How To Make Money in Music

By Kevin J Ryan
COPYRIGHT 2013 by Kevin J Ryan
All rights reserved
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
Copyright В© 2013 by Kevin J Ryan
Publisher KJR Publishing
Cover & Book design by Tigger & Jack
All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any
means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written
permission of the publisher. Exceptions are made for brief excerpts used in
published reviews.
First Edition: October 2012
ISBN - 978 0 9570660 0 7
This book is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information with
regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the
publisher and/or author are not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or
other professional advice. If legal advice or expert assistance is required, the
services of a competent professional person should be sought directly.
Neither Kevin J Ryan nor KJR Publishing can be held responsible for loss or
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recreate any action described in this publication. Using the information
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The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
The author, Kevin J Ryan, is available for a limited
number of speaking engagements and consulting
assignments about any aspect of
Making Money in Music
The Music Business
Music Marketing
For information, email:
[email protected]
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
Table of Contents
About The Author
Why I Wrote This Book
Step 1
Get Into Music Now!
There’s No Such Word as Can’t
Music’s Future
The Right Mindset
Make Money or Loan Money
Back to The Future
Step 2
The �X’ Factor
Do You Have �It’?
Defining the Unknown
Feel Good Factor
A Visual Thing
Wrong Effect
Xtra Ordinary!
Does �X’ Matter?
9 Top Tips
Nothing New Under the Sun
The Whole Package
Step 3
Identify Your Market
Plan for Success
Learn from Disney
Know Your Audience
Advertise, Advertise, Advertise
Advantage of the Niche Market
Success Story 1
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
Step 4
Recognize Opportunity
Open Your Mind
Avoid the Negative
Don’t be an Island
The Niche Opportunity
Whose Jeans Do You Wear?
Success Story 2
The Recognition Test
Step 5
Get Attention Develop Trust
The Real Value
Make a Lasting Impression
Social Media Advantage
Attention Building Web Tools
The Bold Action Strategy
Trust = Money
Don’t Be Interesting Be Interested
Website �Trust’ Tips
Increase Exposure!
Success Story 4
Step 6
Get More Fans Make More Money
Get Help Now!
Keep it Simple
Quick Build Fan Base
The Gorilla
Broadcast Yourself – YouTube
Social Media Money Tips
Success Story 5
Step 7
Make Money
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
The Business Model
Time/Work = Money
Future Passive Income
Multiple Revenue Streams
Revenue Opportunities
Success Story 6
Music Licensing
Doing the Deal
No Limits
Success Story 7
Big Mistake
Final Thoughts
What’s Next?
Make Money in Music BLUEPRINT
Thank You
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
Kevin J. Ryan is a music industry veteran of some 30 years having worked in
almost every aspect of music and the music business imaginable. A
consummate music entrepreneur he has been at the forefront of music business
developments since the early 70’s. In a career that has seen Kevin traverse
Artist & Repertoire (A&R), music publishing, artist management, rights
management, song writing and production right through to product development.
His story goes something like this: Born in the late fifties, learns to play piano at
age eight. By 1972, aged 16 he was addicted to all things music and knew that
music was something he wanted to BE a part of. At school with Weller, Foxton
and Buckler – later known as Paul Weller, Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler, or
The Jam to their fans – Kevin turns down an offer to join The Jam on the
grounds that he was into “serious” music. He had no interest in the whole punk
Following the death of his father in 1973 he’s now living in infamous
Leytonstone East London. He keeps his musical head above water aged 17 by
playing in a pub band on the weekends. He lands an assistant job at B&C
Records in London’s Soho Square. His talents don’t go unnoticed and he gets
scooped up by The Famous Charisma Records run at the time by UK music
industry veteran Tony Stratton Smith.
Working in Artist Promotions he gets actively involved in promoting a number of
artists signed to the label including Genesis, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, the Alan
Parsons Project and Lindisfarne. Kevin get’s exposed to every part of the
marketing mix learning how to build extensive media campaigns around artists
and projects.
Next stop is Head of Artist & Repertoire at Charisma. He now has the chance to
apply his creative vision in developing artists. Travel’s the UK searching out
new musical talent and coordinating studio projects with many of the UK’s
leading record producers.
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
By the mid eighties Kevin has taken a sabbatical from music is married, now
with two daughters and focused on family, spirituality and other business
interests. In the mid ninety’s Kevin moved back into composing, production and
music for commercials. Within five years he’s back in independent A&R and
artist development and sets up a new production company. Bringing his
business management and financial skills learnt outside the music business into
play he raises $1.4 million from city investors for a new music artist development
In recent years he’s been back making records and licensing music
independently worldwide. He’s also been coaching and mentoring songwriters,
bands and music makers helping them develop their creative skills and achieve
So what does all this mean to you, the reader? Well, in an industry that
struggles to keep up with technological developments, often meaning that
opportunities are missed and business models become impossible, Kevin J.
Ryan offers the insight, the understanding and the knowledge to help you
navigate your way to MAKING MONEY IN MUSIC.
In his career Kevin has constantly pushed the boundaries of business within the
music industry. His hunger, ability and talent have seen him launch ambitious
projects and raise millions of pounds. He’s also had his fair share of failures,
something that many would argue is more important than the successes in life
as this is where you learn the most, albeit in the most painful way.
Kevin’s Seven Step Success Formula model allows you to break down the
barriers of a career in music and take each step step-by-step. Unlike most other
people in the music industry, Kevin wants to help you by lifting the lid on how
this industry works. What you’ll learn in all of this is that the music industry, in
the most part, works in the same way as any other industry when you stop and
analyze it.
And the fact remains, there are more musicians making money in music than
ever before. If you want to know how, read on.
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
A couple of years ago a long time friend of mine effectively told me "write a
book." He knew of my music biz background and told me “Just Do It” - I didn’t.
Sometime after this I found myself slumped in a chair in my office one
afternoon feeling somewhat uninspired. I started rummaging in boxes and files
in my �store’ and started pulling out books thinking can I actually do that book?
One of the books I pulled out was David Geffen A Biography of New Hollywood
by Tom King. I've read most music biz type books over the years and tend to
use them as entertaining reference books.
Having entered music in the 70’s I am always getting people asking me about
did you know so and so or did that really happen? Or something comes up
where I recall some story of interest to satisfy the enquiring young mind. This
often leads to me saying “here read this book, but don’t take it as gospel”
I chucked the Geffen book down on the floor along with a pile of other's and
what should fall out? The Chateau Marmont hotel brochure! If you don’t know,
this is the legendary Hollywood hideaway said to be “as closely associated with
glamour as a hotel can be.”
The small brochure had obviously sat inside the book for some years since my
last visit. This made me stop and think about what I'd been doing in music
since that visit to Hollywood some years earlier.
Most of the time I'd spent involved in music always working as an independent.
Having an idea, songwriting and recording, starting a music production or
publishing company, getting it financed (Big Mistake), making records and
music (that was fun).
This would often include spending time helping develop new artists, bands
songwriters and music producers.
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
Some of the time was spent working in partnership with or doing business with
what are called the majors (Universal, Sony, EMI = Headache) but always with
an independent’s hat on.
Most importantly this involved making music and money (great!). Sometimes
losing money (crap!) a valuable lesson in itself.
Just recently another friend of mine said to me "I’m not a musician who is in it
for the money" He makes very little money online and a few thousand dollars
each year playing live gigs. His music is also released via independent labels
in Europe so that brings in extra cash. Is he successful and happy? - Yep!
Often people think that you have to be up with the superstars to be making
money in music – that is simply not true.
The purpose of this book is to help today’s music makers, musicians, bands,
artists, performers, realize that it is possible to be successful and make money
from your music. Making money is possible offline and online without having to
be a superstar or sign your life away to some music business corporation.
Whatever your situation if you want to Make Money in Music no matter what
stage you're at right now then the seven step formula outlined in this book is
going to help you succeed.
Music and the music business is what I know - Music is something I'm still
hugely passionate about and I love to help other creative people achieve their
goals and ambitions.
If sharing my knowledge, experience and observations helps someone like you
focus and succeed then that will have made all my efforts worthwhile. This is
what motivated me to get this thing done! (Ok - I was pushed, but hey
sometimes we all need a little push!) Maybe it's now my turn to push you?
On a personal level if you are really serious about wanting to Make Money in
Music then you probably already have the entrepreneurial spirit. Try to
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
remember some people dream of great accomplishments, others stay awake
and do them.
If you're looking for help with the �How to’ side of things then this book has
some solid practical suggestions you can use.
Some of the ideas or approaches may seem a bit unorthodox but it’s what I
know so keep an open mind as it worked for me and it may work for you.
Apply the seven step success formula in this book and you will be well on your
way to success and most importantly you will know how to MAKE MONEY IN
Kevin J Ryan
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
"Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past
or present are certain to miss the future” John F Kennedy.
