157 – I Have $1,000,000 Dollars to Spend – How do I Take My Record Label National?

157 – I Have $1,000,000 Dollars to Spend – How do I Take My Record Label National?

Interested in growing your label? Trying to figure out how to use your budget?

In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, I share some tips on how to take your record label national.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:34 – A mysterious question I’ve gotten a few times
  • 01:20 – Tire kicker?
  • 02:34 – Consider hiring a consultant, coach or mentor
  • 03:44 – Do you know who your target audience is?
  • 04:43 – A possible roadmap for our collaboration
  • 04:53 – Free versus paid advice
  • 05:34 – We could get national exposure for you tomorrow
  • 06:22 – What does national exposure mean to you?
  • 06:38 – #1: Facebook ads
  • 07:32 – #2: Influencer/celebrity marketing
  • 08:30 – #3: Direct mail
  • 09:27 – #4: Radio
  • 10:47 – #5: Television
  • 11:54 – #6: Podcast tours
  • 12:50 – Closing thoughts
  • 13:33 – The New Music Industry: Adapting, Growing, and Thriving in The Information Age

Transcription:

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5 Skills All Successful DIY Musicians Share

5 Skills All Successful DIY Musicians Share

While the foundations of DIY music may have been laid by bands like Fugazi back in the 1990s, the music industry landscape in 2019 has changed so much that, rather than a radical decision, choosing to be independent is often the most profitable, sustainable way of earning a living from music. 

The internet has given artists direct access to their fans, and has toppled record labels and distribution companies as the industry gatekeepers that they were 15 years ago.

However, while releasing your music independently has never been easier, there are still a number of essential skills you need to hone if you’re going to give your music the platform it deserves and make sure it reaches your fans. 

They Know the Value of Their Music

If you’re going the independent route, you need to become a businessperson as well as an artist. It’s important to recontextualise your music and think of it as a product, just like any other business does.

This is where the music industry has traditionally differed from other industries. When they sign to a record label, artists sign away the licences to their masters (and often publishing rights) in return for an advance and a smaller share of royalties, as well as the reach, connections and platform that a label provides.

However, since traditional distribution channels have declined, the function of labels has shifted to a being more of a marketing and promotion role. Despite the role of labels changing, the deal structures remain the same—something that doesn’t make a lot of sense for most musicians in 2019. 

In no other industry would a business sign away the rights to its product to a media or marketing agency in return for 20% of net profits. It’s unthinkable that Nike would give away the copyrights to Air Jordans to a media company in return for exposure, yet this is what most artists do.

Going independent means that, while you don’t get the support and industry connections of a label, you get to exclusively profit from your music, keep the rights to your masters and control your own sales channels.

Once you begin to build a dedicated fanbase, this is a very powerful asset and is often a more sustainable, long term source of income than going with a label.

They Know How to Run Successful PR Campaigns

Without the backing of a label, getting your music in front of your target audience becomes much more important. 

However, you don’t need large budgets to run successful PR campaigns, with a little skill and effort you can get your music in front of the right people using just an email account and some tenacity. 

Knowing how to put together a good press release that looks professional and captures the attention of industry figures is paramount. You need to not only sell your music but also give compelling reasons for them to feature you.

Make sure that you target only the bloggers and journalists that really care about your genre. One good way to get ideas is to look at the coverage similar bands in your genre have got.

Often, hyper-targeted niche specific blogs will have more of an impact than larger, more generic blogs and magazines, so don’t neglect them. 

Take the time to personalize your outreach to each writer. This not only differentiates you, but also demonstrates that you and your music is relevant to what they write about.

Be patient. Media will always dedicate more coverage to bands that already have followings, as that brings more readers and clicks. For that reason, getting coverage early on can be difficult, but good PR is about more than just coverage—you’re building relationships and recognition with important tastemakers that will be useful in the future.

They Control Their Distribution Channels

While the majority of music is consumed digitally, there’s still an important place for physical releases and for many artists this can be the most profitable revenue stream. Vinyl sales have been on the increase, while CDs still represent a small but vital slice of revenue for many artists. 

Therefore, knowing how to best distribute your physical music is hugely important for DIY musicians.

While distribution networks such as Plastic Head can get your releases into record shops, this massively cuts down on your profit margin. In addition, less people are buying their music from brick and mortar shops than ever before, which often makes traditional distribution channels costly and ineffective for independent artists.

For most DIY musicians, direct to consumer sales from the internet represent the bulk of sales, and for this reason it is essential that you make sure your distribution channels are set up and accessible before you begin releasing music.

Options like Bandcamp and BigCartel make selling physical releases online very easy, with no knowledge of websites or eCommerce needed. In addition, such platforms tend to be very SEO friendly, so that your fans can find and buy your music when searching for it online. 

However, as your sales and profile grow, most artists invest in their own websites and eCommerce platforms, as this gives them much more control in terms of paid social media advertising and data collection.  

They Have a Fulfillment Process in Place

Once you begin selling merch and physical copies, this presents a new challenge—fulfillment. 

The internet has globalized your reach, which means that you’ll have fans all over the world wanting to buy from you. Therefore, you’ll need a network in place that allows you to ship product internationally with rates that your fans can afford.

At the beginning of your career, you might not be selling large enough volumes to justify bringing a fulfillment partner on board, which means you will be handling postage and packaging yourself. 

Research the best international postage options before releasing pre-orders. Speaking from experience, I’ve undercharged vinyl delivery in the past, resulting in losing £1000s in international delivery costs.

As you grow, the volume of sales and international orders will make a fulfillment partner necessary. When choosing a fulfillment partner, research all aspects of pricing as you’ll not only need to pay for packaging, postage and handling costs, but also inventory checks and warehousing. These “hidden costs” add up quickly and can seriously eat into your profit margins. 

Don’t solely look into music fulfillment companies, as often they charge more than generic eCommerce fulfillment.

If you have a very international audience, look into fulfillment companies with global networks, as this tends to be much easier to manage than various different companies based in different regions.

Know When to Get Industry Support

Just because you’re an independent artist, it doesn’t mean that you can’t work with industry figures as well.

By investing in experienced professionals, you can build a platform similar to what a label provides, but on your own terms.

At a certain stage, you’ll need the clout and contacts that come with an experienced, well known press and publicity firm. While good music PR companies can be expensive, it often more than pays for itself in the long term, as they’ll be able to secure you better exposure than you could yourself.

An important caveat is that you should already have some existing profile, earned with your own DIY PR efforts. Even the best PR company will struggle to get you significant exposure if you don’t already have a good foundation of coverage and an active fanbase.

Booking agents are another important partner for many DIY musicians. While you can have great success by booking your own tours and shows, booking agents can help secure you better support slots and festival appearances. Most booking agents will take between 10 and 15% of the fees from gigs they secure you, which is a very good trade off for the exposure it can bring.

