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Using Google Plus to Connect with your Audience

August 28, 2014

by Jon Weirman

 Using Google Plus to Connect with your AudienceUsing Google plus to reach an audience base can take place in many different forms, with the use of communities and the new opportunities it provides to reach them. In many ways it took a little while to catch on, with so many users just using the usual social channels like Facebook to connect and spread their brand around the web. The way that communities work on Google Plus is a little bit different, and there are benefits in the ways that user feedback is created, and your branding message is spread more organically.

It takes some thought and planning, but you can create a community that is relevant to what you’re doing, and then engage in direct conversation. The benefits of platforms like Instagram are many, with users seeing relevant photos and going right to your landing page. With Google Plus, you can use descriptive taglines and discussion categories to have people that are looking for relevant content find you and take part in the topic at hand.

The importance of Organics

If you are sitting still with your website that offers a product waiting for buyer traffic to come right away and save you from the depths of misery, it may not happen right away. When you are creating a forum that encourages discussion, it could take a few days or weeks for people to catch on and pony up to actually buy the product. In your “About” section, you can create content that accurately describes what’s going to happen in the community, and also quickly create a strategy to invite followers. Just like Twitter, adding followers one by one can seem monotonous, but can be the best bet. For example, if your brand is a soccer shoe company or podcast, go to groups that are in the same genre and add followers.

In many ways similar to the strategies used on Myspace, this method can be more effective than buying “batches” or large groups of followers. Posting content that is as relevant as it gets to the topic is always key, and will stoke your followers’ interest. Items like frequently asked questions, tips and tricks, and highlights of keynote events or conferences are always followed quickly by someone who has a keen interest.

Many users who first begin to use Google Plus as another weapon in their arsenal to get their content out get frustrated. Sometimes notifications, new additions to your circle, and the layout itself don’t entice everyone right away. But demographics and research prove that time spent on Google plus will generate traffic to your landing page, an awareness that will help you in the long run, and people who share will frequently find content they really like. What you are really after here are the people that sit back and watch your forum, make a slow decision on how they feel about your brand, and spread your name around to their favorite contacts.

Tips to get more Followers

The hashtag debate is a slippery slope. Yes, if done properly will get some hits via Twitter and the way that everyone is connected. Hashtags play a role in searches that were previously never even put into the formula of how potential consumers find you. Be careful. The trend has spilled over to Facebook in such a sense that users are frivolous. It can definitely land you traffic and glean you users, but things like #awesome and #Idefinitelythoughtso may not work for you in the utmost essence.

There is a trend now where almost everything said or done will validate a hashtag, and the trend can yield results. But spreading your content in the way you want done best is done with just one or two of these in web guru tact. The game as far as Google plus is different. For now, everyone checks their Facebook updates first, and then delves into Twitter and the other activities. But the invaluable element of having your Google plus page set up, ready to go, and also following trending memes will be crucial to your success. When the topics of holidays, shopping, even back to school, or blockbuster movie events take place, you can incorporate them into your Google Plus presence. It’s a hotspot of internet traffic that is a bit different to utilize, but this popular social media angle is absolutely not going anywhere soon.

 

kslick 1024x531 Toronto rapper K Slick is back with new music: Rock Bottom and Crime Chronicles 2Rapper K-Slick is back with the latest installment of music from his forthcoming mixtape entitled “K-9 vs The World”, which will be released on Datpiff in September. The new singles, Rock Bottom and Crime Chronicles 2 are the first of several upcoming singles scheduled to be released this summer. A follow-up to the K-Slick fan-favorite Crime Chronicles, Crime Chronicles 2 tells a revealing story of betrayal, heartbreak and a devious crime plot. The new videos are now available on YouTube.

Self-written and produced by K-Slick both music videos were shot in Toronto. Rock Bottom echos the story of a person being at their lowest of lows, trying desperately to find their way back to a sobering reality. Known for his grimy street-styled rap, K-Slick has quickly become one of city’s most popular hip hop artists. His rap style, and lyrical approach in the single “Last Breath” featuring Slaughterhouses’s Joell Ortiz caught the attention of several online hip hop magazines and blogs, helping to increase his growing fan base.

With a handful of recent oversees tour dates behind him, K-Slick’s latest effort offers a continuation of his mixtape debut, “Twenty One”, a 13-track LP filled with stories of poisonous relationships and suspense-fueled street tales. In addition to Rock Bottom and Crime Chronicles 2, fans can expect several new singles accompanied with official music videos leading up to the release of “K-9 vs The World”. K-Slick is currently in the studio putting the finishing touches on the singles Fully Loaded, Klaudia and Chillen Out, all scheduled to be released in the coming weeks.

About K-Slick
He has been named Canada’s hottest rapper by multiple websites & magazines, born in Toronto, Ontario, K-Slick has created a huge buzz for himself. K-Slick was always determined as a youth and he worked hard to make sure that he succeeded in everything he tried. There was nothing out of reach for him as he believes anything is achievable if you believe you can achieve it. Everyone around him noticed that he was very ambitious and unique.

As a youth K-Slick never followed pathways created by others he made his own decisions and did not allow other people to influence him. K-Slick always felt a connection with hip hop as he enjoyed listening to rap whenever he could. In grade school he was always zoned out with headphones bumping old school classics and jamming to his favourite rappers.

