Twitter rolls out a fresh new look.

I hope you’ve had a wonderful week and the start to your weekend is going great. I’m so happy spring is FINALLY here. I’ve had quite a week with events kicking off the spring and summer season, so I’m happy to be enjoying a little down time to balance out the festivities.

To add to the excitement, Twitter has rolled out a whole new look for its users. Part of my position as assistant is to keep my clients updated on social media – if there is a new feature, a new rule, or in this case, an entirely new look. As you know, this happens quite often.

First things first, have you seen it? (You have to – I love it!) Check out the first two featured musicians who switched over: John Legend and Weezer.

Here’s what you need to know to keep your profile updated with Twitter’s new look.

Larger, customizable header photo – You will notice on the two examples that now the header is larger and more prominent, and they got rid of the background image. John Legend uses the space to promote his latest album and makes his profile picture a photo of him, while Weezer, a more established brand, focuses on featuring their band members in the large banner and their infamous logo as their profile photo. Either looks great, but you will want to figure out what you want to feature.

If you have a new album that you really want to push, you might want to have a header featuring the release. Or if you have an upcoming tour, you can highlight the band and dates on your header.

The size of the new template is 1500×500. TWELVESKIP offers great advice on the dimensions as well as a really good template to help you build your best looking header, which includes invisible vs visible space. Check it out here.

Filtered Tweets – Social media platforms are all about featuring only the best of what they have, so it makes sense for Twitter to start filtering, pinning and featuring tweets. Your best tweets (ones that have received more engagement) will appear larger than the others. You can now pin tweets, so if you want to make sure everyone sees your tweet on your new concert date, or what you had for lunch, you can pin it to the top. Lastly, you can choose from different timelines when looking at profiles. Select from these options: Tweets, Tweets with photos/videos, or Tweets and replies.

If you haven’t seen the option to switch over yet, don’t worry, it is coming. You can prep ahead and have your team design a new header photo while you wait!

Are you ready to make the switch? Log into Twitter, then visit this site. Scroll all the way down and click ‘Get it now’. The change will be instant!

Enjoy the rest of your Saturday!


Get close with your fans.

Good afternoon, friends.

imageI hope you are having a great week thus far. I feel like all anyone is talking about is how COLD it still is and how no one would complain if the sun came out and roasted us to 100 degrees. (I took that picture on the left that looks like Christmas morning this past Thursday, btw) brrrr.

So I’ll stop here and mum’s the word on the weather…let’s talk about what I came here for, shall we?

A few weeks ago, I assisted in helping my client launch her website, and with that, we coordinated an amazing live stream concert (via Concert Window) to celebrate her re-branding! She had 100’s of viewers tune in, great interaction and also earned a pretty penny (ahem, $400) for just spending 1 hour online!

With a fabulous team behind her and a plan, we pulled of a great show that any other musician, like you,  can do. I have spoken before about which live stream platform to use for these ‘living room’ gigs, but here’s some pointers for creating an effective and profitable live stream show.

This is the most important aspect of your upcoming living room gig. Give yourself at least a week to promote your event. Send an announcement to your email list, create a Facebook event, post, tweet, Instagram the event to your fans to get the word out!
imageSet the stage.
Yes, this concert might be in your living room. Yes, you could just sit on the couch, in your PJs, and be comfortable. However, this will come off as lazy to your viewers. These people are choosing to spend their time away from Facebook, from going out to see a movie, from washing their hair, to sit down and watch YOU. Take it seriously.

Consider this just as important as a regular show. Use your resources and make your livestream look like a pros.

