Showing posts with label Music Marketing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Music Marketing. Show all posts

Friday, October 9, 2020

How to Make Your Own Online Videos (in 30 Minutes or Less)

How to Make Your Own Online Videos (in 30 Minutes or Less)


When it comes to making videos to promote your business—to engage your audience, to showcase your products—professional quality usually demands professional prices.

But sometimes you don’t need Hollywood production values in your videos. Sometimes you just need good videos that you can turn around fast and for free (or at least fairly cheap).

If you haven't thought about incorporating video into your marketing strategy, you should consider it—video is an incredibly versatile format after all:

  • Videos can live in several places: The same video can potentially be used on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, SnapChat, Tumblr, Reddit, embedded on your website/blog, etc.
  • Videos make for eye-catching social media posts/ads: Audiences can read, watch, and listen, so video can engage them in a different way than static imagery. Plus, videos play automatically on some channels like Facebook.
  • Videos can be repurposed into new videos and from other content formats: Video content can be clipped down, expanded upon, or converted into new videos or GIFs. You can also take infographics, blog posts, photos, and other types of content, and turn them into videos.

Not only that, but video's share of total bandwidth is predicated to grow to encompass more than 80 percent of all consumer internet traffic by 2020, making it the content format of the future. 

The best part is that just because you don’t have the budget, doesn’t mean you can’t reap the benefits of video content.

How to make videos (without hiring a professional)

While it definitely helps, you don’t necessarily need expensive equipment or even your own original footage to produce videos.

All you need is a concept in mind and an idea of what you want to use the video for. 

From there, it's a matter of:

  1. Creating a rough storyboard of how you plan for it to flow and writing a script if you need one.
  2. Finding or creating the footage or audio you need.
  3. Editing it together in one of the many apps in this post, depending on your needs.
  4. Packaging it up and uploading it as a social media post, ad, YouTube video, etc.

Where to look for free stock footage and music

When you think about it, you don't really need a camera to make your own videos. 

You can repurpose existing photography, get what you need from stock footage sites, and even shoot your own footage with your phone if you really need to.

There’s a lot of places you can look for great free stock footage, fitting music and cool sound effects.

Depending on how the content is licensed, however, you might need to credit the creator of the footage you borrow or pay to use it for commercial purposes. For details on how and when to do this, check out the Creative Commons best practices for attribution and be sure to take a closer look at the conditions for use on each of the following sites.

Free stock videos

  • Videvo: Completely free high quality HD footage and motion graphics.  
  • Pexels: Free photos and videos from around the world. 
  • Distil: 10 new high quality videos for commercial use every 10 days, delivered to your inbox.
  • Pixabay: Tons of vibrant videos, photos, and animations you can use.

Public domain (not subject to copyright)

  • Pond5: Home to lots of historic footage. 
  • Footage of games, films, historic moments, etc. 
  • NASA: Footage and photos of space.
  • Critical Past: Vintage videos.

Free music and audio

Paid stock music and footage

While you do have to pay, Audio Jungle and Video Hive are popular places to find sounds, music, video effects and stock footage to use and sample. They also offer free music, video templates, and more every month if you subscribe.

Free tools to help You make your own videos

While you can record video natively in most video hosting platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, there are plenty of good video editing apps for producing quick, polished videos for different occasions and in a short span of time.

I highly recommended giving the following tools a try, many of which are free and some of which come with their own library of stock imagery and other assets for you to use. 

Quik by Go Pro: Produce simple product videos

Go Pro is famous as a camera company for helping people capture awe-inspiring moments in action.

Quik is a video editing app by them that lets you easily import and rearrange images and footage, adding text and music as you like.

While it's meant for weaving together memories from your last vacation, it's also a great way to create simple product videos, especially if all you have is product photos.

With this app, you can create an engaging slideshow or a short video in no time at all.

how to make videos for free

Lumen 5Convert articles into videos

You’ve probably seen videos on social media that are simple slides of images or short clips that explain an idea or tell a story.

