Sorry, I've been swamped!!....

How often have you heard or used this "excuse" for not responding to someone?
"I am sorry but I have been swamped!"   Swamped is a   term used to describe a feeling.  It is a feeling brought about by overwhelmed thinking.   When we use this phrase on others,  deep down we feel it will gain us sympathy, and acknowledgement of our stressful situation.

 Have you heard or used these phrases " I'm feeling down" or   " I can't seem to do anything right"?
Have you ever worked on a project with someone that simply complained about the job, the boss, or co-workers? Perhaps they go on to say how they can "never get everything done".   When your surrounded by it, you soak it in and start to believe it, and pretty soon, you find you are also a  "victim" in the "habit" of "being swamped", and find you are never getting things completely done.

Forget your bad habits, Try embracing these terms "Get over it"  Rise above it", even "I'm on top of it!"


 Look at the words you use to communicate.   Make a list of phrases that you use frequently, if your spending your time and energy talking about why you can't do things,  I bet you have a long list of things that are not getting done.

When you create your list of priorities for the day, is there realistically enough time to complete the tasks you have on the list?  Or, do you need to need to make modifications to realistically complete the tasks in a high quality way that you feel good about?

 Communicate with others on your team  who depend upon you to complete the task(s) by a specific time, or if you need help learning how to better manage your time, put your ego aside and bring in a professional to help you move out of this "phase" of not accomplishing.

  Sometimes life  does toss in delays and distractions.  How you choose to handle them will affect your success, and your relationship with those you interact with.

How have you gotten out of "being swamped?" let us know in the comment section-

References: Swamped: http://dictionary.reference.com/slang/swamped


How you gonna love somebody else?

"Honey, if you can't love yourself,
            how the hell you gonna love somebody else?"
- RuPaul Glamazon entertainer  

Do you love your product or service?

Does it excite you?  
Think about the last time you purchased something that really made you feel:  cool, hip, efficient, skinny, smarter, or super excited? 
*Extra bonus if what ever it was made you feel ALL those things!).  

Whether buying the latest technology tool, to having the cool ride you have always dreamed about when you are parting with your hard earned cash, especially for a big ticket item, you are doing so because something has REALLY motivated you to do it. Ideally your motivation isn't because the washing machine has suddenly gone ka-put.

If your product or service doesn't make you feel excited, then it certainly wont make your customers feel that way either.

Some people prefer easy,  you can spot them a mile away, they expect they, their product, or idea will be discovered and wealth will rain down upon them.  When it doesn't, they are bitching,   making a great deal of noise and waste energy, yet never do anything about it. 
 If your not creating-your not moving forward and certainly will be frustrated by staying stuck in the same place day after day, after month, after year...

If your tired of being comfortable and standing in the little circle, labeled "your comfort zone"  
Take action right now by joining others who want to create and move forward and if your ready I can  connect you with someone that provides solutions for creative minds like yours.



Links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RuPaul's_Drag_Race

Putting it all together! (the Creative Process)


The final installment on our month long series focusing on  “the Creative Process”  featured in  weekly installments to help creative business owners-


As we approach the pinnacle the next stop through the creative process is- 

CONCEPTION:  By combining our identity, inspiration and vision, committing our intention, and creating a design, model, or outline to form our creative expression. Our idea’s are conceived and in this mix of idea’s and intentions a creative “baby” given life-it may be expressed in acting, or in a new song, new item in your merchandise line, or exploring a new creative genre, like painting, fashion design, or ??? your imagination is  limitless!

CONSUMPTION:  Once we have gone through all these steps to put our creative babies out into the world then what?  We want everyone to love our babies as much as we do!  We dream of the masses loving what we have created, and imagine thousands, even millions of copies of our “creative babies” to be in the hands and hearts of “our people”.


WHAT’S NEXT?  At the end of every cycle stop and review.  Every process and step in that process is filled with learning opportunities, keep what works, and don't repeat the same mistakes again,
 as artists we have a duty to ourselves to diligently work at evolving and improving our craft.
 Are their any steps in the creative process that you feel you need to clarify or develop further?  If you look at yourcreative pyramid, if you are not starting with a strong sense of identity and how you relate to your market, it will have a direct impact on everything you hope to build upon.

Let’s step away from the pyramids and charts and look at actual example of the creative process in work with a local  San Francisco bay area artist named
Nkechi  (pronounced N-Kay-Chee) an artist, having worked as a actor, singer/songwriter/ model, she is now exploring painting as part of her creative journey.  I sat down with Nkechi  after her audition for the X-Factor to discuss her evolution as a artist,  The journey of accepting herself as a creative, and what it was like going through the audition  for a Network Television show.

(TE)How did your background help you prepare for an open casting call event?
(N)-As an actor and model I am used to the “waiting” part of long auditions.

(TE)What was your inspiration for auditioning for the X Factor?
(N)My sister suggested it. And then I decided to highlight the obvious. I believe every individual is a unique creation of God, which I translate to mean we are all God’s X Factors in our own lives.

(TE)Do you set goals for yourself as a artist or as part of your creative business?
(N)Before this year, (2012) not so much. This year, very much so.

(TE)Was auditioning for a network television show one of your goals?
(N)Being on a network television show by 2015 is one of my goals.

(TE)How did your background help you prepare for an open casting call event?
(N)I am used to riding the feelings of anticipation that build up before an audition when you are really going for something with all you are.


(TE)Let’s take a look behind the scenes at you rehersing before your audition:http://youtu.be/qqthLzo0JbM

(TE)Were there any surprises during the audition process?(N)I was surprised to see how many fellow local bay area artists were there to go for it as well.  I love San Francisco as a (creative) community.
(TE)Can you tell us briefly the steps in this type of audition process?
(N)In a snapshot it is a cattle call. We were at the cow palace after all! But in a way you are “just a number” assigned to a seat and then you hope that your mini performance plus a big dose of providence enable you to stand out enough to get called back.

(TE)How much preparation did you do to prepare for your audition? A few days.

(N) I did as well as could be expected for someone like me.  An original artist developing my sound and figuring out how much I feel called to make music. I sang a medley of “Tonight” by fun and Amazing Grace.  After not making it to round 2 I did a little second guessing as to whether I should have gone for an original but I shook that off and made a decision on steps to take in approaching a future opportunity.


(TE)What would you have done differantly ?
(N)I would have gotten a coach familiar with X Factor for help to make sure I was presenting the truest expression of my artistic voice.


(TE) What did you learn from this process?
(N)I got inspired in a bigger way than before.  I learned that my purpose has always involved being an entertainer although I’ve doubted this for most of my life.

(TE)What advice would you give young singers attempting a big goal?  (N)-Pace yourself and enjoy the process.  Where you start as an artist may not be where you end up, but as long as you are expressing your true essence you will be a winner. "Pursue your art! Whatever it is. If you want to sing, then sing! If you want to paint, paint".

(TE) I have watched you fearlessly and enthusiastically explore a variety of creative genres, acting, singing, and writing. Have you always accepted yourself as a artist?

(N)I seem to have finally come to peace now with who I am and how I am made.  I am a beautiful child of God, and so are you. After much pain, life experience and a quasi identity crisis I have come accept God’s purpose for me in sharing his love through music and art. Music and art moves people and helps people get through life experiences they don’t have words for.  I appreciate this now and want to give back what I have been given.  I pray that my music will stir people in the way others’ music has moved me.  I am a work in progress, but knowing this now has added tremendous peace to my life.

(TE)  Nkechi, thanks for sharing your journey and evolution through the creative process as a artist!  We  wish you the best success going forward, and  sharing your inspiration with our readers!

###

Tamra Engle is a independent Business Strategist, Producer, Speaker and Blogger based in the S.F. bay area. She provides artist's and businesses  Artist Development, Performance Coaching, Production, Project Management, Process Improvement, and  Operations Development services via private consultations and assignments with a focus on  Lifestyle rebalancing,  to help you reach your objectives.
You can read more about services to help you and join her mailing list at: www.tamraengle.com  
You can  email Tamra at guitartam@gmail.com

Sign up now for your 1 month Master Class’s to help your Creative Business:
 http://www.squidoo.com/guitartam-master-classes


Happiness the Creative process Pt 1



April's Topic is "Happiness" and features weekly posts to help you through the creative process-



WHAT IS GOOD FOR US?

