January 26, 2012

The Business Side of Second Life Music - Learning from someone who knows!

Most of you probably know that Kalli / Brandy and I are business partners on a number of endeavors. The way that all started was back in August of 2010, I had decided that I couldn't continue doing all the management, bookings, graphics, promotions, PR, etc that I had been for 3.5 years. My time was becoming more limited and I decided to find someone qualified to help me.

I had met Brandy when she was managing another artist. She had the experience of managing other well known Second Life performers and I remembered seeing her notices which were well written and concise. 

She agreed to come on as manager and more than a year and a half later, we are business partners and best friends.

I'm going to tell you something. The reason it worked is not because she's an awesome person, which she truly is, but initially, before the friendship, I knew right away that this was a woman who has her head on straight and knows SL marketing and PR and how to work with different sorts of people. Sure we became very close soon after that but from the start, I wasn't looking to find a best friend. I was looking for a manager who had the utmost regard for their work and knew how to get things done.free, free, music, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, blog, free, free, free, music, pr, baby, son, kid, child, love, seo,blog,free,free,free,free,free, live music, make money, money, free money, gift, gifts, seth regan, mankind tracer, secondlife, second life, sl, facebook, twitter, social, alexa rank

As I said, I had been handling every facet of my SL music career on my own for a long time. I like to think that I had built something and wasn't about to put that into just anyone's hands. I sure lucked out!

I'm telling you all of this because Brandy and I have been talking about her idea to offer some workshops for venue owners and for musician managers and I want, here and now, to offer my sincerest recommendation that if you fall into one of those categories, attend her workshops... go learn from the best in the business. I can just about guarantee that you will learn something and if nothing else, you will get confirmation from a true professional that what you've been doing it right.

We do work together and speak a several times every day and when she comes up with a great idea like this, I am the first one to help spread the word. Sharing of knowledge is a true gift. Personally I have spent thousands of dollars in the past to attend workshops that I felt would be for the advancement of my businesses and if I was a new or struggling SL venue owner or musician manager who wasn't exactly clear on the business side of it, I would probably spend a ton of money to learn what I need to know, but I would only spend it on someone I KNEW was a professional and could add to my knowledge. Brandy is such a person. I don't know exactly what she's going to charge but whatever it is, it's probably too little. You can contact her in SL as Kalli Birman or by email at brandy@tracerbirman.com

You can learn more about the workshops here: Brandy's Blog


January 25, 2012

The Business Side of Second Life Music - Tribute Concerts

I'm going to make this post really short and directed specifically at those organizers of Tribute Concerts. I've been to my share of these types of events in Real Life and in Second Life. In fact a high school buddy of mine was the drummer for a very well known Pink Floyd tribute band. What I'd like to post about is not about the concerts themselves, like me, I know people really like tribute concerts. My concern is the way they are promoted. 

Have you seen this kind of event post: "<Famous Band> Live" (just an example)

I've seen posts like this for years and each time I do, I ask the organizers personally "Is <famous band> really going to be performing in SL?"

To which they of course reply, "No it's a tribute concert!"

You see, there's a concern here. Not only is ASCAP and BMI in Second Life, but they are looking for just such an infringement... yes it is in fact. It is usage of a known brand and often times artists' "likeness, naming of avatars similarly or exactly as the real life band members without permission and stating that they are playing a live show when they are not... well that's just not cool.

Of course I understand and appreciate that the organizers want to promote and bring as many people as possible to the event. Please allow me to offer this friendly and very respectful word of advice. Just put "<Famous Band> Tribute Concert" as the title of your posts instead of "<Famous Band> Live" which may be misleadingThis way, those who make the effort to attend will get what they expect and will enjoy the work that the tribute band organizers and promoters put into these very cool events. I would honestly hate to see anyone get into any kind of trouble for something so simple to fix.free, free, music, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, blog, free, free, free, music, pr, baby, son, kid, child, love, seo,blog,free,free,free,free,free, live music, make money, money, free money, gift, gifts, seth regan, mankind tracer, secondlife, second life, sl, facebook, twitter, social, alexa rank

The Business Side of Second Life Music - Events Listings

Have you taken a look at the Events Calendar in "Live Music" lately? Over the past year or two, the number of events at almost any given time has been steadily increasing. While this is a great indication of a thriving music community, the listing system itself lacks in organization.

I made mention a few weeks ago about a conversation I had with a few people at LL offering a simple idea to address this growing problem. As you look at the "Live Music" listings, it is a jumble of Live music, DJ events, Track Singers, Tribute concerts etc. If you feel like going to a clubbing event with a kick ass DJ, then we shouldn't have to try to weed through 50 others that have nothing to do with what we're looking for. If we want to go see a live performance, where the artist is playing live and singing live, the same applies... same with track Singers, Tribute concerts, and so on.

The idea I proposed to Linden Lab is very simply to add a few levels of categorization. So under a top level Event header of say "Music", there can be a drop down for each category, Live Music, Track Singers, DJ Events, etc.

This will help in a few ways. First and most obvious is that it makes it easier to find what you're looking for.

Second, it makes it better for those who are putting on the events. With the new system, their events will be more highly visible and in the Category they need to be in.

Third, there's no reason a live performer should have to compete for a time slot and advertising space with a DJ event. They are two different genres of music/event.

In my opinion, implementing these minor changes (as they don't require a ton of code or hours and hours of programming) can make a HUGE difference in the overall Second Life experience, especially for new users who may not be entirely familiar with SL to begin with.

January 24, 2012

Original Artists might like this...

Bandcamp! I love it!

If you are a live performer with original music, I would highly recommend getting a free account on Bandcamp. (They don't take cover tunes unless you have proof of mechanical licensing.)

To slice it up quickly, as long as you have your raw audio files, like an .aif file, you can upload and start selling your music right away. Thea reason Bandcamp needs a raw file is that they actually convert them into different file formats for download such as mp3, Ogg, and so on.

Next, there is a very cool app that ties in very easily and seamlessly with your existing Facebook page. It didn't take me very long at all to set up my Bandcamp account and get it going on Facebook as well.

There are custom options so you can get the look and feel of your Bandcamp page looking the way you want. No font choices, but color selections are easy to finalize and the website even offers a very simple way to upload a header for your page and even for the Facebook app.

Another cool feature is that you can set your own pricing meaning you're not limited to any "standard" pricing. You can even offer your songs for free, or a minimum of whatever you want, then let fans pay what they want. For example you can let fans name their own price for a track, with a minimum of 50 cents or 99 cents or whatever you want. Same holds true for the albums themselves.

You can also embed a cool music player on you social networks, blog or your own website allowing visitors to check out your tunes. Here's what mine looks like:

Your tracks can include lyrics, liner notes, links to your social networks, website, blog, etc.

I've only started on it today, but I have to say, the tools are there, now it's just a matter of what you do with it. I'd recommend this to everyone looking to take their digital distribution in their own hands, or just to have as an added perk for fans.

I'd recommend reading all the documentation laid out on their website. It's very informative and the directions are very plain, easy to understand and implement.

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