Now is the right time to become an American Federation of Musicians member. From ragtime to rap, from the early phonograph to today's digital recordings, the AFM has been there for its members. And now there are more benefits available to AFM members than ever before, including a multi-million dollar pension fund, excellent contract protection, instrument and travelers insurance, work referral programs and access to licensed booking agents to keep you working.
As an AFM member, you are part of a membership of more than 80,000 musicians. Experience has proven that collective activity on behalf of individuals with similar interests is the most effective way to achieve a goal. The AFM can negotiate agreements and administer contracts, procure valuable benefits and achieve legislative goals. A single musician has no such power.
The AFM has a proud history of managing change rather than being victimized by it. We find strength in adversity, and when the going gets tough, we get creative - all on your behalf.
Like the industry, the AFM is also changing and evolving, and its policies and programs will move in new directions dictated by its members. As a member, you will determine these directions through your interest and involvement. Your membership card will be your key to participation in governing your union, keeping it responsive to your needs and enabling it to serve you better. To become a member now, visit www.afm.org/join.
February 1, 2018IM -
Today’s music business allows artists to communicate, interact, and sell directly to their audience like never before. While many artists and bands use social media randomly, according to author Bobby Owsinski, not having an overall social media strategy results in ineffective promotion and wasted time. In the second edition of Social Media Promotion for Musicians: The Manual for Marketing Yourself, Your Band, and Your Music Online, Owsinski gives detailed tips for exploiting social media. Here are his six steps to successfully plan your online strategy.
Facebook—Regardless of how you feel about Facebook, you still need a presence on it for no other reason than its easy proximity to lots of potential new fans. If you’re just starting out, you might want to start with a personal page instead of a fan site though. It can be embarrassing to have a fan page with only a few followers. A personal site is a way to gain some momentum before you make the leap.
Twitter—People who dismiss Twitter likely aren’t aware of how to use it for promotion. It’s extremely powerful for attracting new fans and keeping your current ones instantly informed.
YouTube—Videos are such a major part of any musician, artist, or band’s online presence that you need your own channel to exploit them successfully.
Instagram—Instagram participation is not yet a necessity, but it’s growing and has a number of unique features that work particularly well for the music business.
Other networks—There are a ton of other social networks and many of them might deserve your attention at some point. There comes a point where the amount of time invested versus the potential outcome just doesn’t balance out. This is why you should probably stay with the previous four networks, or even just a few of them, until you’re really comfortable. Then, you might decide to take on another one. The only exception would be if a big portion of your audience is on a particular network other than the “Big 4.” In that case, you might want to substitute that network for Instagram.
Today, having a sound social media strategy is the key to successful promotion. The order of importance of your online components should be: website, mailing list, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter or Instagram, blog. The order for social networks may shift, but your website and mailing list should remain the most important.
Bobby Owsinski covers each of these components to your online strategy in-depth in the second edition of Social Media Promotion for Musicians: The Manual for Marketing Yourself, Your Band, and Your Music Online, available at BobbyOwsinski.com.