Category Archives: Blog

Original blog posts from D Grant on how to improve your music, tips to grow your audience, and insights into getting you Radio-Ready.

Grow More Love By Letting Go

We all want to have happy, healthy relationships in our lives. But too often we try to make those relationships work through controlling the steps and actions of others. Because issues that create pain cause us to lose what we hold so close. Yet it’s interesting how letting go creates more of what we want than holding tightly does.

In every type of relationship there is the desire to be in control of the outcome. If you do X-Y-Z, someone will treat you better. Or at least they should. So we tell ourselves.

We all want to be in control most of the time. But with relationships, control is holding on to someone with closed hands, trying to determine their responses, or behavior. But you can’t control anyone else and have them truly give you what you want.

Letting go is the way to healthy relationships.

Control causes manipulation. Which breeds bitterness. Which creates loss and division. Which ends up in an ending you don’t want.

People who try to control others hold them tightly with their hearts and minds, using words to steer certain responses. It’s problematic.

There’s no freedom in a relationship like this, be it friendship, family, or romantic. Subsequently, it’s much harder to give and receive world when you’re being restricted, held on too tightly by someone else.

Love is what we all want more of.

Love can be defined in many ways. For simplicity’s sake, we can define love as the joining of peace, joy, freedom, happiness, kindness, appreciation, acceptance, harmony, and affection.

Wayne Dyer defines it this way: “Love is the ability and willingness to allow those that you care for to be what they choose for themselves without any insistence that they satisfy you.”

Ultimately, love is the art of letting go and letting God (aka the Universe, Almighty Love, the Most High, the Higher Power or however you care to define Deity).

I recently put together an episode of The Appetizer Radio Show built around this philosophy, describing the art of letting go for a full, healthy and whole life with others. I incorporated music that illustrated this point.

Also in the radio show was pieces of a doctrine that my good friend, mentor and pastor shared with us recently. He gathered this wisdom from one of his friends. I want to share it with you here to practice the art of letting go, one piece at a time:

To let go doesn’t mean to stop caring, it means I can’t do it for someone else.

To let go is not to cut myself off.

It’s the realization that I don’t control another.

To let go is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural consequences.

To let go is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands.

To let go is not to try to change or blame another, because I can only change myself.

To let go is not to care for, but to care about.

To let go is not to fix, but to be supportive.

To let go is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being.

To let go is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes,

but to allow others to affect their own outcomes.

To let go is not to be protective.

It is to permit another to face reality.

To let go is not to nag, scold, or argue,

but to search out my own shortcomings and to correct them.

To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires,

but to take each day as it comes and to cherish the moment.

To let go is not to criticize and regulate anyone,

but to try to become what I dream I can be.

To let go is not to regret the past,

but to grow and live for the future.

To let go is to fear less and to love more.

——————————————————————————————————————————————Want To Experience More Growth? Gain more success with one of the best minds in business.
Learn Growth Farming The Seth Godin way in this free eBook.

Rob Lawrence Gives Truth On How To Kickass At Interviews

Rob Lawrence

One thing that everyone in the media industry pays attention to is how well an interview is done. Rob Lawrence, host of Inspirational Creatives, is one of the best there is at doing amazing interviews. That’s why I invited him to join me on the DIY Artist Route Podcast to share his wisdom.

What we discovered in our conversation is that it’s important for hosts who interview and guests being interviewed, can both gain clarity on how to have the most kickass interviews.

When the guest and host connect on a deeper level than just a basic Q&A, the audience gets the best experience. Everyone wins.

This is not something I’m seeing a lot of lately, in terms of discussing how to create amazing interviews. Which is why this podcast is a great resource for you because Rob gives some clear insights and very actionable suggestions to help you be a better interviewer or question-asker in any medium.

My Perspective On Great Interviews

My background is in public radio. I cut my teeth in learning the art of doing captivating interviews for KACU FM in Abilene, Tx way back in the early 2000s. My inspirations are folks who have made NPR a standout media platform for decades. I’m talking about radio icons like Scott Simon (one of my personal heroes), Steve Inskeep, David Dye, and Linda Wertheimer.

Those folks really know how to go deeper than the questions to get to the heart of their guests, and ultimately create heart-connections with their listeners.

It’s something that comes from what Rob Lawrence calls “having a natural curiosity.”

This podcast session ended up being something that led to a different kind of production for me: a two-part episode.

Closer Look At Part One

Here in the first part, we take a closer look at how podcasters, radio hosts, bloggers & writers, and other media personalities can create the bedrock for a truly engaging interview.