Knowing what and how much of something is “good for us” is an eternal challenge that we all face.  Often the “right choices” means that we will deny ourselves pleasure. Like not eating a 3rd cookie.
Your mind is then faced with playing mediator to your “lesser” physiological self, and your “greater” moral self.  Some days, we have ALL had to have the 3rd cookie!

HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH?

How much pleasure and its excesses are acceptable? 
 When it comes to pleasure, the debate has kept scholars, philosophers, and religious leaders busy for centuries.

The Great Matter - Artist unknown (3)










In 1534, King Henry VIII, a man not known to deny himself anything. Created his own Christian Church when he ordered the Church of England to succeed from Roman Catholic Church, Kicking off the reformation. 
Earlier, the Pope had refused to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon after not producing a male heir to the British throne. The annulment to allow the King to marry his mistress Anne Boleyn. 

This particular example of excess had a particularly high price for some of Henry's queen’s.

As artists we have found pleasure in the creation of art. Each of us, at one time or another could be found guilty of “losing our heads” in the pleasure of creating our own art.   
 
 Cookies, Kings and You?
What do Cookies and Kings have to do with us as artists?  We admit to enjoying things that make us feel good, and from time to time we have a holiday tossed our way,  and we "may" over indulge.  Our occasional discretion's make us feel better.... don't they?  Humans will go to extraordinary lengths to achieve "happiness"  

Let's take a look at happiness and artists creative process-
WHAT IS HAPPINESS?   
 Happiness has various definitions, because it is something that varies by individual,  for me it is the "quest for the appreciation of life" 

Psychologist Martin Seligman (2) summarized positive psychology's  findings:

Humans seem happiest when they have:

Pleasure: Beautiful view, Chocolate, yummy food, foot rubs, romantic liaisons.

Relationship: Knowing we are “part of”. The social engagement of interacting with others, even without the use of a portable electronic devices!

Accomplishment: Realizing a goal that you have established for yourself.

Participation:  Engaging in an activity or event that is challenging yet, enjoyable.

Purpose:  Knowing we are part of something much greater than ourselves.


*Can you think of  recent examples of your own happiness in each of these categories?

Create happiness: would you like to be part of a happiness project?  email me  a .jpg photograph of a image that makes YOU happy by Friday April 6th 2012.  My goal is to  to collect 100 images,  I will share your image in a special gift for weeks post.
Please include the following info in your email:
Email to: info@guitartam.com
Subject: Happiness Pic
Your Name: (if it isn't part of your email addy).



 ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Tamra Engle is a independent music business strategist based in the S.F. bay area she is available for private & corporate consultations to help you develop your independent business,  produce your next demo. host a workshop or speak at your next event.
 You can read more about how she can help you,  when you join her mailing list at www.tamraengle.com  you can email her at guitartam@gmail.com

References and Credits:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happiness
(2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Seligman 
(3) http://www.flickr.com/photos/33317700@N07/3277702927/

How high can you go? (pt 3 of a series)



February posts are are focusing on ways you can get additional visibility as an Indie Artist. 
How high can you go? is part 3 of this series.
 
Transitions occur in the music industry, the brightest stars, suddenly, ridiculously, gone.

Fame comes at a price, for a addict that is generally a fatal combination.

Think carefully about how high you want to be.



HOW BIG IS YOUR FISH POND?

Do you want to be a known nationally touring act?
Do you want to rock your local scene and live off your tip jar earnings?
Perhaps  tour in your geographic region once or twice a year?
Or
Do you seriously want International super-stardom?

All  levels require lots of hard work.  The last one requires something more for a select few that have that "special something"

The best way to maximize your visibility is to take a hard look at how big the fishbowl you want to rule is.  There are levels of success in any industry.
 In the entertainment industry there is tremendous pressure to produce results and sell records.  No spotlight is hotter than being a  pop / RB Female artist- Listen to Grammy winning producer Narada describe working with Whitney Houston and what  her schedule was like during the peak of her career.



Master the tools of your trade at each level in your career, much like playing  a video game you need to find them and  learn how to master them in order to advance to the next level in your career. Imagine if you were going to to pick  instrument for the first time would you expect to jump to the level of playing  like a  concert master?  If so, your going to be frustrated and disappointed, because you were not properly prepared for what was expected for you to be a successful concert master musician. No magic short cuts, just lots of hard work.

Measure the size of your pond, master the tools at each level  and word will get out about you.
 hire a strong team of A list players to help you, remember you get what you pay for! And always be true to yourself.

If you are struggling with addiction, friends are here to help, there are resources available to you:
MusiCares established in 1989 by the Grammy foundation to provide musicians services and resources which cover a wide range of financial, medical and personal emergencies, and each case is treated with integrity and confidentiality. 

Narcotics anonymous  both provide resources to assist individuals while maintaining their anonymity.



Tamra Engle is a independent music business strategist based in the S.F. bay area she is available for private consultations to help you develop your independent music business, & manage a balanced creative lifestyle. You can read more about her and join her mailing list at www.tamraengle.com  you can email her at guitartam@gmail.com

Your customers Rain or Shine!



What’s the best way to increase your bottom line?  Know and grow your customer-fan base.
Understanding who you are, and who your “market” is key to that success.

Today, we are going to take a look at the difference between Mainstream and Niche markets.   

Mainstream Market- Are products and services that are high demand items with a lower price point.
 Niche Market focuses on a more narrow demographic within that group, with a highly specialized market and higher price point.

I wanted to showcase some fun examples of some highly successful business's using Niche Marketing here in the SF Bay area.



The Market:  High End Foodies   
The Product:Gourmet Ice Cream

You are  hard pressed to find American’s who don’t love Ice Cream.
 Most of us probably even  have a pint or two of our favorite Hagen daz or Ben and Jerry's in the freezer. 
My lactose intolerant friends seek delicious options within the Sorbet or  Gelato offerings.
Over the past couple of years, the economy has continued to tank, however, there is a growing market of high end foodie  consumers that  regardless of the weather, which in the bay area is often overcast and cool temperatures. You will find lines of customers wrapped around the block awaiting a scoop, dish, or take home pint of the rich creamy goodness of Gourmet Ice Cream made from fresh, organic, locally produced ingredients!

I have focused on a couple of examples that are local favs:

Fenton’s Old School Creamery  - Dialing into the Old School vibe when you were a kid,  Grown up foodies bring the family and favorite dates year round to this Home foodie hangout.
‘Scream Sorbet- w/ flavors like Thai basil w/ Coconut, Strawberry shortcake, Dark & Decadent Chocolate Peanut butter and the purest Pistasio you could hope for -   $10 pint

Tara’s Organic Ice Cream-  Focusing on all organic ingredients- They don't mind if you don't live locally, you can order 4 pints and have it Fed Ex’d to anywhere in the US. For $54.00 about the same price as their competitors!

Product sold directly to retail outlets:
Jeni’s Homemade (made in ‘their kitchen) - I discovered them  at Market Hall in the  Rockridge shopping area of Oakland.  My selection was  Sweet potatoe w/ Torched Marshmellow.    Delicious Decadence to parlay some holiday flavor.  A pricy but delicious   $12 a pint, that I will be going back for more of.

Rain or shine these businesses have customers lined up for their product, on one particularly chilly 48 degree day, I noted they were able to sell ice cream to Eskimo’s!  Understanding your customers, and what they want regardless of the weather is keeping these businesses thriving, Does your business have a connection like this with your customers? Do you sell direct to consumer, or have relationships with a retail or distribution chain?   if not, now is the time to take a look at your marketing strategy.

Do you have a favorite independent business that is successfully utilizing Niche Marketing?  Tell us about it in your comment section below.






Links:


Fentons: http://www.fentonscreamery.com/
'Scream Sorbet: http://screamsorbet.com/
Tara's Organic:  http://www.tarasorganic.com/
Jeni's Homemade: http://jenisicecreams.com/ 

How Can I help you


BLOG 100  Dec 2011


http://guitartam.blogspot.com

This is a milestone for me. My 100thblog posting!

