Music Marketing for the DIY Musician

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Business Basics for Musicians

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About > Interview






1) Tell us about Music Marketing For the DIY Musician


Thanks for asking, I’m really proud of the new book. It took years to write it. 

Essentially, the book is a step-by-step guide to producing a fully integrated, customized, low-budget plan of attack for artists marketing their own music. 

The goal is to help artists take control of their own destinies, save money and time, and eventually draw the full attention of top music industry professionals. It’s ultimately about making music that matters—and music that gets heard! 


2) How is Music Marketing For The DIY Musician different?


The biggest difference is that it is written specifically for DIY musicians by a musician with DIY, indie, and major label success, making it a more credible, focused, practical, and relatable resource for artists. 

Also, It covers the complete marketing process—from vision through execution—with handy templates and samples in each chapter to help artists create fully-customized marketing plans.

And finally, it introduces sophisticated business and research tools (SWOT, SMART, AIDA, and PFB Charts) not found in most music marketing books, enabling artists to choose more confidently and even scientifically the right strategies for their own career path


3) Provide one crucial tip from the book?


Do not create music in a vacuum with the intention of just throwing it out there and hoping for success. Hope is not a strategy! 

Instead, have a clear sense of what you stand for, while also trying to uncover where the world is going. Look for ways where you can be unique and do something that has never been done before.  

As hockey legend Wayne Gretzky said, “The key to success is to skate where the puck's going, not where it's been.” 


4) What about your Even Newer Book Business Basics For Musicians: The Complete Handbook From Start To Success? 


Sure. When setting out to revise The Musician’s Handbook (my first work used by top schools and talented artists nationwide), my objective was to carry the tradition by providing the most up-to-date, accurate, and relevant information in a casual tone. But, as I considered the vast changes in the music industry today, and studied the way in which information is consumed in our fast-paced/high-tech world, I identified a need for an extraordinary rendition of a classic—one that breaks-down the basics into shorter bite-sized chapters, bullet-pointed text, and boxed anecdotes, and that helps musicians navigate  fundamental career matters from start to success.

In short, I like to think of Business Basics For Musicians as the “laypersons guide to the music industry.” You know, the book really simplifies core essentials and decodes the latest issues, so that artists can focus more confidently on what they do best—create music!

5. Tell Us Quickly About The Musician’s Handbook


The Musician’s Handbook, first published in 2003 and revised in 2008, was essentially revised in 2015 under the derivative title, Business Basics For Musicians: The Complete Handbook from Start To Success.” When revising the Musician's Handbook, I realized how different the it had become so I decided to retitle it. For the sake of clarity, the Musician's Handbook was merged into a new brand. 


6) Tell us more about your life as a musician.


I am an artist true to the core. 

I started playing at the age of 4, I was taking lessons at age 6, and was practicing 5 hours a day by the age of 12. 

Further, I was practicing 16 hours a day and studying in New York with the best musicians by the age of 18, and I was graduating from Berklee College of Music and joining a group on Atlantic by age 24. 

Finally, I was releasing my own records DIY style and then joining a multi platinum band and touring the country (and Europe) before age 30.  


7) What attributed to your success as a musician and endorser with Pearl Drums and Sabian?


Working hard, being able to take one step at a time, and understanding people are all key attributes.  

I practiced by ass off. Make no mistake—you have to put in your 10,000 hours! 

Further, I wasn’t afraid to dissect my long-term vision into smaller digestible chunks, accomplishing one baby step at a time. Most people want it all right now!  

Last, I understood that you must show people “why they should care about you and how they will benefit by doing business with you”). Many artists think the world revolves around them and that they deserve success. No one owes you anything. 

Oh, and one more thing: Always pay homage to those that help you along the way, and they’ll be continually willing to help you for years to come. The is what I call the attitude of gratitude. 


8) Why did you start writing books and teaching at major institutions like UCLA, Berklee, Musicians Institute, and now USC?


I was tired of watching musicians get beaten like a baby seal when it comes to the music business. Artists are so amazingly gifted when it comes to right brain creative stuff, but they shy away from the left-brain business stuff. One reason is that most books about the music business are written by attorneys for attorneys. My position is to clearly present “information to musicians, by a musician.”


9) Do you do private consulting?


Yes! I offer private one-to-one sessions in Los Angeles and New York and phone and Skype sessions as well. Essentially I “help music professionals to make their music into a more profitable business.” Please visit 


10) Anything else you want to add?


Remember That Finding Your Passion Is a Blessing Within Itself.

Since I was very young, I knew precisely what I wanted to accomplish. I would wake each morning and be driven by a specific agenda—practicing, writing, promoting, etc. When I went to sleep at night, I reflected on what I accomplished and always felt fulfilled. There has never been a wasted, sad, or lonely day in my life. I couldn’t imagine things to be any other way.  

So rejoice and feel blessed! You too have something that moves you and gives your life meaning. Something that gets you up in the middle of the night with pad and paper in hand to jot down that song idea. It’s not about how much you accomplish, but the fact that you’ve found your inner self. Your true purpose! Because in the end, there’s nothing greater than that!  



11) Wow! Give me another.


Remember that Music is art, but succeeding at it is Business! 


12) Amen! In closing, where can we get your books?


Right now Music Marketing For The DIY Musician is available AMAZON in both physical and digital form and on ( in just physical format and autographed. 

Business Basics For Musicians is available on AMAZON in both digital and physical format, and at ( in just physical format and autographed.

Peace and thanks. 


Originally published Tom Lohrmann Music Blog as Bobby Borg: Author of Music Marketing For The DIY Musician