Let the Archiving Begin

Let the Archiving Begin

Produce the minimum amount of content for the maximum amount of results. Too many companies bury themselves in content: sales decks, testimonials, thought leadership articles, case studies. Half of it goes unused or unseen. More content does not mean more leads or business. The equation of “the more busy I am, the more successful I am” is just not true. – Robert Rose

Reflection offers an opportunity to identify and integrate necessary life and business lessons.

After taking a near two-month long sabbatical from the content hamster wheel that was rapidly swallowing my life whole, I have begun to see content creation from a whole new perspective.

Rose’s quote tells most of the story. But I picked up another key insight from him, which is that if someone interacts with your content, and they leave with a bad taste in their mouth, they’re unlikely to return.

That got me thinking.

I embraced James Schramko’s own the racecourse methodology around 2016. This involves setting up a blog with categories that relate to your audience’s paint points and rolling out a steady stream of news pieces, updates, reviews, and other articles.

I still believe strongly in the model and it’s viable strategy even today… if done right.

At the time, though, content and SEO were like the Wild West. Everyone was in a mad rush to land grab their chosen keywords, pumping out new articles like it was a Piranha feeding frenzy. Quantity was the name of the game, oftentimes to the determent of quality.

As much as possible, I focused on producing and curating quality content for my business, Music Entrepreneur HQ. Over the years, though, we had many requests for backlinks and guest posts. We said “no” to most, but sensing an opportunity, we acquiesced, and the bloodstream of our ecosystem was suddenly flooded with infographics, essay writing services, and generic nonsense. Eventually, some lesser content slipped through the cracks. In hindsight, it was like injecting the wrong ingredient – let’s say large quantities of pickle juice – into a perfectly good cake mix.

Although we did our best to update, consolidate, and/or eliminate old content, it was a far cry from a thorough content audit.

I was so caught up in working in my business that I had no time or energy left over to work on my business. I couldn’t see the bigger picture. I couldn’t see that being busier simply wasn’t going to lead to desired outcomes.

Finally, I realized it was time for a change.

Realistically, I knew I couldn’t pump out dozens of articles per day like Entrepreneur or Forbes, and even if I could, I would need significantly more traffic to my sites to generate even a few hundred dollars per month from advertising and affiliate sales.

There’s a way to make it as a creator or independent entrepreneur. But publishing more for the sake of publishing more isn’t it.

There’s a way to make it as a creator or independent entrepreneur. But publishing more for the sake of publishing more isn’t it. Click To Tweet

It takes hard work to get the attention of a reader, listener, or viewer, never mind keeping their attention. So, I can’t afford to keep content that turns people off my brands.

And so, the time has come to archive content, and the archiving has already begun. You can expect many posts from this site, Music Entrepreneur HQ, and even our YouTube channel to start disappearing.

This doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to access this content anymore. We’ve created (or are in the process of creating) multiple options for you.

First and foremost, members of Elite Players: All Access Pass (tiered access to come) will always be able to dive into a ton of archived training, podcast episodes, and blog posts.

Secondly, some of the content is being compiled and put into books.

Finally, if you haven’t already signed up for our free PDF Vault, know that there are over 100 eBooks, blog posts, podcast transcripts, cheat sheets, and other great resources stashed away in there (and we plan to add several hundred more).

You will need to enter your email to sign up for the PDF Vault, and you will automatically be added to our music marketing newsletter, but hey, we want to connect with you in a more meaningful way, and we hope you feel the same way.

It’s time to embrace something I’ve been teaching for years – clearing the clutter. Clutter takes up mind space and doesn’t pay the rent, and it’s high time I let go of things that no longer serve me in the present.

Expect archiving and locking content to be a regular part of our new workflow, because we will lock away what isn’t generating traffic or business. But there will always be a sizable body of free work you can enjoy at your leisure.

Google Hates Me, So Here’s What I Did

Google Hates Me, So Here’s What I Did

I’m finally breaking a prolonged silence to share about the new homepage layout.

Have you seen it yet?

