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).


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


Intro Video For Social Media House – Ariel’s New 9 Week Social Media Mastery Course

It’s been three years in the making and soon, I am releasing the biggest, baddest fan-building and  online publicity course for those of you who want to know the EXACT STEPS to getting your music heard across the globe.

It’s not rocket science… There is an actual formula for creating die-hard fans who naturally WANT to share your music with others. And there’s a process that creates exposure.

More Fans + More Exposure = More Money – right?

Yep. At least that’s been the case for many clients I have worked with worldwide.

Here’s a little teaser from Social Media House.


P.S. – We only have 3 seats left for Social Media House and 50 is the max. If you are SERIOUS get in now because it WILL sell out! Click here to enroll (with payment options) and bring your ENTIRE BAND, YOUR MANANGER, YOUR MOM, Anyone on your team who can help you!


The Distribution Loop: Turning Average Fans Into Die-Hard Evangelists

I’m just back from France where I attended the MIDEM conference and it was a jampacked four-day whirlwind! I met some wonderful new colleagues and found out about some fabulous emerging platforms to add to your toolbox this year. I’ll be blogging about them. I saw some incredible panels and sat in on a few master classes that were truly inspiring.

For this year’s MIDEM, I created a brand-new talk is called the “The Distribution Loop.

The concept is this: You need to leverage your fans to create a “loop” that begins with a like or a follow on social media and ends with evangelical, enthusiastic fan, then it repeats.

Here is a video of my presentation (it’s only 8 minutes).

Brian Wilkins, my business development extraordinaire participated with me at MIDEM. Brian has vast experience in the major-label marketing world and has worked closely with some household name artists.

He explained how he helped build Rhianna’s fan base to over 1 million on Facebook and how her management team used “The Distribution Loop”, by letting her super fans participate in order to properly build Rhianna’s story. The super fans were trusted among her fans and really helped to shape an authentic conversation that many participated in.

I also presented a deeply expanded version of this concept to an exclusive group of French record labels, which I will be including as a bonus in my Social Media House 9-week online mastery course, which launches on February 18th.

There are only a HANDFUL of spots left, so click here to get one!


Top 10 Cyber PR® Artists for Winter 2013

Over the last few weeks, this blog has been dedicated to our recently finished (and thankfully very successful) Rockethub campaign, as well as to our upcoming, brand new social media mastery e-course called Social Media House.

But today we’re going to take a step aside to once again shine the spotlight on the Top 10 Cyber PR® artists for this 2013 winter season. With the level of talent we represent, this is never an easy decision, however we’ve able to compile a list of the top 10 Cyber PR® artists that have received the most attention from bloggers, podcasters and internet radio stations. Enjoy and happy winter… stay warm!

– Ariel, Jon and Team Cyber PR®


Album CoverTQ sets himself apart with cutting edge songwriting, branching off from traditional R&B content and branding his own type of “Reality R&B.” His latest single “Bad Man”, featuring Mystikal from his upcoming album Legendary was just recently released.


Michael ColtonAs bluesy as a rusty guitar with a bottle of whiskey, Michael adds gospel and blues to create a landscape of trials and tribulations. Michael’s latest album “The Robert Johnson Sessions” is now available for review.


natalya Cover FINALNatalya is like Adele and Ingrid Michaelson morphed into a single diva and about 5 years younger. Her debut album, “Whisper” is dynamically diverse, from the shimmering, amorous folk pop of “My Heart,” to the lush warmth of “I’ve Got A Friend,” to the graceful melancholy of “Don’t Say Nothing.”.


Kent GustavsonKent Gustavson does it all from being a musician to a teacher to a writer. Kent’s book, the unofficial biography of legendary bluegrass musician Doc Watson, “Blind But Now I See” is now available for review!


Jamie BlockJamie Block is one of a kind; combining magic, madness and whimsy to tell deep emotional truths. For Jamie’s latest album “Whitecaps On The Hudson”, he has created a wildly unique music video to accompany each song. The videos for the 4 songs from the album are all on his Virtual Press Kit and are available for exclusive premiere!


Grace KellyFor Grace Kelly musicality is oceanic, and she dives into it boldly on her latest album, “Grace Kelly Live At Scullers”, finding sounds that are vastly divided like Jazz, Americana and smoldering Funk.


David AlterDavid Alter digs deeply in his music by his masterful writing; capturing bold truths in well-crafted soft rock. David’s new album “Songs for Sale”, is a collection of 10 track carefully culled from a catalog of 100 tracks written over 20 years.


