Tag Archives: connection

True Success Occurs In Growing Your Roladex Garden

roladex growth farming d grant smithWhat if I told you that the real secrets to business growth, building a brand, growing an audience, and being successful in any area had more to do with farming than anything else? What if building a bond with your roladex led to real growth instead of viral marketing or social media? Let me explain.

It’s no secret that success comes from our ability to connect with other people. We’re not operating on islands where punching digits into a computer never interfaces with another human being.

Even if you work in an industry that is primarily digital, there has to be a person (or people) buying the services, products, and work that you do.

Since people are what makes business work, our ability to connect, communicate, and build relationships determine whether we grow what we plant or end up with the bitter dust of lost opportunities.

How One Conversation Changed The Success Dialogue

seth godin music marketing growth farming

Seth Godin

The concept of Growth Farming began with a conversation I had with one of my biggest heroes: Seth Godin.

He joined me in a ground-breaking and thought-provoking conversation on The DIY Artist Route Podcast in 2016. In just under 17 minutes Seth distilled some of the greatest wisdom available on how to grow and become the successful people we dream of being.

That conversation with Seth led to a person and professional exploration into relationship building from the context of planting seeds, nurturing them into plants and harvesting their output.

Then repeating the process, and expanding the territory.

It’s the work of a farmer. These principles come from my own personal stories, observations on friends and colleagues, and wisdom shared along the path towards success.

From here I’ve spent the better part of the past two years exploring how success works, reading books, listening to podcasts, watching videos, and talking with innovators on this very massive subject.

The consensus is pretty clear: the heart of winning in business and in life lies in the bonds we build with people. That’s why business icons talk about marketing and networking so much. It’s why social media is such a huge part of every creative person’s growth strategy (let alone it being a part of every human with a mobile device’s regular life).

Human connection is the key to success, no matter who you are

But so many people are devoting their interactions to self-talk, self-promotion, and actions that work against their best interests. Musicians and other creatives treat their relationships more like a 30 second microwave meal than a garden of fruits, vegetables and herbs that provide a healthy, balanced, and life-long supply.

Hence the Growth Farming as relationship gardening metaphor. It’s so perfect because it’s so accurate.

What you’re going to find in everything I tag as Growth Farming is specific actions, methods, and philosophies that help you start, build, grow, and cultivate powerful relationships with people to succeed.

It really is who you know that determines how much you win. AND it’s also how well they know you back that determines the ongoing benefits of that connection.

Make Growth Farming Work For You

Since that conversation, I’ve changed the focus and format of The DIY Artist Route Podcast, where several of fellow trekkers have built their brands (and success) around relationship building too. And they share their secrets with you.

You have to plant the seeds to make success happen. I know that if you will take these insights, stories, and principles to heart, you’ll grow a vibrant connection with the people in your world. More power to you!

I want to give you the principles & method of Growth Farming to bring success to your world by connecting directly with you. Book a free 15 minute strategy session with me and I’ll give you an ebook that shines more light on my conversation with Seth just for setting up a conversation with me. Schedule your time right here.

 

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.

Relationship

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.

handshake

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.

How To Initiate Connections With Influencers

Oprah-Magazine-2013-10

Growth.
Benefit.
Increase ___(fill in the blank)__.

These are what we want with our lives, our projects, our work, and our connections. Often though, growth means reaching outside of our social circles and into uncharted (or unknown) territory.

This new world is where people we don’t know reside.

We may know some powerful influencers’ names and faces (since the online world is so transparent; thank you Facebook) but we can’t call up folks like Oprah or Richard Branson and say “Hey, haven’t heard from you in a while. Let’s go grab a beer on Thursday and catchup.” We don’t have that kind of connection. Not yet.

So what do we do?

We jump on “connection outlets” like social media’s Linked In, Facebook, Twitter, and the lot.

We “Like” and “Follow” influencers and then send them private or direct messages hopeing to make a connection. Sometimes we get a reply or a “Like/Favorite” but mostly we get silence.

And then we search for what to say that will build the connection we seek so that what this person has or does can benefit us with where we want to go.

Sound familiar?

Does this quest for connection seem a little selfish? It does because it is. That’s ok, it’s human nature in a way, but it’s also one reason that making good, strong relationships with people we don’t know (or have direct access to) is so difficult.

When someone you meet in a face to face setting smiles, shakes your hand, and says it’s good to meet you, you feel welcomed in their presence. Yet, if this same person then spends the next 20 minutes telling you all about them, sharing their life story with you, their work, their struggles, what makes them tick and on and on……..How do you feel?

Seriously, how do you feel?

Do you still feel welcomed by them or to them? Is it really nice to be met by this person, or is it nice that they’ve found someone to listen to them drone on and on?

The same is true with our communication to new people in the digital realm. Often, we get an email address or a Twitter profile and we reach out to make a connection. Once a reply or connection is made, we are tempted to unleash a LET ME TELL YOU ALL ABOUT ME message bombardment, which many of us have done (myself included).

Sometimes we get a response from this message.

Often we don’t.

The same social norms and relationship rules that exist with our face-to-face interactions apply in the online world too, perhaps even more so because the face-to-face is missing.

Here’s the thing: It takes time to build a friendship or any relationship, even work or project related networking. People are human, not machines, so an instantaneous click doesn’t create a solid ally who automatically has your back and will go to war for your to see you succeed. That kind of connection takes time.

