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3 Awesome Instagram Hacks

Ok, so I will admit it, I think I'm just outside of the Instagram generation and to be truthful I hate the idea of feeling like I am living my life down the barrel of a camera or looking for the next chance to get a great selfie, to me that is tiring. I found Facebook much easier and built a following of over 33k.

I have only recently started up an Instagram account for Shape Music. I have noticed a significant difference between growing an account now in comparison with growing an account just a few short years ago, bearing in mind that one is to promote myself as an artist and this one is to share tips and career advice. 

So! I figured I had better get learning about this platform because it seems to be sticking around, so since, I have spent a reasonable amount of time reading and taking a few short courses on how to maximise the Instagram Platform. 

Here are 3 awesome hacks to use to grow your Instagram account:

1. Don't post crap! It sounds pretty simple,...

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Don't Co-Write Without A Split Sheet!

Split sheets, I don't like them but let me tell you why they are absolutely necessary. Firstly, a split sheet is a type of one page agreement that is signed by all of the parties involved in writing a piece of music. Each writer of the song will agree to a percentage of the song that they will own.

To be honest, I used to feel a little rude asking someone that I am co-writing with to sign a document that details the agreed percentage slip of the work we were creating together; it kinda made things a little awkward to move forward and start writing together, but, that is really just perception. It's not that I don't specifically trust who I write with, it's that I care enough to protect all writers involved. Your music is your creation, and it hurts when it's taken because it was never protected correctly, now why not prevent that by putting this simple measure in place. Trust me; you will thank me if you ever find yourself in a dispute with a co-writer for royalties that...

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Oh Sh#t I Have Writer's Block!

If I know that I have to write x amount of songs for a new project, you can just about guarantee I will have songwriter's block, without a doubt I will sit at a writing session in silence and hope that it will come to me soon, before my co-writer works out that I'm a fraud. Even though I have won 2 Australian Songwriting Awards, I still question myself and I still get the block. We all get it at some point, but it's what we do about it that determines if we will be able to write a song. Here are some tips and techniques I have used to cure songwriters block and write a great song.

1. Be prepared. Many times I have gone into a songwriting session either with someone or even just by myself, and I haven't prepared myself. Have a really good think about what you want to write about, jot down some ideas. Write down some lyrics, ask yourself, what type of song do you want to write? Fast? Slow? What genre will it be? Keep this in a songwriting journal (I call mine the Idea...

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What Is A Publicist And Do I Need One?

In this episode of the podcast, I talk with good friend and owner of KrisKat Publicity - Kris Katsanis. We cover a bunch of your questions and really get to know what a publicist's job entails. 

1. What is a publicist? A publicist is a middleman between you and the media. 

2. What is the role of a publicist? A publicist has a contact database usually far more significant than any artist. A publicist has also built a relationship with many different media sources; it is therefor the role of the publicist to take your music to the media and then follow them up requesting interviews, spots in magazine or newspapers and some cases television. However great the publicist, the quality of the project will always determine the level of media response.

3. How can a publicist help an artist? An artist is usually extremely good at their craft; they dedicate their time to developing and creating a product. While as an independent artist we will wear many hats,...

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Criticism Sux - But Here Are 3 Tips To Help With It

I felt completely compelled to talk about this topic! Mainly because I have always hated criticism so much that I was never willing to listen to anybody, and of course, that held me back for a long time oh and cost me a lot of money!

Eventually, I have learnt not only how to effectively take criticism but I have learnt to love it, of course only if it is constructive. So it is important to first understand the difference between constructive and destructive criticism. 

Constructive criticism comes from a place of good intention, offered up as a way to improve your current situation, although it can still feel insulting. Whereas destructive criticism expresses fault and even disappointment or judgement, this kind of criticism isn't helpful and will always create a negative environment. 

We must understand that feedback is important, as long as delivered respectfully, as it is the way that we can learn and grow. 

Here are some tips for dealing with...

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God Dammit Be Unique Or Don't Bother!

