged in a deal in your online store.  Topspins figures prove that music and merch packages sell far better than just music, cds or downloads.


Check out Hypebots Cult analogy here.



Monday, 21 May 2012

Distro FM and 4 other Apps changing the Music Industry


Social Media or Social Branding, the two buzz words that are changing the way we interact with each other and all with the things we like from musicians, artists, TV shows and Films, and even Products. In a short time the market place has been revolutionised by the world of social interaction.

This process is slowly removing the 'middlemen' from the equation. There was a time that everyone needed middlemen (labels, publishers, distributors, marketers, retailers, ticket sellers and promoters) to get their music career happening.

Now this is no longer the case, the DIY artist/musician now have a wealth of apps and different choices to carve their own future, using direct to fan technologies which we at Make It In Music absolutely love.

There's a new technology that I am quite excited about, Distro FM. It has a new twist on the spotify subscrition model, where a fan can directly subscribe to an artist to play their music, live shows, videos, in fact anything the artist wants to share with you. 

Eliot Van Buskirk of says this about Distro fm in an article on

The recently-launched can handle all the technology stuff for you, so you can charge your fans 10 bucks a year (or so) for everything you want to send them. When that year is up, you can ask them to resubscribe. Your fans can stream all of that stuff, download it, or play it within Distro’s upcoming app, which will be able to cache the songs so they can play them without eating up their precious little data plans.

Check out what the other four Apps Eliot recommends in his full article here.

There is a more in depth article on Distro FM from here


Friday, 18 May 2012

Don't think like a marketing dude

This is an amazing piece from an artist who does it all differently.

Written in his own inimitably direct style deadmau5 explains a core concept that untold musicians/artists never grasp.

He compares how an artist positions themselves to the difference between having a rollercoaster or a theme park in your backyard.

If youre an artist, youre making music, releasing music, maybe even a hit here and there… you need a few things to cement yourself ‘in’ other than a first and last name and a handful of tracks. Of course youll have your twitter account, facebook, tumblr, etc etc… so you have all these little conduits at your disposal to reach out to your followers, whether its 10 friends, 100 fans, or a fucking epic 1 million plus cult following, it really doesnt matter, it all applies relatively.

It's bonkers, brilliant and true.

Read it here.

Monday, 14 May 2012

13 Tips on Getting the Best Out of Twitter


I don't how often i have heard people say "No i don't use Twitter, it's just a bunch of people saying where they are, what they are doing and what they had for breakfast" and "What can I do with 140 characters?" Well, it has proven it can do a hell of a lot more than that, from distributing news, social and political commentary, to marketing, distributing not only short bursts of text but also pictures and videos. It has now been around for 6 years, and has pretty much become the leader in spreading information across the world, becoming the social barometer of our times.

It is now an essential tool in any musicians marketing strategy, and there is a wealth of techniques you can use to get the best out of twitter in keeping your fan base informed and engaged.

Not only can you use it as a news service, it also has great potential for you to find new fans, and get them to discover you.

Since its inception, there has become a wealth of third party utilities to help you exploit the potential of twitter to the full. Two i have been using the most over the years are Tweetdeck and Hootsuite. They give you the ability to monitor the 'twitterverse' and search for keywords and hashtags (twitters own keyword system that allows users to find tweets on certain subjects such as #art #photography #ladygaga etc) that could be relevent to you, your music and your goals. They allow you to join in the conversations and connect with people discussing things that could be relevent to you, and in turn, you might be interesting to them.

Chris Singleton over at Prescription PR has put together a list of 13 top tips for musicians and bands using twitter which i think you should take a look at. Here is my favourite peice of advice from his article...

By all means post links to your band's new videos and MP3s from time to time, but do not get too fond of doing so; otherwise you’ll just look like a jerk. Believe me, when it comes to overcommunicating about my own music projects, I’ve been there, done that and bought the t-shirt…and despite waxing endlessly about the importance of musicians keeping schtum for five minutes, I still see artists (who should know better) bore their friends, family and remaining fan to tears with hourly Facebook updates about their latest creative endeavours. Nobody cares after a while (if they ever did in the first place –geddit?). Instead, post links to great content from other sources – whack links up on Twitter to scintillating articles which don’t happen to be about your music (and rest assured, there are a lot of them). Or make witty observations about cheese and/or the credit crunch. In short, get a reputation for being an interesting dude, not a self-obsessed bore.

Check out the rest of his article here.

We also have an article on our Make It In Music site on twitter for musicians here.