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The Indie Band Alliance http://indiebandalliance.com Earn a Lving with Music Tue, 10 Feb 2015 11:38:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 Earn a Lving with Music The Indie Band Alliance no Earn a Lving with Music The Indie Band Alliance http://indiebandalliance.com/wp-content/plugins/powerpress/rss_default.jpg http://indiebandalliance.com The 1,000 Fan Formula 2014 Update http://indiebandalliance.com/1000-fan-formula-2014-update http://indiebandalliance.com/1000-fan-formula-2014-update#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2014 11:11:27 +0000 http://indiebandalliance.com/?p=1647 A little over four years ago I wrote the 1K Fan Formula and made it available on my website – chances are if you’re my subscriber today – it’s because you opted in to get your copy of that report.But four years is a lifetime when you’re dealing with anything to do with online marketing […]

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A little over four years ago I wrote the 1K Fan Formula and made it available on my website – chances are if you’re my subscriber today – it’s because you opted in to get your copy of that report.

But four years is a lifetime when you’re dealing with anything to do with online marketing – and music is no exception.

What’s changed? What is still working? Where are things going? 

I made a short update to the 1K Fan Formula that touches on some of these questions.
You can grab your copy here: —> 1K Fan Formula 2014 Update

Also – I’ve been doing a little training called the Music Income Challenge which begins where the 1K Fan Formula left off. I have a series of video trainings that will be released shortly. If you’re looking for ‘next steps’ I suggest you check those out.

Later

 

Mike

 

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Music Income Challenge Overview http://indiebandalliance.com/music-income-challenge-overview http://indiebandalliance.com/music-income-challenge-overview#comments Tue, 05 Aug 2014 12:05:00 +0000 http://indiebandalliance.com/?p=1640 The Music Income Challenge is free training to help you to start selling your music online. This video gives an overview of the steps involved before you can start selling successfully and help you to raise your first dollar online. Why are we looking at only earning a single dollar? First of all, because you […]

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Overview of the music income challenge program
The Music Income Challenge is free training to help you to start selling your music online. This video gives an overview of the steps involved before you can start selling successfully and help you to raise your first dollar online.

Why are we looking at only earning a single dollar?

First of all, because you have to start somewhere. Yeah, it would be great to sell thousands of dollars each month and quit the day job, but realistically most of us are going to have an extremely hard time getting to that level of sales. So rather than set the bar too high and become potentially demoralized if we can’t hit those targets I find it’s often more rewarding to start small and build from there.

Secondly, if you can earn a single dollar – you can turn that into $5, $10, $100 by getting in front of more people and optimizing your conversion rate. But until you make that single sale (and preferably more than just one) you’re not going to know what works or if people are interested in your music/offer.

The “challenge” behind the challenge is: 1) For you to earn your first 1.00 by applying the techniques that I outline in these videos and 2) for me to prove that you can apply direct response and inbound marketing techniques to generate sales of something that doesn’t solve a problem for a consumer – music.

Stay tuned for further training that dives deeper into each of the core modules outlined in this training.

If you want to get started right away instead of waiting, check out this resource I put together for you here to take it to the next level.

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How to start selling your music online http://indiebandalliance.com/start-selling-music-online http://indiebandalliance.com/start-selling-music-online#comments Tue, 06 May 2014 02:29:16 +0000 http://indiebandalliance.com/?p=1621 If you’ve been wondering how to start selling your music online – then you’ve come to the right place. I’m going to share with you the four key ingredients that you need to start selling your music online so that you can make your first dollar from the internet as a musician. Why is this […]

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The American One Dollar Bill

If you’ve been wondering how to start selling your music online – then you’ve come to the right place.

I’m going to share with you the four key ingredients that you need to start selling your music online so that you can make your first dollar from the internet as a musician.

Why is this important?

Because if you can make even just $1, then that means that by applying proven marketing and business concepts – you can turn that dollar into $2, into $6 into $12 into $24 into $48 etc.

I call this the Music Income Amplifier (name change is pending).

But, just like the most powerful amplifier can’t make a broken guitar (with zero output) sound louder – a broken business that can’t generate a single dollar cannot be amplified into a more profitable income stream.

How can I help you double your online music sales if your current sales are zero? It’s not going to happen.

So this is the idea behind what I’ve called the Music Income Challenge (M.I.C.) – where I challenge you to earn your first $1 online using proven digital marketing fundamentals…and I challenge myself to show you how to do it.

Fair enough?

So let’s do this…

The four things that you need to make money online with your music are:

1) Your own original music in a consumable digital format (i.e. MP3, wav etc.)

2) An offer – a way to make your music appealing enough to someone to want to give you their email…or even their own hard-earned cash in exchange for your music.

