Monthly Archives: October 2011

The Complete Guide to Using Headliner.fm: Reaching New Fans Never Felt So Easy

Joshua Weidling is the CEO and founder of Digital Tour Bus, a video company that documents musicians touring and the buses they use. They are also Headliner members and have generously created their own guide to using Headliner based on their experience. Joshua has “managed bands, booked shows, worked for a music magazine, and posted news for an online music news site.” So he has a good perspective on the new music business. Headliner is all about sharing and helping musicians, so we are eager to hear what our members have to say about the service. It is in that spirit that we are sharing, with their permission, their “Complete Guide to Using Headliner.fm: Reaching News Fans Never Felt So Easy.” You can link to the original here, at MicControl. And follow Joshua on TwitterTumblr, and Google+.

The Complete Guide to Using Headliner.fm: Reaching New Fans Never Felt So Easy

These days, we waste our days away on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace. We spend hours upon hours a day trying to figure out how to gain new fans on these social networks. In a perfect world, every potential fan for your genre of music would be exposed to your music and would instantly become a fan if they like your music. We all know that in reality this is never true. As depressing as it sounds, even if you’re an artist with a multi-million dollar marketing campaign behind you, you’re still not going to reach every potential fan. Now, we have two options, (1) sit around and do nothing OR (2) join Headliner.fm to make reach potential new fans easier than ever before. Why? Because through their network of artists, including Pitbull, Travie McCoy, All Time Low, and thousands more, you can reach millions of potential fans.

Here’s how it works:

  • First, sign-up for an account. Yes, they do offer a free version for those who want to try the service or can’t afford a pro-account. Trust me, once you use this service, you will find it worthy of paying for a pro-account.
  • Second, sync your Facebook page, Twitter, Myspace and Souncloud accounts. You don’t have to sync all of your accounts, but I suggest you do to get the most out of using the site.
  • Third, obtain “band bucks”, which is the site’s form of currency, from either accepting other band’s promotions to post on your networks OR buying them.
  • Fourth, create a promotion with the band bucks you obtained.
  • Fifth, see your fans grow.

Tips when accepting promotions:

  • You don’t want to clutter your feed with posts about artists that aren’t relevant to your fans. Why? Because your fans might consider this spam, which could lead them un-like, un-follow, un-friend your account.
  • Don’t accept too many promotions. Headliner.fm helps with this by limiting you to only accepting 3 promotions a day, one for morning, one for afternoon and one for night. It is really up to you to choose what is right for your fans.
  • Check out the URLs within the post before accepting because the post might say one thing and the URL may lead to another.
  • Take into consideration whether the artist has accepted one of your campaigns in the past when you are choosing to accept or deny. It’s always good to reward the artists that are feeding the site’s ecosystem.

Tips for creating your promotions:

  • Make it short and sweet. You only have 140 characters and about 20-30 of those characters will likely be used for the URL. If you’re do a promotion for Twitter, keep in mind that people still do physical RTs, instead of using the RT button, so try to leave 10-15 characters for that use as well. After the URL and the RT leeway, you are left with 95-110 characters to work with, which isn’t a lot.
  • Make you post sound like it is coming from another artist. It is all too common on the site to receive a post that says “Check out my music at [INSERT URL]”. The only problem with that post it is your music, not the artists’ that will be posting that message. A better message would be, “Go check out [INSERT ARTIST NAME]’s music at [INSERT URL]”. Short, simply, and sweet.
  • If you’re posting about a Youtube video, put that link in the post. Why? Because people can now watch your video right in their Facebook and Twitter feeds.
  • In my opinion, don’t send out any promotions to artist’s Myspace. Until Myspace gains some momentum again, any post sent to Myspace will be wasted points. Plus, a lot of artists have very high friend numbers on Myspace for reasons you’re probably aware of.
  • Do separate promotions for Twitter and Facebook because an @reply on Twitter means absolutely nothing on Facebook. If you choose to do campaigns on both networks within the same campaign, I would suggest not including an @reply.
  • Only send the promotion to genres that are relevant to your post. If the song or video you are suggesting people to check out is a rock song, do you really think rap fans will enjoy it?
  • Name your campaigns so you can easily go back and check the impact that each campaign had.
  • Use the URL tracker. This way, Headliner.fm can tell you when your posts are liked, commented on, retweeted, etc.
  • If your event is specific to a certain city, use the location feature to target artists from that area. This can be very useful when promoting upcoming tour dates and events. If you do not want to target a specific city, just select “All Locations”.
  • Depending on the context of your message and your desired campaign length, you can choose between 3, 7, 14 or 30 day campaigns. If you’re using a free account, you can only run one campaign at a time, so it might be worth it for you to run a 30 day campaign.

