Connecting Into Your Scene and How to Approach Branding with Paxton Conners
This episode is by far one of, if not my favorite episode I’ve recorded yet!
We ran this one a bit different too. This is only the 2nd time I’ve been able to record in person with my guest! Today I got to sit down with one of my best friends, Paxton Conners.
Paxton is an unbeliveably talented photogrpaher/videographer here in the Austin EDM scene. He shoots many of the shows around town, and I’m sure y’all have heard me talk about him on the show before!
Today, we’re discussing how you can start shooting shows to help you breakout into your scene, meet the promoters you need to meet, and start networking with all the people that will help you move forward.
Not only, that but we also jump into some bonus content where we discuss branding and what makes brands so special. This is an episode you DO NOT want to miss!
What You’ll Learn:
- Why you might want to get into photography
- How to get involved with shooting shows
- Steps to networking with people at shows
- How to network with people when shooting shows
- Secrets of branding
and much more!
Paxton’s Website – https://fogocontent.com
Paxton Conners Instagram – https://instagram.com/paxton_conners
Zoom Networking Meetup – https://www.meetup.com/music-industry-networking/
Electronic Dance Money Booklist – https://enviousaudio.com/booklist
The Go Giver – https://amzn.to/3pdcmFw
The E-Myth Revisited – https://amzn.to/3sSroTa
Automatic Episode Transcript — Please excuse any errors, not reviewed for accuracy
Hey guys, welcome to electronic dance money, your number one business resource for making money as electronic musicians and producers.
What’s up everyone. Welcome back to a brand new episode of electronic dance money. I’m your host Christian Cato coming from you from Leavenworth Washington. I’m on vacation right now at a family reunion for my, my fiance’s family reunion on the road again, which is why you hear that? I have shitty audio shitty mic.
Couple episodes ago. Last time I did an episode with you, Mike, I had, I was on vacation again. I was on the road and I had my shitty setup. And here we are again, except last time you had a shitty mic. Now you have a nice mic. I’m back to my shitty Mike. Yeah. So now I sound beautiful, which is perfectly representative of who I am.
You sound crispy, clean. I like it. Hell yeah. I’m jealous. Cuz I know I don’t sound crispy. Clean. You did sound crispy and clean. Last, last time we recorded. Oh. Oh you mean, what was it? Three days ago when we got done recording and all of a sudden we realized. Half your recording didn’t record. And so here we are round two, again, baby.
We had to rerecord. So yeah, this is round two where we’re, we’re having another go with this episode and you know, the first one was good, but maybe this, this one will be even better. So we’re gonna, we’re gonna redo it. I’m on the road. I’m fresh. I’m a margarita deep. By the end of this, I’m gonna be two white claws deep cuz this is vacation, baby.
We’re doing a vacation podcast, we’re sitting back and we’re gonna be talking about networking, which we’ve talked about in the past. We’ve talked about net networking in a few episodes. One I did with low Padre. Um, I think that was episode 29 and episode 30, I believe, or it was like 28 and 29. That was a long time ago.
That was about two years ago, like almost on, on the dot two years ago. And we talked about some networking stuff in that those episodes, um, I know I’ve talked about some networking and like maybe one or two other episodes. Again, I can’t remember was this like episode 83. I think this is so we’re, we’re deep in it on the podcast right now we’re over a hundred hours.
So, um, but we’re gonna be going into some networking stuff also, you know, like I said, we’re here with Mike again, Mike Vaughn, and I’ve been talking with Mike for a few months now. I mean, I’ve known Mike, since I started my mixing and mastering business, he was like my first client ever, really. And Mike, I’ve seen you grow as a producer for quite a while, and you’ve started to kind of establish your own way of doing things.
And one of the best things you are, you do is networking, which is why I wanna bring you on this episode. But I want to continue to bring you on to episodes. Cuz I’ve talked to you for a little while now about bringing you on as a cohost. When I originally started this podcast. I wanted to get a co-host and I wanted do it with someone because doing like running solo podcasts are as hard as fuck, especially when it’s like topic based like this, where it’s like, you gotta come up with an idea, get the show notes down.
Maybe you have a guest. Maybe you don’t, you gotta record it, edit it, post it, promote it. You gotta do everything. So it’s, it’s difficult. And I originally wanted to do this with a guest or sorry with a co-ho. , but I couldn’t find anyone reliable that I could trust that I felt I, they knew. I knew that they knew what they were talking about and that would bring a lot of value to the show.
But I feel like you’ve gotten to a point in your career, Mike and the podcast has gotten to a point where you coming on as a co-host. Maybe it’s not every episode, but every other episode or something. Could bring a lot of value, cuz you have a lot of great stories to tell you have a lot of great personal anecdote anecdotes and you’ve, you’ve got really a lot of really good analogies.
So I think there’s a lot of value that you as an individual producer could bring to the show. So this is kind of the like unofficial official announcement that Mike is gonna be coming on a lot more episodes, more as a co-host, um, than just. You know, the everyday or, you know, some guest you’re gonna be, you’re gonna be a welcome person and a well known name around this podcast, which I’m excited to bring you on for.
Yeah. So basically what Christian is trying to say, everybody is, uh, get used to this voice, this smooth silky radio voice, and, uh, strap yourselves in cuz. I got a lot of stories for some reasons I know it’s gonna be, and, and this is gonna be a really good episode to talk about some of the stories, cuz we’re gonna be again, we’re gonna be diving into some networking stuff, but we’re gonna kind of get into some more details about, um, over some of the other podcast episodes.
Like again, the episode that I did with Los Padres, we talked about networking, but that wasn’t like the whole two part series. There was a lot about networking in there. Networking is like such an important part of the industry. Production is gonna be like 50% of what you do, or I should say, not just production, just writing music in general.