(1917 - 1963)
Today's music scene is best described in one word, "CHANGE" Everything has
changed dramatically in the last ten years. With this in mind Make Money in
Music gives you an overview of what’s needed to be successful and to make
money in music from here on in!
How well you do and how quickly you start generating money largely depends
on how you approach your music business. How To Make Money in Music is
all about just that - How to get you to a 'pay day' as quickly as possible. There
are no short cuts!
If you're looking for info on How to Start a Band? How to get gigs? Need
Recording tips or advice, want a manager (Don't!) want to get a record deal,
need to know about recording or music publishing contract's -This book is not
for you!
The book has a number of real life experiences and shares the stories of some
who have already been successful. Most of them you probably won’t know by
name but they are happy doing the thing they love, making music and making
money. You may just decide to join them.
If you're planning on world domination as a music recording or performing artist
– great! Somebody has to be next. It could be you! The experiences and
advice in the book will set you on the right road. If on the other hand you’re a
beginner don’t panic this is all achievable stuff nothing overly complicated
going on here.
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
Those of you already active in music will no doubt be involved in a variety of
musical fields. You may be a vocalist performer, singer/songwriter, working
within music technology or be an up and coming music producer. Are you a
band member, guitarist, bass player, instrumentalist or maybe you are the
How To Make Money in Music gives you the seven step success formula
needed so you can make money from your music. It's packed with practical
suggestions plus Success Stories that hopefully you will try to replicate
All seven steps are important - Don't miss any one of them out. Each step you
implement will quickly move you closer to success and that 'pay day'. Each
step concludes with a �Call to Action’ and at the back of the book is Make
Money in Music Blueprint. You can use this to set out your action plan.
The internet brings to music makers all kinds of opportunities along with a
requirement for a bit of tech savvy. If this is not you don’t be put off. You can
always find someone who loves all that kind of internet 'know how' to help you.
Do a deal if you must - but don't get bogged down with the techie online stuff.
One thing has not changed about the music business - it doesn’t do
guarantees! Nine times out of ten it's all about YOU - Your MINDSET - Your
Approach - Your Determination - As you've heard said already - Just Do it!
What’s exciting now is you have a real chance to Make Money in Music as a
DIY Musician. You can reach even greater heights if you seize the opportunity.
Somebody said to me, 'But the Beatles were anti-materialistic.'
That's a huge myth. John and I literally used to sit down and
say, 'Now, let's write a swimming pool.' Paul McCartney
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
Step 1
Get Into Music Now!
“If you have the opportunity to play this game of life you need to
appreciate every moment. A lot of people don't appreciate the
moment until it's passed.”
Kanye West
I always remember my father saying that to me as a kid and it has stuck with
me all my life. Thus far in my life there have been several experiences to do
with music and money where people have said “you can’t do that” or “it's not
possible” or something along those lines.
I have always taken the view you can! Like I mentioned before when they are
saying "you can’t do that" you need to be thinking I CAN!
I remember one occasion when I was looking to get investment funding for a
new music production company project a few years back. Everybody around
me was saying “can’t”
At the time I remember Pete Waterman the record producer was actually on
the TV news in London saying this kind of investment was just not possible
anymore. Various other record industry insiders all seemed to suddenly be on
the other side of the fence! And I thought we were all on the same side us
music lot!
You know how this is going to end don’t you? I got the funding, over $1.2
million for the project and just carried on regardless.
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
So what’s all this got to do with getting into music now? Well I’m no prophet
and I’m not about to try and predict how all this is going to turn out but, I will
say this.
All this negativity about the future of music and artists being unable to profit
from their music or from online activities I think is being generated by a certain
group who just want to keep the status quo (not the group).
Fact is the record business specifically will never be what it was ever again.
From the stand point of recording artists is that really such a bad thing? I don’t
think so. Change has been long overdue for years in many aspects of the
The up side of all this is that the wider music business is in a very healthy and
very exciting state so my feeling is - this is a great time to be in the music biz
as a writer, performer or as a music entrepreneur.
The people already playing a role in today’s music and music’s future are those
working closely with music artists and endeavoring to engage more specific
audiences, to provide them with great quality music. Certainly music is already
playing a differing role to some degree and is being used in new ways when it
comes to communication and marketing.
In the future this will result in even greater opportunities to monetize premium
product offerings, merchandise and hopefully will motivate those with the
creativity to come up with the right kind of appealing offers to satisfy fans and
give them real value for money.
Many independent artists are already doing this successfully and this is
something you need to be thinking about when it comes to YOU Making Money
in Music.
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
This is why SOCIAL NETWORKING and interactivity is so important for those
who want to get in to Music Now or want to be a part of the next generation
music business.
Let me just clarify here, when I talk about this �business’ I’m not thinking of my
old mates at Sony, EMI, Universal and Warner. They know they’ve got to sort
out their record biz model.
No I’m thinking about YOUR music business or YOU the ARTIST working with
a new and better approach. One that works better especially for music
creators or talented artists and all those who bring us really valuable
entertainment that we love and enjoy.
There are a number of music entrepreneurs, managers, artists and indie labels
already successfully using this approach. These people recognize the value of
what is sometimes referred to as a �new currency’ and that is attention.
When you have people’s attention, if you’re smart, this can be turned into real
money. This may take creativity but isn’t that what it’s all about?
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
"I always thought I should be treated like a star" – Madonna
Your outlook has a big part to play in all this. For now the best way I can
elaborate is to give you a visual image, one you can see on film if you want.
Have you ever seen the film "Sexy Beast"? I love that moment it’s about 6 or 7
minutes into the movie - Gal played by Ray Winstone and Dee Dee played by
actress Amanda Redmond are with friends having a relaxed evening by the
pool at their villa in Spain.
In sweeps the most lush and beautiful piece of music; Lujon by Henry Mancini
and his Orchestra. This has to be one of the most romantic and sensual string
and orchestration arrangements ever!
This is beautiful piece of music and it fits perfectly with the moment on film
between Gal and Dee Dee. I absolutely love it. It’s a fantastic magically
charged moment. If you’ve never seen the film, go get it even just for this clip
and watch it.
Be warned the language in the film is extremely graphic and just in case you
didn’t know, Lujon was originally written for the TV series Mr Lucky in the 50’s
– Great songs and great music are built to last, that’s what I know.
Ok when it comes to music and creative people making money the point I really
wanted to make is this. It’s something said in the film and this is the reason I
called it to mind.
It’s simply this Teddy Bass played by Ian McShane along with Don Logan
played by Ben Kingsley are talking about the possibility of breaking into a
supposedly impregnable bank to commit the ultimate robbery.
What is their take on the apparent problem? It’s quite simple:
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
“Where there’s a will, there’s a way and there’s always a
******* way”
That’s it in a nutshell and I bet you've heard that expression more than once in
your life. It's all about YOUR MINDSET there always will be and there is
always going to be ways found for creative people to be rewarded for their
There are already ways for you to Make Money in Music and in the future the
possibilities are likely to increase if you have the right mindset and take
advantage of the 7 Step Formula outlined in this book.
Just think about the internet for a moment - not that long ago only the 'geeks'
were able to play the internet game and make money! Now it's wide open.
Everything is changing and changing fast. It doesn't matter what business
you're in everyone and everything is affected.
Right now there is a fantastic world of opportunity so become a part of it and
keep moving forward. Maybe you can get involved in finding new ways and
approaches to monetizing your creativity for yourself or you can benefit from
the experience of those who have already got there before you.
Maybe you'll take the plunge and apply some of the suggestions in this book if you want to succeed you’re going to have to get your feet wet and Get Into
Music Now!
You don’t want to miss the future!
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
Just think about the changes you have seen in music and its distribution in the
last few years. Less than ten years ago in 2003 Apple Computer introduced its
downloadable music service via iTunes. Two years previously Apple had
introduced the iPod music player! Who uses CD's anymore?
You probably won’t believe this but it was back in 1988 that CD sales
worldwide overtook good old vinyl LP sales! Were you even born then? Don't
worry LP's had arrived right back in the late 40’s - Even I wasn't around then!
This just helps get you thinking and sets the scene - I sometimes use the term
next generation music biz in this book to describe the music business from
here on and into the future. The reality is the game has changed - If you want
to MAKE MONEY IN MUSIC - change is a requirement for success.
The first 33 1/3 LP was released in 1948 on Columbia Records - the recorded
music business sprang up and it's that business that has been in decline over
recent years. Now as a musician or performing artist I’m pretty sure you want
to make money from your creativity whatever form it takes, just as composers
and performers did before the phonograph even arrived.
I want you to grasp the concept of YOU �Making Money in Music’ as soon as
possible. You need that mindset early on in your music career or as soon as
possible once you've absorbed the contents of this book.
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
Even if it's only a small pay day at first over time you can earn far more than
you probably realize if you focus and present what you do in the right way. I
want you to understand that this is a better way than entering the world of the
loan business.
