Tag Archive for: Social Media Marketing

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


Happy New Year, Daredevil Insiders!




As always, the new year is a great time to get perspective on the last year, ponder what we’ve learned from the inevitable mistakes we’ve made, and set some goals together.




I want to talk about limitations, limiting beliefs, and the stories we tell ourselves that get us in our own way.





That’s it, you know.




The problem with your lack of success in the music business (which is where I assume you want to be more successful or you wouldn’t be reading this) has always been you.






You want to succeed more than anything, but you have limiting beliefs which lead you to create a story.


We all have limiting beliefs.




The most successful people are self-aware of this fact and work diligently to think differently and overcome the mental hurdles.


They change the stories that they tell themselves.



Limiting beliefs means that deep down inside, you don’t truly feel like you should be successful, or you don’t know how to do it, or you’re conflicted because subconsciously the idea of making a living doing what you love is rubbing up against some serious emotional and mental anchors.




Ultimately we all want to please other people to a degree to satisfy our sense of belonging to the families, communities, and tribes we are in.


For instance, if your parents don’t approve of your life path, that’s usually a biggie.


Maybe a significant other is renting too much space in your head about your musical aspirations.






I got to thinking about this blog after listening to a killer podcast called The Business of Story with Park Howell. His guest was a business coach named Melanie Benson.






Right about now, some of you are saying, “I’m done reading, I’m an artist, not a businessperson.” – Hello, that’s a limiting belief.



Whether you like it or not, It’s also inaccurate.




If you’ve EVER received one penny of revenue from a recording, live gig, studio gig, musical teaching gig, etc. you’re a businessperson.





Maybe you’re a crappy businessperson, and there is no law against that, but rest assured you’re a businessperson.


“I make art for the sake of art, I answer to no one, my creations are derived solely from me and no other commercial interests.”





This comment, or some form of it, I hear often. My response is, that’s AWESOME! Seriously, I love that approach and believe that an artist can truly achieve pure art and find their audience now more than ever.




However, if after you’re done with the purest creative process ever, you venture out into the world and accept any kind of compensation for your talents, you’re a true artist and you’re also a businessperson.



Don’t be upset by this. WHEREVER there is amazing art, there is inevitably commerce!






Commerce is present because people will pay their hard-earned money to be transported emotionally.  This is what great art does for people; it moves them.





It’s worth it for them, that’s the only reason they pay.


That means you’re worth it.


Some of you, deep down, don’t believe you’re worth it. That’s a limiting belief.




I’ve heard artists complaining about how they don’t want to “sell out”.   Ok, I love that too, but how is accepting revenue for a work that you creatively stand behind with pride, selling out exactly?





You are “selling out” If you’re derivative to become famous, OR if you feel pressured to change your art for the sake of a bigger megaphone.


But making money on your art alone is NOT selling out. It’s selling tickets, merch, and music.



There’s a difference.





These mental hurdles are stories that we tell ourselves to give ourselves permission to wait, or to lose the dream, or to not be as successful as we could be on our dream.




Are there artists who somehow fell into the big, ugly, music business machine and ended up putting on a dancing chicken suit to please the powers that be just so they could be famous?




Is that you?




So, what the hell are you talking about?


Are there artists who somehow got super successful with their genuine creations despite having to get approval from 2 publically traded corporate committees before it ever saw the light of day?





Is that you?




So, what the hell are you thinking?



As Park Howell so eloquently puts it, “The most powerful story is the story you tell yourself.”






Everything in your head is all made up.






They’re made up from scratch, from fear, from your parents, your siblings, or bandmates, or significant others, etc.


Every story about politics, religion, success, money, love, music, the business, selling, health, nutrition, they’re all made up, man.


Right or wrong, effective or toxic, these stories in your head are made-up.


“I’m a creative, sales are beneath me.”


Good luck with that story. Ask any of your major label artist friends about how cool it is to be a major label artist and not ever have to sell.  They’ll laugh you out of the room.




Radio tour is SELLING.





You’re selling your music to the program directors, and you’re selling yourself to get them to like you.


Every gig you’re selling yourself to the audience but you’re selling (hopefully) good art.



“I hate the way sales people make me feel so I’m not going sell myself. My music is amazing; it will find an audience.”






C’mon man. That’s like me saying “I don’t like the way you sounded on the very first day you picked up that guitar so I’m not going to listen to music again.”


Silly, right?




“I can’t afford that.”


I’ll bet that one got your attention.







Well yes, maybe you can’t afford it, but that mindset isn’t going to get you into growth, it’s guaranteed to keep you right where you’re at.





Maybe at the end of the day, you’ll keep that $100 in your pocket, but what is that approach really costing you?


Your dream?


What if you spent the $100 learning something new or delegating to some expert and it put you on a path to making a living as an artist?





The host, Park Howell, was talking about how he purchased Tony Robbin’s first cassette tape series back in 1985. He paid $39.95 (which is $89.61 in today’s dollars) and that was A LOT of money to him. He didn’t feel like he could afford it. He listened to the whole series on his Sony Walkman 8 or 9 times when he would hike his regular mountain trail in Arizona to get exercise.






He was fearful of spending the money but he did it and it changed his life forever.


Melanie Benson said something like, “That’s called stepping over dollars to pick up pennies.”






My mother calls it “pennywise and pound foolish.”






You don’t really know marketing at all. You think you know, and some of you know some things, but I can attest that we are CONSTANTLY learning here at Daredevil Production, so you know nothing.


Since you don’t know, you’re going to need to learn.


That means you’ll have to learn to do it yourself via webinars, conferences, and books, pay for a coach, or pay someone to do it for you.



These choices require spending some time and money on either staff or education.





Since you don’t have the knowledge, wisdom, experience, skills, or perspective to execute an effective marketing plan for your music project, where will these missing pieces come from?




What if you told yourself a different story?


A story like “What would you have to do be able to afford the education you so desperately need?”


If the made-up stories aren’t working for you, why not make up some new ones?










If you found this content to be valuable, please SHARE and COMMENT below.






Marketing Loved-feature-meme

The music market has gone through an 180° paradigm shift with regards to how to connect with an audience and break an artist but the music marketing loved-180-degreesindustry hasn’t figured out how to crack this new code, therefore record sales are abysmal.



Consequently, y’all are scared.


I’m not.


Do I have your attention?




Too many of you, including the record labels, are trying to break artists (or yourselves) the old way. The way we used to do it for over 75 years.



This is understandable for you, the indie artist because you’re smart and you’re aware that marketing must happen (at least you’d better be), but you’re going to try and emulate the marketing methods that your favorite artists used to reach you.


It’s all you know, isn’t it?


I mean, I always learned quicker by watching something get done and then replicating the process. So, show me and I’ll execute, I get it.