Twitter: @therealkslick

beautiful birth documentary New Beautiful Births documentary highlights another side of Pregnancy and ChildbirthFilmmaker Jacqui Blue is putting the finishing touches on her first documentary Beautiful Births. A touching film, Beautiful Births explores the other side of pregnancy and childbirth through its informative deliverance of natural birthing methods and options. The mini teaser Youtube version has already received over a million views and counting. The official documentary trailer is available at: http://buff.ly/1qX7Sm4

Beautiful Births will debut in a Special Screening with Focus Group (anyone is welcome to purchase a ticket and attend the event but all will be asked to leave feedback for the filmmaker) and Q&A panel featuring Jacqui Blue and several women featured in the film. The event will take place on Monday, September 8, 2014 in Fort Lauderdale at Cinema Paradiso at 7:00pm.

“As women, we’re in a club where we’re able to experience something that men will never understand. And women love to share their stories. They have a need to share their stories about birth,” says Jackie Korpela, Birth Assistant/Doula at Ocala Birth Center and Owner and photographer at Starry Eyes Photography.

The film does a wonderful job of displaying the beauty of childbirth, particularly with its genuine conversational dialogue and emotional appeal. Beautiful Births explores the Midwifery Model of Care and does a good job of playing show and tell of what a birth center is and what it is not. Debbie Marin, Licensed Midwife/Owner of the Hollywood Birth Center in Hollywood, Florida adds, “My birth was so beautiful, my pregnancy, my birth, my breastfeeding experience, that I wanted to share that with other women.”

Three women share their birth stories of in and out of hospital experiences. In this film, information is given on an array of the topics such as why diet matters during pregnancy, cesarean section and the option of vaginal birth after cesarean section. It also touches on the dangers and risks posed by early inductions and interventions in childbirth. Beautiful Births is a must see for all women of childbearing age or anyone interested in pregnancy and childbirth as it explores a more humane and beautiful way to bring a child into the world.

Jessica Fondo has seen the full documentary and adds, “It captured my attention from the beginning and you know how some films lose you in the middle, well, this one didn’t do that, it kept me interested the whole time all the way to the end and then I just wanted more.”

After experiencing both sides of childbirth, hospital and midwifery, Jacqui discovered there was a more pleasant side to natural childbirth than what she had experienced. Armed with the knowledge and new information in hand, Jacqui set out to be a resource and help other women discover the truth about natural birth. For more information on the Beautiful Births documentary premiere or Jacqui Blue please visit: www.BeautifulBirthsDocumentary.com

About Beautiful Births
Beautiful Births is a feature length documentary that invites you to explore another side of pregnancy and childbirth not often shown in mainstream media. Filmed and directed by founder Jacqui Blue, the film’s primary goal is to inform and educate women about natural childbirth using the Midwifery Model of Care and to act as a resource guide that allows women to be aware of their other options.

About Jacqui Blue
Jacqui Blue a is documentary filmmaker, writer, photographer, artist and mother of five sons. Before putting herself through film school, she spent the greater part of the last decade working as a stay at home mom and wife. Having had a Cesarean section with her twins, followed by two very different but successful hospital VBACs, which was then followed by a water birth in a birth center, Jacqui developed a passion for natural birth and fell into “alternative” or “attachment” parenting styles. When she became annoyed with the programming available to women about pregnancy and birth, she decided it was about time for someone to make a film that showed another, a different, a more natural way to bring children into the world.

Official website: www.BeautifulBirthsDocumentary.com

 How Streaming Radio has evolved to Benefit Indie ArtistsWe are absolutely in one of the technology-led, all encompassing and pinnacle times for Indie artists that want to be a part of streaming radio’s exposure. When well known celebrity Ellen took a few pictures and shared them via the web, it broke a record this year for viral sharing; and many Indie artist’s ultimate goal would be to get their work to spread as quickly over many portals. Last year, a staggering 36% of the market for recorded music came from Indie labels, an important statistic to dwell on as the masses become hungry for material that’s truly under the radar. One writer from Pitchfork claimed that “The industry has done everything it can to screw up the simple model of exchange”, and many are bitter about the low dollar amount currently offered to the artist on many streaming services. The general opinion among artists is that these streaming services have an advantage over them because many new artists need exposure so desperately; they are willing to just take pennies for every play. But there are ways that these sites have evolved, and many positive things you can gain from using them.

Sound Exchange: watchdog for protection

One jewel in the rough of our quickly changing digital landscape is Sound Exchange, a security guard for artists of sorts that are broadcast on non interactive streaming radio. The team is made up of techhies, data buffs and other unique individuals that are artists themselves, and they have international partnerships in their network that helps the reach of the artist extend to other nations. They administer a statutory license that guarantees a fixed rate for every internet play. Basically, this service navigates the torrential sea of all the different kinds of earnings Satellite and radio webcasters pay when streamed. More than 2500 services are now paying royalties to this entity, and they simply provide some peace of mind when you are “out there” with your material and busy creating more material and booking with your spare time.

The built from scratch mantra

Many artists who are increasingly frustrated with Labels and the direction they steer them towards are the backbone of the true “indie” definition; these days a lot of people categorize it as a genre, which it is, but the root meaning of the word is that they are releasing their own material, and they own the master recordings of them. You can record when you like and as often as you like, but you may not have access to the promotional dollars of a major label. With DIY culture and the vast reaches of the internet these days, many bands say this is the only way to go about releasing music and be satisfied. If you are on a major label, they will govern what you can be free about in terms of video game licensing, motion pictures, and other decisions for royalties. Taking the indie route gives you much more creative control and say so about who you partner up with for the long run. Also, many agents that used to get live acts for themselves based on popularity of their booking agent will now hire bands without much speculation that do all of their booking themselves.

