Today I wanted to shed some light on something that many people want to avoid talking about. It’s the idea of following your passion and what it really means to do that. Unfortunately all too often we see business people promoting a lifestyle of living in Hawaii sipping on coconuts and making millions online. All too often this doesn’t coincide with reality.
If you want me to show you a guy who will withdraw every dollar he has in his bank just to take pictures with it and then deposit it right back in, I could show you that. Or if you want to see somebody talking about living their dreams when they’re really not doing as great. But the harsh reality is that it takes hard work and ethic to make yourself successful.
A lot of times advertisements show systems that they say will only take a few minutes per day in order to make serious money online. But this isn’t reality either. You should really focus more on actually working the hours it takes to become successful and stop worrying about others who say they are doing it much faster.
The honest truth is that you’re going to need to work. There’s no if’s, and’s or but’s about it. If you put in the work, the effort and the time, you can begin to see accomplishments with your business. Signing up to an email marketing service such as Aweber, promoting your opt-in forms and getting your first email leads is a strong start.
Build a good sized list, continue to build that list for years to come, and find yourself new ways to promote and earn sales. You can do great if you put in the work, but don’t expect your passion to fall onto your lap. Don’t expect income to drop out of the sky, or for someone to come “pick you up” and “lend a helping hand” that can make your business overnight.
There’s a lot to be said about cooperation with other businesses, but do not think for a second that you can have your entire business saved or justified by a single person. Asking can make a lot of people do a lot of things, and combining your areas of strength with another businesses area of strength,
I think there is something to be said for making one thing work before moving onto another thing. When it comes to marketing you should do your best to promote on a single platform and get the kind of attention you deserve before moving to another. It’s OK to quit if you feel that it is a total waste of time and money, but at least make sure to work on one thing at a time and not try to make 10 different platforms work for you simultaneously.
You should invest your money and time into trying to perfect a single tactic. You may find that just Facebook alone can be enough to catapult your business forward. But once you’ve got something working for you, do yourself a favor and make another move after that.
Moving forward in your business is all about making the right kinds of moves. If you start seeing some profit from one marketing tactic, then keep it up, and keep perfecting it. The fact is that MARKETING is actually just tons of TESTING.
But how can you do testing if you have ten different tactics all using at the same time and you have no idea which ones work and which ones don’t?
You need to dedicate the time and energy into making a single traffic source profitable before spending tons of money on other ideas which may or may not work. Move gradually, track your results, and scale up.
When it comes to marketing yourself online, there is simply nothing more important than finding the right clients. If you find the right clients every time then you will not face the majority of problems that hurt small businesses. A lot of people consider the old phrase “the customer is always right”, but I would say there couldn’t be anything further from the truth.
I mean let’s put it this way: a guy walks into a Nike store and buys shoes. He wears them for three months and ends up cutting holes in them due to overuse. This same guy walks back into the Nike store, three months later, hands the store his cut up broken shoes and asked for a full refund.
Does it sound like the customer is always right when it comes to stuff like this? Well no, and of course somebody who bought from Nike would probably not even think about going into a major corporation’s workplace and ask for such a refund, because they would know they are not going to get their money back. Yet people talk to small business owners like this every day, and being that you are a music producer or artist, you are going to need to know how to protect yourself from Clients from Hell.
Small business owners have to deal with this all the time and especially those people in service. A good example for this would be, if a customer contacted you and wanted custom production done and paid you to do it. Then you do hours upon hours of work for them and they love it for a while but then ask you to go an entirely different direction. This is going to hurt you by losing you time and money, not to mention the fact that the client could then try to get a refund regardless of how much work you put in or how much they told you they loved it.
This is incredibly important. If you can get the right clients- those who are serious and ready to make something happen, you will find that your overall success rate, satisfaction rate and refund rates are at their all time best. Not only do you get happier customers, but you also get higher sales and the selling process is a lot easier.
