I See Even More Possibilities for Content Marketing Musician

I See Even More Possibilities for Content Marketing Musician

I recently shared my plans regarding Entrepreneurial Essentials for Musicians Masterclass.

I’ve been doing a bit of funnel hacking today, and I’m starting to see even more opportunities I hadn’t seen before.

Yes, Content Marketing Musician will be my course platform. To that extent, I have several courses queued up for it already.

But now I see that I can also use it as a platform to sell my books. Because I want to attract buyers and not sponges (after all – no money, no mission), I plan to charge for the lead magnet (or as I’ve been calling it – the “insane giveaway”). I will likely frame this as “free plus shipping” or “help us cover the cost of maintenance”.

I just don’t believe in saying it’s free and then doing a bait and switch, even if the product is technically free and the shipping is covered by the customer.

With the order bump, I plan to include the paperback version of the book as well as the audiobook. This seems to make a lot of sense.

Will there be an upsell? Probably not for now. Just the order bump/one-time offer.

In addition to the books, I see the opportunity to create courses on topics I can visibly see musicians are interested in based on my research (Spotify, streaming, social media, etc.).

I admit that this wasn’t exactly what I had in mind, and in the past I resisted it, but so much for reinventing the wheel – my way doesn’t work. I’ve got to model what works!

No reason to be held back by lack of content because a lack of content I do not have. Although I am doing a bit of a content audit over at Music Entrepreneur HQ (so I’ve deleted a bunch of posts), there are still over 780 posts up there, so it’s mostly just a matter of combining and organizing what’s already there along with my new findings as I continue to study and learn on these topics myself.

Now that I see the possibilities, excitement is beginning to grow again. Of course, in some ways I wish I had seen these opportunities much sooner, but as they say, when the student is ready, the teacher appears.

When the student is ready, the teacher appears. Click To Tweet

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.

My Way Doesn’t Work

My Way Doesn’t Work

One of my biggest lessons from the coursework I did last year was that my way doesn’t work.

More accurately, I’m not the problem – the way I’ve been approaching the problem is the problem.

The way I’ve gone about things doesn’t help me get the results I want.

We all get high on ourselves from time to time. Assume we’re great. Think we’re all that and a bag of potato chips.

But as author Mark Manson and others are now saying, you’re better off admitting your averageness and seeing the world that unfolds from that admission, instead of getting wrapped up in the never-ending personal development hamster wheel of “anybody can be great.”

Oh, I can be great. Because anyone can.

But I’ve been going about it all wrong. Trying to reinvent the wheel. Trying to be the genius. Things I may never be.

And that’s one (if not all) of the reasons, things haven’t come together the way I want them to.

I will humble myself before others who know more than I and say I don’t know what I don’t know.

I let go of judgment. Of criticism. Of superiority and elitism.

I have the capacity to learn. More than I ever imagined. And I can learn from others everything I need to know.

I have been learning.

It’s the reason I started publishing every day. The reason I started interacting and engaging with my Dream 100. The reason I’m focused on a singular goal in my business.

It’s because I’ve been discovering what I don’t already know.

I was not as teachable before as I am now. I thought I was but it’s easy to lie to yourself. In this moment, I am more teachable than I have ever been. Because I am willing to change. I have never been this hungry for it.

My unverified theory, however, is that I don’t need to change much. Mostly that I need to change the framing, the outer coat of paint. What’s on the inside does work and has worked for me. Communicating its value is another matter. But I’m beginning to see how I can go about that.

No need to reinvent the wheel. See what’s already working and model it.

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.

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. Click To Tweet

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.

No Money, No Mission

No Money, No Mission

A while back, Accidental Creative author Todd Henry interviewed author John Jantsch about his book, The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur.

Towards the end of the interview, Henry says he used to write these words on his whiteboard:

No Money, No Mission

Those words sink in deep…

Right now, I’m doing everything in my power to make Music Entrepreneur HQ more profitable. And I am making good progress.

But it’s still basically a self-funded business. I guess you could say it’s self-sustaining, but not entirely profitable.

And I am looking to do this in a helpful way, not in a “buy my stuff – I’m awesome” kind of way. I don’t think that inspires action to begin with!

That doesn’t mean my marketing is boring. If you think it might be, have a look at this tweet:

(To be fair, self-promoting too heavily on social media is like approaching everyone at a party about your network marketing business – “let me show you those circles…”)

Nor does it mean I don’t believe in myself. I believe in myself more than I ever have!

