The Blue Collar Musician

[alert type="success"]Have you entered this month's drawing yet? ENTER HERE.[/alert] In episode 16 of TIM Talks, I give you a hypothetical scenario where we look at the numbers of the blue collar musician.

After that, we compare those numbers to the numbers of an artist who builds up his or her audience online with a big email list primarily selling exclusive digital releases on their own (not using iTunes or the other digital stores).

The Blue Collar Musician's Numbers

I have to warn you.

This episode is a numbers doozie.


I didn't enjoy recording this episode all that much because of some of the facts that I have to bring up.

The first 20 minutes or so I cover the blue collar musician's side of things. I got happier after that when I got into an alternative scenario, looking at an artist who uses list building and digital marketing and media to form an audience online. The numbers there are much more encouraging.

But even then, you may not be a numbers person, and I don't want your eyes to glaze over here.

So to make this easier for you I've put together this little PDF that goes over the numbers that I talk about in this episode.

I suggest you sit down with this document and read through the numbers as I go over them in the episode.

But before we break down those numbers, I want to do some high level thinking first.

The Changes Of The Music Business

blog_headerWhen was the last time you sold 25,000 copies of your album?

When was the last time you sold 15,000 copies of your album?

How about 10,000?

And when I say “sell”, that’s exactly what I mean. I'm not talking about counting your free downloads and skewing the numbers. (ahem U2?)

The truth is, the music business has changed, and everyone knows it.

To reach these numbers you would need to throw yourself into the full-time life of the modern day “Blue Collar Musician”.

It’s actually pretty cool that there are people who reach these numbers pretty easily from good ‘ole sweat equity.

That’s the reality.

These guys work hard. Really hard.

They give themselves to always learning about the tumultuous music industry....

They tour constantly, they work around the clock, and they relentlessly sell themselves, knowing very well about what it means to “pound the pavement”.

They represent a new category of artists that have been dubbed “working class musicians”. Derek Webb calls them The Blue Collar Musician. I think that's a great name for them, and I have the utmost respect for artists in this category.

But you might be shocked by my next statement:

I think most of that work is based on an old music business model.

I believe most artists are still playing according to old rules set by the music industry of the 20th century....

Here are just a few of the things I'm talking about:

  • Long play albums
  • Singles
  • EP's
  • Touring
  • Radio
  • Press releases

proBut if the music business has changed so much, why would artists continue to work in a business model that was birthed in the old way of the music business?

Let's look back at two reasons how (and why) the music business changed.

Reason 1: Music production is cheaper than ever.

You can produce high quality recordings these days, for a fraction of what it used to cost. Because of the laptop computer and a little application called GarageBand, artists all over the world discovered their ability to be self produced.

Studios have had to close their doors, and technology has only improved, faster, and faster - making it easier for indie artists and musicians to have opportunities to achieve professionally produced music.

But this wasn’t just in the DIY, indie world.

It hit everybody.

Majors, indies, and beginners alike found the cost of production going down. What happened as a result?

Prices eventually went down too.

People tend to think Napster and file sharing drove the price of music down, but that's only part of it (albeit a huge part. One that I'll get to in a second).

Remember when you could go down to the record store and you had to purchase a CD for almost $20?

The bubble burst.

But the cost of production going down wasn’t the only reason for the major changes in the music business.

Reason 2: The Internet

This is where things really got exciting.

Suddenly what was once only reserved for major label artists became possible for anyone and everyone....


Distribution to anywhere and everywhere.

In 1998, there was a little company that literally changed the game for artists everywhere.

Seem like Woodstock, NY has always had a knack for changing up things in music right?

Derek-Sivers-cd-babyThat’s where Derek Sivers founded CD Baby, just before growing the company and eventually selling to Disc Makers for $22M.

The company today has recent stats of having paid out an impressive $250 million to their artists.

The thing that’s crazy is that they have over 300,000 artists on their roster.

