Experiences & Information for independent entertainers and musicians

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12 Ways to Better Networking (Offline)

This week I attended Nashville’s Podcamp 2012. The first session I attended was co-founder Dave Delaney (and fellow Canuck’s) “Social Networking In Real Life.” It was a great way to start a day full of sessions on the latest trends and information about technology, internet marketing and online media as well as a day full of opportunities to increase my network of colleagues and friends. Here is a short list of tips Dave gave with a few personal ideas and opinions added in for those of you who couldn’t attend.

  1. We need to balance our online r with real life networking.

  2. Engagement is just as important online as it is offline. Just like we’re told to listen first when social networking, it’s also a good idea to ask questions and listen to the answers – don’t worry if the other person doesn’t ask you the same questions, even if you had a chance to give your pitch if the other person doesn’t ask they’re probably not interested and won’t listen.

  3. Conferences are a great place to meet the people you follow in person. They’re also a great place to find new people to follow – I went to Jeff Goins seminar last year and started following him and have received great information about how to be a better writer and blogger (I hope…)

  4. Information is great but the TRUE VALUE are the relationships born at these events.

  5. When you are at a large event like SXSW check out the smaller parties, you are more likely to be able to interact one on one with new people than at larger parties. After all Podcamp etc. have been born from geeks and we’ve never been a part of the “in-crowd.” On that note if you can’t get into a party start your own – there’s story of guy who couldn’t get into a big industry party at SXSW so he went to a local bar or coffee shop and started tweeting and suddenly a following came and joined him there.

  6. Start your own get-together in your town or community by using online platforms such as or join your local Chamber of Commerce

    Here’s an idea for artists on tour, if you are going through a town where you have some fans but don’t have a show create a meetup group and have a short meet and greet while you are on tour at a local coffee shop, bar, local park – you get the idea.

  7. started in Nashville, it is now WORLDWIDE.

  8. Networking – if you hate it – get over it. As my friends 16 year old said to his mom “suck it up buttercup.”

  9. Practice networking before you attend. Stand in front of a mirror and ask then answer these questions. Who are you? What do you do? Why are you here? Use a friend, family member or your dog as guinea pig (I know that just sounds weird but you get my point)

  10. Create a database to keep track of the people you meet and business cards you collect while networking. I learned about an app called CardMunch from Dr Syb it’ll make this idea even easier.

  11. Have a LinkedIn account even if you aren’t looking for work. Again check out CardMunch

  12. After the conference you attend set up a meeting for coffee – Google them or use LinkedIn to find out more and always bring the coffee. However if you ever meet with me I prefer black tea, milk and 1 honey.

Upcoming Topics I’ll be writing about from Podcamp sessions - or you can google these people and follow them, friend them or read their blogs for more information.

Ross Jones’s  “How I Got Google to Pay Me $150 000”

Check out his next event

Peter G McDermott’s “Google+ Ghost Town or Game Changer”

Laura Click’s “Building a Smart Social Media Strategy”

Wade Kwon’s How To Win Awards and Influence Readrs in 439 Days and 668 Posts


Filed under networking indie artists online marketing podcamp nashville 2012

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Burning Bridges


One of the key pieces of advice I remember my mother giving me was, “don’t burn your bridges”, (notice I said “bridges” not “britches”.)   Overall in my professional life I think I’ve followed her wise words.  Sometimes it wasn’t easy but today I know it was some of the best advice she ever gave me.  You never know where or when a great opportunity will arise and it’s good to know that there is no bad blood standing in your way. 

Along the same lines, when you network do so with an open heart and an open mind.  Be friendly and get to know people in a genuine way, again – you just have no idea where that relationship will lead you in the future.   Even if at the time you don’t think a certain person has anything to do with where your life will lead.   I remember when I first came to Nashville and THEY said, “Get to know your peers, and move up the ladder with them.”  I listened, so many other people were trying to jump the ladder of success, not to say I didn’t have my “run ins”, but today I’m glad I heard this advice and will continue to follow it. I hope you do too!


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Marilyn Monroe & Interns

The movie “My Week with Marilyn” inspired this week’s blog. It has nothing to do with love, romance, or film. What spoke to me in that film was hard work, determination and perseverance. If you haven’t seen the movie there’s a young man, Colin Clark, who decides to leave his life of luxury, being born with a silver spoon in his mouth and follow his dream of making movies in the 1950’s. His family thought he was crazy but he was determined to prove them wrong. A family friend put Clark in touch with a famous filmmaker and he went and sat in his office until the filmmaker agreed to give him something to do, but he still didn’t get paid. Clark not only did the job but took a risk, trusted his instincts and exceeded expectations. In return he landed himself a position as 3rd assistant director to Laurence Olivier, not to mention having a short love affair with one of the most beautiful movie stars of all time. He retired from a successful film career in 1987.