The ability to have control over your following

With streaming services like Pandora, Spotify, and Last FM, you can totally gauge your following, even if you are not making a fortune. Adding updates, reaching out, and providing notice when you have new tracks is crucial. What really has evolved with streaming radio to benefit Indie artists is your ability to target your market and really create a team. The attitude of having to sign with a major label or go broke is dwindling, as things like T shirt sales, touring and the like become much more within your control through streaming services. Even if you do choose to sign with a major label, using the streaming services to your full potential is an important part of your daily regimen. One of the best ways that streaming services have evolved is in the way that the output is streamlined and analyzed. You can break down areas from which you are gaining follows, popularity of certain songs, and much more. Once you are using several different platforms to broadcast your music and have online portals, you’ll see just how far things have evolved since LP’s and phone calls were the only way to get your product out.

F14 Life’s Abe readies The Prequel EP

July 29, 2014

by Jon Weirman

Abe 2 682x1024 F14 Lifes Abe readies The Prequel EP
Los Angeles, CA – Tuesday, July 29, 2014 -
Dubbed the “Dynamically Odd Duo” lifestyle music brand F14′s Abe Alem and Wayne Valentine are gearing up for the release of their latest EP, “The Prequel”. The 7-track effort offers an intimate glimpse inside the mind of an eclectic artist from the Midwest influenced by the late 90s through early 2000 hip hop era. “The Prequel” is currently available on Soundcloud at: http://buff.ly/1uA9LH5

Produced by the other half of F14, Wayne Valentine, “The Prequel” features southern influences with a splash of post modern sounds. It is a stark contrast from Abe’s previous project, “February”, which was rooted in the moments of his love life of past and present relationships with women leading up to the point of its release in February 2014, thus the title, “February”.

“In The Prequel, I captured the moments in my life where I had fun,” says Abe. “And the moments where I needed to vent my frustrations and some of my ambitions up to the point of the project’s release.”

Each track has its own special message and produced accordingly by Wayne Valentine, also an emerging musician and audio engineer. In the tracks, “Too Deep”, Abe touches on not needing extra people on the team, and in “Quality,” he reiterates the point. He adds, “By using our intelligence, we compensate for the lack of extra worker bees that other teams have.”

Abe will be performing a few singles from the EP on Friday, August 1st in Kansas City at Power & Light District with Black Oxygen and Strange Music’s Kutt Calhoun. With the new release at their heels and the increasing momentum of F14 Life, Abe and Wayne Valentine are becoming noticeable trendsetters as more fans hop aboard to support their movement. F14 is currently producing various music projects and host frequent episodes of F14 Life – a web series featuring local community happenings.

About Abe
Abe Alem is an artist and electrical engineer who is also a graduated from Kansas State University. Known among his hip-hop peers for his ability to write all his lyrics in his head, he is also the songwriter for artists they work with, the scriptwriter of F14′s motion pictures, executive producer and financial backer of F14. He is the team’s CEO and he wants to inspire people to do the things that they are passionate about by being the best at what he is passionate about. Dream big!

About F14 Life
F14 creates and engineers all of the beats and lyrics for their songs; which allows them to distinguish themselves from others with their own unique, original sound. F14 has also produced music for aspiring artists in the following areas; Oklahoma City, OK, Albuquerque, NM, Baltimore, MD, and the Kansas City area. F14 currently has the following discography; Mixtape F14 (F14′s first collective project), Music & Girls (Valentine’s Day album), Hearts & Sharks (Valentine’s Day album), TOMCAT (retro album), Random Release, February (Valentine’s Day album) and The Prequel.

Official website: www.f14life.com

Twitter: @AbeAlem

Even though summer is a time that a lot of folks like to spend at the beach and having outdoor fun, it is most definitely a time in which consumer activity is way, way up. To make sure that you are properly taking advantage of the upswing, having software that incorporates your marketing, outreach, and project management is really going to make a difference. There are so many software options out there now that it’s hard to decide which ones will really work for your business, and depending on what kind of business you run, there are still a lot of decisions to be made. If you are an office manager, keeping your sales in order and tracking metrics for productivity of your employees is very important; and keeps your day running smoothly and quickly. For others, toning down the aspects of the web that don’t apply to their business, or solving an efficiency problem is their key need for software. One thing is true, there are many more options available than ever; and we’ll highlight a few that will rev up your entrepreneurial spirit to be more productive in the hot days of potential profitability!logo color Summer Software Guide; 5 Products to increase Productivity

OpenOffice.org

Many marketers and techhies yearned for awhile for an open source replacement for Microsoft Office, and with this it was given to them. The only application that is considered an up to date and adequate replacement, it also has new features like PDF exporting, and a slick way to open HTML files. The updated version is muck sleeker and user friendly, and enables you to get tons done with documents whether in the hotel room, airport lounge, or Amtrak station. Still a bit rugged and basic, it’s comparable to other great source goodies like Audacity, in that it delivers while being functional.

visualbee logo pr Summer Software Guide; 5 Products to increase ProductivityVisualBee

Sometimes what it really takes to give you the ultimate in productivity kick is to add a little kinetic java to a PowerPoint presentation. What people really love about this software is the way in which it pulls up images to keywords you type in the text, and the amazing transitions in its arsenal. Creating out of this world info graphics and presentations will make you the star of the conference room, or give you a prime piece of wizardry to link to from YouTube or your home page. It’s a very “smart” platform that suggests elements for your presentation, and can know what will jazz it up perfectly. At many junctions in business, you’re going to get to the point where your visuals will need a lot more oomph than what comes with the basics.

