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For independent artists, the most reliable way to earn a living from music isn't streaming, social monetization, or even lucrative opportunities in sync licensing. It's merch sales!  In this episode, Dave Cool of Bandzoogle talks about creating merch items your fans will love, how to make effective offers, and using the best tools for selling online.
Want to bring your listeners on a journey? To send them on an adventure that goes deeper than bonus "behind the music" content? How about a multi-player RPG your fans can play together on Discord!? That's exactly what celebrated songwriter and Twitch livestreamer Emma McGann did with her newest album "The Monsterverse." She created an immersive experience for fans that combined her recordings, videos created with 3D graphics, an RPG built using a Discord Bot, and more.  The Monsterverse takes "music promotion" to a whole new level. In this episode of the podcast, Emma tells how (and why) she constructed a whole world around her music. 
If you're releasing new music in 2023, of course you want it to "succeed" and reach as many listeners as possible! But you'll need much more than checklists and rote release strategies; making your music relevant in a world of infinite songs takes the right combination of good marketing mechanics AND exceptional tunes, videos, messaging, and more.  In this episode we're gonna go deep and help you build a great foundation for any new singles or albums you release this year. 
n some ways, 2022 felt like another year on pause. In other ways, the past 12 months passed in the blink of an eye. How did music trends (and the music industry) change this year? And what are our biggest predictions for music marketing, music creation, and music consumption in 2023? 
TikTok is a powerful platform for music discovery; your songs and videos can reach the right new fans because of TikTok's algorithm. But did you know it's also one of the best places to find inspiration and showcase your  quirkiness.  TikTok travels at the speed of memes, and that means there's a constant churn of humor, skits, trending audio, fun filters, and more. Conversations to join. Creative collaborations. Things to imitate or spin your own unique way. More than other entertainment or social apps for artists, TikTok frees you of always needing to be the prime instigator and driver of every piece of content.  In this episode we talk with multi-instrumentalist, TikTok connoisseur, and CD Baby's social media expert Rachel Bearinger — all about the culture of TikTok, how to source inspo, stay organized on the app,  and keep up with the pace of a platform that thrives on memetic energy. 
How does niche music reach millions on TikTok? In this discussion from 2022's DIY Musician Conference, CD Baby's Chris Robley spoke with Jeremy Carter-Gordon of the vocal group Windborne.  Not only have Windborne's videos gone massively viral, but the group grew their TikTok audience while staying true to how they want to perform and represent their music.  In other words: Windborne didn't work for TikTok. TikTok worked for them. And in this session, we break down the story, the strategy, and their editing and caption tricks. We also analyze fun example videos along the way! 
Whether you're new to music, new to town, or finally getting back out there after a break, it can be really beneficial to make solid connections in your own hometown before you try to conquer the world. How do you break into your local music scene and build a loyal audience?
Want to know how to make yourself more desirable, marketable, and overall employable as a side-person or session musician in today's post-pandemic climate?  In this session from the 2022 DIY Musician Conference in Austin, TX, you'll hear from Damon Grant (who has worked with Charlie Hunter, Madonna, and many more) and Stephen Bidwell (of Black Pumas), all about good preparation, the right tools, memorization hacks, professionalism, and heading off personality conflicts with artists, managers, or other players.  Though both presenters are percussionists, this conversation is relevant for any instrumentalist or vocalist who seeks to work in a supporting role, on tour or in the studio. 
What ELSE do you need for a successful music release besides the mastered music files? A lot! Let's talk through both the big-picture and nitty-gritty things you'll want to prepare before you launch your next single or album into the world.
Let's be honest, there are some things about being an independent musician that kinda suck. There are (at least) five common personal and professional struggles that go hand-in-hand with creative pursuits.  And in this episode we're gonna gripe, we're gonna reach collective catharsis, and then we're gonna figure out how to move beyond the unique hurdles that musicians face. 
Imagine a terrifying world where you're an... independent musician. Boo!  In this spooky Halloween-themed episode, Kevin and Chris talk about musician horror stories — both the kind that are common amongst DIY artists and a few uncommonly strange, scary, and disastrous stories submitted by listeners. 
