We Did It! My Crowd Funding Campaign is OVER

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I am sitting here in a state of utter disbelief!

My crowd funding has been humbling, scary, confronting, and in the end totally uplifting!

 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for coming on this journey with me

and for being the wind, the waves,  the road…… and the Net

 

Thatch, Sheila, Nkechi, Norm Jones, Rob Johnson, Ty Noonan, Jeffrey Gerlach, Brett Wilson, Alain Pernot, Chris Morris, Danielle, Paul Carosi, Michelle, Durojaiye, Christie Grace, Penny, Mel, Cady Finlayson, Charlie Gathe, Tonya Shevenell, Justin Naylor, Dave Tofani, Chris Huff, Jessica Paige, Christina Sheer W, Julie Geller, Sam Jackson, Ryan Lucht, Rob Phas, Kaya Colak, Shannon Pratt, Emy Tseng, Erin McNamee, Kevin Mitchell, Jamie Alonge, Ben Craven, John Comerford, Mikael Jacob Matta, Bobbo Byrnes, Monica O’Brein, Kin Ken, Rachel Barton Pine, Deanne Hardwick, Celia Slattery, Adrian Stewart, Kerri Randall, Rich Koski, Philip Zimmerman, Corey Ellis, Meriwether, Karen, Susanna Carman, The WEB Team (Edie, Erica, Jared), Leni Stern, Linda Bonadies, Colin, Aris, Dan Bevin, Paul Marcus, David Avery, Selita, FireDean Schilling, Deb, Lucy LeBlanc, Rob McDermott, Marya Stark, Lucy Hammond, Dennis Middleton, Glenn McMullen, Jes Raymond, Denise Stiff, Patrice O’Neill, Ken Main, Michele Thomas, Clive Swersky, Melanie R Dyer, Cat Marcasciano, Gata Negrra, Geronimo G-mo Moreno, Jon Weisberger, Louis Landon, Robert M. Leggett, Owen Drew, Jessica Wilson, Jonathan Schwartz, Melissa Bailey, Howard Lull, Jay Mankita, Tim Whalen, Esme Packett, A.C., Jen Cohn, Alexander Vlachos, Hannah Showmaker, Joe Blanda, Julie, Fabian Alsultany, Michael Cohen, Jim, Gregory, Bobby Marko, Adam Arredondo, Allen Salzberg, Chris, Chris Conway, Edie Collins, Joona Nuutinen, Idelle Nissila-Stone, Brian Wilkins, Brian Wilkins, Glory Douglass Reinstein, Michael Meinhart, Gloria Sokolin, Colin Willis, Kathryn Berry-Sauvageau, Mary Barry, Grace Baugh-Bennett, Evan Specter, Janyse Jaud, Sam Cosby, Cliff Stevens, Alex Richard Commins, Kerry Harvey-Piper, David Warrick Jones, Rich Meitin, Scott Krokoff, Guilherme Gautreaux, Michael Kauffman, Ken Coulson, Jo Papadaki, Steve Melhuish, Mark Muggeridge, Elwin Williams, Rigo Asencio, Michael Huppe, Bob Baker, Kevin Toqe, Christo Jones, Rebecca Moore, Ali Sachedina, Andras Bozan Bodrogi, Nick Johnson, Patty Mattson, Robert E. Person, Arline J. Lederman, Michael Himes, Paul Reyes, Marshall Such, El Prezidino, Tracy Maddux, Ferdinano Arno, Glenn Peoples, Sonya, Claire Armbruster, Obande Peter Obande, Ra Sha Heen, Kevin Smith, David Hooper, Kathy Muir, Jim Crabb, Theresa Noye, Jennifer Vazquez, Bjorn Dahlberg, Talie Melnyk, Shawnda Grice, Jean Synodinos, Dudley Saunders, Ilyana Kadushin, Carli Munoz, Mindy Gledhill, Kent Gustavson, Ana Sanjuan, Ashley, Vivek J. Tiwary, Kristen Graves, Maude Brochu, Sheri, Jensen Reed, Cory, Steve Schultz, Patsy Delledonne, Alli, Don Slepian, Chip Petree, Kiliii Yu, Alice Rose, dARIO, Jonathon Roberts, Michael Whalen, Thomas Silverman, Roy Silverstein, Kim, Peter Woolston, Dann Russo, Jay Frank, Jim Cummings, Linda Bonadies, Sheila Grace, Tyson Lannon, Joan & Dick Firestone, Ellie & Geirge Munroe, Rachel Barnhard, Istvan, Joseph Gonzales, Laura, Emily Reichbach Rosenthal, Jason Torbert, Dominique Rowland, Tom Laune, Anna, Rachel Bagby, Mita Carriman, Michael Oteka, Kristin FM, Martin Atkins, Rachel Masters, Rob Gordon, Marcus Whitney, Jill Lerman Nazimek, Sandra Hanna, Brian John Mitchell, Zach Falkow, Kim Riemer, John Bartus, Nancy Drosd, Walt Pitts, Troy Petty, Annemarie Clinton, Laura Allen, Gian Uccello, Rachel Schroeder, Cynthia Shelhart, Spoon, Tom, Nicola Milan, Kira Willey, Francis Booth, Anu Gunn, Chuck Hughes, Julie Geller, Bill Carter, Ace Connell, Al Purdie, Walter Tackett, Benjamin Benaim, Queen Rose, Melissa Ostrow, Jordan Walker, Stephen Coyne, Lawrence Reusing, Paul Beaudry, Jeff Clark, Paul d’Amore, Parisch Browne, Anita, Chris Hacker, Carole Hyatt, Ann Mcgovern, Jon Ostrow, Patrice Fehlen, Pete Scherer, Adam Lewis, Judith Gerberg, Jennifer Selke, Victoria Camera, Nikki Hirsch, Randy Chertkow, Peter Clitheroe, Eleanor Whitney, Joyce Dollinger, Nathan Lew, Bryan Calhoun, Laurena Marrone, Erik Philbrook, Brian Ibbott, Sally J Freeman, Carol Swed, Rachel Schain, Chiller Twist, Kevin Atwood, Wendy Snyder, Aaron Levinthal, Daniella, Leo Osborne, Derek Sivers, Gordon Hyatt, Millie M, Charlie Dahan, Peggy Dold, Molly Nagel, & Brian Meece

