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Must-readIf you want a head start, check out the resources below

Music In The Digital Age

'Music in the Digital Age' is a valuable guide for every musician who wants to understand the digital age. The book is translated in many languages.
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Category: Music education

Author: Andrew Dubber

Berklee Music Business

The biggest music university in the world offers a series of books, interviews and courses free of charge, for those who love self-education. You need to check them out, trust me.
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Category: Music Education

The Art of Choosing

In a world with numerous solutions to your problems, you have to learn how to choose smartly. Written by a world-known expert on the topic 'choice', it's a book created to establish a new way of thinking.
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Category: How we choose

Author: Sheena Iyengar

Viperchill

The blog that talks about viral marketing, how to grow your audience and what the future of blogging will be. By a cool guy who speaks with results.
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Category: Marketing strategies

Music Think Tank

The biggest website with articles about the music industry that provides great insights and shows you how to build a band with professional standards.
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Category: Discussions about the music industry

Social Triggers

The ultimate resource for individuals who realize that human psychology is the Aplha and Omega of marketing.
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Category: Marketing psychology

ResourcesI highly recommend them - they help me daily!

ServicesThey'll help you build your online empire

Trust Me, I'm Lying

The 24-year-old media manipulator who reinvented the term 'advertising' writes about the media world and how it works.

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Category: Media Manipulation

Author: Ryan Holiday

Influence

The 6 basic psychological principles that make us comply, revealed. Within the book you'll find many experiments, techniques and ideas, and you'll realize that the knowledge of psychology can take you one step ahead.

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Category: Psychology principles

Author: Robert Cialdini

Passive Promotion

The synth-pop artist, Brian Hazard, writes this blog, analyzing services and tactics that will help you build strong foundations for your band. Each article mentions numbers and experiments implemented by Brian himself.
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Category: Marketing for music bands

Firepole Marketing

An upcoming marketing website, edited by the charismatic marketer Danny Iny. He analyzes how we grew his blog's audience and how these techniques can apply to many different industries.
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Category: Simple marketing strategies

You Have to Read

Anything You Want

The creator of CDBaby, Derek Sivers, writes this inspiring book on how to follow your passion and succeed (making millions in the meanwhile). You'll be positively surprised by the directness and brevity of his writings.

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Category: Personal Development

Author: Derek Sivers

Different

When every company wants to be faster, safer, better and cheaper, how do you stand out from the crowd? By being different, states the top professor of Michigan University, Youngme Moon.

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Category: Differentiate

Author: Youngme Moon

ReWork

A small, easy-to-read book, as well as useful for individuals who want to get 'unstuck' from the ancient way of doing business.

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Category: Modern approach in business

Author: Jason Fried

Online Diamonds

Zen Habits

Probably the most inspiring blog in the world. You'll definitely find yourself hidden in the words of the blog posts or the books that Leo Babauta provides. It's not pure luck that he has 250.000 subscribers.
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Vategory: Personal Development

Hypebot

All the news of the music industry are aggregated in Hypebot. Probably the no.1 resource to know what's going on in the music industry today.
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Category: News - music industry

Brain Pickings

Interesting and clever articles that will make you think, fresh content that stands out from the online clutter.
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Category: Daily inspiration & ideas

Neuromarketing

If Robert Cialdini had a blog, that would be it. Psychological techniques, experiments and unexpected conclusions are all here, ready to read and improve your marketing (and life).
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Category: Psychological principles in marketing

The Great Discontent

Interviews that are so good-looking that they make you wanna devour them! Awesome people, great design and clear of advertisments, TDG has to be part of your life.
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Category: Inspirational interviews

The Cool Hunter

If there is a cool-looking and creative ad/design out there, The Cool Hunter has it in their stories. Created to inspire and provide ideas, having a look is enough to drain you to an endless journey.
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Category: The coolest ads

Misc Awesomeness

Oblique Strategies

When Brian Eno was in the dilemma of 'what to do next', he picked a card and followed the instructions on it! A beautiful way to randomize the routine of your daily life and highlight its creative side, especially if you're an artist.
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Category: Randomizing Your Life

Prestige Theme

The page I created this website with comes from a genius designing team from Czech Rep., called Digital Cavalry. This wordpress theme is so flexible and elegant that you won't need a designer.

