Digital Media Deconstructed: Jonathan Sexton of Bandposters

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For this month’s edition of our Digital Media Deconstructed series, we’ve invited a good friend, Wes Davenport, to take the reins in an interview with Bandposters co-founder, Jonathan Sexton.

Wes Davenport is a marketer, manager, and publicist based in Nashville, TN. He writes about ways musicians can thrive at wesdavenport.com. Follow him on Twitter @wesdavenport for more music industry insights.

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Musician and ArtistGrowth co-founder Jonathan Sexton was tired of spending too much time creating, printing, and shipping posters for gigs. So he partnered with co-founder Mike Fabio and Back Porch Group, a music business think tank, to develop a solution: Bandposters.

Jonathan, now Bandposters CEO, chats about saving musicians time, partnering with other companies, and whether putting cows on gig flyers is a good idea.

Bandposters and Back Porch Group are fairly new entities. What are you trying to accomplish?

I think the idea of both companies is to find solutions to nagging problems for artists, and for the music and entertainment business at large. Bandposters specifically isn’t built to shake the earth, rather its built to do one thing really well–Do we have a million ideas on where to take it from here? Of course we do and in time we will, but in time our first goal remains simple: solve a problem, ease some pain.

What problems does Bandposters solve? How did your team identify those problems?

The problem Bandposters solves is one we’ve both had for years as artists and managers. Sending posters is something that is almost always required by venues, and it is a time consuming headache. Generally speaking, the pre-Bandposters postering process works like this: Someone in the band gets a designer or designs a poster, then they get hundreds of copies made with a blank space on the bottom so that important gig info (date, venue, time ticket price) can be handwritten with a Sharpie on every. Single. Poster. After a trip to Office Max for some giant envelopes to mail them in (11×17 posters), the artist has to Google every address and fill out each envelope by hand, lick stamps, and THEN hop back in the car, drive down to the post office, and stand in line before paying.

Bandposters takes care of all this in about 90 seconds.

Going forward, we’re looking at tackling the street team problem. It remains difficult to get the word about your shows in towns that you don’t live in. We want to solve that problem.

What do artists need to start using Bandposters?

A gig to promote! Plus, If you have a poster design you already love and use–great! Just go to https://www.getbandposters.com, upload the image, and get to work. If you do NOT already have a design, our Facebook integration makes it really simple to import existing photos and images to make a new poster from scratch in seconds.

What other companies are you partnering with and why?

There are so many cool products and services around for artists, but one thing that continues to be a pain point is manually entering tons of tour dates across multiple sites. We wanted to address this out of the gate, which is why we have partnered up with SongKick and BandsinTown. Between these two fantastic services, we have literally hundreds of thousands of gigs covered. We’re currently in discussions with a few other services as well, but these 2 provide a great foundation.

Many bands seem to focus most of their energy on digital promotions. What’s the value in a printed gig flyer?

Digital Promotions and Printed Gig Flyers aren’t mutually exclusive. Both are important, and work together to make a great show happen. Bands should certainly have a digital strategy for promoting gigs (and soon BandPosters will help with that too), but there is still no replacement for a great looking poster on the wall at the club you’re playing.

Do you have any favorite flyers? If so, what draws you to those?

Americana songwriter Scott Miller recently used BandPosters to make some posters with a cow it. It was a cow from his farm. I loved it; it felt really honest. Really though, the best part is seeing all the different ideas and creative ways to use the service that I never would have thought of before creating it.

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Tell me about the pricing. How did you determine it? What kind of savings are artists looking at?

$15 per show, and each show you purchase sends 5 high-quality 11X17 flyers on 100lbs gloss cover paper. It’s a reasonable price point, ESPECIALLY if you factor in the cost of design, but it’s also about time. You can literally send posters to 200 gigs in about 90 seconds. It’s adding years to your life!

Is it possible for a user to proof their poster? What can users do to make sure they have the best looking flyer possible?

Sure. Part of our process includes a poster review before checkout. So you can see what you made, how it will look, and make any changes you need. We knew this idea would NEVER make it if the print quality wasn’t high enough. So we make sure it’s great. Every time.

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Pinterest is Here to Stay! Learn How to Use It in Part 3 of Ariel’s Mini-Class Series

After introducing Ariel’s ‘FTP Sessions’ mini-class two weeks ago with Part 1 on Facebook, we rolled out Part 2 early last week on Twitter, which you can find here if you missed it…

This week we reveal part 3 of the ‘FTP Sessions’ mini-class series for you on Pinterest!

Sign up for the FTP Sessions and learn the most powerful strategies for using Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest! PLUS – We are going to give you our free report “The Top 10 Mistakes Musicians Make That Turn Off Fans & Industry.”


Sign Up Here for the FTP Sessions 3-Part Mini-Masterclass Series!