So how do you find these clients? Well first of all you have to figure out what the age group is. In my experience, it’s better to target an older audience, even if you’re the young guy. I’m 25 years old and the majority of people I work with are in their high 30’s or 40’s, easily. But these are customers who are a lot easier to work in my experience. Web advertising allows targeting of age groups pretty much no matter which advertising platform you use. It could be Facebook Ads, Google Adwords, Bing Network or any other ad network and you can always target your demographic.
If an advertising platform is selling premium advertising space for your banners on their actual website, then do demographic research before ordering. Quantcast is awesome and free, it will tell you exactly what the demographics are like for a website. I like buying media ads personally but you can purchase ads of any type. It’s crazy how far you can go if you just start spending on advertising and actually profit with a big enough margin to continue that form of advertising. Realistically though, you need to get your offer to at minimum 200% profit. Meaning if you spent $1000 for advertising, you should be able to make $3000 minimum back if you expect to keep up with that advertising source.
Think of it this way, the more money you spend on advertising, the more sales you get. But since the total amount of money you earn has to take into account the money you spent, advertising technically takes a “commission”. You have to make sure that you make enough to pay for the advertising, pay for your service, and the licensing of the artistic material, plus perhaps pay another employee to do some of the production work for you. This means you have to have offers that are highly priced ($1,000-$5,000) and sell to a market that can afford it (30-50 year olds).
But don’t be afraid to turn down a client if it seems like a good idea.
If you’re trying to make your business take off, one way or another, you’re going to have to come to grips with a few harsh realities before you do. The fact is you’re not going to succeed every time you try, and that’s exactly what today’s blog post is all about. I think that there’s a common misconception when it comes to the word “entrepreneur”. People generally, at least these days, think of entrepreneurs as big time businessman and women who are ready to take on the world and make some serious money.
In fact, though, an entrepreneur’s real job is to overcome obstacles. When you look at it that way, it’s no wonder that you are simply not going to succeed as often as you’re going to fail. You could put out ten different advertising campaigns before you find one that actually works for you and that’s if you’re lucky. Finding the right method of promoting yourself is only one piece to the puzzle.
You can make any form of advertising work, whether it’s using Facebook ads to build a mailing list to help you sell beats, or whether you’re growing your social numbers through paid ads. You could be buying Soundclick advertisements every day and still not make a cent off of your craft. There’s no way around it: you’re going to fail. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably going to fail more than you succeed at first.
Personally now, at this point, I’m pretty confident I can pay to promote myself on a multitude of websites and still make money from my advertising and promotions. But there are plenty of advertising platforms I have yet to really tap into, and there’s only so much money to go around for ads when you have the rest of your business expenses, time restraints and life issues to deal with.
Speaking of life issues, sometimes you’re going to be held back by your life in a number of different ways. My situation, life-wise, right now is pretty intense! It’s hard to find the time to get everything done, and yet my clients know that even with intense hold-backs I still complete their work. It’s a massive discipline to be able to push through your life’s issues and work for your business.
Even if you just have a 9-5 job and have kids, you’re going to have a harder time getting your business off the ground than others. Coming home from a long day’s work just to open up your computer and work even more can be truly discouraging. Though I don’t have a full time job other than my business, I know you can easily get discouraged from these kinds of issues.
Being an entrepreneur is nothing like Hollywood makes it out to be. Being an entrepreneur is about pushing through whatever you have to in order to force your dreams into reality. Don’t wait around for somebody to come by and give you everything you’ve ever asked for, do yourself a big fat favor and make your dreams come true. Whatever you have to do to make it happen, make it happen!
Today I wanted to talk about squeeze pages just because it so happens that I’ve been hired by multiple customers lately to design and create simple squeeze pages built on functionality. First let me explain what a squeeze page is for those of you who might not know. A squeeze page is a web page dedicated to getting people to join your mailing list. Almost always an offer is added as incentive to help people make the decision to join your mailing list.
