Tag Archive for: Earl Dibbles Jr.

Cure Feature MEME Green

I have the cure for the anxiety and pain you’re feeling Cure Predictionright now in your career.


It’s a prediction of sorts. More like a clear vision of what tomorrow will look like for artists who wish to get a record deal and I’ll bring facts to support my argument.



That means this premonition isn’t so magical as it is observational


Cure Medicine Not Going To Taste Good




It’s not going to taste good.





Follow me on this, artists, it’s important. Or don’t at your own peril.


The very first recorded Olympics were held in 776 BC in Olympia, Greece.


Cure 776 BC Olympics



That means we have been timing people running (yes running was one of the first Olympic events) for at least 2,793 years.





Two thousand seven hundred and ninety-three years, that’s a long time.


For 2,729 years, no human had ever run a sub-4-minute mile.


For almost 3,000 years no human had ever run a mile in under 4 minutes until May 6th, 1954 when Roger Bannister did it in 3 minutes, 59.4 seconds. (He’s now Sir Roger Bannister).


Cure Sir Roger Bannister


What an incredible feat, right?


A miracle that took thousands of years to conquer!


A fluke maybe!



Maybe he was lucky like winning the lottery.


Surely it would be another thousand years, or hundred years, or at least a handful of decades before anyone else could ever do that again!


Running a mile in less than 4 minutes was so difficult it took 2,730 years for it to happen the first time. But Roger Bannister’s record was broken 46 days later by his rival, John Landy, on June 21 in Finland.


Cure Roger Bannister John Landy




Then 47 days after that, both men racing against each other, would each break the sub-4-minute mile again! (Bannister won that race but didn’t beat Landy’s solo time. Still, Bannister was the first.)





Within 3 years 16 runners had broken the sub-4-minute-mile.


What the hell happened and how does this apply to your artist career?


Bannister broke the mental myth is what happened.


Cure CuppingRoger Bannister proved it was possible and provided a cure for an “ailment” that was considered incurable.


FYI, the most intelligent physicians agreed, prior to May 6th, 1954, that running the mile in less than 4 minutes would be too dangerous and cause health risks. (Do you see how society conforms with certain myths?)


Once Roger did it, then everybody knew it was achievable, and now it’s a regular occurrence.


Here’s how it applies to you, and you’d better freakin’ pay attention.


Cure Your Ailment Myth MEMEYour “ailment”, your “myth” is that indie artists feel it’s too difficult to become successful these days and/or they need a label to do it.




The music business society agrees with that myth because the old way isn’t working and the business is looking for their own cure.


Granger Smith (aka Earl Dibbles, Jr.) build a $1.8-million-dollar indie artist empire from his laptop. Granger is a country artist and Earl Dibbles Jr. is an alter ego.


Cure Earl Dibbles Jr



He created this empire via “content marketing” on social media and YouTube.





Smith defined his audience, targeted them, and then reached out with content that was relevant and personal to THEM.


In the case of Earl Dibbles Jr., the content manifested itself as a humorous set of videos and sayings that were so funny and personal to the South, many people shared them which made him extremely popular.


As far back as 3 years ago, record labels were scrambling to sign Granger.


Cure Deep In His Pockets



But the team surrounding Smith always said ‘NO” because there was no need, at that time, to let a label put their hands that deep into his pockets.






For those of you still trying to do the math, $1.8-million-dollars per year breaks down to $150,000 per month gross.


That’s a business.


That’s what labels want, small businesses with viable audiences where they can implement their infrastructure for the purposes of blowing the brand up bigger.


Cure Lazy Cat MEME


You see the labels are suffering too. Their immediate cure is YOU creating an actual business with cash flow. But most of you still want to sell them the idea of you, the potential of you. Most of you do this because YOU don’t want to do the work…but I digress.




Well, that’s the way it used to happen 15 years ago. (ahem…wake up and smell your career burning after 15 years already).


Here’s the thing, Granger Smith is the messiah for indie artists. He’s your Roger Bannister.


What I’m going to say next is an OPINION, to be clear, on how something happened but my opinion doesn’t change the fact that the outcome ACTUALLY HAPPENED, so pay close attention.


Cure Backroad Song Image




Smith wasn’t going to get a #1 unless he signed with a label (fact). So, at some point, he and his team chose a label and signed. I’m sure they got a pretty sweet deal simply from the fact that they said “No” so many times before.





You always get a better deal when you don’t need them and they really need you. That’s just simple supply and demand economics, people.


Smith became a trophy of sorts on Music Row here in Nashville.


Cure Performance Clause MEME


If I was Smith, I would’ve put a performance clause in the contract. Something that states the label has X amount of time to deliver a #1 single (or whatever he thought he could negotiate like a top 10, top 40 etc.) or the contract is null and void. If the label failed, he would be able to cross the street and try it with another label, owing nothing to the first.



Nobody can tell Granger that he isn’t marketable, get it?


Let’s think this through, now.


The fact is that Smith’s first single, “Backroad Song” went #1.


Cure Resources MEME Time Energy Cash


It’s also true that a #1 single requires an incredible amount of bandwidth and resources from any record label. These resources include time, energy, belief, relationships, and cash.




If you’re a student of the game you know that the record business in the hey-day was around $75-Billion-dollars a year and now it’s shrunk to just $15-Billion-dollar per year.


Cure Bar Graph MEME


Knowing that all labels are (must be) running essentially skeleton crews these days with limited capital, the most promising artists get all the resources, right? (FYI, this was true even when labels were making money, but it’s been exacerbated by the shrinking sales).




Not potentially promising (because the art is good), but bottom line promising (meaning cash flow). These are 2 different things and you’d better understand the difference.


Granger Smith is the music industry version of Roger Bannister to the extent that he proved to all indie artists it can be done.  There are no more excuses now.


I promise you that when he signed with Wheelhouse Records, there were some artists on that label who may have been more talented than Smith, but had to wait.


Cure Waiting for Smith Project




They’re probably still waiting.





They had to wait until the Smith project panned out before they were going to get access to the label’s resources they would need to break in the marketplace.


See where I’m going with this?


Cure Cigar MEME YESIf you’re an artist with a ton of talent, but no audience, my biggest fear for you is what if the label says “YES”?



A record deal can be a blessing or a curse. It’s up to you stack the deck enough to control the outcome.


Cure Cards Stack The Deck MEME



Too many of you have read this article but haven’t heard a thing I’m saying. Too many of you are thinking, Ha! If I get my deal, I’ll be home free!




You’re wrong.


It’s been done now.


I promise there are other artists that are fashioning their approach to marketing in a similar way as Granger Smith.


And NO! Not by creating funny characters, but by creating compelling content that is relevant and personal to their audiences. (That content can take many forms).