logo sanebox 2013 blue fac53d24ba90186c66c7db3c260609f1 300x47 Summer Software Guide; 5 Products to increase Productivity

Sanebox

Anyone that wants to be productive has at one point wished for their email to follow a few basic rules. Sanebox creates filters to control what you receive in your email, giving you more time to find prospects, work on product design, or manage your most important contacts. It starts at 7 dollars a month, and users rave that filtering messages they wantto scan but not necessarily read is a prime feature. It works for web based email and accounts based on exchange servers, and its first task is setting up a new “Sane later” folder that contains messages from emails you have never corresponded to or from. You can really achieve lightening fast completion of your to do list when the clutter is out of your way!

asana logo 300x83 Summer Software Guide; 5 Products to increase ProductivityAsana

A tool that really is the pinnacle of project management, this application keeps people that are physically apart from each other on the same page. Creating deadlines, priority and labeling options, and prioritizing tasks are all presented in a pretty rich, easy to use format, with incredibly versatile user functions. There are so many different ways to present tasks, have conversations about unfinished ones, and apply tags that it could be considered the management app of choice. Easily saving you from making mistakes if you are in a hurry, it has features that can prevent you from trashing projects and ideas on accident.

dns 300x235 Summer Software Guide; 5 Products to increase ProductivityDragon Naturally Speaking

Truly the top voice and dictation software, this is the real Dragon’s lair for productivity. Said to be the most futuristic seeming, you can use it for very high tech closed captioning, and full system commands. Once you use software like this, you will find it very difficult to ever go back without it, especially if you have had minor arthritis or carpal tunnel issues. The full version comes with a microphone that is needed for use, and in no time you’ll be speaking not only your scripts and documents, but commands for your entire system use and navigation. The tool bar is as minimal as it gets, and allows for open cruising with your voice once you’re up and running. Once Google Glass technology really gets mainstream, something may dwarf this application; but at this time it’s top of the line and a massive productivity booster.

large1 300x300 Singer songwriter Paulleo releases new single with music videoTuesday, July 22, 2014 – Los Angeles – Known for his many accomplishments as an r&b and hip hop music producer, singer-songwriter Paulleo Davis has released the music video for his latest single, ”New Shyt.” The single debuted earlier this month and is currently available on iTunes. The new video is now available on Youtube.

Produced and written by the ASCAP Award-winning Paulleo and Grammy nominated Kief Brown, the new track also features a few bars from popular Atlanta rapper Sy Ari Da Kid. Shot in Paulleo’s extraordinary 15,000sqft home, “New Shyt” evolves around moving on to different things — from the style of music to how you are living; Notably reminding us that its time for something new.

Directed by CROOKED and edited by GT Films, the video captures the multi-talented musician and emerging r&b crooner as he fashions the modern elegance of playing the piano with his beautiful vocals and trendy hook.  In addition to the video, the “New Shyt” has plenty to offer both r&b and hip hop fans alike.

Early in his career Paulleo started his own production company, G.N.M Entertainment, which is an acronym for “The Game Needs Me”! He’s produced tracks for T.I., Young Dro and Yung LA while collaborating with The Beat Billionaires.  He’s performed alongside the late Whitney Houston, Diana Ross and has opened for many hip hop and r&b artists during the course of his career. Paulleo is currently putting the finish touches on his new album and plans to tour later this year in support of his new project.


About Paulleo

Singer, songwriter, musician, producer, and composer. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. At the age of three, Paulleo Davis began singing in church, dancing and pop locking in the streets of Flatbush Ave. At the ripe age of seven, he won his first talent show. It was the glitter glove one and moonwalk on television that summer, inspiring Paulleo to know who and what he wanted to become, an Entertainer.

Emmanuel Lewis, also known in entertainment as “Webster” and childhood friend of Paulleo, afforded him the opportunity to speak to Michael Jackson. As a child, Paulleo often spoke to Michael Jackson about his future in the music business. The wise and prolific, King of pop, Michael Jackson asked Paulleo “What will set you apart from everyone else”. Paulleo thought about all his idols including Michael Jackson, Prince, the elusive Stevie Wonder, John P. Kee, and Eddie Murphy answering the King of Pop with one word “uniqueness”.

Official website: www.darealpaulleo.com

Twitter: @DaRealPaulleo

philospha e1405436528384 1024x928 Chicago’s Philosopha drops All I Know single and music videoTuesday, July 15, 2014 – Los Angeles, CA – Along with some of the notable acts emerging from Chicago’s budding music scene, rapper Philosopha is the latest to make his presence known in the industry. His latest single, “All I Know” is becoming an increasingly popular street anthem centered around Philosopha’s hometown street culture and lifestyle.

Produced by Law Beatz, “All I Know” also features West side of Chicago’s very own, Mikey Dollaz and Castro from King Louie’s Mubu Gang.  Offering their own diverse styles for the track, the collaborative effort from each artist further promotes their unity in creating true-to-life music. Filmed and directed by Open World Films, the official music video for “All I Know” draws you into an organic setting of urban neighborhoods riddled with Philosopha fans and supporters. The video is currently available on Youtube at: youtu.be/8gjibys3Uck and is set to premiere this week on WorldStarHipHop.

