Tag Archives: networking

True Success Occurs In Growing Your Roladex Garden

roladex growth farming d grant smithWhat if I told you that the real secrets to business growth, building a brand, growing an audience, and being successful in any area had more to do with farming than anything else? What if building a bond with your roladex led to real growth instead of viral marketing or social media? Let me explain.

It’s no secret that success comes from our ability to connect with other people. We’re not operating on islands where punching digits into a computer never interfaces with another human being.

Even if you work in an industry that is primarily digital, there has to be a person (or people) buying the services, products, and work that you do.

Since people are what makes business work, our ability to connect, communicate, and build relationships determine whether we grow what we plant or end up with the bitter dust of lost opportunities.

How One Conversation Changed The Success Dialogue

seth godin music marketing growth farming

Seth Godin

The concept of Growth Farming began with a conversation I had with one of my biggest heroes: Seth Godin.

He joined me in a ground-breaking and thought-provoking conversation on The DIY Artist Route Podcast in 2016. In just under 17 minutes Seth distilled some of the greatest wisdom available on how to grow and become the successful people we dream of being.

That conversation with Seth led to a person and professional exploration into relationship building from the context of planting seeds, nurturing them into plants and harvesting their output.

Then repeating the process, and expanding the territory.

It’s the work of a farmer. These principles come from my own personal stories, observations on friends and colleagues, and wisdom shared along the path towards success.

From here I’ve spent the better part of the past two years exploring how success works, reading books, listening to podcasts, watching videos, and talking with innovators on this very massive subject.

The consensus is pretty clear: the heart of winning in business and in life lies in the bonds we build with people. That’s why business icons talk about marketing and networking so much. It’s why social media is such a huge part of every creative person’s growth strategy (let alone it being a part of every human with a mobile device’s regular life).

Human connection is the key to success, no matter who you are

But so many people are devoting their interactions to self-talk, self-promotion, and actions that work against their best interests. Musicians and other creatives treat their relationships more like a 30 second microwave meal than a garden of fruits, vegetables and herbs that provide a healthy, balanced, and life-long supply.

Hence the Growth Farming as relationship gardening metaphor. It’s so perfect because it’s so accurate.

What you’re going to find in everything I tag as Growth Farming is specific actions, methods, and philosophies that help you start, build, grow, and cultivate powerful relationships with people to succeed.

It really is who you know that determines how much you win. AND it’s also how well they know you back that determines the ongoing benefits of that connection.

Make Growth Farming Work For You

Since that conversation, I’ve changed the focus and format of The DIY Artist Route Podcast, where several of fellow trekkers have built their brands (and success) around relationship building too. And they share their secrets with you.

You have to plant the seeds to make success happen. I know that if you will take these insights, stories, and principles to heart, you’ll grow a vibrant connection with the people in your world. More power to you!

I want to give you the principles & method of Growth Farming to bring success to your world by connecting directly with you. Book a free 15 minute strategy session with me and I’ll give you an ebook that shines more light on my conversation with Seth just for setting up a conversation with me. Schedule your time right here.

 

How To Avoid Failure With Your Networking For Real Growth

Networking explained

Networking.

That thing marketing people to do connect with other people so they can grow their brands. That’s what you’re supposed to be doing when you go to conferences, meetups, and events, right?

Traditional networking and the networking so many creatives and music-entrepreneurs (“musicpreneurs” as coined by my buddy Tommy Darker) do today are vastly different. The old school method was about building a relationship with specific people to provide reciprocal connection.

Or let me phrase that differently for a layman’s term understanding:

Old school networking was about building a two-way street where both parties benefit from connection with each other.

Networking That Fails

That’s not the same kind of networking I’m seeing. It’s likely not the networking you’ve been doing. What folks are doing now (that they’re called “networking”) is one-sided pitching with the intention of getting noticed.

There’s a difference between trying to appeal to someone to like you so that you can benefit from their influence, connections, and network, and actually building a relationship with specific people where both of you benefit from the engagement.

One is focused on the individual. The other is focused on the connection. There’s a big difference.

This is a practice in giving and receiving value. Value is giving worth to something or someone that you prize as being significant. What you value, and place significance on, has a powerful meaning to you in how you treat it.

Networking That Works

Think about this in terms of something you consider valuable.

You’re likely to treat a Mickey Mantle rookie card in mint condition with a lot of special treatment in how you care for it, should that ever become something in your possession.