These respective audiences are anticipating every email, video, and social media post from the artists they’re connected to because they resonate with the content.


Cure Waiting MEME



These new-age artists have adapted and are building their empires while you’re waiting for your deal.




You either get it and adapt, or you don’t and you’re a Luddite.  Forever waiting.


They’re going to come into their label deals with big hammers at their respective negotiating tables and ensure that, at least for a little while, all the money, energy, and attention of your current or future label will go to them.


You’ll wait.


And wait.


If you even ever get a deal that is.Cure Invisible



Or you’ll wait to get out of your deal because the label love disappeared with that new artist’s cash flow.


And you’ll pay dearly for that in time and money.


By the way, my company, Daredevil Production, is growing rapidly with a business model that is based on this very concept; turning indie artists into sexy little businesses.


Cure Daredevil Logo


But, Daredevil isn’t the only company that’s figured this out, therefore you’re not just competing against artists.


Indie artists better get on board with the program and they better do it fast.






Getting a deal is no longer a viable alternative to creating your own audience.


Your talent and potential likeability won’t matter to a label who just signed an artist with a rabid audience and healthy cash flow.


Your potential talent won’t factor in whether you’re signed to that label or not.


“A bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush.”

Cure A Bird In the Hand


You must figure out how to create your own audience.


You create the audience, the labels come to you, they give you everything they have and all your anxiety is magically cured.


Contact capture is necessary. After you define who the audience is you go find them, make a relationship via social media or live shows, and get the digits.


These direct-to-fan relationships are the cure for the common indie artist cold.


Effective social media is mission-critical for this task.


It’s up to you, artists, do you want to be the one bird in the hand, or do you want to hang with the crowd in the bush?










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Music Influence 2

In Nashville the tourist trap honkytonks are all located on Broadway between 1st and 5th streets. The North side of Broadway gets 40% more foot traffic than the south side.Music Nashville Lower Broadway 2


Location, Location, Location.


Here’s the deal, in this market example, the foot traffic is a reality regardless of what bars are there. Putting a business along that street will guarantee you a certain amount of customer traffic. Putting your business on the North side of Broadway will guarantee 40% more opportunities for commerce.


Online, when it comes to consumers and new music/artists, there is no “existing foot traffic”. At least none that will pay your bills in any real way.


Music Marketing Infographic


Platforms like iTunes, Pandora, Spotify, etc. promised exposure to new indie artists. They imply that you’re placing your music within a framework of “digital foot traffic” and through the popularity of said traffic, created by the already branded, famous artists, the indie artists will find an audience.

As if the traffic overflow would create some kind of magical cornucopia of consumers that are interested in spending their precious time exploring new artists.


POPPYCOCK! This is a lie. Don’t believe it.


They haven’t been able to make that happen as of today.


Consumers go to a digital distribution platform to find something they’re looking for, not to browse or “shop”. Consumers always went to record stores back in the day to find what they were looking for, not to shop; this behavior hasn’t changed.Music Online Shop icon



Here’s a factual observation to bring some persepectivve to this reality. When women go “shopping” it doesn’t always mean they’re going to purchase anything; they enjoy the thrill of the chase as much as the kill. When men “shop” we know exactly what we have to get, we find the store that has it, we do business with that store and then leave. IN AND OUT.

Music Shopping List MEME

Music consumers shop like men.


If I put a gun to your head could ANYONE tell me about 1 artist who “broke” on iTunes, Pandora, Spotify, Deezer, Slacker, etc.? Is there even one story about an artist who was NOBODY until they put their music up on one of these sites and then found throngs of loyal fans and started a career?






Music Marketing iconYOU will have to create the traffic.

The traffic will come from marketing that YOU do.

YOU will have to create the buzz.

YOU will have to influence the minds of these consumers into responding to and purchasing your music.


The big question I’m always asking myself (you should be asking yourself) is this: If radio isn’t going to expose the new music to the masses (because consumers have choices and will predictably change the channel to find familiar music), what has to happen for an artist to break?


What do I have to do to get ME to break?


Music Marketing BEFORE Meme


Consider this, in the-old-school-radio-breaks-your-single-world, the music, i.e. the single, was the first interaction consumers had with an artist.


Because music was the first experience a consumer had with a new artist, creating buzz and building a brand was initially about the music.


You were essentially forced to sit through an unfamiliar song on terrestrial radio while you waited to hear the DJ play ‘your jam” and if the new song was a hit song, you’d probably like it. Then you heard it 6 more times (however long that took was directly related to how much time you spent listening to the radio) and your buying decision was greatly influenced as the killer new song became more and more “familiar” to you. At some point, you were swayed enough that you would go and spend your hard earned money on that new artist’s record or CD.


Since artists hate to talk about commerce, I’ll serve up another way, it takes 7 listens (and however many spins in a marketplace that is required for a consumer to hear it 7 times) for your hit song to become someone else’s “jam”.

Music Old School MEME


Think about this, it’s a psychological phenomenon that most consumers will always change the channel until they find what they are familiar with. If consumers now have the capability to constantly change the channel, to an infinite amount of stations, until they find “their jam”, how will they be exposed to the new music?

The music is no longer the first interaction a consumer will have with an artist.




Does that make sense?


Music New Music Handcuff Image


Before, consumers were forced to suffer through the exposure process, now we don’t have to. We get instant gratification in playing music that is already familiar to us.


Your music is important, don’t get me wrong.



But your music is not going to be the first thing that turns heads and creates a buzz with consumers anymore.


They won’t listen to your new song on the radio when they can so easily find their jam.


How is it going to work?


Wrong Marketing YOU finger 2It’s you, my artist friends, it’s you.


YOU are now the first contact, the first interaction, the first connection consumers will experience, if they LIKE you, THEN they will hear your music.


You’d better be marketing accordingly, or you’ll experience the crappy sales numbers that all the big dogs are dealing with.


Music Drake Album Cover




I think there is only one record that has gone platinum this year, y’all.


The old marketing method doesn’t work anymore and the sales numbers prove it.




Here is some data to support my statement.


Let’s first look at the history of pricing.Music TP Comparison Meme


In 1978 Tom Petty’s Damn the Torpedoes was released and the price was $8.00 which, when put into an inflationary calculator, is worth $28.80 in 2015 dollars. Tom Petty’s new CD Hypnotic Eye (released in 2015) like everyone else’s CD’s can be purchased for $10.99


The price-per-widget has declined by 62%.


Let’s look at unit sales.


Industry Shania Twain UP


The bestselling country music record 10 years ago was Shania Twain’s Up! which sold 11 million copies. The bestselling country music record last year was Jason Aldean’s Old Boots, New Dirt which barely sold 1 million.


