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 –‎. 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

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.

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.

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.


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.