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Getting Yourself Out There – The Challenge: Finish Line & Beyond

March 11, 2012
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Who will make it to the finish line?

9 weeks ago, over 60 songwriters across Canada signed up for the Canadian Songwriters Social Media Challenge.  The purpose of the challenge was to help songwriters put on their business hats to develop and implement a strategy towards marketing themselves online, as laid out in Ariel Hyatt’s book “Music Success in 9 Weeks.”  There was a significant amount of excitement generated as can be seen by the posts and commenting from Week 1.  However, as with most artists on their path to pursuing their dreams, life happened along the way, and we lost a few participants.

How many will officially complete this challenge?  Scroll down to the comments of this article at midnight on March 12, 2012, and you will see the answer.   Even though there will only be one winner selected from the challenge, the entire process has been worthwhile on so many levels (you have only to read a few of the blogs to see what has been accomplished).

As someone who has witnessed the birth of new blogs, new videos, new websites, and new friendships, while also trying to stay in the race, myself, I have been amazed at what people (including myself) can do when there is community for encouragement and accountability to give the necessary external pressure.   All of this paired with a guide book that has been both easy to use and informative helped many neophytes to take the plunge into unchartered online territory.

Throughout the duration of this challenge, there has been a closed Facebook group for participants where people have celebrated, debated, and shared immensely while rooting for each other.   Many people have remarked that the most incredible gift of taking on this challenge has been the resulting community of people who are all passionate, not only to share their music, but to help each other along the way.  If you have been tracking with us and felt like you wished you had taken part, I am happy to say that this challenge has received such positive feedback, that the Songwriters Association of Canada will likely launch it again in the future, so stay tuned…

In the mean time, here is a virtual toast to all of you who have taken part, and to all of you who have been sharing the journey with us.  It is my hope that experiencing or seeing what the power of community can do, would persuade you to get out and find your own tribe, that we can all celebrate when we cross our respective finish lines.

How can you connect into community through the Songwriters Association of Canada?

1.  S.A.C. members can join the closed S.A.C. Community Facebook Group – S.A.C. Connect  (Once you have requested to join, you will be approved upon verification of your membership).
2.  Meet in person with songwriters in your neighbourhood through an S.A.C. Regional Writers Group.  If you don’t have one nearby, we would happy to discuss how we could help you start one.  Click for details.
3.  Take part in the next edition of the Canadian Songwriters Social Media Challenge!

NOTE TO CHALLENGE TAKERS:

Okay, dear challengers,  it’s a bit of work, but here is what we ask you to post in this FINAL WEEK!:

1.   What action steps did you take or will you be taking based on Ariel’s suggestions in Week 9.
2.  What is the biggest breakthrough you have experienced through participating in this challenge? (we want to celebrate with you)
3.   What was the most significant week for you, and why?
4.  Lastly, please post ALL 9 WEEKs, labelled:  Week 1 – link, Week 2 – link, etc.,
5.  Break out some bubbly!

The winner will be announced in one month’s time.  The winner will receive a free one year membership to the S.A.C. (to be added onto existing membership), VIP 2 month Cyber PR® Campaign from Ariel Publicity that will place their music in the hands of bloggers, podcasters and online radio DJs around the world, 2 years of sponsor Bandzoogle’s Pro-plan plus a custom website design from a Bandzoogle designer, and ReverbNation is offering a $200 credit to run a PROMOTE IT ad Campaign to expand their Facebook Fanpage likes.

Congratulations to all for making it to the finish line!

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24 Comments leave one →
  1. March 11, 2012 10:52 pm

    WOOT!!!! This has been an incredible 9 weeks!!! I’ve learned loads and still have a to-do list a mile long! haha Looking forward to seeing all of the goals and projects I’ve set for myself to continue to unfold.

    1. I have started rewriting my bio and putting together my press kit – getting photos ready, getting quotes together, and I plan to also make them into hard copy versions. I’m also planning to put the PR advice into action over the next two weeks in time for my first tour! I’ve started getting new business cards designed, and I’m rethinking my networking strategy in-person as well based on Ariel’s advice.

    2. My biggest breakthrough – definitely getting my branding under control!!!! I can articulate my brand, I have all my sites matching, and it really makes everything more presentable and makes me feel more confident when I get asked about what I do and how I sound!

    3. Week 2 – the pitch week was most significant. It’s the most basic item to have in your arsenal as an artist! It really felt like I suddenly knew who Jessica Speziale the musician was – and how she fits so perfectly with Jessica Speziale the person.

    4. Week 1 – http://www.jessicaspeziale.com/2012/01/25/music-success-in-9-weeks-blogging-challenge/

    Week 2 – http://www.jessicaspeziale.com/2012/01/29/687/

    Week 3 – http://www.jessicaspeziale.com/2012/01/31/week-3-website/

    Week 4 – http://www.jessicaspeziale.com/2012/02/05/week-4-revving-the-social-media-engine/

    Week 5 – http://www.jessicaspeziale.com/2012/02/12/week-5-its-vloggin-time/

    Week 6 – http://www.jessicaspeziale.com/2012/02/19/a-blog-about-blogging-week-6/

    Week 7 – http://www.jessicaspeziale.com/2012/02/28/week-7-getting-intimate/

    Week 8 – http://www.jessicaspeziale.com/2012/03/04/week-8-the-mean-green/

    Week 9 – http://www.jessicaspeziale.com/2012/03/11/week-9-transitioning-back-to-the-real-world/

    5. AMAZING!! I’ve got my glass of red in hand <3 Cheers!

    Thanks guys!!! It's been a pleasure :D Looking forward to keeping in touch!