It’s a How To Be A Great Interviewer 101 lesson, from one of the best podcast interviewers there is.

Rob has a gentle presence, a great voice, and enters discussions with both his mind and his heart. There’s a noticeable kindness in his presentation, which makes him both intriguing, engaging, and easy to talk with.

These qualities make for a conversation that moves both the question-asker, and the answer-giver. Aka, the person hosting and the person being interviewed.

You’ll notice that we switch roles a few times, another mark of a great interview. When an interview feels more like you’re sitting in on an intriguing conversation, everyone wins. Because you feel like you’re joining in a rousing chat that is more than just a “let me pick your brain about XYZ” kind of experience.

If you’ve watched any of Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee, you see a very similar dynamic. Sure, there’s a bit of comedy and humor involved, but essentially Seinfeld is asking a lot of questions to learn more about his friend. In the process, we all gain both an intellectual and entertaining experience.

What Makes For A Great Interview

When both the mind and the heart are engaged in what’s going on, you find yourself challenged to think differently, and also feel something in the process.

What makes for powerful media, audio in particular, is the presentation of something that connects with the audience’s emotions. That makes for great songwriting and musical performance, as well as any creative medium.

The mind and the heart. Nail the engagement with both of those vessels and you have the makings for a seriously kickass interview.

There’s a whole lot of gold in this podcast episode, and there’s even more in part 2 where we will talk about how to best prepare to be interviewed.

Jumping over to the other side of the microphone, you’ll gain even more perspective on how to craft the best interview to engage both your compatriot (either host or guest) and the audience.

Reach out to Rob and connect with him (email Tell him you heard his talk with me on The DIY Artist Route Podcast. And be sure to subscribe to Inspirational Creatives. It’s one of the best interview podcasts there is. Rob’s also a great coach for podcasters who want to take their work to the next level, build a killer podcast, and gain serious success.

–Episode Notes & Quotes–

-Great interviews require more than just curiosity. Passion is needed as well. Experience helps too. A small amount of research is helpful.

-Preparing for an interview includes finding out about what the guest is curious about right now, and meeting them in that place will really help. Also, making sure that everything is working on the technical end.

-Make sure that the experience is good for the guest so they have the best time and feel a warm welcome.

-Good interview prep for the interviewer includes: Looking up the person’s audience and their site. Dig in deep here.

“I’m more of an explorer than an expert, if you like?” -Rob Lawrence

“A journalistic approach to interviews typically puts the guest on their back foot sometimes. So when it comes to talking about, as we are here, a great interview to build relationships, through a podcast for example, I tend to take a lighter approach. Which is to try and help my guests shine and see them in their best light rather than trying to have them defend the point.” -Rob Lawrence

Takeaways For Your Growth

What was the biggest takeaway you found in this podcast?

Was there anything you wish we would have discussed involving how to be a great interviewer? Let me know in the comments, or contact me and let’s talk more!


How To Avoid Failure With Your Networking For Real Growth

Networking explained


That thing marketing people to do connect with other people so they can grow their brands. That’s what you’re supposed to be doing when you go to conferences, meetups, and events, right?

Traditional networking and the networking so many creatives and music-entrepreneurs (“musicpreneurs” as coined by my buddy Tommy Darker) do today are vastly different. The old school method was about building a relationship with specific people to provide reciprocal connection.

Or let me phrase that differently for a layman’s term understanding: Old school networking was about building a two-way street where both parties benefit from connection with each other.

Networking That Fails

That’s not the same kind of networking I’m seeing. It’s likely not the networking you’ve been doing. What folks are doing now (that they’re called “networking”) is one-sided pitching with the intention of getting noticed.

There’s a difference between trying to appeal to someone to like you so that you can benefit from their influence, connections, and network, and actually building a relationship with specific people where both of you benefit from the engagement.

One is focused on the individual. The other is focused on the connection. There’s a big difference.

This is a practice in value. Value is giving worth to something or someone that you prize as being significant. What you value, and place significance on, has a powerful meaning to y ou in how you treat it.

Networking That Works

Think about this in terms of something you consider valuable.

You’re likely to treat a Mickey Mantle rookie card in mint condition with a lot of special treatment in how you care for it, should that ever become something in your possession. You’ll make sure it has a protective case, is secured and away from the ground where pets or children might accidentally get a hold of it.