What do I mean by this? When musicians and bands got hooked up in the
record business they entered the world of the loan business. Often without
even realizing what was going on.
If you have ever had the privilege of entering a loan agreement you hopefully
understand that it is on the terms primarily acceptable to those making the loan
available to you.
As with credit companies today their trick is to keep you, 'the borrower', in debt
year in and year out so you are never really able to repay the debt but rather
always paying back interest at some ridiculous level.
That is how the mainstream �traditional’ record business operated in the past
and still operates today in many areas. From its very inception and up through
the decades, right up until today.
Amazingly you still get some misguided bands and artists working on a
premise that goes something like this. Do what we do, get noticed, get signed
to a record deal, get a fat advance (loan!) and off we go.
The reasoning is, if we are massively successful, which of course you will be,
you will pay off that advance and all will be well. Wrong, chances are you are
going to be kept in debt by the record company, no let’s call it �Credit
Company’, long term.
So I’m anti record companies? No, not totally. What I am opposed to is
starting from a position of weakness. Not really thinking about the end game
before you hit the �Go’ button.
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
There are artists today that have started out very organically they have been
actively involved in Music DIY and grown their fan base, had a significant level
of success and then decided to do a deal with the Devil! No I’m joking.
What they’ve decided is that there is a more workable deal to be done with a
record company where perhaps they can have access to an international
marketing and distribution infrastructure. Maybe they felt this was impossible
any other way and they get a deal that is structured better financially for them.
So when I talk about how to earn real money from your music that is literally
what I mean. Real money that you get in return for product or services
rendered. Starting out with low cost, low overhead, a budget that you control
and that can give you a bigger return on investment.
Build your music business from this position successfully and you won’t be
disappointed about the financial rewards. It’s the way all other “businesses”
In the future if things are really going great you step up and alter your game as
required and if you need to do that deal and it can work for you financially it
gets negotiated from a position of strength not weakness. Most importantly
you will not need to enter the loan business, remember this is not about:
“How to Loan Money Against Your Music and its Future
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
Keep this in mind there are a huge amount of very bright individuals hard at
work constantly developing new ways to create, deliver, market and enjoy
With the explosion in digital music and technology changing the way music is
both marketed and distributed you have so many more opportunities to make
real money from your music.
The way music is discovered and acquired has changed dramatically in recent
years and yes the record business (that’s the RECORD BUSINESS) is in
serious decline. However the music business is in a very healthy and very
exciting state so this is a great time to be in the music business as a writer or
performer or as a music business entrepreneur.
Most music folk now know you don't need a Universal or Sony behind you to
enter the online music market and many independent artists are forging ahead
and becoming increasingly savvy in the online music world. Getting online is
the easy part it’s the marketing once you’ve arrived online that takes the real
Many artists, managers and indie music companies are finding and
implementing excellent marketing strategies and taking radical new
approaches to artist promotion and distribution. Connecting artists directly
with their fans is now playing a significant role. So what about YOU?
What’s it going to take for you to succeed and make real money from your
music? Do you have what it takes?
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
Step 2
The �X’ Factor
“The object of this competition is not to be mean to the losers
but to find a winner. The process makes you mean because you
get frustrated.”
Simon Cowell
Now don't get me wrong I like a laugh - But there is nothing worse than seeing
some poor kid on a talent show that clearly just does not have any talent for
singing or dancing. Admittedly you do get the ones that are, let’s say, a little
stubborn in accepting their lack of talent!
The ones who act like they have been told by divine intervention that they are
going to be the next Mariah Carey, they worry me, one's enough - OK! I'm only
kidding. I don’t know what their friends have been telling them but I know one
thing it's painful to watch.
So what exactly is the “X factor?” Do you have “it”? You hear professionals in
the music industry referring to it, but you rarely hear “it” defined. If you are an
aspiring music artist and want to make real money from your music or develop
your music career into a business it's important that you know what "it" is and
how to use it to your advantage.
In the UK home of X Factor the prize is billed as a “£1m recording contract”. In
reality the amount of prize money that goes to the winning act is approx.
ВЈ150,000. The total amount of money spent on the winning act is often in
excess of £1m with recording and marketing costs and that’s why it’s described
as a ВЈ1m recording contract. The new US show has a $5 million prize deal.
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
You can probably understand why in the mind of most seasoned and powerful
music industry professionals, having "it" is what determines if you are worth the
investment of large amounts of time and money.
If you plan to invest time and money in YOURSELF then likewise the �X’ factor
is not something to be ignored. It’s actually something you need to examine in
terms of YOU and YOUR MUSIC.
Consider for a moment what you think having the �X’ factor means? You may
well have your own way of expressing exactly what the unknown is! I’ve heard
some people refer to it as having “star quality”, but here is a quick answer from
X factor (plural X factors)
1. (idiomatic) An unknown or hard-to-define influence; a factor with
unknown or unforeseeable consequences.
1992, Lia Matera, Prior Convictions, page 121
We slid into our office, past two women discussing the "X factor," an
apparently undefined quality their firm felt they lacked.
1999, Joel R. DeLuca, Political Savvy: Systematic Approaches to
Leadership Behind the Scenes, page 75
The map can be misleading. It can appear to contain all the relevant
information, but in real life, there is always an X factor.
2007, Tasmina Perry, Daddy's Girls, page 12
And put him on an LA film set and he glowed with that indefinable Xfactor that agents the world over wished they could bottle.
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
Well what do you think? Some of these crack me up. I love the two women
discussing the X factor “an apparently undefined quality their firm felt they
lacked” I guess because you can kind of visualize these two women sitting
there talking. It’s funny but just about on the money I’d say. Here’s a couple
more for you:
Ross Reck, writer of The X-Factor: Getting Extraordinary Results from Ordinary
People describes it as “the secret of getting ordinary people X-cited about
going the X-tra mile to help their managers achieve X-traordinary results.”
Ok and:
In the world of mathematics, an X factor is an unknown quantity which only
becomes known after following a prescribed process. This concept of an
unknown but vital quality also extends into other worlds, such as business and
This of course is the definition you have all been waiting which is why I saved it
until last:
What the original UK �X’ Factor judges think:
Mind blowing stuff! I’m joking, let’s face it, can you define it any better? It’s not
an easy one. But don’t be fooled there is something in all this and you may
find it easier if you replace the term �X’ factor with something like “influence” as
you read on. If that don’t work stick with �X’ factor I’m sure you’ll get the point.
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
Emotionally, those with the X factor have a way of pushing our buttons
psychologically. They make us feel good or inspired. Challenged or validated.
Regardless of how they affect us, they engage us emotionally and the X factor
that lives within them speaks to something inside of us, often at times,
something that we lack or yearn for. Can you think of someone that affects you
in this way? Can you think of a music artist?
Good looks are one thing and can certainly help you get people’s attention but
it goes a lot further than that and is made up from a combination of personal
qualities including: self confidence, sociable personality, charm, inner peace,
intense focus and a unique viewpoint. Often a good sense of humor also
makes up this indefinable!
This is probably the aspect that gets shoved in our faces most of the time today
and in pop music it’s a big factor but this alone is not the �X’ factor.
Attitude! – Having the wrong kind. The minute you display cockiness, people
pick up on it and are less willing to help you. If you are just starting out on your
music career you are going to need all the help you can get – trust me.
Negativity – A state of mind that others can pick up on. If you are lacking in
constructiveness, helpfulness, optimism, cooperativeness, along with a
tendency towards being unpleasant, disagreeable, gloomy or pessimistic then
you are clearly suffering from a negative viewpoint – not good.
Repulsion – totally the wrong effect! Ever met a �not nice’ person or seen
them on your TV? – What is it that puts you off? What is it that makes you
conclude they are “not nice”? It’s often very negative characteristics in the
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
person’s behavior or body language. This can also be displayed by a rude,
arrogant or insensitive attitude.
To put it simply, when you have positive thoughts of yourself and others, you
draw people toward you, but when you have the wrong attitude or negative
thoughts about yourself and others, you tend to repel others.
To MAKE MONEY IN MUSIC you need to keep those positive thoughts in mind
especially when you face rejection or some kind of setback.
This positive attitude (Success Mindset) will help you to have STICKABILITY!
It’s fair to say most people who have succeeded in music and made real
money from their music have all faced rejection at some time during their
journey to success.
So do you think you can make money in music without having the �X’ Factor?
The simple answer is yes. There are many music artists who have achieved
success without having “it.”
Individuals who are driven, determined, totally committed do achieve success
often as a result of pure hard work.
There is always the �right place right time’, which means that talent sometimes
breaks through. But the �X’ factor is something that can work for you in more
ways than just on a personal level.
