Reach & Frequency: How to Get Valuable Fans To Actually Listen

Reach and Frequency Feature Image

Marketing of any kind requires 2 very necessary components: Reach and Frequency.Reach and Frequency Molecule

 

First, you have to reach the (hopefully) targeted audience.

 

Second, there has to be frequency on the message, regardless of how good it is, before it sinks in.

 

Both are expensive via the mass media.

 

Both aren’t working anymore via the mass media either.

 

Reach and Frequency Old School Collage

Let’s look at your dreams of breaking on the radio right now; I want to focus on that.

 

Let’s break down both marketing components with regards your assumptions on the significance of radio spins today.

 

If you think about it, reach in mass marketing wouldn’t allow a whole lot of “surgical” targeting or micro-targeting. (You are a unique artist after all.)

 

For instance, you could be getting spins on a country station and your audience would be targeted to country but think about how segmented that is. Traditional Country (old school icons), Pop Country (Faith Hill, Carrie Underwood, Shania Twain), Bro Country (You know them), Country Rap (Big Smo, Big & Rich [remember Cowboy Troy?]), Country Rock (Jason Aldean, Eric Church), Alternative Country (Jason Isbell, Kasey Musgraves), etc.

Reach and Frequency Everyone Else

 

Not so targeted, huh?

 

Just like you, fans have VERY divisive thoughts and opinions about each of these subcategories. This dynamic is true of any genre, by the way, like rap, rock, pop, indie, etc.

 

Consumers are passionate about their subgenres.

 

 

Here’s the thing, radio was super-effective and worked for 60+ years because the reach was SO big. Everybody radio reached was paying attention with fewer distractions, and up until the last 20 years, there were far fewer sub genres.

Reach and Frequency Passionalte

 

Absorb that statement, can you get your head around how efficient radio used to be?

 

Too many of you have false hope that if you get your hit song on the radio in any given market that it might “blow up” after people hear it once.

 

 

 

Let’s dissect this belief for a second.

Reach and Frequency Blow Up

 

Let’s assume for the argument that people are actually “listening” to the radio.

 

What does that mean, “listening”?

 

Terrestrial radio is mostly consumed in the car. What goes on in the car (phone conversations, texting, Vining, Snapchatting, Twittering, Facebooking, YouTube, movies for the kids in back, etc.)? Who’s driving? Do they have kids?

 

Reach and Frequency Driving Texting

What are they thinking about while a song presumably provides a backdrop for the onslaught of mundane errands, social media addiction, fodder-like drama, real drama, conversations, text messages, arguments, rants, road rage, and otherwise general thought processes that occur in their heads even when their favorite familiar artist is playing?

 

 

They’re NOT thinking about you.

They’re not focusing on your song.

 

Hell, they’re not focusing on DRIVING!

 

Think about how your driving habits and behavior have changed since the invention of social media and smart phones in the last 10 years.

 

Yikes!

 

Next time you are listening to the radio, I want you to try and be aware of EVERYTHING else that is going on inside your head, your car, your office, etc.  Are YOU really “listening”?Reach and Frequency Why Don't You Get Me (2)

 

See my point?

 

Do you really expect anyone to “get” you and understand you as an artist after hearing one song, one time?

 

Here’s the sobering truth:  They’re not “listening”.

 

They have aux cables, WiFi in the car, and their own preferences.

 

When it comes to the reach element of the marketing equation, you are battling people with all these distractions while the radio is playing.

 

Simply put, you’re not reaching anyone.

At least in terms of the reach equation with regards to terrestrial radio. ESPECIALLY on your indie budget which doesn’t allow for anywhere near enough frequency. I’ll get to that shortly.

 

Truth is they’re most likely avoiding the radio altogether and experiencing music they are already acquainted with emitting that conversant signal from their smartphones.

 

Next, who’s going to hear it exactly?

 

In other words, is it your targeted audience?

 

With Bailey James, her audience is 7-14 year old kids. What station do they listen to?

 

Of the reach that terrestrial radio has in a given market, how many of the people listening are in your demographic and subgenre?

Reach and Frequency Sterilization

 

Can you comprehend the erosion of consumer attention here?

 

How about the resultant “art by committee” that occurs to optimize your chances for being spun?

 

 

2 words: Artistic Sterilization.

 

The tactics for effective reach have to change if you’re to be effective. Period.

 

To think otherwise is to be naïve.

 

To be naïve is to sacrifice your artist soul forever.

 

Artists, your soul is at stake!

Reach and Frequency Suffering Artistic Soul

 

Your artist soul won’t care why you don’t have an audience. It’ll just suffer the common tragic death because there is not enough adoration and compensation for the good work.

 

 

Which creates frustration.

 

Which creates doubt.

 

These are the initial infections that lead to the gangrenous decomposition of the artist dream.

 

I’ll bet that one hit close to home.

 

Don’t trip, it’s preventable to the seekers of the truth.

 

Reach and Frequency Preventable

Frequency, the second component of the marketing equation is equally mission critical.

 

Major advertisers are acutely aware of this fact and you must be as well.

You’ve heard the stories (that continue to feed your uninformed hope) about artists like Guns & Roses whose life changing Appetite for Destruction record took a year to break. They were about to be dropped. Then label owner David Geffen called in a personal favor at MTV who played the new video for the second single “Sweet Child ‘O’ Mine” at 3am on a Saturday morning and they blew up.

 

Yes that happened.

Reach and Frequency Appetite For Destruction

But not the way you imagine it.

 

That ONE video spin caused enough of a reaction to convince MTV it deserved a few more spins. They bought into frequency of their precious airwaves.

 

Which begat more video spins.

 

Don’t look now, but GNR blew up because good art met with reach and frequency in a medium where the market was paying attention.

 

Who’s paying attention today?

 

To be perfectly clear, it was frequency on a hugely popular NATIONALY CONSUMED television music station that no longer plays music videos and is no longer nationally consumed.

Reach and Frequency No MTV Logo

 

Assuming you’re on the radio and anyone is “listening” it takes a TON of spins A.K.A. frequency for your art to sink in and catch on with each individual listener.

 

Now, how many times are you getting spun per day in each market?

 

 

How many spins till any individual experiences enough frequency within a given market to influence them to take action and buy your single, ya know, when they get home from driving, unload the kids, stop texting, and hop off Facebook?

 

Get it?

 

Reach and Frequency How Many Spins MemeFrequency takes time even when there was an attentive mass market to influence. Most radio promo campaigns take at least 35 weeks to get traction with established iconic stars never mind a new emerging artist.

 

Frequency is also expensive on mass media.

 

Expensive means its cost prohibitive to the indie artist like you.

 

This is why radio promo has become a poor, archaic approach to any new artist’s promotional strategy. Even to the majors with million dollar budgets.

 

It used to work, now it doesn’t.

 

Get over it.

 

Wow, that sounds disappointing doesn’t it?

 

Ready for the good news?

Reach and Frequency is free

 Frequency is FREE if you have the audience’s permission.

 

Emails, text messages, social media posts, tweets, snapchats, etc. are free once you get their attention.

 

It used to be that your music opened the door and got you noticed within a market. That is no longer true.

 

Now, you have to break through another way, and the quality of your music is what keeps you in the room.

 

Stop fighting the way you “think” it should be or the way it “used” to be and start imagining how you can break through with the way it is.

 

Reach and Frequency JimiJimi Hendrix, one of the ultimate rock guitar Gods was a huge star in England that couldn’t break through the clutter of USA radio in the 60’s (when radio ruled and there was no real clutter!). He wasn’t noticed, that is to say he didn’t come into anyone’s awareness (in the States) because of his music, at first. It wasn’t until he played the Monterey Pop Festival and famously lit his guitar on fire that he caught the attention of the American people.

 

This seemingly impromptu sacrificial burning ritual was NOT a spontaneous act from an artist “in the moment”, rather it was a premeditated, strategic plan put forth by his brilliant PR firm.

 

They (being Jimi and the PR firm) got our attention.

 

Then, we listened to him play.

 

After we opened our hearts & minds to really “listen” we truly experienced Jimi, and we responded. We fell in love!

 

Are you picking up what I’m putting down?

 

Don’t confuse the love and importance of your favorite artist’s music with the strategy that was used to get your attention.

 

STOP focusing on what you don’t have (money, management, radio, label deal, blah, blah, blah) and START focusing on what you DO have.

 

Reach and Frequency Focus

Focus on creating relationships with an audience. If you do that you’ll own what the marketing world considers to be the greatest asset of all, HEADSPACE and TRUST.

 

They’ll listen with an open heart and an open mind.

 

 

If you’re compelling, and they know & trust you, they’ll buy your music, merchandise, tickets, and anything else you suggest is cool.

 

You now know what the record business refuses to figure out. The numbers prove this point and the numbers don’t lie because the numbers can’t talk.

 

Here’s what you DO have.

 

Free surgically targeted reach via social media and YouTube.Reach and Frequency Social Media Logos

 

Free frequency if you’re smart enough to begin amassing contact data.

 

Oh, and your intelligent creative brain to begin connecting the dots.

 

Stay

In

Tune

 

If you liked the information in this article please SHARE it and comment! Thanks!

 

 

The Climb 200x200

 

 

P.S. I you like podcast formats, I have a new one with hit songwriter Brent Baxter called The  C.L.I.M.B. (Creating Leverage In the Music Business). You can listen HERE for free. again, please leave a rating and a review.

 

 

 

 

Permission Marketing: The Secret To The New Music Business

Permission Marketing Frog Feature

Artists, if you don’t read Permission Marketing by Seth Godin you’re an idiot. Period.Permission Marketing Book Cover

 

The first 50 pages of this book absolutely confirm the messaging and concepts of every music marketing article I have ever written over the last 3 years; it is exactly the business model that Daredevil Production is building.

 

It’s exactly the business model for the new music business.

Which means that whether you like it or not, whether you believe it or not, or whether you know it or not, this is YOUR BUSINESS MODEL.

 

The fact that I devour books (especially marketing books), and I’m aware of Seth Godin because I have read many of his blogs, and I’ve just now read this book, makes me an idiot.

 

There, I said it.

 

This book was originally published in 1999!