New homepage layout

I know you might have some questions about my absence, and I promise those will all be answered by the end of this post, but first I need to get something off my chest…

It’s Official – Google Hates Me

I have always known that there are forces working against me. But at this point it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say it’s affecting my professional life.

Originally, Google gave me no love for the extensive, value adding content on Music Entrepreneur HQ.

Fair enough. This stuff takes time.

But when they finally ranked me for something, it was for a book review for Dr. Joseph Murphy’s The Power of Your Subconscious Mind, sending me loads of traffic for something completely unrelated to my niche – gee, thanks! How am I supposed to serve the law of attraction crowd and a musician tribe at the same time? It’s hard enough building credibility with one crowd let alone two!

(I’m not ungrateful – we eventually found a way to leverage that traffic too, but it was just one post mixed in among hundreds of relevant posts about building a music career.)

Obviously, you can’t take isolated incidents as final. But it doesn’t end there… Not even close.

This is How Google – Infuriatingly – Wants You to See Me

Google “David Andrew Wiebe,” and this is what comes up:

David Andrew Wiebe knowledge panel

Wonderful. Fabulous. Google thinks I’m a musician.

Is that a problem? Well, no. Except that I have not actively been promoting myself as a musician for over a decade. If I had been doing that, I’m sure I’d have more than seven monthly listeners on Spotify.

I still make music, sure, and I’ve got some big plans for my next release. But that’s beside the point.

What exactly does it do to my reputation as a musician coach when people see I’ve got a whole seven monthly listeners on Spotify?

It discredits me. It makes me look foolish, that’s what.

I built my career on YouTube, SoundCloud, and ReverbNation. That’s how long I’ve been around. Spotify didn’t even exist when I was first getting started.

Google also seems to want to promote me as an actor. Well, I’m still waiting to hear back about those roles…

(Could it be because I don’t live in Hollywood and haven’t been actively auditioning for roles that I don’t have a solid career in acting?! Hmm…)

Anyway, Google “Tony Robbins” instead and see what his knowledge panel looks like:

Tony Robbins knowledge panel

Beautiful. Awe-inspiring. Shows the best side of his work (mostly).

So why the hell can’t I have a knowledge panel that looks like that?

Because Google won’t let me.

I went and claimed the damn panel, verified myself, and I still can’t edit. And I’m frickin’ David Andrew Wiebe for crying out loud! There’s only one of us!

I reached out to Google and haven’t heard diddly squat.

All I’m asking for is a little bit of control over what shows up when people search for me. Show my music releases, fine, but could you also show my books and relevant social media profiles please?

To denounce all the work, I’ve done outside of making music is to COMPLETELY ignore six books, hundreds of posts on this blog, Medium, Tealfeed, hundreds of podcast episodes on Apple Podcasts (and elsewhere), hundreds of videos on YouTube, multiple courses, and frankly the insane amount of work I’ve put into becoming a content creator, author, designer, and musician coach. I frickin’ dedicated my life to this work!

Google, could you please do something about this?

If Tony can look his best in your search results, can’t I too? Can’t you show my best side instead of focusing on platforms where people barely even check out my stuff?

I’ve got a substantial following on Twitter, Medium, and Tealfeed at the very least. Could we focus on those platforms instead?

Show my music, sure, but it should probably go below my books at this point.

So, yeah, a homepage redesign showcasing what I want people to know about me was clearly in order.

<!– Rant over. –>

Now let me answer a few quick questions before calling it a day. How’s that for giving a damn, Google?

Are You Okay?

Yes, thanks for asking.

I have been living nomadically out of Airbnbs for the last couple of months.

After taking a long-awaited two-week vacation in Chilliwack, I have been bouncing around from Langley to Port Coquitlam and soon to Surrey in a “working vacation” type scenario.

Understandably, there has been an “adjustment period” in making it all work, but it’s starting to fall together.

I consider myself fortunate that I get to travel and work remotely and daily remind myself to focus on the blessings rather than the minor inconveniences and annoyances I’ve experienced along the way.

If you do happen across a sweet deal for a ground floor or basement suite between $800 to $1,500 per month in the Tri-Cities area, though, do let me know ($1,200 or less is preferred).

