Top 3 Ways You Can Create Money-Making Music Career Teleseminar: Instant Replay Until January 5th, 2015



Jo-Na and I led a fantastic teleseminar about the top three ways musicians can create a money-making career in 2015, and the feedback was incredible. A few listeners referred to us as the dynamic duo :)

We made an announcement about how you can come out to New York to spend a weekend with us and get laser-focused for 2015. Listen to the instant replay of the teleseminar here. Enjoy!




Free Musicians Seminar – Saturday January 10, 2015 – NYC


I am THRILLED and DELIGHTED to be co-hosting a free all day seminar for artists and music industry professionals – Your Rights, Your Music, Your Career in New York City on Saturday January 10, 2014

The all-day event will take place at

Aaron Davis Hall
Campus of The City College of New York
Convent Avenue
Between West 133 – 135 Streets
New York, NY 10031

This will be a powerful one-day seminar to help artists and music industry professionals start 2015 off on the right path!

The day will feature candid discourse and panels.

The Day’s Schedule:

Noon-12:30 Introduction to Today’s Music Business
Featuring Michael Whalen

12:30-1:30 Publishing, PROs and Copyrights Panel
Moderator: Michael Whalen • With Larry Mills (We Are The Hits), Rich Stumpf (Atlas) & Linda Lorence Critelli (SESAC)

1:30–2 PM Q&A

2–3 PM Monetization

3 – 4 PM PR / Promotion & Marketing Panel
With: Patrice Fehlen (September Gurl), Pam Workman (Workman Communications Group), Jo-Na Williams, Esq., and TBA

4-4:45 PM Social Media Panel
Moderator: Ariel Hyatt • With Marni Wandner, and TBA

4:45-5:30 PM Crowdfunding Panel
Moderator: Ariel Hyatt • With Kristen Henderson,

5:30–6 PM Q&A and Wrap Up

7–11 PM – Reception – TBA – At a venue near the college

Reserve your tickets here:

Featured Speakers
(Many More will be Added)

Patrice Fehlen is a manager and the founder of September Gurl, a music publicity company formed in 2005. As a publicist, Patrice has worked with a wide range of bands including The Damnwells, Say Hi to Your Mom, Rebecca Martin, Dayna Kurtz, and Jerry Joseph. Her specialty is working with up-and-coming bands to help them get to the next level. She manages Spain, Jerry Joseph, Ben Kyle and Romantica, Del-Lords, and KaiserCartel.

Kristen Henderson is a founding member, guitarist and songwriter for the all female popular rock band Antigone Rising. She is also the author of a memoir, “Times Two, Two Women in Love and The Happy Family They Made” (Free Press/Simon & Schuster).,[1] and maintains a blog, “Hangin’ with Hendo” where she voices opinions simply by telling her own personal stories on politically charged issues like same sex adoption and marriage equality. She and wife, Sarah Kate Ellis-Henderson, are vocal advocates on LGBT issues, especially marriage and family equality. In 2013, Kristen made theBuzzfeed Most Powerful Allies and Icons List alongside The Pope, Madonna, President Obama, Edie Windsor and Elton John.

Linda Lorence Critelli is the Vice President of Writer/Publisher Relations at SESAC and has been with them since 1989, Linda has served SESAC’s New York songwriting and publishing community with pride. Her tenure with the company has allowed her to work with writers in all genres of music, but she has established herself in the Jazz, Pop and Singer/Songwriter formats.

Larry Mills founded We Are The Hits, an on-line video network that allows musicians to create, syndicate and monetize cover songs – legally. WATH currently has over 200 artists who generate thousands of videos and over 150MM views a month on YouTube alone. WATH was the first video network to allow the cover artist to participate in the advertising revenue legally – and continues to be on the forefront of music licensing and syndication opportunity for independent artists.

Rich Stumpf is the founder and CEO of Atlas Music Publishing, a progressive, full service music publishing company.Established in 2013, the company currently represents songs performed by artists such as Colbie Caillat, Chris Daughtry, The Wanted, Icona Pop, Prince Royce and Krewella.

