Posts Tagged ‘ Making Moves ’

Making Moves – Promoting a YouTube Video

I recently posted my most successful YouTube video. Although it hasn’t blown up and been a gigantic viral success, it’s my first video to reach outside of my circle of core fans. In its first four days of being up it has received 160 views and I’m working hard to get more each day.

It has become a core part of hip hop to release free material, oftentimes using instrumentals from popular songs, to promote your own material. So I picked a song that was released last week by Lil Wayne called “6 Foot 7 Foot” that I could tell right off the bat would become a big hit. It’s produced by Bangladesh, the same producer that did “A Millie” with Wayne on The Carter III.

I made the video using iMovie, which came with my MacBook, and photos from my live shows and music video shoots. Using the editing tools available on YouTube and iMovie I added lyrics to the video in the form of blurbs coming out of my mouth, I added title screens to the beginning and end of the vid, and I made it look like I was moving to the music by aligning the pictures to go with the beat.

Some key pointers on how to post a successful YouTube vid and promote it:

1. Keep it short, sweet and entertaining. My video is 1:18 in total and in that time I showcase my lyrics, get my name out there, and link to my other music.

2. Relate your promotional video to something that people are already interested in. Lil Wayne has a huge following already established, so when he releases new material people are going to want to listen to it and talk about it. If you can find the sites where people are talking about related topics and showcase your video there, you might strike a cord with another artist’s fans. For example, I posted my video on http://www.lilwaynehq.com, where there are thousands of people discussing Wayne in very active forums. After one day I got over 30 independent views from that site alone.

3. Get familiar with YouTube’s editing tools. I can’t believe how much extra work you can do after you upload footage to youtube. You can add annotations, add links to your other material and have it all streamlined right into your video.

Making Moves 7 – New Equipment

I have new toys to work with! The studio is definitely coming together with new studio monitor speakers and a microKORG. Soon I will be getting Pro Tools 9 for more advanced recording and mixing than my current program (Garageband). There comes a point in any rappers career when it no longer makes sense to pay someone else an hourly rate for mixing. For me that point is now, as I am making a conscious effort to expand my horizons and properly learn how to mix and master. Until this point I have been either paying someone to mix my music or playing around with the mix without really knowing what I was doing. I have paid people rates ranging from $30-75/hour and they never put as much into the mix as I would like. They have trouble seeing the vision that I am trying to communicate when I tell them the way I want the song to sound, and the effects that I want. More likely they don’t really know what they’re doing.

I am also going to be getting into more production. My roommate recently got a Maschine, (~$500 retail) which is an extremely powerful sampling, beat making monster, so I will have access to that. I have tried my hand at producing on a few projects when I really have a vision of a melody in my head and I can just try to translate that into an electronic version. But with the KORG and the new recording software I will have all I need to really see what my producing capabilities are.

Here are my brand spanking new Yamaha HS 80M Powered Monitor Speakers (~$300/speaker). They are shown “floating” on foam pads atop two wooden towers.

The reason why these speakers are going to make such a difference is that they are allow me to mix songs properly. They are reference speakers so when you play something through them you are hearing a reference of the true sound that is meant to be heard. So if the mix sounds good on these speakers, it should sound good on any speakers, theoretically. I will keep everyone posted on the progress of my mixing and mastering skills and what is helpful along the way…

Here is the microKORG in all its glory (~$400 retail).

At first glance, the microKORG looks like your average electric piano with midi capabilites. But once you hook it up to some speakers you start to feel the true power of this instrument. Rather than just being a piano with a few effects you can throw on top, it is an instrument in its own right. Officially it is a midi capable virtual synthesizer/vocorder. After playing around with it for a few days I am beginning to see that I might want to take lessons to learn how to play this thing (do they have microKORG classes??). I will look into it. Not only does it have vocorder capabilities, but the complexity of the effects and the ease of switching between effects makes for an extremely powerful tool. I can see why so many well-established acts use the microKORG as part of their live show. Bands using the KORG include JUSTICE, Chromeo, Devo, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Killers, Le Tigre, The Neptunes, Kings of Leon and many more. It has famously been used by Dr. Dre and many other big name hip hop producers in their arsenals. As far as I’m concerned, sky’s the limit with this instrument. Can’t wait to get more familiar.

Making Moves week 5 (pt. 2 – The Nitty Gritty Numbers)

The Nitty Gritty Numbers:

Facebook

  • I now have 120 “likes” on facebook. The rise in likes has slowed lately. I can still get a lot more out of my core group of friends, though. I have only really reached out with a personal message to about 20 people that I knew I could count on. There are many more that would be willing to do something- the initial market I reached out to is by no means saturated.
  • A stat that Facebook just recently calculated for me is my daily post views, which is now up to 637
  • 288 unique visitors look at my page each month

Trevor the Trash Man YouTube Channel

  • People have visited my channel 352 times
  • None of my 3 videos have struck any sort of viral gold – they haven’t reached any further than the original fans I shared them with.