Where Can I Find You?

You ever heard the saying “birds of a feather flock together?”

Well, this is exactly what’s been happening as of late as I quickly become addicted to BIGO LIVE.

After passing my audition to become a host, I have been streaming almost daily.

If you’d like to catch up with me, download the app and use the invitation code 2721876854 to earn some surprise bonuses.

I’ve also been putting out some free audio trainings on Telegram. You can follow me over there too.

Are You Still Going to be Podcasting?

Yes. It might be in a completely different capacity, but rest assured The New Music Industry Podcast will be revived. There’s more to cover.

What About YouTube?

This is the main thing I’m looking to work back into my schedule. I’ve already filmed a dozen or so videos, but they need to be edited.

Is Your Next Book Almost Done Yet?

Yes. I announced the completion of my latest manuscript on Twitter just yesterday.

If you don’t follow me on Twitter yet, do so. I share a lot of stuff there.

I’ll likely be setting up pre-orders for the book real soon.

What You Should Look for in a Musician Coach

What You Should Look for in a Musician Coach

So, you’ve decided that hiring a musician coach wouldn’t be such a bad idea.

But what sort of qualities and qualifications should you look for in a musician coach?

If you know the following, it’s going to make the decision a lot easier.

So, ask yourself these questions when considering a musician coach:

Do They Ask Good Questions?

It may seem innocuous, but this is the most critical question you can ask.

A coach knows how to get out of their own way, listen attentively, and ask questions that change the way you see the world around you.

They will ask the questions you’re not asking, and by doing so, make you aware of blind spots, new perspectives, possibilities, opportunities, next steps, and more.

If your coach is doing all the talking, there’s something wrong. If they’re not asking questions, there’s something wrong. If they’re merely telling you what to do next, they still have much to learn.

A seasoned coach has had to generate results in situations where it was difficult if not impossible to do so. And they got there by asking powerful questions.

At the foundation of coaching is the ability to ask good questions.

Do They Have a Coach of Their Own?

The best coaches always have coaches of their own.

And if they don’t have a coach right this minute, they’re at least on a steady path of personal growth – reading articles and books, listening to podcasts, watching videos, taking courses, and generally investing in themselves and their knowledge.

If a coach doesn’t show any interest in self-development, they’re not going to make for a good coach.

Look for signs that they’re committed to being lifelong learners.

Do They Have a Website?

While creator economy apps like Koji are near omnipotent in their capabilities, the potential downside is that anyone can set up a free account, buy followers, and claim to be an expert on a topic.

A true coach might have a link in bio, but they wouldn’t balk at investing in the creation of their own regularly updated website. In fact, they would prioritize it.

Whether it’s domain names, web hosting, logo design, videos, blog posts, or otherwise, they’re not afraid to set forth the financial resources and time necessary to develop their brand.

A coach that’s invested in their online presence treats their job with a degree of seriousness others simply do not.

Do They Have a Book?

A book isn’t necessarily a requirement, but it does say something about a coach, namely that they’ve gone to the trouble of documenting their best tips and advice in written form.

Writing a book is a commitment. It’s at least 10 times the length of any term paper you’ve written in college.

A coach with a book better understands the dedication, discipline, and commitment required to make an album, because writing a book is just as extensive if not more so.

The other reason a book is valuable is because you can learn about the coach’s methodologies before even hiring them. At 20 bucks a pop, you really have nothing to lose.

Plus, if you take the time to read, you’ll be more committed to the process and get more out of the coaching. You’ll make for a better client, and that improves the coach-mentee relationship!

Do They Have Systems?

Sure, there are times when a coach needs to throw away the scripts, ditch the templates, abandon their methodologies, and get in the dirt with their clients.

We’re all human, after all!

But if a coach doesn’t at least have a battery of questions they use to better understand your circumstances and guide your next steps, are they honestly any better than an unpracticed bassist that “wings it” at a gig?

Coaches should have systems – be it video conferencing software (Zoom, Google Meet, or otherwise), PDF document templates, notes on their clients (along with a filing system), or otherwise.

