Do Musicians Still Need a WordPress Site?

Do Musicians Still Need a WordPress Site?

So, do musicians still need a WordPress site?

Having interacted with you rock gods for a while, I know some of you are going to give a knee-jerk response to this question before reading anything I etch into my blog.

But if there’s anything I could say to convince you to read even a little further, it would be this:

This is a more nuanced question than you might be inclined to believe. And understanding the ins and outs will better set you up for success. I wouldn’t recommend leaving your mind in a fishbowl.

So, if you’re ready, give me a chance to explain what I’m starting to see (and I’m not presenting this in “I’m your master” kind of way – I’m merely documenting my journey and my latest findings).

This Offer Expires Soon:

The Music Entrepreneur Code

Did you know you could get The Music Entrepreneur Code, along with two bonuses for just $5? Yeah, I know. But this offer is going away September 30. Seriously. So, claim your special offer while it lasts, okay?

First Things First – Your Central Repository

I had graphic designer Ross Barber on episode three of The New Music Industry Podcast.

I think he said it incredibly well:

You always need to be trying to send people back to where they can find everything, which is your website.

This would be the main reason to ensure you knock it out of the park with your central repository.

Yes, people are going to get lost and get stuck on your website, unable to find what they’re looking for. No matter how much time and effort you put into organizing, simplifying, and optimizing your website.

Some visitors are going to bounce off. Others are going to miss the super obvious call to action in your sidebar. Still others are going to nitpick the badly worded disclaimer in your footer.

Oh well… Who cares?

Your website is for your hardcore, “I’ve got to have it all” fans, and once they’ve stumbled upon it, they’ll have found their personal version of heaven.

Your website is for your hardcore, “I’ve got to have it all” fans, and once they’ve stumbled upon it, they’ll have found their personal version of heaven. Share on X

They’ll read your extensive catalog of blog posts, listen to your podcasts, watch all your videos, and ultimately end up on your merch page buying your latest thing… because it’s shiny.

That’s who you’re building your website for. Don’t worry about the others – we’ll find a solution for them (more on this in a moment).

Even Russell Brunson, creator of ClickFunnels (the “website killer”) has a central repository for his content at Marketing Secrets. Gee, I wonder why?

Further, without naming names, noted music coaches and educators (who everyone goes gaga over), who relied heavily on ads for traffic are starting to publish more frequently. Yeah, they’re getting into content too.

Does it Have to be a WordPress Site?

No.

I’ve talked to the good folks at Bandzoogle. I had director of artist and industry outreach Dave Cool on my old podcast (DAWCast: Music Entrepreneurship), and even met him in person last year at DIY Musician Conference in Austin, TX.

Bandzoogle is great. It’s so simple to use.

I once set up a client website on Bandzoogle. Once she realized just how simple it was, she couldn’t have been more thrilled!

(It still took her a while to feel comfortable with it though).

If I were to offer any kind of support to anyone (not saying I will – certainly not for free), I could offer support for WordPress and Bandzoogle. I wouldn’t offer it for another platform.

I still feel a stronger sense of control with WordPress myself, but that doesn’t make Bandzoogle bad. Not at all.

What do You Recommend for Building a WordPress Site?

So, over the years, I’ve promoted different web hosting services and some of the ones I previously used got bought out and suddenly turned from solid to godawful.

I have a couple of recommendations, but for 80% of people, I would say SiteGround (affiliate link – hey, don’t look at me like that, I’m trying to be helpful) is the right option.

It’s fast, easy to use, and you can get WordPress up and running with the click of a mouse.

Yes, buying and setting up a domain as well as hosting can be kind of technical, but once it’s done, it’s done.

I don’t have space to cover the process in detail here, but I’m happy to put together a video tutorial if you’d like (let me know in the comments below!).

Is That All?

No.

So, earlier I mentioned that you should have a central repository for everything you.

But it’s unmistakable that websites are changing.

Like I said, your central space is for people who are warm to you. People who like you and want to check out everything you’ve got.

Many others are cold to you, and are basically going to get stuck, get lost, and bounce off your website. Sad but true.

But there is a way to capture them too.

WordPress is great. But the main issue is, to unlock its full potential, you’ve got to install plugins. And plugins don’t always play nicely with each other. They can even cost a pretty penny and be hard to use.

So, if you’re interested in setting up a fan club, membership, or sales funnel (and I would argue these are good things to set up in these weird times), you’re basically going to end up having to become a technical expert in the process.

You can use your central space to direct people to your offers (and you should), but your offers should perhaps live somewhere other than WordPress. Somewhere distraction free, where people get to learn about your story, your product, and not be presented with links to a million other options.

So, I’ll share a few solutions with you as well as their pros and cons.

10XPro

10XPro

So, right off the bat, I’ve got to tell you 10XPro (affiliate link) is my favorite option.

It’s got all the tools you’d possibly need to set up your membership site, course platform, fan club or otherwise.

It’s incredibly easy to use.

