Nagivating #SXSW: Advice from the Streets of Austin – RECAP + More

Though our time in Austin has come to an end, we still have a bit more to share…

Our final day at SXSW was once again packed with top notch events, showcases and of course people, all the while grabbing nuggets of advice along the way.

A special highlight of the day for Chris and I was the chance to see Cyber PR® client, and Peru’s own Bareto perform. Their set set was fantastic! Full of energy and dancing (something I had yet to see at SXSW until this point).

Bareto - SXSW Showcase @ Austin City Hall

Bareto – SXSW Showcase @ Austin City Hall

And now, let’s dive in to the last (but not least) group of people who shared their advice with us on friday. If you’re new to this series, see the links to all of the previous articles from this week’s SXSW series that ran throughout the week.

Ari Goldstein (Band Manager, Motive – @motiveband) A band playing shows during SXSW should know that they won’t be able to follow their schedule exactly, so allow a lot of time getting from show to show. Expect to get frustrated. Expect some shows to be empty. And remember this is not a make or break situation.

Bryan Vaughn (Owner, Paper Garden Records – @papergardenrecs) You never know who is going to be in the room so just play and have fun.

Jeremy Styles (Musician, Pearl and the Beard – @PEARLntheBEARD) SXSW these days is more a situation of if you don’t have buzz coming in, you won’t have buzz coming out. So don’t expect too much

Tim Convy (Manager, Tommy & The High Pilots/ Member of the band Ludo – @TheHighPilots / @LudoRock) Need to remember that there’s potent amount of potential for the industry to be at your show, but it’s just as much that, as it is ordering a taco next to industry folk in the taco place or standing next to them ordering a beer at the bar, and starting a conversation and creating a connection that way. Also playing at sxsw can be beneficial just to be able to say you played it.

Dave Mann (Blogger, Sweet Tea Pumpkin Pie – @STPPie) It’s important for a band to play a few times at least during sxsw. I booked shows at 5 different venues at this years festival and discouraged any bands from confirming a slot if that was going to be their only show in Austin. Only a few bands out of the 200 that I booked ended up only playing our STPP showcases.

Benji Rogers (Founder, Pledge Music – @pledgemusic) South By music fans are some of most rabid fans who have traveled to see you. Take care of the fans first, THEN try to go out and network with the industry people.

Eric Weiner (Blogger, The Wild Honey Pie – @thewildhoneypie) It’s important to play A LOT at least one year, and then work with bloggers for the next year so that you can get on their showcases. Also, very important, don’t reach out to bloggers for showcases that you’ve never worked with… these showcases are typically reserved for bands/ artists that have been covered and supported by these blogs already.

Navigating #SXSW: Advice from the Streets of Austin – SERIES RECAP


Navigating #SXSW: Advice from the Streets of Austin – 8 Friends Chime In

Kickstarter 101 Panel - Jon Ostrow, Jenny Owen Youngs, Martin Atkins

Kickstarter 101 Panel – Jon Ostrow, Jenny Owen Youngs, Martin Atkins

Wow, yesterday was a blast! The day started early as Chris and I headed to the Bumstead showcase at the Canada House, and we kept on full-steam ahead with showcase after showcase, until the wee-hours of the morning.

Oh… and did I mention the panel I spoke on?

The Kickstarter 101 Panel, moderated by Martin Atkins and joined in by Jenny Owen Youngs and myself was really a blast – getting the opportunity to speak with the room about our own experiences (successes, surprises, obstacles, etc.) was a lot of fun!

But beyond anything else, yesterday was all about one thing – networking.

As you’ll see below, Chris and I took every opportunity to ask friends, old and new, to contribute to this series.

Dive in and enjoy! We’ll be traveling back to NY tomorrow, but we’ll post a recap with further advice we can muster from today on Sunday. So be sure to check back then!

Arron and Andrew (Band – @arronandandrew) – Connect with people on Twitter before getting here, it’s a great way to secure meetings. Leverage existing network to make new connections.

Tim Des Islets (Bumstead Productions – @BumsteadProd) – Play as much as you can and meet as many people as possible. Not everything will lead to a break, but everyone here is ready for networking so don’t be afraid to speak up.

Jenny Owen Youngs (Musician – @jennyowenyoungs) – Stay hydrated. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Martin Atkins (Author, Educator, Musician – @Marteeeen) – Do something different than everybody else, which means not playing, helping other bands, cooking pancakes, being nice… Do these thing and I think the things you want will come to you.

Stephen Francis (Singer/ Guitar, Model Stranger – @modelstrangerSF) – Have intention. A band needs to know what they’re coming down here for and what they hope to get out of it. That includes managing expectations. Don’t get distracted by the party. Make some friends.

Nigel Finley (Mood Media – @moodmedia) – Don’t count the people in the audience! Even if there are only a few, each one could be a potential super fan.

Joseph Kelley (Balcony TV Brooklyn – @BalconyTVBK) – Bring ant-acids!

Patrick Ermlich (The Outlet Collective) – Keep costs really low, come down for your first year just to get the lay of the land and get to know know the venues. This will set yourself up for the NEXT year.

BONUS: Jon and Chris – Run a blog series like this! Asking people to contribute, be it a musicians, blogger, label head, promoter or beyond gave us some amazing opportunities to network and connect with people. Thank you to EVERYONE who contributed!


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

Common Mama - 311 Club Showcase at SXSW

Common Mama – 311 Club Showcase at SXSW

Our first day at SXSW yesterday was intense and amazing.

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

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

Cari ColeThe amazing Cari Cole!

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

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

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

Cari’s Advice:

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

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

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


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

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

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

Jon: @jon_ostrow
Chris: @chrisnhacker

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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