Making an Impact with your Music in a Profound Way

I believe every artists dream is to make an impact on their audience. It's even more important if you can move people in a profound way. In my artistic journey as a story teller I have met many people who are making an impact with their creativity and message. Certainly one of the most profound is an artist who introduced herself to me through a kickstarter campaign. 

I should note that with 2 million artists all campaigning for a piece of the influencer pie, this creator stood out to me particularly because of her video and message. And based on her success rate, I would have to say that message was impactful to 30,000 others as well. 


Here's the story: 


Definitely one of the coolest Kickstarter music projects I've seen that are wildly successful is from Amanda Palmer at a wopping $1,192,793 from 24,883 backers.  

The campaign features exclusive unique products like Vinyl, Surprise crafts, CD with Artwork inserts and a really cool Art Book of song inspired album art. 

This artist has proven that FASCINATING is a huge incentive for a massively successful kickstarter. 

"Since i'm now without a giant label to front the gazillions of dollars that it always takes to manufacture and promote a record this big, i'm coming to you to gather funds so that i have the capital to put it out with a huge fucking bang. i think kickstarter and other crowdfunding platforms like this are the BEST way to put out music right now - no label, no rules, no fuss, no muss. just us, the music, and the art. i'm also making sure EVERY PRODUCT sold through this kickstarter is unique to this campaign, to reward all of you who KNEW ME WHEN and were willing to support me from Day One."



One of the most important factors that Amanda captured in her campaign and supplimental promotions after the launch was in NOT feeling ashamed to ask for support. 

She understood the value that her art brought to those who supported her. She understood that creativity is free but still has a huge value to every person who enjoys it. The value is in being inspired by following the process, taking pride in supporting another creative soul, becoming a part of someones future and history. It's a connection that occures between the artist and their fan.

People who appreciate and understand the creative process know that contributing to a crowdfund isn't about giving money as much as the importance of being a part of someones life in a more meaningful way. 

Amanda understands how to connect with people in person and on social media, harnessing the power of email and media tools to make her pursuit of creation a part of everyones life. 

Think about how you can be more impactful with your process and what kind of value you can bring to your audience. 

How to Film Professional Videos with a Smartphone

Shooting video with your cell phone is easy.

You don't need a fancy camera to shoot videos for youtube, facebook, instagram or twitter. Everyone has a smartphone and honestly most of them have amazing camera that are perfectly fine for making quality videos.

In fact, I shoot all of my videos and do live feed with my phone.

To give you some pointers to improving your quality, I'm sharing some great tips from friends who do this every day. I think they did a great job explaining how to use your cell phone to create awesome videos.

Finding Interests of Your Facebook Followers


Sometimes it's very difficult to understand what your followers are interested in. Often with inconsistent reach on facebook, it becomes a mystery as to what can get peoples attention.

Today I have something really easy you can do that will help you gain detailed insights into what your facebook follows interests are.


Why do we need to know this? 
The reason why this is beneficial is because it's really important that you understand who your followers are if your going to have a chance at connecting to them.

If you know what your follows like, then you can create a list of topic ideas to discuss and post about on your page that will get reaction more quickly.


Your goal should be to find a balance between what people want to see and who you are both as a music brand and individual.

Reaction = engagement and engagement = more time in the news feed for your posts without having to pay to be there.


1. Open up your facebook page
2. Type In the search bar:  "
Favorite interests of (yourname's) followers" hit enter.

Facebook will then populate a favorites list in order of popularity by the majority of your followers. 



What to do with this: 
Now that you have this list think about which of these topics appeal to you so when you post about them you will have an authentic and definite point of view.

Example:  I post often about music, creative topics, life quotes and success strategy but at the time that I sampled I discovered from my personal list that my followers like specific artists like Van Morrison and Pink Floyd. Two of my favorites as well so I'll be starting my day off with 2 posts about why I like them and ask a question so my followers can participate. Come see ( )

Bonus tip:
Unless you want to loose some followers and start a war on your page, stay away from religion and politics. They can be facebook suicide. Yes they are high on engagement but stay neutral if you do open up a discussion and get ready for the attacks to begin. Just respect everyones opinion always and you'll manage fine.


I also find that doing a search from time to time here let's me know if the interests of my followers are in line with mine or if I need to start targeting different followers so they will connect more with my message. It's a great way to see if your on track. 

Most common mistakes and best practice guidelines for Facebook

With more than 1.86 Billion active users on facebook, why isn’t your facebook page booming?

Perhaps you need to think about your approach and the way your using the website. Many times when people have asked me to review their pages, I see more mistakes that seem so obvious but may just be an over sight. 


Here are some common mistakes and best practice guidelines that should help you do much better.


Common Mistakes:

  1. Repetitive images posted consecutively.

  2. No pinned post at the top of your page that allows people to hear your music on first glance.

  3. No interesting bio and links for your website and subscription list.

  4. If your music is shared, you've shared the same song over and over.

  5. You only have videos shared from youtube and no video hosted natively on the website.

  6. You aren't using the Live Video feature

  7. You haven't updated your status in decades.

  8. There are no personal photo's of you doing what you love, no banner at the top and no logo thumbnail identified image.