If you can give away a couple of free beats in exchange for the name and email address of a targeted lead, then you will have that email lead for further marketing in the future. It’s one of the best ways to assure your own success whether you’re using paid ads or free advertising opportunities. What sounds better to you: sending traffic to a page that may or may not make immediate sales? Or would you rather send your traffic to a squeeze page with a 30% opt-in rate, so roughly one out of every three clicks you pay for through paid advertising actually join your mailing list?
Keep in mind once they’re on your mailing list it’s as easy as can be to promote to that list. In fact many of the people reading this blog post likely came from my mailing list, are you one of them? I can’t stress enough how important it is to gather leads onto your mailing list instead of just blindly sending visitors to your website. If you get them on your mailing list you can create a relationship with them that lasts. And to be honest, there is simply no other way to succeed in today’s industry.
I would MUCH rather have ten really good clients who know they can trust me and will come to me every single time than have twenty clients who will buy from me once and never speak to me again. Building a customer relationship is at the top of my list of priorities. And why do you think that is? I focus on building the customer relationship because it lands more sales, sure. But that’s only a fraction of the reasoning behind building relationships with customers. Aside from landing more sales, you just generally have happier clients.
Actually making clients happy and over-delivering is a game changer. Not only will these clients come back to you time and time again, they will also refer their friends to you when they need work done as well. For instance if you’re trying to sell beats then getting your beats done quickly, efficiently and with high customer satisfaction can really be a game changer, especially considering that beats are one of those products that will just keep on giving.
If somebody contacts you and buys a beat from you, you want to be the guy who is responsible for then producing that artist’s entire album. While it’s difficult to get a client to invest into an entire album deal, it is most certainly possible to over deliver on your client’s expectations and get them addicted to your services. For instance we make more custom beats than anything else because our clients know they can contact us, hire us to make a beat, and they will not regret the process. In the end they will get great music made and they’ll love it.
If you want to know more about how to make a decent squeeze page, feel free to visit this page and learn a little more about the steps necessary to set up a very basic squeeze page and email marketing plan. Also feel free to purchase one of our products to support our movement.
When it comes to finding a working strategy, I think there’s generally a lot of confusion in terms of internet marketing. Part of the problem is that people looking at a successful business owner from the outside, it feels alienating. You must be thinking in the back of your head any of the following thoughts if you’re an outsider trying to understand why somebody is successful: “He knows something I don’t know”, or “He’s a scam artist, he isn’t even living off of it”. Another thought that is common is “He must have had advantages I didn’t have”, or “They got lucky”. It’s amazing how many excuses we’ll make up in our heads about success.
But the real issue is that most people don’t realize how many opportunities there are all around them. I mean seriously, if you think it’s difficult making money from scratch right now, then you would have never came up during another time period. These days the fact is that there are unlimited ways to promote yourself. Literally the problem is that if you look at all the different methods you could be trying, you’re going to think to yourself that it probably won’t work.
But in reality, in my personal experience at least, navigating through this business? I’ve learned that virtually ALL methods of promotion can be used to work in your favor. The problem is actually internal, not external. People make cash hand over fist every day using Facebook paid ads, for instance. Google Adwords is expensive but it’s another advertising network that gets millions of people spending on promotion. Do you really think all of them would invest so heavily into these types of companies if they didn’t see a return and some profit?
So why is it when you spend $50 on an advertisement or some pay per click campaigns, you end up seeing no results in exchange? Right? Doesn’t it just seem like everything always fails and it doesn’t matter what you try, they all “don’t work”? But again, that’s not realistic thinking either because obviously millions of dollars are spent on advertisements through these same companies every year. So we all know for a fact that companies are indeed profiting, because nobody spends money on any advertising source without seeing return (if they have half a brain).
So how do you identify a working strategy for your business?
I have a few solutions and ideas to this problem. The first solution of course is that you have to stop thinking that it’s the advertising source. I know it’s difficult to swallow, but it’s more than likely your business in general and your overall internal marketing may not be top notch. This isn’t such a bad thing, considering that you can of course change your internal marketing without issue. YOU have the power to change up your business a million times over.