  • Have a friend with a studio? Ask to use it for your livestream so you can set a professional set. Bring decorations, a backdrop, some props, like CD’s, flowers, etc. depending on what mood you want to convey during the show!
  • If you’re setting up in your home, do the same and be conscious of what’s behind you. You don’t want a boring white wall, or have too much going on behind you that it’s distracting.

imageGet interactive.
Take advantage of having your fans tuned in for this special livestream concert. Many streaming services include chat features. Between songs, take some moments to answer questions, take requests and say thank you to your fans. Have your assistant man the chatroom and feed you questions when you are ready. It makes the show even more intimate and exclusive for your fans – a feature they couldn’t necessarily find during a live show.
imageSound check, check, 1, 2, 3, check…
The look is important, but the sound is just as important for the show. What’s the point of performing your songs for this live stream or answer questions during a live q&a if no one can hear you? Take a few minutes to warm up and do a sound check just like you would for a live show. Make sure people will be able to hear you when playing and speaking.

This is where having an assistant is helpful, they can check on another computer for sound, or during the show, let you know when to adjust your volume in playing or speaking!
imageCover charge?
If you have an established following, you should charge cover for your show. Concert Window makes it easy for your viewers with a pay what you want cover charge ($1 minimum), so people can watch for the small amount of $1, but can also pay more if they’d like (bonus!). Plus, Concert Window processes payments to you within 24 hours after your show.

I believe live stream shows are a great addition to add to your streams of income as a musician – just read this success story from a pianist who starting using ConcertWindow!

So if you have an upcoming milestone, like a record release or tour, set it off with a livestream show! Even if you don’t have such a grand event, utilize a livestream concert to connect and sustain a great relationship with your fans. And that’s always a good idea.

4 Ways to Spruce up your Facebook Page!

One part I love about my job as an assistant is helping musicians carry out their branding on their social media pages. Often, musicians have the branding in place on their website, but their Facebook page doesn’t match it. I can’t count how many times I go to a musician’s page and see so many small things they could do to make it look fantastic! I’ve become accustomed to updating musician’s pages for them so that their branding matches across the board, one of the many tasks I do for my clients.

Considering a Facebook page is most likely the place people will go to check out your music after your website, shouldn’t you pay more attention to make sure it reflects your brand? Short answer – yes.

Here are 4 ways you can spruce up your Facebook Fan pages.

1. Put a cover on it

Some pages I’ve come across feature a picture of themselves as their cover photo, along with a picture of themselves for their profile picture. Going that route doesn’t allow for anything to stand out and it can feel cluttered – like a bad photo collage. Do you have an amazing logo? Make it your profile picture and then feature a photo of you as the cover. Have a new album or tour? Make the cover about that, featuring dates and links, and choose a great shot of you for your profile picture. Keep in mind the size of the cover it 851×315 pixels and if you are creating a cover with information on it, keep in mind where the profile picture box will be on the left. I use this handy template whenever I am building a new cover.

Beyonce’s Facebook admin does it just right here, using her new logo and contrasting it with a photo.

2. The info under the profile picture.

For this info box, keep it simple and be sure to include a link! I’ve seen pages not utilize this space correctly by either a) not including a link or b) include too many likes! Choose one thing you’d like to focus on – whether it’s your new album, new website or your twitter account – and write a quick sentence or tagline with the one link. For example:

More than just a girl with a guitar – (link to website)

Get Kelly’s latest album, ‘Girl with a Dream’ here (link to purchase)

3. Choose the right Facebook Tabs

You’re a musician – you tour, you have merch, you have an email list, you want people to buy your music, right?. So why not feature those revenue streams as well as fan connecting streams on your Facebook page?

^On my page, I feature what’s important to my followers.

First of all, get rid of the ‘Number of Likes’ Tab. This is super unimportant to people visiting your site – plus, they can see how many likes you have under your name if they need to know. That tab can be used towards a link to your newsletter sign up, your blog or a link to your online store. One thing you cannot remove is the Photos tab, but find the apps you can include and use the space you have wisely!