  9. There is no conversation or personal posts talking to your followers.

  10. Your page timeline is stale and uninteresting and you haven't made it an active communicator of your brand message.


Here are some best practices that fit in with the facebook guidelines and help you maximize your public page.



1. Cover Photo:
The cover photo is the largest element on your facebook page that represents your music brand and identity. It’s the first things people see when they land on your page. That photo should be very clear, high definition, fun, exciting and engaging to keep users on your page long enough to convince them to “Like” the page. Adding text really helps to get your message across in that first 8 seconds when people are making a decision. The Cover photo gives you room to add a headline that informs new visitors about you and can really encourage a successful “Call to action”. is a free website that helps you create great banners on the fly.



2. Logo:
Consider how your thumbnail looks from a little phone screen. If you have a band logo that stands out better than a picture that isn't defined, be sure to use it on all your social media thumbnails so people can recognize you when they search.


3. About section: 
Keep your “about” section short and expressive but don’t brag. Try to show your brands personality in the description to make this as human as possible. This section used to display at the top of the page, but now your followers must click through to read it. There are options for a short summary and a long summary to add more details. Add keywords that identify your brand, industry, and/or product offerings in your summary to give users a better picture of your company, and always add a link back to your website.

I love this example that Taylor swift uses to entice people to signup for her website. By working from her website first and making it subscriber based, she can stay in direct contact with her fans any time she likes. (see below)


4. Regular Content: 
You should always set up a schedule of regular content that gets posted each week to your page. This can be once a day or twice a day. The regular content posts should be image friendly without a ton of text on the photo’s, story telling text only posts, recycled content and music updates such as links to your blog posts, music or videos. This will stand as the base of your page content structure. Then add things on the fly as you feel inspired like quotes, live feeds, extra photo’s, etc. Keep a journal of ideas for your timeline. Remember, don’t repeat anything within the same 15 posts in your timeline, people want to see excitement, informative, interesting posts and something worth talking about. Try to stay away from anything vague or boring like a link without a sentence that offers value to go along with it.

5. Instagram: 
Now that facebook owns instagram integrate your instagram posts by auto sharing them to your page. The great thing about this is that you can share them directly from the Instagram app by clicking “Share” and choosing Facebook from the menu on a particular photo. It even borrows your caption, so no need to write a new one! (This is only if you have no time to create unique content for both pages.) 


6. Likable Content: 
Getting “likes” is very important and getting “comments” is even more important to your posts showing up in the public newsfeed. On facebook, people like to emotionally connect with content from musicians and creators. If your continually posting repeats, no one will care about your page and you’ll surely see no reaction but when you read your crowd right and hit a concept in good timing, it will make a huge difference in your engagement numbers. This also needs to be weighed with how you connect with people once they do respond. Do you keep the conversation going or just “Like” their comment and drop your end of the conversation. Try to answer your audiences need for entertainment and fill their boredom and you’ll gain traction over time.  


Try to keep your conversations going. Look at the chart above to see how special a comment actually is. When people take a moment to comment, you should not only take a moment to reply but use that as a chance to interact. Ask a question, go look at their timeline, get to know then. Share some music they may enjoy. Don't be pushy but show up and be active. 



4 Facebook Hacks For Organic Reach

Facebook advertising is really expensive and in testing it out many times, I have discovered two things.

1. That I can reach just as many (typically more) people using my own strategy than I can by paying for adds

2. Facebook adds for musicians are really expensive sometimes costing about .50 per "like" and you end up not ever knowing that person. They really only work well for people promoting innovative products or learning resources.

Here are some free reach Algorithm hacks you may not know.

1) Public pages vs Private pages: 
If you want to gain attention on your public page then you must use that page often. If you use your private page all the time, then your public page will suffer. Try to define the content differently so your private page followers will want to come to your public page more often and your reach is defined on insights for you. Private pages don't give you insights into your performance so there's no real way to measure. (I'm not saying to neglect your private page, just focus your efforts where you want to build your future and remember that they work differently.)

2) Outside links on facebook: 
If all of your facebook posts have a link drawing people off the facebook page, you are not likely to entice facebook to give you great placement in the timeline. Try to post the link in the comments below it and follow the 80/20 rule of creating only 20% link posts. Now with that said, facebook doesn't mind linked posts when shared from the page outside of facebook to the platform so go to your own post and share it into facebook with a 1 sentence comment. Then for added reach, share that post from your public page to a group page that fits the content.


3) There are millions of people hanging out in facebook groups.
Using Groups to promote your facebook page for free really helps to attract organic traffic back to your page. When you post or share a post in a group a large percentage of the group members will see the post notification. Set yourself apart by posting value to the group and don’t focus on the sale, focus on attracting people with your point of view or by starting an interesting conversation. If you visit groups that you are posting in and connect with the other posts, those people will see your page and come visit you.


 4) Facebook loves native video right now. They are trying really hard to be the leader in the video world and with so many people on facebook, they are likely to succeed. If your just getting started, the reach of a music video on facebook is much larger and faster growing than on youtube with a fresh launch. If you have a video upload it to your public page or start using the live video feature on your page. It’s a great way to get priority in the timeline organically.

5 Tips for Increasing Engagement and Reach on Facebook

The results are in from all kinds of tests we've been conducting across multiple facebook pages and I think you'll be very surprised at what we discovered.

