Julia Polanco is a Student Advisor at Berkleemusic.com. A Berklee College of Music graduate (Professional Music major and Voice principal), Julia has worked as a vocal coach in Los Angeles with Interscope Records, and as a lead and background singer, voiceover artist, and vocal coach in the US and Europe. Now in Boston, Julia currently performs as a lead singer with a high profile cover band, teaches voice privately, and writes and performs with an original band. Check out her website at juliasimonemusic.com.
Ah, networking. We hear about it all the time but what is it really? The world wide web tells us that networking is just communicating. Could it be that simple? It really is!
As musicians, producers, performers, songwriters, or composers, it doesn’t matter how amazing you are, you need to know how to promote yourselves and how to network! The old days of having to be signed by a label to be heard beyond your own city’s limits are long gone. Things are different now. The tools are out there for independent artists to use, and most of them are free.
If it is viral—it will spread! I’m stating the obvious here, but instead of thinking about it in the figurative sense, apply this concept to your career. The internet has made networking very easy to do. It doesn’t matter where you are anymore, now you can reach out to pretty much anyone around the world.
I would start by recommending the obvious: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and MyspaceMusic. Many people use these sites for personal (and sometimes overly dramatic) content, but you can use it in a smart, original, and professional way. Major record labels use interns 24/7 to update statuses, post comments, reach out to fans, and tweet on behalf of their artists. You can approach it in the same way, no matter how “big” you are.
Here are great examples of how other musicians are making the most of these free social media sites:
YouTube: Karmin is engaging fans in a smart and original way with quality homemade videos of their original songs and covers. The perk with YouTube searches is that fans of the artists that you cover will find your videos while searching for their favorite tunes. Once captivated by the cover, the audience will then get to know your original music! Karmin’s latest video post already had over 13,000 views just over a week! http://www.youtube.com/karmintube
Twitter: Debbie and Friends – Debbie tweets about her concerts, radio shows, new videos, blog posts, and collaborations. Twitter is a professional, concise, and a perfect way to get your fans’ attention, let them know you, and expose them to all other media that you use on the web. http://twitter.com/DebbieCavalier
Myspace: Midatlantic uses MyspaceMusic to its fullest. On one page, you have an actual press kit with videos, music, bio, reviews, upcoming shows, contact information, and pictures. You can also see their fan base and buy their music, too. It’s ideal for musicians! http://www.myspace.com/midatlantictheband
Facebook: Dear Havannah plays it smart on Facebook. They make it personal yet keep it professional. Their wall is completely dedicated to their fans. Each post lets you know them as a band and as individual musicians. It’s a smart way to keep your fans engaged in what you do and to stay approachable. http://www.facebook.com/DearHavanah
Basically no matter what you do, keep it real, simple and network as much as possible. If you can think of a reference in regards to online networking or if you want to share your own don’t hesitate to post your comments below!
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