Tag Archives: music growth

3 Simple Keys To Music Success With Rodney Holder

rodney holder music business facts drummer podcaster

Rodney Holder

Music Business Keys To Success with Rodney Holder

When it comes to business success, the entrepreneur path is essential. Most musicians are recognizing that more and more as time goes by. One of the premier places where musicians have experienced insights into how to take their careers to new levels was the Music Launch Summit, created by my good friend Steve Palfreyman last year.

There, over 50 of the world’s biggest names in the business came together to help musicians grow. Rodney Holder was a standout in that series.

I was both an attendee and a masterclass speaker. Being in that summit with many of my good friends and colleagues including Carlos Castillo, Wendy Parr, Yann Ilunga, Benji Rogers, and Cari Cole, it was incredible to experience the insights of so many really incredible people.

After watching Rodney’s session, I knew I had to talk with him. Not only is he a fellow drummer and Australian (I love the Aussie’s!!!), but his methodology of relationship building, learning from experience (which includes embracing failure) and the power of mentorship are hallmarks of what make for uncommon people.

A Little Insights Into Rodney Holder

Rodney is certainly uncommon. You can sense that in every response to my questions in our conversation. He’s also someone who has taken the process of growth and used each experience to bring a new piece of insight to share. That’s really a remarkable element to the science of growth.

He’s the host of Music Business Facts Podcast, the top music podcast in Australia. He’s also a metal drummer in  Alchemist Tripsis (so he’s got serious skills behind the kit) and seasoned musician. He also teaches Music Business Studies at Taffe University in Australia.

What I Learned From Rodney In This Podcast

I’ll be honest, one of the best things about hosting the DIY Artist Route Podcast is getting to learn first hand from some amazing people. I know a lot about how to build relationships and a good bit about radio.

But I don’t know everything about either of those subjects. And there’s a TON of stuff in the industry I don’t know. That’s why having conversations and asking good questions are important (if you want help with asking the right questions, reach out to me and we can talk).

Sometimes we learn things by how they’re phrased. For us creative entrepreneurs, the business side of what we do involves positioning our creations as products. Did you know that every aspect of your creation is a product that you’re offering to your audience? It’s like Rodney tells us

“You are a product, your songs, your shows, your work are all products.”

Kinda different way to think about things, huh? You are a product, not just what you make. That’s a game changer, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

3 Keys To Music Success

One of the big questions, that was kind of a trick (oops, you caught me) was when I asked Rodney if there was just 1 thing you could do to become successful today. In my experience, there’s not magic button that if you master it, all your cards will always be winners.

No poker hand works like that. Life doesn’t either.

On the flip side, there are a few ingredients that typically produce great results the more you do them. Three of those are hard work, continually putting yourself out there (marketing, outreach, gaining experiences), and luck.

Wait, did I just say that luck is how you win?

Yep. But like Rodney put it,

“The harder you work the luckier you get. The more prepared you are and the more you’re trying to get attention, your lucky break will come around.”

You make your own luck, by working hard. The more you keep going the better you get. Honestly, if I hadn’t committed the past 8 years of my professional life to relationship building and connecting with people, I wouldn’t be here in this place right now. I wouldn’t have had the conversations with world-changing folks like marketing guru Seth Godin, fellow musician-entrepreneur Rachael Yamagata or other folks.

Put These Tips To Work For You Today

Planning is a big part of that too, which is where being visionary and focused on what it is that you want to achieve is such a big deal. It’s also where having someone to work one-on-one with you as a guide through this process is so important.

A big thanks to Rodney for joining me in this podcast. We talked about mentoring and having someone in your corner to help your music grow. That’s what I call Growth Farming.

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.

