108 – Finding Your Purpose & Living Your Passion – with Jules Schroeder of Unconventional Life

What is your purpose? What were you meant to accomplish in your lifetime? Are you living life to your fullest?

In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, I interview Jules Schroeder of Unconventional Life. She shares how she came to understand her purpose in this world, how she encourages others to live a life of passion, what we can do to find a platform for our message, and much more.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:14 – Introductions
  • 00:25 – How would you describe what you do?
  • 02:08 – Multipotentialites and the traditional model of success
  • 04:10 – Creating a connection through passion
  • 06:16 – Near death experience
  • 10:24 – Spiritual experiences and living life to the fullest
  • 15:05 – What does music entrepreneurship mean to you?
  • 20:04 – Being unreasonable
  • 21:46 – The unconventional life is becoming the conventional life
  • 26:37 – What is your number one tip for building a podcast audience?
  • 30:28 – How do you find a platform for your message?
  • 35:43 – Are there any books you recommend?
  • 37:11 – Closing thoughts

Transcription:

Coming soon.

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How a Course in Marketing Can Help You Build Your Music Business

Hey, musicpreneur!

Cassie Phillips is back with another guest post – this time on the subject of learning.

As you are surely aware, sharpening your skills can help you grow your career faster than ever, especially if what you’re learning is on the topic of marketing.

By the way, if you think you might have something valuable to share with the community, you can learn about guest posting here.

With that, here’s Cassie!

No matter how talented you are, or how much effort you put into your music, getting exposure for your art can be a challenge.

If people don’t know who you are, your music isn’t going to be heard or appreciated. The music industry can be competitive and is a saturated landscape. There are new artists coming on the scene every single day.

The fact that music consumption has changed from downloading MP3s to streaming makes matters all the more complex.

To effectively promote your music, you will need to develop your marketing skills. Marketing will allow you to raise awareness for your brand and be better connected to your target market.

To effectively promote your music, you will need to develop your marketing skills. Share on X

From there, you can uncover opportunities for sponsorships, features and accumulate more fans and sales. Here are some ways a marketing course can help you grow your music business.

Branding

As a musician, artist or producer, you must create a brand to market. Your brand must be reflective of the music that you create and resonate with the target market you are directing it towards.

You want your brand to represent a particular style or genre of music and the stronger your brand image, the more you’ll increase your brand recognition overall.

Create a brand profile page for all your selected social media platforms. Ensure that your brand imagery is consistent across your social channels and remain active to grow your following.

Digital Marketing

Once you’ve created a brand, you’ll want to know how to market it. You can learn how to leverage your brand by taking a marketing course on Upskilled.

In the past, when artists were still up and coming, they often used performance as a means to gain more fans.

Performing is still a great way to market yourself. But there’s more available in the digital space than ever before. Just look at social media.

If you want to do well at digital marketing, create consistent and ongoing content on all your social media platforms. When you share your music across social media platforms, it can be shared by your friends, fans and followers. That can help you reach people you simply wouldn’t be able to otherwise.

Storytelling

Your music tells a story. Story is a powerful tool for connecting with an audience, and should be used in your marketing.

You have your own creative flair. This can be emphasized through your music and be made a part of your brand’s story.

Your story should resonate with your audience. It should evoke emotion.

If you aren’t sure what your story is or how to tell it, look at your lifestyle, environment, as well as current events and issues. Understanding how you interpret these items can help you shape your story.

Target Market

I’ve made mention of defining your target audience already. When you know who you’re trying to appeal to, you’ll be able to optimize how you spend your resources instead of wasting them on people that don’t care and will never care about your music.

A target market is often defined by demographic information, such as age, gender, location, lifestyle and so on. But these days, psychographics are becoming even more important. Psychographic considerations would be things like what the person cares about, what their buying habits are, what they value and so on.

Once you know who your fans are, encourage them to follow you on social media so they receive notifications when you post something new. Ensure that the content you create identifies with your audience. Connect with potential fans within your target market by replying to any and all comments you receive..

Stay Connected

Without your fans and listeners, your music business will not grow. Maintain constant connection and interaction with your listeners. Be highly responsive to all questions, inquiries and comments that are left on your social media pages.

Take on the feedback that is provided by your listeners as they know what they want to hear and will help you produce music they’ll willingly engage with.