Did you know you could easily make them yourself with a free tool called Lumen 5?

Simply import an existing article, pick the parts of the text you want to include, edit it down so it flows nicely, choose your music, and you've got yourself a video. You can even start from scratch.

You can even brand these videos and add a call to action at the end to direct viewers to take whatever next step you'd like them to.

Here's a video I made out of a post I wrote about the creative process (it took me roughly 10 minutes to create and 15 minutes to render):

Teleprompter Video Creator: No more memorizing your lines

I don’t know about you, but I have a pretty bad memory. That's what makes this Teleprompter app by BigVu so great.

It basically combines a teleprompter and a camera into one app. You just paste in your script, and it lets you read as you record to make your videos look natural without having to prepare too much in advance. 

If you've ever wanted to start vlogging or put on a live stream, but worry about tripping on your words, this is for you.

how to make videos 

Giphy: Turn your videos into GIFs

GIFs are (arguably) just videos without sound. And with Giphy you can either convert your existing videos into GIFs or edit/caption existing GIFs. 

Giphy is also a great place to find cinemagraphs, which are essentially photos with a single isolated element in motion.

You should take advantage of the fact that GIFs loop endlessly and can be used to create engaging memes to complement your social media strategy. 

Resolve: Free desktop video editing software

While you can always use iMovie or Windows Movie Maker for editing, Da Vinci Resolve by Black Magic is a free video editing software that comes with the kind of professional features that let you do color corrections, remove objects, stitch together footage, and more.

It will take some time to learn if you're new to video editing, but it's one of the best free solutions out there for editing professional looking videos.

how to edit videos

Power Director: A robust video editor for your phone

If you'd like to shoot and edit videos all on your phone, Power Director is an app that comes with a lot of the useful features.

The advantage of a mobile video editor like this is that you can record new footage and audio straight from your phone and directly import it into your work in your progress, making it easy to do things like voiceovers.

While this is an Android app, iPhone users can use the iMovie app or Splice by Go Pro as an alternative.

how to edit videos

Tips for making engaging videos

The assets and tools above make videos easier to create, but there's a lot more to know about using these videos effectively in your marketing.

For one, videos that provoke an emotional reaction tend to perform better and have more viral potential, especially on Facebook. Since social videos are often watched with the sound off, captions also go a long way in increasing viewership.

Thumbnails also matter a lot as they are essentially the "headline" of your video that entices people to watch. Use Canva to easily create eye-catching thumbnails for your videos if you're going to upload your videos to YouTube or another platform that pits you against other videos. 

Finally, since it's not just how you create the videos but how you upload them too, you should be wary of the specifications for each channel.

If you're going to embed your videos on your blog or website, make sure they're responsive on mobile. If you're struggling to make that work, you can use the Embed Responsively tool to fix the embed code for you.

Do-it-yourself video

Whether you’re making videos or another type of content, quality is inevitably how you compete. But it doesn’t necessarily have to cost you a lot.

Entrepreneurs and creators can always make up for what they lack in resources with resourcefulness.

So if you have a hunch that videos can take your marketing to the next level, don't let the perceived costs and amount of effort stop you. You can get started for free using these resources and work your way up from there.

Top 10 Ways Artists Make Money

Top 10 Ways Artists Make Money


How do you make money as an artist? Many people who aren’t artists wonder this, and many seasoned artists wonder the same thing!

Of course artists know that to make money, you must sell work. But there are other methods of making money that you may not be aware of.

Here are the top 10 ways artists can make money. Each have a short description and a link to an article full of expert advice.

1. Commercial Galleries

Commercial galleries typically sell artists’ works at a commission. The typical commission that galleries take is somewhere between 40% and 50% of the sale of the work. This is determined by the contract. Whether you submit your work for sale by consignment or enter into an ongoing relationship with a gallery, the parameters should all be written down in a contract.

