music business tips

  • The Ultimate CD Release Package

    The Ultimate CD Release Package

    Prepare for the release of your next album with our ultimate CD Release Package!

    Get both The Album Checklist and 30 Days to a Better Music Brand for only $4.99.

    Learn to Effectively Release and Promote Your New Album

    The Album Checklist is a 56-page guide and workbook to help you prepare for the release of your next album. It was assembled to help simplify the album creation process, provide you with the tools and information to help you make sense of the album planning and recording process with our album guide and workbook. Regardless of whether its your first album, second or third, the templates in this book can help you manage your project.

    The Teen Jazz Album Checklist bundle, a guide and workbook to help with the planning of your next album. | Teen JazzTopics Covered:

    • The recording process
    • Mixing & Mastering
    • What to do when the recording is complete
    • Distribution
    • Marketing
    • Product launching
    • Creating your album press kit
    • A case study

    It includes customizable Word Document worksheets to help you keep track of where you’re at in the recording and marketing processes along with the PDF book. It also includes sample email inquiries.

    “This book is a must have for anyone working on a cd project. I wish I would have had this resource years ago!
    Shannon has put together the most thorough worksheets, and checklists one could possibly want to make the process as streamline as possible. The old quote is true, “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.” This resource will keep you on track from start to finish! Her insight and experience that she shares in this book are worth far more than the asking price!” – Mitch Ross, drummer

    Improve Your Music Branding

    One of the best ways to give your music marketing that extra push is to focus in on your branding. The way you present yourself and your music is crucial to your success as an artist. Learn how to present a clear image and wow your audience and keep them coming back for more. 30 Days to a Better Music Brand gives you the tools and information you need to develop your music brand.
    30 Days to a Better Music Brand | Teen Jazz

    Topics Covered:

    • Brand imagery
    • Writing a compelling artist or band biography
    • Which social networks to use and how
    • How to track the effectiveness of your marketing efforts
    • How to monitor and influence the way your brand is presented
    • Tips on building a community and following
    • A case study

    Each chapter includes advice and an easy challenge to follow in order to improve your music brand over 30 days. It also provides you advice on how to maintain your brand in the future. It includes sample emails and more!

    You get both the PDF and Kindle versions of this book.

    “Excellent book. Many good tips for developing one’s skills, performances, products, and overall promotional ability. Anyone who incorporates even just a few of the 30 tips in this book can’t help but improve his/her operation as a self-styled musician.” – Fred Cavese, saxophonist

    Have questions? Feel free to get in touch.

    March 30, 2015 • Music and Career Advice • Views: 4039

  • 30 Days to a Better Music Brand Available Now!

    Are you ready to give your music brand an extra boost? This 172-page workbook is a great way to get started. With 30 challenges to help you work towards a better brand, a collection of helpful resources, and a case study, you can give your brand the attention it deserves.

    Improve your music brand with 30 daily challenges. We’ll walk you through it, step-by-step, and make the process simple.

    When it comes to our music, we want to put our best foot forward, but there’s a lot involved in presenting a clear, consistent brand image. Whether it’s the images we use, the tone in our writing, or the music itself, we have quite a bit to think about.

    That’s why we’ve created “30 Days to a Better Music Brand.”

    We want to help you utilize the tools available to your to create the ultimate brand for yourself as an artist.

    The book is available for only $2.99!

    30-days-better-musician-brandIncluded in “30 Days to a Better Music Brand”:

    – The PDF + Kindle Versions of our 172+ pg. Guide
    – A Sample Chapter of “The Album Checklist”
    – 30 Actionable Tips to Help You Improve Your Brand
    – Tons of advice on branding
    – Free updates – the next time we update the book, we’ll send you the new version free!

    Get your copy of “30 Days to a Better Music Brand”

    (Automatic Download)

    “Shannon has done an excellent job in bringing new artists current in how to better brand their goals and music. She has explained in an upbeat and very informative way in how to improve an artist’s brand in 30 days. It’s an amazing and “must” read. Kudos to Shannon’s gift of sharing. . . This book will bring direction to many new artists.” – J.D. Davis

    ” Excellent book. Many good tips for developing one’s skills, performances, products, and overall promotional ability. Anyone who incorporates even just a few of the 30 tips in this book can’t help but improve his/her operation as a self-styled musician. Many of the pointers in this book are not restricted to the music industry and have general applicability for other creative artists (e.g., photographer, author), or simply anyone in business for him/herself and who wants to improve the connection with his/her audience/consumer base.” – Fred Cavese

    Read more reviews on GoodReads

    30 Days to a Better Music Brand is also available on the Amazon Bookstore

    March 12, 2015 • Articles, Resources • Views: 2559

  • 30 Days to a Better Music Brand Community Page

    Hey there!

    Thank you for supporting Teen Jazz and your own brand as an artist with your purchase of “30 Days to a Better Music Brand”. Don’t have it yet? That’s okay, you can get it here for just $2.99.

    Welcome to our community page where we can share our journey to better music branding, offer one another feedback, and ask questions.

    So let’s get to know one another!

    Share your #TJmusicbranding journey below in the comments.

    PS > If you haven’t already left one, we would really appreciate your honest reviews on Goodreads! You can share your thoughts on the book here.

    Read reviews on GoodReads

    30 Days to a Better Music Brand is also available on the Amazon Bookstore


    March 11, 2015 • Teen Jazz • Views: 1595

  • Get the Most from Networking at Music Events and Festivals

    Hey all, NAMM is over and things have been settling down here. It was great getting to catch up with old friends and meeting new ones! We can’t wait to do it again next year!

    In honor of the recent music conference, we thought we’d share a few networking tips to help you get the most out of any music conventions or meet-ups in your area (or even those that you plan on traveling to).

    Being up on stage in front of an audience is a completely different experience than walking into a room and introducing yourself to a bunch of strangers. It can be tempting to stick to the arms of people you already know and avoid starting a conversation with someone you’ve never met.

    So how do you get past that fear?

    By going into it prepared.

    Here are our tips for preparing for a networking event or conference:

    1. Decide on how you’ll introduce yourself in advance.

    Have you heard of an elevator pitch? If not, read this. If you have, good. Now go create your own. If you want to make a good first impression, get your introduction down. Who are you? What instrument do you play? What style is your music (and none of that wishy-washy it’s a mix of everything but you’ve never heard anything like it nonsense)? What’s one or two of your most notable accomplishments? Get it down so that you can say it without any hesitation.

    2. Now that you’ve created your sales pitch, forget it.

    It’s only there if you need to fall back on it (or if someone specifically asks you what you do). Networking events are about creating relationships not about hard selling. Just do what you can to get conversations started and keep them going. Companies and musicians have people coming at them all day with their “sales pitch” about why they should be endorsed, who they are, etc. Don’t be yet another musician who assaults the artist rep with a list of reasons why they should be sponsored by the company. Get to know people, exchange contact information, enjoy conversations about things other than work, and then follow up on business stuff AFTER the conference is over.

    3. Get interested.

    Ask the people you meet questions about who they are and what they do. Get interested in other people. No one wants to get stuck talking to the person who only knows how to brag about their own accomplishments. So don’t be that person. Ask easy questions that show your honest interest. It’s a great way to get a conversation going and avoid hanging out on the fringes of the room/booths waiting for someone else to approach you.

    And when you ask questions, make sure that you actually listen to the responses. When you follow up, throwing something they told you into your message (in a way that makes sense) can be a really great way to keep the relationship and conversation going. “Hey so-and-so, I was thinking about our conversation on xyz last week and…”

    4. Be enthusiastic.

    When you have an opportunity to talk about yourself and what you do, don’t downplay it. Share your enthusiasm for your music and your craft. It’s contagious. If you constantly tell people “it’s not a big deal,” they’ll start to believe it.

    5. At the same time, however, be humble.

    Don’t let your ego get in the way of making new friends and business partners. It’s a fine line between enthusiastic and humble, but it’s one you’ll have to learn to walk eventually.

    6. Make an effort to remember others’ names.

    It can make a huge impression at a large event with a ton of people – like NAMM.

    7. If you’ve arranged a meeting, don’t be late.

    It’s easy to get caught in the crowds or get drawn too long into a conversation you didn’t mean to fall into. If you made a commitment to someone to meet them at a certain time, stand by it. Excuse yourself from whatever you may be involved in, make arrangements to meet back up if you need to, and honor your commitments.