That’s why I want you to think about it and examine how it affects your music
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
YES! (My opinion - I’m sticking with it)
When you consider shows like X Factor and American Idol, �X’ definitely
becomes a consideration when judging the talent in this kind of competitive
You often find many contestants have reasonably competent singing and
dancing skills and they may be able to communicate a song to the audience
but possessing that �X’ factor required for superstar status is rare.
When it comes down to the fact that you want to Make Money in Music it does
matter and there is evidence all around you to prove this. Having this �X’ factor
is a real advantage, so don’t be quick to dismiss it.
I’m not trying to promote shows like X Factor or American Idol here, Ok they
have their place, but more importantly I want you to see beyond the apparent
face value of such shows.
In a sense the indefinable 'X' has been high jacked by the show and so people
tend to think TV show when in reality there really is this very important
indefinable 'X' quality and when you got it people notice!
I guess the outright commercial view with the TV show would be they have
done a fantastic job with �branding’ The �brand’ has become bigger in the
commercial world than the indefinable quality itself! Make sense? If not don’t
worry, just read on, I’m starting to ramble.....
Many Hollywood actors and music artists that have been successful had this so
called �star’ quality or �X’ factor. It’s something you can really use to your
benefit especially when it comes to making money from your music.
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Take the time to consider the lessons that you can learn even from such TV
shows. You need to look deeper than just on the surface. Even if you are
thinking these TV shows are so far away from everything you believe to be the
real music world. Remember there is a lesson in everything. You need to take
the positive and dump the negative.
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
One thing is for sure, those who participate in shows like X Factor and
American Idol can benefit their own careers by listening when offered
constructive criticism by judges. Well there is nothing new about that, neither
is it unique to music and entertainment it applies in many walks of life.
Likewise you can help yourself when you �listen’ to those with more experience
who give you constructive and practical advice or feedback - it can help YOU
develop and make YOUR �X’ factor more recognizable to others.
1. Use Feedback to your advantage:
Use the advice offered by those willing to take the time and interest in you and
your music to try to help you.
2. People love to root for the underdog:
It’s true, sometimes being or having some kind of disadvantage can be worked
for the positive so avoid cockiness. It is not a likable quality and if people pick
up on it when dealing with you they will be less willing to help you.
3. Humility:
Often people think that humility means displaying weakness. It is more to do
with freedom from pride and arrogance and it does not require any of us to
underrate ourselves. So don’t shout for yourself let others shout for you – it
4. Be Likeable:
People are motivated to do things for people they like so be likeable.
5. Create and perform the right material:
Think about this one very carefully. Are the songs or music you perform, the
music you write/create compatible with you? For example if you are a singer is
your material consistent with your vocal range, performance skills and ability?
Is it you or are you to busy trying to be someone else?
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6. Magnetism:
This is a combination of personal qualities such as a sociable personality, selfconfidence charm, inner peace, comfortable with your own sexuality, having a
unique viewpoint, intensity or focus, authority or sense of humor.
In some instances, it is truly indescribable, but very recognizable to those who
have seen "it" before.
7. The boys got Charisma:
Charisma is a set of characteristics/behavior that is stimulated when one is
totally at ease with oneself. This personal charisma seems to be the one factor
that successful individuals have.
They seem to have this air of confidence not to be confused with conceit.
Something seems to make people stare at such individuals but you don’t know
8. Have Self Confidence:
Interestingly the word confidence is directly related to the Latin word
confidentia which means “to fully trust and be bold.” Confidence is the voice
inside you that says, “Yeah I can do this, Yes I shall, I will…..I’m going to give
this 200% I’m giving this everything.”
Confidence is the ability to walk in the opposite direction instead of following
popular opinion. When you know what you know, you don’t have to impress
anyone. You understand how to just be.
9. BE YOU:
Play to strengths don’t try too hard to improve weaknesses. Don’t try too hard.
Be careful not to put yourself down – Don’t be overly critical of yourself and if
you recognize an area of weakness ok. Hey you can improve. Be positive
towards yourself and towards others.
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
So the lesson here is you can't bottle 'X' and if you could the sales would
probably solve the current economic downturn. However you can at least have
your ducks in some kind of order and give attention to yourself, your music and
how you present this to and with others.
Give some thought to what seems to make up the X factor and the positive
qualities displayed by those who have �X’.
If you got �it’ work �it’! If you feel it’s a bit lacking then do something about it.
Develop �it’ and make �it’ visibly recognizable to the best of your ability. It's a
matter of harnessing and directing the power of "it" to make "it" more easily
recognizable to others.
The �X’ factor is not a new concept it has always been present with great
musicians, performers and their music. Think of some of the great artists of
the past. Often they got attention because they had great songs, made great
music and it had that �X’ factor – something about them you just could not put
your finger on, a kind of magnetism.
This is really important because so much emphasis is put on the person
especially in the X Factor/American Idol TV shows. That’s fine because the
shows are all about the people and trying to find someone who can not only
deliver musically but importantly seems to have that indefinable quality that
makes them even more attractive to the public.
From the shows standpoint they must find an individual or group deserving of
the famous recording contract. For you and many others who have got into the
Next Gen Music Biz it’s a very different game but the rewards are worth playing
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
Get it right and in time you really can MAKE MONEY IN MUSIC and have a
career that lasts. However you must have that magical ingredient in everything
you do, not just in some stage performance in front of the camera and bright
You name it, just about everything you do needs to have �It’, the famous �X’
factor. You see there really is a lot more to it. You need to have the whole
With this approach whatever you do it is going to get noticed, recognized, you’ll
stand out in the crowd, rise to the top, draw attention to yourself and everything
you touch. It’ll get you noticed and you are going to be able to build a strong
supportive fan base.
They will stick with you as long as you don’t let them down and you know
what’s best of all, they will support you and that is what will help you make real
money and profit from your music.
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
Whatever you're doing or planning to do to further your music career just stop
right now for a moment and ask yourself honestly - Does it have the �X’ factor?
If you think it’s a bit lacking do something about it. You can use the �X’ factor
check list above to help you.
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
Step 3
Identify Your Market
“Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us
could not succeed.” Mark Twain
As an aspiring singer, songwriter, or a musician in a band you must be able to
identify a market before you can begin to promote you or your music to that
audience. The goal is to reach a subset of the population who may be
interested in your particular music.
That group of people is your target market. You need to be clear that what you
have to sell is targeted specifically at that market audience.
In simple terms if you think your music would appeal to an audience that loves
say Miley Cyrus, then you would probably need to be thinking about the �tween’
audience with a demographic that will include 10-12 year olds, reformed
Britney Spears fans and the like.
If you happen to be a band into gothic metal you are unlikely to appeal to
Britney fans. Sounds obvious but you would be surprised, still let’s be thankful
for the fools! Some people just don’t think it through when it comes to targeting
an audience.
Often people just use the scatter gun approach that goes something like this:
“Get me, my music, out everywhere, offline, online, get as many fans as
possible, sell my music, I make money!” or “We’ll get spotted by some big
record label who’s A&R scout will see our website, they will sign us to a record
deal, then we get the money!”
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In any kind of business and especially if you want to MAKE MONEY then the
best way to view you and your music is as a real business. You must be able
to identify your target market to effectively roll out some form of marketing plan.
Planning is essential if you are going to succeed. In the same way that if you
were writing a song you know it needs to follow a form (Intro, Verse, pre
Chorus, Chorus etc) likewise you must have an organized approach to
reaching your target market once identified.
If you are unsure about how to identify the market for your music the following
info should help.
BE A MARKETER: To succeed you will need to pay attention to the business
side of music. If you want to be able to make money doing it, you need to learn
to market you, your music or your band.
BRAINSTORM: Start by making a list of the groups of people who would most
likely want to hear your music or buy a music product from you. For instance if
your music is like another artist in a particular genre do you know the kind of
people that buy that artists music?
You can break these groups down using segmentation methods to target your
efforts even further. Think about the following:
Age: Your music is likely to be best suited to a specific age group. Age
makes all the difference when it comes to people’s needs and tastes however
your music may appeal to differing age groups for various reasons.
Sex: Is your music mainly targeted at women or men, young girls or boys or
even another group? It is really worth thinking about this, keep in mind with
physical products it is not always the end user that makes the purchase?
Location: Where are your music fans likely to live, work or where do they go,
venues, bars, clubs etc.
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Occupation: it’s a recognized contributor in marketing that a person’s
occupation and tastes or attitudes are often linked. So you want to think about
what social class or occupational group your music is likely to appeal to.
Income: What income bracket is your audience likely to be in?
If you think this is all mumbo jumbo I encourage you to think again. Look at
any big band or brand, they are all applying lessons learned from this more
�scientific’ approach to selling and I don’t just mean general retail product type
stuff. It’s true even with the big artists, bands and music companies.
Let’s face it if you want to make money from your music then whatever way
you look at things you must be planning to some degree on becoming a �brand’
and hopefully a big one.