It’s gonna be like half of what you do. And then the other, maybe 30% is gonna be, uh, maybe yeah, probably 20 to 30% is going to be, um, Promoting your music, creating content sort of shit, but then the other 20 to 30%, however you take it, whether you do, you know, 20 or 30 with promo or 20, 20, or 30 with networking, the other 20 or 30% is going to be networking.
It’s like finding individuals that you wanna work with, finding individuals that you want to establish relationships with. And those are gonna be the people that push for you. And those are gonna be the people. Really work with you to get shit done and truly it like networking is the thing that gets shit done without having a, and this is one of the craziest fucking things that I find with a lot of producers while VDM producers.
And this is probably you whoever’s listening to this podcast right now or unlikely. This is you. It. Most of my clients, like, and this is how I know it’s true because I talk to all my clients about it. None of my clients know any other producers, any of my clients listening to this podcast episode right now, you’re like most of the producers, you know, are the ones I connected you with through my discord, the client disc board.
And I can corroborate on that because I’ve, I’ve communicated with a bunch of the producers from, you know, the envious audios community and. Every time I talk to them about like sending promo to producers or connecting with producers collaboration, or just in general, talking with producers about like what they do or how they do it.
They’re all like, oh, I don’t know how you have all these conversations with all these producers. Uh it’s cuz I try. Yeah, they use the thing like so many there’s there constantly. I talk to my clients and. When I’m either trying, if I’m asking for a referral or I’m just talking to them about business stuff and any producers they know they could work with.
They’re like, yeah. The only producers I know. I mean, Mike, you like some of the, the producers you work with the most are the ones I introduced you to and it’s, it’s not, and I’m not saying like, my point is, is. All of my clients. They don’t know other producers. I ask for referrals and they’re like, I don’t really know anyone other than the people you’ve connected with me, with me in the discord.
It’s like, well, that’s a huge fucking issue. Now, granted, not everyone. You network needs to be a producer. Like it can be other industry professionals. It can be promoters and bookers. And, but like the people you should be connecting with are the ones that you’re trying to either fix an issue within your own.
Music career or fix, maybe solve a solution is the better phrasing with that. Um, or some, if there’s something that you feel like you’re missing in your career or your music, that’s the, the best way to get what you need is one to either, you know, if you have the cash just outright, pay it to someone, but two, if you don’t go network with those people, Know, those kinds of people that can help you, they can get you connected with some certain people.
Um, so networking is such a massive part of the industry as a whole, especially if you’re trying to get shit done. And I know most EDM producers are not connected with people. They’re not, they’re just not networking and it’s such a vital, vital thing. Mike, what have you? Um, what’s the biggest thing you’ve gotten out of networking.
Uh, honestly, um, the biggest thing I’ve gotten outta networking. Wow. That’s a, that’s actually a good question. We didn’t actually touch on when we first recorded this episode. So, so now you now you’re springing this on me. Um, honestly I think the best thing I got from networking is when I first started networking.
Mid-tier or small to mid-tier artists, like the ones who are signed to those, uh, goal record labels. Like you start at the bottom with them and you get those smaller artists on those bigger labels. And then they start to introduce you to the people higher up. So through one friend who’s signed like hexagon revealed and all that I’ve started to like ingratiate myself into the culture of those record labels that I’ve I started to build connections.
In a spider web way, basically expanding out slowly through people and from people, you know, growing my, uh, I guess my reputation in the industry. So it’s really cool. And, uh, actually you were going on for a little bit about how. Uh, like the producers in our community don’t really network with, uh, larger DJs.
I think I, I have a good point. They network with larger DJs, but they only try to network with like Nikki Romero or Martin Garrick’s or Don Diablo. Right? Like they’re, they’re not sending messages to like reachable viable people. They’re sending messages to the top 50 DJs in the world. right. And we talked about this in the last episode, which you is, this was a really great point.
If you’re trying to message people on social media, specifically with Instagram. And I didn’t realize this, if you message someone that’s not following you and they have a business page, which all these bigger producers do most producers in general, just have a business. It go, it gets sent to what inbox does it get sent to?
It’s not general, or it is general. It’s split general on primary. It’s sent to general. And actually, I think, I think there’s even a requests page too. So it’s primary general request. Yes, there is. Yeah. So you could potentially get sent to request if you, I don’t, I don’t know. What would, I don’t know what triggers requests, cuz occasionally I do get requests from legit people, but um, it looks like Mike’s looking that up right now.
You might get sent to requests or general, and it doesn’t get sent to primary and they never see that. Uh, so it may not even be that someone’s ignoring you. It just could be that they, they aren’t actually getting your message in the right inbox. So making sure you’re establishing conversations online, you know, this is kind of specific to Instagram, but you could, you could relate this to just about any sort of social media source.
The biggest thing is gonna be. I’ve mentioned this in previous episodes, first of all, engage with them in comments, on their posts and provide sources of value within those posts. But then secondly, and eventually you can, you can go in their DMS after you’ve been like engaging with their content for a little while and they’ve replied or they’ve liked your stuff.
And they’re more warm to who you are as a person. Much easier to get a reply from them and to potentially get put into one of those higher tier mailboxes, um, inboxes, especially if they end up following you, which we’re gonna get into that in a minute, Mike, because there’s been instances where people have followed you just based off of things that you’re commenting.
And, and I, I want to dive into that in, in a minute because there’s so much fucking value in that, but don’t be going like you, especially if you’re a, nobody. You have to start off in a smaller tier, like of an artist. You have to work your way up to a bigger artist. As you become bigger of an artist, it’s gonna be easier for you to engage with other bigger artists.
