058 – How to Develop an Effective Routine as a Musician or Music Entrepreneur

058 – How to Develop an Effective Routine as a Musician or Music Entrepreneur

If you want to achieve anything of significance, you must work on it consistently.

But how is consistency achieved? How can you discipline yourself to work on your most important tasks daily?

In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, I share the importance of routine and how to develop one that helps you move quicker towards your goals.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:14 – Developing an effective routine and how to achieve consistency
  • 00:53 – I don’t have the perfect routine but I’m working on it
  • 01:26 – Your routine should change based on your goals
  • 01:43 – Steps you can take towards building your personal routine
  • 01:56 – #1: Determine what your goals are
  • 02:17 – #2: Understand what your goals will require of you
  • 02:53 – #3: Plan your ideal week
  • 03:38 – #4: Stick to your plan
  • 04:11 – Routine will help you build consistency, momentum, and traction

Transcription:

Thanks for joining me. Today I wanted to talk about developing an effective routine. Now, you may have heard me talk about consistency quite a bit on the podcast, as well as in my book, The New Music Industry. I do believe consistency is important, but you may be left with this question: “How do I achieve consistency?”

Well, it is achieved through routine. Now, routine is something that sounds relatively commonplace but it actually requires quite a bit of self-discipline to execute. Sticking to a routine allows you to find your groove within it, and to achieve more because you’ll be doing tasks daily instead of whenever you feel like it or whenever you have the free time to do them.

I admit that I don’t have the perfect routine right now for reasons I’ve already shared with you in the last few podcast episodes, but it’s still something I like to use as a tool.

Earlier this year, I had a very regular routine of going to bed at 1:00 AM and waking up at 9:00 AM. This is something that worked well for me with all the assignments that I had. When summer came along, this became unsustainable, because there’s a major difference between the daylight we get here in Canada between summer and winter.

So, in a way I’m kind of finding a new routine based on what I’m trying to accomplish in the next few months. I think this is an important point for you to understand. Your routine should change based on your goals and what’s required of you. You shouldn’t just stick to a routine that you’ve already established, unless it’s getting you to where you want to go right now. Ensure that your routine supports you. Don’t become a slave to the routine.

Here are few concrete steps you can take towards building your personal routine, because I can’t tell you what’s going to be most effective for you. You must determine that based on what you’re trying to accomplish.

Number one. Determine what your goals are if you aren’t clear on them already. You can certainly skip this step if you know what your goals are for the next year.

But without knowing what you’re aiming for, you can’t develop an effective routine around it. If you don’t have goals, it’s like starting a journey without a destination in mind. Yes, if you keep going, you’ll end up somewhere, but it may not be where you want to end up.

Without knowing what you’re aiming for, you can’t develop a routine around it. Click To Tweet

Number two. Take the time to understand what these goals will require of you. What will it take to achieve these goals? What will you need in terms of connections, resources, time, and so on?

Time is obviously the most important consideration here as it pertains to creating your routine. I find setting goals is a bit of an art form and rarely if ever can we set them perfectly, because we don’t know how much time or effort it’s going to take to reach those goals.

So, the better you understand what it’s going to take to achieve your goals, and the better you understand yourself, the better equipped you will be to set a realistic schedule for yourself.

Number three is to plan your ideal week. This is an idea I got from Michael Hyatt’s blog. I think it’s a really great exercise to go through. You can use a piece of paper or a spreadsheet, whatever suits you best. The idea is to turn your vision of a perfect week into a workable schedule, even if you can’t entirely live by it right now.

You want to take some time to map everything out hour by hour, whether it’s lunchtime, workouts you’re going to be doing, shows you’re going to be playing, marketing duties you’re going to be doing… You want to put it all into your weekly schedule.

I would suggest leaving some margin in your schedule, because ultimately you just never know what’s going to come up and you may want to prioritize different people or different activities based on where things are going.

Number four. This is the most critical piece of the whole thing. Once you’ve made your plan, stick to your plan. As you began living by your plan, you’ll likely discover certain areas that need adjusting and you can always alter your schedule as you begin to see those omissions and problems with it.

But your routine and plan is of little consequence unless you persist and keep going with it. It’s unlikely that you will execute perfectly, and that’s not the point. The point is to have a plan and to follow it and to tweak it as necessary.

