Tag Archives: media

Secrets To Media Coverage With Michael Zipursky

 

michael zipursky coach consultant success

Consulting Coach Michael Zipursky

When I read someone with a massive influence talking about some of the same things I do, I take note. Michael Zipursky wrote a recent blog piece about how to get published in industry publications to boost your exposure. He’s been featured in big media platforms like Huffington Post, Fox News, American Express’ Open Forum and more. Turns out his methods are incredibly similar to what you’ve heard me talk about here.

Learning From People In Different Industries

Yet we work in 2 completely different fields. Michael works with consultants in business. I work primarily with musicians and entrepreneurs in the creative industries. His methods for getting big media companies and the people behind the publications to take notice are very similar to what is detailed in The DIY Musician’s Radio Handbook. Did I know Michael’s methods when I wrote my book? Nope. However, like attracts like.

A few of the past DIY Artist Route podcast guests have come from non-music related industries. There have been a few people on social media who balked at learning non-musicians about music growth. Here’s the thing: growth principles are bigger than any industry.  Don’t choose to close your mind off to people in a different field or industry because it seems to not apply. That’s a dangerous place to live.

Instead, have a teachable mindset. Teachable folks can learn from anyone. If you want to know how to do something someone else is doing, or you want to connect with them, it’s not hard. After reading his blog article, I reached out to him and made a connection. The result of that connection is this podcast conversation.

Michael Zipursky Secrets To Media Exposure

How do you get someone to pay attention to you? You start by paying attention to them. It’s what Dale Carnegie talks about in How To Win Friends And Influence People.  Remember this quote from Carnegie: “You gain more friends in two months showing interest in other people than you can in 2 years trying to get other people interested in you.” That matters when contacting media to get their attention.

The majority of emails sent to media are Spam. Same is true in business when people are trying to get the attention of others. It doesn’t work.

“It’s all about the relationships. When you can establish a relationship with an author or editor, you’re going to get a lot more focus from them than if you send a Spam message.”

In the podcast, Michael lays out 5 specific steps to take to get yourself and your work in front of big media publications. The method is the same for getting in front of radio. The step-by-step process is detailed in 9 videos, a comprehensive training workshop, and coursebook in the Indie Radio Promotion course.

As a coach to coaches, I pay close attention to what Michael talks about on Consulting Success. His platform is about how to be a better leader, how to guide leaders to create more wins, and how to keep growth happening on a regular basis.

His success is in leading people of all walks of life to achieve more using systems and structures. The most successful people in the world have coaches and mentors who work with them to make magic happen in their lives and professions. No one gets to the top on their own.

“One of the big keys to success for every successful person I know and every successful person out there is having a coach. Music artists, athletes, actors and so forth all have a success coach. They identify who is out there and who can they learn from to get that help. That helps them fast-track their success.”

Like Michael, I’m driven by creating big wins for creative people like you. Whether that’s launching your next project, growing your audience, or simply figuring out the next steps to take in your journey, I’m here for you. For more on working with me as a coach to growth farm your success in music and business, contact me here.

 

Why Musicians Don’t Need A Label For Music Growth

“If I can just get signed to a label then I’ll be able to get my music out to more people and finally build my fan base.”

Unexpect out of Canada

Unexpect out of Canada

I’ve heard this phrase (in a few iterations) countless times in the past year alone. Here’s the thing: a label might save you a little bit of time but being on a label doesn’t guarantee your growth.

The reason for this is that a lot of labels AND PR firms AND marketing agencies AND music promoters don’t serve their artists as well as the artists could serve themselves if you only knew what and how to do it. This is where I come in to help you learn the what and the how. Read on if you want both of those things.

How you can do the work of a label and do it 300% better

There is this ongoing misnomer among DIY musicians that you need to get your music on a label so that they can really market and grow your music audience. This belief is mistaken, that labels are better at connecting with music industry influencers and platforms with big audiences.

Image by Johan Oomen

Image by Johan Oomen

The “label savior” belief stems from a historical period that the music industry was at around 60 or more years ago. Back then, every new artist was on a label because that was the only way that distribution worked. There weren’t indie presses for individuals to create their own records (on vinyl), CDs didn’t exist and tapes were the way that demos were recorded at home. Labels emerged as the main method for distribution for music for media companies to have something to broadcast. Remember though, that was in the 1950s and 1960s. Times have changed.

It’s no longer the case that you need a label to win in this music industry. We all know the power of the Indie Music Movement that has changed the rules for how music growth happens.

“Indie” means more than independent from an artistic standpoint. It can also mean individual.

