Let Data & Research Guide You To Growth

Audiokite Research

Derek Webb is a big proponent of data. His site, Noisetrade.com, is built around the premise that data is the most valuable thing that a musician can have, more than money and more than a fan number on social media. That’s why he built a platform where artists can upload their music to give away to potential (and existing) fans in exchange for an email address and a zip code. Musicians can use the zip codes to create data banks of what regions of the country their fans are in, and create targeted touring dates in response. Hear Derek tell you how he built his career using data and how you can too on this podcast episode.

Derek isn’t alone. Big business is investing a ton of resources in the growth of data banks, using information and research as the key indicators of what decision-making choices will yield the best results. Forbes reports that Fortune 500 companies are increasing their workforce to grow Big Data segments of their business.

Be Super Powered: Data and Research For The DIY Musician

What data and research has to do with a musician’s growth has everything to do with saving you time, money, and energy. What if you could tell the viability of your music before you started the submission process to radio, music blogs, or other media? How valuable would thorough data on your individual songs be to you on how likely music fans are to stream or buy your tracks? Incredibly valuable.

Now the ability to see what your potential fans have to say about whether your music is something they will pay for can be had. Introducing Audiokite.
Audiokite Research

I’m a fan of platforms like this, which is similar to what Fluence.io is, a platform for you to submit your music and find out from unbiased music curators, how potent and powerful your music is. What these curators have to say about the depth of your music, and how remarkable it is, shows you a clearer picture of what you need to grow.

MusicansPlayInBarThe incentives for paid services benefits musician in exponential ways

Am I also a fan of Audiokite and Fluence because there is a financial incentive for me? Truthfully, yes I am. It’s important for you to consider the reasons for this. It’s more than just financial.

Why should you even remotely consider following either one (or both) of these links and pay to have your music reviewed and critiqued by someone when you can submit your music to online radio and blogs for free?

You never know what you’re going to get when you submit to a site or platform where you don’t have a connection with the creator behind it. They may play your track once or a hundred times. They may contact you for an interview and showcase every single song in your songbook.

Or they may not ever respond to you, and not ever listen to a single note you have recorded.

Either way, when you submit music to anyone’s platform, you’re asking them to give you their time, attention, and professional insight when listening to your tracks for consideration. Surely those three things have value in your world. You can understand why a curator or music platform would be in favor of utilizing a resource that also plugs artists who submit music into a whole network of fellow curators. The result of this network is that you, the artist, gets even bigger and better results from the endeavor.

Why not let your submission go further than just radio or media? Using the data gained from a platform like Audiokite, you gain the insights, research and information necessary to see which niche music audiences are the most responsive to your music. You can then be even more specific with the stations and platforms you contact to get music to. These audiences are the exact people that your data reveals will not only listen, but also buy your music. That data just led you to new sources of income for your music.

See the power of using data and research to get a leg up on your music growth. Then take that information and use it to gain more fans via radio airplay, social media promotion, youtube videos, blog and podcast reviews and other media outreach.

Use data and research to take your music promotion to the next level. Learn how to make it work for your radio submissions in my new book The DIY Musician’s Radio Handbook: How To Growth Hack Your Audience Using Radio Airplay.

Derek Webb Talks Free Music & Data Tools For Musicians

DerekWebb

Derek Webb, musician and founder of Noisetrade.com

Networking and relationship building are both big values and core principles that I live by in everything I do. It turns out that Derek Webb shares those values and principles. It’s what he’s used for all of his music career, going back to his days playing guitar with Caedmon’s Call in the 1990s to what he does now as a solo musician. Relationships matter. Make that a priority to see real success.

It was a relationship that connected me to Derek Webb. I’ve been a fan of his music for a long time. His song “Better Than Wine” was one of the themes of my wedding in 2005. I thought it would be a long while before I’d be able to get him on the podcast…..and then came Chandler Coyle. Chandler is a networking and relationship building jedi. His past episode of the DIY Artist Route Podcast is a must-listen. He’s also a really kickass dude and I thank him for making the intro.

How Noisetrade is a reason to pay closer attention

Noisetrade.com is a fantastic resource for musicians and authors. They’re entering into a new realm now having been recently acquired by PledgeMusic, completing the cycle for connections with this podcast (Benji Rogers is the founder of PledgeMusic). Derek founded Noisetrade over a decade ago as a way to utilize what had been working for him in growing his audience and music career: giving away his songs and urging his fans to share his music.