By choosing to work strategically with music industry partners, you can raise your profile and get bigger opportunities, while still retaining control of your music.

Where Funnels Fall Short

Where Funnels Fall Short

The musician community seems positively sanguine about funnels.

In case you’re unaware, today, a funnel essentially describes a multi-step sales process. The buyer journey begins on Facebook where they are shown a relevant ad. If they click through, they are taken to a series of squeeze pages where they are sold increasingly higher priced offers.

You will never hear me say this “strategy” (which I consider a tactic, for reasons you’re about to discover) doesn’t work. It does.

There are many entrepreneurs and musicians that have found success with funnels, although it depends entirely on what one considers “success”.

If it means having to launch new products all the time to sustain your revenue stream, then there’s a definite downside. Launches are stressful. Ask anyone who’s done them.

Not only have I talked to others who’ve endured that stress, I’ve also had to do a launch for a client (for a one-off project like hers, it was the perfect fit, but it’s inefficient if you intend to establish a business with longevity).

As far as I’m concerned, launching is just another tactic masquerading as a strategy, but that’s another rabbit hole for another time. Again, you will never hear me say launching doesn’t work. It does. People have made a king’s ransom launching.

But are you setting up a business that’s profitable and sustainable long-term? Are you creating an infrastructure that truly serves your audience?

There’s more to these questions than meets the eye. So, let’s examine where funnels fall short.

If Your Copywriting Skills Suck

Ask the top copywriters in the world – like John Carlton – and you’ll discover it takes time to become a skilled copywriter.

I’m not saying there aren’t a lot of great examples and templates you can follow. There are.

But anyone who’s spent any time developing their craft knows that copy needs to be written with an audience in mind. Only then can you expect to sell anything.

So, while templated copy might prove helpful in getting started, it’s not going to be ultra-targeted.

Now, I’m sure there are marketers who can show me instances where generic copy resulted in 3 to 5% conversion. I wouldn’t be surprised if that were the case. But I can’t imagine this would work all the time.

The point is that funnels suck if you can’t write copy. Why? Because your ads and your landing pages must contain compelling copy. The text you write must cause readers to act. And, if you don’t have that skill set, you’re hooped.

Copy, by the way, refers to any text you write with the intent of selling. If you’d like to learn more about the basics of copywriting, I recommend reading the chapter about copywriting in my book, The New Music Industry: Adapting, Growing, and Thriving in The Information Age.

The New Music Industry: Adapting, Growing, and Thriving in The Information Age

If You Don’t Know How to Build a Landing Page That Converts

This goes hand in hand with my last point.

Landing page development is a skill, much like copywriting. The two are complementary, though not always mutually inclusive.

Again, you can go and grab a landing page template and install it on your website. This typically isn’t a difficult or painful process. Some purveyors of funnels even sell templates.

And, these templates generally have a proven track record. I can’t take that away from them.

But if you want to get this right, you’d better know a thing or two about landing pages. You’ll need to educate yourself. And, like I already said, you’d better know how to write copy that converts.

This isn’t to suggest that there isn’t always an element of ongoing self-education in achieving your own version of success. I believe there is. And, as a musician, building websites is something you should probably learn a thing or two about.

But if you’re going to build funnels, right out the gate you’ve got a problem to solve. You’ve got to be able to build landing pages that convert. And, you need to build several of them if you’re going to leverage the preestablished ascension structure funnel businesses are built on.

Some marketers struggle to build landing pages, let alone landing pages that convert the standard but coveted 3 to 5%.

So, you’d better steep yourself in digital marketing articles, podcasts and courses if you expect to do well at this.

If Your Written Communication is Godawful

One of my mentors once said to me good communicators grow fast in business.

Now, he was referring to me when he said “good communicators” but if he was right, surely, I would have a more profitable business by now.

Here’s what I’ve discovered:

Business isn’t just about communication. It’s also about being well-versed in your business model, industry and target audience.

With that in mind, we can’t ignore the importance of communication. At every stage of the game, funnels are about strong, compelling communication.

At every stage of the game, funnels are about strong, compelling communication. Share on X

Whether it’s Facebook ad copy, landing pages, follow-up sequences or email campaigns, every word you write counts. And, if you can’t make it count, you’re not going to do terribly well at this.

I believe everyone can become a better writer than they are. This doesn’t mean they will one day become an excellent writer, but they can learn to express themselves well.

Of course, you can always hire a writer. But that puts your breakeven point even higher than it originally was with your free/free plus shipping offer. I’m not saying it couldn’t work, but it drives up your expenses.

Fundamentally, your communication better be good if you intend to compel your target audience to action with your words.

If Your Facebook Advertising Chops Blow

I’ve shared before that I’ve wasted plenty of money on Facebook ads, and not because I wanted to. Compared to all the money I’ve spent on “learning experiences” (totaling mid five-figures), however, it wouldn’t amount to much.

And, if you’re using funnels to sell your music, you should expect to have many learning experiences of your own. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

The point, rather, is that if you don’t know how to create an effective ad, or how to look at the numbers once they’re in, or how to tweak your ad to improve your conversion rate, you’re effectively poop out of luck.

I could go on again about the importance of self-education, which does apply here too, but I’ve said enough about that already.

With funnels, you’ve got more to contend with than just copywriting and landing pages. You’ve got to hone your Facebook ad chops too.

I’m tempted to say something about digital sharecropping as well, though I’m sure advertising will always be available in some form.

Just don’t expect that it will always be Facebook, because it may not be. And, when it’s not, you’ll be forced to learn a new ad platform.

If Your Customer Wants to Buy Something Else

Likely, the ascension model predates the internet (e.g. do you want fries with that?).

And, it stuck because it works. If it hasn’t been abundantly clear to this point, funnels do work. I want to reiterate that in case anyone thinks I’m just taking a cheap shot at their music business.

But the ascension model is not friendly to your customers.

If you have multiple offers, I would rather be guided to the right one (such as with James Schramko’s selector switch – check it out at SuperFastBusiness) or simply be taken to a page where I can view all of them.

I’ve bought from four businesses or entrepreneurs utilizing funnels. In every case, I only claimed the free plus shipping offer. And, in all instances, I never returned to see what else they had, even if their other offers were awesome.

I can’t recall ever hearing from them again, which is also odd, considering they should have my contact information (including my personal address) on hand.

Sometimes, your customers don’t want your $15 offer but would absolutely die for the $45 one. You’re going to leave money on the table if you force them through a predesigned funnel to get to that point.

If Your Upsells & Cross-Sells Are Too Cheap

What are you doing all this work for if not to make money?

Honestly, I can’t believe people work so hard on ads and landing pages and email sequences just so they can give one free product away and upsell a $5 product. It’s ludicrous!

And, I’m not saying everyone is doing that. But there are certain entities that seem to be teaching this or I wouldn’t see it popping up so frequently.

Stop it.