    Jess

  2. March 11, 2012 11:43 pm

    1. What action steps did you take or will you be taking based on Ariel’s suggestions in Week 9.
    In the next three months, I will : re write a new bio/new photos in all sizes/ concentrate on blogs/writers/press resources to get some great new quotes . Create a new press kit. Ilove the points of how to introduce oneself and touching my forehead. I also really resonated with ” focusing on what it is I would like to do today, this week, this month to move my musical career forward.” I will add this to my morning prep.
    2. What is the biggest breakthrough you have experienced through participating in this challenge? (we want to celebrate with you)
    Writing a blog every week and the whole Youtube thing: making my own video and uploading it onto my blog was super hard for me! But I really enjoyed learning to do it.
    3. What was the most significant week for you, and why?
    Week 8. It freaked me out because it triggered all my money/insecurity issues and I went numb and almost dropped out. It took everything I had to process and re group and realize how critical the tiered funnel is to my bread and butter income of my career and is exactly what I need to add the most.
    4. Lastly, please post ALL 9 WEEKs, labelled: Week 1 – link, Week 2 – link, etc.,
    Week 1 https://christiegrace.wordpress.com/2012/01/14/life-is-all-about-timing/
    Week 2 https://christiegrace.wordpress.com/2012/01/21/an-encounter-with-self/
    Week 3 https://christiegrace.wordpress.com/2012/01/30/website-grooming-2/
    Week 4 https://christiegrace.wordpress.com/2012/02/05/the-journey-itself-is-home-matsuo-basho/
    Week 5 https://christiegrace.wordpress.com/2012/02/14/the-power-of-love/
    Week 6 https://christiegrace.wordpress.com/2012/02/23/the-blogging-blues-4/
    Week 7 https://christiegrace.wordpress.com/2012/03/04/at-my-own-pace/
    Week 8 https://christiegrace.wordpress.com/2012/03/10/a-continuum-of-imperfect-perfection/
    Week 9 http://christiegrace.wordpress.com/2012/03/11/would-anybody-want-it-the-real-world-of-marketing/
    5. Break out some bubbly!
    THANK YOU!!! :)))

  3. March 12, 2012 12:34 am

    Well nine weeks of blogging like a crazy person is over. This SAC Social Networking Challenge has been a great deal of work and very fulfilling. I feel I have many more songwriting friends across the country. I have learned so much from Ariel’s book and just as much from the participants.

    1. The specific action steps I took because of this challenge were: creating a solid positioning statement and making each of my online outlets look similar. I overhauled my site, my blog, my business plan and my fan strategy. I have hired a publicist to help me execute on my album launch.

    2. The biggest breakthrough was half way through the challenge when my Reverbnation fans and blog fans doubled. It seemed like the blogging was creating momentum. My traffic across all of my sites spiked. Being the featured Member on the SAC site was pretty great too!

    3. The most important week I had on this challenge was week 8 – the Continuum Plan. It became so clear what my values are in my creative journey and what success means to me. I have a solid action plan engaging and building relationships with my listeners. I hope you watch and see what happens!

    4. Here are all 9 weeks worth of blogs:
    Week 1: http://wp.me/p1aIaY-77
    Week 2: http://wp.me/p1aIaY-7v
    Week 3: http://wp.me/p1aIaY-7H
    Week 4: http://wp.me/p1aIaY-8v
    Week 5: http://wp.me/p1aIaY-91
    Week 6: http://wp.me/p1aIaY-9e
    Week 7: http://wp.me/p1aIaY-9h
    Week 8: http://wp.me/p1aIaY-9x
    Week 9: http://wp.me/1aIaY

    5. I don’t like to drink alone, so if you are at CMW next week send me an email (heather@heatherhill.ca) and we can hook up!!

    All of the participants inspired me. Thank you.
    Warm regards, Heather
    http://www.heatherhill.ca

  4. March 12, 2012 1:02 am

    1. Action steps based on Ariel’s suggestions in Week 9.
    I got new business cards printed that include my pitch, photos and info. I am working on new promo materials (photos, video edits, quotes) for a more comprehensive press kit. I overhauled my Goals board for the next couple months and will be redoing my website in the next 6 months. I will be revisiting weeks 1-9 a few times a year from this day forward. I will continue to blog and update my website and profiles. I will enjoy social media and keep in touch with my fellow participants. Oh, and I’m working on new songs for a new CD. ☺

    
2. The biggest breakthrough I experienced participating in this challenge is creating a concrete visual of what I’m hoping to do and what I’m capable of and also learning about the various tools available to me.

    3. For me, this time around, weeks 1 and 2 tie for the most significant for me because they helped me define my music and my goals for my music.

    4. Blog entries:
    Week 1- http://wp.me/p29Jb2-7
    Week 2- http://wp.me/p29Jb2-l
    Week 3- http://wp.me/p29Jb2-1m
    Week 4- http://wp.me/p29Jb2-1w
    Week 5- http://wp.me/p29Jb2-2d
    Week 6- http://wp.me/p29Jb2-2w
    Week 7- http://wp.me/p29Jb2-2z
    Week 8- http://wp.me/p29Jb2-2N
    Week 9- http://wp.me/p29Jb2-37

    5. Break out some bubbly!
    Done and done! Cheeeeeeeeers! ☺

  5. March 12, 2012 1:38 am

    This was a great challenge I had a lot of fun.

    What I’ll be taking doing from chapter nine is a press kit. It’s a big project but It’ll get me new photos and bio etc … all of which will fill an EPK. Win Win.

    My biggest breakthrough is that relationships are everything. I don’t just want someone to buy my CD. I want people who will be my patrons over time.

    The most significant week was probably week 1. Yep, the book helped me right out of the gate. Defining myself and my sound was something I hadn’t done and it helped guide the rest of the chapters immeasurably.