Essentially, the opposite of Lars Ulrich’s (Metallica) stance on piracy is what Derek advocates. Remember when Lars was super up-in-arms about how music piracy was going to destroy the industry? Derek Webb didn’t have that experience. That’s why he’s “Bizzaro Lars.”

For DIY musicians, free music is on big path forward. But there is a science to this that goes beyond just giving music away. It’s about connection and about data. That’s inside this episode as Derek shares the story behind Noisetrade and behind how to use the free music giveaway work for you.

Derek Webb shares his story that helps us all grow

There is a lot more here than just music insights. There are references to how to use relationship building and networking to your advantage. And there’s talk about The DIY Musician’s Radio Handbook, which is available as a sampler on Noisetrade now. Get it here.

What stood out the most in this conversation with Derek Webb? How would you like to better use free music and the data on your audience to build your career? Reach out to me and let’s talk.

3 Ways Relationship Brings Return On Investment

Photo by Kristina

Photo by Kristina

We all have goals for our success. Growth is a part of that. When I talk with musicians (and entrepreneurs too) the focus they have on growth is reaching a zillion people today with their message, and gaining social media followers. They want this kind of massive growth to happen overnight, and can get frustrated when the magic of audience building takes longer than clicking a button online. Here’s the thing: marketing for growth is a process, and it’s about relationship building and not anything else.

Three key places where musicians benefit from relationship building that brings ROI to your work is radio airplay, crowdfunding, and social media. Focus on building bridges and connecting with people in a real way to see real growth.

Relationship building and nothing else

Radio airplay is one way for musicians to get themselves in front of tons of new people that they didn’t have access to before. However, getting your song played 1 time on a station is a really low goal to strive for.

Look past that achievement and see what benefit you have. You get a song heard on a station and you’re introduced to let’s say 500 new people. Then the song is over and another song from a different band starts. Of those 500 people, how many people are going to look you up? On the first listen, less than 3% will take action. That’s 15 folks, which is significant. But what if you could get more, not just more people reached total but a higher percentage of the total listeners engaged and looking you up? It’s a matter of building something other than a goal for radio airplay. This comes down to building bridges with radio stations and programs instead of just pitching your music.

Going back to 2007, William Fitzsimmons connected with me & has been featured in multiple ways since on my multiple media platforms

Going back to 2007, William Fitzsimmons connected with me & has been featured in multiple ways since on my multiple media platforms

When you submit your music for airplay, it’s easy to focus on just getting your song picked up. But think bigger. If you build a connection with an individual, and can start a dialogue where you both provide something to each other that is mutually beneficial, you gain long term benefits which could include a radio interview, a CD giveaway, a blog review or showcase, and multiple songs spun a number of times in a concentrated period of time. This is really powerful marketing because you get in front of a focused audience multiple times. The more you can get in front of the same number of people in an engaging way, the higher percentage of people will connect with you. It’s scientifically proven:

According to salesforce.com it takes 7-10 touches for a person to convert from observer to buyer when it comes to products.

Music is no different. In the business community, people have to experience your product offering a period of times before you can build the trust offering to get them to buy. This is a matter of your messaging (marketing) building a relationship connection with the individual to lead them to spend their money. With radio listeners, your desire to get them to buy your music comes into play here too. Getting them to follow your social channels and engage with you is the same thing. Add crowdfunding to that, where asking people to invest in your project comes down to a reciprocal connection.

How to build a relationship that brings return

As Robin Sharma writes in his best selling book The Greatness Guide “Ultimately business and life is about forging human bonds. Before someone will lend you a hand, you need to touch their heart. And that business is all about relationships.”

Helaine Olen of Inc Magazine’s piece in May 16 titled Spread the Wealth talks about how even asking for a loan from a bank is about relationships. If a bank, which has to use loans as a way to stay open, is still particular about operating their business from a relationship standpoint, how much more do we need to be in the creative space. She writes that “You don’t want your conversation to be a once-a-year event, where it’s like you’re called into the principle’s office to beg for credit. Relationships matter.”

This is why friends can ask for gold but strangers can’t even give away free candy. When you know the person who is contacting you, and when you like this person, you’re willing to do much more for them than just what they ask. This begins by reaching out to someone and asking a question, showing them that you value who they are and what they do. Think about it from their perspective. If you were emailed, tweeted, and contacted countless times everyday by people you don’t know, all asking you to do something for them, how would you feel?