You’ll make sure it has a protective case, is secured and away from the ground where pets or children might accidentally get a hold of it.

We can treat our relationships and connections with people with a similar kind of value. We can hold other people in regard for who they are and what they mean to us beyond just want that connection might do for us in a selfish way.

This is a different method of building relationships. It’s real networking that actually works.

How To Network At An Event

In a real-world example, let’s talk about an event you may find yourself at like SXSW. What’s a good way to network your band while you’re at an event where 150,000 creatives converge into one place for a week?

Should you get a ton of cards and flyers printed up so you can hand them off to everyone you see? You could, but that’s more of a marketing and promotional endeavor than it is a networking action.

Should you approach every speaker, panelist, promoter, and person of influence with promotional materials, a press kit, and CDs so they can pick you up to grow your music? You could, but that’s another action geared towards trying to market yourself.

Handing someone a flyer, business card, press kit, or CD at an event is an act of “notice me and follow my music!” You can start a conversation with someone to get them to stop and listen, but what is your intention?

Marketing And Networking Are Similar But Different

Networking that works (going back to the old school method) is a actionable steps with the intention of providing benefit to two or more parties. It’s not a promotional act. Handing out materials to strangers with the hope that they will pay attention after you leave their presence, listen to your tracks, and then take the initiative to follow up with you is not what networking is.

That’s marketing. Ineffective marketing usually, but marketing all the same.

Networking is an act of knowing and being known back. It’s something my friend Shaine Freeman excels at. His podcast and music media platform has been instrumental in this way for years.

Networking involves being specific. It involves having a conversation and building a dialogue with someone with the intention of growing something that serves both you and them.

It’s placing value on the individual for who they are, what they do, and the people their work benefits. The intention creates the opportunity for them to value you in those same ways. Then both of you win.

Make Your Intention To Network The Right Way To Win New Contacts

Networking is a focused endeavor. It’s long term growth strategy. It’s keeping track with people. That’s building relationship.

It’s exchanging contact info, be that in business card or flyer or social media details. It’s you taking the initiative to follow up shortly after the contact is made and build on the interaction you shared. It’s what I reference in Being First in this video.

This isn’t a secret, but it is something a lot of creatives, entrepreneurs and people trying to build their contact list don’t do often. It’s old fashioned, like Dale Carnegie old. He’s the man behind How To Win Friends And Influence People. Kinda the go-to expert on effective influence building and growth.

” You can gain more friends in two months by showing interest in other people than you can in two years trying to get other people interested in you.” -Dale Carnegie

One act is placing value on the connection with the other person. The other is about trying to shine the spotlight on yourself.

One works in creating opportunities for growth.

The other is just playing in the dirt.

Want to be an All-Star at networking? Set up a free strategy session with me now to put all these tools to work for you in how you connect with the right people for success.

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Grow Even More Now. 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.

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

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.

Jeremy Young Teaches Music & Collaboration In Podcast

Jeremy Young musician flypaper soundfly

Jeremy Young

Education for musicians and creative entrepreneurs is at an all-time high. There are multiple courses, books, seminars, trainings, workshops, blogs and everything in between for all of us to become the finest, brightest, and best at our creative endeavors.

Jeremy Young is one such educator. A musician, blogger, and education specialist with Soundfly, Jeremy has spent the past several years blending his experience with music with knowledge and expertise. The results are a powerful combination of expertise and know-how that he shares with us here.

Insights Into Jeremy Young

Jeremy is a student and musician. He’s taken his experience in the realm of musicianship to discover different methods of growth for not only his music career but also his entrepreneurial path. One of those methods is creating different music related companies. This little nugget of insight was really cool to talk about.

There’s a mention of Palaver Press in our chat. It’s a company he created to pair audiobooks and authors with musicians. There’s a market for this kind of collaborative connection between 2 different types of creators. It’s a path no one has carved yet, and one that he’s still exploring. I’m diving into this too, in a little bit of a different way. Grab my audiobook on Noisetrade to see more of what I’m talking about.

On the surface, it may seem like a wild pairing, authors and musicians in one product line. If it seems like a stretch, that’s the results of great education. Great teachers, mentors, and coaches know how to stretch their students to a place where they do more and become more than the common student. Or to put it this way,

“Growth happens by stretching and being challenged. When you stick to just what’s manageable, you’re really exchanging opportunity for frustration instead of exchanging opportunity for opportunity.”