Just based off of your reputation, how many followers you have, if you have a check mark, all of that. Yeah. That’s really the name of the game is, uh, just building rapport and building your reputation in a way that presents you as, uh, high quality content. Right? So if I am like DMing, a, a small mid-tier artist and they’re verified and eventually they follow me, whoever follows them.
or I can then approach somebody who is a mutual, um, follower of that small to mid-tier artist. And once I start talking to them, if they look at my profile, they’ll see, oh, producer, small to mid-tier follows Mike. So that means he’s a safe option. He’s a safe follow because my, you know, um, my peer follows you.
So that gives you a little more advantage. In the social credibility and social, uh, social realm, I guess. Uh, now one thing I’ll say, especially when you’re engaging with people on social media, the last episode, we talked about the different types of stories that you can tell in marketing and the main focus, uh, the six types of stories you can tell in marketing.
And one of the main story types that I really focused in on was comedy. Because comedy is so fucking powerful and just about everyone wants to laugh, they want to be entertained. And when they, when, when you make someone laugh, they want to engage with you. Um, usually people think that people like being around others that make them laugh.
Mike, you’re one of those people that make me fucking laugh all the God time. I think you’re hilarious. Even more so on social media, your, your comments are fucking golden. When we’re talking about now, comedy is subjective and it’s not easy to be funny. And some people just naturally are more funny than others.
And for some of you NA like comedy’s not gonna be, it’s not gonna be easy to comment, funny things, you know, that’s okay. You gotta figure out a different way to connect with people, but for some of you, you will be some of you, you will be able to like, Comment, funny shit again, like last episode, think getter type, uh, comedy, um, Dylan Francis, Noah Neiman, who we had on the podcast.
He does some funny comments on some big posts. And he actually talked about in that episode, like he got a check mark on social media and as an individual with a check mark, if you comment as a post, you automatically get shown. Above everyone. Else’s common. Yeah. You get shown first if you’re a check mark.
So if you’re able to get, check mark, now the requirements to get a check. Mark are pretty easy. Like you can go pay someone to write some blog posts about you, and that’s essentially all you need. Like, you need a couple of publications with your name online to verify who you are and you can get check mark.
It’s not that difficult. If you’re engaging in a funny way with a check mark on people’s posts that you’re wanting to connect with. Now, this is all we’re talking right now. What we’re talking about is online networking. Um, and probably more so with bigger producers, which is great. I think it’s a good thing to do, but that’s what Noah would do.
And, um, this is also something that you touch on yourself. Mike is commenting on bigger ish producers post, but it’s always like comedy centric. You’re trying to engage and get a reaction outta people. Um, a funny, a laughing reaction, not so, not so much like shock jock humor, but it’s just like just a funny comment.
And I think you’ve, you’ve gotten people to follow you based off of that, like fairly big people haven’t you I’ve had a verified artists from like protocol and revealed. I remember one time I was having a conversation with somebody. So one night I had gotten absolutely trashed in Philadelphia and it was, it was a club night.
I think I was seeing Julian Jordan, um, live at one of the nightclub out in Philadelphia. So me and my buddy were just pre-game and I went a little hard on the pre-game because it’s, it’s what I do, Christian, you know, very well that I, I, I take my partying very seriously. And so I got, I got a little.
Little crazy. And I started DMing a bunch of artists just because, just because like I saw their stories and I’m like, oh, that’s funny. And I’m like, everything’s making me laugh. Right. So I see this, this one artist’s story. And I thought it was hysterical. And I’m like, um, I think they were actually playing a show that night.
And that was what the next story was. So I’m like, yo, uh, uh, have a good show tonight, you know, whatever said some cool stuff. I’m like, Oh, you guys, uh, you guys are sick. Like, um, I thought they were from Philly for some reason. And they, they most certainly are not they’re from like California. so they’re like, Nope, not, not Philadelphia, but enjoy your night, bro.
Like, don’t, don’t get too trashed and I’m like, won’t not happen, but sounds good. And then a month later they posted like a Instagram story of a pool. And I, for my day job am a pool guy. So I’m like, sounds like you need a certified pool guy, please hire me. And they thought that was funny. And then the immediate, next day they were actually in Philadelphia and Ben Franklin’s house is between a dispensary and like a shake shack.
And I said, the only thing that’s missing is the bro. And bam. They go, I’m followed by a check mark. Yeah. Yeah. Then that was what, three engagements you went through over the course of three months, literally three engagements. I don’t even think I commented on any of their posts. I liked every post they post, but I have, I don’t think I commented on any of them.
So it was all story engagetoring and that’s fine. Yeah. Even just liking stuff again. What we’re talking about here is making sure you’re top of mind. Like you, as long as you’re top of mind and constantly engaging now, again, when I say constantly engaging the right word to say is consistently engaging.
You don’t want to constantly engage and bombard people and become overwhelming where they start hiding everything. Like, like they basically block you. Actually, I, I left something out in that as well. So in the grouping of those three engagements, I had reached out and said, Oh, what’s your guys’ promo mail.
Um, do you guys have any promos? You’d like me to premiere in my radio show, and that is a really underrated tactic in the networking game, because as you and I discussed in our 1001 track list episode, um, the track list or, uh, a. A track list on 1001 track list is so important to the producers in 2022, because that, that determines how successful your track is amongst professionals amongst professional curators of music.
Right? So if they’re getting even one random play from a random radio show that still counts towards their credibility. So. If you have a radio show, you can go up to artists and you could say, Hey, um, could you, um, do you send promo of your tracks for radio shows or you could ask for their promo mail or ask to be added to their promo list.