Marni Wandner is the founder and president of Sneak Attack Media, a digital marketing and creative services company based in New York. Sneak Attack provides full-service digital consultancy for its clients, including online PR, social media strategy, creative services, grassroots niche marketing and more. Clients have included artists Lou Reed, Paul Simon, The Cult, Joseph Arthur, Patty Griffin, Tove Lo, Highasakite, The Sounds, Neil Young, Ani DiFranco, Lenny Kravitz, Florence + The Machine, and more, as well as soundtracks for films and TV shows like 30 Rock, Californication, George Harrison: Living in the Material World, MARLEY, and more.

Jo-Ná A. Williams, Esq. founded J.A. Williams Law P.C. – The Artist Empowerment Firm in 2011 to provide artists and entrepreneurs with ways to successfully navigate their careers and provide assistance with business, entertainment and intellectual property matters. She founded Artist Empowerment Group in 2013 to advise artists on business, branding and marketing. Some of her clients have written best-selling books, reached the Billboard Top 100, and been nominated for Grammys. She’s been featured in Marie TV, The Vocalist Magazine, Women In Music, ReverbNation, CDBaby and The New York State Bar Association’s Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Journal.

Pamela Workman  is a bold innovator in the publicity and strategic communications industries. As president and founder of Workman Communications Group, she brings 15 years of publicity experience and progressive, creative development solutions to her boutique company.


How “Music Success in 9 Weeks” Got Its Name

Musicians often smirk or actually chuckle when they hear the title of my best selling book Music Success in 9 Weeks. They say things like: “YEAH, it took me 16 YEARS to get here – what will 9 weeks do?” (I’ve heard variations of this many times!)

So, here’s How Music Success in 9 Weeks Got it’s Name…..

It’s a simple answer really: Derek Sivers did it.  Screen-shot-2012-02-23-at-8.03.26-AM1

I am classically AWFUL at naming things: I’m jealous of people who come up with brilliant names for things like TopSpin, ReverbNation, Girlie Action, and Fluence!

How fun are those names?

Not me: I choose the obvious:

Case and point: CYBER PR
(DUH – Easy).

So when it came time to choose a name for my first book I called my best friend in the music business and a man who has incredible experience and asked:

What should I name my book:

“Keep it simple and easy,” he said “how many steps are in the book?”

9 I answered….. and Voila!

My little book that came out in its first edition in 2008 is now in her 3rd edition and I’m proud that it has helped thousands of musicians.

She’s been to the #1 position on Amazon and served as a textbook at many music industry schools across the USA and Canada.

And now it is priced at the deepest discount I have ever extended.

Here’s are some artists’ reviews:

“Not only is the material excellent, it is presented in a practical, workbook-like way, and it is divided into chapters that are actually possible to tackle instead of overwhelming. Add to that Ariel’s positive input and thoughts that infuse this entire  book, and every independent musician… should get this book and then make a  commitment to work it through the next 9 weeks.”
– Jeanine Guidry – Singer/band leader of Offering

“Ariel’s 9-week plan will truly bring you to a new level of success with your music. It  is laid out in an easy to follow format that takes you week by week through the steps.  After completing the plan, my band has seen a noticeable and measurable increase in  the attendance at our shows, our music is reaching a larger audience, and promoters  and club owners are showing greater interest.”
– M Bassick, “Bass Guy”

“We’ve all spent time asking “What can I do to promote my band?” This book not  only gave me a plethora of resources and instruction, it lit a fire under my a** and got  me out there promoting like a mad man. If you’re looking for a healthy heaping of advice, instruction, and motivation, this is the book for you. BUY IT.”
– Dave Carter, The Station Music

Come order it! I’d love for it to help you get your online presence in order! 


How To Find A Free Practice Room


This is a guest article from Ben Sword, founder of Music Marketing Classroom.

Here in London practice rooms have gotten crazy pricey. (Maybe you can relate)

So I decided to build an action plan allowing up and coming musicians to practice in-front of a real audience without spending a penny, in fact you can even use this to MAKE MONEY down the road.

