The Secrets To 1000 True SuperFans With Kevin Kelly



Kevin Kelly

Kevin Kelly is a man with a rich background in writing and science. His wisdom and thoughtfulness is pervasive in not only his writings but also his lectures.

He’s someone with an eye and ear to the future, looking at both trends and technology paired with the human psyche to see what futures await us. The artistic side of this approach to vision casting is brilliant. It’s also intriguing.

How I came to understand and embrace Kevin’s theories on growth goes back a few years to when I was starting my first endeavor in the creative entrepreneurial realm.

The Birth Of The SuperFan Idea

Back in 2008, while starting the initial syndication build for The Appetizer Radio Show, I first met an artist who would become a good friend. William Fitzsimmons had transitioned from one career as a therapist into becoming a full-time musician. He wasn’t famous, but he did have a really strong core audience that propelled his growth.

Years later, I’d connect with several other artists who’d share with me how they’d built their growth strategy around reaching 1000 true fans. It was a theory created by Kevin Kelly in an article he wrote that was published a few decades ago. Intrigued, I looked it up and found it contained the exact formula I was using to build my platform.

Fast-forward to this past summer. My good friend (and fellow DIY Artist Router) Chandler Coyle told me of an opportunity to speak with Kevin. Kevin has a new book out called The Inevitable, and was looking at some artistic, entrepreneurial and marketing related podcasts to get on to promote the book. I put my name in the hat and was privileged to get to connect with him.

The result of that connection is this podcast episode. It’s been several months in the making, but it’s brilliant on a variety of levels. The are several things I loved about talking with Kevin Kelly, especially how down-to-earth and open he is. It was like talking with an old friend.

He’s also incredibly objective, which is refreshing for someone who has done so much in their careers.

A Brief Bio On Kevin Kelly

Kevin Kelly is most known for being a writer, author, and co-founder of Wired Magazine. He’s also got a rich history in science, photography and digital marketing. He’s the founder of The WELL, a virtual community created with Stewart Brand.

He’s written for publications like The Economist, Esquire, GQ, and the New York Times. His lectures cover subjects ranging from marketing and economic growth to scientific and technological innovation.

His writings and books include New Rules for the New Economy: 10 Radical Strategies for a Connected World (Penguin, 1999) and”Forward: 1000 True Fans,” pp. 3–8, in Be The Media, David Mathison, editor, (2009), which is where the concept of the SuperFan was born.

More insights into Kelly available on his website.

Notable Quotes From This Podcast Conversation With Kevin Kelly

“The best way to do research on the Internet is to say something and people will tell you that you’re wrong. Numbers aren’t as critical as just doing it.”

“The Internet was inevitable but the kind of Internet we have (wasn’t). (There’s a) shift to Internet of experiences away from an Internet of knowledge. Much more emotional and experiential overlay will take place.”

“Marketing (The Inevitable) on Twitter was something we did well. Tweeting once a day with a quote from the book was very successful.”

Capture Your 1000 True Fans

What started as a concept and an idea has become something that is used by the truly successful indie and DIY musicians, artists, and creative entrepreneurs to build lasting success. It’s no longer a theory.

It’s a science. Connecting with real people who love and support your work is the theme of another great book that shows you the process of making it happen.

How can you take the science of the SuperFan and apply it to your work? Reach out to me in the form below and we’ll talk about getting your super fan tribe built.


3 Ways To Growth Hack Music Success With Jon Nastor

Jon Nastor

Jon Nastor

Every now and then the “recommended” notification on Twitter will suggest someone to you who is actually a good fit. A few months back, the recommendation was for Jon Nastor. After looking at his profile and seeing that he’s a drummer, and entrepreneur, and an author, I had to see what this guy was about.

That led to an exploration of his site, diving into his podcast and realizing that he and I share a lot in common. We both love punk rock, both play drums (him far more successfully than I). We both have working in the music and entrepreneurial space for a while. We have also had excellent conversations with some of the same people on our podcasts like Tom Giles, Kevin Kelly (episode coming soon), and Seth Godin. I knew I had to talk to this dude.

Jon is a great conversationalist, and a truly comfortable person to engage with. He was gracious in extending the conversational love to me in letting me join him on Hack The Entrepreneur Podcast shortly after we talked. Listen to our chat on his podcast here.

His insights into what success actually means, how to combine our passion and our freedom to do what we want, and what growth actually is are spot on.