Yet that’s what we’re searching for, right? We want powerful and influential people to celebrate our work so that others will too. That’s the end goal. While “beginning with the end in mind” is a proven piece of wisdom in having clear vision, it does require some foresight and objectivity. It’s not wise to ask for the end goal at the start of the engagement.

There are people and companies online who are marketing and selling programs that supposedly give you access to the Oprahs, Jeff Bezos, and Lebron James of any industry. I don’t know how real these services are but I do know this: Making a lasting and true connection will take time and will require you to give something of yourself, particularly sincere interest in the other person.

My growth strategy and how I took my 1-man radio platform to a nation-wide audience through syndication involved slow, relational nurturing steps. Quick, fast, Me-First tactics produced little. Community building, relational and reciprocal connections took time, yes, but also made the best promotion and growth results I could have wished for.

Which would you prefer: Me-First, quick & fast with little signs of true and lasting growth
Or
The Seeds that are planted, nurtured and cultivated to produce fruits to benefit you for years?

If you chose the latter, join me. I want to show you this process of building powerful connections.

It is a process and does take some time, but like learning how to bake or how to drive, once you know the steps you can adapt it to your own way of operation and grow even more.

How can you join me? Tell me here what influencers you want to connect with and what you are wanting from them to help you grow.

Want to Fast-Track your connection with Influencers by learning the process to take that makes it happen? All of the connection tips, insights, and how-to are mapped out and showcased right here. I’ve put together all of my available resources, lessons, and teaching materials for you to gain the most connection with influencers in your field including radio station managers, podcast hosts, music curators, program hosts, Spotify playlist-makers, bloggers, and iconic media figures.

Get signed up now to learn how to take your connections to a whole new level.

Overcoming the Magic Wand Myth

magic-hat-vector_z1Jxylw_Most of us want answers to the problems we face, and sometimes we look to people who claim to have a magic wand that can be waived over us and our dreams come true. Tell me if this sounds familiar:

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Gain 100,000 Twitter Followers Using Our 2 Simple Steps
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How about this one, it was sent to me by a friend who received a series of bogus claims through email. One of them was:

There are over one billion musicians on the web trying to climb over your dead body to their own success. But there is one simple 5 minute change you will learn that makes all competition a thing of the past. You and only you, stand on top of the mountain.

Does it make you a little curious (not in a good kind of curious way) when you see something like this?

If all it takes to go from the starting line to the finish line is 2 simple steps or signing up for a newsletter, then we all live in Bizarro-World because it’s not real.

Image from All-Star Superman #003; art by Frank Quitely

Image from All-Star Superman #003; art by Frank Quitely

*By the way, Bizarro-World is a place in DC Comics where Superman nemesis Bizarro lives; he is the polar opposite of the Man Of Steel in every way. My previous Seinfeld references also allude to the Bizzaro-Jerry episode. You don’t have to be a nerd like me to know the reference but it’s important for the analogy.

Here’s the deal: Process is how real things take place in the real world. Man, do I sound like my dad saying that? I’m sorry, it was not intended to come out that way. However, it’s still true.

Anyone claiming to lead you to change and growth that doesn’t involve a degree of process is selling you a bill of goods, or in actual terms, selling you a bunch of crap.

Hey, I’ll be honest with you that I’ve bought into the Magic Wand lie too, to my own detriment. I’ve seen the ads and bought the lines hoping to have a transformation take place in an instant to alleviate the problems or obstacles in my path. This actually is what caused many delays in my success and growth.

I’ve also made mistakes in following the wrong people in hopes of overcoming these obstacles or finding success. I’ve tried to partner with well-meaning folks who had built businesses from the ground up in a completely different industry, believing that some keys in business can be replicated in any industry (which is true, but you do need more than just the fundamental business stuff to make it work). The results that buying into these supposed magic beans (or wands) were loss of time, more questions, and dead ends.

What is the Magic Wand Myth? It’s a promise or pitch that “All You Need” is a hope, a dream, and very little work on your part to achieve your goals. And it’s not true.

Who do you know who has achieved greatness that didn’t require risk, failure, and lots of work?

Farming and gardening are great examples of process that requires dedication, commitment, and process. So is invention and the art of innovation. Can you say Thomas Edison wasn’t a genius? How many attempts at the light bulb were made until he figured it out? That’s commitment and process in a very big picture sense.

As an artist and creator, you’re trying to make impacting experiences for people that lead to them buying into your magic (no wand required). The “buying in” part of that is them literally spending money, time, and energy on you. It’s a relationship you’re having, even if the interaction is different than most of your relationships.

How long does it take to foster relationships? What about relationships that lead to transactions of money and time? The answers depend on different factors but few (if any) every happen in an instant.

This is true for your work as a musician, entrepreneur, and creator. It’s true for your audience growth and it’s true for gaining media coverage like radio and blogs. An email that only says “I’m a musician; listen to me; hear my new song; my songs rule” doesn’t create connection. There’s no magic here.

Instead, be relational. Think of achieving the goals you have like planting a seed. Nurture it, cultivate the connection. Give and take, and offer the other parties involved something that benefits them. Commit some of your time and energy into building connection and see magic take place. For musicians, take this principle and apply it to your music with The Indie Radio Promotion Course.

This is what I’ve done to successfully grow my enterprise, my business, and my radio program. It has all taken time, and been more than worth it. Are there individual steps to take in this process? Absolutely yes. Would you like to know what those steps are so you can have a richer, greater, and more beneficial audience? Good. Tell me below what your goals are and where you are right now in the process.