This year I had committed to:
1)    Improve the writing quality of my Blog.  
I realized over 100 posts that  my aim has been true, and my grammar has been comical on more than one occasion!
2)    Commit to posting content weekly  I was surprised some times how challenging this is while juggling other work priorities.
3)    Provide content to help readers grow their “creative business”

I  want to thank you for taking the time to read my postings, and share your thoughts on topics and ideas important to you!
This is a really great opportunity to check in with you my readers, and see what I can do to better serve you in 2012?

To that end, I have  put together a short survey (10 questions) to find out “How can I help you?”
  • Are there any particular topics or projects that are going to be important to you in the New Year ? 
  • Do you need to bring a professional onboard to help you  managing a upcoming project?
  • Establish your priorities?
  • Produce a upcoming CD /video/installation?
  • Prepare for an upcoming tour
  • Help you with some simple business planning  
Or are you interested in different types of content?


 I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the survey 

To say Thank You for taking the time to complete the survey, You are automatically  gifted 30% off your initial consultation- purchase a gift certificate by Dec 25th
survey rate: $50 gift certificates- 1 hr initial consultation.
(your gift certificate is redeemable until 12/31/2012).


Sending  you blessings of Peace and health, 


=Tamra=

3 Free gifts for your holiday!






Mid December- We are all working like mad to STOP and spend time with our loved ones.

As you look at the calendar we are just a couple of weeks from 2012!!! 
  I am always surprised by this very small window from Thanksgiving to the year end holidays, a flurry of people, food, and  family. It’s stressful!!! 


 ESPECIALLY when you have to stretch your dollars even further than before.
What can you do to prepare for the holidays without spending much or ANY money at all?  


1)    Grab your calendar or smart phone and a note book (or your computer)
Start going backward month by month and begin listing the big projects you worked on. 
You are pulling together your list of accomplishments, which you can then compare to your list of goals.  Each big projects and achievements should be either achieving a goal or a  stepping stone toward accomplishing a big goal.

2)    In a separate column list the names of new people you met in relation to your creative business each month.  I don’t mean the 100s of facebook “friends” who you don’t really know, , I mean the people that have referred work to you,  Hired you for a project, or introduce you to important people that have helped you this year.


3)    Drop the people on this list a email or call  Just connect to say thanks for working with me! Or let’s have coffee and talk about what you have been up to...  *Have these individuals already been invited to join your email or newsletter? (you can just include a sign up link in your signature line, and leave them the option to join).

PLAN + GROW + NETWORK = MOVE FORWARD 

Measuring your success and growing your network of  contacts are two important tasks for all  business owners.  Do you need help with a upcoming project? or need help getting organized, focused and moving forward?  

Tamra Engle is a independent  business strategist based in the S.F. bay area she is available for private consultations to help you develop your creative project or business. You can read more about her and join her mailing list at www.tamraengle.com  guitartam@gmail.com   *Save 33% now! email mail me at guitartam@gmail.com  to order your  Holiday Gift Certificates  thru December 31st!

5 ways to Fund your creative business



There are a variety of funding sources available to creative business owners  regardless of your passion- Musical Artist-Film Maker- Painter- Sculptor- Clothing designer-Writer- Photographer- or a fortune cookie writer.
 Financing is essential to sustaining and growing a successful creative business.  You know you can’t do it all by yourself, You want to focus on your creative endeavors, do need help growing your business?  and wonder how you pay for it?     
Beyond taking out a loan from the bank or borrowing against your 401K I have listed 5 funding sources you can immediately utilize to grow your creative business-
1)    Host a class or workshop:  What better way to connect with your fans than to host a class or workshop? You are able to use your skill to teach others, you grow your network of fans who purchase goods or services from you! Check out the internet for local community centers, and schools for places you can host your event.  Make sure you can accept credit /debit card orders and And you have created a additional revenue stream to your independent creative business.
2)    Keep the change-  When I quit smoking years ago, I set aside the $1 a day I spent on cigarettes, and at the end of the day, that dollar bill, and the the left over change from coffee  or lunch that day also went into the jar. The jar filled several times to a goal I set of  $5,000! Which helped me make the down payment on my very first condo! It felt GREAT!! *back in the dark ages $5,000 went a lot farther than it does today!
3)   Small Business Administration- The SBA offers loans and grants  for small business owners, You benefit from digging around this site, see the funding requirements, and see how you can tap into help.
 Trades and  Barters The U.S. Department of Commerce estimates that 25 percent of the world’s trade is still done this way. Many albums and art installations have been helped along by trading and bartering services with friends. From designers and illustrators, to do posters, cards,  to Haircuts,  makeup, staging, etc..
4)    Credit Cards- I don’t encourage running up or maxing out lines of credit, I recommend you keep some credit available in case of emergencies.   HOWEVER, if you know that you will earmark the re-cooped money to quickly pay off the  debt , then make the investment in growing your business.
5)    Fan Funding sites: There are a variety of sites dedicated to you setting up a project funding site, with a  tiered reward menu  for investors to participate in your creative project.   Marillion - is a UK band recognized within the music industry as the first established band to fully utilize the power of the internet, they have funded four albums through pre-sales to fans and totally re-vitalized their career in the process.
I have listed some of the more popular fan funding sites, Look at each site, since fee's and audiences vary. Make note of the most successful funded programs, and their  video promo’s and funding rewards.  Keep in mind crowd/fan funding is a very emotional, your success is based in the appeal of your idea! Work it!!
 Kickstarter: Projects must obtain 100% of their funding goal for donors to pay and creative projects to obtain financing.
ArtistShare:  Started in 2000 the 1stcrowd/fan funded site / label
PledgeMusic- Launched in August 2009.  Enables fan project funding through unique incentives and opportunities for fans, with an percentage of the projects proceeds donated to a charity of the artists choice.
Sellaband: -  Fan Funding website in Europe launched in 2006 that as of mid 2009 had helped 33 artists raise $50,000 euros.
Have you used these or other creative ways to  finance your business? Let us know in the comment section below!
If you or a loved one  have questions about how to  manage a creative business?
Are you ready to launch a new project? or start planning for 2012?
  Affordable customized monthly programs are available.  
 Purchase   a  Gift Certificate  for my consulting services-(email / phone / skype consultations available, to help artists in other time zones)!  Gifts Purchased before Dec 25th will be given a $25.00 discount on their initial consultation.

Customized packages and special rates to make your gift giving easy this year. 

Tamra Engle is a independent business strategist based in the S.F. bay area she is available for private consultations to help you develop your independent creative business, You can read more about her at www.TamraEngle.com  you can email her at guitartam@gmail.com  

Holiday fun time saving apps!



During the Thanksgiving holiday celebrations, I noticed between the huge meals, the entertainment revolved around  playing with a 9 week old puppy, and during the puppies naps having several generations of family, poking away at their smart phones sharing their favorite apps with one another.
*For the record the family falls pretty squarely into the Apple smart phone market, most of these apps are available for Android users.






Here is a list of some favorite holiday and time saving apps for creative people like you!




Fun Holiday apps: 



Amazon Mobile  (Is your employer blocking access to shopping sites at work?  You can buy pretty much anything at Amazon.com, and now the Amazon Mobile app (Free) makes it easy to shop right from your iPhone.

GoodGuide While most iPod shopping apps are designed to help you save money, the GoodGuide app (Free) has a unique goal -- to help you identify products that are good for you and the environment.

Good Food Festive Recipes:  Over 160 foolproof collection of festive feasting options to catapult you into a New Year!

Grocery IQ (Free)
 includes all the features you would expect in a powerful grocery app, including a barcode scanner, list sharing, and integrated coupons. If you are like me and buy the same things every week, the favorites list will help you save time. You can also edit your list online and it will update automatically on the app.

 (US$1.99)  We could use some extra holiday spirit!
 This app includes 20 “Grinchmas” cards that you can personalize with your own photos -- and who doesn't want a picture of themselves dressed as the Grinch? The cards can be emailed to friends or saved to the app’s photo library.








