Product Index

Product Index

So, I’ve been thinking…

It’s probably about time I put together a new index for my products. It has been a while since I’ve taken inventory of everything I’ve got, and things have a way of changing over time. Old products are replaced by new products, some become obsolete, some fall by the wayside.

Likely, this post will be updated now and again, just like some of the others on this site.

Note: pricing noted here may not match up exactly with listings on sales or order pages. This is because I’m currently revising prices, there’s a promotion in effect, or I haven’t had the opportunity to update this post in a while.

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Making Money in Music is Hard, Part 3

Making Money in Music is Hard, Part 3

We can all overcome great obstacles. We’re more capable than we often give ourselves credit for.

I’ve survived a major earthquake, the death of my father (when I was 13), my cousin committing suicide at 18, persistent migraines, generalized anxiety disorder, agoraphobia, being sued by creditors, filing for consumer proposal, and much more.

Life is difficult. But I stand before you a happy, healthy man.

Paradigm shifts aren’t easy, either. I know well the pains and ills of cognitive dissonance. I spent a summer in bed depressed, because I lost the girl, my business, and my faith, too.

But you can overcome it, and you will be better off for it.

What should you do to overcome limiting beliefs? Whatever it takes!

There are several factors that matter a great deal in making an income from music. A firm grasp of these will take you to heights never anticipated.

The Vehicle Matters

People say passive income doesn’t exist. Or if it does exist, it’s the result of hard work – there’s no ”sitting and waiting around” for money.

The second sentiment is correct. I’ve received substantial consecutive checks from the Amazon Associates and Amazon KDP programs. Mailbox money sure is sweet! It’s not always consistent or reliable, but to this day I am still rewarded for works completed months and years ago. And I’m only getting better at capitalizing on my content.

Intellectual property isn’t where the real income is, but that’s another topic for another time.

Either way, it illustrates the point well, that your chosen vehicle matters. One email campaign is one email campaign. But there’s a huge discrepancy between sending your fans to Spotify to listen to your music versus sending them to a $12.95 free plus shipping offer. Same amount of work, very different results.

Visual Capitalist says it takes roughly 229 streams just to make a dollar on Spotify. If your email list is 300 subscribers large, you’d need almost all of them to listen to your track once on Spotify just to make a dollar. You automatically make more if just one of your 300 subscribers takes you up on your $12.95 free plus shipping offer. And conventional wisdom says every email subscriber is worth $1 per month, so if you excel at relationship building and making offers to your fans, your email list of 300 is worth at least $300 per month.

It’s simple math, but it’s astounding how we all get caught up in the hype of streaming instead of applying a bit of simple logic to the problem. Accurate thinking is boring, but it’s the dividing line between the shrewd and the average.

Marketing Matters

Many artists are under the impression that if they (artists) build it, they (audiences) will come.

It’s a nice catchphrase, but it would be more accurate to say:

“If you build it, and promote it, they will come.”

Marketing, for better or for worse, is another paradigm shift that can take some time. It took the better part of five years for one of my best friends to accept that heading up marketing initiatives was an essential and fun part of growing her business.

I’ve sold hundreds of copies of The New Music Industry. I’ve helped crowdfund $15,000 for a jazz album. I also helped sell 188 tickets for a recent 200-seater artistic community event.

How was any of this achieved? Through marketing.

There’s the occasional artist or creator or blogger or podcaster that finds success without spending a dime on advertising, but they are the exception and not the rule. Or marketing was so baked into their project, they made it seem effortless.

The truth is most if not all your favorite “independent” artists that exploded in popularity had support from a label in some capacity.

Without the right vehicle, though, it’s quite likely you will get frustrated with marketing. Because you will spend untold hours promoting something that may never have the potential to reward you at your desired level.

Marketing, however, holds the key to the income you want to generate as an artist.

Relationships Matter

I’ve had good years and bad years as a session musician. But I’ve earned as much as $800 per gig, in a time when even some world renown session guitarists were having trouble charging more than $120 for an hour of their time.

How did this happen? I can tell you right now it didn’t happen because of how amazing I am. Sure, I’ve received my share of praise as a guitarist, but there are plenty of YouTube musicians that blow me clear out of the water in terms of virtuosity and speed. The bar is higher than it’s ever been.

Most opportunities, really the best opportunities, for me, have come through relationship. Some relationships have been worth thousands if not 10s of thousands of dollars to me.

I’m not blinded by dollar signs in building relationships. I’m genuine and authentic. I’m a good friend. I tend not to expect much in return. I’m private, so I don’t reveal everything about myself, but at this point that’s more of a personal idiosyncrasy than a strategy.

I have never been the boldest, handsomest, most popular, or even most charismatic.

I simply smiled, extended my hand, and if I was lucky, made a friend. I repeated the process of meeting one to five people every day for four to five years straight.

If you’re finding that making money in music is hard, it could very well be because you haven’t found the right people to hang around with yet. That’s fine, and it’s not your fault, but you should not delay in beginning your search.

Update: December 10, 2022

Update: December 10, 2022

What’s happening?

I know you’ve been waiting on bated breath for another update, and guess what? Today’s is just as exciting as yesterday’s (I lie…).

