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Music Business Hacks

A music business show made for artists who are looking for clear information, inspiration, and application for their careers. Ideas are broken down into steps that musicians can use to advance their career. The show is written and hosted by Simon Tam, an industry professional who is the founder of The Slants Foundation, author of multiple books, and longtime mentor/speaker at SXSW, the DIY Musician Conference, and other major events.

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The best episodes ranked using user listens.

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#2 - How to Book Better Shows

Learning to book shows is one of the most essential skills for any performer. However, no one teaches how to do it and there isn't really any set, consistent method. Today, we'll focus on advancing your bookings by helping you rethink what we mean by "better" shows, how to find the right venue, and what you should/should not do. Some additional resources for you: How to book your band's tour (step by step) Where you should be touring/performing How to book SXSW and is it worth it? How to Book Better Shows (original article)

12mins

2 Feb 2018

Rank #1

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#370 - Scaling Up pt. 3: Music Marketing That Works

This season, we’re partnering up with CD Baby to provide six months of mentoring and coaching to three artists in different genres and different stages of their career. You’ll get insights as to the kind of advice appropriate for building a scalable and sustainable career while getting to hear about their actual metrics. As the season unfolds, you’ll get to hear what works or what doesn’t work so well for these artists and learn how you can launch your own career as well. In the third episode from this series, we'll be focusing on hashtag strategies, better outreach, and audience-focused music marketing that actually works. If you've been struggling with the use of hashtags or want to know how to quickly build your fanbase, this is the episode for you. Follow the artists: Aspen Jacobsen – teenage singer-songwriter: Website, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Darro – indie/pop punk band: Website, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Maxximo – Pop/electronic solo artist: Website, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. If you would like to funding for The Slants Foundation effort to counter hate with art or to support our grant program, check out www.theslants.org/counteringhate Also, Join us in Austin at the DIY Musician Conference: Use promo code DIYCON30 to save $30 off the registration. At the convention, we’ll be unveiling all of the final numbers from our six months of coaching and you’ll get to meet the artists in person.

36mins

27 Apr 2020

Rank #2

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#129 - Instagram Hacks for Bands

How do you get more Instagram followers? Does following other accounts in hopes that they return the favor work? Today, we cover six Instagram tactics that artists can try in order to get more growth and engagement for their channels.

9mins

15 Jun 2018

Rank #3

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#25 - How to Get the Opening Slot for a Major Tour/Band

There are a few ways to make sure you get to open for a major artist in town. Today, we'll talk about the options that you have available and the pros and cons of each.  Resources: Ep 3: How to Get a Sponsor part 1 Ep 22: How to Get a Sponsor part 2 Ep 9: Perfecting Your Pitch Also, don't forget to leave a review on iTunes!

7mins

25 Feb 2018

Rank #4

Most Popular Podcasts

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#144 - How to Get That Record Deal with Radar Label Group Founder/Partner Jason Davis

Today we speak with Jason Davis. Jason is an artist manager, developer, independent record label owner, and serial entrepreneur. Davis has worked with names like Boyz II Men and P. Diddy to Lonestar and Dolly Parton, transcending genres and gaining an understanding of all facets of the industry. He speaks about writing hit songs, working with Jay-Z, and so much more. You don't want to miss this info-packed episode! For more information about Jason's work, check out: Radar Label Group One One 7 Awaken Records Resources: Your Love Pursues: A Memoir by Jason Davis Mozart: A Life (book) by Paul Johnson Reposition Yourself: Living Your Life Without Limits (book) by TD Jakes Best small purchase: Apple Earpods (wireless)

41mins

1 Jul 2018

Rank #5

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#24 - Every Musician Needs an Intraband Agreement

It’s good to set realistic expectations over each other’s duties as well as having a plan on how money, responsibilities, debts, and things will be divided. What if some band members believe that merch should only be sold to get gas money but others believe some things should be given out to promote the band? What if someone has a lot of friends and takes up all of the guest list spots? Who will handle social media and promotion? Some simple communication, especially things in writing, can save a lot of heartache on the road. Resources: Interband Agreement Template IP Attorney: Ron Coleman Entertainment Attorney: McNamer Law

7mins

24 Feb 2018

Rank #6

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#291 - How to Dominate a Niche Market pt 1: Find a Need