Now, you’ve got to have a free (or free plus shipping) offer for a funnel to work. That’s a given.

But once your customer has their credit card out, don’t force them to pay for a $5 offer, which they may not even want. Get them to spend at least $17 with you (for instance, a physical album with digital downloads).

From there, you can quickly move up to $37, $67, $97 and beyond. I’m not an advocate of using funnels as a strategy, and even I know that!

It’s okay to have lower priced offers, but seriously $5 is too low. People spend more on their daily coffee for expletive’s sake.

I get that new entrepreneurs generally have trouble pricing themselves and don’t know what they’re worth, but just take it from me – set yourself up to win! You’re the one making the rules.

If You Want to Build a Stronger Connection with Your Target Audience

I already mentioned that I’ve claimed at least four free plus shipping offers, and in every instance, I never heard from them again. And, if I named them, you’d probably know at least one.

I’m not saying I would buy from them if I did hear from them again, but there was a reason I was interested in their offers in the first place, and if they followed up and showed me what they had, maybe I’d reengage.

Honestly, is this the extent of customer service these days?

I recognize this doesn’t apply to every funnelpreneur. But with email delivery rates being what they are, you can’t necessarily rely on your ESP or CRM to do all the work, contrary to what some believers in automagical marketing say.

You’ll reach a percentage of your audience, to be sure, and you’ll convert a smaller percentage of those you reach.

But if you’ve got my mailing address on hand, you might want to follow up with me with a well-timed direct mail piece. Just a thought.

I admit that I need to drink a bit of my own medicine here but building a stronger connection with your audience is going to come from relevant and targeted communication. You can’t forget that no matter what kind of entrepreneur you are.

If You Want to Maintain a Long-Term Relationship with Your Customers

I would repeat the same points about the four free plus shipping offers I’ve claimed, but I feel like I’m beating a dead horse at this point.

But I will ask you one question:

How do you intend to maintain a relationship with your customers after they’ve purchased one or more items from you?

If you’ve set up your funnel just to make money, fine. But that’s not a business, friend.

I understand that some companies are teaching musicians how to do this, whether it’s with emails, social media, retargeting or otherwise, which is good. But that doesn’t represent all of them.

As I’ve already alluded to, constantly having to launch sucks. I know people who do this and even do well at it. But what if there was a way to create recurring revenue without all the hassle and stress and all-nighters that launching encourages?

Oh, wait. There is! It’s called memberships, fan clubs, exclusive serial content.

And, that’s not all. There are so many other ways to create stress-free (or less stressful) ongoing revenue that doesn’t depend on you staring at a computer screen for days at a time, constantly putting out fires.

If you want to be smart about this, you’ve got to be thinking about how you’re going to connect with your customers long-term.

If You Genuinely Care About Your Audience

I’m not suggesting that all funnelpreneurs see their prospects and customers as numbers. But it’s almost impossible not to make some assumptions about this based on how the “business model” is supposed to work.

If you truly cared about your audience, what are some things you’d do, besides send them to more landing pages?

Would you create and deliver content they’d find valuable, entertaining or inspiring?

Would you invite them to be a part of an exclusive group or community, online or off?

Would you send them special offers, like free tickets to events, discounts on memberships, beta testing privileges or something else?

I recognize there is a way to create a real connection with your audience, even if your business is based around funnels. Some are doing it well. Others, not so much. So, let’s be mindful.

Don’t forget that your business would not exist if not for your customers. Let’s find ways of engaging them that doesn’t revolve around selling all the time.

Don't forget that your business would not exist if not for your customers. Let's find ways of engaging them that doesn’t revolve around selling all the time. Share on X

Conclusion

A friend once told me you should never talk about a problem without offering a solution.

I believe I’ve shared several possible solutions to navigating the challenges that funnels present, but here’s one more thing I’ll offer up:

The antidote to broken funnels is a strategic content marketing plan.

Anyone can do just as I’ve done and create a site that generates hundreds of visits (or more) every single day. Care to guess what you can do with that kind of traffic? Anything you want!

The Music Entrepreneur HQ traffic

I will gladly admit that content is another skill all its own, and some of the skills you learn with funnels either directly or indirectly complement and augment content marketing.

But all things being equal, I think you have a better chance at creating a robust online presence versus hitting the lottery with your funnels.

Using funnels in conjunction with a properly structured website and content marketing plan, on the other hand, can be powerful.

This is just one man’s opinion, so take it with a grain of salt.

But don’t kid yourself – funnels aren’t perfect and they do fall short at times.

Musicians: Why Your PR Campaigns Are Failing

Musicians: Why Your PR Campaigns Are Failing

Isn’t it frustrating when you put a lot of money into a marketing endeavor that totally bombs?

As someone who’s wasted quite a bit of money on Facebook ads, I know the pain of throwing away hard-earned moola on marketing that doesn’t work all too well.

At the outset, I can tell you that it’s best not to depend on any one thing for your success, even if that one thing is publicity, which can achieve killer outcomes.

PR is awesome. But unfortunately, most music PR campaigns fail.

If you stopped yourself to ask why, and examined what failing campaigns had in common, you would probably start to see the patterns emerge.

But I’ll save you the time and effort. Here’s why most music PR campaigns yield nothing.

The Top Reason Music PR Campaigns Fail

Before I start, care to take a guess why most musicians don’t have successful PR campaigns?

Is it because they aren’t spending enough?

No. Although budget is a consideration here, these days you can get excellent PR work done for a little bit of money. You can even buy some digital PR courses on a site like Udemy for less than $20 and learn how to do it yourself, even though that is a long-term prospect.

Either way, some musicians save thousands of dollars to spend on a PR campaign, and if that describes you, it’s unlikely that you’re not investing enough money.

Is it because they aren’t using the right service?

In most cases, no. I would be wary of any publicist promising you the world and more but generally most PR people are competent, and you can easily find reviews, testimonials and the like if you’re in any doubt about their service.

Even properly executed PR campaigns can sometimes yield little by way of measurable results, though if your service provider tells you that, you should always ask them to show their work – they should be able to report on exactly what they did and how they spent your money.

Is it because their publicists aren’t reaching the right outlets?

Again, generally no. A skilled PR person should know what outlets to target, and further, musicians often have conversations with their publicists around where they’d like to score coverage. A musician can certainly choose wrong or aim too high, but a good PR person should be able to help steer them in the right direction.

And, you must carefully consider what “right outlets” means to you. If you’ve never released an album and only have a small fan base, you should expect to see your news on small PR and article sites, relatively unknown blogs and the like. That’s normal.

So, it depends a lot on where you are in your career right now.

Now, I’m not saying that none of these things could be contributing factors as to why so many music PR campaigns fail. But none of them are the top reason.

Do you give up yet?

The number one reason PR campaigns fail is because of a lack of story.