4. Personalize your Facebook Tabs with Images and Text

Once you have the best Facebook Tabs picked out for you, it’s time that you personalize them to match your branding. You do NOT want to keep the generic tab cover or title. If you use Mailchimp for your newsletters, as many of us do, adding their app to your page gives you their generic picture / title:

So, instead of ‘Newsletter Sign Up’ which doesn’t even fit in the title, keep it short with ‘Email List’ or ‘Mailing List’. Then, get rid of the apps tab image and replace it with a branded text image (Note: the size of these images have to be exactly 111 x 74). Take a look at John Mayer’s tabs. His team created matching images that reflected his branding and is easy to read and more importantly,UNDERSTAND. Job well done by John Mayer’s Facebook admin:

So, how do you change the Facebook Tab Image?

Here’s a quick tutorial:

Take these four ways to freshen up your page and you will change the entire feel of your page for visitors in just a few hours. After seeing what it could look like after a few minutes spent with it, why would you go back?

Shipping Wars

Being a musician, having to organize mailings and send out materials happens more often than not. Whether it is albums, merchandise, promotional materials, hard drives, sheet music…it all comes with a price.

Working with various levels of clients for years, I learned my way around shipping and also became a familiar face in the post office, at FedEx, at UPS..(and even at the other FedEx a few blocks away) visiting all of them at least once a week!

Being in New York, at first, I would always choose whatever is open and what is closest – but after a few years of doing this, I have become very selective in how and from where I send anything for my clients because if you get lazy, you can end up paying way more than you have to to get those posters to a venue in time.

It’s important to understand your choices in mailing and who will give you the best value. Mailing costs add up and are usually forgotten in budgeting, so you should strategize on how you are mailing your materials!

United States Postal Service –

Media Mail – offers the cheapest way to send media, including CDs, Books, Movies, etc. If you have the time to ship it and are in no rush, go to USPS first and ask to ship ‘Media Mail’. It usually will get anywhere in the United States in a week, if not sooner.

Cheap tracking – always recommended to get tracking with USPS. It doesn’t come standard like FedEx or UPS. Don’t waste your time, don’t take the risk, spend the extra few bucks (literally a few bucks – tracking starts at $1.95) and have peace of mind you can find a missing box or letter.

Lowest International shipping – if you are shipping internationally, USPS has consistently given me the best rates.

Limited hours – The post office is only open a limited amount of hours during the day – MondayFriday, 7AM-5PM, closed on holidays. It doesn’t leave you with a great window of time and certainly doesn’t help you in emergencies.

Crowds – Because of its limited hours, you can find yourself standing in LONG lines, wasting precious time in your day.


Gives you options – One perk at my local UPS is that they offer USPS services as well as the standard ground and air shipping of UPS.

Online Shipping Services – It’s incredibly easy to use!
While on tour, I had to ship about 8 boxes when our tour bus left us. The hotel recommended UPS – which I hadn’t used before. In a matter of minutes I had created an online account, printed and labeled the boxes and were able to give instructions for them to pick up the next day at the hotel lobby. Extra plus, even though I didn’t know the size or weight of these boxes, an estimate is good enough for them!

Comes with a cost – They tend to be the most expensive out of other shipping companies in my experience.

No Media Mail – They do offer USPS services, but that is strictly for Priority and Express shipping. When I brought up Media mail, they gave me a blank face.

FedEx –

Always open – A lot of their stores are open 24/7 and I have several locations walking distance from me. They recently saved my ass when I needed to ship a package ASAP!

Reliable – I’ve never had an issue with a package getting somewhere. In the 3 years of working with them, it’s always gone well.

Ground Shipping is fast – Usually Ground shipping means a week or more, at UPS and USPS, however, FedEx seems to work some magic and ground shipping gets anywhere in 3 days.

Not for rush mailings – If you are in a rush, it will cost you going with FedEx. One overnight envelope can be $30-$40!
My recommendation?

My experience has put USPS and FedEx in the lead as a close tie. USPS is great for when you are in no rush with what you are shipping. Also, if you have an emergency and can make it before they close, it’s great for overnight and 2-3 day shipping as well! But, if you are in a bind and need something to mail quickly, FedEx Ground is just as good, fairly priced and most locations are open 24/7.

