You Are the Magic Bullet

You Are the Magic Bullet

We spend our whole lives looking for something, anything to take our business to the next level, help us kick an addiction, have a breakthrough in our relationships, and more.

I have a friend who’s continually searching for the marketing tactic that’s going to take her business over the top. Every time she’s discovered something new, it’s as if she’s found another hidden gift under the Christmas tree.

Ongoing self-education is important, and I think it’s amazing that she’s always on the hunt for the breakthrough that’s going to help her grow her business.

But personally, I have long since given up on the idea of a magic bullet. I look at everything with a level head. It hasn’t stopped me from searching far and wide, but I’ve found every “magical” formula is plagued with one of three problems:

  • It’s too difficult and time consuming to implement (even though the creators always say it’s “easy,” when realistically you don’t have five hours per day to implement – so you stagnate)
  • It doesn’t help you out of the hole you’ve already dug (and many entrepreneurs have made mistakes too numerous to mention, whether it’s alienating their audience or breaking key promises), leaving you with little choice but to start over
  • It doesn’t work – it could be because the strategy is out of date, it could be because the strategy never worked (scam), or it could be because there’s an ingredient intentionally or unintentionally missing in the strategy

Don’t mistake what I’m saying. I haven’t lost hope. Not even in the slightest.

What I’m saying is, first, you’ve got to pick something and go with it. Second, you’ve got to keep the faith and stay consistent with it. And third, you’ve got to be willing to blaze a trail and forge your own path to success. Because you can’t go the same way everyone else has gone and expect to get to where they’ve gotten.

Fundamentally, though, it doesn’t matter what the issue, or problem, or challenge is. You’re the miracle. You’re the magic bullet you’ve been waiting for.

If you want to grow your business, you could launch 52 videos in 2023.

If you want to get in a relationship, you could start asking your friends for referrals (“hey, do you have any hot, single friends?”).

If you want to shake an addiction, you could replace it with meditation.

I’m not saying it’s easy. I’m not even saying it’s comfortable. But that’s what makes you the miracle. Because at any given moment, you can get up off the couch and declare, “That’s it! That’s enough! It’s time for me to make a change!” And then go and do what you need to do.

You don’t need more strategy, or thinking, or reflection, or prayer to figure out what you need to do. You know what you need to do. What you need to do is go and do the scary thing.

Don’t wait for the miracle. You are the miracle, So, go and be the miracle for yourself, and for others. When others see that you can be the miracle, they’ll know that they can be the miracle too.

I’m Declaring 2023 the Year of the Podcast

I’m Declaring 2023 the Year of the Podcast

I never quite know where my holiday reflections might take me.

As I shared the other day, I’ve been thinking seriously about a change in direction, specifically in my work life. Chiefly, I’m not happy about one of my partnerships, and I’m going to be letting it go.

I’ve had to think long and hard about my next steps, as I will need to replace a good chunk of my income.

The answer I’ve arrived at surprised even me, because I’m looking at doubling down on two to three avenues, with one of them being podcasting.

Why is that surprising? Because, at times, I’ve felt a little burned out on podcasting (especially in 2022).

But for some reason, I haven’t quite been able to shake the image of myself talking into a microphone (while capturing the sessions on video). As one of my friends pointed out, I am good at it, and I have a ton of experience behind me.

Doubling down on podcasting will doubtless mean creating far more content, not just for one podcast, but multiple podcasts. And I have shared a little bit about one of my new projects earlier this month.

Even with all the burning out, I’m honestly excited about exploring the outer reaches of what’s possible with podcasting again. I’m tired of stagnating and getting nowhere with some of my endeavors, and I could be wrong, but I feel like the only thing between me, and my goals is more visibility. If people knew me and knew about my products, the puzzle pieces would begin to fall into place.

There is no other content channel – at least none that I’m aware of – that allows you to distribute your content to so many places at once without a ton of manual labor. Apple Music, Amazon Music, Spotify, and many others. And, if you’re thinking about live streaming your show (as I am), you can easily roll destinations like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter into your mix too.

So, I’m declaring 2023 the year of the podcast. I’ll be exploring every possible avenue for collaboration, syndication, and monetization. Join me on this journey, won’t you?

The End of an Era

The End of an Era

I still remember the day I discovered the Jetpack plugin and how powerful it was.

I got hooked on the Publicize feature quite early, as it allowed you to connect multiple social media destinations and have your blog posts automatically distributed to your chosen social accounts.

It’s one of the reasons I even prioritized blogging over social media – because I knew that if I published a blog post, updates would be posted to multiple social media channels without my direct involvement.

Jetpack was also the gateway to the handful of presentations I gave at WordCamp Calgary on turning WordPress into a distribution and syndication machine.

Things are obviously changing at Jetpack, because now, they’re looking to charge a fee for their best features, including Publicize, which they now call “Social.” The feature is heavily discounted for the first month at $1.36, but they’re looking to charge $13.50 monthly on an annual subscription.

The Price Tag Puts it in Perspective

It’s Jetpack’s decision to do with their software as they please. They’ve developed what I would consider a great suite of tools for newbie WordPress users over the years.

But $13.50 is well out of the ballpark of what I would consider reasonable, given the rather mediocre results it has produced for me. I’ve experimented with different traffic channels for a decade now, and for me, search engines have always come out on top by a huge margin to the tune of several hundred visits per day. While social media delivers, on average, a meager two to five visits per day.

Yes, I know I said I was excited about Publicize, but putting a price tag on it puts this all into perspective.