We can treat our relationships and connections with people with a similar kind of value. We can hold other people in regard for who they are and what they mean to us beyond just want that connection might do for us in a selfish way. This is a different method of building relationships. It’s real networking that actually works.

How To Network At An Event

In a real-world example, let’s talk about an event you may find yourself at like SXSW. What’s a good way to network your band while you’re at an event where 150,000 creatives converge into one place for a week?

Should you get a ton of cards and flyers printed up so you can hand them off to everyone you see? You could, but that’s more of a marketing and promotional endeavor than it is a networking action.

Should you approach every speaker, panelist, promoter, and person of influence with promotional materials, a press kit, and CDs so they can pick you up to grow your music? You could, but that’s another action geared towards trying to market yourself.

Handing someone a flyer, business card, press kit, or CD at an event is an act of “notice me and follow my music!” You can start a conversation with someone to get them to stop and listen, but what is your intention?

Marketing And Networking Are Similar But Different

Networking that works (going back to the old school method) is a actionable steps with the intention of providing benefit to two or more parties. It’s not a promotional act. Handing out materials to strangers with the hope that they will pay attention after you leave their presence, listen to your tracks, and then take the initiative to follow up with you is not what networking is.

That’s marketing. Ineffective marketing usually, but marketing all the same.

Networking is an act of knowing and being known back. It’s something my friend Shaine Freeman excels at. His podcast and music media platform has been instrumental in this way for years.

Networking involves being specific. It involves having a conversation and building a dialogue with someone with the intention of growing something that serves both you and them.

It’s placing value on the individual for who they are, what they do, and the people their work benefits. The intention creates the opportunity for them to value you in those same ways. Then both of you win.

Make Your Intention To Network Best

Networking is a focused endeavor. It’s long term growth strategy. It’s keeping track with people. That’s building relationship.

It’s exchanging contact info, be that in business card or flyer or social media details. It’s you taking the initiative to follow up shortly after the contact is made and build on the interaction you shared. It’s what I reference in Being First in this video.

This isn’t a secret, but it is something a lot of creatives, entrepreneurs and people trying to build their contact list don’t do often. It’s old fashioned, like Dale Carnegie old. He’s the man behind How To Win Friends And Influence People. Kinda the go-to expert on effective influence building and growth.

” You can gain more friends in two months by showing interest in other people than you can in two years trying to get other people interested in you.” -Dale Carnegie

One act is placing value on the connection with the other person. The other is about trying to shine the spotlight on yourself.

One works in creating opportunities for growth.

The other is just playing in the dirt.

Want To Grow Even More? Gain a bigger following, growth and success with one of the best minds in business.
Learn Growth Farming The Seth Godin way in this free eBook.

Tommy Darker On Why Freedom Is The Focus For Success

tommy darker musicpreneur

Tommy Darker

It’s been about ten years coming that Tommy Darker and I sync our powers together to help you grow. Here’s a guy totally committed to the art of success. Who has stayed in the fight for musicians and creatives to win in a complicated digital space for a long time.

Tommy has recently launched a platform called MusicPreneurHub. It’s a fantastic outlet that provides educational resources, mentoring and artistic development for artists. Students there really take their music to the next levels. I’m honored to get to be a part of this platform too.

Tommy Darker Has A Specific Focus & So Does Our Conversation

The overall focus in this podcast is on overcoming challenges all of us creatives face. From fear of failure to lack of education. To blaming others and making excuses for not reaching goals to failure to learn the lessons from everyday teachers.

It’s a combination of practical and brilliant philosophy with specific ways of changing your mindset. If you, “change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” That is a great quote by one of my favorite teachers Wayne Dyer from a book called The Power Of Intention.

Honesty and vulnerability create better ways for people to connect than anything else. We go to places philosophically that built a stronger connection between Tommy and I.

By learning from this example and from insights in our conversation, you’ll learn at least 3 new ways to connect better with other people and practice growth farming well.

I’ve discovered that most of the guests brought onto the podcast get into philosophy and psychology with me in our conversations. This is possibly the most philosophical conversation I’ve ever had with someone that’s recorded.

What You Learn In This Podcast Episode To Take Your Growth To New Heights

How to mix your roots musically with the things you’re passionate about.

Gain leverage to overcome obstacles and find solutions by picturing your life as a movie where you’re both the writer, director and lead actor.

Learn how to create a unique value proposition for your individuality.

How to claim your freedom as an artist to connect more with yourself and with others.

