In this guide, I look at the story behind the 170 Music Career Tips eBook.
I’m smack dab in the middle of promoting The Music Entrepreneur Code (which, by the way, is a killer book you should add to your library – true story).
So, why in the world would I be launching another eBook? What’s with the weird timing?
That seems like a good a place to start as any.
In February, I Started an Experiment
I read this article by Glen Allsopp, and I thought to myself, “Rock on. I would love to start my own six-figure newsletter.”
So, I did exactly what he said to test its viability. Music Career Tips Weekly was born.
I created a landing page and linked it up in the menu over at Music Entrepreneur HQ (which generates a lot of traffic).
This must have made an impression with my audience, because before long, I had a couple of subscribers. I knew what that meant.
I would need to start delivering on the promise of the newsletter by creating content for my subscribers.
The List Started Growing Every Week
Although growth wasn’t ultra-fast, it wasn’t half bad. I saw about 10 new subscribers per week.
And, as I started delivering the content, I kept an eye on the open and click rates, which were surprisingly good.
So, I figured I had something worth pursuing further, even knowing I wouldn’t be making any money from the newsletter until I hit critical mass. I chose to be patient with that process.
Plus, I began to see that it was a solid way to build a relationship with new, top of funnel visitors who didn’t know a thing about me or Music Entrepreneur HQ.
So, I Kept Going
The newsletter was called Music Career Tips Weekly, so as you might have guessed, I was delivering new content every week.
Some weeks, I was exceedingly busy (especially with the launch of The Music Entrepreneur Code).
One week, I had a pressure headache that made writing a real annoyance.
Nevertheless, I didn’t miss a week. I kept showing up for my subscribers.
And, the content I delivered was damn good if I must say so myself.
I even got multiple “thank you” notes from my subscribers along the way.
But After 18 Weeks, I Had to Call it Quits
Open and click rates started declining after the 15th issue. I also wasn’t seeing as many new subscribers, so growth was slowing. That was demotivating.
The fact that it coincided with the launch of The Music Entrepreneur Code didn’t help. My focus and energies were shifting in that direction.
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The Music Entrepreneur Code
Modesty aside, my latest book is kick-ass. And, you need it. It doesn’t matter whether you’re just getting started in your music career and need some serious direction, or you’re a seasoned pro making six-figures. The landing page bears this out. So, go and get the best-selling Kindle or paperback on Amazon, or the special PDF version with bonuses on Music Entrepreneur HQ.
I wanted to give the initiative a fair chance, so I kept going for a few more weeks.
Unfortunately, engagement did not reach its former glory. So, I decided to call it quits.
I’m Not a Quitter
“You quit? Why!?”
I’m sure some of you are asking that question as you read this.
After all, perseverance is a virtue, yes?
Someone even emailed me this quote via James Allen:
There are efforts, and there are results, and the strength of the effort is the measure of the result. Chance is not. Gifts, powers, material, intellectual, and spiritual possessions are the fruits of effort; they are thoughts completed, objects accomplished, visions realized.
I agree with the quote, and I like James Allen’s works, but in this case it kind of makes me look like the bad guy.
If you only saw the sheer volume of things I haven’t quit on for the better part of 10 years (like my podcast), you’d probably rethink your stance.
If you’re having trouble with this, have a listen to this podcast episode on Space. It comes directly from my business coach.
Or, to quote a meme trope:
There’s a difference between giving up and knowing when to stop.
This is What I Learned
Here’s what I learned:
There’s a difference between a challenge and an uphill climb.There’s a difference between a challenge and an uphill climb. Click To Tweet
A challenge requires your active focus, participation, and problem-solving skills. If a challenge is what you’re dealing with, rethinking the problem and coming at it from a new vantage point can get you results.
If you didn’t have the time, but it was still worth doing, you’d find a way. If you ran out of topical ideas, you’d let your audience know and return with something better the following week. Or, if you stumbled across a question you couldn’t answer, you’d ask around for a solution.
But I wasn’t encountering anything of the sort. I knew I had launched headlong into a long, uphill climb when engagement dropped.
An uphill climb is not a challenge, though it often masquerades as one. It’s the very definition of a project requiring endless hustle and grind to make work.An uphill climb is not a challenge, though it often masquerades as one. It’s the very definition of a project requiring endless hustle and grind to make work. Click To Tweet
“Work your face off,” say the loud-mouthed “experts.” And, I say you’ve got to work smarter, not just harder.
One Grind Session at a Time
The newsletter format was set in stone (people like things they can count on every week, like TV shows), and it was working early on, so there was no reason to change it.
I was showing up with some of my best work every single week. As much as possible, I was choosing topics I knew my audience would enjoy and relate to.
Perhaps with a vat full of patience and effort, I’d be able to keep growing the list and drive up engagement rates. One grind session at a time.
But there was no telling how long that would take. And, the tactics I was using to grow the list were no longer working, suggesting I’d need to rethink that bit too. I even made a video while looking for new ways to promote the newsletter:
With several initiatives already on my plate, producing results, it just didn’t make sense to dedicate all this mind space to growing another.
