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Branding, the Key to Large Crowds and Fans

StreetJelly starts a new blog series on Marketing and Artist Promotion.

Stand Out from the Crowd

Stand Out from the Crowd

Whether you are fairly new to StreetJelly or part of a larger following of regular StreetJelly performers; you almost certainly notice the steadily increasing number of artists who draw a large audience. These musicians are the envy of most performers on StreetJelly. There is no magic trick behind attracting an audience of die-hard-fans. You can follow some simple steps that can lead to an increase in viewer numbers and even a cult of followers who will go above and beyond to tip, attend shows, and promote your music. It all boils down to Branding: the who – your name, the what – what you are all about, and the how – how you spread the word.

Who – the Artist Name  Don’t underestimate the power of your artist name. StreetJelly allows you to create a unique profile name (at least 5 characters) that becomes your own StreetJelly link. Think of it as your “stage name.” Choose a name that is pleasant and meaningful. It is tempting to choose something cool, but keep in mind that names which are associated with unpleasant events in life might deter people from going to your show. Pick something that defines you as a person or your music. It is perfectly fine to be inventive, but toilet references or violent phrases can be an automatic turn off to your shows.

Recommendations: keep it simple; choose a name that you are comfortable being addressed by; and when in doubt, use your actual name or family nickname.

What – Are you All About  What does that mean? It’s your personal identity. Your intent is to create a strong bond with your audience so they feel a deep connection to you. The key to a large loyal fan base is a personal and individual approach to communicating with your fans. It literally means conversing with them one on one. It is about exchanging interests and skills in everyday life. If you lend a helping hand to someone, often people will remember you and support your own agenda. We often call this “networking,” or the building of productive relationships.

StreetJelly is a great avenue for networking since you get to talk live to your fans. Think about what you say during your shows, how you want people to perceive you, and what you post later online in other social media communities. Talk to people, a lot of people, everyone you meet.

How – You Spread the Word  Many Streetjelly artists support each other and attend each other’s shows. This is wonderful, but it is important to attract your own personal audience. Maybe your friends or family, your coworkers, or neighbors enjoy live music. Let them know that you are performing on StreetJelly. Inform them about your upcoming shows and share your talent with as many people as possible. Soon your audience will grow and you will be one of the artists with the popular show. This will attract even more fans. Crowds attract crowds. Connect with this audience and make them watch you perform over and over.

Remember, do not spam a huge number of people on social media. Your posts will get lost in the sea of noise out there. But do individually invite people you know to your shows. And ask them to share your invitations. Rotate through different groups of people you know, too. It’s unpleasant to burden the same people all the time.

Branding is forming memories, opinions, representing ideals, and stirring emotions. You build loyal fans that associate your name and performance with a specific mixture of musical talent and personal charm. Building that deep bond takes time and commitment. But it’s simple. Get to know your fans, entertain them with your music, help them out when you can. Good luck out there!

Year Two – We Keep Rolling

Happy 2nd Anniversary, StreetJelly!  August 17th, 2014

Anniversary TwoOn August 17th, 2012, the very first musician performed on StreetJelly.com!  …and to quote a great lyric, “what a long strange trip it has been.”  Yes, year two is now in the books, and we keep on truckin’.  It has been an intense busy year.  The site has grown tremendously and we are most proud that we still keep it a friendly fun destination for pure live music on the web.  Here are some quick stats to date:

  • 70,000 unique visitors came to the site 300k times
  • 1.3 million page hits
  • 696,000 minutes of streaming video, 11,600 hours
  • 14,800 musical performances
  • 1,540 musicians on StreetJelly
  • 306,400 tokens tipped to musicians, that’s over ¼ million tokens – $50k
    THAT’S A LOT OF TIPS ! ! !

Read about Year One click here

Timeline Highlights

Jellypalooza 2013August 18th, 2013 – Jellypalooza Online Music Festival! We kicked off our one-year anniversary with the first ever truly Online Live Streaming Music Festival. 12 hours straight of continuous multiple streaming musicians.  The Second Annual Jellypalooza is scheduled on 8/31/2014, Labor Day weekend.

August 25th, 2013Meadow Ryan Album Release Party.

October 19th, 2013 – Big Deal Extravaganza!  Awardees of the Big Deal rocker pin (a 500 token value) perform special back-to-back shows. Clifton Printy, Image and Family, and Lana Mason.

Halloween JamOctober 31, 2013 – Halloween Jam!  StreetJelly musicians perform live shows in scary …and silly costumes.

Mini-Merv

Mini-Merv

November 10, 2013 – The Merv Roast  Amanda secretly plans a surprise roasting of Merv.  Mini-Merv looses his shins!

December 15, 2013 – Jelly Jingle  Oh, this was so much fun.  All day, SJ musicians performed Christmas and Holiday carols.  We are totally doing this every year.Christmas Jelly Jingle

December 31, 2013 – Another tradition continued.  Our second New Year’s celebration by SJ musicians singing Auld Lang Syne in every US timezone.  19 more timezones to go for next year.

January 28, 2014 – StreetJelly wins 1st place in the Tennessee Veteran’s Business Associations business plan competition.

Purple Lana

Purple Saturday

February 14, 2014 – Sing me a Love Song Night  Who needs dinner and chocolates when you get great musicians singing all love songs live on Valentine’s Day.