Here are the top 5 things you need to be doing for January 2017 on Facebook. 

If you haven't started to live stream, you're going to need to start making that part of your weekly social media practice. It's the #1 way to improve reach and bring in new and current followers. The great news is that the tool on facebook is very easy to use, you can go back in and add a custom thumbnail (like youtube), tags and a title. You can also organize them into playlists.  Plus they are still giving you priority in the timeline. In addition, facebook allows you to pick a featured video. Just go to your public page and hit the video tab, you'll see a list of videos you already have and options for creating and organizing your playlists. 

Our test results showed that the posts that encouraged interaction by way of a question or conversation starter performed way better across the board than any other posts. It didn't even need to have a picture. It can be as simple as asking a question. Shorter easy to answer questions also did way better than longer more complicated ones. I did well with questions that I knew aligned with the interests of my subscribers. 

It may sound strange but every time we shared content from a public page to private pages and group pages, the posts performed 100X better. In fact most of them exceeded our expectations with thousands of eyes on each post. This was especially great to boost views after a live stream. Plus don't forget to like and add a comment to your own post. It helps to boost the post. 

That little theory about consistency really did pay off. We tried it both ways and found that when you leave your facebook page alone for even 1 day, it took longer to regain our reach numbers. We also found that allowing people to get to count on a particular posting schedule really works to bring visitors back to your page each day. It can be words of wisdom launched each morning at a certain time or a live stream every Monday or each day at 12pm et. What ever you do, if you do it consistently people will be there and check in with you more regularly.

When we didn't answer comments, the posts died more quickly than when we commented back and encouraged more conversation. If we encouraged the conversation then more people seemed to join in and if a post received at least 10 separate comments by followers if seemed to attract more conversation over 24-48 hours giving the post longevity. Much better results than the previous 12 hour estimate released in public surveys.

Those are our top 5 results from our most current tests. More to come.

Vanilla doesn’t get a reaction on facebook

People react to the most interesting, inspirational, controversial, and unique content.

If you want to develop an active page, you will need to listen to your fans voices and structure your content to become an active participant in the conversation. 

I'm not saying to become someone your not, but honestly if your going to post BORING content on your facebook page then how can you compete with what's happening in the world??

The good news is that your an entertainer so that SHOULD mean that you have the ability think more creatively to entertain and keep people interested in your projects.

But again.. No one reacts to VANILLA so if your playing it safe all the time, your not going to be viewed as realistic or an influencer.



Your fans have the power to boost your posts into their networks of people and collectively take things viral.



You haven’t even scratched the surface of what I’m seeing on hot pages right now so dig deep into your page insights and start taking notes on which posts get the biggest reaction.


If nothing is getting a reaction, then start thinking of your core brand message and how you can reflect that more dramatically in your content.


Again you have to find a happy medium between being yourself and being impactful so look for a CREDIBLE way to express yourself.

Learn what your fans want

  1. Be innovative yet true to yourself. Don’t be afraid to take risks to avoid the “Same as” label with your content and your music. Like I mentioned above, it's important to stay true to yourself first but also stay consistent in your product and post delivery. If something works, identify why and work to infuse more of that into your music, products and content.

  2. Ask fans questions to find out who you appeal to in order to discover what best appeals to the group that you attract. Keep your questions simple like : What songs from this playlist would you like to see me perform live for you? or Suggest a venue: Where would you like to see me play on my next live stream? or I'm scoping out a location to film my next music video, any ideas? (include a picture of a possible location)

  3. Song intros: Introducing a songs content is a great way to get feedback. If you lay the story line down, people will more likely listen and your true fans will comment on it. Those comments are your best insights into discovering what they like most about your songwriting, delivery, and style. That speaks volumes about what your future projects should sound like.


That's just 3 ways to start feeling around your fan base to see what people like.


At the end of the day, just try to have a strong (not bullying) opinion, impactful brand message and look to create more exciting media pieces that will really stand out. That sets you up for the longer game.





Q&A Why aren’t my Facebook followers seeing my posts?

Recent Changes to the Facebook Video Algorithm That Effect Your Ranking

New 2016 Facebook and Instagram Social Media Engagement Rules and Tips

Utilizing The Facebook Algorithms

The past predicts the future on facebook.

I have been told that there are more than 100,000 factors that goes into deciding which 1,500 posts any given user will see in their newsfeed each moment that they show up.

So with all those factors how do you show up?

Well you have 3 choices. You can pay them to deliver your posts to your own followers, you can give up or you can apply strategy to your posting and go for good old fashion honest free reach.

I love free reach because the comments come from people who want to get to know me and honestly care about what I have to say. I have way better things to do with my marketing dollars than to spend it on getting a few comments from people I don't know and that aren't necessarily interested in who I am.


So what do I recommend to make more of an impact for free?

You don’t have to be on facebook all day, but you do have to be on it everyday that you want to move closer to your goal.. If the average post you share gets 10-20 likes or comments, then the algorithm will give you the benefit of the doubt and share it in the newsfeed of those people who liked it. If they comment then their friends will see the post commanding the comment.

But If your posts aren't getting any likes, then you can be certain that almost no one is seeing them.