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Category: The theme I'm using

Website

Tommy Darker: There's no such thing as a professional band without a website. If you want to build your own, start here.
Wordpress.org

The most popular platform to create your own website. In other words, it's the environment where you create content on the Internet. WordPress is a free platform, but you have to buy hosting & domain name in order to complete your website. It requires basic knowledge of coding, but the final result is utterly professional and under your own terms. Here are some video tutorials I'd suggest and the official 'get started' of the platform.
More: WordPress.org
€€€: Free
Bandzoogle.com

A reliable solution for those who don't have the techy and cody background and want a service to take care of all that. It's used widely by many independent artists, easy to use and the result is 100% professional, although you have to follow the template offered by the service, with all the restrictions included. The positive side? Loads of tools are offered for free, such as email optins, your own store and many others. Worth using for beginners, so you can jump to something more professional later on (WordPress). At least you'll have your own website under your name 🙂
More: Bandzoogle.com
€€€: Basic plan is free

Domain Name

Tommy Darker: Something that's prerequisite, if you want your own website. In case your band's name is taken, try alternative solutions, such as mybandmusic or mybandofficial. Go for .com first.
GoDaddy.com

The most popular service with standard prices. A piece of advice: before your checkout, you'll be offered to buy many other complementary products, such as hosting. Don't buy. Grab the name and go. GoDaddy's awesome, but I'd only recommend it for domain name purchase, nothing more.
More: GoDaddy.com
€€€: 10€ annually.
NameCheap.com

Another website that sells cheap domain names, but I don't see any reason for you to prefer it. GoDaddy is more reliable. I mention it as the cheapest alternative solution to have in mind.
More: NameCheap.com
€€€: From 4€ annually.

Hosting

Tommy Darker: The majority gets lost here. Hosting is the space where you store the assets contained in your website, such as videos, graphics, files etc. It's your own corner on the web! It's vital that you learn how it works, we're talking about your own data after all.
HostGator.com

Just like GoDaddy, this is the most popular hosting service worldwide, and I recommend it without a second thought. It's reliable and cheap. You should have a look at the folowing official video tutorials on how you can manage your purchase. To begin with, I suggest that you buy the Baby Plan, which costs 8$ monthly. You can install WordPress with the click of a button.
More: HostGator.com
€€€: From 8$ monthly.
BlueHost.com

Another company I suggest, one of the biggest one in the world; I host 2 of my websites there. Their advantage? Awesome customer service, any time you come up with a question. Also their friendly user interface. A little more expensive than HostGator, but it's money well-spent. Installing WordPress is a one-click procedure as well.
More: BlueHost.com
€€€: From 9$ a month.

Email Marketing

Tommy Darker: I've mentioned numerous times the power of email capturing, a strategy that will only become more essential in the future. That means you have to be prepared and manage that asset, starting from here.
MailChimp.com

The service I'd suggest, if you're starting your mailing list now. It's free to use for the first 2.000 subscribers, easy-to-use and beautiful design, easy to integrate with other services in order to automate a lot of functions. This is what I use for TommyDarker.com. Start here, it's proven and it works!
More: MailChimp.com
€€€: Free for the first 2.000 subscribers.
AWeber.com

The most complete and popular mailing list management system. There's no pro marketer that doesn't use it. It comes with a monthly payment though, so it's better that you start with Mailchimp instead. However, it's the way to go when your business starts growing.
More: AWeber.com
€€€: From 10$ a month.
FanBridge.com

This company does not only offer email list management services, but also many other promotion tools for a complete band asset management, all for free. World-known and forward-thinking. However, I personally use a different service for each task, not one that offers everything in a package. Nobody's good in everything. If you don't think that way, have an account with Fanbridge and you're done!
More: FanBridge.com
€€€: Up to 400 free emails per month.