Labels continue to exist and continue to spend GOBS of money marketing their artists. Major labels spend the most money and put their artists out every where they can as a method to gain leverage.

Let’s pause for a moment and dive into this term, because it’s really important for you.

Gain leverage without signing to a label

Leverage is the crux of what growth is built on. The more people know who you are, become connected with your name and brand, the more opportunities you have to sell your uniqueness to the world. This is leverage.

In a sense, leverage is a numbers game but only in the capacity of very big picture ideals. When labels strive to gain leverage by only playing a numbers game, they miss the mark. This missing creates negative results for artists.

Truthfully, the most powerful and successful leverage makers are those who get themselves out to the RIGHT people, and lots of them. This is one way that labels large and small can miss the mark, by not targeting their audience appropriately or communicating properly with them.

When you’re trying to reach everyone, often you’ll miss the mark. Everyone isn’t an audience or a target, it’s a black hole. Think about a bow and arrow. You can aim for a target on a tree or a post that’s 50 yards away. If you simply lift the bow into the air and shoot the arrow into the sky, did you hit anything?

Think about all the advertisements you see for artists you don’t care about, or music styles that don’t appeal to you. They’re all over the web, TV and other media. Those are attempts to gain leverage. Many of them are unsuccessful because they’re not aimed at the right audience, they’re aimed at everyone.

You don’t need a label to gain leverage in growing your music brand, gaining more fans or creating more opportunities to sell your music (both live and online). What you need is to recognize that the people who serve as gatekeepers for audience reach are just that, they’re people.

Wow, did that seem a little too simple? People are people. Radio people are regular people. People who write blog reviews and host music podcasts are regular people too. Yes they have platforms that reach hundreds or thousands (or maybe even millions) of other people that you also want to reach. At the end of the day, people are still people.

I say this “people are people” ideal because this is where labels often miss the mark. Their outreach to music curators, radio platforms, or even audience groups doesn’t communicate in a person-to-person way. The communication is far too formal and hard to embrace.

What works better for you, a friend of yours talking about a new band they just heard that sounds like Mumford & Sons but with only 3 band members and since you like Mumford you should check them out, OR a graduate level term paper detailing the exploits of a new Americana band and everywhere they’ve traveled and all the inspirations of their music and how incredible they are?

You want to listen to your friend because your friend communicates in a way that gels with you. People talking cordially with other people communicate in a way that gels. Companies trying to communicate with people don’t often do so very well.

This is one of the most common areas of difficulty I see both artists, PR companies, indie labels and management companies struggle with in terms of getting their music out to radio, media, and music fans as a whole. We’re all trying to get regular people who do specific jobs to give us their attention, their interest, their care, and ultimately their support. That’s the whole process of fan conversion.

How does that happen? How can you as an artist figure out what works to get your music in front of radio platform makers, blog reviewers, media outlets, and even individual fans both online and offline?

If only there was a book or something that showed you all of this

Actually there is. The DIY Musician’s Radio Handbook reveals everything that individual artists, bands, and musicians need to do what a record label or PR firm is supposed to do, AND do it better. If you decide that you’d still rather delegate the responsibilities and time to a company or team to do your marketing and outreach, that works too. The book will show you exactly what to look for in bringing the right people into your team to get you successful results.

What kind of successful results? You’ll not only get airplay on radio but you’ll build your personal network of industry contacts for long-term relationships that benefit you over time so that your future record releases will have instant traction and you won’t have to start the “marketing” process all over again.

RadioCourseMainImage-CoverImageDo you want even more insight into how to build a stronger network of media contacts, connections with radio, and gain more support from your fan base using effective communication and messaging techniques? Click here to get all of this and much more in the Indie Radio Promotion Course and save 60% by joining now.

This is how businesses who network with other businesses work. They build connections and relationships that benefit both parties in the immediate and future time periods. That’s real connection. Gain the step-by-step process to not only getting your music heard on radio but also how to grow your connections with music industry influencers in this powerful new book, set to publish in February. Sign up for the Book below.

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Following This Twitter Trend Will Burn Bridges

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“Twitter Tip: Keep tagging the same person in a post that you make every single day with a link from 9 months ago to boost your site traffic.”

That’s not really a Twitter tip, but there are people who are following this course of action every day. It’s certainly a way to burn bridges quickly with the people who are tagged. Here’s why:

Someone a while back must have found some success doing this on Twitter, so they told someone else to do it. Eventually it became a trend or a “How-to-grow-your-Twitter-following” tip.

Or maybe no one has had success with this but continued doing any way, and because they did it to someone it was copied. We tend to do what we see others do, even if it doesn’t work.

