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my career tips  


Yan and Boris host this bi-monthly series.

my career tips is about web 2.0 artist image and communications management.

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the social web and the artist : an overview
biography career facebook fan fans landscape management media myspace newsletter pitch press release social website

This week, let me share with you a (French speaking) presentation about being a musician in the digital age. Enjoy.

about the art of pitching
biography career management pitch press release style

Source: sequin

What about your pitch? In this context it is not the perceived fundamental frequency of a sound, it's the marketing term. Marketers and vendors call this the Unique Sales Proposition, entrepreneurs name it the elevator pitch. It consists in a few words that define you, your music and your uniqueness. A referenced uniqueness.

I said it last week: we're on the wild wild web. Tons of websites, dozens of tracks on beatport and juno, thousands of audioblogs, millions of myspace pages and soundcloud accounts. The competition is fierce. The share of voice is thin. A good pitch might help. It does not do all the work, but it might help.

When you ask artists about the musical style they play, often you get the quite typical "I sound like absolutely nothing you’ve ever heard before" or the even more typical "I don't answer to this question" (I remember Yuksek telling me that during an interview at the Montreux Jazz Festival). Well, if you're Yuksek, it's ok because influential people already wrote about your music and your influences and fellow DJs and producers charted your releases on RA. But if you're beginning in the business, you shouldn't miss any opportunity to spread the word.

Before you can do name dropping, you should give people a context and references. People need it. If they miss it, you miss them.

A good pitch can be a sound basis for personal branding. It'll spice up your biography and your press releases. It'll help you present yourself efficiently to bookers and bloggers. You can also use it on your website, on your myspace account, on your facebook account, etc.

Ariel Hyatt has a technique to write good pitches in no time, here it is :

Take out a clean piece of paper, and write down the following:

1 Write out the type of genres you play. No more than two or three should actually be selected in the end.

2 Write down all the artists that other people say you sound like.

3 Write down a list of all artists (or authors or famous people) that influenced you.

4 Write down all of the feelings and vibes that you want to create or convey with your music

Use these elements as a guideline to help come up with a few words or sentences that sum you up.

Now, go to this website:

Don’t overthink it. Keep it simple and as concise as you can. And most importantly, be proud of it.

an introduction to the career tips section and the 1.000 true fans theory
career fans management media social video

This is my first blog post here and I am quite honored to join the SEM team. With Boris – our multimedia conception specialist – our aim is to issue a bi-monthly post on the present platform. We also plan to have a few guests posting interesting stuff about career management in the web 2.0 world.

Just a few words about me: I am a brand marketing and communications professional, now specializing in social media management. I currently live in Lausanne and work in the Swiss media industry. Here are links to my Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter profiles.

I also love electronic music (better do so on the present platform, don’t you think?). Next to my daytime job, I notingly act as event coordinator, promoter, booker and DJ for the Digital Natives collective, have been amongst the founders of Biolive party throwers association and serve as speaker and teacher for the CMA Foundation, the ETM in Geneva and the HEMU in Lausanne.

One has to acknowledge that we live in a more and more specialized and professionalized scene, and that new information technologies and the social media world have dramatically changed the way we communicate. People now socialize via their smartphones, share and recommend stuff they like, browsing in a sea of information, channeling interests to and through communities of interest.

To partially illustrate my point (and to bring in some air to this pretty dry post), here’s a hype video about social media nowadays.

A Day in the Life of Social Media from DBA Worldwide on Vimeo

Let’s face it, it’s the jungle out there. We’ll try to stress out some – hopefully - useful strategies and tools that will enable you to reach your audience, spread your word and your world, and eventually get some attention, bookings and sales. If MUSIC is still the main driver of success, caring about the way YOU channel it to the world is the aim of the present weekly series.

This said, our focus here will be mainly on online image and communications management, thus some of our post may concern marketing, rights and organization.

I said above that the new web is a jungle for the modern artist. Thanks to information and communication technology and to this thing called social media, everyone has access to a tremendous amount of information, be it through his social networking contacts, audioblogs, music platforms, preference engines and so on. This can be seen as an enormous opportunity (the whole world being your potential target audience, basically) or a daunting threat (the whole world being your potential competitors, in fine).

To start off the series, let’s cite Wired Magazine’s former Senior Editor Kevin Kelly, who wrote a great post called 1.000 True Fans two years ago that got lots of attention around the blogosphere. Kelly essentially argues that to be a success online, you don’t need a huge audience. You just need 1,000 true fans who are willing to buy stuff from you. You should definitely read that.

Of course there have been lots of responses and criticism to Kelly’s theory. Some called it simplistic, over optimistic or not accurate (I find this one very interesting and complete). And they are right as well.

I personally think that the whole topic can give creative artists the motivation to manage their image, presence, availability and communications online. It draws the line between the opportunities and threats of the contemporary mega connected web (I always wanted to use the words contemporary and “mega” in a same sentence). It also underlines the fact that managing a fan base is an enormous and time consuming job.

We’ll try – throughout the posts to come - to give you advice, hints and tips about how to do this job in a strategic, efficient and – why not – fun way.

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