Common MamaCommon Mama has an exceptional voice along with music that is not only mesmerizing but also very comforting. Common Mama singer Jon Kenzie’s folksy vocals evoke Cat Stevens and Paolo Nutini, he has the optimum blend of sandpaper and satin to compliment Italian composer/ songwriter Ferdinando Arnò’s shimmering indie pop compositions.


La CatrinLa Catrin is a beautiful and sultry combination of Evanescence and Lady Gaga, but just a tad more on the darker side. Her stunning debut, Humans Are My Keyboards, is a soaring, leather-dipped album that is poetic, insightful, and full of sharp hooks.


SerapicosSerapicos is an indie/punk scruffy genius, imaginative arrangements and surprising stylistic references played with an unbridled charm! The recently released 15-song opus, Serapicos Is A Town, is a wry, witty, and imaginative indie rock debut from a promising young pop composer.


5 Burning Social Media Questions Answered – Social Media House Pre-Launch Q&A Call Recap

For those of you who missed it, last night (1/24) I ran an ‘office hours’ style Q&A call as a follow up to the ‘9 Mistakes Musicians Make Using Social Media’ teleseminar that Ariel and I put on the week before.

Both of these calls have been leading up to the big announcement of the brand new Cyber PR® 9-week social media mastery e-course, Social Media House, which launches on Feb 18th (FYI – there are only 9 spots left so join us NOW!).

The purpose of last night’s call was simple – to discuss any burning questions about social media that the ‘9 Mistakes’ teleseminar was bound to stir up. Oh and stir it did. We had over 100 people on the call last night, and spent almost an hour and a half addressing some really fantastic, and important questions.

To give a nice recap to the fantastic call, here are the 5 best burning questions that were asked on last night’s call:

1. Considering all the options for social media promotion, what do you feel is the priority list? i.e.: Facebook, Twitter, etc. Where should i spend the most time / investment?

The priority of where you spend the most of your time should lie in where your fans are. This means that BEFORE you start marketing and engaging with fans through social media, you need to have the following:

1. An understanding of who your ideal fan is so that you can seek them out.
2. An understanding of the community demographics of each unique social media platform so that you can best target where your ideal fan is spending most of his or her time.

Once you have figured this out, you can determine which social media platforms should take priority.

2. What’s a good way to get your Twitter followers talking about/checking out your music without spamming them with links?

The best (and really ONLY) way to get people to check out and eventually talk about your music is to have REAL conversations with them. It is through this two-way conversation that you will build relationships, which are the only way to establish real supporters (fans!) that will listen, share and advocate your music.

This all comes down to understanding that Twitter is a conversation tool and not a broadcast tool, and using it as such on a consistent basis.

3. If I have $50 – $100 a month to use promoting my music, how would that money best be spent?

I love this question and I’m so glad we had a chance to talk about this. Before you establish yourself through social media, you need to establish your hub – the place that you OWN online, that will never go away, no matter what social media platform is popular.

This amount of money is perfect for establishing and maintaining your online hub, which consists of three things:

1. Your own official website (
2. Your blog (this should be built in to your website)
3. Your newsletter

4. How many emails per week would you say is acceptable? I’m currently sending out 2-3 per week and some people are saying it’s too much.

Unlike social media, which for the most part is understood to be a public-facing endeavor, email has been and will always remain a very private and personal platform.

If fans are willing to give you an email address, they are expecting that you will respect and appreciate the fact that you now have access to them directly. Giving an email address, in this respect, is no different than giving a mailing address and a phone number.

In order to remain responsible to your fans and respect their wishes of not feeling taken advantage and overly marketed to, you should keep your newsletter to once a month.

5. What is a realistic time period for developing my 1,000 true fans?

There is no easy way to answer this question, which is exactly why I was so glad it was asked. It MUST be understood that there is no magic bullet for building a fan base.

What works for one person, may never work for another.

And don’t think that this is just the way it goes for musicians. All brands in any industry have a difficult time building a fan base (or customer base). It is the reason why 95% of small businesses fail.

That said, understanding what it takes to establish a fan base is most definitely the first step toward success.

Once you’ve got this under your belt, you’ll be able to work on a strategy that works for you, and for your fan base, so that you have the opportunity to reach the 1,000 true fan mark.

This may take you a year. This may take 10 years.

There is no magic bullet for success in the music industry, so all you can do is create a great product (your music!) and a great strategy that caters to, and nurtures your fans.

And this brings me back to our new course, Social Media House…

This 9-week e-course is designed to help you to understand how social media platforms work and how to use this information to build a strategy that works for you, your team and your fans.

Join us in Social Media House – this course kicks off Feb 18th and there are only 9 spots left! REGISTER NOW!


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