3) An audience who wants what you have – this is where the marketing part comes in.

4) A way to deliver and collect payment for your item.

Put another way, what you need is

  1. A product – needs to be of good quality in both sound and appearance
  2. An offer (on a landing page with only one action they can take)
  3. A venue where you can reach your audience in an affordable way
  4. A shopping cart to collect the money and deliver your product.

There you go – now go out there and make some money!

What? You need a little more help than just that?  Okay, how about this…

I’m going to walk through each of these steps and show you exactly how I would go about doing this were I still in a band right now. All you have to do is show up, ask questions and apply what I teach you…is that fair?

Will you take action, or will you just read this for entertainment and lose the chance to earn your first buck online with music?

That’s up to you.

The challenge is on.  I’m going to help you make your first $1 online or…I’m going to close down the website.

No use having Indiebandalliance.com if I’m not able to help people with what I’m teaching – so that’s my guarantee to you.

Either I help you make your first buck online, or I’ll shut down my website.

So we both have some skin in the game here. Are you up for this?

If so – then I want you to click this link (coming soon) and register for this powerful training. I’m not sure how long I’ll leave it open to the general public, so if you want in…you need to make up your mind pretty fast.

So decide now – I help you make a $1 online or I’ll shut down my website.

I’m not kidding – and April 1st was well over a month ago…so this is real.

Let’s do this – Click here to register for the Music Income Challenge.

Image Credit: David Guo

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The Music Income Challenge http://indiebandalliance.com/music-income-challenge http://indiebandalliance.com/music-income-challenge#comments Mon, 13 Jan 2014 02:59:09 +0000 http://indiebandalliance.com/?p=1605 Happy New Year! As I write this, we’re already more than 10 days into this new year of 2014 and I’ve been working hard on establishing some new habits that will allow me to reach some lofty goals. One of my big goals this year is to help you out a lot more with music […]

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Happy New Year!

As I write this, we’re already more than 10 days into this new year of 2014 and I’ve been working hard on establishing some new habits that will allow me to reach some lofty goals.

One of my big goals this year is to help you out a lot more with music business, marketing, mindset and the resources that you’ll need along the way to succeed.

I just re-read my epic post from last October entitled: “Your Music Career Will Fail Without This…” and I have to say it’s one of the best posts that I’ve ever written. I sincerely hope that you take the 10 minutes or so to read it – it’ll help to make sure that your head is screwed on right if you want to make some significant headway this year to earning a full time living as a musician. Please, give it a read if you haven’t already…or simply read it again like I did.

Actually – there’s something I left out in that blog post that is implied…but I didn’t come right out and tell you. It’s the key to me helping you succeed this year as well as you succeeding too.  Stick with me for a bit and I’ll share with you what it is – in the meantime see if you can guess what the answer is….

So here’s the deal. I’ve come up with a little something that I’m calling “The Music Income Challenge”, and if you’re looking to start earning an income with your music online, or earning more or more consistent income then I do hope that you’ll check it out.

I’m calling it the Music Income Challenge for a few reasons…

Number one – it’s about generating income, period. I don’t care how many Twitter followers, Facebook “friends” or whatever you have…at the end of the day it’s about making money. Without money, you’ll either bleed away your money and have to give up or forever be a hobbyist.

It’s not about the marketing. It’s not about tips, strategies and secrets – it’s about money at the end of the day.

And the bulk of this income should come from the music you make, or at least be music related – that way you can eventually give up the typical ‘day job’ and focus on music more often.

So that explains the “music” and the “income” part of the name – why “challenge”?

The challenge comes in for two reasons…actually…three reasons. 1) The challenge is for YOU to earn money with what I’m going to teach you. The challenge is for you to take action and make things happen. 2) The challenge is on me to teach you well enough that you can actually make the money. The goal is income – it can be $1 or $10 or $100 – but it has to be something. When you have some income, it’s possible to build it up – if you have zero than 2x zero or 10x zero is still a heck of a lot of nothing…

The third reason for “challenge” is that I’m also partly inspired by Ed Dale’s “Challenge” that he puts on each year. I’m not saying the Music Income Challenge is going to be the same, or as good…but I think it’s awesome because it’s training for people to learn the fundamentals and apply them to generate income of some kind – which is what I want to do for you.

Lastly, the initials are: M.I.C. – which is not only an instrument, but rhymes with my first name “Mike” – pretty cool eh? (Okay, maybe not…I am easily amused I suppose).

So enough about why I’m calling this M.I.C. and more about what it means to you. I’m going to do weekly training on the things that you need to know to make money as a musician today.

I’ve heard from musicians that they want more case studies, they want the real stuff. They want to know that THEY can do it, not just musicians that were already famous, on a major label or had some type of advantage that the typical ‘normal’ musician doesn’t have.