It’s also understandable that the labels are sticking to their old tactics because they have a rich, successful heritage but it’s extremely difficult for corporations to change their rudimentary methods of anything.





This is the nature of any corporate organization, by the way.





Take Proctor & Gamble for instance. Their first product was Ivory soap. Ivory soap was the first product created to replace homemade soap. This was sometime in the EARLY 1800’s, more than 170 years ago.




Proctor & Gamble is a multi-BILLION-dollar conglomerate with many brands, 19 of them individually gross over $1 Billion dollars annually.


For almost 2 centuries, marketing was easy for P&G. As long as they advertised their products, they would sell. In fact, the more they advertised, the more they sold.Marketing




If you think about it, there were very few ad messages floating around back in the 1800’s and throughout most of the 1900’s. Some print ads, a few billboards, radio stations, and 3 TV channels towards the end of the advertising glory years.




No clutter really.





Nowadays, we all see around 3,500 messages per day! PER DAY!







We’ve grown numb to them. It’s human nature. That means we just don’t see them that much anymore so we don’t pay attention.






That’s bad for the advertiser.







When P&G hires a new marketing person, they expect that person to do exactly what the person before them did. P&G knows how to sell Ivory soap; they’ve been successfully doing it for well over 170 years.






But when a newbie marketer is hired, even though they KNOW the old way isn’t working, they are smart enough to understand that they weren’t employed to dismantle the current distribution channels or question the sales heritage of such an amazing company.





Therefore, the corporation continues with little change to the processes decade after decade.



The illustration of the catch-22 is like a simple math equation.




It used to be that companies like P&G spent (x) number of dollars and got a return of (y) on their sales. Now they spend (x) number of dollars and get a return of (y-1000) or (y-10,000) or whatever. Exponentially LESS of a return on the same advertising investment.




So, what do they do?



They spend more money to create more ads.






Which creates more clutter.




Which makes us shut down even more.


Get it?



The catch-22 is the less it works, the more money they spend and the more money they spend the less it works!



MarketingHere’s another interesting statistic. Somewhere around 67% of all the advertising dollars spend in the USA every year come from the top 100 advertisers. You know them well: Coke, Pepsi, Budweiser, Chevrolet, Ford, McDonald’s, etc.


More than 80 of these companies have been doing business for longer than 30 years. That’s significant because 30 years was before the internet, before smartphones, before computers, and before cable TV.


So, they all find themselves in the same boat as P&G in that their messages are not getting through as well as they used to and they change their strategies very slowly over time.



Why does this matter to you?



Because the record labels are in that same boat too.




That boat is clearly sinking.


This is undeniable.



We’re down to just 3 major labels.


Unit sales are down 90% and the price of a complete record (be it vinyl, CD, or download) has dropped by 62%.


It’s not about the money in the market place.


It’s not because consumers can get it for free, that’s a story too many artists and industry pros are telling themselves to relieve the pain of horrible sales.


That’s a cop out.





If “free” mattered, the poorest people in this country wouldn’t spend 3 times the price of a gallon of gasoline to get something they could obtain for free by taking 20 more steps into the gas station bathroom and turning on the faucet.





Yeah, man, that’s how much y’all pay for cheap bottled water and you can get that for free.



Why do they pay?


Answer: Because they feel it’s worth it.


Why don’t consumers buy records anymore?


Answer: Because they don’t think it’s worth it.


Here’s a marketing FACT: When you’re presented with a purchase opportunity for a product that you are very familiar with, that you like or even love, but you don’t purchase, it’s because you don’t think it’s worth it.




Somehow Taylor Swift managed to sell 8.6 million units of her last record and Adele has sold around 7.5 million, I believe.



Why are their fans buying?


Answer: Because they think it’s worth it.



I promise it’s not because they’re famous. That’s a cop out too. A story we all tell ourselves. Ask George Michael who had sold 50 million records before Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 was released how much being famous accounts for sales with zero marketing.








Answer: Precisely.






If you follow these old-school methods, you should expect the same results in your artistic endeavors. Complete crap.



Especially now when every wannabe artist can put his/her “masterpiece” up on the world’s refrigerator.



Why are so many of you (who even acknowledge that you need marketing) still marketing the same way and expecting different results?





It used to be, for 70+ years, the first interaction a debut artist had with a consumer in the marketplace was the music.





You heard the debut single on the radio. Then you heard it again and again and again. All this while you were waiting for the DJ to spin your jam.


If it was a hit, the song wove its way into the fabric of that time in your life.



Naturally, an artist finished the record first, released the single, and THEN began marketing the act/record. There was not much to do before the single was released and no real way to do it besides touring.



I constantly hear artists tell me, “I just have to get this recording finished and then I’ll worry about marketing, one step at a time, Johnny.”




But now it’s different.


Therefore, if you don’t change and ADAPT to the new market, you’ll continue to endure the same agonizing results.




Consumers no longer need to suffer through the getting-to-know-you-process of a debut single on the radio because they have CHOICES via a smart phones and an aux cable.




We ALL want to hear the same thing when we listen to music; we all want to hear our jam.


“Our jam” = something we know, something we’re already familiar with.




Today the radio spins a debut single from an artist the consumer is unaware of, but they change the channel searching through endless choices to find music they ARE aware of.





Therefore, they won’t listen to new music from debut artists on the radio.


This is part of the reason the sales are down so much.


Here’s the real results of the market change to artists and labels who cannot or will not adapt.





The top 10 grossing tours for 2016 have only 2 artists that are in their 20’s. (One was Justin Bieber who broke on YouTube, HELLO, but I digress.)




5 of the artists, in other words, HALF of the top grossing tours this year are from artists whose ages range from 67-72 years old.



2 of the artists were nearing their 40’s.



By point of comparison, the artists that toured in 1987 for example, were Bon Jovi (Slippery When Wet), Kiss (Crazy Nights), Madonna (True Blue and the Who’s That Girl soundtrack), Def Leppard (Hysteria), Michael Jackson (Bad), Metallica (Master of Puppets), Ozzy (No Rest For The Wicked), Aerosmith (Permanent Vacation), Iron Maiden (Somewhere in Time), and U2 (Joshua Tree).



Kiss, Ozzy, and Aerosmith were in their 30’s at the time. The rest were in their 20’s.



Today, radio works wonderfully if you’ve been making records for 30, 40, or 50 years.





Radio doesn’t work if you’re a brand-new artist to the market because you haven’t recorded “their jam” yet. Regardless of how good it is, they don’t know it and they’ve PROVEN that they’re not going to discover new music on the radio anymore, haven’t they?




Nowadays, the first interaction that a debut artist will have with a market will be the ARTIST.






Aside from a lucky TV show casting, YOU must connect on social media or YouTube and make friends FIRST.