I highly recommend his book Hack The Entrepreneur, the book and the podcast. It’s insights into what real growth professionals like the individuals mentioned earlier and several others give to show the way forward.

Episode 26 with Jon Nastor Show Notes

Jon gives a Cliff Notes definition of “Growth Hacking” for musicians in first 10 minutes of conversation.

You don’t have to have a ton of experience before starting out. If you want to do something do it. It’s how Jon created his podcast and wrote his book. The backstory and his insights are perfect for helping you get started.

We talk about how annoying auto-DM messages and auto-responders are when first making new contacts with people on social media. This is particularly insightful for musicians who do this on Twitter. What Jon says about this is how most professionals in media and with an influential audience feels if you auto-DM them right out of the gate.

We cheer for the underdog in the story but we tell other people we’re the giant. Why that is and how that hurts us about 3/4 into the podcast.

Jon Nastor Podcast Quotes

“Do work that matters. What matters to me might not matter to you. But it’s worth talking about.”

“I like my businesses like I like my music: fast and independent.”

“If you have an idea and you put it onto paper, and then in a digital format, and put it out to the world, that is entrepreneurship.”

“We all go against Goliath in real time, and cheer for David, but then we try to pretend to be Goliath in what we do. Then we lose that personal connection. Everything I write and everything I say is for 1 person. If I treat them well enough there will be that connection personally.”

Listen, download and share via this player:

Sponsor For This Podcast Piece:

Bandzoogle: Bandzoogle gives you all the resources you need to do everything necessary for success with your music online. You can sell your tracks, merch, and bonuses, build your email list, and more all from your own domain (instead of what bandcamp and similar sites have). PLUS, use the promo code “DIYpod” to get 15% off anything on the site.

Rachael Yamagata Shares Love & Music Entrepreneur Help

Rachael Yamagata

Rachael Yamagata

I have to admit to having some excitement about this podcast episode. I’ve been a big fan of Rachael Yamagata‘s music for a long time. Going back at least to 2003 when I first heard her self-titled EP and then in ’04 with the release of Happenstance.

Great musicians write songs that connect with our individual stories, and those stories become a soundtrack to our lives. Happenstance was that for me in many ways. The driving beat and stinging lyrics to Letter Read remain one of my favorite songs. It’s probably one of the best sad/breakup songs out there. Add her piano-driven, jazz-styled songwriting to the rest of that album with tracks like Under My Skin, Reason Why, and Be Be Your Love and you have plenty of reason to explore her songbook.

rachael-tightropewalkerThis past Friday, she released her latest album Tightrope Walker. It’s simply brilliant. And it’s already getting featured all over the place. The Appetizer Radio Show is showcasing it, as well a great indie radio platforms like Mountain Stage, NPR Music, and more.

I’ve wondered what it would be like to have a conversation with someone whose music I’ve followed for years but not ever talked with. I finally had the chance to find out. I want to give a big thanks to my good friend and past DIY Artist Route guest Chandler Coyle for helping to make this wonderful conversation happen. Chandler is a connector, and one of my favorite people.

Here’s what I discovered right away in talking with Rachael: the music connection is the tip of the iceberg. It’s really a heart connection that draws us towards the artists we love.

By heart connection I’m referring to the philosophies and ideals we live by. For me, I believe that love is the highest calling we can have. Inside of each of us is a garden. What we plant in our hearts turns to fruits we produce with our lives. My mantra each day is to plant love inside my heart and mind so that it can be reaped to give to others. This is the heart of Growth Farming.

There’s a principle of Like Attracting Like and that’s certainly something that every one of my friends who are past guests on the podcast have in common. We all believe that joining forces to help others is the path to take to succeed. Rachael is a wonderful example of just the heart and mind to do that for artists and entrepreneurs alike here.

Big Takeaways In This Podcast With Rachael Yamagata

My wife Mrs. Smith was very pleased to learn that, like her, Rachael is a very big cat fan. She shares a bit of insight into her love for her cats in this conversation. I thought that was just perfect. One day we’ll have to find a way to get Mrs. Smith and Ms. Yamagata together to compare cat notes, don’t you think?

Writing relationships in their ups is not always easy, but writing about the downs comes more naturally. Some people try to figure out why relationships go the way they do instead of just complaining about what didn’t work. For songwriters who dive into this side of the story, it takes on a whole new thing. We also learn why my friend William Fitzsimmons and Rachael should do a co-write together.

