Building The Dream

I have the great good fortune to play bass with a fabulous “rockin’ Irish music” band, Celtic Mayhem, but I also perform as a solo folksinger. Recently I’ve begun working on different ways of getting my music heard and building a brand for myself as a solo act.

After almost a decade of researching and performing the “folk songs of the British Isles and beyond” I now have a repertoire of over 200 songs. I’ve recorded one solo CD and have another one in the works, but have only occasionally had the opportunity to play a solo gig, although I’m (thankfully) very well received when I do.

So, in addition to songwriting, researching, rehearsing and recording, I’ve added social media marketing to my agenda. I work at it anywhere from one to two hours every day, and it has slowly begun to show some results. Here’s what I’ve done so far…

I started with a website. I’ve had one for years, but it was never really what I envisioned. There weren’t enough what I call “points of contact” – places where a viewer could click to contact me or see videos or listen to my music – and the simple software I used to make these pages didn’t offer the ability to make them much better unless I wanted to learn HTML code. Then I found Sandvox for Mac – www.karelia.com/‎. After some weeks of tweaking and emails with “Heather the Helpful” in their support section, I now have a site I’m pretty proud of.  The result can be seen on my home page at www.martynwylde.com.

Then I needed a way of getting the site online. My old site had been hosted by Yahoo, but when I got absolutely dead silence in response to several support emails, I decided to look elsewhere. The difference between the company I chose – A2 Hosting – and Yahoo could not have been more vast. A2 walked me through every step of the process and responded almost instantly to any problems I reported. I can’t recommend them highly enough www.a2hosting.com/‎.

Next I needed an autoresponder to develop a mailing list. Simply put, an autoresponder takes the input from people who provide their email addresses on your page, turns that info into a mailing list and sends them a response which you have pre-arranged. Once the initial mailing list has some names and addresses, the autoresponder can be used to send broadcast emails at regular intervals. I chose Listwire for my autoresponder. They offer a free service (if you’re willing to let them put ads on your response emails) and, so far, I have no complaints. www.listwire.com/

And, of course, there’s Facebook.

I’ve read “Sell More Music With Facebook” and “How to Master Facebook Marketing In Ten Days” and probably a half dozen more articles and e-books on the subject, and I’m not certain I know much more than I did before I read them. But I’ll get into that next time.

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By the way, although I’ve included contact urls for some companies in my blog, this does not constitute an endorsement (unless they offer me money – then we’ll talk). I’m just reporting on my own experience with them.

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