If you define marketing as getting your message out, which is how I view marketing, then you can learn a lot from DJs.

A smart DJ is posting his sets on SoundCloud, is on Twitter or other social media engaging with people who link to him, is making loose online networks, and is otherwise promoting himself in a mostly unobtrusive way.

DJs also have multiple platforms to promote themselves. They are on YouTube, Twitter, SoundCloud, and Facebook getting their message out.

Often they play on XM Radio, a new listener likes their work, Googles them, and finds one of those pages.

DJs are masters are converting random listeners to dedicated super fans.

I first hear of Rony Seikaly on XM Radio. I had no idea who he was. When I searched him name to found more, I found his SoundCloud page.

If Seikaly had no web presence, I’d have forgotten about him. It’s a busy world and you hear a cool song and move on. There has to be an easy way for people to find you.

Be found or be forgotten.

One reason the Mike Cernovich Podcast took off was because I copied DJs. I didn’t know what I was doing. I don’t have a marketing team or consultant. I just realized that my favorite DJs were all on SoundCloud, so I put my podcast on SoundCloud.

Now it’s on iTunes (over 313 ratings in the U.S. alone). Anyone who finds the podcast on iTunes can search my name and find my other websites.

One year and over 500,000 downloads later, here we are.

When your content is good, self-promotion doesn’t annoy people.

Those we call “shameless self-promoters” simply tend to not have much of a message worth promoting.

Their message is I, me, me. LOOK AT ME!

It’s tiresome hearing a grown man or woman begging for attention.

If your message is good, people will spread and share if. If you’re the only person hyping your work, go back to the drawing board.

A DJ is an artist and a performer.

If no one enjoys a DJs art, then the DJ will falter. It’s not enough to create good art. You have to understand and empathize with your audience.

Here are some of my favorite DJs along with some of their best sets.

I’m also going to note how I heard about them, so that we can all learn their marketing tactics.

Rony Seikaly.

I was cruising along Pacific Coast Highway when Sugar Free Radio started playing on XM Radio. I Googled him, found his SoundCloud page, and have been a big fan since. I have linked to him and a lot of my Danger and Play guys are new fans.

Marketing is a long tail. A bunch of people find a person, promote that person, and suddenly that person is huge.

I’ve seen Seikaly play in Los Angeles, and that guy is living the life.

This is probably my favorite episode of Sugar Free Radio.

DJ Alex H (Alex Humberstone).

I heard about him from my friend Nic Gabriel, a BJJ black belt and house music fan. (Nic and I did a joint podcast at Danger & Play.)

His Sunset Melodies is something that you have to listen to for yourself. It’s divine, especially with good head phones. (I prefer the Sennheiser HD280.)

Owen Royal.

I found him on YouTube while looking for deep house music sets. Own does a lot of interesting work and each set has a different feel to it. Check out his SoundCloud page and find your favorite.

This is the last set I heard:

DJ Main Event.

I met DJ Main Event through my main website, Danger & Play. I tried Googling DJ Main Event, and couldn’t find his page.

“Main Event” is a generic marketing term. It gets thrown around too much to be distinct or noticeable. My advice would be for him to rebrand.

Main Event’s music is feel, good, happy party music. This is a fun set to listen to before going out.


Did I slyly promote myself?

You bet.

DJs are smart and are Googling themselves to see what people are saying about them online.

I will also @ Tweet their usernames in Twitter, to ensure they see this post.

Maybe they’ll retweet this article, since it’s saying nice things about them.

Maybe I’ll convert Rony Seikaly, Alex H, or Owen Royal to podcast subscribers.

Or maybe not.

Either way, you now have a bunch of great music to listen to.

See what I just did there?

I put YOU first. You have great music to listen to, so now my marketing doesn’t annoy you.

Everyone wins when you deliver value up front by putting the reader and listener first.

14 Replies to “Uplifting Music to Write and Wind Down To (Bonus: Marketing Tips from DJs)”

  1. Liked this post Mike.

    “Everyone wins when you deliver value up front by putting the reader and listener first.” – Very true. People think that by offering a product on its own, you’re creating value. Sure, but when it comes to promoting it you need to also add value in the promotion itself.

    Thought I would share some uplifting songs with you, I enjoy writing to these:

    Simon O’Shine – Your Distant World
    MÖWE – Birds Flying High
    Andrew Bayer – Once Lydian
    Clams Casino – I’m God (more of a chill song)
    Above & Beyond’s new album (We are all we need)

  2. Thanks for turning me on to this stuff. I have always been a ‘rock’ guy as a musician myself, but I am definitely starting to dig this music. Plus Rony is one cool dude, I started following him on Insta, talk about living the life..

  3. As i was reading this post and saw your headphone recommendation and went into my closet to pull out some headphones i bought at guitar center for under $90 bucks and forgot how good they were. Surprise surprise, they are Sennheiser HD pros.

  4. House music is actually helping me concentrate and write.. this is weird. How does this work?

  5. Mike I’m really liking this blog.

    I make house music (which has been quite hard to do lately since I’m focusing on growing my blog), so I’m constantly studying successful Djs / producers and you’re totally right, they are the best at converting random readers / listeners into loyal fans and marketing themselves overall. Just the other day I saw a pic of Steve Aoki hanging out with Dan Bilzerian and Floyd Mayweather, talk about brand positioning.

    Also I’m a bit surprised about your musical taste. Listening to the sugar free radio episode as I write this. Must feel good listening to that in a suit in Vietnam while drinking a fine whiskey.

    By the way, yesterday I came across your affiliate post on Fit Juice and the timing was perfect since I’ve been curious about juicing lately and my blog lacks nutrition related content so I’m definitely considering promoting your ebooks, but I have some catching up to do on the subject before I can write about it and recommend products, so I’ll get to that as fast as I can.

    Meanwhile keep the articles coming! Gonna read the one about EliteFTS now,

    thanks for the insight.

    – Gerard

  6. Really great tips here Mike. I especially like “If your content is good, self-promotion doesn’t annoy people”. Which sounds simple, but I find to be challenging at times. I mean, what makes content so good that it doesn’t annoy people? Entertainment value, relevancy, production, uniqueness?

    Also, one thing you didn’t mention, that this particular post did was, was to pull the visitor in with a title that offered something of value. In this case, uplifting music to write to, which I’m always on the lookout for. Can never have too many good playlists for working, reading, and winding down.

    Thanks again for the tips, both mentioned and not. Keep em coming!



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