To me, social media is only worth it if it’s connected to three key results:

  • Relationships
  • Leads / email subscribers
  • Sales

I don’t care about brand exposure and know all to well how little difference it makes. Traffic is nice, but it’s a vanity metric compared to email subscribers. Views, likes, shares, and even comments amount to little if they don’t lead to relationships, leads, or sales.

Facebook (my top social media channel), for example, has delivered 5,852 visits to Music Entrepreneur HQ since August 2016.

Considering the average conversion rate of a website (2 to 5%), I’ve hypothetically converted 117 to 293 people into subscribers in that time (which might even be a little generous). Those numbers may not be anything to sneeze at, but if I were to 80/20 my marketing, social media probably wouldn’t even make it into the mix.

Open Source Used to Mean Something

This is not a pointed message aimed at Jetpack, or for that matter, WordPress.

But open source used to mean something. I referenced WordCamp earlier, but whenever I shared at such events, I was not paid for my time or hard-gotten knowledge, and I was discouraged from selling my books or CDs.

I love helping people, and if I had to do it all over again, I don’t think I would have done it any differently. Public speaking is fun to me, and I’ve always enjoyed masterminding with others.

But Jetpack is clearly headed in a different direction.

People evolve. Software evolves. I take no issue with any of it. But as I’ve already hinted at, I can’t imagine paying what Jetpack is asking for the privilege of having my posts distributed to social media alone. The functionality is a little too rudimentary. For $13.50 per month, it better do more than publicize my posts (hint – it doesn’t).

There Are Worthy Alternatives

Jetpack has been great to me. And I am grateful for all that it has done for me. But now that there’s a price tag attached to a rather simple function, I’m going to be in search of alternatives. There are still plenty of free and low-cost substitutes out there, including virtual assistants.

I’ve been hearing rumors of Yoast SEO integrating with Zapier, and my impression so far is that it’s not terribly cost effective either, but it does put a lot more possibilities at your fingertips since it connects to social media platforms too numerous to mention.

For about the same amount of money as Jetpack, there’s also OnlyWire, which lets you connect to about 20 networks. And I don’t think their price has changed since their inception.

What do you think? Will you be paying for Jetpack Social? Do you use social media distribution tools? If so, what do you use and what do you like about it?

You Don’t Need WordPress Anymore

Don’t get me wrong – you still need a home on the web.

And this is not some emotionally charged backlash against WordPress or Jetpack. I have had a great experience with both, and most of my sites will likely remain on WordPress.

But more than ever, this sentiment – “you don’t need WordPress anymore” rings true. Most intelligent entrepreneurs and independent creators have found their way over to tools like KLEQ, which work as all-in-one website builders, blogs, campaign and sales funnel builders, course platforms, and membership sites.

You don’t need countless plugins, apps, and integrations to make your store and course platform work anymore. You can do it all from one, central, convenient location now.

And if there’s a feature missing, you can request it. A company that has their customers at the forefront (like KLEQ), will happily add these features for you.

Of course, there is a premium price tag attached to a tool like KLEQ, but compared to the cost of developing a WordPress site from scratch, installing plugins, duct taping software integrations together, and paying for multiple SaaS subscriptions? The cost of KLEQ is moderate.

282 – Making SubmitHub Even Better – with Jason Grishkoff

282 – Making SubmitHub Even Better – with Jason Grishkoff

SubmitHub is one of the music industry’s leading platforms for connecting musicians with bloggers, Spotify playlists, influencers, YouTubers, radio stations, labels, and more. It’s our favorite service of its kind!

But if there’s one thing you can count on, it’s change. Whether it’s updates to the SubmitHub platform, or new competitors in the market, the industry has been evolving since we last talked with Jason.

And in this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, founder of SubmitHub and Indie Shuffle Jason Grishkoff shares how he’s been making SubmitHub even better for all users.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:44 – Return guest, Jason Grishkoff
  • 02:09 – How has Jason been doing post-pandemic?
  • 03:05 – SubmitHub’s “night” mode
  • 05:52 – SubmitHub’s growth
  • 08:54 – SubmitHub competitors
  • 15:03 – No more music premiers
  • 18:14 – Adjustments to influencer prices
  • 26:50 – The “choose for me” button
  • 32:09 – The 2022 wish list and the marketplace
  • 41:26 – Spotify data
  • 45:58 – What else is Jason excited about?

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Think, Reflect, Read, Listen

Think, Reflect, Read, Listen

This is my wont during the holidays. I think, I reflect, I read, and I listen. It’s how one of my more popular posts on 15 holiday reflections came into existence. It came out of a period of deep reflection.

If there is a process to it, it’s loose at best. Mainly, I consume large amounts of information in search of inspiration and ideas. Whether it’s books, podcasts, videos, courses, or otherwise, I focus on the input and not on action. Not yet. Action will come later.

I often feel stirred to action as I’m reading or listening, but as much as possible, I concentrate instead on documenting ideas, realizations, and action items.

But this year, my focus has changed a bit.

I’m not just looking for cool ideas anymore. In the past, I may have been content with fleeting spiritual insights or neat business tactics, but this year, I’m looking for real-world, concretely applicable ideas I can use that will move my life forward.

This year, I’m motivated. I’m not content with where I am and I’m looking for change, especially in my work life. And I know that’s going to mean taking some calculated risks.

So, my focus this season has been on forming a strategy, an action plan. I know I can’t delay if I want 2023 to be a different year than the last, so I’m listening intently and openly for the ideas that are going to transform my life. I think I’ve found a handful of worthy ideas already.

Once I’m ready to act, I must act with urgency. That’s why I’m storing up energy instead of expending it now.

I also find myself thinking bigger than ever. Life is too short for small ideas. I may as well make my biggest pitches now. Otherwise, I may never get the chance.