Music Entrepreneur & Super Fan Tom Giles Joins The DIY Artist Route

Tom Giles

Tom Giles

Networking seems like it’s becoming a bad word in the music and marketing world. I’m not sure how else to talk about relationship building through our existing friends and contacts. Networking just seems like the best word. That’s how I came to know Tom Giles (pronounced with a “J”), the serial musician, entrepreneur and music super fan whose business SoundBloc was recently acquired by Full Screen to further serve the needs of musicians and creative entrepreneurs in the direct-to-fan space.

Hosting the DIY Artist Route Podcast has been a real joy and privilege. This episode marks the 20th of the series. Each new person we learn from teaches some incredible and profound new things. It was past Router and friend Chandler Coyle who put me in Tom’s sphere, helping to set up this chat. But real relationship building and networking, as I’m discovering and living out, is about more than just an interview for a media post. We’ve talked at length about our respective projects before doing the podcast session, and will continue to do so. This is the power of “knowing you back.”

I was very impressed from the start with Tom’s pedigree in music and business. He’s built record labels and promotions companies while also being a musician. His mantra for audience growth is mirrored by Benji Rogers and Derek Webb, who both built similar platforms to help musicians do the same thing: connect directly with their most ardent tribe of fans.

This was also one of the first times for someone to be a guest on the podcast but treat it like a real conversation, turning questions back in my direction to get this side of the story. I appreciate that. It’s uncommon, and made me more connected from the outset.

Plus, there’s a chance that Tom Giles and JJ Watt played backyard football together at some point. Being a Houston Texans fan and having a little bit of a man-crush on Watt, that’s just cool. Chalk up another point for Mr. Giles.

Big takeaways for you in this podcast episode (download and share via iTunes, Spreaker, & Stitcher via the right hand margin) include:

  • How your brand defines everything you’re doing, and why you having full control over how your brand is marketed is very important
  • Insights into artist management and indie labels
  • The power of networking and relationship building to create new collaborations with industry professionals and how you can have those connections too
  • Why you should focus on building relationships to truly grow because it’s the most important thing, even if you don’t think you’re naturally good at relationships or marketing

Tons of good stuff to dive into here and learn from. You should have questions when you’re finished listening. I did. Reach out to me and let’s figure out how to solve your questions together.

Success In Music & Business Is In The Knowing Relationship

The music industry is just like any business. It’s relationship driven. Go to Hollywood and the people who continue to grow and land new opportunities are the ones utilizing their relationship connections. The tech world is the same. So are most business industries. The knowing is where the secret sauce of success is.


Why then is it so hard for musicians in the indie, unsigned, and DIY world having such a hard time understanding this simple truth? The mantra of “pull yourself up by your bootstraps and go out into the world” is a bit of a misnomer.

Yes, you have to do the work for yourself to make growth happen. You can outsource some of the pieces, but you have to build your career to a place where outsourcing is possible and efficient. However, your ability to build relationships with other professionals in the industry is the main ingredient to short term growth, and long term success. This truth and the method for making it happen for you is detailed in The DIY Musician’s Radio Handbook.

You’ve probably heard the phrase “It’s all who you know in this business” to become successful. That’s true. Yet it’s only partially true. There’s another side to this that determines whether the people you know who have clout and influence will be beneficial to you. And there’s a way to know if you have this other side solved or if you need to dive deeper into the relationship-building process.

Who knows you back?

Over the past 2 months while connecting with new professionals, musicians, industry insiders, and business experts, this subject has come up multiple times. We all agree that relationships are both the engine and the fuel that propel all of us forward. However, we get confused too often into believing that if we just get an industry pro to follow us on social media or like something we post, that now we’re connected. It’s partially true at best.

Networking, in the classic business sense, has to do with a collaboration. There’s a mutual benefit between two parties, who come to know of this reciprocal connection from having interactions and conversations. You don’t get that relationship interaction from clicking “Like” on a post, or even exchanging a few words in a comment thread.