Bonus  Recommendations:



Dragon Dictation: Don't worry if you are not already hooked up with the hot new Siri, iPhone 4s,  I think Dragon’s voice recognition works better than my typing and auto "correction" of the iPhone.

Facetime:      
This was awesome for a  global family reunion conference call, we had family from as far away as Germany!  Sure, it’s great to hear a voice, But it’s even better to see the face that goes with it.    Bonus! No cell minutes local or international used! 

What are some of your favorite holiday or time saving apps?  Post them in the comment section below!



Need help creating a marketing plan or simply have questions on managing your creative business strategy?

Tamra Engle is a independent  business strategist based in the S.F. bay area she is available for private consultations to help you develop your independent creative business, You can read more about her at www.TamraEngle.com  you can email her at guitartam@gmail.com


Promoting your business during the holidays-pt 2 of 3



What are you doing to bring your fans closer to your creative business during the holidays?

In the United States, We are just day’s away from the biggest $hopping days of the year.
 If you are a creative business owner, the last couple months of the year can mean a sales jackpot if you have taken the time to  prepare and market to your target audience.

 In Part 1 of my 3 part series “promoting your music during the holidays"
We talked about using the themes of the holiday to have fun, while create a unique “selling opportunity” for your fans, and prospective business partners.

Our next holiday Thanksgiving, gives us 3 big target days to help you promote your music or creative business- Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday.

Holiday Marketing Background: 
During tough economic times, especially during the holiday’s businesses spend millions in ads to encourage spending. Marketing firms have created “holiday events “ specifically to encourage consumers to CONSUME. 
Here are 3 new holiday’s that were created specifically to encourage people to spend money- That YOU can take advantage of to help increase your sales.

Black Friday -Refers to a old accounting terms,
 Being in the red denotes a negative profit margin, where as “in the black” denotes a positive profit margin. Most retailers make or break their sales goals between Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
 According to ShopperTrak, who uses in-store monitering devices to examine sales in 2010 black Friday sales in 2010 increased to 10.7 billion!! a .3% increase over 2009 earns it the top spot as the heaviest shopping day of the year!

Small Business Saturday-  Our friends at American Express are responsible for starting this event which happens the 1st Saturday after Thanksgiving- now in it’s 2ndyear.

 Aimed at promoting small business owners. Amex is reimbursing  $25 in cash to the 1st  of 200,000 shoppers  using their American Express card to support a local small business,  local businesses signing up get $100 facebook ads or free!  I  encourage supporting this holiday however, recommend you  spend cash, Don’t run up your credit card bills! Save using your credit cards for the emergency fix, or broken tour van that will certainly pop up when you least expect it. 

Cyber Monday is a marketing term created in 2005, referring to the Monday following Thanksgiving, many are back to work and can’t physically go to the store, No problem, just  shop online!
 In 2010 consumers spent $1.028 billion,  a 16% increase from the previous year on product purchases on Cyber Monday!

How do old accounting terms and marketing gimmicks help you grow your business?  First lets look at a example of a local business targeting the tired shoppers with a fun diversion from the madness.

One famous example of  musical artists utilizing the Thanksgiving holiday to help future album sales-  Arlo Guthries “Alices Resturant” a 1967 release that  comically exaggerated  Thanksgiving day adventure turned Vietnam protest. This album that has sold over a million copies, and is still selling 40 years after it’s release.

5 Things can you do to sell more!

1)    Send a newsletter to your fans- Remind them that your music makes the perfect gift, offer to ship “personalized” signed copies, for a extra special gift. Remember You need to get “heard” above everyone else trying to sell something.

2)   Record a Holiday song- Songs with  a “Thanks” theme? Create one for a special “sale” fan download. Here is a fun example  

3) Video your holiday song- How do you catch some of the  shoppers searching on line? Create a shopping wave!
Drive traffic to your  website with your new holiday single,  create a YouTube video of your holiday song,  have fun with it… include a link to where your fan’s can “buy” this exclusive MP3 of your holiday song.

4)    Partner with a local business- We all want to help the local small business owners during the holidays! *the 1% big corporations seem to be doing fine without any additional funding.   Do you own a retail space? Suggest a special “holiday show”  Invite a musical artist to perform  a simple acoustic holiday sing along, or host a fun "fashion" show to sell products you sell in your retail space!   Heat up some cider and you have a super fun “shopping “ event, it doesn't have to be fancy to be fun for your customers!

 This is a wonderful opportunity to create cross- cultural events, sharing traditions,  the different ways we each celebrate the fall solstice all around the world.  Are you a local business owner or artists interested in connecting? Let me know (add email link).

5)    Local Children’s Hospitals or Sr. Centers- Think about those less fortunate. Call your local children’s hospital,place of worship, or Sr. Center ask if you can come sing holiday music to the guests there. 
You don’t play a instrument ? You can offer to  read books, share photo presentations, or  host a free activity or workshop!
 Share pictures of the outing on your social media or next newsletter, the smiles in the pictures will inspire, and remind others how easy it is to help another who is unable to get around during this special time of year.



      Now, that you have completed your 5 tips you can relax:
      Set a extra plate at your table for Thanksgiving- There IS someone in your immediate circle who has no one to share the holiday with.  Invite them to share a meal with you, it's one of the bests "gifts" you can give to a friend!


I invite you to share the link to your Holiday song and video in the comment section below!

Show up and be there



November, our thoughts are turned to giving thanks.

The past 5 years, I found myself in the wake of two significant losses, I felt my heart was a well not holding as much “thanks” as it had in previous years.

Life has a way of tossing obstacles into your path when your driving down the road of life,  We try our best to swerve and avoid collisions, wrong turns, and distractions while we are trying our best to move forward.   “life happens” whether or not your paying attention.
My Mother and beloved dog’s passing had left two huge holes in my heart and the “well” of thanks simply leaked out instead of filling full.

A few months ago, we had mutually decided that our house was ready to be filled again with the patter of paws. 
The excitement and joy the day before our “new arrival” was shattered with a phone call. 
3,000 miles away, my partner's brother  was suddenly going in for emergency quadruple bypass surgery. His wife and 3 sons, like us were all stunned by the news.
 Our joy was suddenly mixed in with the icy fear and gravity of a very active guy being faced with  this life threatening procedure.  

The day of the procedure, two of three sons had arrived by bus to be there for their dad and to help their mother, during this horribly scary time.  The three boys are all in College, one in Europe, the decision was made that he should only come home if things didn't go well.

It reminded me that the boys I  watched grow up the past 10 years, had shared stories over years on their path's to becoming Eagle scouts.  Whether you love or hate the BSA, these guys were participating in outdoor activities, to learn about  about  responsible citizenship,  community services, and character development  to help them "be prepared".
They were gathering tools, and learning how to use them.   - Little did any of us know, it was for this moment, to simply do one thing. “Show up, and be there” for two of their important “teachers” Mom and Dad.

 When I was considering my topic for this weeks blog post, I was reminded how much I had to be thankful for, and how the “well” was filled! .  Proof that there is hope for broken hearts!

I am grateful to the great  spirit that watches over all of us, for seeing my brother in law safely through a major surgery.
For the fuzzy new life that is snuggled next to me as I write this posting,

The health and well being of all those I love, 
having food & shelter, and doing what I love for a living!

 Sending each of you reading  with blessings of being healthy and well!
I love to hear what your giving thanks for, in the comment selection below.



Need help creating a music marketing plan? or simply have questions on managing your music business strategy?
Tamra Engle is a independent music business strategist based in the S.F. bay area. She is available for private consultations to help you develop your independent music business, You can read more about her at www.tamraengle.com  you can email her at guitartam@gmail.com





Recession proofing your business!

 
How are you personally weathering the economy?
  At this point everyone has been impacted, perhaps you, or someone you know has either been laid off, taken a job that is below their skill level, or even lost a home.

The media works diligently to continuously re-enforce your fears by talking about it constantly. 
It is a perfect time to just STOP- turn off the media stream for just a minute and ask yourself:

Have you recession proofed your creative business?