With this in mind, if your not engaging on facebook, then your page will really die off and not be seen by anyone. By Engaging I mean commenting on peoples posts, inviting people to visit your page, live streaming and launching video, sharing music, commenting about things that inspire you, sharing quotes...

Basically if your not there often, facebook knows this and simply doesn't think your page is credible.  Striving to become more credible in the eyes of the computer algorithm isn't that difficult if you have a clear strategy and your consistent about it. But it does take some work.

The first goal should be to get engagement on a post within the 1st hour that it’s live on your page. So how do you do this?

Developing relationships with your followers is the best way so think about designing some great content for your page and then get out there and start attracting people to it. You'll want to test some different kinds of content out to see what your crowd reacts to.

I recommend doing some research by looking at the newsfeed to see what people are reacting to. Typically asking questions related to hot news topics are a great place to start getting conversation started but people also love comedy, games and inspiration.

What ever your audience likes on your page is what they will see more of in their newsfeed so it’s important to share a diverse range of post styles so you won’t get in the trap of people only seeing 1 type of post from you even when you are posting a few different things. By Post type I mean, Image posts, text only posts, video, shared posts and linked posts.

The main idea is to build a page that people will want to come back to and engage with.  As an entertainer, you have to think of a your timeline as both a story board and a fun playground where people can get lost in your content.

It's tricky because most people spend 80% of their time right on the newsfeed never going to the pages themselves without a great reason.

Work to develop relationships and you will bust through those algorithms that seem to work against you by filtering post reach.


Post Content Ideas:

  1. Give your fans insights into your daily life to encourage daily visits.

  2. Involve your fans in things by asking questions

  3. Be authentic and honest about real life happenings so people can relate and remember you

  4. Be accessible and respond to their comments and emails

  5. Ask fans for input then be honest and respectful with their answers.

  6. Showcase your fans by displaying compliments and their faces in your emails and social media pages

Are you ready to give it a try?

Start experimenting with your content today. 




How to Invite New People To Like Your Facebook Page

Facebook can be such a mystery but there are many ways to get the platform to work for you.  Today I'm going to walk you through two ways to invite people to like your public facebook page so you can start converting all those post likes to page likes.

If you have a personal facebook page but you can't seem to figure out how to get people to like your public page, it's fairly easy.

1) First go to your public page and click on the dropdown box with the dots next to "share"

2) Then click on "Invite Friends" at the bottom of the dropdown box. (see above).

3) Once this box opens, you can just start "inviting" down the list, search friends or chose a select group according to the options to help you be more targeted with your invites. (See above) This box will show you who's already been invited and also who has not joined as well as which people have already liked your page. 

One thing you should consider when you invite people to like your public faebook page is the time of day and day of the week you decide to do this. You only get one shot at the invite so make sure you do it when the majority of you friends are the most active. 

I like evenings on sunday, monday or tuesday but it really depends on your demographic. Think of your most personal facebook posts and when they tend to be most active. That should give you a good idea of when to take this action.

** If someone that your good friends with has been invited but hasn't liked your page, you may want to reach out personally to remind them. Don't be rude as they probably haven't seen the invite, just send them a request to support you and be sure to include some news about an exciting project you have coming up that you would love for them to show support for by "liking" your page and keeping an eye out for the launch. 

If you've run out of friends on your personal page to invite to like your public facebook page, I've got a hack for you that you will love. 

You may not realize it but everyone who likes a post on your public page can be invited to like your public page right from that post. 

Often we like posts seen in our timeline but don't think to go "Like" the page directly so it's up to you to help people complete that action with an invite.

Here's how to do it...  

1) Go to your public page and scan down your timeline for posts that have more than 2 likes. 

2) Click on the highlighted "likes" under the post to pull up a list of all the people who have liked that post. You will get a list of everyone who has liked your post.

3) Start inviting all those new people to like your facebook page by clicking the Invite button. 

4) Depending on how many "likes" you gained, you may not be allowed to do this all at once. As you can see in the picture below. I had over 1,000 likes to invite so it did stop me after about 100 invites so I had to go back later. If this happens to you, just close it out and go back every 24 hours until you get them all invited.



How To Get Verified on Spotify

Do you have a blue checkmark icon on your profile? Granted that you are already streaming your music on Spotify, If your artist profile (or “discography page”) doesn’t have at least 250 followers on Spotify, Let’s change that!


What do I get once I’m “verified?”

Once you’re verified on Spotify, you can:
• Merge your artist discography page with your user profile
• Share playlists directly with your fans
• Add custom art and descriptions to playlists (including links)
• Update your artist profile image directly from the Fan Insights interface
• Access analytics with Fan Insights
• Start applying for Spotify curated playlists

It’s possible to get your music onto playlists without being a verified artist on
Spotify, but having that little blue checkmark on your profile will really help you in
your efforts to be taken seriously on the platform and get the attention of Spotify
playlist curators. In order to be verified, you need at least 250 followers of your artist
discography page (NOT your personal Spotify account).


** The importance of getting your Spotify account in order is to hopefully get on the road to capturing noted success such as artist Perrin Lamb.. When CD Baby artist Perrin Lamb got a song placed on the “Your Favorite Coffeehouse” playlist (curated by their in-house editorial team) has over 2 million followers playlist in 2015, he earned almost $60k from just that one song on the platform.