You can start this kind of connection through dialogue. Asking questions, getting answers, and opening yourself up for communication that is back and forth is how any relationship is built. It’s how you go from the idea of “knowing someone” to them knowing you back. Until someone knows you back, and there’s a dialogue that leads to some kind of collaboration, you’ve only solved part of the problem.


When we reach out to new folks online, we’re extending our hand to create a digital handshake. This can be done through email, Facebook message, DM on Twitter, or comment on a site. The response is where the beginning of them reaching back out to you happens. When that outreach is reciprocated and conversation happens, a relationship connection can be built.

The knowing goes both ways

I’ve got to give credit to putting the phrasing of “knowing you back” to my friend Shaine Freeman of The Miews Podcast. Shaine and I see growth and success for musicians very similarly. It seems like the business world understands the need for relationship connection to grow and find success. Music and musicians seem to have missed the bus on this reality. If you want to really have a successful career, understand that it’s not just who you know, but who knows you back.

DGS_RadioHandbook_Cover-1AMake building reciprocal relationships your goal and you’ll win. Discover the proven step-by-step process for doing this in your music career through outreach to radio and media in The DIY Musician’s Radio Handbook, now in Audiobook for a limited time on Noisetrade for free. Get it now.

Grow Your Online Audience With Help From Brandon Gaille

Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 7.07.44 PMBrandon Gaille is an inspirational dude. I’m drawn to folks who overcome obstacles, and Brandon certainly has overcome much in his quest for success.

One big thing he’s faced and risen above is being bullied every single day as a kid. For someone who faced some bullying in my youth, I never dealt with the terror that Brandon did. Yet he overcame.

He also was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Then he found out that his pregnant wife had cancer. Talk about serious challenges and potential setbacks. When I start to feel overwhelmed at the challenges in front of me, I think of this guy and his perseverance.

Did he overcome the brain tumor? Yep. Did his wife successfully deliver their baby without complications? Yep. And deal with cancer? Yep, that’s right.

So what does any of this have to do with building our online audience? I reached out to Brandon to learn more about his story and discover how he has drawn over 1 million people to his blog every month. That’s right, a million people read his content each month. Those are pretty good numbers.

Did I Change Course By Talking To Brandon Gaille Away From Growth Farming?

Let me be clear: I’m not a “massive growth,” “big audience,” “look like a rock star with a zillion fans” kinda dude. You know me. I’m big on slow growth, farming for stronger connections. So why on earth would I double back and talk to a guy whose platform is all about building a massive following?

The answer is simple: Brandon Gaille is an uncommon person who overcame big challenges and rose above them to do big things. That by itself warrants a closer look at his work.

Plus, building relationships and connections with folks is one of my biggest passions. Getting to talk with him on his podcast was a real joy and honor. AND he talks about stuff I really don’t know a lot about.

Despite the fact that I do marketing online for a living, there’s a lot of what he talks about that I’m still learning. It’s also interesting to me that his growth methods take a little bit of time, a lot of focus on details, and dedication to the process. I’m big on that and talk about it a lot.

So…..even if you want to build a massive following of fans or audience members, the magic beans theory of overnight success is a crock. The Blog Millionaire’s philosophy and methods will get you many more online viewers to build your audience. It won’t happen overnight.

Overnight successes disappear just as fast as they arrive. Be different. Be uncommon. Be like Brandon Gaille.

Listen and download from Spreaker:

Why Culture Determines Your Growth & Success


The entrance to Bonnaroo

The entrance to Bonnaroo, escaping a place of fear and into a place of love & acceptance

There are so many areas in our world that we blame our culture on. The perpetual violence in the US, especially in places where children or minorities are the victims, leads to division among our own people. When we look deeper into the causes of these problems, a destructive culture is at the root.

How can culture be such a powerful influence on the behavior or people? That’s the question I am searching for answers to right now, especially after returning from a trip where a culture of love and unity had created an amazing culture.