    Posts
    Announcement – http://www.songstuckerwrote.com/songstuckerwrote/2012/1/9/tucker-are-you-asking-for-a-challenge.html

    Week 1 – http://www.songstuckerwrote.com/songstuckerwrote/2012/1/15/tucker-you-do-know-that-goals-arent-tasks-dont-you.html

    Week 2 – http://www.songstuckerwrote.com/songstuckerwrote/2012/1/22/tucker-can-you-describe-your-sound-in-a-tweet.html

    Week 3 – http://www.songstuckerwrote.com/songstuckerwrote/2012/1/29/tucker-paypal-buttons-really.html

    Week 4 – http://www.songstuckerwrote.com/songstuckerwrote/2012/2/5/tucker-do-you-need-a-finished-product-to-build-an-audience.html

    Week 5 – http://www.songstuckerwrote.com/songstuckerwrote/2012/2/20/tucker-are-you-a-carny-or-a-hipster.html

    Week 6 – http://www.songstuckerwrote.com/songstuckerwrote/2012/2/28/tucker-lets-be-independent-together.html

    Week 7 – http://www.songstuckerwrote.com/songstuckerwrote/2012/2/28/tucker-do-you-really-want-to-hear-my-story.html

    Week 8 – http://www.songstuckerwrote.com/songstuckerwrote/2012/3/4/tucker-isnt-continuum-plan-a-star-trek-episode.html

    Week 9 – http://www.songstuckerwrote.com/songstuckerwrote/2012/3/11/tucker-the-secret-to-success-is-doing-something-then-doing-i.html

  6. March 12, 2012 3:04 am

    Hey everyone! I’m so sad this is the last week! I’ve learned and grown so much, and been really encouraged by all of you!
    1. Based on Week 9, I’m collecting some press quotes from some friends in the music business (one or two in marketing, a producer, a songwriter, and maybe more!). I also took to heart the advice given about press kits, and instead of only printing out CDs in sleeves, I’m going to do a small run of full artwork CDs in jewel cases for the purpose of including in press kits and sending to music journalists. AND I plan to be persistent in following those up! I won’t be hiring a publicist at this point in my career, but the time guidelines were really helpful, so I’ll be doing my best to promote my Album launch (coming out late spring) myself and with the help of my street-teamers, who were recruited personally and via Reverbnation, as she suggested!

    2. The biggest breakthrough was definitely in defining myself as an artist (the Pitch!), in interacting with music bloggers, and in getting my music on some podcasts, which resulted in one of my favorite artists following me on Twitter (Amel Larrieux…. we were featured on the same podcast together)!! I also managed to get a bit of dialogue going with some music bloggers, which I hope will develop into more of a working relationship.
    It was also really helpful to me to have the deadlines, as hard as they were. It really showed me how much progress I am capable of, even in a short amount of time.

    3. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I think Week 2 (The Pitch) was still the most significant for me. It was the springboard for all the social media and promoting we did in the following weeks. It was very hard to narrow my sound down to a few sentences, and even harder to imagine comparing myself to artist like Alicia Keys, Eva Cassidy, & Aretha Franklin (because they’re so hugely successful!), but once I had settled on those influences as the best to describe me, I felt much more confident in promoting myself. People could see right off the bat what kind of music I made. I didn’t have to fumble for words anymore. It’s great!

    4. Blog Posts:
    WEEK 1 – http://adriannesoundslike.tumblr.com/post/15793067684/thoughts-between-lessons AND

    http://adriannesoundslike.tumblr.com/post/15793326095/video-tour-of-l-l-studios-and-some-tips-im

    WEEK 2 – http://adriannesoundslike.tumblr.com/post/16017686419/sac-social-media-challenge-week-2-the-pitch AND

    http://adriannesoundslike.tumblr.com/post/16241409894/the-goals-and-the-progress-week-2-wrap-up

    WEEK 3 – http://adriannesoundslike.tumblr.com/post/16612092414/songwriters-media-challenge-week-3 AND

    http://adriannesoundslike.tumblr.com/post/16808917508/reframing-your-life

    WEEK 4 – http://adriannesoundslike.tumblr.com/post/17238229970/sac-challenge-week-4-cultivating-social-media
    WEEK 5 – http://adriannesoundslike.tumblr.com/post/17533875995/sac-challenge-week-5-the-joy-of-youtube
    WEEK 6 – http://adriannesoundslike.tumblr.com/post/18002969093/sac-social-media-challenge-week-6-blog-it-up AND

    http://adriannesoundslike.tumblr.com/post/18366277065/whats-good-whats-bad-and-why

    WEEK 7 – http://adriannesoundslike.tumblr.com/post/18451999793/sac-social-media-challenge-week-7-i-want-you
    WEEK 8 – http://adriannesoundslike.tumblr.com/post/18838919449/week-8-the-great-fan-continuum
    WEEK 9 – http://adriannesoundslike.tumblr.com/post/19170609684/sac-challenge-week-9-press-kits-publicity

    5. Bubbly is flowing!

  7. March 12, 2012 4:37 am

    Finally finished! All done! Yay!!!!
    http://shellydubois-blog.blogspot.com/ Weeks 1 through 9 are all posted here.

  8. March 12, 2012 12:09 pm

    Week 9 : Thank you each and everyone of you for all your insights and accomplishments. You all have been a great inspiration to work with. Here is the last but not least of what we can all do together and alone! Thank you Lily and Ariel for your leadership!

    http://wp.me/p27tHb-2L

  9. March 12, 2012 3:37 pm

    I tip my hat to whoever wins – you truly deserve it. I would hate to be on the selection committee because there are some very strong, hard-working and talented members of this group. Success will no doubt find you all in different packages. It was great to take this journey with you all.

  10. March 12, 2012 4:09 pm

    Number 9 Number 9 Number 9
    I woke this morning out of a dream about the 9 week challenge. It was the grand jumble of dream information that during it made perfect sense. There was Wax Mannequin in concert as I’d been watching him on YouTube as he’d been mentioned by fellow SACCER Tom Shea. The words “Do it then Do it Again” were floating about thanks to Tucker’s blog of last night. There was a clock symbolizing daylight savings,an overall feeling of eagerness,and a big number 9.