Unit sales are down 90% from 10 years ago.




So, price per CD is down 62% and STILL consumers are only purchasing 10% of what they used to purchase just 10 years ago.

Worthless Empty Pockets Image License Barabara Nixon

Photo: Barbara Nixon


Think about this devastating market reality a different way to drive home the incredible impact. What if your current boss told you he was cutting your pay by 62% AND cutting your hours by 90%?

This is a marketing failure.




You may be thinking that the economy is to blame; people are holding on to their money these days.


Music Gas to Water MemeI would counter with the fact that every day, the poorest people in this country walk into a gas station and pay more than 3 times the price of a gallon of gasoline for something they can obtain FOR FREE; bottled “purified” water, A.K.A. tap water.



Think about that. For a 1 liter bottle of the cheapest water you’re going to pay between $1.50 and $1.99.


There are 3.78 liters in a US Gallon. With the cheapest bottle that would equate to $5.55/gallon for bottled tap water that you can get for free.


It’s not the money.

Music 1 Million Sold MEMEA

Why then, if it’s not the money, are sales down?


Jason Aldean had just as much money to promote as Shania Twain.


With every single going into heavy rotation, Aldean had just as much exposure on the radio as Twain.


Aldean was the bestselling country music artist last year, people are paying to see his sold out arena shows. Heavy rotation on terrestrial radio means consumers are definitely familiar with Aldean’s music and ticket sales mean they definitely like him, so why then aren’t they buying his record?


Whenever you pass on purchasing a product you are familiar with and you actually like, it’s for only one reason.

You don’t think it’s worth it.


Music 555 per Gallon MEME


These days, the consumer buying decisions are being influenced by the artists themselves, not the artist’s music; at least not at first.


Now, you may say “They won’t buy the record because they can hear the music for free on YouTube, or get it through their Spotify/Pandora subscriptions, etc.



You may be right, but again, I give you the bottled water example.





The sales numbers show that artists who focus on relationship with their fans sell more records than artists who are old school and let the “music do the talking”. Fans don’t trust a relationship with the music or song like they used to.Music 7 Million MEME


Thus, Taylor Swift sells 7 million units with no Country radio support and Jason Aldean, the darling of Country radio, barely sells 1 million.


Any indie artist that manages to send a project to duplication has no problem selling the first 50 units.


Both of these artist examples sold CD’s because the buyers felt they had a relationship with them.


That’s the key. The music can deepen the relationship, but initially the music is essentially useless. The artist’s interactions, talent, and relationship with the fan is going to initiate the connection. Something compelling, clever, honest, truthful, and spiritual will be the catalyst.


If this concept makes sense to you, why on earth would you wait until the music is finished being recorded to begin to market it?


Let that one marinate inside your head for a second.


Music Traffic Marketing YOU DO MEME


If making connections is now the way to get people interested in listening to your music you shouldn’t be waiting for anything. The old school methodology of “waiting till the record is done to promote it” is obsolete if consumers aren’t going to hear the music first.

The old school way requires the music to be the catalyst for the sales, for the artist/fan relationship, so it would make sense to wait because you needed the music to do the marketing.



But if you’re not initially marketing with your first single, you have nothing to wait for.


Get it?


Radio will continue to lessen in its importance with marketing. That is to say that, in the future, radio will help to “spread the word” but it will no longer be “creating the buzz” and introducing you to the world.Music_Earl_Dibbles_Jr


Your proof lies in the sales figures from Taylor Swift, Earl Dibbles Jr., and every indie artist who ever released a shrink-wrapped duplicated project.



The question is, what are you going to do about it?






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10 YouTube Fundamentals Feature

I attended a killer YouTube tutorial put on by their upper brass and some of their biggest stars here in Nashville recently.  I learned the 10 fundamentals for creating a viral YouTube series.Fundamentals YouTube meh image

Why YouTube?

Look, YouTube is the new MTV only without the guaranteed audience.

But the REACH is there and it’s bigger than MTV’s ever was.

In plain English that means any artist has access to BILLIONS of consumers, you just need to crack the code for getting them to find you and care about you.


Fundamentals 1 Billion Views

Think about the reach possibilities for a second. One of the speakers at this tutorial was part of a comedy team that had a channel with 1 BILLION views.


The opportunity and availability is there you just have to learn to reach out.


People, this is an incredible exposure mechanism for your music!  You can target your audience via social media and use these platforms to drive traffic to your YouTube channel and grow your subscribership.

There are many people who make a living just off of YouTube, btw.Fundamentals Macklemore Grammy

There are many artists like Noah, Karmin, and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis who broke their careers wide open on YouTube.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis won Best New Artist at the 2014 Grammy’s for crying out loud!


What more do you need to know?


Why aren’t you working every day to find a way to win on this amazing platform?


Gone are the days of the “One-Hit Wonder” viral video.


FYI, it should be noted that gone are the days of a “1-hit wonder” viral video.  If your strategy is to create or hope to create one video that will go viral you have already failed.

Success on your YouTube channel is like everything else in your life.

Fundamentals Consistency


It requires consistency.

Consistency builds the foundation for ever increasing views and subscribership.  Then you get your viral video.

Here are the 10 fundamentals of creating a viral series on YouTube.

It should be said that it isn’t necessary to have EVERY one of these fundamentals on every video but you want to constantly be thinking of ways to improve by checking this list often.