But the reality is, this provides little benefit to the people who are tagged when there is no response from the individuals posting the tweet. There’s also no response from the followers of either entity, no clicks to the link, and no traction from the post.

If a social media trend annoys you, it probably annoys others too. If something annoys you, do you want to have people do it to you?

Here’s what happened: I did a feature article on an artist who was trying to grow their audience. It was a short piece several months ago (close to a year now), a few words, a video, a brief review and that’s it.

The week the tweet was posted, I promoted it a few times. That’s appropriate. The promoter of the artist promoted the link as well. Two weeks later, they were sending the exact same tweet nonstop every other hour. Then 6 months (yes months not weeks) later and at multiple times a day the exact same tweet was being posted by this promotion group for the artist. And I’m tagged in it.

“Why is this annoying?” you may be thinking. Isn’t getting tagged so much by artists and promoters a good thing for rankings and publicity?

It might be, but I honestly haven’t see a jump in site views or links clicked because of that. What I do get are countless notifications that someone tagged me. Like you, I want to see who is engaging with me and how I can respond. But you can’t respond to the same message again and again. It’s Spam, and trying to respond to spam doesn’t do much.

Plus, the Promotion Company won’t reply to the tweets I have sent regarding this issue. So what good does their Tweeting do for them?

When you get publicity, a review, or mentioned by the media you should promote that link or video or whatever it is. You should promote that for a week, and you should use that to forward your marketing. But don’t rely on that one piece of press exclusively. Certainly don’t use the exact same copy every time you post something on social media, especially if you’re tagging the media contact in it each time.  It doesn’t make you look very good.

Let me be clear. I’m not opposed to being tagged, actually it’s a great thing because it usually builds connections. But when tagging someone turns into spam, it’s going to be really hard to get them to talk about you organically to their following, and that is what you’re really after. Organic shares generate so much more activity than any other kind of post, including paid promotions (which are also effective).

All this to say, be careful how you treat your posts and marketing messages online. If you’re saying the same things over and again, and if you’re not really working to make connections and conversations with people, that can come across the wrong way and burn a bridge. Do you know what your marketing and communication strategy is online or do you have one? If not, you and I should talk.

Spam doesn’t serve anyone’s interest, the musician/artist, the media platform, or the audience. It doesn’t work on social media and it doesn’t work when contacting radio stations. Yet, this happens every day. Have you ever tried to get noticed by radio, media, or online fans by tagging people? Have you sent the same message out to countless contacts, hoping to get a reply so you can get featured?

You may still be waiting for a response that won’t come.

There is a way to make real connections, both with fans and with radio. It has to do with how you reach out, not necessarily what you say. If this has been your experience, let me know what you are wanting to do that isn’t working. Your difficulty or struggle is something artists face everyday. Let’s talk about how you can overcome them.

How I Learned The Next Step To Take

Photo Credit: MoDOT Photos

Photo Credit: MoDOT Photos

Honestly one thing I’ve struggled with for a long time is admitting my mistakes. The fear is that if I show chinks in my armor, I’ll be less appealing and less trusted by the people I want to help. But the truth is, without revealing my errors and mistakes I let you down and don’t allow for real connection to take place.

Since I’ve not done this much in the past, or in our previous interactions, I apologize. I want to serve you in the best way I can, so that you can have the success with your music and projects that you dream of.

One thing that has kept me from moving forward with some of the work I’ve done over the last year is not knowing which direction to go, what steps to take, or if I made a decision about one thing and it didn’t work, I would have wasted time, energy, emotion and money on a dead end.

Do you ever feel that way?

That fear kept me stuck for several months. Two years I left one job I’d been at for over a decade and started doing something completely different. A year later that new job transitioned into something different, and I couldn’t stay on as I had originally planned. I found myself in an unknown space, with the future not looking so certain as I had planned.

Continuing to work on The Appetizer Radio Show and doing a some projects with a few emerging musicians kept me connected to music and media instead of leaving all of that past life behind. But I was honestly without direction on what to do with my experience and passion, where to go, and what to do.

I read a lot on a variety of subjects, especially small business growth, marketing, entrepreneurship, and leadership. One subject that became a constant thread in my reading was teachers and mentors. Several outlets stated that one of the best ways to weed through the noise, overcome obstacles and find pathways to reach your goals is to find a mentor or coach. So I started looking for one.

The difficulty in this search is that there are plenty of teachers and coaches for small businesses. There aren’t many coaches for people whose experience is in radio, media or indie music. I did find a few well-meaning individuals who weren’t really interested in taking on new people, and one who was willing to talk with me for 30 minutes about what I was looking for. But he wanted $120 for me to just talk with him for half an hour.

