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The One Thing

One high-leverage idea to scale your audience (and your business). Delivered every Tuesday.

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The benefits of promoting your own playlist on Spotify

There are multiple upsides to building and marketing your own playlist on Spotify. Now, I have gone on record in sharing my opinion about pitching to third-party playlists on Spotify. In short, I think it’s a big waste of time, energy, and, potentially, money. But before we dive into this, let me be clear in saying that this is not that. This is something different. Building and owning your own playlist (or even a network of playlists) on Spotify can be a huge unlock for independent artists,...

Finding success as a musician isn’t about what you know or even who you know—it’s about what you do. It’s about starting where you are, using what you have, and refusing to quit even when it gets difficult. Especially when it gets difficult. I have been in the music business in some form or fashion for nearly twenty years, and in that time, I have learned a few “secrets” to success that have helped me unlock a lasting and fulfilling career. So if you want to build a professional life in...

Did you know it’s possible to stop relying on Instagram’s algorithm and create a bit of your own luck by using ads? That’s right. The limited reach creators have been experiencing on Instagram has been a hot topic online for the past several months. I’ve personally seen accounts with hundreds of thousands of followers claiming they’re seeing hundreds of views instead of the tens of thousands they were seeing previously. So instead of waiting on Instagram to push out our content, let’s make...

Understanding the overlap between your song and your audience is the key to successfully marketing your music. It’s easy to think we can improve our marketing by simply improving statistics and numbers. I know I certainly fall into this trap from time to time. It’s also easy to think that if we throw more money at it, we’ll get more results, but this isn’t always the case either. Promoting our work is about more than how much we spend, CPM, or click-through rates. It’s about connecting with...

Three of the most effective places for artists to monetize their music are also the three best places to promote it. Succeeding as an independent artist is a delicate balance of marketing your work, serving your fans, and earning money. Because it’s tough to balance everything as a team of one (or only a few), it makes sense to double down on the things that can check more than one box for us. Especially when we’re just getting started. The beauty of music streaming, selling merch, and...

Where we choose to advertise makes a significant difference in the performance of our ads. If we go too tight, we might experience a much higher cost per result (and fewer overall results for our ad spend) than we want to see. If we go too broad, we might waste our money on results that don’t really count for much in the long run. That whole “if your audience is everyone, your audience is no one” thing. So how should we think about country targeting when it comes to sending traffic to Spotify...

Music marketing is about so much more than playlisting vs. advertising. And certainly about more than just creating content and getting streams. It’s about connecting with others and creating a fulfilling path to earn our freedom and a life of meaning through art. Too much emphasis is put on the mechanics of marketing, while not enough is put on why we do the things we do. Why do we release music? Why do we post content? Why do we run ads? Why wouldn’t we do those things? Well, we’re going to...

Poor marketing, bad music, and lack of talent aren’t the real dream killers for most independent artists. It’s quitting. It’s refusing to learn and adjust. It’s starting and stopping over and over, eliminating any hope that our efforts might compound over time. Being a musician is tough business. It takes an almost insane level of self-belief and discipline to succeed. But guess what? That’s the case for anything worth pursuing. The difficulty of succeeding as an artist is a shared experience...

Meta is constantly introducing new updates to its ad platform that are designed to make our lives easier. But as you and I both know, easier doesn’t always mean better. Recently, the platform has been introducing more and more of what it refers to as “Advantage” options. These features are meant to simplify the process of creating ad campaigns so the system can work for us, doing what it does best while leaving us with less of the process to worry about. However, having tested these options,...

Did you know you can use a single ad campaign to automate your audience growth across DSPs? With over half a billion average monthly users, Spotify is a juggernaut in the world of music streaming services. But there are a slew of other options out there, and artists don’t have to market their music to just one. No doubt, Spotify is worth prioritizing, but using Meta’s ad platform, we can grow on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, and more, all within one ad campaign. Here’s how it’s done....