The good news is, between yesterday and today, I’ve completed quite a bit of Music Entrepreneur HQ related work, and that’s what I’ll be focusing on in today’s update.


I’ve created four new audiograms to be uploaded to YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.

I had yet to share episodes 276, 277, 278, and 279 of The New Music Industry Podcast on these channels, so I used Microsoft’s new Clipchamp to create these.

I think Clipchamp shows quite a bit of promise, especially since until recently, Movie Maker’s only replacement was Video Editor, and it wasn’t anything to write home about.

I don’t like the “freemium” nature of Clipchamp. I think Microsoft owes it to their users to provide an app that’s better than Movie Maker, especially since Video Editor didn’t fill a void. But based on initial impressions I think Clipchamp could be better than iMovie.

The New Music Industry Podcast

I got around to editing two episodes of The New Music Industry Podcast today. I haven’t scheduled them in WordPress yet, but that shouldn’t take too long. This is something I’ll be looking at first thing Monday.

For the first time in a long time, I’m starting to feel almost on top of things with Music Entrepreneur HQ again (also see next section). But there is much more to do.


I finally caved and created a Notion page to keep track of my Music Entrepreneur HQ related tasks.

Even if I am the go-to guy on the project, I thought it would be worthwhile to create a space where anyone (e.g., a collaborator, virtual assistant, employee, etc.) could see exactly what’s being worked on and how things are progressing on all fronts.

It’s going to take something to track relevant metrics, but I know it’s worthwhile.

Final Thoughts

There’s work that’s draining, and there’s work that’s energizing. This is something that has stuck with me ever since one of my mentors shared it with me. And I’m gradually finding this to be true.

Normally, I would not be determined to finish much work on a Saturday, but despite an early morning with family, I got to work and stayed at work for about six hours. When it’s work that energizes you, it hardly feels like a sacrifice.

Perhaps I’m not done expanding yet.

The Rule of 5 Marketing for Artists

The Rule of 5 Marketing for Artists

Jack Canfield of Chicken Soup for Your Soul fame is well-known for having created The Rule of 5.

The concept is simple – do five things per day that help you reach your goal.

Let’s say you were interested in losing weight and getting in shape. So, your five items for the day could look something like this:

  • Get eight hours of sleep
  • Go for a 30-minute walk
  • Make healthy meals for the day
  • Lift weights for 15 minutes
  • Drink apple cider vinegar

It works much the same way with marketing – identify five items you can do today to promote your visual art, music, poetry, or otherwise.

Here we’ll look at how you can apply The Rule of 5 to your promotional work as a creative.

How Does The Rule of 5 Marketing Work?

So, you’ve got a new painting, a piece of music, maybe a book, and you’re interested in promoting it. What next?

It’s amazing how, when an artist shifts from creative activity to marketing activity – even if they have previous experience promoting their works – they stall out and lose sight of the goal.

I’m speaking from personal experience, because this is essentially what happened to me as I went to work on promoting my best-selling book, The Music Entrepreneur Code in 2020.

I’m happy to report that the book became a small success for me despite my initial indecisiveness, but that’s only because of the connections I had built up to that point, and the momentum I’d created with my marketing efforts.

We should be so lucky, but most of the time, we won’t be. Marketing requires intentionality.

Marketing requires intentionality. Click To Tweet

So, we need a framework. Not necessarily a framework as rigid as a checklist (although that can also be helpful), but a starting point for our marketing efforts.

The Rule of 5 Marketing is a great framework to apply. It’s defined without being too rigid, intentional without being too constrained.

I have my five daily tasks stored inside Evernote:

The Rule of 5 to-do list

The act of coming up with five ideas daily focuses the mind on forward momentum. And executing these ideas leads to real results (also see next section).

The act of coming up with five ideas daily focuses the mind on forward momentum. Click To Tweet

Why The Rule of 5 Marketing?

Scope creep is a real thing (it applies to marketing as much as it does to our projects), and it doesn’t just show up in the work we do for others. It can easily creep into our own creative ventures as well.

And scope creep is the biggest enemy of consistency. It will see us executing 11 things one day, one the next day, three the day after. Before we know it, we’ve burned out and lost all momentum.

The Rule of 5 Marketing keeps us in check. It sets in stone what you’re going to be doing today, tomorrow, and the day after.

And the game is about as hard or as easy as you make it, so you may as well make it winnable.

Plus, it works.

While working my Rule of 5 Marketing plan, I recently shared a post on Facebook that got more engagement than anything I’ve recently shared.

Viral Facebook post

32 likes, eight comments, one share.

Now, there are plenty of people that get way more engagement on their posts. I’m not much of a Facebook guy, so for me, the above is the equivalent of going viral.

There’s obviously something to be said for the content (picture of me holding up a scribble) that contributed to the success of this piece (it paves the way for future content pieces too). But if all I got were a few likes on Facebook, it wouldn’t be worthwhile.

These efforts, however, are sending a steady flow of traffic to my new beginner guitar program, Chord King Course. My promotional efforts are producing results!

Create a plan, execute against it, have faith, and you will see results from your efforts.