The entrepreneurial side of art and music is certainly within the grasp of any artist who wants to be successful. However, the ball is in your court. If you want to win in this realm, you have to learn everything you can about how to be a business with your music. It’s the realm of what Rachael refers to as “Artist As CEO.” She gives plenty of insights into how to make that happen here.

Patience is a struggle for everyone, especially artists. However, the process of learning an instrument shows us that we can adapt to changes and work towards improvement. She admits to writing a lot of really long and really bad songs early on in her career. We need to make mistakes often to be able to learn from them to grow.

Ultimately, her greatest desire as a person is to leave am impression on this world as someone who exhibited unexpected kindness. As she puts it, “I observe a lot and I love finding that thing that someone would really enjoy  that they don’t know how to ask for and get it into their world.”

Great Rachael Yamagata Quotes From The Podcast

” I think my calling card has always been just to remind people to connect with one another and we all have our stories and are much deeper than whatever masks we put on in daily life.”

“Emotions are so powerful and they hit you in a way that intellect doesn’t. You don’t have control over them often. You don’t always understand them.”

“I am so obsessed with my cats I have to be careful in conversations.”

“There’s a lot of studying we can do and a lot of direct connection with fans, who are your greatest asset as a DIY artist.”

Listen/Download this episode:

Rachael is a fantastic songwriter, musician and human being. This conversation really blessed my heart, encouraged and inspired me in a lot of ways. I hope you have a similar experience.

I also encourage you to dive into her latest album Tightrope Walker, and her deeper songbook. It’s some of the best music you will ever hear. Cheers!

Sponsor For This Podcast Piece

Bandzoogle: Bandzoogle gives you all the resources you need to do everything necessary for success with your music online. You can sell your tracks, merch, and bonuses, build your email list, and more all from your own domain (instead of what bandcamp and similar sites have). PLUS, use the promo code “DIYpod” to get 15% off anything on the site.

Reach Your Music Potential On The Launch Summit


I’ve been talking about The Music Launch Summit for weeks on Facebook, Twitter, and the DIY Artist Route Podcast. It’s the biggest and best online music launch platform in history. Here’s why:

Every year musicians line up to attend the big music conferences and events. SXSW, Big Sound, ASCAP, and everything in between features both industry specialists and artists who are succeeding in this business. There are countless sessions strung over a short week’s (or shorter) time. You can always get some of the featured speakers you want to see, but not all of them.

Then you get home and try to start implementing some of the things you learned, but there’s so much stuff to try and do at once that if you get started, it’s nearly impossible to keep up with. Plus, you’re on your own at these seminars and conferences. Sure, you get a few business cards but you rarely (if ever) get to connect with the actual speakers.

ALL of that is different in the Music Launch Summit. Here you get lifetime access to the masterclass workshops (lifetime means forever, in other words never expiring). For folks who grab the VIP access you also get plugged into many of the speakers and get some personal attention.

Steve Palfreyman

Steve Palfreyman

Steve Palfreyman is my good friend and past DIY Artist Route Podcast guest. He is the Superman who organized and put all this together. Among the masterclass speakers include other past podcast guests like Benji Rogers and Andrew Apanov. Each speaker will be talking about their specific expertise.  They will also be laying out practical and specific steps for you to take to launch your music to new heights.

Over 40 of the most sought-out, powerful people in music  are presenting in this online platform include Bob Baker, Dave Kusek, Cari Cole, Wendy Parr, Ross Barber-Smith, Yann Ilunga, Rodney Holder, Carlos Castillo, Ariel Hyatt and many others. I’m going to be joining in to talk about indie radio airplay and the power of relationship building in the music industry.

These speakers will be covering everything from social media strategy to business & marketing to music production to building websites to direct-to-fan campaigns to radio airplay and much more.

That’s a LOT of growth opportunity, and it’s all available for free to sign up here.

But let’s take it even a step further because I want to give you even more. I want your growth farming experience to be out of this world and reach levels of success you haven’t dreamed of yet.

Here’s what that means:

The free pass will get you access to the sessions for a few days after each session goes live. If you miss a session and don’t view it within the open window, you will have missed it. That’s a bummer.

However, VIP Access will get you more. With VIP Access you get lifetime access to the Summit’s content (all 40+ video interviews), other bonuses (like an individual development plan), and a 4-week implementation session to put all the advice & wisdom to practice. Plus you get Steve in your corner to answer any questions you have during the entire summit.