Woah wait a second. 300,000??

Now some of those artists are definitely making a good living as indie musicians. But just a quick look at the math means that, on average, their artists have each made $833.


Now don’t get me wrong. CD Baby is awesome. They are an amazing advocate and voice for today's independent musician. But these numbers aren’t encouraging for indie artists, if they want to make good money to support themselves and their families.

Don’t worry things will get extremely positive in a moment....

But not before I share some more depressing numbers for us DIY musicians.


Do you know what that number is?

iTunes-10-logo$.70 on a $.99 download is what iTunes takes every time your song is downloaded from their store. This is why many artists sell their songs for $1.29 because they get back that 30 cents lost.

What's even more sad about this is that there is no way of knowing who downloads your music from iTunes. You don't get an email address (let alone a name or location).

You don't really know who you customer is.

Here's another (very sad) number:


It might as well be $0.00

This is the amount you make every time your song is streamed on Spotify.

In a recent study that was done, a fan would have to stream your songs on Spotify over 4,000,000 times per month, just to make a minimum wage!

That’s the equivalent of selling 143 CDs at $10 each month on your own.

So let me get back to my original question a moment ago....

When was the last time you sold 10,000 copies of your album?

Let's dive deep into some numbers that you could actually achieve this day and age.

The Blue Collar Musician

10,000 Copies Sold By The Blue Collar Musician

So let's really get into it now....

The blue collar musician, in this scenario, sells 10,000 albums. We'll say 5,000 digital and 5,000 physical.

[alert type="success"]Download the PDF of these numbers here.[/alert]

This is a hypothetical scenario, but it is one that many artists these days are achieving. And many are doing even more than 10,000.

The Blue Collar Musician:

Albums Sold: 10,000

Physical: 5,000 ($49,950)

These are sold at 100 shows (250 people at each show) throughout the year (see touring expenses below), averaging 50 units sold per show at the merchandise table

Digital Downloads: 5,000 ($35,000 - $7 net revenue per album after .30 per digital download goes to iTunes)

These are sold to "peripheral" fans online who visit your website later after hearing you play live and signing up for your email newsletter perhaps.

Total net sales: $84,950

Touring Numbers:

  • Net music sales: $40,950 (after $9,000 for production expenses)
  • ?

  • Net merch sales: $10,500 ($1,000 shirts sold at $15 each)?
  • ?Venue guarantees: $2,340 (after $7,660 for travel expenses)


Recording production: $9,000

  • Disc Makers physical units printed: $4,000 (includes shipping)
  • Tracked at a local studio and self produced and mixed: $5,000

Touring Expenses (100 Shows A Year): $7,660

  • Lodging: $50 a night for 100 nights - $5,000
  • Food: $20 a day on food - $2,000
  • Mileage: 10,000 miles over 100 days at ($2.00 per gal, 30 miles a gal) - $660

****You wrap your expenses in a bill for each venue you play $100 guarantee per show, which you make 2,340 in profit after expenses are paid.

T-Shirt Costs: $4,500 (3 per shirt sold) Artist Management: $12,000

Taxes and totals:

Total adjusted gross revenue: $76,790 After taxes: $53,753 (30% in SE taxes… I’m not a CPA by the way! There are other taxes that will need to be paid. This is a very rough estimate - $23,037)

The Online Audience Builder:

With an audience of the same size (25,000 people) and offering higher priced products to your super fans, you can do 3 times better.

In this scenario, as an artist who knows internet marketing, you do not go through the regular channels of selling your music (iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, etc.)

Instead, you use email marketing to sell a higher premium release before it hits the public digital outlets for a limited time to your “super fans”.