 

This is not a new concept in today’s society, but it is brand new to the music business.

 

Which means there will be little competition to the early adopters.

 

Permission Marketing Frog Jam MEMETwo Questions: How will your song become my jam in 2016? How will ALL ARTISTS find an audience, expose their music to that audience, and create lifelong Superfans in the future?

 

Answer: Permission Marketing

 

“Oh, let’s get in to this right now.” He says, rhythmically tapping his fingertips. (So exciting!)

 

Permission Marketing is not new. In fact, it’s the way all commerce was done prior to 106 years ago; prior to the industrial revolution.

Permission Marketing General Store

 

Huh?

 

Yes, before mass media, nationwide affordable telecommunication and motorized transportation, every consumer had a relationship with their seller of goods and services.

 

People knew the owner of the local General Store, blacksmith, doctor, pharmacist, and would frequent these establishments consistently. Think about that for a second, these consumers were super loyal.

 

There was trust.

 

Permission Marketing Trust Dollar

 

There was understanding.

 

There was constant commerce.

 

Because the makers of goods and services couldn’t effectively reach anyone outside of a radius of a few miles, the businesses need not expand. What would be the point?

 

The opposite of Permission Marketing is Mass Media, or Mass Marketing. Godin refers to this as “Interruptive Marketing”.

 

We interrupt this television show, radio program, web browsing experience to show you a word from our sponsors.

Permission Marketing Interruptive Marketing

 

You get it.

 

Marketing changed drastically with the industrial revolution and the invention of the automobile and is now morphing again with the advent and acceptance of the internet.

 

 

 

Godin accurately states that mass media was created as a result of the emerging giant brands and multinational companies. What good was building a huge factory to make a product cheaper (this is called the economy of scale) if you couldn’t sell it to anyone beyond a radius of a few miles?

Permission Marketing Brand Collage

 

At that moment we witnessed the birth of national magazines and newspapers.

 

Then radio.

 

Then television.

 

Boomtown.

 

 

It was easy back then. Few channels meant less messages which means the ads were actually seen by the masses. Bigger reach and super effective frequency of ads meant quicker, more lethal advertising ROI’s (Returns On Investment).

The resulting sales were astounding! The more money you spent on advertising the more sales you created.

Permission Marketing Maxell Tape EASY photo

Simple.

 

 

By building national brands like Dove soap (which was the first product to replace homemade soap) and Crisco (which was the first product to replace lard) Proctor & Gamble began the start of a multi-billion dollar home product empire.

 

 

But now, consumers are POUNDED with advertising messages and have become comfortably numb.

 

Permission Marketing Chaos Clutter

 

This is human nature, predictable human psychology. If you eat at the very best, most expensive restaurant in the world, every day, it becomes blasé and boring after a while.

 

In the music business, we call this “overexposure”. Seeing Adele live is an event so huge she sold out her whole concert tour in something like 3 minutes. If she played your local bar every Friday and Saturday nobody would care.

 

Get it?

 

Boring but relevant statistic: You are exposed to 3,000 ads per day.

 

Consequently, nobody cares about your song, man, well, kind of.

 

Nobody is interested in learning about your song or taking a chance on spending 3:30 to discover you suck, even if you do manage to get a little crumb of their valuable attention.

 

We are now seeing advertisers, which includes indie artists and record labels, making the same fatal marketing mistake. Their advertising has become less effective because it’s reaching far less people and the people it does reach are not responding as much.

Permission Marketing Catch 22

 

The increasing lack of response is because of all the clutter, all the noise, all the ads we are constantly deluged with.

 

The mistake they make is that they respond to the dwindling return of sales from advertising by paying for more ads in an attempt to reach more people.

 

Which creates more clutter.

 

Which further deteriorates the effectiveness of their marketing.

 

Catch-22:  The more they spend the less it works. The less it works, the more they spend. (All praise be to Seth Godin).

 

Interruptive Marketing fails because it is unable to get enough attention from consumers.

 

This creates the opportunity for Permission Marketing, especially in the music business.

 

Permission Marketing Handshake Creating RelationshipsAt Daredevil Production, we are taking it back to the old days; creating relationships.

 

We are turning all this advertising clutter into an asset for our artists and ourselves. This is what I am constantly trying to share with you in an effort to help you succeed.

 

If you are an avid reader of this blog, you regularly give me permission to email you and deepen our relationship.

 

 

There is so much competition for artists on the internet. With mass marketing breaking (broken) down, your music isn’t going to begin your career.

 

A relationship with a potential fan is.

Permission Marketing Mass Media Dead Airplane MEME

 

You’ve read my updates on our artist Bailey James. Bailey and her family get it.

 

Do you now see why I tell our artists to engage everybody?

 

 

Do you want to know how much of an advantage that you really have by taking the leap of faith by learning and mastering Permission Marketing?

 

This is a general statement (fact) but it certainly applies to the music business.

Permission Marketing Pete Townshend

 

Through decades of Interruptive Marketing, the big brands (all the major labels) have become bigger and supremely dominant.

 

The top 100 advertisers account for 87 percent of all advertising expenditures in the USA. More than eighty of these companies have been advertising for more than 20 years.

 

Wow! Did you get that?

 

 

There are 2 takeaways from that statement that overtly affect your advantage as an indie artist/master marketer and any decisions you might be entertaining to obtain a major label record deal.

 

First, big companies don’t hire people to reinvent decades-old super successful marketing techniques. They train their newbies to do exactly what the last marketing person did.

Permission Marketing Titanic MEME

 

Second, the newbies don’t want to rock the boat even though they have great ideas and understand the old marketing methodologies are not working as well. Simply put, they weren’t hired to demolish the distribution channel or to question the very foundation of their marketing heritage.

 

This means the biggies will stick to their guns and the old school way of doing things until it’s too late.

 

Until the ship sinks.

 

Your proof of this statement lies in the fact that there are only 3 major labels left, Warner Brothers, Sony, and Universal.

 

Permission Marketing Record Label Collage

 

Your proof also lies in the fact that all the majors are STILL sending consumers to iTunes to purchase music.

 

For what? How hard is it to set up a webstore with a major label brand name that would allow the label to get 100% of that precious sale?

 

Therein lies YOUR opportunity.

 

Here is your chance to stick out and create name for yourself as an artist.

 

Bailey tells us her fans say that she is amongst only 1 or 2 other artists who actually respond to them.

Permission Marketing Telephone Conversation

 

Here is your chance to intelligently assemble an effective business plan to realize your dream of making a living (dare I say GOOD living?) creating music.

 

You must accept that the old way of marketing especially with radio spins is toast; like the buggy whip.

 

You must become aware that all your favorite icons, the most important artists to you, were made famous by the old school way because it worked.

 

Now it doesn’t. Clearly.

 

Permission Marketing Oh No MEME

 

It will not work for you.

 

Even if you get the major label deal with the big radio budget.

 

Learn about Permission Marketing.

 

Learn how to create relationships and monetize them online.

 

 

 

Permission Marketing is real.Permission Marketing Money Works

 

Permission Marketing works.

 

If you music is good and your recordings are competitive, you are just lacking one mission critical piece of the puzzle; Permission Marketing.

 

 

Permission Marketing Twitter Book

P.S. It was my privilege and honor to offer my blog subscribers the new Advanced Music Marketing on Twitter book free. Please reciprocate and take a second to leave a rating and review (just click the link and scroll down to the review section). THANK YOU!

 

Leverage The Climb Feature

 

 

 

P. P. S. Learn to Create Leverage In the Music Industry with a new podcast entitled, “The C.L.I.M.B.”. My co-host and hit songwriter Brent Baxter and I trade off quick 20 minute episodes discussing turning pro as a songwriter and music marketing strategies. If you do find that interesting, PLEASE leave a review and a rating on iTunes!

 

Stay

In

Tune.

 

If you found this article valuable, please SHARE it (and go ahead and comment if you wish)

 

 

 

I Want You To Climb (New Podcast)

The Climb 600x315

I want you to climb.

I want you to succeed.

As per your many requests, I am happy to FINALLY announce that I have another way for artists and songwriters to consume the information I share in the form of a new podcast called “The C.L.I.M.B.”.

 

This new podcast is LIVE and available for download now. (of course, it’s no charge so ENJOY!)

 

Leverage The Climb FeatureIf you read my blog, you already know I’m a bit of a podcast geek. You’ve heard me quote many of my favorite podcasts including Tim Ferris and Tai Lopez in my weekly articles. I really believe in keeping my finger on the pulse of inspirational, motivational, and educational content for my own soul. Of course, I LOVE sharing this energy with you.

 

Why “The C.L.I.M.B.”? Well, it’s an acronym which stands for “Creating Leverage In the Music Business.” And that’s our goal – to help indie artists and songwriters like YOU create leverage, which is is defined as “strategic advantage; power to act effectively.

 

Yes, you read that right, I said “our”. huh?

The Climb Man vs Row

 

To help me spread the gospel, so-to-speak, I am thrilled to announce my co-host and  hit songwriter Brent Baxter. Brent has written hits for multi-platinum artists like Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, and more. Brent is the founder of Man vs. Row (I often share his awesome “Wordplay Thursday” interactive blog for my songwriters and you devout readers will recognize a few guest posts on my site) which helps songwriters turn pro by teaching the art, the craft, and the business of songwriting. You can find Brent at ManvsRow.com so reach out and say HELLO!

Brent Chair Thumbnail

 

Brent and I will take turns guiding each episode. Brent’s episodes will focus on songwriting and music publishing business – areas he knows  all too well from his years in the music business as a songwriter.

 

My episodes will be aimed at helping indie artists with marketing, understanding the music business, production, creative development, etc. Naturally, I’ll focus more on the artist side of things.

 

Brent and I aim to bring you a ton of value with each episode, and I hope you’ll check it out. The first 5 episodes are LIVE NOW on iTunes and Stitcher. Please subscribe and download ALL the available episodes today. We want to hit iTunes “New and Noteworthy” so more people will see the podcast and we can help the most people possible so please SHARE it if the content resonates with you.

 

PLEASE take a second and leave a rating and review if you like what you hear.