Next, you provide content that is relevant and personal to THEM.


Then, if they like you, they’ll listen with an open heart and an open mind.



So, you market YOU and your talent NOW while you’re developing the project. If you do that right, you’ll have an audience when you release it.



Know that it takes TIME.


If you don’t have an audience before you release your project, shame on you.



Why the hell do so many artists NOT understand the power of YouTube?








I’ll tell you why because it means they must WORK MORE.










There are THRONGS of artists who have BROKEN in a BIG WAY on YouTube meaning they were exposed to tens of millions even hundreds of millions of people.




There are millions of music fans who are now aware of these artist’s talents.




These artists now tour relentlessly selling hard tickets to fans who pay to see THE ARTIST.


…and the artists make a living.




What more do you want, man?


These artists are deemed to be “lucky” by the have-nots because y’all are afraid to work and you tell yourself stories as to why they’ve “made it” in one form or another, but it’s not you.


Not yet anyway.




There is an overwhelming amount of noise and clutter that currently exists online in the music industry but practically NONE of the artists know how to market in the new music business.






That’s why I’m not scared. There is very little traffic and very little clutter for those who understand new marketing.


Everything you need is out there, baby, you just need to recognize it, learn it, execute it, and start your upward journey.


Go make some mistakes on the right path, you’ll be ok, I promise.



You don’t need anyone’s permission.marketing


Therefore, the only one standing in your way is you.











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



Learn more on my top ten podcast The C.L.I.M.B.marketing













Too many of you seem to naively rely on your musical gift as if that is the end-all-be-all to success.





In fact, many of you seem to be utterly dumbfounded at that lack of attention you receive from the industry solely because of your musical gift (even if you’re delusional about that gift but I digress). You have a nasty habit and it has to go.





Your brilliant talent is worthless unless you understand how to stand out from the crowd in the marketplace, amongst industry professionals, and amongst your peers.



Follow me on this, as always, I have a point.


I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts called The Business of Story with host Park Howell.  In this episode he interviewed habit-business-of-story-logo9-time New York Times Bestselling author and former Associate Editor of Sports Illustrated Magazine, Don Yaeger.  Wow!




Don has written over 25 books and interviewed over 2,500 major sports stars in his career.




There was one question he asked during every interview he ever conducted and Don kept a record of each answer given over that lifetime of interviews.


“If you could name for me a habit or characteristic that you believe separated you from everyone else that you competed against, what would that habit or characteristic be?”




Most artists would answer this question by describing their most compelling gifts or talents. “My voice, my songwriting, my performances, my guitar playing, blah, blah, blah.”






What’s interesting is the most common answer that was given by each of these superstar winners.




Most of these sports heroes DIDN’T talk of their physical gifts at all. Instead, they articulated that they all had a fear of losing that surpassed their joy of winning.





They all at some point in their lives, learned to HATE losing far more than they loved winning.


They expect to win because winning is a direct result of the hard work they consistently put in every day.





Winning is a byproduct of showing up.



They hate losing.





They hate losing because it’s super painful


It’s this painful to them because it’s personal.




It’s personal because they accept 100% of the blame.


They feel responsible for 100% of the outcome of any given situation.




Here’s the nasty habit I mentioned earlier.


If you make excuses, it’s not 100% your fault, is it?


Some of you, and you know who you are, have a nasty habit of constantly shifting the blame away from yourself to ease the pain of losing.


It’s sucks to lose, but if it’s not your fault, it’s not your fault so better luck next time, right?



Maybe the Gods will make it different for me tomorrow.


Your habit is to believe that your life is a consequence of your surroundings rather than a result of the sum of your decisions.






This fact was not surprising to me at all but still SUPER INTERESTING.



You have to stop making excuses when you fail. Period


As long as you make excuses you’ll NEVER own it and failure only hurts when you have no one else to blame.


You’re supposed to be an ARTIST for God’s sake, FEEL THE PAIN!!



It’s good for you.


Don had the opportunity to attend an “old man’s sports camp” with Michael Jordan as one of the mentors.


There was a situation where he was one of a few guys chosen to play one-on-one against Jordan.


Don is quite prideful of the fact that he actually SCORED on Michael Jordan! (who wouldn’t be?)


Michael was pissed.


He hates losing.


This is a mindset people.


Again, I am not trying to beat a dead horse here, but I received so many comments from a previous article where I revealed the secret to getting PAID was your mental mindset.



Many of you dismissed this as mumbo jumbo, probably because you hear it so much it’s almost like words come across sounding like Charlie Brown’s teacher. “Wah, wah, wah, wah, wah, wah, wah,”


Michael Jordan was one of the superstars Don interviewed.


Michael never spoke of his 42” vertical leap; which is astounding.


That’s talent.


In fact, a 42” vertical leap is a God-given talent.


You can’t learn to jump 42 inches. You have it or you don’t.


Why wouldn’t the great Michael Jordan who was 6’6” talk about this amazing gift as the reason he was able to not only succeed, but DOMINATE an entire league of seemingly God-like 6’9” tall ability?






It was the fact that he learned to hate losing so much.


Some people are born with this type of drive.



Some learn it because they grew up dirt poor and never want to return to that state of living again.


Some learn it other ways.


Don’t you find it compelling that out of over 2,500 athletic superstars interviewed, the vast MAJORITY of them described this attribute as the highest contributing factor to their success over their obvious talent?


Doesn’t that ring a bell somewhere in your being?


I see it every single day in our music business.


The big winners have a very wide range of musical ability. Some are very talented, some are not.


ALL the winners hate to lose.



This is a mindset.


This can be learned.



The habit can be dropped like a 3-foot putt.



Your success isn’t dependent on whether you have enough talent to win American Idol or The Voice.


And as you can plainly see, it doesn’t matter if you win American Idol or The Voice with your talent, your career success will be determined by what happens after that.


Lose the habit, gain success. Period


Surround yourself with the right people: this includes your significant other.



If he or she is not adding to your success they’re detracting from it and you’re wasting time.


This means your band. If everyone isn’t on board get rid of them.


This is “show-BUSINESS”, not “show-friends”.


This may sound harsh to you because y’all are friends but here is a little reality check. Imagine bringing your friend into your day job. You vouch for this friend to your boss, the boss agrees, and your friend comes in and doesn’t hold up his or her end of the deal.

How would you feel?


Would you be surprised if your friend got fired?

Would you be the one to fire that friend?


I remember an early gig my band played when we were in high school. We had about 5 minutes before the show was supposed to start and nobody could locate the new drummer.


We all went out into the parking lot and found him.


In his crappy-ass, rusted out, shit-box of a pickup truck.


He was surrounded by a literal SEA of empty beer cans.


I wanted to kill him right then and there!