With an email list of 25,000 people and a 20% conversion rate you sell 5,000 units (in this case units are not traditional releases for $10, but a premium offer that could include the album + merchandise, access to a private members area for a year, and a private CD release show through StageIt, for $50)

Gross sales: $250,000


  • Production: $24,000 (includes 5,000 t-shirts, plus recording production)
  • Transaction fees: $7,500 (3% for credit card processing)
  • Web hosting / email marketing costs: $3,000
  • Artist Management/Assistant: $12,000
  • Taxes and totals:

    Total adjusted gross revenue: $203,500 After taxes: $142,450 (30% in SE taxes... Remember, I’m not a CPA! There are other taxes that will need to be paid. This is a very rough estimate - $61,050)


    Conclusion and comparison:

    Traditional touring model: $53,753 New online audience builder model: $142,450 (3X the income of the old model)

    [alert type="success"]Download the PDF of these numbers here.[/alert]

    I also mentioned this blog post in this episode:

    Count It All: The Actual Hard Costs Of Touring

    How To Turn Heads With Your Music (2 Ways You Can Become A Purple Music Cow)

    To get noticed and achieve any measure of success these days, you need to be remarkable. Remarkable.

    What a big and daunting word right?

    Being remarkable may seem like this high and lofty thing that only the most talented can achieve, but it doesn't have to be that way.

    All you need to do is stand out. Be, as Seth Godin puts it, a purple cow. Purple cows turn heads.

    How To Turn Heads With Your Music

    how-to-turn-headsIn this episode of TIM Talks, I talk about the "purple music cow". In what ways are you standing out from the crowd with your songs?

    Do you have a crazy-awesome, out-of-the-box show when you play live? Are you doing head turning things on YouTube that are down right irresistible to share?

    That's what we're talking about here.

    A word of caution though:

    Turning heads isn't always a good thing....

    Remember Rebecca Black?

    Her music turned heads for sure. She was a purple cow. But not necessarily in a good way.

    How did she become a purple cow? A large financial investment (made by her mom) to a production house in California, produced a single and a music video for her song Friday.

    And with a little marketing push, it caught on...

    ....but for all the wrong reasons:

    The interesting thing about Rebecca is that she's become a self-deprecating comedian, taking her experience and using it to build an audience on YouTube around the fact that so many people disliked her song.

    She continues to release music, and build up a large audience online. I respect her for that because now she has to work even harder to win over people who may have written her off.

    Who knows how many more would've liked her if her current music were their first impression.

    Or maybe it's the other way around.... Would she have an audience at all? Who can really say?

    I know it's sad, but this is the world we live in.

    The lesson?

    "Great marketing only makes a bad product fail faster" -David Ogilvy

    If that quote doesn't make you shake in your boots you should read it again.

    Great marketing + really bad = something that turns heads in a negative way.

    Standing out because you're GREAT is the category we want.

    Let's compare the video above with something that is quite the opposite (in my opinion).

    Uploaded a few months later was this song by the band Walk Of The Earth....

    At the time of this episode being published, Walk Of The Earth's video has been played nearly 165 million times.


    Because it's a purple cow. And news about purple cows is highly shareable. That's how I discovered this video. A friend who watched it thought it was awesome enough to share with me via a text message.

    Jack Conte is another purple music cow you can learn from.

    His band Pomplamoose (they show up a lot on T.I.M. Talks) uploaded a cover of Beyonce's "Single Ladies" and it went viral within days.

    how to turn heads

    Some people think viral is a sheer stroke of luck, and can't be quantified.

    I don't agree....

    Here are three reasons their cover went viral, getting them millions of views:

    1) Timing.

    Ok I admit, you can't prefectly control this, but you can be paying attention and being ready when the opportunity comes. Just before Pomplamoose uploaded their video cover, Kayne West did his infamous Taylor Swift interruption at the VMA's stating that "Beyonce had one of the best music videos of all time..."

    What was Beyonce's video?

    Single Ladies

    There were thousands of searches on Google the next day for "Single Ladies".

    2) A Very Basic Understanding Of SEO.

    Fortunately for Pomplamoose, they a knew a little something about search engine optimization (SEO) and tagged their YouTube videos with the proper keywords. And Beyonce's official video wasn't on YouTube for another month.