 

Here are the links:

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE C.L.I.M.B. ON iTUNES

 

If you don’t have iTunes, you can listen to the podcast on our website TheClimbShow.com

 

Thanks for taking the time, it really means a lot to me.

 

I LOVE the way we sign off on each episode, “We’ll see you at the top!”

 

Stay

In

Tune

 

Johnny D.

 

How Will Expert Proximity Really Make A Beautiful Dream?

Proximity Feature

If you want to play the game you need to be in the game. To get in the game requires proximity.

Proximity Game MEME

 

But proximity to what, exactly?

 

Proximity to the knowledge, outlook, perspective, talent, and energy you need to achieve your definition of success.

 

Proximity is absolutely everything, and those that truly want in, will find and/or create the doors that connect them with the other side.

 

The dream.

 

Success making their art.

 

Sounds absolutely blissful doesn’t it?

 

Proximity ABB

 

Proximity will force you to raise your game.

 

I thought I knew exactly what I was doing as an artist and a guitar player until I got proximity to The Allman Brothers. Once I repeatedly saw them, I knew I had a LOT to learn.

 

 

Sometimes proximity can be lucky, but often it is manifested by the seekers out of sheer will.

 

Let’s look at some examples of each.

 

Proximity Bill GatesBill Gates being the richest man in the world is largely due to luck as Malcolm Gladwell sees it. He was quite literally the right person, in the right, place at the right time. Bill’s mother worked for the University of Washington, which in the 1960’s, was one of only 2 institutions in the United States that housed a supercomputer. Bill being a person fascinated with computing and code writing had access to this amazing machine as early as the 8th grade.

 

This was a story of someone who wanted to and needed to do the work and couldn’t do it without proximity.

 

SIDENOTE: Not surprisingly, the other supercomputer was located at the University of Michigan where Bill Joy went to school and invented the internet.

 

Proximity Bill Joy

 

 

 

 

These two extremely iconic individuals could have had vastly different lives without the luck of proximity to what was then extremely elusive and rare cutting edge technology.

 

 

 

 

Let’s look at some examples of created proximity.

Proximity Matt Warren

 

A good friend of mine and hit songwriter, Matt Warren (he co-wrote the #1 “Every Storm Runs Out of Rain” for Gary Allan) got proximity by selling T-shirts on tour for a merch company called Richards & Southern. He wanted in to the music business and didn’t really care how it happened or what it looked like.

He got the opportunity to tour as a merch person with Gary Allan where he created a relationship with the artist. The story goes that he totally sucked at selling shirts but he could write, the rest is history.

 

 

I have another good friend named Brian Foraker. Google him.

Proximity Whitesnake

 

Brian mixed the hugely famous Whitesnake album (the big one with “Here I Go Again”) which will make him cool in my book forever. Brian ended up being the main engineer for mega producer Keith Olsen (Fleetwood Mac, Whitesnake, Foreigner, Heart, Rick Springfield, Top Gun Soundtrack, Footloose Soundtrack). Brian will tell you he got his start by becoming a roadie for Heart.

 

 

He wanted in.

 

He got in.

 

He worked his way up to where he was allowed to hang in the studio when they were recording.

 

He’ll tell you he shut up and paid serious attention because the studio fascinated him and he wanted in.

 

“Hey Brian, move that mic on the snare drum for me, please”, turned into him engineering which landed him the gig with Keith.

 

Mega record mogul, David Geffen started out very poor working in the mail room at William Morris Agency. Geffen sold his label to MCA in 1990 for $550 Million making him one of the richest people in the country at the time.Proximity Geffen Records Logo

 

I know it’s not about the money, man.

 

But you have to start somewhere.

 

How can you get the proximity you need?

 

Well the internet certainly makes that a lot easier than any of the previously mentioned individuals. Hat tip to Bill Joy.

 

Proximity Book collage

 

Books are another way to see behind the scenes of greatness. They’re a great deal too. Autobiographies, how to books, marketing books, etc., all provide knowledge that you can apply to your own situation.

 

Marketing is connecting with people by applying knowledge of human psychology and using it to your advantage.

 

Yes, some use this knowledge for evil. Like politicians, ALL news outlets, governments, etc.

 

 

Some use it for good.

 

Like you.

Proximity Daniel Stone MEME

Image Credit: Daniel Stone

 

Connecting with people via marketing prowess can feel strangely similar to connecting with people via songwriting.

 

A transcendence of sorts.

 

You struggle with the mysteries of marketing. All the answers are out there dressed up in easily available knowledge and its consequent application.

 

This application of marketing knowledge requires the same effort and tenacity as your art.

 

Proximity can be more easily achieved with social media and the internet than it used to be. Bottom line, if you want in the game you will find a way to get in. Those that offer up excuses as to why they can’t get proximity simply don’t really want it that bad.

 

Proximity Connecting

Artwork by Daniel Stone

Mentors can be found.

 

Mentors won’t find you.

 

 

 

Everybody needs mentorship. Most incredibly high paid corporate CEO’s have mentors to guide their ascension in the ranks and manage a proper perspective once they get there. It’s lonely at the top, and these CEO’s want to excel at managing a great company environment.

 

Too many of you either feel you don’t need mentors or don’t have them because they aren’t coming to you. Many of you feel it’s hard to find an appropriate mentor mostly because they aren’t knocking on your door looking to mentor you.

 

In either one of these scenarios, the damage to you is the same. You have no mentor.

Proximity Success Go Get It MEME

So you have no new perspectives.

 

You have no insight.

 

You have no guidance for new situations, just your old behavior which seems to result in the same outcomes.

 

New outcomes require new behaviors. New behaviors comes from learning, education, advice, someone else’s 20/20 hindsight (which is referred experience isn’t it?), etc. All these things can be found in mentors.

 

Here’s the thing, you need proximity to mentors.

 

Confucius say, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”

 

Proximity Confucius MEME

 

You have to go to them. Tai Lopez sought out many mentors and worked for them; often for free, if not for free, for peanuts. He wasn’t interested in an immediate payoff for his time, rather he was interested in LEARNING how to be better. The big payoff comes with the knowledge as it WILL monetize later down the road.

 

Many of you eagerly seek out mentors for vocal lessons, instrumental lessons, music classes, mental and relationship advancements via therapy, etc.

 

You go to these people or pay them to come to you. That’s creating proximity.

 

Why not get proximity to the people can help you do what you want to do in the music industry?

Proximity Marketing Lessons Learned

Believe me it takes image, art, talent, strategy, paperwork, good business, and logistics to rise above the fray and be heard.

 

Nobody is born a master of all these talents.

 

They have to be learned by the seekers who won’t take “NO” for an answer.

 

In my case, I have had mentorships come into my life by working with or for other companies, I have sought out and paid for new knowledge as often as I can.

 

 

What’s more valuable than furthering your education?

 

Tai Lopez calls this “doubling down” on yourself.

 

Proximity Equation

 

People love to share their knowledge with people they care about. Just like you they think people they don’t know who are asking tons of deep questions (so therefore don’t care about) are creepy.

 

Proximity solves all this.

 

Now you just have to solve for proximity.

 

 

 

Stay

In

Tune.

 

Are You Sure Your Favorite Artists Are Really Organic?

Organic Feature MEME

Watch this BBC Music Moguls documentary.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyPJiey6vckOrganic Music Moguls Image

It’s one hour long and worth every second.

“Nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd” – P.T. Barnum of Barnum & Bailey Circus

 

Let’s face it, the music business IS a circus whether you like it or not or whether you want to admit it or not.

 

Organic Elvis and Colonel Tom ParketElvis Presley was made into the King by Colonel Parker. It is very interesting that Parker had been a circus huckster with an affinity for luring bystanders into the tent.

Colonel Tom Parker understood showmanship and how to monetize talent.

 

 

Elvis had talent, and without Colonel Parker, we wouldn’t know who Elvis was.

Organic Saturday Evening Post Circus Barker

 

 

Too many artists think the image, artistic lane, and performances of their most beloved iconic artists happened organically, magically, as if the artists were always polished and ready to go just waiting for the audiences to catch on.

 

 

 

Nope. Every artist was developed artistically and in the marketplace.

What does “organic” mean to you exactly?

 

Organic NEMS

 

Brian Epstein owned a siding company. He was a music lover so he also owned a record store called North End Music Stores as a side business, which is how The Beatles came into his awareness.

 

First let’s discuss the Image. The Beatles’ image was not organic if your definition of “organic” means “to happen naturally without preconception or outside guidance”.

 

 

Brian insisted The Fab Four clean up a bit. Yes, they had unusually long hair for early 60’s society but Epstein wanted them trimmed evenly, clean cut, and styled.Organic Brian Epstein

 

When Epstein met the Beatles, they were scruffy, when he was through with the makeover, they were clean shaven.

 

Epstein added the touch of the famous black suits with the ties.

Organic The Beatles

He taught them to bow and thank the audience after completing every song. This gave the Beatles the cutesy, safe, socially acceptable image of 4 boys you could bring home to mom.

 

 

Which is exactly what Epstein wanted.

 

Moreover, The Beatles acquiesced.

 

Which is rare.

Usually artists piss and moan about doing something different or foreign. You’ve heard the conversations before, “I just want to be as organic as possible.”

Organic The Beatles Plane

 

Now let’s talk about how Beatlemania started. Did the Band cut a record, put a couple copies in a few records stores and watch the pandemonium ensue?

No.

 

Did a couple “tastemaker” girls pick up the 45 (this was how they used to sell singles for those of you who are unaware of what a 45 is), freak out and share it with 2 friends who then told 2 friends, who then told 2 friends, and so on, until they became a raging behemoth?

Not exactly.

 

Organic Puppeteer

 

Understanding that people respond to momentum, even if it was perceived momentum (after all, perception is reality), Brian manipulated their market force initially by gaming the British charts. He shrewdly knew that there were 11 record stores around his locality that reported to the chart company. Brian would send out fans/friends with his money to purchase records at these select stores on the day of release. This would get the record immediately charting which got the public and the industry’s ears perked up. This initial momentum behind every single to created a little launching pad, if you will.

 

Did this artificially create a #1?

No.

 

It did give them just enough credibility to get industry and radio people talking. This clever move also made it socially acceptable for consumers to like The Beatles because “everybody else was clearly liking them”.