Here are the steps…

1. Look around your town for a cool bar, pub, coffee shop, college, nightclub (you get the idea)

2. Call the decision-maker and offer to host a music night…tell them you’ll play for free until it becomes popular.

This kind of pitch is hard to refuse because they can’t really lose.

3. You’ll need to jump on Ebay and get a small PA system, which you can do for around $200 if you “snipe” well.

You could even look for some 80’s disco lights if you want to get real fancy!

4. Now turn up each week and practice your set :-)

5. If you want to do a new song play through it for an hour in the “sound check”. Make sure the band have the track beforehand and the notes to follow. Sure you might be a little shabby, but in my opinion that’s OK…if you wait for perfection before taking any action you may never make any progress.

Growing Your Night

1. Make sure that even if there is only a few people in the place that you get their email address (if possible), and tell them to bring their friends next time.

2. Hit YouTube and look up live footage from awesome performers for inspiration on stage craft. Try to make your little venue feel like the hollywood bowl!

3. Keep writing and playing new songs each week, always be looking for the new “gems”.

4. Listen to music you love with an analytical ear and ask yourself “why on earth did this tune work so well?” use what you learn to improve your own writing.

If you follow these steps there is a good chance your night will grow , then you can ask to get paid!

Getting Paid $$$

I’m sure at this point the venue manager will be happy with the new income and pay you fair, but if not you’ve got the email list and can move wherever you like with the massive incentive of already having a large audience.

So get your negotiation hat on…have the venue manager name a fee first because it might be surprisingly high.

Now maybe you can spend the new income to build your audience even faster reaching out directly to your target fanbase through something like Facebook advertising.

And since you’ve been working hard to improve your chops at the weekly show, chances are the response will be better than ever.

Why is this cool?

Practice in front of a live audience is the best you can get…it the “Beatles Effect”.

Did you know the Beatles were pretty average before they traveled to hamburg and play 18 hours a day for 6 months?

Then they came back and were so good everyone pooped in their pants.

So they took some natural talent…added a lot of practice… and Beatles Booyar!


:: Video Version ::


P.S Did you find this useful?

If so please click share below and let me know.


Ben Sword is the founder of the Music Marketing Classroom, on a mission to help musicians create sustainable careers with a simple four level marketing philosophy.

Learn more at


The Musician’s Guide to Creating an Effective Music Marketing Plan (Part 3 of 3)

In creating an effective music marketing plan, so far we have discussed building a solid and complete online foundation and outlined strategies for a successful new release launch. Now it is time to kick back and relax for a little while before starting to write material for the next album that you’ll release a year or two down the road right…..Couldn’t be further from the truth!

To build off of all the progress you’ve been making up to this point, while you are working on that next record, you will have to keep supplying content on a consistent basis to strengthen your relationship and stay relevant with your current fans, and at the same time this content will also help to increase your fanbase.

Additional merchandise is one content idea, you can make vinyl for the last album or announce a new T-shirt design. Continue to release music videos for songs off the last album is another, for example take footage from the album release tour and edit to create an easy and fun music video to upload to your YouTube channel.

In the final post of this series I will discuss the three crucial content streams of Music, Social Media and Performing Live.



Gone are the days of releasing an album once every couple of years and leaving it at that, today’s artists need to be constantly feeding their fanbase new music. Releasing singles will keep people engaged while they are waiting on a full length, but you’re not limited to just releasing original new works.

Create alternate versions of your studio tracks:

Get a DJ to remix one of your songs. Not saying this has to be a famous DJ, just someone who knows the technology and is Sparlers Notescreative. If you’re interested in holding a remix contest should contact the folks over at Indaba Music, they put together some great remix campaigns for artists. Unless you’re already an acoustic act, take a page from Nirvana and release an album of stripped down “unplugged” versions of your studio tracks. A great way to show a different side of the band and appeal to potentially new listeners. Lastly release a live album, preferably from the CD release show, but any show will work as long as the audio is of top quality.