Aside from performing with his band Sontag Shogun, Jeremy teaches courses on guitar and business at Soundfly. He also has a few music related businesses. He loves helping musicians grow by way of the Soundfly blog, Flypaper. Go there to get some fantastic articles.

soundfly education courses musicianThe Pairing Of Values Creates Bigger Wins

When was the last time you saw your core values as a connection point with other people? This is a big subject that has a lot to do with who you attract to your audience tribe, and who you connect with on a collaboration/networking presence.

Values are the beliefs and ideals that drive what you do. For some, it’s authenticity in their creative expression (meaning they’re going to be themselves instead of adopting a 2nd personality when in “music mode”). For others it’s relationship growth. Values drive what we pursue and how we pursue growth. It’s like Jeremy says,

“Interpersonal relationships are always more important than the project itself.”

Our values help to define how we connect with people. Too often, musicians look at their creative process and the end result as something independent of other people. The best results for your work will come from how you pair yourself with strong relationships, and shared values among other people. This is a common theme in The DIY Musician’s Radio Handbook.

 

How To Create Opportunities For Collaboration

I first met Jeremy Young through the avenues of curiosity. As I said in the podcast, I read a blog he did for Sonicbids where he talked about the 5 best books every musician needed to read. I had just published The DIY Musician’s Radio Handbook, and I wanted to see how to get it in front of him. I started a conversation based on his work, and that led to an education on Soundfly and a new friend.

It was clear in his blog article that education is a big value. It was also clear that he is someone who reads to further his knowledge base. He and I share these practices and values. I felt confident that reaching out to him would result in some great connection opportunities and I was right.

This initial contact (by way of email) created conversations that led to collaboration. We both saw how our stories are similar, and how we can be a resource to each other. Education in the digital age isn’t the classroom that many of us grew up in. We’re not necessarily limited to logging in to an online portal and only interacting with the teacher in that portal (like a classroom in school). There are opportunities to collaborate together to grow even more, you just need to ask the right questions.

Need help knowing what questions to ask to build your knowledge base, collaboration opportunities, and further growth? Connect with me and let’s talk.

 

 

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:

Music Entrepreneur & Super Fan Tom Giles Joins The DIY Artist Route

Tom Giles

Tom Giles

Networking seems like it’s becoming a bad word in the music and marketing world. I’m not sure how else to talk about relationship building through our existing friends and contacts. Networking just seems like the best word. That’s how I came to know Tom Giles (pronounced with a “J”), the serial musician, entrepreneur and music super fan whose business SoundBloc was recently acquired by Full Screen to further serve the needs of musicians and creative entrepreneurs in the direct-to-fan space.

Hosting the DIY Artist Route Podcast has been a real joy and privilege. This episode marks the 20th of the series. Each new person we learn from teaches some incredible and profound new things. It was past Router and friend Chandler Coyle who put me in Tom’s sphere, helping to set up this chat. But real relationship building and networking, as I’m discovering and living out, is about more than just an interview for a media post. We’ve talked at length about our respective projects before doing the podcast session, and will continue to do so. This is the power of “knowing you back.”

I was very impressed from the start with Tom’s pedigree in music and business. He’s built record labels and promotions companies while also being a musician. His mantra for audience growth is mirrored by Benji Rogers and Derek Webb, who both built similar platforms to help musicians do the same thing: connect directly with their most ardent tribe of fans.

This was also one of the first times for someone to be a guest on the podcast but treat it like a real conversation, turning questions back in my direction to get this side of the story. I appreciate that. It’s uncommon, and made me more connected from the outset.

Plus, there’s a chance that Tom Giles and JJ Watt played backyard football together at some point. Being a Houston Texans fan and having a little bit of a man-crush on Watt, that’s just cool. Chalk up another point for Mr. Giles.

Big takeaways for you in this podcast episode (download and share via iTunes, Spreaker, & Stitcher via the right hand margin) include:

  • How your brand defines everything you’re doing, and why you having full control over how your brand is marketed is very important
  • Insights into artist management and indie labels
  • The power of networking and relationship building to create new collaborations with industry professionals and how you can have those connections too
  • Why you should focus on building relationships to truly grow because it’s the most important thing, even if you don’t think you’re naturally good at relationships or marketing

Tons of good stuff to dive into here and learn from. You should have questions when you’re finished listening. I did. Reach out to me and let’s figure out how to solve your questions together.

How To Get Solid Radio Airplay The Right Way

This blog article is also published on Dotted Music. Musicians submit music to radio on a daily basis. Many of these music submissions to radio go ignored. Here’s how to submit music to radio that really works.