Okay, so the goal is to do a training each week – I’m not sure how long each session will be – maybe 15 to 60 minutes tops…and chances are there will be some homework to do, otherwise it’ll be hard for you to make any progress towards making money with your music….

So what was the thing that I didn’t say explicitly in my blog post that both you and I need to succeed?

In the post I mentioned that “consistency” is what you need to succeed – what I didn’t say is that for you to do something consistently, you obviously have to commit to doing the thing/activity each day…which means you need to first carve out room in your life to fit in the new activity.

If you don’t make in your life and commit to the process…you’ll never have the chance to do the required action enough for it to become a positive habit and become consistent in your life. Consistency allows you to build up momentum, which allows you to roll right over the problems that stop other musicians dead in their tracks!

So what’s the catch?

This training is going to be 100% free – but it won’t be available forever.

You see – it’s only human nature to put something off until later. So if I make this training available forever…there will always be something more important for you to do and you’ll put off watching it.

So MIC will be available for 7 to 10 days only…

…the new training will be compiled into a full blown course. It will be VERY affordable but not free. So this is your chance to watch it all for FREE.

So, if you want to start earning more money with your music in 2014 – leave me a comment. Let me know what the single biggest problem is that you’re facing with making money as a musician online right now.

Since it’s doubtful that most people will read this far – chances are very good that if I like your idea – it could be one of the very first MIC training sessions that I do.

Thanks for reading – and stay tuned for the Music Income Challenge (coming soon).

 

 

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Marketing for Musicians 101 http://indiebandalliance.com/marketing-musicians-101 http://indiebandalliance.com/marketing-musicians-101#comments Tue, 31 Dec 2013 02:21:35 +0000 http://indiebandalliance.com/?p=1600 This is a short-ish marketing presentation that I put together to address the fundamentals needed for you to succeed at creating a full time income with your music. I’m calling it Marketing for Musicians 101 as it is more of an introduction into marketing…which is a subject that can take years to perfect. Since this […]

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This is a short-ish marketing presentation that I put together to address the fundamentals needed for you to succeed at creating a full time income with your music.

I’m calling it Marketing for Musicians 101 as it is more of an introduction into marketing…which is a subject that can take years to perfect. Since this short training focuses on the essentials, it will be relevant for a long time to come, no matter what changes Google, Facebook or whoever end up making this year.

So sit back, turn off the distractions, turn up your speakers and prepare to learn the fundamentals that you need to succeed.

Feel free to leave your comments and questions at the bottom of this page – or send email to mike[at]indiebandalliance[dot]com if you’d prefer to keep it private.

I’m happy to dive deeper into this topic so your feedback is necessary for more in-depth training on this topic.

So here it is:

Resources:
Need to track your marketing efforts so that you work smarter instead of harder this year? I put this together to help you do that!

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Make a Full Time Income Survey Results http://indiebandalliance.com/full-time-income-survey-results http://indiebandalliance.com/full-time-income-survey-results#comments Sat, 09 Nov 2013 04:26:38 +0000 http://indiebandalliance.com/?p=1580 A while back I did an anonymous survey and invited everyone who downloaded my 3 Steps to making a full time income as a musician report to respond. (If you were one of the people who took the time to fill out the survey – thank you!) So – the results are in, and I […]

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A while back I did an anonymous survey and invited everyone who downloaded my 3 Steps to making a full time income as a musician report to respond.

(If you were one of the people who took the time to fill out the survey – thank you!)

So – the results are in, and I wanted to share them with you so you can see if you agree with your fellow musicians on what’s REALLY holding you back from the success that you deserve.  Watch the video below:

 

Okay – so according to the video, you want to hear more about Marketing and Time Management to help you succeed and create a full time income. So I’m putting together a special FREE training that you can sign up for here:

This is part of my commitment to doing whatever I can to help you succeed with your music career, so sign up to get free access to this special training for everyone who downloaded the report and responded to my survey.

Mike

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Your Music Career Will Fail Without This… http://indiebandalliance.com/music-career-will-fail-without-this http://indiebandalliance.com/music-career-will-fail-without-this#comments Tue, 22 Oct 2013 04:19:15 +0000 http://indiebandalliance.com/?p=1571 Thanks for tuning into this message, I’m about to unleash the best music advice I think I’ve ever possibly offered to anyone…and in case you’re wondering it isn’t to “quit while you’re ahead.” No, it’s pretty simple to grasp. It doesn’t involve any real money – but can definitely save you a ton. Plus without […]

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Thanks for tuning into this message, I’m about to unleash the best music advice I think I’ve ever possibly offered to anyone…and in case you’re wondering it isn’t to “quit while you’re ahead.”