Here’s how:
Step 1 : Set a verification goal
What’s your timeline for acquiring 250 followers? Two weeks? Three months? It’ll be different for
every artist, but it’s worth setting a goal for yourself so you’ll know how and when to focus your
promotion energies on building your Spotify following.


Step 2: Prep Your Website:

- Prepare your website by Embedding the Spotify Follow Button on your website’s homepage so visitors can follow you on Spotify without having to leave the page they’re on.

- Create a Spotify-centric page on your website where you’ve embedded a Spotify player (for your latest album, single, or playlist) AND a Spotify Follow Button. To do so, click the ellipses
next to any song, album, or playlist on Spotify and select “copy embed code.” Paste that code into any HTML page. (Depending on your web service, tou may have to follow the instructions for embedding html into your website)

- Integrate a Spotify Play Button
into your site as well to encourage visitors to start engaging with your music right away (again, without having to leave your website).


Step 3: Ask your fans to follow you on Spotify

Perhaps it goes without saying, but the most important thing you can do to get more people to
follow your music on Spotify is… ask people to follow your music on Spotify!

1. Ask your fans on social media to follow you on Spotify, and send them to the Spotify page you
created on your website. This page will have everything they need to take action and engage
with your music on Spotify, while you still control the experience from YOUR website. Be sure
to explain why it’s important that you reach that 250-follower threshold, and how a “Follow” on
Spotify is one of the best ways to show support for the artists they love on that platform.

2. Send an email newsletter with a call- to- action asking fans to follow you on Spotify. Again, be
sure to tell them why it’s important, and then link them to the Spotify page on your website.

3. Link to the Spotify-centric page on your website (at least for the duration of your campaign to
get to 250 followers) from your YouTube video descriptions, Twitter bio, the “about” section of
your band’s Facebook page, Instagram bio, and more.

4. Tell your fans at shows to get out their phones and follow you on Spotify.

5. Consider digital advertising via Facebook, YouTube, or Google to attract additional followers.

6. Encourage your fans to share playlists containing your music with their friends.

7. Encourage followers of your personal profile to also follow your artist discography page.




Are you on Spotify? Here's how to be included in my personal playlists.

1) Go to Both ACCOUNTS and click follow so WE can follow you back and review your work to add it to my upcoming playlists.


Step 4:  Verify your Spotify account!
When you have 250 followers, go HERE to merge your user profile with your artist discography

As mentioned above, once you’re verified, your discography page will get that little blue
checkmark, you’ll be able to change your artist image, and you’ll be able to brand your playlists
with custom art and descriptions, plus share those playlists and your listening habits with your fans.

Perhaps most importantly, there’ll be an automatic notification sent to your followers whenever
you release new music on Spotify.

Need more info:

12 Time Saving Tips To Build Your Music Career

Before you attempt to make more time for your music career, you need to clearly identify what you’re working towards, as well as how you plan to use that time once you have it. Goals that feel completely overwhelming in your head will look a lot more realistic on paper when they’re broken down into actionable steps that you know you can accomplish.

I broke down some key elements for creating and maintaining a successful career in the music industry.

In my experience it's really important to manage your time wisely if you want to accomplish huge things. Especially if you don't have a ton of help as your getting started. I certainly remember the days of having everything resting on my shoulder.


1.Making Time for your Music Career:
Before you attempt to make more time for your music career, you need to clearly identify what you’re working towards, as well as how you plan to use that time once you have it. Goals that feel completely overwhelming in your head will look a lot more realistic on paper when they’re broken down into actionable steps that you know you can accomplish.

2.Getting your music marketing plan together:
Get out a sheet of paper and start by writing down the goals you want to reach this year. Next, list one or two things that are top priority for you to accomplish right now. Narrowing your focus helps to accomplish tasks more easily without getting over whelmed. If you try to take on too much, you’re going to spread yourself too thin and give up more quickly.

1) Start an email list, establish a splash page on my website to collect email addresses and set up auto-responders. Get my first 1,000 subscribers. (2-3 hours)

3.Planning time for a music career:
I know your familiar with that overwhelming feeling of helplessness. All new business owners feel this as their trying to get their business up and running. The best thing to do to get past this feeling is to do a time assessment. Start writing down how you use your time this week. I’m always on a computer so I make notes in my computer calendar in time blocks. I note each task, breaks, everything for a few days and then assess how I used my time each day. This is a very calming system as you’ll most likely see that it’s not time you need more of, it’s less distractions.

4.Cutting out distractions to have a music career:
If you have time to watch Tv, see a movie, go out on the weekends, chat with friends, go on vacation, sleep for more than 8 hours, or spend 2 hours getting ready and working out each day then you have time for a music career. When your downtime explodes into a massive time blocks, you’re actually not focusing on being productive. Try to allocate your downtime into 10-20 minute breaks with the exception of sleep and trade in those indulgences that cost you money and time in for hours of practicing your skills, learning about the music business and developing your online fan base. Over time, you’re be surprised how much you are able to accomplish on the side hustle. And by the way, social media is the grey area. Make it fun and it can be more of a downtime than you originally imagined.