What does “culture” mean

I live in a small town in West Texas. The predominant culture is older and white. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, as the world has become more diverse with different ethnic groups, beliefs, races, and cultures inter-mingling together, we’re starting to taste the beauty of multi-culturalism in ways we haven’t before. There are positives and negatives that come out of this, but I am going to focus on what we can take away from the growth of culture in our every day lives, as well as how we have the responsibility of determining our own culture for growth and success.

Culture is simply this: the collection of arts and expressions of human intellectual achievement and growth.

Culture determines growth because that’s a part of what it is. A=A in simple math terms.

Bonnaroo Main Stage

Bonnaroo Main Stage

As you know, I recently treked halfway across the country to attend Bonnaroo 2016. We had a little caravan of friends go together, and we all had a lot of fun. There were some standout bands who performed including Pearl Jam, LCD Soundsystem, Brett Dennen, and Band of Horses. I also was turned on to the music of Bob Moses, Chvrches, Chris Stapleton, and Dresden  (among others). The music was simply amazing.

However, it wasn’t the music that impacted me the most. It was something else: the predominant culture of love and acceptance to EVERYONE, regardless of race, age, belief, creed, heritage, or ideology.

When you have over 65,000 people converging on one location, you’re going to experience diversity. There’s inevitable (remember A=A). As soon as we entered into the farm (Bonnaroo sits on a 700 acre farm in Manchester, TN), the overall feeling of being safe as ourselves, being accepted for who we are, and love for each fellow person was the established rule of order.

Our Team & New Friends

Our Team & New Friends

The best thing about this culture was that we all knew it going in based solely on what we saw and felt around us. There were no “10 Rules Of Attending Bonnaroo” when we entered in. There wasn’t a form we had to sign that said we agreed to be kind, loving, and supportive of each other before being admitted in. And there wasn’t a punishment of being banished if anyone didn’t adhere to this loving culture. It was the opposite of what our modern society is and does, where rules try to dictate the behaviors of people.

Am I saying that rules and laws are not good and are a problem? NOT AT ALL.

DressedForDay1What I am saying is that it was the cultivation, seeding, nourishing, and continual harvesting of a loving culture that makes this 4 day music festival continue to grow. Any musician who has tried to get on stage at a festival like this runs up against some pretty big-named bands. There’s a reason for that.

Anyone who has tried to start a music festival and build up momentum to keep it going the following year has experienced the difficulties of building something new. The Bonnaroo guys did too 15 years ago.  A farm in the middle of nowhere Tennessee isn’t a beacon light for most people. However, give people great music (arts) and a supportive atmosphere of love (culture) and you can build a winner year after year.

What culture are you building

The tragedies of the Orlando shooting took place on the Saturday (day 3) of Bonnaroo, and we all had a lot of serious conversations with fellow Roo-vians that day and the days that followed. It made us confront ourselves, and look closer at this societal disparity in our modern culture where we turn ideologies into things that divide us to the point of death. Terrorism is all about creating more division by killing off people who cause them no harm, yet whose beliefs contradict their own. It’s bullshit. And it’s cowardly. That’s the terrorist culture.

Is the response to terrorism more violence to send a message? I don’t know. Hopefully our political leaders are discernible enough to find a path that works. My response to these acts of violence in our local and national areas is to operate from a culture that is loving and accepting. AND THAT IS FREAKING HARD TO DO IN THE FACE OF HATE AND VIOLENCE.

Don’t get me wrong, none of this is easy. But we’re uncommon people creating remarkable actions. It’s who we are. A=A. I believe that loving culture creates positive change, where people can be more whole and more themselves. Is this a utopian ideal? Hell if I know. I’ve seen and experienced part of this. What if we carried the heart of Bonnaroo with us in our personal lives, our social interactions, and the communities we’re a part of with our art and business? How would that change our society for the better?

These are the questions I’m asking myself, and the question I’m asking you. Are you the difference that you want to see in the world? Ghandi was. In the face of direct violence, hatred, and a negative culture he became the change he wanted to experience. And he changed his world. More on that in this video:

How To Have Success In Business & LIfe- BE The Change You Want from DGrantSmith on Vimeo.