No, it’s pretty simple to grasp. It doesn’t involve any real money – but can definitely save you a ton. Plus without it – there’s just no way that you’re going to have a shot at making it.

Oddly enough – nobody really talks about it. It might be there between the lines if you really look for it, but it is not sexy at all…so nobody wants to talk about it.

But before I talk about what this advice is, I want to tell you a story to give you some context behind it.

This is a 100% true story that I haven’t told until now. I haven’t even told John Oszajca about it even though I’ve had the opportunity to speak to him several times over the years….

About 16 months ago I was asked about a program that I was promoting called The Music Marketing Manifesto 2.0 by John Oszajca.

This person found a video review I did on the program and decided to ask me a few questions about it.

He was unconvinced regarding the positive reviews that John was getting, part of him openly questioning the validity of the reviews to me. In the face of the positive feedback that he was hearing about the course he said:

“But those are just words. Show me results.”

Bob was quite the skeptic, and with all the scams and fraud that have occurred over the internet over the years…I can’t say that I can blame him.

I was going to attempt to summarize our email exchange, but I think there’s no better way than to share the actual email exchange between the two of us.

Here was my first email response to Bob:

Hi Bob,

Thanks for checking out the testimonial.

To answer your question about ‘average’ people making money with John’s techniques – that’s tricky.

First of all – ‘average’ is a matter of opinion. When it comes to the average person who starts a gym membership, goes on a diet or who (more often than not) purchases a course online – many don’t even show up much less have the discipline to reap the rewards.

I sincerely hope that you’re not ‘average’ if you want to achieve results of any kind.

In fact, I think you’re probably above average anyway because you’ve researched this topic and emailed me about it. You’re taking action right there; I wouldn’t be surprised to know that half of the musicians out there don’t want to have anything to do with marketing or sales of any kind of their art…

Having said that, I’m also a member of John Oszajca’s Insider Circle and I can tell you that there are people applying what they’ve learned and are seeing results.

John goes into deeper marketing tactics then what is in the music marketing manifesto – but the people who succeed with either course are the ones who actually apply what they learn and keep at it to the point where it becomes a ‘good habit’.

These people are increasing their fan base and generating new sales but are not celebrities or pseudo-celebrities (like Billy Burke) – however they aren’t average in the sense that they are actually putting in the effort to make the training they invested in pay off for them.

I can’t guarantee that you’ll get results of any kind should you decide to purchase MMM 2.0 – but I’ve seen the content and it is solidly based on principles that do work.

There isn’t any bait and switch going on…but none of it will work if the person buying into it isn’t willing to put in some work.

So, if you want to spend $97 for the program and do nothing and expect results – you’re better off keeping the money.

Otherwise, if you can wrap your head around it and work the system that John has for you I’m certain that you can grow your audience and be happy with the results you get.

Hopefully this helps!

Mike

I thought I had summed things up pretty eloquently – but that was just the first email. Bob was still sweating the details, prompting another word response from yours truly:

Hi Bob,

If you’re happy with your current results, then there’s no need to invest in MMM.

If you’re not happy – then aside from the $97 and time, you have nothing to lose. If you buy and you don’t like it – you still have the option get your money back.

I’m not sure how you’re going to get better results without investing the time somewhere – whether it’s with the computer or whether it’s attempting to market to one person at a time…?

If you can’t establish a relationship with your audience – then people will just buy music for cheap or get it for free. Establishing a relationship takes time and requires authenticity – and you have to have something worthwhile to offer and give them a reason to buy.

Many bands for years (especially metal bands) made more money off merchandise sales than they made off ticket sales – this is similar today in that it’s damn near impossible to profit selling 99 cent songs. You have to have more to offer than just that.

You can study business and marketing as well – the benefit of John’s MMM course is that he’s taking some of that training and applying it to the music industry in ways that work.

Just my two cents.

Mike

In Bob’s last email to me, he admitted that he was ‘leaning toward’ purchasing MMM, but then started throwing in more obstacles in his way:

Would 3.0 be coming soon? What if he bought 2.0 first – would he get free upgrades? Was there a lot of solid Youtube content in there? Youtube was his “main gig” online…

Let me “land the plane” on the point I’m trying to make here.

Bob was a nice guy. Bob was a smart guy….for all I know, Bob could be one incredibly talented and professional musician.

But Bob wasn’t in the right mindset; he was full of fear.

When you’re in fear mode, you don’t succeed.

Everything shuts down.

You tighten and tense up and no matter how hard you try – you just don’t get the results you set out for.

Bob claims it wasn’t about the money.

But even though he could get his money back at any time in the first 30 days – he didn’t put his money on the line. He brought up almost every possible excuse, what about ‘ordinary’ people? What about future updates/upgrades?

Sure, these were logical questions to ask, but they were also coming from the perspective of someone who is fearful.