If you wanted to, you could even use 10XPro as your all-in-one platform. Yes, you can even use it for publishing. Most other solutions make that difficult or just don’t have the option.

And here’s a biggie:

It doesn’t just have a shiny coat of paint on the front end. You can create a great customer experience on the back end (or on the inside) too. That’s the biggest factor, so far as I’m concerned.

The catch? 10XPro is likely the costliest of solutions available. Considering what it offers, the cost is more than fair, though.

The key for most artists considering 10XPro will be getting to breakeven as quickly as possible, at which point it becomes self-sustaining.

ClickFunnels

ClickFunnels

ClickFunnels is great. It truly is. I got to see it all up and close earlier this summer when I took the One Funnel Away Challenge (affiliate link – this training is super intensive and highly recommended, especially at the price point).

The best thing about ClickFunnels is you can use it to build any type of funnel you want (although you can do that with 10XPro as well), and the templates they’ve got are all attractive and customizable.

What I don’t like is this:

The front end experience is awesome. It’s designed to sell. But the back end experience, for me, leaves something to be desired. Almost like it’s good for the seller, but not great for the customer, which is a red flag for me.

I may end up using ClickFunnels for some of my funnels, especially joint ventures. So, in no way am I saying don’t use it. But you should be aware of its strengths and weaknesses.

ClickFunnels is more affordable than some of the alternatives, which is an aspect that goes in its plus column.

Leadpages

Leadpages

Finally, we come to Leadpages (affiliate link).

I love Leadpages. It’s my secret weapon for building an email list!

In no way is it cheap, but the Standard and Pro plans are still more affordable than 10XPro or ClickFunnels.

Still, I think Leadpages works better as a plug-and-play list grower than it does as a website or selling platform.

Don’t get me wrong – you can use Leadpages to build your sales funnels, and it would even work quite well. As with 10XPro and ClickFunnels, you’d just need to connect Stripe, and you could start taking payments.

Customizability is where you’d probably struggle bit. Leadpages has lots of proven, high-converting templates already, so not like you’d need to go in and change everything.

But in my attempts to build my dream funnel and present everything the way I wanted it to look, I just couldn’t see Leadpages being my go-to solution.

I would suggest using Leadpages to grow your list, especially if you’re building WordPress to build your site.

You don’t need Leadpages if you’re building entirely on 10XPro or ClickFunnels though. They have list building features built-in, and they are awesome.

Others

They suck. I’m sorry, they just do.

I’ve looked at what else is out there, and there are cheaper solutions, but I just can’t recommend them.

The above tools all look and function similarly, with some differences. I find the ClickFunnels building platform to be the buggiest of all, but that’s just my experience.

Anyway, the moment you start paying less for your solution, you end up sacrificing your experience as a user, and your customer’s experience of your product as well. That reflects badly on you.

I’m an entrepreneur, so I like the idea of ownership and control. WordPress gives me that. 10XPro gives me that. To an extent, ClickFunnels gives me that. To a much lesser extent, Leadpages gives me that (but if they went away, there would be other tools I could replace it with).

Worst

Building your website on Blogger, Facebook, YouTube, Bandcamp, SoundCloud, or otherwise.

Your following on these platforms is owned by the platform, not you.

So, begin creating your ownership strategy now. Get people on your email list at all costs.

I also talked about this in episode 203 of my podcast:

Final Thoughts, Building a WordPress Site

No, you don’t still need a WordPress site, though I argue there’s value in building your central repository on the web. In most cases, this should be a WordPress site, but Bandzoogle is great too.

Solutions like 10XPro and ClickFunnels can be used as your all-in-one platforms. But all things being equal, I think 10XPro is the better all-in-one solution.

Leadpages is awesome, and it can even be used to build sales funnels. But its chief strength is in helping you build a list, not in building a website or funnel.

Is there anything I missed? Anything else I should have covered? Let me know in the comments below.

The Music Entrepreneur Code paperback

Shh… Don’t tell anyone. Only the cool kids are talking about it.

The Music Entrepreneur Code is my latest best-selling book, and it’s available here as well as on Amazon.

204 – 5 Challenges Lifestyle Musicians Face

204 – 5 Challenges Lifestyle Musicians Face

Excited about becoming a lifestyle musician? Interested in learning how to get there?

Creating your life through music isn’t always easy, and there are certain challenges you’re going to face.

In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, I identity and unpack five challenges that held me back.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:38 – This episode is brought to you by The Music Entrepreneur Code
  • 00:58 – Challenge #1: Fear
  • 01:53 – Challenge #2: Revenue creation
  • 02:27 – Challenge #3: Building an audience
  • 03:19 – Challenge #4: Scheduling and productivity
  • 04:05 – Challenge #5: Building your team
  • 04:52 – Final thoughts

Transcription:

Hey, I’m David Andrew Wiebe, and today we’re going to be getting into five challenges lifestyle musicians face.

Before I get into that, I wanted to let you know that you can get the PDF version of my book, The Music Entrepreneur Code, along with two bonuses – the Affiliate Marketing Quick-Start Guide PDF eBook as well as The 90-Day Goal-Setting Framework PDF printout, for just $5. This offer expires September 30, and will be replaced by new one, so get it while you still can. Find the link below.