How To Get Solid Radio Airplay The Right Way

This blog article is also published on Dotted Music as a resource to impact and benefit more artists and musicians around the world with radio airplay done right.

Radio Mic Old FashionedGetting radio airplay isn’t a dice roll and it’s not a matter of doing multi-million dollar promotion campaigns, especially not in public or indie radio (where your attention should be if you’re a DIY artist). As I’ve written in a variety of past blog articles here (do a search for Radio and you can have your pick of tips and insights), the science to getting radio airplay has more to do with only a few specific things, AND they must be made a high priority. Community building is top of that list.

Everyone who makes the decision on what songs get played on the radio and what doesn’t has their own individual perspectives and motives. These motives and preferences determine what they play and what they don’t, as well as how often some songs get rotation versus others. The truth on how radio stations decide which songs get played actually has to do with a few factors that you might not realize.

Station managers with commercial radio will give a few spins here and there to “unknown” or DIY musicians if it fits with the format and if they earn the respect of either the DJ or the station management. Once songs begin to chart more (meaning that the music ranking organizations like Billboard and CMJ are recording more plays nationwide) those songs will get more rotation. Much of this is based on requests and promotion dollars from the labels.

As a DIY artist, your plan is to get your music on stations who are be looking to add indie and unsigned artists to their station playlists. These are the radio stations and managers who you should be trying to figure out how to gain the interest of. Indie radio is your ticket here. What does that look like?

What determines an indie radio station playlist and spin count

There are essentially three factors that determine whether a radio station manager or music director will add a new song to their rotation. You can see where your music fits into these factors and be Radio Ready Here. The three things are:

1. Great Sound Quality

2. Great Songwriting

3. Personal Preferences

The songs that get airplay first off have to meet these three qualification. Sound quality and production value are paramount. Most professional radio outlets qualify potential music submissions on the quality of the recording first. It’s instinctive, we aren’t going to play a poorly mixed song.

Great songwriting involves lyricism as well as composition and arrangement. Some great songs have very clever, witty, or thought-provoking lyrics. Yet others simply have a good arrangement with a nice melody but nothing very complicated about how it is written.

The last qualification plays the largest role in not only whether as song will get added to the rotation of a radio station but also how often it will be played. Simply put, if a radio station manager, music director, or approved station personality likes a song, it will probably get some radio airplay. If that song also catches on with other station staff and especially with listeners, that song is going to get a lot more spins.

Radio station managers are people too. We like what we play. We have a personal interest in the content that we put on our platforms. It’s just simple human nature.

To be in this industry an din this creative space, you have to be a fan. Radio station managers are fans of music too, and often we’re fans of artists who not only make music that we enjoy but also who have engaged with us in some manner.

What DIY musicians can do to gain radio airplay consideration

How someone feels about you as a musician can play almost a bigger role than whether they only like your music. When you try to just separate yourself out and away from your art you limit the reach and connection-building power you have.

Instead, focus your energies on building connections and communities with the radio stations that you want airplay on. It’s not a matter of getting your music out to every single station in existence, or even every station that plays music in the same genre as you.

Take your music and your radio submission 1 step further

Just like how a runner will study the track, prepare for the best start, have the best equipment, and train well before ever launching from the starting line, it’s essential that you have the right preparation tools to get started.

Get Your Music On INdie RadioOften times, as musicians we don’t always think about the pieces that need to be in place aside from having our recording ready, graphics laid out and perhaps have assembled an EPK. There are some other key elements that will ensure you have the most success with your music submission from the get go.

All of these tools are in the Indie Radio Course, along with a free PDF copy of The DIY Musician’s Radio Handbook and a ton of insights into how to make radio airplay work for your music by building relationships with the people behind the microphone. Get your spot on the course here.


How Radio Promotion Is Done Right With Jesse Barnett

RelationshipBeing a radio host, I’m plugged into different parts of this industry. I’m connected to radio stations, artists, managers, radio promoters, and listeners alike. I see things from the perspective of a radio station manager, music director, program host, and curator when it comes to music submissions. I do also see things from the perspective of the artists. It might seem like these are two opposing viewpoints, but they’re not.