It just means that in the early stages you are going to have to use a lot more
�unorthodox’ type approaches to help keep those costs down and get yourself
You will obviously know of Disney, a massive brand that has touched the lives
of everyone and now generates billions of dollars annually. Disney as an
example holds some valuable lessons when it comes to brand building.
These are lessons that you should think about when it comes to building YOU
and YOUR MUSIC into a lasting profitable business
Walt Disney was all about DREAM, BELIEVE, DARE and DO! You need to
cultivate the same qualities.
Disney himself struggled in the early days and faced many difficulties often
financial. It’s a known fact that he drove his company to the verge of
bankruptcy on more than one occasion which others thought reckless.
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
Often those involved financially were taking the short term view.
Disney always kept focused on the long term view and remained confident of
his own abilities and in those who worked with him. Whatever it is you are
planning; do you have a long term view?
Disney believed that people valued and recognized quality and would reward
businesses that produced to a higher standard. Profitably delivering value to
customers proved successful.
Once you have identified the market for your music you obviously want to
create the right impression - what will you do to provide real quality and value?
To give customers what they want Disney relied on product testing and
research – you should TRY AND DO THE SAME remembering people value
and recognize quality.
A small inexpensive test on a sample audience of your music product, its
presentation, content and associated offer will give you an indication of how
you, your music or music product is likely to be received.
It will tell you what you need to know and how you may be able to do better or
indicate to you that you are on to a winner!
Walt Disney said “You don’t build it for yourself. You know what the people
want and you build it for them”
He was always looking to exceed customer expectations. When commenting
on Disneyland he said “With everything I do, I keep a practical eye toward its
appeal to the public”
Most importantly Disney understood that creativity needed to have imposed
discipline and structure to convert the creativity into business value.
Projects started with economic research and if positive results were
forthcoming then things would move into the planning stage.
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He was concerned with long-term success and said “When we consider a new
project, we really study it – not just the surface idea, but everything about it”
Ward Kimball, one of Walt Disney’s colleagues once observed: “If you want to
know the real secret of Disney’s success, it’s that he never tried to make
Walt Disney was more concerned with getting the right end result much more
than thinking about the money. He was the kind of person who believed that if
you put your heart and soul into something people would automatically like it.
If it then made money then all well and good.
As mentioned already Disney was a dreamer. It was the place from where
sprang his creativity, ideas and innovation. However he also recognized the
talent and dedication of those who worked with him “You can dream, create,
design and build the most wonderful place in the world, but it requires people
to make the dream a reality.”
Disney was able to act with confidence and self assurance and was perceived
by others to be someone of high personal integrity. Belief in �self’, honesty,
reliability, loyalty, and respect for others all played their part and these are still
desirable qualities today.
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
Obviously not everyone is your target market and you need to work on
identifying your audience. This is will allow you to focus your marketing efforts.
You then need to narrow it down to find the one group that is most likely to be
your initial fan base, likely to purchase from you plus they need to be the most
cost-effective to reach.
These are likely to be people of your own age, people just like you or with
similar tastes musically. Do you think you and your music will appeal more to
males or females? The more specific you are the better you will do.
The real key is to find the kind of people who ALREADY want to hear the kind
of music you are making or promoting. This is not about some hard sell.
Remember people love to buy, but they hate to be sold!
Having identified a clear market for your music or next music project make sure
you impose upon it that needed disciple and a structure so you can
successfully make some money out of your efforts.
However you chose to target potential fans offline or online or via some
localized approach, don’t forget to make sure you use that �X’ factor we
discussed earlier.
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
If you’re only just starting out here are some really simple and relatively cheap
ways of getting yourself noticed as a serious competitor on your local music
STATIONARY: Get your own �branded’ stationary, logo, and make the right
BUSINESS CARDS: A business card for you, the artist, the band, music
producer or whatever describes you best is essential and a very effective way
of getting the word out about YOU.
PRESS KIT: A good press kit is essential for band promotions. This can be a
physical folder with photos, member bios, business cards and demo CD, or an
online version that you can send via email. Get both if you can afford it. Start
with the "e" version first.
PROFESSIONAL LOOKING WEBSITE: This is really the most important. You
must have your own professional looking MySpace site or Facebook, plus
You need your own dedicated website, "" where people can
find you. Then you can use this on all your marketing, letters, emails, various
promotions and as you add music to your site, or videos, fans have a way of
getting to know what you’re all about. They now have a means of contacting
you directly.
BUILD A CONTACT LIST: Something you absolutely have to have to build a
relationship with fans and interact with these people and build your music
community is to start an email list.
Get their full address if possible. Once you have the list, keep in touch with
them constantly, telling them what you're doing, where you're playing and how
much you appreciate them.
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
If you need a good email manager to automate the whole process and make it
easy you can also try as service like MailChimp who you can find at
PRODUCT READY TO SELL: By building a contact list and regularly
communicating with your fans you will be much better equipped to tailor your
music product. Then you can deliver what they need and not just something
you think they want.
Obviously have some of your recorded music ready to sell via digital download
or maybe giveaway to stimulate interest.
If you build your relationship in the right way with your community you can still
sell CD’s or package your music product in a way that makes it a real value
product. Don’t forget, to help build your brand you can sell all sorts of
merchandise besides the usual T-shirts and sweatshirts.
You can sell merchandise at your gigs and not just on your web site. Have a
look at cafГ© if you are interested in setting up a retail store to sell
your own branded products. The basic service is free! Plus they do a premium
service for about $5 per month.
TEST MARKETING: Seriously consider test marketing, this is what food
companies do with new products and many other companies, not just Disney!
Do a small release of something in perhaps a localized area and get feedback.
See what works. If you can find what works on a small level it’s a lot easier to
then scale up your efforts.
If you already have some kind of online fan base or small community, be bold
and approach them to get feedback that you can use and give them what they
want. Once you have clearly identified your target market the next step is to
aim all your efforts towards that particular group. You need to think about
“what it is they want?”
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
A niche market is when you tailor your music or product to be sold to a very
specific group of consumers. The advantages to niche marketing are clear.
When you market to a particular niche, you will inevitably reduce your
marketing costs.
If you hook your customers or fans in well and they like your initial offer, you
give real value and get their business, you have a strong chance of repeat
business. From this base of customers or �fans’ you are likely to get referrals
coming your way.
The ultimate secret to niche marketing is you must SERVE this niche. If you
can master this one skill, then you can have massive success and make real
money. The key is to know what they want and need.
As a niche marketer your main goal needs to be getting into the mind of these
fans or customers and understanding exactly what you can offer them.
Let me give you an example here: In the US, Guitar Centre and Sam Ash are
the two huge online and brick-and-mortar retail stores that sell music
equipment. It would be difficult to create a store like that or compete with such
well established businesses. Not impossible but difficult.
But you could create a store or especially an online business that sells only
electronic drum kits. Because that’s the only thing you sell you would be
classed as an expert in the field, this would be your specialty or niche.
Now let’s relate this example to making music more specifically. You may or
may not have heard of Tim & Ryan O’Neill.
They are brothers and
independent recording artists from Minnesota, USA. They specialize in
recording relaxing solo piano music. This is their niche.
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
Interestingly they founded their own record label back in 1997 and since have
released over thirty instrumental CD’s and sold almost 2 million copies - all
without being associated with a major record label.
Along the way, they’ve written and performed music for HBO (including music
for “Sex and the City”), NBC, PBS, ESPN, ShopNBC and CBS. Several of their
CD collections have hit the Billboard charts, their wedding music collections
are top sellers on Amazon and The Knot.
Basically what the boy’s have done is mix their love of music with an
entrepreneurial spirit. They have worked on finding ways to introduce their
music to new people.
They prove that with a niche market you can enjoy making music and make a
living without having to depend on a major record label or trying to convince
others that your music is worth recording.
Its unlikely Josh Phoenix is a name you've heard of but his passion and love
for music was not diminished while holding down a day job selling mobile
His story is of interest as like many in music DIY holding down a day job is a
requirement and this can be both a challenge and a frustration when you want
to get on with your music.
Back in 2005 Josh held things together financially with cell phone sales in the
daytime and in the evening he focused on his music. His creative interests
extended beyond music into digital photography and video editing.
Like many music creative’s Josh put together his own small home studio setup.
The usual computer based setup - Apple Mac, mic and keyboards, mixer and
monitor’s giving him the ability to make and master his own music.
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
Since then Josh has worked on his creative skills in music and video with some
interesting results. He has successfully focused his attention and created a
very nice niche business supplying his creative skills to the Seattle real estate
sector selling million dollar homes!
His service company HD Estates produces cinematic quality videos of trendy
homes enabling out-of-state buyers to view homes online. Just take a look for
yourself at the HD Estates link above. Josh says "My goal is to use cutting
edge technology to produce the highest quality marketing available for real
This is a great example of someone who has put his digital music and video
production skills to good use; Focusing on a niche has enabled Josh to
establish a profitable business.
