Thursday, May 31, 2012

Google Circles: Keep Friends and Business Separate

I am in LOVE with Google Circles and I am so excited about sharing with you my reason for being tickled pink about it. Have you ever been a little reticent about posting something because you realized it might just be too much information for a co-worker or someone in your church family?

In the example above, the subscriber has decided to create 3 different classifications for the people in their life. Nana and Grandpa may not want to see a picture of you flanked by 3 women on either side, but it would probably go over really well with your San Diego peeps. Maybe you came across a nude baby photograph of yourself you would like to share with Nana, but not the San Diego peeps. Google circles makes it all possible. Also, after you've selected the recipient circles, for your post, you are able to send out a notification. If you have a gmail account, in addition to the email that goes out, there is a counter at the top of the page indicating that aside from the ton of emails you get everyday, this one is probably important.

To create your circles, all you have to do is drag one of the squares down into the center of the circle of your choice. You may even want to include some of them in more than one circle. And ohhhhh...before I forget, if you get tired of one circle, just throw it in the garbage.

Google Circles is a component of the Google + platform and it allows you to share photos, videos and music tracks.

When you get a chance, get on over there and check it out to see what's going on. It might take a little playing around to figure it out, but is definitely worth it. If you are an artist or promoter with a product you are attempting to sell, I am suggesting you take the time asap to discover another way to deliver appealing announcements to your contacts.

May God Bless you in all you do!
Arielle a.k.a. Determinator1

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Don't Tag Me in Your Pic--Do This Instead!

Let me preface this blog with, "If it doesn't apply to you, please don't get uptight, but if it does, please take heed." To the bearer of this shirt, "Dude, I feel your pain."

Question: What's going through your mind when you tag 50 people in a post and the photo gets added to their picture album? What's going through the mind of the innocent facebook page owner who is catching some zzzzz's when you post it, but when they wake up, they've got a ton of notifications in their email with, SO AND SO COMMENTED ON A PHOTO OF YOU. I will tell you; as a newbie to facebook, my heart skipped a beat the first time I received this type of email. All sorts of thoughts were racing through my head. Before the Android, when life was so much simpler, I rushed home and pulled up my page on the desktop, only to discover, one of my buddies was having a Pool Party. It was TEXAS SUMMER HOT, and everyone he tagged in his photo of bikini clad models, had something to say about ME. Lol!

A lot has changed since then; I got familiar with the remove tag link, and for repeat offenders, I just "unfriended" them, if you will.

The world of marketing and promotions is very competitive. Everyone, big and small, known and unknown, is vying for our attention. If you take this into mind before coming up with your marketing plan, you will be ahead of the game. Remember, constant interruptions of one's time can be annoying and may injure your brand. Stop trying to cut corners, as Granny would say, and begin to focus on setting yourself apart from the masses.


Do post in the groups. There are so many of them out there, I will have to write a follow up article and list new Facebook and Linked In groups of interest to share with you all. For now, I will just mention a very helpful service for those of you who are posting announcements to 25 or more groups on a daily basis. It's called HootSuite and although it is not free, you should seriously consider signing up for it if your marketing team only consists of you, and a handful of other people. In fact, by the time you receive this announcement, if it is the first post of the day, I will still be in my bed sleeping. Yes folks....that's the beauty of it all. It is fully automated. Hootsuite allows you to post to all your groups simultaneously and also, allows you to schedule it for whatever day and time you would like to release your info to the general public.


When you have some time, click on one of the ads to the left of the screen and see where it leads you. (Don't click on mine please, because we have to pay for those every time you do. If you are reading this, we are probably FB friends anyway, and all the info is there. Lol.) After you've checked out the link, come back to Facebook and scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page and click on the word "Advertising" which is highlighted in blue. Here you will be able to establish the length of your ad campaign, target your demographic based upon their zip codes and interests, or market to a broader group of people based upon their city and state. can even market your services or product to different countries. If you have the desire to beef up "Likes" on your page, check out the Facebook advertising section, and set a budget. After you have identified who you would like to market to (men, women, single people, married, young adults), you will see a figure to the right of your screen, indicating the number of people you can potentially reach and the estimated bid amount for each click on your ad.

Please check it out and tell me what you think. We have definitely noticed a difference in our numbers after using this service. However, if there is any doubt about its effectiveness, the moment your ad is approved, you have access to statistical data. I encourage you to review it to assist with the tweaking of your ad.