    My first goal with this challenge was to get better with a lot of the webalizing. I can now Tweet,Reverb with the Nation,post YouTube videos and thanks to Bandzoogle have started to create a website to replace the one I currently have. These are all works in progress but progress it is . I’ve texted more in the last nine weeks that I ever have,and I’m happy to say that at this juncture I’m still shite at it but enjoy it more. My hat is off to all of you who are total wizzes at all of this and have incorporated it effectively into your career path.

    My biggest new found joy from all of this has been blogging. I tend towards brevity as a songwriter so to stretch it out a bit has been tremendously satisfying. Yesterday I actually created a Blog series for myself “My First 12 Seconds with the Beatles” It incorporates 3 of the pieces that I wrote during the challenge and will regularly include more memories of some of my indelible musical experiences. It’s at http://www.rossdouglasblogs.blogspot.com. and I hope it spurs you to share some of yours- be they sublime or ridiculous..

    I know we have been asked to provide the URLs for all of our past weekly reports. The trouble for me is that I sent almost all of them to the Facebook page rather than the SAC site-So sorry Ariel and Lily – the best I can do is refer you to http://www.rossdouglas.com/blog and you can scroll back through them there.

    The real action I’ll be taking as a result of the week 9 challenge will to be tighten up all the stuff that became right for me from the first 8. To continue to fully integrate myself as an artist and a business.My main concern is to write music that I feel proud to promote and play it as often as possible. I’m 2 songs into a new album right now and want to crack off a few more before the summer. So Newsletters and the special Ross Douglas Snow Globe of Love will have to wait for a while.Right now it’s time to create product.

    I take away from this course tremendous respect and affection for my fellow SACCERS. I have looked forward every day to seeing your comments on how you have been doing. To those of you who have met with various musical successes during the past 9 weeks once again my heartiest congratulations. To all of you who have shared words with me about what I do and you do – thank you so much for it. Thank you to the perfectly imperfect Lily for keeping us informed as to what was next and where to send it. And to Ariel thank you for being the force that brought all of us together. I’m so much richer for it.

    To all of you – Bon Chance and Much Love.

  11. March 12, 2012 5:20 pm

    I can’t believe this moment has come (sniff,sniff). It’s truly been grand!
    1. What action steps did you take or will you be taking based on Ariel’s suggestions in Week 9. I will be printing new business cards, taking the time to follow up on business cards that I receive, and starting to look for a publicist.
    2. What is the biggest breakthrough you have experienced through participating in this challenge? My biggest breakthrough was making time to do the things I knew I needed to do, but never got around to doing, because other people’s deadlines always seemed more urgent. I’ve made major strides in making time to pursue my own goals now.
    3. What was the most significant week for you, and why? I think the branding week was pivotal because it defined more clearly to myself who I was and who I wanted to be. This has helped me communicate more effectively to strangers – especially in networking settings. This has also been the foundation upon which I have built all the other parts of my social media presence.
    4. Week 1: http://wp.me/p2dsIr-45
    Week 2: http://wp.me/p2dsIr-44
    Week 3: http://wp.me/p2dsIr-X
    Week 4: http://wp.me/p2dsIr-59
    Week 5: http://wp.me/p2dsIr-5i
    Week 6: http://wp.me/p2dsIr-5u
    Week 7: http://wp.me/p2dsIr-5D
    Week 8: http://wp.me/p2dsIr-5I
    Week 9: http://wp.me/p2dsIr-5O

    I would like to thank all of you who have joined me these past 9 weeks. Your candour and your passion have all inspired me. I would also like to say thanks to the Songwriters Association of Canada for allowing me to champion this new initiative. Lastly, I would like to thank Ariel Hyatt. I believe that she could have charged thousands of dollars for the advice she gives out in her book, Music Success in 9 Weeks.. The music community is lucky to have someone who is so generous to share what she knows.

  12. March 12, 2012 6:44 pm

    1. Action steps I’ll be taking based on Ariel’s suggestion in Week 9 will be to order some Moo Minicards, hire a pro to write my biography, organise a photo shoot, and start gathering quotes for my press kit. That way, I’ll have business cards to hand out (when asked!) and also I will have a press kit ready before my album is done. I hadn’t been thinking about these things at all, I was just concentrating on recording the album.

    2. My biggest breakthrough participating in this challenge was the validation that it makes sense to get my name and my music out there, even though I am primarily a songwriter, who is planning to release a collection of songs on the side. I was struggling with even starting the Challenge, as I felt I shouldn’t be necessarily seeking out the same kind of attention that performing artists should be. It turns out that were are other non-performing songwriters in our group, and Ariel’s book reinforced that not only do non-performing artists need to get their music and their message out there, but also that many of her clients have no shows to promote, and yet they regularly keep their fans updated and receive publicity.

    3. The most significant week for me was Week 3: Your Website. I signed up to Google Analytics and have since been fascinated at discovering how people are finding my site, plus all the other information that is supplied that I can use to gain more traffic. Also, I added a mailing list feature to my website. I can’t believe I didn’t do that sooner – crazy! My website is a work in progress and I’m going to implement many more of Ariel’s suggestions to my website, over time.

    4. Week 1 – http://sneakyhooks.com/2012/01/sac-social-media-challenge-week-1-getting-started/
    Week 2 – http://sneakyhooks.com/2012/01/sac-social-media-challenge-week-2-the-pitch/
    Week 3 – http://sneakyhooks.com/2012/01/sac-social-media-challenge-week-3-website/
    Week 4 – http://sneakyhooks.com/2012/02/sac-social-media-challenge-week-4-social-media-primer/
    Week 5 – http://sneakyhooks.com/2012/02/sac-social-media-challenge-week-5-the-musicians-guide-to-youtube/
    Week 6 – http://sneakyhooks.com/2012/03/sac-social-media-challenge-week-6-blogging/
    Week 7 – http://sneakyhooks.com/2012/03/sac-social-media-challenge-week-7-your-newsletter/
    Week 8 – http://sneakyhooks.com/2012/03/sac-social-media-challenge-week-8-creating-a-continuum-program/
    Week 9 – http://sneakyhooks.com/2012/03/sac-social-media-challenge-week-9-the-real-world/

    Chin chin! Thanks everybody for the great community spirit. I look forward to following your careers and keeping in touch. Cheers for now!