 

There are the early adopters and then there are the people who think they’re the early adopters because the crowd is small enough to make them look cool and big enough that there was clearly a bandwagon to hop on to.

Organic Totally Natural

Was this organic?

Maybe.

 

My definition of organic is sometimes (usually) vastly different than an artist’s.

 

You see, I believe that all the gaming of the system, all the hustle, marketing, all the payola, and all the MONEY in the world won’t make a crappy or derivative record good.

 

On the contrary, a great, fresh, original, amazingly talented artist remains a “nobody”, doomed to reside in the basement of societal awareness without any of these marketing techniques.

Organic Banana Oatmeal

How are you feeling about the trajectory of your artist career right now?

 

Epstein had lightning in a bottle and he knew what to do with it. He knew how to bring it to society in such a manner that it would get its own legs and create momentum.

 

The Beatles were smart enough to get him and let him do it; having faith and following his instructions IMPLICITLY.

 

So it should come as no surprise that Andrew Loog Oldham, the original manager for the Rolling Stones, started out as Brian Epstein’s assistant.Organic Andrew Loog Oldham

 

Oldham was the executor of many of the techniques that helped to create The Beatles in the marketplace.

Oldham did EXACTLY the same thing with the Stones.

 

 

 

First he applied market awareness to the image of the band. Oldham couldn’t just recreate The Beatles and he knew that. He needed a new artistic lane. The Stones had to be different. He suggested that the Rolling Stones be the “anti-Beatles”.

 

Organic Rolling Stones Live

 

He wanted them scruffy instead of clean cut.

He wanted them wearing leather or hipster mod clothing as opposed to suits.

He wanted them to be dangerous as opposed to some “boys you could take home to mother”.

Was this organic?

I suppose it depends on how you look at it.

 

Talent + Market Awareness + Hustle + Marketing = Your Dream.

 

My favorite quote from this piece:

When God gives you something special, he takes away from other places. If you look at any artist, they’ve all got something missing, and I’m the guy that replaces it.Organic Unknowns Quote MEME

 

So what is your market awareness with regards to your artistic lane?

 

Scott Borchetta immediately knew there were no country artists that were writing and speaking for 9-14 year old kids when he saw Taylor Swift; they created a whole new lane.

No competition means it’s easy to dominate.

 

Get it?

 

How is your artistic lane different from what is already going on?

Do you have the balls to be different?Organic Fruit

 

What are you missing?

 

Are you aware of your “known unknowns”?

 

Are you aware there are “unknown unknowns” which will require you to have faith in someone else?

 

These are the questions a smart artist should be asking.

 

Maybe you need to rethink your definition of “organic”?

 

Stay

In

Tune.

 

If you liked this article, please don’t be afraid to SHARE it.

1 Amazing Step Will Absolutely Set You Free, Baby

Freedom Feature

It doesn’t matter what you do in life, we all want to be successful. However you define “success” is up to you. I define success as a life spent making a living doing something you absolutely love which results in true artistic freedom.

 

Some of you in the Daredevil community are hipsters, hippies, children of the world, etc. If you can find a way to barter your music in exchange for a house, food, transportation, educations for your children, and a decent quality of living, God Bless.Freedom Hippie Bus

 

For the rest of you commerce will have to occur for you to make a living.

 

If no commerce or not enough commerce is occurring then one must make a living outside of their passion.

 

Freedom Child Fence

 

This is living a dichotomy.

 

This is where people become cynical, bitter, and angry with themselves.

 

The dichotomy is where artist souls go to die.

 

Where there is fine art there is always business. If that fact wasn’t accurate you wouldn’t know about the art.

Think about that one for a second. Think about it again.Freedom Artist Graveyard

Whoa! Right?

 

Success comes from momentum and momentum is created from taking the first step.

 

Too many people live their whole lives afraid to take the first 3 steps.

 

I say this because 50% of people will quit after the first failure or misstep.

80% of people quit after the second.

95% of people quit after the third.

 

Freedom Dog Fence

 

Isn’t interesting how these numbers correlate very closely to the top earners on our planet?

 

Would it surprise you then that while there are always exceptions to the rule, the top 5% of the wealth was created at some point by people who courageously took the 4th step?

 

How much smaller is that group of people?

 

Standing out amongst 5% is far easier than battling 100% wouldn’t you agree?

 

I’m not saying the goal is to be super wealthy, but the people that got that way were people like you who desired freedom. Unlike some of you, they weren’t afraid to truly seek it.

 

You have to take the first step.

 

Freedom ScaredThe first step is the hardest because it feels the most foreign, comes with most fear, and has the most to lose, which would be whatever groove you’re experiencing now.

 

Even if it’s a bad groove, it’s familiar.

 

We like familiar because familiar is comfortable.

 

Even if it’s an uncomfortable familiar.

 

Just ask the emotionally and physically abused. They’re afraid to leave the relationship because the idea of stepping outside their current real reality more uncomfortable than the abuse.

 

Freedom HandcuffsThey fear the unknown.

 

They believe the degrading messages that are communicated by their abuser.

 

They’re petrified to take the first step.

 

 

When I was young, we had a 1 acre lawn that I was responsible for mowing. THAT was a project. Especially for a pre-teen/teenager who had far better things to be doing than spending a day mowing the lawn.Freedom Marine Drill Sargeant MEME

 

I would sit for HOURS, dreading the idea of beginning to mow the lawn. I would overthink everything, what I had to do, what I wanted to do, I would day dream and completely psych myself out.

 

That regular project would have been so much better had I just STARTED the damn process.

 

My father wouldn’t have been so pissed off all the time either, which isn’t a good thing for anyone, but he is a Marine. If you’ve never encountered a pissed off Marine, well, I don’t know what to tell you.

 

Marines work, they hustle, they improvise, adapt, and overcome to execute the task at hand.

 

Marines take care of business first. Play later. Period

No lollygagging.

No excuses.

 

I am sharing human nature with you.

 

We ALL react this way.

Freedom Chained Books

 

Our most difficult tasks, hurdles, and obstacles seem smaller once they’re in the rearview mirror.

 

There I was regularly derailed by a simple chore that required zero ingenuity and 100% effort. The job seemed so large to me in my head that it habitually became overwhelming.

 

 

That’s because I chose to let a task, that I knew had to be done conquer me, instead of me conquering the task. Which would have resulted in my freedom much earlier in the day.

 

That procrastination wasted so much of my time!

So no fear there, just inaction and resignation.

Freedom Music is Freedom MEME

 

What’s overwhelming you?

 

Take a task like marketing your music that requires a formidable work load, couple it with an obligation to learn and to innovate and you have something to really be fearful about.

 

Marketing represents a requirement to step into the unknown so it’s easy to see why so few artists don’t become successful to the level that they want to be successful.

 

It’s too scary.

 

 

Freedom Let Go

 

You think you know how to write a song and you may be right.

You think you’re a great player and you may be right.

You think you’re compelling and you may be right.

 

 

But I’m right when I say you can be better.

Either you think you know how to market yourself or you’re completely ignoring the proverbial elephant sitting on the couch (most of you are experiencing the latter but I digress).

Freedom Elephant

 

If you were marketing effectively you’d be making a living. Period.

 

If you’re not marketing at all and you’re making a living doing what you love, then you could be making a better living for you and your family.

 

Either you’re currently living the dichotomy or you can do better at being a professional musician.

 

Freedom Always Learning Library

 

All of my most successful artist friends STILL PRACTICE. They are always asking questions, curious about any new approach they can apply to their career to escalate the return on their effort whether that be songwriting, playing, marketing, business, you name it.

 

They’re always learning.

 

 

 

 

It’s easy to go to work every day putting your future in the hands of someone else’s momentum.

 

That makes it easy to blame that someone else when things go wrong.Freedom Headvice

 

It’s far more difficult to create your own momentum and be your own boss. Mostly because the only one you can blame for poor results is yourself.

 

Alexander the Great said, “Through every generation of the human race there has been a constant war, a war with fear. Those who have the courage to conquer it are made free and those who are conquered by it are made to suffer until they have the courage to defeat it, or death takes them.”

 

You are stronger than you think.

 

Freedom Tortoise HatchYou are more courageous than you can possibly imagine.

 

Devour the fear of the unknown along with the potholes, speed bumps, and setbacks for breakfast because they come every day to every person.

 

You will require an audience to become a successful artist and you will require marketing to produce that audience.

 

Marketing will create momentum.

 

 

Momentum starts with the first step.

Freedom Find Your Freedom

 

 

Stay

In

Tune.

 

Please comment and SHARE this if you found it helpful.

 

Leverage: Are You Creating Any In The Music Business?

Leverage The Climb Feature

Creating leverage is mission critical to all communications between business relationships, familial relationships, romantic relationships, platonic relationships, and the coveted artist/fan relationships.Leverage Collage

 

Leverage is paramount to solidifying the outcome that the communicator wishes to create.

Leverage, when wielded benevolently, can foster an openness from the receiver to accept or at least strongly consider the message the communicator is attempting to send.

 

In plain English, the more clout you have, the more the receiver is willing to “give you a shot” and/or succumb to your wishes.

 

 

Some of you have inevitably painted the picture of a gross, forceful, one-sided power situation in your heads already (probably because you’ve been on the receiving end of such a nasty exchange) so now the subject matter of “leverage” disgusts you.

 

Leverage Scales

 

Y’all utilize leverage every single day of your lives. While the world is always full of assholes, most of us are compassionate, generous, and come from a good place while we try to influence the outcome of our lives; but we all try to impact our futures don’t we?

 

 

 

For instance, if you meet a person you are sexually attracted to, your odds of “closing the deal” increase significantly if you begin the relationship with leverage, like an introduction from a trusted friend of your future conquest.

Leverage Laid

 

In this scenario, you incorporate implied familiarity via a referral into the equation which vastly improves the weight you bring to what will ultimately become a negotiation.

 

How many of you have cleverly and expertly orchestrated a scenario that would improve the leverage you had in a relationship for the purposes of getting laid?

