The DIY Musician’s Radio Handbook: How To Grow Hack Your Fan Base Using Indie Radio AirplayBy D Grant Smith
Genre: Music, Self-Help, Marketing
Musicians are constantly looking for opportunities to reach new audience. Radio airplay continues to be one of the best outlets to grow your audience and reach new fans. Yet getting your music on the radio is complicated and difficult for many artists. How can you get your music heard on radio so that you can build a stronger and larger audience?
The DIY Musician’s Radio Handbook illustrates a practical and thorough step-by-step process for gaining radio airplay AND building solid connections with the people who make radio happen. Jump into the mind of a radio programmer to discover what works and why to gain radio, media, and music industry success with your music.
Author D Grant Smith is not just a music marketing pro. He’s the creator and host of the internationally syndicated program The Appetizer Radio Show, and a former radio station manager. In the book, you’ll see why radio programmers make their picks on what music gets picked up, and how you can get your music on their radar. Discover the proven process that has helped countless musicians go from unknown and undiscovered to known and celebrated through indie radio airplay. For creative entrepreneurs outside of music, this book is also helpful in seeing how creating human connections and valuing others is the means to create growth that provides long-term benefits. Bloggers, authors, and media creators can gain insights here too.
D Grant Smith
The Secret To Gaining Attention For Your Work Begins With Giving Attention To Others
How Musicians, Authors, & Creatives Can Gain Media Exposure In A Noisy World
Everyone Wants To Rule The World
It’s not hard for us to see that the majority of creative entrepreneurs are all doing much of the same things to market themselves. Spend even 5 minutes on Twitter and you’ll experience a great number of folks all clamouring for everyone’s attention. They main method of doing this, that most people use, is talking only about themselves. Then, after they gain a new follower, many of them will send an auto-message to your inbox that says something like this “Thanks for following. Listen to my music on this link, that link, this other link, and one more link. Follow me on Facebook, LinkedIn, Soundcloud, Tumbler, Aunt Cheryl’s House, and 15 other social platforms. Oh, and watch my 55 youtube videos. Then sign up for my newsletter…..”
If you haven’t experienced this phenomenon yet, give it time. Especially if you’re in the music space (self-published and indie authors are generally less pushy than this, but still….).
Everyone wants to be noticed. Everyone wants to be the center of attention. Everyone wants to have the massive numbers of followers, views, listens, and ultimately fans. Yet very few creative entrepreneurs (musicians, artists, authors, etc) are doing the real work that makes growth and success happen.
After spending 13 years cultivating relationships, networks, and helping to launch the careers of countless musicians via my syndicated program The Appetizer Radio Show, I wanted to help creative folks understand how to reach media better. There is a much better way to gain the attention you seek. However, modeling after the pushy folks who only focus on themselves is not the way to do it. Here’s what actually works.
How Does Your Garden Grow?
The method that I’ve developed for building strong connections with media (i.e. radio, blogs, podcasts, media sites, etc.) has come down to adopting an old-school way of operating.
It’s a model based on farming, where cultivating connections over time builds a stronger and more long-term solution to growth than the quick-fix of social media follow hikes. This Growth Farming idea came from a conversation I had with Seth Godin, where he described how growth and marketing is best modeled.
If you’ve read the seminal business book “How To Win Friends And Influence People” by Dale Carnegie, you know that much of what worked in the 1930s for business growth is even more true today in the digital age.
Nowadays, connections are easy to make with the click of a button. Networks and relationships aren’t. Where do those start and how can we build something to last over time? They begin with first taking notice of the person you want to reach and taking the time to get to know who they are, what’s important to them, and why connecting with them matters.
This is a process, much similar to growing a garden. This is where the concept of Growth Farming comes from. It takes time and attention. It’s also more of a conscious decision to build a real connection than one that wants only the glory of adding a new number to the list of followers.
As artists, authors and creatives, the numbers game works only as long as there is connection and potency involved. There are creative entrepreneurs with large fan numbers on their social channels, yet they receive very small amounts of income or connection from their work from their audience. That’s a lack of real relationship and connection.
When you choose to focus on the quality of your connections, both with your individual fans and with the people you reach out to for marketing and promoting your material (i.e. media), you gain so much more. You gain a potential friend and network member. Friends do far more for each other, and do so more often, than anyone does for strangers.
It’s like Mr. Carnegie said, “You can gain more friends in two months by showing interest in other people than you can in two years trying to get other people interested in you.”
I’d much rather have a growing group of friends with a reciprocal connection to me and my work (and I to them and their work) than a random list of strangers who supposedly are following me. That’s what real growth looks like. How can you make that happen?
How To Really Gain Media Attention & Win With Your Creative Endeavors
When I started the process of syndicating The Appetizer, I had a few choices. I could try to hire a PR or publicity company to market the show to stations across the country, at a very high expense. OR I could do it myself, contact stations directly, and build a network of contacts along the way.
I opted for the 2nd option. The learning process of building out our carrier stations to over 40 has taken a few years. In the process, I’ve had the opportunity to connect with more and more media folks in a variety of fields beyond radio, help hundreds of artists build their audience, and connect with individual music lovers around the world. All of that is chalked up to big wins. The process of doing this is what I detail in the DIY Musician’s Radio Handbook: How To Growth Hack Your Fan Base & Build Stronger Networks Using Indie Radio Airplay.
If you’re a musician, this is the most actionable plan for getting your music on the radio. If you’re an author, you can apply the same principles to getting media exposure with your books. This method is what has helped the careers of musicians like Lindsay Katt, Kelley McRae, William Fitzsimmons, The Rocketboys and many many others gain media exposure and build successful careers.
If you’re a creative entrepreneur in a different field, and you want to expand your leverage to get on blogs, podcasts, and indie radio stations, this is the method that works. I take you on a step-by-step process that I’ve used to grow my platforms and businesses. It’s also what I teach musicians how to do in the Indie Radio Promotion Course (with a discount to the course inside the Introduction of the book).
I’m big on helping creative people win. Here’s what results you can expect from reading this book:
● Save money on marketing and promotions by learning what really works.
● Be your own PR specialist.
● Apply these methods to building your social media following to boost support for your work.
● Grow a solid contact list and network of influential media professionals to help market your work for long-term growth.
● Get sample messaging templates that work to build connection and response.
● Much more.
In the end, growth in our creative efforts comes down to us choosing to be different than what the world is doing. It’s a matter of being uncommon. Those who choose to not follow the bandwagons, who pay attention to other people first and make them the focus of the conversation, are the people who win in gaining the right people’s attention. That’s how we build platforms and careers that are truly successful.
About the Author
D Grant Smith is the host & creator of The Appetizer Radio Show, a syndicated variety music program that began in 2003. Over the past decade+, Smith has helped musicians get discovered & grow through indie radio airplay like Lindsay Katt, The Rocketboys, William Fitzsimmons, Kelley McRae, Birds Over Arkansas and many more. His experience with The Appetizer Radio Show’s growth through syndication taught him what works in marketing media to media, which has helped to fuel his work as “the audience Growth Farmer.” Using principles from Dale Carnegie, Zig Ziglar and community building, Smith helps musicians and creative entrepreneurs build supportive communities of superfans through relationship building. His work includes private mentoring, workshops, and speaking engagements where storytelling and empowerment are used to create vibrant and powerful transformations.