And that’s a really good way to build credibility, cuz if you’re playing their tracks consistently, they know. So you have to factor in, you know, the value there, everything. Value oriented with networking just as everything else is like your day to day in life is of all value oriented. How are you gonna get value out of what you do throughout your day?
So you feel like a better person you’re doing what you need. You know, when you go work job, it sucks, but you’re getting value out of that, which is the money that you can spend on rent and spend to pay for food. Um, when you engage with someone else, They’re still in, like how you get someone interested in you is by providing value to them.
This doesn’t mean that you have to give them money and money is the value. Like the, the value could be a conversation. The value could be a like, or an engagement. The value could be, Hey, let me play your track on my radio show. That is inherent value. And most producers that you’re gonna try and network with are gonna be smaller ish producer.
They’re probably bigger than you. Maybe they have a checkmark or maybe not, but that means they could still only have like 10,000 followers on Instagram or something. They could have that even less, those per they could have less, but those producers give a shit when you are reach out and you are supporting them, they see that they like it.
Cuz they, again, they’re still pretty young. They don’t have a ton of support. So anyone. Outright, publicly supporting them is a benefit to them and they want to establish a relationship with those people. And this gets back to the story that I had told when we first started recording last week of when I had a radio show.
Now I got networked naturally through my radio show, barely similar to yours, Mike, but to what you did with these guys. But my story’s a little bit different. I had a radio show from shit 2015 to 2017 through 2016 or something towards the end of 2016, maybe the beginning of 2017. When I was playing a bunch of autoerotic stuff on my, on my radio show.
Now those of you who don’t know who autoerotic is he, he makes some like nasty fucking base house. And I actually think it’s a duo, but one of the guys is like behind the. But, um, I don’t know what he’s doing as of right now. I think he’s kind of gone under the radar. I think the last time he released track was like 20, 20 or something.
I’m not sure what the fuck he’s been up to. But when I had my radio show, I would set, I would tweet out the set list, like live cause my, my radio show was actually leg legit, legitimately played on a, like a live. Internet radio. And so I would tweet out the, the tracks, like as soon as the track would play on the minute marker tweeted out and I would tag the artist and the record label and do some hashtags and shit.
And autoerotic saw this a few times and autoerotic was fucking big at the time. Like. He wasn’t, he wasn’t has releases with Steve AKI, so yeah. Yeah. Like he was releasing with AKI. He was releasing on di a bunch. He was releasing on Diplo’s Diplo has the label, right. What’s Diplo’s label mad, Matt. He releasing on mad.
Decent. Yeah. He was release. He was releasing on fucking major labels playing the biggest festivals you could think of. He’s a pretty big fucking artist. And I’m a nobody at this time. Like, I don’t know, still to this day, I have no idea. If anyone found me like a fan, found me through my radio show. I have no idea.
Um, I didn’t promote it. I didn’t do enough promotion. I slacked off on that shit, but he followed me like, because I was tweeting out, I’m supporting him, I’m playing his show, playing his tracks. And he had, I, I don’t, you could probably look up how many Twitter fans he had. Um, he currently has compared to his followers.
It’s not a lot. I think he had less than like a thousand followers maybe less than, or he was following like less than 500 people, 32,000 followers, 3000 following. Yeah. So not following a lot of people. I’m one of those 3000 that he’s following though. He ended up following me and I was fucking mind blown.
I was, I, I lost my shit. He was making the base house. I wanted to make. So good. And I reached out to him, I him up and I was like, dude, holy shit, huge fan. Thank you so much. And he started sending me unreleased tracks, just like out of the blue, sending me unreleased tracks to play as promo that have not been released to this day.
So I have unreleased, uh, autoerotic tracks, which is fucking crazy. Now, now what’s, what’s better about the story is, you know, if I had played my cards, right. If I knew how to network and I did it properly. I could have built that relationship into something much more and think about what I could have gotten outta that relationship.
Now, now I’m thinking about the, get to understand from an ethical standpoint, like not just a, well, let me, I’m not coming from it as a, let me use this person as much as I possibly can. It’s a, let me establish in a, a relationship with this person and build a friendship where we both get value out of it, cuz that’s what you’re looking.
um, and I could have done that. I didn’t, cause I didn’t know what I was really doing at the time, but that one person could have opened me up to so many doors. I mean, think about like PO the possibility of releasing on D a, the possibility of releasing on Matt D the possibility of connecting me with people related to Steve AKI.
Like there’s, there’s a lot of possibilities there. Opened the door right there just from supporting. And I could have, I could have gotten feedback from him on tracks. I could have just the, the relationship could have grown and I could have tried to tried to build it from there, just from that one, that one follow.
And it was off of a simple thing. This was a big producer that I supported on my small shitty radio show and he appreciated the support. He saw the support and he followed me. It doesn’t take much. You just had to provide some sort of value and you’ll be able to network with people. Yeah. It really doesn’t take much at all.
I mean, I’ve gotten followers from check marks, just really from like saying, Hey, I’d like to support your track. Um, let me know what I can do to help you with your, you know, your, your music. And obviously that, that doesn’t mean much coming from me because I’m not like. Highly credible producer or anything, but I like, even if you, you know, but, but, but you have results with networking, like, uh, sure.
You’re not a crazy big touring artist, but you have proven results with the way you network. I mean, you connected with Brooks, your, your Brooks story is genius. and that was a very simple way of networking by honestly, just going to a show. Yeah. And like that whole story is really, really kind of funny.
It’s still to this day, one of my favorite experiences. So I, um, I probably had just gotten into the, the EDM scene. a year before that. So it’s 2017. He had released his collaborations. I think he had released bite and boomerang with Martin Garrick’s. So he really was starting to take off as, as an artist and, you know, he’s touring the us and he’s my, one of my favorite producers at the time.
