Tag Archives: DIY musician help

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

How can you go from being a stranger to being connected? Listen to this podcast episode (player at top of post) and be enlightened. Add Roberto’s book & podcast to that mix, as well as my new Ebook that covers the introduction for music submissions is great detail. You can grab The Essential Recipe For Effective Music Submissions here.

Justin Wayne On The DIY Artist Route

justin-wayne-ill-micIndie radio show host and podcast creator Justin Wayne joined me for a fantastic conversation about music, the indie music revolution, success for indie and DIY musicians and more. He and I share a lot in common including creating music platforms that have grown tremendously over the years. Justin even has an “associate producer” named Puck, who is a cat. I have a similar position filled by my cat named Baby Girl.

I wanted to talk with Justin on the DIY Artist Route podcast because his insights into the growth of indie music from the perspective of a radio host. We both agree that the appeal indie and unsigned artists have to music fans who are searching for something commercial radio refuses to deliver is a powerful one. I talk a lot about how artists can grow their fan base and reach more people by getting on indie radio. Justin reiterates a lot of the things I talk about regularly on this blog, all without any prompt or suggestion. What I mean by that is us radio folks think a lot alike. His attitude and insight into how artists can reach out to radio iterates a lot of what I teach in The Indie Radio Course.

Justin Wayne is a really funny guy and I thoroughly enjoyed talking with him. Among the talking points made are his suggestion for what artists need to do in order to “get discovered” by radio platforms (i.e. get their submissions listened to and considered), the power that indie music has to change all of the music industry (for the better), what a musician’s job really is (far beyond just making music), and how partnering with people who believe in you is how you really gain the growth you want.

Here are just a few of the quotes found in the podcast:
“We get a lot of submissions and we see when we have a BCC email. If you’re not taking the time to at least check out the website for a brief moment to see if your music fits on my station, it’s kinda not worth my time to give it a listen. But it’s pretty easy to pick out the people who are taking the time to connect.”

“Have an experience with a radio platform before you start contacting people.”

“Radio guys love to talk about stuff. It’s nice to have something to talk about. So give us something interesting (when you make your submission). Listeners like it because they can go tell their friends.”

“It’s kinda like computer programming. You start small and figure out if it works and then you go from there. You don’t have to start out by recording a full 12 songs. Do 3 or 4 or 5 and make them really good and focus on that.”

“I would never tell an artist to change their style or what they’re doing if they’re really passionate about it. Because that’s the most important thing in my mind. That should come through.”

“When you’re building your team of your manager or even your friends who are helping you out, make sure they understand your passion and what you’re trying to do because there’s nothing more important. You’re trying to improve people’s lives, that’s really what a musician’s job is.”

“It’s sort of a religion. It’s like ‘Do you believe in Independent Music? Do you believe that it’s good?’ Yeah I do. ‘Have you taken Independent music as your personal savior?’ Ok then you’re in. It’s really like that. There are some people who don’t believe it’s good but that’s because they haven’t experienced it. Once they experience it, they’re like ‘yeah it’s great! Why would I want to listen to the (commercial) radio anymore?’”

This was a fantastic experience of indie music insight with Justin Wayne. Hear his indie music podcast The Justin Wayne Show here. Share this podcast with other musicians, indie music folks and anyone else you think can benefit from our discussion. Let me know what you think of this edition in the comments below.

Essential Music Promotion Keys Guide

Screen Shot 2016-01-11 at 5.08.21 PM(This info graphic is much larger with links to pieces that help you. Download it below.)

For DIY musicians and unsigned bands, there are so many marketing and promotion pieces that seem essential to your growth.

Does it seem overwhelming?  The sheer volume (no pun intended) of things you’re told to keep up with as a musician is very overwhelming. You’re not alone if you feel like there’s too much stuff to keep up with.

 

 

How to make growth real and obtainable

Growth is a process, and there are pieces to it. How can you know which pieces are essential and what can be tabled for a later time? I have the answer for you.

The reality of audience growth is that your music connection occurs in two different places at the same time. There’s a balance (just like in all things) between your online presence and your live experience. One happens in real time and the other happens 24/7 with or without you being present.