March 1, 2014 – Purple Saturday  Purple what?  It’s a StreetJelly thing, you gotta know the SJ anthem – Purple Rain.  “Purple Saturday” was our tribute to all things purple.  It was a ton of …uhem …purple fun.

May to July, 2014 – Street Jelly Media, Inc. participates in a media business accelerator program, MediaWorks, hosted by the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center.  This is behind the scenes stuff, but nonetheless an important step in growing StreetJelly to the next level.  It takes a village (not my words) to build a great and successful start-up.

July 2014 – The Great StreetJelly Guitar Giveaway Music Video Contest  :flatley!This was the battle of all jelly battles for a beautiful brand new J. Backlund Retronix R-800 guitar.  There was jelly-blood everywhere by the time the dust settled.  But only one musician was victorious – Alex Mason of Nashville, TN.

Here are all the great music video entries…

What’s Next?

Two big things coming for 2015.

  1. Website Updates: design and features.  Yep, we’re not going to keep it the same forever.  Stay tuned for pretty layout changes, and as always, new features.
  2. Mobile App.  Yes, let’s get our jelly-fix everywhere and anywhere.

The Hay-day of the Drum Corps

The Hay-day of the Drum Corps, by Frank Podlaha

GlocksWhen people ask me if I am a musician, I usually say, “no, I’m a music lover.”  Well, that’s not entirely true.  When I was a kid, I did belong to a few musical marching bands known as drum corps.  I played the glockenspiel, or “glocks.”  The glocks are the marching version of xylophones, in the percussion section.

When best describing a drum corps is NOT to think of a school “marching band” like you may remember back in high school or college.  Although we primarily marched in parades, a drum corps is really nothing like a school band.  The drum corps is made up of much fewer instruments.  The groups I belonged to were mainly fifes and trumpets on the brass side, and glocks and drums on the percussion side.  The repertoires generally consisted of patriotic parade songs, Sousa marches, etc.  For example:  The Stars and Stripes, Yankee Doodle, Yellow Rose of Texas, and so on.Drum Corps

Firemen’s Parades
I know drum corps exist all over, but in my day they chiefly existed as a local town civic organization with close ties to the volunteer fire departments.  I grew up in a small New England town, New Fairfield, CT.  Drum corps were big back in those days, 1970s to the early 80s.  At the time, the local fire departments would host the town’s yearly carnival.  Just like today, the town’s carnival was the highlight of the summer.  Where I live today in Tennessee, they call them County Fairs.  But back then, these firemen’s carnivals were always kicked off with the annual town parade.  Firemen's ParadeThey would invite fire departments from other towns (Connecticut and New York) to participate in the parades.  The parade itself was actually a competition among fire departments to display their best fire trucks and equipment.  Prizes were handed out for best truck, best marching unit (firemen – yes, they marched too), best drum corps, etc.  The fire departments would hire a drum corps to help them march in the parade by keeping time with a continuous drumbeat.  The New Fairfield Volunteer Fire Department would always hire the New Fairfield Sparklers Drum Corps.

Now you get the picture, this is where the fun starts…

The 70’s Were Crazy
I belonged to the New Fairfield Sparklers in the late 70s, early 80s, from about age 10 to 15.  The Sparklers were a kid drum corps, most of them were.  Later in college, I belonged to the Newtown Striders, a “senior” drum corps of adults.  The Sparklers traveled to and from parades in old Bluebird school buses painted in our colors.  Yes, imagine the Partridge Family bus!  Now imagine these buses filled with young teenagers.  The parade season lasted all summer.  At least two, sometimes three, times a week we traveled to a parade and firemen’s carnival in a nearby town.  It was heaven for a kid.  We were carnival junkies.  I think I’ve been to every town’s carnival in western CT and south-eastern NY over the years.

What a blast they were, too.  After each parade, the host fire department would offer free food (hotdogs), beer, and soda for those in the parade.  Most parades were evening time, and we’d get a few hours after the parade to eat some hotdogs and check out the carnival.  It was usually late by the time we all piled back into the buses to head home.New Fairfield Sparklers

They’d all get Arrested Today
Parents, cover your ears!  We did some crazy things back then.  Oh, I forgot to mention: we changed in and out of our uniforms on the bus before and after the parade.  Young girls and boys stripped down to their undies two feet from each other.  I know, what can I say!  I got my first peek at a you-know-what on the drum corps bus.

Firemans CarnivalThe free food and drink after the parades were off to the side of the carnival grounds, roped off from the general public.  We called them “bullpens.”  They were full of 100s of drunken firemen.  You do remember the free beer part?  It was also very easy for a crafty kid to sneak over to the beer side and grab a brewsky.  Uh-em, so I’ve been told.

After the festivities, we all loaded back onto the retro groovy buses for the ride home.  Dark buses were full of hormone filled young teens.  Oy vey!  That glass you hear clanking was a spin-the-bottle game rolling away as the bus made a sharp turn.

Times were definitely different back then.

Lessons Learned
Besides the things I can’t mention, the drum corps was the coming of age for us New England kids of the 70s.  We did learn music, marching, discipline (some), team work, and even a little respect for one another.  Drum corps still exist today, but I’m sure their hay-day has come and gone.  Thankfully, we all made it out safely.