    Guess who showed up on the first page of Google? And with a video?

    What was the third reason? It was the straw that broke the camel's back....

    3) They were a purple cow.

    They did a GREAT job producing and performing a remarkable version of the song.

    The result? Millions of heads turned.

    The vid:

    This is what set Jack Conte on the journey to eventually create Patreon a few years later.

    2 Painfully Simple Steps To Becoming A Remarkable Purple Music Cow And Turning More Heads

    Step 1: Read From The Best

    You're a developing musician right? You must spend hours each week perfecting and honing your musical craft. May I get in there and add something to your already very full plate? ;-)

    Remember, you can't just be skilled. Or even talented. You need to learn how to turn heads.

    So here's this very simple action step:

    Learn all you can about the art of viral. Become a master marketer that knows how to create content that spreads.

    To do this, you should read and learn from the guys who are the experts on this.

    That's why I suggest the book that this post and podcast episode is obviously based on.

    Get and read the book Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable. You won't regret it.

    Another great book to read after that is "Contagious: Why Things Catch On" by Jonah Berger

    Jonah demystifies virality, and exposes the wrong view of it being some fluke thing.

    [alert type="info"]Like audio? Download this book for free here.[/alert]

    Step 2: Learn From Other Great Purple Artists

    The key with this action step is to learn from great artists who inspire you. I talked about this here (episode 2) and here (episode 5)

    One little tip for doing this is to go over to Patreon and browse through the different artists in the music section to see what is getting the most traction.

    Then get out your Austin Kleon book and go to town....

    Here's another Jack Conte video (I mentioned this in today's episode)....

    Before you bounce, may I ask a favor?

    I would be crazy if I put in all this work to create this content, but had no desire for it to spread right?

    This is where you come in:

    See these fancy little social share buttons on the left (or underneath if you're on a mobile device)?

    Simply take a sec, and share it to the social channel(s) of your choice....

    I'm always trying to apply the things I teach on the podcast and write here on the blog to my own audience building. Well, you are that audience (I don't take it for granted that you are reading this right now) and if there is any "purple" in this post, please share it with your friends.

    You rule.

    social share



    How To Grow A BIG Email List


    Ready to crush it with growing your email list? Want to learn how to grow a BIG email list?

    That's what we cover in today's episode of TIM Talks....

    Here we are episode 14!

    We started out in episode 11 doing a short series on email marketing. Make sure you check out those episodes at the following links if you haven't yet:

    Now it's time to talk about how to get subscribers. How do you get people to actually sign up? You might send out amazing email broadcasts, but if no one gets them, does it matter?

    How To Grow A BIG Email List

    There are two areas to talk about when it comes to getting people to find value in what you're doing and opting in to your email list.

    There's on-site and off-site.


    This is all about how your website is optimized for conversions. Do you capture your website's visitors and give them a clear place to opt-in to your email list?

    Do you have a compelling reason for people to sign up for your list?

    You need a LeadMagnet.

    A LeadMagnet is simply an ethical bribe. It's like a dangling carrot in front of your potential subscribers.

    This is something you give away for free in exchange for their email address. Authors have eBooks, GrowthHackers have FREE reports, Musicians have mp3 bundles, and bloggers have how-to-checklists.

    It could be anything, but it needs to be valuable. And it needs to FREE and visible.

    Don't put it way down in the footer of your website.

    Your site should have several places where people can opt-in.

    Some sites have "FeatureBoxes" - a big wide image with a compelling headline and fat subscribe button right on the homepage, just above the fold. This is a great way to utilize your root home page at for example.

    You should utilize your sidebar as well.... See mine? :-)

    The sidebar seems to be the most popular place for people to put regular old sign-up forms.

    But look over at mine....

    Do you see a sign-up form?


    You see a LeadMagnet with a button underneath it. When you click on it, then you'll see the sign-up form.