  1. Shareability – The content has to give consumers a reason to share it. Some things that make a video shareable are if they’reFundamentals Sharing
    1. Funny
    2. Relatable (remember the video of the woman who filmed herself walking through NYC for one day?)
    3. Topical
    4. Practical with practical value (or be valuable) like life hacks, advice, tutorials, etc.
  2. Conversational – Creating conversational tones to your video posts is clutch fundamentals Bunny conversationwith regards to connecting with your audience. A couple ways to make your video conversational are:
    1. Responding directly to your fans via comments
    2. Mentioning your fans by name in the comments and/or video posts
    3. Talking directly to them on the video is hugely important.
    4. Treat the tone like a Snapchat or Instagram vid that you send to your friends
    5. Think of your fans as friends
  3. Interactivity – finding clever ways to spur interactivity gets your audience involved. I’ll bet you do this every performance. Like when you try to get the audience to sing along, to clap along, or divide the crowd to see who can yell the loudest. Here are some ideas
    1. Always be thinking “How can we involve the fans?” if you think it enough the answers will come. Your subconscious will reward you.
    2. Ask Questions!
    3. Tell them to comment on the video or via social media platforms.
    4. HINT: when we are working with our artists we ask questions in social media as well and send them to YouTube to see the answers and here their shout outs.
  4. Consistency – All social media platforms are about consistency and YouTube is no Fundamentals Consistency Clockdifferent. There are several different kinds of consistency as well like;
    1. Schedule – From a consumer point of view, just think about a TV series you got obsessed with and then missed a few episodes (for whatever reason). Then you learned that your life was absolutely fine without watching it.  You DON’T want your fans on your YouTube channel to be thinking this, do you?
    2. Personality – Keeping a consistent personality type is key so I strongly advise for you to be YOU, unless you are creating a character of sorts like Earl Dibbles Jr. or Miranda Sings (notice even when they’re doing characters they are consistent).
    3. Format – keeping a similar consistent format helps your fans recognize what they liked before AND why change it if it’s working? For instance, there is a huge channel of some guy from South America who does heavy metal guitar covers of the latest big YouTube hits. He is ALWAYS in front of the same crappy wall playing the same guitar. It’s Fundamentals Targeting The Techology is Theretotally recognizable.
    4. Style and Voice – If your posts are funny and thought provoking I don’t recommend switching to heavy topical content like religion or politics.
  5. Targeting – Make sure you are targeting a clearly defined audience. I think this would be a good exercise for many of you because y’all could stand to do some of that with your music projects too, not for nothing. Additionally, targeting your channel in the right genres, topics, sub topics, etc.
  6. Sustainability – this is big y’all. When I was at this YouTube tutorial, they had Fundamentals Sustainabilityseveral pro “YouTubers” speak. Every one of them said if they couldn’t shoot 3 episodes in an afternoon they would move on to the next idea. You have to make sure that your vision is doable on a consistent basis. If it’s too complicated it will not be sustainable and you will fall off; so will your audience. In plain English, if they like it can you easily make more?
  7. Discoverability – In other words, is your video findable? Here is the main reason for lyric videos in the music business, y’all. Meta data has to be done intentionally and intelligently to optimize your video’s performance. For instance, if you are doing a video for a cover song list the song name first in the title, then the artist name, then your name. HINT: once you are aware of what needs to be done a ton of information on “how to” is available simply by looking at other videos. Now you know what to look for._DSC0112
  8. Accessibility – Can every episode be appreciated by a brand new viewer? Essentially, Fundamentals Accessibility Word imagethere needs to be some kind of quick, standard opening that tells a new viewer what you are about. This strategy makes each video more accessible.
  9. Collaboration – As you grow your channel’s subscribership, collaborations are encouraged by YouTube. Find another artist using YouTube and collaborate with them on something, you will definitely glean some of their followers and get more views. Fundamentals Stop Collaborate & ListenLook for a guest star or a YouTube star to get that going.
  10. Authenticity – Don’t show a video of your white face stating you’re a black man/woman. This is funny but if authenticity is absent the consumers will know like a dog can smell fear. Another sure fire way to ensure authenticity is do what you know. They tell songwriters to write what you know, so shoot what you know on YouTube. That will keep you authentic.

Fundamentals Authenticity Definition

YouTube is you on TV with access to billions of people if you just put together the right formula with a ton of hard work.

Don’t be misled, there is no one magic formula that is going to skyrocket you to success with YouTube.

Consistent, intelligent work will grow your audience.

Right now, to most of you, the secrets of unlocking the power of YouTube are very foreign.

So was tying your shoelaces at one point.

You’ll figure it out, man, but you have to do the work. The answers won’t magically come to you.

I’ll leave you with an old Chinese Proverb: The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is RIGHT NOW.

FYI you can find a bunch of this information at YouTube’s creator hub here:


Fundamentals Chinese Proverb

Fundamentals Authenticity Uncover Your True Self











We offered a FREE seminar that covered a bunch of this last week.  If you missed it you can see it below.

Once you digest this, join our bootcamp to really dig down and learn how to create revenue doing what you were born to do

FYI, this is a BETA bootcamp so we are only taking a limited amount of attendees to ensure we give proper attention to everyone.

Sign up for the bootcamp here: http://www.JoinOnlineTraining.com/MML







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Treasure Maps feature image 6

The mythical treasure maps you see in the movies are like unicorns, they don’t exist. You have to make your OWN treasure map if you want to be successful.CSC_0010


This was the first thought that entered my head when I read some of the comments that were posted an old article I wrote entitled “How To Avoid Artistically Starving To Death” that was circulated by Music Clout again last week.

Artistically Starving To Death


As per the usual, I get plenty of anonymous positive and negative comments.  I was thinking about some of these negative comments not because they hurt my feelings, (let’s be real, I’m thrilled they’re even taking the time to respond), it was because people are still totally missing the boat.


FYI, in this article I explained the difference between marketing and digital distribution which seems to be commonly confused amongst artists.

If you don’t truly understand the difference it would make your sales and marketing efforts as productive as screen doors on a submarine.



Most of the negative comments hovered around the fact that I didn’t explain HOW to market in 1,200 or so words.  Ugh, impossible.

So I AM going to try and share some of the marketing initiatives we have executed and will execute in future posts to give y’all some “HOW” with details.

But for now, let’s really explore the notion of marketing first.

The beginning of “how to market” lies in the concept. Isn’t it better to know what we’re looking for before we can effectively search for any answers?

Marketing is WHY consumers buy and distribution is WHERE they buy.

Don’t get them confused.

Why do you go to any retail store? Is it because you’re dying to spend money on the first thing you see that inspires you or is it because you already knew what you wanted and went there to get it?

Get it?

First you need to focus on a specific artistic lane. Whether you like it or not, whether you want to believe it or not, nobody buys records that contain multiple genre tracks; it’s confusing to the marketplace.

Consumers actually get hostile.Treasure Maps Foreigner

FACT: When the amazing rock band Foreigner released “I Want to Know What Love Is” it was a HUGE Pop hit.  It was their biggest hit.  It also marked the END of the band because consumers showed up to concerts expecting to see a sappy pop act and got gritty rock & roll instead.  They were pissed off because they felt misled.

There are always exceptions to the rule but your favorite artists have always put out records that contain tracks that are genre specific FOR A REASON.

Why question it?


The second step requires exposure of the music.

Targeted exposure is absolutely paramount.  Think about this way, if you made the world’s BEST hamburgers would you sell any in a vegan community?



While the misstep may be naïve it’s also borderline self-sabotage.  Even if sabotage is unintended, the damage is the same. Remember that.

A good exercise on market targeting is to ask yourself, “What famous artist’s fan base would probably love your music too?”

In other words, ask yourself (from a business perspective not an artistic perspective) what artist would my business benefit from the most if I opened up for them on tour?


As many of you know, I was the front man for a hair band back in the day.  I LOVED Metallica and Megadeth but opening for either one of those acts wasn’t going to help me build my fan base at all. This thought process, is show business, not show heart, friends, or idols.

