A Social Voting App Like You’ve Never Seen: Bedloo

***DISCLAIMER – Bedloo is a current client of Cyber PR***

The foundation for any successful business is knowing the needs of their market. A thriving business has identified a target market, knows its needs, and has the bandwidth to accommodate their demands. Sometimes this isn’t so easy to pinpoint, or find the answers to. For instance, maybe a musician has a couple of ideas for his next T-shirt design, but can’t come to a decision. Maybe he’s been working on some new tracks for his upcoming album, but is having trouble on committing to a guitar tone that works for him. This is a perfect opportunity to let the fans into the creative process.

Bedloo is a new web and iOS app that allows musicians, or anyone for that matter, to ask a question within their network, and learn from their responses.

Now I know what you’re thinking… we’ve seen this concept before, and nobody paid any attention. Even Facebook tried it, and their plug-in was scrapped after just two years! Bedloo is different for three key reasons:

  • You are limited to two options to vote from, with no option to add your own answer. This gives the host more control over their poll and allows for much more focused data.
  • Bedloo allows you to add multimedia into the app in order to view your choice before you vote. A platform like Facebook is much more conducive to visual content, which means that these polls are more interactive and inviting.
  • These polls can be embedded, meaning that one Bedloo poll can be posted on multiple sites or blogs, and the data will be consolidated into one place.


Bedloo is a very intuitive app with a great user interface. When you create your poll, you pose the question that you want to ask your community, and you provide your two choices. Here’s the fun part: you get to contextualize your poll by adding in relative multimedia to each answer.

  • Thinking about a new exclusive T-shirt design for your 2014 tour? Whip up two separate designs, and add these mock-up images to your Bedloo.
  • Working on your next track? Post SoundCloud clips from your studio session and ask them which MIDI instrument you like better for that lead synth sound.
  • Playing pranks on your bandmates on the tour bus? Post YouTube or Vimeo links to your top two pranks, and let your fans duke it out in the polls!


The app interface accommodates active and passive discovery methods. The current social networks incorporated into the app for sign-in and sharing are Facebook, Twitter and Google+, and they also provide you an embed code to post your poll on your blog or website. For SEO purposes, they also allow you to meta tag your poll to accommodate passive discovery among people who may find your Justin Bieber-related poll when they search his name in Google.


You can customize the time limit on your Bedloo, or you can keep your poll open indefinitely. This is great if you want to run a contest with your fans and offer up a grand prize to a lucky voter once the entry period expires. What’s the incentive for the host? The platform collects user analytics to break down your fan base’s age brackets, gender, and geographic location. Want to figure out where to tour next, and which demographics to market to? This could prove valuable!


While it’s a great tool for brands to study up on their target market, it also acts as a social network, where you can follow your friends, brands, and other influencers on the platform. Just like any social platform, Bedloo displays a feed on your homepage that displays the polls that your network have posted recently. You can also sort your feed by category, and what’s trending worldwide. This feed can be accessed from both the web app and on iOS.


Like most online platforms, the wheels start to gain real traction once the user base has reached a point where businesses can attain significant data from their audience. If you are a musician (and yes, you are a business), here’s my advice to you: if you want significant data which you can extrapolate, do an AWESOME contest as a way to give your fans an incentive to vote. Picking a T-shirt design for a chance to win that T-shirt is a nice thought, but creativity is the musician’s forte! There are tons of things you can do to incentivize your fans.

The other factor that will help determine the app’s future is their ability to increase sign-ups. As it currently stands, users are allowed to vote as a visitor without having to create an account. Part of the reason why so many apps require you to sign in via a social network is to gain the ability to access your basic information (ie. age, gender, location). Once the app has figured out how to encourage social media or email sign-ups, I have a feeling that you will be seeing a lot more artists and companies using Bedloo.


5 Time Management Tactics Every Musician Must Know


The discussion of the intersection between independent musician and entrepreneur is not a new one. Both are responsible for shaping their own careers, building their own teams, setting their own goals and working towards the proper milestones that will turn dreams into reality.

Musicians and entrepreneurs also suffer from a similar issue: time management.