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Cyber PR’s A-Z Artist Guide to Halloween: from Apparitions to Zombies

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The Halloween season is upon us, and you can start to feel it here in NYC.  The air is cooling off, and these Park Slope houses are starting to dress up for the occasion.  The well-decorated houses are looking scary, and the half-baked ones are almost scarier… 
 
We’re doing our part here at Cyber PR to get you into the spooky spirit.  Below you will find an eclectic mix of music that is inspired by the dark, the supernatural, and anything and everything haunting.  


BluRum13


Mash On? More like Monster Mash on!  Check out the monster mix of this BluRum13 track taken from his album ‘Inverted’. 


Brian Larney


For years singer-songwriter Brian Larney had been a band guy quietly amassing a solo back catalog of exquisite pop-rock. From his latest release, “At The Starting Line” Larney has penned the beautifully written roots-pop song “Whistling Past the Graveyard”. The video above is a demo recording so be sure to listen to the final studio version here.


Chaser Eight


Chaser Eight

Halloween is steeped in historical and Gaelic influence to commemorate the newly departed that have yet to reach the next world (heaven, sainthood, etc.), hence being before All Saint’s Day. In fact, this practice was to help loved ones reach their destination and to help keep bad spirits away. It’s also to commemorate the beginning of winter, or the “dark part of the year”.  In the spirit (pun intended) of this dark time (pun intended), a song like Addict is a perfect complement for the premise above… Check out Chaser Eight’s new ‘At the 426 EP’ here


Elisa Korenne


Eilsa Korenne

And then there’s Andy the Lightbulb Eater.  He’s a real person (come on, could we make that up?).  In our eyes, that is just next level scary. Why is it such a dark world that Andy lives in?  He eats all the lightbulbs… obviously. Check out Elisa Korenne’s album ‘Concrete’ here


Jody Quine


Jody Quine collaborated with Sleepthief to write ‘Tenuous’, a song about a husband who dies and then stalks his wife until she is inspired to join him… the accompanying video is beautifully shot and the song is melodically haunting.  Check out music from Jody Quine’s new EP “Seven” here.


Kelley James


kelleytop

Kelley James’s music is a fascinating collection of acoustic guitars, hip-hop beats, thoughtful lyrics and freestyle flows. Listen to more tracks from his new album “The Pattern Transcending” here.


Pete Calandra


Pete Calandra

The New York City-based composer and keyboard player has scored 40 films, written over 2000 compositions for television broadcast, including 37 theme packages, and performed as a musician in the Broadway productions of Les Miserables, Miss Saigon, The Phantom Of The Opera, The Lion King, and Little Shop Of Horrors. Pete Calandra’s composition above is the opening theme to the stop animation film ‘Halloween Pranksta’. Listen to Pete’s album ‘Ashokan Memories’ here.


R Michael Rhodes


Partnered with the National Runaway Safeline, R Michael Rhodes came up with the concept of the video for his song ‘Chasin’ Ghosts’ while at church; a father who never met his daughter is haunted by the fact that she’s runaway. Check out R Michael Rhodes album “Please Remember Me” here.


Solveig & Stevie


Who doesn’t love Zombies?  Well, maybe if you found yourself with a “walker” going to town on your precious brains, you wouldn’t be too fond I suppose… One thing’s for sure: nobody likes a Zombie Lover. Check out music from Solveig & Stevie’s ‘Zombie Lover’ here


Ted Brown


For those who get their thrills and chills from pure visuals, this video that accompanies ‘I Bet Myself’ by Ted Brown will leave you looking for that creepy carnival clown to appear around the next corner. Check out Ted Brown’s recent solo release “An Unwide Road” here.


YUCA


YUCA

YUCA’s majestic rock n’ roll evokes the uplifting and otherworldly textures of Muse, Coldplay, and U2, but injects a propulsive drive that’s purely rock n’ roll. YUCA’s track above, “Skeletal Desires” is less about scary things that go pump in the night, and more about simply celebrating being human. Listen to more from YUCA’s album Rebuilding the Fallen Empire here.


Interested in Working With Any of These Artists?


All of these artists are available for interviews, reviews and guest posting opportunities! Please email Jon or Andrew for further information.

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Find Twitter Overwhelming and Confusing? Watch Part 2 of Ariel’s Mini-Class Series

Last week we introduced part 1 of Ariel’s ‘FTP Sessions’ mini-class series. The F of course standing for Facebook, T for Twitter and P for Pinterest.

This week we reveal part 2 of the ‘FTP Sessions’ mini-class series for you!

Sign up for FTP Sessions and learn the most powerful strategies for using Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest! PLUS – We are going to give you our free report “The Top 10 Mistakes Musicians Make That Turn Off Fans & Industry.”