Today, I'm kick off a new series specifically on niche marketing and business development. This episode is focused on the foundation for any business: identifying needs to fill. In addition to sharing some of my own experiences, I'll also show companies like EZ Laundry and Netflix used similar principles as other artists in order to launch their businesses! References: Episode #190: How to Find Your Niche People I've Interviewed with a Unique Niche: Episode #6: DaRealWordSound Episode 48: Dez Cadena Episode #162: Manafest Episode #258: Shannon Curtis

7mins

12 Feb 2019

Rank #7

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#365 - One Year of Music Business Hacks

It's our final episode! Today, I reflect on the lessons learned from our journey of one year of music business hacks together. Follow me on tour: www.theslants.com Stay in touch: @SimonTheTam

9mins

14 Sep 2019

Rank #8

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#185 - Interview: How Whitherward Got Subaru to Sponsor Their European Tour

Today we sit down with indie-folk/Americana band, Whitherward. Their inspirational story highlights a creative approach to building a sustainable career with many best practices in booking and sponsorship. List for a jam-packed episode full of great insights in taking your career to the next level! For more information on Whitherward, check out: Website: whitherward.com Bandcamp: whitherward.bandcamp.com YouTube: youtube.com//whitherwardmusic Facebook: facebook.com/whitherwardmusic Twitter: twitter.com/whitherwardband Instagram: @whitherwardontour Patreon: patreon.com/whitherward Tumblr: whitherwardmusic.tumblr.com Resources: Booking shows: Indie on the Move Concerts in Your Home database Ashley's phone videography: LG V30 (unlocked) Favorite books: Book: How to Get Sponsorships and Endorsements (print edition is $7, ebook is $4) Book: The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmerv Book: Myst: The Book of Atrus by Miller, Miller, and Wingrove Book: Ascent of the A-word by Geoffrey Nunberg Favorite podcasts: Stuff You Should Know Unqualified Lingthusiasm Now Hear This Other cool stuff: Flexible camera/phone tripod Switcher Studio (multi-angle video switching)

1hr

23 Aug 2018

Rank #9

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#51 - The Science of Persuasion

In this episode, we talk about the Science of Persuasion. These are principles that determine how people make decisions. Applied correctly and ethically, you can help influence others positively: improve sales/support, have more success with negotiations, and tell your story better. Watch the video for more: [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFdCzN7RYbw[/embed]

11mins

23 Mar 2018

Rank #10

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#153 - How to Stand Out in an Overly Crowded Marketplace

A common complaint from artists is that there is simply too much music out there and that it is too hard to stand out. Today, we talk about the secret hack to cut through the noise and reach fans who are enthusiastic for what you're doing: developing and evolving your niche. Resources: Episode 16: Hacking Yelp for Your Music

8mins

9 Jul 2018

Rank #11

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#187 - How to be a Social Media Rockstar (DIY Musician Conference speech)

I delivered one of the main addresses at the CD Baby D.I.Y Musician Conference in Nashville, TN on social media hacks. Really, the principles that I love sharing can be applied across multiple areas in your music career: pitching, getting shows, securing sponsorships, and of course, building a solid social media brand. Enjoy this talk + FAQ.

1hr 7mins

25 Aug 2018

Rank #12

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#156 - How to Scale Your Music Business

In the world of entrepreneurship, you'll hear the term "scaling a business" quite often It means quick growth to level up and reach new markets like never before. If often means getting outside investors interested. So how can you apply the same techniques and ideas into a music career? Resources: Episode 8: SMARTER Goals Episode 140: How to Create an Advisory Board for Your Band

7mins

12 Jul 2018

Rank #13

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#114 - How to Improve Your EPK (Electronic Press Kit)

Here's the hard truth about submitting anything via Sonicbids or Reverbation, your press kit to a record label, or trying to book a big show: You have less than one minute to get the person's attention. With those kinds of stakes and competition for attention, you better get it right by having an EPK that is up to date, has great information, and gets the right details across! Related: Episode 9: Perfecting Your Pitch Sonicbids (EPK site) ReverbNation (EPK site)

5mins

25 May 2018

Rank #14

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#115 - How to Become a Famous Singer

Recently, I came across an oft-asked question: "How do I become a famous singer?" It's so common that Alexa and Google suggest it, leading to a generic article with advice that won't really get you anywhere. So today, I'm going to answer the bigger question under this sentiment (while helping you with an activity that will ultimately get you there).