If I had a lobster fork, I’d a stabbed him in the eye with it.


We did the show, he sucked, and then he was gone. No questions asked. (Who can’t handle the pressure of high school show for crying out loud?) sheesh.


The great UCLA coach John Wooden was quoted as saying, “You’ll NEVER outperform your inner circle.”


Think about that.habit-inner-circle


Then REALLY think about that while you assess your inner circle.


I came from a small town. There are plenty of friends who are still in that small town sitting on the same barstool making the same excuses as to why they can’t succeed.


Many of them are unhappy and it’s not their fault.


Just ask them, they’ll tell you.


There is a diagnosable mental dynamic that happens when your homies bring you down.




I saw a video with Snoop Dogg the other day articulately describing what he called “the gap”.




He held one hand up in a flat horizontal fashion about 2 inches above the other one. Snoop said that in order to be friends and hang the gap has to be small like the 2 inches he was showing. Trouble is when someone starts to rise up, the gap begins to widen. Then there is only one way for the relationship to continue as it has been.


Somehow the gap has to close.


There are only 2 ways for the gap to close. Either the bottom hand has to step up or the top hand has to come down.


Get it?



Are you in the habit of coming down to make your friends more comfortable around you?


Be honest.


Don’t be ashamed of your gifts and certainly don’t you dare believe that your gifts alone are all you need to break out and be successful.


That’s a naïve story most artists love to tell themselves.


You have to be a student of the game.


You have to hate losing.



You have to be mindful of your inner circle.



You have to hate losing so much that you learn everything else like the business, marketing, performance, writing, recording, etc. to stack the deck as much as you can in your favor to give you the best chance of NOT LOSING.




Do that, and you’ll wake up one day making a living doing what you were born to do surrounded by an amazing inner circle.










If you found value in this article please SHARE it and COMMENT below.






Your bridge to reaching new fans and getting them to love you and give your music a chance is amazing content.Content Bridge Opener


Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m sure you’ve heard that one before.


Just like I hear all the record biz people talking about how social media is so important in today’s marketplace.



Trouble is very few, and I do mean a VERY few people, really know what that means.


The ones who know are easy to spot. Simply because you CAN spot them means they’re on to something.


Huh? Think about that statement for a second.


Makes sense, right? If I become aware of you it requires more than some kind of interruption to my attention or clever introduction (I’m speaking of “me” as any consumer or industry person).


That is to say that even after a clever introduction, PR move, or epic interruption to my attention, something else has to happen for an artist to stay in my awareness.content-interruption




Otherwise it’s here and gone.




The difference between those that “do social media” and those artists and companies that know what they’re doing is the work that they’ve done.


The more work they’ve done (therefore the more work you do) the more they discover what works.









Cracking the code requires kissing a bunch of proverbial frogs to find a prince of a strategy and it’s different for everybody because everybody is different.


You actually have to start posting content on a regular basis (duh, consistency IS KEY), and then watch what works, what doesn’t work, and what works the best.



The content has to be relevant to the consumer/future-fan, not to you.


The content has to be personal to the consumer/future-fan, not to you.



Hint:  It’s about THEM not YOU.



If you can manage to create content that is relevant and personal to both you and them, God bless, you’re really on to something.content-about-them-meme


If you provide content that is personal and relevant to THEM, they’ll look forward to consuming it and they’ll share it to be cool in their respective communities.




This requires more than just reposting thoughtful quotes.content-quotes-meme



What can you do, aside from your music, that will provide value to them? If it’s valuable to them, it’ll be valuable to their community so they’ll share it because your valuable content makes their content more valuable.






That’s a lot of “valuables” but you get the picture, right?


Think about the foodie videos. I’ll bet everyone of you has at least watched one and shared one.




It could be informational, educational, motivational, comedic, etc. If they like it, you’ll know.


You have to create content expecting nothing in return. I don’t expect anybody to read these articles, listen to the podcast, and do business with me. The only thing I expect and hope for is that my information helps you improve your approach and find success reaching an audience with your music.


But some of you do choose to work with us in some capacity and we are eternally grateful.


Get it?


When you strike that chord, when you really touch that button, you’ll know it.



There will be an immediate positive measurable reaction.


If you are asking the right questions it may not happen right away, but eventually your subconscious will reward you with a big win.


For instance, a few weeks ago, I had a client come up from Dallas to do a photo shoot, do some songwriting, producer meetings, and label services meetings.





I’ve known that this artist (who is 17 years old) is a huge fan of anime. We’ve messed around with some content that has anime in it whether it’s been images or GIF’s of any combination of these things that we’ve synched to a recording of hers.




Of course, Pokemon is anime.



You’ve all heard of the marketing sensation PokemonGo by now.



In between the meetings, she was playing PokemonGo.


I don’t know why it didn’t click sooner but the important thing is that it clicked.





In an attempt to create images that really express my artist’s personality, my image consultant (Neill Skylar), the artist’s mother, and I were all about the Pokemon obsession.





Alora (the artist) is a Pokemon “Master” and has these pins to prove it. (I am ignorant about all this Pokemon stuff but intrigued because it’s so huge).


One of the costume changes had her showing off her “Pokemon Master” pins.



She’s a rock artist (think Paramore and Icon For Hire) so I informed Alicia, our make-up artist, that we would build on the look throughout the shoot and the last costume change I wanted some wild over-the-top make-up. I had discussed with Alora a sort of David-Bowie-like-Ziggy-Stardust craziness to the look. Alora’s last outfit was a custom anime, super cute mini skirt with a leather looking rubber bustier that was badass!


We got to the last portion of the shoot and Alicia started showing me pictures in an attempt to drill down on exactly what I wanted. I knew I wanted it over the top but I still didn’t know EXACTLY what I wanted.



One of the makeup pics that caught my eye was of a beautiful set of cartoon lips; only they were real. Alicia was honing in on something that at that very moment was still lost on me…a look that would exemplify Alora’s Pokemon fascination.



I said, “YES, let’s do the cartoon lips and what else can we do that would be wild on her face?”


She did it and we shot it. (here’s what we came up with.)


Alora: Photography by Erick Anderson Nashville, TN. Makeup by Alicia Maynard, Nashville, TN



Here’s my point. After that shoot, I got Alora and her artistry on a whole other level. As stupid as I sound right now (and believe me I feel SO STUPID) I decided to check into this Pokemon craze as a possible “relevant pond” to fish from.





Yeah, man. I’m always asking myself questions like who would like her music? Who would like Alora? Who would feel a kinship or connection with my artist enough to want to listen to her music?



Maybe there are kids obsessed with this Pokemon thing that would #1, identify with her, #2, respect her for her “Master” rank (is rank the right terminology?), and #3, be more likely to engage with her because of this common ground.