1)    Don’t make sweeping changes:  
      I know a business owner that is actually turning away a huge network of business because of 1 bad experience with a former colleague, they feared as a competitor. 
      Look at the big picture, if you’re in business -competition exists,
      what differentiates you from your competitors? And how does it help your customers?

2)    Increase sales:  Create bundles, lower price point items.  Offer special “tour packages” where they get a cd and t shirt for $20
For special recession busting bundles make them in easy to spend denominations $5, $10, $15, $20-

 “Free-Demo coasters”- put together a little FREE 3 song sampler in sleeves- w/ the name of the songs but more importantly your name, website, and booking contact info. and place one on every table in the venue your playing in as a FREE gift. Then during the break wander walk around and thank everyone for coming out. (make sure you have someone working your merch table!   You NEVER know who is in the audience!  My most successful show had 3 people sitting in the audience, that one person was a producer who booked us on a national tour.

3)    Reduce Inventory:  Are you just finishing a new cd? and you have lots of old buttons / stickers / t-shirts from your last tour or promotion?
Create Recession Buster Bundles
Go green and recycle packaging- 
One of my bands uses old paper towel rolls to pack the t-shirts in
It makes them easy to pack for touring and really easy green packaging for fans…  on the side in sharpie the write a sm md lg  description.
Another artist re-cycled Calistoga bottle caps to make buttons for a special event.



What Recycling packaging ideas are you using for your creative business?
I would love to hear about it in your comments below.

====================

Photo Credits:

Tamra Engle SJL Buttons
Wilie Coyote http://agonist.org/files/active/1/wileecoyote.jpg

Link:  is your merch table a cash cow?
http://guitartam.blogspot.com

Preparing your business for a cross country trip



To have a successful business, ANY business, YOU have to work REALLY HARD.
If your business involves YOU or a small group of individuals who create the product you produce, You figure out very quickly that there is more work than  2,3, or even 4 people can do full time.  

Outlining the direction you are moving as you head toward you final destination,  & the resources you are going to commit to moving toward this destination. is called a strategic plan.

 If your desire  is to have a business where you make a living wage doing the creative thing that you love, then you need to have your business organized so you can succeed in doing that!
 
ANY successful business needs capital.  You have to be able to finance your business, for it to be healthy and grow.   Just imagine driving on a cross country trip with no map, no gps, or no fuel..... You are not going to get far.   




There is no room to “just throw it out there and see what happens”-  the work doesn't stop when you record the demo, or book the show....if that is your current plan how is that working for you?    To attract potential investors like- gallery owners, publishers, labels,  when they see you have a organized well run creative business THEY COME TO YOU. 
 If that isn't happening, then your next step should be to schedule a consultation with a   experienced business professional. Investing in the right person to  be part of your team,  will help you be prepared for the "cross country trip" providing you with a map  & GPS to assist you with your strategic planning & fuel  in the car to move you and your organization  toward your final destination.  










Recommended reading:
Outliers: The Story of Success    
In the book you will learn:
The Beatles performed live in HamburgGermany over 1,200 times from 1960 to 1964, amassing more than 10,000 hours of playing time BEFORE they ever came to America- to be "overnight sensations"  (that is more than most bands play in their entire careers!).

Email Etiquette:




Let’s say you are gearing up for a big show, Perhaps your new cd is about to drop and you want EVERYONE to know about it so they can buy it.

Before you add your entire email address book to your email , you should know what appropriate etiquette is AND what is legal and before you ever hit the send button.

Email vs Spam:   If you send emails promoting your services or appearances to 10 or more people then you need to read and follow the federal CAN-SPAM act guidelines.

Build and Maintain your email list:

Here are some ideas to help you build your email list:
1. Pass around a sign up sheet at your shows.
2. Add sign up forms to your website(s).
3. Offer a free incentive to join your list (free music download or ??)
4. Add a check box on your website’s contact form giving people who email you the option to subscribe to your list.
5. At the end of your emails, ask your subscribers to forward the email to any of their friends that would like your music. Give them an incentive to help you spread the word.  (see #3)
6.  In a previous post I included  Recommended services to use  

Unsubscribe option that is easy to use
Keep in mind that people's needs and interests change, Therefore if you give them a option to join, you also must give them the option to “opt-out” of your mailing list.  Remember, you want your list to consist of individuals that are going to go spend money on you and your services. Don't freak out if you have a few people opting out, you want to focus on people interested in YOU.

 Respond / interact with your fans: One of the most important things artists can do to build their fan base is to communicate with your fans!  Even the biggest stars follow this advice to communicate with their fans  Even a simple note saying Thank you for sending a friend request, following a tweet goes a long way in building repoire.


NEVER send attachments:  DO NOT send emails with attachments!  Clogging your fan’s inboxes with huge files that people don’t want, will result in  your fan’s no longer following you AND the risk of spreading virus’s to your email list of subscribers which will have the same result!

 Measuring your success: Smart Artists recognize opportunities to learn more about their fans by tracking metrics send a download link vs a attachment. This allows you to track analytics, so you can track the number of clicks, downloads.  If no-one is downloading your music, don't you want to know ?

Are you currently using a email service to connect with your fan base?  I would love to hear who your favorite service is in the comment section below!



References:

Can Spam act of 2003:
 http://business.ftc.gov/documents/bus61-can-spam-act-compliance-guide-business

Photo credit: http://writespeaksell.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/email-etiquette.jpg

Business Strategist Blog- “You want what your fans want” http://www.tamraengle.com/news.php?categories=consumer%20protection%20agency



The ABC’s of performance coaching

You are a “performer”.  You have your own unique personality, style, humor, and outlook on life that people connect with. 
Whether you go on-stage for a living, or  a physical artist that appears where your work is being showcased. 

Your experiences, belief systems, and  self esteem greatly affect your “performances”  for better or for worse,  and dramatically effect how people view you and your work.

What if you could free yourself of  negative emotions that limit your ability to connect with your audience, and allow you to take your creative work to a higher level?
Where do you start?

THINK ABOUT YOUR AUDIENCE:


\
ASK YOURSELF: 


  •  What value are you providing for them? 


  • Is your show the best it can be? 

All successful artists have a team helping them insure they are at the top of their game.

What are you doing to make your show the best it can be?  
ARE YOU:

  • Writing really good material? 
  • Playing your very best?
  • Do you have a performance that everyone is talking about? 
  • Listen to who friends and collegues- who are they talking about?
I hear Muse has a tremendous  visual live show- So I have signed up for show announcements to make sure I catch them the next time they are in town.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? 


Are you struggling to get fans out to your show?


Are you trying to get into bigger better paying gigs?

What are you doing to maximize your chances for success in these area’s?



HOW CAN PERFORMANCE COACHING HELP YOU?


-       Overcome performance anxiety
-       Addressing technical issues
-       Develop Confidence
-       Learn healthy ways to advance your career to the next level
-       Explore roles as a musician and overcome fears that are stopping you
-       Resolve trauma’s that interfere with your performance
-       Insure a complicated arrangement or set   is delivered the way you imagine
-       Engage  your audience create new fans
-       Get better, higher paying gigs

REMEMBER THE ABC’S:


ACTION:  Don’t expect to be discovered, you will be waiting a long time.  
Take charge and start being your best now.

BARRIERS:  All barriers are  based in  B.S. (Belief Systems) that have created boundaries limiting you and your world.  You need to remove barriers so your fans can see you and your work in the best light possible

CHANGE:  Be a smart artist, and take a step back. Be willing to change what isn’t working and focus on adopting new ways of being your very best.  You can’t do it all your self, and why you need to build your own team to insure your success.

DIFFERENTIATE:  There is NO ONE like you.  Identifying and highlighting your strengths and how your different than your competitors helps you connect w/ your fans.

ELEVATOR PITCH:   Being able to distill your ABC’s into your unique selling proposition puts you miles ahead of others competing in the same pond or ocean you are in.


FEAR: Has been your gate keeper long enough, if you want to grow as a human and a artist you must face and overcome the things that are holding you back, work with a professional, who can help you be your best.