Setting up a proper SALES FUNNEL is the most important step. You need to have a squeeze page on your website you can send visitors to that has a high chance of receiving the opt-in. It’s much more uncommon for people to profit using advertising sources without setting up some sort of “sign up to join” list. I try to set up squeeze pages for each and every campaign I set up. The more people you can get on your email list, the better. Especially if you find the right types of buyers and you’re targeting the right people.
Identifying the right strategy is as easy as trying it until it works
You may not be using the same tactics you started out with in the end to finally see profit. That’s why it’s so important not to give up. If you are going after a paid traffic source, you can’t give up when you spend $50 and it doesn’t make you back $50 profit. But in the same way, don’t think your results will change just because you’re spending more money.
If after sending 1000 visitors to your landing page, if you haven’t gained any interest, gotten any emails or anything like that, you can rest assured that it’s your marketing that’s the problem. This can come in many forms. Perhaps your advertisement isn’t promoting the right thing? Have you sunk a hook into your target audience? Does your ad show a deal they just can’t pass up? Or better yet, a free offer so they can join your mailing list, which can be immediately followed by a low-cost upsell?
Personally, for this website in 2016, I’m going to make a sampler pack of all my different products and sell it for only $5 or $6. This will be what’s sent to them as their main upsell immediately after joining the mailing list. Why, for this website, would I do that? Well, it’s simple. If I can make back the $5 I spent on advertising to get the first 10 leads, and one of those leads buys the upsell, then I have already made up my advertising cost.
While the bigger sales will be the thing which brings me into the profit zone, those small “dime sales” are what makes up for the advertising costs on the front end. An upsell like that can lead to bigger upsells, where you can purchase multiple products for a low price, for instance, or a steep discount on something important, like consulting.
Internally, if you have the right high-ticket, costly products and you’re a decent, relate-able salesman, you will find yourself making enough money to go around.
This article is very special to me because it represents everything that I do on a daily basis. The fact is I have found there are two major ways to make money and succeed in business, and in my experience these two factors are very important, I don’t even know how you’d possibly succeed without them. You ready? It’s very simple. To make money you have to either A) work your ass off, or B) spend a lot of money. But to be completely honest with you, I’ve found that you need to do C) work your ass off AND spend your money, if you want to succeed.
But that doesn’t always mean you have to spend a lot. In my experience you can spend just a little bit and end up making a lot back. There’s nothing to stop you from achieving success with your small budget and without needing much else. All you need to do is put your time and efforts towards some small investment opportunities that actually work. I find myself spending $25 on a Soundclick advertisement once in a while, as well as many $20 advertisements for other websites.
Finding 3rd party websites that already have a large clientele is a great way to enter the world of successful businessmen. Don’t forget that you want to work smart and move towards your goals that you should be throwing in an even recipe of time spent verses money spent. You can’t expect to be lazy and still be successful.
YOU are the one who is the most in control of your total overall success. The fact is even if you spend the money to get your advertisements out into the world of your potential clientele, and on top of that you’re working hard towards completion of your goals, you may still find yourself failing when it comes to being a salesman. When a potential client contacts you, you need to be able to land those sales.
As a salesman you need to actually figure out what your client needs and fulfill their specific requirements. If you can tap into what the customer needs, well… You can actually SUGGEST to them what they should buy. Just recently I had somebody contact me for graphics and I talked them into paying for a full web design project. Another example is somebody contacted me for a lease and I ended up upselling an unlimited license at 4x the price.
These are the basics of making money online and selling. You can’t expect to spend NO money, put in NO time and be a terrible SALESMAN… And still make money. It’s just not going to happen. Focus on getting these skills up as much as possible.
When it comes to being a business owner, whether you’re selling beats online or otherwise, you need to know what it actually takes to succeed. Even if your only goal is to have a nice 9-5 job that pays your bills, the fact is you need to be productive. Productivity is the key to success no matter what you’re trying to accomplish. The majority of people waste the majority of their time.