So I’m like, I have to see this guy live. All of my friends are really not, you know, dance music fans. So I couldn’t get anybody to go. And, you know, it’s like four hours before the show and I, I have nobody to go with. I’m like, this is so beat dude. Like, this is all I’ve wanted to do for like three weeks and nobody’s gonna go with me.
I even bought tickets for them. Like nobody’s biting this sucks. So I text my one coworker and I’m like, Hey, you, you done with work? And he is like, oh, I’m getting off in 20 minutes. So. I say, come to the show with me in Atlantic city. Um, it’s gonna be a lot of fun. We’re just gonna party. He’s like, as long as you let me drink a whole bottle of wild Turkey, uh I’m like, dude, what?
So, so disgusting. Like fucking war that’s horrific. Horrific and this man did it. This man drank a whole handle of wild Turkey on this car ride this hour and a half car ride. Like I couldn’t believe it. So he spent the whole show just absolutely wasted. I’m not drinking really. Like I’m just trying to have a good time experience the music like this is the first time I’m seeing.
like a performing DJ live and I night club. So I’m like, I’m just taking in the experience. So on the front row, like the whole night, you know, Brooke shot me in the face with a, a CO2 gun. And my friend’s just trashed. He’s having a great time, but he’s, he’s demolished. So around 2:00 AM, they start kicking people out of the club and.
Of course, my friend is still trashed. I have work at 9:00 AM the next morning. It fuck that. Hey, I’m going to, I would immediately text my boss and be like, I’m gonna be sick in the morning. I’m not coming in. So it’s, it’s 2:00 AM right now. It’s an hour and a half drive back to my house. So my friend’s like, let’s go play in casino.
And I’m like, okay, Vic, whatever, whatever you want, dude, I don’t really care. Like I, we could do whatever my, my work day tomorrow is already ruined. So, so we’re just wandering around the casino. This guy’s slurring his speech. He’s, he’s trashed. He’s like, I, I don’t know you to lead the way and I’m like, just pick a game.
We’ll play. He’s like, I wanna play craps. We’re wandered around the casino and we’re looking for games to play or more likely a craps table at this. And I’m just looking around and I see this tall guy in a white shirt with, uh, somebody following him and I’m like, no fucking way. That’s Brooks. So I walk up to him, I’m like, Hey, you’re, you’re Brooks, you’re the DJ.
And he’s like, oh yeah, what’s up. You were in the front the whole night. And I’m like, yeah, I was, you shot me in the face with an air cannon. They had a few hours. You just messaged him before that though, too, right? Yeah, you’re right. You’re right. I did just message him and ironically, and he replied. Yeah, he, he replied, I had messaged him a bunch of times before that.
This was the first time I ever messaged him and got a response that was really cool. So then we just crossed paths randomly in this casino, and he’s like, I got a flight in a few hours. Um, we’re just gonna sit down and drink at the bar and I’m like, let me buy you a drink, you know, do whatever. And, uh, I bought him and his photographer stuff had Brocken, uh, drinks, and we just, you know, talked about, you know, production and you know what he’s got going on.
And I remember texting you at the, at the time. And I’m like, yo dude, I, I just met fucking Brooks and you’re like, don’t fan girl, don’t fan girl do not don’t fan girl. It’s the worst thing you could possibly do with any artist. Right. And, you know, I was just chilling. I’m trying to like be cool. And he, he said like, you seem him nervous, but like, you don’t have to be, or I’m just a normal guy.
Like we’re all those normal people. It’s it’s whatever. And that was really cool, cuz like he was a super chill dude. He didn’t, you know, he was just, he was just vibing really. And um, basically. We just chatted at the bar for like four hours in a casino. That was it. And then he came back touring in October of 2018 in New York city.
I shot him a couple messages we talked, but I could make to the show. Yeah. He hasn’t toured on the east coast since that’s a bummer, but when he comes back, I sure as hell will be hanging out with him again. Yeah. Now, did you get a follow from him? I did not. You didn’t, but you’re in his primary inbox now.
I am. Yes. More than likely. So it’s like, if you message him, he’s gonna see the message. So you’re in a much better position now you didn’t give all that’s okay. You got you’re. The point is, is you’re now in his primary inbox. So next time he comes into town, you’re a much better position to be able to say, Hey, you already know who I am.
Let’s go grab a drink or something. Or if he has the time and energy to actually do it, honestly, the power of drinks is like just such a crazy thing. Obvious. know your audience, right? Like don’t Don go offering drinks to artists who are recovering alcoholic. That’s no shit. Yeah. That’s not, that’s a, that’s, that’s a bad take, but I mean, just offering simple stuff to artists, like.
First of all offering to come to their shows, like is a humongous thing. Every time. One of like my artists or artists I wanna get to know are having a show. The first thing I’ll DM them is, Hey, do you have an affiliate link? Or like how, a way for them to prove their sales. Right. Cause any artist who isn’t like headlining probably is looking for people to buy their ticket links.
So they get profit. Right, right. Um, that’s a really good point. Again, there’s value. You’re adding value immediately. Everything based off of value. Yeah. Which is something you taught me early, early on. Um, and it’s just, you have to find a way to pro prove you are valuable and create value in unique ways.
So, I mean, If you, if they’re releasing sound banks or if they’re releasing sample packs, if you post about them or like even make a little story about it and say, Hey, this sample pack’s really cool. Or you give them feedback, all of it’s worth something. You can’t, you can’t go without saying that it’s, it’s useless because it’s not, I mean, there’s a, there’s some crazy artists that I’ve been connected.