So I immediately overhauled our targeting strategy to search and connect with accounts (on Instagram and Twitter) that were as obsessed with Pokemon and PokemonGo as Alora was.


THEN the moment happened. Lori (Alora’s mom) replaced Alora’s bio pic with the image we shot of Alora showing off her “Pokemon Master” pins.





Her engagement at least doubled overnight.




See what I’m saying?


Most of you are thinking this way already in a big picture kind of way when you’re yearning for TV exposure, coveted opening tour slots, radio spins, etc.


You want marketing but these big ticket items are not in your budget and frankly, with regards to radio, not nearly as effective as they used to be.


Here’s the trick.



Apply this yearning, this drive, these dreams, this plan of attack to your social media imaging.




You need good images.



Pay for them. Find a way. You’ll need them to set the professional bar in your market. If you get a half day shoot you’ll use those images for a year. That’s a lot of mileage in those images.



Plus, the pro images will make your iPhone images and BTS images more important and believe it or not will make them look like BTS images rather than the best there is of you.


I’ll say it again; you need pro images.


Not images from your step sister’s cousin’s pizza delivery guy’s roommate that has a real awesome camera.


content-alora-5Ef that.


You need someone with an eye.


You need hair and makeup.


You need a look.


You need someone with a studio that can change a bunch of looks.




Once you have these images, couple that work with all the searching you’ve been doing for clever, helpful, SHARABLE content and you’ll definitely see improvement on your social media engagement.


It takes work people.



If you do the work, you WILL eventually connect.








If you liked this article, please SHARE it and COMMENT below.




Why are we so afraid of a challenge? Why do we lose sleep over the thought of pending adversity?Adversity Trouble Ahead


If you’re familiar with me it’s easy to see my attraction and fascination with Gary Vaynerchuk. We think similarly and have similar tone (at least that’s what I choose to believe). Gary has a regular YouTube show called “#AskGaryVeeShow” where he shares his insights by responding to real questions from real people. In this particular episode, Gary interviews the amazing “people builder” Eric Thomas. Both Gary and Eric are the epitome of what can happen to a person after they learn to embrace adversity.


I want you to win, whatever that means for you.


Adversity Gary Vee and Eric Thomas RESIZED


Here are my takeaways from this incredibly insightful exchange.



Adversity 95%


This is what’s lost on most people. I’ll put it another way, most people talk shit.


There it is, plain and simple.



95% of you talk shit and you won’t ever do anything about it for a host of really good reasons/excuses.


It doesn’t matter how much talent you have, it doesn’t matter how good you are or how well intentioned your cause is, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING is going to happen until you execute.


Adversity Grind


Everybody has to wake up and grind to make it happen.




Later in the episode, Gary speaks about a controversial sign that he has hanging in office somewhere that reads, “Ideas Are Shit”.  The full statement should actually read, “Ideas Are Shit Until You Execute Them” but he purposefully omits the end part because he wants to get people thinking. He wants to piss them off.


I like that.

Adversity Ideas Are Shit


Every single one us was NOT born with all the mental tools, education, strategies, and methodologies we need to achieve our dreams. We have to become seekers and find the answers.




All too often we pride ourselves on “making it alone” and forsake real education that would speed our process up.


How do you grind?


Answer: You have to learn.


Adversity Frowny Face

Most of you won’t begin to learn. You’ll continue to talk shit and do what you’ve always done only to grow more and more frustrated having to endure the same results until the dream eventually dies within you.


That’s the definition of crazy.



Most of you, for whatever reason, thrive on the drama of it all rather than grinding or cracking the code to learn how to work more effectively, intelligently, and efficiently.


There’s places to learn. Go find them and pay for your education. It’ll change your life. So what if you get burned once or twice by paying a little money for knowledge that you feel wasn’t worth it in the end. You’ll learn to distinguish the good from the bad quickly. Don’t let the fear of losing a couple hundred bucks be the reason you learn nothing and stay stagnant.


That would be silly.

Adversity Hair

What price can you put on information that will inspire you to create momentum in your career? Sheesh.




False bravado, hype, and an overblown, misleading image of success doesn’t make you successful. In fact, it’s a turn off on social media.

Adversity Rapper


This behavior is prevalent with all human beings in all walks of life including artists. I see it in country music artists, rock artists, and especially rap artists.


Why do we do this?


Answer: Because we want people to love us.




We want them to believe we’re bigger than we are because we feel that will trigger a mechanism in their brain that will make them like us.


This approach is naïve though. Gary gives some great advice and I’ll share it with you because it’s EXACTLY what we preach here at Daredevil Production.


If you want to seriously build a rabid fan base you have to grind and get one person to like you every day.


How do you do that?

Adversity LIKE


Answer: You like them first.



Go to Twitter.com/search and find the community that is inclined to love your music. For instance, if you’re a rapper and you think your style is similar to Future’s style, go find that community. In other words, you believe that Future’s fans will love your style too. Search for #Future and get in on the conversations and tweet exchanges.


Adveristy Twitter Search RESIZED

“Yes, I love that track!”


“Man, that hook is crazy, I love it too.”


You’ll start making friends.


I dare you to commit to doing this for 30 minutes a day for 7 days. Free advice that will create results but only if you execute.


C’mon, what do you have to lose?


We all want our respective communities to love us.

Adversity Love The Community First

If you want the community to love you, love the community first.


You’d be amazed at how deep you can make a relationship with just a 3-4 tweets. Find out about them and they’ll worship you for it.


That means asking questions.


One per day.


If you GRIND this strategy longer than a week, say one year later, you’ll look back and see some serious momentum. They’ll be DIFFERENT results. You’ll be happy, I promise.


This leads us swimmingly into the next takeaway.




Adversity Patience Truth Puzzle


This takes time, y’all.



Once you dig in and begin recording, and marketing your actual truth, you’re not going to see results in a week or two.


Not in 6 months.


Not in 1 year.


This reality will test your EQ.

Adversity Patience Truth Puzzle





Yes, I.Q. is intelligence quotient.  E.Q. is emotional quotient.


E.Q. is essential to every success; I.Q. is not.


If the opposite was true, we wouldn’t have any famous crappy, untalented artists.


Ask Gary Vee Book

I loved this comment from Gary and I think about this all the time when I think about y’all.


I think about the people who quit and wonder if they gave up right before they were about to happen.



Gary asks, “What if when you die, you meet God and he says that he wants to show you something? Then he shows you that you quit on March 19th, 2016 and you were about to happen on April 7th.” [paraphrasing]




Adversity is how we make ourselves great.




Adversity comes in many forms like racism, prejudice, sibling rivalry, bullying, personal tragedy, etc.



Gary’s family fled Eastern Europe because they were Jewish and the Jews were constantly persecuted. Both his grandfathers were jailed because they were Jewish.