In the past few months I have found not one, not two but THREE interns. I have spent a number of years looking for interns mostly from Belmont University without much luck. Years ago when I was at Cafe Coco I had great interns from both Belmont and SAE. They were smart, confident and on the whole motivated. I’m not saying they didn’t ever need direction and were perfect all of the time but I was very grateful to have their assistance and I’m sure they’ve all gone on to be successful. One of them wrote me a letter the year she graduated thanking me for her time and telling me how helpful it had been to her education.

I hadn’t had much luck finding interns with 55BC so I gave up the search with Belmont. I read the book Music Success in 9 Weeks by Ariel Hyatt and one of the first things she mentions in the book is getting an intern using

I filled out the form and received a few submissions. One seemed really great. We had two conversations and I was sure he would be the perfect fit. We were all set to get started and then nothing. He didn’t call or return my emails so it was back to the drawing board. I had a few more interested applicants who either weren’t the right fit for me or we weren’t the right fit for them. Then within a month I had three people apply, two who have already graduated and one who is still in school. They all have their strong and weak points however with a little guidance and patience I’m sure things are going to work out. I also think very highly and want to help anyone willing to put in the time and energy for no guarantee of pay just the chance to get their foot in the door. I know they will be successful in whatever they do purely because they are willing.

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A little sappier than usual…

This was emailed to me this week from a friend.  I thought it’d make a great post.

On Tuesday I went to the Schermerhorn in Nashville to see John Hiatt and Lyle Lovett. For many reasons, including the fact that the Schermerhorn was almost destroyed as a result of the flood, it was a truly magical night. 

A friend and I recently had a discussion about “releasing stress and connecting spiritually.” He did it through kayaking and being outdoors, I do it through attending live music concerts.  For me being in a room, no matter how big or small (and sometimes bigger like the U2 concert is awe insiring,) with a bunch of people I do not know,  who are all engrossed in the same experience, is happiness.   That’s why I love what I do.  I love helping artists achieve their goals and creating opportunities for individuals to not only be entertained but to experience a connection.  The arts; music, comedy, theatre education, give the experience of human interconnection and allow us to share an experience together, leaving behind the “real” world and for a moment being “happy” together.  That’s why the following excerpt spoke to me. Enjoy!

What we lack are not scientists but poets and people to reveal to the heart what the heart is ready to receive.
—Joseph Campbell

A short time ago, a friend handed me the following credo. It read:

This is the artist’s dream:
To receive the inspiration to create,
To share that creation with others,
And to be totally supported in the process.

I asked him to explain further. “It all begins with inspiration,” he said, “an inspiration that calls us to create. Once the inspiration is received, then we can bring that vision into the world as a song, painting, book, invention, new business - or any other tangible form.

"After the creation is born, it needs to be shared with others. No one creates in a vacuum. It is only when the vision is successfully communicated to its intended audience that it truly comes alive.

"Finally, the artist needs to be supported for what he does. If he has made a positive connection with his audience, the support will come - financially and emotionally. And while it may not always be there immediately, it will ultimately arrive. This is where the artist needs to trust and be patient.”

This dream is not just the artist’s dream. It is our dream as well. Through work or play, job or family, vocation or avocation, you can experience the joy of creating, sharing, and being acknowledged. Experience this creative process and you will never grow old in spirit. Have you ever known an artist or dreamer who “retired”?

You are reading from the book:


Listening to Your Inner Voice by Douglas Bloch

Listening to Your Inner Voice © 1991, by Douglas Bloch. All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without the permission of Hazelden.

Filed under happiness diy entertainment douglas bloch inspiration

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Dream Big: How To Succeed In Today’s Volatile Music Biz

This article has some interesting insight and ideas for the indie artist. 

Here are a couple quotes that stood out to me

"In other words, promote the hell out of yourself. But don’t be annoying about it. Don’t be the singing, songwriting version of an unsolicited telemarketer."

"Giving away a song certainly won’t hurt you. Especially if it’s a good one. Actually, it could hurt you, if the song/recording sucks"

"You’d be amazed how many listeners may hear your song in a single day through the digital services from which SoundExchange collects. It could be 10 or 10,000. One of the most important things you can do to protect your recordings is to include all the relevant metadata on your tracks, so we can be sure all those little micro-payments can get matched up to your repertoire."

Filed under indie artist independent musician adam gold american songwriter

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F Bombs & Death Threats – Songwriters Get Your $


This past Monday Jeff Price CEO of TuneCore Digital Distribution was in Nashville as a guest on Insider’s View recorded live at Belmont University’s Massey Performing Arts Center. That evening he and Jamie Purpora (Bug Music) put on a seminar to inform local songwriters of their rights and let them know that they are being screwed out of whole bunch of money. He was on a soap box and angry as hell dropping so many F bombs during the second event that I thought I was back in Hamilton, Ontario. He gave an impressive amount of information not only in his talks but produced a booklet that clearly outlines the 6 copyrights he says “drive the entire music business.” The Founder and CEO of TuneCore gave down to earth, clear explanations, something I’ve not experienced in my 8 years living in music city or the 10 years I spent pre-Nashville pursuing a songwriting career.

