What a wild ride this has been! Thanks so much for your support! For those of you who are just joining me here. Here’s the ”rest of the story” regarding the Guitar Center Singer-Songwriter Contest.
Early in October, songwriter Jason Shepherd forwarded me a link to the Guitar Center Singer-Songwriter Contest. It looked like fun, and I was excited about participating, but I didn’t immediately take any steps towards making it a reality. Later that day, my brother in-law Steve Calhoun (also a songwriter) handed me a magazine ad with the contest info. I laughed and decided it was “a sign” to enter the contest. I am so grateful to Jason and Steve for pointing me in this direction and for their encouragement.
The contest rules called for a live performance video to be uploaded. There was only one problem…. I didn’t have one. Heck, though I’ve been songwriting for some time, I’ve only been playing guitar since May. So I contacted Jan Janes, Larry Talbot, and Bob Snow (friends and crew members from my television show Give Your Walls Some Soul) and asked them if they’d be willing to help me. They were more than willing to help, and we shot the video on October 15th at the MHAT station in Morgan Hill, CA. Huge thanks to them for a great shoot, video, and tremendous support!
On October 18th I got the video edited and uploaded and the race was underway. I had a late start, but I was determined to make up the difference. ( Round 1 of the contest was judged solely by social media growth from 10/1 to 12/23. Folks who started at the beginning had an 18 day lead on me. )
I knew I needed to grow my fan base fast. Until October, my social media growth had been organic. People followed me, and I followed them back …until they give me a reason to unfollow. That worked well under normal circumstances, but the growth was too slow for the contest. So I purchased TweetAdder software at the end of the month. Tweetadder proved to be a good purchase. It automatically followed/unfollowed people based on my parameters, plus I was able to schedule tweets about the contest. Say what you will about bots, this software made a huge dent in moving me up the rankings.
I then posted blogs and asked again for support on Facebook and Twitter. On 11/3 I checked my rankings and was surprised to find that I was ranked 255 out of 1925! It was then that thought I might actually have a shot at getting past round 1. Encouraged, I stepped up my efforts. Yeah I know, 255 is a long way from the top 140 but I’m grinning … I have to admit that sometimes my rose-colored glasses come in handy.
It wasn’t a steady climb. If I were to compare it to a football game, I would have to say that the first two quarters were promising, the third quarter was scary, and the 4th quarter was a nail biter all the way to the end.
Here’s a brief time line of the journey:
11/6 to 11/27 The month of November was a steady climb. Finished the month ranked 136 out of 2405.
12/11 Uh oh, the slide begins~ ranked 149 out of 2835… I send a second emails out to everyone in my database asking for help.
12/20 The slide continues 150 out of 3247. I’m asking for help on Facebook and Twitter. People are incredibly supportive and offer to help. Out of the blue, folks go above and beyond to offer assistance: Ken Barley of Photoballmarker.com sends out emails to his entire address book asking for support. Bill Cuebas, Black Widow Golf Ambassador sends out pleas as well and daily retweets on Twitter. Lisa Ladrido of Womens Entrepreneurs features me on Facebook, and Kathy Sprinkle from Bliss Habits sets up missions every single day on Empire Avenue.
I have to admit that until Kathy told me she was going to set up mission on Empire Avenue, I had never heard of the site. But the networking I did there made a significant difference in getting me in the top 140 . So much so that eventually I’ll devote a post to the network.
12/21 I worked hard all day…spent the entire day doing social media (Mostly Empire Avenue) until I was fried. When I checked my rankings at the end of the day, I slipped further down to 155. So I said a prayer and called it a night… I’ll admit I silently whimpered a bit. I was sooo tired.
12/22 The next morning brought answered prayers. I was up 5 points back to 150 out of 3352. It was a much-needed boost to keep me going, I spent the day again on Empire Avenue and it made a huge difference in my rankings.
12/23 Finally on the last day of the campaign, ( or so I thought) I started the day at 138,and finished at 137 out of 3352. The next day I noticed that I kept going up in the rankings and discovered the last actual day was not until 1/6. So I kept at it almost every day until the 6th.
1/6 Whew! Round 1 is really over! I finished 127 out of 3417 songwriters.
What’s left for Round 2? Now it’s up to the judges. They’ll pick 10 songwriters to go on the final round. Meanwhile, I’m practicing my music and visualizing a miracle!
Thank you to all of you who sent me good wishes, even the silent ones. They give me strength. Special thanks to all of you who took the time to click on one or more of the links and to those of who shared my story. (Those Facbook and Twitter shares mean more to me than you will ever know.) Please know that wherever this goes from here, you are all part of a wonderful dream come true.
Huge hug to all of you! Stay tuned… I’ll keep you posted!