Making money using his creative skills means he continues to push himself
creatively while also providing a service to his client’s that makes their home
stand out from the crowd. So it's a win win situation all round.
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
Step 4
Recognize Opportunity
“You have an opportunity to be in control of your life for
yourself by the decisions that you make.” P Diddy
Opportunity experts do not wait for someone to come knocking at the door.
They go out into the world, with opportunities already in mind, and take action
to give good ideas focus and form.
Remember the short anecdote I mentioned in the introduction about the
chance meeting with Peter Bown from Abbey Road Studios. That came about
because I was aware and sensitive to the opportunity of meeting new people.
It’s fair to say that I genuinely do love meeting people. I’m interested in people,
always have been, find people fascinating and enjoy the sociable side of the
It has to be recognized that this is not the case with everyone. If this sounds
like you, then obviously you may have to make a bit more effort on this one but
trust me it’s worth it.
The first step to recognizing opportunities is to be open-minded. When it
comes to making real money from your music the opportunity can be right
before your eyes, right now, and you just don’t see it.
When you are open-minded, you are open to the world of infinite possibilities
that exists all around you.
If you think about the subject of this book “Make Money in Music” You may be
viewing this as a problem? Do you have a particular mindset about this?
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
Some people say there is no such thing as a problem, there are only
opportunities and that is a fantastic viewpoint and one I agree with.
Don’t succumb to the pessimistic viewpoint. That negativity, resistance to
change and general “this is how it works, selling music the way we like it, we’re
in control, that won’t work!” attitude is at the heart of the RECORD BUSINESS’
Being more open-minded, looking at new ways of doing things and having an
optimistic viewpoint will make you much more aware of real opportunities.
Everybody gets opportunities, but not everybody recognizes and seizes those
opportunities. Even among those who do recognize an opportunity, very few
have the courage to take the chance and seize their opportunities.
They come to you in various forms. They can present themselves as a
problem, a challenge, sometimes scary. Sometimes it’s a problem you would
rather avoid. This is often why opportunities are missed. Because most
opportunities usually come from external sources, it is important that you
network, meet new people, read more and be online more.
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
What are other people doing? Can you replicate or modify their idea in some
way and make it work for you? Can you improve on it and make it even better
or more profitable?
Developing relationships and spending time with other creative people in your
neighborhood or via the web can be a great help. Not just musicians but other
creative people such as artists, writers, people involved in other creative
When you put yourself in this kind of environment and atmosphere new ideas
and possibilities will be more likely to flow and be the subject of conversation.
If you are a young musician it’s very natural to mix with friends of your own age
or peer group. One thing I would recommend to you is trying to mix with
creative people of a wider age group.
You will be surprised how much you can quickly learn and how fast when you
mix with older more experienced creative people. Often these types will be
more inclined to take you under their wing or become a mentor to you and this
is a great and valuable help.
Here’s a short anecdote that holds a valuable lesson for you. As a teenage
songwriter I used to work with an engineer producer Peter Bown at the famous
EMI Abbey Road Studios in London. We met by chance through a musician
friend known to both of us.
Peter, who was some years my senior, started out as an Abbey Road staff
engineer and had worked with bands like The Hollies, The Beatles, Pink Floyd
and record producers like Phil Spector. There was so much to learn from Pete.
Every couple of weeks I would go to Abbey Road sit down at the piano in one
of the studios and play my latest songs. Pete would critique my work, some we
would go on to record others dump.
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
The stories I got told, big music stars I got to meet and experiences I had were
what you would probably now refer to as �awesome’. At the time I seemed to
float on air from one week to the next.
I was passionate about music way before this but this �break’ gave me the
chance to move my music career along, mainly because people like Pete were
prepared to give a kid like me the time and help to develop my music.
There have been a number of people in my life, often met through chance
meetings that have opened up doors of opportunity for me in music and
business. Most times I have seized them, sometimes I chose not to for one
reason or another.
The lesson is this: Be sensitive and aware, look out for these people, a
chance meeting is not something to be missed GRAB IT WITH BOTH HANDS.
People are often the key to the door of opportunity and as Napoleon Hill rightly
said “Your big opportunity may be right where you are now”
Most of the people I worked and mixed with socially when I was first in music
were probably around ten years older than me. But I learnt a massive amount
from these associations and experiences.
You quickly had to become streetwise in the heady 70's if you wanted to
When it comes to developing your music or music business and you want to
MAKE MONEY IN MUSIC you will be wise if you can find a mentor.
Remember social media brings endless opportunity to interact with others from
around the world but you must be open-minded as I mentioned.
The reality is that making the most of an opportunity requires a sense of
community and a connection with others. Let’s face it nowadays you can be in
touch with people from every corner of the globe from your own living room.
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
Many independent music artists are already able to do what most successful
small business internet entrepreneurs do - niche and localize their market.
Most artists may not become multi-millionaires, but by initially marketing locally
they are often able to establish a niche following and grow their fan base
outward from this point.
The fastest way to make money is by tapping an under-mined business niche.
People who go looking for answers to particular problems, sometimes end up
creating the solution themselves.
The problem might not be new, but the people that create the solution are often
the first to do something about it. And by providing a solution, they made
money and sometimes history.
When nuggets of gold were first found lying on the ground at Sutters Mill
California in January 1848 within months the news spread like wild fire.
Thousands travelled from all across America, Europe and Australia in the hope
of getting rich.
As with most situations like this by the time most venturers arrived the easy
pickings had gone. The reality was if you now wanted to find gold you were
going to have to do back breaking work by digging it out of the ground.
A much larger number of fortunes were made from providing goods and
services to the miners and other migrants. Levi Strauss was one such
Trained as a tailor, he planned to manufacture tents and wagon covers for the
Forty-niners, but finding no market for these items, he instead used the canvas
he had brought with him to make hard wearing durable pants.
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He saw a demand for trousers strong enough to withstand the rigors of mining.
Using bolts of tent canvas, he devised what quickly came to be known around
San Francisco as "those pants of Levi's." You probably now wear your own but a whole lot more comfortable than these originals!
Stories like this are about normal every day people but they decided to do
something with the knowledge they already possessed and adapted to what
that market needed at the time. Most importantly individuals like Levi Strauss
did what so many others fail to do: he saw an opportunity and took a chance.
In short, he DID SOMETHING.
When thinking about how to make money in music be careful not to get carried
away with �The Ultimate Plan’ looking way beyond yourself at some hugely
fantastic idea or vehicle that will transport you to some financial dream world
The danger is you will ignore the opportunities that already exist right under
your nose.
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Let me tell you a story! We all love to hear stories especially ones with a
happy ending. It’s what Hollywood loves and flogs to us all at regular intervals
and why not, who wants to be wasting time reinventing the wheel. We got it so
let’s roll on!
Have you thought about story telling when it comes to marketing your music?
The �story to tell’ approach is used in the media all the time and here’s one you
may have heard?
Justin Vernon is a Wisconsin based soulful folk-rock singer songwriter who
cleverly used exactly this kind of approach with interesting results. He set
about recording a collection of songs while spending three months at his
father’s remote hunting cabin in the woods of Dunn County, Wisconsin.
This amounted to using an old Mac computer, Pro Tools LE software, guitar
and a basic drum kit, plus the old faithful Shure SM57 mic. The remote hunting
cabin story has become a big part of how Justin and this collection of songs
came about, and rightly so.
Anyway some time passed before Justin got around to posting his songs on his
MySpace page. Like most he was not waiting around for the avalanche of
interest to arrive and thought maybe he would get some CD’s burned of his
newly recorded �demo’ songs.
Initially this was with the intention of pushing tracks out to see if he could get
interest in his songs and possibly get to record a proper album of material
under better circumstances. He ended up pressing 500 CD’s, selling some to
friends, newly found online fans and getting others out to music bloggers to
Unexpectedly the tracks started to get more and more attention from blogs and
a ground swell of interest via social networks resulting in a real avalanche of
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
This all started to take on a momentum all of its own and Vernon looked on as
the word spread like wild fire. By October 2007 he was offered a record deal
and “For Emma, Forever Ago” the album was released officially in February
2008. Bon Iver was born.
Within about three months the album had sold around 26,000 copies and by
mid December upward of 87,000 units with about 50% of these sales via online
downloads. Since the album release Vernon has taken his music on the road
and his audience continues to grow as do sales of his music.
Interestingly one of the first people to spread the word about Justin Vernon was
music blogger Craig “Dodge” Lile of who
apparently was surfing MySpace for music and came across Justin’s profile
Suitably impressed by what he heard he posted about the music on his blog in
June 2007. Vernon’s music was also noticed by other influential blogs
including and
In conclusion Vernon has always claimed that what’s most important to him is
to keep making the music he wants to make. As they say, the rest is history.