Make sense?


Next, the exposure has to be “framed” or “served up” correctly to this targeted audience.

There is a difference between marketing and pandering. I constantly see tweets that say “TY 4 following, check out my music” or “REAL TALK MAN, dis artist is da BOMB”, with a link; this is pandering and hype.  These two strategies actually turn people off on social media and email marketing. The worst is “Discover this artist on iTunes” where it has to be purchased.  Why would anyone “check out” your music or purchase your music if they don’t know who you are?  Especially in today’s market where EVERYONE is on iTunes, Pandora, Spotify, etc.

Do you respond to these kinds of pitches?Treasure Maps Turn Ons and Turn Offs

What turns YOU off on social media?


Consider what emails, tweets, Facebook posts, YouTube videos, and Instagram posts turn you on and peak your curiosity?

Which ones turn you OFF?

Make a list.


Why would you ask someone to “discover” your music and make them pay for it?

Do consumers pay for radio?

Do consumers pay to see new artists on TV?

Have YOU ever purchased music BEFORE you heard it?



Tons of artists are discouraged by the fact that everyone can and DOES put their “art” up on the world’s refrigerator.  Listen, this is not an ideal situation but it is winnable if you think about marketing from a business perspective and leave your sensitive woundable artist heart out of the equation.

The good news is that anyone can expose their music to everyone online. So with regards to the market, the proverbial “sky is the limit”

The bad news is that anyone can expose their music to everyone online; which results in a ton of noise on the RADAR screen. Focused attention needs to be paid to how you disseminate your information to excel at this game.


If a man named Bob, whom you do not know, randomly introduces himself to you the street, you might be polite but your guard is definitely up no matter how nice Bob may be.  It’s a cold call essentially.  This strategy for meeting people can work but is statistically a loser with regards to creating relationships.

How would that random encounter make you feel?Treasure Maps Referral Magnifying glass

Isn’t that why many of us feel a little weird about introducing ourselves to people?  Don’t you think it’s because we feel more comfortable being introduced by someone else?

Why should you introduce your music to someone any differently?


If Bob was introduced to you for the first time by a trusted friend at a party, you are definitely more open to the thought of Bob, aren’t you?

Treasure Maps CREEPYIt’s almost like with the cold introduction you half expect Bob to misbehave and you would be surprised if Bob turned out to be cool.  When the same person is referred by someone you know in a comfortable environment, the opposite is usually true; you expect Bob to be cool and would be surprised if Bob turned out to be offensive.



Here’s where you have to get creative in the market.


What clever methods would allow you to present your music to a consumer online in a referral fashion?


How can you create a comfortable environment for consumers to really give your music a chance instead of being on edge?

If this article still pisses you off you simply aren’t ready.

Treasure Maps Teacher


For those that are inspired by this I give you this Buddhist Proverb:

When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.




Lastly, I wanted to mention that all these new music marketing concepts are inexpensive if they aren’t free.  The thought that you have to spend millions of dollars to market yourself is asinine and archaic.

This is the first time in the history of marketing where artists have so much access to targeted markets for little or no money.Treasure Maps Earl Dibbles Jr


Study Earl Dibbles Jr who is a completely independent artist making 7 figures every year via social media (the CBS gig came AFTER the social media explosion).


It can be done people.


It is being done people.

You can do it too.


Once you get the concept of what you need to be doing I have one word for you.

Treasure Maps GoogleGOOGLE.


Find your teachers


These are a few of the marketing teachers I follow.  This is how you create your own treasure map.  All treasure maps are different for each artist so the only way up is THROUGH.


You have to discover what works for YOU.


I recommend following/subscribing to all these people, most are free, some are not.

Let me save you the suspense, ALL of them have products to sell and so do you, so get over it.

Start a new folder in your email for each and just save them as they come in to keep from getting overwhelmed.  It’s a TON of free information with the ANSWERS you’re looking for.  Read them when you have insomnia, or when you’re motivated, or when you’re bored, etc. but READ THEM…or you can continue to complain.

Jeff Bullas – http://www.jeffbullas.com/Treasure Maps Jeff Bullas

Sales Lion – http://www.thesaleslion.com/

Lewis Howes – http://lewishowes.com/

Jon Loomer – http://www.jonloomer.com/

Jon Oszajca – http://www.musicmarketingmanifesto.com/manifesto-novid.html?hop=jj1981



Stay in Tune


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Prove Your Worth

We are constantly hearing comments from up and coming indie artists like “I just need to get my deal [and then I’ll be successful]” or “If I could just get in front of the right person, I know I could be successful.” I got news for you, the record business doesn’t work like that anymore. These days it’s simply not enough to have talent, you have to PROVE that you’re worth it.

You have to PROVE that your art has value in the marketplace.Prove Show you are valuable small


In other words you have to create success for yourself before anyone of value or power will believe that you can generate revenue for them.

Do you see the naïveté in those comments?

You cannot intelligently approach this dream of yours thinking that someone else is going to make you a star.

Record labels are no longer developing artists, they are now buying small business and turning them into big businesses.

Prove Daredevil Production

The Daredevil Production, LLC business model is built around this fact. Kelly and I develop artists artistically and in the marketplace to help them become small profitable businesses so they will be more attractive to the big money players.

You can’t build your business model around a 20 year old music business model.  Yes, there are exceptions to the rule.

  • What intelligent business model is built around exceptions to the rule (A.K.A. winning the lottery)?
  • If you did win you would actually lose because your deal would suck so bad you might end up being a broke country star.

Prove National LotteryFYI, there were plenty of broke rock stars in the 80’s and it wasn’t because they were bad with money, it’s because they were rock stars making $400/week.


Pretty sad, huh?


Do you want your deal to look like this?




I got more news for you, even in the heyday of the record business, the “easiest” record deals came to the derivative acts.  The acts that were signed simply because the labels saw some quick money to be made with an artist that could capture a little Prove Iconicmarket overflow from a lane forged by an iconic trailblazer.


The game-changers, the icons we know today HAD TO PROVE THEIR VALUE IN THE MARKETPLACE because they were so different.

The story hasn’t changed much.

This statement is relative to every decade in the music business.Prove High Risk

No one wants to sign something that is different from what is happening right now on terrestrial radio because it’s too risky.

How do they know if the market will like it?

If a genre or artistic lane is getting a lot of love on terrestrial radio (like “bro-country” for instance) there is proof that the style is popular in the marketplace and therefore money to be made.

If you are different or new, in any decade, YOU would need to provide evidence that even though terrestrial radio is currently not playing your style, your music has VALUE in the marketplace.


Prove DIY

You are going to have to do this yourself.