Routine will help you build consistency. Consistency will help you build momentum. Momentum will help you build traction in your career.

Routine will build consistency, which will build momentum, which will build traction. Click To Tweet

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057 – How Important Are Boundaries in Building a Music Career?

057 – How Important Are Boundaries in Building a Music Career?

People often talk about setting boundaries.

And while boundaries can be important in certain situations, they don’t always work. Sometimes others end up violating them, and sometimes we put ourselves in situations where they have the chance to be crossed, intentional or not.

So, we need to ask ourselves: Are boundaries important? Do they exist? What situations should they apply to, and in what situations do they do more harm than good?

In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, I share some thoughts on boundaries based on my own life experiences.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:14 – Why this podcast episode will be a bit different
  • 00:48 – How I’ve been spending my time this past week
  • 02:27 – How important are boundaries?
  • 02:57 – Boundaries and client relationships
  • 06:36 – How boundaries apply to musicians
  • 07:13 – Setting boundaries with difficult people
  • 08:48 – Setting boundaries with people you love hanging out with
  • 11:35 – Life happens whether you want it to or not
  • 12:38 – Final thoughts

Transcription:

Hey, thanks for joining me. This is going to be a little bit of a different podcast. I’m not at home, so first of all, I am not recording in front of a broadcast quality microphone. Second of all, it’s going to be a little bit of a different topic that I might not normally choose to cover on the show, even though you’ve probably noticed, I cover everything from like personal development and finances all the way over to various music marketing tactics and methods and so forth.

Today, I wanted to cover this issue of boundaries. Now, first of all I just wanted to let you know I am on the road right now. I am headed over to Chase, BC where I am staying in British Columbia. It’s a beautiful place. I just came out here to spend some time to recharge, and recover, reflect, think things over.

I haven’t really taken much time for myself in the last six years or so. I do believe I had a little bit of work vacation back in 2011 followed by a fairly brief true vacation where I took a little bit of time to rest and enjoy myself in Canmore and Red Deer.

I was going to be in Canmore again this year. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out because everything was booked up. That’s just following a theme with things that have happened this summer because I also got away from the long weakened with a friend. We headed out to Cranbrook. Now, we may have chosen to stay in Radium instead but the issue was that everything was booked up.

Anyway, that’s just a little bit about some of the adventures I’ve been on this month specifically. If you’ve been following my updates and everything else, you already know that I’ve done quite a bit of this this summer.

It’s just really important for me to do this, to take some time to recharge because not everything has gone according to plan, which is somewhat normal in life, and we have to roll with the punches a lot of the time.

So, getting back to this topic of boundaries, I think first of all we have to consider how important they are. To be perfectly honest, I don’t believe they apply to every single situation. Now, a lot of people talk about boundaries and setting boundaries. I think there are certain situations where they totally apply, but there are also other situations where they sort of get in the way and don’t serve you. That’s what I want to get in to.

I think boundaries are specifically important when it comes to client relationships. Now, as a musician you may not have clients, but as an entrepreneur you may. But in my situation, I still have other work outside of The Music Entrepreneur HQ, so I do serve clients in different capacities, whether it’s ghost blog writing or developing websites.

In some situations, I’ve either had to say “Look, I’m going to be a day late on this. I’m still finishing it. It’s still going to be important for me to do that. I’m going to get around to it right away. I hope you’re okay with me taking a little bit of extra time to put this together for you.” That hasn’t ever gone badly for me. Generally, if you’re a day late, people don’t care that much.

I am a person of integrity and I believe in getting things done on time if not before. But some situations have just led to a point where either I was not able to complete the work on time or the email somehow got missed.

Or, I just don’t really feel like it. Honestly, I haven’t felt a whole lot like just sitting on a desk in a basement. It actually doesn’t seem to matter whether it’s in a basement or in a hotel room. I haven’t had a whole lot of desire to just sit out at a desk and plug away at things. I think it’s been important for me to find that motivation, but also take some time away from doing that.