This year, I’m keeping the winners and cutting the losers. And, I’m not going to be spending a lot of time staring in the rear-view mirror.
Newsletters Don’t Work?
This is a bit of a tangent, I suppose, but it’s worth touching on, if only briefly.
If you happen to read the Glen Allsopp article already mentioned, you’ll likely see for yourself that newsletters can be a very viable business model, and failing that, relationship building tool.
Recently, I interviewed Cheryl B. Engelhardt on my podcast, and she shared that newsletters are a bad idea for artists.
I happen to agree with this. I’ve seen some popular local artists who were sending their audience newsletters instead of singularly focused call to actions, and I’m sure this negatively affected their ability to reach their various goals.
But I wouldn’t be too quick to make that judgment call for all businesses.
Author Dan Kennedy, in fact, talks quite extensively about the use of newsletters in his books, even if they aren’t always used to monetize audiences.
So, I get that newsletters aren’t always what audiences are looking for, but as Kennedy contends, they can be leveraged as competitive advantages.Newsletters aren’t always what audiences are looking for, but as Kennedy contends, they can be leveraged as competitive advantages. Click To Tweet
But I Couldn’t Help but Sense an Opportunity
Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage. – Victor Kiam
Getting back to Music Career Tips Weekly, the 18 weeks I invested into the project didn’t go to waste (this is where perseverance should apply – I haven’t given up!).
I learned quite a bit from this initiative, and I plan to take those lessons and apply them to another newsletter project in the future (trust me, I’m going to make this work one way or another).
Further, I decided to take all the content and turn it into an eBook.
I had already thought about offering back issues for a small fee. I hadn’t originally thought about compiling the content and putting it all into an eBook, but given the self-contained nature of the newsletter, it felt right.
So, This is What Happened Next
In the latest episode of my podcast, I announced the release of 170 Music Career Tips to Help You Grow Your Following, Promote Your Music & Increase Your Income.
And, it wasn’t just about creating a product. It was also about the relationships I had built with fellow musicians for 18 weeks.
The content was important. The memories are what gave it weight.
Introducing the 170 Music Career Tips eBook
I did not form a strategy for this launch. I merely wanted to give my subscribers (and anyone else who might be interested in the content) a way to keep growing in their careers and preserve the memories.
So, I’m not going to be cryptic here in any way. Let me lay it all out for you, blow by blow.
Since I was delivering 10 tips to subscribers of Music Career Tips Weekly every single week, I ended up with 170 music career tips. That’s where the number comes from.
The topics covered in the newsletters were:
- Alternative performance opportunities
- Music marketing basics
- Recession proofing
- Derek Sivers
- Tommy Tallarico
- Gene Simmons
- Hedging against uncertainty
- Live streaming
- Affiliate marketing
- Email marketing
The eBook also features book reviews and resources recommendations. So, you can easily go beyond the eBook and tap into other relevant career growing tools.
When creating it, I made sure the content was broken up into small chunks. The eBook is also colorful, nicely designed and professionally laid out.
Normally, I sell my eBooks for $35.
As I’ve shared so many times before, when it comes to pricing products, the economics have got to make sense.
I see it as a value creation cycle. I generally have a new product every three months, but in the meantime, I pump out numerous fresh videos, podcast episodes and blog posts anyone can access and benefit from for free.
So, when it comes time to launch, it’s an opportunity to complete that value cycle. The completion comes in the form of sales.
Having said that, I chose to price this eBook a little differently. I priced it at $17 (basically, $1 for every 10 tips).
Again, I just want the people who want this to have 170 Music Career Tips.
Because I have a launch schedule for 2020 already, I probably won’t be doing any major promotion for this eBook. But it was at least worth the space I’ve dedicated to it here (which is significant to say the least).
Are You Ready to Complete the Value Cycle? Buy 170 Music Career Tips
If you made it this far into the blog post, it’s obviously for a reason.
No matter how you got here, spirit led you, and it wants you to notice this post. It wants you to benefit from it.
The ultimate way to benefit from this content is to act on it. And, you can easily act on it by buying the eBook. It’s the next logical step.
I realize not everyone reading this is going to choose themselves, which makes me a little sad. Not because of the money, but because of the difference I know it can make.
If you’re being stopped by something now, I guarantee you’ve been stopped by something before, and if you leave here taking the same action you’ve always taken (no action), you’re just going to repeat the process all over again.
Don’t you consider yourself an action-taker? Don’t you think of yourself as someone in pursuit of their dreams? Do you believe you can achieve whatever you’ve set out to do?
You’ve got to validate this for yourself. Even if no one else knows, you will know whether you’ve acted on your goals, dreams and desires.
This eBook is my love letter to all musicians in pursuit of something greater. It’s for every musician who knows they’ve got more in them and don’t want to die with their best song in them.
So, please. Complete the value cycle. This is for you as much as it is for me. It’s a beautiful exchange.