CMT – Could You Be a Country Music Success in Nine Weeks?

 By: Alison Bonaguro

This definitely feels very too-good-to-be-true. But, that being said, the woman who wrote this book, Ariel Hyatt, knows what she’s doing. She’s kind of a publicity whiz for the music business. So she’s put everything she knows into this book called Music Success in Nine Weeks about how artists can “define their brand, grow their fan base, earn more income and achieve success in the digital environment.” One of Hyatt’s clients, Michael Lynche, made it to the top four on this season’s American Idol. And he praises her ability to teach musicians the art and science of social networking. And since the book is less of a lecture and more of a workbook, it’s helpful in a very hands-on and useful way. I don’t know that it comes with a guarantee that if you order it today, you’ll be the next Carrie Underwood by the end of July, but it certainly can’t hurt if you are an aspiring artist who could use some guidance to navigate the all the Facebooks, Twitters and Reverb Nations out there.

This review first appeared here:

http://blog.cmt.com/2010-05-20/could-you-be-a-country-music-success-in-nine-weeks/

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Deirdre Breakenridge Reviews Music Success in Nine Weeks

Recently, I met Ariel Hyatt in New York City.  Ariel is the author of Music Success in Nine Weeks.  I know Ariel as @cyberpr and @cyberprcontest on Twitter.  She has over 15 years of PR experience with an extensive background in the music industry.  I was really excited to get a copy of her book because I knew it would be such a great fit for my MusicQuench blog.

Music Success in Nine Weeks is a really quick read (one of my favorite kinds of books).  It’s the type of book you can pick up on a Saturday morning and be done by Sunday night.  Even better, after you read it once, you can go back and use it over and over again as a guide moving forward.

After reading Music Success in Nine Weeks, I walked away energized at all of the tremendous possibilities for independent music artists.  If there’s one thing that stands out in my mind, it’s that you shouldn’t do anything until you know who you are, what your music is about and what you want to achieve in your career.  As a matter of fact, the first week of the book is devoted to nailing down your goals.  I’m a firm believer that you need to set your goals and I agree with Ariel that you must write them down.  She reinforces this many times and even leaves space in the book for you to list out your successes, visualize your music career goals over a 12 month period, and put your inner goals on paper.

This is a “get off your butt and do something for your career” type of book. Ariel says a few times that you should get a journal ASAP.  I think this book can be your journal.  Each week allows you to take notes.  After goal setting, some of my favorite weeks include: how to nail your pitch, optimizing your website, and a musician’s Web 2.0 guide.  Ariel does a fantastic job informing readers how to reach and maximize their relationships with bloggers.  I mentioned in my last post that I would discuss the best approach to reaching out to bloggers.  Ariel does a great job here because she’s a blogger and she knows that it’s imperative to connect with bloggers the right way.  Here are a few of her tips:

Listen first in the different communities

  • Find the bloggers that you want to connect with and read their posts
  • Comment on different blogs and get involved in the conversation (use a sig file identifying yourself so they know where to find you online)
  • Start your own blog and trackback to your favorite bloggers
  • Add bloggers to your blog roll
  • Hire a PR firm to help with blog placements
  • Attend conferences and meet with bloggers in person

Ariel is thorough and she’ll make you want to get moving to increase the number of names on your mailing list (she teaches you how to build your fan base) and get your PR program jumpstarted.  From news releases to developing parts of your media kit it’s detailed in this helpful guide.

If you’re a go-getter and really serious about your music career, then this book will either reinforce what you’re doing and give you even more useful tips, or get you on the right track. If you follow Ariel’s advice, I believe you will find music success in nine weeks.

You can check out Ariel’s book at http://www.cyberprbook.com.  If you buy the book, you get a free lifetime membership to her Online Mastermind Forum where you can receive coaching from Ariel and her staff, as well as connect with other like-minded artists.

Good luck!

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No Depression Reviews Music Success in Nine Weeks

Ariel Hyatt is a music publicist who’s reinvented her practice to utilize social media and other on-line channels. Her book provides nine weekly lesson plans for developing your own on-line profile, including suggestions for optimizing your website, blogging, building a mailing list, creating a newsletter, involving your fans with surveys, and building a “continuum program” that incentivizes on-going purchases. The book is task-driven rather than theoretical, with the first written exercise happening only four pages into chapter one. This necessarily leaves out some detail that might be helpful; for example, the suggestion of offering a free MP3 doesn’t indicate you must clear all the rights (including a mechanical license for cover songs), and the section on optimizing your website doesn’t mention SEO. One could argue these topics are outside the book’s scope, but a pointer to follow-up resources would be helpful.

Hyatt stresses the point that many musicians are reluctant to market themselves, and she wisely reframes the musician’s career as a business. She points out that a musician who thinks their only job is to make good music is an idealist who’s not really interested in having anyone hear their work. The steps she outlines will be difficult for some artists to carry out, but taken one at a time, and broken down into smaller tasks, they become part of your larger job as an artist. Her experience as a publicist, and particularly her understanding of what will get people’s attention, is the key to her pitch. She provides compelling advice on how to connect with those who can help advance your career, garnering you more fans, gigs, rehearsal space, private shows, interns, and, eventually, money. She provides valuable guidance on how to make your press kit work on a web site, noting who will be visiting your website and for what purpose.