Increase interaction by surveying your audience and asking them what they’d like to see more of. Your fans will feel engaged and their participation can help you create content that captures their attention.

Video Marketing

Building your presence on YouTube can help you gain a lot of exposure, especially if you upload covers. That way, you’ll be linked with other popular artists.

If you’re in the habit of capturing live footage, this type of content can also work great on YouTube.

To achieve optimum results, invest in high-quality recording equipment – cameras, microphones and so on. Learn how to achieve the best sound and visual quality possible. Edit your videos and limit the scope to the most engaging parts.

Don’t forget to share your videos everywhere – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and so on. Also embed them on your blog or website.

Conclusion

Whether your music business has already attained a high level of awareness or barely any, a marketing course will help amplify your promotional efforts.

How do you think a marketing course could help you expose your music business and attain more success?

107 – Why You Need to Keep Adapting as a Music Entrepreneur

There is so much change going on around us, whether it’s technology, search engine algorithm updates or the needs of our target customers.

It isn’t necessary to keep up with everything, but there are some things that can have a major impact on our careers or businesses if we aren’t prepared for them.

In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, I talk out lout about some of the recent changes that have impacted my business and what I’m thinking about doing moving forward.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:14 – A different kind of podcast episode
  • 00:35 – The challenge I’m facing
  • 01:22 – Mitigating risk and building more traffic sources
  • 01:45 – How to manage my time
  • 02:29 – Time to hire?
  • 02:51 – A month creation and a month of curation
  • 03:51 – Redesigning a website
  • 04:18 – Increasing engagement
  • 05:09 – Creating more videos
  • 05:39 – Adapting
  • 06:20 – Final thoughts

Transcription:

Whenever I record a podcast episode, I like to prepare some thoughts and ideas that will benefit you in some way. I don’t think today’s show will be any exception, but unlike previous episodes, this is going to be one where I’ll be thinking out loud a little bit because I don’t have a concrete action plan for how I’m going to move forward just yet. You might benefit from hearing me think out loud too.

So, here’s the situation:

Since about August 13, which was my birthday, I’ve been seeing a marked decline in traffic to the website.

Up until that point, I certainly saw some fluctuation, but overall it was on an upward trend. But recently, the traffic essentially halved.

I know that Google is constantly updating their algorithm, so I’m sure that plays a part in this decline. I’m also aware that my website has certain issues that could affect its rankings.

So, that’s one of the things I’m beginning to think about tackling in the coming months.

A decrease in traffic isn’t necessarily something to be alarmed about, and there can also be other factors, such as the fact that it’s still summer. But I want to continue to get my message out there to as many people as possible and don’t like sacrificing in that regard.

Building More Traffic Sources

Now, I’ve shared before that I like to mitigate risk and build more than one traffic source. This might be an opportunity to explore that idea a little further as well. I could better utilize platforms like YouTube, Instagram and Facebook to connect with my audience. My website is my home base and that’s what I care about most, but these platforms can certainly support my efforts to share my message. I could also advertise on these platforms.

Dividing My Time Between Creation & Curation

Something else that’s been floating around in the back of my mind is how to manage my time. As you probably know, I spend a lot of my time creating content. And, when I have a product to share with you, generally it’s a course or a book or an eBook, unless it’s an affiliate offer.

I like spending my time creating content, as I think it’s more effective than sharing my ideas with one person at a time. When I publish a post, it reaches many people.

But because of how I’ve structured my life, most of my time ends up being spent in the business instead of on the business. This isn’t to suggest I don’t want to create more content. The reality is that I have more ideas than I can realistically keep pace with. I have so much more to share with you. That’s a good problem to have, and I’m sure some content marketers wish they had that problem!

This is where you say I should begin hiring and bringing people on to handle some of the workload, and you wouldn’t be wrong in saying that. Personally, I would like to see some of my revenue streams build a little more before I look at hiring, as I tend to be conservative with spending. But it might just be a matter of overcoming that mental hurdle. And, don’t kid yourself – we all have mental hurdles to overcome.

We all have mental hurdles to overcome. Share on X

But back to what I was saying about how I use my time. One thought I had recently was alternating months between creation and curation. So, I would spend one month just flat out creating content and the next month marketing, organizing and repurposing that content.