#1: Fear

Challenge number one is fears. So, we’re human beings and we have fears connected to all kinds of things, whether it’s traveling, being away from home, cultural or language barriers, having to do your taxes halfway across the world…

If we were to go back a few years, you’d probably find that the number one reason I wasn’t out there living life by the design, is because I was scared. The money and flexibility were there. I had that even five years ago – I had a steady enough revenue stream that would have allowed me to travel while working. But I had no idea what to expect when it came to traveling and doing my work remotely.

The good news is, right around that time, I started doing some experiments looking after my parent’s home, while they were away, and doing my work on a laptop from their home instead of at my desktop at my home.

So, that helped me figure what would work and what wouldn’t work, and eventually I developed a comfort level with working remotely. And that’s a great tip right there – see if you can experiment working away from home and see if you can still get done the things you need to do. It might take a little getting used to.

#2: Revenue Creation

Number two is revenue creation.

My main revenue streams are content writing, video editing, graphic design, and web development (so, I make websites).

I make money from advertising, affiliate marketing, books, eBooks, courses, and music as well. But not at the point of being able to rely 100% on that just yet.

I’m fortunate that the work comes in steadily, and that allows me to live the life I want while engaging in the projects I choose.

But overall, I’ve got to say this is probably the biggest challenge when it comes to becoming a lifestyle musician and designing your life through music.

#3: Building an Audience

Challenge number three is building an audience.

And like me, maybe you’ll be an unconventional lifestyle musician where you take on various types of work to be able to support yourself.

For example, maybe you’re a traveling mixing engineer. I could totally see that working.

But the reality is, you would still need a lead or prospect list to ensure a steady revenue stream, right? So bottom line, building a list is going to prove important for every lifestyle musician. I just can’t see any exceptions.

Building a list is going to prove important for every lifestyle musician. Share on X

It took me a long time for me to figure this stuff out, believe me, and in a way, I’m still figuring out some of the pieces of it.

But what I can say is publishing daily and building your list are essential for anyone who’s just getting started.

And I don’t know how to build your email list without Leadpages. It’s my favorite tool, and while I do know there are similar ones out there, if you aren’t using a tool like this to grow your list, I don’t know how you’re going to do it. I don’t know how you’re getting it done.

Leadpages

#4: Scheduling & Productivity

Challenge number four is scheduling and productivity.

Now, even if you’re getting up when you want, making your own schedule, and choosing which projects you want to work on – just like I am – I have discovered that business is all about non-negotiable daily habits. So, you’re going to have to schedule things in and make them happen.

Business is all about non-negotiable daily habits. Share on X

You can take weekends off if you choose, but there are certain habits I keep even through the weekends, and some of my habits are publishing, connecting with my dream 100, writing an email, optimizing my website, and working on my next product and sales process.

So if you’re always going to be on the road, or traveling, or flying out, realize that you’re going to be in different time zones and you’re going to have to schedule your meetings and calls and everything else around that, so you’ve got to thinking about how to make sure you can schedule everything in so that it gets done on time.

#5: Building Your Team

Number five is building your team.

Now, in the short term, you can do everything yourself, and that could even be a good way of learning all the skills necessary to become a lifestyle musician.

For instance, if you want to continue to release music while you’re traveling the world, you should probably learn how to use DAW software, and be able to track your own parts, right?

I have a team of three right now, and at one point I had a team of four. The toughest part about this is just getting up the courage to delegate tasks.

As artists, we’re used to doing everything ourselves, but the truth is, there are people who are good at, and even enjoy doing the things we don’t enjoy doing.

So, the whole “if you want it done right, do it yourself” mentality just isn’t going to fly. But I’ve got to tell you right now, it’s an awesome feeling when you know work is getting done even as you’re sleeping.

it’s an awesome feeling when you know work is getting done even as you’re sleeping. Share on X

I’ve found you generally need to overcome some mental blocks to get to that point.

Final Thoughts, Lifestyle Musician

What I’ve covered today is what I think are the top challenges lifestyle musicians face, but I want to hear from you if there’s anything you didn’t connect with, anything that’s missing, or anything you think is irrelevant.

Be sure to let me know in the comments.

Entrepreneurial Essentials for Musicians Masterclass

Entrepreneurial Essentials for Musicians Masterclass

Today, I’m going to be pulling back the curtain to talk about the thing I’m working on right now – the Entrepreneurial Essentials for Musicians Masterclass/Course.

If the name sounds familiar, or you feel like you’ve heard it before, it’s because I created the presentation and shared it with Musical U’s (affiliate link) audience two years ago.

Over the last three or four years, Musical U has been quite generous in featuring me on their blog, on their podcast, as well as inside their membership.

I’ve reciprocated by mentioning them on my blog, podcast, and even books, every chance I get.

Their generosity even extended into letting me use the masterclass inside my membership.

Your Membership?

This is what I’m working on right now.