I’ve also had to set some boundaries with other clients. Those have been a little more [of a] difficult situation. Not like the ones I just mentioned where there is a day or two of a delay, but sort of letting them know like, “Hey, I am doing the best I can. I just don’t seem to have the focus and energy I need to do this right now. Plus, like I just told you I am away right now. I actually plan to be away for a full week even though it is technically a work vacation. I’m getting some work done, just not necessarily a lot.” I had to say “I’m sorry. I will have an update for you this week, but I’m not going to be able to get to your project right away or necessarily be able to finish all of it.”

Fortunately, people have been understanding. In some cases, they’ve come back and said, “I have a timeline in mind. I guess I should’ve communicated that.” I mean, normally it doesn’t come to that point with me. Normally, I finish things way ahead of schedule before anybody even asks “Hey, is it done yet?” So, it’s been a little bit challenging for me to let go and sort of let things sort themselves out. But I don’t think I’ve lost any business as a result. I’ve just had to sort of bite the bullet and say, “I’m sorry, it’s going to take a little bit longer for me to do it. Your project is important to me. I haven’t forgotten you, but please just be patient with me.” That has worked out okay.

Obviously, I don’t want to wreck those relationships, because clients are important to me and the work that I do is important to me. But I still had to set some boundaries that way. It’s much easier for you to be in the moment or like if you’re going to get away like I am right now, you don’t really want to be contacted constantly about the work that you have to do, so setting those boundaries can be really important in those situations.

As a musician, it might just be some of the gigs that you’re playing at bars, and pubs, and agreements that you have with the venues. Making sure that you’re doing what they require you to do and they follow through on their commitments to you.

It’s important to have those expectations laid out whenever you are signing a contract or organizing some kind of show. Having a contract has become even more important these days I find because there are so many venue owners out there that just don’t get it and don’t follow through on their agreements.

Okay. So, there is a couple of extremes with boundaries that I’ve noticed. I used to have the “roommate from hell”. I absolutely hated living with him. It was really one of the worst experiences I’ve had with roommates. I’ve had magnificent and wonderful roommates aside from this one dude who shall go unnamed.

But I had to set some boundaries in terms of choosing not to communicate with him anymore, not speaking with him. It’s not like I don’t forgive. I forgive people, but I don’t forget what they’ve done either. Depending on the severity of that and the trouble it caused me or the pain it caused me, I don’t necessarily have to let those people back into my life. I mean who am I, right? Why would I want to torture myself with the same problem, the same issues over and over again?

And we do this to ourselves. It’s a form of insanity. It’s a form of not feeling like we deserve better. We just keep putting ourselves in situations to be hurt by others because we can’t see ourselves deserving better than that. I think that’s a situation where you absolutely need some kind of boundary. This kind of stuff, believe me, will come up. If it hasn’t come up in your life yet, at some point it will. You just got to say “no” and start to move away from those people.

Okay. On the other opposite extreme, we have people that we absolutely love being around. I’ve heard Steven Paige talk about the fact that – I can’t remember the other singer’s name from Barenaked Ladies right now [Ed Robertson], but he absolutely loved hanging around with him. He simply could not get enough of that.

And so, we run into that in life. It could be a significant other. It could be someone with whom we’re infatuated, or somebody that we like or it might not be… It actually might just be a friend or someone who is a best friend.

You have to ask yourself how realistic it is to have boundaries in that situation. This is going to sound really odd, but I’ve found boundaries don’t really work because your desire to hang out with them isn’t going to diminish just because you say, “Oh well, I don’t think it’s right for us to spend this much time together.” It’s not going to work. You’re just going to find yourself back in the same situation wanting to hang out with them.

It could almost become torturous at some point. You realize you might kind of be addicted to this person and that can be problematic in the sense of… if that turns into some kind of codependency, then you’re both getting something from each other, and that can become very unhealthy.

That’s something to be aware of, but if you find that you’re not codependent but you’re nevertheless addicted to this person and you want to be around them and want to hang out with them all the time, I honestly say boundaries be damned. Forgive my language. I think you almost just need to get it out of your system.

Like you need to hang out with them enough until you get to that point where it’s like, breathe a sigh of relief and go, “Oh, okay. I think I have it out of my system now. I think I can sort of begin to get on with my life.”

Because the problem with not doing that could be that you’re only thinking about that other person while you’re supposed to be engaging in your work or in your gigs or whatever you have going on in your life. And that’s problematic, right.?