Reach Your Music Potential On The Launch Summit


I’ve been talking about The Music Launch Summit for weeks on Facebook, Twitter, and the DIY Artist Route Podcast. It’s the biggest and best online music launch platform in history. Here’s why:

Every year musicians line up to attend the big music conferences and events. SXSW, Big Sound, ASCAP, and everything in between features both industry specialists and artists who are succeeding in this business. There are countless sessions strung over a short week’s (or shorter) time. You can always get some of the featured speakers you want to see, but not all of them.

Then you get home and try to start implementing some of the things you learned, but there’s so much stuff to try and do at once that if you get started, it’s nearly impossible to keep up with. Plus, you’re on your own at these seminars and conferences. Sure, you get a few business cards but you rarely (if ever) get to connect with the actual speakers.

ALL of that is different in the Music Launch Summit. Here you get lifetime access to the masterclass workshops (lifetime means forever, in other words never expiring). For folks who grab the VIP access you also get plugged into many of the speakers and get some personal attention.

Steve Palfreyman

Steve Palfreyman

Steve Palfreyman is my good friend and past DIY Artist Route Podcast guest. He is the Superman who organized and put all this together. Among the masterclass speakers include other past podcast guests like Benji Rogers and Andrew Apanov. Each speaker will be talking about their specific expertise.  They will also be laying out practical and specific steps for you to take to launch your music to new heights.

Over 40 of the most sought-out, powerful people in music  are presenting in this online platform include Bob Baker, Dave Kusek, Cari Cole, Wendy Parr, Ross Barber-Smith, Yann Ilunga, Rodney Holder, Carlos Castillo, Ariel Hyatt and many others. I’m going to be joining in to talk about indie radio airplay and the power of relationship building in the music industry.

These speakers will be covering everything from social media strategy to business & marketing to music production to building websites to direct-to-fan campaigns to radio airplay and much more.

That’s a LOT of growth opportunity, and it’s all available for free to sign up here.

But let’s take it even a step further because I want to give you even more. I want your growth farming experience to be out of this world and reach levels of success you haven’t dreamed of yet.

Here’s what that means:

The free pass will get you access to the sessions for a few days after each session goes live. If you miss a session and don’t view it within the open window, you will have missed it. That’s a bummer.

However, VIP Access will get you more. With VIP Access you get lifetime access to the Summit’s content (all 40+ video interviews), other bonuses (like an individual development plan), and a 4-week implementation session to put all the advice & wisdom to practice. Plus you get Steve in your corner to answer any questions you have during the entire summit.

Today marks the launch of the Summit. You can sign up anytime during the duration of the online event to experience the difference. Once the event window closes, only those with VIP access will be able to experience the masterclass sessions, so jump in now. Sign up here free.

How To Boost Your Audience With A Free Cookie

heartcookieAudience growth is an endeavor every entity, musician, business, artist, and random guy on youtube is engaged in. Every hour of every single day.

For musicians, the use of cover songs posted on their websites and done in videos (in particular) has been a great way to connect with prospective new fans, and introduce them to your original music.

There is another way, and it’s a fairly familiar method: the FREE song giveaway.

Noisetrade has been incredibly successful with this means of audience growth, whereby an artist can post a single, short EP, or even a full album on their site for free download. The listener only has to provide their name and email in exchange for the free music. I’ve used Noisetrade for several years to discover great new artists, and then feature the better songs on The Appetizer Radio Show to promote the artists. Other radio outlets do the same.

Some artists are turned off at the thought of “giving their music away,” so they pick one of their lesser songs to offer to potential fans.

How would that work for a bakery?

This is where the Free Cookie is so powerful. A local bakery has a very specific market, in many ways restricted to location and confined by proximity to a major grocery store chain. The comparison works well, because as a DIY or indie artist, you have some confines that an artist on a major label or even a larger indie label doesn’t have. How you attract new fans is very similar. Here’s how great bakeries do it.

cakesliceGreat local bakeries offer a free cookie. The bakery builds its reputation for having some truly excellent cake, particularly their lemon mousse crepe cake, and their family recipe sopapillas. Both of those offerings are a little more expensive, but if you get a chance to have a slice or a piece, you’ll buy the whole thing and arm wrestle your coworkers or family to keep them away from it.