5.Invest in Automation:
I love tools that help me automate my work. Not only do I find massive productivity in doing things by category of the task, I try to use as much automation as possible. I use apps that keep me on track, I have automation built into some of my email lists and I love pre-scheduling basic social media content so I can put out special things like this series of posts your reading right now. Some tools are free and some have a small cost but honestly it’s the best money spent.

Re-schedule posts for facebook, twitter, google and linkedin from one dashboard. Answer comments and social media direct messages quickly.

6.Get things accomplished in time blocks:
I find that my best work is done in blocks where I can stay focused on one thing at a time. It took me a while to figure out how to choose what blocks were most productive and offered my brand the most value but once you do, it’s the best way to go. Try cutting out a time block for launching your next video. Sit down and create all the social media posts at once and pre-schedule them along with your blog posts, newsletters and plan for live streaming. It helps you stay on point instead of trying to remember what you should be doing each day to accomplish your objective.

Saturday: Write my blog content and update the website for the month.  (1-3 hours)
Sunday: Spend 2 hours designing and setting up all automated social media posts for the week.
Monday: Plan all my content for youtube and live streams by writing down ideas for topics and content. Do some research on what's trending currently that may apply to my brand. Make a list of possible tags and eye catching titles. (1-2 hours)

7.Learning to Say no:
One of the best things I discovered in 2016 was training myself to say NO. It’s not like I had to develop a mean grumpy side, I just learned that my time was more valuable spent on some things. I promise myself not to commit to any task that’s not able to be placed on my calendar. Sure, a few people got a bit upset but honestly only the ones who were using me to accomplish their own agenda and not those who gave as much as they received. Bottom line, once you establish your goals and start using a calendar to stay on track, you’re going to see very quickly that your future depends on your focus so anyone who doesn’t understand and respect that about you, doesn’t really care about you.

8. Schedule in Time for yourself:
Just because you work full time and have been pursuing a music career, you don’t have to stop taking care of yourself. Once you have established a solid calender and know what’s ahead of you, look for ways to give yourself time to decompress. I do a lot of meditation during the day and make sure i schedule large blocks of off time. Things you may want to add into your schedule: exercise 2-3 times a week, 1 hour meal times, movie nights, night’s out with friends, 6-8 hours of sleep. relaxation time is a non-negotiable. Make sure you have it or you’ll burn out.

9.What time of day are you most productive?
Do late nights in the studio leave you dragging? Are you most creative in the evenings? Do you think better in the mornings after a good nights rest? It’s really important that you acknowledge when your most productive times are for different tasks that you need to do regularly. For instance, if you need to write blog posts to promote your music career and create social media content, you may be able to do that really quickly in the morning instead of at the end of the day. Or maybe you create better music at night rather than in the day light hours. Just be honest yourself and don’t be afraid to say, I need a time out when things get over whelming. Your only in a race with yourself.

10.Answer emails in bulk:
email can be a huge task and very time consuming if people love to write long emails instead of getting straight to the point. We are also in a time when everyone is reaching out to connect and sell something online so your email can get loaded with spam, junk mails or just total strangers asking you to do things for them. I set aside time every morning and evening to do email. It’s really important to be responsive but if your checking it all day long, then it can distract you from getting your work accomplished and break valuable concentration. Do yourself a favor and set aside time to get it done, then move on no matter what.

11.The Pomodoro Technique:
There has been a lot of talk about this technique lately because so many of us work online now. Concentration is best when you have breaks and studies have shown that taking lots of mini-breaks keeps you feeling refreshed and focused for longer periods of time. I set my timer for 30 minute block and take a 10-15 minute break each block. Then a few times each work day I take additional breaks for meals, exercise and meditation. It helps me focus and allows my eyes and body to get a healthy break.

12.Take advantage of Gaps in your day:
A side from some chill time, there are those times when you just have to wait in lines and have nothing to do. I don’t stress about waiting, instead use the tip to check little tasks off your list like facebook update, instagram responses or even boosting your knowledge like coming back to my timeline to check out my other posts in this amazing series. :)

Jacqueline Jax
Host of
Entertainment Branding Specialist Music Marketing Insider

P.S: If you have questions, come visit my group or public page:

I also have a great resource website that helps you to build your brand.

How to Make Your Photos Stand Out

Do you need to step up your photography?

For those times when hiring a professional photographer isn't convenient nor an option, I have some tips to help you become a master of cell phone photography.  

Photos are really important to promote your brand and projects on social media so to help you turn out some master shots, I wanted to share great tips with you that I learned from Fashion Photographer Lee Morris.

It’s often thought that a big professional and expensive camera is necessary to get those amazing shots, but the common rule of life applies here too. It’s not always about the equipment, the great stuff comes from the most creative minds and a little education.

When your taking your shots, all you really need is a decent phone camera and a focused light source.

Day light is always great, but it can be harsh if your not in the shade. I actually get my best shots when the light is really low and I’m able to create more of a mood by playing with natural shadows and one little controlled light source.In the above shot, I was sitting under a canopy on a cloudy day but I was able to achieve a warm look just but directing a small flash light at my face and lowering my chin slightly. The result was a natural shading around my face and a slight illumination on the forehead, nose cheeks and chin.  Not bad for a quick selfie right?