The number one reason music PR campaigns fail is because of the absence of a compelling story. Share on X

Why Not Having a Compelling Story Hurts You

It’s sad.

Musicians spend a lot of time crafting their music. They pour themselves into it.

But when it comes time to market their art, they’ve put their blood, sweat and tears into, their creativity suddenly goes out the window.

By the way, if you’d like to develop a solid strategy around marketing your work, have a read through my Amazon bestseller, The Essential Guide to Creative Entrepreneurship.

The Essential Guide to Creative Entrepreneurship: Making and Selling Your Neon Yellow Tiger

As Bob Baker shared with us in episode one of The New Music Industry Podcast:

Marketing should be an extension of the creative process.

Think about it. Your music tells a story, doesn’t it?

I get that it may not always be a rich, detailed, surprising, controversial, emotionally evocative or otherwise substantial story. But there’s a story to the music. And, there’s a story behind the music too. Can we agree on that?

Well, while that may not be the exact story to use in your marketing (i.e. the story your music tells), you should nevertheless have a story that sets the tone for your branding and promotional efforts.

Musicians must have a story that sets the tone for their branding and promotional efforts. Share on X

Not having a story hurts you most when it comes to getting coverage. Of any kind.

It’s been a while, but I’ve talked about the cut and paste bio before.

The idea is this – your bio should be so compelling that when a PR person, reviewer, event organizer or another looks at it, they’d be willing to run it (in some cases as is) in their press release, review, promo or other piece.

If you get that, you’ve also gotten the essence of PR. It’s not just about the details (e.g. who, what, when, where, why and how). The details are secondary to the emotional reaction your story begs and elicits from readers, listeners and viewers.

But What About Duplicate Content?

As it applies to republishing a band bio, I’ve been asked whether duplicate content is an issue. But trust me when I say it generally isn’t.

There’s a little something called syndication. Maybe you’ve heard of it.

Syndication is when an article you’ve written gets picked up by a newspaper, magazine, blog or otherwise.

It’s your article and you’re free to do with it as you please – even negotiate fees and rights depending on who’s asking to publish it. Of course, if your work is being used without your permission, you might want to stick them with a cease and desist letter.

The onus is on the other party to ensure they’ve taken the right steps (e.g. use a canonical link), so they don’t get penalized for duplicate content.

But they shouldn’t be penalized in the first place. You see, duplicate content applies to content on the same website.

So there, SEOs. You should know better than to throw around a term without understanding what it means. They don’t call me music industry’s master wordsmith for nothing.

If another site publishes your bio and links to your website, technically it can only help you. I say “technically” because there are always exceptions to the rule, but it’s pointless to focus on what hasn’t happened yet.

As you can imagine, syndication is a powerful concept and if you understand and utilize it, it can benefit your music career big time. Remind me to talk more about this in the future (i.e. leave a comment).

Tell Your Story

Sure, there are plenty of artists and bands without a compelling story getting covered in the media every single day. But you must ask yourself whether they’re getting any benefit from it (see my earlier point on reaching the right outlets).

Journalists and media people are trained in quickly spotting and evaluating the newsworthiness of a story.

If there is no story, they will likely pass. If the story is boring or ordinary, they will likely pass. And, there are plenty of other situations in which they will likely pass, such as when the story isn’t in alignment with their core values.

Good headlines sell. You can’t ignore this fact just because you’re an artist. If you want to do PR the right way, the smart way, you’ve got to consider what your story’s headline might be.

A headline is another powerful element often not discussed in the music industry. If you’d like to get a crash course in writing better headlines, read about copywriting basics in my first book, The New Music Industry: Adapting, Growing, and Thriving in The Information Age.

The New Music Industry: Adapting, Growing, and Thriving in The Information Age

Rest assured your publicist is going to be looking for a grabbing headline, and if they can’t find it, they will dig and dig and dig until you’ve got nothing left to offer. If they still can’t come up with anything, you shouldn’t expect your PR campaign to drive stellar results.

And, as Ariel Hyatt shared with us on the podcast, it’s okay if the story is a little made up. Guaranteed your campaigns will do better if you have a strong headline and a powerful accompanying story.

PR Campaigns Aren’t Everything

Getting media coverage is exceptionally useful when it comes to promoting your music. But it’s not a panacea.

Just because you spend a lot of money on it doesn’t mean your face is going to end up on Pitchfork. There truly are no guarantees with PR campaigns.

But if you’re working with the right publicist, and you remain consistent, you will see some positive results. You must pay attention to those results and dig deeper into why your story connected with certain publications.

If you can pinpoint what resonated, you can enhance and amplify it. You can find other outlets that might want to cover your story. You can keep working your way up the chain. You can plan for more successful PR campaigns moving forward.

If you can pinpoint why your story resonated with specific people, you can enhance and amplify it. Share on X

Just don’t pour all your money into PR. There are plenty of other great things you can do with that money, whether it’s funding Facebook ads, investing into traffic generating content (e.g. from yours truly), planning a podcast tour or otherwise.

Ensure your promotional strategy includes more than just publicity.

156 – CD Baby’s DIY Musician Conference Postmortem & Review – with Greg Wilnau of Musician Monster

156 – CD Baby’s DIY Musician Conference Postmortem & Review – with Greg Wilnau of Musician Monster

Have you been thinking about attending CD Baby’s DIY Musician Conference? Not sure whether it’s worth it?

In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, I reflect on the DIY Musician Conference with Greg Wilnau of Musician Monster.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:34 – Special episode with guest Greg Wilnau
  • 00:57 – Austin serendipities
  • 02:02 – What did David get out of the DIY Musician Conference?
  • 03:16 – Meeting people in person for the first time
  • 05:27 – Being mindful of your own energy levels
  • 06:59 – What is your purpose for going to a conference?
  • 11:00 – Is the DIY Musician Conference worth going to?
  • 14:42 – How lasting connections are created
  • 16:07 – Degrees of comfort with creating different content types
  • 19:08 – Learning business is the same thing as learning music
  • 24:11 – Until you confront the ordinariness of your life, you can’t become extraordinary
  • 27:28 – It’s harder to get noticed online than it is on stage
  • 28:31 – Every overnight success is 10 years in the making
  • 29:43 – The costs of attending the conference
  • 31:44 – Weather conditions in different parts of the world
  • 32:47 – Fun in Austin, TX
  • 34:02 – Closing thoughts
  • 34:34 – Where to learn about attending events and conferences

Transcription:

David Andrew: All right. Today, I’ve got a very special episode. I wanted to do a post mortem and review of the DIY Musician Conference in Austin, which was now about a month ago, but who better to have on the show to help me wrap this up than founder and CEO of Musician Monster Greg Wilnau.

So, how are you Greg?

Greg: Doing great, David. How are you doing?

David Andrew: I’m doing awesome. I guess just for a little bit of context, Greg and I managed to meet up down in Austin. And it was kind of a fluke accident because we didn’t know we would both be there at the same time.