Maintaining your account:

  • If you already have your Facebook or Twitter posts synced with each other, keep that in mind when using Headliner.fm. The last thing you want is for a promotion you accepted to post on Facebook to also show up on your Twitter just because your accounts are synced.
  • I would suggest actually accepting promotions because if every artist just relied on other artists to promote their campaigns there would be no artists actually accepting promotions. As long as you accept wisely, I think your fans will appreciate the music you’re suggesting them to listen to.
  • Check your account at least on a weekly basis; it wouldn’t hurt to login daily. This will give you the chance to accept the most relevant promotions to your fans, since promotions only run for a select number of days.

I hope you give this site a try and eventually add it to your marketing campaigns. It is a great way to reward artists with promotion and have artists promote your music at the same time. Just imagine a community of artists helping each other out. Wouldn’t that be nice?

(Yes, it would be very nice. And we’re happy to do anything we can to help make that happen. Thanks, Joshua!)

 

How To: Edit Settings When Creating Promotions

Headliner recently gave everyone the former Pro feature, Set & Forget for creating promotions. This feature is more automated in that it sends your promotion request out automatically by genre rather than you selecting band by band per promotion.  We want to give you a few tips to help you make your next promotion a successful one.

To access these options, just click on Edit Settings right under the message box. You can select the networks, genres, artists, location and schedule.

  • Networks: Where do you want this recommendation to post?
  • Genres: What type of music do you make and what type of audience do you want to reach?
  • Artists: Which specific artists would you like to promote with? All users can search and select specific artists.
  • Location: Where is your target audience? This is a subscriber feature, so regular users have no location selection. It is also presently limited to the U.S.
  • Schedule: How long do you want us to submit this request. The default is 14 days, but you can choose more or less depending on your promo needs.

In this example we will look at how to edit GenresArtists and Schedule.

The Create a Promotion screen is where you write the recommendation you would like to request Headliner members post  to their social networks.

  • Suggested Messages: These are pre-written messages that you can choose to use, either to help you brainstorm, or as is. We will add your name automatically. There are suggestions for different types of content.
  • Edit Settings: Headliner will make automatic selections for you. If you want to customize your promotion, you can click EDIT OPTIONS.
  • Artist Network: These counters will tell you the number of artists and fans your connected to your promotion. This is an estimated reach. The final reach will depend on the number of artists that actually accept your promotion and post it. If the number of their fans increases after they accept your promotion, we will advance you enough band bucks to cover it.

 

Suggested Messages, in detail.

Genres

If you don’t want to include everyone in your genre by default, you can remove the genre and leave the field blank.

If you’re a subscriber, you can select multiple genres. Regular users can select subgenres within their main genre.

You can also select the social networks you want to include here. Remove or add them depending on your campaign needs.

Select Artists

Select artists in any genres by searching for them.

Sort the artist selection clicking on the arrows for size of fan base and artist name.

Browse all artists by using the arrows on either side of the page number at the bottom.

Click Continue to return to the main promo creation window.

If an artist has connected their SoundCloud and chosen a default track, you can preview their music by clicking on the player icon. This will help you determine if it’s something you think your fans will like.

The network icons tell you the social networks that each artist has connected to Headliner. This is helpful if you want to create a campaign that will use a specific network.

Schedule 

Determine a start date and how long you would like us to submit your request.

By default, we will submit your request to the selected community for 14 days, but you can select as few as 3 days or as many as 30 days.