Identify two things that Justin did to promote himself and his music - you can
do the same - JUST DO IT! If you get the chance to see Justin live go check
him out. Check out: and
By now I’m pretty sure you’re aware that recognizing opportunity is vital if you
are going to have success. How well prepared are you to recognize those
opportunities when they come along? You might like to try this little test on
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
The statements below describe the character of someone who is always alert
to opportunity. Use the following point scores against each question to rate
yourself. Go on give it a try. See how you do?
Q1. I've my music skills, X factor rating and entrepreneurial ability and I am
able to recognize whether a business opportunity fits my particular music
interest, skills and abilities.
Q2. I make it a habit to carefully check out my local surroundings to see if I
have access to various creative and business facilities, recording and studio
equipment, or other assets that can be used to help me Make Money in Music.
Q3. When people around me talk about new creative or music ideas, wishing
something could be of better quality or more convenient, I listen to see if this is
a possible music biz opportunity.
Q4. I’ve learned ways to research a music biz opportunity to see if the size of
market is large enough to provide a steady stream of income at the prices I
want to charge.
Q5. I'm always on the lookout for niche music markets where I can target my
music, music related products and sales to particular groups of customers/fans
that are readily accessible.
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Q6. I'm alert to new music related product ideas that would benefit potential
customers/fans and give me a competitive edge in the marketplace.
Q7. When I need funding for my music biz venture, I carefully calculate the
amount I need and look for a variety of possible funding opportunities.
Q8. I’m able to explain my music business plans to a potential lender or
investor and show exactly why I need a particular amount of start-up money.
Q9. I carefully cultivate my network of family, friends and business associates
so that my music business has the opportunity to benefit from their support,
advice and referrals.
Q10. I have a music business mentor who helps me think through new ideas
and assess whether an opportunity is a good fit for my music skills,
entrepreneur abilities and resources.
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
Step 5
Get Attention Develop Trust
“When the punk thing came along and I heard my friends
saying, I hate these people with the pins in their ears. I said,
Thank God, something got their attention” Neil Young
This really touches on the basic rule of marketing and promoting you and your
music and it involves asking one simple but very important question:
No matter who it is you are trying to reach you need to think about everything
from their viewpoint. This is easier said than done when you consider that
NOBODY owes you their attention, no audience, no person and especially not
the music industry!
You’ve probably heard the saying “do unto others as you want others to do
unto you” When it comes to getting attention this is a good principle to keep in
There have never been more avenues for you to reach out to music fans. But
with so many attention-seekers, it's critical to get the message right in any
You can pay to get attention or you can do things that attract attention. When
you attract attention and actually give something of real value, as opposed to
just playing the �attention seeking’ game you will benefit much more in the long
term and be able to build a strong community of music fans.
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It’s not enough just to make a great first impression. You need to make a
powerful lasting impression. You must be memorable. Think about the first
time you heard a particular song or went to see some singer or band . . .If they
had that effect on you I bet you can still recall that moment.
I have seen loads of artists and performers over the years some when they
were hardly known to the public. In more recent years two spring to mind that I
heard before the public even knew about them.
Amy Winehouse and Corrine Bailey Rae - I didn’t actually see them but I was
played material they were recording prior to their debut albums and their voices
alone left a lasting impression on me.
Likewise YOU must grab peoples’ attention, become a short term memory and
aim to be in their long term memory. A key to this is being able to arouse an
emotional response. You need to touch as many of their senses or emotions
as possible to make a lasting impression.
By reaching out and building your community fan base with the intention of
�giving’ something of real value you focus on treating these fans or customers
well. Just like you would like to be treated, right? You want to give them a
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
great music experience or product, something of real value. If you give them
the right kind of attention from day one, in time they will pay attention to you.
Almost a week does not pass nowadays without some techie new social media
tool popping up to delight us all! The option’s for sharing your music with fan s
continues to grow so you need to make sure you’re �tooled up’.
I bet you already use Twitter and Facebook, probably daily. But do you use
these tools to promote you and your music or just socialize?
Using social media is such an easy way to get your voice out there and these
networking sites are proving to be the most effective tools of self-promotion for
many new emerging independent artists?
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If you are not doing so already you must learn how to use these social media
outlets to reap the benefits of their features. You can share your music with
people not just locally but all around the world.
Social media is all about global community, allowing people to connect to each
other through everything from profiles to instant messaging to blogging. As
mentioned in the previous chapter sites such as MySpace and Facebook allow
you to create profiles that are representative of who you are and what your
music is all about.
You can use such sites to introduce yourself to the world and allow fans to get
to know everything about you and your music.
Everyone knows MySpace traffic is going the wrong way! Between Jan - Feb
2011 unique visitors to Myspace declined 14.4% from 73 million visitors to 63
million visitors! Its unique visitors are actually down about half the numbers of a
year ago.
Anyway let’s keep this in context - How many unique visitors do you get?
Myspace is still a tool to be used and offers users the option of uploading their
own music and sharing it with the rest of their network.
An embedded music player on the artist’s profile gives visitors the option of
adding a particular song to their own profile, allowing people in their networks
to listen to the artist’s song and therefore giving you exposure that you wouldn’t
have had otherwise.
Since 2008 the formation of MySpace Music allows Independent Record
Labels and artists the opportunity to provide their fans with digital downloads
as well as mobile ringtones, SMS and artist wallpapers, all directly from their
artist profiles.
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Artists are now able to evolve their MySpace experience beyond the
promotional by now monetizing their full repository of content with a 360
degree solution including not only the sale of digital content, but also physical
goods such as t-shirts and concert tickets.
FACEBOOK: Many music gurus now say Facebook is the best place for
bands to reach fans. This year saw the newly launched Music on Facebook
Page helping musicians and other music industry users get the best out of
Also Facebook Fan Page Tools are on the increase to help music makers
reach their followers quickly and easily. It seems like many musicians are
listening - How about you?
Another effective tool in social networking sites is the blog. This is an easy
way to create a website, without having to have a web guy or a programmer.
You can then easily write an article or a few paragraphs about you and your
music and get followers involved in conversation. It’s a simple way of creating
content on a regular basis.
A blog can allow you to communicate with everyone in your network in a way
that is personable and effective. You can share news about your latest
production, announce upcoming performances, or even just develop a
connection with your audience.
By making full use of a blog, you can create a personal bond with thousands of
people at one time, enabling you to further develop a fan base and gain more
exposure for your music.
The wonderful thing about the blog/website especially if you're just starting out
is it can be setup at very low cost. I would recommend using the free
Wordpress platform and you can very cheaply get a premium theme from
DIYThemes or Woo Themes.
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My own websites at and uses these
providers and cost next to nothing to get up and running. They just needed
someone to design a header and a bit of html modification to the Thesis
You can register your selected domain name with someone like
again at very low cost and I would suggest using for web hosting
again a cost effective platform with an excellent track record and good support.
The success of the video-sharing Web sites YouTube, Google Video and
Revver, offer yet another potential outlet for music entrepreneurs. YouTube
and Flickr quickly became some of the most visited sites on the �net’.
The use of video to connect with an audience has become one of the most
popular tools for marketing a person’s artistic endeavors.
You can create an original video that appeals to a mass market, and then post
it on different sites using the HTML codes that these networks provide, giving
you yet another vehicle through which you can share your music with a global
The great thing about building your music community is that often these fans
will add to your content, they’ll actually build content on your site for you.
When they leave comments and ratings others are more likely to interact.
It actually makes your online music business or artist website that much more
powerful, because a community is very self-sustaining.
So think about this, other people are actually adding a whole lot more value to
your business than just what you are doing. So get to work on building that
web presence and growing your community ASAP.
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Indie artist Ingrid Michaelson is a great example of someone who made sure
her website conveyed what she and her music was all about and took the
action necessary to make sure she could be seen and heard.
You’ll notice the expression “seen and heard” and may remember what we
talked about in Step 2 - X Factor. Part of that discussion touched on the visual
aspect when it comes to you and your music. I made the point that �looks’ are
not everything.
But when someone comes to your own website, Myspace or Facebook page
they are likely to see your picture first! So it needs to be memorable and eyecatching. If you check out Ingrid’s site what sticks in your mind about her
�default’ picture?
Great songs and a snappy MySpace profile all helped but Ingrid was smart
enough to focus on the wider picture. While doing the usual friends tactics and
emails to the effect of “if you like this person’s music, you’ll like mine” she kept
giving attention to writing, working towards her own album and playing live.
Doing everything possible to be seen and heard developing her audience and
that audience trust played its part in the success that followed. Her song
“Keep Breathing” ended up in Grey’s Anatomy and was featured on the
Original Soundtrack released via Hollywood Records in late 2007. If you’re a
Grey’s Anatomy addict you’ve probably heard this little gem.
Also take a minute to check out the website as listed below and you will see
that (at time of writing) Ingrid has had almost 14 million profile views and
millions of plays.