Known for his high-energy performances and boisterous vocal delivery, Philosopha is a lyricist in his own right. Gifted with his play on words and undeniably catchy hooks, his creative thoughts towards music have helped him gain a loyal following. One of the first singles from his forthcoming album, “All I Know” serves as a formal prelude to several bounce-worthy hits in the making.

Slated for release later this summer, his new album Too Dope features tracks from a genuine inner city artist who is already touted as the next to bat out of Chicago. Philosopha’s upcoming performances include a round of live concerts in August; schedule to be announced.


About Philosopha

Chicago is a melting pot for musical talent meshing many different styles and influences. Philosopha embodies the pulse of Chicago by delivering the raw energy and passion that made the Windy City famous Worldwide. Philosopha takes fans on an emotional rollercoaster ride with a high octane stage show, party anthems, and club hits that can get any crowd out of their seats. Giving the listener a unique experience, Philosopha draws comparisons to the street savvy of T.I., the Migo’s edginess, and Andre 3000’s creativity. Philosopha has opened up for some of the industry’s most popular names in Hip Hop.

Twitter:  www.twitter.com/philosopha

Instagram:   @philosopha11

5 Effective Music PR Strategies

July 8, 2014

by Jon Weirman

music pr 5 Effective Music PR StrategiesMusic PR is one of most important aspects of releasing a successful album or single. We help independent artists and musicians with PR strategies that will help to further their careers. Determining which Music PR strategies best suit the needs of your career can be challenging due to the growing number of promotional outlets available in today’s digital. Successful PR campaigns however typically build upon some fundamental PR elements that can be established early on in the time-line to ensure success.

Many artists and musicians offering a product or service believe that online marketing is too expensive. Most of the time we can take advantage of the Internet to publicize our brand and music for minimal to no costs.

Below are a few effective Music PR strategies that you can put in place in addition to hiring a professional PR agency to help your campaign:

Music PR Strategies

1. Create, publish and distribute press releases. Get all information and news about your music and products out to relevant media and public. Utilize free online press release distribution services or email them yourself to editors.

2. Create and maintain an informative blog and social media profiles. Start collecting subscriptions and send out newsletters to stay in touch and communicate with your fan base. Having an email database ready to go also helps when it comes to email and viral campaigns.

3. Make sure you have a functional, easy-to-navigate website. Hire a designer to help you with branding (create a great logo, one sheets and banners for social media). Plan to use the logo on promotional shots and promo materials (business cards, flyers, music samples) ready to go.

4. Social networking on and offline can also be a good music pr tactic. Be sure to make the best of your online memberships and event participation by interacting with like-minded individuals who are also interested in creating a mutually beneficial relationship.

5. Create promotional ad banners, brief profiles of your brand or product and post on relevant websites that offer free promotion. You may be asked to place a reciprocal link on your website in exchange for them posting yours however there are free many sites available to advertise and promote.

The biggest advantage anyone can have when promoting his or her brand is relevance. A short PR campaign may be enough to build an initial response and interest but focusing on long-term exposure for your brand as a musician is key. Issuing only one press release or launching one ad campaign is not enough to build a buzz.

Effective Music PR should be done in doses. The use of various strategies applied on a more frequent basis proves to be more effective. Meaning the more strategies you use on a long-term basis are more likely to achieve better results during the course of the PR campaign.

Learn more about our Music PR services and give us a call to discuss your needs today: (310) 295-4150.

 

marketing resources 7 Helpful Online Marketing Resources for New BusinessesWhen you are first starting a brand, a venture, an entity, or even a website, you can really scramble for finding information, and even hire out consultants right away that may not be needed. In all stages of the marketing game, just finding what you need online is a tremendous help. Even though it may take lots of time, reading about others’ experiences, demographics, and past attempts at their businesses will be a massive help to you. There are many networks for entrepreneurs, financing resources, and invaluable industry reports that can help. When you really sit down and pour over a lot of this, it may make your climb to success seem more daunting, but if you persevere for long enough, you can absolutely find the data that could be most of an asset to your project. From that point on after utilizing these resources, you just have to put the pieces together and figure out what to do with your product to push it to the top and keep it competitive.

1. American Marketing Association

Chock full of great information like a resource directory, podcasts, updates on the AMA’s yearly conference, insight from gurus such as Deanie Elsner of Kraft Foods, and tons of insight on metrics are just the beginning. This resource is one true powerhouse that is the starting point for many journeys to successful branding and product launches. An endless supply of information here that is as useful as it gets in terms of practicality and functionality.

2. The National Retail Federation

One of the ultimate goals of many marketers is to have their products poised on retail shelves, so researching the viability of the options out there and trends nationwide is incredibly valuable. Articles on other genres like small business, testimonials of folks like software engineers, and other resources such as buying guides and safety issues are great features of the NRF. When you are figuring out which route to take with a product and branding, watching trends in the retail world are always going to help you. This is one large resource that will help any marketer along their path to success.

3. US Small Business Administration

A huge and very valuable resource that details loans and grants, managing a business from a government standpoint, identifying industry codes, disaster offices, healthcare and running a business, this resource definitely rocks. It has a much more official tone and candor, but can help with planning, implementation, and provides the utmost in help for getting your business launched. Official can sometimes be the way to go for information, and this is a stellar resource.