There are a lot of events going on. People are starting to catch on to the idea of having yet another way, of keeping in touch with their friends, but please people, take a moment or two to give your friends info about what it is you would like for them to join. Be clear and brief. More than anything else, I need you to make sure the name you select for the Title of your event, gives me and other folks a clue about what is going on. One other thing, if you want people to attend a one time event, i.e. - Your Radio Event, make sure you schedule two events, one for the day of and the other a couple of days before, or on the day of your event, post an announcement about it, so everyone who has already joined, will know they need to get ready to tune in.

I want to give props to a few artists and managers who are out there consistently and persistently (LOL) doing their thing on the self-promotion side. If your name is not on this list, it doesn't mean you weren't doing your thing, it just means, there will be plenty of more blogs for us to get a chance to mention you. (Smiles)
  • Godz Messenger
  • Laurie Marks Vincent
  • Joyce Spencer
  • Phea Shelton-Kennedy
  • Brigitte Serious James
  • ReBourne
  • Clinton NineUp Hopkins
  • Team Zoe
  • Realest Realist
  • DJDaDre
  • In Tune Music and Publishing
  • IGP Media Group
  • Danderfield Visions
Look, don't forget to hit the "Join the Site" to the right of this post. My statistics for the numbers of people who stop by as compared to the people who have joined just isn't matching up at all. I wonder if you can help me with that. Hmmmmmm....Apparently, many of my brothers and sisters are still stopping by in stealth mode.

Shout outs to all of you who have submitted video footage to us for the show. Thank you again.Things are shaping up nicely, but the lack of cultural diversity is the main hurdle we have to cross before we launch the show. (Don't have me look up your zip codes, brother and sisters from another mother). On the arts ministry side for submissions, rap is at the top, christian comedy is coming in second and singers are coming in last. Where are my singers and worship and praise leaders? Poetry, I don't worry about at all because we recently taped our poetry competition, and outside of the competition, they are starting to roll in as well.

God Bless you and please keep these individuals in mind if you are trying to promote yourselves: Join this group on Facebook: "Casting Call (Rizen Star Talent News)". Let me insert here that this is not the type of group you post videos and links in all day long, rather it is a site that list opportunities for up and coming artists. So go there and look around and see what type of information you can gather. Do send your tracks and bios to the following folks: Dunamis Live at of The Fishbowl Network , Manuel Ringgold of Radio One and Jonathan of J’s Place (WLUV Radio) at 313.618.2270. Also, Prayzefest Gospel Network and The Yes Hour are interviewing artists for their shows. Just send an email to and

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Spirit of Excellence

Daniel 6:34 Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.

Wikipedia Definition of Excellence: A talent or a quality which is unusually good and so surpasses ordinary standards. It is also an aimed for standard of performance.

We hear it a lot, but do we live by it? You know...doing all things in the spirit of excellence as opposed to hit and miss. We should all want to do things in such a way that when our works are witnessed, they are so much a representation of what we stand for, people say, "I know So and So did this, because this is how he/she rolls."

As many of you are already aware, we are getting ready to step into some new territory with the debut of our new television show. Trust me when I tell you, with the money and time I'm investing, my plan is to be in the game for a while, if the Lord says the same. We have gotten a ton of videos, and God knows there are some very talented people out here who REALLY possess the anointing. However, sometimes, the videos are not clear or the sound is horrid. What am I supposed to do? As much as I would like to work with some of the people we meet, how can we, if the footage isn't clear? But more importantly, why don't you have at least one quality video of yourself to help promote YOU?

I own a Toshiba Camileo X100 camera. Right now, you can probably get one for about $200. Here's one of the pics I took with the camera, as well as a video I shot.

About the only complaint I have with the camera is the audio. If the sound isn't amplified, then it will be a problem. And trust me...with everyone being able to have something to say these days and be heard, you will probably hear about it on your Youtube. Many times you'll see something like, "Y'all look real nice, but I couldn't understand a word you were saying. Let us pray."

Now look.....on the other hand, if you cannot afford to make this investment at the time, go ahead and get down to the store and do like we did back in the day. Buy it, shoot your video and handle the camera with care and then take it back to the electronic store. That way you will have at least one EXCELLENT video. I mean heck, why not borrow the $1,000 dollar camera and then take it back. Just one thing you need to keep in mind; PLEASE CHECK THE RETURN POLICY, before you buy.

