Bob Baker's

Marketing tips and self-promotion ideas for songwriters, musicians, bands and small record labels ... since 1995

December 5, 2006 - Vol. 12, Issue 27

Welcome! Read this page online, or print it to read offline, or send the page link to a friend who could really use it!

In This Issue:

  • How to Offer Free Music Downloads -- The Smart Way
  • Get the Music Tips You Want, When You Want Them
  • Meet Me in New York City This Weekend
  • Give the Gift of Ideas & Inspiration

Get the Music Tips You Want,
When You Want Them!

In my early days on the Internet, there were basically two ways you could get my free music marketing ideas.

1) You could read them on web pages (on my site and many others)
2) You could subscribe to my ezine and get them delivered by email

Well, you can still do both of those things, but now you have a number of extra options to get the music tips and inspiration you want. In addition to online articles and this ezine, I now publish a blog, a podcast and video clips -- all free, and all filled with advice and tools you can use to promote yourself better.

Yes, you can enjoy all of these things by visiting the old-fashioned web pages they sit on. But one cool thing about the ever-changing Web is a little thing called RSS feeds.

If you subscribe to a blog or podcast, you probably already know what feeds are and how they work. If you don't, pay a quick visit to this page or this one for a primer.

Even though you can use feed readers like Bloglines, My Yahoo and even web browses like Firefox to manage your feeds, one option I just started using was Google's personalized home page feature.

Just set up a free Google account, click Personalized Home, then click Add Stuff on the right. Near the top, to the right of the Search box, click Add by URL, and enter the feed address of the blog or podcast you want to subscribe to. Add as many feeds as you want and arrange them on the screen to your liking.

Once set up, every time you go to Google, you'll see the latest headlines from all your favorite blogs. It's a great way to get only the news you want.

Your Music Tips Delivery Options

My Music Promotion Blog
Read it on the web here:
Subscribe to the feed using this address:
Get my blog posts delivered by email here:

Artist Empowerment Radio Podcast
Access it on the web here:
Subscribe to the feed with iTunes or another "podcatcher" using this address:
Get my podcast updates delivered by email here:

Note: You can also email any blog post or podcast description to your friends. Look for the "Email This" link at the end of every post.

Other Ways to Reach Me Online

The Buzz Factor Video Channel

The Buzz Factor on MySpace

My event and travel photos on Flickr

Lots of options. Hope you choose one or several of them and stay in touch!

See You in NYC This Weekend

On Sunday, Dec. 10, I'll be on a panel at the Global Entertainment and Media Summit, held at the Laugh Factory in Times Square, New York City. The panel, presented by Billboard Publicity Wire, is called "The New Rules of Internet Music Marketing & Publicity." It starts at 3:15 PM.

This is not the official "New Rules" workshop I gave solo in Nova Scotia and St. Louis. But during this session, you will learn how to use the Internet to get media exposure, connect with fans, and tap into powerful social networks like MySpace, YouTube, Digg and more. I'll be sharing the table with Matt Siegel of Vocus and John Taglieri of Leap Dog Music.

Get more details on GEMS at (it costs about $129 to attend the two-day conference). John Taglieri is the artist I interviewed for the audiobook "How to Make a Living as a Full-Time Indie Musician."

Not attending GEMS? Check my blog over the next couple of days. I'm looking for a place in Manhattan to have an informal get-together, probably on Sunday night. As soon as I have a place and time, I'll post it to the blog. If you're in the area, I'd love to meet you in person!

Free Music Downloads:
The Smart Way

A few days ago I expressed my frustration over the Best Buy/Rhapsody "free holiday music downloads" promotion. (You can read my rant here.)

Now let's shift gears and examine why I was intrigued by the concept to begin with and how you can use this basic idea to promote your own music downloads.

One of the coolest things about this type of promotion is that it combines the power of the online and physical worlds. Most free music download announcements are delivered online -- which makes sense, since that's where fans are looking for digital music. But if you can also reach fans in the offline world and send them to the Internet, all the better.

So here's what you do ...

Design and print something that you can give away in the real world. It should scream something like "Get 3 Free Reggae Songs from XYZ's New Album" or "Download 3 Free Blues Music Tracks from New Artists." Be sure to include a special web address where fans must go to get the downloads.

The item you print this on can be as simple as a colorful business card or post card, or as slick as a shiny candy wrapper package or cardboard cut-out in the shape of an MP3 player.

Then give away these "free music download" promos at your live shows, at festivals, outside concert venues, and at any retail stores that will allow you to distribute them.

When fans go to the special web page, design it so that all they have to do is enter their name and email address into a form and click Submit. This easy process should take them right to the page where they can start downloading the songs you promised.

(Most email list management programs can be configured to take subscribers right to a welcome page. In this case, it would be your download page.)

Don't make the mistake of requiring too much of people. Getting an email address alone would be great. At the most, ask for their name, email and postal code. No more.

Here's the thing ...

I suggest that you follow up with these people by email -- maybe a few times over the next few weeks. They have identified themselves as people who are interested in what you play. Make the most of this relationship and send them a few reminders of who you are and what you do.

Through your follow-up emails, thank them for taking the time to download your music. Make them aware of the other things you have to offer: Your CDs, merchandise, paid downloads, additional free downloads, your regular mailing list, where they can get the latest on your live show schedule, etc.

This is the smart way to market music downloads offline. Compare this to what I (and thousands of other unsuspecting people) had to go through to get misled by Best Buy's "free" downloads.

But, as a self-empowered, independent artist, you're smarter then a "big box" retail chain. Right?

P.S. I just completely revised and updated my popular special report 50 Ways to Promote & Sell Your Music on the Internet. Take a look at this guide and the free bonuses that come with it.

Email this article -- Digg This! -- Add to

Give the Gift of Ideas & Inspiration

For the first time ever, I'm offering Holiday Gift Certificates. Do you have a musician friend or family member who would enjoy any of my books, reports or CDs? Get a Buzz Factor gift certificate in the denomination of your choice using PayPal. Have it sent to your loved one by email or print it out and hand it to them in person.

To find out more, click this link.

Kick Your Promotion Into High Gear

With these best-sellers from

That's it for this issue. Until next time ... get out there and promote yourself!


What They're Saying About ...

"I really dig Bob's writing. It's clear, concise, and to the point. You'd be silly not to read Unleash the Artist Within if you are serious about your artistry, and being a professional at it."
-Gilli Moon, author of I AM A Professional Artist,

To Start getting The Buzz Factor by email, just fill out the form at the top of this page or send an email to addme AT with "Send Me the Buzz" in the Subject line.