In the end, I’m sure Bob spent more time interviewing me and others then it would have taken for him to sign up for the course and put in a solid 2 or 3 hours and see if it really was for him or not…instead of relying on third party accounts in order for him to make up his mind.

I’m not going to get too deep into this, but I’m pretty sure that MMM wasn’t right for Bob because he would rather create obstacles for himself instead of taking direct action, investing in the course and making something positive happen.

I’m not any better than Bob – God knows I’ve talked myself out of opportunities before as well. We’re all pretty good at putting together a list of rational sounding alibis to keep us from having to stick our neck out and be accountable for making good things happen in our lives….

…I’m probably more guilty than Bob or anybody else reading this of playing to “not lose” instead of going for broke to win.

I’m also known for taking a long time to get to the point – this post has already ballooned past 1300 words I still haven’t “landed the plane” yet.

So here’s the moral of the story – like I said in my first email response to Bob – you don’t want to be average, you don’t want to be ordinary for one very big reason – ordinary people are not successful.

It’s like that statistic that became a joke (or is it a joke that has been mixed up as being a true statistic?) that the average person thinks that they’re smarter than average…it just doesn’t add up.

Average people have New Year’s Resolutions to lose 50 pounds on Dec 31st and are back to killing beers and gorging on Big Macs by January 1oth.

Average people are more concerned about right now then they are about 1, 2, 5 or 10 years down the road. So they don’t do something today that builds towards a better future.

And the average musician does one of two things when it comes to an opportunity like Music Marketing Manifesto 2.0:

  1. They talk themselves out of doing it – with a laundry list of reasons (rational lies) why they’re smart for not spending the money and time.
  2. They signup and then don’t take the necessary action to succeed. They self destruct – in the process some of them go so far as to blame the teacher.

So do you really want to be average?

Do you want to wake up one day and realize that everything you ever really wanted in life just sort of slipped through your fingers while you were busy watching TV, playing videos, getting drunk or some other distraction. A distraction…that oddly enough you only indulged in because you were so sick and tired of your depressing life that you needed some form of escape.

Now at this point, I think its safe to say that the ‘average people’ have long since left.

Average people don’t read blog posts over 500 words much less over 1,600 (and still counting).

So here’s the secret to success that you’ve been waiting for it.

Like all such secrets, it is not only deceptively simple, but insidiously difficult to make happen. You have to undo the years of ‘average-ness’ that’s been wired into us by society since we first started going to school  – but it’s possible.

The secret comes down to a single word. But it’s going to take me a few more to explain it and to get my point across…so I hope you packed a lunch!

The secret to success as a musician or anything else for that matter is one thing:

Consistency.

Nothing more, nothing less.

How do we get better at anything in life? By taking action, measuring the results by both negative and positive feedback, refining our efforts and taking action again. We have to take consistent action to get better at anything, whether it’s lifting weights, running a marathon, singing, writing songs or performing live.

Practice makes perfect.

When you fear something, you talk yourself out of taking action for fear that you might fail. What if you get physically hurt? Or even worse – shamed, humility or embarrassed? You can’t try something new – that’s too risky…better the devil you know then the one you don’t…

So how do you get consistent?

1) You need to have a measurable end goal: for most of you reading this – I’m suggesting it would be making a full time living as a musician.

2) You need a plan – a set of actions that will take you one step closer to your goal.

3) You need to commit. Embrace the fear of the unknown and the potential to fail. It’s only failure if you stop when it happens – keep on trying until you succeed.

4) Take action – stop trying and start doing. Stop thinking and start acting. Stop talking and start performing/creating/marketing/selling.

5) Now do it everyday. Yes – every f’n’ single day. You don’t get anywhere part time. This is the consistency part. Steps 1-4 are ultimately useless if you don’t take action every day to build up momentum.

6) Feedback & Response – What’s working? What isn’t? Refine what you’re doing and take action again. This is the “rinse and repeat” portion of the formula.

Okay, I lied.

Success is about more than just consistency – it’s also about doing more of what works and less of what doesn’t.

That way you can actually start making progress. If you don’t make progress, your resolve will eventually wilt and you’ll go back to being ‘average’ again.

There’s a saying that I love that goes like this: “You can either make money, or you can make excuses – but you can’t make both.” At the end of the day, if you want to succeed in music – you have to commit yourself to it. You have to take consistent action and you have to hold yourself accountable instead of blaming others.

  • There is no silver bullet.
  • There is no magical war hammer.
  • There is no magic ring.
  • There is no Pick of Destiny.

You have to make up your own mind and make it happen. You have to do your own pushups and you have to decided that you’re going to succeed no matter what. Even if you make some colossal screw ups along the way.