Not if you look at it the right way.

Jesse Barnett

Jesse Barnett

Jesse Barnett (Right Arm Resource) is one who sees the harmony between the musicians and the media platforms who showcase their work. It’s a team effort, where both sides win when they work together. Look folks, there’s no I in team. We know that. It’s cliched. But how often do you, musicians, look at your music promotions to radio as something that offers a benefit to the station you reach out to other than them “getting to play” your music?

Radio and musicians win when there’s a relationship connection in place. That’s why public, community, indie and college radio continue to be powerhouses in the modern media-rich world. Relationships matter. Make that a focus and you’ll see bigger and better wins in your music promotion.

This podcast episode is about just that: relationships. Jesse is the best in the business of radio promotion because he puts relationships first. He has worked with and represented some big names in indie music including Damien Rice, They Might Be Giants, Cage The Elephant, and others. And he works with smaller indie labels and artists too, quite successfully I might add.

We talk about the power of networking and relationship building a lot in this episode because it’s the real key to achieving anything that lasts. Trust me. Or better yet trust Jesse. We’re both proof of this. Radio is a conduit between people who share interest, love, and stories driven by music. When radio works best is when it builds communities together of people who share these areas. That’s not the same thing as it being a platform that just plays music and has listeners. That’s boring commercial radio, which you’re not listening to.

One other thing that is mentioned a few times in this podcast episode is The DIY Musician’s Radio Handbook, which illustrates the exact things we talk about in a How-To format. Jesse has read it and shares his thoughts on it. It’s easy for me to tell you that you need this book. However, you decide how much you want to succeed. If you want to win, and you want long term wins, go grab the book here.

After you listen to this, if you get just 1 thing out of it (which I know is an understatement because you’ll get way more than that), do your part in the growth farming process and plant a seed with 3 of your music friends (i.e. share the episode). Cultivate it with me here, and let me know what 1 thing you got the most from in this conversation. We’ll talk soon!

If The Internet Broke Today Would You Survive?

BROKETheWebPreviously I talked about the cattle herding going on in the digital space of online marketing (see above blog here). The cattle drive is an analogy of following trends that the marketing (so-called) experts are purposing on everyone who spends their energy online trying to grow their business.

Projects are endless in number. The pursuit of metrics through numbers of viewers, listens, streams, followers, and so on leads to an insatiable appetite for imitation connection. How real is that? How strong is the grip we have on reality?

Questions we need to answers individually to see how truly connected we are

If the Internet broke today would all of the connection we have disappear, or would we simply move our meet up spot to a new location? Do we have the real connection with our communities to be able to talk to each other like fellow people, fellow creators of value and respect? Can we call our community friends and congregate in the middle of town square and they show up?

Connection is what the Internet is supposed to provide, and has for a long time. We are the ones who actually either gain the connection or lose it. It all happens by how we truly and legitimately engage with people.

Kelley McRae and Matt Castellano

Kelley McRae and Matt Castellano

This is the same reason that my friend Kelley McRae can post that her Kickstarter campaign start and reach 35% of her goal in the first day, complete the whole goal 2 weeks before it ends, and continue to grow her fan base connection throughout the entire process. Spend any amount of time with her and her husband Matt and you’re connecting with a real person who sees you and values you.

By seeing and valuing individual people, treating each member of their community as someone who matters is a choice made by individuals is how artists like Kelley achieve real connection. It’s not a matter of where that interaction takes place. Connect online, in a living room at a house show, at a coffee shop or your favorite pub, or outside in a park. The connection location doesn’t matter. Your heart’s focus does.

So what if the Internet breaks?

If the Internet broke today, the majority of artists, entrepreneurs, and business people who have made the Web their source of connection would be instantly AWOL. The Web is all they have, and the games they play everyday to “stay on top” in their business (or social media whatnot) are limited to this infinite yet tiny digital space. Ultimately this matters little in the grand scheme of things.

