Increase Your Value, Learn To Make Better Relationships

Relationships Feature MEME


Imagine that you’re going out on a first date. This person is someone that you’re excited to get to know better but for some reason, you’re feeling excruciatingly nervous. You meet up with the date Relationships Nervousand the night is a disaster.


Maybe you were the date and the other person was nervous, which made you nervous.



Have you been there?


Why does that happen?


Answer: Nonverbal communication.


Relationships Cave Man


As a species, we have been communicating nonverbally for thousands of years before we developed language.





Therefore, we are far better at receiving and understanding nonverbal communication than verbal communication.


Arguably, the percentages are different depending on what you read, but the consensus points to the fact that when any message is received, the majority of the information transmitted was nonverbal.


Relationships Cat MEME

 How you say it and what your body does while you say it is far more important than what you say.


There is an art to the nonverbal performance aspects of an artist. What are you doing when you’re singing? How does your body language communicate to the audience when it’s time to clap or if they should wait out a pregnant pause?


See how important it is?


It’s the difference between a green artist and a pro in every situation imaginable.


Relationships Upset Man MEME



As humans, we pre-frame people prior to meeting them all the time. Our brains are designed to conserve energy thus; we won’t spend too much time studying before we naturally fill in the blanks on someone filtering the data through our own emotional experiences.





We all have vastly different emotional experiences.


Plain English: You’re always being judged.


Here’s another good point to remember, I’m generalizing but our first impressions typically don’t happen when we decide to make them.


Relationships Introduction MEMEAnother way to think about it is that a first impression is DIFFERENT than an introduction. Rarely do these two separate events happen simultaneously.


Why should you care?


Answer:  Because your job as an artist is to communicate. Your job as a marketer of your art is also to communicate.


Understanding exactly how messages are received is an invaluable exercise for your artistic creativity, live performances, marketability, team building skills, networking, etc.


Relationships Introvert MEME


Right now, some of you are cringing because you’re thinking, “But, I’m an introvert and I suck at relationships.”


I’ve got news for you. You don’t suck at relationships.


By the way, an introvert’s reaction to this idea is completely understandable, isn’t it? They don’t view themselves as the gregarious, huge-personality-type sales person who is a killer networker.


In fact, many introverts may be a bit envious of the extroverts who seem to effortlessly create relationships.


Relationships Big Personality



Some introverts may even view this lack of outward personality as a detriment to their artist career.




The fact is that introverts and extroverts all have strengths and weaknesses when it comes to creating and maintaining relationships. One is not necessarily better than the other.


What makes one PERSON better at creating relationships than another person is self-awareness.


Identifying your strengths and weaknesses is quite empowering.


Relationships Schmoozing




While extroverts are good at creating many relationships, they’re often not necessarily good relationships or deep relationships.





Statistically, introverts are better at creating more meaningful relationships.


Maybe you feel shy and weird about schmoozing or “working the room” after a show, but when introverts are ready to create and maintain relationships they think deeply, they observe people well.


When faced with the thought of hustling or schmoozing, many introverts think, “I’m too shy, I could never do this.”


False! You CAN do this; you just haven’t learned how.


Relationships Social Media

This information is HUGE for industry events, after show hustling, AND SOCIAL MEDIA!



Often, before you “meet” someone on social media they’ve already scoured your Instagram account. They’ve already created an opinion on you as an artist.


If you’re aware of this dynamic, you can attempt to control the outcome as much as possible.


Themed accounts are pleasurable to viewers. Many of my client’s accounts are themed, albeit some more than others.


Relationships John Kern



@JohnKernMusic is themed black & white. He looks so cool in black and white (he’s extremely marketable in color but there’s a retro vibe that transmits via b&w with John).




@patience.reich has an account that is themed with the many amazing facets of her personality and work efforts. Patience is a black, female jazz singer (working on a pop record), MD (physician of Internal Medicine), true humanitarian (closing her practice every year for weeks or months at a time to travel and give medical care to children in impoverished countries), a marathon runner, a devout Christian, oh, and she loves cats.


Relationships Patience Reich

Do you see how a visual or contextual “thread” of sorts is extremely helpful to creating fans on your social media accounts?



Images are extremely important here, especially on Instagram. All serious artists need professional pictures taken.


Relationships Orleans Album Cover

These photos need to be shot by a professional ARTIST PHOTOGRAPHER as opposed to your girlfriend’s, dogwalker’s, first cousin’s boyfriend who has a cool camera and knows how to focus the lens.






Get it?


Relationships Bad Band Photo

It’s all about the photographer’s eye, not the camera.





You must also heavily weigh the common creative tasks this photographer’s eye must complete on a day to day basis.