Having said all this, if you’re committed to earning a living as a musician and you’re willing to put in the work – ‘do your own pushups’ and hold yourself accountable – then you could do a lot worse than to follow the teaching that John Oszjaca is sharing in Music Marketing Manifesto 3.0.

It’s closing later today (Oct 22/13) so you don’t have a lot of time left for sitting on the fence. If you’re not ready to commit and consistently work toward your goal of a full time income as a musician – then don’t bother buying into MMM 3.0 – you’ll be wasting your time and money.

You’re either ready or your not. If you are – then consider joining up and saving yourself and extra $50.

Check out Music Marketing Manifesto Here.

John will give you a lot of the “How” that you need to be able to meet success – it’s just up to you to take steady action. Anything that you don’t already know, you’ll pick up along the way.

Now start kicking ass!

Mike

P.S. Yes, that’s an affiliate link. I’ll get a buck or two should you decide to invest in MMM 3.0 – if that doesn’t sit well with you then I’m sure you can just Google Music Marketing Manifesto 3.0 and side step any possible monetary gain that I could have.

P.P.S. This is an epic post…I’d be surprised if anyone reads it all…

 

 

 

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Making Music Full Time – Trading Time for Money http://indiebandalliance.com/making-music-full-time-trading-time-for-money http://indiebandalliance.com/making-music-full-time-trading-time-for-money#comments Sat, 31 Aug 2013 12:21:53 +0000 http://indiebandalliance.com/?p=1504 I recently stumbled upon a great article by professional bassist Damian Erskine that deals with the realities of earning a living while making music full time. I highly suggest you read the article if you want to make music for a living (and get the most out of this article), it’s a bit of a […]

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Gene Simmons in shades and a suit, a man who knows how to make music (and money) full time.

Gene Simmons knows how to stop trading time for money!

I recently stumbled upon a great article by professional bassist Damian Erskine that deals with the realities of earning a living while making music full time.

I highly suggest you read the article if you want to make music for a living (and get the most out of this article), it’s a bit of a wake up call to anyone who doesn’t have a full understanding of the work involved.

http://www.notreble.com/buzz/2013/08/28/life-as-a-working-bassist-where-does-the-money-come-from/

Making Music Full Time

Damian does a great job of describing the realities of touring as a bassist for hire and breaks down exactly where his income comes from. For the record, this is directly applicable to other musicians too – it has little to do with what instrument you play.

When you look at how hard musicians like Damian work to make a living, it’s difficult not to respect them and appreciate their commitment to making ends meet without the day job. But if you check out this article and feel daunted at the prospect of signing up for a lifestyle with inconsistent pay and grueling schedules of late nights and constant touring…there is another way.

Before I state my alternative, let me make two fundamental statements that are (in my opinion) essential for you to agree with if you want to work smarter, not harder to make ends meet as a musician.

  1. “You’ll never get rich working for someone else”
  2. “You’ll never get rich playing other people’s music”

[Note – The exception to this rule would be someone like Robert Trujillo who Metallica paid $1,000,000 upon hiring as their latest bassist, but he’s the exception that proves the rule.]

But let’s go back to Damian’s income sources.

He provides percentages for each of his income sources and after making some quick calculations, it’s plain to see that 87% of his income is dependent on him physically being somewhere at a specific time for a certain duration. Gigging, teaching, sessions, clinics etc. all fit into this category.

By his own admission, while he affords a modest income with a mortgage and two cars, Damian states that he and his wife are “vulnerable” without having much of a financial safety net.

For instance, what happens if he got seriously ill or injured and couldn’t play? How would Damian be able to offset his ability to work/perform then?

So what’s the alternative here? Is it possible to not only earn a full time income as a musician but also free up the time demands?

Trading Time for Money

At some point along his career path, Damian has made the decision to focus on performing music to make a living, this is true for the bulk of musicians out there – but it is the hardest way to make a secure and consistent income. This is because you don’t get paid unless you are in a specific place, at a specific time for a specific amount of time.

This essentially means that the more money you want to earn, the more of your own time you have to give up.

It also puts a ceiling on the amount of money that it’s even possible to make. There are only 24 hours in a day and 7 days a week. You can raise the amount you’re paid per hour, but charge too much and soon nobody will be able to afford you…

Damian freely admits that he’s not a song writer and dismisses his abilities to earn a living that way. He also hints that others who talk about making money tend to focus on passive income sources, and that’s what I’m going to recommend you look into if you want to be a full time musician without the grueling schedule and financial uncertainty.

Taking your Time Back while Earning More Money

Ownership – Create assets, a website, songs, merchandise, training/teaching that you own so that you have the control and get the lion’s share of the earnings when sales occur. Ownership = options. As an owner you collect royalties, can sell assets or license them out. None of which requires you to be in a particular place at a particular time to be paid. Some of these options mean that you’ll be paid repeatedly for work that you did only once – that’s the sweet spot right there!