4. Inc Magazine

With current information on the human transaction, questions to ask yourself about your marketing tactics, having willpower during your task, and managing millennials, this online hub is a great place to get information regarding your future dominance and edge. With a great new feature asking if you are embracing failure too much, features asking questions such as job seekers wondering why they even went to college, and how a small town manufacturer predicts hits with Facebook, this is an epic resource for all marketers. With another current article titled “3 ways to tell if your idea is worth pursuing”, this hub is also invaluable as far as venture capitalists, other entrepreneurs, and the newly started up marketer are concerned.

5. Hubspot

With subcategories of sales, insiders, great current articles on the climate and what you are up against, Hubspot is a genius content mill started by MIT geniuses and is an advocate overall for the inbound marketing blueprint to success. Originally raising more than 100 million dollars in funding, it is a one stop and markets software as a service ingeniously. Very effectively using the mantra of “publish your way in”, and their social media scientist was even given a Guinness World Record Award for holding the largest online marketing seminar. A trusty resource that uses publishes a very useful “State of the Twittersphere” report annually, it’s not one to miss, and one to frequent for current knowledge.

6. ReadWrite

One of the best tech sites in the world, this provides how tos on cloud computing, the in’s and outs of outsourcing, and tips on Amazon. Powerful internet portals are ready for you to sell and get your product out there in a major way, and portals like ReadWrite will show you the nitty gritty in how everything links up globally in marketing, interaction with banks and software, and negotiating cloud storage. When everything in the global commerce realm is said and done, you really need a resource like ReadWrite to show you where to put your technical mojo in practice.

7. Advertising Age

The huge marketing dynamo that began in 1930, this weekly print is a pillar of the advertising community to say the least. With tons of important information about marketing, it has informative podcasts such as “Why it Matters” and delves into prime time ratings, true SEO and online marketing, and direct response. One of the true go to’s for advertising information on a periodical basis, the current issue explores the future of TV, creative campaigns, and valuable outsourcing questions to ask any marketer.

 

 

Akin e1402673034504 Akin releases “Harmony” single and music video from True Stories albumTuesday, July 1, 2014 – Los Angeles – Award-winning artist and music producer Akin has dropped the second single from his newly released True Stories album. “Harmony” is a song written to help stop the spread of violence, encourage unity and world peace. The African-Canadian musician is passionate about writing songs that can make a difference and is donating 50% of the song’s proceeds to UNICEF Canada to support their initiatives to fight poverty. “Harmony” is now available on iTunes.

Produced by Stephen Hunte for Oasis Music Group, “Harmony” has received several positive reviews mainly noting Akin’s vocals, song-writing ability and the song’s overall contemporary reggae feel. In addition to the live acoustic guitar, the uplifting lyrical content of “Harmony” also transitioned well into the music video. Directed by Danny Snow and produced by Juan Mendez for Sunset 6 Productions, Harmony was shot in Kensington Market in Toronto. To check out the music video, visit: http://bit.ly/1x7cJ3q

“The main purpose behind the music and the video is to encourage a common ground between different yet equal voices that exist within our society that we might disagree but still respect one another thus some will sing the melody while others sing the harmony,” says Akin.

Honored at the 2012 CAC (Canadian African Caribbean) Unsung Hero’s Award for his contribution to ‘Connect2End Violence’; An initiative by the Peel Regional police of Canada to help eradicate gun violence in the greater Toronto area, Akin was also one of the nominees for this year’s Black Canadian Awards.

True Stories is a 10-track album in which Akin sings about real life issues that everyone can relate to: world issues, family issues, and so on, all in the context of his values and his personal experiences. Mixing r&b, hip-hop and reggae with his African roots, Akin brings a unique sound and voice. In addition to the new album, Akin will be performing at The Brampton Multicultural Festival on July 11, 12 and 13, 2014 in Brampton Ontario; Show times are available on his Tours page via Facebook/AkinBusari.

About Akin
The African-Canadian award winning artist and music producer “Akin” pushes the boundaries of music, mixing R&B, Hip-Hop and Reggae with his African roots. Akin is a one-of-a-kind musician, whose diverse background has helped him perfect an original voice that parallels his unique sound. He is the 2009 Toronto Exclusive Magazine Awards winner for two of his songs in “True Stories” & “The Way You Are” and also the 2010 winner for “Babylon Soldier”.

Official website: www.akinmusic.com

 

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5 Must Do’s for Effective Brand building

June 25, 2014

by Jon Weirman

brand building 5 Must Do’s for Effective Brand buildingThe mixture of the absolute best marketing wisdom and having an incredibly cool product are all part of the perfect plan to get your new brand’s name out there and flourish. Having a list of some good things you can do to build your brand will be an iconic first step to organizing your path, and successfully getting the word out. One of the most exciting stages of any brand creation is during growing pains, where so many organic and keen users have your message and are spreading it among their friends and colleagues. There really is nothing as wonderful as answering a bunch of inquiries, fulfilling and processing orders, or gaining feedback on how to better your brand. Whether it’s shirts, electronics, music or consulting, you will be sure to gain from following these tips on building your brand.

1. Draw Attention to your Quirks

From cartoon characters to offbeat cereal brands, audiences love things about your brand that are a slightly different flavor then others. This is so essential in bringing your brand some really authentic style that it can take a long time to really develop the right ideas to convey. Utilizing resources like white board videos, offbeat music, and genuinely nearly nerdy nuances about your product will always pull viewers in; it’s simply a formula that sometimes needs applied for awhile and then not at all. The movement to be odd took place long ago and is gaining steam.