Gary had zero relationship with his father.


Eric Thomas is a black man from the Detroit ghetto. He came from NOTHING. He started his now lucrative business on “zero cents” as he mentions at the beginning of the interview.


Eric had zero relationship with his father until he was 30 years old, (if my memory serves me correctly).


This is real adversity and you have your own to deal with don’t you?


Adversity Stick Up

We all do!


Don’t dread it. Embrace it.




Expect the adversity and eat it for breakfast because it never stops.


Here’s what adversity does to motivate a person:


  • Creates confidence. You prove to yourself that you’re stronger than you think and you can handle anything.
  • Removes the fear of adversity. This sounds obvious and maybe silly but until you’ve kicked a little bootie you’re never really sure you can.


It’s no secret that all successful artists and people have overcome a truckload of adversity.


The ones who use it as an excuse are the “95 percenters” who live in drama and don’t make a living doing something they love to do.


They suffer.Adversity Fear


Listen, just by committing to WORK and GRIND you put yourself in a very small club of 5% of all the players. Those are much better odds; don’t you think?




Thoughts are things. For real.


One day two dudes sat on the bank of the Hudson River in New York City and thought, “Let’s build a bridge from Manhattan island to Brooklyn.” They thought it up, THEY EXECUTED THE PLAN, and it was the longest bridge ever built at the time. First bridge ever that was so long they had to mathematically account for the curvature of the Earth to get the ends to meet the ground.

Adversity Brooklyn Bridge

You have to mentally commit to something first before it can happen in reality.



Gary just started a sports agency to represent top tier athletes going into pro sports. I thought it was interesting that he asks every prospective client the same question. “When was the moment you realized you could be a pro?”


They would answer with responses articulating one specific game, one play, or a close friend who went pro and they used to school that friend in practices so they thought, “If he can do I can definitely do it.


The takeaway for me came when Gary shared the behavior change that accompanies the epiphany.


Gary says [again, paraphrasing], “The moment they mentally believe they can be pro, their behavior changes. They work out more, they eat better, they go from 6 girlfriends down to one, they become much more focused.”

Adversity Believe In Yourself


I see the same thing happen with artists.


I want to see this happen with you.


Adversity is your friend so stop bitching about it. These 2 dudes came from nothing. These 2 dudes have overcome prejudice, racism, inadequate familial relationships, zero money, crappy support systems, and the ghetto to make a living doing something that turns them on.


You can too.


It’s just a state of mind, man.










If you found this content helpful, please SHARE it and COMMENT below.











Obnoxious Marketing Feature

Many artists cramp up at that the thought of marketing. It’s understandable because the experiences that stick in their psyche the most are of obnoxious marketing.Obnoxious Marketing Anime


In fact, I want you to consider something.


Most of the marketing messages or experiences that stick in your mind are the bad ones.


The good ones we probably don’t remember. We are so happy with our product or service which is what becomes our experience.


When the marketing is good you focus on the product, service, or experience.


When the marketing is bad we focus only on the marketing because we probably don’t give the product, service, or experience a chance, do we?


Here’s another example: They say a good food server should be invisible. If the experience is good, we leave the restaurant with our good company and good feelings.  these good feelings typically fade away because the experience, while great or amazing, was not as emotionally charged as a horrible experience.


Obnoxious Marketing Horrible

We never forget horrible experiences.






I thought I’d share a real email (and my response) from a real person in the Daredevil Production community today.


I’m sharing this because I believe that Martin’s concerns are indicative of many artists. We are all annoyed by obnoxious marketing and therefore do not aspire to promote our music in any way. Please understand that Martin is coming from a very honest place. Martin also lives in the Czech Republic (I learned a bit about how some Americans are viewed overseas in this as well) which is obviously a different society.


Read his viewpoint carefully and don’t pass judgement, he’s laying it all out here.


For the record, I believe Martin seeks the truth and is diligently assessing the data and figuring out his position on all this obnoxious marketing mumbo jumbo.


Have a read and then I’ll wrap it up after my answer.


Hello Johnny,

You have actually already helped my marketing strategy. I have read the 20 common mistakes article, and while, fortunately, I have been intuitively doing most of the things correctly, there were one or two points where it made me reconsider something, like Vlogging on YouTube. Also, the value bomb idea is nice, I have not specifically figured out to do that one yet.

I know chances are that you don’t really caObnoxious Marketing Cardsre and this is just marketing talk, but hey, might as well honestly vocalize what I’m thinking. Generally, I know my biggest “problems”, but cannot (or won’t) really do anything about them because they are mainly issues of my circumstances, identity, or ethics.

I don’t see people with credit cards for heads, for starters, and as I am not an American, I don’t consider success to be a moral good and a failure as a moral evil, or a sign that I need to change what I’m doing, not necessarily at least. I’d just like to not get killed by the society for being broke, but if I suck, I deserve to fail, and I’m not going to start sucking in order to succeed. If anything, I see all this (extremely American) marketing stuff as a necessary evil, and I won’t cross certain lines of dishonesty, manipulation, or annoyance. I’m kinda big on artistic, and personal, integrity.


Obnoxious Marketing Poet

Secondly, I am mainly a poet/classical composer. There is very little inherent marketability to either of those, meaning that to even have a chance of reaching an audience, I have to aim for compromise. Things like rap lyrics instead of poetry, comedy instead of seriousness, composing “commercially viable” soundtrack scores instead of actual original musical pieces, etc. I’m trying to find the minimum extent of that which is indeed marketable, whatever that means. I also blog (while actually wanting to have time to continue writing books/develop games instead, while having multiple jobs, but also debts, so literally no money to spare), trying to find a workable intersection between writing and music, and an in-between audience.


The point is, I do welcome and accept help, but I’m not really a prospective customer (not at the moment at least), and certain things I may understand, and refuse to apply precisely because of that.






Here is my response to Martin.


Hey Martin,


You’re right in that this is marketing but I do care and I try to respond to every email personally. That said, this is one of the more interesting emails I’ll probably ever receive.Obnoxious Marketing Typing email


I’m glad I have helped you in some way with your career. I think if you’re “thinking” about YouTube strategies, your subconscious will reward you because you’re asking the right questions.


I would like to clarify a few things so you can better understand where I’m coming from. First off the credit card heads was tongue-in-cheek, in order for anybody to become a buyer in today’s market a relationship has to exist. A subtler way to put that statement would have been to refer to them as “potential fans” but my tone is my tone so there you have it.  😉  


Obnoxious Marketing RIch Flag MEME

Secondly, while us Americans have certainly earned our reputation as money-grubbing, work obsessed, heartless douchebags that only focus on financial success, we’re not ALL like that. I want you to know that MY definition of success has nothing to do with amazing financial success. Rather, my definition of success has to with being able to make a living doing what you love to do (as opposed to living Picasso’s “dichotomy” of suffering through a job you hate to spend the weekends doing something you love).