6 Legal Copyrights



Public Display

Public Performance


Digital Transmission

Here are some of the statistics and information they gave:

Old Music Industry

  • Walmart was the biggest distributor of music

  • Only major labels could get their music into Walmart

  • If you signed to a major label you transferred (gave up) your six legal copyrights

  • RIAA represents the major labels

  • 98% of major releases failed and less than 2% recouped any monies

New Music Industry

  • Itunes is the biggest distributor of music

  • Anyone can distribute their music on Itunes

  • Songwriters don’t give up any of their legal copyrights

  • new industry has changed to a service industry

  • majority of the music bought today is not represented by the RIAA

There was another reason why they held this free event. TuneCore has opened up a new division of music publishing. Using the new marketing model of giving information to get something in return they have visited New York and San Francisco and now Nashville educating their customers in person hoping to convince them to sign up and get paid. For a one time fee of $50 and 10% of the money they are able to collect, TuneCore will now be your administrator. They say they will also help get your music into film and TV. I already knew this and that’s why attended these events, I was there specifically to find out more.

Here’s a few more tidbits of information that may be helpful:

  • Reproduction and Public Performance rights have had explosive growth in the past few years

  • A reproduction is a download, stream or physical recording

  • Money is moving to streaming more and more

  • If you are the songwriter you should get paid every time a song gets listened to

  • Each entity doing the streaming needs to pay the songwriter, if they don’t it’s “infringement”

  • SoundExchange deals only with the “recording” not the “copyright”

  • You can go to the individual sites where your song is being streamed and contact them yourself to let them know you need to be paid

  • If you are a using TuneCore for your digital distribution they have an “audit trail” unlike traditional publishing companies.

  • In 2009 the PRO’s (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC) collects 9.3 BILLION dollars from around the world

  • Monies left over (because they can’t find the songwriter) goes into a “black box” which in turn goes to the major labels

  • Price says the PRO’s are making it difficult for TuneCore to get money on behalf of their songwriters (most of whom are independents)

Overall I think Jeff is genuinely trying to help the songwriter, especially the independents who do not have the RIAA or a major label looking out for them along with growing his already successful business, and there ain’t nothing wrong with that!

There is YouTube video with more information or check out the following links.

Filed under tunecore music publishing indie artist songwriters jeff price

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Get to the point!


Last night I attended the University School of Nashville (USN) annual fundraising event. Individuals donate their time and expertise to offer evening classes to the Nashville community.

I signed up for “Getting Your Point Across: The Art of Effective Writing for Business,” taught by Anne Williams and Beth Stein.  I have two blogs, send, read and respond to many emails daily along with writing press releases and copy on a weekly basis. This class obviously peaked my interest and I was glad I attended.

As in previous blogs, this week’s entry will be comprised of my notes from last nights session. Why will this help you? As artists and entertainers you are also writing bios, sending emails to industry contacts, creating press releases and writing copy for you websites and blogs. My goal is to help you improve your communications.

Did you know?

Before the internet we received 5000 messages per day. Today we receive 500 000 messages per day (see P.R. Guru Ann Wiley.) Therefore writers need to be quick and compelling in order to be heard. Readers want to know “what is in it for me.”

The best 2 ways to get your point across:

  1. Be Interesting

  2. Be Clear

How to be interesting:

    • be genuine and friendly

    • don’t write academically

    • it’s okay to be informal

    • ask yourself, who is my reader?

    • vary the lengths of your sentences

    • vary structure

    • create rhythm in your writing

    • avoid repetition of words

    • use examples

    • show don’t tell

    • use your words to create a picture

    • use an “active voice”

    • use positive words (prefers) as opposed to negative words (does not like)

    • use humor (but remember who your audience is)

Be Clear

    • readers prefer 2-syllable words ((Read the Gettysburg Address)

    • if you don’t know the meaning of a word don’t use it

    • avoid the use of jargon

    • use your dictionary

    • use spell check

    • avoid use of the word “very”

    • acronyms should be spelled out then followed by the acronym in parenthesis the first time (see above USN example)

    • it’s best if the first paragraph is no more than 25 words long

    • all other paragraphs 42 (best) to 63 (most) words long

    • no more than 14 words per sentence

    • use correct punctuation and grammar

    • learn how to use a comma

    • give just the facts

    • eliminate unnecessary words

    • write in complete sentences

    • proof read and edit

    • Be consistent: one way to do this is to save copies of your communications and refer back to them or create your own style guide

*Throughout the evening I was reminded of the tricks I learned pursuing a career as a commercial country songwriter. Songwriters use rhythm and flow to write great lyrics; the same is true when writing paragraphs and sentences. Another great suggestion was to rewrite copy that you find interesting and use the same rhythm but with your voice, a great songwriting device.