On the flip side, if you were contacted by someone you don’t know but who addressed you by name, and talked about how much they enjoy the work you do, how it’s something they value, would you feel the same way about this person as you do the strangers who just want a handout? No, it’d be the opposite. This is how you gain attention that leads to action. Attention alone is pretty worthless, because it’s so fleeting. An Empirical Study of Web Use, researchers determined that the average human span in 2013 was only 8 seconds (the average goldfish can pay attention for 9 seconds). You can gain 8 seconds of attention or a friendship that will benefit you for years. Which would you rather have?

Put relationship building to work for your growth success

DGS_RadioHandbook_Cover-1AI want to show you how to build relationships with media influencers to reach true growth success. In my new book The DIY Musician’s Radio Handbook I show the exact step-by-step process of contacting radio and media with the purpose of growing your network. If radio airplay is all you’re seeking, you’re missing such magnificent opportunities to really win. A short term fix for gaining “attention” of a group of people is a small win compared to the long term connections that a relationship with a media influencer can give you. The book showcases not only the steps to take to make this happen, but also the principles behind this method of growth, along with business insights to make your audience growth be successful.

The Rocketboys’ Brandon Kinder On The DIY Artist Route

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Me with Brandon and Justin of The Rocketboys and their Golden Fork Award

Brandon Kinder and I go back quite a few years. Not only did we attend the same university, but we helped cultivate a growing indie music culture in Abilene, Texas. In 2005 the music scene here was on the verge of really exploding. Over a decade later, the music culture continues to expand in my West Texas town. Brandon took his band The Rocketboys to international indie fame, and relocated to Austin. There the band has shifted members and created some outstanding new music, including The Appetizer Radio Show Golden Fork Award-Winning album 20,000 Ghosts.

Brandon isn’t just the frontman for the band who has played Austin City Limits, Daytrotter, and other prime indie spotlight gigs. He also has a solo project called The Wealthy West, which is the result of years of songwriting for The Rocketboys with music that never made it to light. The story behind the creation of the Wealthy West (as well as how he came upon that great music brand name) is in this podcast episode.

With his side project The Wealthy West releasing a brand new album this year, and with the growing success of The Rockeboys, Brandon was an ideal candidate to bring on the podcast. He’s a fantastic songwriter, and proof that you can create great music in a small town and go on to do very big things. Our conversation in the podcast dives into stories behind the songs, including his obsession with ghosts real and figurative, what it takes to get good band managers, and why songwriting has to remain pure to be effective.

I encourage you to also dive into the newest album by The Wealthy West, which is currently being showcased across the country on a variety of great indie music platforms (including my own). The album Long Play is available for streaming here.

Learn How To Get Radio Airplay The Right Way


In the video there’s a bit of role-playing through examples to illustrate the method explained here in this blog.

MusicansPlayInBar

Many artists reach out to me on how to get radio airplay. It’s a big subject that confuses DIY musicians because music submission to radio is so common, but getting accepted isn’t. I’ve set out to remedy this for musicians who are serious about growing their audience using one of the best methods: radio airplay on specific media platforms.

 

Over the past few months I’ve talked about Super-Fans, Audience Growth, and the particulars of what works for Successful Indie Artists.

Radio airplay is one of the methods of exploding your fan base, as well as your music income.

Start with how to NOT get radio airplay

Radio airplay and promotion continues to be a beneficial means of growing your music as an indie or unsigned artist. However, there is a way to get airplay that is more beneficial to you than how 99% of artists do it.

  • Submitting your songs to every station who accepts and plays indie music is not the way.
  • Sending DM messages to radio shows or stations on Twitter is not the way.
  • Emailing stations your mp3 song is not the way.

How to get radio airplay that actually works

One of the best ways to learn how to get radio airplay is by seeing examples that work.  Just like everyone else, I’ve made some big mistakes in reaching out to radio stations to get my platform picked up. The key though is recognizing what works and what doesn’t, and making a pivot on the stuff that isn’t producing the results you want.

Most of us are used to seeing blanket emails that were obviously sent to a ton of people, with no specific individual in mind to receive it. Think about group messages on Facebook or group texts. Even if the person reaching out is a good friend, those are kind of annoying, aren’t they? Treat the person you want to contact the way you want to be treated. Send them an individual note. Before that, have an experience with their station that you can talk about when you email or contact them. By doing this, you show that you’re a genuine person who wants to build community and add value to the station or radio program with your music.