Today marks the launch of the Summit. You can sign up anytime during the duration of the online event to experience the difference. Once the event window closes, only those with VIP access will be able to experience the masterclass sessions, so jump in now. Sign up here free.

Shaine Freeman On Why Connections Must Know You Back

Listen/Download the Podcast conversation here:

Shaine Freeman

Shaine Freeman

Shaine Freeman is a really good example of people who value connections. As a musician, you’ve heard a whole lot of people talk about why you need to build your contact list, grow your connections with people in the music industry as well as your fan base, and why “who you know” is so important.

Guess what? Who you know, though it’s a big part of the growth process, is not nearly as essential as who knows you back. This art (and science) is one of the key things that created the connection between my friend Shaine Freeman and myself. His career in music, entertainment and professional sports is vast. So are his connections. But that’s only a small part of what makes Shaine dynamic.

This dude gets it. He gets relationships and how to build them over time. He gets marketing and growth for musicians and entrepreneurs. He gets the process of vetting the people you listen to for advice. He gets the power of reciprocity. AND he gets growth farming.

This podcast episode is full of wisdom, advice, and great perspectives on what folks who do what he and I do (as podcast hosts and music industry professionals) as well as what goes through our minds when people ask certain questions. There are some things that you should be careful what you ask for with certain people. Gaining instant access to someone’s contact list, particularly someone you just met, is a tale of caution.

I highly recommend subscribing to Shaine’s podcast The Miews. Each episode has great conversations and insights into how to build, grow, and be more successful with your music project. There are a few podcasts I’m a proponent for, and The Miews is one of them. It’s connecting with podcast hosts that’s one of the big secrets to getting the attention of music industry influencers. If you want insight into how to do that, contact me and we’ll talk.

Podcast Notes & Quotes:

[Why we need to experience loss and failure]: “At the end of the day you wouldn’t be who you are if you didn’t have those (negative) experiences.”

[Why growing connections and building relationships takes time & you can’t shortcut  it]: “This is an important step in your process to grow the relationship. You don’t get to pull the Game Genie out and advance to Level 30 in the relationship process when you’re barely on Level 1.”

[Why you need to check out the people you want to connect with before you do it]: “If you don’t have the decency to go and at least see what someone’s done before you ask a question, you’re not going to get anywhere.”

“How many musicians would give up their only guitar to someone they don’t know who said they needed a guitar? You probably wouldn’t. That’s how it is if you ask me ‘hey Mister, can you give me the contacts that you spent 9 or 10 years building, can I get that today, and I don’t really know you?”

[On how much you need to know versus how much you actually know]: “When I was 18,19,20 years old I thought I knew everything. My father told me to get out now while I knew everything. There was a strong message behind what he was saying. You’ll go through some realizations that you don’t know everything.”

There are SO many more great quotes in this podcast (essentially every time Shaine talks or answers a question) to list here.

One key thing we talk about over and over again is the process of networking and building relationships with your fan base AND with music industry & media folks. We talked about some of the big things artists get wrong. If you want to change your game and get them right, pick up the manual for making that happen with the DIY Musician’s Radio Handbook.
Listen/Download the Podcast conversation here:

Steve Palfreyman Shares 3 Keys To Success For Musicians & Creative Businesses

Steve Palfreyman

Steve Palfreyman

I’ve known Steve Palfreyman for a long time. Honestly, he’s a good friend and mentor, which is why having him on the DIY Artist Route Podcast is such an honor. He and I share a lot of the same ethos, our philosophies and ideas on how to grow and build are similar and synced in many ways.

One of the coolest things about Steve, which he shares in this episode, is that what we do determines our legacy, which is the most important piece of our success as human beings. Never mind success in the world of art or music or business. Legacy is a big deal, and you can see (and hear) from everything he says that this is what drives the quest for growth.

This is the first episode of the podcast that I’m doing Show Notes (see below) to capture some of the specific parts talked about. It’s also one of the only times (with the exception of Derek Webb), where the conversation lasted close to an hour. Still, this is one of the best conversations I’ve had with a colleague and fellow growth farmer on the pursuit of success for all of us in the creative industries. Steve is known for the gold that is produced from his words (through quotes). That is certainly true here.