Record cover songs:

Music fans love covers. Recording cover songs is a great strategy for gaining awareness for new artists and providing fun content to share with your fans. Cover artists that inspire the music that you make and bigger name similar sounding artists to further entrench yourself within your genre. But also look outside of your genre as you never know, might end up tapping in to a whole new fanbase. This is exactly what the pianist Scott D. Davis did when he decided to combine his love of heavy metal with the beautiful piano pieces he was recording. The result was millions of youtube hits for his metal covers and new fans out of the heavy metal community, even of the artists themselves; Scott has been invited to open for Godsmack, Korn, P.O.D., Sevendust, Vince Neil of Mötley Crüe and Queensrÿche among others.

*Please note, to legally sell a cover song you will need to obtain and pay for a mechanical license. Harry Fox Agency is the foremost mechanical licensing agency in the US. Or work with Limelight who will get the license for a small fee per song on top of the mechanical license fee.


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The Musician’s Guide to Creating an Effective Music Marketing Plan (Part 2 of 3)

Releasing an album or EP into today’s music landscape can feel like a daunting task. Who do you send it to? How will you get people to listen?  How do you cut through the noise? Where are all the places to put it online?

Marketing And AdvertisingThe first blog post in this 3-part series for creating an effective marketing plan dealt with building a strong online presence, so if you follow those instructions you are already in better shape than the majority of artists releasing music today.

In this, part 2, we will discuss steps to take in order to have a successful new release launch.



You must digitally distribute your album or EP. A physical CD only release or selling MP3s strictly on your website is not the way to go.

Digital distribution allows your music to be available everywhere fans will want it. Some will prefer streamed (Spotify, Rdio) and some will purchase (iTunes, Amazon, etc.) and the best way to get added to all of these is to go to a digital distributor like CD Baby or Tunecore.

I talk to artists all the time who take this step too far and sign up with multiple distributors because they think they are covering all their bases, which they are not. All this will do is put multiple copies of the same album on all the digital retail stores.

So, choose one and stick with them. We prefer CD Baby over Tunecore’s model because it’s a one time fee plus a small % of sales vs an annual fee that Tunecore will charge. So unless you think you’ll be generating at least $1k in sales year after year, then CD Baby is the economical option.



The release of the actual music itself is one big event, and this album/EP as a whole represents your main content that will be used in an effective launch campaign.

Keep in mind that you need to also plan for other types of content to support the release. These are many assets you can use to reach out to press and share with your current following that will work to draw attention to the release.

Here are a few of the most effective categories:


Ideally you will have a tour booked to kickoff following the official release of your album or EP. I’m not saying this has to be a long tour, it can be just a few regional dates, as this will help with your press efforts. Local blogs cheering crowd in front of bright stage lightsand newspapers in each market will be much more inclined to cover a new album or EP for an artist if a show is booked in their town.

Having multiple markets to play in will also help you leverage when it’s time for a national press campaign. A list of tour dates will add credibility and demonstrate that you are an active artist working hard to promote your career.



We all know MTV does not play music anymore, that is well-worn territory, but there are thousands of blogs who do love to post videos everyday. A music video that is captivating, colorful, funny, interesting (the list goes on, but you get the idea) greatly helps with a press campaign. The video can be used in the initial pitch to blogs about your album to make for a stronger pitch.

Another thing you can do with a video is secure an exclusive premier of the video on one blog ahead of the album release date to start generating buzz. Or if you don’t have the video ready in time for the release you can also drop it a month or two after the release date as a tool to continue to build awareness and draw attention back to the release.

You should have at least one official music video for an album to use in your press efforts, but you should plan on making videos for every song on the release. The idea is you want to build a fanbase and get as many people listening as possible and YouTube is where millions of people are going to listen to music. Many artists will upload the song’s audio to YouTube with a static image of the artist or album cover, but people are much more inclined to listen to your music if there are moving images. A slideshow video is one method or a better solution is to make lyric videos, here’s a great example from the band Vampire Weekend.


Pretty much everything in regards to your music career takes longer than expected, from making the album to creating the artwork to booking shows, and this definitely applies to any merchandise you want to have available to sell with the new album or EP, so start your planning months in advance.