Greg: No, we didn’t. It was cool. I was coming out of, I think it was one of the talks, and I walked by. I kind of just glanced over and I saw the name tag, David Andrew from Music Entrepreneur. And I was like, “No way!”

I just kept on walking. I thought maybe I’m seeing things. I kept walking. I turned around. I looked back, and I was like, “That’s David! What’s up, man?” It was just really cool. We hung out the whole time.

David Andrew: We did. We did. And it ended up being a lot of fun. You know, it’s not that there weren’t people I didn’t know there but they were all kind of working, right, at their various booths, or they were doing some presenting or in the case of like Kevin Breuner or Chris Robley, they’re, you know, they’re doing podcast recordings. And this and that and the other.

So, really, it was great to have someone else that didn’t have any commitments and wasn’t obligated to be at their booth or whatever to spend some time with.

Greg: Yeah, man. Absolutely. So, what did you get out of the–? I know you’re not interviewing me but I’m totally curious. What did you get out of the conference? Why do you think that it’s a good thing to go to? What did you get out of it?

David Andrew: Oh, that’s perfect. We should definitely go back and forth on on any questions.

You know, I found the conference to be really chill. That was kind of surprising to me because you know what, some conferences, some events can be a little stressful and hurried. There can be like so many people, so many booths, so many places to go around, or breakout sessions to go to that it can frankly just start to feel very overwhelming.

Greg: Exactly.

David Andrew: I really did not get that sense from this conference at all. It wasn’t too small but it wasn’t too big. You know what I mean? It was a good size. You could meet whoever you wanted to meet, if you knew who they were.

Greg: Absolutely,

David Andrew: Yeah. Like many of the people that I’ve built a relationship with online, I got a chance to meet in person. And just like you, I had those moments too where I was just looking or staring at someone’s name tag going, “Holy crap, is that so and so?” And then I go up and introduce myself. Sure enough. And then we have a conversation about, you know, whatever we were working on together online.

Greg: Yeah, absolutely. It was interesting. It’s always weird meeting people who you’ve only previously met online.

David Andrew: It can be.

Greg: You know, it’s almost like they’re a celebrity. You know what I mean? Like, “Oh, my gosh. They’re in person right now.” I think that meeting somebody in real life always kind of solidifies the relationship. We’re like, “It’s not official until you meet in person.”

But it’s interesting because… I don’t know if you’re… If you’re anything like me, I’m pretty introverted. You know, I’m a musician. I’m super creative. I’m very comfortable being alone and by myself. So, I’m always nervous whenever I go to conferences. You know what I mean?

But I’ve never regretted… I think this is my second or third conference. The first conference I went to, I was super nervous because I had been just working from home and doing my music business from home and I was like, you know, super awkward around people you know. I’ve always been awkward around people. I’m definitely not that suave smooth operator.

But this conference, you’re right dude. It felt a lot different. It was super casual. No pressure. I liked it too because most of the people there obviously were musicians. So, I definitely got the impression that it was casual on purpose.

David Andrew: Yeah. I think it must have been because another thing too is that I just got the sense that these are people that get me, you know. And maybe it’s because for the first time in a while, I’m actually getting out and seeing some of the people who would be my target audience for this podcast, or for my blog, or for the website or what have you.

But I just found that, you know, I wasn’t getting like a deer in the headlights, dead stare from people when I started talking about what I’m doing. Whereas where I live in Calgary…

Greg: Absolutely. Absolutely.

David Andrew: All the time people just have no clue. You talk about internet business. You talk about authoring books. You talk about advertising, or affiliate marketing, or whatever.

Greg: Most people are just like, “Yep. That’s cool. Okay.”

David Andrew: “That’s interesting. So, do you make any money at that?”

Greg: Or, “Do you like sports?” So, they change the subject. They don’t even know.

So, that’s the thing. Like it’s so important, I think, to be around other people who are into what you do. And if you’re a musician, there’s a difference between somebody who’s a musician and somebody who’s determined to make it on their own. Right? Who’s made that decision instead of just hoping somebody will discover them and make things happen for them. A musician who has said, “Okay. It’s up to me. I’m going to do it. Bring it on.”

It's important to be around people who are into what you do. Share on X

So, being around other musicians who are like that, and have that mindset is so freaking critical to staying encouraged, focused, motivated and inspired. And to me, that’s one of the biggest benefits of going to these things. You leave so energized. Right?

David Andrew: Yeah.

And you never know who you could meet too? You know what I mean?

David Andrew: Absolutely. No, I absolutely felt energized going to this conference. And, you know, I was pretty burnt out going into it. So like, I’ve been trying to take a couple vacations this past summer. I still had to be mindful of like, my own energy. Like, if I didn’t feel like or didn’t feel like I could wake up, you know, super early to be there early, I didn’t. And if I didn’t feel like I could stay late, I didn’t. I just took care of myself instead.

But I still tried to soak in as much as I possibly could while I was there because, you know, this only happens once a year.

Greg: Yeah, absolutely.

David Andrew: Yeah.

Greg: I’m curious to know, what you…? I mean, again, I’m not interviewing you. I’m a guest on your podcast. I guess we’re just having a casual conversation here. So no pressure.

David Andrew: Exactly.

Greg: I was wondering. I think we talked about this when we were at the conference. It was the purpose of going, right.

David Andrew: Yeah.

Greg: And I was telling you that, personally, my perspective when I go to a conference isn’t necessarily to learn things as much, even though that can be a result, an implicit result of going, I think. But my intention of going is to meet people. Right?

David Andrew: Yeah.

Greg: I was curious as to what your thoughts were on that. Because obviously, people who are listening to this are going to be interested in the conference, and maybe the benefits of going. Maybe they might not want to go. They’re not sure if it’d be worth it.

So, I’m just wondering if we could kind of talk about that, and maybe your own interpretations about what your thoughts are on the motivation to go.

David Andrew: I mean some of the motivating factors for me – I’ll just start there – are that, you know, I applied to be a speaker there. I guess their roster was pretty full.

Now, my impression of what is going on at the conference right now is that it’s actually still fairly small. I would imagine there’s going to be certain limitations on personnel, as well as monetary resources to have a lot more breakout sessions than they already did. That’s just my impression.

But my point being that, you know, I didn’t get to speak at the CD Baby DIY Musician Conference. And instead, I was given a free ticket. So, you know, that did not…

Greg: Sweet.

David Andrew: Yeah, that didn’t cover my expenses as far as traveling to Austin or, you know, food or lodging or any of that was concerned, but the free ticket was pretty strong motivator because I’d heard about this thing for a few years now. I kept getting invites. I kept getting PR people say, “We’ll introduce you to this, that, and the other.” And finally, I just said, “You know? I gotta go.”

Part of that too… Like, if you’re given a free ticket to an event, don’t you think the implicit message is, you know, we’re interested, you just need to show your face.

