Navigating #SXSW: Advice from the Streets of Austin – Cari Cole

Common Mama - 311 Club Showcase at SXSW

Common Mama – 311 Club Showcase at SXSW

Our first day at SXSW yesterday was intense and amazing.

We jumped around from showcase to showcase, seeing some truly amazing sets throughout the day including Cyber PR’s very own Common Mama who played one of their 6 sets yesterday at the 311 Club.

Before we connected with Ferdinando, Jon and the whole Common Mama team, we spent some time at the Pretty Much Amazing sponsored showcase. And who did we run into there?

Cari ColeThe amazing Cari Cole!

So we took this opportunity to include Cari in our series:

Cari Cole is a Celebrity Vocal Coach + New Music Biz Mentor. Her company Cari Cole Voice + Music has been in the music industry for the past 25+ years in New York City. Her programs + free advice serve indie artists worldwide.

BONUS: Visit for some free gifts! (Vocal Road Warrior 3-part series: Keep Your Voice Healthy on Tour and more!)

Cari’s Advice:

Dress to Impress But Lead With Your Friendly Personality and Not Your Ego!

Your visual is the first impression people get. While dressing casual at a conference can be cool, be sure it’s rock n’ roll casual (don’t wear sneakers and clothes that don’t depict you are a musician.) YOU are your brand. Flaunt your style and have fun with it! Secondly, people remember people that are interested in them, so lead with your friendly personality and not your ego.

REMINDER: Jon will be speaking on the ‘Kickstarter 101‘ Panel TODAY at 3:30pm with Martin Atkins and Jenny Owen Youngs!


Navigating #SXSW: Advice from the Streets of Austin – Chris Rockett of Music Marketing Classroom

SXSW 2013After sitting in JFK Airport for over 5 hours due to weather delays, Chris Hacker and I are finally here at SXSW.

Connect with us on Twitter – we’d love to meet up with all of you!

Jon: @jon_ostrow
Chris: @chrisnhacker

In the meantime, we’ve got another nugget of advice for you from Chris Rockett!

ChrisRockettChris Rockett is the founder of the Music Marketing Classroom, whose mission is to empower musicians to create a sustainable income, even with a modest music career, and teaches a simple four-step marketing philosophy to achieve that goal.

First off my advice would be that even though you may get all the Margaritas you can drink as part of your rider, it does not mean you have to use it.

I was over playing on the BBC stage at SXSW a couple of years back and after a long flight (and our set being pushed back until 1am) it was not our finest hour.

On a more serious note I would suggest that every musician take a moment to think of some EPIC freebie you can giveaway during the event.

There is a lot of people there trying to get noticed so you need to go the extra mile to stand above the noise.

For instance you might give away your whole album… PLUS a video recording of one of your shows.

You can do this by uploading it to SoundCloud and YouTube as a private upload that can only be accessed from a special link. (There is an option for that on each site)

Next, print up 200 business cards with a URL that will allow you to capture an email address in exchange for your killer freebie. Make it your mission to go out and talk to as many cool people as you can.

After a few minutes of being a super cool dude slip in that you would be happy to give them a free $25 coupon to get your “album package” and give then the card with the website URL on it.

You could also get them to text you or just go old school and make a note of their email address on your phone.

Once you have the email address you can use a killer app for Gmail called “Rapportive” that will show you if your new contacts are also using Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Chatting with your new music biz contacts through these sites will deepen the connection.

You now have a brand new email and social media list which is something very concrete and valuable to show from your time at SXSW.

1 Comment

Navigating #SXSW: Advice from the Streets of Austin – Molly King and Madalyn Sklar

SXSW 2013Today marks the cross-section between the end of iSXSW (South By Interactive) and the start of SXSW Music.

For all of the musicians, bloggers and music industry professionals headed down to Austin today (note: Chris Hacker and I will be joining you this evening!), we’ve got some great advice from two amazing people, Molly King (CD Baby) and Madalyn Sklar (GoGirls Music).

Fist off, we have advice from Madalyn Sklar who is a music marketing expert and founder of GoGirls Music. They will be hosting showcases on both Friday AND Saturday – find all the info you’ll need here.

Always keep business cards on you. When talking to people ask for their card and follow up within a week of the conference. Networking is the key to success at SXSW as well as any conference or event. If you’re talking to someone influential, ask if you can get a photo taken with them. When you follow up by email be sure to include that photo. This will make you memorable.

Get on Instagram and take lots of photos documenting your SXSW experience. And most important, tag your photos with #SXSW and push them out to your Facebook and Twitter (Flickr and Tumblr too if you have them).

Secondly, we have advice from Molly King, Digital Marketing Program Manager at CD Baby.

Bring a small notepad and a pen in case your smart phone drains dry (and you’re unable to re-charge) and a decent supply of whatever your contact info is on (CDs/EPKs/press kits/business cards).


Navigating #SXSW: Advice from the Streets of Austin – Mariana Nepomuceno, Reverbnation

SXSW 2013For those of you living under a rock, this week is the SXSW Music Conference (well… Music, Film and Tech to be exact) taking over the streets of Austin, TX.

Together, Chris Hacker and I will be navigating the city’s thousands of showcases, panels and off-the-cuff events on behalf of team Cyber PR®. Unlike Chris and Ariel, this is my first time heading down to the madness that is SXSW, so for the benefit of myself and the thousands of musicians who are also heading down for the first time, we decided to seek out some advice from some of the best and brightest in the music industry.