Here are 20 artists who had to prove their music had value to get their record deals.


  1. Mötley Crüe – Nobody wanted to sign Mötley Crüe. They were too weird.  They created their own record label Prove Motley Crue Too Fast For LoveLeathür Records and self-released Too Fast for Love.  Mötley’s local popularity was so huge in 1981 that they sold 40,000 copies in Los Angeles alone.  FYI the wiki link says 20k but I’m pretty sure my sources are more accurate. ;)  These sales led to an Elektra Records deal in late 1982 where they remixed the Crüe’s debut record and re-released it. Mötley Crüe incarnated the glam-metal-hair-band genre of the 80’s.  Thank you fellas!
  2. Ratt – Since 1976 many self-financed singles, records, and live show recordings were being distributed to galvanize Ratt’s (previously Mickey Ratt) LA club following. This led to a Prove Ratt Out of the Cellarmeager indie record deal where they released the Ratt EP in 1983.  After 20,000 units sold that was enough to convince Atlantic Records that they had value. Atlantic released their debut full length record entitled Out of the Cellar in 1984.
  3. Bon Jovi – Jon worked at a shoe store while mopping floors at The Power Station Studios in NYC where he was granted access to the storied recording facility after hours. When did he sleep?  He recorded 50 + demos of Prove Jon Bon Jovi“Runaway”(one was produced by Billy Squier) and shopped them to the labels.  Nobody cared. At the time, Jon was also WORKING for WAPP “The Apple” writing and singing jingles.  DJ Chip Hobart asked Jon to include “Runaway” on a compilation record for the station (a move Jon was very apprehensive about) and that single became a huge “local” hit.  Local was NYC which was the #1 market in the country and that was enough proof to entice A&R rep Derek Shulman to sign Jon to Mercury Records.
  4. Skid Row – The first Skid Row record was written by Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, and Prove Skid RowJack Ponti. Skid Row band members Dave Sabo and Rachel Bolan were listed as writers for the purposes of street cred which was mission critical to hair metal bands of the 80’s. This record was entirely created and funded by Jon Bon Jovi after the Slippery When Wet album tour was finished. He had proven his skills had value in the marketplace. Even with all that power behind him (Bon Jovi was probably one of the top 3 acts in the country at that time), and the record completed, Jason Flom from Atlantic Records wouldn’t give Skid Row a deal until Bon Jovi agreed in writing to allow Skid Row to open every date on the upcoming New Jersey World Tour.  After that contract was signed guaranteeing massive exposure for the band, Flom gave them a $1,000,000 cash advance.
  5. Florida Georgia Line – FGL was developed by one of the most powerful and successful Nashville songwriters, Craig Wiseman. They were produced by multi-platinum engineer/producer Joey Moi.  All this power and marquis Prove FGL Cruisevalue and every label still said “NO”; they were too different.  They STILL had to prove they had value.  They exercised a relationship on satellite radio where “Cruise” became a smash hit.  Then they orchestrated an 8 month tour to support the single (privately financed) where they succeeded in selling 100,000 downloads of the single. The record didn’t change, the songs didn’t change, and the production didn’t change. The only thing that changed was the perception.  Every label then said “YES” and they signed with Scott Borchetta’s Republic Nashville label under the Big Machine umbrella.
  6. Zac Brown Band – Zac had been touring over 200 dates a year with an acoustic trio Prove Zac Brownsince 2002. Constantly writing and recording and shopping to record labels. They were “too pop” for all the country labels and “too country” for all the pop labels. While Zac was touring they were selling records, tickets and merch. They managed a small profitable ZBB business for 10 years which was enough proof to garner one of the sweetest deals in town which is really a Joint Venture between Zac’s own Southern Ground (formerly Home Grown) label imprint Prove Luke Bryanand Atlantic Records.
  7. Luke Bryan – reached success as a songwriter to prove his music had value. He penned the title track to Travis Tritt’s 2004 release My Honky Tonk History. Which helped him get a deal with Capitol Records.  Here’s the thing, while he was working on his debut album he managed to co-write Billy Currington’s #1 single “Good Directions” which certainly helped when it came time for the label to allocate promotional funds for Bryan’s debut record.
  8. Brantley Gilbert – Proved his music had value in marketplace by writing hit songs first. Prove Brantley GilbertHe had cuts like “The Best of Me” on Jason Aldean’s 2009 release Wide Open. This resulted in an indie record deal where he released his debut record that included “My Kinda Party” which became a #1 after it was re-recorded by Jason Aldean for his 2010 release of the same name.  Brantley’s 2nd #1 was “Dirt Road Anthem” co-written by country rap artist Colt Ford.  This effort led to Brantley’s deal on Scott Borchetta’s Valory label and insured proper attention to Brantley’s releases once he got his shot.
  9. Chase Rice – He co-wrote one of the biggest hits of the last 5 years “Cruise” by Florida Georgia Line. BIG time proof his music has value.  Now he has a deal and a gold single with “Ready, Set, Roll”.
  10. Sam Hunt – He penned Kenny Chesney’s “Come Over”, Keith Urban’s “Cop Car”, and Billy Currington’s “We Are Tonight” before independently releasing his own single. This led to a major label deal with MCA Nashville and his current #1 single “Leave the Night On”.
  11. Cole Swindell – wrote these songs to prove his music had value. Then he independently released “Chillin’ It” and THEN he got his deal with Warner Bros.Prove Cole Swindell
    1. Craig Campbell’s “Outta My Head”
    2. Luke Bryan’s “Just a Sip”, “Beer in the Headlights”, “Roller Coaster”, “Out Like That”, “I’m Hungover”, “I’m in Love with the Girl”, “Love in a College Town”, “Shore Thing”, “Shake the Sand” and “The Sand I Brought to the Beach”
    3. Thomas Rhett’s “Get Me Some of That”
    4. Scotty McCreery’s “Water Tower Town” and “Carolina Eyes”
    5. He also co-wrote Florida Georgia Line’s “This is How We Roll” with Luke Bryan
  12. Lee Brice – Co-wrote Garth Brooks 2007 single “More Than a Memory” which was the first single in the history of the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart to debut at #1. He also signed his artist deal with Curb Records the same year. Coincidence?
  13. Ani DeFranco – Ani has been independent all along. She started her own label Righteous Babe Records at the age ofProve Ani DeFranco 18. She recorded everything on her own with an 8-track reel to reel and toured her ass off.  She put out 5 records from 1990-1994 before partnering with Koch International to distribute her 6th independent release Not a Pretty Girl.  Who knows how many major label deals she has turned down?
  14. Granger Smith / Earl Dibbles Jr. – These are both the same person. By independently writing, recording, and releasing records Granger Smith has utilized social media to create an empire that generates over $1.5 million dollars per year in revenue. This activity created the college football picks on-air position Earl Dibbles Jr. holds every Saturday with CBS.
  15. Jamey Johnson – He co-wrote the huge Trace Adkins hit “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” which garnered him a deal with BNA Records in 2005.
  16. Randy Houser – Co-wrote “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” with Jamey Johnson and Dallas Davidson for Trace Adkins in 2005. That proof of value led to a major label deal in 2008.
  17. Karmin – Proved that her talent had value in the marketplace by posting consistent YouTube videos of cover songs. Prove KarminThe breakthrough was her cover of “Look at Me Now” by Chris Brown, Lil’ Wayne, and Busta Rhymes. That video currently has over 93 million views and led to a record deal and a solid fan base.
  18. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis – Are the first duo in the history of the Billboard Hot 100 chart to have their first 2 singles go to #1, both without the support of a major label. The duo accumulated 613 million views of their video for “Thrift Shop” on YouTube. They currently have over 1.3 million subscribers on their YouTube channel.Prove Macklemore
  19. Noah – Posted a cover that he creatively manipulated to his own artistic lane on YouTube for 77 weeks in a row. He built a steadily growing subscribership until the 77th video which was this version of LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It”. This video blew up and went viral.  Around 2 million views he started monetizing it.  Around 6 million views, he implemented a pop-up to direct viewers to his IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign where he was able to procure $100,000 for his first record.  He now has over 22 million views and a solid career.
  20. Thomas Rhett – is the son of hit singer songwriter Rhett Akins. Prove Thomas RhettStill, it took until he wrote “I Ain’t Ready to Quit” which was cut by Jason Aldean for his My Kinda Party album to prove his music had value in the market place which resulted a major label deal.