The bakery also serves other deserts and caters primarily to an audience who uses their offerings for parties, gatherings, and the morning breakfast desert try. A cup of coffee and a croissant is perfect to take in to work. Yet, the local bakery has to keep working to attract new customers, because settling for only the same people won’t allow them to grow, expand, and set up that other bakery on the other side of town, or even the one 30 miles down the highway in a different town, despite the desire of that town’s residents for their unique foods.

How does the bakery use a free cookie to get new customers, and in essence grow their audience? That free cookie is outstanding. It’s chocolate chip, the most popular and appealing cookie. It’s soft, not hard, fresh out of the oven, and the chocolate chips are of a quality that is not generic. The cookie tastes so good, you inherently want to try everything else in the store. Suddenly, price isn’t a consideration anymore when it comes to that chocolate brownie cake, or the angel food cake with swirly icing.

You’re sold on the rest of the baker’s offerings because that cookie was so amazing, everything else in the store must be just as good or better. In reality, the cookie recipe for the baker has been worked on and crafted for years. She makes those cookies all the time, has the process down to a matter of minutes, and has easily trained her assistants to make them with little effort. That cookie is amazing, but its creation daily takes little effort and minimal cost. Yet it turns casual individuals into die hard customers.

Here’s where your free song boosts your audience growth.

Give away the track that has been in your repertoire for a little while, one that you are fairly known for with your core audience and is regularly talked about amongst your most ardent fans. That’s the one you can play at any show or on when asked on the spot and it be a wonderful experience. Maybe you have a few different versions of it, and you can cycle through those variations every few months to give away something a little different.

Here’s where the responsibility to have the amazing cakes to truly wow your prospective fans comes in: If the rest of your offering isn’t amazing ,the free song is the best thing about you. If the free song is the best thing about  you, and your other music doesn’t scream “AMAZING,” there is some development that needs to be done with your sound and songwriting. The majority of the rest of your music catalog should be great music, music that hooks people into wanting more.

Ultimately the baker is using the free offering to not just get someone in the door. She wants to create an opportunity for a new soul to experience her crafted and unique offering and build a connection with that person. The free cookie serves as the perfect introduction point because she knows her chocolate chip cookie is great. She also knows that the rest of her cakes, cookies, pies, and everything else is truly fantastic, and it’s just a matter of getting someone in the door to have an experience that will make them a die hard fan. She’s also fairly confident that once someone tries her food, they won’t settle for a second rate knock-off at a grocery store or general food outlet.

6172115189_f0b6c08598_zThat’s the same mantra for indie musicians who know that what they offer is Top-Shelf stuff. The free song is the teaser that leads to the exploration of your songbook. Give away an amazing cookie and you can convert a fan instantly. An average cookie (free song) might get them to look at a video or something else on your site, but chances are the mildly sweet flavor and crumbled pieces will just make them want to go find a better cookie elsewhere.

Instead, make that free song the best cookie that they’ll experience all day, or all week. And invite them into your greater songbook with it. Provide an opportunity to experience even more great sounds and stories with the rest of your offerings. When that free song knocks their socks off, they’ll not only flock to the rest of your songbook, but they’ll share your music with their friends. That’s the organic growth that every musician dreams of. All it takes is one fabulous and free cookie.

Do you know if your music is of the caliber to convert a casual listener into a die hard fan, even if you gave away your best song? Have you tried this in the past and it work, but now you’re considering doing it again? Or have you tried giving away music before and it didn’t work how you wanted it to? Let’s talk about how your free song (cookie) can bring in new folks and boost your audience. Contact me in the box below.

*Note: All cookie and baking images are from my better half-Mrs. Smith. She’s not officially a baker by trade but has built a giant reputation for amazing food. Her free recipes on her website have led to massive growth in her audience and business. Read more about her HERE.