All through just providing value by bringing them onto this podcast. Now, I, now most of you know, I don’t just bring on anyone onto this podcast cuz it’s not, and I’m not saying that I’m high and mighty or anything like that, but there’s a specific theme to the show. I’ve gotten a lot of artists that have reached out and been like, Hey, I want to come on your podcast.
I produce music and I do this and I’ve released on this label and I’ve worked with this artist before. I’m like, cool. What are we gonna talk about? What are like, what value are you gonna provide to my audience that has not already been provided? And most of the time, they’re just like, oh, we’ll just talk about what I’m working on.
It’s like, no, I don’t wanna talk about what you’re working on. Like I nothing about something. It does nothing to my audience at all. It just promotes your own shit. Now that doesn’t mean that we. Come up with a good conversation. I’m sure we would be able to figure something out, but I bring people onto the show because they’ve tapped into something specifically that they’re good at, that has benefited their music career from a business standpoint.
So I don’t just want to bring on an artist to interview. I don’t wanna bring them on because they’ve done something that either other people haven’t been able to do really well or they’ve innovated in a certain. And that is gonna provide insight and value to other smaller producers that they could potentially mimic or get some inspiration from and build off of that thing.
But through that, I’ve been able to network with very creative and innovative and interesting producers. And I’ve been able to connect with their network through that as well. Just this podcast is providing that, like bringing people onto this podcast and giving them their, you. 15 minutes of fame on the podcast, which not like this podcast is Joe Rogan numbers, but it doesn’t matter.
Like people want to talk about themselves and the things that they’re working on and that is inherent value to them. They like talking about themselves. So I am providing. You know, a, a value based system where I can then add them to my network and always have an open line of communication with them and the people they’re involved with.
Um, didn’t this podcast conveniently connect you with Landis, which has a strange connection story to myself. Yeah. Yeah. Cuz you saw Landis what? A couple months ago or something? Yeah, probably in March or. he was playing. Was he playing in Philly? He was playing in Philly. Yeah. Yeah. You hit me up and you’re like, yo, I’m gonna go see Landis he’s in Philly.
And I was like, give me, alright, wait five minutes. And I texted Landis and I was like, yo, can you get my buddy in the door? And he’s like, sure. He is, I was like, he’s with a friend here, the names. And he put you on the list within like 10 minutes. Got you. Yeah. And I don’t remember it, but we were having a good time with Landis.
Yeah. I definitely do not remember it. So rightfully so, but yeah, the, no, the Landis was on one of the podcast episodes after Los Padres, who I that’s, who I got connected with through, I, I got connected with Landis through Los Padres, Landis and Crespo, which Crespo is the touring DJ for Jayden Smith will Smith’s son and.
So Crespo and Landis both have a, a, um, music production academy in Fort Lauderdale, Florida called wired sound academy where they do music production classes, and they also do DJing classes. And so I work personally very closely with Landis. We basically talk on a daily basis doing marketing for wired sound.
I do marketing for wired sound academy. I’m starting to do. I’m dipping my toes and doing some music marketing with Landis, with his personal, you know, his artist profile, which dude Landis is putting up crazy numbers on TikTok. He’s got millions of views, like tens of millions of views on TikTok. He’s got well over 60 million streams across all streaming platforms he’s released with Don Diablo released a bunch on hexagon.
He’s a well known artist and he plays all over the country. So does Crespo Crespo is going on a July tour where he’s almost, he’s playing almost every single day of the month or day of the yeah. Day of the month throughout July, all across the us. So these are legit people and I got connected with them through Los Padres, and I got connected to Los Padres through hanging out on a Twitch stream of sixth street music.
Who’s Richard Wang. He was on episode four of the podcast talking about Twitch stream. Just me hanging out in his Twitch dreams. And Richard shouting me out in this show, got me connected to another dude, our, our buddy, Chris, who then connected me with no face and then connected me with Los Padres. And I started doing some work with their record label.
And then I got connected with Landis through that. And now I’ve been like providing a shit tone of value with Landis and helping him out. And that’s just gonna open up the network with him where I could potentially reach out to someone. Far bigger than both of us in the industry that Landis is connected to.
And I’m a trusted source. And all I have to do is figure out how to provide value to the next person. And it just branches off like that. That’s where the spider web effect that I was mentioning far earlier on in the show comes into play because what a lot of people don’t realize and producers and DJs don’t realize is you don’t get signed to revealed.
Or spinning or protocol or hexagon, you don’t get signed to those places without credibility. You, if you have 400 followers, your music has to be really good to get signed with nothing backing that if you don’t have supports or if you don’t have, uh, important people, you know, sending demos for you.
You’re probably gonna get sifted through rather quickly, unless the demo is just that good. And it’s, it’s really not about what you know, it’s about who, you know, and that’s really what it comes down to. You have to have somebody vouching for you. You have to have the supports. You have to have the credibility.
That’s all it matters in the music industry. Bottom line. Now don’t get it twisted too. You definitely need to know what the fuck you’re doing, cuz that’s how people are gonna be able to. Vouch for you is that they’re like, no, this person knows what the fuck they’re doing. They, they know it unless you’re just bullshitting your way through every single thing which never ends.
Well. Right. Look at Fyre festival, Fyre festival was supposed to be the craziest festival ever done the most luxurious thing. It was all bullshit. I built a pool for that guy. No shit. Or wait, wait for Ja rule. Didn’t you build a, the pool for Ja rule. Yes I did. Yeah. Which Ja rule wasn’t even, he was, he got roped into it by that one, dude, the main dude who was like, let’s do this.
He partnered with Ja rule and Ja rule got fucked with that. I can’t believe we still built this pool. no, don’t get like, don’t get it twisted. You can bullshit as much as you want. You always get you, you’re gonna get fucked in the, you’re always gonna get fucked in the end. If you bullshit your way through, someone’s gonna see through your bullshit and everything’s gonna get revealed.