And rightfully so… whether you are a solo artist working on your own, or have a band that you can share the responsibilities with, the amount of time it takes to get through the never-ending task-load can very quickly surpass the number of hours in a day, week or year.

If you want to make a business out of your music, the act of making the music is just one small part of the puzzle:

  • Recording
  • Marketing
  • Booking
  • Touring
  • Community Management
  • Content Creation
  • Email/ Communication
  • Analysis
  • Meetings

And let’s not forget that just because you are a musician doesn’t mean you don’t have outside obligations that need to be fulfilled:

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Exercising
  • Running Errands
  • Sleep!

Believe it or not, February is National Time Management Month. That’s right… we all need help with this so badly that an entire month of the year was dedicated to focusing our efforts on doing it more effectively. So what better way to kick off the blog this month by diving into ways that you can effectively manage your time.

Below are 5 tactics that have been an immense help for me personally to be highly effective with my own time management.

Planning is the Key

Mapping out your plan isn’t just essential, it is literally the answer to effective time management. It is the foundation with which the rest of your time management strategies rely on, so let’s discuss this one first.

Whether it is at the top of the year, quarter, month, week or day, you should have a plan of attack.

This plan should includes:

Goals and deadlines

Comprehensive list of tasks that are required of you on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

Content schedule for social media content (tweets, Facebook posts, YouTube videos, blog posts, newsletters, etc.), new music releases, show dates, etc.

For the entire year of 2014, we are going to be giving our mailing list monthly calendars with all of the monthly and daily holidays/ events on them (such as National Time Management Month!) to help making the content creation and scheduling even easier. Sign up to our newsletter to take advantage of the 2014 Cyber PR Content Topic Calendar.


It’s important to understand that not all of your tasks hold the same weight. By treating all of your tasks as equally important, you are adding unnecessary stress to your day because while you work on one task, you will naturally feel as though there is something else you need to be doing or checking.

Last year I read a book by Brian Tracy called Eat that Frog! and it was transformational. The concept is very simple: take a look at all of the tasks you have to do – determine which tasks are most aligned with your goals and do those tasks first.

Whether these are daily tasks that are required of you that you’ll do when you wake up, or weekly tasks that you’ll handle as soon as you dive in on Monday morning, by accomplishing the most important tasks first, you are removing the stress and resistance of handling other tasks later on because you know you’ve already handle the things that are most critical.

Carve Out Time for Total Focus

In a recent interview for NPR, Clifford Nass, a communications professor at Standford studied the contrary effects of multitasking vs. mono tasking:

“. . . We have scales that allow us to divide up people into people who multitask all the time and people who rarely do, and the differences are remarkable. People who multitask all the time can’t filter out irrelevancy. They can’t manage a working memory. They’re chronically distracted.”

I found myself becoming a slave to my email inbox. I was not only making it a priority (a big mistake!) over other tasks, but I was constantly checking it while doing other things, which meant that my focus on any other task was consistently being interrupted.

By holding off on checking my inbox, and carving out time for just email, I was able to get through in inbox in an hour or so, instead of the 3 that it would take me checking it off-and-on throughout the day. This same tactic can be used for social media engagement, blog reading / writing, music studies or music writing, etc.

Automation Strategy

There are many small tasks that we have in our daily lives that we simply must do to maintain our vision, presence, brand, schedule, etc. Most of these small tasks, such as sharing your most recent blog post to Facebook and Twitter, are harmless on their own, but when added up together can take a significant amount of time out of your day, and a significant amount of focus away from your prioritized task list.

Enter If This Than That (IFTTT). This platform allows you to batch and automate tasks through a very simple process of connecting your digital channels (at time of writing there are 79 channels available for you to connect) and answering the simple question: If ___ Than ___.

In other words, If [a new blog is published to my WordPress blog], Than [share the link on my Facebook Fan Page].

On Hypebot, Clyde Smith recently published a fantastic walkthrough of IFTTT which I highly suggest you read and get yourself set up with.


Are you a procrastinator? It’s okay to be honest here… most of us are. A few years ago I read a book called The War of Art by Steven Pressfield which focuses on the concepts of ’resistance’ in our daily lives and how that leads us to procrastinate from ‘going pro’, which is to approach our work from a professional and focused view.

