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 Can You Automate in Your Music Career?

What Can You Automate in Your Music Career?

Some things in your music career can be automated. If you’re reluctant to give something up, and it still needs to be done, there is the chance that automation could work for you.

One of the most immediate examples of automation is social media scheduling tools. Everyone knows that creating posts takes time. Then comes the actual posting, sharing, responding to comments, and so on.

Not all of it can be automated, but aspects of it can be. With the introduction of tools like Hootsuite and Buffer, everyone started planning their posts well in advance of them ever going up on platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Spend an hour or two per month writing and scheduling posts, and you wouldn’t need to fill your queue again until the next month.

Then along came more advanced tools like Meet Edgar that would store all your content in a library and automatically publish based on the schedule you set up.

All these tools require human input, but overall, they make the process of maintaining a social media presence more streamlined. That’s the essence of automation. But there are automation tools for a variety of purposes.

With an increased focus on integration, resources like IFTTT and Zapier started emerging. These allow you to integrate various services (that are otherwise incompatible) with your devices.

With IFTTT, you can do things like:

  • Set your phone’s wallpaper as NASA’s Image of the Day
  • Tweet your Instagram photos
  • Post a tweet using your voice
  • Add YouTube videos you like to a Spotify playlist
  • And much more

And once set up, all these actions happen automatically.

Automation can take many forms, and we could be here all day exploring different examples. The point is that software solutions exist for a variety of career and business applications. They often cost something, but they improve your life by giving you your time back. And that’s great news when it comes to boring, monotonous tasks that just eat away at your precious time.

With Music Entrepreneur HQ, initially, we invested most heavily in social media automation. This helped us get our content out to more destinations, increasing our traffic in the process.

These days, we spend more on tools that help us grow our email list, build sales funnels, host our courses, and the like. It’s better to have comprehensive, integrated solutions for these types of functions versus trying to glue together various free and low-cost solutions. Trust me – we tried it.

Again, automation doesn’t necessarily help you take tasks completely off your plate. But they can help you save a lot of time and money. And that’s often worth the cost.

Musicians: Stop FISHing

Musicians: Stop FISHing

Have you ever been fishing?

It has often been described as calming. Peaceful. Enjoyable. But rarely exciting.

Which doesn’t mean fishing can’t be exciting. It can be.

But unless the fish are in a generous mood the day you make your way to the pond, river, lake, or ocean, fishing is mostly a game of casting, waiting, moving, casting, waiting, moving… with the occasional nibble or bite.

The tug of war that ensues when a fish is finally on the line is usually the only exciting part. Hours of casting, waiting, moving, for the occasional two minutes of excitement.

And this is what musicians often end up doing in their marketing efforts. They spend all their time FISHing instead of jumping headlong into the heart of the storm.

Let me explain…

F is for Sales Funnels

Everybody and their dog are teaching sales funnels now. Even I talk about them, because I know that a lot of musicians have set themselves up with sales funnels and they need support promoting them, tweaking them, and generating sales from them.

I’m not saying that sales funnels don’t work. But the sales funnel itself isn’t the solution. This is where a lot of creatives get stuck. Because they don’t realize that for a sales funnel to work, they’ve got to be constantly filling their funnel with prospects using the following methods:

Everything talked about in Russell Brunson’s Traffic Secrets (affiliate link), basically…

But that’s just filling your funnel with prospects. Just because you have a funnel set up doesn’t meant it’s automatically going be effective. You’ve got to get your ad creative right, so people click on the ad.

Once they’re on your landing page, you’ve got to have an irresistible offer waiting for them. If you get them passed that point, you’ve still got to convince them that they have a big enough problem to open their wallet for it, and that’s going to be contingent on your copy and video sales letter.

Bottom line – you’ve got to become a full-time, professional digital marketer to do this right.

Again, I’m not saying don’t go in this direction. Just make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into.

I is for Instagram

To cut to the jugular, likes and comments aren’t going to make one bit of difference in your music career.

Initiating direct messages could advance your music career, but only if you’re building quality connections.

So, the main difference makers with Instagram are:

  • Gaining a better understanding of who your audience is, following them, and connecting with them
  • Creating Instagram Stories and ads
  • Getting people to click on the link in your profile

I don’t see much utility in Instagram beyond these three actions.

To elaborate…

Staying in touch with your audience is certainly a good idea, though Instagram isn’t the only place you can do this.