Each mailing is going to be different, depending on where it’s going and when it needs to get there, but knowing a few secrets can help you save hundreds in the long run. And always, always, always, get tracking!

To happy mailing! 🙂

Kennett Square, PA

Day 1:

Half of us took the train from New York Penn on Amtrak, while the other half flew in from Chicago, Nashville and Austin! Already loving how touring brings folks together.

Taking the Amtrak is always, well…thrilling. For a Monday afternoon, it was fairly crowded at New York Penn station. Thanksgiving travel, I assumed. One tip I did learn after boarding that plane is when making reservations, is make them separate so you get separate tickets. When they announce the gate number, a herd of people with luggage just crams into the escalator door, making it hard for the 4 of us to go through together. I had to stand back and wait for everyone to get through and tell the impatient ticket man that these 3 guys are with me as they walked through.

I am with musicians who travel and tour for a living, so they knew to go right to the end of our coach class cart so we could find seats and luggage space easily. Done!

The ride was very easy and once we arrived at the train station, the driver was there to greet us. With one SUV for our 6 bags of LARGE luggage, it reminded ME to remind presenters that we are traveling with a lot of luggage and they need to prepare for that.

Once we all checked into the hotel, I planned a little welcome dinner for everyone to meet and catch up, and it was really fun for me to hear their conversations of past gigs, past collaborations, current state of the industry, current opinions of the industry…all of it. Something about being immersed around people who are really ‘doing it’ feels great to be a part of.

First day had some bumps, but nothing that can’t be handled. What I learned from the day:

1. Print out tickets for each person on the trip – take into consideration folks being late and getting lost in lines.

2. Don’t go for the first door on the train, walk down to the end to find a decent seat with luggage space.

3. Tell presenters you will need a large vehicle for transport – with musicians on the road for 3 weeks, that’s a lot of luggage.

4. If there’s time, plan a little meet/greet/catch up event, whether it’s a quick bite at a bar or a relaxed dinner. You are going to be on the road for weeks with these guys, make the effort to get to know each other! And also, hear some juicy stories.

Don’t Lose Followers Over This.

Twitter is a wonderful tool for quick shout-outs, headlines and direct communication with your fans.
But unfortunately, your account can get hacked pretty easily if you are not careful, and you’ll find yourself sending DMs (direct messages) to friends and fans such as:

This may not seem like an immediate issue, but this is really serious. Why?
Think about if you had received a spam message, what would you do? You’d worry that your account is hacked. You’d worry that the message would affect your account. You’d think that the person who sent it to you is not updating and keeping up with their twitter account. And you would probably un-follow them.

This is a threat to you as a musician if you have a Twitter account that is spammingfollowers left and right. You are easily risking un-follows and more importantly, losingtrust from fans in your account.

If you are on this side of the fence and are sending these spam messages to yourfollowers, here is how you can stop it right away the first time.

1.     Go to Settings > Applications.
2.     Deactivate ALL applications that you are not using, even if it seems harmless. Applications are usually authorized when you first sync them to your Twitter account to post and message on your behalf. Outdated or ones you are not using probably were hacked and therefore sending spam in your account.
3.     After you’ve deactivated unnecessary applications, change your password.

Usually folks think that only changing your password will stop the spam, but with my experience, you need the combo of deactivating unused applications and changing your password.

This should take care of any messages being sent in the future. However, to fix the damage that’s been done, be sure to tweet out an apology to your followers. Something like:

·      Sorry, everyone! Account was hacked – ignore all strange DM from me!
·      Man, got hacked. Please ignore/delete all strange DM sent from me! Sorry to everyone!
·      My apologies to everyone – was hacked and sent strange DM to a bunch of you. Please delete!

If you caught it in time where only a few DM were sent, it would be worth it to mention people in your tweet to make it more sincere. However, everyone will understand the general apology if you were hacked and sent 100s of spam DMs!