    Why didn't I have a sign up form right there on the sidebar? Doesn't that go against conventional wisdom to create another step for someone?

    This has been tested many times, and this "double-opt-in" process, as it has been called, has a much higher conversion rate than a boring old form.

    But why?

    Because people like to follow through and complete the things they start. Even little actions on the web.

    The idea here is that you offer the FREE thing first, which most people will take, and then you ask the for the email address.

    Learn more about this in my email course....

    If you click on the image above, you experienced what is called a LeadBox by LeadPages.

    It's the ability to place strategic double-opt-ins all over the place (if you wanted to)

    LeadBoxes are great for content upgradestoo.

    A content upgrade is when you offer something like a PDF of these show notes here.

    You get the idea....

    At the end of the day, your website should be all about offering value to its visitors and converting them into subscribers and repeat visitors.

    Doing this is the BEST way to get them to come back.


    Off-site is exactly what it sounds like.

    You can't expect to grow a big list if you only promote it on your website.

    It might sound counterintuitive, but you need to get off your website. You simply need to get out where other people are and promote your LeadMagnet.

    There are some great platforms to make your LeadMagnet shareable on social media like Noisetrade if you're giving away some free music or an eBook; or Rafflecopter if you're doing a big giveaway (see an example here ;-).

    You can embed these kind of widgets on other blogs, and even on Facebook.

    We could spend a lot of time talking about how to increase the amount of traffic to your site using off-site strategies. Try a dedicated email drop (marketing through someone else's email list) or paid traffic with Facebook advertising too. These can work very well.

    But be careful here. You need to have some way of knowing how to measure a return on investment (ROI) when doing paid advertising. We'll get more into the subject of "paid traffic" on another episode, but it is one way to really add fuel to a good buzz online.

    Episode Takeaways

    Below are 4 takeaways for you to think about. The first one costs you nothing, and fits into the on-site category. The second one can be for both on-site and off-site, but starts out at around $25 a month.

    Lastly, I share with you some more resources and educational things on this whole subject of growth hacking your email list sign-ups.

    Here they are....


    SumoMe is an amazing suite of apps built by the good people of AppSumo.

    It's basically a free plug-in for your Wordpress site that gives you several different apps that you can download right then and there from the single plug-in.

    For our topic on list building, try the free version of ListBuilder. Pretty great stuff.

    Here's their site. If you're in your Wordpress admin panel go to 'plugins' on the left, and then click on 'add new' and the search for SumoMe. You can upload it directly from there.


    LeadPages will continue to come up because they have so many great options for not only getting your landing pages and squeeze pages built easily, but they also offer things like LeadBoxes (I mentioned that above) and a new feature called LeadDigits.

    LeadDigits allows you to collect subscribers over SMS text messaging. You basically get a number and have your fans send in a message to your number and they can opt-in to your email list right then and there.

    This could work perfect at live shows and events.

    Check out LeadPages here (this is an affiliate link).

    Grow Your Email List Fast

    This is my new course I'm finishing up VERY soon called "Grow Your Email List Fast".

    Here are all the juicy deets.

    111 Links To Double Or Even Triple Your Subscribers

    This is a great post over at Jon Morrow's Boost Blog Traffic. A ton of great resources on list building are in this post. 111 to be exact.... Check it out here.

    The 4 Laws Of Email Awesomeness

    #13 The 4 Very Different Types Of Email Marketing (2/2)

    This is a follow up episode to episode 12 of T.I.M. Talks.

    For the complete show notes on the 4 very different kinds of email marketing view the show notes from episode 12 here.

    Action Steps For Episode 13

    In this follow up episode to TIM Talks 12, I give you the 4 laws of email Awesomeness, and some action steps.

    The Four Laws Of Email Awesomeness

    Law 1: No Spam!

    Oh my goodness. Why do spammers still exist!?!?! I hate spam. I hate it in every possible way. The food, and the inbox filth.