If you’re only thinking about that other person, they are not really out of your system, are they? You’re still constantly thinking about them. That’s why I say boundaries don’t really work in that type of situation. Should you set boundaries in that situation? I’m going to leave that question for you to answer and maybe you can tell me from your own wisdom and experience what you think.

But like I said, these situations will come up in your life whether you want them to or not. You have to decide in those moments. Trust me, it will be a lot harder in a moment to make that decision than it will be premeditated or after the fact.

Because you can look back in the situation and go, “I really should have done something about that.” You can think of future events, “Oh well, I wouldn’t ever find myself in that situation.” But you’re going to. Weird things come up in life. Situations come up and you don’t necessarily know how to deal with them in the moment.

Even though personally, I spent a lot of time on personal growth, self-help, all kinds of material so that when those challenges arise, I am at least somewhat prepared or have some kind of interpretation and knowledge that I can work with. I think that’s a good thing for all of us to do, but it can still be very confusing and very difficult field to navigate.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this episode as well as how you set boundaries or how you don’t. How you just say, “boundaries be damned” and move on with your life regardless of whether you set them.

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056 – General Update: August 2017

056 – General Update: August 2017

It’s been a while since I’ve done any kind of personal- or career-based update. But I feel like some of the changes I’ve been making to my work life warrant a proper announcement.

In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, I share what I’ve been up to this summer, some of the changes that have been occurring in my life, as well as what I’m planning to do moving forward.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:14 – The Music Entrepreneur HQ update
  • 00:28 – What I’ve been up to this summer
  • 02:25 – Keeping up with content creation and burnout
  • 03:07 – What’s happening with The Music Entrepreneur Live
  • 03:30 – My plan for The Music Entrepreneur HQ moving forward
  • 04:05 – Content publishing schedule
  • 04:45 – Why I’m streamlining my work
  • 05:56 – Products and books
  • 07:52 – What are your thoughts on everything I’ve shared with you?

Transcription:

Thanks for joining me. Today, I wanted to share an update with you. I don’t think I’ve done a general update like this one before since starting The New Music Industry Podcast, but there is a good reason why I’ve put together this episode.

So first I want to share a little bit about what I’ve been up to. Obviously, one of the things I’ve been working on is the new book Flashes of Elation. I am in the editing phase and I’ll be passing that manuscript off to editors very soon. That process has been going relatively smoothly, although I admit I haven’t been working on it as much as I feel I should be. The reason for that is because I’ve been feeling a little bit burnt out.

This is something that came to the forefront at the end of June. I was actually out of town for two weeks conducting my business and work outside of Calgary. So that was all well and good, but life circumstances began to change fairly quickly after I returned home.

I’m not going to bore you with all the details, because I feel like we might get into a little bit of woo-woo territory which I’m not sure all of you would necessarily relate to, but from a practical standpoint I’ve really been going at it hard for the last three years. I needed to get my finances under control. It was worth doing, but on the other end of it I find myself a little bit tired and even restless.

I’ve been taking some time to enjoy the summer because it really is one of my favorite seasons. I’ve been going out of town to places like Red Deer, and Canmore, and Airdrie, and pretty much just wherever I could get myself to.

I’ve been spending some time with friends and enjoying a little bit more of a meaningful social life than before. I think that’s something I do want to incorporate more moving forward. It’s become really important to me.

I’ve been walking, and working out, and doing hot yoga, and exercising a lot more than before. Paying attention to my health. And health is one of my theme words for the year. I always set three theme words. Health ended up being one of them. It really has guided some of my decisions this year. I think that’s been for the best.

You’ve noticed that I have kept up with the podcast in spite of everything that’s been happening. I think I will continue to keep up with it. I have no plans of changing my regular publishing schedule, but some things have fallen by the wayside including The Music Entrepreneur Live event I was planning for August.

In addition to being burnt out, I’ve actually been sick basically twice this summer, so I had to spend time recovering from that also. I feel a lot healthier now. I think I’ve just been a little bit more immunocompromised due to working out a lot more. As well as maybe some of the smoke that we’ve been seeing here in Calgary due to the forest fires in BC.