Greg: Yeah, exactly.

David Andrew: Especially in the case of a presenter. I feel like that’s sort of implicit in the message too. I felt it was very important for me to show my face.

But I think your intention to meet people is absolutely spot on. I feel like that’s something musicians miss. They go to these things, these hugely inspiring environments where they could meet just about anybody, very influential people in the industry, and they end up meeting no one.

And then secondly, there’s all these opportunities to engage on social media, and tweet about the event and post about the event in Instagram event or whatever. And they don’t do that either.

Greg: I did. Let me confess. I did. I think you were in Simon Tam‘s talk, which was awesome, about social media. And you were tweeting about his talk on social media. And I was sitting there going, “Yep. I hate social media.”

David Andrew: You know what? If it’s not your thing, that’s okay. I just see all these opportunities that people sometimes miss.

But I think just based on my training and everything that I’ve learned and discovered to this point, a conference is a place where you make a decision. You may or may not learn something. You may or may not meet someone who will change your career but you will come across people who are inspiring. And in that moment, it’s up to you. You can make a decision to change your direction, make a decision to make your dreams a reality.

Greg: Right. Yeah. So, okay. Okay. So, we talked about that. I’m wondering if somebody was unsure about whether or not going to a conference like this would be worth it. Specifically, the DIY Musician Conference. Let’s say the cost to fly out, for example, let’s say the ticket wasn’t too bad. It was a few hundred bucks.

But how much did it cost you to fly out? What was the price of the plane ticket to fly from Calgary to Austin, which is like halfway across North America?

David Andrew: Yeah, exactly. First of all, I couldn’t even fly directly to Austin. Apparently, there are some flights coming out soon that will allow us to travel directly from Calgary to Austin but there are none at this time. So that meant that I flew to San Francisco, and then to Austin. And there’s a few different options as far as where you can have a connecting flight from but that’s the one that kind of seemed to make the most sense to me based on timing. I believe, between the two flights, probably would have been $400 or $500 Canadian.

Greg: Oh, wow. Okay. I think my flight from Central Florida… I was direct to Austin, was only like 75 bucks. I’m sure that the reason for that is because I was traveling within the States.

Like when we were in Europe all last year, we were traveling throughout Europe, like especially through the EU to fly, it was really inexpensive. I think flying, depends on where you’re flying from, but the cost to fly… unless you get super lucky like you’re in the city. I think next year DIY Musician Conference is going to be in Austin again.

David Andrew: Yes.

Greg: So, unless you’re lucky, you’re going to have to fly to get out there. What I use is Google Flights. The earlier you get on the flight to buy your ticket, the less expensive it will be. So, I just did. I bought a few months in advance. It was like 75 bucks round trip. And then I stayed at an Airbnb for three nights. And it was like… I mean the whole thing was under… I want to say under 500 bucks to go.

David Andrew: Yeah. You did it like a boss. I’m learning from you. Of course, you have a head start on this whole digital nomad and traveling thing.

Greg: Yeah, I suppose. That’s true. If you’re listening right now, you are worried about cost, take this advice, right. Do Airbnb, Google Flights, book in advance. The earlier you take action on it, the better there.

What they do is they’ll steadily incrementally increase the price of the tickets, right? And so, make the decision early on and go, right. The reason they do that is because you’ll never make the decision. Like if there’s no urgency there, it’ll be easy for us to sit on the fence and choose not to go.

So, if you’re thinking about it and you want to go, then just do it. Like, save your spot. Block in the low price. And then the earlier you take action, the least expensive it’ll be. And you’ll get a lot out of it too. And if you go… I’m going to go next year. I’m sure Andrew is. And he’s going to be… You might even be speaking this year. I don’t know if I will.

David Andrew: Yes, it’s possible.

Greg: Possible. But come say hi to us.

David Andrew: Yeah, absolutely. If you’re going to be there and you hear this show, come on. Yeah. Come say hi. Let us know that you heard this.

Greg: We’ll have a beer.

David Andrew: Yeah, absolutely we will.

And that was one of the great things about it is really sitting down and talking after the fact. You know, after the sessions have been over, Greg and I went downstairs. Went to the hotel lounge, which is just right there when you come down the stairs, and just hang out and chatted there.

And likewise, you know, you saw people like Dave Cool or other people who had booths or presenters just sitting there chatting with each other too.

Greg: Yeah. And they do like exclusive offers that you can only get when you’re at conferences like this. So, it’s super worth it. You never know what could happen too.

I think Rick Barker pulled me on his stage… pulled me on the stage for his presentation. And that was super cool. Yeah. I got to meet Cheryl Engelhardt. After her presentation, I was able to grab her laptop for her. And she ended up coming on my podcast because of it. Because obviously, you know, reciprocity. Right? And that was cool. So yeah, you never know what could happen.

David Andrew: Yeah. How did you feel when Rick called you up on stage?

Greg: I was like, “Oh, shit. What’s he gonna be doing? What’s he doing?” That was cool. I’m totally comfortable. I’m actually more comfortable being on stage than doing like a live presentation online with like a webinar or something.

I get super nervous when I do webinars, but onstage, very fine. Plus, Rick, you know. Oh, whatever. You know. Just good stuff.

David Andrew: Well, you do one thing and expect it to be all the same. Like for example, podcasting. This is a fairly relaxed chat, you know, there’s no pressure. But suddenly you get onto video, and it’s a whole other world. And suddenly go on stage and it’s a whole other world, right?

Greg: Yes. Like degrees of comfort and what you’re used to and being out of your comfort zone. It’s just like music. Being on stage for the first time playing a new song is uncomfortable. You’ve practiced it so many times in rehearsal, and then you get comfortable doing rehearsal. And then, the first time you do it live in front of an audience, whether it’s a room of no people or a room of 500 people, you know, there are degrees of comfort.

So the more you do something, the more comfortable you get. But yeah, the first time is always uncomfortable. But for some reason, webinars haven’t gotten any more comfortable. I think I just need to do… I think I’ve done like 10 to 15 webinars maybe. I need to do some more. But I still get nervous as hell.

David Andrew: You’ll get better man. For sure you will. I remember doing all those gigs to get to the point where I felt comfortable performing live. It was many, many gigs. I was really down on myself at first, like super critical. I would just be like, “Oh, it was a terrible show.” I don’t do that anymore. Part of the reason is like; I feel very comfortable on stage at this point performing as a musician. Right? So.

Greg: Yeah. Way more comfortable than doing anything else. Even doing podcast interviews. Like this one isn’t bad. But no, there’s no pressure. It’s casual.

But it’s way easier to be a musician on stage than it is to engage in like a business setting. Whether it be free content, or doing some kind of talk or something. Because I’ve done it so many times, you know. I’ve done it as a musician. I’ve done it way more of my life, than I have this stuff.