 

You’re smiling, I thought so. Y’all are evil manipulators!  (I’m kidding but you get the point)

 

How about when you are artistically pining for that awesome musician you MUST have in your band but you don’t know him/her?

 

Some kind of influence is going to be required to sway the decision of your target, yes?

 

That effect could come from your artist track record; maybe you’re kind of a big deal. It could come from the art itself, maybe your project is the right “artistic pair of pants” for your target. You could convince your target with a paycheck. Maybe a simple referral, once again, is apropos.

 

When you think, “How do I get so-and-so into the fold”, you are architecting leverage.

 

So you see, we unknowingly do this every day, in all parts of our lives. Hell, something as simple as politicking to convince your friends to see the movie YOU want to see is an exercise in creating leverage.

Leverage Proper Prior Planning

 

So why then, if you are so good at this application in EVERY OTHER part of your lives, are you so negligent about the use of this dynamic to your music and your music career?

 

Proper, prior, planning prevents piss, poor performance when it comes to introducing consumers to your music and making the kind of deals that will advance your career in the business side of it.

 

Let’s compare different circumstances with regards to how a consumer is exposed to your music for the first time.

 

 

If you hit them up on social media with a “Check me out, I’m the hottest new thing” message your chances of the receiver being open and willing to consider your communication are far less than if you are performing a live show (and killing it) when the receiver first becomes aware of your existence.

 

You have more leverage onstage, than you would as a digital “door-knocking salesman”.

Leverage CLIMB

 

The influence increases again if the consumer reads about you in a reliable blog or magazine and then immediately has the opportunity to download and experience your music.

 

Creating Leverage in the Music Business (C.L.I.M.B.) is what it’s all about and most artists are completely missing the boat.

 

Most artists are focused only on the outcome. They want to envision themselves staring down the barrel of a major game-changing opportunity, but they seem to always avoid emphasis on constructing the circumstances that would create the opportunity (usually because that requires WORK…but I digress).

 

Milton Berle was quoted as saying “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”

Leverage If Opportunity Doesn't Knock MEME

 

For instance, y’all want your record deal I get that.

 

It makes total sense.

 

I did too.

 

How much thought have you put into dreaming about what that conversation, process, and ultimately the deal would look like?

 

Do you want to be on your side of the negotiating table with your hat in your hand, fingers crossed, putting all your hopes, dreams, blood, sweat, and tears into the hands of a label executive who may or may not be in a good mood the day you get your shot?

Leverage Negotiation do what you love

 

What if the label exec was having a really bad day on the day of your meeting?

 

What if you were at that same negotiating table and the label executive was worried about your mood?

 

That’s leverage!

 

What if you made yourself in to such an undeniable business opportunity that the label had their proverbial hat in THEIR hands?

 

This won’t happen because your music is awesome by the way. It will happen because you’ve targeted your audience, you’ve connected with this audience, you’re already making money and the label wants in.

Leverage Steve Martin Quote2

Steve Martin said “Be so good they can’t ignore you.” These days that quote is just as much about business as it is about talent in the entertainment industry.

 

All the major companies that you will need to climb the ladder of success in the music industry are run by people.

 

Behavior in people is somewhat predictable.

 

 

We all want what we can’t have.

 

We all get drunk with power. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

 

We all want real opportunities to advance our own agendas.

 

Consider these ideas when you are putting your master plan together.

 

A statement like “My music is amazing and I’m going to give YOU the opportunity to help me for a piece of the pie (on the back end)” is asinine.

 

YOU wouldn’t accept an offer like that, would you?Leverage idiot

 

If some unknown rookie player came up to you and said, “I want a job, I want to be your guitar player. I’m awesome! I’ll need $1 million dollars and I will make a killer deal for you to recoup your investment on the back end because the world’s gonna stand up and salute your artistry once I’m your guitar player.”

 

C’mon, you would think that person was an idiot and probably obnoxious.

 

I mean, what data would you have to support that musicians claim, #1, and #2, you aren’t in the business of developing guitar players, are you?

 

Leverage is also a self-esteem head game. If you feel inferior inside your own head, you will undoubtedly project those secret sentiments into your presentation very naturally.

Leverage You Are Beautiful Self Esteem

 

You are what you think.

 

Thoughts are things.

 

Realize and articulate your REAL value in the relationship before you open your mouth.

 

 

There was a time, right after the financial meltdown, that I was considering putting my engineering skills to work at a studio in L.A. I loved producing and I was a good engineer, but I realized that I had ZERO leverage. I would, at best, start off as a runner and 3rd string engineer which made any possible opportunity in a studio not opportune for me.Leverage REAL value

 

 

Sometimes a situation occurs where you or some other player may be unsure of the value you bring to the table.

 

 

In this case I will share with you one of the greatest lessons my parents ever taught me, “It’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid, then to open it up and remove all doubt.”

 

Leverage Gagged Photo Jerry Daykin

 

Keep your mouth shut and listen. Open it only to ask questions. Questions keep them talking and people love to hear themselves talk. The more they talk, the more you learn. In real business, nobody is impressed with bullshit. They may find bull-shitters entertaining, but I promise they are acutely aware of what they will require in the deal, if you bring it great, if you can’t bring it don’t pretend.

 

 

Better to discover and mutually recognize that the situation isn’t going to work than to pretend it is and be butt-hurt that you didn’t get it.

 

That just makes you cynical.

 

Honesty and humility create leverage in these situations too.  Sometimes you’re a good fit, albeit a greenhorn, and their willing to give you a chance. Knowing that you’re honest not just with them but with yourself is going to weigh heavily in their decision.

 

Leverage HonestyAll this sets up some GREAT NEWS! In the next week I will be launching a new podcast/video series entitled The C.L.I.M.B. with hit songwriter Brent Baxter who is my good friend and the mastermind behind the Man vs. Row blog and video series. These episodes will focus on songwriting tricks and strategies as well as marketing tricks and strategies to help singers, songwriters, and indie artists like you create more leverage in the music business.

 

FYI I will be shooting out 1 video each week via the same channels as the blog. These video episodes will be short and tidy (around 20 minutes). So the video will be available on a YouTube channel, your email, and the podcast will be made available as well if that is easier for you to consume.

 

Please let us know what you think of these episodes and, of course, tell us what you want us to talk about.

 

If you like this post, please SHARE it and/or LEAVE A COMMENT thank you!

 

Stay

In

Tune

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is Your Perspective Killing Your Career Right Now?

Perspective Feature MEME

Isn’t perspective the answer to everything?

 

More succinctly PROPER perspective is the answer to being the smoothest player in the game of life.Perspective Spinal Tap Meme

 

At the risk of sounding redundant, proper perspective puts things in proper perspective.

 

Proper perspective increases your chances of success exponentially.

 

On the contrary, an inaccurate perspective can ruin your chances of success and/or ruin your success. Just ask the late Kevin Dubrow from Quiet Riot or Terence Trent D’Arby.

Perspective Dubrow D'Arby Collage

 

Perspective is a soothing substance is the difference between you freaking out about a win or loss in your career and realization that this is just one necessary step on the journey.

The Universe is always as it should be.

 

This knowledge calms my soul and makes me comfortable in my own skin.

 

I’m noticing the hardest perspective for people to obtain, especially artists, is a viewpoint on the “known unknowns”.

 

How does one think about a subject or situation that they know they don’t know?

 

What is your take on really making a living doing what you love to do?

Perspective Jumping in

 

My take is that a life spent doing what you love is the greatest life of all. It’s an existence free of the dichotomy too many of us live.

 

Why do artists continually ignore marketing when that is clearly the key to jumping from a hobby into a profession?

 

The answer is a lack of proper perspective.

 

Today marketing can and should be happening all the time. It should be happening while you’re in the process of making the music.

 

In ADVANCE of the CD release.

Perspective Fallen Tree

 

I have trouble with this one because it’s so painfully obvious. To me it’s plain old common sense.

 

I don’t care how amazing your musical masterpiece is, if nobody hears it, it’s irrelevant.

 

Period.

 

Irrelevant means it doesn’t matter. Who cares if no one knows?

 

 

As artists we ALL want validation for our art.

 

Validation is like oxygen to an artist.

 

Using this analogy all artists need to breathe, yet, a naïve or down right ignorant perspective has them minimalizing the importance of Perspective Suffocationmarketing which keeps a bag over their head and they suffocate. They continue to gasp for air until the dream and the artist eventually dies within their soul.

 

Somewhere along that downward spiritual spiral, the artist gets jaded and cynical.

 

Angry at the world and the system that prevented them from achieving their dream.

 

Often, these unfulfilled artist souls become miserable people too.

 

So sad.

 

Especially considering the fact that the solutions are readily available making this scenario preventable.

 

Artists understand they need marketing but are generally uninterested in doing anything about it.

 

They habitually blame money, yet every day I see the poorest most financially destitute artists apply their tax return to purchase a new guitar or pay for studio time, drugs, vacations, blah, blah, blah.

 

Perspective Les Paul Collage

 

In short, because their outlook is that they need the guitar, they find a way to get the guitar; the Universe provides.

 

What if they viewed marketing in the same way?

 

Do you see how a simple change in perspective could absolutely change so many outcomes?

 

I wonder how much great music we’re missing out on simply because the artist bought a Les Paul as opposed to some solid marketing and/or some valuable marketing education.

 

 

How many amazing artists are locked up, deep down inside an artist soul never to be shared with the public simply because they lack proper perspective?

 

How many lives won’t be changed because of that great song we never heard, man?

 

What if artists finally understood that the marketing is equally as important as the music if they want validation and respect from fans?

 

What if artists decided they really need to do whatever it takes to breathe?

 

I just had a conversation with another older artist friend of mine. He’s an amazing talent, really. His voice is a gift from God.

Perspective Reversed

 

We talked about marketing and like EVERY other artist I speak to, his thoughts are that he needs new music first and then he’ll worry about marketing it, one step at a time.

 

He also thinks he needs to get money first.

 

My intuition is SCREAMING to me saying that he needs to grow his fan base and the money will be easier to get. Yes, one step at a time but he has the steps reversed.

 

With our artist Bailey James, we have grown her Instagram account to over 30,000 followers. Bailey has fostered the relationships. She averages over 600 likes and 85 comments per post because she engages EVERYBODY.