2. Getting volunteers to spread your Content

This does not always mean that the quintessential tried and true “Street Team” mentality, or luring intern-esque folks to do everything for you. While these steps are great to generate branding prowess as well, it can be excellent to reach across all spheres of the social media landscape to find people who rabidly and truly want to spread your brand’s image and features. Once you make some key contacts that really seem interested in your brand and your future, you may want to keep that list closer than ever and offer all sorts of perks. Even if it is something as small as event updates and private conversations with top followers, you can add something to your brand by engaging the most loyal of your supporters in a more frequent basis.

3. Upsell your audience based on what’s trending for them

Social media sites like Pinterest give brand marketers an opportunity to use applications that map out what is most popular and then suggest to those users specifically what other products may interest them. This can be rewarding when you successfully partner up with similar brands that will let you display pay per click advertising or banners, and beyond. When you are in the process of building a new brand now, you can sometimes take a chance on advertising that funnels out your message to a very wide variety of demographics, Facebook started the trend of being able to market more specifically, and other social media sites are now really expanding the envelope. Digital advertising will in the future be even more important for “Branding to the skies”, or quick results.

4. The importance of looking fresh

This science is not just updating frequently, conveying the perfect message, or having sleek infographics, but appearing as if you are constantly evolving. Once you master this element, it is a bit of luck with a perfectly focused message. Consumers will be eager to buy your brand and spread the word about it if you not only look current in appearance and swagger, but message. The balance of incorporating current events and desires of your customer base to see your expertise will really reward you. It is not just the controversial events around us that need commenting on, but the family friendly and uplifting ones as well. If you can make the darkness of the world disappear and breathe true light into your product, you’ll need sturdy order taking personnel to fulfill the demand online.

5. Be Careful with your Publicity Choices

These days there are third party vendors, one hit online subscribing services, and bloggers that may offer to feature you, and many of them are great. These kinds of opportunities are good for you because it will always spread the word around the web. There is such a thing for your branding strategy as too much publicity, and it’s a hard crafted art perfecting this curve. Niche bloggers that have a lot to say about why they really love your service are going to be much better than those who simply have all genres of publicity on their page. Some of the quietest WordPress bloggers really have quite a following, and can get the organic ball really rolling for your brand. Part of a perfect branding strategy is effectively using all of the publicity available to you, and the calmer you are about what you have to offer, the more genuine interest you will generate. While there is so much trial and error in this process, it is one that is high caliber in reward: your brand being the most sought after on the global digital block.

How to Prep for the Launch of a New Product

June 18, 2014

by Jon Weirman

launch a product How to Prep for the Launch of a New ProductThere are many things that you need to do to get audiences ready, plan for your launch, and make sure that the launch of your product goes smoothly. Getting true, worthy, organic attention has gotten a bit more difficult, as the pace of news has picked up, and getting national recognition is more trying than it used to be. There are many good things about the changing digital landscape. It may seem daunting enough to prep for the launch of a new product that it could dampen your spirits, but rest assured that the prep work needed will be well worth it; creating buzz about a brand new product can exponentially help the quarter of sales growth, and really let you hit the ground running when you need it most.


Making sure you begin early enough

The idea of having “influencers”, or users that can help get the word out about your product the most, is now not only widespread, but nearly imperative. Once you reach these folks with your product before the launch, they can use it, and hopefully write about it. It’s not just bloggers that can help you, but they are among the most valuable. If what you are offering is food, they can spread the positive word about it after trying it. Clothing, music, and travel products can be covered in great ways by bloggers as well, especially those who review with great flair and are known to really praise. There is a great tool called Topsy that goes through past tweets and finds things with a high number of shares. You can use widgets/tools such as this to find influencers, get their URL or email address, and contact them. Many will be interested in using your product to find out how great it is and telling others about it on the web.


Come up with something out of left field

When the pre launch period is underway, having a video that is very comical, or conveying very abstract and funky persona can throw you immediately in the changing eye of viewers and potential customers. Taking a different turn quickly with an infographic seeming otherwise strange, taglines that stray from the subject, and funny things happening are always a plus. There are certain demographics that are ultimately some of the best buyers ever who will instantly take notice with this strategy. Some claim it can be risky because knowing right when to pull it out of the bag is tricky, but a general rule of the final stretch can work. For instance, if your product is one in the financial realm, and all previous pitch and concept has been about IRA’s and mortgage fears, throwing in a kink that makes fun of itself or the whole financial system in general could be a welcome break from the norm. Think about the true fringe that is rabid in buying habits, zombie trends, etc.


Transferring vital information to Sales

It does not matter if it is face to face, on the phone, or with any other medium of reaching out, the developers have to fully engage and educate the individuals on the sales force. This really goes way beyond just brand recognition and fully understanding the origins and profit model development, it goes into real company culture issues. There are so many ways to torture yourself as a marketer and worry during these processes, it’s bound to happen. It is going to always be true that presentations, personal accounts, and good old fashioned training will help build the sales force, but nothing like really feeling the flow of culture from the business. If you are a backpacking company, political organization, or charity, this could be easy, but in other circumstances, more difficult. If your focus is final success of a brand like a high tech gadget or application, and you really nail your mission statement and branding hard in training, your sales force will undertake the duties greatly. When a sales person learns enough about the brand before the launch to really be eager about the brand’s potential, it will come across much better than the sheer hunger of the close. The prep stages before a product’s launch can be the most important, and following a few helpful pointers will push your new launch in perfect direction.

that303white 300x300 Denver Music Label C.O.ID debut “That 303” single and music videoTuesday, June 17, 2014 – Los Angeles, CA – Denver based music label C.O.ID (COLLECTIVID) has released the first single and music video from its debut album project Code Red featuring emerging Colorado hip hop artists Black Prez and H*Wood; Their first collaborative effort “That 303” pays homage to their hometown city of Denver. The new track is now available on iTunes.