This is the method that I used to get my indie radio show heard around the country and across the world. I first did all the wrong things to grow my radio show. I sent the blanket emails, to both people that I know and those I didn’t. I got the same response from both endeavors: silence. Those tactics didn’t work for me and rarely work for others. There’s a reason why so many artists feel scammed when they pay for radio promoters to pitch their music to stations that get zero airplay from the endeavor.

The real secret to getting radio airplay is a mindset change. Shift from music marketing to community building.”Or as Ghandi said, “Be the difference you want to see in the world.” It’s the Golden Rule. It’s what makes the connections that we all have to build (the real ones, not the mouse clicks that pretend to be connections). Treat those you want to feature you like you want to be treated. It’s the pivot we have to make to see real growth happen.

When I made the pivot, and changed my approach, I found that it actually works. The details and step-by-step process of what to do, how to do it, and why is chronicled in my book book The DIY Musician’s Radio Handbook. The Handbook can also be used in your endeavors to grow your audience online via social media and with gigging, as well as reaching out to other music and media mavens for networking.

Get a preview of the first 4 chapters of the DIY Musician’s Radio Handbook HERE.

Warning Signs You May Be Taking Yourself Too Seriously

Photo Credit: Bailey Weaver

Photo Credit: Bailey Weaver

Sometimes the best way to see problems with yourself is to watch someone else act exactly like you do. The behaviors of other people doing just what you do should cause you to pause, reflect, and go “Don’t I do the exact same thing? Oh, that’s gotta change!”

I say this because I’m guilty of doing some of the things that bother me the most about other people. Taking yourself too seriously is certainly one of my flaws, one that I’ve spent the better part of the past 2 years trying to correct. I used to be really bad. Now it’s a less-frequent problem.

Here’s how I know I’m taking myself too seriously, and the problems it’s caused me in connecting with new people

I’ve been working in radio for a long time. I’ve been making a radio show in the same town for over a decade. That can lead you to assume that just about everyone knows about what I do. Not true, yet I used to think that if someone didn’t know what I did they must have been on another planet.

This is the "Angry Rooster Face" dubbed by Mrs. Smith

This is the “Angry Rooster Face” dubbed by Mrs. Smith

I used to get offended if someone who claimed to listen to the radio station I worked for hadn’t heard of The Appetizer Radio Show. Or, even worse, if someone asked about the food that I talked about on the show. I make this face when I’m confused (see left) that my wife calls my “angry rooster face.” That’s the face I used to make if someone made a comment about my radio show and said something about me talking about food. “I thought you said you listened to my show? I’ve never done anything about food specifically. What are you talking about???” would be the thoughts going in my head, but I would not say such things. Yet you wouldn’t have to struggle to see those thoughts on my face. This face and this look don’t hide too much.

Either way, my attitude was that of an asshole. I took myself way too seriously and potentially offended good-hearted people who might have otherwise actually given the show a listen. I assumed that since I was so passionate about my work, everyone who asked me about it must be too. I assumed that if someone showed the slightest bit of interest in my work, then they should know all about it and not need me to explain to them why it is important.

You know what they say about what happens when you assume? Except I’m just the one who was the ass.

Seeing the other side of the serious-taking-issue has revealed a lot of the negative side effects that this attitude can have. It’s also the exact opposite of grace and humility. There is a good chance that you haven’t read my About page, or looked up the articles I’ve written for Sonicbids, CMuse, or other sites, or heard all the episodes on the DIY Artist Route Podcast. That’s ok. Do I want you to experience these things? Yes, of course. Is it a prerequisite for us to connect? Absolutely not.

I’m saying all of this because it’s important for us to put our contributions and our stories into perspective. This is especially true as we’re trying to reach new people we don’t know with our work. I’m not the only music curator discovering excellent talent. I’m not the only radio host who has been showcasing indie and unsigned music for years and years. Several great music radio icons preceded the work I do. The same is true for artists and businesses.

You have a passion for your songwriting and the mission behind your music. However, there are other very passionate, talented, and inspirational songwriters who are changing the world.

Keep that in perspective. It’s great that you’re not alone. What is it about your work specifically that is remarkable? What completely unique and uncommon thing makes you stand out from others who are doing similar work? These are the pieces of your communication that need to come out with new people who are being introduced to your work.