I know some Pastors are reading the blog and may be saying, Arielle a.k.a. Determinator1 is advocating stealing. isn't really. I would encourage those of you who get a booking out of this as a result of getting quality footage with one of these borrowed cameras, to go back and buy it for real with the money you earned.

God Bless you and please keep this individuals in mind if you are trying to promote yourselves: Join this group on Facebook: "Casting Call (Rizen Star Talent News)". Let me insert here that this is not the type of group you post videos and links in all day long, rather it is a site that list opportunities for up and coming artists. So go there and look around and see what type of information you can gather. Do send your tracks and bios to the following folks: Dunamis Live at of The Fishbowl Network , Manuel Ringgold of Radio One and Jonathan of J’s Place (WLUV Radio) at 313.618.2270. Also, Prayzefest Gospel Network and The Yes Hour are interviewing artists for their shows. Just send an email to and

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Planning a Successful Event - Part 5: Places Everyone (It's Showtime!) has been a minute since I've been able to post one of these. The truth is, I've been busy getting ready to debut our spanking brand new television show to a potential audience of 2.8 million viewers. We've been reviewing a lot of talent and literally looking at videos from sun up to sun up (that would be 24 hours). But I have to get back to this final installment of the event planning so we can get into some other things on the blog.

Please make sure you have enough hands on deck when it comes time to have your event. Not having enough people in their proper place can cause the start time of your event to be pushed back, making you look rather unprofessional. Don't go there! Call Momma, Sister, Brother, Cousin, whoever you can to help you pull it together.

Before you get to your venue on the day of, throughout the week, you should be putting together a checklist of what you need for your event. I put together a checklist every time I go out of town, and when it's time for me to come back home, I look at my checklist to make sure I don't leave anything. Unless you have someone coming out to shoot your event, it would be crazy to put all of this together and then mess around and not have your video camera or just a plain camera to take shots of your event.

Get Your Money
Look...first and foremost, you want to make sure you have someone at the front door that can count and remembers to put the money in the cash box and not their pocket. If folks have purchased their tickets online in advance, make sure you have a print out of the names so you don't get taken. Also, please have some wristbands to identify those who have already paid. If you have vendors at your event, make sure you have their fees squared away before they show up. (We recently had an event where one of the sponsors promised to give the balance of what she owed later. I personally am not waiting on that to happen because it was our responsibility to collect before it all went down.)Trust me, when your event starts to get packed and you have 10 or 12 people calling your name at the same time, it is easy to get caught up and forget about THE M-O-N-E-Y.

Make sure you have a banner with your logo on it behind you on the stage the whole  time the event is taking place and anywhere else you feel might be a good placement where it can be seen. (Maybe even on the Bathroom Tissue if possible.)Whoever is hosting should definitely remind the audience/attendees that there are vendors at your venue who came out to make money, so they need to go on over and make a purchase. Any events you have coming up, you want to make  sure your audience is aware.

Mic Control
Okay, I have no problem with the holy spirit taking control, but would it be possible for the spirit to grab you after you have passed the mic back to the M.C.? You know how you usually get out of church at 1:30 P.M., but when Ms. Hattie gets happy, and the organist starts playing that tune that gets her fired up, it winds up being 2:00 or 2:15. Then Ms. Hattie comes to your event. Do not be ashamed to pull the plug or dim the lights. Whatever is clever. We must be mindful of the fact that if we are using a venue and only have a limited amount of time, we will have to make sure we are in charge of the microphone at all times.

Stick to Your Schedule
Unless you want to get some people upset, please make sure your event starts as close to schedule as possible and ends on time. This one can really tie in with the former sub-heading of Mic control as well. No one should have to suffer through the impromptu remix of your album if you are not the featured artist.

During your event and after, you need to make it a point of acknowledging everyone who had a hand in making your event a success.

Email/Contact List
Don't be foolish and let your attendees leave your event without gathering their contact information. The people you come into contact with can be very supportive of your ministry and/or future events. They are in the position to help you grow.

This is it for me on the explanation of planning a successful event. We will have to come back to the topic of promotion, because there are so many ways in which this can be done. 

If you are an artist who is seeking exposure on the radio, please contact these DJs. Everytime we close out our posts we try to include information about how to expand your ministry. Right now, I'm including some DJ contact info to you so you can get some spins of your latest project. Jonathan Moore (accepting all genres for WLUV Radio) - , Dunamis Live of the Fishbowl Network - , DJ Dre - and Gospel DJIsaiah