Myspace

  • People have viewed my Myspace profile 338 times
  • Oddly enough, the traffic that was randomly viewing my page has now stopped abruptly. But I haven’t changed anything. The first few weeks I gained at least 100 views per week, yet this past week I had 0 profile views. Go figure.

Twitter

  • I began following a lot more people and that in turn has led to me getting more followers myself. I figure that if I follow hip hop artists I admire and other entertaining tweeters I should be getting followers that are at least interested in hip hop music.
  • I have 15 followers now, and I post new tweets about every other day. I don’t want to flood the channels with too much

ReverbNation

  • After weeks of steadily rising on the ReverbNation charts for hip hop artists in Brooklyn I have leveled out at around 950 (I started at around 6000). I’m not sure if the charts are based on song plays, or the number of fans I have or some combination, but either way it is a reminder that my fan base has stopped growing as fast as in past weeks.
  • My profile has been viewed 588 times, my songs have been played 332 times, and people have used my widgets placed on various pages 180 times. I have 11 songs and 10 photos on my page.

Making Moves Week 5 (pt. 1)

This week involved a lot of writing, which was great because I felt like I’d been devoting too much time to promoting my music and working on the Chi Guy Entertainment Blog. Now that the blog has been up and running for over a month and there is a decent amount of info available on the site, I don’t need to spend as much time on building it each day. At this point, the average person could come across my blog and get a pretty good feel for what it is in a matter of clicks. I’m not saying that I won’t be updating it whenever I use a new service or come across an interesting article, but I can now move on to the next phase of my plans for Chi Guy Entertainment. I recently wrote a post about a site called Trackhustle.com and it has some of the features I want to implement over the next months such as the ability to accept music submissions, offer access to music industry contacts and give more guidance in general. Before I do anything drastic, though, I want Chi Guy to be on its own domain.

I’m still working on getting more photo and video content, but I have had trouble getting my lazy friends to get out of the house and shoot this stuff. The promotional campaign still features me in a garbage man uniform that gets more and more splattered with blood as I “take the trash out.” Also, for my upcoming mixtape, The Classical Movement (pt. 2) I am going to set up a photo shoot with a very high class scene: me in a room surrounded by fine books and rich mahogany, in a smoking jacket with a tobacco pipe in one hand and a glass of scotch in the other. Classy is my middle name, but you can call me Trevor.

The next step in my journey, once I have more promotional material at my disposal, is spreading that material around New York and specifically Brooklyn. At the same time, I will focus on getting some live shows around Brooklyn and the rest of New York. The other thing I would like to do soon is set up my own website in time to release the full version of my upcoming mixtape. The mixtape will include a few bonus tracks that won’t be released prior to my website release and it will be free in exchange for email addresses. I want to send the mixtape out for review to blogs and magazines, but from my previous experience working at Republic Media (a public relations music company in London), most journalists don’t accept submissions from artists without representation from a public relations company. So, I might have to look into teaming up with a public relations company for this release (I have no idea which companies specialize in hip hop PR or if it is even affordable for artists who aren’t on a major label budget).

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Making Moves Week 4

This week involved a lot of organizing and planning. The good news is that I have my first official concert as Trevor the Trash Man coming up at Crash Mansion! The bad news is that the process of making a music video is taking longer than I would like. Putting together promotional material like video and photos, requires people, equipment and mutual free time, but things are finally getting going at least. In these early stages I just want things to move faster and faster.

I teamed up with a company that my friend, Richardson Bosquet, from BU, formed called the Artform Collective. They are doing launch parties in Boston and New York, and then taking it international to London, Paris, and Amsterdam. The NY launch is going to be at Crash Mansion, which is a very legitimate NY concert venue/club. I have begun planning for that show by setting up a lighting/effects team to put together a memorable concert experience.

My mixtape (The Classical Movement pt. 2) is over half way done now. I have released 3 songs, and 2 more are finished and waiting to be released. 5 more to go…

This week I hope to write and record at least two more songs and film a basic video for my song “What They Say.” The entire video takes place walking along the Williamsburg Bridge in one take. The video will have a gritty feel and will serve as the first video under the Trevor for Trash Man of Brooklyn political campaign. One of the themes is that certain words throughout the song will be emphasized and will flash across the screen like captions of slander in the media from my political opponents.