Where I see Too-Serious play out the most

Music submissions are the prime place where I experience my old behaviors play out, and it’s mostly in a digital format. Not every artist who submits music gets accepted. This is true on every platform. When an artist sends an email to me that is full of links to videos or songs, I don’t always follow all of the links. I honestly don’t always spend 15-30 minutes diving into a band’s music, especially not when the sender is a person I’ve never interacted with before. Remember strangers and gold?

I may not read all of the sender’s bio either. And when I reply and ask specific questions to get the artist to tell me more about what makes them unique (or essentially sell me on why their music is attention-worthy), some musicians take that as an affront to their music. That’s not the case.

The reality is that I don’t know the artist (yet), and the first impression they’ve left is that they take themselves so seriously that someone who wants them to tell their story makes them upset. It’s an artist giving me their own angry rooster face, and expecting the interest to be natural and inherent. I hope this isn’t the response that other music curators are receiving when they interact and don’t instantly jump into the musician’s work. It may produce worse results.

Here’s the Takeaway to save face and the connection potential

Most new people won’t know your backstory, and they may not give you the attention time you seek at first. Instead of taking yourself too seriously and getting offended at what a stranger doesn’t give you right away, nurture the first spark of that interest. Build a dialogue. Approach the potential connection with grace and kindness. So many good things come out of a change in perspective and a better attitude.

That’s the win that comes out of this reflection. When we see ourselves in other people’s behaviors we want to see happiness and joy, and not something that leads to looking like the backside of a donkey. Donkeys don’t win beauty pageants, even social ones.

Grace and respect in meeting new people, and learning how to approach strangers in a way that builds their interest while also getting you what you seek is the subject of my debut book The DIY Musician’s Radio Handbook. Officially it’s out on May 3rd but you can grab the first 4 chapters for free now. Click Here.

Jay Coyle Preaches Super Fan Gospel For Musicians

Jay Coyle

Jay Coyle, Music Geek Services

So far on the DIY Artist Route Podcast we’ve connected with fellow Super Fan building advocates like Benji Rogers (Pledge Music), Michael Brandvold, and Chandler Coyle (Berklee Online & Music Geek Services). Recently I was blessed to get to chat with Chandler’s brother and Music Geek founder Jay Coyle on the gospel of super fans for musicians.

Jay Coyle has a storied past with music and music marketing. His approach to helping musicians market themselves is an outside-the-box perspective that made me instantly pay closer attention. It’s the way that I’ve gone about building my audience for The Appetizer Radio Show, and help musicians connect with their fans for years. And best of all, it’s really easy.

What does your fan base want most from you?
Think about that. Put yourself in the shoes of your audience to see what you can do for them to garner more of their support, AND how you can build stronger connections with them.

Jay Coyle thinks like a Super Fan

Chances are you’re a big fan of at least 1 band or musician. What lengths would you go to in order to see your favorite band live? What about adding their music to your record library, even if that’s digital? Let’s throw some merch in too, because most of us Super Fans have merchandise from our favorite artists. What is it that we most want from our favorite artists, and why are we so passionate about them?

It’s these keen insights into what makes the super fan army move in your direction that Jay is so great at. It’s how his company Music Geek Services has helped many small-to-medium sized bands thrive in a constantly growing music market with new artists emerging daily. More competition creates more noise and less room. No musician in this industry can get by on trying to be all things to all people and expect to win. Instead, focus on your core audience of super fans and make them your prize.

Jay Coyle is one more advocate for the essential piece to your audience growth-Super Fans. Take his insights, tips, and advice to heart and to action. What stood out the most to you in our conversation on this podcast? Comment here and let’s chat about it.

Subscribe to the podcast for past episodes (mentioned above) in the right margin.

Why Friends Can Ask For Gold But Strangers Can’t

Most artists and even entrepreneurs will start off a message to a new contact with a “Check out my new thing!” There’s little connection point here. They may be just a new follower to one social page or have added a new contact on a media channel. This isn’t a true connection, it’s just a mouse click. We need to understand how real connections are made and how they work so that our communication gets the best results. It’s the true difference between our friends and strangers on our social pages.

Image from GraphicStock

Image from GraphicStock

The Real Difference Between Who We Know And The Strangers We Like

Your friends are people you know, folks you trust, those you have some sort of history with. At least that’s what friends used to be. Thanks to social media, we have a lot of strangers who are called our “friends” on Facebook and Twitter. How many “friends” on your social channels do you truly know, and how many are legitimately strangers?

