Archive for the ‘The Heretic Insight’ Category

ProducerThe Heretic’s Comment: Producers/Composers are a major component of the music industry, however, most Producers/Composers really don’t understand the business side of what they bring to the table. Platinum Producer Bangladesh sheds some light on this topic in the video below.

Stay Focused on making good music

Stay Focused on bringing value to the music you develop

Stay Focused on connecting your music to a check

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_17vMwNL0J0

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The Paperback version of “Before You Sign That” is now available for purchase at the following site:

http://www.amazon.com/Before-You-Sign-That-Recording/dp/0615420303/ref=sr_1_3_title_1_pap?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1355439815&sr=1-3&keywords=Before+You+Sign+That

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Paying the Bills so You Can Play the Guitar

Most indie musicians don’t start playing for the money. Let’s face it, if finances were your major concern you’d have enrolled in business school, and not spent your college fund on a new guitar and a thirty year old touring bus. You’re an artist, not a business suit, right?

Unfortunately, ignoring cash flow is a great way to wind up stuck in the middle of Death Valley with no cash and a broken tour bus camshaft. Like it or not, producing music is much easier when you can pay for rent and studio time, even if you can’t afford both at once.

Music Licensing

To listen to some sources, you’d think the music industry was in a tailspin. Music sales are down — a situation usually blamed on music piracy and not, say, decades of financial insecurity. Gigs aren’t as popular as they once were, and even merchandizing doesn’t sell as well as it used to.

What this gloom and doom scenario fails to notice is the shift in the music industry from sales to licensing. A wide range of services, marketing firms and entertainment venues need a steady supply of new music, and often they look to the indie market.

Who needs licensed music? Video games, online ads, television and web shows, corporate views, mobile phone apps and independent films all need a steady stream of new music. Buying licensing from established superstars would break most operating budgets, so creators in these fields look to the indie market.

How profitable is music licensing? Licensing fees of $500 to $5,000 are common for online usage. A larger, more established company might pay up to $10,000 for a single license.

Selling Out, Sorta

Not so long ago, musicians were accused of selling out if they associated their music with specific brands and products. Some people still take this view, but guess what? “Selling out” pays the bills, and with CD sales plummeting, many bands see brand association as a means to make some money and keep the tour bus rolling.

Brand association is now commonplace in the music industry, with companies such as Red Bull even creating their own indie recording labels. The brand, whether representing the latest in fashion or the top rehab centers, gets to link their name to up-and-coming bands. You, for your part, get a business partner willing to sponsor your next tour or recording session.

It’s a win-win situation, and should be considered as a viable business agreement, rather than the outdated notion of selling out.

Modernize Your Merch Table

While it’s true merchandizing tables don’t raise the profits they once did, the fault lies, to some extent, with musicians themselves. It doesn’t take more than a few seconds to point out the merch table at the end of a gig, but many musicians don’t. Pointing out the table increases your chance of making sales, even with a self-depreciating “buy our junk so we can eat tonight” comment.

Make sure your merch table takes credit or debit cards. Fewer and fewer people pay with cash. If you can’t afford a dedicated card reader, a number of cheap (or even free) mobile payment apps allow you to take card payments from anywhere with your cell phone.

Michelle is a blogger and freelancer. She’s written about almost every topic under the sun, and loves constantly learning about new subjects and industries while she’s writing. In her spare time she enjoys spending time outdoors with her dogs. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.

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trent_reznor_headscratch_a_pThe Heretic’s Comment: This is an age old question. Trent Reznor has been one of the strongest proponents of pursuing the independent route. In fact, for all the years the Heretic has been preaching the importance of maintaining independence, Reznor eventually became one of our strongest examples. Reznor, however, has decided to sign Nine Inch Nails back under the major label system. We have included the video below, where Reznor explains why he decided to go back under the major label system.

Let us know your comments.

P.S. We still believe that the independent route is the way to go in order to build leverage and monies before entering into a major label system. It is hard, it is difficult, it is almost impossible, but if you have the right musical material, unique talent, imagination and work ethic, you can beat the odds. Afterall, if a major label decides that you are not commercial enough to be signed, does that mean your music has no market. Something to truly think about.

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If you enjoy The Heretic™ and the information we provide please sign up as a subscriber today! Thank You!!!

The Heretic™ © 2013 Cross Live Media All RIGHTS RESERVED For No Middle Man Economics……

http://www.crosslivemedia.com

http://www.thecrossfirm.com

The Paperback version of “Before You Sign That” is now available for purchase at the following site:

http://www.amazon.com/Before-You-Sign-That-Recording/dp/0615420303/ref=sr_1_3_title_1_pap?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1355439815&sr=1-3&keywords=Before+You+Sign+That

 

 

 

 

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The Heretic’s Comment: Nelly along with myself and a few other sounds like a small voice in the wilderness, but its true, you can choose to increase your leverage before signing a deal if you decide to sign a deal at all. Proverb. It is so much better if they call you because your project has legs versus you calling them asking to be carried.

