Tag Archives: Music Marketing

How Radio Promotion Is Done Right With Jesse Barnett

RelationshipBeing a radio host, I’m plugged into different parts of this industry. I’m connected to radio stations, artists, managers, radio promoters, and listeners alike. I see things from the perspective of a radio station manager, music director, program host, and curator when it comes to music submissions. I do also see things from the perspective of the artists. It might seem like these are two opposing viewpoints, but they’re not.

Not if you look at it the right way.

Jesse Barnett

Jesse Barnett

Jesse Barnett (Right Arm Resource) is one who sees the harmony between the musicians and the media platforms who showcase their work. It’s a team effort, where both sides win when they work together. Look folks, there’s no I in team. We know that. It’s cliched. But how often do you, musicians, look at your music promotions to radio as something that offers a benefit to the station you reach out to other than them “getting to play” your music?

Radio and musicians win when there’s a relationship connection in place. That’s why public, community, indie and college radio continue to be powerhouses in the modern media-rich world. Relationships matter. Make that a focus and you’ll see bigger and better wins in your music promotion.

This podcast episode is about just that: relationships. Jesse is the best in the business of radio promotion because he puts relationships first. He has worked with and represented some big names in indie music including Damien Rice, They Might Be Giants, Cage The Elephant, and others. And he works with smaller indie labels and artists too, quite successfully I might add.

We talk about the power of networking and relationship building a lot in this episode because it’s the real key to achieving anything that lasts. Trust me. Or better yet trust Jesse. We’re both proof of this. Radio is a conduit between people who share interest, love, and stories driven by music. When radio works best is when it builds communities together of people who share these areas. That’s not the same thing as it being a platform that just plays music and has listeners. That’s boring commercial radio, which you’re not listening to.

One other thing that is mentioned a few times in this podcast episode is The DIY Musician’s Radio Handbook, which illustrates the exact things we talk about in a How-To format. Jesse has read it and shares his thoughts on it. It’s easy for me to tell you that you need this book. However, you decide how much you want to succeed. If you want to win, and you want long term wins, go grab the book here.

After you listen to this, if you get just 1 thing out of it (which I know is an understatement because you’ll get way more than that), do your part in the growth farming process and plant a seed with 3 of your music friends (i.e. share the episode). Cultivate it with me here, and let me know what 1 thing you got the most from in this conversation. We’ll talk soon!

Insights From The Musician’s Webman Andrew Apanov

Andrew Apanov

Andrew Apanov

In the digital age, we’re not limited to location for who we can learn from or be aided by.

One of my favorite people doing great things for musicians is Andrew Apanov. Based out of Poland, Andrew’s platform Dotted Music is a great resource for all things digital and web for musicians. His blog is a fantastic resource with great articles and posts that shine new light on not just the pieces of building a digital brand as a musician, but the how-to steps to make that happen.

What Andrew Apanov says about online branding for musicians

Andrew and I have had several conversations about what musicians need to do with their online branding and platforms to really grow their audience. We’ve also talked about media, which is why he was one of the first people I sent the DIY Musician’s Radio Handbook to, because back in the day Andrew was a radio host too.

His inclusion in the DIY Artist Route Podcast is perfect for us as we start the summer. I know a lot of artists are taking the time to re-evaluate their growth and what they’re working on. If that’s you, you’ll gain a lot from this episode. Music marketing online, online branding, relationship building a whole lot more are all in this episode.If you’re looking to hire a publicist or work with a music marketing agency, and you’ve read up on We Spin and Dotted Music, there are some things you should prepare for in consideration before you start writing checks.

What do marketing agencies and publicists look for with new musicians

Great publicists and music marketing agencies look for specific things from artists before they sign them. Do you know what they are? Andrew does, and now in turn you do too. I see a lot of musicians paying for services that they can do themselves. The reason they don’t do it themselves (like music marketing, radio promotion, etc) is because they’ve tried methods that don’t work and they gave up. So they pay money to someone else to do the work that creates networking connections. Except, they pay the money for the airplay, but don’t get the network. It’s so backwards. And it’s one of the things I appreciate most about this conversation with Andrew. His blogs and podcast get you even more form him.