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 5.10.08 PMOne other big point to make is that the Music Launch Summit, which he is the creator and host of, is kicking off soon. I’m privileged to join friends and past guests of the podcast like Benji Rogers & Andrew Apanov, along with Yann Ilunga, Wendy Parr, Arial Hyatt, and a bunch more folks in the creative industries. It’s free to sign up now, so get in. Get in to the Music Launch Summit here.

Podcast Show Notes:

*There are a few spots in the recording where the audio gets a little crackled or poppy. Don’t worry it’s not your speakers or your web connection.

It has to do with the recording from Skype to Logic X. I’m a bit of an audiophile and these little spots irk me on a technical side. However, this conversation was so good, and the time difference being what it is, that I stuck with this session instead of rescheduling to run the gambit of audio-syncing again.

In this conversation we’ll cover a lot of ground including

-Why you need to know your values to truly build powerful connections with the right people

-What marketing actually is (and it’s not pitching your music or work)

-Emotional intelligence, what it is, why it matters, and why your growth in emotional intelligence can determine how successful you are at anything

-Why reflection and empathy are essential tools to build solid relationships

Steve1PURE GOLD-Great quotes from Steve Palfreyman in this podcast episode:

“Marketing is just delivering stuff that is awesome.”

“Our industry is unempathetic and that’s what needs to change.”

“Emotional intelligence comes from life experiences. We all reflect, but not as much as we could.The deeper I dive, the more gold I dig.”

“Without it (emotional intelligence), the art will stagnate.”

“Social media and managing your career is no different than learning an instrument.”

“If we’re more thankful we’re all going to have more oxygen to keep doing the things that we’re doing and not feel like we’re just running on fumes all the time because it takes so much grit to get anything creative off the ground and we need so much to help each other keep going until we can get the monetary benefit too.”

Ryan Kairalla Helps Protect Musician’s Artistry On New Podcast

Ryan Kairalla, entertainment attorney, podcast host, and author of Break The Business

Ryan Kairalla, entertainment attorney, podcast host, and author of Break The Business

Something I haven’t spent much time with on the DIY Artist Route Podcast is talk about the legal issues that arise in the music industry.

It’s interesting because law is a side of the business that most of us just relegate to someone else if a need arises. However, IF a need arises, you want someone in your corner who knows the rules, has experience dealing with the legal jargon, and can get you back on track.

That man is Ryan Kairalla.

Truthfully, Ryan is more than just a legal professional (also called entertainment attorney in some circles).

He’s a podcast host and author of Break The Business: Declaring Your Independence & Achieving True Success In The Music Industry. His advice and counsel on both his podcast and in his book helps to protect your artistry as a musician and creative entrepreneur before something happens that could throw you off course.

Ryan Kairalla is a music entrepreneur in the truest sense of the word. Entrepreneurship is pervasive in our industry, and those who are winning big in the music space are those who embrace the entrepreneurial path they’re on.

Yes, this is music.

Yes this is creativity.

And yes, to be successful in this space with limitless competition, you have to understand some basic pieces of business. The ones who are winning in music do just that.

In this podcast Ryan breaks down how the new model for business in music requires all of us to know a little about music, a little about business and a little about law. He’s helping us with the law side.

Ryan shares with us in this podcast episode (listen through the player above or below this post) about how musicians can be better entrepreneurs.

He also talks about the importance of establishing your career now with the right structures to protect your music and creative entity.

And he has a great piece of advice for entering into contracts with producers, labels, and management so that you don’t end up like a prominent musician (Ke$ha).

We talk about a lot of areas that tend to throw musicians off course. Ryan and I agree that your product as a musician isn’t the songs you write.

Your job isn’t to write and perform music. There’s something more that you’re doing. Details on what that more is can be found about midway through our podcast conversation.

On a podcast production note, this conversation was recorded several months ago, but due to my schedule with radio stuff, book promotion, and speaking engagements, I wasn’t able to get this episode published until now.

I highly recommend you subscribing to Ryan Kairalla’s Break The Business Podcast. Each episode is full of very useful tips and truths about the music business that you need to know to grow  your career.

BreakTheBusinessBookHis book Break The Business: Declaring Your Independence & Achieving True Success In The Music Industry is also outstanding, and should be a part of your reading list for this year.

I’ve read it and gained a ton of useful tips on growth from it. You will too. Dive into Ryan’s work and educate yourself on both the legal side of music, as well as more of the entrepreneurial side.

Ryan Kairalla is a Growth Farmer you can trust, and his work speaks for itself.