Let me know your thoughts. The video will take about 7 minutes to watch.

Support Independent Creativity

If you enjoy The Heretic™ and the information we provide please sign up as a subscriber today! Thank You!!!

The Heretic™ © 2013 Cross Live Media All RIGHTS RESERVED For No Middle Man Economics……

http://www.crosslivemedia.com

http://www.thecrossfirm.com

The Paperback version of “Before You Sign That” is now available for purchase at the following site:

http://www.amazon.com/Before-You-Sign-That-Recording/dp/0615420303/ref=sr_1_3_title_1_pap?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1355439815&sr=1-3&keywords=Before+You+Sign+That

https://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_654633&feature=iv&src_vid=FWmy8G5JWTU&v=gOFe8rgcGro

 

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Alternative Paths to Higher Visibility

It’s hard out there for independent artists. There’s a reason that so many of them consider the big record label “kingmakers” to be the only path toward better album sales and more visibility. However, some of the new realities around a more diversified record industry are creating other spaces where smaller and lesser-known artists can get noticed.

Social Media Platforms and Other Apps

It’s so 1990s to say that artists can use social media platforms like Facebook the same way that they used to use MySpace. However, this is still a major form of outreach for a lot of independent artists who couldn’t otherwise keep in touch with all of their fans on tour. Apart from Facebook, though, there are other opportunities to reach people with a different sound or different format.

One of the greatest examples is the new SoundCloud app that’s been getting a lot of attention as an easy way to put sound bites online. Lots of Facebook users and others have seen this app explode and have “recognized” it as it shows up on their feeds.

As these kinds of platforms grow, they get more name recognition, and they generate more interest. Using one of these apps on the way up can give an individual independent artist a big boost in terms of webpage views and overall visibility.

Contests and Public Events

Some independent artists in different genres have switched on the tube and had a moment of clarity where they realize that getting an American Idol addition could put them in front of more potential fans. The reality is that these kinds of televised contests aren’t the only opportunity to use public events. Independent artists can volunteer to perform at all kinds of community events, or partner with local businesses in creative venues that will get them more exposure.

Monetizing Opportunities

No matter whether it’s a sound posted online, a gig, a blog, a public event or any other kind of work, the main issue is how to get money out of the work that the artist puts in. Negotiating gigs or putting prices on iTunes tracks are common ways to monetize these projects, but there’s also the opportunity to ask for corporate or business sponsorship for some of the above projects.

Independent artists have to be creative and resourceful, not just in the studio, but in trying to promote their own brands in a cluttered industry. Putting in the work is more than just creating tunes; it’s being one’s own promoter and decision-maker in all of the twists and turns that one of these careers involves.

Making music and promoting it isn’t like working on web based construction project management or sewing clothes: it’s a creative process that needs a creative and concept-driven approach. That’s why it pays to check out all of the less evident opportunities to monetize a project that might seem unfeasible at first glance, or something that originally started as a hobby or side project.

Michelle is a blogger and feelancer. She’s written about almost every topic under the sun, and loves constantly learning about new subjects and industries while she’s writing. In her spare time she enjoys spending time outdoors with her dogs. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.

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CorymoCreating a Web Presence for Your Indie Band

Waiting around at the punk show for your band to get discovered by a lurking talent agent is so 90’s. The Internet presents a huge array of options to get your band’s music out there and into the ears of your audience. You don’t have to have a fancy record label campaign to promote your material, just a little social media know-how.

Putting Your Music Out There

Start by establishing your presence on major music hosting sites like Myspace, Bandcamp, Soundcloud and Last.fm. If you are serious about your project, establishing a .com website for it will lend it credibility. Consider putting your tracks up for download with well-formatted ID3 tags to properly identify you to your audience.

When your tunes are out there for the world to hear, cover your social media bases. Establish a strong presence on Facebook and Twitter to engage with your fans and let them know of your next performances.

If you’re a hometown outfit, establishing a relationship with the bloggers and indie publications of your area is a must. Engage in community forums, promote your band’s next show in your city’s subreddit, and keep a comprehensive RSS or Twitter feed of any zine or alt-weekly that may be willing to give you a write up.

Maintaining a Youtube presence is also vital. It’s another outlet for people to listen to and share your tunes, even if you don’t have a full music video. Even just a live recording of you playing your first single on funky science lab stools or strumming away in a hip coffee shop is good material for your fans to share.

