My music industry blog celebrates its first birthday this week. A year ago I bought the domain, put my first articles up, and confessed to the world that I am a music business and marketing geek.
My year had many highs and many lows, but looking back it feels like the best year of my life so far. This article lists ten accomplishments and stories I have to tell that feel like highlights. Thank you everyone reading who helped make this year happen the way it did. In no particular order, here is my list.
Graduated From College!
Kicking it off with a big one, I walked out of my last exam in August. I am an alumni of Algonquin College’s Music Industry Arts program, and a recipient of the annual Music Business Builder Award.
Due to the Province-wide college strike in the fall of 2017, my actual graduation ceremony is postponed until next spring. So, instead of a picture of me in a cap and gown with my diploma, here is a picture of my kitten with my diploma that arrived in the mailbox.
Was Given A Media Pass To Megaphono 2017!
Megaphono is the music industry conference that takes place in my city every February. Think: panel discussions during the day, concerts at night.
I really wanted to attend, and be able to network, raise the visibility of my new blog, learn from experts, and be viewed as valuable in the local music ecosystem. I decided to apply for a media pass that would grant me free entry, in exchange for covering the event. Now, I knew competition would be tight for the limited number of passes available, and Ottawa has many music media outlets. My strategy was to differentiate myself. The other outlets would most likely want to cover the concert portion of the conference – interviewing the bands, live show recommendations, taking concert photos. I was (and still am) the only industry-oriented blog in town, so I made it clear on my application that I would be focused on the panels, and not invading the space of established live music journalists.
It worked! Not only did I get to attend every panel, but the article I wrote for them after was promoted both by Megaphono themselves, and by the Ottawa Music Industry Coalition in their monthly newsletter.
Had Eight Guest Articles in Various Publications!
Australia: Follow Magazine (both the blog and the magazine itself!)
Canada: Ottawa Beat (this one was in print!)
Released My EP!
After working on this collection of sad songs for years, I finally release them in a little bundle called Chai Tear Lattes. Does this help me keep up my musician street cred? 😉
Handed Out Awesome Pamphlets At Canadian Music Week 2017!
This year was the second time attended Canadian Music Week in Toronto. The first year I went, I noticed that all the coffee tables in the hotel were covered with promotional fliers, business cards, and free music download codes left there are a bootstrapping marketing strategy. This year, I wanted in on the action.
However, I didn’t want to just blatantly advertise myself – I wanted to provide something of value and be remembered fondly. So, these are the pamphlets I came up with.
“Networking Tips for Shy People” provided my URL, a pep-talk, a list of tips for low-key breaking the ice, and two lollipops in my brand colour (flamboyant turquoise) in each pamphlet. The upfront suggestion was to make a new connection by sharing a lollipop while mingling in the hotel, but my behind the scenes strategy was to keep an eye out for delegates with bright blue tongues, and know that they were shy, my brochure caught their attention, and they read it. Time to gently approach those who weren’t confident enough to start a conversation, and I could break the ice by introducing myself as the person who wrote it.
They were a sensation, to the point where the bookstore trade show booth asked for their own copy to proudly display and direct people to me (which they did). The only downside is I don’t know if I’m ever going to top this.
Got Invited To Host A Radio Christmas Special!
One of my articles I wrote recently on the Holiday Music Industry has been picked up by a local radio station. I’ve been invited to host their Deck The Airwaves Christmas Special this year.
Ottawa/Local: I will be live on the air Monday, December 25th, 2017. 7:05-8:30am EST on CKCU 93.1 FM.
Long Distance/Not Morning People: Listen live or replay online here.
Ate Breakfast With A Fan In Toronto!
While in Toronto for the SOCAN Awards, I had breakfast with a reader. Oh my gosh, it was the most amazing thing to see my written words I publish online translate to the real world. Obviously, I already knew you weren’t merely reader stats, but it’s so cool to meet the actual people who read and love my work.
Led My First Ever Workshop At The Ottawa Grassroots Festival!
This was a terrifying but very fun experience. I got invited to host an hour long workshop covering the basics of social media for independent artists. Here is the video!
I hope next year brings many more speaking opportunities!
Published Sixteen Interviews!
Ten interviews with artists, six interviews with music industry professionals.
Producer: Stefan Jurewicz.
Felt The Love And Support Of The Music Community From Around The World!
I’m not secretive of the fact that I had a really hard year in the mental health department. And I don’t want to be shy about how grateful I am for everyone who reached out to me as I fought my battles this year, cheering me on and sending their best wished my way.
Music connects us, makes memories and friendships, and I wouldn’t choose to be in any other industry. Thank you.