If you feel like you are procrastinating more than average, and it’s holding you back from accomplishing your goals, I strongly suggest you read this book. It will help you, as it did help me, to identify the areas of my life that were causing resistance and how to remove (or correct) those issues so I could work at going pro.

It’s important to note that only a few short months after reading this book I was hired to become the new PR Director for Cyber PR®. This stuff works.

Get the 2014 Cyber PR® Content Topic Calendar!

For the entire year of 2014, we are going to be giving our mailing list monthly calendars with all of the monthly and daily holidays/ events on them (such as National Time Management Month!) to help making the content creation and scheduling even easier. Sign up to our newsletter to take advantage of the 2014 Cyber PR® Content Topic Calendar.


In Defense of 1,000 True Fans – Part XIII – Robyn Dell’Unto’s Multifaceted Approach to Fan Engagement

Robyn Dell'Unto
It’s been well over a year since our last contribution to our 1,000 True Fans series, but the ideology hasn’t aged a bit. The hustle and heart of the indie artist is still a necessity in today’s music industry, and the focus remains to have an all-encompassing view of every avenue needed to reach the widest possible audience, and tap into all possible revenue streams. Of course, there is not latter here without the former.

Cyber PR campaigns manager Andrew Salmon (@andrewgsalmon) sits down with Canadian singer-songwriter Robyn Dell’Unto to talk about Twitter, crowdfunding, user generated content, and seizing opportunities.

Andrew Salmon: How long have you been an active musician for? You’ve been making music and performing for a long time, but do you think there was a defining moment when you became officially “active”?

Robyn Dell’Unto: I played through high school but tried VERY hard to stop as I made my way into university [McMaster University]; I wanted to be a psychologist or something else really respectable to grown ups. But the local music scene in Hamilton, Ontario was so incredibly conducive to collaborating, getting on stage, just being around other musicians, and I cracked pretty quickly. There were so many talented people just hanging around town, and great music venues. I got hooked, started playing a bunch, recording singles here and there. I moved to Toronto after graduating, and about a year later I entered this competition with a local independent record label, and “won” a record contract. I felt sort of validated by that, because out of nowhere I suddenly had funds and support. While I’m loving running my own show these days, I’m so appreciative of that experience.

AS: What would you estimate your percentage breakdown of music-related income to be?
– Shows
– House shows / club shows
– Music sales / streaming
– Publishing / sync licensing

– Shows (including house/corporate/public venue/college): 30%
– Music sales: 5% (ha!!)
– Publishing/licensing (including residual royalties): 40%
– Other (workshops via my songwriting program A Song Of My Own): 25%

AS: You have a strong presence on Twitter, and you clearly have a special bond with your fans in this space. How have you gone about building your tribe?

RDU: Ha! I didn’t realize I had a tribe. Could I please be called Chief? Twitter is fun and direct and I guess I just try to be myself while putting info out there as much as possible. I’ve gained a few real fantastic fans through licensing and touring, and I find people stick with you if you’re responsive, or a bit funny, or just generally not a dick. Everybody’s in love with music, and it’s incredible to think that someone could be in love with yours.

AS: The 1,000 true fans model focuses on not just maintaining relationships with fans, but building your “super-fans”, ones who are most likely to support everything that you do whenever given the chance (buy all your records, go to all shows, etc). How many of your fans would you say fit this criteria?

RDU: Oh god I don’t know, haha! Counting is not my specialty. Running a pre-sale campaign for my new record was a real eye opener. I got a lot of support from people I’ve met at shows, or folks who’ve heard my music in TV shows or in movies, or I guess just found me on YouTube. “Superfans” create this invaluable content for you. They invent hashtags, promote your music to their friends, big you up, bring you up when you’ve had a shitty day. They’re the greatest creatures on earth.

AS: How would you say you’ve been able to win your fans over? What additional value do you bring to the table in terms of your relationship to your fans beyond the music?