The literal term “productivity” refers to the amount of output you can create verses a certain unit of input. So in general terms, it’s about working smarter and not harder to achieve higher results. But nevertheless if you are highly productive AND put in the time to succeed, then there is an inevitable outcome: eventual success.
Time is more important than money- time is the only thing you have in reality. Once your time runs out, you don’t get a second chance and you can never earn your time back. Time is all you have to spend with family, friends, your work and your business. Choose the things you do with your time wisely.
If you come home from a long day at work and simply don’t have the energy to work on your business, then you may find that it never takes off. This is a constant struggle for many business owners who want to succeed but find that they are not able to accomplish what they set out to do. It’s not easy, trust me, because I’ve tried having a job while I worked on my business and it was extremely difficult to do. It is indeed like having two full time jobs. That’s not easy for anybody I don’t care who you are.
While working on your business may seem impossible, if you do find time to work vigorously towards your goals, even if you only work 2-3 hours a day, you will find that success is almost inevitable. The first step is to simply research as much as you can. Find the right paths to success. If you don’t know what to do with your time then this is the most important starting factor. You must construct a plan and begin working at it.
When you make your plans for your business be sure to include a realistic long-term business building strategy. Building a mailing list is one of the most effective ways to build your business quickly and for the long-term. Making enough money to come up with bills should not be your goal, because in reality you’re going to need something that builds onto itself much more than you’re going to need your first sale or two. Becoming more productive sometimes means ditching the promotion efforts you’re doing if they’re just not working.
Don’t get caught up trying the same tactics over and over again unless you are yielding daily results. I’ve seen people just posting on forums that they will give away a free beat for joining their mailing list, with a simple link to their email sign up form. You can set up your email marketing provider to automatically send an email upon joining that can have a link to a free download and so on.
But if you find yourself bored, playing video games or otherwise wasting your time, be sure to begin working on your business. If you find time to work just 2 hours a day, that’s 14 hours a week or nearly 50 hours a month. If you work 3 hours a day you’re looking at 90 hours a month, or 21 hours a week. Think about it this way: if you find time to work just 3 hours a week on your business, that’s equivalent to treating it like a part time job. So it’s not too difficult to accomplish this even if you’re working.
You can split your work week into different ways as well. For instance you can work just one hour a day and on the weekends you can spend 7 hours a day working. That is another way to meet the part time requirement. But if you’re not at least spending as much time on your business as you would a part time job, how can you expect your business to take off? You need to put your phone away, turn off the TV and the game station, and get to work as efficiently as possible. Don’t be sidetracked.
A lot of producers will say they’re making beats all day and so that’s why they know they are productive and working on their business. But making beats is only half the battle- you have to be able to push your boundaries and get the right kinds of numbers for your actual income, which means you’re going to have to accept that making the product is not the ONLY thing you need to spend time on. You also need to spend time on selling those products and building a long-term business model, or in the end, eventually, your business will fall.
So what exactly is the difference between failing and winning? When it comes to your business the answer might surprise you. Knowledge is one of the three major forms of power. If you do not have knowledge you will not succeed in your online business. The fact is you can learn lessons from success, sure, but honestly you learn a lot less from success than you do failure.
Failing is almost an art form. You need to understand how to fail and actually get something out of it. If you’ve tried something and it didn’t work out for you, the truth is you can learn a lot from that situation. Learning how to protect yourself from future failures, for instance, is one huge way that you can come out on top from a losing situation. You learn a lot more from losing than you do from winning.
Also, some of you reading this might not even know if you’re winning or losing in the first place. Personally I think that “winning” is really about whether or not your business is moving forward. Making some quick dollars for rent at the end of the month sure feels like winning, but overall if it’s not helping you make more sales in the future then you may not find it to be as useful as it could be. If you instead invest some of each dollar you make back into your business, and actually work towards building something up, then you will find that you’re more successful.
There’s another point I want to make here, and that is it’s EASIER to learn from the failures or mistakes of others rather than go through it yourself. If you’re trying to make something happen that somebody else is already trying, try to contact them and ask them how it’s going for them. Sure, they might not tell the full truth about it, but it’s worth asking. Also keep a close eye on what they do in the near future as well when it comes to the decisions they made for a certain failure.