You don’t want to be shooting from the hip as a client, and a coach shouldn’t be either! If they’re coaching you, they should be in the right environment with the right resources and processes to serve you to the best of their abilities.

Do They Have Demonstrated Results?

I need to say something that’s a little paradoxical here, but it is important.

A coach doesn’t necessarily have everything you want in life.

After all, they specialize in coaching, not in being a successful artist (that’s your job!).

They may have demonstrated results in their own career. It never hurts.

But what we’re talking about here is demonstrated results in the careers of others.

A coach needs to be able to help her clients first and foremost. If she can’t do that, it doesn’t matter what results she has in another area!

A coach always leaves his clients in a better position than where they started. Look for evidence of that.

Do They Have Quotes / Testimonials from Past Clients?

Quotes, testimonials, and reviews are always worth checking, and this goes hand in hand with demonstrated results.

There’s one major thing you should be aware of concerning social proof, though:

First is that even if a coach doesn’t have many reviews, it’s not necessarily a bad sign.

Ask yourself how many times you’ve left reviews on Amazon, Google, iTunes, or otherwise.

Unless it was a mind-blowingly amazing or mind numbingly horrendous experience, you probably aren’t compelled to leave a lot of reviews in the first place.

The point is – people don’t just hand out reviews like they’re candy, and even superb coaches don’t always have drawers full of references.

The other thing that’s good to be aware of is that reviews can and have been manufactured.

It sucks that I even need to bring it up, but some “coaches” out there claim to have taught fictional superheroes according to their website. Sorry, just no.

Obviously, the reviews you find on a coach’s website are going to be talking up the coach. No competent coach is going to use negative reviews on their site.

But complete fabrications are worth looking out for.

Final Thoughts

There are other questions you can ask to determine whether a coach is right for you, but the above should serve as an excellent starting point.

If they have a 15-minute free consultation or something of that nature, you could take advantage of that…

Or you could email or call them for more info as needed.

But don’t overthink it and let yourself get off the hook without deciding, that is, unless you want to go back to the rut, you’re trying to crawl your way out of.

Do You Need a Musician Coach? Self-Assessment

Do You Need a Musician Coach? Self-Assessment

At this point, you’re probably starting to realize that musician coaching is a real thing, and it could be quite valuable for you.

But are you ready for coaching?

Is it right for you?

Is now a good time to get a coach?

Here’s a self-assessment that will help you determine whether you need a musician coach.

Are You Willing to Invest in Yourself?

If your answer is:

No, I’m not willing to spend a dime to build a fan base and make a living from my passion.

Then I can’t help you, and neither can any other coach.

If it’s unimaginable for you to spend $37 on an eBook, $97 on a course, $127 on personalized coaching, I’m sorry, I can’t help you, and most other coaches would be warped in the noggin to help you too.

Understand – these are minimum prices, not maximum!

It’s unfortunate, but it’s true – we don’t place much value on things we don’t pay for.

If you don’t act on the information offered here, you will go back to old habits, returning to the same rut you tried to claw your way out of.

Here’s something to think about…

You don’t pay a mechanic for working on your car, do you? You pay them for knowing what to do, regardless of how much time and effort it ultimately takes them.

It’s the same with a coach. You don’t pay them for how much time or effort it takes to do the job – you pay them for their experience and ability to guide you (especially since breakthroughs can happen fast!).

Have You Worked on Your Craft & Live Show?

If “no,” you might not need a coach yet.

First, you’ve got to make the leap from amateur to professional and that means making a commitment to improve and work on your craft from one show, one release, one interview, to the next.

If that’s not what you’re doing, you haven’t made the commitment yet, and that’s okay.

But you don’t need a coach if you’re not building towards something.

Cliché as it might be, my coaches often repeated this phrase to me:

You can’t steer a parked car.

What does that mean?

It means if you’re not doing anything in your music career, I can’t tell you where to go or what to do next – it would all be speculation.

But if, for example, you have a live show you’ve been developing for a while and you want me to audit and review it, I’m your man.

