We spend our whole lives looking for something, anything to take our business to the next level, help us kick an addiction, have a breakthrough in our relationships, and more.
I have a friend who’s continually searching for the marketing tactic that’s going to take her business over the top. Every time she’s discovered something new, it’s as if she’s found another hidden gift under the Christmas tree.
Ongoing self-education is important, and I think it’s amazing that she’s always on the hunt for the breakthrough that’s going to help her grow her business.
But personally, I have long since given up on the idea of a magic bullet. I look at everything with a level head. It hasn’t stopped me from searching far and wide, but I’ve found every “magical” formula is plagued with one of three problems:
- It’s too difficult and time consuming to implement (even though the creators always say it’s “easy,” when realistically you don’t have five hours per day to implement – so you stagnate)
- It doesn’t help you out of the hole you’ve already dug (and many entrepreneurs have made mistakes too numerous to mention, whether it’s alienating their audience or breaking key promises), leaving you with little choice but to start over
- It doesn’t work – it could be because the strategy is out of date, it could be because the strategy never worked (scam), or it could be because there’s an ingredient intentionally or unintentionally missing in the strategy
Don’t mistake what I’m saying. I haven’t lost hope. Not even in the slightest.
What I’m saying is, first, you’ve got to pick something and go with it. Second, you’ve got to keep the faith and stay consistent with it. And third, you’ve got to be willing to blaze a trail and forge your own path to success. Because you can’t go the same way everyone else has gone and expect to get to where they’ve gotten.
Fundamentally, though, it doesn’t matter what the issue, or problem, or challenge is. You’re the miracle. You’re the magic bullet you’ve been waiting for.
If you want to grow your business, you could launch 52 videos in 2023.
If you want to get in a relationship, you could start asking your friends for referrals (“hey, do you have any hot, single friends?”).
If you want to shake an addiction, you could replace it with meditation.
I’m not saying it’s easy. I’m not even saying it’s comfortable. But that’s what makes you the miracle. Because at any given moment, you can get up off the couch and declare, “That’s it! That’s enough! It’s time for me to make a change!” And then go and do what you need to do.
You don’t need more strategy, or thinking, or reflection, or prayer to figure out what you need to do. You know what you need to do. What you need to do is go and do the scary thing.
Don’t wait for the miracle. You are the miracle, So, go and be the miracle for yourself, and for others. When others see that you can be the miracle, they’ll know that they can be the miracle too.
I never quite know where my holiday reflections might take me.
As I shared the other day, I’ve been thinking seriously about a change in direction, specifically in my work life. Chiefly, I’m not happy about one of my partnerships, and I’m going to be letting it go.
I’ve had to think long and hard about my next steps, as I will need to replace a good chunk of my income.
The answer I’ve arrived at surprised even me, because I’m looking at doubling down on two to three avenues, with one of them being podcasting.
Why is that surprising? Because, at times, I’ve felt a little burned out on podcasting (especially in 2022).
But for some reason, I haven’t quite been able to shake the image of myself talking into a microphone (while capturing the sessions on video). As one of my friends pointed out, I am good at it, and I have a ton of experience behind me.
Doubling down on podcasting will doubtless mean creating far more content, not just for one podcast, but multiple podcasts. And I have shared a little bit about one of my new projects earlier this month.
Even with all the burning out, I’m honestly excited about exploring the outer reaches of what’s possible with podcasting again. I’m tired of stagnating and getting nowhere with some of my endeavors, and I could be wrong, but I feel like the only thing between me, and my goals is more visibility. If people knew me and knew about my products, the puzzle pieces would begin to fall into place.
There is no other content channel – at least none that I’m aware of – that allows you to distribute your content to so many places at once without a ton of manual labor. Apple Music, Amazon Music, Spotify, and many others. And, if you’re thinking about live streaming your show (as I am), you can easily roll destinations like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter into your mix too.
So, I’m declaring 2023 the year of the podcast. I’ll be exploring every possible avenue for collaboration, syndication, and monetization. Join me on this journey, won’t you?
I still remember the day I discovered the Jetpack plugin and how powerful it was.
I got hooked on the Publicize feature quite early, as it allowed you to connect multiple social media destinations and have your blog posts automatically distributed to your chosen social accounts.
It’s one of the reasons I even prioritized blogging over social media – because I knew that if I published a blog post, updates would be posted to multiple social media channels without my direct involvement.
Jetpack was also the gateway to the handful of presentations I gave at WordCamp Calgary on turning WordPress into a distribution and syndication machine.