We’re both active on Twitter, and welcome your thoughts and comments on this episode. Reach Ryan on Twitter here, and hit me up on Twitter here.


Growth Farming Tip: Get Positive Mindset

Graphic by Psychologymd

Graphic by Psychologymd

Do ever have negative thoughts about who you are and what you’re capable of? Are you positive that you’re going to win, or do you question yourself each day? Does “be positive” make you cringe a little because it’s either cliche or seemingly impossible?

I ask these questions because they’re obstacles I’m facing now, and have been facing for about 30 years or more. I just didn’t realize that the thoughts in my head that tell me I can’t do what I aspire to, or that I’m not capable of success in the goals I have are what most people deal with each and every day.

I just took those attitudes and thoughts as the way things are. In other words, I didn’t question it, or challenge it. I just believed it.

Negative thoughts can destroy our momentum, causing us to spin our wheels instead of move forward. These mindsets create negative progress, or periods where growth is so slow and we’re left to just wonder why.

DGS-StairsProfileHeadshotIf you can relate to that there is a simple solution I’m experiencing transformation with right now. It’s really just a matter of a positive mindset. Here’s the truth: what you put in your mind and in your heart creates pathways that lead you to new opportunities, or keep you from the growth you want.

Does that mean that if you’re not “thinking positive thoughts” all the time, that you can’t succeed at your goals? No, it doesn’t. However, it may mean that you’ll have to work harder, longer, and face more obstacles than you would have if you evicted the negativity from having residence in your life.

Positive thoughts and a positive mindset can work together, but they’re not always the same thing. Thoughts feed our mindset, and determine what our mindset is. If you set your mind on what is positive and affirming, you attract those things to your life. If you let negativity be present in what you think, you’ll attract negative people and closed doors. That’s been true in places in my life.

Here’s one thing I’ve struggled with for most of my life: a perpetual thought that I can’t be or have something that I want. It really has been just like that. If I talked with someone who wanted to build something new to impact people on a big scale, the first thought that has come into my head has been literally this: “You can’t do that.”

The “you” in my head is talking to me. It’s the voice that doesn’t believe in me, and will never believe in me. That voice may live in your head too. It’s not you, but it’s living in you and it’s working against you. It’s not your job or mine to convince the negativity that it’s wrong. It’s our job to instead choose to ignore or not listen, to give no credence to that thought. This was a foreign concept to me until a few months ago.

I’ve shared a bit here on this blog about facing fears, and overcoming many of them through a boxing gym. That’s a part of the journey into personal wholeness. That’s the journey I’m still on. The mindset we have determines a lot about our progress forward as people who are building something of value, whether that’s music or business, or anything else. As growth farmers, our attitude about other people and with other people is impacted by what we believe about ourselves.

Here’s a little bit of my story about overcoming fears. The mindset we have determines a lot in achieving this too.


I realize now that my attitude towards some people in the communities I’ve operated in over the past few years hasn’t been great, and it’s because of the internal beliefs I had about myself. I’ve felt overlooked or invisible to people, which put a little chip on my shoulder. That led to me working to prove them wrong, pushing me to succeed to beat some perceived attitude in someone else. However, the real attitude was still alive and well in me, and that negativity was what needed to be dealt with the whole time.

A friend of mine gave a kickass speech yesterday in our local Toastmasters group that talked about the power of positive beliefs over negative ones. She talked about how it’s scientifically proven that positive people live longer, have more personal happiness, and are more successful than people who foster negative attitudes. I managed to record the tail end of her speech, and wish I had gotten the whole thing because it was incredibly powerful.

One takeaway was a challenge she laid down to us to make a gratefulness journal. Every day for the next 2 months, write down 3 things you’re grateful for and thankful for. I started last night. I’m finding that the things I’m the most thankful for are relationships with specific people. Relationships are our fruit, and the more we work to grow them the more whole we can become, and the more successful we are.

Our attitudes towards ourselves plays a huge role in our ability to connect with others, and build the relationships that lead to more success. But how do we change our attitude and thoughts if we have negativity brewing inside our heads?

IMG_1333Here’s what I’m doing to change the attitude and be more positive:

I start my day with a walk. While I’m moving (activity is a great way to get out of the doldrums and create literal action that changes things), I affirm myself with new beliefs and attitudes that serve to create what I truly want. Here’s what I tell myself:

“I believe in me. My heart and mind are filled with love, joy, peace, passion, wealth, and prosperity. My life produces love, joy, peace, passion, wealth, and prosperity. What people experience from me is love, joy, peace, passion, wealth, and prosperity.”