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4 Reasons Buying Fake Numbers Can Destroy Your Music Career

Real Fake Switch Showing That The Item Is Genuine
Let’s get something out of the way right now:

Buying fake views, fans, followers and traffic is a VERY BAD idea.

Now let’s take a step back and explain.

Over the last two weeks, a story broke on The Daily Dot blog claiming that Youtube had stripped over 2 BILLION views from Sony and Universal’s Youtube channels due to a breach of their user agreement….

In other words, the claim was the Sony and Universal were being stripped of 2 billion FAKE views.

As it turns out, this wasn’t really the truth. It became understood that what Youtube was really doing was transferring views from old, ‘dead’ videos from their Youtube channels, over to the active videos on the VEVO channel for each company. The two major labels actually own stake in VEVO and have been working on phasing out their old Youtube channels.

But whether or not Sony and Universal were actually stripped of 2 billion fake views or not isn’t so much the point…

The fact that fake views have become SO common in the overall conversation of digital promotion, to a point where major blogs and publications are jumping to conclusions (and almost logically so) about companies buying fake views to increase their overall presence is disturbing.

The reason so many people have made the decision to buy fake (fans, followers, views, traffic)?

  • Lack of education about how to truthfully build visibility online

The common thought here is that more views or fans or followers = increased likelihood that it (a video, a profile, a website) will rank higher and be seen by more people.

This is only VERY partially correct, but mostly it’s wrong. I’ll explain more below.

  • Lack of education about how the music industry works

The common thought by far too many independent musicians is that more views, fans and followers = increased likelihood to be ‘discovered’ by the industry, creating an opportunity to sign with a label.

This is wrong. Very, very wrong. Again, I’ll explain more below.

So let’s take a look at 4 reasons why buying fake anything online won’t lead to the success it is so widely thought to bring.

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Why Being On Oprah Was The Worst Day of My Life

Being on Oprah changed my perception of what I was doing for a living forever and marked the beginning of my long love affair with social media.  The story goes like this…

By 2002 I had run my boutique PR firm for 6 years, helping musicians tell their stories, and I was very satisfied doing that work.  One fateful day my telephone rang. It was a call from a producer at the Oprah Winfrey Show.  She had read an article about my mom in a magazine, where mom had mentioned her entrepreneurial daughter.

Within a week, an Oprah film crew had descended. The show combined live studio and taped interviews with Gloria Steinem, Naomi Wolf, Faye Wattelton, Rebecca Walker (Alice Walker’s daughter) and many other guests. On the air date, Oprah opened the show by promising “A revealing look at what younger women think about older women…”

We were told that the theme of the show would be “generational differences in the workplace,” But what it ended up being was the airing of my painful family struggle in front of 40 million viewers.  It turned out the show was  really about pitting daughters from my generation against their mothers, ambitious women who were at the front lines in the battle for women’s equality. There was tremendous pain for all of the daughters featured. I’m not writing this to air dirty laundry.  I’m writing it to make a point about Traditional media.