  13. March 12, 2012 9:15 pm

    1. Week 9 take away?
    I will again work with a publicist when I launch my next CD (still a ways off… I have to finish recording the album first!) I had such an excellent experience with a publicist two years ago when I released “Even Though The Sky Was Falling”, that I can’t imagine doing it any other way. I will also be conducting a thorough review and update of my press kit once I have new promotional photos and CD artwork. I will be rewriting my biography to reflect the current narrative. I also quite like the idea of creating a double-sided postcard to add to my press kit and to hand out at shows, etc. Oh, and I will never again say “My name is Karyn Ellis” like a stranger. From now on I will say “Hi, it’s Karyn Ellis.” Thanks! :)

    2. Biggest breakthrough?
    The constant and consistent creation of content in the form of blog posts, videos, short status updates, newsletters, etc, has been fabulous. Up until now, I had been operating under a fits ‘n start methodology, which was fuelled by my perfectionism… the less frequent the communication, the more perfect each utterance had to be. By developing a regular routine of outputting content, the pressure is off to make each one Adonis. More room to be a regular ol’ quirkball of a human being.

    3. Most significant week?
    Gosh, this is a tough question. Just about every week brought its own epiphany. Reflecting back on the last two + months, I can’t believe how great the shift has been in my daily music / music business practice. But if I *have* to pick one… it would be week 6 on blogging. This week in particular reminded me of the central nature of relationships in the music biz. The value of those relationships goes beyond the reviews my work, but also affects me in a deeper sense… by understanding the relationship each listener has with music itself, I am reminded of how important it is for me to be fully present both when making / performing music and when promoting it.

    4. Blog links…

    Warm up: Does Anybody Ever Win These Things

    http://karynellis.wordpress.com/2012/01/10/does-anybody-ever-win-these-things

    Week 1: What The Mayans Can Teach Us About Setting Goals, Or…

    http://karynellis.wordpress.com/2012/01/16/what-the-mayans-can-teach-me

    Week 2: Hold the door, this elevator is going up!

    http://karynellis.wordpress.com/2012/01/23/hold-the-door-this-elevator-is-going-up

    Week 3: Home Sweet Homepage

    http://karynellis.wordpress.com/2012/01/30/home-sweet-homepage

    Week 4: Social Media and the Theory of Everything

    http://karynellis.wordpress.com/2012/02/06/social-media-and-the-theory-of-everything

    Week 5: Music Videos Are Not Dead! They’ve Just Gone North For The Winter.

    http://karynellis.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/music-videos-are-not-dead

    Week 6: (Part 1 of 4) I’ve Looked At Blogs From Both Sides Now

    http://karynellis.wordpress.com/2012/02/20/music-blog-for-a-week

    Week 6 con’d: The Interviews
    (Part 2 of 4) Interview with Tom Shea of Trio Arjento

    http://karynellis.wordpress.com/2012/02/20/interview-with-tom-shea/

    (Part 3 of 4) Interview with Sue Newberry of Sue Newberry & The Law

    http://karynellis.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/interview-with-sue-newberry/

    (Part 4 of 4) Interview with Kimi Lyn Smith

    http://karynellis.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/interview-with-kimi-lyn-smith/

    Week 7: Poor, Poor Baby

    http://karynellis.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/poor-poor-baby

    Week 8: How much IS that doggy in the window? In play money, please.

    http://karynellis.wordpress.com/2012/03/05/play-money

    Week 9: And That Folks Is A Wrap

    http://www.karynellis.wordpress.com/2012/03/12/that-folks-is-a-wrap

    5. Wooooooo hoooooooo! *clink*

  14. March 12, 2012 9:38 pm

    Thanks Lily, SAC, Ariel Team, Fellow Challengers for all your hard work and support.

    1. What action steps did I take based on Ariel’s suggestions in Week 9?

    –I went out and networked in the real world (see Blog Week 9)

    2. Biggest breakthrough I have experienced through participating in this challenge?

    –I switched to G-mail and Google Calendar and Google Reader so I can have things more integrated and properly synched via IMAP between my laptop & my phone; incorporated 1Password, Evernote, and Mailplane (works with the task management program THINGS), realized I need to focus on Linked In, have an rss system to better keep up with music trades, blogs, charts, etc., and finally—the most important thing I can do is make phone calls.

    3. What was the most significant week for you, and why?

    Week 9 has been the most significant week for me, because I have been able to look back on everything and start to synthesize it all, and I have come to the conclusion that interacting in the real world is my priority. I actually need to pick up the phone!

    4. Links To Blogs:

    Week 1: http://wp.me/p11gcs-1g
    Week 2:http://wp.me/p11gcs-1x
    Week 3:http://wp.me/p11gcs-1C
    Week 4:http://wp.me/p11gcs-1J
    Week 5: http://wp.me/p11gcs-2D
    Week 6: http://wp.me/p11gcs-34
    Week 7: http://wp.me/p11gcs-39
    Week 8: http://wp.me/p11gcs-3j
    Week 9: http://wp.me/p11gcs-3L

  15. March 12, 2012 10:29 pm

    What an awesome challenge!

    1. This week’s action steps:
    Got my one page bio done and up online! Revised my press kit and got it up on my website (bio will be revised and colour photos will be added when my album art is done but for now it’s up!) To do from Week 9: will be spending the extra $ and will create my CD with a readable spine! When the time comes I will always send publicists the full CD and album art along with stickers on it pointing them to 2 or 3 key songs. But before I do that I’m going to research the publicists thoroughly and not just fall for their “smooth phone voice”! One more action to do re: being memorable while networking: remember to talk less and listen more.