Sign Up Here for the FTP Sessions 3-Part Mini-Masterclass Series!

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Digital Media Deconstructed: Tim Board of Front Range Scribbles

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This month we pick up the Digital Media Deconstructed series, an interview series focused on digital media makers and their own experience with creating a consistent compelling content strategy, establishing their own signature story and developing a stronger online brand, with Tim Board (@frontrangescrib) of Front Range Scribbles blog.

Front Range RadioNot only does Tim run the Front Range Scribbles blog, a music blog focused primarily on music in the Colorado area, but he also runs Front Range Radio, a Blog Talk Radio show that continues to showcase the musicians he spotlights on his blog.

Is Front Range Scribbles your first foray into digital media? If so, what was the inspiration? If not, give us your history.

Yes it was. The blog really started out as a test for myself to see if I could just maintain it on a regular basis. The blog in the beginning had no direction it was a hodgepodge of writings, or photos. I would write basically whatever was on my mind that particular day. I then started a show on blogtalkradio featuring music and interviews with local independent artists. It was at that time I decided to change the focus of the blog to just writing about music. Writing about independent artist and their music, combining my blog with my radio show was an easy decision for me.

Besides your blog, what other forms of digital media do you explore?

My weekly radio show that can be heard on www.party934.com . The show is “aired” live each week and then listeners can download or listen the show via podcast after it has aired. My weekly radio show I feature music from a lot of the artist I write about on my blog.

How important do you feel Internet Radio is for independent musicians? Why?

I think Internet Radio should be very important to any independent artist. Internet Radio station’s formats are usually not as restrictive as traditional radio stations. Many Internet radio stations want to be different, want to play music that you may not hear on traditional radio stations. They are willing to take chances with an independent artist. I think the independent artist should really give consideration to Internet radio stations and realize the support an Internet radio station will give them is probably greater than what a traditional radio station may give. Internet radio stations can devote more time per show on one artist than traditional radio stations may.

Are you concerned that on-demand music streaming such as Rdio and Spotify are a threat to iRadio stations and iRadio Djs?

I am not. I think streaming services have their place in just as much as traditional radio has a place. Not every independent artist is on those services so I think the iRadio stations will still have a place especially for iRadio stations that cater more to a local scene. That is something I think Rdio and Spotify will not be able to do. The other issue is how long will many of the streaming services last considering not many are reporting profits.

Front Range Scribbles has a focus on Colorado based independent artists. What are the benefits of focusing on the promotion of local artists?

The biggest benefit is being able to see the local artist perform live and talk with them one on one. A live show give me a chance to hear more from the artist then what they have published on the internet or on a CD. Sometimes the artist will perform songs they are working on that is not available anywhere. An artist from another state or country I can’t see them live or talk with face to face. A phone interview is not the same as a face to face interview.

Which social media platform (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) do you feel most effectively helps you to connect you with your blog readers? To bloggers? To Artists?

Twitter seems the most effective platform to connect to artists, but I find that the blog itself connects me to the readers and other bloggers. The readers will leave comments about a particular article or they will email about an article. The artists I write about will tweet link out to their followers or they will post a link on their facebook page. It really seems like I have two different set of followers, the ones who read the blog and then the ones on twitter.

What do you suggest to an independent artist looking for blogs to connect with for the first time?

The internet is full of bloggers writing about music. Look at websites or social media sites of other artist you perform with or know and see if any articles have been written about them and by who. Look at sites such as ‘Indie Bus” once again see who is writing articles about various artists. Once you find some bloggers, get a feel for what the blogger writes about, genre, geographical artists etc. If you do contact a blogger, try starting a relationship first, don’t just email the blogger and say hey write about me or about my single/CD. If a blogger does write an article than watch for comments and respond. The readers will enjoy seeing comments from the artist.

How do you prefer artists approach you who are interested in blog promotion or partnering with you in any way?

The easiest way is to send an email to tim [AT] frontrangeradio DOT net

Where can people find you online?

My website is www.frontrangeradio.net, my blog site is www.frontrangescribbles.com, and my weekly radio show can be heard Sunday nights 9pm Eastern on www.party934.com

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Need a Little Help with Facebook? Watch Part 1 of Ariel’s Mini-Class Series

What’s the most efficient way to get your music, brand and message out to the world?

BY ENGAGING WITH YOUR TRIBE ONLINE, OF COURSE.

But most musicians I see don’t understand the basics and they are using social media to their detriment instead of to their advantage.

I have designed this 3-Part Mini-Masterclass Series to help you!

Sign up for FTP Sessions and learn the most powerful strategies for using Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest! PLUS – I’m going to give you my free report “The Top 10 Mistakes Musicians Make That Turn Off Fans & Industry.”


Sign Up Here for the FTP Sessions 3-Part Mini-Masterclass Series!

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