Secrets To Music Submissions To Radio Stations

Radio Mic Old FashionedGetting radio airplay isn’t a dice roll and it’s not a matter of doing multi-million dollar promotion campaigns. Especially not in public or indie radio (where your attention should be if you’re a DIY artist).

As I’ve said in past posts like How To Build A Radio Promotion Strategy & How To Make Effective Music Submissions To Radio, the basics to submitting music to radio is fairly easy.

The science to getting radio airplay has more to do with only a few specific things, AND they must be made a high priority. Relationship building (i.e. Growth Farming) and communication is top of that list.

Each radio station decision-maker (station manager, program director, program host, etc)  has their own individual perspectives and motives.

These preferences determine what they play and what they don’t. They also determine how often some songs get rotation versus others. However, how radio stations decide which songs get played actually has to do with a few factors that you might not realize.

online radio station jowanna lewis radiokscr music submission indie music airplay

Jowanna Lewis, owner of RadioKSCR in Los Angeles, CA

Station managers with commercial radio will give a few spins here and there to “unknown” or DIY musicians if it fits with the format and if they earn the respect of either the DJ or the station management.

Once songs begin to chart more (meaning that the music ranking organizations like Billboard and CMJ are recording more plays nationwide) those songs will get more rotation.

Much of this is based on requests and promotion dollars from the labels.

As a DIY artist, your plan is to get your music on stations who are be looking to add indie and unsigned artists to their station playlists.

These are the radio stations and managers who you should be trying to figure out how to gain the interest of. Indie radio is your ticket here. What does that look like?

What determines an indie radio station playlist and spin count

There are essentially three factors that determine whether a radio station manager or music director will add a new song to their rotation. See if your music fits into these factors to be Radio Ready with this free ebook.

The songs that get airplay first off have to meet these three qualification. Sound quality and production value are paramount.

Most professional radio outlets qualify potential music submissions on the quality of the recording first. It’s instinctive, we aren’t going to play a poorly mixed song.

Great songwriting involves lyricism as well as composition and arrangement. Some great songs have very clever, witty, or thought-provoking lyrics. Yet others simply have a good arrangement with a nice melody but nothing very complicated about how it is written.

The last qualification plays the largest role in not only whether as song will get added to the rotation of a radio station but also how often it will be played.

Simply put, if a radio station manager, music director, or approved station personality likes a song, it will probably get some radio airplay. If that song also catches on with other station staff and especially with listeners, that song is going to get a lot more spins.

radio submission music submission to radio How To Submit Music For Radio Airplay

Radio station managers are people too. We like what we play. We have a personal interest in the content that we put on our platforms. It’s just simple human nature.

To be in this industry an din this creative space, you have to be a fan. Radio station managers are fans of music too, and often we’re fans of artists who not only make music that we enjoy but also who have engaged with us in some manner.

Next Steps To Get Music Submissions Accepted On Radio

How someone feels about you as a musician can play almost a bigger role than whether they only like your music. When you try to just separate yourself out and away from your art you limit the reach and connection-building power you have.

Instead, focus your energies on building connections and communities with the radio stations that you want airplay on. It’s not a matter of getting your music out to every single station in existence, or even every station that plays music in the same genre as you.

Learn The Proven Process To Getting Radio Airplay

Many musicians don’t think about the pieces that need to be in place before starting this process.

If you want key elements , a proven process to implement with actionable steps, you’re going to get radio airplay and much more.

All of these strategies, tactics and tools are available for you right now in the Indie Radio Course. 

 

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!

Learn How To Get Radio Airplay The Right Way


In the video there’s a bit of role-playing through examples to illustrate the method explained here in this blog.

MusicansPlayInBar

Many artists reach out to me on how to get radio airplay. It’s a big subject that confuses DIY musicians because music submission to radio is so common, but getting accepted isn’t. I’ve set out to remedy this for musicians who are serious about growing their audience using one of the best methods: radio airplay on specific media platforms.

 

Over the past few months I’ve talked about Super-Fans, Audience Growth, and the particulars of what works for Successful Indie Artists.

Radio airplay is one of the methods of exploding your fan base, as well as your music income.

Start with how to NOT get radio airplay

Radio airplay and promotion continues to be a beneficial means of growing your music as an indie or unsigned artist. However, there is a way to get airplay that is more beneficial to you than how 99% of artists do it.

