#171: 10 mistakes you might be making with your music right now

We like to think we’re unique as snowflakes, but we musicians can be pretty similar when it comes to the mistakes we (continue to) make. In this episode, Kevin and Chris discuss 10 common errors and oversights many DIY artists are guilty of. Are you guilty too? Plus, news about SoundCloud albums, Spotify playlists, the…

#170: How to deal with negative press and bad reviews

Bad reviews, negative YouTube comments, hecklers: we all experience them from time to time. Criticism is an inevitable part of putting your music out there, but still it always seems to hurt. What are some productive ways to deal with criticism? In this episode, Chris and Kevin talk about the good and bad ways in…

#169: Cathy Heller – Selling songs for sync licensing

Want your songs placed in TV and film productions? Had success in sync licensing, but you’re looking to secure higher-profile placements? In this episode, Kevin talks with Cathy Heller, an independent artist who quit trying to “make it” in music via the traditional route, and focused instead on sync licensing, becoming a go-to source for…

#168: 6 tips for making a no-budget music video

A music video is a practically required these days when promoting new music. But most DIY artists don’t have a budget left for video production after all the expenses of recording, manufacturing, and distributing an album. How can you create a no-budget music video? In this episode, Chris and Kevin talk about six principles for…

#167: The 4 pillars of a successful performance

Just because you wrote a song and happen to be standing on a stage doesn’t make you a great performer. Captivating a live audience is a skill all its own, one that you must learn and practice — just like your instrument. In this episode, performance coach Tom Jackson reveals the 4 pillars of a…

#166: The singles vs. album release debate

Once upon a time, the single ruled. Then, for almost half a century, the album dominated. Now that the means of distribution are in YOUR hands, which format makes the most sense for your music? In this episode, Kevin and Chris each pick a side of the argument — singles vs. albums — and discuss…

#165: Are exclusive blog features worth it?

Blog premieres and exclusives have become a ubiquitous way of promoting new music, but are they WORTH it? Some blogs are putting an end to the practice on their own sites, and many musicians are starting to weigh the pros and the cons of exclusivity. In this episode, Chris and Kevin talk about a series…

#164: Is “marketing” destroying your music career?

Music Marketing: it’s either the art of effectively communicating your story to potential fans or it’s an utter waste of time spent staring at computer monitors and smartphone screens. How can you tell the difference? How can you tell if your marketing “strategy” will lead you on a path towards success? In this episode, Kevin…

#163: Justin Evans – How LANDR instant mastering works

Audio mastering is often the last, mysterious step in preparing a new song or album for mass consumption. That’s if you’re lucky. A lot of artists skip the mastering process for various reasons (time, budget, etc.), and the end results suffer. Now with the automated mastering service LANDR, you can instantly master a track, compare…

#162: Becky Yee – Are your artist photos a barrier or gateway to your music?

Like it or not, photography plays a huge part in how people HEAR your music. Yep, it’s true. Visuals are often the introduction to your artist story, and to the story of your music too. In this episode, talented commercial photographer Becky Yee tells us how to find a good photographer, set up a productive…

#161: How to double your merch sales overnight!

Want to move twice as many CDs at your next show? Hear all about the merch-table makeover that happened for Chris Robley during his seven-night residency last month, and how switching a few simple things around made a huge difference. In this episode, Kevin and Chris talk merch tips, pet peeves, and more — plus…

#160: Budi Voogt – How to market your music on SoundCloud

SoundCloud provides artists with a unique ecosystem in which to promote music and build an audience. But like with most online tools, the more musicians that use SoundCloud, the harder it is to cut through the noise. In this episode, Budi Voogt, author of The SoundCloud Bible, provides some tips and tricks for using the…

#159: Musical goals and predictions for the biz in 2016

What are your music goals for 2016? Do you work best when other people can hold you accountable? We do too. That’s why in this episode, Kevin and Chris each list a few things they hope to accomplish with their music-making in the year ahead. Plus, some guesses at what the music industry will look…

#158: Top 5 album release mistakes

Putting out a new album is a rare opportunity to rally fans, the press, and other segments of the industry around your music and your story. It took a lot of work to get your album ready for release, so don’t squander a chance for promotion and sales that only comes around once in a…

#157: The Star Wars Episode – What artists can learn from epic mistakes!

With Star Wars, George Lucas built an epic cultural touchstone, and then later left fans feeling betrayed by a series of epic fails. What can musicians learn from his creative mistakes? Lots! Travel with Kevin and Chris to a galaxy far, far away — where you’ll learn the ways of The Force, and pilot your…

#156: Annie Lin – How to legally sell a cover song

You’ve recorded a really unique cover version of your favorite song and you can’t wait for your fans to hear it. But hold on a second! Have you secured the proper license to release that tune? In this episode, Kevin speaks with Annie Lin from Loudr about when, why, how, and who an artist needs…

#155: Roundtable – The Official DIY Musician Conference Recap

Heads are abuzz and hearts are aglow after CD Baby’s first-ever DIY Musician Conference. What made this event so special? What were the key lessons learned over three jam-packed days of workshops, mentoring sessions, and panel discussions? Kevin and Chris talk about some highlights that are applicable to your music career. Plus, music news: the…

#154: Simon Tam – A band name trademark story

Should you trademark your artist/band name? Should an artist even care about a trademark? These questions – and many more – will be answered as we follow the band The Slants on a trademark journey that’s taking them all the way to Federal Court and could potentially change the United States Constitution. The Slants website…

#153: Roundtable – The DIY Musician Conference Preview

CD Baby has built a better, stronger, friendlier music conference geared specifically towards DIY artists. But why? And how? And where? And what can you expect when you attend? In this episode, Chris and Kevin talk about the event, what they’re most excited about, and how you can make the most of your time at…

#152: Roundtable – The Apple Music Review

Has the launch of Apple Music been a dazzling success or a dud? Will fans and artist actually use Apple Connect? In this episode, Kevin and Chris talk about Apple’s new music streaming service, what they got right, what they got wrong, and what effect any of this will have on musicians and music consumers….

#151: Josh Collum – A micro sync success story

Micro-sync licensing might sound like small peanuts, but indie musician Josh Collum has earned over $200,000 from online sync opportunities, Audio Swap, YouTube lyric videos, and other user-generate content. In this episode, Josh talks about how he quickly grew his micro-sync revenues from a few hundred dollars a year to tens of thousands every quarter….

#150: Roundtable – What artists need to know about Apple Music

Apple has officially announced their new music streaming service called Apple Music. The new service will be available for iOS users on June 30th. Will Apple Music change the music industry forever  or will it be just another streaming options in a increasingly crowded field? Join Kevin and Chris as they look at the Apple Music launch through the indie…

#149: Roundtable – How to craft your story

Your music is the last thing that matters. But once someone’s listening, it’s the ONLY thing that matters. Your artist story is what leads a listener to that moment. What IS your artist story, though? What is it comprised of? How do you craft it? How do you tell it? In this episode, Kevin and…

#148: Rob Filomena – Professionalizing your music rights

Meet Rob Filomena, CD Baby’s Director of Music Publishing. In this episode we’ll discuss the growing opportunities for indie artists through music publishing, and why professionalizing all you music rights isso  important. Also, CD Baby announces it’s first ever DIY Musician conference happening this coming Fall of 2015. All the details can bet found HERE. DIY…

#147: Roundtable – Do release dates matter anymore?

The recording industry has determined that Friday will be the new global record release day — but in a digital world of endless options and instant delivery, does it make sense for every artist to put out new music at the same time? In this episode, Kevin and Chris discuss how this change could affect independent musicians…