Pay Yourself First – This is going to sound like financial advice, but I’m actually talking about using your own talents to benefit yourself before anyone else. In other words, if you write articles for magazines, jingles for other people, photography for others, websites for other people – whatever…also do it for yourself. Invest in yourself at least 1 hour a day. You may not see a cent from this work in the short term, but this will be exclusive work that down the road could become an income source that you control. In the meantime, you’re building a good habit and investing in yourself.

Leverage

1) Sell products instead of your time. When you sell a product, you get paid without having to be at a specific place or time, this allows for time freedom. You don’t want to trade your time for money, because the more money you make means the less freedom you have. It’s the ultimate worse case scenario where even if you make a lot of money, you won’t have the time or freedom to actually enjoy it! Think about everything you do and how you can package it up into a product that can be sold.

2) “One to Many” versus “One to One”. Would your rather have 5 students paying $30/hour or 100 students paying $5 each for an online bass clinic? For the activities you enjoy doing that still require your time – this is an alternative that gives you the maximum leverage to earn more with less hours spent.

Marketing/Promotion – It’s not enough to merely have something to sell, if nobody knows it exists or how it will benefit them then you’ll have a very hard time getting sales of any kind.

Allow up to an hour a day to promote yourself. When done consistently and tracked, you can determine what works best and do more of it and less of what doesn’t work. With some good marketing behind you, not only will your sales increase but so will your authority and reputation, allowing you to not only sell more product more easily but to also charge more. This is especially true if you make it to ‘celebrity’ status in your market.

Money Doesn’t Just “Happen”

By now I’m sure that the skeptics are out in full force. They’ll look at the points above and say that it’s too much work and effort to make more money. Excuses like, “I’m not a marketer”, “I’m not a song writer”, “I suck with technology”, “I’m not talented enough”, are all rational lies that keep you from your true income potential.  There’s a great saying that comes to mind when I hear excuses like these:

“You can make money, or you can make excuses – but you can’t make both.”

The fact is, if you want to make a living as a musician like Damian does you’ll be exerting effort either way.The difference is if you build your career by focusing more on products and marketing that you’ll be able to grow to the point where you eventually earn more with less time.

Remember how bad you were at playing your instrument when you first started out?

You didn’t just happen to “get good”, you put in hours and hours of time on the instrument. You practiced scales, learned about theory, built up your blisters, invested in gear, lessons, music, sheet music and tab books.

While there is always more to learn and another technique to perfect as a musician, I’m suggesting that maybe it’s time to sharpen a few other skills so that you can start growing your income as well.

You’ll need to outgrow the limiting beliefs and perceptions that are currently holding you back.

If you’re already busy like Damian, you’ll need to actively take a step back and cut back on some of what you do now to grow your business. This will mean passing up money to work on your own business; taking the long road instead of the short term rewards of cash right now.

The point is that a successful career in any field doesn’t just happen – it needs to be planned and executed. There will be some wrong turns and dead ends along the way, but you’ll learn from it and get back on the highway again. Eventually, you discover that you’re on your way towards a better lifestyle.

Perhaps the biggest takeaway I can leave you with is this: it is because of the choices you’ve made in your life that you are where you are right now. Making the same choices will keep you where you are, but making new ones offer alternatives.

Getting back to Damian again, he’s doing a lot of what I’ve talked about here.

  1. He has his own website (www.damianerskine.com)
  2. He has his own products.

He gets paid to write articles for sites like Notreble, but forget about the money – more importantly each article is marketing who he is and what he does to his targeted audience of bass players. He’s building his own reputation and authority each time his articles are published on a well-regarded website or magazine and when he takes the stage with well-regarded musicians and bands.

I’d suggest that if anyone has the ability to grow their passive income and rely less on income from performance – it’s Damian. It could be as simple as investing that hour a day to marketing and looking into a few of those leverage points I touched on above.

You can also check out my free 1K Fan Formula Report that is one approach to building a six figure income as a musician.

Thanks for reading this, and until next time – keep working hard, but also work smart!

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Gmail Changes Could Hurt Open Rates http://indiebandalliance.com/gmail-changes-hurt-open-rates http://indiebandalliance.com/gmail-changes-hurt-open-rates#comments Sun, 28 Jul 2013 00:54:52 +0000 http://indiebandalliance.com/?p=1477 Regardless of whether you’re a fan of Google or not – you need to take action about a change they made with Gmail that could hurt your open rates. Gmail has now added three tabs that automatically filter your inbox for you. They are: Primary Social Promotions I first noticed the changes about 10 days […]

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Gmail tabs could hurt your open rateRegardless of whether you’re a fan of Google or not – you need to take action about a change they made with Gmail that could hurt your open rates.