How to be your own music publicist and promoter

Speaking of music promotions and publicity, don’t be one of those artists who get suckered into some promoter’s game of paying 100s or 1000s of dollars for promotion. It’s crap. Literally. Be your own radio promoter by doing 3 big things that many musicians and even labels get wrong. Learn how to do it right. I’ll show you. Click here to get it right.

Jay Coyle Preaches Super Fan Gospel For Musicians

Jay Coyle

Jay Coyle, Music Geek Services

So far on the DIY Artist Route Podcast we’ve connected with fellow Super Fan building advocates like Benji Rogers (Pledge Music), Michael Brandvold, and Chandler Coyle (Berklee Online & Music Geek Services). Recently I was blessed to get to chat with Chandler’s brother and Music Geek founder Jay Coyle on the gospel of super fans for musicians.

Jay Coyle has a storied past with music and music marketing. His approach to helping musicians market themselves is an outside-the-box perspective that made me instantly pay closer attention. It’s the way that I’ve gone about building my audience for The Appetizer Radio Show, and help musicians connect with their fans for years. And best of all, it’s really easy.

What does your fan base want most from you?
Think about that. Put yourself in the shoes of your audience to see what you can do for them to garner more of their support, AND how you can build stronger connections with them.

Jay Coyle thinks like a Super Fan

Chances are you’re a big fan of at least 1 band or musician. What lengths would you go to in order to see your favorite band live? What about adding their music to your record library, even if that’s digital? Let’s throw some merch in too, because most of us Super Fans have merchandise from our favorite artists. What is it that we most want from our favorite artists, and why are we so passionate about them?

It’s these keen insights into what makes the super fan army move in your direction that Jay is so great at. It’s how his company Music Geek Services has helped many small-to-medium sized bands thrive in a constantly growing music market with new artists emerging daily. More competition creates more noise and less room. No musician in this industry can get by on trying to be all things to all people and expect to win. Instead, focus on your core audience of super fans and make them your prize.

Jay Coyle is one more advocate for the essential piece to your audience growth-Super Fans. Take his insights, tips, and advice to heart and to action. What stood out the most to you in our conversation on this podcast? Comment here and let’s chat about it.

Subscribe to the podcast for past episodes (mentioned above) in the right margin.

Michael Brandvold On The DIY Artist Route Podcast

michael-brandvold

I was captivated by the title “Michael Brandvold shares 25 lessons he learned working with KISS.”

Reading his short Ebook (free on his website) and then hearing his Music Biz Weekly podcast, I was intrigued. “I have to have this guy on the DIY Artist Route Podcast,” I said to myself.

Here we are. Michael Brandvold was gracious to join me in a discussion on what makes successful fan building, and his insights into working with KISS are perfect for understanding the power of Super Fan Building. This is a consistent subject we talk about here on this blog, and today’s insights from Michael are spot on for how to identify your Super Fans and bring them into your music to benefit you the most.

Opening The Super Fan Gateway To Help You Grow

Recently on a blog from Sonicbids, I talked about how to put your online and offline work together to strengthen your audience and build more connections with your fan community. Michael adds more ideas to this, and the best part is they are all simple and inexpensive.

I love learning powerful things from people who simply challenge me to think a little bit differently. We definitely get that benefit in this podcast. Dive in, learn something new, and share it with 1 person you know who can benefit from it too.

Take Michael Brandvold Insights A Step Further For Your Own Music Growth

There are some big areas of audience building and fan community that are discussed in this podcast episode. What areas of your fan building and connection do these ideas resonate with OR are there things that you still are trying to figure out when it comes to growing your fan community?

Did you pick up on how the mainstream successful bands share 1 thing in common with DIY Musicians like you? It’s about seeing what you do for what it is. Reach out and comment here so we can look at them together.

 

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.

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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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)

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.