Learn how to challenge yourself in the right ways to go beyond the goals you set.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

A Few Powerful Quotes From This Episode

“I never publish things that I learn. I publish things that I do. It’s experiential knowledge.” -Tommy Darker

“Not giving yourself room for excuses is how you make it (your goals) happen.” -Tommy Darker

“If you start seeing your life as a movie, you start having fun. And the character, which is you, will learn something along the way because movies are always about character growth.” -Tommy Darker

“We all get to be scientists and play around with these different potions and chemicals and methods and tactics and strategies. My results might differ from yours. Actually they should because I’m living my story and you’re living your story. And that’s just the way that it’s supposed to be.” -D Grant Smith

What To Do When It’s Your Turn

At the end of this podcast, I talk about how my tribe is passionate and will share his wisdom with at least 3 people.That’s you. Your turn now.

Go spread the love you just received from Tommy and I with at least 3 people in your world who want this kind of wisdom, love and success in the work they do.

You can send an individual note or email with this link or you can click Share and spread the love on your social profiles.

Either way, Tommy and I appreciate you! Thanks!!!

Before You Go:  Plant the right seeds to grow a stronger connection with fans and influencers with one of the best minds in business.
Learn Growth Farming The Seth Godin way in this free eBook.

Essential Tools For Cultivating Powerful Relationships

Every artist and creative person who is building anything wants to be connected to the right people. That’s what it means to have powerful relationships, right?

That’s one of the big tenets of growth farming your relationships for success.

To have an influencer (or several) on your contact list is what all of us want because of how potent it makes our growth opportunities. But how do we go about gaining influential relationships?

We spend so much time online trying to find answers. Often, what we end up with is a ton of tactics that can be used to benefit us in small ways.

Those small ways can build over time for bigger results. But too often we expect the little things to produce big results overnight. Rarely does anything work that way.

You Can’t Grow Anything Without Tools

What we don’t spend as much time looking for are the right tools. Just like in a garden, to get the crops you want at harvest time, you have to use the right tools.

For the gardener, she needs a durable shovel that can dig deep, hold a good amount of dirt, and not break the handle when considerable force is applied. She needs gloves to keep from getting blisters. She needs pots, soil, seeds, and plenty of water.

The growth farmer for relationships needs similar tools. She needs to be able to organize her outreach. She needs to have a Roladex that is updated regularly.

She needs a heart committed to serving others, and a willingness to ask for help. She’s not just a networker, she’s a cultivator of people.

Once you have the tools, you need to know the best ways to use them so that your results look like what you want. This is where experience comes in.

The same is true in our growth work. You need the tools. You need the knowledge of what works and what doesn’t.

You need the practical tips and insights into where to find the right people to make growth happen. And you need to know what to say for those connections to take root so relationships can be born.

Experience + Tools = Prosperity

But you also need the experience that comes from someone who’s done this before, someone who’s done it countless times with people in different fields and different degrees of success and influence.

That’s why I created a new ebook that provides both the tools and the tactics for using them the best way. Grab the ebook and get to some serious relationship Growth Farming.

When it comes to developing powerful relationships with influencers, it’s much more than trying to befriend a “famous person.” It’s creating a connection with a person you value for specific reasons.

Often, that value comes from something in their work that has had a tremendous impact on you.

That was what led me to contact one of my heroes, and a very influential person in the realm of business, marketing, and creative growth initiative. I’m talking about Seth Godin.

What let to our conversation was a valuing of the impact he makes every day in my life, and in the lives of countless entrepreneurial people through his writing on his blog and books.

Value Others To Build Powerful Relationships

Valuing others who have influence and make an impact on the world is one of the best tools you can gain to grow. Giving that value back through your own actions (thank you notes, sharing to social media, etc) creates connections with these folks that transcend what you may imagine.

When you get right down to it, treating an influential person with the same respect you wish to be treated with, and approaching them as a partner in this big project of harmonizing the world together, is how powerful conversations are started. And powerful relationships are born.

Growth Farm Action Step For Your Success

Want To Grow Even More? Gain a bigger following, growth and success with one of the best minds in business.

Learn Growth Farming The Seth Godin way in this free eBook.

Maximize Your Growth With These Books (My 2017 Reading List Picks)

These are some of the great books that got me through 2017

You’ve gotten through this year with a lot of lessons learned. I can certainly attest to learning much from life, people, and reflection. Books have also been an incredible teacher. As I think about some of the best growth that’s come from reading, I want to share my reading list top picks from 2017 so you can add to your book list and experience powerful growth too.

Let’s not leave out audiobooks. They’re equal parts to the learning journey.

