• 04Feb
    Categories: Uncategorized Comments Off on Visual Arts-As Old as Civilization

    For as long as man has been alive, he has observed the aesthetics and beauty of life. It seems that it is innate in us to create and change and this has been demonstrated throughout the ages. Even the cave man recreated his vision and told a story via stonewalls.

    All art is a communication! The artist is creating his/her vision via any artistic outlet such as drawing, painting, sculptures, photography, graphic design or filmmaking etc.

    It’s any art we see! The natural landscape is a powerful tool artists have used throughout time. We seem to want to recreate what we are looking at and at the same time change it to put our own nuances and character into it.

    Art is not limited to drawing, painting, sculptures etc. There are the living visual arts such as the painstaking shaping of the Bonsai tree or creating the next beautiful hybrid rose. We started with the incredibly gorgeous vintage rose and now we literally have hundreds of different kinds of roses in various sizes, colors and fragrance.

    Dancing, figure skating, gymnastics, ballet, and even acting are also considered visual art forms.

    You are basically taking something that has been done before, or a piece of life, and are making it new by changing or adding your own character to the piece. That’s all imagination is!

    Just in the 20th century alone we have created new forms of art such as art nouveau, pop art, ethnic art to name a few. The subject of art is so vast that there is literally no ceiling to creativity and that is what makes this subject so incredibly interesting.

  • 05Jan
    Categories: Uncategorized Comments Off on Top 7 Do’s for Successful Improvisation

    Do you think you can’t improvise? Nonsense! All you need are a few chords, the right attitude, and a piano or keyboard. Follow these seven principles and you’ll be improvising at the keyboard in no time!

    1. Do listen to what’s going on inside yourself before and while you sit down to play – your inner state will determine the emotional quality of your playing

    2. Do let go of the need to be perfect. Trying to “be correct” will defeat the playful attitude necessary for improvisaiton

    3. Do believe that you are good enough to begin. No one person knows it all so you might as well jump in and experience the joy of improvisation.

    4. Do realize that you don’t need a lot of theory or technique before you’re ready to play piano in the new age style. If you don’t begin now, when will you?

    5. Do understand that improvisation is not some mysterious skill, but a game that can be learned and played just like any other game

    6. Do enjoy the process and let go of the outcome. Trying to control what comes out of you is a sure way to stop the creative flow

    7. Do stop playing when you become bored or indifferent. There is a natural starting and stopping point to playing. Just like anything, when you feel yourself growing disinterested, stop playing.

  • 06Dec
    Categories: Uncategorized Comments Off on Pop Music Producer Roadblocks to Success

    Wannabe producers always have at least one fatal flaw. Now the flaw varies from person to person, but they basically fall under 3 categories. So to lets list out the rules to keep you in the game.

    People Skills

    Lets start with the granddaddy. This is a people biz hombre. You deal with people all the time, whether it be label execs, engineers, or the talent you are producing.

    Because of this critical point your people skills will make or break your career. This may seem overrated if you come from the school of thought that says, “if I get a single it will be enough.” Honestly, maybe. But your success is so much more likely if you treat people in a way that makes them feel good.

    That is what brings Rick Ruben success in this industry. That man is unquestionably the biggest thing on the scene. He has hits in all genres from Rap, to Country and people want to work with the cat because he makes them feel good, and alive.

    Do you do this?

    If not maybe its time to learn. Go get a copy of How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie. It could be a career changing book

    Overshadowing

    The second mistake that many produces make is to cast a looming shadow over an entire project. This is usually because the producer is a control freak. This type of producer has their fingerprints all over an album, and the artist feels suffocated by their presence.

    Music is supposed to be an outflow of a vision. A song comes to life out of an artist, if they feel stifled by an overbearing oppressive regime you are not going to get the best production out of them. That is the truth.

    Now, that does not mean that a good producer cannot point out flaws and errors, it just means that it should be done in a way that makes the talent want to change, not hole up and die.

    Work on allowing the artist to breathe. Give them space to be an artist, but yet keep the project moving forward. Its tough, but hey that’s your job.

    Limited Chops

    The last area that hang up wannabe producers is a limited pallet of chops. This shows up in the inability to get the sounds, beats, or vocal takes because of lack of knowledge. A know-it-all attitude is a sure way to shoot yourself in the foot.

  • 04Nov
    Categories: Uncategorized Comments Off on How To Use A Call to Action for Better Advertising Response

    Wouldn’t you like a simple but extremely powerful way to pump up sales, get better quality leads, and practically eliminate advertising waste?

    Here’s an insider tip.

    Hey, you and me… we’re in the marketing trenches together. Every day. And we’ve lived to tell about it.

    But what may surprise you is that very few business owners employ this simple but powerful “tool” in their advertising.

    This tool I’m hinting at is called… tada… a call to action.

    What? Yes, it’s a call to action.

    If you don’t ask, then you don’t get. Sounds reasonable, right? But very few business owners (or their creative staff) use this simple tactic to boost sales.

    All… and I mean all the marketing pieces that I write, and this includes white papers, print ads, landing pages, emails, you name it, includes some sort of call to action.

    It’s the very core of the type of advertising I use. This is called direct response marketing. And it works… like gangbusters, if done correctly.

    Why Use A Call To Action (CTA)?

    First of all, it works. It’s a great way to move people down the sales funnel.

    Second, it measures the effectiveness of your copywriting.