I will caution you to ask your fans before you make merch to find out what they might like and if you don’t have a good sized fan base merch may not be a great move (yet!), as it can be costly to order merch that doesn’t yet have an audience to buy it.

Remember to match your merch to your crowd and merch isn’t limited to T-Shirts and posters, handmade items can make for great unique offerings or flash drives are great items that are functional and can be pre-filled with your music, videos and even sheet music.

Spark sales at shows, and through your online store, by selling your music through bundling items together. At the merch booth using download stickers from companies like Bandcamp or CD Baby you can create packages by placing a sticker with a download code to your music right on the t-shirt or other physical merch item that you are wishing to bundle your music with. Even though people aren’t buying CDs much anymore, they are still interested in supporting artists they love, so give them lots of different ways to support you and purchase your music.



A big component when promoting a new album is the press campaign, and you can do this by working with a PR company to handle your press outreach or going the DIY route.

I talk to many independent artists who don’t see the point in a press campaign for their new release, usually because they (or artists they know) have spent thousands of dollars on a PR company in the past with little to no results. I definitely feel for artists here, but ignoring press completely is not the solution.

Word Pr.wooden Cubes On MagazineWhen hiring a publicist make sure your music is a good fit with their existing roster and that the publicist has a well thought out plan for the campaign, and most of all, honestly likes your music. An expensive campaign with a PR company that has some major label big name clients is not by any means a slam dunk that you will get “tons” of “great” press for your independent release, and many times will be the exact opposite. Try contacting boutique PR firms that can offer more personal attention or PR companies that are focused on independent artists.

For many artists doing-it-yourself is a totally feasible option that I consult with artists on with strategy and supplying specific media outlets to target.

For the campaign itself having all this support content that we discussed will help immensely in your outreach to press outlets, keeping a steady stream of talking points throughout the campaign instead of just talking about the album over and over and over. But do not focus on just music blogs, your passions, history, interests and hobbies that you have outside of music can all be utilized in a PR campaign. These are your niches and by making connections with blogs and their communities who share your passions and interests will provide a great opportunity to promote your music at the same time.

How To Develop and Dominate in a Targeted Niche – A Cyber PR Niche Marketing Case Study

Further reading that I linked to in Part 1 to help you prepare for PR is important info, so if you didn’t read it the first time around, here it is again.

Or Follow Ariel’s step-by-step guidebook (a whole chapter walks you trough how to get PR)

Music Success in 9 Weeks



Here is a basic model to follow for an upcoming new album or EP release. If you plan on working with a PR company though to promote a new release please don’t set the release date until AFTER you have talked with them as it is important to have their input to make sure everything is aligned with their vision and timetable.

Two Months Before Release

  • Press campaign begins
  • Release a single, a great way excite your fans and also to get some current press quotes to include when contacting press about the full length release
  • Reskin social media profiles to advertise the new release
  • Get your newsletter firing and tell fans you have a special announcement

One Month Before Release

  • Announce pre-sale campaign through your newsletter and social media networks- create bundles of merch to sell for extra boost
  • Set up a Facebook invite for the new release, send it to all your Facebook friends and post on your Fan Page

Two Weeks Before Release

  • Keep the excitement going, hold a contest to win a copy of the new album and/or tickets to the release show

Official Release Day Activities

  • Write a news post about the release on your website or blog
  • Update Twitter and Facebook with an “album out now” post and link to where they can purchase it  (I suggest you pay to boost post so people see it!)
  • Send out a Newsletter to your mailing list

One Month After The Release

  • Service press with official music video and announce tour dates

Again, the more activities you can plan surrounding a release will help build and foster excitement amongst your fans and will create more opportunities to keep contacting press with new content, while at the same time reminding them about the new album or EP.

Also don’t forget to ask your family, friends and fans to write reviews of your new release on iTunes and other digital retailers the minute it becomes available. Studies have shown that albums that are reviewed actually sell more than albums with little to no reviews posted.

In the next and final post – Part 3 I will talk about supplying content while you’re in between album cycles, as a means to stay relevant and fresh with your current fans, and to increase your fanbase as well.

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