It’s the same for me too. There are several people who follow me on Twitter and Facebook that I don’t have a personal relationship with. That’s ok. It’s a connection that could turn into a relationship or friendship in real terms. It’s a starting place. However, it’s important for us to not confuse the difference.

Friendly People Are Best Sellers Without Having To Sell Anything

The people who present themselves as down-to-earth and relatable are the best at getting others to join into what they’re doing or what they’ve created right away. These people excel at not having to go through a detailed process of getting your attention and selling you something in order to get you to sign up for what they’re talking about. However, the number of prominent people with this skill are short. Oprah Winfrey, Jon Stewart, Steve Harvey and Tina Fey all come across as people like this.

You know what? You rarely see these people trying to sell something. They don’t have to. They’re interested in other people’s stories, and they tie those stories into their own. They have conversations and share them with the world. Then, sometimes, those stories will have a price tag that we have to pay to get to hear them.

We gladly fork out the dollars to make that happen. We want to connect with their story too. We have a relationship with them via the presentation of their stories. They didn’t ask us directly to do something for them, such as “buy my book because I want it to be on the best sellers list” or similar.

However it’s too easy for us (yes me too) to make an online connection with someone who can take our work to new levels and instantly try to ask for gold. What this new contact (“friend”) has is the opportunity for gold for our satchels, and we too often try to jump the gun in hunting for the gold instead of farming for it.

brian-bloom-seth-godin-in-greenFarming for growth is really the work we need to be devoting our energies too. It’s what Seth Godin told me about how success really works:

“What happens instead is you find 10 people, just 10 people, who care so much about what you do they tell someone else. You find 20 people, just 20 people, who would miss you if you were gone. Then you repeat it, and you repeat it and you repeat it. The next thing you know is three years later you’re an overnight sensation. That it’s believing that ‘the grass is always greener’ that you get in trouble. You’ve already got all the grass you’re going to get. What you need to do is farm it, not go hunting.”  (read more on this principle here)

Connection That Creates Real Growth Begins Here

Real growth starts by making a true connection, building a dialogue, learning about the individual, and deciding that connection with this individual is important. That connection might turn on a light bulb that shines bright into a world you don’t know about, and creates some big opportunities for growth. That connection might hold a series of keys that unlock doors you don’t know about to lead you to all sorts of great places. That connection could create any number of great opportunities for you that you’d never have without it.

Yet it starts by doing so much more than clicking a “Follow” button and then sending a message to a stranger.

Strangers can’t ask for gold. Strangers can’t even sell candy well. When we were kids and our parents told us “If a stranger tries to sell you candy, run away and tell someone.” How many strangers try to sell you candy every day? Musicians, how much candy are you trying to pawn off on someone you don’t know. Start a conversation, build a dialogue and see where that connection takes you. They may offer you gold without you having to ask for it.

This growth concept and these principles are explained in greater detail and put to work in growing your audience in the Indie Radio Promotion Course. Sign up here to get started now.

Blue Collar Music With Matthew Mayfield On Podcast

When you think of Blue Collar, Working-Class Musicians, there is one name that stands out: Bruce Springsteen. However, for the 21st century, there is a fresh face who has picked up that mantle and is amazing music fans with his unique songwriting: Matthew Mayfield.

MatthewMayfieldI first heard Matthew’s music when he posted his entire song catalog to Noisetrade.com a few years ago. I thought it was incredibly impressive to post 72 songs online for free, all with the hope of attracting new fans. It certainly paid off for him. Since then, we’ve featured countless songs from his songbook on The Appetizer Radio Show, also earning him top billing in some of our radio specials like our annual Cover Series.

When I was looking at new musician guests to add to the DIY Artist Route Podcast, Matthew was tops on the list. Having followed his career for the past few years, and learning that we’re from the same place on the map (B’ham, AL; Roll Tide!), making the connection with him was something I had to do. He didn’t disappoint.

What Makes Matthew Mayfield A Teacher For DIY Musicians

There are some specific attributes to his songwriting in the way that he crafts stories that pull you in from a listening perspective, added to that the gritty vocal tone he utilizes. It’s not a sound you would necessarily associate with folk or singer-songwriter styled music, which is what makes him uncommon.