I think this would be a good way to get more leverage out of the content I’m creating, and it would also allow me to spend more time on the business instead of just in it. It would allow me to work on bigger picture things like SEO as well.

I’m not sure how this would affect the production of content. In some ways, it might make me more prolific. At the same time, if continually producing and publishing more content doesn’t boost numbers, then it’s not benefiting me. Slowing down and resetting might be a good idea.

Do you have any thoughts on this? Would it be okay if I cut down on the amount of content I publish for a while? Would it affect your overall experience of The Music Entrepreneur HQ?

Either way, I think it might be helpful for me to slow down and reset. Take a close look at everything, reaffirm the vision and mission of the business and determine the best course of action.

Redesigning the Website

Another thought that has crossed my mind is that perhaps it’s time to redesign the website. I wouldn’t necessarily do a complete overhaul, as I’m relatively happy with how things are set up. These days, it’s quite common for developers and companies to take a more continual and iterative approach to design, changing bits and pieces as best practices and trends change.

I don’t think there are any major issues with my website speed, but I know for sure more could be done in terms of conversion.

Engagement

Now, I will say that traffic isn’t everything. I have no data to back up the idea that I’m converting a higher number of sales because I get more traffic. I’ve seen some of my affiliate income go up, but overall there hasn’t been a huge change.

That’s another issue I’m working to solve. Engagement hasn’t been where I’d like it to be. I’ve taken some steps to improve that, but I would love to see more interaction. I would love to see more comments and emails. I would love for you to tell me what you’d like to see more of on the website, because I can easily get lost in my own thoughts about what I should be creating. I want to be making a difference.

If I’m not connecting with you, I’m not doing my job. There are a lot of ways I can help – such as with websites, graphic design, music distribution, self-publishing, finding revenue streams, and so on – but this is more about what you need as opposed to what I think you need.

Making More Videos

So, another thought I’ve had is to create more videos. There are a few people that have pointed out the lack of video content on the site, and to be fair, I’ve put far more energy into blog posts and podcast episodes through the years.

Fundamentally, I want to create a personal connection with you and add value to you. It’s not hard for me to create talking head style videos, though it does require more of my time and effort. Mind you, if you think it would benefit you, I don’t mind putting more energy into it. If there are other styles of videos you would enjoy, you can certainly let me know.

So, those are some of the thoughts that have been rolling around in my mind.

Growing, Adapting and Thriving

As always, I don’t know what’s going to work. The only thing I can do is to see this as an opportunity to tighten up what I’m doing and make it into something better.

The key lesson here is that if we don’t adapt, we’ll be forced to adapt. It’s the same thing I shared in my first book, The New Music Industry: Adapting, Growing and Thriving in The Information Age. Now I get to eat my own words.

But again, I think this is a positive thing. It’s causing me to reevaluate what I’m doing, and course correct. Instead of just plowing ahead as I always have, I’m zooming out to see the bigger picture.

All of this must be examined alongside my vision, which needs to be more clearly defined.

So, you might be seeing some changes around here as I put together a plan and execute against it.

I’m excited for what’s to come, but I would love to hear your thoughts on this as well.

What would you like to see most on the website, and on a grader scheme, how can The Music Entrepreneur HQ benefit you? How can I help you get the most out of your involvement with music?

I look forward to seeing your comments in the show notes.

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The Benefits of Collaborating with Fellow Artists

Are you an aspiring musical artist looking to increase your bandwidth with listening audiences? Whatever you do, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you need to do all the work yourself to be an “authentic” solo artist. Even Shakespeare regularly collaborated with others!

Thinking like an entrepreneur means realizing that when you combine your talents with those of an artist or musical act who are perhaps more established, you’ll expedite your own songwriting, music production, and promotional success.

So, what are you waiting for? We’ve listed seven key advantages of collaborating with your fellow musicians below.

Increased Digital Reach

When you work together in the promotion process, you double the social media profile of the song or album that you’re working on. That means double the follower reach, and hopefully double the commercial success of your tracks.

This will work for both online and traditional media. While you monitor the likes and shares of your social media posts, why not go old-fashioned too? Put up posters with your artist names clearly printed and distribute flyers on the street – people love double-act gigs!