It’s still possible that I will reschedule The Music Entrepreneur Live for another date, or I might even attempt to do maybe smaller get together instead of trying to hold one big event and plan the whole thing. Because if I’m doing it all alone, obviously it’s a lot of work. That’s something I’ll talk more about in a minute, but I think I’ve been a little bit overcommitted in trying to do too many things.

What’s the plan moving forward? Well, you may be aware of my other podcast, Using Your Power, and my co-host Maveen. Him and I talk regularly. We’re essentially business partners at this point. We’ve been talking a lot about the future and what we intend to do and what we hope to accomplish in our respective endeavors.

I think we both agree we’ve been trying to do way too much and we’ve been torn in a bunch of different directions. But talking to him has really helped me boil things down into what I feel are the essentials for continuing with The Music Entrepreneur HQ. So, here’s what I’m thinking.

First of all, I think I will still continue to publish one podcast episode per week, so nothing will change there. If you’ve already subscribed, then you’re getting these episodes on a weekly basis. There’s a lot of you sending me guest posts, so I’m still going to do my best to sort through those and publish the ones that are suitable to the site.

One thing I probably won’t be doing for a while is the weekly digest. This is a great piece of content. I think it is valuable, but since I’ll be publishing a lot less, there isn’t as much of a reason to put that out weekly.

Based on some of the discussions I’ve had with Maveen, I’ve put together a basic five-item plan for what I’m looking to do moving forward for The Music Entrepreneur, and what I really feel are the most essential items needed to continue to grow this business.

In addition to that, I wanted to streamline what I do here at the Music Entrepreneur HQ, so I could more fully commit to and embrace my clients and the projects I’m involved in. When I’m running around like a headless chicken trying to do so many different things, unfortunately my attention isn’t fully on some of the projects that I’m involved with. Really I’ve just been trying to do too many things.

I’ve been making videos, recording podcast episodes, writing blog posts, creating different types of products and resources, and all of that is great, especially if you can sustain it, but it seems like I never seem to get around to it all even though I try.

Even if I do get around to it, sometimes it’s months or even years before it’s all done. By that point I have new things in the works. So that’s why I decided to narrow things down to a basic five-item plan, which includes traffic strategies as well as the ways that I connect with you and the products that I create.

As far as products are concerned, moving forward I want to focus on writing books. One of the reasons for this is because it is very fulfilling to me. I think writing is something that I want to continue to do and pursue as a passion.

Now, some of you have told me that a book isn’t necessarily what you want and that is totally fine. I understand where you’re coming from, because you might be looking for other things like video courses or coaching – some of the things that I have offered in the past.

But to me – and I’m not sure if you would agree – but books are absolutely invaluable. It lays out the way a person thinks, as well as the systems they used to get the results they were able to obtain. So really you get an inside look into how people operate, which to me is incredible.

Some of you also told me good content is not hard to find, which I understand and generally agree with, but to obtain the same knowledge I share in a book, you would probably have to live a whole other lifetime or spend years researching and curating it yourself.

So really you have to ask yourself, is it worth the $15, $20 price tag I’m asking for to obtain years and years and years of research and knowledge or not? To me the answer is pretty obvious, but if you don’t feel the same way, that’s okay, I understand. Hopefully, I can find some time and energy to help you in the ways that you need down the line.

Ultimately, this doesn’t mean I won’t be creating different kinds of resources or offering other services in the future, but for the time being, I feel I should focus on delivering on the promises I’ve already made, which includes the book Flashes of Elation, as well as some of the other communities and projects that I am committed to right now.

I hope you can see where I am coming from on this, but your feedback is still incredibly valuable to me. What are your thoughts on what I’ve shared with you today? Is one podcast episode per week enough content to keep you engaged, or should I be publishing more often as I have been up to this point? What are your thoughts on books? Would you buy one if it addresses the topic of your interest? If so, what is that topic of interest?

You can comment in the show notes or send me an email to david@dawcast.com. d – a – w – c – a – s – t .com and let me know your thoughts.

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055 – The Importance of Ongoing Self-Education for Musicians

055 – The Importance of Ongoing Self-Education for Musicians

I’m a big believer in self-education.

Formal education can teach us a great deal, but its influence only extends so far. If we stop learning, we stop growing, and unfortunately many people stop learning after they leave high school or college.

