Unplugged Enterprises

Providing software and professional services to other music professionals

Whether you are a performing artist needing management or representation, or a music venue or professional organization needing a new web site or computer application, the people at Unplugged Enterprises have the skills and experience in both arenas to help you get what you need to be successful. Our two subsidiaries, Unplugged Software and Unplugged Professional, can provide you both the technical knowledge to keep in step with today's changing music marketplace, as well as the business experience to guide you through all those challenges you're sure to face along the way. Here's just a taste of each:

Unplugged Software Services

We are the computer software professionals with years of experience in developing web sites and computer applications that serve the music community as well as other industries. Our knowledge of the business and the technology is a potent combination that permits us to really understand what you are asking for and what you might not even be thinking about yet. You'll see more specific examples later on in this document.

Unplugged Professional Services

The music business is challenging and forever changing, and everyone is trying to figure out where it is going next. We've been there trying to figure it out for ourselves as well as our clients. By combining forces, we can work together on managing your career or getting those valuable tour dates that will help move you along to the next stage of your career. We've been there and done that, but don't claim to know all the answers, but we do know what questions to ask.

Technical + Business + Artistry = Synergy

Working together with combined knowledge in all three areas allows us to do what you need with minimal confusion and maximum understanding. The solutions you get from us are ideally suited to help you move forward in your career.

Now we will look at our offerings from both perspectives.

Unplugged Software Services

With over thirty years of experience in designing and building computer applications, the last ten devoted to web sites and web applications, Unplugged Software Services has the background to create YOUR web site or application. Add to that our experience in the music industry, and you've got a combination that can't be beat.

Here are some different ideas depending on your role or function in the music business:

Performing Artists

Every artist needs a web site, to act as the hub for all of their professional activities -- the one-stop location where fans can readily go to listen to and purchase your music, read about your background, find out about your upcoming shows, check out your latest photos and videos, and so on. The way technology is continuously improving, artists typically need a new web site every five years or so, plus a refreshening prior to the release of every new album. The more dynamic the web site, the easier it is to adapt to those changes.

Most artists also prepare and send out email newsletters on a periodic basis, and while there are many good tools out there to assist with that process, to make a really attractive newsletter, it definitely helps to have experience with web design and layout techniques.

Unplugged Software can rebuild or remodel your website and/or newsletter for a nominal cost, and we think you'll be happy with the result.

Relevant experience: WordPress, MailChimp, Reverbnation, HTML5, CSS3, Javascript, jQuery, MySql

Venues/Clubs/Theaters

Every music venue also needs a web site, and many of them also have email newsletters to communicate on a regular basis to their patrons. While venues don't necessarily need the frequent tune-ups on thier web sites that artists do, there is still typically some new technology coming along which changes things for venues.

Certainly online purchases of tickets has been an ongoing concern of music venues for many years now, and many of the smaller venues are moving away from simple Paypal-based collection mechanisms into more sophisticated third-party ticketing applications that provide a more fulfilling buying experience for the patron and more information and options for the venue.

Regardless of your need, Unplugged Software can provide a solution for your next website, or simply spruce up your current one.

Relevant experience: Microsoft .NET/C#, MailChimp, HTML5, CSS3, Javascript, jQuery, MySql, SQL Server, Access

Festivals and Conferences

These events have many of the same needs as venues, clubs, and theaters, except on a much larger scale. You are managing and disseminating a wide-ranging performance schedule and many different kinds of events, all occurring simultaneously. Plus you have registrations and follow-up as a concern. Software to manage all of this complexity is a must.

Unplugged Software can help you with implementing a purchased solution, and also help with custom development where necessary to complement the tool you have chosen.

Relevant experience: Microsoft .NET/C#, mobile development, software package selection and implementation, databases

Agencies and Managers

Agents and managers need help with different facets of the music business, the agent more interested in schedule, venue contacts, routing, and the like, and the manager more interested in financial data and in organizing his or her thoughts in way that provide direction to the artist. There are many tools that can help with all of these tasks. In particular, Unplugged Software has experience with software to help organize venue information for the agent and tour information for both the agent and artist.

Relevant experience: Mobile development

Products

Web Sites

  • $750 start-up special! To help us get our business off the ground, we're offering a very special deal to the first five people who engage us to create their new website. Just $750 for a completely new website. It also comes with a money back guarantee (no kidding). Click here or on the $750 deal tab for more information.
  • Building turnkey, feature-rich custom websites for your business, particularly directed toward those in the musician/artist community, but also applicable to other types of endeavors.
  • Utilizing the ideas and techniques of those who have come before to quickly construct a working website, while still allowing for creative customizations and adaptations for your specific needs.
  • Built in a way which allows you, the client, to make simple modifications to content without the assistance of the developer, thus saving time and money.
  • May include such common features like product selection and checkout, photo and video galleries, calendar listings and grids, music players, email list collectors, blog/news listings, social media like/follow buttons, etc.
  • Sites can also be made fully responsive and functional with mobile devices such as iPhones, iPads, Android, and other smart phones and tablets.
Click image to visit actual web site.

Web Applications

  • Small, medium, or large custom applications, specifically designed and built to support a particular function of a business.
  • Specializing in applications for the music business community, such as venues, festivals, conferences, agencies, management, promotion, etc.
  • The example to the right are images that were taken from an actual music venue website, including a database-driven show schedule, ticketed and/or ticketless purchase/checkout, interfaces with Paypal for credit card payments, links to artist websites and social media pages, a blogging/news platform, a volunteer scheduling and management module, historical schedules by date and by artist, financial transaction management and reporting, and much more.
  • As another example (not shown here), consider a song screening website, where music files can be uploaded, then listened to by a committee of individual screeners, and scored for consideration for the submitter's inclusion in a song contest or showcase.
  • These are just examples. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.
Click image to visit actual web site.