  • Submitting your songs to every station who accepts and plays indie music is not the way.
  • Sending DM messages to radio shows or stations on Twitter is not the way.
  • Emailing stations your mp3 song is not the way.

How to get radio airplay that actually works

One of the best ways to learn how to get radio airplay is by seeing examples that work.  Just like everyone else, I’ve made some big mistakes in reaching out to radio stations to get my platform picked up. The key though is recognizing what works and what doesn’t, and making a pivot on the stuff that isn’t producing the results you want.

Most of us are used to seeing blanket emails that were obviously sent to a ton of people, with no specific individual in mind to receive it. Think about group messages on Facebook or group texts. Even if the person reaching out is a good friend, those are kind of annoying, aren’t they? Treat the person you want to contact the way you want to be treated. Send them an individual note. Before that, have an experience with their station that you can talk about when you email or contact them. By doing this, you show that you’re a genuine person who wants to build community and add value to the station or radio program with your music.

This is the method that I used to get my indie radio show heard around the country and across the world. I first did all the wrong things to grow my radio show. I sent the blanket emails, to both people that I know and those I didn’t. I got the same response from both endeavors: silence. Those tactics didn’t work for me and rarely work for others. There’s a reason why so many artists feel scammed when they pay for radio promoters to pitch their music to stations that get zero airplay from the endeavor.

The real secret to getting radio airplay is a mindset change. Shift from music marketing to community building.”Or as Ghandi said, “Be the difference you want to see in the world.” It’s the Golden Rule. It’s what makes the connections that we all have to build (the real ones, not the mouse clicks that pretend to be connections). Treat those you want to feature you like you want to be treated. It’s the pivot we have to make to see real growth happen.

When I made the pivot, and changed my approach, I found that it actually works. The details and step-by-step process of what to do, how to do it, and why is chronicled in my book book The DIY Musician’s Radio Handbook. The Handbook can also be used in your endeavors to grow your audience online via social media and with gigging, as well as reaching out to other music and media mavens for networking.

 

James Moore Joins The DIY Artist Route With PR Tips

“A lot of artists, if they don’t know how to do something, they find some sort of ideological reason not to do it, and that holds them up. You do need to take that leap. Learn about it instead of complain about it.” -James Moore, Independent Music Promotions

Image credit: Ryan Donnelly

James Moore; Image credit: Ryan Donnelly

PR is a buzzword in some business circles. In some music circles it’s a curse word. Author and PR pro James Moore is working diligently to correct the misinformation about not only the the business of PR for musicians, but also the pieces that make it up.

One of the ways he’s done this is from his fantastic book, Your Band Is A Virus. Websites, branding, social media and guerilla marketing are all subjects covered in the book. I’ve read it, and encourage musicians to pick it up to educate yourself on the pieces of the entrepreneurial puzzle that is the music business for DIY artists.

I wanted James to join me on the podcast because we have similar mantras about growth, fan building and the essential need that every artist, startup and creative entrepreneur in this space has for using basic business principles to win. His quote above is something we discuss in the podcast, and address solutions for.

“Getting rid of the mental obstructions that are holding you back is the same for businesses as it is for musicians or any endeavor really.”

It’s easy to complain about all the pieces of the puzzle that is entrepreneurial business. There is a LOT to be confused about. There are even more pathways available to learn something new, and grow your ability to connect the dots. James’ work with musicians with his company, Independent Music Promotions, does a blend of education with hands-on networking.

One key piece of this puzzle is the reality of how networking and relationship building actually works in the digital space. I’m thankful that social platforms like Facebook and Linked In have given us the ability to connect with fellow community members across the country and around the globe. However, there is a misnomer that clicking a Follow button is the same as networking. It’s not. Networking is relationship building. This requires time, conversation and shared interests. We build our networks and our relationships over chats, talks, and reciprocal connections.

I’m thankful to James Moore for sharing his insights into how growth works from a PR standpoint, educating both musicians and entrepreneurs on the role of media coverage in the development process, and the myriad of great quotes provided in this conversation.

What stands out the most to you from what James shared? Is there one thing in particular you’ve been trying to figure out about PR and still don’t understand? Reach out and we’ll figure it out together.

In this chat we also talked about my upcoming book, The DIY Musicians’ Radio Handbook: How To Growth Hack Your Fan Base Using Radio Airplay. The book will be out in early May. Make sure you’re on my book list to get first dibs and special bonuses.

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