Technically, The Music Entrepreneur Code Companion Course already lives there…

And I even did a launch last month to test out a product idea (it bombed).

But even the bombing was a positive experience because I saw an opportunity to pivot.

I figured, maybe for now, I could launch more of a course-oriented platform instead of a membership or exclusive program.

If I still want to add a membership component to it later, I can. The platform I’m building on allows me to do this no problem.

And I was inspired by a little membership I’m a part of called SuperFastResults.

With my course platform, I also determined that I wanted to price everything out of the $5 to $35 range, which is what my Music Entrepreneur HQ audience is trained to expect at this point.

With my course platform, I want to begin selling products in the $45 to $197 range instead (and maybe I’ll have a bundle of all the courses, which could add up to considerably more, depending on the number of courses available).

Your New Platform?

I’m building it on 10XPro (affiliate link), and I couldn’t be happier about that decision.

10XPro

Certainly, it’s a little pricey by artist standards (that includes me).

But because I do a lot of reviews for my staff writing duties, I’ve had the opportunity to see what else is out there in terms of courses aimed at musicians.

And while some of the course building platforms (or LMS apps) have an outward sheen that makes them seem like the right choice…

When it came to customer experience, they were just lacking. Oftentimes, the way they housed the content was lackluster.

I also found these platforms ultimately cost around the same as 10XPro. So, for all the added functionality and premium experience the platform provides (not just for the creator but also for the user), it just feels right.

10XPro is super easy to use, too.

And Your New Platform Will be Called…?

Content Marketing Musician.

And, of course, that means I will need to create a course on content marketing and turn it into the “high ticket” premium course.

But even at $197, it would probably be right in line with market value, if not a little lower.

Again, I’ve seen what’s out there, and there are music coaches and educators charging $1,000 to $2,000 for their courses (that challenged my mindset in a big way).

Either way, Content Marketing Musician will be home to a few things you may have seen already, including:

  • Entrepreneurial Essentials for Musicians Masterclass (mentioned earlier – I’m adding an introduction, conclusion, and three bonus lessons to sweeten the deal)
  • My Top 10 Lessons in Music Entrepreneurship (I plan to make this course free to get new users hooked and I might even add a lesson to make it 11)
  • The Music Entrepreneur Code Companion Course (mentioned earlier)
  • How to Set Up Your Music Career Like a Business (my original audio course, which I plan to update and add a video component to)
  • And more

And, of course, I plan to add new courses during Q4 when I’m looking to launch.

Q4 Launch?

I plan to go live with the Content Marketing Musician platform in October 2020. But there’s a good chance it will be ready before then.

About the only thing I need to do with the Entrepreneurial Essentials for Musicians Masterclass is film the conclusion, which should be a simple affair (in reality, I’m re-filming it because I had issues with the first take).

I still need to build the front end of the website too.

Either way, I always want to be a little ahead of schedule. I want to be working on the next thing before launching the current thing.

Plus, I will likely begin promoting the platform in my email footers without telling anyone…

Email footer

Just add “get the training you need” in there with a link to Content Marketing Musician, and we’re good to go (yes, I did model this layout from someone else I’ll mention a little later…)

Why Spend an Entire Quarter on This?

Making courses isn’t exactly a walk in the park.

Now, it is 100% true you can get an entire course out of your head, onto paper, into a slide deck, and even have the entire thing recorded in a weekend.

But if you’re basically a one-man show with a few part-time helpers (as I am), the process takes a little longer.

Once you’ve got your raw video, you’ve still got to edit, break it up into modules and lessons, create transcripts, put the transcripts inside the lessons and format them, add links and resources, create a funnel or sales process for the entire course… you get the idea.

You can skip some of these steps to be fair, but I like the idea of over-delivering.

Like I said, I’ve got a lot of content I can re-purpose, so that makes it a little easier for me to prepare more courses in less time.

But based on the amount of time and energy the Entrepreneurial Essentials for Musicians Masterclass has been taking, I wouldn’t be surprised if each course took up a good chunk of man hours.

The other reason I think it makes sense to spend an entire quarter on this is because that’s what I learned from James Schramko (owner of SuperFastResults, SuperFastBusiness, and Silver Circle).

I’m a big believer in doing things in 90-day chunks, and even talk about it in my book, The Music Entrepreneur Code.

I want to get all the pieces in place in September, so that I can make a lot of noise during Q4, and then begin to put it on autopilot as I move on to the next thing.

The Pieces?

By that I mean the pieces of the masterclass campaign.

So, here’s basically what I’ve been thinking based on everything I’ve been learning as of late.

I’ve talked about the return of the campaign already, so what I’m about to share basically coincides with that.

What I’m looking to do is create a basic framework for my 90-day campaigns, such that I can execute at a high level and maximize results.

I don’t expect everything to work. I’ve done a TON of things that didn’t work to this point (no joke).

But one thing I do know is I will get better at this if I keep doing it.

And there are always some unknowns with every campaign. Basically, this would be the theme or personality of the campaign. The way in which it’s presented, or the brand of it if you will.