If you are  ready for Action now is the perfect time to get started.  All you need to do is click here

 Do you have a embarrassing or memorial performance story you would like to share? Post it in the comments section.



About the author:

 Tamra is  a business strategist, speaker, artist, and blogger. 
Leveraging over 25 years as an business executive and artist, she offers business solutions and private consultations to a wide range of independent music professionals all over the world- Helping them  prepare for showcases, cd release parties, and award shows (SXSW, ASCAP Awards, NAMM, Billboard Music Awards, Folk Alliance & more).

You can read what other artists have said about working with her, as well as other services she offers independent music professionals  to be their best at www.tamraengle.com



Photo Credits: 
Local Music Vibe:  http://localmusicvibe.com/shout-out-april-28-2011
Tamra Engle 50th Annual Grammy Awards 






Weeding out Creative Crushers

I just had a “mom” visit.  
Those of you who are still enjoying face time with mom, you either smiled or cringed inside when you  heard me mention a “Mom visit”.
My mother passed away 4 1/2 years ago, and during our time together we shared really amazing beautiful time, and some very frustrating tumultuous times. 

I found myself having moments of frustration during my partner’s mom’s recent visit.  I realized part of my frustration was based around I didn’t have MY mom to fuss with, and that terrible wave of sadness worked its way back into my awareness. 
You might wonder what the heck this has to do with a business strategy blog for creative people?

Family dynamics are tricky for most of us, especially as artists- there is all the cultural and social programming that comes along with it.  Depending upon your growing up environment, many parents put their expectations upon their children, and often the compliant children seek careers and relationships based upon what they have been taught, not being encouraged to develop a career or passion based on what is important to them.

  In rare instances  young artists encouraged to be artists, there are often conversations that go something like, “well isn’t that nice, but what are you going to do for a REAL JOB”? 


We carry that negative “programming” along with us subconsciously; As we grow up these little reinforcements  gather & fester in our subconscious creating a undercurrent of non-support which whether you chose to admit it or not results in our limiting ourselves both creatively and successfully.
We start to believe somewhere that this isn’t a “real job”, or I will never be like “______”.   Suddenly,  4-5, 10 or even 20  years later they are still playing at the same little local clubs,  small galleries or flea markets.
 Often spending more money trying to get people to come to the event,  Never leaving that little “backyard pond” they just tread water and often never really break even.  Do you find yourself stuck in the same little pond and wondering why?  Do you wonder what you should be doing to change things up?

Or are you someone who isn't interested in doing the work, you just want to paint, or  just write songs, hoping that if you put it out there, you will be discovered. Really? The "discovery" people are not looking for artists hanging out in the small pond, they want to see that you are progressing your career on your own.

If you want to change things up,

Give yourself a little homework assignment- take a blank piece of paper, list times in your life when you have heard feedback that didn’t support your desire to persue a creative career,   maybe it was your mom, dad, school teacher, or someone at a show asking “what do you really do”  or “that isn’t what normal people do for work”.  My mom used to tell me that people with low expectations, and unexceptable social behavior are artists, NOT her daughter!  

List as many people as you can think of and what they said. 
Let the creative crushers out of your subconscious and take a look at them.

 Post one in the comment section below- In my next post we will talk about
How we can take steps to help you move forward.  If you don’t want to wait until the next post then lets talk!




References:


Photocredit: http://www.cm.iparenting.com/fc/editor_files/images/1042/ipgraphics/kidsday/kda010.jpg\


10 steps to creating your Personal Brand


To be in business today, The most important job is to be head marketer of a brand called “you." If your not clear on what the brand is, it will not be clear to your customers. You will know, because they aren’t buying.


Are you selling lots of “product”? Are your shows, exhibits, and business humming? If not, then you need to spend some time clearly defining who “you the brand” are. I have listed some quick steps to help get you started on creating your own “personal brand”.


Step 1: Create your unique value proposition:
What makes you different than your peers? Your strengths, your passions, and your goals? If you left your job today, what would your colleagues miss? Know who you are, as well as who you are not. And play to your strengths.


Step 2: Find out how others see you: 
Ask trusted colleagues, co-workers, and friends for four or five adjectives (action words) they would use to describe you. What are you good at? What are your strengths? Write them down.


Step 3: Identify your goals/ priorities for the Year:
List 5 big priorities for yourself. To insure success make them
Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timebound?
This helps you craft a message to reach them.


Step 4: Identify your target audience:
Just like Starbucks knows that their target audience is coffee drinkers, you need to define to whom you want to send your message.
This will not only help you clarify your message, it will help you deliver it to the right places.


Step 5: Pay attention to the details
Everything you do ultimately contributes to your personal brand.
Once your brand has been defined, make sure that the little things -- the way you dress, your body language, how you behave with co-workers, the emails you write – are all consistent with your brand message.


Step 7: Update your Bio / resume
Go through your Bio and resume to determine it is consistent with your brand.
Ensure they accurately defines who you are, and is in line with both your short-term and long-term goals. Self penned bio's stand out a mile a way invest in having a professional craft these for you! 


Step 8: Own your own website
Remember how your Mom used to tell you “you never get a chance to make a 2nd 1st impression?”
Your website is a direct reflection of YOU, a home-made site stands out a mile away, and reflects a level of quality readers will associate with your brand. Find web sites you really love and look at who built them, those are the people you want to set up your site, let the professionals do the work to make YOU look your best. This is also the hub of your social media network, here you own content, look and feel, AND your fan list. It should highlight your professional accomplishments, your skills and knowledge, what you stand for, and your overall value.


Step 8: Become a social networker
Set up accounts at social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Connect with those in your target audience, don’t friend EVERY person that comes to you. Remember you want to focus on QUALITY not quantity. It doesn’t matter if you have 3,500 fans if only 10 of them buy from you. Create a relevant network of colleagues, fans, & businesses to subscribe to your pages. Contribute and interact to relevant updates on a daily basis. Make sure your updates are consistent to your branding message.


Step 10: Have a Newsletter
Constant Contact and My Newsletter builder are great Newsletter platforms to help you promote yourself to your target audience.
Commit to posting a newsletter no more than 1-2 times a month to announce shows or projects you are working on. Do not add people to your mailing list unless THEY have signed up, and do not mass text, or email groups of people (unless your using your newsletter platform.  These platforms offer subscribers a UN-subscribe link; so they can opt out, don’t be bummed if you lose a subscriber, you want a base of product buying show supporting fans. If your a spammer you will lose your fan base!


Would you like to share any personal brand success stories? add your comments below


If your ready to get started,  Then lets talk! 





























Photo Credit:
http://www.ad-i.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2007/09/creative.jpg


Reference:
www.facebook.com
www.twitter.com
www.salarybuilder.com
www.constantcontact.com
www.mynewsletterbuilder.com/



Discovering your purpose

One of the greatest gifts my parents gave me was the love of books, and the desire to do anything I set my mind to.
(as long as I had a plan to do it right).


  I have conversations with friends and collegues everyday who are frustrated with being stuck and simply not knowing how to be able to make a living doing what they love.
 Many of us spend our lives endlessly searching for the quick fix to fill us.  I know I spent years, focusing on making money because that's what I thought, and was told,  was the important thing to focus on.  Yes, the great green does provide us with the "comfort" of having "things" around us, it doesn't really quench our thirst for fullfillment to do what WE love.


I know I have been given blessing  to search and seek what I love. For me, it took a huge life changing moment to stop me to acknowledge what I had known deep in my heart, that  I was chasing the wrong thing for the wrong reason. 


So I set forth to follow my calling,  and part of my work is to share this with others, and  help others "discover their calling" then, drop by drop our little pool grows into a great ocean of fulfillment.


We spend our lives seeking to feed 3 hungers:


1) To connect w/ the creative spirit of life:  At some point we become aware of the creative energy all around us.


2) To know and express your gifts:  Everyone contains some unique talent(s) some discovered some yet to be discovered- for the undiscovered many seek fulfillment in countless ways, 
the fastest cars, the biggest house, affairs, addictions, distractions from the day to day constantly searching for "IT".  Many spend their lifetimes looking for the thing that will provided the fulfillment they seek.