The feedback from readers on my weekly newsletter (signup in the right column) has been that folks want to know more about the books that have been instrumental in my transformation, healing, and development this year.

I highly recommend everything I’m going to tell you about. All of these books can be a gift to yourself. Once you have an awesome experience, get a copy and gift it to a friend.

Maximize Your Growth With These Books

Instead of saying too much about each title, I’ve included a brief description of what benefits are in the book and why it was so powerful to me.

1. Secrets Of The Power Of Intention by Dr. Wayne Dyer

I picked up this audiobook at a library sale and it’s simply the best buy of the last 15 years. I listen to a disc from it every day. It’s been my guide for peace, love, healing, and connection with Almighty Love (aka God, Source, Intention) throughout this year.

I’ve gained powerful affirmation statements and intentions to verbally declare daily that set my mind and heart on a path towards love as a state of being. And hearing Dr. Dyer speak on this subjects, along with his powerful storytelling is one of the most transformational things I’ve ever experienced.

2. 10 Secrets To Success and Inner Peace by Dr. Wayne Dyer

Following the audiobook, I started amassing a collection of Dyer’s work. This was the next book I dove into. He breaks down 10 keys to having inner peace and success in every area of your life. A big one is “don’t die with your music still in you.” You’ll have to read it to get the fullness of what that means.

3. The Ego Is The Enemy by Ryan Holiday

I’m a big fan of Ryan Holiday’s work. His books are philosophically challenging and provide a different perspective to overcoming obstacles. The ego is something all of us must contend with or it will govern our actions and destroy our potential.

Holiday draws upon the wisdom of the Stoics, while also sharing a bit of his own story. When you reach any level of success, it’s easy to start listening to your own press, and letting your momentum shift from growth to maintenance. This book provides a pathway forward instead of spinning your wheels.

4. The 4 Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

My good friend Carlos Castillo posted about this book last year and I added it to my reading list, borrowing a copy from a friend. It’s a relatively short read, yet the wisdom and thoughtfulness in each page will keep you in a place of contemplation and reflection which leads to even more truth and transformation.

I struggle with the 2nd agreement at times, which is don’t take anything personally. Our culture, particularly with social media, makes this harder for a lot of us.

From the guidance of Dr. Dyer who also talks about not taking yourself so seriously and how connecting with Source removes any need to be offended, this book draws more wisdom into these big ideas to change the way you see yourself and the world around you so that you can become whole.

5. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen was living a comfortable life with her husband and kids, but realized that she wasn’t happy and set out to do something about it. Over the span of a year, she made a resolution to do things differently, one month at a time.

In the process she found that happiness, like life, is a journey and a process. She discovered aspects about herself that she changed to create improvement and other thingss she did away with to have peace and happiness. We all can learn to be happy, and rewrite our story to have the life we want.

6. The Rock Says by The Rock (Dwayne Johnson)

I honestly finished reading this one yesterday afternoon. I’m a big fan of the Rock, going back to his wrestling days, and especially his movies and TV shows. Watch him do an interview with someone and you’ll discover some profound strategies for how to make a connection with a host or influencer that sticks with them, making them a bigger fan of you (and subsequentially a bigger advocate for you).

His attitude and charisma are magnetic. In this autobiography he tells his story and he changes voices in it too, going from Dwayne Johnson to The Rock. And you see how the charismatic character he created is a part of him, while also being a caricature.

This book taught me a lot about the power of outlandish techniques to draw people in, how audience’s responses can lead to your evolution into greatness, and how to value the people who are a part of your journey to have even more success.

7. How To Sell Your Way Through Life by Napoleon Hill

I’ve learned this year that sales is a part of all of our lives, whether it’s our career path or not. Hill uses old-school methods to describe what makes great connections with the people who buy from you.

Someone is buying from you, whether they’re buying your work or your character or your partnership/collaboration or just buying into you. This book gives some great examples of how to sell yourself in any circumstance.

8. Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It by Kamal Ravikant

I’ll be the first to admit that I used to think “self-love” was something hipsters did to feel better about themselves. Or that it was something for unstable people who didn’t have any backbone.

Turns out I was wrong. And I’ve given away my heart to other people for a long time without giving much love, grace, or kindness to myself. This year changed that and this book helped.

With something as simple as a mantra of “I love myself” you can transform how you feel, how you operate, and how others see you for growth, healing, and success.

9. Totally Fulfilled by Dean Graziosi

I’ll also admit that I’m in the middle of this one but I’ve read enough of it to encourage you to pick it up. Dean talks about how we live in a world dominated by limited beliefs, which we adopt to put a lid on our potential.