Create a plan, execute against it, have faith, and you will see results from your efforts. Click To Tweet

I’m Still Having Trouble Coming up with Marketing Ideas – What Should I do?

The beauty of The Rule of 5 Marketing is that you make the commitment first and then follow through with relevant actions. So, that means once you’ve made the commitment, ideas are sure to follow.

That said, I know it’s easy to get stuck. So, here are some free and low-cost ideas you can implement NOW (they will require some elbow grease):

  • Write a blog post and share it on your WordPress blog, Blogger, Tumblr, Medium, Steemit, CloutPub, or anywhere lese you can think of
  • Guest post for sites in your niche
  • Record an audio and share it on Anchor
  • Make guest appearances on podcasts
  • Make a video and upload it to YouTube, Vimeo, Odysee, DTube, Rumble, BitChute, Brighteon, or elsewhere
  • Request to appear in other people’s videos to talk about your products
  • Share your works on social media
  • Write a press release and share it for free on PRLog
  • Run a contest or giveaway
  • Send a sample of your product to influencers or experts in your niche (e.g., send your book if you’re an author, CD if you’re a musician, a quick doodle if you’re a visual artist, etc.)
  • Pull a publicity stunt, engage in guerrilla marketing, go on Tweet storms, go live on Instagram, set up a community of independent artists interested in promoting each other’s works, and more

Wait, 5 Things Per Day? Can I Take Weekends off?

That’s up to you.

I’ll be honest in sharing that with my recent promotion of the Chord King Course beginner guitar program, I have been taking weekends off.

That said, there’s no rule saying you can’t promote seven days per week…

And there’s also no rule saying you can’t choose more than five items per day.

I blog daily, so that tends to form the foundation of the various types of content I need to fulfill on to distribute across various social networks – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, Medium, Tealfeed, BitClout, Wisdom, and elsewhere.

Although I don’t hesitate in sharing everywhere I possibly can, the biggest movers for me, historically, have been Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, in that order.

And if I were to 80/20 that, Facebook is responsible for more traffic than anything you can name – Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Medium, Pinterest, or otherwise.

Additional Resources

You can also read about The Rule of 5 in Jack Canfield’s The Success Principles.

If you’re stumped for inspiration and real-life examples of marketing in action, my book, The New Music Industry details more options than most people are even aware of, and much of the content is applicable to entrepreneurship, freelancing, and just about any artistic endeavor you can name.

Final Thoughts

If you’d like to work with me to come up with your own The Rule of 5 Marketing plan, get in touch. I don’t come cheap, but I can help you quickly identify activity that’s going to lead to results in your marketing.

What are you taking away from this? How will you be implementing The Rule of 5 Marketing in your artistic career?

4 Core Habits That Support Your Artistic Development

4 Core Habits That Support Your Artistic Development

I joined a couple of network marketing companies in 2011. My life was kind of dominated by network marketing at the time, to tell you the truth.

And in one of the training organizations, they had what’s called the “10 Core Steps.”

The idea was that if you wanted to remain active in the business and get results, you were to follow these 10 Core Steps.

Now, this methodology has received its share of backlash, and understandably so. Google it, and you will see Reddit fiends venting their disdain.

I’m not here to spell out what the 10 Core Steps are. Nor am I here to advocate them. They are the intellectual property of the training organization in question, and it’s fair to say it’s more applicable to people in their organization than to anyone outside of it.

What I want to share is that there were some worthwhile discoveries for me in network marketing. I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing today if I hadn’t seen what was available in network marketing. I just had to separate the wheat from the chaff.

In due course, I was left with a few core habits that support my intellectual and career development. I talked a little bit about these in The New Music Industry as well.

The four habits are as follows:

  • Read for at least 15 minutes per day. Whether it’s my blog, an article I wrote, or one of my books is up to you. I’m kidding, of course. The trick is to find great books around topics you’re looking to learn right now – creativity, sales, marketing, and so on.
  • Listen to audios for 30 minutes per day. There are plenty of podcasts, audio courses, audio programs, and other sources worth considering. As with reading, find audios that cover areas of your career you’re looking to improve.
  • Make one new connection daily. Find a venue. Reach out to a reviewer. Leave a comment on a blog post. Everyone can do this!
  • Talk to your coach. Okay, so unless you’re paying the big buck for a coach, they probably won’t want to hear from you every day! If you don’t already have a coach, get one, and set up calls at regular intervals for the greatest benefit.

Now, can you adjust these habits depending on what you’re looking to accomplish in your music career? Absolutely.

But the number one thing you can learn from the above is the importance of consistency. You may not be able to become an expert in anything in just 45 minutes per day. You may not have major breakthroughs in building out your rolodex commenting on one blog post per day. It may take some time to come up with a workable career strategy with your coach. In due time, though? The flywheel will gain momentum.

I covered some of these ideas in episode 39 of The New Music Industry Podcast as well.

So, don’t worry about reinventing the wheel. Start with the above, get consistent, and you will see results!

Quick reminder – you can now get The Music Entrepreneur Code – 2022 Edition (just in time for the holidays). Don’t get left behind – be the first to get my latest work into your hands!