There is one asset, one thing going for us that so many of us seem to forget, or we look past and don't realise that it is one of the most essential components of being successful, not just within the music industry but in life. 

Yes, I am talking about your uniqueness! Who wants a thousand Kim Kardashians or 10 thousand Ed Sheeran's? What even made them special? They found their strengths, found what they were good at, found a way to show their audience who they are and what makes them who they are, and that is precisely what you need to do. 

The best thing about this is that it is easy! We can stop pretending to be someone else and start focusing on who we are, what are our qualities, strengths and weaknesses? The most wonderful thing that you can do for yourself right this very minute is to stop and realise that you are the only one of you in the world, according to my husband he believes that the work is lucky that there is only one of me! But in truth, we...

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Why You Should Release Every Song From Your EP Or Album As A Single

The old pattern for the release of an album or EP is usually, release a few singles and then following that, release the whole album. I've never been a fan of this, and I always felt that I was missing out on so many marketing opportunities. Now that the music world has changed so dramatically with the introduction of streaming, it finally makes a lot of sense to be releasing singles. 

My latest release has six tracks, and I will release every one of them as singles. There are many reasons to release your songs individually; here are what I feel 3 key reasons:

1. You have spent a lot of your budget. When you record, in most instances, it makes a lot of sense financially to record more than one track. You will be bringing in session musicians, studio time, producer, mixing and mastering, and a lot of these professionals won't work on single tracks because it's not an effective use of their time. The project usually spends quite a large portion of your budget, why would you...

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Everything You Need To Know When Heading Into The Recording Studio

Choosing where and who to record with is a daunting task, who do you choose? Why? What are the questions I should be asking?

Today I spoke with producer Simon Johnson who answers a tonne of questions you might have and may not even know to ask! 

If you are looking to ever go into the studio, then you need to listen to these fantastic tips!

1. Many artists say they want to find a great producer, what exactly is a producer, i.e. what is their role in the process. A producer wears many hats in the modern-day recording world. In the most simple form, a producer is the one that has the ideas and brings together using all of the sounds that will reach the end sound goal of the song. However in today's society with a lot of indie artists on a small budget, a producer is starting to do many things, from helping the artist create their songs, through to playing on, producing and in some cases mixing and mastering their songs. 

2. You work with new and...

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How To Release Your Music In 5 Steps

 

As with everything, there is a process, and if you don't follow it, then there are risks. 

When you are releasing your music, there are 5 steps that you must take to ensure that your release is ready to go and will be successful. I learnt these 5 steps far too late in my career; I wasted tens of thousands of dollars firstly not knowing that there was a process and then trying to figure out what the hell it was. 

Fortunately for you, you don't have to lose all of that money, get frustrated by not knowing what to do next or how to do it. Here are the 5 steps you need to take the next time you are releasing your music. 

1. Make sure you have a PRO. When I started, I didn't even know what a PRO was, let alone why I needed one. PRO stands for Performance Rights Organisation, and every time you write a song, you need to list it with them. Your PRO will collect your royalties on your behalf, you, as the copyright owner, have the right to collect...

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5 Benefits Of Rejection That Will Surprise You (In A Great Way)

Ok, if you are like me, the thought of rejection might make you feel sick to your stomach. I like to keep everyone happy; I'm not one to want to "rock the boat", I don't even want to get in the boat! But these days, I have grown a lot as a person, and I have learnt that rejection is necessary for growth.

Your most dangerous place to live is in your comfort zone!. You can't grow, you can't move forward because you're scared of stepping outside of that big, warm, fuzzy bubble you have created for yourself and your life. 

It's time to move! Comfort needs to pack its bags and find a new home so you can move on and start achieving. I have struggled with rejection my whole life, in fact, I honestly feel like I have had more than my fair amount in my lifetime, but it has made me who I am today, it has made me stronger, and it has made me work harder. Here are 5 benefits of rejection:

1. It makes us re-evaluate ourselves. Sometimes we just get stuck on the merry-go-round, in that...

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