In the case of another campaign I’m planning to do (I will talk more about this in a separate blog post), I already know what the personality of it is going to be – quirky, fun, weird, humorous.

In the case of Entrepreneurial Essentials for Musicians Masterclass, I haven’t determined the esthetics of it yet. But I also have a little over a month to think it through (not saying it’s going to be easy).

Besides that, this is basically what I have in mind for the campaign:

The Insane Giveaway

While a lot of people are giving away eBooks, checklists, cheat sheets, and so forth (and this CAN work), I’m beginning to see the value in insane, irresistible giveaways. I learned this from Russell Brunson.

So, for Entrepreneurial Essentials for Musicians Masterclass, I’m planning to give away a few dozen audios.

I’ve done dozens of interviews with music entrepreneurs already, most of whom answered these two questions:

  • What is the greatest challenge you’ve overcome?
  • What is the greatest victory you’ve experienced?

So, the giveaway (I like that term better than lead magnet) would be something along the lines of 31 Music Entrepreneurs Reveal Their Darkest Struggles & Insane Triumphs or something like that.

The insane giveaway would be promoted prominently on my various website platforms, and it’s the main thing I would be promoting with my ads too.

The Sales Page

Obviously, every course needs a solid sales page.

Here are the components I’m looking to implement:

  • Film reel. This is what I’m calling it at this point. Basically, it would be four or five images shown together to help the user imagine what the course is going to be like on the inside.
  • Compelling headline. Probably don’t need to expand on this.
  • Video. The video should relay the story or the emotion of the course. I’m a stoic, logically minded guy, so the sales page should be all emotion.
  • Copy and hooks. I’m going to see what hooks others are using to promote their courses. I will model them (not plagiarize!).
  • Your teacher. In this case, me. I think I should be framed as “the teacher.” I feel like this will build trust.
  • Your host. There won’t always be a host, but in this instance, Christopher Sutton of Musical U.
  • Free lesson. I’m planning to share a free lesson. In this case, it will be the bonus lesson Cashflow Quadrant Decoded, because it’s full of emotion. I might edit it down to only include the emotion. I’ll also be publishing the free lesson to YouTube for additional traffic.

Emails

Every campaign requires emails. I plan to create multiple emails based on Brunson’s framework of Emotion, Logic, and Fear also seen in his Traffic Secrets book (affiliate link – I’m about a third of the way through and enjoying it a great deal).

I will share these emails with people who get my insane giveaway as well as my main list.

Brunson says people who don’t buy after 30 to 60 days are unlikely to pick up what you’re putting down, so at that point I will be putting subscribers into a new funnel or back on a healthy serving of my regular blog and podcast updates.

Publishing

I’m already publishing every day (in some cases twice per day), so during the 90-day campaigns, it would make a lot of sense to highlight my new offer in my posts.

Notice how I’ve been sharing my book, The Music Entrepreneur Code, at the end of every blog post as of late? It’s because I’m in the middle of a 90-day campaign promoting that product.

Social Media

Again, I’ll be modeling what I see working out there, mostly based on my Dream 100.

My focus will be Facebook, Instagram, Medium, Twitter, and YouTube, though my posts will probably reach LinkedIn and Tumblr too. We’ll see about others like Blogger, Pinterest, Mix, and so on (not sure if there’s much point).

Dream 100

Originally created by Chet Holmes, this is another marketing strategy I learned from Brunson.

It basically involves making a list of all the influencers, experts, gatekeepers, group and forum moderators, bloggers, podcasters, YouTubers, and building a relationship with them over time (with an emphasis on over time).

This list should have access to your target audience or ideal customer. In my case, I’ve also chosen experts who make great content and have helped me on my journey, but at least half of my list has access to my audience.

I’m also planning for when I might launch products into different markets.

My list is bigger than 100, and I’ve already started building a relationship with them. This being a long-term strategy, however, I’m not expecting any payoff, even during the campaign to come.

The main payoff, so far, has been what I’ve been learning from my Dream 100.

If you’re curious who’s on my Dream 100, you have but to pay attention to who I regularly mention in my blog posts (this one included!).

Outreach

I’m thinking I should probably have a separate outreach campaign for the masterclass (besides the Dream 100). This would likely be to bloggers, podcasters, YouTubers, and group owners.

I’ve been thinking maybe I could reach out to anyone who’s been featured on my blog or podcast and ask for their help…

And I’ve also been learning some great things about YouTube collaborations from Noah Kagan, and I’m liking that angle a lot…

The one thing I will likely do is reach out to some of my contacts (maybe even people on my email list), and give 10 lucky people access to the course for free in exchange for testimonials.

Still need to give this one some thought though.

Advertising

I want to keep this as simple as possible and basically plan to spend a small budget remarketing to Dream 100 audiences.

Crowdsourcing/Outsourcing

I’d like to incorporate some aspect of crowdsourcing or outsourcing in all my campaigns.

Not sure how I might integrate this with the Entrepreneurial Essentials for Musicians Masterclass campaign yet.