Keeping Your Website Strong

A little SEO knowledge can go a long way if you’re setting up your flagship domain. You don’t need to mount an entire ad campaign, but having your pages be easily digestible to web crawlers will help searchers find your music. Consider doing some basic keyword research to see who is searching for what in your area.

Finally, make sure to start up a band blog and update it at least once a month. Writing about what you’ve been doing as an act, memories from your last show or even a fun piece of fan interaction gives you the opportunity to share posts across your social media. Fresh content also gives your site better link rank in search engine results pages. And flexing those writing muscles can only help your lyrics, right?

Developing an EPK (electronic press kit) can be a valuable tool as your act grows. This is a conveniently-packaged collection of documents and press material that can be transmitted to bookers at the click of a button. It can serve as your rider, promotional material and professional introduction all at once.

Wrapping It Up

Learn to use the variety of free tools that are at your fingertips to figure out what’s working with your online endeavors. Mashable.com has great tutorials on how to use Facebook Insights and Google Analytics’ easy-to-use interface will make analyzing your visitors a snap.

It can be scary trying to do your own marketing, but the Internet is an exciting opportunity for the savvy bandleader. Just take advantage of social media and webpage optimization to get your music out there to be discussed and enjoyed.

Michelle is an aspiring writer with a passion for blogging. She enjoys writing about a vast variety of topics and loves that blogging gives her the opportunity to publicly voice her thoughts and share advice with an unlimited audience.

The picture is of independent artist extraordinaire Cory Mo who has a dynamic website at http://corymo.com/

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Urban Models and CashFlow

attorneycross On February - 3 - 2013ADD COMMENTS

BodynomicsThe Heretic’s Comment: As we have stated before, The Heretic is focused on providing information on how to make a living from your creativity not just limited to music, but also in art, books, movie and in this case urban modeling. We have had the opportunity to counsel “so called” urban models in our law practice and we have found them to be hardworking, intelligent women who are trying to make a living just like all creative people.

And as with other creative activities, there are unique challenges for urban models because of what they bring to the table (their bodies) and how individuals/companies will try to take advantage of their efforts to generate cashflow. Related to the unique challenges of Urban Models, we wanted to share Buffie Carruth p/k/a Buffie The Body’s unique story because she sheds light on the ways she was able to generate cashflow as an urban model without selling herself in a way that was against her moral code.

At any rate, the video is about 50 minutes long but it is well worth your time whether you are a model or not because it also describes how Buffie was able to make a name in one industry and then transition that name into a brand to make money in another industry.

Please give us your thoughts

Support Independent Creativity

If you enjoy The Heretic™ and the information we provide please sign up as a subscriber today! Thank You!!!

The Heretic™ © 2013 Cross Live Media All RIGHTS RESERVED For No Middle Man Economics……

http://www.crosslivemedia.com

http://www.thecrossfirm.com

The Paperback version of “Before You Sign That” is now available for purchase at the following site:

http://www.amazon.com/Before-You-Sign-That-Recording/dp/0615420303/ref=sr_1_3_title_1_pap?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1355439815&sr=1-3&keywords=Before+You+Sign+That

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YouTube Money

attorneycross On February - 1 - 2013ADD COMMENTS

YouTube MoneyThe Heretic’s Comments: I love the fact that if you have some video production grind about you, then YouTube does offer you a way to generate money from your efforts. That being said, however, YouTube just like most of the other huge social media platforms has a ton of rules, regulations and guidelines which separate you from generating YouTube Money.

I wanted to provide you this quick video produced by Dom Power (a photographer) who provides great insights on strategies you can use to make YouTube money as well as the realities of things that can stop you. (Please note: Mr. Power is using the British pound instead of the U.S. Dollar, but the strategies are all the same)

Before we go always remember this:

Content is King, but “Original Content” is the King Maker

Let us know your thoughts

Support Independent Creativity
If you enjoy The Heretic™ and the information we provide please sign up as a subscriber today! Thank You!!!
Let us know your thoughts and comments.

The Heretic™ © 2013 Cross Live Media All RIGHTS RESERVED For the MAKE YOUR OWN MONEY FROM YOUR PROJECT Movement……

http://www.crosslivemedia.com

http://www.thecrossfirm.com

The Paperback version of “Before You Sign That” is now available for purchase at the following site:

http://www.amazon.com/Before-You-Sign-That-Recording/dp/0615420303/ref=sr_1_3_title_1_pap?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1355439815&sr=1-3&keywords=Before+You+Sign+That

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Fans: Quality Over Quantity

Creating a fan base is the ultimate goal of any business or artist. However, keeping your fans happy can be tough. It’s easy to fall into the trap of providing quantity in lieu of quality. Signing up for too many PR appearances, agreeing to be interviewed by any random blogger and general overexposure can all lead to disaster.