Sometimes I’m just like, “Can I just go back to that?” But you know, there’s phases in life, right. There are phases. Not that I haven’t stopped doing music, you know. I’m never going to. It’s time right now to network and meet people, and grow my business and focus on that.

And then, I think next year, I’m going to start doing the music part again. This last year, I took a break from the music and focused on building it. That’s the cool thing, you know. Because I got super burned out, right. I was just sitting in my room writing music, playing a few gigs, and hoping something would happen.

And then it started to grow, like really… Like a lot. And then I got super burnt out. So, then I started investing in scaling my music business. I needed to learn, you know, a few things.

And that’s what’s cool about the conferences is one of the things that I was super bad at was talking to people. I need to get better at that. The conference offers great opportunity to do that.

David Andrew: Well, yeah. And first of all, I really relate to your story. I’ve sort of been in the same position too. I don’t know if I ever got burnt out on music, per se. I mean I kind of have my love and hate moments with it. But it just kind of came to the point where I wanted to take a closer look at the practical side of life. I really genuinely got excited about business.

I know it’s a strange thing to say because some people listening can’t necessarily relate to that whole thing of music entrepreneurship and what that means to them. But to me, yeah, just like the most exciting thing I could possibly imagine.

And it’s one of the reasons that I wanted to take a closer look. Like you, I don’t think I’ll ever quit making music. I don’t want to die with the best song in me. And I’ve got my best songs to record yet at this point.

Greg: Yeah, absolutely. I think too. I wanted to be heard. You know what I mean? I told this story before. I guess I could tell for your audience. A few years ago, I was playing… I’ve always been in a band. I was playing, you know, practicing all the time. I was always in a band doing live music. I was doing music on the side and doing my… going to my day job to earn income, right. So, I was a construction worker.

I was a construction worker in Florida, which is really hot. It’s freaking hot. And my day job as a construction worker was, I installed air conditioning HVA systems in residential and commercial buildings.

And one day, it was the middle of summer, and I was in the attic. And the day before, I had this gig. There are a ton of people there. It was a great gig. I just made no money. I was making no money for my music. I was like really getting burnt out. Because you can only do something so long and not get paid. Like it’s not about the money. No, it was never about the money. It’s not sustainable not to earn income from that.

Being paid to do what you love is the most inspirational feeling that you could ever feel. Writing music is different, but then, for somebody else to say, “Okay. I value what you’re doing. Here’s my hard earned money.” It just totally validates it in a way that I can’t describe. You know what I mean? Up to that point, I had never really felt that.

So, I was in that attic. And I was asking myself why, you know, what have I done wrong? I can’t describe what really happened but the answer came to me and I realized that the reason I hadn’t made money was because I was hoping somebody else would figure it out for me. I was hoping somebody else would do it for me.

That was all totally subconscious. I had never known that the only reason I wasn’t making money is because I had hoped somebody else would do it. And therefore I hadn’t just made the decision to figure it out for myself.

As soon as that came into my awareness, it was like a light bulb went off, a little light bulb moment. I was like, “Shit.” And I had a choice to make. I could clearly make a choice. Keep doing what I had always done or figure something out.

So, I went home and I put together this little… Like I called it my five ways plan to make money from my live gigs. And this isn’t a marketing thing. This is really what I did. I wrote it at the top. It was just a simple spreadsheet. I broke it into five steps. All right? Things that I needed to do to start making money from the gigs I was already playing.

And within one month, I was making over $1,000 per month from my live gigs, and it kind of grew from there. It was at that point that I was like, “Okay. I need to share this with other people.” The bottleneck was always me getting out of my comfort zone to talk to other people about my music and my music business.

That was one of the reasons that motivated me to go to conferences. Because it’s degrees of comfort. You know what I mean? The first degree of comfort was, I had to admit to myself that it was my fault that I was not getting the results that I wanted. And then that empowered me to then say, “Okay. I now choose otherwise.” I was able to make a decision and take action on that.

And then the bottleneck was, well, I suck at talking to people. It’s totally uncomfortable. So then I could say, “Okay. Well then, I now choose otherwise. I’m going to get comfortable out and start going to conferences.”

And as you go through that the business continues to grow as you overcome these different degrees of comfort and these plateaus and you address them face on. It’s really cool because it’s really similar with music. As we learn new skills with our music, practice our fundamentals, our skills, our rudiments, that never goes away. Right? We build on that.

Your business continues to grow as you overcome different degrees of comfort and plateaus and you address them face on. Share on X

It’s the same thing with business, which is cool. I think that what you were talking about earlier is when I realized that business is the same as learning music. Learning business is the same as learning music. That’s when it clicked.

I was like, “Oh my God. It’s the same freakin’ thing.” And every skill that I learned as a musician, applied. If you can become a musician, if you can learn music, you can do freaking anything, dude. I think that’s what I realized. So that’s a little tangent there. I’m sorry.

David Andrew: No. I appreciate you sharing that. And something I heard recently that I really liked – until you confront the ordinariness of your life, you can’t become extraordinary. In other words, you sort of have to come to the point where you realize, “I’m not going to amount to anything continuing on as I am.”

Greg: That’s really scary.

David Andrew: Yeah. But once you confront it, it is a little depressing at first. But I discovered once you confront that, there’s a peace that comes over you. And then suddenly, you’re coming from a place of like curiosity about the world. Now you’re trying to find something out. It’s a little bit more…

Greg: Whereas, before you’d be making excuses because you’d be running from that realization, I think. But before you have it, before you realize, “Yeah. If I keep doing the things I’ve always done, I’m going to get the same results, I’m going to be mediocre.”

If you keep doing the things you've always done, you're going to get the same results. You're going to be mediocre. Share on X

David Andrew: Exactly.

Greg: And until you accept that, you spend your whole life running from it, and making excuses.

David Andrew: That’s right.

Greg: And you can’t not be mediocre when you make the decision not to be. You know what I mean?

David Andrew: Yeah. And certainly, after confronting that, I’m finding myself gradually moving towards my dreams and living the dream that I’d set out to. And that’s a whole different feeling too. It’s actually kind of a strange feeling.

But now, you know, I haven’t mentioned this on the podcast yet, but I get to travel the world while building my business. I mean what could be more exciting, right? I wanted that location independence. It was next on my list but I wasn’t sure how long that was going to take or when I’d be able to do that. And having arrived here, it’s a very, very interesting feeling.

Greg: Yeah, absolutely. We were talking about this at the conference too, weren’t we?

We were talking about… It’s like music. You practice for years and years and years, and you just steadily and slowly get better. It’s not like one day you wake up and you’re like, “Oh, my God. I’ve arrived. I’m the other musician I’ve always wanted to be.” It’s not like that.

You know what I mean? It’s just slow steady progress and making the habit of becoming a musician. You become a musician, right? It’s a lifestyle. It’s a choice. It’s an action. It’s a habit.