All too often I see artists whose images were shot by amazing wedding photographers and they look like that: wedding photos. Just because they’re a wedding photographer doesn’t mean they can’t shoot artists well (Alysse Gafkjen in Nashville is an incredibly talented exception to this rule) but usually, they’re thinking wedding and not selling the artist.


Relationships Band Band Photo 2

Spend the money. It’s going to be your first impression.



Guess what else the masses are going to formulate their first impression with an artist on.


Answer:  Engagement.


You’d be AMAZED at how many people will line up behind you as an artist simply because you took a little time to respond them and were smart enough to ask a question about THEM.


Hardly any artists do it.


I’m constantly pushing my artists to engage more with the people who take the time to say something about a killer post we put up.


Relationships Value ArtistAs an artist, if you want to build a real, solid, loyal following, you’re going to have to love them first.




You must be vulnerable first.


Artists who have multitudes of real online relationships are far more valuable than artists who don’t.


More valuable to the record labels, managers, booking agents, lawyers, PR companies, brand partners, etc.


Relationships Leverage MEMERelationships are how an artist creates LEVERAGE in the music business.



Y’all tell me you want managers, better bookings, a record deal, better players in your band, and more opportunities but you don’t work at the task that will deliver all these gifts.


It’s not going to be about your music at first, it’s going to be about you.


Once you forge a remarkable first impression and engage deepening the relationships, you’ll begin to grow a following.


Relationships ScaleThey’ll love you and begin to identify with your music.


A moderately talented artist with a loyal following is far more valuable and therefore will be far more successful than a hugely talented artist with no audience to perform to.


When was the last time you heard a song on the radio and thought, “My music is way better than that piece of crap”?


That artist on the radio knows something you don’t.


Or didn’t up until now.


Relationships I Want You To Win



I want you to win.













If you found value in this content, please SHARE and COMMENT

The Truth About Happiness: It’s A Learned Skill

Happiness is a Learned Skill Feature 2 MEME


Happiness is a byproduct, not a destination.


Happiness is a Learned Skill Not a Destination



Happiness is a learned skill. (And it’s never too late to learn)





How many times have you heard this before?


Do you believe it?


Happiness is a Learned Skill Do You Believe




Do you get it? Really?








Happiness is a Learned Skill Galapogos MEME

You’re not going to “find” happiness like the Galapagos Islands.




It’s easy then to extrapolate that happiness in your artist career is also a byproduct of behavior and not a destination.


You’re not going to find happiness and success with that one amazing connection.


Yes, you hear the stories an artist’s “one big break” but that big break happened on several levels as a byproduct of a life spent working diligently on something.


They were noticed because of the work they were doing.


They were prepared to walk through the newly opened door for the same reason.



Happiness The Climb 600x315 copy


Brent and I were discussing a similar thought on one of the C.L.I.M.B. podcast episodes. We were talking about the stories of a super hit song that “wrote itself” in like 10 minutes. The reality is that it most certainly did NOT take the songwriter 10 minutes to write that song.



It took their whole life PLUS 10 minutes.


Get it?


Happiness is a Learned Skill Gary Vee Jewel



Y’all know that I devour Gary Vaynerchuk content. His interview with Jewel in episode 238 of the Gary Vee Show was incredible.




This woman has a story that I wanted to share with you all.


You’re going to love it because it’s incredibly inspiring.


Happiness is a Learned Skill Hate it Excuses

You’ll hate it because her story will leave you with zero excuses.




We’ve all been broken before and we’ve all had people or have people that try to break us.


Jewel has overcome all of that.



She didn’t let life’s horrible speed bumps make her a victim or a statistic, but it almost did.



She moved out when she was 15 years old because her dad was being abusive.



Happiness is a Learned Skill Pay 2 Play MEME


She moved to San Diego a couple years later but she was disenfranchised by the music scene because the coffee houses were “pay to play”. She didn’t get it. She didn’t see how the coffee shop could steal the artist’s energy and soul for a few hours and offer only tips in return.




Now, she was 18 and her boss wanted to sleep with her but when she refused, he withheld her paychecks.



She thought to herself, “I’ll just sleep in my car for a month or two until I find a new gig.” This move was good for her soul but left her homeless for 18 months.


Happiness is a Learned Skill Statistic MEME



Jewel mentioned that during this time she was shoplifting quite often and on one occasion caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror.





She was disgusted.


She had become the very thing she promised she wouldn’t become; a statistic.


This is the pivotal moment that I want you all to think about.


You’re suffering in some ways.


We all suffer in some ways.


Happiness is a Learned Skill Struggle Gift MEME


I agree with Jewel in that it’s a gift to be allowed to struggle because this is where the successful find the tools they need to cope.




Coping tools give us the instruments we need to continue productivity and work through the suffering as humans and as artists.


I lost everything in the 2008 financial meltdown.