    8. Go on, be happy!

    If you look grumpy, people will perceive that as you being unapproachable. If you want to get to know other people, make sure you look like someone they can walk up to and talk with. Plus, you’ll feel better. Smile before you enter a room, walk into a booth, or while you shake hands with someone you’ve just met. Show them that you are happy to be there and that you are pleased to meet them.

    9. Dress comfortably.

    You’re going to be on your feet all day so make sure you wear something that won’t be painful and that you don’t have to worry about adjusting.

    10. Follow up.

    If you’ve agreed to follow up with someone at an event, make sure you keep your word after it’s all said and done. Wait a few days to give them time to get home, back to work and settled after the event and then send them a short message to tell them you enjoyed meeting them and a short summary of what you discussed so that they’ll remember you.

    What to Bring With You to a Music Event or Conference

    The networking itself can also be supplemented with a few tools. Here are some things I bring with me whenever I attend a conference or music event.

    1. Business cards. And lots of them.

    2. Mints. You’re going to be up close and personal, leaning in to have conversations over the din of trumpet players fighting to play higher than one another and drummers sampling every bit of percussion known to man. Make sure your breath is nice and fresh so that people will want to continue the conversation with you rather than run away.

    3. Aspirin. So that a headache doesn’t take you out or make you grumpy.

    4. A phone charger or extra battery. But if you bring a phone charger, be prepared to battle it out with a dozen other people for the accessible outlet.

    5. Snacks. The food at conventions is often overpriced and terrible. Bring some stuff to munch on so that you survive the day.

    6. Ear plugs. Protect your ears! You are a musician. They are a part of your livelihood.

    7. Hand sanitizer. Just trust me on this.

    8. Something to write with – pens or sharpies. Sharpies are usually better as they’ll work on more surfaces than a normal pen.

    9. Demos or cds if you have them. But not too many because you will be carrying the ones you don’t hand out around with you all day.

    10. Flyers. Have a new cd or website you’re trying to promote? Create a postcard flyer our handout to pass around at the event. If you want to go further, you could get Custom Water Bottles and Labels made to give out if you have a stall, it moves your brand around the place and people will be taking them all over, even out of the event, it is worth looking into.

    Before I close out the post, I should also mention that you should make the effort to stay healthy during music events. It’s easy to push yourself too hard, trying to go to every performance, every demonstration and signing, running yourself ragged. Learn when to call it quits and take it easy. You’ll end up getting more out of the event that way because you won’t be trying to function in an exhausted, Red Bull-fueled stupor. Get a good amount of sleep the night before, take Airborne or Emergen-C if you need to and eat as healthy as you can. And wash your hands. Often.

    There you have it. What are some of the things you do to prepare for music conferences or events? How do you get the most out of them? We’d love to hear your answers in the comments below.

    January 28, 2015 • Music and Career Advice • Views: 1870

  • A Reminder for Musicians for When You Feel Like You Suck

    When we first make the transition from playing music in school to playing music professionally, many young performers are quickly discouraged. We go from competing against and performing with players relatively close to us in age with very subtle differences in ability (with a few exceptions), to doing the same against and with players who have decades more years of experience than us. For many aspiring musicians, this creates a feeling of unease, inadequacy, or self-doubt that can become overwhelming.

    During this stage, one might be tempted to quit.

    Even before we enter the music job market we’re exposed to hugely successful and even legendary performers because they’re the ones that make it to the top. That’s what we strive for and our goal is often to be “just like them.” The ones whose names we hear on a regular basis.

    The musicians we don’t see as often are the local performers who work, struggle, fail and try all again on a regular basis to make a living at what they do. We most likely don’t ever see or realize the day-to-day hardships of the average musician until we’re facing them ourselves.

    Those who become highly successful in music are much rarer than we are often led to believe, and so, our tastes and goals often exceed our abilities or dare I say “luck”. This is called “The Gap” – the period of time where you have to wait for your skill/career to catch up with your desires.

    This period of time can last longer for most than we might wish it to. But you have to give it time (read years) for your skills to catch up with your hopes and dreams. And while you’re waiting, it can be easy to grow frustrated and impatient, but it’s important to try to stick with it if music is truly what you want to do.

    Put time in every single day. Work hard on your instrument, your composing, your versatility – whatever it is you’re aiming for. It might be hard to see the progress you’re making on a day-to-day basis but if you are putting in the work, it’s there. Trust me.