How did an artist who'd been told NO by everyone in the industry blaze her own path to success using TikTok? In this episode, Britnee Kellogg reveals the details behind her massive achievement, sharing the whole story of how she went from 0 to 1,000,000 TikTok followers in a short amount of time. Whether you're a TikTok pro or total novice, this interview should both inform and inspire!
When recording artists are just starting out, they often overcomplicate things that are simple, and underestimate things that will be difficult. This confusion might just be a matter of inexperience, and the artists will learn as they go. But sometimes that confusion is actually caused by well-meaning industry "veterans" stepping in too soon to give poorly-timed (and often intimidating) advice.  In this episode we'll set the record straight and tell new artists what they should ACTUALLY prioritize when they're getting ready to release music for the first time.
No matter what genre of music you make, TikTok is one of your biggest opportunities for finding fans and building an audience today. If you still feel like you're sitting on the sidelines while the rest of the music industry rushes headlong into TikTok, this is the episode for you — a broad overview of TikTok for musicians. Kevin and Chris describe what makes TikTok unique in the social media landscape, how the algorithm surfaces content, a few tricks for driving TikTok engagement, and much more. Plus listener feedback!
One of our most frequently asked questions is “How can I promote my music?” In the era of limitless opportunities for music promotion on social media, through email and with new formats like short-form video, it can be difficult to know where to start.That’s why we compiled this list of 50 promo ideas and crammed it all into 50 minutes!
If you think you need to spend thousands of dollars shooting a professional looking music video just to get people to watch, think again! Short-form video platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels and trusty standbys like YouTube have made it easier than ever for indie artists to reach new fans with quick, affordable videos. In this live podcast recording from the 2022 DIY Musician Conference, Kevin and Chris explain how to make music videos without breaking your wallet or testing your patience. 
With hundreds of attendees both in person and virtual, dozens of presentations from industry insiders and countless jam sessions, mentoring workshops and after parties, the 2022 DIY Musician Conference was the biggest and best indie music event of the year! If you were there, you doubtless made some connections that will last the rest of your music career. If you weren’t, this Conference recap is the next best thing.Kevin and Chris discuss their five takeaways and highlights from the weekend in Austin. And they give us a preview of what’s next for the DIY Musician Conference.
Live music is officially back! If you’re an artist who plays live often, Bandsintown is an essential tool for listing and promoting your shows.From notifying fans about when you’ll be in their area, to recommendation algorithms to get your music in front of more listeners and a free email platform right in your account, Bandsintown offers artists plenty of ways to connect with fans new and old. Bandsintown Managing Partner Fabrice Sergent joins the podcast to discuss the platform. Learn about Bandsintown’s offerings for artists and fans, and how they’ve pivoted during and after the pandemic.
Touring and playing live can be a great way to expand your audience, sell merch and interact with your existing fans. But there are also many things that can go wrong on the road. From vehicle troubles to poor sound systems to fatigue, we address all the issues artists face on tour, and how to handle them.
Before anyone ever hears your music, they need to be convinced to listen. Maybe they’re getting a recommendation from a friend or they see a cool Instagram ad or blog review. Maybe it’s an eye-catching album cover.But sometimes it’s the description of the music that captures someone’s imagination. But you don’t have all day to sell someone on your music. So your description has to pack a punch.Learn how to come up with a compelling elevator pitch for your unique sound with the help of Chris Robley and special guest Cristina Cano.
Comments (5)

Miles Morgan

This is the lullaby my kids didn't like that they briefly mentioned. My assisted living facility fans like it though. ;) https://youtu.be/cP08yJzCEuA

Sep 24th
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Christian Paterson

Only available in the US, wtf?

Mar 21st
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Adam Paech

Hey! I'm a big fan of space and black holes and all things science based, I'm intrigued by the song you mentioned about this by you. What is it though?!!! Ta! Awesome podcast guys! I'm an indie musician just starting out, this podcast is amazing, thank you!

Jun 22nd
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Skinny Hightower

Definitely the most underrated podcast out. So many nuggets of useful information. Thank you

May 1st
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Sam RoCo

Hey congrats this podcast is good. There's a long list and Im writing songs and I'll appreciate if you help me and tells me which one you talk about selling the songs. I just started to hear you guys and I like it. I'll be around. Thanks

Nov 20th
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