    So what do you do to make sure you don't spam people in your email marketing?


    Don't send them what they didn't ask for.

    That's all spam is after all. It's sending an irrelevant marketing broadcast to a list of people who didn't opt in for it.

    It's not necessarily how often you send a broadcast (though you can certainly get annoying here). It's all about providing value that is relevant to the people receiving it.


    Stop using your gmail (or whatever) to send out regular marketing related emails to groups.

    Sign up for any one of these guys:

    • Aweber (affiliate link - your first month is FREE!)
    • Mailchimp (second best)
    • Ontraport (awesome for established businesses)
    • ConvertKit (GREAT for bloggers and writers)
    • Drip (amazing for email courses, and other value dense autoresponders)

    LAW 2: Always Send Value

    Stop sending out campaigns that don't innately have value in them.

    Value can be pretty broadly defined, but at least send your recipients a link to something valuable back on your blog. An email campaign that is purely a reminder for example, with nothing else in it, is WORTHLESS, and helps no-one.


    Become a person of value....


    I realize that's not exactly an action step....

    I didn't mention this in the podcast, but I will leave this with you:

    6 Months To Six Figures is a great book on how to do this....

    LAW 3: Be Conversational

    Try to avoid sounding like a big company or business. You're an artist.

    Yes you're running a business, and you MUST sell, but don't send a campaign that feels like a big corporation like Living Social or Groupon (marketing eBlasts).

    Build relationships and add value in your campaigns like you would with one personal email.

    Ask questions. Engage your audience. Be conversational.


    A no brainer:

    How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie.

    LAW 4:



    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    #12 The 4 Very Different Types Of Email Marketing (1/2)

    How often should you send out an email newsletter? How engaged are your fans? How much do they like you?

    Today on T.I.M. Talks we’re going to address these questions by talking about the 4 very different kinds of email marketing.

    Hey I’m also announcing the winner of the monthly TIM Talks drawing. Exciting stuff....

    That’s today on TIM Talks #12

    Hello and Happy Monday to you or whenever you happen to be listening to this.

    Stoked to have you here with me on the podcast today!

    We are in a short series on email marketing and today we’re going to address a common question:

    “How often should you send out an email newsletter?"

    We’re going to answer that question by talking about what I consider to be 4 different kinds of email marketing….

    We’ll get to that in a second, but first I’m excited to share with you the winner of the March drawing to Sweetwater music.

    Cole Mize.

    Cole is founder of ColeMizeStudios and an independent hip/hop artist and an engineer & producer based out of Covington, GA.

    Be sure to check out what he’s up to at

    I’m sure he’ll put that $100 to good use!

    [alert type="info"]Thanks to everyone else who entered, and don’t forget I’ll be doing a new drawing in April. This time for something different and very cool.[/alert]

    I am pretty pumped about it, and want to tell you what it is right now, but for that you must wait until the next episode, our first April episode this Thursday. That’s episode 13.


    The 4 Very Different Types Of Email Marketing

    How often should you send out an email to your email list? Is there a line that’s too little or too much?

    That’s what we’re going to address in this episode.

    Unfortunately, there’s not an easy answer. It really depends on what you’re doing.

    I’m going to suggest a few different schedules for you, depending on what your goals are.

    In this episode and in the next one we’re going to take a look at 4 different kinds of email marketing, which will inform the frequency of your email campaigns.

    Each of these are different from each other, and there are different schools of thought out there over what is better than others. I personally believe they each have their place, and one isn’t better than the other.

    They’re basically different categories that serve different goals.

    So what are they?

    • Scheduled Broadcasts
    • Blog Post Broadcasts
    • Marketing eBlasts
    • Autoresponder Sequences
    Your Content Strategy

    And before we get into each of these, we need to talk about your editorial calendar. By that I simply mean your content plan.

    Do you write blog posts on a regular basis? Do you have a podcast or a YouTube schedule?

    What is your content strategy?

