Take a listen to episode 4 of the Shut Up and Listen podcast as I interview my friend Kyle Reed about music marketing.

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Kyle has some special content just for you listeners that includes:

Tasksheet
Social Media Content Calendar
Social Media Suggested Content Schedule
Hacking Monday Worksheet

Go to http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com/frequencyfm/ and enter your email.

HGTV Fixer Upper’s Joanna Gaines tries to stay on topic while Chip does his best to make her laugh.

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This is just so meta #someta #mindblown

“I realized that all the really good ideas I’d ever had came to me while I was milking a cow. So I went back to Iowa.”– Grant Wood, American Gothic artist.

There is always a backstory to art, music and life. The simple painting above by Grant Wood called “American Gothic” has captured the imagination of Americans since 1930. The farmer was actually a local dentist and the wife was Woods’ sister.  Wood painted the models at separate times. At some point, every element of this work of art has been mined for meaning.

Every film, song, play, startup and company has a backstory that made it what it is today. The parties involved spent days, months and even years developing the final result before releasing it to the world.

I write this to remind myself to pay attention to the details of the backstories that I’m involved in now. For instance, I saw this picture on Facebook this afternoon:

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That’s Bradford Loomis playing his solo act at the Seattle Airport. Bradford is a new friend of mine and is one-half of a band called “The Banner Days” . I asked Bradford and the other half of The Banner Days, Beth Whitney about the backstory behind playing in the airport. Here’s my Facebook chat with them this afternoon:

  • We play there twice a month or so. Now mostly Bradford. I used to as well but am living a bit too far away for it to make sense now on a regular basis.
  • They are pretty selective
  • It’s through a organization called gigs4U
  • We went through pretty extensive background checks and some hoops to be allowed in the gate. They have a roster of musicians. We each play solo sets and also play together when possible.

It’s a unique situation for an act to have a regular gig inside the main terminal of a major international airport. So we are talking about filming a set at the terminal.

I share this story with you to remind you to pay attention to the details of the backstory.

Read more about the story behind American Gothic here.

 

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Get the new Christmas album from “Mayors of Europa” for free . The “Mayors” are a new artist collaboration between Stewart Gray (yes, we are related. He’s my oldest son) and Nathan Johnson. Stewart and Nathan are both very talented lads and also seniors at Colorado Christian University in Lakewood, CO.

Take a listen by clicking on the arrow in the player box below!

You can download their album for FREE by clicking below!

And while you are at it, follow them on Facebook by clicking here

download

My family and I love the beach. How great would it be to live near the beach and sit there all day after I built some massive online empire that generates unbelievable amounts of passive income. I’ve had to work for every dollar that I make. Even if I was building something. I do believe in working smarter than harder. Any free time I do have occurs only after cramming my workload into 3 ten hour days.

As I look around at all of these online membership sites, I can only tell you one truth: work hard and you will see results. I have a lot of respect for smart people like Jeff Walker and my friend Dale Partridge who have been very successful in this niche. But I have my doubts about what I see on Facebook, Instagram and other places about all this wealth. I personally would be more apt to build an online academy than a “get rich quick” membership site. You do what you want. I’m just sharing my opinion.

Today I came across this video by Gary Vaynerchuk on Linkedin. Watch it for yourself. It spoke truth to me.

Here’s my conclusion:

If you are looking at investing in training to build a platform I want to offer how I would go about deciding on what to do:

  1. Do your research on the person/trainer. Can you find real results from their training?
  2. Do you have the budget to invest in the training?
  3. Can you build a test membership site yourself?
  4. Do you know someone who has paid for and seen results from their investment?

Let me know if this helps!

A movie about Brennan Manning, the man behind the Ragamuffin Gospel.

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A few years ago I had a self-hosted pop culture blog that later became the inspiration for the creative marketing firm that my wife and I started. After some dreaming and reviewing my passion for blogging this type of content, I really wanted to get the old gang back together! I’m beyond excited to be partnering with Tim Engstrom again to bring this project back to life.  I’ve attached a rather recent cartoon he created for me below.

More about this in the weeks to come, but for now, checkout http://threethirtypm.tumblr.com !

-Jim G

The Return of the Blog #threethirtypm #330pm

 

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[Photo by Jim Gray, me]

I’m not sure about you but for me writing stuff down like this blog post takes a lot of effort. I’m more of a offline person. I like real life conversations with people in person. Old school face to face. I have  the privilege of a home office; owning my own company, etc.

My friends who know me well expect me to call. I’m also a phone guy. You might find this hard to believe, but I get sick of texting, emailing, etc. I just think we have become such a walled culture. But that’s opinion. I also think that in order to get work done, you need to turn off the distractions. But I also need the interaction of others. It’s fun or cool to act lone-rangerish , but it comes with a high price.

Enough of that…allow me to get to what brought you here…the headline. Here’s my sales pitch to a potential client:

“Now you know that I exist.” 

I have always been highly relational in business. I’m also a bit of an introvert, so the hard sell is not interesting at all. That does not mean that I am not clear on what I do, how I do it, what the price is, etc. It’s good to be thorough. I learned a long time ago that if you are already good at what you do, you shouldn’t have to hard sell. You tell the story and allow the other person to get to know you and make a decision. My normal tactics are:

1- Establish contact: you might be introduced by a friend via email or meet at an event.

2-Research: Find out something about who the person is you are meeting with.

3-Print: Bring a piece of paper with something on it that they can take with them. It might even be a proposal.

4-Direct: Shake hands, look them directly in the eyes and greet them.

5-Listen: Ask questions and learn their story.

6-Story: Tell your tale. I have a lot of different stories from companies I have worked with and projects. You don’t have to tell your life-story. Keep it short. Go with your overall theme. Be conscious of time.

7-The End: Stay on schedule for the meeting. Ask for their business. Keep it simple “I’d love to explore how we could work together.”

8-Follow-up: Send them an email with ideas.

9-Release: I’ve learned to let some go and others require pursuing. Be smart and know when to let it go. This is the hardest step. Sometimes it’s easier to let it go and move on, and them other times you need to keep following-up.

I hope this helps you.