Gmail has now added three tabs that automatically filter your inbox for you. They are:

  1. Primary
  2. Social
  3. Promotions

I first noticed the changes about 10 days ago, but apparently they are still being phased in depending on what part of the world you’re in.

Now at first, as purely a Gmail user – I kind of liked the change. Immediately, my inbox was less cluttered and the social media notices and promotional emails where conveniently filtered away where I could check them out later when I had more time.

The problem is – who ever ends up having “more time”? Certainly not me.

The other problem is, though technically filtered into the “promotions” tab – there are some valuable emails that I get sometimes every day that I look forward to that I was starting to miss, simply because of the change.

When I saw the backlash from the marketing circles about this presumption of Google/Gmail to just automatically filter everyone’s email without any permission and compared my own experience on missing out on “promo” emails that I actually wanted to read in a timely fashion – I realized that there had to be a solution.

Thankfully, I first heard about how to address this issue from Derek Halpern and Marie Forleo. It only takes a few minutes and I show you how to do it in this video.

Now, not only is this important for the emails that you receive, but don’t forget that anyone receiving your emails most likely will have you filtered into the promotions category as well unless you have them take the steps I showed you in the video.

So make sure you let your fanbase know as well – that if they use Gmail they need to take control of their inbox right away.

Was this video useful? What do you think of the changes to Gmail? Is Google on the right track with this update or are they doing more harm than good? Have you say in the comments below.

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The End of The World? http://indiebandalliance.com/the-end-of-the-world http://indiebandalliance.com/the-end-of-the-world#comments Thu, 20 Dec 2012 07:00:55 +0000 http://indiebandalliance.com/?p=1424 Some people think that today will be the end of the world because the Mayan calendar dating back thousands of years ends today. While there are no guarantees in life, I think it’s a pretty safe bet that most of us will wake up tomorrow morning to the same world we woke up to every […]

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Some people think that today will be the end of the world because the Mayan calendar dating back thousands of years ends today. While there are no guarantees in life, I think it’s a pretty safe bet that most of us will wake up tomorrow morning to the same world we woke up to every other day of our life.

The end of the worldWhat if today really was your last day on the Earth?

  • Would you look back on it feeling good about the life you lived? The goals your achieved?
  • Would your music die inside you without anyone being able to hear it?
  • Did your music fall on deaf ears?
  • Did you spin your wheels but not really get anywhere?

So while it might not be the The End of The World today, it could be the First Day of The Rest of Your Life tomorrow!

The New Year is just around the corner, so contemplating “The End Of The World” is a great way to reflect on your life and gear up for 2013.

If you’re not quite where you want to be, that’s okay.

It’s easy to get caught up in the distractions of life and end up not focusing on the really important things. You now have the choice to make a change or wake up tomorrow and fall back into the same old routine….

Here’s a strategy that – if you apply it to your life – will get you results.

  1. Set a goal.
  2. Make it specific and quantifiable.
  3. Write it down.
  4. Break it down to monthly/weekly & daily targets
  5. Start tracking it.
  6. Put this somewhere you can see it and focus on it each day.

Why does this work?

Because it helps you to focus on what you want, and then you’re paying attention to it each day.
Tracking your progress will help you to take action and get smarter about what you’re doing – and hardly anyone does this!

There’s a saying in business that “you can’t manage what you can’t measure”. Once you start measuring your results, you can take action to change them.

Here’s an example; say your goal is to sell more of your music in 2013.
The first thing you need to do is make it quantifiable – what is “more?”  10%? 50%? Pick whatever it is and assign a number. If you sold 100 cds and your goal is to increase sales by 50% then write that your goal is to sell 150 cds.

Now work backwards – if your goal is to sell 150 cds per month or per week, break it down to a daily number of sales.
Now start tracking it.
Graph it out in a spreadsheet. Each day write down your sales. If it’s “0”, put that in.

This is counter-intuitive, because most of us would rather not be confronted by our lack of progress.
But what happens is that it forces you to change what you’re doing. It shows you exactly that whatever you’re doing – or not doing – is not getting you to reach your goals.

It shakes you back into awareness, every single day that you’re either making progress or going nowhere fast.

You’ll have to decide to either change your actions or give up.

If you’re going to give up on this – guess what, you’re not going to get much of anything that you want in life.

If you stick with it, you’ll find that you really get sick of putting up “0”s every day. You’ll start to think of new ways to get even one sale and you’ll be more motivated to take action.

So, if you wake up tomorrow and the world is unchanged, but you want to start making more progress for a change… try it out and let me know how it works for you.

Leave a comment below if you “really” think the world is going to end today!

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