Instead, those who have the capacity (and have made the decision) to see and value others will find that doorways are always open to them. Amanda Palmer is one good example of this. My close friend and mentor Bird Thomas is another great example. Both people focus on seeing and valuing the people in their worlds. It makes a HUGE difference.

This method of approaching people isn’t common. Those who attempt to fake their way into our hearts are reviled more than those who simply just want see us as a number to add to the follower docket.

Valuing people is hard to fake, and difficult to manipulate. Yet there is a good chance that as we move forward into this digital space where everyone is seeking numbers (audience size as a digit instead of a connection value), things are going to change. They will be drawn into groups of individuals who value them. As faking connection loses traction, some marketers will try to hack the interconnected method too.

However, we know what real connection feels like. We know what real community builders look like. We’ve experienced them because they’re uncommon and sincere. We’ve felt the glory they bring to the people they see, and nothing else can compare. Individuals matter in a truly connected community.

The Internet can break right now and never come back, never have the pieces put back together and our communities will still thrive because they’re built around interaction, communication, and the value of each member. Numbers alone have little value in a place like this, but in the end who is caring about that?

This is why relationship building and networking is such a regular focus here on this blog, and it my podcasts, book, videos and everything else. In the end, we need each other to have anything worth building. As you set out to build your platform, think about the community you’re actually connected with. What actions are you going to take to strengthen those relationships so that the numbers aren’t the metric that matters (because numbers matter in accounting but not in fulfillment).

Hey, this is big stuff and it’s not something that we necessarily figure out in a moment. I’m honestly still figuring this out. Let’s figure it out together. Message me and we’ll talk.

Insights From The Musician’s Webman Andrew Apanov

Andrew Apanov

Andrew Apanov

In the digital age, we’re not limited to location for who we can learn from or be aided by.

One of my favorite people doing great things for musicians is Andrew Apanov. Based out of Poland, Andrew’s platform Dotted Music is a great resource for all things digital and web for musicians. His blog is a fantastic resource with great articles and posts that shine new light on not just the pieces of building a digital brand as a musician, but the how-to steps to make that happen.

What Andrew Apanov says about online branding for musicians

Andrew and I have had several conversations about what musicians need to do with their online branding and platforms to really grow their audience. We’ve also talked about media, which is why he was one of the first people I sent the DIY Musician’s Radio Handbook to, because back in the day Andrew was a radio host too.

His inclusion in the DIY Artist Route Podcast is perfect for us as we start the summer. I know a lot of artists are taking the time to re-evaluate their growth and what they’re working on. If that’s you, you’ll gain a lot from this episode. Music marketing online, online branding, relationship building a whole lot more are all in this episode.If you’re looking to hire a publicist or work with a music marketing agency, and you’ve read up on We Spin and Dotted Music, there are some things you should prepare for in consideration before you start writing checks.

What do marketing agencies and publicists look for with new musicians

Great publicists and music marketing agencies look for specific things from artists before they sign them. Do you know what they are? Andrew does, and now in turn you do too. I see a lot of musicians paying for services that they can do themselves. The reason they don’t do it themselves (like music marketing, radio promotion, etc) is because they’ve tried methods that don’t work and they gave up. So they pay money to someone else to do the work that creates networking connections. Except, they pay the money for the airplay, but don’t get the network. It’s so backwards. And it’s one of the things I appreciate most about this conversation with Andrew. His blogs and podcast get you even more form him.

How to be your own music publicist and promoter

Speaking of music promotions and publicity, don’t be one of those artists who get suckered into some promoter’s game of paying 100s or 1000s of dollars for promotion. It’s crap. Literally. Be your own radio promoter by doing 3 big things that many musicians and even labels get wrong. Learn how to do it right. I’ll show you. Click here to get it right.

Let Data & Research Guide You To Growth

Audiokite Research

Derek Webb is a big proponent of data. His site,, 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 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


Derek Webb, musician and founder of

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 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.