Posted tagged ‘word of mouth’

How to Have A Pre-Internet Mentality

November 15, 2010

It’s Grassrootsy’s 200th entry! Pretty exciting even though it doesn’t really mean anything (per-se).

Today I thought I’d refer to a funny comment Hugh MacLeod posted on his twitter account a few week’s back…

“Wondering how the hell anyone could’ve been successful, pre-internet…  ” –@gaping void

Have you ever thought that? I’ve actually thought about this alot. What would we do? How would we communicate with people?  Truth is, the internet could be a digitized version of the old days if wewant it to be…and it wouldn’t be a bad thing.  And if we did take that approach, we might even be more successful in our musical pursuits. Here’s more on that.

1. Think Locally. Back in the day, every neighborhood had its own butchery, milkman, bakery and post office. What if the internet could be like that. What if you had a close-knit community of folks that you correspond with on a regular basis?  What if you could go to these folks for anything – like splitting shows, cross promotion, getting new gig leads, and more. Treat the internet like your neighborhood. No, I’m not trying to limit you, but make an effort to create an online community that mimics reality.  Play your shows. After the show connect with the audience online, strengthen that connection. Use the internet to foster the connections your already have and to build things slowly and steadily.

2. Start Small, Go Big. You’re thinking waaaay too hard. Just because the internet holds the potential for you to reach millions of people, doesn’t mean you should go and do that. I have a very strong feeling that all the big companies like Fed Ex, Subway, Starbucks, (etc) didn’t start big. The founders likely opened one location in a city or town, saw it do well, and then decided to open a few more…and so on and so forth.  Any strong, successful, long-lasting company will first work to build a strong foundation with what it has before expanding. Work to build a strong foundation with what you have before you try to conquer what you don’t.

3. Don’t Ever Forget the Importance of Word-of-Mouth. It was the highest compliment back then and it’s still the highest compliment today.  Independent music existed long before the internet. But how did people share information? Word of mouth, of course! When you make your fans top priority, they will share you with their friends. They will bring their friends to shows, and they will support what you’re doing. And this is the beauty of the internet. Word-of-mouth exponentially increases when the internet is involved. It’s an old-school concept in a new format.

By the way, MacLeod is the author of a book called “Ignore Everybody”.  Its a pretty incredible wake-up call to anyone who’s been sitting on their creativity but wants desperately to use it.  Here are some blogs we wrote referencing the book a few months back..

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Spreading the Word Through Facebook & Twitter

May 6, 2010

Tonight I learned a little trick that will hopefully help you increase traffic to your website and/or help your fans pass on your name to their friends and network.

I’d always wondered how to get people to forward a message through their twitter and facebook account. The code is actually quite simple. If you’ve got a useful information and you want people to spread it through their social networkin accounts, here’s how.

  • DISCLAIMER: So there seems to be an issue when you copy/paste the below codes in your html editor. It doesn’t seem to work. I’m really not sure why. Rest-assured that this is the code. It works on myspace and probably a few other sites. But it might be best to type it out instead of copy/pasting when in your website’s html editor.

Message for fans: “Band XYZ has a a show on Friday at Iota! Hope you can make it!  Contact us for details or isit!

code: <a href= “ Band XYZ has a a show on Friday at Iota! Hope you can make it!  Contact us for details or visit” target= “_blank”>Tweet This</a>

result: Tweet This (click and see what happens)

That’s your code. Embed it on your site and only change the text in blue after “href” and before “target”, and you’ve made it easy for your fans to help you spread the word.  It will look like this.

p.s. don’t forget to:

  1. including  your twitter account
  2. include a link to a place where peope can find more information on your post
  3. make sure the post is within 140 characters.


Facebook allows you to post links for forwarding, but not text.
So instead of posting the above message about band XYZ’s show, you can only post

code: <a href= “” target= “_blank”>Share this on Facebook</a>

result: Share this on Facebook (click and see what happen)

That’s your code. Embed this on your site and only change the text in blue after that funky looking facebook link and “=” sign, and you’ve made it easy for your fans to help you spread the word.  It will look like this. Click and see what happens:

If you want, you can use icons instead of the words “tweet this” or “share this on facebook”, check out this page to see how that looks.
Pretty cool stuff.

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The Negatives & Positives of Information Overload

June 3, 2009


Its overwhelming!  The amount of information, resources, social networking sites on the internet is overwhelming.  An independent artist has thousands opportunities and avenues to get their music out there.  If you’re interested in a few of these, check out the following recent recent blogs.

Positive: If one thing doesn’t work, try another
Just because 1 band is using purevolume, doesn’t mean you have to.  Mimicking is great but it doesn’t always gaurantee that what works for another artist will work for you.  If you aren’t seeing results from a resources you’ve utilized, there are 10 more to take its place. Inform yourself on what’s out there and invest time into seeing results. Check out “An Interview with The Lost Sea” to see what Sean Atkins did to direct his myspace fans to his ReverbNation account. His efforts got his band #1 ranking on ReverbNation.