Do You Have Career Goals (Even if They Are Foggy)?

If you do, you will benefit from coaching.

The truth is many artists only think they have goals.

But because they haven’t taken certain actions to put their goals into existence, they don’t know what they’re working towards, let alone how close they are to achieving their goals.

Fogginess around goal setting is very normal because what I teach, they don’t generally teach in school. So, it’s not your fault that you don’t know.

Bottom line – if you aren’t working towards something, or don’t have at least partially defined goals yet, forego the coaching and instead come up with three things you would like to accomplish in your music career, so we have something to discuss.

Do it now. This post will still be here when you come back.

Could You Benefit from an Outside Perspective?

For most artists, the answer will be “yes.”

If you can’t see it for yourself, all good, here are some things to consider:

  • How often do you record yourself to listen and evaluate your performance?
  • How often do you film yourself performing on stage to watch, listen, and evaluate your performance?
  • Do you track the number of people attending your performance (as well as how many people were there when you started, and how many were left when you were done)?
  • Is auditing your web presence a common practice of yours, and do you take note of how you’re coming across to fans and prospective fans, what’s missing, or what could be improved upon?
  • How well do you track your income and expenses, and could you make projections based on the numbers you see?
  • This is but the tip of the iceberg…

There’s just so much you don’t see when you’re working in the business instead of on the business.

And yes, I do mean to use the term “business” here because if you take your music career seriously, that’s exactly what it is.

A good coach can see what you’re not seeing.

A good coach can see what you’re not seeing. Click To Tweet

Do You Have a Devil’s Advocate?

I remember calling my friend over one day to share my new business idea with him.

I was excited out of my mind and couldn’t possibly conceive how anyone would think it was a bad idea.

“He’s probably going to want to join my enterprise,” I thought to myself.

But as I started sharing, not only did he not share my sense of enthusiasm for the business, but he also tore apart the idea, systematically, limb from limb.

Although I kept answering his questions in the calmest manner possible, understandably I became frazzled by the end of that conversation!

You’ll never guess what he said to me next:

I was just being your devil’s advocate. Someone needs to punch holes in your idea so you can see all the ways it could fail, rather than getting tunnel vision on why it will succeed.

Wow.

Do you have tunnel vision? Are you seeing what no one else is seeing? Are you imagining a bright future only you believe in?

While you don’t need anyone to tear you down, you do need someone to help you reinforce your weakside.

And oftentimes, the only way to uncover that blind spot is to consult someone who’s equally invested in seeing you succeed in your music career.

Do You Feel Stuck in Your Music Career?

Cheer up.

If you’re feeling stuck, it means you’ve made a lot of progress to get to this point!

The growth curve only gets steeper, not gentler.

But you could literally name a big name you know, and I guarantee you they’ve reached plateaus on their journey to the top too.

Trust me when I say a visit to the rut-ville isn’t a view filled with unicorns farting rainbows.

But here’s the thing:

There’s always some adjustment to be made at this juncture that will make a difference.

The problem? There’s no way to know what that adjustment might be without expert help!

Do You Feel Frustrated in Your Music Career (Because You’ve Tried Everything & it Didn’t Work)?

If you’re stuck, you’re probably frustrated too – the two tend to go together.

And this is a solid indicator you need coaching (before you throw in the towel, call it quits, curse the music business, and swear off passion for life).

But does it seem like you’re trying everything without getting anywhere?

Trust me when I say I’ve spent years spinning my wheels in my personal growth, music career, and business endeavors, sometimes simultaneously.

While I never stopped looking for answers, I stopped putting pressure on trying to find them. Answers started showing up far faster when there was no pressure for them to appear!

You didn’t land on this page by accident. You’re on the brink of becoming unstuck. All you’ve got to do now is make the leap and invest in yourself.

When you invest in coaching, you’re never investing in the coach. You’re investing in you.

When you invest in coaching, you’re never investing in the coach. You’re investing in you. Click To Tweet

Do You Feel Overwhelmed?

Things will go smoothly and even be perfectly manageable in your music career for a while.

