The Core Operating Principle for achieving Music Business Liberation is to use the modern toolset, the resources of the modern project studio and the Career OS-to develop our assets (content, skills, and fan-base) doing what we were born to do.
To build our unique, long-term assets and get paid to do what we love, (for those that love what we do) on our own terms.
The Artists Revolution, which is the much bigger movement that’s happening right now, that we’re both on the forefront of-is about the evolution of artistry from the inside out. That Artists are actually in control of their destiny, not “gatekeepers” or some outside force.
The shift starts in the mindset, but then also requires the skills, (what we call the Entrepreneurial Skill-set) as well as the creative use of the tools… (what we call the modern toolset) Which ultimately ends in sharing our stories, style, our art, with an audience that supports us, on the channel and format we choose.
Today you are going to learn how this all ties together in a practical way through Chuck’s Story. I hope it will inspire you and speak to you in the way it’s intended. It is a testament to our kind. It’s why i’m proud and glad to be able to do this.
Grassroots Music Career Development – Case Study
You see Chuck had just about declared it hopeless. He had been a struggling artist for years before he finally made the breakthroughs that I’m going to share with you.
Chuck was a talented, good natured, Singer Songwriter with an incredibly soulful style of acoustic rock, with a bit of folk and Americana in there as well.
A seasoned coffee shop performer and regular at the local venues Chuck had built a good reputation in his town and drew a loyal crowd when he played a show. He had a couple hundred people on his mailing list, and almost all of them were local fans that he knew on a first name basis.
He had a wife and kid and a decent paying job, and was overall pretty happy and appreciative of the life he lived. The bills got paid, kept the fridge full and had the love and support of his family…
But he knew that there was more. He knew that the encouraging words his wife would often tell him were true… “You could be making a full time career out of your music, honey.” She’d tell him with encouragement.
But chuck knew that there was more. He knew that the encouraging words his wife would often tell him were true… “You could be making a full time career out of your music, honey”. She’d say in her sweet tone of voice.
In fact he’d told me he was thinking about auditioning for the voice and American idol or the x factor!
“well, why havent you? I asked. It’s not that simple, he said. He then proceeded to explain how his wife and 4 year old needed him around…
“Does turning pro make you unable to be there for you family?” I asked with curiosity.
“well not necessarily I suppose.”
We went back and forth as I politely probed and prodded until we finally had it pinned.
There were quite a few emotions expressed and I was introduced to some of his creative growth traps. I told him that the obstacles were not abnormal, but that I had a few concerns.
After a long discussion we had made a couple major breakthroughs, and had gotten to the heart of the matter.
In essence, chuck had over complicated the heck out of what could have been a pretty standard, follow the yellow brick road path to a full time living writing, recording, producing, and performing his music.
First off, he had a terrible case of starving artist syndrome…. His mindset gap was largely limited by beliefs that he wasn’t able to, or wasn’t any good at marketing or selling.
“I’m just not a salesman,” he’d say with his hands in the air.
Through a series of epiphanies and breakthroughs he slowly started to make the shift from starving artist into a modern artist and CEO of his very own content business.
He began to curb that nasty SAS bug by developing the entrepreneurial skill-set. He became ever more mindful of logistics and his ability to solve problems and look for solutions in as many places and situations as he could.
The overwhelm and over complication was largely caused by a lack of not having a marketing plan, not knowing where to begin and how to use the tools. We formulated a killer content strategy and a custom built roadmap for him to follow. This active blueprint kept things clear, simple, and gave him the easy ability to track his progress as well make modifications as things evolved.
We were able to pinpoint some of his hidden saboteurs and belief systems that caused some of his stagnation, complacency, and doubts. The transition was like watching someone trying to peddle a bike with the chain off, and then popped back into the socket and shifted into proper gear.