Better Venues = More Punters

It’s a simple equation: the more headliners for any given musical event, the more audiences are brought in, and the bigger venues you’ll be able to play in. Basically, if you’ve managed to secure a collaboration with a big artist, then you’re primed to tap into their fan base.

When you pool your funds with other artists, you’ll be able to gain access to larger venues that can be better outfitted with performance gear such as amps, sound systems, stage lighting and graphics. This means your audience will get to hear your music in the best possible sound quality, as opposed to sitting in a claustrophobic bar with bad acoustics.

An Expanded Industry Network

You can gain lifelong friends and incredible memories by collaborating with your fellow artists, as well as the chance to meet their friends, mentors, and influencers. If your collaborator is further along in their musical journey, you will be able to gain priceless advice from them, as well as new connections to producers, agents, gig promoters, and music bloggers – exactly the people you want to be casually introduced to after a gig.

Collaborating can be an unbeatable way to widen your industry network, express your willingness to learn from people with more experience than you, and in turn help and befriend other artists. One successful gig and its subsequent introductions may open the door for invitations to future gigs with even more experienced artists to co-create with.

Two Minds are Better Than One

You love creating music – that’s the reason you wanted to become a musician in the first place! The great news is that collaborating with other artists can do wonders for your own creativity.

If you’ve been struggling with writer’s block or need a great harmony from another instrument, an exhilarating conversation with another musically-oriented mind with a different point of view may set up a great jam session and get your best lyrics flowing again.

You’ll Strike New Chords

Artists sometimes don’t notice when they’re in a rut. The most important lesson a musician can learn is to keep learning and evolving, because if you’re not constantly honing your craft and expanding your reach, you can’t expect your music to improve.

That’s where your colleagues in the industry come in. Know of an artist who’s mastered those tricky drum patterns you just can’t get the hang of yourself? Always wondered what software a particular DJ uses to make their mixes? Ask them if they’d be keen to collaborate with you.

The best thing about these types of collaborations is that when you both bring something entirely new and different to the table, you can create some truly idiosyncratic beats.

It’s Rewarding

Collaborations lead to tangible rewards – big-break opportunities, such as headlining on a global tour or being credited in a chart-topping tune.

However, collaborating with other artists is also invaluable for the human connections you’ll make. As a musician, you’ll find your soulmates and friends in other people who are pursuing the same goals.

No matter where they happen to be on their artistic trajectory, there’s guaranteed to be massive common ground between you. You may just find a lifelong friend as well as a close collaborator.

Collaborating Teaches You Artistic Generosity

By collaborating with fellow artists at the beginning of your own career, you’ll realize just how important the value of artistic generosity is to the survival of the industry at large. Better-known artists will pair up with lesser-known musicians to boost the latter’s chances in a cut-throat industry and also to nurture the new talent and sounds, which are vital to the industry’s future.

And plus, information about newcomers can spread incredibly quickly within the industry, so it’s best to build up your reputation as a generous and professional collaborator now instead of waiting for later to put in the legwork.

106 – What is the DIY Musician Conference? – with Kevin Breuner of CD Baby

Are you thinking about going to a music industry conference? Have you thought about staring your own music conference?

In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, I chat with Kevin Breuner of CD Baby who shares about the forthcoming DIY Musician Conference.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:14 – Introductions
  • 00:30 – What is the DIY Musician Conference?
  • 01:34 – Education for independent artists
  • 03:10 – Developing focus as a musician
  • 04:43 – Why should people attend the DIY Musician Conference?
  • 07:35 – What are some things musicians typically walk away with after attending the conference?
  • 10:09 – Live music production
  • 10:42 – What are some of the most common questions musicians come to you with at the conference?
  • 12:31 – Is there anything musicians put too much focus on?
  • 14:52 – What are some questions you wish musicians would ask more?
  • 19:34 – Unsolicited emails and press releases
  • 20:09 – Is the DIY Musician Conference profitable?
  • 22:13 – How much time and effort does it take to put on a conference?
  • 23:51 – Do you have any tips for those looking to start their own conference?
  • 25:07 – What the market will bear
  • 26:37 – How a conference deepens the relationship with your customers
  • 28:29 – The best time in history to get your music out there

Transcription:

Coming soon.

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