    Having a content strategy will inform your email campaigns, and which of these four styles you’ll be most likely to embrace.

    You may have something like a song story on your blog that goes out every week. You would need to send out a broadcast letting people know about your content.

    That’s really what is at the heart of the word broadcast.

    4 Very Different Kinds Of Email Marketing

    Scheduled Broadcasts

    Screen Shot 2015-03-29 at 9.44.08 PM

    Broadcast or Newsletter?

    Many folks are used to the word newsletter.

    A newsletter is basically an update with various bits of news and information all put into one email broadcast. And a “newsletter” could go out less frequently with more information in it.

    Personally, I’m not a fan of newsletters like that. If you’re going to have a lot of information in your email I think it needs to be focused information (more on that in the blog post broadcast category).

    But a broadcast again is exactly what it sounds like.

    It’s informative and meant to drive engagement. To bring people back to your site, or whatever it is you want them to do….

    But scheduled broadcasts can look all kinds of different ways.

    The main thing about scheduled broadcasts is that they go out regularly, and typically they have their own unique content that drives engagement.

    If you’re a YouTuber your email broadcasts should be kept pretty simple, and simply go out at a time that people expect them, pointing them to the video.

    In this image, you'll see a very standard scheduled broadcast that regularly comes from the guys over at Digital Marketer.

    It's simple, unique, and has one goal: It's focused on driving engagement back to the content on their site.

    If you’re launching a big campaign on your site, you might have more value packed content to really drive engagement.

    But the main thing is you want to be consistent with a schedule, and you want your audience to know what that schedule is.

    So… How much is too much and how little is too little?

    With scheduled broadcasts, it depends again on your content schedule.

    I’ll use myself as an example....

    T.I.M. Talks is a twice a week podcast every Monday and Thursday, and I try to send out an email with each episode.

    I’ll be covering the content of your email broadcasts more in the next episode, but these emails are short and to the point, and meant to drive engagement back to the podcast show notes.

    So the answer there is twice a week, but again, that’s based on my editorial calendar.

    Blog Post Broadcasts

    Screen Shot 2015-03-29 at 9.45.35 PMBlog post broadcasts are simply syndicated blog posts to your email list.

    There are different ways to set this up technically, but the big idea is that you send the exact same content to your email list so they don’t have to come back to your site.

    This kind of email marketing is more about delivering value to your readers. If you’re an author this is a great way to keep your work in front of people, and to consistently keep your brand on their minds.

    A few authors that do this are guys like Jeff Goins, James Clear, and Michael Hyatt.

    Their blog promotes free blog subscriptions. The idea is people are signing up specifically to receive your blog posts in their inbox.

    How often should you send?

    Again it all depends on your content publishing schedule.

    I would say if you’re going for a regular blog thing, then try to shoot for an every-other-week blog post. If you do more than two a week, I would send out something more like a weekly newsletter that has headlines with excerpts of the blog posts you wrote that week.

    The only thing to note on the blog post broadcast strategy is that it doesn’t drive immediate engagement, simply because they're no reason for the reader to come back to the site. Unless you included some kind of native ad or promo within your blog post to drive engagement to a landing page or something.

    There’s not necessarily a right or wrong here, it’s just different approaches.

    Marketing eBlasts

    Screen Shot 2015-03-29 at 9.55.21 PMAnd now for something completely different.

    You couldn’t have something more different from blog post broadcasts than marketing eBlasts.

    People in the digital marketing space call these eBlasts because they tend to go out to massive email lists with very specific marketing offers.

    Groupon is a great example of a marketing eBlast.

    If you sign up for a Zulily account or a living social account, you get these on a very regular basis, but each of them are intentionally designed to sell you something.

    How often should you send out an eBlast style campaign?

    Probably hardly ever.

    Many people I’ve seen though write their emails like marketing eBlasts. They load them up with a lot of graphics and big CTA headlines and that’s all they ever send out. I’m going to talk more about this style of email campaigns in the next episode.

