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Spreading the Word, Part 1

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Promotions = Networking + Lots of work!

There is NOTHING quick and easy about promoting yourself or your product.

Many creative types are not so great at selling themselves - they can achieve wonderful creative projects, but applying themselves to the bare-bones, and often boring tasks of promotions, thwarts them.

However, nowadays, we have many tools that we can use, and if we apply ourselves, we can achieve a certain level of success in "Spreading the Word".

With the help of all those social networking sites, including Twitter, one can build up a contact base. There are drawbacks to these sites - you have to be extremely careful about what personal information you include and also avoid adding the time-wasting applications that many offer. (You are there strictly to network and self promote - you don't need to add the "buy a drink" or "what movie star am I" apps!)

Something you need to consider carefully is whether you should have your own website. Having your own website and domain name is fun, but requires the ability to build it, and maintain it, or the money to hire someone to do these things. If you are a musician, you have the luxury of being able to get yourself on a wide variety of music sites for free. Several of these offer you the opportunity to build a "fan" base interlinked with Facebook and Myspace.

Today I'm going to hone in on MySpace.

For arguments sake lets agree that you will set yourself up a free music profile on MySpace ......you load up a few pics, a few songs (you can load up to 10 now), add some bio information .....this is the first step ......now you need to get some people visiting the page.

You need to build up your "friends". When you get started at MySpace they suggest that you should add your address book, which will in turn load in your various contacts and send out invites to join you .....you CAN do that, but I like to add email addresses manually. You may not want all your contacts added.

Next you begin "trolling" Myspace for new contacts. I like to add other bands - this is a good way to build up a network - and others will add you when they see you have various friends. I also like to add regular users - but this takes more time, since you need to check their profiles to make sure they have music interests and are not for example, some kitty just looking for a big cat.

You are probably wondering why you would add a band if you are a musician. Rule number 1 - there is no such thing as a bad contact.

I make it a rule to add 50 new contacts 2 to three times/weekly to each of my profiles.

The more contacts you have - the more people will visit your page and possibly play your music, if you get enough plays, you may place in the "charts". Every bit of exposure helps.

Make sure you visit the pages of people you have linked to if they send you an invite to visit and listen - make sure you take time to listen and comment - this usually results in a recipricol visit and listen.

Once you have a few hundred "friends" you need to start pumping out bulletins and maintaining a blog.

You can write your blog about anything you like, but its best if you have some useful content in there - something others would like to read. Once you have posted a blog, now send out a Bulletin to your friends tell them you have a new blog, the subject and post the link so they can go directly to it.

Post bulletins to let people know where you are playing, or if you have a new product coming out. Tell people about special events, give useful links to good articles or helpful sites. Sometimes it's nice just to send out a bulletin saying hello to everyone and wishing them a good upcoming week ...the point is to keep your name fresh in their minds.

This is one small link in a long chain of networking tools you will need to employ to get connected and to get your name out there.

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