Let’s go back to the heydays of quality. Providing quality performances and products used to be the staple of every American industry. Everyone from motorcycle lawyers to rock stars used to strive for a certain level of quality because their name was on the line. Unfortunately, social media and being connected 24/7 has allowed quality to slip.

Instant Gratification

You can’t blame it all on the artists for trying to satisfy their fans. It’s easy to Tweet a backstage image or RT fans on Twitter to build a seemingly intimate relationship with legions of strangers. However, when artists do that, they’re selling themselves short. All one has to do is look at the Kardashians for a prime example of overexposure.

Maintaining a relationship with fans is akin to dating. You don’t want to call too early (or too late). You want to leave a little something to the imagination. You want to leave them wanting more.

How Much is Too Much?

An unfortunate example of celebrity oversharing comes from One Direction. Each band member has become (in)famous for Tweeting barely-comprehensive messages that must leave their agent weeping. PR agents are skilled at creating images and have years of experience determining exactly what the fans want. Celebrities should take advantage of this.

The world of social media has made it easier than ever for fans to connect with the objects of their affection. However, this cheapens the experience. Humans are attuned to wanting what we can’t have. When it becomes attainable, it becomes instantly less valuable.

Turning the Tables

For celebrities, the quality of their fans also matters. It’s tough business being a teen idol because your fan base is going to grow up. Unless you grow with them, the label of “has been” might be shooting into your near future. Teens are notoriously fickle and nowhere near as loyal as they seem.

It’s critical for artists to cultivate quality fans over sheer masses if they want to develop a lifelong career. This can be achieved one of two ways. Developing high-quality music, art, acting chops or another talent takes an innate gift, skill and commitment. Another avenue is keeping up with the trends and constantly evolving to meet the demands of fans.

Top Tips to Avoid

If you’re interested in cultivating quality fans, avoid some of the biggest mistakes. Oversharing is a faux pas that must be avoided in interviews, on social media and in conversations with anyone except trusted confidantes. If you’re not 100% certain of a new album, film or other endeavor, pass on it. Lastly, remember that fame ebbs and flows — so don’t take anything personally.

Byline: Michelle is an aspiring writer with a passion for blogging. She enjoys writing about a vast variety of topics and loves that blogging gives her the opportunity to publicly voice her thoughts and share advice with an unlimited audience.

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The Heretic’s Comment: Before sharing my observations concerning the 2012 Stellar Awards, I want to first say congratulations to all the winners and nominees. My comments following are not meant to be disrespectful toward the winners and nominees, but it is more directed to the powers that keep them propped up.

Now that the formalities are out of the way, on this past Saturday, I made up my mind that I was going to force myself to sit down and watch the entire Stellar Awards show no matter how tempted I was to change the channel. And that is what I did. I watched the entire show and even though I had clients that were nominated in certain categories it turned out to be a tortured experience for me.

The entire affair just seemed to be an overproduced, detached and unrealistic attempt to connect christian music to an audience. And I am not talking about the audience in attendance, because it appeared that the entire audience was on the payroll of the producers of the show to make it seem like every performance was full of God’s anointing and power.

The problem that I have with the Stellar Awards is that it comes off as one big propaganda tool to keep pushing the same small crop of christian entertainment royalty as the center of the christian musical universe. Keep in mind that the small group of christian musical artists I am referring to are for the most part owned and controlled by the Conglomerates. By the way, my complaints about the Stellar Awards, is essentially the same complaint I have about the Grammy’s as well, but I boycotted watching the Grammy’s this year.

At any rate, Christian Music is so much more dynamic, powerful and impactful, then the propaganda show we witnessed in this year’s Stellar Awards.

The only way to change the old guard protecting the same group of gospel and christian artist who keep being renominated and winning year after year after year is for you and I as listeners and lovers of gospel and christian music to support (truly) support the artist we love even if they don’t happen to be a house hold name.

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If you enjoy The Heretic™ and the information we provide please sign up as a subscriber today! Thank You!!!

Let us know your thoughts and comments.

The Heretic™ © 2011 Cross Live Media All RIGHTS RESERVED For the MAKE YOUR OWN MONEY FROM YOUR PROJECT Movement……..

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The E-Book version of  “Before You Sign That” is now available for purchase at the following sites:

Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Before-You-Sign-That-ebook/dp/B006D0G67M/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1325093316&sr=1-1

Barnes and Noble Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/before-you-sign-that-leslie-warren-cross-jr/1030195081?ean=2940013453357&itm=1&usri=before+you+sign+that

Through Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/114597

The print version is coming soon. We will keep you posted.

We also have other projects in the works that we will be sharing with you soon!!!

 

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