FYI my other blog is  I list all the live events I would like to attend in Nashville. I also post pics and more information for the events I actually attend.  

Filed under effective writing DIY entertainment indie artists university school of nashville usn

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Cheat your way to the top! (taken from copyblogger)

Picture three men racing through a tall hedge maze.

The first man runs off and begins following paths randomly, hoping to stumble upon the exit.

The second man is more methodical. He puts one hand on a wall of the maze and resolves to keep moving forward slowly, never taking his hand off the wall. Eventually, thanks to the rules of topology, he knows he’ll find the outside.

The third man pushes and shoves directly through the hedges in a straight line, finishing in thirty seconds flat and declaring himself the winner.

Did the third man cheat?

 Maybe. But he also won.

See the rest of this article on

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I watched this video of Seth Godin because Bob Lefsetz suggested it to me in his email.  If you don’t want to hear this brilliant man talk about how to win when it comes to marketing (and this IS important for entertainers too) read my notes below.

Success Magazine’s Darren Hardy interview with Seth Godin,

Notes by Carol Jane Buttenham

Mass manufacturing led to mass marketing, magazines exist because they run ads which led to mass schooling.  Public school is an artifact of industrial revolution and their function is to train people to become compliant cogs and most importantly to BUY what everyone else is buying. THIS IS BROKEN – it’s been replace by WEIRD

What is Weird?

Smaller tribes, embracing individuality, not viewing niche products as a sideline.

The world is splitting into two groups – those who want everything to stay the same (politicians, manufactures, traditional marketers) and those who want more weirdness (individuality, tribal behavior)

Weird is Winning!

How do we adapt? 

Small biz is not a smaller version of big biz.

Big guys have better everything than you do so you are always swimming upstream.

Big guys don’t know what to do with the weird. 

Small biz need to engage with who no one else will engage with – the tribes and niche markets.

Seth Godin Core Philosophies

Traditional means of marketing are dead.

Marketing is the product, perspective, how you answer the phone, the doing – EVERYTHING.

TV was built for advertisers – the internet wasn’t.

The internet was built for people who use it. 

Technology has leveled the global market place.

This is the connection revolution – you don’t need money to start like you did in the industrial revolution.  Most people don’t want to be revolutionaries they want to defend what was – fear of change.

SNEEZER – until recently spreading ideas meant “harassment’ – aggressive in your face culture. That’s not how the internet works – if you yell at me I’ll ignore you – however, I will listen to my friend. 

We have shifted from a top down approach to a viral approach – germs spread – ie) sneezing on them. (Rebecca Black) 

(Google “idea virus” for free download from Seth.)

Napster could’ve started in nursing homes because older people have a lot of spare time but it didn’t it started on college campuses because STUDENTS LOVE MUSIC  AND HAVE A LOT OF FRIENDS – this is why Napster was fasted growing business of all time. 

If your friends don’t tell your friends you have a lousy idea and need to start over

Powerful Sneezer  - do it because they believe in something. Oprah, Popular bloggers etc.

Promiscuous Sneezer – do it for $. Insurance Salesman

Shy, Outrageous, Obnoxious, Remarkable

Most people are more guilty of being too shy as opposed to being too outrageous

Being outrageous is not about being annoying or grandiose and obnoxious

Legitimate things that frighten you – heartfelt gifts that give to the world but might get you ridiculed are outrageous.

To become remarkable & outrageous, do the hard work of creating a great product

We talk about what is great – over the top, amazing

Businesses that go out of the way to build in “the blowing away quality” into their business succeed.

Tony Hseih  & Zappos   is an example of remarkable and outrageous.

An employee who runs a block and a half to return a credit card to Seth is remarkable.

What is it to be remarkable? How do we make our product a purple cow? Change our DNA from inside out.

Remarkable means something is worth “making a remark about.”

Ask yourself are people in our tribe going to talk about this?

Steps that one takes have to come from a position of generosity, caring and genuineness.

The more you are generous about putting your ideas into the world the better you will do.

Marketing is the product, CEO is the marketer (Tony Hseih)

You can’t get a lot of money in a short period of time – it’s about get rich slow not get rich fast

Don’t fall into trap of selling average stuff to average people.

Single Step to begin our metamorphosis into being remarkable:

BLOG every single day about your work and why it’s interesting, if you can’t come up every day with a reason why your work is interesting you should do something else.

SCREW what’s next – what’s happening NOW! 


Filed under seth godin bob lefsetz DIY entertainment marketing we are all weird