2. Nonprofit Galleries 

Nonprofit galleries typically show work that is young, edgier, and cutting edge. Depending on the gallery, they will take a commission – usually not more than 30%. Nonprofit galleries typically do not “represent” artists or enter into contractual relationships with them.

3. Co-Op Galleries

A co-op gallery  usually involves a group of artists who work together to show their work, promote the gallery, and sometimes offer community art classes or workshops. Some will even have studio space available for their members to create artwork on site.

4.  Out of Studio

Many artists sell their work out of their studio by arranged visits oropen studios arranged with other artists. If you are represented by a gallery, that agreement may extend to “studio sales” or all sales of your work. If you do not have a formal relationship with a gallery, you obviously retain 100% of the sale.

5. Online

More artists are selling their work online, this is a great way for artists to make money! Any commission from an online website would be determined by the terms of use contract that you agreed to. Different sites charge a different percentage of a commission. Anywhere between 1-5% is normal; 10% is on the high end.

6. Private Commissions

Artists will do work on a commission basis to make money. If collectors want a personalized work of art like a portrait, they will commission an artist. The artist sets the price and usually asks for a percentage of the price up front.

If you have a formal relationship with a gallery, they will likely take a cut of any commissioned work that they bring to you. Terms of commissions will be stated in your contract. 

Public Commissions: Artists are commissioned for public art usually in connection with a new building or construction project. Many states have a law that specifies that 1% of the total building cost go to art for the building. Usually state and city art groups have the latest information of what program is currently accepting applications.

There are also private funds for public art like The Public Art Fund and Percent for Art. When artists get a public work commission, they typically get 20% of the total cost of the project as an artist’s fee.

7. Grants

There are many grants for artists. They are very competitive to get, but as one mentor of mine advised me, “Don’t give up until you have applied ten times.” Grants vary in how much money they award. Some grants are privately funded and some are publicly funded. Some are given for a specific project that you propose and some are given outright for the work that you do.

8. Residencies

There are many residencies for artist to get “away from the world” and focus on their work. The length of the residency varies and the amount of money granted to the artist varies too. Some residencies actually charge money. But many will cover at least some if not all costs. You must apply for these residencies and have a flexible work schedule to go.

Many times the most valuable asset of a residency is not the money granted, but the professional network an artist forms while there. The network may include other artists, guests, curators, and other influential people in the art word.

9. Museums and Art Centers

Artists generally don’t see a cent from exhibits in a museum. In some cases, however, they do make money.  Installation artists are typically given an artist fee for creating a temporary installation. The fee can be set by you or the museum. Find other ways that museums can help an artist’s career and hear what a curator has to say about the business of museums.

10. Teaching / Guest Artist Programs

One of the most popular ways to make money as an artist is to teach. Teaching opportunities at a college level are competitive, but don’t overlook guest artist programs. There may be ways to get a teaching job that you have not thought of.

How do YOU sell your work? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

How to Make Money with Music: 6 Reliable Ways for Musicians to Monetize

How to Make Money with Music: 6 Reliable Ways for Musicians to Monetize


If you love making music, it’s one of the most fulfilling ways to earn a living. Whether it’s your full-time job or a lucrative side-gig, selling music is a creative way to make money doing something you love.

But what if the money’s not there? Selling your music doesn’t come with any guarantees. For a lot of musicians, the siren song of a profitable music career just isn’t worth the risk.

So how do you reduce that risk? Or even eliminate it altogether?

Making money from music isn’t easy, but it’s not impossible. By setting up diversified, automated revenue streams⁠, musicians in 2020 are able to reduce the risk and take a chance on their dream career.

Wondering what that entails? You’ve come to the right place.

How to make money with music

  1. Earn streaming royalties through digital distribution
  2. Make money playing gigs
  3. Sell band merchandise online
  4. Collaborate with brands and other musicians
  5. Sell beats and samples
  6. Teach music classes and sell lessons

In the early stages of your music career, it’s crucial to have multiple revenue streams. Without the backing of a major record label, any single stream is unlikely to generate enough income for you to earn a living. 

