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Is Music Business Automation The Next Step?

Written by 
Jamie Leger 

Your Music Business now fits in the palm of your smart hand.

The Modern Music Business (technically) now exists in the cloud.

In the modern world, your music business condenses down into a collection of systems and processes working together to power each phase of The Project Life-cycle.

Many of us are unfamiliar with the technology and tools available-but it’s about high time we stepped our game up.

It’s time that we-as Artists and Musicians, as the content CREATORS, began to MASTER our toolset. The modern toolset.

I’m referring to the arsenal of communication formats and distribution channels, your daw of choice, and the assembly of project and collaboration workflow tools you use to get things done.

I want to transform the way you think about, and in result-go about growing your music business.

From content production, to packaging and publishing, to promotion and outreach, to performance measurement and data tracking, I want to expand your ability to creatively integrate the tools and technology like a MODERN Artist, like a pro, as the independent creator of your musical career and destiny.

This will first require some shifts in perspective, followed by some corresponding shifts in behavior.

First we need to start with mindset, otherwise we won’t be able to unlock the key insights, and implement the shift in perspective that will naturally lead us to the change in results we seek.

—> Once we’ve gotten our mind right first, we have to understand the tools and resources available to begin to harness their power more effectively, to setup an optimal workflow structure to get more done, and have more fun.

That’s what we’re going to start diving into today. Which leads us to the quite fascinating topic of Music Business Automation.


Music Business Automation = The Death of Human Creativity?

It’s about time we publicly started talking about Music Business Automation.

What do I mean by that, you might ask…

Of course we’re not referring to replacing the humanity or creative nature of running a music business…

Cue the synchronized sighs from the robot legion…

No, it’s just time to discuss upgrading your career’s infrastructure.

Why would you want to do that?

Well in the modern world the majority of our work and project workflow-happens somewhere in a vast, globally connected digital universe.

We are instantly, all the time, less than a handful of clicks away from putting a pizza in an oven somewhere that magically pops up at our doorstep.

We are literally, less than 5 minutes away from any product, song, piece of content, answer to a question, or two hour time-suck of unintended distraction.

So the question is… HOW are we as Artists utilizing this technology to work FOR us, and in what ways should we be thinking about how it could or SHOULD be working for growing our careers.

We are Creators

Today, Artists are multimedia content creators-and three dimensional storytellers. We can dream up a t-shirt or a coffee mug, or any interactive event and within days-hours even, ACTUALIZE that thought into real life.

Are you getting the idea?

We are Creators.

Our Career is now both our lifestyle, and the content we create.

Our Music Business-is the economic engine powering it.

Their are a substantial amount of ways to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, income, and results that engine can produce for you if you know how to harness the modern toolset, and have it work for you and the growth of your music business.

For virtually every musician i’ve worked with i’ve seen many overlooked ways to tap into this power in terms of operational workflow – i.e. content production and social routine, as well as new fan generation and sales process.

The Modern Music Industry is always on, the tools and resources-expanding and getting better each day.

In this free series on Music Business Automation i’m going to show you ways to better use what you already have access to, in order to begin to step your game up, and grow your musical career like a pro. Like a Modern Musician.

That is, if you think you have what it takes…

Modern Musicians embrace Music Business Automation and develop a Mindful Creative and Technological Fluidity.

Modern Musicians understand that their workflow structure is dynamic.

We can design, improve, optimize and master processes developed around how WE choose to work.

For Modern Musicians, the point is not to fumble with the technology, or become too fearful to tinker and try new things… The point is to develop a fluid creative integration for the idea and content in your head and the output and delivery of it via the technology.

As an Artist, first we develop and master the fundamentals of our craft. Eventually we are able to develop our skills to the point where we don’t have to think about the mechanics and can translate, perform and produce our content with an effortlessness and mastery. Drawing on everything we’ve learned and integrating our skills we can transmit our ideas, sounds, songs, and stories into the hearts and minds of our audience.

Well, this is exactly what Modern Artists do with the modern toolset. The goal isn’t necessarily to become tech savvy or learn how to program websites… It is to develop a mindful creative and technological fluidity. If you don’t want to learn how to use WordPress, that’s ok, you just need to understand what needs to happen, design the process that fits with your optimal workflow-and integrate someone onto your team to handle that. You are like a general contractor, instead of a specialist, like a plumber or an electrician-in this respect.

However, many things you can do will not require adding new team members, there are many ways to let technology work for you, to do the things it could and should be doing for your career-while you are doing the things only YOU can do, the activities that you love most… This is the benefit of Music Business Automation, and the perspective i’m trying to help you embrace.

Their are many ways to beef up your Music Businesses Operational Workflows. Today i want to get you thinking about ways to make your digital channels interact and work with each other, and then give you a few simple examples I use personally-to hopefully trigger your creativity and increase your productivity.

Music Business Automation Basics

Let’s start with a couple of original gangsters, these won’t be new to many but definitely fundamental to staying up on your space, interests and automatically alerted to mentions of your brand across the web. After that we’ll go over a couple content workflow automations and then end with a killer MBA Hack that will directly lead you to more fans, and can be used at your next show to get more newsletter signups.

RSS Feeds

RSS is brilliantly simple. It actually stands for really simple syndicate. It is a universally used format that allows you to subscribe to “feeds“ from your favorite online publishers and blogs, and automatically receive instant updates, conveniently organized and fed into an aggregator service, or feed reader.