Music promotion is far more than having a Facebook page, Twitter account and your music on Soundcloud. Ultimately it’s about connecting with real people in a powerful way that creates loyalty and support for your work. By using more than just an online presence you great new opportunities for growth that matters.

The basics of music promotion is like playing an instrument

Music promotion is similar to learning to play piano (follow the metaphor). Once you know the essential keys you can take next steps to putting them to work for you with the greatest opportunity for success. Your success and your use of these keys will defer from other artists, though you can find some similarities at the same time.

The key to growth is to Be Uncommon. The uncommon artist isn’t following bandwagons and doing what everyone else is doing. This is one of the biggest problems that artists encounter as you hear an industry expert say you have to do this or do that online or social media. Forget that. Focus on the keys. Once you learn the keys, you get to determine the sound of your music promotion. Your sound will be different from other artists. That’s what makes you unique, and that’s what draws your super fans in.

Get these keys and put them to use in your music. Want some more help or insights (and maybe a few uncommon ideas to help you)? Reach out to me and let’s talk.

Infographic-Music Promotion Keys For DIY Musicians (download here)

Bird Thomas On The DIY Artist Route Podcast

Bird Thomas, Community-Building Maestro

Bird Thomas, Community-Building Maestro

The DIY Artist Route Podcast continues on in 2016 and I’m so excited to present this conversation with you. Bird Thomas is one of my dearest friends who also embodies strengths that I am inspired by regarding connecting with people. To put it simply, Bird is a very uncommon person.

You can generally tell when you encounter someone who changes the way you feel in a moment’s time. Most people want to be associated with folks who make them feel good about who they are, excited about what’s going on, and enthusiastic enough to go out and get others to join in with the movement. That’s one of the things I first noticed about Bird that showed how uncommon and powerful she is as a community builder.

 

A little insight into Bird and why she’s on the latest podcast episode

She is the Curator of Fun Learning Experiences at the Center For Contemporary Arts in downtown Abilene, Tx. That job title is one of the best there is, and it says a lot about her heart towards the arts. She strongly believes in the power of experiences to shape our motives and actions, as well as the power of intention in all we do. These are 2 things we talk about more specifically in this new podcast episode.

When community building first became a realization for me as a creative entrepreneur, and was further inspired from reading Amanda Palmer’s The Art of Asking, I started going through my Roladex of people I know who do this well. Bird is one of the best people I know. Spend 5 minutes with her and you’ll walk away feeling like the coolest person on the block. Few people have the power to cultivate that kind of impression on a first meeting. It’s something that can be learned, and in this podcast you’ll learn how she empowers others to join in with what she’s doing. This is the essence of community building.

There are so many great nuggets from this conversation. A few of the standout quotes (to go back and listen to again) are:

“If you will learn to just be, moment by moment, you realize that in that particular moment you are ok. Nothing is really threatening you. If you be, as human beings you are meant to do, you realize that everything is fine.”

“The way you achieve things and the way you create things is to first see it in your mind. Everything. Everything begins as a thought. The stronger you build the thought, the faster it becomes a reality.”

“You have to believe that you will achieve whatever you give thought to. You have to believe in yourself.”

If you want to experience what it’s like for the arts community to come alive and involve other members of a community, city or region, venture out here to Art Walk in Abilene. It’s a great way to see a thriving and supportive community in action.

Jerzy Jung, The DIY Artist Route And You

JerzyJungAwardJerzy Jung embodies everything you can imagine for a DIY artist. She is a musician, actress, music teacher, and practitioner of the golden rule. Her songwriting is comparable to that of Regina Spektor in how she takes common, everyday elements and pieces them together to tell a much bigger story. Her song Black Dress/White Dress is a prime example of using fashion as a metaphor for how society treats women.

I’ve known Jerzy Jung for several years, first discovering her music in 2009 when I heard her songs on myspace. We ended up doing an interview and have kept in touch since. She’s a regularly featured artist on The Appetizer Radio Show, and was a perfect artist to chat with in the DIY Artist Route podcast series.

