Ari Herstand - A DIY Musician Making It in the New Music Business

The first time I met Ari, was on the CD Baby DIY Musician’s Podcast in November of 2016. It was in promotion of his new book “How to Make It in the New Music Business.” In the interview he had a ton of great information to share about releasing your own album. I constantly had to pull over (don’t text and drive), to take notes, until I eventually said I’m listening to this when I get home. After the episode I had to reach out and get him on the show. I learned so much from that one interview, and had to get him to share his story with our listeners and students. From the first email, Ari was really excited and very happy to be part of the show. 

Ari is a DIY musician that has performed over 600 shows, that he booked all on his own. He’s opened and toured with artists such as Ben Folds, Cake, Matt Nathanson, The Milk Carton Kids, and Ron Pope. As his peers started noticing his hustle and success in his career, they would reach out to him for advice. After a while, he decided to start his own blog, Ari’s Take, to help and support fellow musicians. Ari is a man that was very many hats such as musician, actor, public speaker, blogger, multi-instrumentalist, beat boxer, and now author.

This was a very fun interview, and I’m looking forward to going for a Round 2 with Ari Herstand in person very soon. Get your pen and paper to start taking notes, and enjoy this episode.

Highlights from Episode
How does Ari get his drive and stay motivated? [6:16]
Ari on his true goal [10:58]
What is the “NEW” music business? [13:07]

What are common questions that musicians have? [17:20]
The journey and process of putting the book together [20:22]
How to build true fans [24:09]
The importance of building your email list [31:10]
What does Ari’s Team Look Like and finding a manager [37:22]
Has Ari ever thought about becoming a manager [44:42]
Studying at University of Minnesota [46:38]
What are the steps artists should take when booking their own shows? [53:17]
What would Ari do if it was his last day? [1:00:01]

Quotes from Ari:
“There isn’t just one way to pursue a successful music career anymore”
“Everyone started with zero fans”
“Don’t look at fans as number, look at them as people”
“Until you get to superstar level, you have the time to respond to people”
“When you do things differently, you excel much faster”
“The conversion rate on email is so much higher than [the social media platforms]”
“I always had the mailing list sign-up at every show and grew that”
“I consider myself a student first. I’m always looking to learn.”
“Remember it’s your career, managers work for you”
“It’s much cooler to sell out a smaller venue, than to play a half empty big venue”
“Don’t take your show on the road, until you can break locally”
“Book a big local show, every 6 to 12 weeks”

Links to Things & People Mentioned
Get Ari’s Book “How to Make It in the New Music Business
All You Need to Know about the Music Business” by Donald Passman [Book] Digital Distribution Comparison Guide from Ari’s Take Blog
Digital Music News
Secret Road
Lynn Grossman - Owner of Secret Road (Interview)
Ingrid Michaelson
Bruce Flohr at Red Light Management
SwitchfootAri’s Interview with Cathy Heller
Ron Pope  
Kevin Hart
Jamie Foxx
Bruno Mars
Harry Fox Agency
University of Minnesota

Get in Touch with Ari
Ari on Twitter
Ari’s Take on Twitter
Ari on Instagram
Ari’s Take Blog

Ari’s definition of Making It
Living the kind of lifestyle you want to live, and doing what you love.