RDU: Hmm…I guess I’d have to ask them. I really like posting photos, and I think people like to see what’s happening behind the scenes. I like posting ridiculous photos of animals, particularly pugs, they’re just so damn ugly and everybody love-hates them. People send me links to fantastic ugly pug pictures and I’m always extremely grateful. I talk about food a bit… who doesn’t love food, right? I’ve had a few proposals, which I’ve been receptive to. Nothing wrong with that. I LOVE getting cover-performance videos of my songs, and try to always repost them. I recently saw a sign language performance of my song ‘Astronaut’ on YouTube. It made me weep. Like, honestly weep. That was awesome.

AS: You also successfully ran a crowdfunding campaign. What was your experience like, and what did it say about your fans and what drives people to contribute?

RDU: I was a bit hesitant to do it because crowdfunding got so popular so quickly and I wasn’t sure whether fans were actually feeling they were getting what they paid for in due time. I knew my campaign was gonna run longer than the standard length (it ended up running about 18 months), so I decided to send out these monthly e-mails with free downloads of unreleased songs. It was really amazing, because fans would post about which “secret songs” they liked and talk about them, and it helped to drive other people to the campaign. I felt like I was building relationships I hadn’t had before. When I was preparing physical pre-sale packages, I included these little notes for each fan, and it was easy to know what to write because many had sent me feedback along the way. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

AS: You’ve also had some major sync placements in shows like Degrassi, Being Erica, among many others. How have have you gone about seizing the opportunity to grow your fanbase in this vein?

RDU: It is obviously so important to have the track readily available for sale and/or streaming at the time the episode or film is being debuted. I guess I just tried to express my gratitude and remain accessible to potential new fans who wanted to talk about what the song meant to them, be it on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. Music to picture opens the most major emotional can of worms. It’s the best.

AS: If you had $1,000 to spend on your music career (marketing, promo, production, etc), how would you use the money?

RDU: I’d ask for $9,000 to go with it! Jokes. If I was being selfish, I would spend it on a bit of gear for my studio. I love recording at home, and I recorded a great deal of my new record Little Lines at home. I want a new microphone! In reality, I’d probably use it to extend my PR campaign a bit. Professional PR goes a hella long way, especially when you’re used to hauling it yourself.

AS: Congrats on the release of your sophomore album “Little Lines”! What are you most happy about with this record?

RDU: I’m most happy that I birthed it on my own top to bottom (sounds gross?). I surrounded myself with genius-brained people, co-writers, co-producers and mix engineers. I wrote the grants and ran the campaign and leaned hard on the talented people in my life for help. I’m so lucky to have such support in my community, and I’m really proud of what came out of this “indie journey.” I promise to never use that phrase again.

Robyn Dell’Unto’s sophmore record “Little Lines” is available now! Learn more about Robyn on her website and follow her on Twitter here.


Digital Media Deconstructed: Alex Blackwell of The Bridgemaker


Welcome to 2014’s first edition of Digital Media Deconstructed. DMD is a monthly interview series were we interview digital media makers who are thought-leaders or trend-setters (or both!) in a niche, sharing their experience with creating a consistent compelling content strategy, establishing their own signature story and developing a strong online brand.

Screen Shot 2014-01-22 at 11.21.11 AMThis month we’re speaking with Alex Blackwell (@thebridgemaker), who is the founder of The Bridgemaker, one of the most established Inspiration Blogs on the internet. Along with his blog, Alex is also the author of Letting Go: 25 True Stories of Peace, Hope and Surrender. Alex has done an amazing job not only using The Bridgemaker as a platform to establish his own thought-leadership in the Inspiration niche, but he has used his blog to create a platform to create a community of contributors who are all sharing their stories of inspiration and positivity.

We began working with Alex several months ago for a client of ours who had herself become a source of inspiration for others after she recovered from an additional to crack cocaine and wrote a book about her journey. The Bridgemaker was a great opportunity for us to further connect our client to her niche through contributed content. Alex’s community continues to grow and we’re thankful that he has welcomed so many of our clients to take part in sharing their stories of inspiration, positivity and personal development.

What interested you in wanting to start the BridgeMaker blog?

I first became interested in personal development 10 years ago when it was clear I had to begin making changes in the choices I was making if my marriage was going to last. My journey started when I attended a personal transformation seminar that gave me the tools and awareness that the life I wanted was waiting for me – all I had to do was make the choice to go get it.