In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, you’ll learn about the benefits of self-education.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:14 – The importance of self-education for musicians
  • 00:19 – The problem with complacency
  • 00:56 – Something each of us can control – input
  • 01:49 – Learning vs. application
  • 02:04 – 3 benefits of self-education
  • 02:13 – #1: Inspiration
  • 02:42 – #2: Staying informed
  • 03:06 – #3: Personal growth
  • 03:38 – Conclusion

Transcription:

Thank you for joining me. Today, I wanted to look at the importance of ongoing self-education for musicians. Now, don’t get me wrong. I believe many musicians and music entrepreneurs are smart and well-informed. So, why would I need to remind you to keep on learning and to keep on growing?

Well, the problem is that because of our talents, knowledge and experience, we can easily become complacent. There is a certain amount of pride and sometimes arrogance that can come along with being an artist. It’s easy to feel like you know it all and you know how to do things.

To become complacent is to become comfortable with where and who you are. Where you are might be a great place to be but what if it isn’t? What if you have bigger aspirations? What if you want to achieve more?

To become complacent is to become comfortable with where and who you are. Click To Tweet

Well, there definitely aren’t too many things we can control individually in this world and the things that happen to us, but the input we take in is something we can control. I believe it is something we should.

There is nothing wrong with staying informed about the state of the world. It can even inspire songs and creative ideas. You can watch the news or watch sports if that’s what you want to do. But if we don’t vary up the information we consume, we can easily become stagnant. Our point of view goes unquestioned and we shut ourselves off to fresh possibilities.

The goal of self-education should be to stretch and grow yourself, not to live in an echo chamber of the same thoughts, ideas, and beliefs that have been reinforced in you over and over again. We are all very good at seeking out things that support our ideas and beliefs and not very good at challenging ourselves and finding things outside of our comfort zone.

The goal of self-education should be to stretch and grow yourself. Click To Tweet

Learning is often the easy part if you’re disciplined and motivated enough to act. Application is the hard part. You can read a lot of things but if you don’t apply any of it, or at least try it out, then you’re not going to get anywhere with it.

I’ve identified three benefits of self-education for today’s show, but I’m not saying there aren’t others. Here are a few that came to mind.

Number one: Inspiration. As you study how others think, how they approach problems, what they accomplished, and how they rose above difficult challenges in their lives, you begin to take that inspiration and turn it into motivation.

Whether you’re reading a book or listening to a podcast, the stories that are told or the information that is relayed is often hard-earned and is coming from a source or it’s coming from somebody who has experience in that area and has something to share with you.

The second benefit is staying informed. Regular study allows you to stay on top of your chosen industry or discipline. This can also prevent you from becoming a Blockbuster in the age of Netflix. If we fall behind we risk becoming irrelevant, so keeping on top of changes within the industry – although as challenging as that can be – can help you move with the times.

The third benefit – and to me really this is the biggest one of all, and my favorite one – is personal growth. The right material will challenge you to be better, to try and experiment with different methods and approaches to your business or to your career, and to adopt a more aggressive advancement plan for your life. These are things we only tend to do when we make a vow. We only make a vow when we feel inspired and motivated to do so. Oftentimes it comes through the input – the things we watch, the things we listen to, and the things we read.

So, my question for you is how are you educating yourself? I look forward to your comments.

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054 – 10 Types of Emails to Send Your Fans

054 – 10 Types of Emails to Send Your Fans

So, you’ve been building your email list. Now what?

Many artists struggle with what email to send their fans and end up falling behind the eight ball.

In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, I share 10 types of emails you could be sending to your fans.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:14 – 10 types of emails to send your fans
  • 00:45 – #1: Promotional
  • 01:09 – #2: News updates
  • 01:42 – #3: Blog posts
  • 02:07 – #4: Videos
  • 02:32 – #5: Tour diaries
  • 02:53 – #6: Press
  • 03:22 – #7: Contests and giveaways
  • 03:44 – #8: Reviews
  • 04:09 – #9: Interviews
  • 04:35 – #10: Surveys
  • 05:04 – Closing thoughts

Transcription:

Thanks for joining me. Today I wanted to look at 10 types of emails to send to your fans.

