Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Find Your Nemesis

Are you looking for a dash of inspiration? Need a jumpstart to motivate you out of that funk? I have a new, slightly offbeat solution for you…You need a nemesis.

Let me explain…

So if you’ve been following this blog at all, you’ll know that I am currently writing my dissertation; A four-year college curriculum for a cappella. And if you’ve been following this blog at all, you’ll know that…it’s…going……..very…………….slowly…

On top of writing this dissertation, I’ve been trying to keep up with other a cappella pursuits, including recording songs, putting out videos, writing arrangements, etc. And since I don’t have a deadline, other than the one I create for myself, I can only rely on self-motivation.

And now, I will express my feelings about self-motivation in this lovely rant:

“Mother $%#$%$%# ^%$#^&* ^%$#%^&* stupid &^%$#^&* son of a ^%$#$^%&^&*&%^%$#$%^&*(&^$!!!!!”

Self-motivation is terrible. Truly, truly terrible. It does not work, it has never worked , and anyone who thinks it has worked for them is lying.

If self-motivation actually worked, we wouldn’t have self-help books, motivational speakers, or an entire category of apps dedicated to helping you not procrastinate.

So with that in mind, I’m delighted to show you a brand new way to motivate yourself without paying a single penny. It’s called “jealousy.”

Yes, jealousy. So simple, yet so effective. How do you use jealousy to your advantage? This brings me back to my earlier point: You need a nemesis.

Now when I say a nemesis, I don’t mean someone you actually hate. I mean someone who makes you jealous with envy. Someone who is doing everything you wish you were. Someone whom you respect and admire, but would never say that to their face. Someone who, when they post something happy about themselves on Facebook, makes you want to wretch into your cereal. Believe it or not, this person is the secret to YOUR success.

This person is your nemesis. Now, you have one, clear goal…Beat your nemesis at EVERYTHING.

Did your nemesis post how he or she is about to release an a cappella CD with their group? Okay. Now you have to create an even BETTER a cappella CD. Did your nemesis just win an award? Okay. Now you have to win that same award AND another award. Whatever your nemesis does, you have to do it better and faster.

However, before you start, there are some rules you must follow, otherwise this technique will end up discouraging you before it motivates you:

Rule 1- You are NOT allowed to tell ANYONE who your nemesis is, ESPECIALLY your nemesis.

People don’t want you to think you’re actually trying to destroy someone. Then you just seem petty…and a little crazy.

Rule 2- You must wait for the nemesis to make the first move.

You can’t put out a better a cappella CD when you don’t even know what your nemesis has created first. This rule will ensure that you make the right moves strategically, and that you are always learning from your nemesis before striking.

Rule 3- Your nemesis must be the catalyst for your creations.

The whole point of finding a nemesis is so that you find someone whom you admire. Chances are, the person you admire will be really good at his or her job. This will ensure you are always finding ways to better yourself and your work, by learning from the person you respect/hate the most. In the best-case scenario, borrow ideas from your nemesis and then evolve them into new ideas.

Rule 4- Accept, even before you start this, that there is no way to “win,” because your nemesis doesn’t even know you are enemies.

If you don’t accept this right from the start, then all you are doing is chasing the tail of someone who will always be one step ahead of you (see rules 2 and 3). This can be very frustrating if you don’t recognize what this whole blog post is about- finding a new, different way to self-motivate.

In case you are wondering, I do have a nemesis. And so far, that person has increased my output significantly. Thank you nemesis! Now die!

Just kidding….But not really….

Marc Silverberg

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Twitter: @docacappella
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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A cappella Girl

No blog post today. just a share of my new comedy recording "A cappella Girl."

Here it is on Soundcloud:

Here it is on youtube:



Marc Silverberg

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

How To Promote Yourself On Social Media When You Are As Poor As I Am

This year, for New Year’s, I decided to do something that I have never done before. I was going to make a resolution that I could actually follow.

My New Year’s Resolution was to be braver, and put myself out there more.

But I had a problem. I don’t have a marketing consultant, nor do I have money to spend on ad campaigns and general advertising merriment.

If you think the simple solution is social media, there’s one major problem with that: While you are thinking about this solution, millions of other people are trying to promote their stuff too.

This past week, I was fortunate enough to create something that got a fair amount of attention, and was even re-tweeted by members of Pentatonix.

But before that happened, I had to make sure they would see it. So here is how I turned my little ditty into something that was seen by more than just my circle of friends.

1) Stand Out

Okay. First and foremost, let’s lay some truth bombs. If you want thousands of people to love and appreciate your cover of [insert pop song on radio now], you’ve got a problem. While you’re covering that song and putting out music videos and other stuff, so are hundreds of other groups.

The same goes for concerts. What separates your a cappella concert from the thousands of other a cappella concerts happening within the same month?

You need to stand out. You need to create something that NO ONE can replicate. You need to make something that will draw the attention of people who crave new and interesting things. As cool as your new Fall Out Boy cover is, it's not enough to attract the attention of strangers.

However, there is a double-edged sword to this: When you create something new, that no one has ever heard of, how do you promote it? This, I believe (I may be wrong) is the reason most groups hesitate from writing and recording original music. Original songs are awesome, but they don’t have the political and social clout that [insert pop song on radio now] has.

You need to find a balance between the familiar and the unfamiliar. Can you write an original song in the STYLE of Adele? Is there someone in your group whose voice is a dead ringer for Michael Buble? Can you cover a song that NO ONE has ever covered before?

2) Facebook Hacking

Posting on Facebook is pointless. Within 5-10 seconds, your Facebook post is buried under hundreds of others. Plus, the only people who can see that post are your friends.

Instead, I recommend finding smaller, more concentrated niches to focus your marketing. Facebook groups work well for this. Join a bunch of groups, and then post in every one of them. Don’t do this often. Save these guerilla posts for something really special, otherwise people will get annoyed.

Tag people in your posts. This will make your post show up in notifications about that person, and every person that person knows.

3) No Money, Less Problems

If you want people to pay for your work, especially if you are an unknown artist, you will significantly lessen your audience.

You need to think like a…forgive me…drug dealer. Give the people a free taste of what you offer, and get them hooked for more.

I gave my song away for free. People love free things, and it boosted the number of hits dramatically.

Don’t post your song on Spotify and expect people to go “Wow! I love that song! Now I’m going to buy it!”

No they won’t. At least I know I won’t. And I’m probably not alone on this.

The reason Spotify/Soundcloud/etc. doesn’t work is because people want to hear your song when it is convenient for them. The most convenient way to listen to something whenever, is to download it and add it to their portable device. If you give them the opportunity to listen in any way they choose, they will be more likely to give your music a try.

I’m not saying give every song away. I’m saying give them a chance to hear your work in a method that is convenient for them.

4) Excite The Senses

Listening is great. Listening AND watching is better.

Even if it’s just a lyric video (which is what I created), people love to be overwhelmed by as many senses as possible. You MUST create a video for your song. That is non-negotiable.

Don’t know how? Neither did I. It took me an hour to learn how to make a lyric video on Imovie.

Also, the easiest way to share anything is to copy and paste a link on Youtube. In my opinion anyway…

5) One Is Not Enough

Facebook alone isn’t enough. You need Twitter, Tubmlr, Instagram, Reddit, etc. The more sites you post on, the greater your chances of being noticed.

For those of you wondering what I created, here is the Youtube video. A free download link is included in the description:


Marc Silverberg
Follow The Quest For The A cappella Major: