Scammers are everywhere. People are desperate. In tough times, people will go to extraordinary lengths to cover their bills and meet their needs.
In his coaching efforts, however, David often helps his clients create “possibility lists,” a long list of items (usually 50 to 100) possible sources of money an artist or entrepreneur can leverage to get themselves out of tough times. David usually finds his clients are back on track by the time they’ve actioned five to seven items.
In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, David shares how to navigate the desperate post-pandemic world.
- 00:18 – Scamming is at an all time high
- 01:23 – A post-pandemic economic downturn
- 01:47 – The feeling of desperation
- 02:22 – Catfishing attempts
- 03:25 – Negative influence of the movies
- 03:42 – Opportunity and problem solving
- 04:15 – Creator economy
- 04:33 – Freelancing
- 05:05 – Advertising
- 05:22 – Affiliate marketing
- 05:44 – Collaboration
- 06:11 – Sponsorships
- 06:26 – Other opportunities
- 07:29 – Final thoughts
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Scamming is at an all time high. I pulled some stats from LegalJobs for your perusal. In the U.S., one in 10 adults will fall victim to scam or fraud every year. In 2018 alone, internet enabled theft, fraud, and exploitation were responsible for a massive $2.7 billion in financial losses. In 2019, phishing attempts grew by 65%. One in 10 profiles on free dating sites is a scam.
Anecdotally, I see attempts at scamming on a near daily basis, be it on Twitter, WhatsApp, BEGO LIVE, Line, YouTube comments, or otherwise.
I posted a video on a Coinbase Wallet scam in 2022. I ended up losing about $500 and every day there are multiple scammers trying to get people to sign up for their so-called services to recover their crypto, which is the furthest thing from their mind. They’re just trying to take more money from the people who’ve already potentially lost thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Adding insult to injury, a post pandemic economic downturn was a foregone conclusion in my mind. It surprises me when people are so taken aback that things are taking a turn for the worst.
I mean, we have clowns running this country and it doesn’t look all that different for our friends down south, so I’m not sure what people expected. But this is not a political show, and you don’t need to agree to my opinions.
I understand well the feeling of desperation. I’ve gone broke and in debt at least three times. A credit card company even started taking legal action against me last year.
I suspect there’s a decline in morality and increase in narcissism and sociopathy because I don’t know about you, but my conscious would be seared and rattled with guilt if I tried to extract money from people using anything less than ethical and legal means.
I’m all about working for big bags of money, don’t get me wrong, but I put more than an honest day’s work in on any given day, and I’ve earned my way to becoming an award-winning composer and best-selling author.
Recently on Twitter, there was someone trying to catfish me, and it’s certainly not the first time someone has tried this on me, so I recognized all the signs. It’s not like they were hard to identify either. They were posing as one person while sending me a picture of someone else entirely. It was some Instagram model that I possibly would not know about.
Sidebar, for those who don’t know, you can upload a photo to Google to check if it’s associated with any social networks, and this is an easy way to identify possible scammers.
Well, when I pointed this out to the person who was trying to catfish me, they admitted to me that they were scamming me, and I’d never had that happen before where someone actually admitted their crime. While they were apologetic, I’m not sure they were remorseful, because when I suggested that they go write for Medium, or do something, anything to earn a bit of extra cash on the side. They were like, “huh?”
Look, there’s only so much free help I can provide this world sometimes. Keeping up with the podcast has proven a challenge, never mind keeping up with all my client deadlines. So, I left them to sit with it.
Indoctrination Through Media
I think I pointed out years ago that what I didn’t like about certain movies – I was a video game and film critic at one point – was that movies like Fun with Dick and Jane were basically training people to turn to a life of crime at the first sign of something going wrong in their lives.
That statement, unfortunately, is kind of proving prophetic right now, when really for the most part, if people were just willing to roll up their sleeves and get to work, they’d be able to climb their way out of their hole and wouldn’t it be god awful if they ended up enjoying the work too?
Problem Solving Skills & Practical Solutions
The issue here really isn’t that there isn’t any opportunity. The issue is that many people haven’t been taught problem solving skills. It’s one of the many failings of our current education system, sadly. Problem solving, though, is one of my favorite topics, and I see countless income opportunities for anyone willing to put in the work and remain patient with the process.
So, why don’t we talk practical solutions?
The first is creator economy. Whether it’s YouTube, TikTok, Medium, Quora, Substack, or otherwise, there are many platforms where you can earn on the content you’ve created. I’ve never earned a living wage from any of these myself, but cumulatively, it has put hundreds, if not thousands of dollars back into my pocket.
Second, freelancing. I’ve been balancing my roles as an entrepreneur and freelancer for years, but when I was in the early stages of figuring out this whole independent living thing, I dedicated myself to freelancing. Freelancing and contract opportunities mostly came through connections I’d made. So, it’s well worth building out your network if you want to pursue this.
You’ll also want to identify what you’re good at, whether that’s writing, graphic design, web design, audio production, video editing or otherwise, and commit to improving at your craft, creating a portfolio, and seeking out opportunities.
Next, advertising. While your earning potential with ads probably isn’t going to be very high, combined with other solutions mentioned here, advertising is not a total waste. There’s very little work involved in putting ads on your website, and it’s a good way to earn passively, especially if your website drives good traffic.
Affiliate marketing. People say you’ve got to have massive traffic to your website to earn anything from affiliate marketing. But the funny thing artists often don’t realize is they’re already sending huge amounts of traffic to streaming platforms like Spotify, earning just pennies on the dollar for the same amount of effort. You could be earning hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in commissions promoting the right affiliate offers.
Collaboration. I’m not talking about asking your friend down the street whether they want to write a song together. I’m talking about punching above your weight class. I’m personally looking at pitching a prolific podcaster on the idea of working together on a new show myself. And his show earns him eight figures annually. He will probably say no, but if it works out it will end up being the opportunity of a lifetime. Are you aware of anyone like that? Are you willing to risk rejection to pitch them on an idea?
Sponsorships. There is very good money in sponsorships. The trick is to find companies whose values are aligned with yours, and you also need access to an audience your sponsors want to reach. To keep your sponsors happy, you’ll want to stay in touch with them on a weekly basis as well.
And other. I’m only scratching the surface in terms of opportunities available. I’m aware that much of what I’ve talked about requires hard work, but with a bit of patience, you can bring in additional income to help in tough times.
Even an extra $500 per month can be life changing money for some people, and it’s not hard to get. What it takes is a willingness to get to work, learn, and persevere. Successes in my life have mostly come because of stubbornness and not giving up rather than being smart or talented.
In tough times, limiting beliefs won’t serve you. There are so many creative ways to go about problem solving your financial situation. You can even take a Joe job, collect cans and bottles, sell unneeded household items, or have a garage sale. You may not be able to solve your problems all at once, but bit by bit you can get to where you need to go. You can get back on track. So don’t let pride get in the way. That’s what ends up stopping people dead in their tracks. Just because it’s not musical income doesn’t make it worth less.
So, if you’re struggling right now, I feel for you. Like I said at the outset, I’ve been in precarious positions at multiple times in my life, and I know you may not have the funds for this right now. But if you want to work with me on this, I offer personalized coaching. I only work with five clients per month, but if you’re committed to positive change, I’m inviting you to reach out to me personally at email@example.com.
This has been episode 286 of The New Music Industry Podcast. I’m David Andrew Wiebe, and I look forward to seeing you on the stages of the world.