Instagram Stories are more effective than I would have initially assumed, but effectiveness still depends on whether you can get users to take a profitable action from having watched your Stories.

I admit that advertising on Instagram can be quite powerful if you know what you’re doing, but that’s a big if.

And then we’re left with the final option of getting people to click on the link in your profile, which is kind of a crapshoot if I’m being honest.

S is for Spotify

I’m honestly perplexed by this one, because Spotify isn’t that awesome.

The only thing I can see is that musicians are paying undue attention to the big Spotify success stories, and selectively ignoring the masses who don’t even make $100 per month from streaming.

And algorithm exploits aren’t anything new. They exist until marketers ruin them, and then they are promptly dealt with and removed by the platforms.

So, you have delusions of grandeur if you think your current Spotify tactics are going to work forever (if they are even working for you right now).

The only real way to build your music career, and to play to thousands of people, and earn a steady income from music, and get approached by labels, is if you pour your blood, sweat, and tears into building a fan base that gives a damn about you and your music.

If you have a fan base, and you’re taking care of them, the streams should take care of themselves.

H is for Hope

Hope is not a bad thing. But people sometimes mistake it for faith.

Faith is future based. It’s the belief that something that has never happened before, can happen.

Hope is mostly just wishing. Wishing it could be better. Wishing it turns out well. Wishing good things are going to occur just because.

Oftentimes, there is nothing undergirding the hope. No legwork to assure what is hoped for is a possible future.

If you think that setting up a sales funnel, trying to become an Instagram influencer, and exploiting Spotify algorithms is somehow going to make you a star, all you’ve got is hope. If you’re reading Traffic Secrets and implementing the steps, then it’s built on faith. An exhausted, weary faith, but faith, nonetheless.

True, lasting success will be built on the back of – sing with me if you know the tune – pouring your blood, sweat, and tears into building a fan base that’s invested in you and your music.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, am I saying don’t engage in any of these activities? Don’t take advantage of the tools and platforms available? Don’t take a chance on yourself?

No, of course not. Tools are tools, and in large part, the results comes down to how you use them.

Many musicians have created success using the above. But you can’t conflate building sales funnels, becoming an Instagram influencer, getting streams on Spotify, or hoping that you’ll get somewhere employing these tactics, with getting everything you want in life.

Trust me when I say there are lame funnels, influencers who make no money, “long-tail” musicians who get lots of streams but can’t even pay their rent with royalties, and dreams that fell apart at the seams because of hope and no action.

But that’s just one man’s opinion.

For more inspiration, be sure to sign up for my email list.

Where Can I Listen to Your Podcast?

Where Can I Listen to Your Podcast?

I’ve recently had several questions about my podcast. Most notably, “where can I listen to it?”

At the outset, I should share that my podcast is called The New Music Industry Podcast.

The New Music Industry Podcast

There are so many other similarly named podcasts now, so make no mistake. Don’t accept any substitutes.

But it would seem the main concern listeners have is they don’t want to be forced to listen on my website at Music Entrepreneur HQ. Fortunately, the podcast has always been available at a mix of popular destinations.

That’s what I’d like to cover here.

Music Entrepreneur HQ

Music Entrepreneur HQ is where The New Music Industry Podcast resides. To be more exact, the audio files are hosted externally on Amazon S3, but everything else, including the show notes, live on Music Entrepreneur HQ.

I understand that many people like to listen on their favorite platform, so I’m not forcing you to go to Music Entrepreneur HQ to listen, but in case you want to access the show notes, transcripts, and other downloadable PDFs and guides, I’d recommend checking in periodically.

Apple Podcasts

Apple Podcasts (formerly iTunes) is the first destination I prioritized, because if you aren’t on Apple Podcasts, you almost don’t even exist as a podcaster.

So, while we haven’t been there from day one, we’ve certainly been there since the early days of The New Music Industry Podcast.

Spotify

I’m happy to note that my podcast can be found on Spotify. I know that some musicians and artists abhor the platform, but again, I’m not forcing you to use it, as you can listen to my podcast on a variety of other platforms. I did not sign an exclusive contract with Spotify.

Also keep in mind – when someone listens to your music, you earn a fraction of a cent. When someone listens to my podcast, they listen to my podcast. I don’t earn a thing.

Stitcher

Stitcher is another popular destination for podcasts, though it isn’t exactly well-known.