7mins

26 May 2018

Rank #15

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#258 - Interview: How Shannon Curtis Made $25k on a 2 Month House Concert Tour

Shannon Curtis is an artist who works as a songwriter, singer, storyteller, recording artist, speaker, and author. Her sixth studio album, entitled Both at the Same Time, is out now, and explores concepts of duality and of holding opposing truths in tension. Curtis and her husband Jamie Hill’s pioneering development of their unique community-driven house concert touring format takes them on extensive nationwide house concert tours each year. Their how-to book on that method debuted in February 2014 at #1 on Amazon’s Music Business Best Sellers list. They have become popular speakers on the topic at music industry conferences, and they routinely mentor other artists on house concert touring and DIY business. Buy the book here!  If you buy her book, send me the receipt and I'll send you both of my books! Here’s the link to “Shannon & Jamie’s Art Revolution” email list: http://eepurl.com/drqp3j Additional Resources: Books discussed: Dr. Brené Brown - The Gifts of Imperfection & Daring Greatly Elizabeth Gilbert - Big Magic  Podcasts: Pod Save America Watch Shannon's TEDx talk here: [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIIjAKE_7Lg[/embed]

49mins

15 Nov 2018

Rank #16

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#162 - Music Business for Rule Breakers with Damian Keyes

Damian is a social media strategist and a newly emerged influencer with fresh perspectives on using online tools for business growth. Damian graduated from music college at 19 and then joined the core team that grew the same college from 50 students to 800 before leaving at 23 to set up The Brighton Institute of Modern Music (BIMM). This is now the biggest independent provider for full time music education in the world valued at an excess of £60M. He is also the founder/director of DK Music Management, which is the UK’s largest commercial band management company, and Warble Entertainment, the largest commercial entertainment agency in the UK. Following this Damian used his experiences in business and music to begin creating daily content for artists hoping to grow their social media audience. This has expanded into a large online platform for anyone needing advice on their online strategy. This year Damian launched his book ‘The Rule-Breakers Guide to Social Media’ as another resource on this topic, which has become the no.1 bestseller in marketing on Amazon. Be it in business or music, Damian is the go-to man for navigating the new social media landscape. ​ Resources: The Rule Breakers Guide to Social Media - Book by Damian Keyes damiankeyes.com - Official website for Damian Keyes youtube.com/user/Damiankeyes - Damian Keyes' Youtube channel Books recommended by Damian: Rich  Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter A Book About Innocent: Our Story and Some Things We Learned by Innocent Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk All Marketers Are Liars by Seth Godin

48mins

31 Jul 2018

Rank #17

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#79 - Two Cent Video Strategy That Will Get Your Priceless Engagement

A simple 4-step strategy that you can use to drive more engagement on your videos. Identify a cause and pledge two cents (or more) per view, comment, share, and like. Tell your personal story of why you're supporting that cause Ask fans to submit their own causes, organizations, or campaigns to support Film and share content with the donation being made as proof of performance (and to celebrate!)

8mins

20 Apr 2018

Rank #18

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#276 - The 7 Things Musicians Should Do Everyday

If you wanted to create a daily routine for yourself, what would it include? Today's episode focuses on the 7 things you can do to dramatically improve your success and build your career in a sustainable way.  Resources: Episode #202: How to Get Better Sleep on Tour Episode #8: SMARTER Goals

6mins

12 Dec 2018

Rank #19

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#48 - Dez Cadena of Black Flag/The Misfits talks Rick Rubin, Duff McKagen, & Punk Rock

In today's episode, we sit down with punk legend Dez Cadena to talk a bit about his decades of experience touring in punk bands Black Flag and the Misfits, as well as other steeped in rock n' roll history like Duff McKagen (Guns n' Roses), Ramones, and more. Check out Dez's new band, Mister Stratosphere on Facebook and Soundcloud Resources & Recommendations: Gear: Fender Stratocaster USA edition Gibson Les Paul Gold top Gibson Flying V "I like guitars for their own personality" Books: Catch 22 - Joseph Heller No Commercial Potential: The Saga Of Frank Zappa The Real Frank Zappa Book Small purchase: Laurel & Hardy - The Collection (21-disc Box Set)

1hr 4mins

20 Mar 2018

Rank #20