The Trevor for Trash Man of Brooklyn campaign has evolved a bit. It now features me in a trash man’s uniform splattered with blood and carrying a bag full of body parts in my satchel patrolling the streets of Brooklyn looking for messes to clean up. Muahahahaha. It’s happening. Along with the above mentioned video, I will be taking 50-60 photos. My dear friend/roommate/photography major at NYU, Mike Bump, has agreed to do these photos for me. More on that to come…

Getting More Out of Your Fans

In line with much of what I have been talking about in my Making Moves section, this article on The DIY Musician Blog offers a guide to artists on how to get more out of your fans. It’s like customer service from an artists point of view. I agree with most everything in this article and I think it’s very useful. Before you can employ these techniques you need to take a look at your fans and ask what their commitment level is (whether they would buy a ticket to your show, buy merchandise, or listen to everything you put out, etc.). Because my fan base is at such a beginning stage and is so small, it’s hard to separate them into different groups. But I can still use many of these tips to get more out of the fans I do have.

The full article: How To Increase The Dedication Of Your Fans, vol. 1

Here are some key points:

Instead of trying to cater to the needs of every type of fan, we will be specifically focusing on two actions: turning all of your passive fans (i.e. friends, bandwagon fans, listener and hobbyist) into committed fans, and then turning your committed fans into super fans.

Turning Passive Fans into Committed Fans

The problem with passive fans is that they lack interest. Of course, there is some level of interest in you, your music, or even your presence either online or off, but there is lack of need and desire to stay connected with you on a regular basis.

Listen To Your Fans — Of course, the purpose of this is to hear from your more passive fans, who are typically less involved than your other fans, so you want to make sure that you package this with something of value, maybe a free EP or unreleased track.There are literally hundreds of questions that you COULD ask your fans to better understand what they are looking for from you. But it is important to keep in mind that you don’t want to overwhelm the fans either, as asking them for too much will just drive them away.Once you have calculated the results and have discovered what your fans most desire from you, you must do two things. First, thank them! Second, act upon the results.

Direct Interaction Between Artist and Fans — Though it may be more time consuming, you should take every opportunity to network one-on-one with your fans. A single committed or super fan will spend more money on you than 100 passive fans so it will actually greatly benefit you to network on such a small scale. Talk with fans after shows, respond directly to fans on social media sites, or host live fan sessions on UStream.


Turning Committed Fans into Super  Fans

Empower the Fans — This can most easily be accomplished through a street team. A street team is a team of fans that receive missions based on different promotional strategies (both online and off) and are rewarded with exclusive benefits. Reverbnation offers a FREE street team program and there are many fantastic guides that can be found by a simple google search.

Exclusivity — The idea of alienating a portion of your fan base is consistently one of the most difficult concepts for artists to grasp. However, creating a sense of exclusivity is one of the most effective strategies you can put in place to convert committed fans to super fans. You must create a distinction between insiders and outsiders. This will create a sense of belonging and pride for those already inside and a stronger sense of desire to become an insider by those who have been left outside. Exclusivity can be achieved through contests, special mailing lists, or exclusive fan groups.


Making Moves Week 3 (pt. 2)

This week I focused on expanding upon the initial fan base I built during my first two weeks, and keeping my name on peoples’ minds by maintaining a steady flow of material. I’m planning a major music video project for “The One Who Got Away,” which is scheduled to shoot in a month. Props to Emmett Adler for directing the project, he’s got production team of film majors from BU helping out with the video. I’m hyped.

I’m also organizing a promotional campaign around my mixtape and album coming out in the next months. I’ve asked an old friend from Chicago who is skilled with Photoshop to design the material for the campaign. I’m planning on taking 50-60 photos this week and hope to have videos as well, all with a political theme around me running for Trash Man of Brooklyn.

Key moves:

Facebook Artist Page

  • My artist page has become the place where I acquire new fans and where I direct people I meet outside of facebook. Thanks to ReverbNation’s Band Profile app I have an easy and customizable way for fans to listen to music, and see photos, and videos. At the same time, it’s on facebook where everyone already has a profile (unlike ReverbNation, Myspace or Twitter).
  • The “like” button is very effective because people are making an effort to follow you and share it with their friends, yet they don’t have to go too far out of their way to click that they “like” an artist. It is much more meaningful than a Myspace friend or a Twitter follower to me.

Myspace

  • I use Myspace as a place to stream my music through my ReverbNation player, and view my feed. Other than that there is a lot of open space left over to promote my music, etc. I placed a banner linking back to my ReverbNation site, and I placed an ad for Headliner.fm that earns me band bucks to spend on promotions.

ReverbNation

  • I have been working on building up a solid email list, but for so many people I have as contacts on fb or elsewhere I don’t actually have their email addresses. Right now my list includes 40.
  • Networking with other artists on Reverb has been cool. Because I can listen to artists in NY who are at a similar chart position I feel like a few collabo’s may come out of this.

As for Twitter, I’ve kind of neglected it. No disrespect to Twitter, I’m just not as familiar with it, so I have been putting it off. I am definitely looking to get more tweetery going in the future though.

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