Yet people who are totally fulfilled in their lives with their families, relationships, careers and themselves see things from a limitless perspective.

He maps out a way to change your mindset from limited beliefs into limitless beliefs. I’ve adopted this mindset and I’m already experiencing transformation.

That’s my reading list from this year. Actually, that’s the best of it. I’m working on a few new titles that were recommended from the authors I’ve mentioned here. I’m sure they’ll make next year’s list.

Want To Grow Even More? Gain a bigger following, growth and success with one of the best minds in business.

Learn Growth Farming The Seth Godin way in this free eBook.

Creative PR Tools For Growth With Angela Mastrogiacomo

Angela Mastrogiacomo

The latest episode of the DIY Artist Route Podcast is here! And it features none other than my good friend Angela Mastrogiacomo.

Aside from being one of the most inspiring and kick-ass people I know, Angela excels at the real heart of PR and marketing work: relationship building.

That’s why I had to have her on the podcast to share her insights with you.

As a music curator and media host, there are a lot of marketing and PR people who contact me every day, usually for the same reasons.

They have an artist or band they want to promote. Maybe there’s a new single their artist just released and they want media feature on my radio show. They want a review or feature of some kind.

The Common Problem With Music Promotion

This are some of the traditional ways that music promoters, publicists, and PR companies operate. Tragically though, many marketing and PR endeavors fail.

Whether it’s a company that charges and arm & a leg for their work or it’s a do-it-from-scratch solo artist reaching out to media for feature, the key element in this puzzle is…….you guessed it, relationship building.

Which has become somewhat of a buzzword these days. When subjects as important as relationship building become buzzwords, it’s easy to lose the meaning of the concept. Which is another big subject we dive into in this podcast.

One big thing that trips creative entrepreneurs like you and I up is our own negative mindsets. Wait, what does that have to do with marketing, or with relationship building? Everything my friend!

Like Ryan Holiday Says “The Ego Is The Enemy”

Our ego can be our worst enemy. Ryan Holiday’s seminal book (of the same title) gives a lot of insight into this issue that all of us deal with. For some artists, the ego says that who they can’t connect with a music influencer with their story or music.

So they try to parrot the work that other bigger artists do to promote themselves. It’s not genuine, therefore it doesn’t connect in the best ways that a sincere approach to relationship does.

Other artists struggle with a more arrogant form of ego, one that tells them they should be treated like royalty. So talk yourself up like you’re a god, and have the media eating out of your hand. And if they don’t respond to you this way, screw ’em!

That’s the ego talking.

When you work on marketing yourself, building genuine one-to-one relationships takes you further than anything. It’s what’s made Angela so successful with her work on Muddy Paw PR and Infectious Magazine. She’s written tons of articles for Sonicbids and other music-centered publications, all covering the subjects of marketing, PR, and relationship building.

How To Let Go Of The Ego With Help From Angela Mastrogiacomo

We all deal with ego. Ego affects our mindsets, creates fears and insecurities, and if not dealt with can cause struggles that aren’t overcome. One weapon against the work of the ego is vulnerability. Sounds strange right? How can vulnerability be the antidote to ego? Angela and I discuss this at length in the podcast.

I’m being fairly overt here. Listen to the podcast. Download it. Share it. Then connect with both of us and share your story with us.

Here are some ways to connect with Angela. She wants to hear from you so reach out to her and tell her you heard her on the DIY Artist Route.

Muddy Paw PR

Infectious Magazine



She gave her email at the end of the podcast, but in case you missed it you can contact her via

Fears and mindsets are struggles for everyone. Honestly, dealing with personal fears and negative mindsets has been a very big part of my year in 2017, which is why you haven’t seen me post as many blogs or pieces.

I’ve learned a lot in this process, and understand more how to face deep fears, and what it takes to overcome them to win in business and in life. If this is a struggle for you, you’re not alone.

Want To Grow Even More? Gain a bigger following, growth and success with one of the best minds in business.

Learn Growth Farming The Seth Godin way in this free eBook.

How To Get Better & Paid Gigs With Roberto Hernandez

Drummer, author and podcast host Roberto Hernandez

Is it strange or interesting to find another drummer on the podcast?

We’re just multifaceted artists, not just musicians with sticks who like to hit things, ha!

I was intrigued by Roberto Hernandez from the first message he sent me. Perhaps that’s because he chose one of the most unique ways to introduce himself.

