My Favorite Resources for DIY Artists

Uncategorized Feb 03, 2021

Whenever I meet a new indie artist, I always get excited tingles hearing about their favorite softwares and tools. Here are a few of my favorites!

1. CANVA — Images are essential for sharing information online, but making good ones can be hard. Canva is basically Photoshop lite, it's an amazing resource for making tour posters, promo images, instagram posts... all sorts of stuff that you need to have as an artist. It's cheaper than hiring a graphic designer for every single little picture. (It's actually free.) There's also an app for your phone!

2. TEXTIFUL — I could go on forever about the power of a big mailing list (and in fact I do, in my book). But how do you grow that list? Textiful is an awesome resource - at concerts, you give your fans a phone number, they text that phone number, and then they can join your list. You can give them incentives like free mp3 downloads, and Textiful connects with a lot of mailing list softwares. We've...

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Can I Actually Get Real Fans On TikTok? Examples!

music advice Jan 29, 2021

I've found my clients are currently in one of two places with TikTok: It's a complete mystery to them that the young people seem to like (this was me two months ago), or it is the best thing ever and they spend a lot of time watching it (this is where I am now). TikTok is like any other social media platform in some ways: there are a whole bunch of subcultures and the experience is "what you make it." 

It's different, though. Because the format is optimized for quick viewing and infinite scrolling, you can spend pretty much forever on TikTok without noticing the time has past—or knowing the name of anyone whose videos you've enjoyed. 

The other fun thing that happens on TikTok is the way memes and trends happen. Folks use each other's "sounds," and lip sync over each other's voices or music to repeat trends - anything from outfit changes to makeup looks to opinions about anything. 

I recommend hopping into TikTok, but I hear what you're...

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Five Ways To Grow Your Patreon!

crowdfunding tips patreon Jan 26, 2021

So, you've launched a Patreon, and it's supposed to be a dream come true: steady income, a community of your true fans, a place to create. However, after a little burst of backers at the beginning, it's gone completely stagnant. This is totally normal. How can you get new Patreon backers?

Here are five steps you may be missing toward getting the Patreon income you deserve!

1 - Offer free content so people know what they’re getting

Patreon was created by the wonderful Jack Conte, who is a member of the YouTube band Pomplamoose. Like many successful Patreon creators, Pomplamoose grew their large Patreon backing only after years of releasing free content on the Internet, thus building up an audience and good faith. 

If you're starting a new creative endeavor, consider starting by posting your art, podcasts, music, or writing for free online before hiding it behind the Patreon paywall. Grow a dedicated audience base that knows what to expect, likes you,...

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Kickstarter Campaign Sample Press Release

I've always found press releases easier to write from a sample, so I'm sharing one with you below as a starting point. This press release worked wonders and got us a good deal of coverage during our campaign (thanks also to the project and creator being excellent.)

Whenever I send a press release, I always send it personally to one reporter at a time, and make sure it's up their alley by checking on their recently written articles. You can usually tell what a reporter's beat is, and what they like to write about/what they are assigned to write about -- staying within those lanes is a good idea! As writers are overworked and underpaid, you can save them some time by writing a short message at the top with a quick summary of what you are promoting, and then giving them every detail they might need inside the body of the press release. 

You should follow up a week later if you don’t hear anything, but don't be a bother! It's always a good idea to...

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Getting To $1 Million with Michael Walker


Earlier this year, I broke $1 million in money raised in crowdfunding campaigns (coincidentally, earlier this year I also started taking this "crowdfunding coach" thing quite seriously).

The strangest thing about this journey might be how natural it has felt: any time something succeeds, it feels like "the right" thing. And if something feels gross, if marketing feels "wrong" or unethical, it just doesn't work. That's what I love about crowdfunding. You, and your audience, are on a real level with one another. 

I spoke with Michael Walker about how I got started on this crowdfunding journey, along with my tips for a successful campaign. Check it all out on his podcast!

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Five Things You Should Do For Your Music Since You Can't Tour... Right Now!!

Lock-down has thrown off the plans many musicians made this year. We aren’t touring, many of us can’t go to the studio, and incomes from both day jobs and our creative pipelines have been sliced and halted. However, the news is not all bad!

Now is a perfect time to start preparing to make your next project, whether it’s an album, EP, video—or even a tour. Crowdfunding is still going strong through websites like Kickstarter or Patreon. It’s even growing, through the recently-added music-crowdfunding resources on Spotify, Bandzoogle, and Seed&Spark! There is a lot that musicians can do right now to get ready to launch a campaign when the time is right. So don’t get frustrated; get working!

1. Spend time with your fans online

More people than ever are spending time at home and in front of their computer screens right now, looking for something to do. Why not spend time with you? The most important thing a creator can have before launching a...

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Thoughtfully Crafting at ECMC

crowdfunding tips May 19, 2020

It's all well and good to know that you need a plan to make a creative project happen. Of course you need a plan. Especially to crowdfund! But... what sort of plan? What are you forgetting? What should be in place, and when? 

I spoke about the steps of planning for success at the East Coast Music Conference today. Check it out!

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Is Money The Real Goal? My biggest Kickstarter mistakes

When you sit down to plan a Kickstarter project, what are you thinking about? Performing your brand-new music to a crowd of smiling faces? Sitting in your house with a journal, drinking coffee in the morning, instead of rushing off to an exhausting day job? Or jumping head-first into a pile of money? 

I talk to the folks at Kickstarter about the biggest mistakes I've made over the years in crowdfunding, lessons learned, and my new book. Check it out!

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The Cheapest, Best Way To Tour With Your Band

What if you have no agent, no booker, no promoter,  no cred, but a whole lot of songs, some enthusiastic fans, and the desire to hit the road? I have you covered.

Over on Hypebot today I have posted my excruciatingly detailed step-by-step process (seriously, it should probably be a book) on how I plan my band's tours. Please, learn from my years of mind-numbing spreadsheets (I'm kidding, I love spreadsheets.) 

Here's the article!

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Say Thank You!

An intuitive, understood, and oft-forgotten step of the crowdfunding process is "saying thank you." When you are crowdfunding, you are a one-person shop; the artist, the manager, the booker, the marketing team, the shipper, the printer... but you aren't working alone. You would be nowhere without your crowd. Enlist their help, and thank them for it!

I wrote about this, and some other good crowdfunding questions, today for Sage

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