Social

Tommy Darker: Social media are not another promotional tool. They are the extension of our communication. Thus, they require proper mindset to use.
Facebook.com

Did you know that 81% of the users check their account when they wake up? As an artist, you need to have a fan page - which I suppose you know how to do - but if you really want to stand out, try to create your own facebook page tab, by following this simple and free guide! No need to mention that facebook will never replace your own personal website, it is here to support it though and spread your messages to your fans.
More: Facebook.com
€€€: Free
Twitter.com

Twitter has achieved to change the way we consume information in the digital age and make our world faster - and more interconnected. Who would imagine! However, just like each medium, it has its own rules and ways of effective usage. Here are some beautiful inforgaphics about what Twitter is and how to use Twitter.
More: Twitter.com
€€€: Free

Streaming

Tommy Darker: In a world where albums are not the most popular way that fans consume your music and 'ownership' of music declines globally, companies that didn't exist a few years ago are now giants serving millions of music lovers. Streaming is the norm in consuming music nowadays, and you need to choose the right companies if you want to ride the wave.
Last.fm

The first service to use the word 'streaming', having created their own terms as well (scrobbling). It's a radio, it's a means of promotion to a targeted audience, it's one of the most official directories to have your music available for streaming. Many other companies have grown way bigger than them, however Last.fm has been and is 'a place to be'.
More: Last.fm
€€€: Free
Spotify.com

One of the biggest streaming services in the world right now, with millions of artists in their catalogues and a respective number of avid music lovers. Their streaming services are an efficient promotional tool because of the large amount of listeners every day, good enough to make you upload your music and create an account for the world to hear.
More: Spotify.com
€€€: Free
Jango.com

Would you like it if a music lover, while listening to their favorite band, listened to one of your tracks that is similar to that famous band? This is the simple premise of the music service called Jango, and you have to pay to use it. Not only geniune as an idea, also effective for new fan acquisition. Brian Hazard describes his own experience in his blog Passive Promotion, you need to read this before you start spending money at the service.
More: Jango.com
€€€: 10$ for 250 plays

Tools

Tommy Darker: Most of the following companies didn't exist 3-4 ago. This fact highlights the rise of many startup services that appeared in the digital age and cover all sorts of needs for modern musicians. The most useful ones are covered in this section.
SoundCloud.com

Perhaps my favorite service when it comes to hosting my music. Soundcloud evolved to the number one service in terms of creating beautiful widgets for your music to be embedded in other websites. Just like the Facebook fan pages, the same way you can place your music in third-party websites with Soundcloud. Long way to go for this innovative company, they got my full support.
More: SoundCloud.com
€€€: Free
BandCamp.com

Do you want to make your music available for downloading, build your mailing list, offer high quality streaming of your tracks and exclusive download coupons ή or a place to host your 'online store'? BandCamp is the best platrofm to do that, and it only gets better every day. If there was one service I'd recommend to musicians to use, that would definitely be BandCamp.
More: BandCamp.com
€€€: Free
TopSpinMedia.com

Probably the most complete direct-to-fan marketing platform. With customers such as Eminem, Nine Inch Nails, Sigur Ross, Jay-Z, Linkin Park, Kanye West and many others, Topspin begun offering their services exclusively to well-known artists, spreading their influence to smaller acts who are willing to pay a small subscription fee. Consequently, they are the most hi-quality solution in the world when it comes to a all-in-one and automated system to manage your music career assets. For the beginners, recently they launched GoDirect, which is for free and provides you the opportunity to claim your band's name in the artist directory of MTV! It's worth it, I reckon.
More: TopSpinMedia.com
€€€: From 9,99$/month
Headliner.fm