Mobile Applications

  • Certain applications and websites lend themselves naturally to the mobile environment, and with current technology, most can be made fully functional and responsive on devices like iPhones, iPads, Android, and other tablets and phones.
  • Mobile websites are designed to have the look and feel of the typical mobile app that you purchase from the iTunes or Andriod store, but the same application may also run on standard web browsers on your computer, in some cases adapting to the device size differences automatically.
  • The example shown to the right is a working tour book application, which documents all of the information that an artist needs to know about his or her tours, gigs, venues, and cities. This application is fully accessible and functional on an artist's mobile device(s), so that having a computer or printed copies are not required. It also automatically adapts to devices with larger screens, as well as standard web browsers.
  • As another working example, consider a festival or conference scheduling application, which shows the complete schedule for an event, including showcases, concerts, workshops, forums, etc., and allows each conference attendee to create a custom schedule, prioritize the things they want to see while there, and take notes on and rate the artists they are seeing along the way.
  • The next step in the evolution of these applications is to build them as iPhone/iPad or Android apps instead of web applications. In some cases they could then run without the need for a network connection, like book readers or newspaper apps. Truly portable.
Click image to visit actual web site.

Email Customization

  • Most artists recognize the importance of collecting fan email addresses and sending regular newsletters and other kinds of content to subscribers and fans.
  • Email software packages are available to collect and maintain these email addresses, as well as to provide help with formatting the content in an attractive and easy-to-follow manner.
  • Initial formatting, while enabled by these packages, may require technical assistance for any special layout or content needs. We are available to help in this process.
  • Typically you, the client, will incorporate the new content into the newsletter each month; however, you may also give us the content and we will do that as well.

The $750 web site deal

You need a new website, and you can't afford to pay very much. We need your business to help get our new software development venture off the ground. Sounds like fertile ground for a mutually-beneficial collaboration, right? Hence, for the first five people to sign up, the $750 no-risk deal.
  • You tell us what you want and we build it for you. For $750. We'll work on it until you are satisfied. If at the end you still are not satisfied, we'll give you your money back. The entire $750. And you get to keep the website.
  • You'll be getting a fully-functional, custom website, built with today's most widely-used content creating tool, WordPress. Using this tool, we'll have a huge variety of choices in preexisting themes and tools that make the site look and function exactly like you want.
  • For the base price of $750, you'll get a site of up to 10 pages, using an out-of-the box WordPress theme of your choosing. Customized, of course, to include your own page makeup and content. For additional pages or specialized content, additional charges may be negotiated.
  • We don't claim to be experts in the world of graphic design, but luckily you don't need to be to create a well-designed WordPress site. However, if you want something more, we'll be glad to collaborate with an outside graphic designer of your choosing or our choosing, at a negotiated hourly rate.
  • Sign up today! The first five people who sign up and pay a $250 up-front fee will for sure get this rate (with the caveats listed above). Time for delivery will depend on demand, but unlikely more than a month (assuming your availability to collaborate on the design and final approval).

Remember...

This is a no-risk deal!

If you don't like it, you'll get your money back.

Unplugged Professional Services

Having worked in the music industry for some time, including stints as a venue manager/booker, artist agent, and artist manager, we've gained some insight on the things that work and the things that don't. Every artist in our world is first and foremost a self-managed, self-perpetuating entity, but if you are talented and skilled enough to gain a bigger following, then you'll need help to sustain what your are doing.

For those of you who are a little further along, and have a solid foundataion already built, then perhaps we can provide that help. Here are some of the things that we can do:

Management

  • Setting and achieving goals
  • Planning a personal budget for the artist
  • Planning and budgeting each event
  • Understanding and defining target markets
  • Establishing a brand and image
  • Building an artist's support team
  • Understanding and managing sources of artist income
  • Managing the tours
  • Promoting the performances
  • Managing the contracts
  • Managing the artist's merchandise

Booking

  • Collecting and documentating the venues
  • Planning, strategizing, and setting goals with the artist
  • Making and receiving the booking calls and emails
  • Tracking the interactions back and forth
  • Negotiating the terms and conditions
  • Collecting and recording information about the gigs
  • Helping with promotion directed toward the venues

Promotion/Publicity

  • Designing and creating the package
  • Soliciting quotes, reviews, and interviews
  • Preparing press releases
  • Producing content - photos, videos
  • Collecting a list of media contacts
  • Distributing packages to media outlets
  • Creataing and managing specific media campaigns
  • Customzing content for print vs. radio vs. TV vs. Internet

Consulting

  • Providing as-needed advice or work to contracting artists
  • Participate or lead specific campaigns for artist and/or management
  • Provided specific skills where those skills are needed
We can either work on a percentage-of-earnings basis, or on a fee basis, depending of what makes more sense.
Final Thoughts

After 35 years of working in "regular" job with a "regular" company, I'm ready for new challenges. I've been a part of the "folkie" world now for 20 years, a volunteer at Uncle Calvin's for 15, and a manager for 5. I've been an agent and helped to manage a new artist for the last two years, and have moved on from that.

Hope you will consider me to work on your team.

- Mike Hall