14 Tips for Marketing Your Music With a Podcast

1. Submit your music to various publishers: go and find some shows that feature your style of music on iTunes and contact the content producers. Ask them if they’d be interested in featuring your music.

2. Start your own show: start your own podcast. Play song segments off of your album. Offer sneak-peaks into new projects. Play acoustic versions of electric tracks. Commentate over your entire album. Share highlights from your live show.

3. Share stories: stories are powerful. If you have any bizarre, unique, fun or heartbreaking stories to tell (which you probably do), share them on your show.

4. Get listed in iTunes: podcasts are generally distributed by and downloaded via the iTunes store. Make sure to do everything you can to get listed in iTunes. It’s not hard as long as your feed is set up correctly.

5. Join the Blubrry Podcast Community: Blubrry will keep track of your download stats. You can also find paid opportunities like sponsorships and affiliates within the community.

6. Upload your shows to SoundCloud: if you want to distribute you content to places other than iTunes, uploading your shows to audio sharing sites like SoundCloud might prove worthwhile.

7. Upload your shows to YouTube: in addition to audio sharing sites, you could also upload your shows to video sharing sites. You don’t necessarily need video footage; you can use random pictures from your hard drive or just your podcast artwork.

8. Ask for email feedback: create a dedicated email address for your podcast and ask your listeners to send you their questions, comments and suggestions.

9. Ask for voice feedback: utilize a tool like SpeakPipe to collect audio messages from your listeners. Use them on your show.

10. Mention specific listeners on your show: this might be an added incentive for those who submit voice feedback. Either way, people love recognition.

11. Conduct interviews: ask friends and industry experts to come on your show and interview them.

12. Find a co-host: even if you don’t have a guest, being able to bounce some of your ideas off of someone else is worthwhile. Find a co-host or several co-hosts to keep conversations engaging.

13. Promote your show: let your social followers know when you come out with a new episode. Whenever you perform at a live event, let people know that you have a podcast. Put the URL on your business cards.

14. Blog: blogs and podcasts work together quite well. Create a companion blog where people can learn more about you and what you’re doing in between shows.

David Andrew Wiebe pursued a career in music for 12 years. Today, he continues to teach and educate others about the music industry and his personal mission is to leave it in a better state than he found it in. Go to DAWCast.com for more music marketing ideas, social media strategies and business tips.

10 Tips for Marketing Your Music on Twitter

1. Choose your username wisely: social profiles are very searchable, and they often appear very high in search results on sites like Google and Yahoo! Make sure that your username is at least close to your artist name or band name. You can still enter your full name, which will turn up in search results too, but if you want to help your fans discover you quickly, make sure your username is configured properly.

2. Follow strategically: following anybody and everybody is mostly pointless. Follow people you know, follow people that are in the same industry, and follow people that interest you. Begin connecting with others immediately.

3. Set up and populate your profile: setting up your profile might seem like a bit of a nuisance, but it’s definitely worth doing. Firstly, you will quickly establish yourself as a legitimate user as opposed to a bot or spam account. Secondly, it will enable you to get your branding seen by more people.

4. Tweet often: there isn’t much point in setting up a Twitter account if you’re not planning on actually using it. If you can’t see yourself tweeting all the time, start with a smaller number of tweets; three or so. Though you should never spam users that follow you, in general, the more tweets you posts, the more engagement you will create.

5. Build a reputation: this is about tweeting strategically. If you just post random nothingness about your day, people aren’t going to be that interested unless you are famous. Find interesting articles and images across the web and share those. As much as possible, make sure to attribute the content to the users who created it. Moreover, keep posting about the same subjects on your Twitter stream; establish a reputation.

6. Engage with other users: Twitter is a social media site. As such, you should take every opportunity to connect with others, especially those that choose to interact with you. Pay people a compliment, or give them a little link love. You never know what might come out of that.

7. Use a social media management platform: if you have a hard time keeping up a regular posting habit, you may want to look into using a social media management tool like HootSuite. Not only can you manage your profile directly from the platform, you can also schedule however many posts you want in advance of them being seen by other users.

8. Use link shortening tools: if you want to track the stats on the links you post to Twitter – and it is a good idea to do so – consider using a link shortening service like bitly. Not only will it allow you to use up less characters for each tweet you post, you will be able to see where your traffic is coming from.

9. Build a tweet database: if you find that you are frequently posting the same bits of content on your stream, you may find it worthwhile to create a database of tweets that you want to tweet out on a regular basis. Keep in mind that nobody is going to keep following you if you only post the same things all the time. Make sure to keep your posts, but a tweet database can help you save time and tweet more efficiently.

10. Socialize: since we are talking about marketing, this is going to tweak your brain a little. Don’t use Twitter – or any other social media platform for that matter – as a marketing tool. Instead, use it as a social tool. The word ‘marketing’ really puts you in the wrong mindset, and causes you to have unrealistic expectations around what social media can do for you. Focus on people and adding value and socializing first, and the results you create will be much more desirable.

David Andrew Wiebe pursued a career in music for 12 years. Today, he continues to teach and educate others about the music industry and his personal mission is to leave it in a better state than he found it in. Go to DAWCast.com for more music marketing ideas, social media strategies and business tips.