Headliner.Fm takes advantage of the following idea: say an artist likes your band. It's likely that they suggest you to their fans on social media, right? This endorsement: it would give you new fans through a trusted source, and the artist would have suggested something that's worth it, bringing value and something to engage with their fans. Well, Headliner.Fm didn't really nail it in action, or at least that's what other artists say in their conversations. However, it won't hurt to give it a try, once it comes for free. You might have better luck...
More: Headliner.fm
€€€: Free
ReverbNation.com

For those who want to manage their mailing list, offer downloads and exclusive streaming to their fans, create their own online store and enrich their facebook page with all the aforementioned things, you need to go for ReverbNation. The strong asset of this company is their active collaboration with festivals and music compilations, which allows them to offer exclusive placements to the members of their website. They have more than 2.000.000 artists on their catalogues, establishing their name as the biggest service for independent artists like you.
More: ReverbNation.com
€€€: Free
ArtistData.com

Are you bored of changing your bio in one social media profile, and then having to repeat the same procedure to each other profile? ArtistData solves this very problem. They sync all of your profiles and websites, updating them automatically. So that you know that all of your info, such as the dates of your gigs, are always up-to-date.
More: ArtistData.com
€€€: Free

Video

Tommy Darker: Video is the most pleasant and digestible way of consuming a piece of information. That's why not having professional videos for your band equals with suicide. Here are the 3 largest services you should check out.
YouTube.com

No need for introductions here, the biggest video platform on Earth managed by Google, beats all the streaming services combined. Here's a creative use of YouTube: Upload the whole album and make the streaming easier by placing annotation buttons! Attention: because of the the vast numbers of users and the massive video consumption every day, trolls await to disaprove your work with a dislike or an anonymous comment. Don't be put off.
More: ΥouΤube.com
€€€: Free
Vimeo.com

The quality video platform (this is what they aimed for anyways). Their recent collaboration with SmartSound helps producers place their music creations as a soundtrack in videos, which means you have to be there and have your own music available for licensing!
More: Vimeo.com
€€€: Free
DailyMotion.com

The upcoming company that grew exponentially and became the 3rd biggest video streaming service worldwide. They've scored exclusive collaborations with artists all over the world, due to the fact that their website is translated and personalized purposedly to each country's audience. It's worth being there, although YouTube's loading times are far better. You won't find not much spamming there.
More: Dailymotion.com
€€€: Free

Getting Paid

Tommy Darker: There's not much to say about online payments. People don't fully trust custom made online stores, that's why you should find reliable and credible services to complete your trasactions. I will suggest only one service, the biggest one.
PayPal.com

The company that managed to earn everyone's trust from an early stage, they are now perhaps the only secure way to connect your credit card with your online accounts. They are collaborating with the majority of online ecommerce platforms, so they're a must.
More: PayPal.com
€€€: Free

Copyrights

Tommy Darker: The big debate over copyright issues, in conjunction with the buzz in social media that only amplifies the gap between the reliable and the fake sources, make me realize that there's a need for a service what clears that mess up. The copyright belongs to you from the moment of the creation. However, you need a service to prove that fact to the ones who might want to question you.
CopyrightsWorld.com

This service is trusted worldwide by 45.000 creators from 85 countries. Affordable and easy to use, they ensure a triple copyright protection to your work, making it an indespensable tool for artists and creators. Works for text, video, music, software and logo.
More: CopyrightsWorld.com
€€€: 3€/credit

Crowdfunding

Tommy Darker: A new way of accumulating capital has risen in the last 2 years, despite the initial ominous projections of the 'experts'. Fans have found a way to support a project before its completion, contributing financially and encouraging the creators to go on without having economic obstacles in the way. Usually they will receive exclusive 'gifts' for their support. Here are the most important platforms.
KickStarter.com