Either way, if you love Stitcher, and it’s what you use most, then you’ll be happy to know The New Music Industry Podcast is there.

iHeartRADIO

Another great platform you can find my podcast on is iHeartRADIO. I’m quite happy that they’ve embraced podcast content and that you can find my podcast there.

TuneIn

TuneIn has been around for quite a while, though the average consumer is unlikely to have heard of it. Either way, you can listen to The New Music Industry Podcast on TuneIn as well!

YouTube

Yes, my podcast is available on YouTube, but there is a slight catch.

To upload my podcasts to YouTube, I need to take advantage of a software called Repurpose (affiliate link). Repurpose is awesome, and I don’t take any issue with it. But there is a bit of a manual process I need to go through to get my podcast episodes up on YouTube.

Which means new episodes may not be available on YouTube the day of publishing. But I do the best I can!

Elsewhere

I do what I can to distribute the podcast far and wide, and it has been submitted to every directory and streaming platform I know of (which doesn’t necessarily mean it’s been accepted by those services).

As well, the internet landscape is constantly changing, and services tend to come and go. For instance, the Google Play Music Store was discontinued in September 2020.

But my podcast is supposed to be on Deezer (even though I can’t find it), and I wouldn’t be surprised if you found it on other platforms.

Here are a few links I found:

We could also distribute the podcast to SoundCloud if there’s interest, but as with YouTube, it would end up being a manual process.

I’m constantly looking for new tools to leverage, and while Megaphone sounded promising, it seems you need 20,000 downloads per episode to able to take advantage of their platform. That’s roughly 100 times my current listenership, so we’ve got a long way to go.

If you happen across other tools that might allow me to syndicate and distribute my podcast more widely, I’m all ears. Let me know.

That said, if you enjoy my podcast and found this article helpful, please share it out.

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it. There are plenty of places you can go to listen to the podcast. Subscribe, bookmark, do whatever it is you do to keep track of your favorite links.

Thanks for joining me. I’ll see you again tomorrow.

P.S. I just launched my new course, the Entrepreneurial Essentials for Musicians Masterclass.

This course equips you with practical and timeless mindset advice, along with the skills necessary to make your own way in the music business.

Right now, this course is available for just $9. But it won’t stay that way for long.

Click on the banner below to learn more NOW.

Entrepreneurial Essentials for Musicians Masterclass

Getting Your Music Featured on Spotify Playlists

Getting Your Music Featured on Spotify Playlists

Looking to get your music featured on Spotify playlists?

Well, you’re not alone…

24,000 songs are added to streaming music services every day. And you’ve got to assume a good portion of the artists releasing music are just as interested as you are in getting their music featured, streamed, and playlisted.

Well, I’ve covered this topic in detail before, and I still stand by everything I said in that guide.

But it’s always worth circling back to the question and covering the latest tactics and mental models.

So, let’s see how we can get your music on Spotify playlists.

✅ Get Your House in Order to Get on More Spotify Playlists

This is something I touch on any time I talk about Spotify.

And while it might seem superficial, I would be inclined to think it’s 200% crucial to your success.

Understand that your brand and presence in general isn’t just about what you say about yourself. It’s also about how you’re being perceived by others.

Your brand isn't just about what you say about yourself. It's about how you're being perceived by others. Click To Tweet

So, consider carefully…

If an artist came to you wanting to be featured in some capacity, and they had 90 likes on their Facebook page (with no engagement on their posts), two Instagram followers, and 10 monthly listeners on Spotify, what would you do?

I’m not saying artists in this position don’t get featured.

But come on, you’ve got to think about things from the curator’s perspective too, don’t you think?

How to Change Their Perception

What can we do to rectify this?

Well, here’s a short list:

  • Claim your Spotify for Artists profile.
  • Make your own playlists and have fun with them.
  • Encourage your friends, family, and fans to make their own playlists.
  • Work your way up the chain. Everyone wants in on official playlists. Start small and build your tower one brick at a time.
  • Promote every playlist you’re featured on (mention them on your website, in your emails, and on social media).
  • Release music frequently. The more active you are on Spotify, the better. Worry less about followers and worry more about monthly listeners.
  • Build your website. I recommend building a self-hosted WordPress site on SiteGround (affiliate link). You can find more tips and resources here.
  • Collect, organize, and present testimonials on your website. Have these ready at your fingertips in perpetuity.
  • Establish your social networks. Most musicians bite off more than they can chew. It’s worth registering all your accounts, but as much as possible focus on building one at a time.
  • Grow your email list. For the foreseeable future, email is still going to be a huge part of your life. Ditto for your fans. Embrace it. Grow your list. It gives you more leverage as an artist in every regard.
  • Encourage your fans to connect and interact with you on their favorite platform. Set the tone early and encourage ongoing engagement.