I couldn’t do that financially, so I moved on.

It took a while to find a coach who spoke my language, I connected with right away, and who shared a similar path and journey. After much searching, I did find that coach and mentor. We’ve been working together for about 10 months now and it has been more than worth the investment. Actually, working with my coach has paid for itself a few times over. Here’s why:

I know that I’d still be spinning my wheels, questioning my decision making and living with more frustration in the lack of results for my efforts if I hadn’t taken that next step and sought help from a coach and mentor.

color close upYes, I am a coach for musicians and entrepreneurs. But I don’t have all the pieces figured out in my own path, which is why I have a coach whom I trust, respect, and value. Working with him has helped me find the next steps in my journey. All of the great leaders and coaches in any field have others who are helping to guide them to their next win.

Your next step could be the result of a conversation with a potential mentor and coach.

You and I are both on journeys of finding growth and success with the work we do. You are passionate about your project, career and what you create. That passion carries forth in everything you do. It’s a part of your story.

If you’re like me and want to know how you can take the next step in your journey, then we should talk. Don’t worry, I don’t charge people anything to find out where you are and what you’re wanting to do. Let’s have an initial chat to see if I can be of service to you, or if there is someone else who can be a good match for you in my network. Contact me below for details or email me at dgrantsmith@gmail.com.

I look forward to connecting with and helping you grow.

Reach Your Goals By Narrowing Your Focus

6924223634_74e709f616_oIt’s becoming increasingly harder to get things done with the number of messages, emails, social engagement posts, and other content all targeting us with headlines that offer something we think we need (or worse, something we think we want). How to gain more money through your network, how to improve your booking and sales, to offerings for a better XYZ option, it’s really difficult to utilize these resources for what they are and take their suggestions to heart.

I do realize that many of my offerings here fall into this category. Which is why I’m going to make a suggestion that might seem to contradict my content, and in some ways not serve the purpose of my business. I want you to pick 2 sources for content to help you grow your music career or your business.

Just two.

Three only if you want a backup option. But don’t continue down this road with 4 or more memberships, subscriptions, and outlets that are constantly sending you the latest tips on how to do this or that.

This requires a more precise focus than we’re used to having as individuals surrounded by constant media and incoming content.

Why would I say such a thing? Because chances are, the more possibilities you have for how to improve your work, the less likely you’ll be to implement even ONE of those options.

The reason is simple. When we have more than 2 options for how to move forward, we spend a lot of time debating on which option is best.  When we have various subscriptions to different email newsletters or Facebook profiles that mostly send us content offering to help you improve what you do, it’s really hard to block out the necessary time to truly plug in to what that one message says. Because your inbox just received a new article or post on 5 ways to improve something else, or 10 things not to do to be successful. Are you going to really take the time to read each of these, or are you going to save them for a later time and never really go back to them?

I’m speaking in many ways from experience. I’ve been a subscriber to only a few e-newsletters and sites that send content to help me improve my business. Ultimately as much as these folks want to be helpful, they also me to buy their stuff, which is why they offer what they do for free. And to be honest with you, it’s why I offer what I do for free in some instances. I want your business. But more importantly, I want a relationship with you where we can talk one-on-one and dive into the specifics of your situation to really make an impact where you are right now and create new opportunities for growth both in your audience as well as your pocketbook.

I can also speak from experience on the value of having a mentor and coach to help focus my energies and endeavors moving forward to reach my goals. I do practice what I preach. Having a coach to help me narrow my focus on only a limited number of options in the direction I’m headed has proven to be monumental in my professional work in reaching specific milestones faster than I ever did before on my own. On my own, I was too distracted most of the time from the never-ending barrage of options. Maybe you’ve had a similar experience.

MeByAbbeyRoadSign I also realize that if you have too many voices offering you similar but different paths forward, it’s really hard to choose which one to take. And it’s even more difficult to not subconsciously combine a few suggestions from one person and something else from another into an amalgamation of options that might end up benefiting you in the long run, but also might end up causing unnecessary confusion and frustration.

So make a choice for a few months. Stick with receiving content, updates, and tips from only a few select professionals or individuals. Follow through with their suggestions and how they can best be used to benefit you. If you choose me as one of those sources, excellent! I really appreciate the honor. If you don’t, that’s ok too. Check on your results after 3 months. If you’re not where you want to be, evaluate who your teachers, mentors, and suggestion-box people are and make the appropriate changes.

Ultimately you have to serve the best interest of yourself, and having the fewest number of options serves you best. Good luck, and thanks for choosing to follow me up to this point.