    2. Biggest breakthrough during this challenge
    This challenge has literally helped me open up on a very deep level. Even though I still face some insecurity about “being seen” by the vast and unknown cyberworld, it has been an incredible journey and so rewarding to know that I am “letting myself out” for the world to see. Usually I reserve those vulnerable and authentic spaces for my music. But this challenge invited that part of me out to the world through so many other avenues (vlogging and tweeting and blogging). The challenge also really helped me open up to embracing my art as a business. Week 8 certainly hit home for me in terms of how I’m going to keep the doors of prosperity wide open.

    3. Most Significant Week
    Week 5 – YOUTUBE baby. Without this challenge I don’t think I would have ventured into video territory for while longer (I’m a little intimidated by the camera…). I’m now hooked up and have my own Channel on YouTube! Thanks to the creativity of other songwriters I saw how much fun it could be to post a video – and I went for it! I had a lot of fun creating my first vlog and am excited to say I have 100+ hits…and even a few Likes! :D

    4. The Weeks!

    Week 1 – A Blog A Week Makes The Songwriter Speak

    http://aynsleysaxe.wordpress.com/2012/01/11/a-blog-a-week-makes-the-songwriter-speak/

    Week 2 – Wiggling Into A Pitch

    http://aynsleysaxe.wordpress.com/2012/01/19/wiggling-into-a-pitch/

    Week 3 – A Thousand and One Shades of Blue

    http://aynsleysaxe.wordpress.com/2012/01/29/a-thousand-and-one-shades-of-blue/

    Week 4 – (Don’t) Go Vintage or Go Home

    http://aynsleysaxe.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/dont-go-vintage-or-go-home/

    Week 5 – Tubing on YouTube

    http://aynsleysaxe.wordpress.com/2012/02/18/tubing-on-youtube/

    Week 6 – Unleashing the 5th Chakra

    http://aynsleysaxe.wordpress.com/2012/02/23/unleashing-the-5th-chakra/

    Week 7 – Saturated Snowballs

    http://aynsleysaxe.wordpress.com/2012/02/28/saturated-snowballs/

    Week 8 – Positive-Thought Boot Camp

    http://aynsleysaxe.wordpress.com/2012/03/06/positive-thought-boot-camp/

    Week 9 – Anyone for a Group “WHOOOHOOO!!!!”

    http://aynsleysaxe.wordpress.com/2012/03/12/anyone-for-a-group-whooohooo/

    5. Bubbly! For sure!! Breaking out the licorice tea…with perhaps a shot of vodka in it!

    Congratulations to everyone! It has been SUCH a pleasure sharing this journey with you. I’ve been so inspired by you. THANK YOU for living your passion for music!!!!! And of course, BIG thanks, to Ariel for creating such an awesome challenge for us and helping us live our dream!

  16. March 12, 2012 11:16 pm

    1)
    What Action Steps will I be taking based on Week 9:
    – Write down what I want daily, weekly and monthly and really focus on those before I set out for the day, an event, etc…
    – Find/hire a person to write my bio
    – Revamp my business cards
    – Get my Press Kit completed, perfected and ready to go! Including getting quotes!
    – Find a publicist
    – Research appropriate journalists to contact when the time is right

    2)
    Biggest Breakthrough: I have now fully immersed myself into building my music career. I am focused and everything I do serves a purpose towards progressing this career path. I guess, more specifically, I’ve set out a clear and precise game-plan which has actually followed through in many areas already! I’ve also developed my social media skills and presence enormously. And lastly, I’m taking action and getting my priorities straight! I’m not letting little fears get in my way! I’ve faced a lot of them and become stronger and more confident because of it.

    3)
    Most Significant Week: Such a tough question! I think I’d have to say Week 1: Setting Goals. It really set the foundation for everything else… However, a close tie for second place would be Week 2: The Pitch and Week 7: Your Newsletter

    4)
    Week 1 link: http://dervla.bandzoogle.com/week1.cfm
    Week 2 link: http://dervla.bandzoogle.com/week2.cfm
    Week 3 link: http://dervla.bandzoogle.com/week3.cfm
    Week 4 link: http://dervla.bandzoogle.com/week4.cfm
    Week 5 link: http://dervla.bandzoogle.com/week5.cfm
    Week 6 link: http://dervla.bandzoogle.com/week6.cfm
    Week 7 link: http://dervla.bandzoogle.com/week7.cfm
    Week 8 link: http://dervla.bandzoogle.com/week8.cfm
    Week 9 link: http://dervla.bandzoogle.com/week9.cfm

    5)
    Bed for this girl! Running off of very little sleep… but I’ll crack some bubbly tomorrow night :)

    Thank you SO much to Ariel especially, as well as Lily and the Songwriters Association! This has been a life-changing time for me and I owe it all to you!

  17. March 12, 2012 11:38 pm

    1. What action steps did you take or will you be taking based on Ariel’s suggestions in Week 9:
    Action steps are outlined in detail in this week’s blog. To summarize, throughout March and April I will: continue working with designer to update website for April launch; work with designer to create business cards and postcards promoting my upcoming EP release; continue to use this week’s reading as a guide to working with my hired publicist; upload a .pdf of my EPK onto website; follow up with tour venues for local publicity leads; full-band photo shoot on April 6th for new press release pics; work with publicist and designer on the “go beyond your bio” tips from the reading this week. Whew!

    2. What is the biggest breakthrough you have experienced through participating in this challenge?
    The biggest was a significant rise in my confidence at a) my ability to learn about and put into practice the art of self-promotion in the music biz, which leads to b) my rising belief that I HAVE A PRODUCT WORTHY OF PROMOTION. This has been the absolute biggest part – the true belief that what I do has merit, and should be out there in the world! This includes not only my recorded and live music, but I found out in these 9 weeks my writing, blogging, tweeting, videos, etc are also included in my creative outputs. Of course, learning the tools to make that dream a reality is part of this breakthrough. And knowing that beyond a doubt that it takes hard work, scheduling and commitment to have breakthroughs!