The downside to this book its brevity. The 184 page count includes 25 pages of fill-in-the-blanks worksheets (which can more cheaply be completed in the blank notebook Hyatt advises you to get), 11 lined end-chapter notes pages, and 43 “bonus” pages on traditional PR. The bonus sections are helpful, but don’t speak to the book’s stated on-line theme. Finally, though one might expect a publicist to publicize herself, the promotion of Hyatt’s PR services on page 82 and the four pages of her company’s offerings (including the ethically ambiguous ReviewYou.com) at the back of the book seem opportunistic, especially given the book’s high list price. Hyatt knows her stuff, and these exercises will methodically help you develop your business as a musician; just don’t be disappointed by the page count.

©2010 hyperbolium dot com

 

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“Music Success In Nine Weeks” Reviewed by Music 3.0′s Bobby Owsinski

I was fortunate to finally meet Ariel Hyatt at the ASCAP Expo a couple of weeks ago, something that I had looked forward to for some time. Ariel is founder of Ariel Publicity, a PR firm that specializes in the music business (especially helping bands) and one of the few centered exclusively on online public relations (she calls it “Cyber PR”).

A few months ago when I began asking around for recommendations for a PR agency for a client of mine, two people who I respect enormously, Derek Sivers (founder of CD Baby) and Bruce Houghton (founder of the influential music blog Hypebot), both told me she was the best in the business. Now that I’ve met her, I totally believe it.

Ariel and I spoke for about 45 minutes about the music business, social networking, and the steps that bands need to take to make their presence felt online. To say that I was impressed is an understatement. She’s one of the few people in the business that totally gets it, but even better, knows how to use what she knows to help those that can’t do it for themselves.

After the conference, I eagerly read Ariel’s book, “Music Success In Nine Weeks,” and totally loved it. It’s loaded with information about navigating the online space, but it’s also a workbook that takes you by the hand and shows you how to do your own PR (both online and traditional), establish and build your email list, get the most out of your website, how to set up a successful blog, and generally focus yourself and your energy to make sure you’re aiming in the right direction to attain your musical goals. It’s very well written and a quick and easy read.

How good is this book? I figured that I would just skim through the book since I already know a good bit about how the social media world works, but I couldn’t put it down and wound up learning a lot myself since the book covers so much more than social media. Her information is concise, to the point, and easy to grasp, no matter if you’re a social media veteran or just dipping your toe into the online waters for the first time.

The title is not hype. If you want music success in a relatively short time, read this book (and read Music 3.0: A Survival Guide For Making Music In The Internet Age too). If you don’t have the time or inclination to do it yourself, hire Ariel’s company. At the very least, check out her archive website and sign up for her email newsletter. I guarantee you will learn a lot.

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Guitar International Reviews Music Success in Nine Weeks

In her book Music Success in Nine Weeks, Ariel Hyatt presents a wealth of knowledge in a readily-accessible, easily digestible form. The reader immediately gets the distinct impression that Ariel is really trying to help them out, and not just sell them a “get rich quick” book. Music Success is an interactive book in the sense that what you put into it is what you’ll get out of it, like music in general. It’s well laid-out, reads well and the information can be easily assimilated and quickly put to good, real-world use.

The material presented in the book is good, solid advice for indie (unsigned or specialty-label / imprint) bands, and solo artists like singer-songwriters. Some of the material is not applicable to larger acts: I doubt that Aerosmith’s biggest asset is their e-mail list. Please keep that in mind when reading the book. If you’re giving it as a gift to your favorite musician, check it through to make sure that it’ll be relevant to their particular situation.

Some of the tips in this book can help everyone, regardless of the status of their band, such as signing up for Twitter or Flickr and using it, or making sure to not spam: use an opt-in or opt-out list only. As well, the chapter on figuring out who your fans are (week 6) is loaded with great information, because figuring out your demographics, and who your core fan base really is, will help your band tremendously.

I really like how it has a clickable Table of Contents, and all of the internal anchors work. Meaning, if I click on a subchapter, I get taken to that subchapter and not some random page 3 or 4 before or after it. As well, the “five successes each day” approach contained in the book was something presented to me at an early age. It’s a very powerful esteem builder and helps to gain a positive outlook on life.

Since I’m most familiar with extreme metal, the section about putting a “sound alike”, and your genre on your show flyers, may not be applicable, depending on what genre you play. I don’t recall a single flyer in my collection that required such information. I do recall laughing at any band who forgot to include the price of tickets, or the date and location of the show. Usually with metal you can tell – the logos are highly stylized – or it’s assumed you’ll look the band up, or the members will have spent some time talking to you when you picked up the flyer. Of course, this could be different for other genres of music, but it’s a novel idea to me.

Some of the websites in the “essential websites” directory have, in the past, charged for their services, changed their terms of service, or they require personal information to even present you with a sample. As usual on the Internet, be mindful and selective of where you input your personal information.

There were three quotes from the book that stood out to me in particular. Since some readers, myself included, won’t be familiar with these quotes directly, even though they are highly informative, it would be nice to have a bibliography in the back of the book so that people interested in quotes like these could pursue them for further reading.

“Only three percent of all people have their long-term goals written down, and it has been proven that by simply writing down your goals you are much more likely to achieve them.”

“Studies show that the average person can achieve six tasks a day so write a MAXIMUM of six per day – don’t get overwhelmed.”

“Recent studies show that people have the attention span of gnats and that if they have to wait more than 3.5 seconds for a site to load, they’re moving on…”

This book, a cross between a self-improvement workbook and a crash course in management, is superb for musicians who don’t have a lot of business experience. It strikes its target dead-on and really ought to help improve the successes of indie artists who work hard to attain these goals.

While not every situation in the book may be applicable to every person or band, the advice at its core is sound and time-tested. If people put a lot of effort into really assimilating these suggestions, they are sure to reap great rewards.

Review first ran here:  http://guitarinternational.com/2010/03/10/musicbusiness/ by Jenn Metalichicka

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