For instance one thing that a lot of people bring up is the idea of a monthly charge for rap beats. But the fact is that so far every person who’s tried to do a “beat vault” with a monthly charge for beats has ended up cancelling their monthly service. I’ve seen big companies as well as little guys try to sell this kind of service and fail. This is just part of the game of beat selling online. Factually, nobody is going to be willing to participate in a monthly subscription for beats because it simply isn’t a product that people will pay monthly for.
Artists are much more likely to buy one beat that they are ready to write to than to pay a monthly subscription. I’ve even tried this same tactic in the past with little success. In my experience the majority of buyers ended up cancelling their subscription within the first month. Some waited until month 2 or 3 to cancel, while maybe just one or two people stayed on for longer periods of time.
You want to make a monthly subscription model where the average number of months subscribed is 6+ months. The only way to do that is to make them a resource they don’t have yet and are willing to pay to use. If you think about it, if the average subscriber stays on 2 months and the cost is $19.99/mo, why not just have a product that’s $39.99? You’ll make your money quicker and won’t have to deal with the subscription aspect.
I’ve made subscription services that lasted much longer than 1-2 months on average. In fact when I let other team members aboard Beats4Legends LLC, I ended up having an average subscription rate of about 6 months. So if I made a sale, I could count on that sale bringing in more money as time went on. If you can think of a subscription model that gives them a tool or resource they desperately need, then you’re in the clear for a sure win.
Today’s blog post is all about budgeting your music business. I think a lot of producers trying to make some money online forget that budgeting your business is one of the biggest keys to success in any industry. The fact is if you are strapped for cash it’s very important that you put your money in the direction of the most effective possible investments.
What you want to think about is actually how you can put in more work and spend less money. This is an interesting concept because the rich businessman will have no trouble dropping huge amounts of money investing into their business and forcing success through sheer numbers. However you may find that this same businessman ends up spending $1,000,000 to make $1,250,000 for instance, when in reality a smarter entrepreneur with the same amount of money could probably turn $1,000,000 into $10,000,000.
So what makes the difference between such a person who succeeds more than another person with the same budget? The truth is that it comes down to two important factors (well, among others). There are just two ways to make money from what I’ve seen, and that’s either spending TIME or MONEY. But in my opinion, you never want to spend too much money when you could be investing your time, and vice versa.
Time is worth more than money, sure. You can always earn more money or spend it but time is something that is constant and never changes. You can’t buy back time and there’s no way to get a refund either. But sometimes if you’re just starting out, you need to spend more time than money. Why do you think I might say that? The answer is obvious: because sometimes when you’re starting out you simply don’t have any money.
The only thing you got working for you when you’re broke and unable to spend money on your business is an abundance of time. Assuming your home life isn’t too chaotic that is. I think everybody has problems but with good sleeping habits and work ethic you can overcome a chaotic life and still get work done. Just a couple hours of hard, focused work can be enough to get you started (though I would recommend spending more time than that).
Budgeting your music business is all about how you can gain as much success as possible from a limited amount of money and time spent. Personally I think that automation is the way to go. You can easily purchase software or bots to help you build your business numbers. Our article on Twitter Marketing covers some software that you can use to achieve results on Twitter. Another software we like using is described in the article we wrote about promoting yourself on Soundcloud.
But aside from that there is one investment that is sure to help you achieve in your business: a website built for you that enables you to build your very own email list. If you don’t have a website ready that has all the proper email opt-in forms, social media boxes and more, then you are probably not going to achieve the same kind of success you were hoping for.
Even if you can’t afford to purchase a beat selling website (as you may know we offer web design at ConvertingLayouts.com for music producers and artists), then at LEAST get yourself an email marketing service. The one I just linked to is my favorite one of all, especially if you’re just starting out and don’t have many resources. You can build DIY email opt-in pages that can act as your own website while you get the funds up for investing into your own web design.