3)To know our lives matter:  Each of us wants to know that we will leave behind a reminder of their existence, a impression that we have left for others to see and experience after we have left.


Fulfillment is achieved by feeding all 3 of these hungers- we can make alot of money, have fame, but success w/out fulfillment means you are not feeding all 3 hungers!


DISCOVERY
First start with yourself- not the external demands put upon you or the situation.


Then, discover what makes you unique?  Where do you find your joy and passion?  When you connect with your passion your chances of success are HUGE. 


Finally find peace / solitude- The greatest gift you can give yourself is a quiet space, maybe it is a favorite hiking path, a favorite rock to stare out on the city, ocean or open space.  maybe a sunny corner of your favorite room.  If this solitude place is someplace that takes time to get to, then create a space where you can find a similar peace of mind.
 A client of mine, used posters, colors, and a ipod  to replicate the beach in her urban space.  This quiet place will help you deal with the starting w/ yourself, uniqueness, discovering where you find joy and connecting.  Your imagination is a powerful, and FREE tool you can use anytime everyday!


WHATS YOUR ANSWER?


What is your ideal of "living the good life"?  In today's society  we are consumers, we focus on "things" the kind of car we drive, the designer clothing we wear, the cool new gadget everyone has, the neighborhood we live in.  Distill things to these elements:
Living in a place that you feel you  belong, with people your love and in relationships that work (including the relationship with yourself).  Having the right work.  When you focus on something you believe in with your heart & soul in a environment that represents who your are, and doing the tasks w/ purpose  you have suddenly found the meaning for yourself,  rather than trying to be something to everyone else.








ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Tamra Engle is a performing songwriter and business strategist who offers business solutions for creative minds to help them succeed in the evolving music and entertainment industries. As a performing singer-songwriter she has worked as a studio musician in Los Angeles; toured the U.S. and enjoyed the placement of her songs on television and nationally aired commercials. Her recent album was on the final round ballot for the 2008 Grammy's in the Best Contemporary Folk Album category.

PASSION PROJECTS: 

  • Helping others achieve success doing what they love.
  • Insuring music education remains accessible to school age children.
  • Ending Violence against Women & Children.
  • Reef Preservation/Restoration
  • Deep Sea Diving



References:


Richard Leider- The  Power of  Purpose
as recommended by Robert Temple 
http://www.roberttemplemusic.com

Are YOU the next American Idol?



American Idol Registration for Season 10 is being held in SF on August 17-18 w/ auditions scheduled on August 19th  @ ATT Park-  
Season 9 finalists Adam Lambert & Alison Iraheta both got their start at the SF Audition’s last season-

If you are 28 years of age or younger and a unsigned artist;  you MUST  have a plan, and air tight audition prepared to help guarentee a successful audition.
 *Show FAQ’s and information are listed on: americanidol.com/auditions

What are the secrets to getting past the initial round of auditions and onto the show? 

-Capturing a unique “star power”
-WINNING over the SCREENERS
-GET in front of the judges and through to the audition.

To do this correctly requires understanding the A.I. Audition process, preparation, lots of stamina, good humor,  And sticking to your plan.

Key area’s I  can assist  you with:

1)    Preparing for the screening and interviews before the  audition
2)    What to wear
3)    Selecting the right song to audition with
4)    Preparing for your performance mentally, physically, and spiritually
5)    Preparing your voice
6)    Rehearsing w/ Accompaniment
7)    Rehearsing on key consistently w/o accompaniment
8)    Video Performance Coaching
9)    Understanding the process from start to finish
10)  The 3 P's- Stage Patter / Performance / Perfection


In each city there are thousands that vie for a audition spot before the judges only about 100-200 make it to the judges evaluation  from there only 10-30 from each city to  actually make it to the Hollywood audition.

If you think you are the next American Idol?  You can prepare yourself for success with the proper guidance, practice, and coaching.

If your interested in gaining every advantage to have a great audition,  I have coached and prepared artists for showcase opportunities for SXSW, Folk Alliance, ASCAP AWARDS, GRAMMY’S & More…. contact me to help!


BIO
Tamra Engle is a performing songwriter, musician and consultant who offers strategic business solutions for creative minds to help them succeed in the evolving music and entertainment industries.
As a performing singer-songwriter whose recent album was on the final round ballot for the 2008 Grammy's in the Best Contemporary Folk Album category.
Tamra began her entertainment career as a studio musician In Los Angeles, Toured Nationally, and enjoyed placement of her songs on television and nationally aired ad campaigns.

PASSION PROJECTS:
-Helping others achieve success doing what they love.

- Insuring music education remains accessable to school age children.

- Ending Violence against Women & Children.

Individuals interested in making a difference in their lives and careers may contact Tamra at her website at www.tamraengle.com






External References:





Missed Opportunities bum me out!

In the past 28 years in the music industry you have seen the fat label cat days-hot tub filled w/ beautiful girls 1 hairy backed producers, lighting cigars w/ C notes-
To the back on the street days.... The Fat cat is now an ol broken down Ally Cat after cocaine rehab. The beautiful girls are looongggg gone with the drugs and the money-

In a way today is like the old wild west, The old model of big label music deals is dead, and it's a Indie jungle out there what few "deals" are out there are not geared toward the performer making ANY money. The one thing hasn't changed is that it is STILL the Music Business- the smart and successful people are using basic business strategies to create and monetize the brave new world. Folks that shun technology and educating themselves about how business works will be find themselves forever treading in the same small pond with no measurable earnings from their craft.

Let me give you a couple of examples of missed business opportunities that happened this past weekend:

Example 1- Who to do business with:
A client recently asked whether they should do business with a particular organization who for $400 / yr would "promote" the "selected artists" to their in house Music Supervisors and Publishing company.
(It wasn't clear if your $400 suddenly made your "a selected artist" or THEY decided which artist was bestowed that title).

Beyond that, on the website in the selected artist publishing area the word MUSIC is Mis-Spelled as MUISC. If I was not hesitant to give up my $400 I now would be.

LESSON: CHECK THE DETAILS.

A much better investment would be have your $400 applied toward a direct & measurable result.
I would recommend a business assessment where you are provided with the framework you will need to insure you have a catalog which is properly cleared, licensed, THEN learn to to properly use the tools to develop relationships DIRECTLY with the music supervisors/ publishers. These folks are SO BUSY that when you have established a repoire, and have a properly prepared pitch for them you have maximized your opportunity for having your songs HEARD and considered for placement WITH the decision makers.

EXAMPLE 2- Where is the business?

I recently performed at & conducted a workshop at a 1st time GO GREEN Expo:
Granted in Northern California the GO GREEN mantra is a bit like preaching to the choir, but a good cause and great info for a FREE bring your family event.
IF YOU COULD FIND THE EXPO!!!
No where on the GO GREEN Sacramento website did they have the event address! or a QUESTIONS or FAQ link.

If I had not been performing there I would have given up looking and found something ELSE to do.

Needless to say it wasn't a surprise to me that the micro version of the Los Angeles Expo that I had previously performed at was a HUGE missed opportunity- & for all the business owners that paid money to have a booth at the expo???? money down the drain because targeted leads didn't know how to get to them.

LESSON: if your business provides a service- put your address on ALL of your marketing collateral INCLUDING the WEBSITE.
Website Content Review! make sure it's current and targeted DO NOT put any barriers between you and your customers.

EXAMPLE 3: What is your business?

Conventions & Expo's have booths filled with people selling you their products or service: Unless you can capture your audience in the 1st 15 seconds you have lost the sale. EVERYONE must have a "elevator pitch" (called this since you should be able to tell someone in the time it takes to get from one floor to the next who you are and what you do).
In music this missed opportunity happens thousands of times each day.
When someone asks you what you do ? I hear songwriters say " oh I'm a singer songwriter" REALLY wow! know if your a girl I assume you sound like Jewel or a guy John Mayer or James Taylor and I'm kinda bored with you.
What if you Tell me your a performing songwriter that sounds like Green Day doing a rockabilly jam w/ Sinatra developing your catalog for film & television Then I know what you sound like, and that your a developing artist with a interest in placement opportunities.
NEXT, the knowing when to and when not to pitch....