Things are obviously changing at Jetpack, because now, they’re looking to charge a fee for their best features, including Publicize, which they now call “Social.” The feature is heavily discounted for the first month at $1.36, but they’re looking to charge $13.50 monthly on an annual subscription.
The Price Tag Puts it in Perspective
It’s Jetpack’s decision to do with their software as they please. They’ve developed what I would consider a great suite of tools for newbie WordPress users over the years.
But $13.50 is well out of the ballpark of what I would consider reasonable, given the rather mediocre results it has produced for me. I’ve experimented with different traffic channels for a decade now, and for me, search engines have always come out on top by a huge margin to the tune of several hundred visits per day. While social media delivers, on average, a meager two to five visits per day.
Yes, I know I said I was excited about Publicize, but putting a price tag on it puts this all into perspective.
To me, social media is only worth it if it’s connected to three key results:
- Leads / email subscribers
I don’t care about brand exposure and know all to well how little difference it makes. Traffic is nice, but it’s a vanity metric compared to email subscribers. Views, likes, shares, and even comments amount to little if they don’t lead to relationships, leads, or sales.
Facebook (my top social media channel), for example, has delivered 5,852 visits to Music Entrepreneur HQ since August 2016.
Considering the average conversion rate of a website (2 to 5%), I’ve hypothetically converted 117 to 293 people into subscribers in that time (which might even be a little generous). Those numbers may not be anything to sneeze at, but if I were to 80/20 my marketing, social media probably wouldn’t even make it into the mix.
Open Source Used to Mean Something
This is not a pointed message aimed at Jetpack, or for that matter, WordPress.
But open source used to mean something. I referenced WordCamp earlier, but whenever I shared at such events, I was not paid for my time or hard-gotten knowledge, and I was discouraged from selling my books or CDs.
I love helping people, and if I had to do it all over again, I don’t think I would have done it any differently. Public speaking is fun to me, and I’ve always enjoyed masterminding with others.
But Jetpack is clearly headed in a different direction.
People evolve. Software evolves. I take no issue with any of it. But as I’ve already hinted at, I can’t imagine paying what Jetpack is asking for the privilege of having my posts distributed to social media alone. The functionality is a little too rudimentary. For $13.50 per month, it better do more than publicize my posts (hint – it doesn’t).
There Are Worthy Alternatives
Jetpack has been great to me. And I am grateful for all that it has done for me. But now that there’s a price tag attached to a rather simple function, I’m going to be in search of alternatives. There are still plenty of free and low-cost substitutes out there, including virtual assistants.
I’ve been hearing rumors of Yoast SEO integrating with Zapier, and my impression so far is that it’s not terribly cost effective either, but it does put a lot more possibilities at your fingertips since it connects to social media platforms too numerous to mention.
For about the same amount of money as Jetpack, there’s also OnlyWire, which lets you connect to about 20 networks. And I don’t think their price has changed since their inception.
What do you think? Will you be paying for Jetpack Social? Do you use social media distribution tools? If so, what do you use and what do you like about it?
You Don’t Need WordPress Anymore
Don’t get me wrong – you still need a home on the web.
And this is not some emotionally charged backlash against WordPress or Jetpack. I have had a great experience with both, and most of my sites will likely remain on WordPress.
But more than ever, this sentiment – “you don’t need WordPress anymore” rings true. Most intelligent entrepreneurs and independent creators have found their way over to tools like KLEQ, which work as all-in-one website builders, blogs, campaign and sales funnel builders, course platforms, and membership sites.
You don’t need countless plugins, apps, and integrations to make your store and course platform work anymore. You can do it all from one, central, convenient location now.
And if there’s a feature missing, you can request it. A company that has their customers at the forefront (like KLEQ), will happily add these features for you.
Of course, there is a premium price tag attached to a tool like KLEQ, but compared to the cost of developing a WordPress site from scratch, installing plugins, duct taping software integrations together, and paying for multiple SaaS subscriptions? The cost of KLEQ is moderate.
This is my wont during the holidays. I think, I reflect, I read, and I listen. It’s how one of my more popular posts on 15 holiday reflections came into existence. It came out of a period of deep reflection.
If there is a process to it, it’s loose at best. Mainly, I consume large amounts of information in search of inspiration and ideas. Whether it’s books, podcasts, videos, courses, or otherwise, I focus on the input and not on action. Not yet. Action will come later.
I often feel stirred to action as I’m reading or listening, but as much as possible, I concentrate instead on documenting ideas, realizations, and action items.
But this year, my focus has changed a bit.
I’m not just looking for cool ideas anymore. In the past, I may have been content with fleeting spiritual insights or neat business tactics, but this year, I’m looking for real-world, concretely applicable ideas I can use that will move my life forward.