I rebuilt and moved forward. It sounds easy but there were many times that my soul was violently careening on a current of negative energy.


It was my thought processes that got me off that river.



Happiness Is a Learned Skill Buddha MEME

Buddha says, “Happiness does not depend on who you are or what you have, it depends on what you think.





I’m sure that WAY too many of you are hung up on who you are and what you have.


Some of you feel because you’re very talented you should be happy.


That’s called entitlement.


Some of you feel that new guitar (thing) will make you happier but it’s just a possession, just a “thing”.


Some of you feel that a person will make you happier.


That’s called co-dependency.


The reality is that Buddha is right. Duh. Happiness is all about what you think.


Happiness is a Learned Skill Wolf Fire

Personally, losing everything, which is MONUMENTALLY scary to think about but even more terrifying to endure, was the greatest gift I ever received.




I found out that my things and my relationships don’t define me.


I also am no longer scared of losing everything because I’ve lived through the worst financial and personal catastrophe.



Yes, it totally sucked but I know I can handle it. I can always innovate my way out of trouble.



Happiness Is A Learned Skill Coffee Shop Out of Biz



During Jewel’s homeless period, she found a coffee shop that was going out of business. She struck a deal with the owner (who had nothing to lose really) by offering to help build a steady following for the business with her performances.





Suddenly, Jewel found herself at another crossroads; she only knew cover songs.


Songwriting was going to have to happen and quickly.


Talk about profound, Jewel said that she was lonely and many people are lonely so she could connect with them that way lyrically.



Happiness Is A Learned Skill Notebook MEME

She also said that she deserved to be lonely because she only told the truth in one place which was a notebook that nobody read.





It was time to talk openly about her truth and take a risk to be vulnerable. This is a milestone that most indie artists seem to miss.


Easier to be derivative than it is to be vulnerable. Maybe you have a lot of talent but because you’re failing to be truly exposed you’re not getting the attention you think you deserve.


Maybe you don’t deserve any attention right now? Did you ever think about it that way?



Happiness Is A Learned Skill Your Truth MEME

I have news for you, It’s your TRUTH that will separate you from the crowd and make you special.




The songstress thought to herself fear is a thief. It takes the past and projects it into the future and robs you of the only opportunity you have to create real change; which is RIGHT NOW.


Y’all need to create change in your marketing.


Happiness Is A Learned Skill Thief MEME


Most artists aren’t thinking about or acting on any kind of marketing.




Which is why you hurt.


Here’s an illustration of how bad it is.


I was just at a new record label showcase last week. One of the artists that played this event was a Curb Records artist.  He was an amazing R&B act, I was familiar with his last song even though I don’t spend much time listening to that genre (that should tell you something) but his social media sucked.


Happiness Is A Learned Skill Instagram Collage



Literally half of my artists have MUCH larger and far more engaged communities in their respective social media communities than this major label artist. I find this to be true amongst all artists, signed or not. Unless their famous, their social media is usually seriously lacking.





He’s clearly relying on the record label to bring him to market which is sad. We’re down to a few major labels precisely because they’re not sure how to bring an artist to the market anymore.


With her head on straight, Jewel goes to work writing and starts to play the coffeehouse shows.


Her first show had 2 people.


Next had 7 people.


Happiness Is A Learned Skill 91X Logo




A few months later there were people standing in line around the corner just to hear her sing.






The packed coffee house was a byproduct of her thinking at first, and then her actions.



Someone bootlegged a live recording of her and the San Diego radio station started playing it.


Soon she was a highly requested artist and the labels came-a-calling.


This is another pitfall I see so many of you fall into. You’re waiting to be discovered.


Happiness Is A Learned Skill Limo MEME

Jewel went out and found her audience, and just like I always preach, the industry found her.




She was offered a record deal but she was going to be releasing a folk record in a grunge market.


How would she cut through?


The label offered her a 1-million-dollar advance but she turned it down. Instead, she used the advance to buy (renegotiate) a much better back-end deal on her contract.


Happiness Is A Learned Skill Million Dollars



Again, guts, knowledge, understanding. She read one book and found out the advance was recoupable.





She broke through before the social media age because of her brain. Yes, the abundant talent was there but her audience was only made aware of it because of the way she thought.


Does that make sense?


Gary Vee said, “Your fans got there and gave a crap because of you, and then they took over.”


Do you see where I’m headed with this?


Happiness Is A Learned Skill Love them firstMEME


The artist must start the fire. You carefully cultivate the first 1,000 Superfans and then they will take over.




Gary immediately followed that quote with, “What my fans do now is insane, the level of love, but it started with I LOVE THEM FIRST.”



You give to receive.



If you focus on making other people happy, on providing value to them first, you’ll learn how to be happy.









If you found value in this article, please SHARE and COMMENT