That said, “making a living” DOES require commerce which requires marketing. 


My goal is to help every artist I can, figure out a way to make a living or at least get them thinking about it intelligently so they’re moving closer to that reality. 

  Obnoxious Marketing Evil Commerce

I would also like to point out that marketing, while necessary, doesn’t have to be or feel “evil”. I’m kinda big on artistic and personal integrity too. In today’s market I think artists as a whole are moving closer to integrity and farther from having to compromise to be heard or have a chance to be heard (does that make sense?). 


Marketing doesn’t have to be dishonest or annoying whatsoever. In fact, while that was certainly prevalent in mass media marketing over the past 6 decades it absolutely doesn’t work in Permission Marketing. If for no other reason than presenting annoying or dishonest messages will never allow the “Permission” necessary to connect, deepen the relationship, and ultimately monetize.  

Obnoxious Marketing Permission 

As for your thoughts on manipulative…that’s exactly what marketing is so let us not mince words.

My question to all artists when this subject comes up is, why do you think of manipulation as evil or bad?  


For instance, if you are out with your friends going to see a movie and the group is split on which movie to see…everyone starts marketing. They all start attempting to manipulate or influence the decisions of the group into purchasing the movie that they want to see. This is not evil manipulation or influence, is it? If I were to “manipulate” your thoughts to point you in a direction or gain your attention enough to teach you something that would change your life forever that would be great and welcomed right? Albeit, still manipulative. 


We see manipulative as evil or bad because all too often these powers are used for evil or bad reasons. Please don’t confuse them. When you see influence and/or marketing as something that can be good, positive, productive, for-the-greater-good, clever, and even beautiful at times, you won’t feel like such a slimy salesman AND you will be motivated to improve your messages to reflect such a position.Obnoxious Marketing Commerce


I would also like to address your thoughts and perspective, if I may, about the small universe of the poet’s and classical composer’s audience.

I often tell my artists (again tongue-in-cheek) “If your music only resonates with pale, young, Asian boys, with acne, and only 1 leg, who have been sexually abused, I can find that audience for you. It will be small, but you can find them. Those people are out there, they are easy to find, and that group is [probably] bigger than you think.”  


I truly the believe that the term “commercially viable” has changed and we are already seeing the effects. What Obnoxious Marketing Velvet Rope MEMEcommercially viable used to mean was appealing to the senses of a small group of people who decide what the public will hear. In other words, if your music will get a chance or not. Now I believe that “commercially viable” will mean what the consumers like as opposed to what some person thinks the consumers will like. There are many artists whose music was deemed “NOT commercially viable” who found an audience online and now make a living doing their thing. Some of those artists had the very same bigwigs who deemed them “NOT commercially viable” eating crow as they flip flopped on their initial observations and offered these artists a deal. 


Long story short, you can reach the market and the market will decide if you suck. We no longer need anyone’s permission to get our shot. I feel like that’s a good thing.


Hey, reading back on this exchange, I’m thinking this might make an interesting blog article. Would you have any reservations about me printing your email and my responses? I really feel your mindset is shared by many in my community, Martin.


I’ll leave it solely up to you. No worries either way.


Thanks for reaching out man. You got me thinking on this one.


Good luck.


-Johnny D.


I thought this exchange might provide some valuable insight into the realities and the concerns that artists have about marketing.


Y’all have to think about it now whereas before you didn’t. The tradeoff is you’d sign away 98% of your future for the Obnoxious Marketing Contract MEMEluxury of having someone else do your marketing for you. Now you have the unwanted task of having to learn it yourself but at least you keep all the revenue making it possible to actually make a living without having to sell 1 million copies.


And you can create the momentum needed to build a team all by yourself.


Martin’s concerns are well-founded here.


Just like you, the sales messages and salesmen that he recognizes the most (or at least stick in his memory the most) remain in his awareness because they were obnoxious.


They made him feel bad.


They made him uncomfortable.


Sales and marketing does not have to be obnoxious.


Obnoxious Marketing Statue


Sales and marketing does not have to make you feel dirty, manipulative, slimy, unethical, or gross; that is if it is done correctly.




What sales and marketing means in Permission Marketing is that YOU, the artist, are providing some kind of content that is relevant, personal, and valuable to the community.


Once you’ve accomplished that, you will have permission from the community to continue marketing because your messages and content become anticipated.Obnoxious Marketing happy


If I am late on a blog article or late posting a podcast episode due to technical glitches, it is not uncommon for me to receive a handful of emails asking where they are.


That’s Permission.


A telemarketer or email spammer has your contact but not your permission. This is obnoxious.


In order to maintain permission, you can’t be obnoxious.


Get it?

Obnoxious Marketing Future




It’s a different way of thinking about connecting with fans, y’all.


It’s an effective way to think about connecting with fans.


It’s really the only way, moving forward, for anyone (including major labels) to think about connecting with fans enough to sell records.












If you found this content valuable, please SHARE it and LEAVE A COMMENT below.












Content Tools Pic Monkey feature meme

Content,Content Tools typorama content, content. That’s what it’s all about people. If you’re an artist you are also a small business. I know that concept sickens some of you and is thrilling for others but it is true.


Corporations are learning quickly how to cut through the clutter by “humanizing” their brand via killer, intentional content. If they’re a tire company they’re posting more than “buy our tires”. Yes they may have calls to action from time to time but they’re focusing on different ways to get their widget in front of you in a manner that’s clever, witty, shocking, funny, etc., because that is what ultimately becomes sharable.


Here’s the deal: you need to think the same way.


Indie artists have similar problems don’t you?  You are desperately trying to get your music heard in a veritable ocean of noise.


How do you stick out?

Answer:  Killer content.


The best, most unique content is going to orbit around you and/or the members of your band. What I mean by that is the content has to focus not only on your music or art, but also on your other interests. This is where you “humanize” your brand which should be far easier for an artist because they actually are human as opposed to those faceless corporations.


In this article I wanted to share with you the tools that I have used to create some killer content very quickly. These tools include, image creators, image editors, typography apps, GIF creators, video editors, screen capture software, and images sources.


Content Tools Plan Change

Most of these are free and most are available on both Windows and IOS based devices. I have tried to the best of my ability to inform you when the app is platform specific and when it costs money. Forgive me if I’ve missed a couple, while I’ve used most of them at one point or another, I have my favorites and those are the ones I will speak most intelligently about. I wanted to offer up choices for you to play with.


By the way, if you’re just getting into this, let me save you the suspense, your first images will take the most time and be the worst images ever! Don’t let your first experience dictate whether you’ll create content. All these apps are extremely user friendly so once you get your head around them you’ll be FAST. I PROMISE!

