Your Fans Aren’t Means

One of my favorite things about music is that it’s an end in itself. In my head, I have a kind of continuum with “means” on one side and “ends” on the other side. “Means” are things that you do to get to something else. They tend to be less enjoyable and you typically wouldn’t […]

Why It’s Okay to Not Know Everything About Music Marketing

I frequently feel like I don’t know as much as I should. Case in point: I was talking to a friend about Spotify promotion and kind of acting the part of the expert. Me: “Well you know, I haven’t gotten great results with Spotify’s native ads, and don’t you think Spotify should make more fan […]

How to Use Instagram Well (Without Sucking Joy from Your Art)

“I thought I could reach a lot of people on Instagram, but I feel like it’s just sucking the joy out of my art.” ^That’s a lament I heard this past weekend from a friend who does portraits in oils and colored pencil. He’s really good (linking his Instagram here as proof). But he’s been […]

The Promo Strategies Ed Sheeran Used to Notch Another #1 Hit

I’m disappointed to report that I think Ed Sheeran’s newest track kind of sucks. It’s called “Bad Habits”, and it sounds like a bland Disney channel version of something The Weeknd decided to leave off his last album. Fairly catchy, but mostly lame. (You can listen to it here if you want to.) I’m not […]

The Danger of 80/20

I had two ideas for a post this week. The first was to write about payola – a topic that’s interesting, emotive, and catchy. The second was to write about how specialization is overvalued in the music industry – a topic that’s bland-sounding, nebulous, and a little counterintuitive. I went with second one (against my better copywriting […]

How to Market Niche Music

I’ve gotten the same question from a few people recently: “Can I build a fanbase if I’m not making ‘mainstream’ music?” It’s a good question. Some people are in a niche genre, like Indian classical music or avant-garde metal. Some people are getting back into making music after a previous career and they feel like […]

How to Avoid Playlist Promo Scams

There’s a great scene from an Office episode where Michael Scott tries to buy marijuana. He wants to frame Toby, so he goes down to the Vance Refrigeration warehouse and asks the guys if they know where he can get weed. They look at each other knowingly and offer to sell him a bag of green […]

Are NFTs Worth It for Musicians?

NFTs are super dumb, right? Gary Vee is selling scribbles for thousands of dollars. Five-second NBA highlight vids are selling for over $200K. And, of course, 3LAU sold NFTs to commemorate his album three years after it dropped and made over $11M. Crazy. I don’t actually think NFTs are dumb. But I do think the world is […]

Fanbase Building Lessons from Your Own Fandom

Two questions that made me think this week: Who are three artists you’ve recently become a fan of? (If you’re debating what it means to be a “fan,” a good barometer is that if the artist toured through your town, you’d want to go see them.) How did you become a fan of them? (There […]

How to Use Ads (for Musicians)

I asked three questions to my email list last week: Have you run ads for your music? What were the results? What’s your best piece of advice on running ads? Here’s what people said: “I have not ran any ads, yet. Mainly because I have read that simply paying to boost fb ads and IG […]