But operating together, a number of (mostly) automated revenue streams can help you mitigate risk and focus on making music, rather than selling it. 

Let’s go over the most common revenue streams artists use to monetize their music:

1. Earn streaming royalties through digital distribution

It’s important here to understand the difference between a streaming service and a distribution network: 

  • A streaming service is a platform people use to listen to music. The most popular are Spotify and Apple Music. 
  • A distribution network distributes and collects royalties from those streaming services. 

Musicians don’t really have a choice when it comes to streaming services. Not even the biggest artists in the world are protected from backlash when removing their music from popular streaming platforms. 

It’s important that you stream your work on Spotify and Apple Music, the two largest, most globally available services. Other popular streaming services include Google Play, Amazon Music, and YouTube Music—plus genre-specific streaming services like BeatPort and JunoDownload, both of which cater to electronic music producers and fans.

How to find and select the right distribution network

Most distribution networks are able to send your music to all major streaming platforms, so this isn’t a major concern. However, there are significant differences in what services distribution networks offer, their pricing, and their royalty payments that are important to consider when you’re looking for your distribution service. 

Let's go over some of the more common distribution networks.

1. Landr

Price: Plans start at $4/month

Pros: Provides access to all major streaming services and pays 100% of streaming royalties to the artist, making it one of the less expensive options. 

Cons: Intrusive ads for Landr’s flagship product—its mastering software—can become irritating, especially if you’re an experienced producer and have no use for the product.   

2. TuneCore

Price: Plans start at $9.99/year for each single

Pros: Includes a suite of tools to help artists prepare, promote, and sell their music. Also pays 100% of streaming royalties to the artist.

Cons: Confusing pricing structure. Since you’re charged on a per-song, per-year basis, there’s a higher risk of paying out more than you take in.

3. CD Baby

Price: Plans start at $9.95 for one single

Pros: Includes CD and vinyl distribution, allowing you to easily sell physical copies of your music alongside digital downloads, as well as access to, a music marketing platform.

Cons: Pays a lower percentage of streaming royalties—91%—to the artist than other services.

4. Amuse

Price: Free

Pros: Most affordable. Very easy to use, and great for smaller artists. Amuse also doubles as a record label, offering a chance of being discovered. Pays 100% of streaming royalties to the artist.

Cons: Only works via a mobile app with no desktop version. Features are very limited compared to other services.

amuse screen-shot
Courtesy of Amuse

2. Make money playing gigs

Playing live is one of the most profitable ways for musicians to make money. While the internet has made it possible to live stream music performances, there’s nothing that quite matches seeing one of your favorite artists perform in person.


How to find paid gigs for musicians

Playing live is not only a good way to generate income, but also one of the best ways to build an audience. Gig fans always win out over social media fans in terms of how valuable they are to your music career, since they’ve proven themselves willing to pay money to watch live music. 

Assuming you haven’t bought a tour bus yet, you’ll need to find good local venues to play if you want to build an audience of real live music fans. One way of doing this is through gig-booking apps and websites like ReverbNation Gig Finder.

Gig-booking sites and platforms are more accessible, which means many of the shows tend to be corporate events targeted toward a broader audience. These performances can be very lucrative, but keep in mind that they’re less valuable in terms of building a sustainable audience. 

Thinking long term, you want to build relationships with local venues in your “scene.” This is where your networking skills will come in handy. Start small and find venues that are open to new acts. 

Creating an electronic press kit

When you start reaching out to venues, there’s a chance they may ask for an electronic press kit (sometimes called an “EPK,” “promotional package,” or simply “press kit”).  

An EPK is a digital collection of documents, videos, images, and, of course, your music. Venues use EPK’s to get a quick overview of your “brand.” You can create a press kit using design tools like CanvaAdobe Spark, or the PressKitBuilder.


