Tools for the modern musician, #2: iPhone
A crucial part of any musician’s marketing plan is keeping your fans engaged, and stories from the road with up to the minute updates can be a huge part of that since touring is such usually a large part of a musician’s life and work. An iPhone gives you just about everything you need for this important business practice, along with other bonuses.
Let’s just consider a typical Facebook post without the use of an iPhone:
- Find a coffee shop or hotel with a Wifi internet connection - hopefully free.
- Log into their Wifi and then log into Facebook via a web browser.
- Plug in your camera and retrieve the photos you took earlier, choose one, crop it and upload it to Facebook adding a caption. Then check your news feed for updates from others and respond to some wall posts.
- While you’re online, check email to get information for your next destination and look up directions online or write down the address to enter into your van’s GPS.
Now with the iPhone here’s how that scenario would play out:
- While your bandmate is driving you take a photo, choosing to post it to Facebook immediately with a caption. After posting you get a notification that someone posted a comment on your wall so you respond.
- Since you have your phone out you decide to check email and then tap on the address given to you in the text which opens up in your Google Maps app and tells you that you are three hours away, and that there are no traffic jams by a green line on the highway.
Yes, smartphones have additional monthly data costs compared to “dumbphones”, but if you consider it an expense as part of operating your small business, it is completely worth the $30-ish plus fees per month - especially if without it you end up having to pay for a Wifi connection or two to get destination information and the like. As I stated in the post about computer choice: if time is money, the amount of increased productivity and real time methods of updating your social marketing tools are definitely worth that monthly data fee.
Your connection to the internet while on the road is vital since that’s where your fans, stores, ticket outlets, and pretty much every other aspect of your business reside. Having the opportunity to stay on top of your business at any moment anywhere you are is simply a no brainer. Why would you deprive yourself of such a valuable tool? “Work smarter, not harder!”
Some of the bonuses I alluded to earlier include:
- Voice recording apps and Garageband to grab song ideas as they hit you or even multitrack a song (with additional audio adapter).
- Built-in video camera with optional editing app (like iMovie) so you can also upload videos as things happen.
- Tools to help you quickly and easily update your website or eCommerce outlets as you travel.
- Point of Sale tools like Square that allow you to accept credit cards at your merch table without paying extra fess and connection charges for a standalone credit card processor. How many of us carry cash any more?...
- Productivity apps like Evernote that help keep your information and reading lists organized on the go.
- Lots of games to help the long road trips pass more quickly.
Now, a lot of you are probably wondering why I didn’t mention Android as a choice over an iPhone. I'll get into that in my next blog post...