LESSON:
Every day you meet at least 5 people who are potential customers- properly utilizing opportunities, developing relationships so you grow your base so each DAY you have a minimum number of individuals BUYING something from you.


These are 3 examples reflecting missed opportunities for customers to buy something, or add to a strong foundational componant that you are building toward your dream opportunity.
You might not even recognize the opportunity passing by, unless you know where to look.

These are a couple of examples of area's I can help you:


BUSINESS ANAYLSIS-
ELEVATOR PITCHES-
ORGANIZATIONAL PLANS-
DEVELOPING REVENUE STREAMS-
1 HOUR CONSULTATIONS

If you are interested in learning how to make your passion a successful business let's talk! Face to face, phone, email or skype tele-consultations available.

I want to help you be successful, so you can help others succeed!

=Tamra=
www.tamraengle.com

Creating mode...



As an artist I find things to be cyclic. Creating a new release is a birthing.
Spring Gardens, digging in the dirt, and planting the seeds to go back in the studio... Creative seeds are scattered about in scribbles, and ponderings in the margin of books and journals.

Texturing music,
blending, sounds
and emotions
til it stands on it's own

Then shoved out of the nest to see the world.........


Behind the scenes you also get to take your lumps for not fitting in a box....
Not everyone feels comfortable being in a collaborative environment, they get scared, and I think the fear stops them from growing. Fi Fi Fo Fife-dom

I want to learn from everyone, What excites you about what you do ?

How can each of us use what we love so dearly to help others around us?

I think that is religion to give something with total love and let it help another.

You can check out some refinements I have made to my website under my services.
I'd love to help you discover, rekindle, or even make a living from what excites YOU.

http://www.tamraengle.com/services/consulting.html

http://www.tamraengle.com/services/page2.html

Volunteers & Songwriting workshop

2 Week SONGWRITING WORKSHOP:
March 16 & 23rd 6:30 pm-8:30
344 Main St.
Vacaville, Ca.

1.5 hr instructor led group songwriter workshops- you will learn industry tips and tricks to lean how to use tools that will help you generate a catalog of finished songs.
*and create collaborative partnerships to work with!

MARCH 16TH 6:30pm (Pt 1 of 2) Group songwriting workshop- Learn how to write amazing catchy songs- in this hands on lesson-

MARCH 23rd 6:30pm (Pt 2 of 2) : You will perform your new song- and get instructor feedback!. ( students must have participated in Pt 1 workshop to perform)

$50 for both workshops.


Limited to 25 people
Reserve your space at: www.tamraengle.com/contact.php



ABOUT YOUR INSTRUCTOR:

Tamra Engle is a social entrepreneur, performing songwriter, musician & founder of GuitarTam Music. Offering strategic business planning & coaching for businesses, artists and bands to help them succeed in the evolving music and entertainment industries.
Her award winning debut CD “The Blonde Flame Sessions”was on the nominating ballot for the 50th annual Grammy Awards for best contemporary folk album), and soon to be released “Living the American Dream”.

For information and booking inquries: www.tamraengle.com




Volunteers needed to help produce monthly Cougar Rock Shows (2-4 performances a month- 2-3 hr shows)

*Think 21st century Euro Vaudeville/ w/ a nod to burlesque- vintage steam punk to compliment my musical performances.

I need a team to help:

- Securing locations -event hosts
- Finding unique Acts ( dancers, unique visual landscapes, performers, singer songwriters, bands, performance art).
- Booking Shows / Tours in western region
- Posters / promotions design & printing
- Sound Engineers
- Lighting AV tech
- Stage director
- Marketing on social media putting up posters getting word out!
- Finding sponsors for show raffles / give away’s
- Help get paying customers in the seats!

This role will appeal to a highly energetic and proactive individual with experience in managing events, promotions and conferences. Tertiary qualified in marketing, business or other related discipline, you possess excellent communication skills, both written and verbal and have high attention to detail. A strong awareness of brand development and marketing planning. An ability to work autonomously is important and is available for evening & weekend events. strong negotiation, stakeholder and supplier management skills.

Artist & Entreprenuer information: www.tamraengle.com

TO APPLY: Email Resume & Cover Letter Describing why YOU are the best person for the job

DEC 2009 NEWSLETTER: (TEXT CONTENT)

UNDER ONE ROOF

I have been working hard on aligning my many projects and put them all under one roof.
What does this mean to you? I hope it makes information much easier for you to navigate- and provide you with the opportunity to join me in making our communities a better place!

I am so pleased to announce a new partner to my team: Tierra Tech Corporation, who has been working very hard to consolodate ALL of my social networking sites and update my website to house the different facets of GuitarTam Music & my Social Entreprenuerial programs-
They are helping me "Bridging people and society through the power of music."

PLEASE CHECK OUT THE NEW WEBSITE- www.tamraengle.com




NEW SHOWS IN 2010:

Remember going out for the evening and being entertained?

There has been alot of work behind the scenes....putting together a new Cougar Rock Power Trio

Partnering with other outstanding performers, and expanding some performances to include audio visual and performing artists to take you on a musical journey that I really hope you will enjoy-Several tours are on the calendar. Can you still see a solo acoustic performance? SURE! but the new year will give you so much more:

Meet the band:

I am super excited to have the gifted multi percussionist & teacher Afia Walking Tree joining me- If you enjoyed Pele JuJu powerhouse shows, you'll love seeing and hearing the same dynamic percussionist bring her African Disporic rhythms to our show.
You will see a variety of gifted multi instrumentalists joining us bringing harmonic beat driven melodies to my music...

Do you need a new roof for your house? Host a Cougar Rock house concert & we'll get you and your guests dancing & take the roof off!


APPOINTMENT: Sr. Director N.A.R.I.P.:

NARIP (The National Association of Record Industry Professionals) has asked me to assume the role of Sr. Director of Marketing and Programs for their San Francisco Chapter.
NARIP promotes education, career advancement and good will among record executives. with an emphasis on becoming better informed and more effective executives, NARIP offers professional development opportunities, educational programs and seminars, the opportunity to meet and interact with peers, a job bank, a member resume database for employers, a mentor network, a newsletter and other services.
Interested in learning more?


We are hosting a holiday happy hour at El Rio in San Francisco from 6-8pm
Come meet other recording industry professionals and learn more about NARIP at www.narip.com

Dec 10th 6-8pm No-Host Bar El Rio 3158 Mission St San Francisco, CA 94110-4560
(415) 282-3325


Should you find yourself flying the friendly sky this spring, American Airlines has licensed MAYBE I'M RIGHT to be part of their inflight music program!



TAMRA'S MUSIC PLACEMENT:

American Airlines In-Flight Entertainment Program

Dear Tamra Engle,

You have recently submitted your music for consideration in our Spring In-Flight Music Program
for flights that offer audio programming, Our passengers can enjoy up to 16 channels of music as well as a business and Technology report from Sky Radio, which exposes your music to the 4.2 million American Airlines passengers who fly in the each month. We are delighted to have selected you to add our growing roster of international artists that will be highlighted in our spring programming.
The agreement will specify the use of your song titled: MAYBE I'M RIGHT
from your CD titled: THE BLONDE FLAME SESSIONS


Thank you for choosing American Airlines to showcase your music, we hope to see you soon!

Sept 2009 Newsletter...

Imagine driving down a long road in the desert night with the stars sparkling above when you.
Around the bend you see bright lights, hear music, and laughter coming from a crowded cafe by the side of the road.
Pull over and come inside, we've saved you a seat- you'll want to sing along, drink a cup and be filled with the "Aussie-AmeROCKana Wall of Sound" this amazing group weave's together with looping pedals Guitars, Violin, Harmonica, and a Banjolin named Maude....

We are packing up the tour vehicle for a quick visit to So. Cal (it's an upscale yuppy wagon so I am going to add antlers, which now means it needs a name- If you have any great name idea's email me at guitartam@gmail.com include your name recommendation and your mailing address- If we select your name we'll mail you a Saloon Tour music package- and promise to send you pictures of the wild Aussie Americana road show...
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