You’ll start to get more gigs, sell more merch, get more email signups, and so on.

But then comes a new challenge – in the business world, we call it scaling.

Scaling is where you adjust to the new demands as they come pouring in (usually at an uncontrollable rate).

Everyone thinks fast growth is awesome and it’s what they should go after, until they realize they’re not even ready for it!

To scale, a business must systemize and hire. It’s time-consuming and expensive, especially if you mess up.

Prolific novelty songwriter Jonathan Coulton eventually had to hire an assistant to help with the huge influx of emails he was receiving from fans every single day.

Overwhelm isn’t bad. It means there are new opportunities, and it means there’s greater demand for what you’re doing.

But if you don’t have a way to parse your opportunities and scale with the demand, you will end up in the same position I’ve found myself in multiple times – burning out!

Burning out sucks. It might take months to recover from. What good is opportunity then?

You need a coach, and stat!

Final Thoughts, Musician Coach

In closing, I wanted to let you know about something free I created.

Honesty, I think I might be crazy for giving away this much…

What is it? We’re calling it the PDF Vault.

The Vault includes over 100 independent music career eBooks, cheat sheets, podcast transcripts and interviews to date, with hundreds more to come.

If you’re ready to sign up, simply follow this link and enter your email.

These 4 Learning Methods are Disproportionately Better

These 4 Learning Methods are Disproportionately Better

I’ve often said that there’s an abundance of free resources available: Articles, blog posts, eBooks, physical books, events, conferences, trade shows, magazines, newsletters, podcasts, videos. And what I’m starting to discover for myself is that there are some learning methods that are disproportionately better than others.

1. Newsletters

Number one for me is newsletters. Newsletters contain very specific targeted information. The one that I subscribe to is Dan Kennedy’s No B.S. Letter. It contains information on marketing and sales and copywriting.

And whenever I read these newsletters, I come away feeling inspired, with great information in hand. Ready to act on a few things I’ve learned in the newsletter and get into action in my business.

2. Books

Number two is books. Books go very deep into a singular subject. It’s like downloading the author’s brain into your own, adopting their mental frameworks, their methodologies, their thought processes. You get to try them on for yourself.

And I think there’s really something to sustaining your thinking on a singular subject for a certain amount of time. There’s something magical about it.

Just like reading newsletters, the information is super targeted, but it’s also deep, it’s going very, very deep into a singular subject. And that has a way of getting me into flow and inspiring me because I’m making new connections.

3. Video Courses

Number three is video courses or home study courses or whatever you want to call them. These are excellent sources of information as well.

Typically, they’re even more focused than let’s say a newsletter or a book. You might be learning specific aspects of digital marketing like email, or how to use Facebook or things like that.

And while I have not always found them to be the most inspirational sources, certainly not as inspiring as a newsletter or a book, in some cases, I have come away from courses feeling lit up with the actionable insights I could now take to my own business.

4. Audiobooks

And then number four for me is audiobooks.

Now in a way this goes hand in hand with books. The difference I suppose is that you can listen to podcasts or audio programs or audiobooks in your car as you’re driving about.

Over the years, that’s really been the number one place for me to listen to these. But at one point, I was so obsessed that I even listened to them in the bathroom.

But compared to something like a podcast, which I don’t always find inspiring. I don’t always find new information to act on. And the subject matter being covered may not always be relevant to me right now. I can intentionally go out and find audiobooks that are relevant to me and are speaking to my situation and are sure to leave me with insights I can use in my business.

Conclusion

So, while there are a lot of great resources out there, the point is to invest in your education. You’re going to value these resources more. I pay for newsletters, I pay for books, I pay for video courses, I pay for audiobooks. Whichjust goes to show that I am more heavily invested in those than a blog post I read online.

What learning methods inspire you most? I know a lot of people say they like to watch videos. And there are certain visual things like how to tie a tie. That’s better suited to the video medium than say the audio or written word. But with a lot of how-to information, I’ve personally found that video is often unnecessary.

Either way, I would love to hear which sources of information and which learning methods work best for you.