    But it isn’t enough to focus on the music alone. You also have to work on the business aspects of music every day too. Work on connecting with other musicians in your area, on doing the best you can at the gigs you have, on finding new gigs, on creating a consistent artist brand.

    Don’t wait for things to fall into place. That isn’t going to happen if you aren’t doing the work behind the scenes. It’s easy to forget that other more established musicians have already “paid their dues.” Through your dedication to your music career and your craft, through your consistent hard work you will inevitably continue to to improve and find new opportunities.

    January 19, 2015 • Teen Jazz • Views: 1723

  • 2014 in Review | Most Popular Music Advice Articles on Teen Jazz

    Hey everyone – we hope you all had a wonderful New Year’s celebration and that you’re already started on accomplishing all of your music goals for 2015.

    We wanted to thank you for sharing a wonderful 2014 with us and we look forward to continue getting to know you all in the next year.

    This past year we published 124 new posts bringing our total number of posts to 359! Here were your 10 favorites:

    1. A List of Summer Jazz Camps
    2. What Songs Should I Learn for Jam Sessions?
    3. Saxophone Playing Tips and Practice Suggestions
    4. A Beginners Guide to Playing “Outside” by Sean Winter
    5. Three Little Words – “What’s your fee?” by Adam Larson
    6. Learn Jazz Lingo and Slang
    7. Teen Jazz’s Fun Music Memes
    8. College Auditions Preparation for Saxophonists by James Barrera
    9. 33 Content Marketing Ideas for Musicians
    10. 10 Popular Music Business Books 2014

    We’d love to hear what you’d like to read/learn about in the next year. Please feel free to leave a comment below with your suggestions. We look forward to hearing from you!

    January 5, 2015 • Teen Jazz • Views: 1542

  • Pre-Order “30 Days to a Better Music Brand” FREE | 12 Deals Day 11

    Today we’re offering our upcoming book to you for free if you pre-order it! Get 30 Days to a Better Music Brand for free by submitting your email below and we’ll send you the book once it’s complete.

    The expected release is February 2015.

    Pre-Order your copy of “30 Days to a Better Music Brand”:

    Sorry, this deal has expired.

    Go back to the 12 Deals of Christmas Main Page.

    Regular price $2.99.

    Read more reviews on GoodReads

    30 Days to a Better Music Brand is also available on the Amazon Bookstore

    December 18, 2014 • Teen Jazz • Views: 1484

  • Free Audiobook with Purchase of Album Checklist | 12 Deals Day 10

    Get a FREE Audiobook to help Prepare Your Next Album

    The beginning of last year we released an audiobook version of our popular book, “The Album Checklist: A Guide and Workbook to Help with the Preparation of Your Next Album.” When you order the PDF book we’ll send you the audiobook for FREE!

    Sorry, this deal has expired.

    Go back to the 12 Deals of Christmas Main Page.

    You get the PDF book, the DOC worksheets and the Audio files all for $2.99 (regular price $4.99). That’s 40% off!

    December 17, 2014 • Teen Jazz • Views: 1514

  • 3 for 1 Advertising on Teen Jazz | 12 Deals Day 5

    Get 3 months for the price of 1 when you advertise on Teen Jazz. We have three different ad slots available at extremely affordable rates! Scroll down to book your ad slot.

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    Please note that we have the right to refuse any ads that we do not feel are appropriate for our site and/or our young readers.

    Go back to the 12 Deals of Christmas Main Page.

    December 12, 2014 • Teen Jazz • Views: 1309

  • How to Work From Home and Actually Get Stuff Done

    When working as a freelance musician and recording artist, I find that I can spend a lot of time at home in between gigs and sessions. While this is a great thing – I get to work on my own projects, continue to book gigs, etc. – I still have to make sure that I’m actually using my time at home to do those things. When working from home, it can be easy to get distracted by any other task – cleaning, the Internet “black-hole,” cooking, organizing, gardening, you name it – especially when I’m not feeling particularly motivated.

    When you’re in a particular mindset, your mind tends to wander, and the things that you should be focusing on gets pushed to the back of your mind. Like just the other day, I was thinking about ways to enhance my garden space because it was just starting to look outdated. It was wrong of me to do this, especially when I had more pressing matters on my mind, but at least I was able to find some pretty cool landscape water features that I think would look great in my garden. I bet my friends will be super jealous of how good it will look if I ever get around to doing it. See, I’m getting distracted even now, and that seems to shape up the rest of my story about motivation pretty well.