This was taken with my most inexpensive Android cell phone ZTE using only the 5MP front camera and a selfie stick. I also had a fan light directly over me and since I didn't have someone with a light to hold on my face, I brightened up the photo right on the camera before I published it. I also used different variations of the same photo's I took as I posted them on instagram combining filters and effects to create the add below. 

This was taken with my most inexpensive Android cell phone ZTE using only the 5MP front camera and a selfie stick. I also had a fan light directly over me and since I didn't have someone with a light to hold on my face, I brightened up the photo right on the camera before I published it. I also used different variations of the same photo's I took as I posted them on instagram combining filters and effects to create the add below. 


This next part will blow your mind. When I really want to add drama to a photo, I turned off all the lights and use nothing more than a simple flash light to light my face. You can also get this effect with a fancy ring light but it's not necessary. Depending on how you position your face, you can really get amazing lighting for those quick shots.


The thing to watch out for when positioning your face are the shadows. I always make sure that my face is angled just right so there are no harsh or dark shadows around my nose. But getting some definition under the chin or around the hair line is never abad thing. Just experiment with how you hold the light and take a few shots to get just the right one.

Those are my quick tips for taking much better photo's in between those professional photography sessions. Here's are some awesome videos from friends who do this professionally. They can offer you some things to think about as well.

Jacqueline Jax
Host of A.V.A Live Radio
Entertainment Branding Specialist and Creator of the Music Marketing Insider


How To Find Your Tribe On Social Media

Finding Your Target Audience

In order to build a community that resonates with your brand, you have to make sure you’re talking to the right people.  Your target audience may be missing if you notice slow to non-existent growth and poor engagement on your social media networks.  When your social networks are attracting the right people, you then have a much better chance of building a meaningful community, making an impact, and creating more income.

How exactly do you find the audience that you’re looking for on social media?

If your searching on Twitter or Instagram, you can find your target audience through hashtags.  It's amazingly easy.

A big part of finding your tribe is knowing the pain points and struggles your ideal client or music lover is facing and having a clear understanding of their interests.  Then search the hashtags for people who post there and also people who interact with those posts.



Before anything, it's really important that you make sure your bio or profile clearly reveals who you are, what you do, and what kind of content/music/journey your audience can expect.


Who are your people?

Before you go on a hunt for ideal music lovers, think deeper than just your basic music genre lovers. Try to start with your own interests and narrow it down to the ones that are most cloely related to your music.

For instance: If your latest album has a chill vibe with inspiring lyrics, start writing down possible descriptive words and interests such as: Yoga, Health, Vegan lifestyle, meditation, Inspirational quotes about life, cancer survivor, moms, Millennial mom, women who work, 70's lover, tie die shirts, healthy snacks, hiking, boaters, sunday motivational quotes, tea lovers, golfing...  (You get the picture?)

Try to find around 20-30 hashtags that fit and start exploring those. Following and interacting with users of those tags is a great place to start.




Use hashtags of moderate popularity for your posts.  A mistake that I see people making all the time is using hashtags with well over a million lifetime posts.  For some reason, people believe that using those immensely popular hashtags will help them grow their following quickly.  The opposite actually happens when you follow that route.  

When you use those mega hashtags, you’re making it much harder for people to find your content, because thousands of people are using those hashtags the same moment you are.

A better way to use hashtags is to seek hashtags between 80-500K lifetime posts.  These are large enough to know that they are being searched/used regularly, but also small enough for your content to stand out and for people to find your posts before they are lost in the feed.  

I recommend dedicating about five of your hashtags for less than 50K lifetime posts.  Especially if you are utilizing my other tips for engagement, you will see that with these smaller hashtags, your post remains in the top posts for longer.  

This gives people more opportunity to find your posts and keeps that engagement flowing in 24 -7.



Like Instagram, Twitter relies on hashtags to determine the visibility of your posts.  Check out the influencers in your niche and study their twitter feeds.  What hashtags are they using?  What hashtags are trending in your niche and interests? 

Twitter chats are a valuable tool to not only find your target audience but also to network and chat with them live.  Twitter chats are usually centered around a certain topic or theme and can put you directly in touch with people who would fit perfectly in your tribe.  Focus on two to three influencers and check their feed for any mention of a twitter chat.

We start twitter chats all the time at &



The facebook group pages have really offered our musicians a wealth of free access. But again you need to start interacting inside the right groups. Think about those descriptive words I told you to write down earlier on and find groups that place you into those circles.

It's really important that you learn what the rules of the group are and DON'T break them or you'll get banned and the other members will get upset with you. That's never good.

Remember your there to make friends, share music when you can but mostly attract people to your page and website where you are ready to serve and entertain them..  Just as they are there to attract you to their pages.

Just remember vanity numbers mean nothing to you so don't gain "likes", look to make friends. That's way more valuable to you. Friends share your posts and interact with your content. You need to start there and keep developing your tribe with this thought process.

DO NOT try to be bigger than you really are. I still see many of you complaining that no one sees and interacts with your posts on facebook yet I never see you in groups trying to make new friends. You can't just expect to reach people if you don't let them know you exist.

It's important that you fill your timeline with great things, then go find people who will enjoy your page when you lead them to it.

