Four years ago, I started my podcast, Music, Money And Life as a means to promote my website, products and services. Since then, my podcast has grown into one of the more popular music business podcasts out there and it’s become the thing I enjoy the most about running my business and find the most rewarding.
Although I started my podcast with the idea of promoting my brand, products and services, I’ve discovered a lot of other unexpected positive side effects of hosting my own podcast. It’s been such a positive experience that I highly recommend other musicians look into starting their own podcasts as a way to spread the word about their music, services, and connect with other people in the business.
In this post, I’m going to break down why podcasting is such an amazing platform for moving forward in the music business. I’ve discovered essentially five main benefits of podcasting, that all musicians could benefit from.
Connecting With Other Industry Influencers – This is probably the single biggest upside of hosting your own music business or music industry related podcast. When you create a platform for others to promote themselves and get the word out about what they’re up to, they are much more likely to talk to you and connect with you than if you simply contact them, randomly, out of the blue, trying to get them to help you with your career.
Most people love to talk about themselves. I don’t say this in a cynical or jaded way, it’s just human nature. People want to express themselves and be heard, and podcasts are a great way to connect with a lot of people at one time. I’m amazed at some of the people I’ve been able to interview and connect with on my podcast, Music, Money And Life, and it’s getting easier and easier to attract high profile guests.
Next week, for example, I’m interviewing the drummer Kenny Aronoff, cited as one of the top 100 drummers of all time by Rolling Stone. Kenny has played with a who’s who list of musicians, including artists like John Cougar Mellencamp, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, The Rolling Stones, Lady Ga Ga, Bruno Mars, Sting, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Seger, Dave Grohl, Elton John, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Jon Bon Jovi, Steven Tyler, The Smashing Pumpkins, Meatloaf, B.B. King, Rod Stewart and John Fogerty, to name a few. I can’t wait to pick Kenny’s brain about the music business next week, I can imagine he has a little bit of knowledge to share!
I don’t have any particular agenda in connecting with the musicians and people I bring on my podcast. Some of my guests I’ve forged ongoing relationships with and some I may never talk to again. But either way, I’m getting access to people and knowledge I probably wouldn’t have otherwise.
Social Proof / Credibility – Another benefit to podcasting is that by interviewing and connecting with other people in the industry you’ll boost your own perceived credibility in the industry. When you connect with other people that are higher up the ladder than you are in the industry, people will take you more seriously as a result.
When deciding whether or not to work with you, or do business with you, people decide in part on social cues to determine whether or not they want to move forward. When people see you associating and collaborating with known names in the industry, it boosts your own credibility by default.
Again, I’m not really trying to do this with my podcast, it wasn’t something that I set out to do when I launched my podcast. This is a natural byproduct of connecting with and working with other industry insiders. People, in general, will start to take you more seriously when they see that other established people in the industry take you seriously.
Self Education – Another great, great benefit of hosting your own podcast is that you’ll learn so much more about the business, so much more quickly than you would if you weren’t connecting with and speaking with industry insiders on a regular basis. Now that I’ve done almost 100 episodes of my podcast, I often joke that I feel like I’ve received a master’s degree in the music business.
The music business is a people business, but it’s also an information business. Knowledge is power, and when you’re able to connect with and speak with people more established than you are, you’ll learn a wealth of information in the process. I’ve had tons of insights and aha moments as a result of connecting with people on my podcasts. I’m educating my audience, but I’m also educating myself at the same time.
Self Promotion – This was really the reason and main motivation for starting my podcast; the ability to promote myself. Podcasts are a great way to get the word out about your products and services. Like with all self promotion, you need to be careful in how you do this. If you make it too much about you and your products, music, etc, you run the risk of turning people off. But if you don’t overdo it, podcasts are a great tool for self promotion.
The theme of my podcast is directly tied to what I do both as a musician, and as a business, so it’s not really a stretch to occasionally mention a new product or program, or to play some of my own music. All things I do from time to time. But I try not to overdo promoting myself and keep the focus on educating and entertaining my audience to the best of my ability.
Self Improvement – And finally, the last benefit that I’ve discovered from hosting my podcast is self improvement. What do I mean? How does hosting a podcast improve yourself? Well, as we all know, the music business is a people business. Your ability to connect with other people in the business, will at least in part determine your success. That’s not to say you can’t be a little eccentric and still succeed in music, we all know that’s not the case. But, you need to connect with people in an authentic way.
There’s an art to having a good conversation. I’m not claiming to be an expert at this, but like with anything, the more you do something, the better you’ll get. I feel like I’ve gotten a lot better at steering a conversation and conducting interviews as a result of hosting my podcast. That sort of self improvement and self development is extremely rewarding. The fact that I can connect with so many people I respect and admire in the business is pretty frigging cool. Will these connections somehow boost my own status in the music business? Maybe, it could. But honestly, the process itself is the reward.