This is the opposite of listening to a perpetual negative attitude that says “you can’t.” It’s also powerful to call out that voice and tell it to shut the hell up, and get the hell out. Do that too. It’s a stubborn attitude, but it will obey you. Then affirm yourself with positive thoughts.

I’m about a month into this part of the process and I’m already seeing results. A good friend & mentor today told me that they get more centered and balanced every time we talk. She’s mentoring me, and she’s gaining balance from our talks. That tells me this growth farming method is working.

It will work for you too. Put it into action in your life. And let me know how your garden grows. I look forward to hearing from you.

Build Stronger Audience Connection With Amy Schmittauer

AmySchmittauerMost of us in the music and creative business space are seeing more and more videos in our social news feeds. Why is that? One big reason is video’s ability to build engagement. We’re naturally drawn to the power of moving visual and audio media. This is especially true when people are present in the videos. That’s the power that Amy Schmittauer shows us how to excel at.

I was not aware of how excellent Amy’s work is as a video blog coach until my friend Chandler Coyle pointed me to a video she did that talked about the power of radio for musicians. Her reference points are more in the pop realm of radio airplay, but the points she makes are spot on. In this example alone, we can see how the power of effective communication through video can convert people into becoming not only fans, but tribesmen. I’m not in her tribe, because one video wasn’t enough. I wanted to see what else she was teaching.

This video is how I first saw her work. Is it a How-To for getting radio airplay? NO. She’s talking about how getting your music in front of radio should be the first thing you think of when you think of marketing because it’s a natural fit. That’s completely true.

Amy’s site is full of her numerous videos, all showcasing ways to grow your audience using the power of video. I wanted to connect with her to learn more about her story, get her insights into how to take this platform of video production and translate it into the DIY music space, and build a dialogue. Her helpful personality isn’t just something on screen. It’s who she is  (authenticity is a key to building a solid core audience of super fans in any realm).

Does she talk about doing things in a digital space to build a big audience? Yes. Does that go against the grain for Audience Growth Farming? No. Here’s why: All of Amy’s content is about creating content for an audience you want to build a connection with. She talks about doing something from the perspective of the person you want to reach. That is EXACTLY the Growth Farming Method.

If you hear her talking about “mainstream” media or marketing in this piece, don’t ignore her words altogether because she’s still talking to you. She’s talking about all of us. We need to look at how we can present our

There are some really insightful and strong pieces of advice that Amy shares in this podcast episode (download and stream via iTunes, Stitcher, and Spreaker). Among them are how to focus on being consistent with your videos instead of trying to start out with the best equipment.

From my days back in the university world of media and journalism, I worked with a lot of young people starting their media experience.  They would hold off starting to work on their dreams of making videos until they got the best gear. Then they’d spend a fortune on gear that sat in a closet unused. Amy’s wisdom and advice here to start with what you have is spot on.

One key (very BIG key) that she points out repeatedly is something that’s covered extensively in The DIY Musician’s Radio Handbook. Your focus with your marketing and engagement methods must be on the person you want to reach. Think about what matters to them. This is your tribe of super fans, your core audience we’re talking about. What do these people care the most about? How can you serve their interests? By making your end user your focus, you will not only stand out, but you will find that the right people are magnetized to you.

“No one’s thinking about what the end user really wants, they just put out what they want to put out, and that’s NOT how you get people to like you.”

Amy Schmittauer goes beyond just talking about how to make videos that people want to see. She’s a master at building engagement. It’s not enough to just make a video that has you playing your song, or acting out drama for a music video. The audio element is key too. As Amy puts it, “Audio will kill your video. If it’s not good audio or it’s windy, or it’s crackly, no one’s going to watch that video. But if the video of the video is not the best quality in the world, people still watch it, which is why Snap-chat is a thing and crappy video is fine. It’s relatable. People think, ‘That’s probably the best I can do with a camera too.’ ”

“The best thing you can do is use what you have and actually make a video. Find out what the mistakes are. Find out how important lighting is, how important audio is. Your phone is a powerful device. You don’t need a bunch of gear. You’ve got to test and you have to practice. People want the perfect set before they get started, but we never get the perfect set.”