All these hit artists had to PROVE that their music was valuable BEFORE they got their deals or continue to prosper independent of major deals.


Nobody is going to come to your door and make you a star.

Nobody is going to risk their money on what you plan to do.

Major labels and big private money investors will only invest in your career based on your reputation.

You can only have a reputation based on what you have done, NOT what you are going to do.

Stay in tune.


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20 Biggest Marketing Mistakes




This past week Kelly and I were honored to be panelists on Grammy nominee Amanda Williams’SongwritingandMusicBusiness.com songwriting conference. Whoa, let me tell you Amanda and Todd put together an informative, well organized, event that had attendees rubbing elbows and getting their music heard in front of many music industry professionals including, managers, publishing company executives, record executives, live performance coaches, and social media experts. There were many panels, events, networking, and performance opportunities during the day at the lovely Preston Hotel in Nashville.

One of the highlights was definitely Amanda Williams performing “Asstastic”…just sayin’.

20 Marketing Mistakes Amanda WIlliams Big Stage image

I am quite sure there were more than a few new songs written as artists and songwriters took their long day and extended it to jump on impromptu collaborations at the pool every day after midnight.

What a sweet vibe, man.

Kelly and I had a blast! We also became aware of several amazing artists we invited to submit to the TV show that we are casting. One writer we saw happened to look like a perfect fit for an artist we are currently developing.



The introductions have already been made.

Additionally we began a relationship with the management from a Barbados duo that we may just do some business with. Both Kelly and I were blown away by the talent and relished the environment provided to meet these people and interact.

I’ve been telling y’all about this event for well over a month now. Many of you continually email me with stories of your networking challenges, frustrations with your progress, and questions on how to “get in the business” deeper so you can make a living at it. Well, here was the PERFECT opportunity.

Why weren’t you there?

One of the breakout sessions I was asked to head up was a social media/marketing session. During this tutorial I got to thinking about the most common mistakes EVERYONE from indie artists to major labels are making with marketing in the new music business.