This year, I’m motivated. I’m not content with where I am and I’m looking for change, especially in my work life. And I know that’s going to mean taking some calculated risks.
So, my focus this season has been on forming a strategy, an action plan. I know I can’t delay if I want 2023 to be a different year than the last, so I’m listening intently and openly for the ideas that are going to transform my life. I think I’ve found a handful of worthy ideas already.
Once I’m ready to act, I must act with urgency. That’s why I’m storing up energy instead of expending it now.
I also find myself thinking bigger than ever. Life is too short for small ideas. I may as well make my biggest pitches now. Otherwise, I may never get the chance.
Spotify may well become the go-to source for everything audio. They are poised to take on Apple and Amazon, and they may even succeed. If there’s a reason to be excited about the platform, that would be it. That doesn’t mean your earning potential on Spotify is about to improve in a significant way though.
The reality is the odds are stacked against creators. Most platforms, including Spotify, require you to drive massive volumes of traffic if you expect to be compensated for your participation. The creator takes all the risk while the platform benefits from the addition of their content.
You need 1,000 subscribers to monetize your YouTube channel – which only amounts to $5 per day if you’re lucky. On TikTok, you need a minimum of 10,000 followers to monetize your account. Medium only pays $4.32 to $8.19 per 1,000 views. At every turn, you’re stepping into ecosystems that do not favor you, the independent artist.
You can take a stab at it, just as I’ve done with InfoBarrel, Medium, YouTube, Odysee, Rumble, DTube, DeSo, Steemit, BIGO LIVE, and others. So long as it doesn’t take over your life, experimentation is encouraged.
But while some of these platforms have dolled out $20 here, $30 there, I have never earned anything substantial on rented land where the deck is stacked against me. I shouldn’t complain about “passive” income, but the content I’ve pored over has easily swallowed up hundreds of productive hours I will never get back.
Again, while I’ve taken to experimentation, I don’t have much faith in the idea that one day I will go viral on any one platform, at least not to the point of earning an income that’s proportional to the effort invested.
Meanwhile, I can rely on my websites to earn me hundreds if not thousands of dollars in direct revenue, and five figures in indirect revenue. How do I know? My financial statements from the last six years tell me so. Even my affiliate marketing initiatives out-earn the “pennies on the dollar” model espoused by major platforms.
If you were looking to earn $10,000 in the next three months, which of these two methods would you choose?
- Sell 10,000 singles for $1
- Sell a live performance bundle for $2,500 to four clients
It’s grade school math, yet artists are choosing A much of the time, because they’re afraid to ask for B.
The vehicle matters.
Then comes the question of how to accomplish B, and that comes down to marketing.
This means identifying your prospects, designing a value proposition, and crafting your pitch. You’re not going to be able to sell a $2,500 bundle to just anyone. But if you know who you’re talking to, why they should work with you, and you can make a convincing case for your offer, you’ll find buyers. Your pitch may not be accepted every time, but that’s how business works. If your value proposition and offer are right, there will be takers.
Again, “if you build it, and promote it, they will come.”
“But no one else is doing anything like this.”
Inaccurate. No one in your network or immediate social circle are doing anything like this, that you know of.
Plenty of artists are beginning to think differently about their revenue model, and as they gain more confidence, they are taking bigger and bigger leaps.
So, it’s time to upgrade your association. Find artists who are:
- Making and selling high ticket offers
- Earning a killing from a minimum viable audience
- Forward thinking in their approach to monetization
Better yet, find a coach or a mentor and ask for expert guidance. By doing so, not only are you showing the universe that you’re serious about your commitment to earning an income from music, but you’re also affirming to yourself that you’re the kind of person that goes the extra mile when it comes to achieving personal success. And I don’t know too many people that don’t go the extra mile that end up there.
Big thinkers realize that time is short and small goals are wasted on the young and timid. Think big, act now, move with urgency.
If you’ve made it this far, thanks for sticking with me. You’re clearly an intelligent, good-looking, and ambitious person. You even make great decisions when it comes to your music career.
But there’s no way I could possibly cover all the puzzle pieces required to form a complete music career picture here, and even what you have learned to this point may not be enough to take you to new heights. Things not implemented are quickly forgotten.
If you’re looking for more guidance on how to set up revenue models that will work for you, then don’t hesitate in reaching out to me to book your first coaching session. I may not be cheap, but I deliver value every single time – just as much value as you’ve received from this series, if not more.
There are two paths staring back at you. One leads back to the familiar. The other leads to levels not yet reached. Which path will you take?