Positive: You Can do What the labels can ( with less money)

The grassroots movement is huge in every industry (especially films and  music).   Take advantage of your ability to make things viral. Just like a virus, you want your information to infectious – to spread via social networking, which is the new word of mouth.  It may take longer than it would with a label, but you can spread your music incredibly far if you work at it.  Check out Thinking Outside the Box – Thinking like a Record Label for some concrete ideas. 

Negative: Anyone can put out a CD
The bar has certainly been raised. In just 5 years, myspace has proven that anyone can make a CD, maintain a website, and promote themselves.  A&R reps are keeping their eyes & ears open for new music (which is a good thing), but the bar has been raised.  There’s so much good music, but there’s also a whole lotta crap!  So unless you stand out and prove yourself, you’ll fall into the pot with everyone else.

Negative: It’s Time Consuming
Its hard to find the best avenue for you that takes the least amount of energy. Some people have an easier time promoting on myspace, some facebook, some purevolume…etc.  Decide whether you want to be on all the major sites or if you want to pick only a handful and concentrate your efforst on pushing those.  There are advantages to each approach.  I personally know I’ll go crazy if I try to add another social networking site to my to-do list.

Please comment, and let readers know what networking websites and resources have worked  best for you.
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More On College Booking

April 1, 2009


The Jungle
The Jungle


    • Quick Note: You can catch   me today (Wednesday, April 1st) on Pittsburgh Business Radio, 3-4pm EST.  I’ll be talking about persuing music as a business.  Listen online @

 Read the first post in this series: “Getting into the College Market

Other than NACA and Student-Led Organizatons…
Other than NACA and student-led organizatons, most colleges have an Event Coordination Office.  For example, University of Pennsylvania calls it SPEC: Social Planning & Events Committee.  In their recent planning of UPenn’s Spring Fling, they simply sent out a “Call for Artists” via Sonicbids.  If you’re visiting a University, be sure to contact the school’s events department to see what their booking process is.

Keep in mind that the busiest time for college booking is the Fall (plenty of semester kick-off events for organization) and the Spring (plenty of events to celebrate the end of the year).   Some events aren’t planned months in advance, but many are.  So here are some tips for college booking.

  • 1.] Call Now:  Before the Spring semester winds down, reach out to the University.  Look into various organization and the schools event coordination office to learn more about how they book.  When Fall comes around you’ll be ahead of the game.
  • 2.] Be Aware: Know when the Fall semester begins.  Make sure you know the dates of the first week of classes and plan to do a “Back to School” concert on campus that Friday or Saturday.

The Advantages of Doing College Shows
Here are few things that make college gigs worth persuing

  • 1.] financial compensation: There’s a rumor that colleges can pay a musician better than any other type of gig. I think its true (yes, that’s where your tuition went).  Be sure to ask your contact at the school if there is compensation. You won’t always get paid but  it never hurts to ask. Monday’s blog will deal with how to ask for money so check back.
  •  2.] Getting to open for larger acts: It may take some time (or it might never happen), but every once in a while you’ll get a bone thrown your way. Pittsburgh Funk/Rock group, The Jungle, has had many such opportunities…including opening for Gaving Degraw at University of Pittburgh’s Bigelow Bash.
  • 3.] Great way to spread your name:  Most University events are free for students and well marketed. Students are great with word-of-mouth…largely due to facebook and their lips 🙂


Feel free to add your comments, suggestions, and tips.

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Google-ing Your Name Does Not Mean You’re a Loser

January 5, 2009
Andrew Dubber of New Music Strategies

Andrew Dubber of New Music Strategies


A few weeks back, Andrew Dubber of New Music Strategies wrote an excellent blog on web-presence called “What Do You Mean by Web Presence?“.  You should really check it out.  Have you ever gone to a show and watched an artist who had magnificent stage presence. They were confident (not overly), comfortable, and really knew how to engage their audience.

Web presence is essentially the same as stage presence except others should be doing the work for you.  In other words, web presence has nothing to do with how well you represent yourself (via myspace or your official site).  Instead, web presence  has everything to do with how well others represent you…how much information about you people are putting on their websites. 

Is there a buzz going on about you in cyberspace?

Dubber’s official definition is:

Web Presence:
the range of services, platforms and conversation going on
around the internet about you and what you do.
What’s online, and how it connects together. Your web.”

One way to help you determine if all your hard work (consistent promotion and playing out) is paying off is by Google-ing your name.  Find out who is writing about you.  Find out who has mentioned you and then if you want, follow up to see if they’d like to do a full review on your CD or a LIVE show (if local). Check out the “How to Score Reviews of Your CD” for more ideas.

 Here are some things to think about:

  • Are you popping up regularly on other people’s myspaces, review sites, blogs?
  • Is there enough talk about you going on- enough that if you decided to stop playing for a month, you’d still get regular hits on your website(s)?
  • Who is referring you?  WORD OF MOUTH is still the strongest marketing force out there.  So hopefully people will link to your site from their site. 
  • If people are not linking to your page then you have a very very limited network and your chances of reaching a large audience are slim. 



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