It will be foreign in the beginning so promise yourself that you’ll push through the crappy first couple pictures, ok?

Here are 29 killer content creation tools.

Image Creation

  1. PicMonkey – Picmonkey ($30/year also a limited free version) is the tool I use the most. It allows youContent Tools Pic Monkey create collages, resize, add typography (tons of killer fonts) (3D image options), frame the image, superimpose logos, superimpose other images, tons of filters, touch up facial images, rotate, and crop. Play with all the different filters after you have added your text; it’s amazing how a certain filter can make your text “pop”. PicMonkey also allows you to save as different kinds of image files i.e. png, jpg, gif, etc..
  2. Canva – ($10/month) Just like PicMonkey with all the features but I like some of their design items better as they have cleaner shapes and design features. I’ve been contemplating a change recently but it’s obviously more expensive.Content Tools Canva Logo (2)
  3. Designfeed – (Free) is a tool I haven’t used but I wanted to throw it in for choice.





Video Editors

  1. Wondershare Filmora – ThisContent Tools Filmora Logo is a free software download that is super simple, super easy, and super cool. It easily allows you to upload a video and create a little movie either via a sequence of images or sequence of videos. It offers some a basic crossfade feature as well. What I really like about Filmora is that is quickly allows you to strip the audio from the original video file and either delete it or mute the volume to make room for an audio file you choose to replace it with. What if you found a compelling, super sharable 15 second video snippet and you replaced the audio with the chorus hook from your very best song? Hmmm that could be interesting exposure. Learning curve on this tool is ridiculously fast.Content Tools Final Cut Pro
  2. Final Cut Pro – ($300) this program is expensive but far more sophisticated to the point you can make actual music videos with it. I try to keep the content creation as clever and unsophisticated as possible because there is so much to create. This is called sustainability. You want sustainability.
  3. Windows Movie Maker, iMovie – Both of these are free in your PC or Mac. They are basic but can be really effective for repurposing content from a lengthier video down to sharable, 15 second snippets for Instagram and Twitter.


GIF Creation

  1. Giphy.com – This is pretty neat site that is free. It allows you to upload any video and create a GIF. How Content Tools Giphyinteresting would it be to post GIFs that were created from live shows, studio time, crazy antics backstage, road breakdowns, etc? GIF’s grab more attention.
  2. GIFMaker.me – This site allows you to reduce size, resize, reverse, merge and split GIFs. You can crop, rotate, and compress animated GIFs as well.



Screen Capture –Content Tools Jing

  1. Jing – Jing is a killer free software tool for screen capture that has a few handy editing tools like the ability to highlight, add arrows, add boxes, and change image size.
  2. Snagit (Mac & Windows) ($49.95) – Snagit is the older brother of Jing more features like creating videos of your screen (say for online tutorials) and clearly a cost.
  3. Skitch (IOS only) ­- I haven’t used this, provided for choices.
  4. Print Screen – Windows + PrntScrn on a PC and in Mac Command + Shift + 4 will allow you to screen Content Tools Snagit Logocapture. Both of these are free, of course, but they don’t allow editing.






  1. Picmonkey ($30/year) – Again, PicMonkey allowsContent Tools Over logo you to add text to any image and play with fonts, colors, overlays, etc. Great tool and I’m quite happy with the price.
  2. Over – I didn’t add this in the Image creation section only because Over is an app for your mobile device. It also allows image creation and over-lays.
  3. Phonto – this app is super user friendly, man. There are a ton of fonts and it allows you to upload to Instagram directly from the app which is cool.
  4. Typorama – Ok, this is a KILLER app! Not only does it have different fonts but it offers many different creatively laid out fonts for super-fast content creation that. Each fContent Tools Phonto Logoont and stylistic layout will automatically change with one tap of your finger. FYI, some of the fonts require a purchase to unlock them but there is an awesome selection of free styles but they do come with a watermark. Definitely worth checking out. YES, you can share right from the app.
  5. Wordswag ($3.99) – I haven’t tried Wordswag. Provided to give you options.
  6. Studio – Cool little app that is mainly all about adding text. Check it out, you’ll master it in 30 seconds.
  7. Brandr – Brandr has all the typography elements but it also has a library of 1000’s of quotes already to share so that can save you some time as well.Content Tools Typorama logo





FREE Image Sources ***NOTE*** make sure you are aware of the license. On Google Images, Flickr, and sometimes Wikimedia Commons there are licenses that require you to attribute the photographer. On Google Images there are images that are owned by huge companies like Getty Images and these companies will sue you if you haven’t paid for the image license.Content Tools Search cc Logo

  1. creativecommons.org – This is probably my most used source for images. I go to Pixabay first, then to Wikimedia commons second, then to Flickr third.
  2. Pixabay – This is my favorite image site for the last few years. It is totally free and accessible via search.creativecommons.org.Content Tools Pixabay Logo
  3. Wikimedia Commons – Almost all the images here are free and you can use them however you want. You won’t typically find people on Pixabay so I go to Wikimedia Commons for that. Lots of vintage photos too, so that could be pretty cool branding DNA.
  4. Flickr – Flickr is an awesome site but be prepared to have to shout out the photographer. Usually their pretty good with that but you need to be aware.
  5. Unsplash – I JUST became aware of this site (by listening to an educational podcast…but I digress) and it is quite impressive. Have fun with these amazing hi res images. Instagram is ALL about images so they have to be compelling.Content Tools Wikipedia Commons Logo
  6. Google Images – I will use Google images a lot but usually for public domain type stuff like a meme, logo, record cover art work image, etc. BE CAREFUL with any other images.



Image EditorsContent Tools Afterlight Logo

  1. Afterlight – is a cool app with a suite of old timey filters and overlays that can definitely be used as a DNA “fingerprint” of sorts. A good way to separate yourself from all the other images out there with some filter “hook” that you dig.
  2. Hipstamatic – (IOS only) Apple’s first App of the Year. This app was a killer gift so I’m unsure of the cost but there is a cost. It’ll allow you to do multiple exposure shots for cool creative results. Also, you can manually control focus, white balance, exposure, shutter speed, ISO, and aspect ratio. It has a Classic Mode that makes your digital image look analog. Super COOL for creating your own visual voice with your content.Content Tools Hipstamatic Logo
  3. Framatic – (Free with a watermark) this cool app allows you to create quote MEMEs superfast and change the text design with one tap of your finger. Really worth checking in to.
  4. Squareready – (Free but there are Pro features that require payment) this app quickly formats your images to be ready for Instagram.


I hope you find some value out of this. Hit me up on social media and let me know which ones are your favorites and why!






If you like this content then please SHARE and COMMENT