An Open Letter To DC Blues Players…

Are you or your band’s guitar player:

Sick?
Out of town?
Too stoned to drive?
Car broke down/repossessed?
Just straight up don’t feel like playing tonight?

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then this may be the most exciting message you will ever read. Because:

I Can Sub For You On Electric Guitar!

Yes, you have just stumbled onto the electronic HQ of Will Ward, the Washington DC area’s most flexible, versatile and available blues guitar player!

Will Ward guitar

Hi, I’m Will Ward. I’m a 30-year old musician living in the District of Columbia.

I’m not currently in a band, but I’ve been in my share over the years.

Will Ward
Looks exactly like me right?

Blues, jazz, rock, classical guitar gigs, I’ve played a bunch of styles. I’ve even got my caricature painted on the wall of an old-school musical comedy club in Philadelphia.

I’m coming out of a couple years of reduced playing because I was living overseas, getting married, and various other Important Adult Stuff.

But now I’m back in action and looking to gig or jam with serious blues musicians in the DC area. So if you’re a blues musician and for whatever reason you need a substitute guitar player, I’d love to hear from you.

Need more info? Here are some answers to questions I wrote for myself:

Why should I call you instead of the 5 million other sweet guitar players in DC?

I learn new tunes fast and am willing to do homework. Any type of blues song is no problem (even the ones with fancy chord changes). I’m also comfortable playing pre-bebop jazz and blues that veers in the rock direction. I am drama free, have my own transportation (I can also get a van if needed to move stuff), and I love meeting and playing with new musicians!

Where can I hear you?

For the last couple months I’ve been playing at the Zoo Bar blues jam on Thursday nights. I’m going to record some live clips of me playing soon so stay tuned. In the meantime, here’s a quick clip I recorded this morning:

What are your musical influences?

Let’s see on guitar, Junior Watson, Hollywood Fats, Dave Rawlings, and Albert King are the big ones. I’m a huge fan of Ellington, Oscar Peterson, Erykah Badu, Ella Fitzgerald, Mingus, and a ton of others. Guilty pleasures include the Blues Brothers band.

will ward gear
Cello not included…

What kind of equipment do you play?

Guitar geek, eh? My main guitar is this gorgeous Fender Stratocaster and I typically play through this Fender Pro JR amp. I’m in the process of upgrading my amp, so this will change soon.

Can you play bass too?

Bass no. Mandolin, yes.

What’s your availability to do gigs?

I’m fortunate enough to be my own boss so I have a very flexible schedule and can get to most places easily within the DC-MD-VA area.

Do you have transportation to gigs?

Yes. Car, bikeshare subscription, shoes. Check, check, check.

Okay, I’m sold. How do I contact you?

My email address is: willwardwillward@gmail.com or you can call/text me at 240 483 2205.

I’m also on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, blah blah blah you know the drill.

Thanks and look forward to playing with you!

Will

How To Get More Clients and Customers To Your Website (Without Spending A Million Bucks)

Get Clients To Your Site

On Saturday I taught a class at the MLK Library Digital Commons on how to how to promote your web-based business.

I had targeted the class to people who had already launched a site and were looking for ways to market it, but the students tended to not have sites up yet but wanted to dip a toe in the water.

Even still, it’s a good idea to be aware of these concepts before you start building your site so can tailor your site’s content to what people are searching for and find the right venues to help promote your site.

Here my slides from the class and a fast writeup of some of the resources I talked about:

Resources Mentioned

  • The $3,900 per day pitch coach for foreign entrepreneurs – A fascinating Business Insider article on a communications consultant who charges big bucks to help foreign entrepreneurs refine their pitches for American VCs. A great example of how to “niche down” your idea and dominate by being ultra specific.
  • Google Keyword Planner – Google’s tool that lets you read the minds of the millions of people searching the web every day. This is still free but now requires an Adwords account to access the data. I also made a video walkthrough of how to us it which is here.
  • Google Discussions Search – This tool lets you find current discussions about any keyword. Great for finding forums etc for participating in. It recently disappeared from Google’s additional search tools listing, but you can (still) access it from this link. Hopefully the big G won’t kill it entirely.
  • Google Pagespeed Insights – Free tool to tell you how fast your website is loading and get suggestions on how to make it load faster.
  • Mailchimp – A tool I use for email marketing and auto-responders. It’s free if your number of emails stays below some threshold.
  • Xmarks – A search engine that tells you influential blogs and other websites in your niche.
  • Matt Cutts’ Blog – Written by the director of Google’s anti-spam team, reading this site is critical for keeping up with Google’s opinions on what is good content and what isn’t (ie spam).
  • SEO Toolbar for Google Chrome – This is a free tool I use that will tell you the PageRank (a measure of authority) of any site you are visiting along with some other useful stats.
  • Will’s Copywriting Crash Course – This is a free email course I developed on copywriting, which is the art of writing messages that convince and sell.
  • Mixergy – For entrepreneurial inspiration you have to be watching Andrew Warner’s in-depth interviews with successful online entrepreneurs.
  • Ben Settle – If you’re serious about learning to sell using email, you should be signed up to his daily newsletter on email marketing.
  • Quicksprout – Probably my favorite blog on SEO and online marketing also has a free site diagnose tool that.