And that, that destroys your credibility in more than one way. It, you, you get, you get fucked so hard. Not, not only that, but it could potentially destroy other people’s credibility. So watch your back too, and making sure. You’re not working with sketchy people that could fuck up your credibility, cuz that’s just as bad for you.
Yeah. And I think that’s probably the biggest lesson to learn is be authentic. Be, be yourself because that’s going to get you more, more than be some false identity who isn’t always gonna be present unless you are like really intolerable in general. I think you’ll do fine with most people networking wise, just because everybody, most of these DJs don’t have a crazy big ego.
They’re they’re really all down to earth. Even the, even the bigger ones are really remarkably down to earth. And of course, when it comes to networking, you can’t be reaching out. Like we said earlier to Nikki Romero to Martin, Garrick’s like, you can’t reach out to those guys because they don’t, they probably don’t run their social media accounts.
They probably. Get like a thousand DMS a minute and it just, it’s not worth your time for they’re so funny. They’re also, they’re also so fucking busy that yeah, they probably don’t have time to pay for. They sleep three hours a night, max, you like, you are going to get connected with those producers through other people that you’ve been connected with over time.
Like you work your way up the ladder. You start off small, that person knows someone that knows someone bigger. And that person knows someone that knows someone bigger, and that person knows. And you like slowly inch your way through. And this takes years, like your network is not gonna grow. Like you’re gonna listen to this episode and maybe you will go start networking right now.
But it doesn’t mean in a week or even a month or even six months. You’re gonna be connected with everyone you possibly need to be connected with, to be successful. This is gonna be like years of establishing a network, but once you start networking, I’ve noticed personally that you start to see an exponential growth, each additional networking move you make.
It, it comes, the next one comes faster than the last easier, faster. And the, again, your credibility becomes stronger. The trust it gets deeper, everything just builds off of that one connection you make. And it, it really is. Um, pretty amazing to see, you know, just how much your credibility builds off of that.
Now, if you were a producer, Christian, would you be asking yourself after this podcast? How do I get this started? Right. Like that’s people probably wanna start after hearing all this, right? Yeah. Now the, the biggest thing it, so there’s, there’s two kinds of networking that you can start doing right now.
COVID is basically over shows are being like you can go to shows now, um, festivals are in full swing. Again, like the scene is back everything’s back network in person’s a little bit different. It’s still the same where like think small, you know, start small. You’ll work your way up to the bigger people.
So connect yourself with all the smaller people. And we we’ve talked about that in the past and especially with. Getting networked with promoters or bookers. You want to become friends with their friends because they will talk to the Booker about you. And then this person will be more interested in talking to you and getting you booked.
So joining meetup groups is one of the best things you can do. We’ve talked about going to local shows like local artists playing shows. Talking to those artists after the show. So if you know, no one in your fucking town at all, go to those local shows for a month, like once a week, go to a local show connect with every DJ there, get their socials, start messaging them, sending them tracked for feedback and just, just building a con like.
Starting a conversation, building a relationship and then see, find out if they know of anyone or, or if they’re a part of some group that’s doing like a meetup, like a lunch meetup once a once a month or something on a Saturday where a bunch of producers meet up for lunch and they talk about music and business and shit.
If that’s not happening, start it be the person that starts that in your town. because then you can be the source of connecting people with others, but then also those people are gonna bring their friends and their producers they know of and make this like a public Facebook group event or public Facebook event that you make each month and have people invite their other friends to it.
And eventually you’ll build this like strong connection within the music scene in your local area. So that’s one way of networking in person offline. Now, if you’re in a small town where. Like, you’re the only producer there which is possible, or, you know, maybe you’re in a country where there’s not a lot of producers.
This is where online networking becomes a huge factor. And like, what you talked about in the past is find the thing that you’re struggling with, or like there’s a hole in your music or your career, your business, or whatever it is. And you wanna connect network with someone, find that person online. Start engaging with their content.
And eventually you can get to a point where you can slide in their DMS, which we’ve talked about again in the past, like online networking is super easy. All you have to do is find the person you wanna get connected with and just start engaging with their content. Don’t DM them right away. Just engage with their content, get your name, familiar with them so that when you do message them, they’re much more comfortable and willing to respond to you.
And I cannot stress this enough. Do not make the first DM you send these artists the, the 100% reaction emoji. Um, yeah, a message saying fire emojis, fire emojis, like make it something realistic. Like don’t say, will you follow me, bro? Will you collab with me, bro? No, no, we will not. No you again, we talked about like value oriented in this entire, this whole process needs to be value oriented.
How are you gonna provide value to someone? If you’re networking in person you’re going to those local shows. How do you provide value immediately to that first? That, that DJ you see there, you’re talking to, Hey, can I buy you a drink? That’s value. That’s like, it’s simple value and they’re probably now if they do drink, they’re gonna go.
You go buy them a drink, you start talking, you break the ice online. It can be as simple as supporting them, or again, if you’re engaging with their content, but you’re like trying to start a conversation within their comment that is also engaging in value, like value forward thinking. There’s a, I, I re I remember what I wanted to mention earlier, too, with networking.
So a lot of what networking is, is communication skills. And some of us don’t have great communication skills. Believe it or not. I have shitty small talk skills. Like I like, I, I, I suck at small talk. I don’t like small talk. I’ve been starting to get better at it. And I’m, I’m starting to try to enjoy small talk and be more engaging with small talk.
But there’s this video that I’m going to post in the show notes and the video is all. The, the skills that Joe Rogan has or his podcast that he utilizes to get every guest that comes on from a comedian to a scientist, to a, an author, like all of these different types of people, he’s able to get them to engage and have a comfortable conversation with him through some simple communication tactics and specifically small talk tactic.