Also People aren't interested in ego and drama. They want to relate to you in a real way and share in your struggles as well as celebrate your accomplishments. Just as you should be supporting theirs.


How to license cover songs, remixes and samples

What license do I need for a cover song?

A cover is when you re-record a song using your own instrumentation and vocals. Under copyright law, you cannot alter the underlying melody or arrangement of the original version of the song.

Licence required = Mechanical License for US sales


What license do I need for a remix?

A remix is when you use any element of the original recording and alter the melody, arrangement, style and genre of the original track.

License required = Master Use License for worldwide distribution


What license do I need to use samples?

Made famous by hip-hop DJs such as Grandmaster Flash, and further adopted during the early days of electronic music by acts like The Prodigy; samples are when you take a small element of the original sound recording and loop, tweak or alter it to create an entirely new song.

Licenses required = Master Use + Mechanical Licenses for worldwide distribution


How does copyright work in music?


Now that we know the differences between covers, remixes and samples, let’s look at some other areas of copyright: 

How does copyright work and what do the copyright symbols mean?

Copyright © - in terms of music, refers to the copyright in the lyrics and melody

Phonographic  - stands for the phonographic copyright, in other words, the copyright in the sound recording.

The owners of these copyrights is dependent on who commissioned the work. If you’re an independent artist, aka not signed to a label, then you own all the above copyrights. If you are signed, often these are owned by the publishers or labels, depending on how the deal is carved out.


How does copyright work in music?


Now that we know the differences between covers, remixes and samples, let’s look at some other areas of copyright: 

How does copyright work and what do the copyright symbols mean?

Copyright © - in terms of music, refers to the copyright in the lyrics and melody

Phonographic  - stands for the phonographic copyright, in other words, the copyright in the sound recording.

The owners of these copyrights is dependent on who commissioned the work. If you’re an independent artist, aka not signed to a label, then you own all the above copyrights. If you are signed, often these are owned by the publishers or labels, depending on how the deal is carved out.


How do I register my own copyright?

That depends entirely on where in the world you live. In countries like Australia and the UK, copyright is automatically created when the work is, so long as you can prove you created the work, you’re all good to go. However, in the US, it is recommended that you register your copyright with the US Copyright Office. For other countries, it’s best that you do a Google search for your local copyright laws, to ensure you understand your rights as an artist or label.


How do I release a cover of someone else’s work?

Firstly, it’s important to note you only need to purchase licenses if you’re distributing your cover in the US. This is because they do not have a royalty collection agency that deals with mechanical royalties (the name given to artists’ music that has been reproduced digitally, physically (CDs/Vinyl) etc.) such as AMCOS in Australia, or the MCPS in the UK. So, you only need mechanical licenses for covers distributed to the US.


How do I ensure that I have done everything correctly under copyright law?

In order to ensure everything is above board and you are protected from any potential legal action from copyright holders, follow these important steps…

a) Identify the original songwriter, publisher or label aka the owner of the copyright. To do this, search on the various copyright databases such as BMI, ASCAP, SESAC, US Copyright Office or Harry Fox. It’s worth noting that in most instances (well, for signed artists), the copyright owner is the publisher. Labels rarely own the copyright in the composition, but usually own the copyright in the sound recording, so make sure you get the publisher name, not the label.

b) Be sure to ascertain the correct version of the song you are releasing, as there are hundreds of songs called ‘Fantasy’, ‘Alive’, ‘Lies’ etc.

c) Send a letter of intent. This can be a tiring exercise, but thankfully, most companies that you purchase licenses from do this when you purchase the licenses. Just be sure to purchase the licenses at least 30 days before the release date of your cover/s. 

Where can I purchase music licenses?

There are several different companies that can help with this. Two worth mentioning are Songfile (Harry Fox) and Easy Song Licensing. Each one will offer different services and options, so pick the one that’s applicable to your particular release.



Please note, purchasing licenses after the cover has already been released, makes the licenses invalid. However, it is better than not having it at all and may safeguard you legally if copyright holders come knocking at your door.

 Common Q&A:

Q&A: Can I use the cover songs for commercial use after I purchase licenses? sale it on iTunes and other places?

Yes, as long as you have the correct licenses you can release cover songs to iTunes, Spotify etc. For cover songs, you'll only need to purchase a Mechanical License for North America sales.

Q&A: If I purchase this Mechanical License, Will I have full rights to Monetize my video on YouTube?

You'll also need to obtain a Synchronization License to post a video of your cover song on YouTube. This is a different license which allows you to “sync” a certain piece of music with other visuals, for example, in a music video or live performance video.

Q&A:  I've done a cover of a song, using my own instrumental production, got a vocalist to re-sing the words & changed the genre. Is it a Mechanical License I need. I'm based in the U.K.

Yes, you'll need a mechanical license for digital downloads. You mention that you've changed the genre, but as long as you haven't changing the underlying melody of the song, that'll be enough.

Q&A:  What license do you use when you alter the underlying melody or arrangement of the original version of the song but not using samples of it?

This sounds like you'll need a Master Use License. 

Q&A: How do I grant a licence for an original copyright not previously released to an Artist/Management. Is there a form available?

You'll need a contract for this, either a master use agreement or some sort of distribution agreement, depending on the circumstances.

C/O Licensing Music Attorney