The most popular platform. You start a project, you announce the details with a text (or video), you mention what each contributor (pledger) will receive, depending on the amount of money they will pitch in, and you set a monetary end goal. The transactions are taking place only if the end goal of the project's achieved , otherwise everyone gets their money back and you're back to where you started. Which would be bad if you got a reputation to maintain, but a cool tool if you want to involve your audience in the process of the creation, providing exclusive priviledges and increasing their appreciation towards your work. Here are 9 examples of creators who grew bigger than themselves, a successful music kickstarter, and some advice.
More: Kickstarter.com
€€€: Free
PledgeMusic.com

While Kickstarter is available for any kind of project, PledgeMusic is optimized only for music projects. The upside? Music fans go there to discover and support fresh, quality music and creative ideas, as well as to be surprised by upcoming and innovative acts. Your music has to be there and you have to get attention by creating something unique. Easy to use (I've pledged myself a few times), it allows you to maintain a blog during the campaign, only for the active pledgers to read.
More: PledgeMusic.com
€€€: Free

Digital Distribution

Tommy Darker: It's much against my own theories and beliefs about whether an artist should be selling music online, but that's another story. Here's a couple of services to use for online distribution.
iTunes.com

All the major artists are here. If you want to be considered an artist who sells digitally, you have to be on iTunes. Apple's store has changed the way the music industry works digitally, introducing the term 'micro-payments', which is nothing but the model of .99$ per track and subscription-based music. Because of iTunes we saw a growth - it it keeps growing steadily - in the number of digital singles sold, compared to the albums sold. My only objection; no independent musician will make money in the .99$ model. For all you small indie artists, I suggest that you go to look for more creative ways to make money out of music, you don't belong to the 99 cent industry.
More: iTunes.com
€€€: Percentage from your sales
TuneCore.com

If you want to upload all of your music to the biggest online stores, TuneCore is the solution I suggest. You upload your music and, after paying a standard fee, your music gets distributed for your fans to buy and for new fans to discover.
More: TuneCore.com
€€€: Depending on the plan.

File Transfer

Tommy Darker: Digital music is data. Whether we like it or not, it's 000100110 for your computer's processor. Concequently, the file distribution services (file sharing) came early on in the Internet days and not only have helped us, but also have made our lives faster. If I have to suggest a couple of services, that would undoubtedly be the following.
WeTransfer.com

The most beautiful file sharing service I've seen. The End. Gives you great opportunities to enhance your branding if you upgrade your account, minimal design and fast upload/download speed, you can use it for large files up to 2GB (!!!), even their ads are beautiful!. The downside? The data you store stay online only for 4 weeks, then they get deleted. In its whole, though, it's worth it - and personally I'm a fan because they are a transparent company with vision.
More: WeTransfer.com
€€€: Free
MediaFire.com

The fastest and most well-known file sharing service, although, after numerous copyright infridgements, they took down most of the data stored by illicit users, affecting the legal ones as well. Anyways, if the files are originally yours, then we're talking about a reliable platform to upload your files and store them forever.
More: Mediafire.com
€€€: Free

Physical Distribution

Tommy Darker: When we're thinking about physical, what comes in mind is a CD and a vinyl. There are, however, way more physical objects left unused for musicians to express their creative verve on. Below, because of the popularity of the company, I'll focus on the CD distribution, since it's the only one that managed to turn a great online record shop into a profitable business.
CDBaby.com

The company of Derek Sivers (who then resold it) provided the indie musician with a way to sell records, from their own record shop, regardless of the location. Creation, duplication and distribution of records is only a few of the services they offer.
More: CDBaby.com
€€€: 49$/album, 9,95$/single, details here

Oursource

Tommy Darker: It's important to do things on your own, but probably you're not perfect in everything. A strong team is needed to help you. Luckily, you can find skilled people around the world and let them do the work for you.
99 Designs

99 Designs is a funny way to get your graphics, website, logo and many other things done. You simply start a competition, give details of what you want and provide a reward to the winner, and then skilled designers submit their ideas. You choose the best one and 99Designs reward them with the amount you promised. All clear and easy, it's unlikely that you won't find what you want.
More: 99Designs.com
€€€: You set your price