How to Improve Singing With Two Fundamental Vocal Exercises

Vocal training exercises are essential to helping beginning and professional vocalist alike assess their voices and ascertain how they need to improve and expand their voice. There are many vocal exercises you can use to assess the current state of your singing voice- but there are two fundamental exercises that all beginners should practice to assess their voices and learn the bounds of their vocal abilities. If you are unable to practice these vocal exercises correctly, then you will be unable to translate any other vocal exercise into your singing abilities successfully.

The first vocal exercise could be called the “ing” exercise. This is because the exercise is performed while producing this “ing” sound. This sound is the same sound that you would hear if you were to sing or say the last three letters in the word “singing.” The “ing” sound should feel as though it is being produced in the back of your throat with the back of your tongue pressed against the top of your soft palate. You will feel the sound resonate up into your sinus cavity and create a soft “buzzing” sound throughout your face. The “buzzing” should not be overwhelming, nor should it be too loud or muddle the clarity in the vocalization itself. This is because the clarity in your vocalization is part of they key to executing this exercise correctly.

To practice the “ing” exercise, vocalize the “ing” sound while maneuvering through your vocal scales. Move up and down your vocal scales slowly, methodically, and with a consistent pace, while maintaining the same volume. If you have to increase the volume of the vocalization in order to reach certain notes, then your voice is not yet prepared and you will not be able to translate your vocal exercises into your singing voice effectively. If you are able to navigate through your vocal scales while keeping a consistent pace and maintaining the same volume then you should have no problem in exercising these movements in vocal performances.

The second vocal exercise that will help beginning vocalists assess their singing voices is by establishing a smooth lag-otto. The most common error new vocalists make while learning to practice their vocal exercises is by practicing with “lazy,” unfocused technique. This is demonstrated when a new vocalists sings through vocal scales with short, staccato notes. While there is a time and place for practicing your notes in this fashion, beginners should focus on learning their scales with a smooth lag-otto in order to help them learn how to transition between their lower and higher registers more easily. When you only practice your notes in staccato it will be increasingly more difficult to transition smoothly between registers and your notes will become cut off when you attempt to reach notes in a higher range.

These are only two of many vocal exercises you can use to master fundamental singing techniques. They are, however, two of the most telling vocal exercises and will help you quickly assess your singing voice’s capabilities and where you need to be focusing your efforts as you strive to learn how to improve singing.

As a third generation child of music (My grandmother is a proficient organist and pianist, my mother a classically trained vocalist and music educator) I have had the joy of being raised in an environment that fostered musical creativity. This creativity I was able to express both on stage vocally and as a part of musical theater. It has allowed me to participate in my community and challenge myself academically. I have found the quest for vocal improvement to be both enlightening and challenging and take every opportunity I can to further my learning.

Hip Hop, Homosexuality And Homophobia

It’s been a pretty big year for homosexuality in the hip hop community the past two years. From Frank Ocean coming out (sort of) as a bi-sexual, to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “Same Love” being one of the biggest songs in the country; shooting up to top five in the Pop, Hip Hop and Rap charts.

But it’s not just the music that is making a splash, let alone I song that I didn’t think would get play on the radio, but the hip hop community as whole is seeing a shift in attitude toward homosexuality.

From A$AP Rocky’s change of heart, “I don’t discriminate against anybody for their sexual preference, for their skin color… that’s immature.”

To Jay-Z stance, “What people do in their own homes is their business, and you can choose to love whoever you love.”

Even Eminem, someone notorious for his homophobic lyrics has come out in support for gay marriage, “If two people love each other, then what the hell? I think that everyone should have the chance to be equally miserable, if they want.”

But lets not forget that Em actually performed with Elton John at the 2001 Grammy awards, in the midst of protests from GLAAD.

But Hip Hop hasn’t always been this way, as we all know. It wasn’t too long ago that homophobia was at a high in hip hop with seemingly every rapper and hip hop fan uttering the words “no homo” and “pause”. A few years ago there is no way we would hear a song like “Same Love” embraced by the hip hop community. And there is definitely no way we would see Jay-Z speak on gay marriage. Could you imagine a rapper in 2003 saying “I don’t care if people call me gay”, that would never fly.

I attribute hip hop’s change in views to the “climate change” that is happening with American’s attitudes about homosexuality.

A July Gallop poll found support for gay marriage at 54% among Americans. Compare that to a Pew poll from 2011, where support was at 45%.

All of this brings me to something that is in the news right now, Hot 97 DJ Mister Cee and his run ins with transvestites. Once again, Mister Cee was caught with a transvestite but this time there was audio recording of the whole thing and it was posted on YouTube.

Mister Cee decided to resign from Hot 97, somewhere he has been for 20 years already. Mister Cee is a legend. He hosts one of the best shows on the radio and he was Big Daddy Kane’s DJ, he also executive produced Biggie’s “Ready to Die”. In other words, he is a big part of hip hop. But what happened after Mister Cee’s recent ordeal and resignation even caught me off guard.

Mister Cee received nothing but love from all of his fans.

In a interview with Hot 97′s program director, Ebro, Mister Cee talked about why he has never spoke on the matter before and his fears.

“My whole dilemma has always been, am I still going to be looked at the same way”, said Mister Cee.

A fear that is understandable for a man who has been in Hip Hop for years. But things have changed, people don’t care. And with that, Mister Cee was right back on the air at 12pm, his regular slot.

Does all of this mean we will see a gay mainstream rapper soon? I don’t think so, not yet at least. I’m sure it will happen but I’m sure it is hard for someone to still feel accepted, especially in a culture that was so unwelcoming to gays. But a path is being paved, and that’s a start.