Courtesy of The Suburbs

What to include in your electronic press kit:

  • Links to your songs on Spotify and Apple Music
  • Professional, high-resolution photography
  • Links to your social media profiles
  • A brief bio of your band⁠—similar to an About Us page
  • Music videos, if you have them, or any other media
  • Press quotes or reviews
  • Contact information
Courtesy of Pup the Band

3. Sell band merchandise online

Selling band merchandise is one of the best ways to make extra money while working as a musician. With a fully automated merch store, you can generate income without taking any time away from writing and performing music.

How to sell band merch online

With Shopify and print on demand, you can set up a fully automated merchandise store in minutes. Start by deciding what products you want to sell. T-shirts are a must for bands, but print-on-demand companies offer a wide range of products, from water bottles to canvas bags to home decor products like pillows:

  1. Create your designs: If you know how to design a logo, it’s easy to create a variety of unique designs for your band that can be printed on merchandise. 
  2. Set up your store: Start your Shopify trial and set up your store. If you’ve never set up a Shopify store, we’ve got a ton of resources to help you get started
  3. Automate with a print-on-demand app: With print-on-demand apps, you can outsource the manufacturing, shipping, and logistics to a third-party company. Print-on-demand companies are paid a percentage of your sales, so you don’t need to pay for products until they’re sold.

This means that once you’ve set-up your store and products, you don’t have to do anything else. The print-on-demand company handles printing and shipping and is paid via a cut of your sales. 

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Free Webinar:

How to quickly start a profitable print-on-demand store

In our free 40-minute video workshop, we'll get you from product idea, to setting up an online store, to getting your first print-on-demand sale.

Some of the more popular print-on-demand apps that integrate with Shopify include PrintfulTeelaunchPrintify, and Gooten.

Courtesy of Merch Connection

4. Collaborate with brands and other musicians

A lot of musicians make extra money through side hustles. There are a number of ways to make money through collaboration, depending on what kind of music you make and your specific music skills. 

Freelance sites like UpworkFreelancer, and Twine have postings for vocalistsproducers, and skilled instrumentalists. There are also a number of apps and platforms available for finding other musicians to collaborate with. Examples include JambroProCollabsAirGigsVamprSoundBetterKompozBlendVocalizrMelboss and Audiu.

Courtesy of The Drum Broker

5. Sell beats and samples

If you’re a producer, one common way to make money is by selling samples and beats as digital products. For some producers, this can even become their primary form of income. Selling samples and beats allows you to spend work hours making music, which is the primary benefit. 

What to know about selling your beats online

  • Mixing and mastering. Performers purchasing your beats will expect a level of technical quality. If you’ve never produced beats before, it’s not something you can pick up in an afternoon.
  • Licensing. When performers purchase beats from you, they’re actually purchasing a license to use that beat in their music. There are many types of licenses, so make sure you understand what rights you’re giving up when selling your beat. 
  • Marketing. There are a ton of places to find beats to license, but performers tend to be very picky about what they’re looking for. This means that successfully selling beats online will be very dependent on your ability to find a niche and build a reputation on social media. 
Courtesy of Reid Music

6. Teach music classes or sell lessons

Not all musicians are after global superstardom. For some, training the next generation of artists is a bigger accomplishment than playing the Super Bowl half-time show. 

If you’re interested in training others, LectureOwl is a great place to apply to be a private music teacher. You can also create a music course on a number of online learning platforms. 

Where to find teaching jobs for musicians

How to get started with music marketing

Playing shows and selling merch is all well and good, but you can’t make money from it if you don’t have an audience. That’s why understanding how to market your music is just as important as the ways you profit from it. 

Let’s go over the essentials of marketing your music online.

1. Build a social media following

It’s important to make it easy for fans and venues to find you online. While streaming services are great for linking your music, a profile on Spotify isn’t enough to build an audience. This is why your social profile is so important. 