 

Comp-Bailey James-8x10 DannyThese social media relationships, which we have been developing for a year now, have been EXTREMELY influential with regards to how Bailey is being received by the industry, such as PR companies, video promo companies, and school institutions that we are trying to book performances at.

 

From the industry’s standpoint, looking at her social media presence, there is clearly something going on with Bailey James.

 

They’re more excited.

 

She’s created impact with these new business relationships. They’re more likely to go out on a limb and take a chance (making time for her project) because almost all artists at this stage of the game, like you, have zero social media presence.

 

With zero marketing it feels to these business relationships as if they have to completely build the momentum from the ground up.

 

That feels exhausting even before the job begins. Ugh. Too Risky!

 

Think about how risky that is from the industry side. An artist with zero marketing is asking future team members to not only trust that the music will resonate with fans, but trust that the artist will “suddenly” begin working on marketing once the future teammates commit.

Perspective Risky Caution

 

It’s the same as the artist saying, “Once you get involved, I’ll take my career more seriously.”

 

Get it?

 

On the contrary, an artist that works to put themselves in a position like Bailey James is far more attractive to the industry because it’s clear there are people responding to the artist in the marketplace and it’s also undeniable that the artist worked their butt off to make that happen. In this scenario, it’s like the artist is saying, “I’m driving this train and you’re welcome to join but we’re moving with or without you.”

 

Which of these perspectives do you want future business allies to have about you?

 

It’s seems much more fun to hop on a train that has a little bit of steam as opposed to one that doesn’t even have a pilot light started.

 

And it really isn’t that difficult if you have a serious attitude about it and learn what needs to be done.

 

The video promotion guys are telling us there is a chance Bailey can get into a few places an artist at her level wouldn’t normally be considered for because of the marketing that has been done already.

 

That’s strong. That was purposefully created.

 

Waiting for the music to be finished, waiting to get money, waiting for whatever excuse you’re currently waiting for is just waiting.

Waiting.Perspective Waiting

Waiting.

Waiting.

And more waiting.

You’re waiting because you don’t know what to do and you don’t want to do it.

 

 

You’re smarter than this.

 

You KNOW that SOMEBODY is going to have to market your music if you want to make a living at it.

 

How long will you wait before you figure out that somebody is YOU?

 

The work you do NOW on your marketing has a significant impact on the way the industry will perceive you tomorrow.

 

That never changes, by the way even if you’re a superstar.

Perspective Michael Jackson

 

I just watched a Spike Lee documentary on Michael Jackson that chronicled his rise from the Jackson 5 as a little kid, to his first solo record Off The Wall.

 

We all know Michael Jackson was a massive international star.

 

Spike interviewed a few record Epic Records promo executives that didn’t want to sign MJ to a solo deal because they thought he was over. Their opinion was that he was a novelty as a little kid but nobody would take him seriously as an adult solo artist.

 

These weren’t bad guys or stupid guys, they had an opinion, a lot of it due to the nature of the family musical group and the cheesy cartoon series. Michael outworked everybody else and proved them wrong because he had to.

 

Isn’t that amazing?

 

Berry Gordy, Leon Huff, Kenny Gamble, Valerie Simpson, Quincy Jones, and Bruce Swedien were all interviewed. They all had similar stories. Michael was always asking questions about recording, engineering, marketing, songwriting, etc. He was interested in learning every aspect of the business, man.

 

Perspective Barry Gordy

 

Berry Gordy said something like, “It could be 4 am and I would be mixing. I would joke to my engineer and say I KNOW Michael is behind me and staring at me, watching.”

 

Michael’s perspective was the more he knew, the better artist he could be and the better he could understand the perspectives of the teammates.

 

Having that knowledge would make Michael a better teammate.

 

So many of you want the industry to stand up and salute you as an artist based on the merits of your music alone.

 

But what if a possible key member to your team doesn’t particularly care for your kind of music?

 

What if you’re a rap artist and that key member only listens to classical music? Does that make them bad at their job?

 

Does that mean he couldn’t possibly play a key role in your ascending artist career?

Perspective Epic Records Logo

 

No.

 

Those promo guys at Epic Records (where the Jackson’s went to after Motown) didn’t believe Michael was going to make it as a solo artist. Put yourself in that situation for a second. You’re already a star, you’ve already sold records and proved your worth. Now you want to change up the recipe a bit and your own team members on the record label don’t believe you can do it.

 

This crap happens a lot, you know.

 

So what is in your power to “move the needle” on industry perceptions?

Perspective VU Meter

 

The perspective that you’ll hit easy street once you get your deal or once you get the “right people” to hear your music is naïve and wrong.

 

Attacking your marketing now means you’ll speak more intelligently at the table when the industry does take notice.

 

 

Why would you want to trust anybody else but YOU with regards to your future as an artist?

 

Why wouldn’t you feel the burning need to learn this stuff to protect your efforts?

 

I can think of several artists who did the work they needed to do in order to get a deal, and then chose not to participate, not to influence the marketing team after the deal was signed. The label lost all their momentum because the label didn’t understand exactly what the artist did to create the buzz.

Perspective Where Are They Now

 

Those artists now reside in the “Where Are They Now” file.

 

Step one is spend some money learning to market yourself. Then play the role of Michael Jackson watching every move and asking questions.

 

Step two is watch how the perceptions change amongst fans and industry personnel when you start to show marketing progress.

 

Now you stand out.

 

Now you’ve clearly demonstrated your work ethic to the industry.

 

Now there is a little less of a risk because the fans and the industry sees that people like you and it’s clear to the industry that you’re serious about your career.

 

Perspective Make Your Own Momentum

 

Your marketing has influence.

 

How about a potential investor? We all need money to do this, right?

 

Back to common sense, wouldn’t said investor be more likely to cut a check if he sees that there is something going on already in the marketplace?

 

If your perspective was accurate, you would be making a living doing what you love to do; what you maybe were born to do.

 

Absolute BLISS.

 

God’s work.Perspective Stream Train MEME

 

If this is not your reality, then maybe you should consider the idea that your perspective needs to be refined

 

Stay

In

Tune.

 

If you found this article valuable, please SHARE and COMMENT below!

 

20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes

20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes Feature

At the end of every year I ask y’all to respond to me about your feelings on the article content. I also ask for any suggestions on what you want me to write about moving forward. Many of you responded with requests for help.

You asked for answers to some of the common problems I’m expressing; especially with marketing your music.

Much of the content in this article was posted in a June 25, 2014 article simply as an articulation of the mistake. Here is a revved up version of that same content with some ideas and direction towards solutions. I hope this helps.

Please let me know what you think.

1. Misguided Language – Too many of you are telling people what to do on your CTA’s (Calls to Action) and failing to get conversions.20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes Paraverbal Example: “Check out my new single” or “Hottest new rap artist spitting real life, yo, check him out now” or “Donate to our Kickstarter campaign”.

Nobody cares.

Hype on social media is as useless as screen doors on submarine. What you should be doing is making it about Say something like, “Wow, thank you for the follows #grateful, I want you to have a free download of my first single in return”. When someone engages YOU, respond with a similar message. Your conversion rates will skyrocket and people will begin to actually give your song a listen. This is a social media adaptation of paraverbal communication.

 

2. Paying For Discovery – Imagine a late night infomercial starting off with “Just $19.99!!!” Asking for the money and then attempting you to get excited about the product.

Would you watch?

Would you care?

Every day I see a tweet that says something like “Discover us on 20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes iTunesiTunes” or “Download our first single on iTunes”. Indie artists are misguided into thinking that giving music away is devaluing it somehow and “good business” means collecting money.

Listen, I’m all about collecting money, but just like you, I have NEVER, EVER, EVER, paid to discover an artist in my life.

Think about it, your favorite iconic artists came into your awareness for free. You discovered them on the radio (while you were waiting to hear your “jam”), a friend turned you on to them after he/she found them on the radio, or you paid to see a headlining act that you knew was worth the money and 20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes Kickstarterwere pleasantly surprised by the opening act.

Without terrestrial radio,  marketing means you are going to have to get people interested in you and emotionally involved in your artistic journey before you shake them down for the cash.

In simple sales terms, you have to build desire first.

 

3. Likes and Follows Are Strong Connections – This is the biggest common fallacy.

Likes and follows are NOT strong connections in any way, shape, or form. If you ask for money directly after a like or follow it’s the same as meeting someone at a cocktail party, handing them your 20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes Chain Link WeakCD and asking for $10.

Can you imagine? “Hi, I’m Johnny D, here’s my CD. You’re going to love it! That’ll be 10 bucks.”

You KNOW that won’t work.

It doesn’t on social media either.

A like or a follow is a handshake after an introduction at best.

If you’ve toured at all you KNOW that you cannot possibly remember everyone you meet. Something else needs to happen for you to remember a fan, right? You need to remember that when you networking on social media.

 

4. Selling, Selling, Selling – Too many indie artists just ask for money or hype themselves on social media with every post. This is the 20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes Jabequivalent of digital panhandling.

You’ve got to give to receive, man.

Create content that is focused around YOU that can be offered for free to potential fans (make sure they know you’re benevolent) to get them interested in YOU first. THEN about every 4th post, serve up a CTA but give them the single.

You want to space out your CTA’s (where they need to act) with cool content that is about you and your brand. Read Gary Vaynerchuk’s Jab, Jab, Jab, RIGHT HOOK for more ideas on this subject.

 

 

 

5. Old School Marketing Methods – Look, I get it. Every artist we love was marketed to us via the radio, that’s where we most likely discovered them and that’s certainly where their music was driven into our brain enough 20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes Old Man MEMEto become familiar after we discovered them.

It stands to reason that is how you would fashion your marketing plan because that is all you know. Listen, radio is no longer effective for exposing new artists.

The power of radio to introduce a new artist into a market is over because consumers don’t have to suffer through the “getting-to-know-you-process” of listening to unfamiliar music.

Even if you have 1 million dollars to spend on a P1 radio campaign, they have Wi-Fi in the car, man.

They’re going to change the channel when faced with an unfamiliar tune to find their jam because, well, now they can.

