A few weeks ago Ariel Hyatt sent out the free Rockstar 2.0 report, and I quickly skimmed through it. It reminded me of all the internet tasks I still had left undone. The first thing I resolved to do was get my text mail list together, since I have been hearing repeatedly that email and Myspace were soon going the way of the model T. So now there is a flourescent sign on my guitar amp that says text hellcats to 69302. When you do, you get a coupon back for $1 off on a Hillbilly Hellcats t-shirt.
Next the email list guilt set in, so I started the research. Would it be Eweber, or Icontact, or Constant Contact, or Bandletter, or Reverbnation? I like the way Reverbnation was linked to everything else, so I filled out my Reverbnation pages, signed up for the mailing list and gigfinder. Followed the impossible directions from several videos to set up Myband on my Facebook personal and fan pages, and in one month have gone from #427 rock band in Denver to #27. We now have 62 addresses on our Reverbnation email list, which I was proud of until Derek Sivers casually mentioned the other day that there’s an advantage to having a non-html mailing list.
A trip to the Durango Songwriters fest in October re-introduced me to Barbara Russell, and I left the showcase with Barbara as my new coach at artistdirect.com. On her first phone call the next week I bought Carla Lynn Hall’s Twitter for Musicians- I have been tweeting aimlessly and wanted to get it right.
Then an archived call of Barbara’s introduced me to Patrick Schwerdtfeger and his Webify Your Business book, a great 52 week plan to get it together on the internet. I am 4 weeks into that.
With the aid of Myspace, Google, and Craigslist, my dream of gigging in Hawaii came true mid November. My Colorado bassist pulled out of the trip 10 days ahead of time, but through Craigslist I found a bassist in Honolulu who also managed a music store and backlined the gigs. I got on the plane with two confirmed Hawaii shows, but after the first show in Honolulu booked four more in the next two weeks right on the bandstand. It seems that Hawaii venues have a problem with bands from the mainland actually showing up due to flight costs and logistics. Nothing like being there in person to establish credibility.
I wanted some reading material for the plane flight, so I downloaded Gary Vaynerchuk’s Crush It! onto my Iphone Kindle app, and had finished 8 chapters by the time the plane landed in Honolulu. I knew then that my dormant hillbillyhellcats.com was going to be pointed to Tumblr.com, where my primary blog was going to be a video blog, not just written or photographic, as explained by Gary. I made 3 Hawaii videos and they’re up there.
Oh yeah, in my briefcase was Ariel’s 9 weeks book 2.0, and I posted on my Facebook hillbillyhellcats that I was going to work through it once and for all.
Well, the Hawaii shows went great, and I landed back in Denver Dec. 1st to 10 degree weather, my mind plotting how I was going to sell all my crapola, tie up my loose ends, and relocate to Honolulu.
I was somehow reminded of jango.com, and took the plunge Monday, buying 4,000 plays.
The next day my Rev it up with Taz album had risen to #7 on the Amazon Indie retro charts- I like to think it wasn’t a coincidence.
I have backed off touring for awhile to get my internet chops together, and to methodically work through 9 weeks. It all feels very hectic, but let’s see what’s been done-
1. text list
2. email list
3. hillbillyhellcats.com
4. jango.com
5. reverbnation.com
6. Facebook personal and band page from 15 contacts to over 500.
7. re-upped sonicbids and have sent to 12 submissions
8. re-upped broadjam and have sent in 6 submissions.
9. Sent out offers on Craigslist, Twitter, Reverbnation, Myspace, and Facebook to teach guitar lessons via Skype today, at several fans’ requests.

Aloha!

Chuck Hughes

Playing Hawaii 5-0.

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