A few years after reconciling my marriage, I was inspired to start The BridgeMaker as a way to inspire others to seek meaningful change in their lives, too.

Is there a common theme to your blog posts?

For the posts I write (which are published every Monday), I provide a properly-sized window into my life so readers will know they are not alone with their hopes, dreams and challenges. My posts explore the power of love and forgiveness; letting go of the past and celebrating the beauty found in life’s ordinary moments.

What is your impression of the blog’s community? How have they taken to you and your site’s mission?

The BridgeMaker community is awesome. They inspire me to continue sharing, growing and changing. I love replying to their comments as well as the interaction on Facebook and Twitter.

For many bloggers, the measures for success come from online metrics and analytics. Do the measures for success go beyond that for you because of the nature of your site?

Absolutely! For me, the most important measure of success can be found the emails I receive from readers who tell things like, “your post is just what I needed to read today,” or “you have inspired me to…” My focus is on providing honestly-written content. By doing that, the business side of my blog takes care of itself.

What advice would you give for bloggers, be it inspiration-focused or not?

Blogging is hard work. If you want to build a large blog and audience, be prepared to write every day and do things that builds your community like commenting on all other blogs and being involved with social media.

In the six years I’ve been blogging, I’ve seen so many blogs come out strong, and then fade away. I think this happens because there may be an expectation that starting a blog can bring overnight success – it does not. But, if you are clear on your blog’s purpose, and have the passion to work hard, blogging can be very rewarding, both financially and personally.

Where can people find you online?



Create a Perfect Music Section for Your Website – Free eBook from Bandzoogle

buildingwebsite_ebook-coverBandzoogle has released a free eBook called “Building Your Website: A Step­By­Step Guide for Bands and Musicians”. Whether you’re building a new website, or looking to improve your current one, the eBook offers tons of tips to help you make an effective website for your music.

Download the free eBook from Bandzoogle here:


Below is a sample chapter to give you an idea of what you’ll find inside the guide:

Create a Perfect Music Section for Your Website

When it comes to having music on your website, installing a site­wide music player or embedding a player on your Homepage just isn’t enough. Remember, your website is your main hub on the Internet. If there’s any place that fans should be able to find all of your music, lyrics, and some free downloads, it’s on your own website.

Here are some essential elements to include on your Music page that will give fans a great experience, and help you to collect emails and generate sales in the process:

Have a PLAY button

It sounds obvious, but some band websites don’t have a single play button. Don’t simply post the image of your album cover with a purchase link. Let your fans preview all of your songs, including at least 2­3 full songs. Give them something more on your site than they would get anywhere else.

Offer free digital downloads

Speaking of giving more to your fans through your website, offer a free downloadable song on your Music page. Even better than that, offer free songs in exchange for their email address.

Getting a fan’s email is worth much more than getting $0.99 for a song download. That way you can keep in touch with them over the long term to let them know about upcoming shows, new music, new merch, etc.

Have digital downloads for sale

Don’t simply send fans away to iTunes to buy your music. You should have ecommerce setup on your own site where you can offer digital downloads for sale. This way you get to keep the majority of the money, plus collect their email addresses.

Have physical option(s)

Don’t believe the hype, there is still a demand for physical merch. Pledgemusic revealed that 82% of the pledges are going to physical product. So besides digital music, you should also offer physical options for your albums.

Include lyrics

Did you know that people search for “lyrics” just as much as “sex” on Google? With digital downloads and streaming, gone are the CD liner notes with lyrics, but clearly fans still want to see the lyrics. So on your Music page, be sure to also include lyrics for your songs.

Another option is to create a “Lyrics” submenu page for your Music section and post all of your lyrics there. Just make sure that fans can find them somewhere on your website.

Add album info & descriptions

Another important element to add to your music page is info about the albums/songs.

When/where was it recorded? With who? What was the inspiration behind the creation of the album? How was the experience? Why are you excited about it?

Give your fans some context. Let them read the story about your music while they’re listening to it, it might help inspire them to buy it.