While there are always exceptions to the rule, I submit to you that outside of country music no new artists have broken on rock or pop radio in the last 5 years. Any artist that has their very first single on radio in the last 5 years broke somewhere else and THEN radio started spinning them.

They broke first on YouTube, American Idol, The X Factor, The Voice, TV show soundtracks (theme song music), some anomaly that created attention, or great online marketing.

Most of you don’t have 1 million dollars so relying on radio to break you is a convenient cop out that ensures you won’t make it and it’s not your fault.

Spend your money putting your promotional content in front of a targeted set of eyes. Spend your money on a PR launch for your record to get some valuable press that you can use for social proof. Spend your money either on a company that can help you find your audience on social media OR learning to do it yourself. (Gasp!!)

 

6. Directing Traffic to Digital Distributors – If you’ve marketed correctly, you’ve influenced a consumer buying decision and they will find a way to purchase your product line.20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes Traffic Cop

Digital distribution has exactly ZERO effect on sales today.

No artist broke on iTunes and nobody is stumbling across cool music there either. They’re buying what they went to iTunes to look for.

So, if you’re spending the money and busting your butt to influence buying decisions and drive traffic, why send them to a digital distributor and give up such a huge percentage on purpose?

YES, OF COURSE, you need to have a presence on all DD’s but drive them to your webstore and let the consumer decide to go somewhere else. At least 45% of them will probably go somewhere else, the rest will buy directly from you where you get 100% of the money.

BTW, don’t be afraid to offer packages and products that aren’t available on digital distribution making it sexier and smarter to buy direct.

 

7. Zero Bundling On Artist Webstore – Let’s be honest, most of you don’t have a webstore which is 20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes abbeyincredibly idiotic. You’re giving at least 30% of your hard earned revenue to a company to access essentially free 1’s and 0’s.

Those of you that do have a webstore (Kudos!), don’t have bundles.

FACT: 30% of your buyers are willing to be upsold and will purchase more while their credit card is out. That is as long as there is something for them to purchase!

There is a 70% chance you are NOT one of these kinds of people who can be easily upsold, but don’t that be your erroneous, short-sighted reason for leaving money on the table.

 

8. Ignoring YouTube – YouTube is probably the biggest marketing asset you have available to you and hardly any of you are using it. The ones that do use it aren’t consistently posting videos.

YouTube is your own private TV network, treat it as such.

Many artists break on YouTube.

20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes Ditzy

Hardly any have broken on the radio in the last 5 years with the exception of country music and those days are numbered.

Our artist Bailey James is 13 years old and has over 260K views on her YouTube channel and I assure you that was from consistent content with ZERO paid promotion.

That’ll change soon but 260k views and 2,900+ subscribers from just hard work and intelligence isn’t too bad.

There’s at least 2,900 people that want to see her next video enough to subscribe. How many do you have?

 

 

9. Zero Marketing – Sadly, MOST indie artists spend every dollar of their precious, limited financial resources making the record and 20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes Zero MarketingZERO dollars marketing it.

Sound familiar?

If they do spend any money marketing it is horribly misspent and proportionately upside down.

Good music has rarely if ever found its own audience “organically”.

Somebody, somewhere, somehow was putting the artist works in front of the right group of people to create a little fire in the grassroots.

Whether they PAID for radio promotion, or they PAID for PR to get them on Letterman, Oprah, Jimmy Fallon, Leno, GMA, Rolling Stone, Spin, or they PAID for tour support, or they PAID for a radio promo, these were all strategic calculated marketing plans.

If you got a record deal tomorrow the label would spend around 10% of your total budget making the record and 90% promoting it. Try adjusting your budget to get closer to spending 9 times the recording funds on marketing and see what happens. Even if it means recording just one song.

Any other approach is as asinine as flip flopping the salt and the sugar amounts in any given dessert recipe. If you don’t follow the recipe you’re masterpiece is going to taste like crap.

 

10. You’re Not Asking the Right Questions – Too many of you are asking yourselves “How can I get my music to the right industry people so I can make it?” or “How do I get 1 million dollars so I can get my shot at fame”.

The questions indie artists should be asking are “Who is my audience?” “Where can I find them?”, “How can I connect with20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes Question them?” “What can I do to get them to seriously listen to my music with an open heart and mind?” “Where can I learn the right questions to ask?” and “Where can I learn the answers for the right questions?

All the marketing power you require is available on your computer and it’s mostly free.

The only thing missing is a good, creative attitude about the project, some education to get you accurately inspired, and then the gumption to get started!

If you don’t know, LEARN. Yes the education is going to cost some money but somehow you managed to get your music recorded and that wasn’t free. If it was free the recording equipment you used wasn’t.

20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes Book collageYou’re resourceful, when you really decide to make it happen you’ll find a way, believe me. Some good books to start getting intelligent, accurate marketing strategies are:

Jab, Jab, Jab, RIGHT HOOK: How to Tell Your Story In A Noisy World by Gary Vaynerchuk

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Other Die by Chip Heath & Dan Heath

Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger

Music Marketing on Twitter: How To Get 1,000 Loyal Music Fans Every Month in Just 15 Minutes a Day by yours truly , Johnny Dwinell (this one is free so just click the link and tell me where to send it. You’re welcome)

 

 

 

11. Consistency – Most indie artists are not consistent with social media marketing.20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes Consistency

 

Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Periscope, Facebook, and all social media platforms require consistency and content.

If I were to grow a client’s account without adding content the followers will soon unfollow because there is nothing to consume.

I would be like going to party and the host never shows up so nobody has cocktails and there is no music playing. See Ya! You have to provide regular consistent content or you’ll lose them regardless of how captivating you are.

 

 

 

12. Engagement ­– The days of the mysterious rock star have been over for quite some time now.

20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes BaileyIndie artists need to engage EVERYBODY that engages them.

People still admire creatives but they require more if they meet you through their device.

My amazing 13 year old client Bailey James interacts with every single person that reaches out to her on social media.

They can’t believe it when she does that which makes her look genuine and makes them feel special.

She has over 30k followers on Instagram and every post that little girl puts up averages a SOLID 600 likes and 85 comments per post.

The difference between you and Bailey is she gets it and you’re still making excuses as to why you can’t, why you shouldn’t, or why you won’t.

You’re meeting people for the first time on social media, think of it like a cocktail party.

FACT:  When you meet someone for the first time they won’t remember what you said so much as they will remember how you made them feel. Remember that and your fan responses will instantly change.

 

 

13. Lack of Aggression ­– You can’t seriously believe that being antisocial on social media is a smart idea.

Too many Indie artists wait around for people to follow them in a misguided attempt to grow their social media accounts “organically”.20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes Aggressivve

Your favorite iconic artists have massive social media followers because they’re famous. Paying millions of dollars to promote these major label artists all over the world is what made them famous which means it was man-made, not organic. Consumers were exposed to an artist and liked what they saw or heard the music and chose to follow that artist.

This approach doesn’t create “organic” traffic, rather it’s targeted to strategic groups of people they think will like the music. The PR convinced them it was cool.

You can promote yourself online via social media and create a similar effect but you have to follow somebody first for crying out loud.

And why not be aggressive this way?

When you do the initial following you are handpicking the people most likely to connect with you.

You’re targeting (remember picking teams on the playground when you were a kid? Some of you did the picking and you picked in a certain order for a reason. Some of you were always the last to be picked you felt horrible. Well, now you’re doing the picking. Pick intelligently and make them feel welcome or they’ll feel like you when you were passed over).

Essentially, you’re deciding who gets invited to your cocktail party. A bunch will follow back if you’re not a douchebag and they’ll stay if you have regular content.

 

 

14. Overthinking YouTube – Save the super creative, expensive, big time videos for the single promotion.

20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes OverthinkingThe “I can’t afford a good video” routine is a cop out.

Every week you should be gleaning potential fans from popular videos by doing regular cover songs. Do this via low-cost, easy-to-shoot, one-shot, smart phone videos of you putting your artistic spin on whatever the most popular video will be that week regardless of genre.

In fact, the more disparate your version of the hit song/video is from the original artist, the more compelling it will be.

Study and compare Noah Guthrie’s version of LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It” or The Gourd’s version of Snoop Dogg’s “Gin and Juice” to get an idea of what I mean by different.

BTW, Bailey James’ YouTube channel at this moment has one professionally done video with about 3,500 views. 99% of the content is shot with an iPad camera. The most popular videos were shot this way as well. Just sayin’.

 

 

15. Annotating YouTube Videos – Here it is plain and simple.

They won’t subscribe if you don’t ask.20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes Annotate

They won’t download that free single if you don’t ask.

FACT:  You get 80% of what you ask for in life so why not do it? The worst thing that could happen is they say “no” but then, since its social media, you’ll never deal directly with the rejection.

 

I recently got the opportunity to work with an AMAZING 14 year old artist name Erin Kinsey. She had 3 videos on her YouTube channel with a total of around 250k views and 1,224 subscribers. They added a 4th video just before Christmas and I annotated all 4 asking for subscriptions.

That 4th video has over 113k views now and her subscriptions jumped 41% in 3 weeks adding 503 new subscribers for a total of 1,727.

All I did was ask.

All the info you need to learn to do this is on the YouTube “Creators” tab.

 

 

16. You Think You Own The Information – You don’t own the information.

20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes Own Info

 

Don’t fool yourself.

All your likes and follows may be from your real fans but you don’t own that information, and as such, somebody is going to charge you to access that data at some point if they haven’t already begun to do so (ahem, Facebook).

You need to be regularly trading free downloads in exchange for email addresses and/or phone numbers via squeeze page technology or text capture technology.

Facebook charges you for access to your following. Twitter will do the same, so will Instagram and so on. You have to own the information so you can reach them whenever you want for free, on your terms.

 

 

 

 

17. Ignoring Periscope – Why?

This is the most amazing app with the most amazing reach and the BEST capability of showing your true soul to your fans.

Be consistent and you’ll build an audience.20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes Periscope

Remember, if you’re a pro artist you’re living a life most people only read about in books.

What would it be like for your viewers to experience walking onstage to a packed house of people?

How would your audience react if you told them they were live worldwide on Periscope?

