Ariel Bloomer from the band Icon For Hire was the keynote speaker at CD Baby’s DIY Musician Conference 2018. Her presentation entitled Turn Your Pain Into Art: How to Be Yourself & Get Everything You Want in the Process capped off an educational, engaging and exciting event.
CD Baby’s Fourth Annual Conference returned to the Omni Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee from August 24 to 26, 2018. Thousands converged in Music City in the hopes of taking their career to the next level. CD Baby states that their DIY Musician Conference is the only event of its type that focuses solely on the needs of today’s independent artist. DIY featured special industry panels, insightful seminars, mentoring sessions and more throughout an action packed three days in the heart of the downtown.
Icon For Hire is singer Ariel Bloomer and guitarist Shawn Jump. Together they have inspired people who have connected with not only the band’s genre-bending sound, but also their honesty. Their lyrics tap into the times addressing addiction, depression, self-worth and other serious topics. Ariel in her compelling speech spoke candidly about her own struggles with pain. She shared that so many of us bury our pain but for her and Shawn it was when they faced it that their joy and success increased. The path to prioritizing self-care and inner peace was rocky but once Icon For Hire learned to manage their minds they became more formidable.
The journey begins with changing your story – ask why am I not more successful – what are your excuses. Bloomer listed many common to musicians. Next, challenge those statements – change your story – after all what you think is what you get. Be grateful. Focus on the connections, fans and income that you do have and keep building on that while believing that you are giving value to your fans through your art. Citing The MODEL by Brooke Castillo, Ariel suggested working backwards from the goal to figure out the steps and feelings required to achieve desired results – yes feelings are a big part of the formula. If you are battling an “I don’t feel like” it attitude it slows you down, whereas if you can connect with the reasons and motivations of why – you are much more likely to succeed.
Ariel also outlined the mindset that has empowered her. Some of the steps included adding value – for instance instead of wanting followers decide to impact followers. Be fearless – show up and remove self-judgment. Be productive, be yourself and keep going. Ariel supported her suggestions with how she personally applied these principles before concluding with prioritize your well-being so that you can serve more people. Deal with your inner issues, learn to leverage your pain and manage your mindsets for the better.
Other ideas on alleviating pain were addressed in different seminars that summarized how to earn revenue on streaming services such as Spotify. Musician Lance Allen with David Hooper in their presentation How to Pay Off Your House With Streaming Revenue outlined a number of strategies such as researching and targeting playlists, using hash tags along with keywords, building communities, writing songs for specific lists and more. Lance may spend hours on his tips but Allen makes a respectable income from his songs that are on a wide spectrum of Spotify lists.
Angela Mastrogiacomo with Making the Most of Press: How to Land Placement & Generate New Fans spoke to a wide range of ages. Angela of Muddy Paw PR discussed branding, connecting to fans, social media and understanding your audience. For example, older listeners may still be inclined to buy a whole album whereas a younger fan prefers to stream. When you pitch tell a concise, compelling story. Build relationships. When you are making requests of blogs and writers to check out your music it was advised to use people’s name when initiating contact. Make it easy for them to give you coverage. Angela shared plenty of proactive steps to avoid pain on the path to artistic achievement.
The flip side of eliminating pain is finding comfort. To make your audience as comfortable as possible it’s a good idea to sing and not suck according to celebrity voice coach Cari Cole who gave an S.R.O. presentation called “How to Sing and Not Suck: Unlocking Your Vocal Power Onstage”. Through extensive vocal tips and exercises including examples from her vocal warm ups CD that every attendee received as a bonus, Cole made a convincing presentation. Using a live example she helped the already fine sounding singer Christie Huff excel with just a few minutes of training and encouragement. Nothing about Cole’s discussion sucked and it was easy to see why she’s consistently sought after by singing shows like The Voice and American Idol.
This year – CDBaby Artist and SoundPress.net founder Rockin’ Rich Lynch – went into the event with a burst of inspiration and a goal to talk with as many of the conference attendees as possible. For several hours he conducted an impromptu meet and greet with a variety of talent from all over the globe where he promised to listen to their music. Check out this list to discover the ones he liked the best from the Fourth Annual gathering of do-it-yourselfers.
After two years in the Windy City followed by a pair of events in Nashville the diverse and dynamic DIY Musician Conference closed with the announcement that the 2019 host city will be the “Live Music Capitol of the World” – Austin. The video clip promised that everything is bigger in the Lone Star State and that applies to the DIY, too. While we’re sad to see it go it’s guaranteed that a good time will be had by all as CDBABY et al head west. If you are an independent artist the Fifth Annual DIY Music Conference will be one to remember and should sell out fast. So, book that trip now and get ready to commune with your tribe in Texas.
Related Links: For more information on the DIY MUSICIAN CONFERENCE and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links — DIY Musician | Ariel Bloomer | Cari Cole | Report From DIY Musician 2017 | Musicians Build Community at Conference | Music We Discovered at DIY Musician 2018