Offer other purchase options

Although you should emphasize selling music through your own website, some people simply prefer to buy through stores that they’re familiar with. So at the bottom of your Music page, include links to stores like iTunes and Amazon, but don’t bring more attention to them than that.

Again, your focus should be on selling directly to your fans and getting most of the money, and more importantly, collecting email addresses to stay in touch with those fans.

Download the entire “Building Your Website” eBook from Bandzoogle here:


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12 Days of Monetization – A Summary of the 13-part Cyber PR Guest Post Series


I’m guessing that you may have already begun to make some resolutions for 2014 and I am also guessing that making more money from your art may have been on your list of resolutions… If this is the case (or if this sounds good to you) look no further! I reached out to some of my favorite colleagues in the business and I asked them to contribute an article that talks about “making money from your music” I left it fairly open and their responses are FANTASTIC! Here is a list of the topics and each one is a full length article.

Good luck in 2014! We can’t wait to see what you accomplish.

Ariel & Team Cyber PR

Day 1: 60 Do’s and Don’ts of Monetizing Your Life – Julie Flanders

This article was contributed by Julie Flanders, Achievement Expert and Creative Success CoachRecording artist and lyricist for October Project, a major–label turned independent artist with a worldwide following. Julie delves into the Do’s & Don’ts of monetizing your music.

Day 2: The Power of Positivity – Nikki Loy

Our super talented singer-songwriter friend Nikki Loy gives us insight into how to manifest good thoughts into real outcomes. She discusses how changing the way you think can change the outcome of what happens to you.

Day 3:Making Money from Live Shows – John Taglieri

Indie artist John Taglieri has released 11 albums, selling over 25,000 units, owns his own record label, publishing company, and studio, but 70% of his income comes from live touring. In this article, he discusses how and why you should focus on your live shows.

Day 4: How to Get People to Actually Buy Your Music – Debra Russell

Debra Russell, speaker and founder of Artist’s Edge, talks about the best ways to sell your music in the new digital age. She discusses the advantage of social media and making real, genuine connections with your true fans.

Day 5: Selling Direct-to-fan via WordPress – Ross Barber

Ross Barber is a web designer who runs Electric Kiwi, a web design company that works primarily with artists in the music industry. He teaches you how to leverage your WordPress website to sell your music directly to your fans.

Day 6: 12 Ways to Make Money from YouTube – Jay Frank

Jay Frank, author and CEO of DigSin, gives you 12 ways to build an income stream from your underutilized YouTube channel.

Day 7: YouTube Monetization Through Advertising – Bobby Owsinski

Bobby Owsinski has written 23 books that have quickly become staples in music business programs in colleges around the world. Here, he gives us a few in-depth methods for monetizing your YouTube channel.

Day 8: What Will it Really Take to Make Money from Music? – John Oszajca

John Oszajca, singer-songwriter and founder of the Music Marketing Manifesto, talks about the popular “1000 fan” model and discusses how to start making a living once you get there.

Day 9: Connecting with Fans Through Contests – Corie Kellman

Our own Director of New Artist Relations Corie Kellman lets us in on how to connect with your fans through contests! Contests engage the fans and bring them together—everything you need to know here in this article.

Day 10: 4 Alternative Avenues to Monetize Your Music – Michael Shoup

Cyber PR friend and guide Michael Shoup offers up 4 alternative avenues to monetize your music; house concerts, office concerts, becoming an expert, non-tv syncs and licenses.

Day 11: Investing In Yourselves – Peggy Dold

In this inspirational article by Peggy Dold, you will learn the underappreciated value of investing in yourself, putting in the necessary time, money, and education to really achieve the goals you need.

Day 12: 5 Super Simple Steps to Make Money at Your Next Show – Madalyn Sklar

Madalyn Sklar is a music business coach and social media strategist who founded GoGirlsMusic.com. In this article, she teaches you five simple steps to make money at your next live show.

Bonus Day! It’s 2014. Time To Stop Starving and Start Living Empowered! – Jo-Ná A. Williams

Jo-Na Williams good friend of team Cyber PR + music entertainment lawyer lets us in on the top 5 ways to be unstoppable in 2014: Have amazing music, have an incredible brand, craft a business foundation, have a team, understand and implement marketing.

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