But I must go back to this simple quote:

No Money, No Mission

It’s impossible to sustain what you do without money, no matter how much you love it.

You will work a day in your life, even if you love what you do. It’s just the way it is.

We’ve all got bills to pay and want to be able to keep our lifestyles, however humble they may be…

I wrote these words on my iPad so I could let them sink in some more:

Todd Henry quote

We can’t do the good work or fight the good fight without the resources to be able to do it.

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.

2 Mistakes I’ve Been Making (& What I’m Going to do About it)

2 Mistakes I’ve Been Making (& What I’m Going to do About it)

As I continue to engage with my Dream 100 and learn (I never thought there would be so much more to learn – it’s unending!), it’s come to my attention that I’ve been making some mistakes.

I’ve been doing a couple of things that have been actively working against me.

And it’s time for me to make some adjustments if I want to maximize my results.

Here’s what I discovered just the other day…

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1. I’ve Been Treating My Podcast as My Main Channel

Because of what I’ve been learning from Noah Kagan, it has come to my attention that your audience generally doesn’t find you through your podcast. They’re more likely to find you on platforms like Facebook and YouTube.

When someone finds you and likes your content, then they become podcast listeners and even binge listen, but it often doesn’t work the other way around.

I’ve been treating my podcast as my main channel for years, maybe even over a decade.

Oops…

So, that has meant that a lot of my energy has been going towards the wrong type of content (especially since I’m still a way off from critical mass).

My podcast hasn’t grown much at all from month to month. Some months have been better than others, but listenership always seems to default to 1,000.

And, to add insult to injury, I’ve been treating my podcast listeners like they’re top of funnel leads…

When I should have been treating them like they’re my biggest fans (because they are!).

Someone who listens to your podcast is already warm to you. No wonder they represent a good opportunity!

Someone who listens to your podcast is already warm to you. No wonder they represent a good opportunity! Click To Tweet

Additionally, when I took a closer look at what my business coach was doing in the early days, he was making videos, stripping out the audio, and making that into podcast episodes.

Okay… I think that’s what I should be doing too.

What I’m Going to do About it

It’s time to take video content more seriously.

I’ve got some decent gear (although I will probably take advantage of my smartphone for the most part), a decent filming environment (but nothing fancy), and some basic editing skills. My on-camera presence could probably use some work, though I’ve honestly had both good and bad days.

I think the main thing will be being okay with sucking for a while. Because I probably will.

Either way, I’m going to put this to the test – see if video content helps me get discovered by more people and allows me to grow my YouTube channel.

I will then strip the audio and make it my podcast.

Oh yeah, and I’m moving call to actions to the beginning of the episode too (as I’ve done with this post).

2. I Haven’t Been Researching & Refining

So, I was watching my coach’s old course on YouTube last night…

And he says to identify five pain points your ideal customer has and turn those into your core blog categories (this requires a little research).

This was a HUGE breakthrough for me when I first heard it. It just made so much sense!

And it’s a huge part of what took me from100 visits per day on Music Entrepreneur HQ to as many as 800 per day!

There are reasons why that didn’t exactly pay off the way I hoped it would, and that’s maybe another blog post for another time.

But another thing he talked about was refining your process.

So, based on the paint points you’re addressing, you’d want to publish. Then, you’d want to keep an eye on what’s working and what isn’t based on feedback, traffic, where people drop off in your YouTube videos, and so forth.

This process of refinement allows you to narrow in on what your audience wants and needs from you versus what you assume they want and need from you.

So, if you action your lessons, you end up creating better and better content.

What I’m Going to do About it

I’m just going to admit I have no idea what my target audience wants.

And instead of merely sharing what I’m going through, I’m going to look at what’s already working in this industry.

I’m going to find content that is connecting with people and address those topics in my videos. I’ll put my own spin on them and maybe add some tips that haven’t been covered elsewhere.

Content isn’t merely idea generation. I’ve never had an issue with idea generation, and I could talk endlessly about things my audience might not even be interested in.

Content is ultimately about having fun and what’s going to drive business results.

Conclusion, Mistakes

You don’t know what you don’t know.

And ultimately, mistakes aren’t mistakes. They’re just learning experiences.

I’m sure there will be many more discoveries on this path, mistakes or not.

But I’m committed to the process. Because I know what’s possible. It doesn’t matter what anyone else says.