Case Study:  With Bailey James we created an interactive exercise where we asked her social media following to help us pick the 5th song on her upcoming EP. They responded in droves with their choice between 2 songs.We announced the winning song live via Periscope from inside the recording studio on the day we tracked it accomplishing social proof and cool interaction. There were fans from Brazil, Canada, United States, and England on that broadcast. (Boom, drops mic).

Another neat idea is to ask for requests on your social media throughout the week and play 3 of them live at the same time on the same night, every week. When you play a request show a printed S/O to the requestor’s handle and thank them. This adds a vanity aspect to your weekly draw. They’ll want to see if you play their request and mention them. The ones you don’t mention will be excited for their opportunity next week.

 

 

18. Missing Live Show Contact Capture – Live shows have the best conversion rate if you’re good.

20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes Contact Capture

 

My good friend Wade Sutton at Rocket To The Stars recently worked with a band that tours so much they have performed over 1,000 shows in 4 years. They had 300 people on their mailing list. That’s like 1 person every 3rd show!

On the contrary we did 1 show with Bailey James at a middle school and received 160 contacts!! We gave away a free download and they just needed to tell us where to send it (translation: we got their email address or phone number).

It was easy.

Is it wrong that when I see a crowd in front of a stage I envision everyone with credit card heads?

Not for nothin’ but the more you do this the more you can reach out to individual markets to let them know you’re coming back to town. Your live draw will increase if you do it until you outgrow the venue. Just a thought.

 

 

19. Social Proof ­– 2 things to consider with this.

One is that most of you aren’t putting up enough social proof if you putting up any at all (no doubt because you don’t want to come off as bragging).20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes Social Proof 2

Two, you’re putting it up incorrectly and you come off as bragging.

Social proof is anything that proves you’re really doing it and other people are into it.

 

This includes, reviews, interviews, fan comments from your social media platforms, emails, live show clips, BTS clips (Behind The Scenes), etc. Rather than implying “I’m awesome, check me out” which is bragging, why not give a “Shout Out” to the source of the content?

For instance, “S/O 2 Honkeytonk Central in Nashville for letting us play #Grateful We had a BLAST partying with all of you” with a 15s clip of the show.

 

 

20. Not Promoting Interactivity People want to feel like they’re a part of something.

20 Biggest Indie Artist Marketing Mistakes Interactivity

 

Get them to interact. You can do this by engaging them.

You can accomplish this with controversial content. For instance, Bailey James posted a YouTube video of Luke Bryan’s “Kick the Dust Up” and it was controversial. I convinced her parents to LEAVE THE NEGATIVE UP and her fans defended the attackers. The result was deeper fan relations.

 

 

Also ask to be interactive. Have them send pictures of themselves and POST those pics with a S/O to the fan. This adds a “vanity” aspect to your web traffic. They want to see themselves, man.

 

Stay

In

Tune.

Awesome Marketing That Will Make Your Music Absolutely Sticky

Sticky Music Marketing Feature

I’ve been reading the brilliant book Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath. It breaks down why some ideas stick and some ideas die. For instance, why are Aesop’s fables still remembered after 2,500 years (“The Tortoise and the Hare”, “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”, etc.)?Sticky Music Marketing Tortoise

 

Why are urban legends so “sticky” like the famous kidney harvester story which has a dude accepting a cocktail from a random hottie in a bar and waking up in a hotel bathroom in a tub full of ice, a phone within reach, and a note attached to it that reads “Don’t move, you are missing a kidney, dial 911”?

How do these ideas or stories survive over years, decades, and centuries?

 

Sticky Music Marketing Surgeon

 

 

Why are people so interested in retelling them?

 

Retelling is the old school term for SHARING.

How come nobody is interested in sharing your music?

Whoa, wait, what?

 

I’ll repeat the question, how is it that we ALL know a friend of a friend who witnessed the famed kidney harvester story and nobody wants to listen to, purchase, or tell people about your music?

 

Crazy, right?Sticky Music Marketing Urban Legends 2

 

That’s the rub.

 

I believe that if your music is marketed correctly, it will be heard, and it will matter. That’s what we all want, right? Money or no money, we want people to look at our art endeavors and experience the music as the soundtrack to their lives.

 

You want it to be your song they’re listening to the first time they have sex.

Sticky Music Marketing Making Out

 

 

You want it to be your song they’re listening to when that one crazy thing happens at the party that they’ll never forget for the rest of their lives.

 

That’s the code that needs to be cracked to find your success in today’s music business.

 

Mostly y’all haven’t really thought about this at all, have you?

 

At the very best, y’all have spent 5 minutes thinking about connecting with your future fans and your entire lifetime working on the music.

Sticky Music Marketing Scales 2

This disproportionate allocation of your creative time between music and marketing  is the reason behind your lack of response.

 

I will tell you that the same market shifting problems are at the core of the music industry’s sales slump.

 

You’re on your journey and your music is where your music is for right now. The quality, originality, and craftsmanship of your music is directly proportionate to how hard you’re willing to work at the recording and the creative process as well as your level of humility.

 

Sticky Music Marketing Most Successful Friends

 

I say humility because it’s no secret that my most successful friends and artists are always humbly asking questions (to anybody and everybody) while my least successful friends and artists are always telling people “how it is” and why they can’t get a leg up.

 

There’s a man who thinks he can and a man who thinks he can’t. Both men are right.

 

 

Which one are you?

 

Which one do you want to be?

 

These two questions could have completely different answers, huh?

 

Sticky Music Marketing Ask PermissionThe good news is that if you want to make a living being an artist today, you don’t need permission from anybody.

 

You don’t have to wait.

 

You don’t need to get “lucky” and meet the right people who will open all the doors for you and place in a room full of EZ buttons and unicorns.

 

No, you can get started right now…but, only if you really want it, of course.

 

It used to be you couldn’t put out a record without a major record label because it was WAY too cost prohibitive, now it’s super inexpensive.

 

Sticky Music Marketing Bon Jovi and Reznor

 

Jon Bon Jovi and Trent Reznor both figured out how to exchange their valuable time for studio access to create the recordings that broke them wide open and they did this without a record label when the cost of recording was 15 times what you’re facing.

 

Where there’s a will there’s a way (another sticky statement, right?)

 

If you can’t find a way, I assure you that the problem lies within your will. Either recognize and accept this notion to refocus your efforts or do yourself and the industry a favor and move on with your life.

 

Don’t be bitter about moving on if that’s your choice. It just means you didn’t really want it enough.

Sticky Music Marketing RADAR Screen

Your music is important but in today’s market it’s secondary when it comes to marketing. The first interaction a future fan will have with you as an artist will not be the music; it won’t be the single. Rather, the first interaction a future fan will have with you as an artist will be YOU.

 

If they like YOU, then they will listen to your music with an open heart and an open mind. At this point, the music better be good, man.

 

It better WORK.

 

If you’re sticky enough, they will respond and remember you.

 

But things have to be different. They have to be approached differently these days. This means they have to be thought about differently.

 

When you truly reexamine an approach things begin to change.

 

For instance, sometimes I will write more than 25 titles to a particular blog article. The first 15 are the obvious choices and the last 10 are when I really begin to rethink out of necessity. This is where the true creativity happens.

 

You have to approach your marketing this way.

 

Sticky Music Marketing Mr. BurnsFor the love of God, if your approach is to “let the label handle it” you might as well quit now. You’re going to fail with or without a label, man. It seriously won’t matter.

 

If the big wigs really knew what was going on in today’s market, we’d have a hell of a lot more platinum records than just Drake, Taylor Swift, and Adele.

 

You have to be your own business first. You have to.

 

If you think that you’re going record a demo, then get a deal, you’re wrong. They don’t care. Even if they LOVE your demo they don’t care.

It’s not in their business model to develop you as an artist.

 

What does that mean?

 

Would you be pissed off, hurt, distraught, and flabbergasted to find out that you cannot go to an IHOP and get your oil changed while you eat pancakes?Sticky Music Marketing Penzoil and Pancakes

 

No, of course not. It’s not in IHOP’s business model to change oil, they make pancakes.

 

Record labels can’t develop you because they no longer have the money.

 

They want to see that you have a growing business.

 

They want to see that your music has value in the market place not because you think it’s amazing, but because people are BUYING it. Period.

 

Record labels are looking to buy small businesses, not develop artists.

 

So the development is your job.

 

Artistically and in the marketplace.

 

Stop ignoring it.

 

You’re wasting valuable time.

 

If you need guidance, there are plenty of mentors out there to mold your creative endeavors as well as your marketing approach.

Sticky Music Marketing Targeting

Target your audience. Who will most likely dig what you are doing?

 

Clearly Metallica fans are NOT going to give a crap about your amazing jazz music.

 

So target intelligently.

 

Go find your audience on social media and say “Hello”.

 

Yes, say “HELLO”. Is that so freaking hard?

Sticky Music Marketing Hello

 

Follow them first. When they follow back say hello. Give them something in a gesture of gratitude.

 

They will appreciate it if you serve it up right.

 

Ask QUESTIONS. Be interested in THEM.

 

When they feel that you are interested in them, they will begin to ask questions about you.

 

They will begin to be interested because you are an amazing person.

Sticky Music Marketing Questions

 

Answer their questions.

 

While you’re doing this provide some social proof that other people are interested in your music. One piece of social proof is a healthy following. Another would be some good reviews on your music. Another would be some quick clips of a live performance or two. Maybe a few BTS (Behind The Scenes) shots of you recording?

 

Remember walking out on the playground in grade school and seeing a huge group of kids in a circle? Probably a fight, right?

 

What did you do?

 

You went over to check it out!

Sticky Music Marketing Crowd

 

“Nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd” – P.T. Barnum

 

Everyone wants to be a rock star.

 

You’re living a life that most people will only read about in books.

 

Realize this but don’t be cocky or condescending.

 

You need them.

 

Then offer a killer deal on your music.

 

You’ll sell something.

 

Now you have a measurement.

 

If you can measure it, you can manage it.

 

Sticky Music Marketing Post It Note

 

Tweak the plan.

 

Improve awareness.

 

Make a better living.

 

You make your music to “stick”.

 

 

Now make your marketing just as sticky.

 

Stay

In

Tune.