In considering whether I wanted to write about this I started researching,  and I discovered that this particular episode has been cited and quoted in many books and papers.  My story has touched a nerve.

Here’s the thing: Women of my mother’s generation (the silent generation) struggled and women still struggle 40 years later as the most popular article that has ever run the Atlantic monthly Why Women Still Can’t Have it All attests.

The lesson I learned from Oprah (and about mass media) is:

In mass media you have NO control.

The day of the Oprah taping, I sat for hours under hot lights with pancake makeup on while the producer manipulated the story she wanted out of me. I tried my hardest to paint a rosier picture but as a non media-trained novice I was no match for the biggest daytime TV rated show in America.

The producer wanted me to reveal my pain. She actually had an exact sentence in mind that she wanted me to say. In other words she had the script before she showed up in my office.

After hours of back and forth I finally asked her please just tell me what it was she wanted me to say.  The producer fed me the EXACT Sentence (not my words) I parroted back, and as soon as I did, the cameras went off and they went away back to Chicago to the editing room.

It took 2 years to repair the damage and the pain that Oprah caused in my relationship with my mother.

Why am I telling you all this?

It’s to explain why I’m so passionate about social media.

Social media comes from you. You get to tell the story that you want to tell. There will never be producers grilling you under hot lights with cell phones ringing in their ears to get a version of a story that they want.

Have you ever heard of someone being interviewed for hours for a newspaper or TV piece and then one teeny snippet (sometimes taken out of context) is what makes it onto the 6 o clock news?

As a publicist working with traditional media I saw it EVERY DAY.

In mass media it is their truth.

In social media you have the right to defend yourself if anyone has objections or paints a picture of you that you don’t recognize as your truth.

And in social media you have the freedom to go deeper to explain if you want, openly in front of anyone who wants to see.

The best part about telling your story is:

You can build your own tribe and they can choose to come with you on your journey

I lost my faith in mass media the day that TV show aired and started my journey towards online PR. This was way before it was called “social media,” it was during the time of list servs and web rings and webzines, and years later, social media has gone mainstream.

Many still believe that with traditional media comes cache.

OK, believe it, maybe sometimes it’s true.

For me, from that day forward, every time I had to pitch a story to a traditional journalist I just felt nauseous.

Thinking that mainstream media will save you, discover you or put you on the map and make your career is a misguided conception.

Just ask 99% of all clients I have spoken to who have ever hired a traditional publicist ;)

Your wonderful tribe of people will come with you after the pancake makeup comes off and the hot lights turn away.

Your fans = your tribe = your conversation and your control.

This is why I believe in social media.

I want to help you tell your story.  I want you to utilize my 20 years of PR, Marketing and Social Media Experience to make a huge difference for you in 2013 – Follow this link to work with me, I’ll change your mind about all of this stuff, I promise.

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My UStream Holiday Party – Website Critique REPLAY

I couldn’t believe it!

Nearly 400 of you signed up to come to my first ever Ustream Holiday Party and we had some embarrassing (but temporary thank goodness) technical glitches.

The chat room was flying so fast I barely got a chance to see all of the amazing comments, and I had an absolute ball!

I critiqued websites, Twitter and Facebook Pages, and we even looked at a few of your successful crowd funding campaign pages to learn for ourselves how to make money in 2013.

  • Some of you (like @MeccaGodzilla) made new friends (and fans)
  • @theresanoye is already loading Cinderella photos on to her Twitter Page
  • @DollaBillCosby showed us that you can use your personality to your advantage (even with ah, hem – colorful language)
  • Steven Wylie learned about the critical differences when using personal pages vs fan pages
  • The Raygun Girls gave us a lesson in STELLAR branding!
  • Jody Whitesides taught us about squeeze pages
  • Mickey Matta & Tricky Pixie showed us how to go BEYOND your expectations using an effective Kickstarter campaign AND
  • Paul Rolan Perkes @perkXsoundlabs has already re-designed his ENTIRE website

Here is the REPLAY OF THE ACTION so you can watch and learn and put some of the techniques into place for yourself:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

I would love to see the changes you’ve made since our call and highlight you right here on this blog, so be sure to post your changes as you implement them (My Blog gets a lot of traffic so post!)

Speaking of making money…..

I gave all attendees a special Party Favor for attending – It was a copy of my Recession Proof Musician ebook

To receive my awesome Party Favor, I invite you all to check out and contribute to my crowd funding campaign where the ebook is included as a reward.

And since there is always room for improvement: I WILL be doing this again. In fact, I’ve got all sorts of good things up my sleeve to help you make 2013 the most profitable and fun and successful fan building and year yet.