So here’s a list of my top biggest marketing mistakes

  1. Social media is about THEM not you – There are many clever ways to get what you want by thinking about them first. Start 20 Marketing Mistakes NOT YOUproviding something for them, cool quotes, inspiration, humor, knowledge, etc. Start talking about them, asking about them etc. I told a story of the Twitter campaign we did a year ago for an artist. This fan tweets that he’s CRANKING the song in his garage, drinking beer, and LOVING IT! Instead of basking in the glory (I was tweeting as the artist at the time) I asked a question. Which lead to an answer. Which lead to another question. This happened just 4 times and that guy invited the whole band to STAY AT HIS HOUSE in Texas when they came through on tour. 4 questions = Superfan
  2. Hype doesn’t work – Have you ever heard the phrase “A person is smart, people are stupid”? Have you ever heard PT Barnum’s famous quote “Nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd”? There is an energy in a crowd that speaks to our core need to be a part of something; we are wired up to want to belong. When we see someone on file0002005996090a stump with 30 people around him there is an implied power given to the speaker. How else did he get all these people to stop and listen? Mass media like TV and radio put the speaker in a similar but largely amplified position of power. A Donald Trump-esque hype speech actually works in mass media scenario or on a stump in front of a crowd, however, social media and email interaction is always consumed 1 on 1; privately. Now, imagine someone totally hyping a product during private conversation with you. Total turnoff right? If you must hype yourself the time to do it is at a live show where you pack a crowd in; they’ll believe whatever you tell them. If you propagandize through social media and email they will think you’re an idiot. Stop it.
  3. No list building and lead capture strategy– OMG I talk to artists every day who play for huge audiences during the summer. When it’s over they have nothing. This is a perfect time to capture phone numbers or email addresses…nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd,20 Marketing Mistakes List Building right? There are many companies like CallLoop.com who provide text capture technology that connects with your CRM (aWeber, Mail Chimp, Constant Contact, etc.). Give away a song in exchange for their phone number. Text messages have a 99% open rate. Squeeze pages are a super effective way to capture email addresses in exchange for a free track(s) which will expose the consumer to your music; win, win, win. Work out a deal with the bar owner to pony up a $25 bar tab (costs him about $4) that you would award at the end of the night to a lucky person you choose from the list they just opted into (works like a champ)
  4. Y’all record before you have an audience – To quote my friend Rick Barker, “would you open a hamburger stand in a vegan community?” Social media, YouTube, Blogging, and LIVE SHOWs are killer ways to build up a following before you release a product. Otherwise it’s a vanity project, which is cool, but you can’t really be pissed it isn’t selling, ya know?
  5. You’re trying to get “laid” on the 1st or 2nd date – Social media initiates the relationship and allows you to deepen it. Clever email campaigns can further deepen a relationship. There HAS TO BE A RELATIONSHIP before you ask for the sale. Period. You can’t just 20 Marketing Mistakes Getting Laidput a compelling PPC ad or tweet up that instantly drives people to iTunes to “get to know you”. Consumers will say “screw you”. However, we all know someone who purchased a CD to support an artist they “know”. See the difference?
  6. Crappy unproduced product – Remember how you felt when you bought the last product that totally disappointed you? Odds are you need help SOMEWHERE. Maybe you’re a great writer but not a producer. Maybe you’re a great singer but not a great writer. Maybe your lyrics aren’t as strong as your melodies. Identify the weak suit(s) and find help to make your music better. Just because you, your mate, and your mom like it doesn’t mean anybody else will; they are always going to encourage you. Find out what people think about the track on social media and get your answer. We had an artist that we did one single on and promoted it on Twitter. We got 2,000 downloads (giving it away free) in a couple months. This was a great litmus test because people responded and LOVED the track. Yes, art is subjective. But successful artists reach beyond their friends and family so if everyone else doesn’t get it you’ve got a hobby not a career.
  7. You don’t have a website and therefore no web store – Since you’re an indie artist and you will doing all the work to drive traffic, why not drive fans to your OWN STORE where you get 100% of the money? Yes, you will need a presence on sites like iTunes, Spotify, and CD baby because healthy percentages of fans prefer to buy there, but many will buy directly from you if you tell them to; especially after you have created a relationship. This is just common sense, isn’t it?
  8. You’re not bundling – Have you ever gone to a bar to order a cocktail and the server gives you 2 choices of top-shelf liquor to choose from? You either choose one of them or have the balls to say, “Give me the cheap stuff”; this is called “upselling”. 30% of your buyers will be willing to be upsold if you have something for them to spend more money on. Old CD’s, demo tapes, posters, set lists, autographed 8×10’s, t-shirts, hats, and key chains, make for great bundles. Check out this company for amazing bundling products that are simply unbelievable
  9. You’re only on 1 social media platform – While it is definitely counterproductive to try and be on all of them, at least 2, preferably 3 are a solid choice. Remember MySpace?
  10. You’re overexposing your act – get outta town, man. If you play every week or twice a month or even once a month (depending on how big your town is) in the same market, it’s too much. If any iconic superstar played every week down the street people would get sick of seeing them, I mean there’s always next week, right?
  11. You aren’t making your shows an event – When we got our start we opened for a band in Minneapolis called Hericane Alice. They were the biggest band in the Twin Cities at the time. They played about once a quarter and brought in FULL national act production and lights. They always sold out. When I lived in L.A. I would book a show and buy a keg. I’d tell people to pay the $10 at the show then beers were on me at my house afterward till the keg crapped out. It was an EVENT, an anticipated social gathering. What can you do to step up your game here?
  12. You haven’t studied content marketing – Social media is about content marketing so you better learn this fast. Gary Vaynerchuk is a pioneer in content marketing, learn from him. He says content marketing is like boxing, jab, jab, jab, RIGHT HOOK (which is your 20 Marketing Mistakes Gary V“call to action”) So content, content, content, then a call to action to a squeeze page of some sort or text based opt-in technology. Get it?
  13. Your live show sucks! – C’mon man! This is totally a pet peeve of mine. When we toured we worked our ASSES off on creating a compelling live show. 99.9% of the time I see a band they are totally boring even if they can play well. Have you ever seen Bruno Mars live? His show is one of the best. WORK. PERFORM. GIVE EVERYTHING YOU HAVE. That’s is what people want to see.
  14. You’re panhandling or worse, begging – Wade Sutton shared a great quote with me last weekend. He said “Take the napkin off your chest and put it on your IMG_2815arm”. In other words, stop asking “What can you do for me” and start asking “what can I do for you” to the people that can help advance your career. “Making millions off you in the future is a weak and markedly naïve pitch. Intern, clean, run, do whatever it takes to create a relationship. Jon Bon Jovi used to clean the Power Plant in NYC to gain access to studio time where he recorded over 50 versions of “Runaway”. One of them was picked for a WAPP compilation record, which in turn made the song a hit single, which ended in a record deal for Jon. Trent Reznor did the same to gain the access he needed to record “Pretty Little Hate Machine” from Nine Inch Nails. Both of these men accomplished this in an environment where records cost the 2014 equivalent of $550,000 to make. Now you can do it with a killer producer for less than 10% of that…what’s your excuse?
  15. You’re not adding images to every Tweet – images significantly improve open rates. Add images. Learn to Meme because it’s a great way to add your unique perspective to any image. Addtext.com is a killer resource for memes and not-for-nothing it’s a fun creative release. You might surprise yourself.
  16. You don’t fully understand the Sales Funnel – You need a sales funnel. A relationship building process that uses effective language to convert email addresses into cash. Once you have figured out the sales funnel portion you only need to focus on 2 marketing areas; traffic and average revenue per email address; the rest is mathematically predictable.
  17. You don’t understand the definition of marketing – Remember marketing is defined as influencing buying decisions. Distribution is where they go to purchase your music once the buying decision has been made.
  18. You won’t pay for coaching – This past weekend was an amazing chance for songwriters and artists to meet and create relationships, learn, evaluate, regroup, plan, and strategize using accurate information from many industry pros. With all the Woe-is-me emails I get about how hard it is to get ahead and meet the right people here was a great opportunity. No money is not an excuse; sorry. Jon Bon Jovi20 Marketing Mistakes Earl Dibbles Jr. found a way around a $550,000 hurdle. So did Trent Reznor, so did many artists. FIND A WAY TO WIN and stop getting in your own way. Sell a guitar, get an extra job, do whatever it takes to learn what you need to learn to succeed at what you love to do. IT’s worth it, right? Some great resources to consider are Rick Barker for virtual management, Wade Sutton for live show coaching and PR development, Amanda Williams for publishing, placement and copyright knowledge, James R. Meny for vocal instruction (we spent TONS of money on vocal lessons when we toured, everyone needs vocal lessons).
  19. You won’t focus on one genre – I get it, you love many genres and you’re talented enough to do more than one genre justice. If you can’t figure out a way to combine them into a stylistic thing, then choose the one you really excel at and go there. Consumers can’t digest a record with many different genres on it. It doesn’t mean you are abandoning the other genres you love so much. It means you are focusing on one first because it’s smarter for your career.
  20. You don’t believe it can really happen by marketing online – Want proof? Earl Dibbles Jr.is the alter ego of indie country artist Granger Smith. Check out both sites. Earl has over 1 million FB likes and Granger is over 276,000. I know for a fact there are 4 people working this marketing juggernaut. They are geniuses, they cracked the code because they wanted to figure it out. They move 7 figures worth of product every year and, of course, all the major labels want him…well both of them I suppose. LOL. They aren’t biting. Why would they? This could be you if you developed a passion for cracking the code.



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