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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You Are Invited to my Ustream Holiday Party… December 18th (And My New Book is READY!!)

Today marks the OFFICIAL start of the 12 Days of Christmas! And I’ve got 12 amazing gifts for you… Plus an invite

First The Invite!! You are cordially invited to my Ustream Holiday Party

This Coming Tuesday Dec 18th where I’m going to put a as many lucky artists as I can fit into the HOT SEAT and show you all how to crank up your site & socials to get maximum exposure. And it’s totally fr*ee, So raise your eggnog!!

Yep, Ariel! I’m RSVP’ing to your Ustream party

 

And Now My 12 Gifts For the 12 Days of Christmas…

This is all a part of my celebration for the crowd funded launch of my new book!

One case of books has arrived, I’m selling them, included with 12 fabulous perks from me and some of the best & brightest minds in the music business. :)

Get The book +12 Perks for yourself or someone else this holiday!

Here’s What You Will Get (over $500 worth of goodies):

I WILL MAIL YOU:

An autographed copy of Cyber PR® for Musicians: Tools Tricks & Tactics for Building Your Social Media House mailed to you AND my 2013 Social Media Pyramid Poster to coach you on best social media practices everyday

PLUS – YOU WILL ALSO GET MY:

Power Up Your Publicity 4 Week e-course – Holds your hand while you get your own publicity strategy launched and on target for success (Originally Sold for $147)

Cyber PR® Guide to Crowdfunding: Create, Captivate & Complete Your Perfect Campaign From Start to Finish (PDF coming out in January 2013)

 

AND IF THAT’S NOT ENOUGH – YOU ALSO GET:

 

The Music Business Bonus Pack  including exclusive PDFs, eReports, coupons,online classes and 2 teleseminars to help you get ahead in the new year from Bandzoogle, Bob Baker, CD Baby, Jay Frank, Jon Ostrow, Bobby Owsinski, Tom Jackson, Brian Meece, Carla Lynne Hall, Top Spin and Cari Cole!

Click here to get 2 books, 1 social media poster and 12 crazy bonuses for only 50 bucks!

When you arrive on the page SELECT: “THE LIVE AUDIENCE”

Hope to “See” you on December 18th Or Mail you a goodie bag this week!

Love, Ariel

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5 Things Needed To PRE-Prepare for a Crowd Funding Campaign

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Over the last several months, I’ve been helping Ariel to prepare for the launch of her crowd funding campaign (which went live on Monday!).

While we were doing our research, we came across article after article saying the same few things about crowd funding preparation that we already knew about:

  • You need to have an existing fan base – crowd funding is NOT a discovery tool.
  • You need to understand your target audience and create not only compelling rewards, but also a compelling story/ journey to bring them on.

But what we finding to be most unexplained was even a step further back from this.

The crowd funding PRE-preparation…

There are so many things that we needed to decide on that we have never even considered, and we want to share some of these things with you for your own crowd funding campaigns:

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Sound Advice TV – Brian Meece, Co-Founder of RocketHub

These past few weeks have been some of the most confronting ones of my career. Boy am I getting a taste of my own medicine :-)

This coming week I will be launching my own crowd funding campaign with Rockethub. A crowd funding campaign takes a lot of work to properly prepare and launch and while you’re working every little voice inside your head and personal demon/ monster comes to visit you saying you don’t deserve this, everyone will hate you, you’re not good enough, you’re not really that talented…

So on that note, one of the smartest and most calming people, Brian Meece, is here to talk me off the ledge. Here are two videos we made a few years ago on how to do crowd funding RIGHT. Let’s hope that I get it right.

Ok I’m heading back to my editing, enjoy these videos.


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19 Cyber PR® Artists Bring Joy to the 2012 Holidays

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Thanksgiving is behind us and we have arrived in December… the holidays are officially among us! Feasts, wassailing, caroling, presents, and best of all, holiday music.

To kick off the season (and to prepare you for all of the festivities), we have created a collection of holiday music that is the perfect catalyst to get into the holiday state of mind. Grab the eggnog a little early and take a listen to these great Cyber PR® artists! Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

- Ariel and Team Cyber PR®

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Reality Check: Blogging Won’t Work Unless You Are Dedicated

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This was originally published as a part of the AMAZING collection of advices pieces published by Chris Rockett on the Promote Your Music blog.

When Chris asked me to weigh with my thoughts about blogging, my head started spinning. I’ve written multiple posts about blogging: How to blog, why you should blog, and what the best platforms to use are. It’s a full chapter in both of my books that are available now and it’s a full chapter in my forthcoming book Cyber PR for Musicians.

So, I’m going to be the reality check in this series: Here’s the 800-pound gorilla in the room

There is no doubt that a blogging strategy when properly executed (which is something you can search and find tens of thousands of entries on how to do properly using Google) will help you enormously.

I won’t go into why because I’m quite certain all of my colleagues in this blog series points that out but here is what I see:

Blogging takes dedication and commitment.

It takes having something you want to talk about but that’s the easy part.

The hard parts are:

  • Staying consistent
  • Staying patient
  • Being dedicated to a blogging practice

But the even harder part is: Understanding the BIG PICTURE

(Sorry for all the capital letters – I’m really passionate about this and I want you to get this.)

You want to succeed and you want recognition. But you still think someone else will come in and discover you, review you, write about you, tell the world how fantastic your music is, book you and make it happen for you.

They WILL — but you don’t want to do what it takes to earn it blogging is earning it.

Here’s a study that backs all of this up that I have been dying to share. A few weeks ago, I attended The Pivot conference and it mostly talked about how corporate social media works. The most fascinating few minutes came from a study presented by @alison222 from MTV.

It was about Millennials (that’s fans between the ages 18 and 29) and how they approach music, how they think and what they want.

This study defines the recent transformation of the music industry

The topic of her presentation was: How to recognize & reward consumer as PR machine

Here are the bulleted highlights, see for yourself:

• Discovery is a very important part of Millennials experience

• Millennials like Jenny who a part of the study now a 22 yr. old was 10 when Napster hit…. She has ALWAYS KNOWN FREE MUSIC

• It’s all about coming up w your own personal brand identity and that is influenced by the artists you love

• 85% of all music lovers say they have eclectic taste – with technology you can find out about Etta James and Dave Matthews and Drake and Aerosmith

• Millenials discover all music through friends on social media

• 76% feel a stronger connection to musician who shares

• They are demanding total interaction from artists

• More is EXCEPCTED from the artists now

• Buying the music is SYMBOLIC PATRONAGE – you must have earned it has nothing to do with ethics (i.e I am only paying money out of respect)

1. DISCOVERY – The starting place for most music discoverers it STARTS on Social Media then they will check it out on Spotify and the last step is an iTunes purchase (if they LOVE IT and if you have EARNED IT)

2. AFFINITY – They expect to feel connected. This means the artist needs to be on Social Media

3. ADVOCACY – This is their final step – They become your mini PR team

I believe this is not just Millennials- – I’ve seen it hundreds of times with all age groups.

The reality is they want a piece of you and if you do not give it to them they WON’T BUY,

Here Are The 3 Takeaways:

1 .Fans will work hard for you but they ask: When are you gonna pay me back?

2. You are my branding machine online

3. It goes BOTH WAYS

So, Go Blog.

Love Ariel.

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