Instead of the same generic “Hi this is me and let me give you my bio and a zillion links so you’ll pay attention to me” intro message, he did something different.

He took a page out of the DIY Musician’s Radio Handbook and reached out in a personal way.

How Roberto Hernandez Proved His Uncommon-ness

Roberto made a video specifically for me. He talked about listening to The DIY Artist Route Podcast and what he enjoyed from it. Then he mentioned his book, The Unstarving Musician’s Guide To Getting Paid Gigs.

Then he asked what it would take to jump on the podcast.

I was interested from the beginning. That’s how it works. That’s not just how it works with me, it’s how it works with most music curators and media hosts. It’s how it works with people.

That’s the story behind how I heard about Roberto Hernandez and why I brought him on the podcast. It’s why I read his book. It’s how we became friends.

What Being Specific & Relationship Oriented Gets You

Since this podcast episode was recorded, I’ve connected him with many folks in my network including past podcast guests because I believe in him and what he’s doing. He has a great message to spread to musicians to get one BIG piece of the puzzle figured out: how to get gigs that pay you.

If you’re tired of doing free shows for “exposure” or struggle with the How-To of gigging, Roberto is your man. I highly recommend his book for not just musicians and bands, but also anyone who is trying to get paid gigs including speakers. His method works.

This podcast is about more than just gigging. It’s a closer look at effective strategies for that oh-so-difficult introduction to people you don’t know.

When I said that friends can ask for gold but strangers can’t even get candy, this is what I’m talking about. Part of the difficulty in getting people of influence’s attention is the perspective we lack when we make that introduction.

Appealing To The Basic Human Nature

Who’s the #1 person you’re the most interested in, or the person you want others to know most?

It’s human to say it’s you.

Even the most empathetic people in the world have self-interest. That’s not a bad thing. It’s an honest thing.

Yet most of the time, we greet a new person that we want to connect with by talking exclusively about ourselves instead of appealing to the person we want to talk with. That little bit of extra time, even if it’s 30 minutes, goes a long way. It appeals to the primary interest of that person.

It’s also a way to show you’re not just reaching out to get a handout and a back scratch.

Back scratches are the “hook me up with a review or an interview or a feature on your platform” ask.

I’m not in the back scratching business, and neither are any music curator, media host, or booking agent worth their salt.

Take Your Relationship Building & Submission Outreach To The Next Level

Want To Grow Even More? Gain a bigger following, growth and success with one of the best minds in business.

Learn Growth Farming The Seth Godin way in this free eBook.

Dance To The Tune Of Your Super Fans With Carlos Castillo

Carlos Castillo, aka Captain Schwilly

“I’m just a music super fan who likes to dress up in silly clothes and dance.”

That’s not only a great line from my good buddy, fellow musician coach, platform leader and hero, it’s who he is. It’s who Carlos Castillo is that makes him a dynamic leader in the music space.

There are a LOT of “experts” in our communities of musicians.

Many people who come in with big claims and big promises all trying to get your attention and your dollars.

Sadly a lot of these folks are all talk. Not only do many not really know the stuff they talk about, they also don’t always have your best interests at heart. Fortunately for us, there are uncommon people like Carlos.

If this is your first introduction to Captain Schwilly (as several musicians and creative entrepreneurs know him as), then I hope you’ll do yourself a favor and follow his leadership. Modeling yourself after Carlos will grow your community of fans  give back to the community with your service.

Giving is the hallmark of success.

Read any book by a credible source of success like Seth Godin, Tony Robbins, Amanda Palmer, Oprah Winfrey, and the like and you’ll see a pattern of giving among those who have reached the levels of notoriety and prominence that we all dream of.

That’s the heart of Carlos Castillo too. I share that with him, as do all of the past guests on the DIY Artist Route Podcast. Double check what I just said. It’s the truth.

You know what makes a super fan? It’s someone who is genuine in what they say and do.

Actually, people who become super fans fall in love with the person and the experience they have with them more than just the music or art or work itself.

Anyone can make art. A good musician makes good music. But a great person? Those are harder to find.

It’s this line of thinking and operating that Carlos specializes in from experience. It’s also what he advocates for in his courses and his online communities like the Schwilly Family Musicians. I’m a member. Are you? If not, join up here.

By participating in the lives of the people you want to connect with, you become the leader that inspires and transforms. You gain not just an audience member.

You gain someone whose passions align with your own. Their support transforms your career because it hits on a level that’s beyond just art. It’s personal.