    3. What was the most significant week for you, and why?
    Having to choose, I would say that and I found myself returning over again to Week 3: Your Website. Revamping my website has been in the cards for so long, but I wasn’t sure where to start – it was all so overwhelming! I also found that every single other week was reflected in the website: the pitch, newsletter, blog, weblinks, continuum plan…everything has to show up in that one location. It’s become like a little home for me that I’ve created – absolutely from the bottom up in 9 weeks! I’m proud that I have come so far, and excited to continue working with my designer to really make all that hard work pop off the screen!

    4. Lastly, please post ALL 9 WEEKs, labelled:
    WEEK ONE – One blog make one a blogger? http://goo.gl/zeOaA
    WEEK TWO – Presidential Pitches: http://goo.gl/T99LC
    WEEK THREE – Cheese or Font? http://goo.gl/Pbf1q
    WEEK FOUR – Baby’s…got…Klout: http://goo.gl/kCcXu
    WEEK FIVE – Video Killed the Radio Star: http://goo.gl/CBX6m
    WEEK SIX – blogs from a diarist: http://goo.gl/xBLPg
    WEEK SEVEN – No News isn’t Good News:
    WEEK EIGHT – Funnel of Love: http://goo.gl/rU7WT
    WEEK NINE – Oh, The Places We’ll Go! http://wp.me/p28DGt-2j

    5. Break out some bubbly! *POP!!* (seriously. i bought some today.)

    Cheers to all my dear bloggers! You did it!!

  18. March 12, 2012 11:54 pm

    Finally!!! I am done and feeling really great!!! Congratulations to all of us :)

    So, here is my final entry:

    1. Action steps:
    Based on week 9’s chapter, I will be focusing on three things: increasing my exposure, increasing my fan base and getting more regular gigs. In addition to that, I’ll be revising my bio and press kit and making sure that my Sonicbids EPK is strong and represents well who I am. While I didn’t research the publicist I’m working with (he kind of came to me), I’m really happy with the work he’s been doing. It’s also been great to have someone with whom to discuss ideas and is really dedicated to promoting you :)

    2. Biggest breakthrough:
    I think my biggest breakthrough is in terms of finding my voice. I’m a very shy person and I often find it hard to share opinions or my thoughts. This challenge has really pushed, not only to think about what I’m doing and what I want to achieve, but also about how to communicate and about not being afraid of your thoughts and opinions. Chances are someone else is thinking the same thing!

    3. Most significant week, and why?
    Week 5 – YouTube. Although posting covers on YouTube has been a goal of mine for some time, any video I’d take was never good enough or original enough…. But I’m happy to say that I did post two covers! And even an original song. So, it’s certainly getting easier!

    Apart from week 5, I think the challenge has also further helped me understand who I am as an artist and what I want to achieve, based on where I’m at. It’s a constant lesson – I find I always have to remind myself why I’m doing this and not compare myself with everyone else on YouTube! haha We all have that something that makes us unique. I’ve learned to say this is me and I’m very happy with that :)

    4. Lastly, please post ALL 9 WEEKs, labelled: Week 1 – link, Week 2 – link, etc.,

    Week 1 – Blogging Challenge Week 1!

    http://bit.ly/A1KxzF

    Week 2 – The Art of Branding Under the Cuban Sun

    http://bit.ly/x9fLjL

    Week 3 – Welcome to Twitter!

    http://bit.ly/wU4Oby

    Week 4 – The iPhone 3 and the Trans-Canada Highway Moose

    http://bit.ly/y533SI

    Week 5 – Girl’s Got Covers!

    http://bit.ly/w10IEh

    Week 6 – Blogging and Bloggers

    http://bit.ly/AdATS0

    Week 7 – Would you perhaps, potentially, maybe join my newsletter?!!!

    http://bit.ly/AaLivo

    Week 8 – Cherishing Every Little Moments of My Journey

    http://bit.ly/w53Yrk

    Week 9 – Goodbye Challenge, Hello World!

    http://bit.ly/wbc8qk

    5. Finished just in time!!!! yay :) I’m definitely having another glass of wine!!!

    Thank you!!!!
    Kristine :)

  19. March 12, 2012 11:57 pm

    1. I will be working to improve my press kit, including incorporating some new elements created through the social media challenge.

    2. The biggest break through for me was actually blogging. As shared in my posts, not my favourite thing to do but nonetheless very important to do.

    3. Week three would be the biggest inline with my break through. I created my offifcial blog site on Tumblr!

    4. The links to my posts over the nine weeks:

    Week 1: WTF http://kenyakondo.tumblr.com/post/16660916451/blog-challenge-week-1

    Week 2: Hitting the right pitch http://kenyakondo.tumblr.com/post/16661484572/blogging-challenge-week-2

    Week 3: My Online Home http://kenyakondo.tumblr.com/post/16864581517/blogging-challengw-week-3

    Week 4:Focusing on the why-Social media as a tool http://kenyakondo.tumblr.com/post/17575996054/week-4-focusing-on-the-why-social-media-as-a-tool

    Week 5: Two birds, one stone & YouTube http://kenyakondo.tumblr.com/post/19220661608/week-5-two-birds-one-stone-youtube-early

    Week 6: What the blog! http://kenyakondo.tumblr.com/post/19209337258/week-6-what-the-blog

    Week 7: The Fan Newsletter http://kenyakondo.tumblr.com/post/19206521319/week-7-social-media-challenge-newsletter

    Week 8: Of consistency and sustainability-The Continuum plan http://kenyakondo.tumblr.com/post/19196889091/week-8-social-media-challenge

    Week 9: The finish line http://kenyakondo.tumblr.com/post/19221136742/week-9-the-finish-line

  20. March 13, 2012 12:00 am

    1. I will be taking steps towards launching a continuum plan this spring/summer:

    I will be planning the release of my first ever solo album.