    By the way that’s episode 13 in just a few days called “what to send people” or something like that…..

    As far as how often to send out emails like this….

    As an artist, you may send out a marketing eBlast based on a campaign or record release or something which would only be maybe two or three times a year.

    But it also depends on what your audience is used to.

    More on this in the next episode….

    Autoresponder Sequences

    Screen Shot 2015-03-29 at 10.07.07 PMNow it gets interesting.

    When you think about how often to send out broadcasts, there’s a very important thing to understand about human psychology.

    When a person first signs up to your email list, they are the most engaged in that moment, and it’s really important to follow up with value and to set the tone.

    You must begin building a relationship with them right away.

    You also want to start driving engagement to your music, your products, your services, your books, your art, or whatever you’re trying to promote.

    But this is most easily done through an email autoresponder sequence.

    So this makes answering our question even more interesting.

    How often should you send out an email newsletter?

    Well with an autoresponder sequence, these obviously aren’t “newsletters”.

    A typical autoresponder sequence can go out daily for several days, depending on what you’re doing. Eventually it will end though, and your subscribers should go on the normal weekly broadcast list, or whatever schedule you’re doing.

    In the picture above, you'll notice a very plain looking email.

    It's part of a strategically designed autoresponder sequence, meant to build a relationship with the person receiving it. It's very focused and targeted, much like a long form direct response sales letter. This of course is very different from a marketing eBlast.

    It's plain, and highly engaging for the person reading. It's written without a lot of bells and whistles precisely to come across more personable and like a "normal email" from someone you might know.

    But autoresponders could look all kinds of different ways. Here's the main reason autoresponders rock:

    As your list begins to grow, you can’t possibly do manual follow ups or write and rewrite regular broadcast emails every time someone signs up.

    You need somethings scalable.

    Even if it’s a two part sequence welcoming and giving away something to your subscriber, autoresponders are super important to be using.


    Always, always add value.

    Don’t send out “hey there check me out” emails.

    How many of those emails should you send out? Very few and very seldom.


    Because you’re not letting them know what’s in it for them.

    So when it comes to the question, how often should you send out an email newsletter, first answer the question, what’s in it for them?

    If that answer is something that you know people will go crazy over, then let them know unapologetically often.

    And this really brings me to one more thought before we transition….

    How engaged are your fans?

    How much do they like you?

    You see sometimes, we get scared of sending out regular email broadcasts because we’re afraid that we’re annoying people. If we’re scared that they don’t really like our music or couldn’t be bothered, then why are they subscribed to your list in the first place?

    Let them unsubscribe.

    In fact, tell them to!

    But if you have something they need and want, if you have something that benefits them and they love you for it, send it confidently and send it often.


    Today's Action Step

    Guys today’s takeaway is simple.

    If you want to dive a little deeper in this subject head over to and you’ll see where you can sign up to receive the first two modules of my new course on email marketing for free.

    The first module covers the things we talked about today in more depth, and the second module covers getting started with your email marketing provider whether it’s Mailchimp or Aweber or whoever…. In that module there’s a bonus tutorial video on Aweber specifically.

    After those modules we focus on getting more people to sign up on your list… how to start getting hundreds and even thousands of subscribers to your list doing a few specific things both on your site and in your marketing.

    So again head over to for more details on that.

    Thoughts Or Questions?

    Leave your comments below!

    I’d love to get your thoughts on this whole subject of email marketing and growing your list in our comments section of today’s show notes.

    Alright guys that’s it for this episode. In the next episode, we’ll be looking again at these 4 areas of email marketing and talking more specifically on the kinds of emails that actually work.

    We’ll be asking the question: "What should you actually send people?"

    Also in the next episode, I’ll be letting you know about April’s giveaway. Oh my gosh it’s gonna rock. I’m excited about it….

    Until then, keep sharing your art with the world, and we’ll see you next time right here on TIM Talks.