I was basically thinking I could hire a few freelancers on Fiverr to create unique sales videos for the course.

We’ll see.

So, Those are the Pieces of the Masterclass Campaign

Phew. Sounds like quite a bit of work doesn’t it? That’s because it is!

I’m still working on bits and pieces, as you can see. And that’s another reason it makes sense to start going full force in October, though I see myself doing some light marketing in September.

Comments on the Masterclass/Course & Campaign?

Am I on the right track…

Or completely insane?

Is there something I’m missing, or something you see I could be doing?

Are there any questions you need answering on this subject (so I can include my answers in the course content)?

Can you see yourself being involved in some way? Want to help out?

Then what are you waiting for? Let me know in the comments below!

The Music Entrepreneur Code paperback

Shh… Don’t tell anyone. Only the cool kids are talking about it.

The Music Entrepreneur Code is my latest best-selling book, and it’s available here as well as on Amazon.

Life Update: July 2020

Life Update: July 2020

July 2020 is over and that means it’s time for another life update!

Transformation isn’t sweet and bright. It’s dark and murky, painful pushing. An unraveling of the untruths you’ve carried in your body. A practice in facing your own created demons. A complete uprooting, before becoming. – Victoria Erickson

Summer is in full force, and I, for one, couldn’t be more thrilled.

I love the weather during this season, and it makes me feel alive.

The temptation to busy myself with summer activity (exploring, going for hikes, making trips to beaches, etc.) has been somewhat tempered by the present realities of a media frenzy that’s mostly adding to the fear instead of reporting on concrete facts. These are strange, strange times.

The desire for fun and recreation has also been balanced out by launches, coursework, and other work in general.

But I have been getting out almost every day, even if it’s just for a quick walk, and I cherish that time.

Past Life Updates

So far, I’ve only done one other update. Here’s where to find it:

Life Update: June 2020

July 2020 at a Glance

July 2020 Japanese meal

It’s been a little over a month since returning to Abbotsford, BC, though it doesn’t quite feel like I’ve been back for that long yet.

As I shared in the introduction, I’ve been finding somewhat of a meaningful “balance”. It helps that I’ve chosen not to oversaturate my life with an abundance of projects.

Life in Abbotsford is different, especially since I’m not immediately surrounded by friends and family. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have anyone to connect with, and I have been, even if it has meant mending fences.

And I’m having to think a little more in terms of where I can be as opposed to where I want to be because of present realities.

I was reluctant to set my roots down anywhere just yet, mainly because I was planning to travel the world.

Now that there are certain impracticalities getting in the way of travel, I must consider the possibility that I’ll be sitting pretty for a while, and it might make more sense to create a stronger sense of connection to my environment.

I have heard rumors of Barbados though, and if this proves feasible, I would love to go live there for a while.

Simultaneous Pursuits?

I’m discovering the importance of simultaneous pursuits.

It’s possible I just coined that term, but as other men will attest, it’s easy to get stuck into the caveman mindset.

“Man has business. Man get money now.”

Then: “Man has money. Man get house.”

Finally: “Man has house. Man get woman.”

That type of sequential thinking is what’s enabled me to be as effective as I am in certain areas of life (business, community, freelancing, music, etc.) and be almost entirely ineffective in other areas.

If I come at it from the perspective that I’ve got a lot of time left, then I suppose there’s nothing to rush into.

But if I take the perspective that I don’t know how much time I have left, then I can’t let fears get in the way of going after what I want.

I must be clear on what those things are, or I’ll be wasting my time, but I know I can’t wait for my business to expand to go after music or a romantic relationship, as an example.

Transformation in Progress

This is very much connected to some of the coursework I’ve been doing. I generally don’t advise taking multiple courses simultaneously, but because I was looking to grow, I was ready to take it all on.

One course is mostly about sustaining daily habits while the other is more learning oriented, so there’s a bit of a meaningful balance there.

Transformation is in progress, thus the Erickson quote seen in the intro.

I shared in my last life update that I had identified some significant pain points in my business and that I was investing heavily into my growth and development.

I doubt I’m on the other side of the tunnel yet, but I have stepped inside and keep working my way through every day.

And, while it’s never easy, I don’t see myself adding things to my life as much as I see myself pruning things that aren’t serving me or my business anymore.

I don’t feel like I’m starting from scratch, but I do feel like I’m rebuilding my foundation as it were.

We don’t all go into this knowing all the steps. I went into my business much like I went into my music career, not knowing everything I needed to make a real go of it.

New Music in July 2020

Spirit Searcher, Vol. 1

The Spirit Searcher, Vol.1 compilation went live on all platforms July 2, 2020.

The compilation features the music of friends Frederick Tamagi, Carla Olive, and a couple of my tracks.

We backed it with a publicity campaign, which helped us get a few tracks playlisted, get coverage on CCM Magazine, and an invitation to be on The Antidote.

All told, I would consider these stellar results.

Additionally, I’m still plugging away at my comedic tribute to the 80s project, but this is looking like a long-term prospect to be sure.