Every guest I have on the DIY Artist Route Podcast teaches me something in our conversation. They’ve taught me a lot leading up to the podcast chat. One big thing Carlos continues to teach is that online relationships are very real.

Music is just a starting point. Keep that in mind as you cultivate the connections with your audience, your marketing endeavors to media, your network, and your communities of fellow musicians.

I encourage you to follow Carlos via his online FB group and his Schwilly Family Musicians on Twitter. They’re both great resources for you to grow on a regular basis. His email list is pretty badass too.

Want To Grow Even More? Gain a bigger following, growth and success with one of the best minds in business.

Learn Growth Farming The Seth Godin way in this free eBook.

Which Specifics Lead To Getting Radio Airplay & Reviews

music submission tips how to get radio airplay growth farming for musiciansLet me tell you a little secret about how to get media (radio, music blogs, podcast hosts, etc) to  open your emails.

This secret is what gets them to actually read the email too. And reply to you so you can have a conversation about getting featured on their platform (radio station/show, blog, podcast, etc).

Certain Specifics Are Essential

I’m an uncommon person, meaning that I don’t do things that most people do. Most media people (or people in general) don’t open the majority of emails they get, especially from people they don’t know or have ever talked with.

They either don’t have time, and/or they have so many things on their plate that opening every message from a band announcing their release would take an eternity.

How do you think that musicians or promoters get through to radio and media for feature?

Most people assume that they hire a publicist or PR firm to do this effectively. Sure, you can try that. Your average PR campaign runs at $5000 on the cheap side.

Many of these PR companies send one big blanket email out to a few thousand email addresses. The email might have some nice images embedded, a lot of nice things said about the band and their new release, and even a few quotes or reviews.

These don’t get a response, usually. They don’t get opened much either.

The BIG reason for that is a lack of specifics.

I’m not like most of the media entities out there, even though I get a TON of emails sent to me daily from strangers, all wanting their music featured on my radio show and want to book an interview with me. The more music curators I talk with experience the same things I do.

Some of them reply and ask questions. Some just delete the email. All of them want you to know some specific things before you message them, and state specific things in your email. Here’s what you need to know before sending a cold email to a music curator to pitch your music.

Why Not Every Music Curator Responds To Email Pitches

Since I’m uncommon, I reply to people, even if their email doesn’t say what it is that they want from me.

My response always asks a question, because whether or not I am a good fit for them isn’t as important as them (potentially) seeing how a modification to their methods can bring about better results.

The first thing to be specific about is WHO you want to get in front of. Or better stated, WHO you want to contact.

This means that you’re contacting 1 person, not 10 or 100 people at one time.

One-person-connection is both a mindset shift in the way that you communicate, as well as a focus shift on reaching a particular person that you’ve identified as having your target audience.

You illustrate that you’re specific about wanting to reach this person in 2 ways:

  1. You name their station/program/blog/podcast/platform in the subject line
  2. You address them by name in the opening of the email, and state their platform name in the first paragraph (preferably in the first sentence or two) of your message

The reason why getting specifics on talking to 1 person matters is that the message is personal, targeted and meaningful to the person you want to reach.

How do you feel when someone sends you a spam, blanket email? Does it make you feel like they value you or want to connect with you at all?

Or does it make you feel like you’re just a nameless, faceless number to them?

When you identify a certain person and platform that you want to reach, you create the conduits for connection.

Tap Into How You’re Wired To Make The Connection

We are naturally wired as humans to want to connect 1-1 with people.

This means that you know the person’s name that you’re contacting, and what platform they work on.

Names matter when you’re contacting media. As Dale Carnegie said,

“Names are the most important word in any language.” (How To Win Friends & Influence People)

Getting names right plays a vital role in getting the person to read your email, AND reply to you.

The reply is actually what you want. The reply is golden because it can lead to a conversation and potential collaboration (more on this in the next few days of Growth Farming Lessons).

When you do something that is uncommon and send a personal message to a specific person, you gain their attention, interest, and willingness to hear you out.

You may be wondering how to go about finding the right people to get specific about. Where can you find the right media for your audience? How can you know which media is best for your music to grow your audience?

The process for identifying the right media for you, reaching out to specific people, formatting your messaging and building the relationship is all inside the DIY Musician’s Radio Handbook, and taught through video in the Indie Radio Promotion Course. That’s a learn-at-your-own pace method of taking what I’ve shown you here and moving into the next steps.

Another great way to get your music picked up, explained in short form is through my latest ebook, available here.