For more on RSS, here’s an article on managing your RSS feeds.

RSS saves us massive amounts of time by not having to go visit each and every website we are interested in, in order to see what new content they have published.

Exercise: When you find a blog or website that publishes content of interest, click on the little orange icon with white stripes and add it to google reader, or whatever feed reader service you prefer.

Google Alerts

Google alerts allow us to monitor the world wide news on whatever it is we are specifically interested in, delivered to our doorstop, consolidated, instantly.

You can setup keyword alerts for anything. You can use them for tracking keywords you’re trying to rank for, and words you want to know when they get mentioned such as your name, product name, and research terms such as music market research. Also article titles, (so we can keep track of article placements/syndications) and FAQ’s in your niche.

This way, when someones asks a question in your area of expertise, you can quickly swoop in and answer that question. This is good for positioning, and being a helpful expert in your area of expertise.

Exercise: Go to, create an account if you don’t already have a google account, and setup a couple alerts. Start with your name, your market, and a keyword phrase you are interested in hearing about and learning whats going on with.

–> Quick Tip For Avoiding Overwhelm

The only real problem is… You guessed it… Theres so MUCH stuff. Many many blogs, sites, ideas, ahhh!

We can only read/write so many blog posts and keep up with so many different channels.

The ANSWER is a simple, targeted strategy

1. Pick topics.

2. Choose number of blogs to read and keep up with, reasonably…

3. Don’t overdo it on the google alerts.

4. Just start slow and conscious about what you are doing at first.

Music Business Automation – Workflow Hacks

Here is where we can start getting into Workflow hacks for content production and social connection.

The tools I use which let me connect my central career operating system (the Music Business OS) to just about any two tools that i use throughout all of my digital channels is Zapier and IFTTT.

Zapier is more geared to connecting business related web apps and services, and IFTTT is much more general and broad in its uses.

To cut the snake off at the head right at the jump, perhaps one of the first automations one might consider is an Automation that posts new tweets and/or blog posts to Facebook, or new status updates to twitter automatically. While this may save time I want to make it a point to advise you NOT to post do this. Blog to FB, FB to TW or TW to FB… There are a few good reasons for this, it’s technical in nature and has to do with Facebooks Edgerank Algorthym; but basically you will find better results just posting manually between these platforms. It doesn’t take that much longer to do, and more people will get to see it.

Feedly ‘saved for later’ item to Tumblr blog post.

This Feedly To Tumbler Recipe – Let’s me curate a tumblr blog from Feedly “Save for later” items. (easy flag with the S keyboard shortcut in Feedly).

Feedly to tumblr automation recipe









Instagram to Twitter/Tumbler









RSS to Google + page

For many of us Google + is the often neglected, ostracized stepchild of our web platform and social media properties… But unlike posting new blogs directly to Facebook, posting your latest blog posts automatically to Google + is gravy. I know, the rules can be confusing… I get it. But here is an automation hack that you can use to keep your Google+ properties feeling the love and working for you-by automating new posts from your blogs rss feed and pulling them into G+. All you have to do is plug the RSS feed of your blog into Zapier and automate posting to your Google+ page through your Buffer account. You can even define the format of the post and include a short description, hashtags, etc.

Now, let’s end off with a bang.

Subscribe by SMS

Aside from subscription forms on your site and Facebook, you can have contacts subscribe to your fan relationship database through SMS. Here’s how it works with the Music Business OS, though there are many other platforms that you can use to do this.

1.  Go to the Lists page.

2.  Under the list you’re setting Subscribe by SMS for, click Integrations > Subscribe by SMS.

3.  Choose a number you want to use for subscription.   There are currently 4 countries supported (US, Canada, UK, and Spain).

4.  Add a Keyword.  The keyword is what you’re contacts will Text to the number in order to subscribe.   Note on keywords:  Your keyword should consist of at least 5 characters (letters, numbers, and/or underscore) and should not use spaces.

5.  Click the Activate button to activate Subscribe by SMS.   After activating, you have three Response options that you can customize.

  • First response/Request for email address – This is the first email you will send after contacts subscribe by text.   Since you don;t have the email address yet, you should request them text back their email address.
  • Successful subscription – Once they send you their email address, this is the message contacts will receive.  A message confirming the subscription is recommended.
  • Email address problem – If there is an issue with the email address, this message will be sent o your contact.

Here’s an illustration of a contact using Subscribe by SMS.

1.  Contact sends an SMS with the the keyword.

2.  Contact receives a request for an email address, sends the email, and get confirmed.

More questions?

For more information about any feature of The Music Business OS, please contact our support team. We’ll be happy to assist you.


Some Other Useful Music Business Automation Hacks (that we don’t have time to cover right now) Include

  • Building a list of people who share your content
  • More customized event correspondence with fans
  • Create email draft following a form submission
  • Followup Message Sent to a New LinkedIn Contact
  • Cross Platform Contact Syncs
  • Email Followup Reminders


Turning The Microphone Over to You:

What are your favorite MBA Hacks? Go ahead, add your voice to the conversation below.

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The Music Business Architect for Independent Artists & Creators

Proudly Helping Hundreds of Modern Musicians liberate the music business, declare their artistic independence, and earn a full-time living doing what they love-on their own terms.

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