THE DIRECTOR'S PAGE

From time to time, this page will feature an article from Jimi on various topics, usually about the Network, but sometimes we may just let him ramble a bit! Take the time to read this, enjoy, comment, etc. - Thomas, webmaster

MySpace Tips, by Jimi Yamagishi

You’ve probably heard of Myspace.com. It’s a sponsor-driven (free) virtual community.

Some have just written it off as a glorified dating service, but if you work it right, it can be the most valuable online tool in your bag!

Okay, you have a website. Why do you need Myspace? (or another virtual community group like Tribe, Insider etc.)

One reason that helps is 'cuz people search YOU out by genre & stuff 'cuz they wanna hear new music, or they just want to be sociable & meet new people.

Unlike your website where you have to tell folks about it, there are people ALREADY LOOKING FOR YOU HERE, they just don't know it yet. Try the music search engine, pretending you're a fan, & see how much great music comes up, & how many artists you find in your genre …with fans to grab. Heck, you’ll probably add a few friends yourself doing this.
If you look @ my music page, (www.myspace.com/mtnbch) you'll see I have quite a few more “plays” than I have friends. That's 'cuz people have dropped by to listen, but not always liked it enough to add me as a friend. The ones that did are the non-musicians on that friends list. Honest, I have no idea how they found me other than that.

If you setup a myspace account but it isn’t a music one, and want to convert it, here's the note from Tom, Myspace’s webmaster:


if you want to convert your profile to a band, go here: http://www.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=bandprofile.convert
please note: your band will not appear in the listings until you 1) upload at least 1 song, and 2) pick the GENRE of your music under the basic info tab on the edit profile page


Or, you can do what I did, (2 pages) so you have room for more pics & comments, & keep your "personal life" slightly distanced from your music.
Just click "artist signup" on the right side of any music page’s red bar & start another account.

If you already have a myspace account, but don’t know where to start, try this:

Go to the people you already know are there, & use the “search” to find others too.

THEN:

STEAL THEIR FRIENDS & FANS!
:)

For example, you know I network like crazy & have lots of friends.

If YOUR music is similar to what I do, (but MUCH better), MY friends will LOVE YOUR STUFF!

Remember, my friends also have other musicians on their friends lists that you can check profiles out on & listen to, & you can grab their fans & friends too.

Since their location is also shown, you can work that into the picture, say “hey, wanna share a gig, where’s a cool venue in your town,” etc....& On myspace, it's EXPECTED. And, it's highly desirable. It’s not actually “stealing friends”, it’s about creating a network of new friends. You can be sure your friends will also wind up on those other artist’s lists. A bassist on my friends page has over TWENTY THOUSAND friends. (Nate Kizerian) Talk about an untapped resource! Sure, he's got lots of bass fans. But he also has plenty of general music fans, & guitar players that want to play with him, & THEIR fans.

Add at least 10 friends a day & you should see an IMMEDIATE response.
Remember, It’s important to be personable, so click “add friend” first, then go “back to profile”, & send a message (cut & pasted) something like this:

Hi (name)!
I noticed we have a few friends in common, & you're (a singer/songwriter/on the circuit in LA) too.
I've played (local venue) a couple of times, I'm (sure/hope) I'll see you there sometime!
You're welcome to check out my music, & hopefully I'll get to meet you in person soon!
All the best-
(your name)

Simple. Check a few profiles, listen to a few tunes, check out the "landscape" (yeah, hot lookin’ fans are nice to have) & do the add-cut-paste thing about 10 times a day & you're set.

I have about 350 friends on myspace. Please steal them. They need to hear better music than what I have to offer.

It’s okay, I know they’ll still support me too, ‘cuz they’re my FRIENDS.
Once you have a hundred friends or so, use the bulletin feature. It sends out to ALL your friends.

Sending general/nonregional gigposts isn't a bad thing. I appreciate hearing how my friends are doing & where they're playing 'cuz I can talk about their travels later. I can ask how the food was, where they stayed, who they met. Become a virtual tourist. Most people LOVE that.

That's why "survivor" is so successful. And, if a good fan is on a midwest vacation & you're playing in the neighborhood, how cool is it for them to drag their friends to a show in Chicago, to see their
"good-friend-nationally-famous-touring-artist" right in their friend’s own backyard?

There is also an EVENT feature, where you can grab people off your friend list for specific gigs & events & send an invite, which works much like BCC & evite at once.

Finally, there are GROUPS.

There are almost a quarter million of ‘em in MUSIC alone.

Many are very specific, such as our own SongNet group.

Groups can be joined with a click, & you can post bulletins & gig notices there, much like the BBS systems of JPF & other “old school” sites. There are guitar groups, music by genre groups, fanclub groups, gear groups, club groups, radio station groups & more. Check your friend’s groups & you’re sure to find some useful ones. At the very least, check out ours & make a few friends!

And of course, there are yet MORE people to meet, check out & add to your personal lists, & other ways to find ‘em.

Oh yeah, if you also have an “official” site, what better way to drive up the traffic!?

Hope we made sense here. If you try doing the myspace thing as suggested & you see it work, let us know!

- Jimi