Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Nine Week Blog Challenge 3: The Sites

Greetings all,

In continuing on the saga of the nine week challenge, I find one of the most wonderful things about the challenge is the accountability to work on at least one aspect of music PR each week. It would be so easy to put the book down and take a much-needed nap and do it "tomorrow." Does tomorrow ever really come? After completing, or, hey, at least starting(!) the task(s) at hand, we can rest with the comfort that we are moving ahead.

Ok, now I will fast forward to this week. I almost hate to admit how long I have been laboring over elements of the web site, the colors, the fonts, the logos, the pitch (solved last week :) ), etc. I have been listening to everyone's opinion, which, at first glance, is a good thing to do, but, at some point the different opinions contradict each other and I end up with no decision. One of the beautiful tenets that Ariel presented in her book, Music Success in Nine Weeks, was that nothing is permanent. I can create a branding, including color scheme, etc., but do not need to commit to it permanently. That is the freedom to move forward, rather than having a site that never gets off the ground.

Success 1: Add the pitch. Check.
Success 2: Load in less than 3.5 seconds. Check.
Success 3: No flash intro. Check.
Success 4: Consistent branding. Working on this one...
Success 5: Give away an exclusive. Working on this one...
Success 6: Be straightforward and protect privacy rights. Working on this one...

Now to continue to work behind the scenes so that I can unveil the results...

-Lady D
Deborah E, Jazz Singer
♫ Scat N Style ♫
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Nine Week Blog Challenge 2: The Pitch

Task 1. Check. Task 2. Check. Task 3. Check.

Wait... the beauty of Ariel's system is to highlight the successes. Ok, it is taking a bit of practice, but working those goals into the daily thinking, and adding those lists of successes, really keeps the positive flow going.

This sure beats the 80 item task list(s)! And goals? How do you hit goals when the task list augments daily?!

This week was challenging. The reading and viewing the material (including the examples given in the youtube vid), were very helpful, not to mention the recommended resource @ It was challenging because, quite frankly, I felt lost at coming up with my own pitch. It seems easier to come up with someone else's pitch! Don't line up to hire me yet...

Ready for the first try at a pitch. Please don't laugh. Ok, you can snicker...

My name is Lady D and I am a singer specializing in providing an ambiance like an aromatherapy massage for your senses.. Basque in the musical essence and class reminiscent of the Greats. Top it off with a freshening splash of Lady D's own touch of sass. Come hear for yourself @

Wasn't quite working for me...

Then, some wonderful people, Melanie Boyer with the assistance of Graeme Sacks helped me with the following pitch. I should say, Melanie came up with it. She did the heavy lifting. Thanks, Melanie!

Lady D is a smooth and sultry summer night on Bourbon Street... Classy with a dash of sass... Proof that the jazz greats have not been sacrificed to processed pop.

I've been trying out this pitch this week, and it is really having an effect. I used to cringe when I thought of trying to describe myself. I would rather just sing for people and let them describe it. However, that is a little lazy on my part and I need to help people to understand what it is I am selling. It is not a matter of being egotistical (as I used to think), but rather being fair to the person you are talking to, so that they can determine whether they are interested or not. If you are not fair with that presentation, then you are asking for a favor, or, worse yet, you may be guilting people into being interested.

This is still a free world, isn't it? And for those who do not feel free, maybe we can offer a little comfort through our music, an opportunity to fly, for a moment, beyond the confines of the surroundings where we exist.

-Deborah E Jazz Singer
♫ Scat N Style ♫

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P.S. Don't forget to check out Ariel's book:

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Nine Week Blog Challenge 1: Preparation

Hi all,

So many things going through my head. I know, like any of us has the time to read about my thoughts, let alone care to hear them! ;)

So, you see, there is this blogging challenge that I am taking. Ariel Publicity is giving the challenge and I decided to participate. The challenge is in conjunction with the reading of Ariel's book (below).

The challenge includes blogging every week about what we are learning through reading, and applying, the concepts in Ariel's book. The key is sharing what I am experiencing.

Wait. Stop. Sharing? You mean, being transparent? Hmmm... I was enjoying writing about other great musicians and how much I enjoy their art. I mean, I do have experience in writing, but that was back before blogs were created, when I wrote a weekly ezine and contributed my column "Web Tips" to other online publications (...way before Web 2.0).

I didn't have to write anything really personal, just friendly and educational. I mean, my husband is the one that listens to my 40,000 (or is it 80,000?) words per day and hears my every thought. And, the point of ♫ Scat N Style ♫ was to be short, "articlettes," not lengthy diary entries. But, maybe through this challenge I will learn more about myself, about others and how to present myself to the world, through the music that I desire to share with that world, whether that world is one small child in need of a hug, or an auditorium full of fans.

Something that I have just started to learn, just prior to this challenge, is that fans really seem to want to know more about who the artist is. Is that just my perception, or is that reality? I find that if I can see a little more of their true personality, and not just their public representation, I can understand their art more easily. Consider this on of my goals... to "percolate" more on that thought.

Ok, back to what I learned in the first chapter of this book. First, Ariel suggests we pull out all the tools, including paper, and... wait, color crayons? I mean, come on, color crayons? But then I stopped. How many times have I enjoyed coloring a picture with my kids? I've said, "Oh, it is because I am doing it with my children." No, it's because I still enjoy coloring! Set the judgment aside, with an open mind! Ariel could not have piqued my interest more keenly than suggesting the color crayons. It showed me that sometimes there are mental boundaries and limitations that we may not even be aware exist.

She went on to describe goal setting, similar to many things that I have heard before, but what made this different was that she gave "permission" to change goals if needed. In the past, in my OCD approach, I seemed to think that I had to stick with the goals set when I was young and inexperienced, but it is OK to modify them as needed. Although, a little ineffective to modify them too frequently.

The other breakthrough thought that she presented was to list your five successes daily. Oh, I'm used to listing the 5-6 "to do" items, which kept getting added to the next day's "to do" list, and so on and so on until I dispense with the 100 item to do list. (That's that over-achiever side of me.) Listing the successes really helps keep the positive thinking and propel one toward good things, rather than that feeling of not living up to what one intended.

So, on that note, I'm going to go figure out what success means. Ooooh, that sounds like a couple more blog entries!

Does hugging my kids count as a success?

-Lady D (Deborah E)
Jazz Singer
♫ Scat N Style ♫

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