How To Be A Classy Self-Promoter

Why Music Managers Just Don't Cut It (The NEW Team)

When Paying For Music Works

Why Are People (Not) Coming To Your Shows?

What Musicians Can Learn From The Olympics

Network Like A Music Pro At The First Ari's Take Meetup

What I Learned From My $12 Cup Of Coffee

How To Submit To Pandora (Without a CD)

Why I Hate Downloading Music

Don’t Be Late. Ever.

How To Copyright All of Your Songs For $35

How To Act Completely Unprofessionally

CD Baby, Tunecore, Ditto, Mondotunes or ReverbNation

8 Ways To Get The Best Deal For The Gig

How To Make A Killer Promo Video

Carry Your Instrument On The Plane - It's The LAW

10 Steps To Sell Out Your Show

Your Gear Will Get Stolen

Why Retweeting Compliments Is Not Bragging

Yes, You Need T-Shirts

How To Record Your Album

Network Like A (Music) Pro

My Response To An LA Promoter

Should You Pay To Play

Why You Have No Twitter Followers

You Don't Find A Manager, A Manager Finds You

CD Baby Pro vs. TuneCore Publishing (The Full Report)

Don't Try Out For A Singing Show...

It Is About Who You Know

The One Thing Musicians Should Never Admit

How To Kill a 30 Year Career in 5 Minutes

The Art of Asking

Skip The Party Tonight, Become a Rockstar Tomorrow

How To Pimp Out Your CD Release Show

You Should Try Out for American Idol (The Relatives)

Free Bird! (Covers vs. Originals)

What's a Publicist and Should I Get One?

Copyright Your Song or GLEE Will Steal It

How To Setup A Headlining Show

Don't Piss Off The Sound Guy

Interview with founder of Indie On The Move

Your Music Doesn't Matter

Booking Your Own Tour: A How-To Guide

Fuck Facebook... In the Face

Technical Difficulties ARE Your Fault

50 Is The Magic Number (Book a Headlining Tour)

Always Do This When Giving Your CD To Someone Important

How I Made $13,544 In A Month (on Kickstarter)

Smash Your Shitty Guitar

Are You In The Right City For Your Music

The Hardest Part About Being Your Own Manager

Buy My Music Dammit (Spotify vs iTunes)

The Opener

How To Get Songs Placed On TV (Rock Stars Are People Too)

What Do You Mean We Don't Get Paid? (The Confirmation Email)

Musicians Are Lazy (The Day Of)

How To Be A Better Performer

It Doesn't Take a Web Genius

Just Say Yes

Does This Mustache Make My Ass Look Fat?

Our Tour Page Is Totally Full (of empty shows)

Don't Be Afraid Of The Phone

I Think You're An Asshole, So I'm Going To Tell You, Asshole

Don't Be A Dick

How I Got 250 To My Debut CD Release (Getting Started)

Can I Open For You? Maybe. But Probably Not

Be a Supportive Member of Your Music Community

Double Your Income... No Really

Beauty School Drop Out (The Backup Plan)

Shows Sell, Events Sell Out

I'm A Tool and I Have Accepted That

Allocating the Duties

Friend Fatigue

Gatekeepers
Ari's Take

How To Be A Classy Self-Promoter

17

Why do we love it when politicians talk about themselves? Why do we love hearing them stump on the campaign trail talking about how great they are?

Well maybe we don't love it, but we accept it. And vote for them.

But we hate musicians who talk about themselves.

In the hip hop community it's more accepted. But outside hip hop, it's shunned.

I've been labeled a "shameless self promoter." And many other less flattering names.

But so was James Brown. Until he was the "hardest working man in show business."

And so has nearly every band who's ever made it. Especially in the last 10 years.

You don't make it by hiding out in your basement recording amazing songs. Well, even if you do, in the Owl City case, he did so by promoting the fuck out of his music on Myspace. He didn't do it on the streets with posters and flyers. He did it behind a computer.

It's a different era we live in.

Self promotion is, unfortunately, a necessary component to any musician's career. But it's a fine line between being confident and arrogant. Endearing and distasteful. Persistent and annoying.

So how do you know when you're crossing that line? I know I have many times in my career. I don't like being a self promoter. Despite what thousands of show posters might claim otherwise.

I do it because I believe my music can affect people. That my music can be therapy for others - like how it was therapy for me.

I do it because I am hopelessly addicted to the feeling I get when I play a packed show.

I do it because I'm madly in love with creating and sharing music and want people to reciprocate that love.

I do it because I don't want to play empty shows.

I do it because I don't want my album to fizzle out.

I do it because it's what it takes to succeed in the modern age as an independent musician.

Before you have a team around you to do it for you, you are going to have to share your music. If you don't, who will?

But there are classy ways to go about it that don't involve spamming.

Before you do any sort of self promoting, do the gut check. How would you feel if a friend of yours hit you with the same message? Remember, 10 personal conversations are more effective than 1000 Facebook invites. Or 1000 flyers left around coffee shops.

When you're self promoting stay humble, but confident.


Set your pride aside and remember the feeling you get when you succeed. When your music touches people. When you connect.

There are brilliant musicians who refuse to network and self promote. They never make it out of their local club. There are mediocre musicians who become superstars.

Be a leader.

You wonder why politicians can amass millions of followers behind just words? It's their confidence, humility and message.

If you can connect and inspire. You can affect millions.

Photo by Chris Pan from my record release show at the Hotel Cafe in Hollywood. Listen to my new record, Brave Enough, on Spotify.
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