Each day, we’ll be publishing new content here to the blog, as well as to our Twitter accounts (@jon_ostrow, @chrisnhacker) for your benefit!

We started the SXSW related content off last week with Ariel’s Guide to SXSW 2013, and will continue today with some advice from Reverbnation’s Mariana Nepomuceno:


Mariana is the Community Manager of ReverbNation, where she gets to interact with independent musicians on a daily basis. Though not a musician herself, Mariana loves all things music, especially live concerts and festivals. She hopes to learn the drums one day. Follow her on Twitter @NanaNepo

Practice, practice, practice. Before and during SXSW. You want to perform as if it’s the last gig of your life. Even if you’re playing to five people, you never know who those people are or who they know. One of them could be the niece of a big-shot label guy looking for a band just like yours. So you want your performance to be the best it has ever been.

Don’t be afraid to publicize your music. Bring merch, any kind of merch. Even if just a sticker. People in your audience should leave the venue knowing your band’s name — and if they don’t, as least when they go home after watching 1,234 performances that day, they may remember you when they see your sticker (and now you’ve given them the chance to look you up online).


Sound Advice TV – Derek Sivers and Ariel Hyatt Discuss Internet Marketing for Musicians

In this week’s video, I’m pulling out an oldie but goodie! Derek Sivers reminds us what the actual heart and soul of internet marketing is, and the trick is always remember your marketing to people. People are at the core of everything.

I did this interview a couple of years ago but have never posted it here on the blog, so enjoy!


Basic Marketing Principles For Artists – Part 1 of 3: Increase Your Fanbase

As many of you know Cyber PR® is a hybrid of Internet Marketing, Social Media and PR. I am an avid Internet Marketing student and I gather the nuggets I learn from my studies for musicians.

For many years, I’ve attended internet marketing retreats and seminars; a favorite of mine was a two-day intensive course run by the incredible marketer, Ali Brown.

The course was a whirlwind, and the core principles I learned were both basic and critically important.

There are three ways to increase your income:

1. Increase your number of clients (fans).

2. Increase the frequency of purchase, how often your fans buy from you. (and you’d better have more than just music to sell).

3. Increase the amount of money that you charge.

Okay, none of these three things are brain surgery, but from a musician’s perspective, it brings up some interesting points.   In my last article about Internet marketing, I point out that music sold online cannot be treated like a diet product. So, marketing music from a straight-up traditional Internet marketing approach is, in my opinion, not entirely possible. The reason why this is: Products that sell very well online tend to solve people’s problems.  (Like Losing weight or making more money). I am captivated by how musicians can use some of these basic principles, to increase their own bottom line in the digital space. I’m going to break each one of the three principles down from a musician’s perspective, and my next three posts here will focus on each one.

This blog post will focus on #1.

So How Do You Increase your number of clients (fans)?

I am always shocked when musicians I work for at Cyber PR®, are desperate to reach more and more potential fans without really focusing on the fans that they already have. These fans don’t need to be found, because they are already your fans.

Studies have proven that it is much harder to make a new client and get them to purchase something than it is to get a client that already knows you and trusts you to purchase from you over and over.

I always suggest that, in measuring fans, the best place to look is at your social networks and at your mailing list.

Your newsletter list is the only place where you can directly engage with your fans on your own terms.

Not Facebook’s terms, and not Twitter’s terms.

10 Fail-Safe Ways to Increase/ Engage With Your Fan base

Here are 10 fail-safe ways to increase / engage with your fanbase by pulling from fans that you already know and have who trust and like you!

1. Get serious about your newsletter.

Use or and send your newsletter one time per month.  Track your effectiveness by monitoring your open rates.

2. Mine your inbox and outbox for names and addresses to add.

Ask all of your friends if it’s OK to add them to your list, otherwise you might be considered a spammer.

3. Bring a clipboard to each and every live appearance.

Invite people onto your mailing list with a raffle or giveaway from stage, and collect e-mail addresses.  During your performance, hold the CD up on stage and than give it away, you’ve just inserted a full commercial into your set without feeling “salesy” and you’ve excited one of your fans by giving them a gift.

4. Include a special offer on your home page with a free exclusive MP3 or video.

Use the Reverbnation Fan Collector or Free Download widgets to deliver it.

TIP: Make sure this download is not available anywhere.  Not streaming on your Facebook page.  Only on your website.

And of course it can also be available for purchase on your CD, but make sure that no one can get it anywhere else online. This will motivate people to sign up to your mailing list!

5. Follow 25 new people a week on Twitter.

6. Send out e-mails to your most engaged fans on Facebook and ask if you can have their e-mail addresses for your newsletter.  This is a bit arduous but the results will pay off.

7. Do the same with Twitter.

8. Start a blog and start sharing photos and stories and thoughts.

Note: you can also use Instagram to take pictures from your iPhone or Android phone, which can then be shared through Facebook and Twitter.

9. Start a podcast or a vodcast and interview other artists with big followings.  Ask them to share your podcast with their fans and followers.  It doesn’t have to be a big production.  It can be a small, informal video at YouTube.  Click here to see mine.

10. Ask your fans to review your music at CD Baby, iTunes, and Amazon.

How Do You Build Your Fan Base?

My next blog post will attack principle number two, increasing the frequency of purchase. In the meantime, I would love to hear how you build your fan base in the form of a comment below