All in all, some great developments on the musical front.

New Blog Posts in July 2020

Most of my publishing is being done on my personal blog or Medium (more on this later), so we haven’t added a ton of content on Music Entrepreneur HQ.

As the rebrand cements, this will likely change, but it’s fair to say I’ve got my work cut out for me as I continue to optimize the site.

Anyway, here’s what we published in July:

How to Grow a Fan Base with Instagram & Facebook Advertising

How to Grow a Fan Base with Instagram & Facebook Advertising

Guest poster Isaiah Ram wrote a timely post about Instagram and Facebook advertising for musicians. Read this post to get a crash course in what you need to know.

New Podcast Episodes in July 2020

So, I will be the first to admit I did a bit of venting in July’s episodes.

I hope you’ll listen anyway because I think they are as value-adding as ever.

But that frustration made it clear for me that I had some pain points to address, which led me to investing more heavily into my personal growth.

Things started to change relatively rapidly for me in August (it’s already towards the end of August as I sit here putting the finishing touches on this post).

So, with that, let’s jump into the episodes.

196 – Not a Manager? Why Not?

196 – Not a Manager? Why Not?

I’ve been asked to be a manager before. For a variety of reasons, it didn’t make sense. In this episode, I explore what happened, and my thoughts around being a talent manager.

197 – How to Use Data to Grow Your Music Career – with Ben Mendoza of Beatchain

197 – How to Use Data to Grow Your Music Career – with Ben Mendoza of Beatchain

I loved this interview with Ben Mendoza, and I love what they’re doing at Beatchain too. As you’ll discover in this episode of the podcast, Music Entrepreneur HQ and Beatchain are closely aligned in our philosophy.

198 – How to Become a Better Singer – with Matt Ramsey of Ramsey Voice Studio

198 – How to Become a Better Singer – with Matt Ramsey of Ramsey Voice Studio

Had a great conversation with my friend in Austin, TX, Matt Ramsey, who’s a busy vocal coach. This episode features great insights into singing as well as business.

199 – A Level Above Productivity & Time Management

199 – A Level Above Productivity & Time Management

I had a conversation with my best friend about how much to work or not to work. And we both agreed that keeping to a shorter schedule generally allowed us to be more effective overall.

But your schedule has got to serve you, not the other way around. So, I started thinking about what matters more and I arrived at energy management.

Because it’s not about how much time you spend working. It’s about how you feel having put in the effort.

So, in this episode I explore what’s beyond just getting things done and hustle culture.

200 – Bling – with Author, Entrepreneur, Musician Andy Seth

200 – Bling – with Author, Entrepreneur, Musician Andy Seth

Wow, a five-episode month. Considering I was thinking about going on hiatus for the summer, I’ve sure been productive.

Anyway, this episode with Andy Seth is sheer awesomeness. Just go listen. Seriously.

Featured Product

The Music Entrepreneur Code

Still going strong with The Music Entrepreneur Code, and I will continue to promote it until the next launch, which will be in October.

If you don’t have your copy, be sure to pick it up here or on Amazon.

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10XPro

10XPro is amazing. But sitting here gushing about it is probably going to sound plastic, so I will resist the temptation to do so.

What I will say is this – it’s probably the best membership site/course platform out there. If you’re thinking about building your own, I would urge you to consider 10XPro.

Medium

Since I started publishing daily, my activity on has Medium increased.

Ultimately, I decided to publish to my personal blog first and then syndicate to Medium, but I’ll share more on that in August.

Anyway, here are a few pieces I put up on Medium you might enjoy:

Conclusion, July 2020

I had started engaging in some serious coursework in July, but if I knew what was to come in August, I probably would have went at it even harder. Nothing could have prepared me for that.

But that’s another update for another month.

So far as July is concerned, I’m calling it complete! I’m behind on some of my duties as is, although that’s a good sign I’ve been prioritizing.

Thanks for joining me. See you again soon!

The Paradigm Shift from Musician to Music Entrepreneur

The Paradigm Shift from Musician to Music Entrepreneur

When I came across this material, I was a musician just like you. I was not an entrepreneur.

All I wanted to do was play guitar all day, write songs, tour from town to town, and record.

I had done a bit of graphic and web design work on the side. I started a home studio. I had even gotten into personal development. But ultimately, I didn’t go into any of it thinking I was going to get excited about business.

I mean, sure, I always thought it would be great to make loads of money doing things I loved to do. But I figured that was inevitable. It would happen if I just kept at it.

I thought the good life would be making music, throwing around a basketball with my bandmates, writing some blog posts… that’s about it.

I Wasn’t Looking for a Business

So, I wasn’t looking for a business. Let me underscore this part.

Because I think this is the part many people don’t understand about my story. I didn’t just one day wake up and say, “hey guys, I’m the music entrepreneur!”

NO WAY.

I WAS going through a major financial crunch, and that DID impact my decision. But if there was a way for me to take my music career from zero to hero without having to get into business, I would have done it!

I was all out of options and it was crushing.