I learned a few new things in our conversation, among them how well indie labels are doing in truly representing their bands, and how being a musical journeyman is a mantra not suited for every musician. We all have to make sacrifices in some way when we choose the path we’re on. Matthew was very candid in sharing these insights with me in this podcast.

I also wanted to make sure to include some clips from his songs, which you can hear laced in our conversation and placed appropriately in the themes of the discussion. The list of music from this podcast is here:

(Podcast theme song)  Timothy Palmer. “Tryin'” The Half-Boy. Timothy Palmer, 2015. 01:50
Matthew Mayfield. “Desire” Desire-Single. Matthew Mayfield, 2014. :50
Matthew Mayfield. “Wild Eyes” Wild Eyes Unplugged EP. Matthew Mayfield, 2015. 01:00

Matthew Mayfield. “Team (Lorde Cover)” Wild Eyes Unplugged EP. Matthew Mayfield, 2015. 01:45

Matthew Mayfield. “Mess Of A Man” Wild Eyes Unplugged EP. Matthew Mayfield, 2015. 01:30

Matthew Mayfield. “Quiet Lies” Wild Eyes Unplugged EP. Matthew Mayfield, 2015. :45

For Artists Using Cover Songs As A Way To Grow Fan Base

I love the way Matthew Mayfield does cover songs. It’s actually one of the things that first drew me to his music and made me dive deeper into his songbook. He does cover songs the RIGHT way. As you can hear in our Covers Series going back the past 6 years, a great cover song (in my book) is one that recreates the original, and does so in the style of the songwriter who is performing a cover. Too many new artists try to copy the original version of the song. This isn’t how you get new fans to dive into your songbook. Listen to Matthew’s take on Lorde’s Team or his version of Don Henley’s Boys Of Summer to get a better grid for this.

Matthew Mayfield is a great artist to follow and certainly one to take note of in taking your path to success with your musical brand. How did this conversation connect with you? Do you want to learn more about how you can carve out a unique path to growth with your music? Reach out to me and let’s have a chat about it.

You can also stream our podcast conversation (and grab other podcasts) via Youtube:

James Moore Joins The DIY Artist Route With PR Tips

“A lot of artists, if they don’t know how to do something, they find some sort of ideological reason not to do it, and that holds them up. You do need to take that leap. Learn about it instead of complain about it.” -James Moore, Independent Music Promotions

Image credit: Ryan Donnelly

James Moore; Image credit: Ryan Donnelly

PR is a buzzword in some business circles. In some music circles it’s a curse word. Author and PR pro James Moore is working diligently to correct the misinformation about not only the the business of PR for musicians, but also the pieces that make it up.

One of the ways he’s done this is from his fantastic book, Your Band Is A Virus. Websites, branding, social media and guerilla marketing are all subjects covered in the book. I’ve read it, and encourage musicians to pick it up to educate yourself on the pieces of the entrepreneurial puzzle that is the music business for DIY artists.

I wanted James to join me on the podcast because we have similar mantras about growth, fan building and the essential need that every artist, startup and creative entrepreneur in this space has for using basic business principles to win. His quote above is something we discuss in the podcast, and address solutions for.

“Getting rid of the mental obstructions that are holding you back is the same for businesses as it is for musicians or any endeavor really.”

It’s easy to complain about all the pieces of the puzzle that is entrepreneurial business. There is a LOT to be confused about. There are even more pathways available to learn something new, and grow your ability to connect the dots. James’ work with musicians with his company, Independent Music Promotions, does a blend of education with hands-on networking.

One key piece of this puzzle is the reality of how networking and relationship building actually works in the digital space. I’m thankful that social platforms like Facebook and Linked In have given us the ability to connect with fellow community members across the country and around the globe. However, there is a misnomer that clicking a Follow button is the same as networking. It’s not. Networking is relationship building. This requires time, conversation and shared interests. We build our networks and our relationships over chats, talks, and reciprocal connections.

I’m thankful to James Moore for sharing his insights into how growth works from a PR standpoint, educating both musicians and entrepreneurs on the role of media coverage in the development process, and the myriad of great quotes provided in this conversation.

What stands out the most to you from what James shared? Is there one thing in particular you’ve been trying to figure out about PR and still don’t understand? Reach out and we’ll figure it out together.

In this chat we also talked about my upcoming book, The DIY Musicians’ Radio Handbook: How To Growth Hack Your Fan Base Using Radio Airplay. The book will be out in early May. Make sure you’re on my book list to get first dibs and special bonuses.

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