Art is a collaboration between God and t

8 03 2011

Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does the better. ~André Gide








40 cents a day will save someone’s life

29 07 2010

40 cents a day will save someone’s life — watch ‘The Lazarus Effect’ Film from (RED) & HBO http://youtu.be/l16YH6xCN4c





Art is the only way to run away without

23 07 2010

Art is the only way to run away without leaving home. ~Twyla Tharp





22 07 2010

Pictures from Christmas in July: http://ping.fm/PCVKu





Music Success in Nine Weeks: the pitch, and a question

22 07 2010

Last time through it took me almost three weeks to finalize my pitch. Here’s the end result:

“Offering feeds the spirit with a soulful musical dish of two parts Sarah McLachlan, one part Lifehouse, a dash of  U2, and a pinch of Evanescence.”

So far, I have found it works pretty well for us. The one big thing that is missing: that we are more than a band – we’re also a 501 c 3 (non-profit) and we are heavily involved in organizing community events that combine music with community service. Is that too broad to involve in our pitch? Help, anyone?





Music Success in Nine Weeks week 1: setting goals

12 07 2010

Let’s just jump straight into this: here are the eleven goals I set for this year back in January:

  1. write a music marketing plan for 2010 and use it as a guideline for daily, weekly, and monthly tasks
  2. redesign/program the blog- and news-sections for our website so they are easier to access and use – post at least 10 news items per month, and 4 blog entries per month
  3. add 500 people to our email list
  4. sell 1000 copies of our new CD, More Than This; sell 500 copies of our self-titled CD, Offering; sell 500 copies of our Christmas CD, Comfort and Joy; and sell 300 copies of our original music CD, No Shoes Required
  5. sell an average of 300 downloads per month for all projects combined
  6. add 40 quality Facebook friends to our Facebook page each month
  7. create at least 6 videos this year to be placed on YouTube, Facebook, and other social networking sites
  8. create a new website for Arts in the Alley (one of Offering’s big projects)
  9. develop a podcast concept and produce at least one podcast per month, starting in March
  10. pursue PR – get played on internet radio stations (25/month), featured in blogs (2/month), local radio coverage (4/year), local TV coverage (4/year), local print coverage 4/year)
  11. Actively pursue Twitter and Flickr – increase Twitter followers from 1100 to 2500 this year, and tweet at least 3 times/day. Research Flickr and start using it more (need to flesh that one out more).

First: how am I doing? And secondly, six months down the road, should certain goals be revised/added/edited?

1. write a music marketing plan: still in process. I have most of the parts in place, but need a solid week to focus on the plan alone. Which I have set aside for the week of July 18-25.

2. redesign/program the blog- and news-sections for our website: this is out of my hands, since I can’t do it myself, but we have researched several ways to do this and just decided last week we are going to try to get our entire site transferred over to the wordpress platform. This weekend should bring some progress.

3. add 500 people to our mailing list: so far, in 6 months, we have added 150, not quite on schedule but not bad either. We have also transferred our email list over to MailChimp from ReverbNation which we’re very happy with. MailChimp weeds out bad addresses and keeps much better track of deliverability so this is already turning out to be helpful.

4. our sales goals: 1000 copies of our new CD, More Than This; 500 copies of our self-titled CD, Offering; 500 copies of our Christmas CD, Comfort and Joy; and 300 copies of our original music CD, No Shoes Required. So far, we have sold (since the end of February) 200 copies of More than this, 200 copies of Offering, and 50 copies of Comfort and Joy. We’re on track – and usually the second half of the year is busier for us than the first half. A big thing we need to resolve: No Shoes Required has been out of print since late 2009, and it will take about $2000 to get another 1000 copies: not bad for the value but a big chunk of money considering we just had to buy a new soundboard, pay our accountant, and pay off the final recording expenses for the last project. But, that’s a goal I want to add: Get No Shoes Required reprinted.

5. sell an average of 300 downloads – this is one I have to get back to and figure out. Stay tuned.

6. add 40 quality Facebook friends to our Facebook page each month. We have done that – in January we had a little more than 800 friends, now we have 1262, and are steadily growing.

7. create at least 6 videos this year to be placed on YouTube, Facebook, and other social networking sites: we have placed 7 new videos on YouTube, and we’re working on a “real” music video. We’re on track here, as well.

8. create a new website for Arts in the Alley (one of Offering’s big projects): we’re working on it. Once Christmas in July is out of the way (Saturday July 17, and a HUGE deal for us) I hope to be able to focus on Arts in the Alley and its site more.

9. develop a podcast concept and produce at least one podcast per month, starting in March: it’s in process but we’re obviously not making the March starting goal :(.

10. pursue PR – get played on internet radio stations (25/month), featured in blogs (2/month), local radio coverage (4/year), local TV coverage (4/year), local print coverage 4/year): we have gotten some good blogging coverage, a little radio exposure, a tv appearance next week, and two newspaper articles – surprisingly, we are on track here!

11. Actively pursue Twitter and Flickr – increase Twitter followers from 1100 to 2500 this year, and tweet at least 3 times/day: right now we have 1521 twitter followers (an increase of 421 – we need to get almost 1000 more to reach our goal for the year but we’re making strides). I have also started to use Flickr more.

The bottom line: with a lot of goals – facebook, twitter, sales, youtube, press coverage – we  definitely are on track. With others – especially website related goals, podcasting, and the comprehensive marketing plan – we’re behind. Which gives me a great indication of what I need to put more efforts towards.





Music Success in Nine Weeks: the Encore

8 07 2010

Back to the grindstone :). No, really. When I saw that Ariel (Hyatt) was reprising the Music Success in Nine Weeks Blogging Challenge I asked her if I could participate again, but this time from the perspective of revisiting my entries, and the goals set, from earlier this year – how well am I doing, what should I change, how can I put all these great ideas into action and really jumpstart the second half of this year.

I will copy (most, or some, of ) my entry on a relevant week, and then start the current post. Here we go.

Starting with – HA! – the beginning: small victories. Basically, the idea is to write down – every day – five positive things you have accomplished every day.

Have I done that every day for the past six months? No. But I *have* done it, and especially on hard days, days that seem insurmountable and useless all at the same time….. that simple list has often gotten me through. My list for today (so far – hey, it *is* only 2 pm as I write this):

  1. send press releases for Christmas in July (with personal notes) to all local tv stations and major press outlets
  2. confirm our tv appearance on the local CBS affiliate next week
  3. have coffee with a friend (and fellow musician) that I have not seen in way too long
  4. send out facebook and twitter reminders for our show at Cafe Caturra tonight
  5. start this blogging challenge

So there we go. There is more to week 1 – the second, and much bigger part, is setting goals – but that will be a separate post.