Ari Herstand - Creative Ways to Build a Following, Generate Revenue, and Promote Your Music in the New Music Business

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Ari Herstand is the author of “How to Make It in the New Music Business.” This conversation is our Round 2 follow-up to episode 16 featuring the introduction to the book, and Ari’s backstory. In this conversation we dive into revenue streams, how to build a following, creative marketing strategies, follow-up questions from the previous interview, and much more. Ari is a musician, multi-instrumentalist, blogger, public speaker, actor, blogger, and mentor to fellow musicians. Through his blog Ari’s Take, he’s mentored and helped thousands of musicians across the world. His book is my students favorite book about the music business, and the must read for every musician looking to build a career in music. There isn’t just one way to make a living as a musician anymore, and we dive into some of those ways to build a career in the new music business.

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Highlights from this Episode
(5:25) Updates: How To Make It In The New Music Business
(8:53) Ari’s current music project, Brassroots District
(10:15) News on Brassroots District tour
(11:24) Most common asked questions since book release
(13:55) Market research platforms for objective reviews
(16:15) Best ways artists can add value to their relationships
(20:30) Storytelling: when and where to begin?
(30:26) Find the starting point of your story
(32:10) Common revenue streams for artists
(38:20) Revenue streams for Hip-Hop artists
(41:26) Using Facebook to generate income
(48:00) Advice for data analysis
(56:28) Targeting and engaging potential fans
(60:57) Facebook groups
(63:30) Engaging with people in person
(64:35) Where to find Facebook groups to join
(66:36) Playing and expanding outside of your hometown
(72:18) Building a Facebook ad without running it
(74:48) Targeting communities that can relate with your lifestyle
(76:26) How to write emails to book shows
(79:37) How to approach a venue with no past show history of your own
(85:17) Facebook Q’s from listeners
(85:27) What do you know now, that you wish you knew when you first started?
(87:07) Keeping in mind the 50/50 rule how much of  an artist’s resources should be spent in education?

Quotes from Ari Herstand
“I don’t believe in competition in the music industry, I believe we’re all stronger when we work together and I believe that a rising tide lifts all ships”
“Any musician can pave their own way and make it work in a way that makes sense to them”
“If you’re just kind of getting started…it’s not the time to be thinking about how I can make a career out of music or how can I make money, it’s the time to think about how can I hone my craft so I can challenge myself and become great”
“In every interaction think not how can they help me but how can I help them”
“Things will happen if you start helping people and adding value”
“[a career in music is] a marathon not a sprint”
“Your branding and your story are the most important things that you need to work out after you master your music”
“You have to get creative about how you’re going to target your fans”
“Don’t think of it as a transaction…what works is that you play the long game, analyze the data and study it”
“You don’t need to sit around waiting for a label”
“Nobody care about free downloads anymore…stay up with it, keep innovating and find what works for you”
“If you study and learn the nuances and intricacies of the backend data of Facebook, Instagram or twitter you will know more than anyone else in the music industry”
“You don’t want to get opening gigs for bands you like, you want to get opening gigs for bands whose fans would also like you”
“Eventually if you support the community, the community will support you back”
“Start local, figure out what works”
“You should blend the digital and physical world, it’s not an either/or anymore”
“It’s about finding a community…they will support you even if they don’t really, like, love your content or music, just because they identify with you and you’re part of the community”
“50 people is the magic number, if you can figure out how to get 50 people in every city then you can find a venue that will book you”
“The song is the most important thing; it all comes down to the song…do not settle for good enough”
“School is a great time to develop your art, learn the business…challenge yourself to be as best as you can be before you start your career”

Links to people, places, and things mentioned
Ari Herstand’s book: How to Make it in the New Music Business
Brassroots District
Jeffrey James
Ed Sheeran
Dave Matthews Band
Nino Bless
Kendrick Lamar
Old School Marketing’s Rule of Seven
Sales Funnels
Allen Stone
The Troubadour
Alabama Shakes
The Social

Get in touch with Ari Herstand
instagram and twitter:
Blog: Ari's Take
Book: How To Make It In The New Music Business

Ari Herstand’s definition of making it:
“Making a living supporting the kind of lifestyle that you’d like to have doing what you love.”

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Episode Credits
Host: Chris Goyzueta
Producer: Jason Trosclair
Executive Producer: ONElive Creative Agency  
Music: Emily Kopp
Show Notes: Manuel Pachamoro