Tag Archives: DIY artist

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:

Chandler Coyle, The DIY Artist Route And You

Chandler Coyle

Chandler Coyle

The DIY Artist Route has taken on a new life. This time, instead of talking with a musician I decided to get some perspective off the beaten path.

Chandler Coyle is a music industry expert. He has decades of experience in helping musicians in a variety of ways, from website building to marketing. He is a professor in music marketing at Berklee College Of Music Online, and works with his brother Jay at Music Geek Services. They have worked with, or are currently working with, bands such as Veruca Salt, Barenaked Ladies, Sloan, Said The Whale, Josh Rouse, The Odds, and Rhett Miller. And he has a weekly newsletter that consists of articles about the music industry, tips on how to grow your audience and a whole lot more, curated from across the web. It’s free to signup and I encourage you to do so here. I’m signed up and love getting great insights each week.

Our conversation dives into some waters that pertain to a variety of areas that you as a DIY, unsigned, or indie musician need to know. One is how you communicate effectively with your fan base. Do you have an email list set up? Chandler notes how that can make your music career, identifying an “unknown” artist with 200,000 emails on his list. There are very big name acts who don’t have that. Insights are in this podcast.

What about your connection to your Super-Fans? Did you know that Rush garners all of their work towards their Super-Fans? Seriously. Even though the band has been around forever and is known around the world, they still struggle with getting through the same volume of noise that you or I do. So instead of trying to compete with all the other bands, they just stick to their Super-Fans. Chandler shares insights into that as well.

How about online marketing, like Twitter? He and I shared some very similar perspectives and attitudes towards patterns we’re both seeing from musicians (and marketers) on Twitter that is a detriment to your growth. We’ll talk about that in the podcast.

Here are some great quotes to take away from this episode:

“Twitter should be treated like a conversation 75% of the time and not auto-pitch.”

“Artists can no longer assume anonymous masses of people consuming your music. We’re back to the patron model.”

“One fan at a time is how you do it.”

“An email list is an artist’s IRA. When given the choice, Derek Webb of Noisetrade will choose data over dollars. Dollars go away and you have to get more. But data on your fans is something you can invest in and grow and turn into a renewable resource overtime if you develop a relationship with your fans.”

“What artists do are fascinating to those who can’t. Even for musicians, when a band or musician shows you what they do it’s a peak into something you can’t see. Sell access behind the curtain to your Super-Fan.”

“Fans can be consumers but consumers aren’t always fans.”

Want more of the DIY Artist Route? Good, because it’s becoming a regular feature and could become a podcast series. If you want more of these audio pieces for you to take with you and learn how to take your music to the next level, let me know in the comments below.

Tony Lucca, The DIY Artist Route And You

Recently I was granted the opportunity to talk with a really great guy, Tony Lucca. I’d only heard his self-titled album before given the interview with him. Upon researching his background, it became more apparent that his story is incredibly valuable to both artists and entrepreneurs who have made fame their lone quest. Fame wasn’t Tony’s ambition, but he has achieved it.

6PAN1T-R PSDThe former Mickey Mouse Club Mouseketeer was in the same class as Justin Timberlake and Matt Morris. Matt is a feature artist on The Appetizer Radio Show, doing an exclusive in-studio session with us in 2011. Tony has also been featured on TV commercial and shows like Malibu Shores. His music career took him to the 2012 season of The Voice, being selected by Adam Levine and going on to place 2nd in the season finale. That led to being signed to Levine’s record label and a massive tour with Maroon 5. Isn’t this the dream of most musicians, or even entrepreneurs, to rub elbows and share social circles with prominent names?

All of that has its benefits, but Tony has since chosen a different path, that of an indie artist. The DIY artist and entrepreneur shares a lot in common with Tony Lucca. This podcast features the conversation he and I had about music, business, his advice to the DIY artist and entrepreneur, and an unsolicited vote of approval for indie radio’s role in helping artists grow.

What do you think of Tony’s perspective? Let’s talk about how his insights apply to where you are right now. Comment or reach out through email.

Thomas Edison, The DIY Artist Route, & You

TThomasEdisonhomas Edison was a genius. He was also one of the greatest inventors of the modern era. And he was a self-starter who didn’t let obstacles interfere with his vision or his mission.

That last part  sounds the most similar to you and your path as an artist and musician, doesn’t it? In case you were wondering how the inventor of the electric light bulb and the phonograph has anything to do with being an artist or musician, let’s dive into that.


Sticking with your vision is part of the finish and ALL of the journey.

Wait a minute, you’re saying Thomas Edison’s story and my story as an artist has something in common? There’s no way!

Yes way. Actually it’s only true if you are someone who doesn’t buckle to pressure and keeps your nose down in difficult times. How much perseverance do you have?

Whoa, that’s a tough one. Most people think they have a lot of perseverance until tested by the fires of life. I’m not here to scare you away but being an artist in the 21st century isn’t a walk in the park.

There are obstacles and difficulties in your path forward. Everyone has them. What you do in the face of these challenges is where your story and Edison’s come together in a similar way. Edison was ahead of his time in several areas. He achieved some incredible success before turning 30 years old (like your average tech startup CEO). Then he faced some serious trials in his inventions. He went through many years without a successful innovation, so much so that many of his once-supporters started to question whether or not he still had genius inside of him. How he stuck to his endeavors despite ongoing challenges is worth looking into. Get some great insights into the like of Thomas Edison here.

You probably know that Edison didn’t discover the way to foster light in what we call the Light Bulb until he’d failed a few times. I use “few” figuratively, because history tells us he failed many many times (something to the tune of 10,000) at trying to create the incandescent light before he finally figured it out. Had he stopped and given up, neither of us would know his name, or at least not in the same way that we know it now.

What all of this has to do with you is simple: Keep working, keep grinding, keep on keeping on. Along the path of the DIY artist are many lessons to be learned if you’re objective enough to see them.

Edison didn’t start over from scratch every time his attempt at the light bulb failed. Instead, he picked up where his last success ended and tried a different approach. He studied what other people were doing and researched what had been proven successful in his science. He surrounded himself with other people educated in the field and put them to work on one sole endeavor.

Whether or not you can employ people to help you achieve your end result is beside the point. A focused approach to success is what Edison took on, was adamant to stick to, and persevered through until the completion of his endeavor was reached.

Which brings us to this question: How focused are you on achieving success as a DIY Artist?

Let me ask a more focused question than that: What are you targeting right now to grow? How will achieving that target bring you bigger results down the road?

These are the questions to get up to in the morning and wrestle with before you go to bed.

These are the questions Edison and every innovator, entrepreneur, leader, and world changer wrestles with every day.

These are the questions anyone with a real objective and vision takes on.

Your objective may be simple, in certain terms. You want to make music and do so in a way which allows you to live off of the proceeds of your work.

Good. What are you focusing on right now to make that happen?

Need some help figuring out what to focus on, or even more, what steps to take to get you in the direction of success?

Good. Let’s talk.