Every conversation on the DIY Artist Route podcast has featured some great quotes. Here are just a few of what you can gather from this episode:
“The mindset of ‘pick me pick me and my whole life will change’ hurt me. The student mentality will help you better. Now I’m like ‘what kind I learn and attracting people who may help me’ has been more helpful. I make the best work I can and my focus is there, and on attracting people who can help.”

“This industry we signed into is not easy, it’s mysterious, and it’s not kind. You’re wondering where your road map is and you have this goal and no idea on how to get there.”

“To be a good community member you have to give in the ways that people are asking to give instead of just what you feel like giving.”

Hitrecord is this fantastic online community where artists connect from anywhere in the world. Nothing is too big or too small.”

“I’m concerned with the business side (of music) but I try not to lose that playfulness.”

Lessons from crowdfunding: The fear of doing it is worse than actually starting and doing it.

“Doing the crowdfunder and making the video helped me to clarify why I make art and it felt really good to define it and see it on paper. It was a reminder to myself for why I chose this life.”

“The real test with all this ambiguity and all this disappointment, do you still love it (music) and just have to do it? Even though this life we picked is weird, focusing on gratitude is so important.”

*Note: I did just get the podcast on iTunes, yet there have been intermittent issues with the podcast host site, which is why I included the Podbean player above so you can hear it regardless.

I’m working to get that resolved so that this episode will be included in the iTunes list. Suffice to say, I’m learning from trial and error about podcasting and how it works best. I also am gaining valuable experience on who to use and who to avoid when setting up a podcast. If you have any suggestions or insight into the podcast realm, please share them with me. Thank you!

Benji Rogers, The DIY Artist Route & You

BenjiRogersBenji Rogers is one of the biggest movers and shakers in indie music today. The founder of Pledge Music, he’s a profound and outspoken advocate for Super Fans. You’ve heard me talk at length, including multiple webinars and past blog posts on the power of utilizing your super fan group of audience. Now, Benji will give you even more reason to key in and make your super fans the focus of your growth strategy.

Aside from the talk about super fans, which does dominate much of our conversation, Benji Rogers also shares a lot about how to do crowdfunding the right way using Pledge Music. Pledge Music was launched on the same day as Kickstarter, and there is a lot of good things Benji says about the crowdfunding platform. But the key difference is the way that Pledge Music engages with campaign creators (musicians and artists) and the support members who fund the campaigns. This key difference ties in perfectly with why your focus on your super fans should be first, and let everyone else follow suit on their own.

Takeaways just for you

Benji is a quote machine. Nearly the entire call was spent trying to keep up with the gold that was pouring from his mouth, which are applicable to both musicians and creative entrepreneurs who can see how to take these principles and apply them to their work.

Great quotes from our conversation include:
“Ultimately all music is free. But what isn’t free is the making-of. If you lift that lid just a bit, you get the magic.”

“Artists tend to forget that what they do is fascinating to people who can’t do it.”

“You allow fans access to that deeper level while it happens. What if you could get a VH1 Behind the Music while it’s happening? Artists can choose to give as much or as little away as possible. It’s really about a personal connection.”

“Each Super fan is your digital gold, they are the ones that value your business moving forward. That’s your tribe, that’s your community. They’re your weird ones and that’s what’s fun.”

“What I want Pledge to become is the largest Super fan community in the world, owned by the artists that bring their fans to the table, because ultimately we don’t own those fans. The artist does.”

“The #1 place artists fail is email lists. Pushing your fans to third party platforms for engagement is a mistake.”

“17% of all music fans categorize themselves as Super-Fans, but they also make up for over 60% of all the revenue in the music industry.”

It was great to connect with Benji and his statements are in perfect agreement with many of the things I’ve been talking about here on this blog for the past year and a half, especially concerning what real growth looks like and how to really boost your music and artistic endeavors by having the right focus. I also learned a lot from Benji in this conversation, and look forward to further engagements/interactions with him in the future.

If the player up top doesn’t work, give this a shot.

Episode 8: Benji Rogers by D Grant Smith on Mixcloud