We got him grounded and focused on the precisely most valuable activities. Chuck began to focus on the CORE with discipline. The Fan Engagement Cycle. He followed the weekly regiment of his blueprints, each and every day making meaningful connections with new potential fans, using grassroots music marketing strategies and adding new people into his super-fan conversion system with consistency.
The Tipping Point of Self Perpetuating Music Business Momentum
After 90 days making roughly ten connections per day, chuck had a relationship database with over 1000 subscribers. Of that, a whopping 30% converted into backstage pass members, paying customers now receiving new content 2-4 times a month. With over 300 members now at $30 each month, chuck was now earning north of $6,000 each month to develop his music, his skills, and do what he loved full time.
Chuck started finding and pitching his music to licensing and placement opportunities, and eventually hired someone to do that as well as some other administrative tasks that took up time unnecessarily spent on things he didn’t need or want to do.
He started turning his shows into events, throwing contests and raffles and drawing larger and larger crowds each time. He began to treasure and nurture the relationships with his fans and share stories told to him by his backstage pass members, his newsletters and at shows.
He sold t shirts,virtual concert tickets, coffee mugs, dinner with chuck coupons, and more at his merch table. He had been well trained and now collected every last Email address he could scoop up at his gigs and when he made new connections.
He recently reported a 4 figure placement with a nice sync fee for one of his old tracks as well. Chuck now Had control. His wife couldn’t be more proud. He doesn’t need to be apart from his family, and he didn’t need to compromise. He just needed to make a few breakthroughs. He needed to embrace what it means to be a modern artist.
Modern Artist Enlightenment
Chuck now controls his fate. With an accurately identified diagnosis, a clear strategy, and a blueprint that was now his to customize, he was able to alter the road ahead-to merge with whatever goals he chose. Chuck now experiences endless freedom and fulfillment doing what he loves for those that love what he does.
He was very recently someone who just kept stumbling with several debilitating Creative Growth Traps. Perfectionism, over-complication, fractured focus and subtle forms of sabotage resulted in many almost finished projects and a ton of artist abuse because his ego and inner os were now all out of whack and he started to lose faith in himself at some level.
But we got to the real causes, which weren’t that hard to find after all and then finally made the breakthroughs once he understood the principles and core training for how to run a modern music business. Chuck happily embraced what it meant to be a modern artist. To develop the entrepreneurial skillset, to treat his career as the content business that is. Instead of confusing or over complicating all the digital technology and media choices, figuring out a lot of tech stuff, and spending hours frustrated in front of a computer screen. Chuck got back to focusing on the CORE, back to basics, the fundamentals, and trusting in the process as well as his doubts. He followed a proven set of steps, and a customized blueprint made precisely for him and his music business.
He learned the rules and how to play the New GAME. He committed and took responsibility. He consistently went out and made connections with real human beings on the street. He then made them a promise and handed them one of his guest passes he called his golden ticket. This was the start of a new relationship with potential fans he’d made a connection with. He’d sparked some interest and then generated a new subscriber and potential fan into his super simple super fan conversion system.
To add, or not to add – new access levels, products, merch… the choice was HIS.
He was quite pleased with how things had turned out. It took committed consistent effective effort, but it wasn’t all that complicated.
He didn’t know anything about business really, and had a handful of afflictions that were hindering his career.
It didn’t have to be perfect.
He was spinning his wheels going in several directions and he was feeling the pressure… But Chuck didn’t know where to go exactly, or what to do next!
I helped him leverage the best of both worlds by using the local, offline, aspect that many overlook to his advantage. Combined with the automation techniques i showed him how to harness the power of the modern toolset and he now had built a system that generated new fans (paying customers) for him and worked to develop relationships and streamline several processes he was wasting his time with manually-and was now able to spend more time focused on his Main Moves and the activities he most enjoyed.
The continual flow of new guest pass and backstage pass members added a compounding revenue stream and setup a steady stream of potential new fans that were on their way to becoming true and super-fans, and chuck was on his way to five figure monthly income with plenty of potential to expand.