Perhaps you’ve started building your email list, which is all well and good, but a lot of artists struggle with what to send their fans. Even if you have been building your email list for a while, you might be in the same predicament.

So, I’ve come up with a few different ideas you can use, which should help you engage your fans more consistently. That way, your fans aren’t wondering why you’re suddenly emailing them out of the blue when you haven’t even talked to them in the last three or four months.

Promotional Emails

The first type of email to send your fans is promotional. I know this is obvious. I know most artists are already doing this, but it is an important category.

If you have an upcoming tour, a new release, an album, an EP, or a single, new merch items that your fans can purchase, or even if you’re launching a crowdfunding campaign, you should be letting your fans know about these things so that they can purchase your latest release or help support your crowdfunding campaign.

News Updates

Number two is news updates, which sound similar to promotional posts, but these are more so just letting your fans know what’s happening. So, what are you doing on tour? When is your new release coming out? Maybe you’re making a last-minute appearance on stage on Thursday and you want to let your fans know about that. Or maybe you’re doing a TV interview. Or perhaps you just got signed to a label.

If there is anything new happening in your career, your most loyal fans are obviously going to want to know about it, so you can kind of mix up your promotional and news update type emails to keep things interesting.

Blog Posts

The third type of email you can send to your fans is blog posts. If you are a blogging musician, you may already have a bunch of content in your archives that you could be sharing with your fans occasionally.

Now, you don’t need to include the full text of the post necessarily in the email itself. What you can do instead is maybe add the first or second paragraphs and then add a “click here to read more” button at the end of it.

Videos

Number four is videos, so really any video you’ve already published to YouTube, whether it’s a lyric video, concert video or music video. This is something your fans would appreciate finding in their email. Simply create a video thumbnail with a play button. You can link that image over to YouTube so when your fans click on it within the email, they are immediately brought over to the video on YouTube.

Tour Diaries

Number five is tour diaries. This is something you may already be doing with your blog, but if you’re not a blogging musician, then this is an excellent place to share your latest happenings. You could for example send a weekly update just talking about all the crazy things that have been happening on tour. If you are touring, then rest assured you’ll have lots to talk about.

Press

Number six is press. Every time you’re mentioned in a blog post or an article or a review, you should be sharing that with your fans. This just gives them a sense that you’re out there doing things. It lends more credibility to your name.

Feel free to share negative reviews with your fans too. Just beware of slamming people for writing negative reviews about you. Instead, let your fans go and react in whatever ways that they see appropriate. Again, don’t tell your fans to slam them either.

Contests & Giveaways

Number seven is contests and giveaways. This gives you a really great excuse to email your fans at least on a monthly basis. If you aren’t already giving away a CD or a merch item every month, that’s a really good place to start. Just let your fans participate in these contests and giveaways. It’s not a bad way to grow your email list as well.

Reviews

Number eight is reviews. This takes a little bit more work, but you can review music venues, your favorite restaurants, your favorite albums, or even recent gear purchases. This type of email may not help you get any more streams or any more sales, but it is a good way to engage and connect with your fans. You don’t necessarily need to write really long reviews either. That way, you can keep your emails short so you that people can easily digest them.

Interviews

Number nine is interviews. This is a category perhaps you aren’t really thinking about, but you could be doing quick interviews with interesting people you meet at your shows or even on the road. You don’t even need to ask more than three or four questions, but by interviewing interesting people, you can give your fans an inside view into things that you are doing as well as the music industry. In a way, you’ll become an influencer or a tastemaker in your own right.

Surveys

Number ten is surveys. Why not make some fun surveys for your fans using a tool like SurveyMonkey and occasionally send out some weird and interesting and intriguing questions that your fans can answer for you?

You can send a few career-relevant questions too, because there might be some things you’re wondering about your fans, whether it’s places to tour through, or what kind of song they want to hear from you next. You certainly can gather some market data by surveying your audience as well. I think it just really gives you an opportunity to get to know your fans in a fun way.

Final Thoughts

I came up with ten ideas for this episode of the podcast, but there are so many other ways to engage your fans with your emails. You really just have to let your creative juices flow. What do you think of the ideas covered in this episode? Feel free to send me an email to david@dawcast.com. I’ll be more than happy to feature you in an upcoming episode.

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