    Think about it. The more responses you get directly indicates how compelling your copy must have been. In other words, your copy message is doing its job.

    Now that you know the advantages of using a CTA, let’s look at a few examples. They’re not as difficult to come up with as you may think.

    When you think about your “call to action” think about what objective you want the reader to do…

    … sign up for a webinar, download some information, visit your store or call now.

    Pretty simple, right?

    If you’re stuck or just can’t find good ideas for your call to action, then start an advertising swipe file.

    I’ve talked about this before but as a reminder, a swipe file is a collection of good ads that are producing good results. And how you’ll know that these are “good” ads is that you’ll see them running over and over again.

    Savvy marketers do not like to spend money on advertising that is not producing. It’s all about a good ROI (return on investment). And only good direct response marketing gives you this opportunity.

    Now while I’m on the subject of putting together your CTA, it’s only natural to talk about your writing style. Specifically, the words you choose.

    According to social-media-scientist Dan Zarrella, verbs outperform adverbs, adjectives and nouns when eliciting ‘shares’ on Twitter.

    This is true not only for Twitter and other social media but nearly any media outlet.

    Here’s a few bold verb examples that produce results:

    Register

    Subscribe

    Buy

    Download

    Donate

    These are much better than the plain old vanilla ‘click here’ and be sure to tell your reader what benefits she’s getting, for example…

    Download your free copy of our business survival guide

    Subscribe to get your free reports

    Register now to get in on this webinar

    And so on.

    Now let’s add some urgency to the mix.

    We humans sometimes need a bit of pushing sometimes. Adding some sincere urgency to drive the funnel can be just what’s needed to get us moving.

    Here’s a few examples to get your creative juices flowing…

    Offer expires

    First 50 people only

    Hurry, the price goes up at noon today

    While supplies last

    And one of personal favorites is ‘Immediate Download.’ It’s a great call to action because folks like downloads and they like immediacy. Bam. Here you got both.

    Last, let’s talk about risk. Actually, let’s talk about reducing removal or removing risk from your offer or call to action.

    As you can imagine, risk removal or reversal is a powerful marketing tool.

    How do we lower the risk?

    Oftentimes doing business for the first time with a new company is a scary deal. After all, you know or trust this “new company.” And who hasn’t been burnt before. Heck, these days trust has flown out the window, right?

    So why not start by truly focusing and empathizing with your prospect and clients. Put yourself in their shoes. Again, they do not know you and they don’t trust you. Make a point to earn their trust… and keep earning their trust.

    Prove that you truly care by showing them you’ll shoulder the risk. Communicate this in all your marketing messages.

    Here’s a few examples…

    “Start your no-obligation 30 day free trial”

    “You have a no-hassle, no-questions asked, 100% money back guarantee”

    “Not Satisfied? No Problem! We’re double your money back immediately”

    You get the idea.

    Use these ideas to create a strong “call to action” in your next advertising pitch.

    Yours for bigger profits,

  • 05Oct
    Categories: Uncategorized Comments Off on How Prepared Is Your Board for Cyberspace?

    While cyber security is an important issue for boards, it has not always been top of mind. Because a major corporation like Equifax had a breach in its IT system, many companies are rethinking how to secure cyber security.

    Boards around the world are examining the Equifax case to determine how to best secure their organizations valuable information stored in their IT systems. So who is responsible? Since the CEO has stepped down, it is apparent he was being held accountable. However, where was the board of directors?

    In today’s world of cyberspace, corporate boards have to think about more than governance, CEO compensation and strategy.

    As it stands, it is in the board’s best interest to ensure the company is not exposed to debilitating risks. Companies have workplace safety standards and sexual harassment policies to mitigate lawsuits. They even have disaster recovery plans in the event of natural disasters or occurrences like the World Trade Center plane crash. These plans and policies are in place to keep business running smoothly and perpetually. It protects customers and employees.

    However, with sophisticated computer hackers around the world, it is no news that computer systems and valuable information can be breached and stolen. There are hackers who breach computer systems as a business. They ask for ransom in the amount of tens of millions of dollars. If it is not paid, they threaten to release the companies secure information, which sometimes could contain private email communication from top executives.

    While many enterprises as large as Equifax may have disaster recovery plans for their physical operation, they may not have the same plan for cyber breach. The disaster recovery policies would include immediate action steps based on size of the breach, who made the breach, what information was taken, were company smart phones breached, what to communicate to employees, the public and shareholders as well as other important factors.

    In some cases, it may make sense to inform the FBI. In other cases, it may be better to pay the ransom. The challenge with calling the FBI is that the hackers could be in countries like Russia. In Russia, the FBI may not pursue them. Why? Because the Russian government is always looking for good hackers. If the FBI exposes the hackers in Russia, the government may hire them, which can present long-term problems for the US. When it comes to paying ransom, it’s tricky. If you pay, they may hack you again as though you are an ATM machine. If you don’t pay, they may expose confidential information. These are also the kinds of challenges that directly involve the board.

    What’s most important is that the board is talking about cyber security before there is a problem. There should be constant audits of the cyber security system to mitigate any risks. In addition, as a board, they should hold the CEO accountable for that security. Furthermore, there should be clear policies to guide the board and the executive team on how to handle the various moving parts in a delicate situation. Boards with disaster recovery plans and high accountability with the CEO are more likely to be forward thinking about cyber vulnerabilities and proactive about updating the security system.