David Andrew: We were.

Greg: Just like building a business. Like you were talking about. Slowly dude. Slowly, so slowly. These incremental things. And I was like, “Dude. You’re location independent.” That’s a huge thing.

I mean for me, like that’s… Getting to the point where I no longer had to go to my day job and I could focus full time on my music business was something that happened pretty gradually.

But the biggest distinction was when I made that decision and how fast the results were, because I had all this pent-up energy, this pent up desire. But then after that, it’s just super slow. Just little slow milestones. But yeah, dude. It’s the same thing with music, you know?

David Andrew: Well, it’s so easy to compare yourself to some of these music marketing wizards who seemingly come out of nowhere and suddenly are taking up the market.

But right now, Greg, you’re kind of that guy because you built up your chops and now you came along and you’ve built Musician Monster, and you’re doing some cool things.

Greg: Thanks, man. It’s interesting. My success in my music didn’t come from digital marketing. It came from live show marketing. For marketing at my live shows and using the internet as infrastructure to facilitate and scale.

But digital marketing is always… It’s a lot harder to get noticed online than it is on stage. You know what I mean? Because when you’re on stage, everybody’s looking at you. You have that attention. But when you’re online, it’s like, “Who the fuck is this guy?” Or, you know.

So, yeah. It’s taken a long time but I feel like I’m finally seeing progress. It’s exciting.

David Andrew: Yeah, absolutely. It’s really cool. I guess my point is that you’ve heard it before, but every success is 10 years in the making. Every overnight success is 10 years in the making.

Every overnight success is 10 years in the making. Share on X

Greg: Even as a musician, I don’t know. I mean I guess there are a few virtuosos. But even Mozart started playing piano when he was three, you know, so you got to think. Like by the time he was 13, he had already been playing for 10 years. You know what I mean?

So if you met Mozart when he was 13, you’d be like, “Holy shit. This guy’s amazing. He’s a natural. What a genius.” No. He’s just been practicing every day for 12 hours for 10 years. You know?

David Andrew: Yeah. You know, that’s been a theme. Even some of my earliest podcast recordings was this whole idea that you could be the absolute best guitarist in the world. But if you’re not on YouTube, like people can’t find you. They could still be out there, honestly. They could be sitting in their basement somewhere in Czech Republic or whatever. And they’re not discovered and nobody knows who they are because they don’t have any marketing or anything behind them.

Yeah, going back to what you said about price. Definitely, there are more affordable ways of doing it. I think coming from Canada, you probably will end up paying somewhere between $300 to $500 for the flight. That just seems kind of inevitable, but like Greg, you can totally stay at Airbnb.

I was on vacation. So, I ended up staying at a hotel but a cheap hotel, nonetheless. So, I could kind of relax and be in a little bit of comfort. But coming from Canada, yeah, it might cost you a little bit more in the States. I’m guessing most flights are going to be pretty reasonable.

Greg: Yeah. And also, if you’re in Europe or if you’re in Australia, I don’t know to tell you what the value. But, yeah. If you’re in Europe, I do believe they do a European version of the DIY Musician Conference. There are also tons of conferences for musicians in Europe. So, you don’t necessarily have to fly all the way out to the States for the conference.

David Andrew: That’s right.

Greg: But, yeah. Don’t let cost be a factor.

David Andrew: Valencia Spain. Yeah, that’s usually where they have it in Europe. It looks promising.

Greg: Dude, the weather in Spain. Have you ever been to Spain?

David Andrew: I haven’t.

Greg: Dude, the weather’s pretty good. It’s funny because all the UK people are super nice but the weather there is just total shade. It rains all the time. We were in the UK for like six months, and then we flew to Spain. I was like, “Oh my gosh, this weather is…” Weather really does affect things.

I’m from Florida. I didn’t really realize it until… I was in Florida my whole life until like a few years ago. I’d never seen snow before until about a year and a half ago. I didn’t realize how much weather affects things.

So, go to Spain, and experience the beautiful weather at least for a week. And then you can go back, but it’s just great. I highly recommend it.

David Andrew: Yeah, weather is quite a bit different depending on where you go. And speaking of which, Austin, it’s basically like walking out into a sauna anytime you go aside. That’s my impression of it.

Greg: It was bad dude. I’m from Florida. It was bad.

David Andrew: I don’t know if it was bad. Just something to be mindful of.

Greg: It’s pretty bad. It’s pretty bad.

David Andrew: Well, I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it. I’m weird like that.

Greg: Go to Florida. And I used to work in construction. So like in the heat outside. And I’ve become pretty heat averse, where I actually really liked the cold. Like I’m praying for cold and snow now. I might be a freak of nature too.

David Andrew: Yeah, I don’t know. I’ve just been in Canada for 20 plus years in my life. We barely get a summer. It just doesn’t last long enough, Greg.

Greg: Yeah. Like if I was used to seeing snow all the time, and it was cold all the time, I would probably be begging for some heat too. So, absolutely.

David Andrew: Did you have any other impressions of Austin? Did you get to see anything else?

Greg: No, we walked around a bit. You and I did when we went to lunch.

David Andrew: Yes. And there was a dude with a chicken on his shoulder, wasn’t there?

Greg: So, I guess they have more homeless people in Austin. There are some homeless people around but they were pretty interesting, right? That one guy who was yelling out. What is it? Something about Jesus or something? And then, the guy with the chicken on his shoulder. Now, he’s saying, “My name is not Jesus. It’s Hesus. There’s no “J” in the something alphabet.”

David Andrew: He did say that.

I guess to offer like a general overview of Austin, it’s the live music capital of the world. Or so they say. Third fastest growing city in the States right now. And people are saying it’s the new Silicon Valley. So, there you go.

Greg: Interesting.

David Andrew: Yeah. So that makes it a… I think because of all these new jobs that are being created and startups and all that, that’s what’s driving a lot of young people now to the city of Austin.

But yeah, you do have the heat to contend with for sure. Any other memorable moments from the conference?

Greg: Nothing stands out, man. I think we covered them all. It was a great time.

David Andrew: Yeah, it was a really good time. So yeah, again next year. It’s at Austin again, and hopefully we’ll see you all down there. All 1,000 listeners of this show. You better be there. You better be there. Okay.

Greg: We’ll have a party.

David Andrew: Yeah, exactly. We’ll get together. We’ll have a party. Thanks so much for your time, Greg.

Greg: You’re welcome, David.

David Andrew: All right.

In my first book, The New Music Industry: Adapting, Growing, and Thriving in The Information Age, I talk more about going to conferences and events and the importance of it.

So, if you’d like to learn more, go to davidandrewwiebe.com/eBook, don’t get caught up in the URL. It’s not just an eBook. It’s a physical book too. And you can see what people have had to say about it. And there have been some very kind words.

Go to davidandrewwiebe.com/eBook to claim your copy and begin your personal growth journey.

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