If you’re just starting out, focus on growing your audience on social media. Then you can switch your focus to getting them out for shows. 

There’s a lot to cover if you want to take a deep dive into social media marketing strategy, but in general, there are a couple of things to keep in mind as you’re building your profiles: 

  • Focus on building your audience over driving ticket and merch sales
  • Keep your followers updated about new merch and live shows but, more importantly, keep them updated about you
  • Show off your talent by posting new songs or works in progress or performing via live stream
  • Engage with other musicians, brands, and bloggers in your scene by tagging them, commenting on their posts, and following their profiles
  • Make interacting with your fans a priority⁠—building personal connections with your audience will do more for brand awareness than anything else

2. Submit your work to music blogs

Music blogs exist for all kinds of genres and are a great way to target a specific niche. They can also be local, which is additionally good for finding fans who will come to your shows. 

Many music blogs allow open submissions, but keep in mind that any blog with open submissions needs to wade through a lot of bad ones. This means you need to stand out.

Here’s how: 

  • Choose the right blog. Music blogs can cater to specific genres, so make sure you’ve familiarized yourself with the blog and that your music is a good fit. 
  • Follow the submission guidelines closely. Many blogs use automated systems that will filter out your submission if it doesn’t adhere to specifics.
  • Include contact details. The more work the blog has to do to find you the less likely they will be to follow up. 

Have your electronic press kit ready. You may be asked to attach this in your initial submission or in follow-up correspondence, so have it ready.

There are lots of blogs that accept open submissions from unsigned artists, but we’ve put together a list of some of the more popular ones. Keep in mind that many music blogs are genre-specific, so not every blog on this list will be a good fit for your music. 

3. Get on streaming playlists

Many streaming services offer playlists to users or algorithmic recommendations. Each service operates differently, so optimizing for specific streaming services may come with its own set of rules. 

Since Apple Music and Spotify are the two most popular streaming services, they offer a higher degree of reach, so they’re the most important ones to optimize for.

How to get your music on Spotify playlists

Spotify has a suite of tools available to help artists optimize their profiles for the platform. Start by claiming your profile. From there, you’ll be eligible for Spotify’s algorithmic playlists. 

While there’s no guarantee that you’ll show up in people’s feeds, over time, as more listeners subscribe and save your music, you’ll become more likely to be seen. 

Spotify’s algorithm evaluates your music based on your profile activity and its users’ activity on your profile.

  • Release music often. Spotify values activity on your profile, so releasing music more frequently will increase your chances of appearing in playlists.
  • Create your own playlists and include your music. Spotify allows any user to create playlists that are available to any other user of the platform. The more user-created playlists you’re on, the more likely you’ll be to appear in automated playlists.
  • Ask friends to include your music on their playlists. This will also look good to Spotify’s algorithm.
  • Link to your music on Spotify from your website and social accounts. Links to songs from external sources are considered high value by Spotify’s algorithm.
  • Make good music. Easier said than done, but ultimately you won’t show up on people’s playlists if your music isn’t worth listening to.

4. Use visual content like music videos 

Music videos are always a great promotional tool for music. There are plenty of ways to go about creating video content but, for musicians specifically, there are a couple of things to keep in mind: 

  1. Start with a strong video idea. If you’re envisioning your band playing in an empty warehouse, it might help to restart the brainstorming process.
  2. Prioritize uniqueness over professionalism. Your video needs to grab attention. Working with a full professional production team can get expensive quickly and doesn’t guarantee any social media views. A cheap but interesting music video is far more likely to go viral than an expensive boring one.

Start making money with your music

For musicians in the 2020s, it’s rare to collect revenue from a single source. Being able to fund your music career is about constructing a system of diverse revenue streams that are easily manageable so you can focus on what’s most important: making music. 

Managing risk is all about how well you diversify. Dumping tons of money into your music career isn’t going to pay off if you don’t have enough revenue streams. But by understanding how you create those protective streams, you can focus on the most important thing: making kickass music.