I had no money, and as result, I had no time. I was working five terrible jobs, and sometimes found myself fighting for safe working conditions and even the money I was owed!

The occasional open mic, rehearsal, or gig was the only music in my life. I couldn’t dedicate any of my time or energy towards the thing I loved most.

Up until that point, I had plenty of time to sit, ponder, and discuss my future with my roommates. It wasn’t always easy trying to interpret life and my identity. But it was fun. Those were good times.

Suddenly and forcefully, this kid was confronted with a very adult problem. Ready or not. I was sledgehammered into a new world. I did NOT choose it!

But there IS a reason I got excited. And that’s what I wish to relay here.

You’re Not Supposed to do This

In 2011, I ended up joining two network marketing companies, right around the same time. You’re not supposed to do that!

This is largely what your upline mentors would consider a conflict of interest. And their greatest worry would be that you destroy their business by courting their downline and getting them to join your organization.

This would basically be the equivalent of agreeing to teach guitar at a studio, only to take the studio’s entire client base with you after quitting. This is frowned upon.

Fortunately for my upline, I wasn’t interested in that.

I was much more interested in the possibilities I was beginning to see because of some things Rich Dad Poor Dad author Robert Kiyosaki had said.

The Business of the 21st Century

Now, just so there’s no misunderstanding, Kiyosaki did not visit my home and share his message with me. Nor did I see him speak at a conference.

See, every network marketing organization (well, the good ones anyway) have training materials. And when you’re going through the evaluation process (no, your upline won’t just let you join because you’re excited – you’ve got to prove yourself), you’ll work your way through some of that material.

So, the audio that got me fired up was The Business of the 21st Century, named after the book of the same title. But it wasn’t anything like the book. It was more so Kiyosaki just sharing his mindset.

Most importantly, what resonated with me was the cashflow quadrant.

The Cashflow Quadrant

The cashflow quadrant is easy to understand.

The cashflow quadrant

On the left-hand side of the quadrant, you’ll see an E and an S. And on the right-hand side, you’ll find a B and an I.

E is for Employee.

S is for Self-Employed, Specialist or Solo.

B is for Business Owner.

And I for Investor.

We need this context for what I’m about to share.

My Experience with the Quadrant

Personally, I had only ever spent a few months as an E. But I was well-acquainted with being an S, as most musicians are.

As a self-employed, you’d probably engage in some of the things I’ve already talked about. Maybe you’d get into graphic or web design. Maybe you’d start a home studio. If you were good at writing, you hunted around for freelancing gigs.

This is what many of us associate with starting a business. And while a freelancing career can feel like a business and even grow into one, because it’s so reliant on you and your time, it’s basically like creating your own job.

But let’s get back to that breakthrough…

The Difference is Mindset

In the audio I mentioned earlier, Kiyosaki says a safe, secure, high-paying job for life is an obsolete idea.

As I watched my friends and extended social circle jump from job to job and spend enormous sums of money for a paper on the wall, I had no choice but to agree.

Kiyosaki goes onto explain that the mentality of a self-employed (S) is “If you want it done right, do it yourself.” I talked about why this can hold you back yesterday.

A business owner (B) is someone with 500 employees or $10 million in revenue. And as a B, your job is to spread the wealth to as many people as possible. Business owners also tend to pay less in taxes.

For those on the left-hand side of the quadrant, the more money you make, the more you pay in taxes. I have seen this firsthand. It’s not a pretty sight.

Employees and self-employed also tend to be bought into “conventional” wisdom.

Ever had someone tell you that a house is the best thing to invest in? And then the banks tell you to buy mutual funds. Am I right? Well, if you’re thinking in terms of wealth, Kiyosaki says this couldn’t be more wrong.

Inflation is another major factor affecting your income as an E or S. If you’re invested in the right things, you make money when inflation hits. Otherwise, you end up paying more for commodities.

Again, “conventional” wisdom says there’s no such thing as inflation, but I’m calling B.S. on that. Gas, groceries, and utilities seem to go up in price every few months, never mind every year!

E and S conundrum

I could go on, but to summarize, the biggest difference between the four quadrants is mindset. That means you can move from the left side of the quadrant to the right side of the quadrant by changing the way you look at the world.

Paradigm Shift, Conclusion

When you’re on the left side of the quadrant, you work for money and other people.

When you’re on the right side of the quadrant, you have money and people work for you.

As a musician, you’re obviously never going to be handing over the creative process. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have money and people work for you, especially when it comes to tasks you don’t enjoy, aren’t good at, and pull you away from working in your strengths.

Success is 80% psychology. So, by shifting our mindset, we can create expanded outcomes in our music careers.

It’s not about getting into business. That’s boring. Dumb. Stupid. Risky.

That’s not the opportunity I saw and it’s not what I got excited about!

What I got excited about was the possibility of creating the life I wanted through music. And that’s the vision I share with others every single day.

The Music Entrepreneur Code paperback

The Music Entrepreneur Code is my latest best-selling book, and it’s available here as well as on Amazon.