It’s this great fucking video I’m gonna put in the show notes. Video. I just recently found and watched, and I’ve been using the skills that the tactics that I learned in that video to engage in small talk and it works like fucking magic. And the craziest thing is, is interviewing skills are so, so underrated because you can use them.
It’s not like a professional thing. You can use them everywhere on dates. Like just small talk everywhere. You can use them. And just having like those abilities to pick up those social cues and those tiny little details. It just goes so, so far. Yeah. Again, like what we’re, everything we’re talking about here is one providing value, but then two having good communication skills, especially with small talk.
So all this stuff combined is gonna make networking feel more natural. It’s gonna be easier. People are gonna like you. You’re gonna be able to get connected with the next person so much faster and so much easier, which is all about, you know, building that spider web of a network is how you get shit done in this type of industry.
Just about ending the industry. That’s how you get shit done. Yeah. I I’d say, I would say really that is the, the majority of networking and even going back to going to shows, um, this just popped in my head. I’ve I’ve had like world touring DJs on several occasions state to me. Oh, I saw you in the front.
Like Brooke said it to me way back when in, in 2017, um, I saw dub vision live in a Manhattan night club in like may and I was in the front row, the whole show. And then I met dub vision on the way out, uh, as I. It was in V I P for some reason. Um, we’re not gonna discuss that, but I, I was in VI. I was in V I P for some reason, and they were leaving and I’m like, yo, you guys are dub vision.
You guys are the best. Like your music changed my life. And, um, One of the guys in dub vision, Victor, he’s like, oh yeah, I saw you in the front row, the whole show. Thanks for the support. And Noah has had the exact same experience he’s posted on social media before of people that he saw in the front row of his shows and was like, yo, thank you so much.
Like, like it’s, it’s so easy. Here’s the thing here. Here’s if you wanna know the secret with producer. And this does, this goes against kind of what you said previously, Mike, where these guys don’t have big egos. And I don’t think, I don’t think a lot of them do some of them do not all, I understand what you’re gonna say.
And I think it’s like, it’s not, it’s not an ego thing. Hang on. Let me no, no, I don’t think it’s an ego thing, but all of these in, even, even those of you listening to this, we’re all doing this because we want to be loved. Like we want to be loved by other individuals. And we, we’re getting deep here. We’re getting deep and philosophical and that’s okay.
But we all inherently wanna be liked by a lot of people. We want to be loved by a lot of people we want to, we want that effect in others that we’ve seen in our own heroes of music. Like that’s what we wanna do. And so it’s, it is, it’s not D. To please a lot of these producers, because all it is, all it takes really is just giving them that love and attention that they’re, that they’re wanting.
And so showing that support in that way, it, it, it means something to them. It actually does mean something. Now, when you get to a position of like Tito, right, or Armon, a little different or excision, cuz people are so fucking big that it’s. You get jaded to it just kind of turns into a job and yes, they still do love what they do.
I think for the most part, but for these smaller producers that are starting to get bigger, they’re still in that like, they’re, they crave that attention. They want that love and that attention. And when you give it to them, they notice that they recognize that. And they’re going to reciprocate that in some way, if you’re able to get their ear and that’s really all it takes.
I think that’s pretty much it. Yeah. You just gotta get to those shows and get in those DMS and make a lasting impact. Yep. Make, provide value, make a good impression and build off that relationship for years. Remember I’ve told you guys the story with Noah, uh, Noah Neman, it took that the, it took two years of, of, of building that relationship with him to take it offline.
And we both lived in the same city and. Sometimes that’s what it takes. So you have to be in this for the long haul and you just have to understand that it takes time and you have to, you know, you have to plant that seed. You have to water the plant, you have to nurture it. You have to feed it. And eventually it’ll grow into a fruit tree and you can pick that fruit, but you have to be patient with it and you have to be consistent with it.
And you have to be loving with that relationship and that friendship. Get out there start networking. Mike, do you have anything to plug? Uh, I do. I have a release releasing on, uh, wow. That’s a redundant sentence. I have a track coming out on July 8th, uh, on red ocean records with Andy snow. One of your, uh, your clients.
It’s a dance pop track sorta titled goodbye. So that’s a really cool summer tune coming out in a week from this record. And probably shorter since, uh, you’d have to edit this. give me a follow at, at Mike Vaughn, DJ on Instagram. I occasionally post content. Not really, but, uh, shoot me a DM let’s let’s network.
And, um, maybe we could figure something out again. You, you wanna know what it takes to get a follow from Mike or get track list or share his fucking. They’ll love you forever. I guarantee you. Yeah. Share. Share the track goes a long way. It goes. It’s so easy. I mean, Mike, I, I know you right now. If you found a random person that started sharing you music, you would lose your mind in a good way.
Like rightfully so. That’s like, that’s, that’s huge, but like finding out there’s a random person out the out in the world, that’s actually listening to your shit and following it and liked it. That’s fucking huge. So keep that up. I mean, I know like I’ve, you’ve messaged me. Sending me images, screenshots of people sharing my podcast.
I have no idea who they are and the amount of joy that brings me is unbelievable. So yeah, it’s, it’s one of the best feelings in the world get like, I get it. You know, when I find out people are sharing this podcast, it’s so much value to me and knowing that people are getting value outta the podcast, it it’s just fucking fantastic.
So yeah. Support Mike and shoot him a message. And he’ll network with you. Mike’s got a decent network though. Everyone else, head to envious, audio.com/episode 83. To check out the show notes. We’ll have link through everything we. In this episode and I think that’s about it. I’ll see you guys next time and take care.
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