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A Message from Derek Sivers + My Holiday Gift to You

I was floored last week when I went to check my email and Derek Sivers had emailed me one of the most generous video testimonials ever.

I must say, it’s definitely gratifying because I’ve worked my REAR off to get to where I want to be. But I was seriously humbled.

And I’m giving something away this month as my gift to you –

I’m holding a live event on Tuesday night and putting a few of you in the HOT SEAT where I’m going to show you how to FIX what you’re doing wrong online and create MASSIVE exposure to help you get yourself discovered in 2013.

Here’s what we’ll be doing:

  • There will be LIVE hot seats, music artists selected by random from our audience where you will have the opportunity to learn what you need to change NOW in order to get more exposure online
  • I’m going to be revealing what you should NEVER do online and how to fix it fast!
  • I’ll look at your Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and website and tell you what’s working
  • I’ll answer all your questions about Facebook personal pages vs fan pages (I know that’s driving you crazy!)
  • I’ll show you how to build your fan base before you even get off the call!

  • Click here to join me and get all of the details to my Online Holiday Party


    Love,

    Ariel
    P.S. – Be sure and sign up now to get the deets for a chance to be selected to be in the HOT SEAT and learn my new special fan formula!

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    Why Telling YOUR Story Is The Cornerstone of Your Brand…(and Why It’s High Time I’m Telling Mine)

    One of the best parts of my job is helping people reveal and tell their stories.

    95% of clients who contact us for Cyber PR campaigns or social media strategy think that we are going to be promoting JUST their “product” in most cases with my clients this means their music. But, our job is trying to help our clients realize  it’s the stories and the deeper connections that telling them that will LEAD potential fans to their product. having captivating stories is the asset that makes all of the difference.

    In the old world stories didn’t matter. Advertising used to equal marketing and so, the client with the most money for ads WON just by saturating the market. Telling a story wasn’t necessary or even heard of.

    Fast forward to the present day.  We live in a world over-saturated by choice.  It’s no longer about advertising (i.e. Shouting Loudly from the rooftop).  With advancements like Social Media, customer reviews and 200,000,000 blogs you are insane if you think any product without a story or one that satisfies a real NEED or solves a huge problem will mean anything to anyone.

    Great products in the present day come with great stories. We buy Toms shoes because we love the story that a child with no shoes gets a pair every time we buy, we trust Airborne instead of the 2,568 other vitamins available because a kindergarten teacher developed it.  It’s the stories and the meanings behind them that really make the difference for us in the new world.

    I never trust a website advertising a service based product unless I can find out something about the people delivering the service.  They matter to me and their stories matter to me, and I bet they matter to you too…

    As I was thinking about all of this, I realized.  I have never really told my story.

    And since I  have just asked practically everyone in the world I’ve ever met to help me raise a lot of money to do something I have only dreamed of, I thought I would share mine…

    The reason why I got into music is deeply personal.  Music actually saved my life as a child…

    At age 6, I was thrown out of a prestigious private school on the Upper East Side in New York City. In the middle of 2nd grade my parents got bad news; I was not going to be invited back for third grade, due to the fact that I was not learning as fast as my classmates. In a panic, my parents began a long journey to help connect me with a tutor or a teacher who could help get me up to speed, and I spent countless hours with tutors learning things that the other kids were picking up naturally in school.

    My parents enrolled me into a less competitive school. For years, I spent my lunch and after school hours in tutoring. One tutor discovered something that changed my life; I couldn’t memorize multiplication tables or understand how to conjugate French verbs and reading was a true struggle, but I could remember lyrics to songs – lots of songs. Music class was the only thing that I did not struggle with because I had dead on pitch. I couldn’t read music, but if it was played once, I could sing it along with the rest of the class effortlessly. As soon as my tutor began to teach me in singing, I started to catch up with the rest of my classmates. I learned to rhyme my times tables to my favorite songs and that made them easy to memorize. Singing and rhyming everything, from the state capitals, to proper grammar got me through. I caught up to the rest of my class graduated high school  and college as an A student.

    Me with my staff, Boulder, CO, 1997

     

    After school, I moved to Boulder, CO because music there took me there.  The artists that were playing live     there, the venues that they played in took me there, and I had the privilege of working in those venues.  My whole life at that time centered around building a business that could support that love.

    Here’s the biggest lesson I have learned so far in my life: Everything is learnable and achievable if you set your mind to it.  The key to success is you must figure out a pleasureable way to get there. It’s critical that you don’t forget to add  joy and expression.

    There is no magic pill that can solve the quandary that this “new” world  has presented us,  but I’ve overcome some seemingly impossible personal battles and I’m up for the challenge.

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