As always, you can stop a promotion anytime by clicking Withdraw this Promotion under the promo stats in the My Promotions tab.

When you are done, just click the START PROMOTION button.

You will get a CONFIRM window. If everything looks good, press confirm to start your promo.

Keep in mind the amount of Band Bucks you are using. Requests are being submitted automatically so your Band Bucks will fluctuate based on your acceptances. Regular users can run one promo at a time. Subscribers can run multiple promotions simultaneously.

We will be posting more tips soon. Meantime, please let us know if you have any questions. We’re always happy to help!

Headliner Milestone: 300 Million Fans Strong – And Growing!

Headliners, stand up and give yourselves a round of applause, you guys! You make Headliner great.

Over the last year, Headliner’s growth has been off the chart – almost literally. From 78 million in September of 2010, to 315 million in October 2011. That’s a growth rate of almost 400% in just 12 months. We help 1000’s of artists share their music with over 15 million new fans daily.

We are extremely honored and proud to be serving such a vast network of music fans, artists, tastemakers and influencers. Each time a new member joins Headliner, it expands our collective reach by that many more music lovers who are eager to discover each artists through custom recommendations from musicians they already love.

We would like to thank all the great artists who have support us and use Headliner – none of this would be possible without you! Every band that uses Headliner contributes to our network’s reach and makes Headliner more valuable for everyone involved.

We appreciate your love and support. It is our great pleasure to continue to provide you all the best social marketing platform.

The Evolution of Web Distribution

Screen Shot 2011-10-02 at 4.55.31 PM

Hypebot posted an interesting piece on the Evolution of Web Distribution, a core concern for independent musicians. In the post, Topspin CEO Ian Rogers highlights how new distribution channels have become standardized by 2011, using Spotify and Mog as examples. Rogers also reinforces an idea at the core of Headliner’s recommendation philosophy – the importance of trusted brands in an evermore crowded web, or “mass of niches.”

Excerpt:

“Everyone is a publisher. Consumers have unlimited choice. But what will they choose? How do we find what we want to consume? Everyone wants us to click on this, subscribe to their that. As the noise floor raises, consumers are naturally going to be looking for help finding the bits that are most relevant to them. Our social graph will always be an incredibly important filter. But look at the “innovation” Google+ brought and the “subscribe” feature Facebook just rolled out; they’re both Twitter-like unidirectional “follow”s, so I can follow the stream of someone who I’m not friends with. Why would I want to do that? Because I’m interested in what they have to say and trust them to be one of my filters, even though I don’t know them.”

There is plenty to take in, including a handy list of 5 common traps to avoid while building your brand; we’ve just highlighted some key points here. Head over to Hypebot and read up more on the evolution of web distribution and how you can make it for you as an independent musician (and hopefully, how you can use Headliner as part of your ongoing strategy).

More: Ian Rogers: The Evolution Of Web Distribution, A Mass Of Niches

CD Baby Launches Facebook MusicStore

CD Baby, the largest independent online distributor for musicians officially launched its Facebook MusicStore today. The MusicStore will allow members to sell their music directly from their Facebook Fan Pages. Users who are not CD Baby members can sell individual albums or songs for a small fee. This feature creates a prime engagement channel for a lot of independent musicians to boost their sales and fanbases. What better occasion to reach out to new fans than to thank them for their support?

MusicStore can be installed in 3 easy steps. CD Baby will handle all the accounting and transactions for you. According to CD Baby president Brian Felsen, “Because we have all necessary artist content and information in our database, our new MusicStore for Facebook literally takes just 5 minutes to set up. It’s direct to fan, and CD Baby handles all the logistics: the credit card processing, the delivery of downloaded MP3s, the warehousing and shipping of CDs, the customer service, and the accounting – so artists can focus on what matters: writing, recording, and performing.

That last statement is something we at Headliner totally support, and we know a lot of Headliner members use CD Baby so we’re happy to pass this along.

Check the video below to get a sense of how it works and head over to members.cdbaby.com for details.

CD Baby MusicStore