✅ Leverage the Power of Publicity to Get Featured on Spotify Playlists

In July, we ran a publicity campaign for a compilation I was a part of called Spirit Searcher, Vol. 1.

Spirit Searcher, Vol. 1

As result, our music got featured on CCM Magazine and all three artists involved were interviewed on The Antidote (syndicated to nearly 60 FM radio stations).

Henceforth, I shall be known as an artist that’s been featured on CCM Magazine and The Antidote (both of which are kind of a big deal in the Christian music space).

Do you see how this works?

Before any of that happened, I was just David Andrew Wiebe. Now I’ve got some street cred!

Do you think that might give me a credibility boost? Would it give me a little bit of momentum I can carry into the future? Do you think it would help with my playlisting efforts?

I would suspect so. And, as author and marketing guru Dan Kennedy says, this is the type of credibility I can leverage for years and decades to come.

By the way, the PR campaign also led to several placements in playlists.

I can’t reveal exactly how much we paid for this campaign, but let’s just say it was worth every cent.

And that’s the thing. Artists assume it will cost them an arm and a leg to get any kind of publicity, when the reality is it’s all about relationship, relationship, relationship (also see next point on connecting rather than pitching).

Find an angle for your release, save up for a PR campaign, and interview multiple publicists until you’ve found the right one. Then, when you feel you’ve found the right one, negotiate on price.

That’s worth summarizing.

David Andrew Wiebe’s Simple PR Success Method:

  • Find an angle for your release
  • Save up for a PR campaign
  • Interview multiple publicists until you’ve found the right one (you’re in charge!)
  • Negotiate on price (only suckers pay in full)

If you’ve got a unique product, something that stands out from the crowd, then you’ve got an angle. And that angle (and story) will be of huge help to your publicist. Trust.

✅ Stop Pitching & Start Connecting to Get on More Spotify Playlists

You’ve got to think that, at this point, everyone and their dog is pitching to playlist curators.

Because that’s what all the blogs are telling us to do. And the hysteria over Spotify is near constant.

Well, here’s a new spin on an old trick.

(👉 By the way, if you want to learn how to pitch just like everyone else is doing, you can refer to this article.)

When you’re thinking about getting a job, what’s one of the first things you do?

Well, I can’t speak for anyone else, but I would bet most of my chips on networking. After all, employee referrals are considered the most valued tool in hiring.

So, why in the world are you doing all the pitching yourself? If you’ve got a fan base that’s crazy about you and your music, why wouldn’t you tap into their over-the-top enthusiasm?

Sure, you’re still going to need to put in some legwork. Consider carefully who’s up to the task. You’ll want to find a sharp person, preferably someone who’s well-spoken and knows a little bit about making cold calls and buttering up a prospect (know any car salesmen?).

And even if you don’t know anyone, you could get to know more people, right? You could ask for referrals from your fans, couldn’t you?

Once they understand why being on a Spotify playlist matters to you, and the difference it would make for you, they’ll be far more likely to help you. We assume people know these things, but most of the time they don’t!

A third-party recommendation, if done right, is the most powerful endorsement you can get.

A third-party recommendation, if done right, is the most powerful endorsement you can get. Click To Tweet

Spotify Playlists, Final Thoughts

Getting on Spotify playlists isn’t exactly easy. But not impossible.

What’s important to recognize is there are variables you can control. You can build your online presence. You can release more music. And you can grow your fan base.

Beyond that, stop thinking of it as an algorithmic, machine-driven game. Instead, connect with people authentically. Find out where they like to hang out. Talk with them. Make friends with them. At the appropriate time, make an ask.

It might seem scary. It might even seem like the wrong way around. But building relationship is bound to get you further faster in your music career than just making good art.

Building relationship is bound to get you further faster in your music career than just making good art. Click To Tweet

The Music Entrepreneur Code paperback

Shh… Don’t tell anyone. Only the cool kids are talking about it.

The Music Entrepreneur Code is my latest best-selling book, and it’s available here as well as on Amazon.