Everything we do to growth farm our audience involves a process of building trust and relationships. Flash-in-the-pan methods of getting attention are short-lived. They don’t create the connection and growth that we need as creatives to have sustainable careers. For musicians, radio airplay is a big part of this journey, because it builds upon the trust that they listener has with the station they tune into for great music.

“We want to say things a certain way but our audience is not going to understand it until they know, like, and trust us and want to go down that path with us. I think musicians and radio speak to that because if you see somebody come out on the radio, a lot of times it’s because they’ve been working really hard and finally come out with an album or a single track that’s perfect for radio in a popular nature. That’s the thing that gets them the exposure and the eyeballs and the influence and then the second album comes out and it’s like ‘I want to know who this guy is.’”

Listen and stream the full podcast episode here:


This is a realm of engagement I’m working on too, concerning video. I’m doing more and more of it, particularly on Youtube and Facebook. It’s important for us to learn more about what actions we can take to get our messages out to the right people who are wanting and needing us. Amy’s insights here are a great resource for that. Follow her on Youtube to gain more insights into effective video production for growth and great tips on being successful in this creative space.

Take what Amy Schmittauer talks about in building a stronger audience with radio airplay to the next level. Sign up for the Indie Radio Course now to get your music in front of more music super fans on indie radio.

How To Reshape Our Understanding Of True Strength

What does “true strength” mean to you?

Original Superman Art by Joe Mad

Original Superman Art by Joe Mad

I used to think of most things in the context of the comic book characters whose posters and movies which would adorn my walls. I sometimes still think of athletes who can do incredible feats with their bodies. I think of inner courage, heart, and perseverance, especially in the face of near impossible odds.

I think of Bo Jackson. Self-explanatory there.

Yet when I want to look for an example that we can learn from, I spend my time searching the internet for the things I listed and come up short. Isn’t it odd, the things that I want to associate with being true strength I only half-heartedly support, instead relying on some physical example to fulfill the need to “see it” in action?

Are Superman’s limitless powers true strength? Of course, flying into the sun takes some balls. In his case, it also maxes his pedigree and bench press by doing so. Moving mountains and trains and other giant objects that weigh more than what can be defined numerically counts as strength too. It’s also impossible strength.

Moving to athletics. Bo Jackson highlight videos are illustrations of strength. As are JJ Watt and any defensive end who can push over a 300 lbs man. Finesse is also in there, and combining those two elements makes for some magical video viewing.

Rocky's true strength is physical and internal in Rocky 3

Rocky’s true strength is physical and internal in Rocky 3

True strength is harder to characterize than only in a physical embodiment. Perhaps that’s one of the draws to Rocky Balboa, despite the fact that he had a considerable physical ability. That inner voice that won’t allow you to quit, no matter what, is something that only the truly strong have.

Speaking of Rocky, it takes strength to face our fears, especially when that fear stands 6’2″, weighs 230 lbs, has a mohawk and delivers pain. Strength isn’t just a physical attribute, it’s internal too. Rocky showed me how to face and overcome fears in powerful ways.

What about Mother Teressa or Ghandi? Those two people stood up against oppressive regimes, fighting for the ignored and abandoned, and didn’t use violence as their weapons, even in the midst of violence. That takes real strength, strength that no physical attribute can grant you.
I’ve been reading the autobiography of Muhummad Ali. It shows the man’s inner strength was the real force to be reckoned with.

The most endearing attribute of Ali has more to do with how he stood up for his beliefs in the wake of the draft and the war in Vietnam than any of his championship belts. How he stood in the face of hatred from his own countrymen and women because he didn’t want to shed the blood of another man, how he was ostracized and called anti-American because he didn’t want war is incredible to conceive. Withstanding that kind of rhetoric and public sentiment while not lashing out against anyone took more strength than anything else he did in or out of the ring. And yet it’s not something we would associate with him as strength until we’re confronted with it ourselves.

In this space of growth farming, where cultivating seeds of connections with new people is the method of achieving success, it takes a different kind of strength to win. It takes inner determination, love, grace, empathy and compassion. It takes us going first, initiating the connections and doing things differently than what has come before us.

It takes us finding that we’re made of more than just what we think. Inside you and I are what looks like the muscle-bound warriors whose physical appearance gives us inspiration. Yet that need for leadership, courage, risk-taking, vulnerability, and perseverance are the true measures of strength that draws our tribe in.

It’s actually these qualities that make us grow, because that’s the change that we all want to see in the world. Your heart makes you strong. What you put into it is what fruits will come out from it, and what will draw others to you.