Produced by DJ Five8 and written by H*Wood and Black Prez “That 303” boasts of the Mile High City perfectly blending hip hop and electronic music. Mixed and mastered at After Master Studio in Hollywood, the track is accompanied by an official music video that will premiere on Black Prez YouTube Channel. Shot and edited by Treble Child Media in Colorado, the uniquely fun video highlights some of the city’s main attractions while showcasing the free-spirited influence of both Black Prez and H*Wood.

“Embodied with Colorado’s hometown culture and injected with mainstream sound,
“That 303″ has international appeal with creative local edge,” says Code Red executive producer Taver Tor.

Both increasingly popular artists within the Colorado music scene, Black Prez and H*Wood have continued to turn heads. Bringing their own versatile contributions to the table, Black Prez is known for his clever lyrics and witty punch lines; While H*Wood offers grit and inspiration with a confident but humble delivery. Between the duo, they have managed to garner an impressive audience of fans and supporters and have shared the stage alongside such acts as Wiz Khalifa, Big Sean, E40, New Boyz, Young Buck, Talib Kweli, and Warren G to name a few.

About C.O.ID (CollectivID)

As they gear up for the official release of their new single “That 303″, Denver area rappers H*Wood and Black Prez are determined to turn heads with their uniquely combined lyrical styles. Fused with elements of EDM and live band, the two offer an entirely youthful and refreshing approach to the new era of Hip Hop.

Official website: www.coderedalbum.com

 

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social media audience 1024x432 6 Ways to get your Social Media Audience to promote your ProductOnce you design and implement a killer product, there are many hurdles you have to jump through as far as getting people to know about it. From a professional marketer’s standpoint, there is nothing like watching the wheels of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram spin for you while you are spending hours truly building your business.  Once someone comments on a photo, even likes it, or better yet retweets it and re posts it, fresh users get to see your product, and view it for the first time. When you first begin, your content may be just status updates and pictures of the product around the warehouse and in use, but eventually you can get your social media audience to spread the good word about your wares. Their opinions, good reviews, and spreading the word will help by leaps and bounds, much more so then trying to win over every single person immediately with your content. Here are some pointers on getting your audience to promote your product:


1. Don’t Just tell your audience what you want them to know

One of the best ways to truly use social media as a tool is to get your audience engaged, and not just tweet or post updates about your product. It’s very difficult to master, but many people do it wrong in the beginning. A lot of people that see your posts will enjoy them more if you include them, ask questions, and for their input. Some of the most successful campaigns out there encourage users to show themselves with your brand, and talking to your users in a conversational manner. There are very successful brands that still just toot their own horn/achievements all the time, but going beyond the broadcast about you and engaging them is an art form that is very rewarding.


2. Make sure you are targeting the right social media sites

While it is true that most of your customers are probably on Facebook and Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest absolutely should not be ignored! In essence, just putting up a great photo on either of these two other social media sites literally is getting your audience to promote for you. Especially in the realm of clothing and sportswear, having a social media user repost or pin a photo starts the ball rolling to other users, and quick. Surf, skate, and music companies have also had wide success on Instagram, all the while linking back to Facebook and Twitter feeds simultaneously.


3. Using tones to encourage promotion in a video

Many different strategies work these days for YouTube or Vimeo, and they all can get people promoting your product for you in no time. The most common is to encourage users to post videos of themselves using the product, but you can go even deeper into strategy here. Entities like amusement parks and adventure destinations have an advantage here, because they show a collective enthusiasm about being there that can automatically have users promoting the product or brand. If you can put elements in a video that will really have people wondering where you thought up the idea for your product AND wanting to tell everyone about it quickly, you could even have people competing to promote your product!


4. Finding healthy ideas to include

An area these days that will always acquire rabid promotion by users of your product is health benefits. Of course weight loss, better appearance and youthfulness have been staples of marketing for years, but the new raw data can really sell. One stellar way to get users to promote your product for you is by showing results. This can take much research, digital photos, and adding friends. One key bullet point here is when you really formulate what benefit you are offering, and tie in to stats about people using your product, make sure you have some followers! Tweeting, pinning, or posting updates about your key health benefit needs to occur once you have followers in the tens of thousands or more globally.


5. Maximizing images to avoid mistakes

The best result of all in sharing photos happens when someone sees it and gets so curious they want to click your landing page or social media starting point immediately. When this happens, you may have instant revenue, an instant loyal follower, and someone who will promote your product for sure on a regular basis. Don’t make the mistake of having a hyperlink not work, or be so hasty that you show a webpage still under construction.


6. Email marketing as a stepping stone to retain interest

Many will argue that this tactic is futile, but what needs to be realized is that this keeps interest alive after the potential customer has expressed interest and wanted to be contacted again. One time in the current climate that this can really help is the holidays; music brands, guitar strings, and culinary aficionados perk up and listen when it comes to gifts and that season. Also, a quarterly or monthly reminder that you are alive, kicking, touring, speaking, writing, or producing other goods can get a long lost customer back into your path, and ultimately sharing your brand with others across their favorite platforms.

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