    I will be planning on building an email list, hoping to get 500-1000 members, and always bringing the list to new gigs and making it grow.

    I will be printing up new business cards.

    Investing in new equipment to further the quality of my work.

    Watering my social media garden regularly.

    Networking! Both in the cyber and real world.

    Making more music. Tons of music! And lots of media, videos, blogs, podcasts, performances, merchandise, etc, etc…

    2.My biggest breakthrough so far was establishing a new website that will serve the purpose of engaging with fans and delivering a newsletter. This is huge in my ability to connect with new fans.

    3. The most significant week for me was week 3, because without it I would not have a new website!

    4. Week 1: http://roryohearn.tumblr.com/post/15598315529/to-tweet-or-not-to-tweet-blog-1-music-success-in-9

    Week 2: http://roryohearn.tumblr.com/post/19133574755/week-2-a-satisfying-pitch

    Week 3: http://roryohearn.tumblr.com/post/19171657790/week-3-time-for-a-new-website

    Week 4: http://roryohearn.tumblr.com/post/19172290414/week-4-working-hard-on-my-social-media-even-if-im

    Week 5: http://roryohearn.tumblr.com/post/19173534564/week-5-applying-my-writing-skills-to-blogging

    Week 6: http://roryohearn.tumblr.com/post/19196447430/week-6-how-to-reach-1-000-true-fans

    Week 7: http://roryohearn.tumblr.com/post/19215477284/week-7-the-missing-building-blocks-my-plan

    Week 8: http://roryohearn.tumblr.com/post/19217999069/week-8-networking-time

    Week 9: http://roryohearn.tumblr.com/post/19219322701/week-9-keep-moving-forward

  21. March 13, 2012 2:55 am

    Okay….Week 9….The Real World….Bring It On

    http://lucyleblanc.tumblr.com

    All nine weeks posted there.

    What a challenge this has been. I applaud everyone’s hard work….it’s been a pleasure interfacing with you all. So inspiring.

  22. March 13, 2012 2:57 am

    Wowzers…..20 minutes to go here in Nelson BC; it is almost midnight and I feel as though I may turn into a pumpkin if I don’t post my last posting!
    What a crazy ride the past 9 weeks have been….Here is the last entry:

    1. The action steps I’ll be taking based on Ariel’s suggestions in Week 9 are:
    a)continue to build my email list…I am doing so by handing out cards to random strangers on chairlifts out here in BC and people have signed up!
    b) Follow up with hosts of events to thank them for having me……
    c) Work on my niche angles (skiers and sailors in particular….events etc.)

    2. The biggest breakthrough I’ve experienced through participating in this challenge would have to be finding time to read, reflect, write and post while I’ve been on the road touring over the past 5 weeks. I managed to do it staying at various people’s’ homes, skiing profusely, playing gigs and booking new gigs!

    3. For me, I think that week one was the most significant because it set me on the path to complete the challenge. It was the first time I’d felt “accountable” for blogging, getting more internet savy and such, and I felt like I was in a community.

    4. Week 1:http://www.sarahcalvert.ca/blog/and_it_feels_like_and_it_seems_like_a_brand_new_day_van_morrison

    Week 2:http://www.sarahcalvert.ca/blog/im_leavin_on_a_jet_plane

    Week 3:http://www.sarahcalvert.ca/blog/down_by_the_baywhere_the_watermelons_grow

    Week 4: http://www.sarahcalvert.ca/blog/all_we_need_is_just_a_little_patience_guns_and_roses

    Week 5: http://www.sarahcalvert.ca/blog/talk_to_me_joni_mitchell

    Week 6: http://www.sarahcalvert.ca/blog/shake_it_out_florence_and_the_machine

    Week 7: http://ats.sarahcalvert.ca/blog/the_hills_are_alive_with_the_sound_of_music_rogers_and_hammerstein

    Week 8:Video Blog entry: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjlxafrHaes

    5. With 2 minutes to go, I am breaking out the bubbly…but it may have to be ginger ale due to the fact that I’m skiing tomorrow!!!! Yippeeee!

  23. March 13, 2012 10:12 am

    I’m here! I’m done! And I get to go to Cocoa Beach as soon as this is posted, so I’ll be brief for a change!

    Action Steps: Get on the phone. I have a plan. I need to mobilize people to make it happen. And everybody I talk to supports me. So I need to talk up enough support that this bird takes flight. It’s a question of when, not if.

    Biggest breakthrough? An awareness that I am actually good at this. A good writer. A good musician. A good people person. Growing up a gifted kid, I have always had imposter syndrome–I’ve always believed I was just tricking people into thinking I was competent. Now I believe in me.

    Most important week? Week 6–Blogging. My brain caught on fire, and it hasn’t died down.

    Links:
    Week One: http://trioarjento.tumblr.com/post/15866210452/msi9w-challenge-1-goal-setting

    Week Two: http://trioarjento.tumblr.com/post/16334894386/elevator-pitch

    Week Three: http://trioarjento.tumblr.com/post/16621371160/web-dreams

    Week Four: http://trioarjento.tumblr.com/post/17099553652/the-cookie-was-right

    Week Five: http://trioarjento.tumblr.com/post/17522607793/wwlzd

    Week Six: http://trioarjento.tumblr.com/post/17974374178/meta

    Week Seven: http://trioarjento.tumblr.com/post/18383685386/open-arms-closed-doors

    Week Eight: http://trioarjento.tumblr.com/post/18772262788/continuum-plans

    Week Nine: http://trioarjento.tumblr.com/post/19234786502/real-life

    Aaand…I’m off to the beach. I’ll say hi to the dolphins for you. Please keep in touch–no offense to Ariel or the book, but the best part of this activity, far and away, was the group of participants. As it should be.

    ~tom shea

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