    Without a deadline or someone checking in to make sure I’m getting stuff done, my productivity sometimes needs an extra push. It can be especially difficult to get motivated when you don’t have your parents or teachers providing that extra incentive to do what you’re supposed to do right after school or when you first move out on your own (something we kind of get used to as teenagers). So how do you keep focus and become a self-starter?

    Here are a few suggestions:

    1. Eliminate distractions. If things like Facebook, Buzzfeed, YouTube, or Twitter are too distracting while you’re trying to work from your computer, consider disconnecting the Internet or installing an app that blocks the websites you’re distracted by so that you can’t access them for a specific blocks of time.

    2. Work behind a closed door. If you have a spouse, siblings, or parents that often distract you while you’re trying to work, consider working in a room where the door can be closed. When others are allowed to come talk to you, keep the door open, but when the door is closed, you’re in “work mode” and are not to be disturbed. Sit down with them in advance to let them know of your intentions so that they can support them. Trying to implement a new technique like this without discussing it first can be hard for both them (and you) to adjust to.

    3. Track yourself. Use an app like RescueTime to see how much you’re actually working and how much you’re getting distracted by other things. Even if you think you’re a diligent worker, you may be surprised at how much time you’re spending doing tasks that aren’t work-related. If you’re not a fan of using your phone or other technology when you’re supposed to be working, you might want to use a tried and tested approach and use a whiteboard or even order a stick on whiteboard from Writey or something similar so you’re able to have your scheduling system easily viewable at all times. This could also serve as a great motivator to not misuse your time.

    4. Pomodoro Technique. The Pomodoro Technique requires that you set a timer for 20 minutes and then do nothing but work for that time. You can then take a five minute break to do whatever you like – eat, check Facebook or Tumblr, read emails, etc. Once that five minutes is up, you then need to start another 20 minute work period.

    5. Assign certain time slots to certain tasks. If you create the habit of composing or recording from 1-4pm everyday, your body and mind start to transition into that mode more easily when the time comes. If you set up certain routines before you start a task, you’ll find that focusing and switching into that mode is much easier.

    6. Find the right motivation. When you’re working on your own and making the effort to complete a variety of tasks (some of which you may not enjoy), it’s important to find the time to do the things you enjoy as well. Maybe emailing promoters is taxing, but practicing isn’t. Find time for both. Balance out your schedule with a mix of tasks you enjoy and tasks that are difficult. This can help keep you from feeling too stressed out. Just be careful – it’s easy for fun/work to get unbalanced. You may have a ton of work-related tasks you don’t enjoy that you need to complete and so you drive through them. Going at it this way could easily lead to burnout. On the other hand, it’s easy to get distracted with the tasks that you enjoy while avoiding those you don’t particularly want to do.

    7. Keep in touch. For a lot of people, one of the best things about going to work is the camaraderie. You probably won’t realise how much you miss the social side of work until you start working from work and you don’t have it. This is why it is important to keep in touch with staff at your office – the best way to do this is through video or voice calls. make this possible through their easy to use SDK, so you might want to take a look.

    8. Focus on the greater goal. Sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture when we’re working on specific and often frustrating tasks. Yes, it can be discouraging to send email after email to promoters with nothing but rejections (if you even get a response). The key to pushing yourself to continue doing it is to remember exactly why you’re doing it.

    9. Reward yourself. When you have a particularly productive day, reward yourself with a nice dinner, a night out, or even a treat (buy yourself a new CD, book or movie). Whatever works for you. I remember I had a really good day at work so I spent my evening looking at cheap office chairs. Since I worked hard that day, I decided to treat myself with a new chair for my home office. My old one was looking very tired so I decided to splash out! You don’t have to reward yourself with lots of extravagant gifts but try and think of some rewards that will motivate you to work harder. With some tasks, there are no immediate or obvious rewards so we often wonder “why am I even doing this?” Keep yourself on track with a small reward for getting one step closer to your ultimate, “big picture” goal.

    What about you? What do you do to stay motivated and keep your music business running smoothly?

    November 12, 2014 • Music and Career Advice • Views: 1714