That’s on almost every song currently up on the site plus you’ll get the chance
to hear another little gem I personally love “The Way I am” with nearly 9 million
plays and without manipulating the �numbers’ system. I love the simplicity of
the songs arrangement and lyrical content.
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So what made this �happen’? Interestingly Ingrid recommends getting into a
community with other artists you admire. Find like minded people where there
is mutual admiration for what you are doing musically.
This specific step played a key role in building her audience and getting greater
recognition plus getting noticed by a music supervisor. In her search she came
across the artist profile of William Fitzsimmons. William had a pretty good
following already and recognizing Ingrid’s music talents decided to put her in
his “Top 8” friends and recommended checking out her music.
So how did the Grey’s Anatomy thing come about? Well a music supervisor
found out about Ingrid via William and his website. Now isn’t that what friends
are for!
Check out William Fitzsimmons website and see what’s on offer. There is so
much more than just (I mean that in the nicest way) music. The music is
important and I love what William does, but notice that the opportunities for
revenue generation are well thought out and presented to make the experience
as simple as possible for visitors and fans.
Notice in both these examples the simplicity of the website presentations, easy
to navigate. Simple but professional, clearly these artists take their music
seriously and want visitors and fans to enjoy the experience and join the
community. In return fans will grow in loyalty and appreciation and will enjoy
supporting such artists; in turn such artists will make real money from their
Identify three things that Ingrid did to promote herself and her music - you can
do the same - JUST DO IT!
If Ingrid Michaelson or William Fitzsimmons comes to a town near you I can
only recommend you check out their live shows.
Ingrid Michaelson
Check out William Fitzimmons here
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You must network yourself: Be friendly when you can and don’t hard sell
when promoting yourself, your music or your band. Remember people like to
do business with friends wherever possible so becoming a real friend to people
is very important.
Keep in mind how you can help someone: When you give, you will often
receive in return. People will remember you if they can fit you into one of their
existing mental networks.
Produce the best possible top quality music and content: It must be
�made’ for your target audience, relevant, interesting, entertaining, and
involving so that your newly gained fan base won't want to live without it.
Give them what they want: There is no room for what you think they need.
As you build your music fan base or online music community, finding out what
they want becomes easier because they will tell you if you communicate with
them - regularly.
Get audience permission: It’s so much easier to keep your online audience
attention when you have permission to contact them. By providing free music
downloads or a valuable music offer in exchange for this attention you will be
able to build a relationship with this fan base.
Make a permanent impression: As mentioned above you must become a
permanent fixture in the lives of your online and offline audience. So they grow
to love, what you do, when you do it and the fact that you make it so easy for
them to contact you and obtain additional content.
Drive online traffic: One of the simplest ways to get kick started if you are
new to the online side of promoting your music is to think about this. Can you
find a partner to do some kind of joint venture?
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Joint ventures are nothing new if you have any experience of the music
business. In this context you could try and find a partner who already has an
established list and maybe they would be interested in some kind of cross
This may especially work if you are focused on some niche music product and
your partner is prepared to promote your product to their list. They then get a
cut of sales achieved via their list.
Another popular option is to use paid search. Services like Google adwords
can help you get relatively cheap, targeted traffic to your website if you plan
this out carefully.
If just starting out I would avoid this as there are so many other things you can
do by simply providing regular quality content on your own website and taking
steps to increase you traffic.
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Besides wanting to MAKE MONEY IN MUSIC you may be one of those music
entrepreneur types looking to raise funds to launch your own music related
The music business has many sides to it, so whatever your angle, if you are
looking to raise money this story holds a lesson that you will need to learn from
and apply just as with all the other steps mentioned in this book.
As touched on in the previous step, if you have seen and assessed an
opportunity and have developed a business plan then you will definitely need to
get investors attention.
You can always approach your bank manager if you need some kind of simple
loan or overdraft facility and that’s pretty straight forward. If on the other hand
your project requires any kind of serious funding then you will probably need to
find investors and I am a great believer in the unorthodox behavior approach or
I’ll tell you what I did on one occasion when I was looking to fund a new
production company some years ago. I had worked for months on an in depth
business plan. The plan in itself was designed to �get attention’.
I would target certain high net worth individuals directly and network to find
other potential investors based mainly in the UK. This would sometimes involve
meeting with various �gatekeepers’ who for a fee or percentage of any done
deal, would want to get involved in changing my �get attention’ style plan.
I have to admit sometimes this may work for some business plans, but truth is,
most so called financially qualified individuals had little or no experience of the
workings of production, recording and publishing type businesses and the
multiple revenue stream business models involved.
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Any agreed presentation changes were no guarantee for success or securing
the required funding. I would courteously decline any such suggestions. Why?
I knew I had a great business plan, unorthodox to some degree yes, but well
presented to capture attention.
The additional financial presentation that went with this business plan was
extensive and thorough. This included a 5 year financial forecast with a
multiple revenue stream business model that I had to design myself!
(Sometimes you have to learn to use your creativity in different ways! Or get
someone to help you.)
Anyway here comes the bold action part of the story. At the time I lived in a
small country village. I was aware of an individual who lived nearby who had a
successful advertising business in London.
If you’ve ever lived in a small village, everybody seems to know what
everybody else does even though not knowing such neighbors personally. It’s
called gossip. I didn’t know this guy personally but that was about to change to
some degree, time for that �unorthodox behavior’.
I’ll quickly tell you - that phrase has stuck with me since the 70’s. I remember
my early days in A&R with The Famous Charisma Label and one of the albums
worked on at the time was a Phil Collins project aside from his Genesis routine
with an outfit called Brand X.
The first recorded album for the outfit was called �Unorthodox Behavior’. At the
time in �76’ I was very into lots of American jazz musicians and fusion music
and Phil was likewise venturing into that world. I loved it but I think we were in
the minority at the time.
Anyway unorthodox behavior is something I’ve come to realize has its benefits
and not just musical, when it comes to getting people’s attention it can be very
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
This proved very true with our man in advertising I mentioned. As soon as the
weekend arrived I went and knocked on the guy’s door with an executive
summary. For those of you who don’t know what an executive summary is, it’s
a quick two or three page overview of a full business plan. I told him I was
looking for investors and asked if he may be interested?
After picking him up off the floor, it was such a shock! No it didn’t go like that
at all. We got involved in conversation and he said he knew of someone who
lived nearby that he thought had something to do with music in the past and he
might be interested and have something to say about it.
You already know what’s coming next don’t you…….Ok you’re right, I
immediately went to this other guy’s house.
Fortunately none of these people lived in houses surrounded by huge walls or
electric gates mind you I would have found a way of contacting them I’m sure.
On arriving at the house I explained why I had called and left the executive
summary of the business plan for this guy to consider, which was graciously
Within a week I got a phone call asking for a full business plan, within two more
weeks I had a meeting and got told that my business plan was the best plan he
had ever seen focusing on this business sector.
As you can imagine I was well pleased. I had worked extremely hard and I can
tell you this was not the last time I was complimented on the business plan.
That meeting lead to a series of other meetings and within six months funding
of $1.2 million of venture capital money was secured to launch the new
production company and I had some new business partners.
So what’s the lesson: Unorthodox behavior, in a nice way, can really work for
you. Most times you need to take bold action to get attention and then you
must maintain it.
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
I was able to grab attention by being upfront and bold (but not rude or cocky). I
could keep the attention because I had an attention grabbing executive
summary about the business to immediately give to people. This stimulated
attention further and kept them wanting more.
They got more via the full business plan which was designed to hold people’s
attention still further telling them more about me, my background and the
others involved in the business, how the business worked plus our goals for the
future. New friendships were built and business done.
You can do the same and GET ATTENTION by taking BOLD ACTION.
Don’t forget like I mentioned in Step One when they are saying "you can’t do
that" you need to be thinking I CAN!
Or to put it another way as I was often told as a kid – “You’ve got a tongue in
your head – Use it!”
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Trust is one of the multiple new currencies you need to succeed in the new
music biz. With the massive growth in online business unquestionably in the
next gen music biz it’s all about relationship.
People want to do business with people that they know and trust and so if you
build a strong community as mentioned in �Step 4’ and you have that
interaction between you and your music fans or customers you are going to
build trust.
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Consider this: everything that comes into contact with the internet gets copied
because this is at the heart of the design of this vast digital communications
network. The internet is a copy machine! We all know the benefits of this a nd
the problems when it comes to being a recording artist or music creator.
Interestingly not everything can be copied on the internet. Consider "trust."
Trust cannot be copied or purchased. It can only be earned over time and you
cannot download it.
Don’t you always prefer to deal with someone you can trust? So trust is an
intangible that has increasing value in a copy saturated world. (See Kevin
Kelly’s post at about the free flow of information
online and how certain values must be cultivated in order to succeed in the
New Economy).
Most people will pay a little more, sacrifice a little, or wait a little longer when
buying from someone whom they really trust and respect. This is often true
when it comes to music artists.
If an album product is delayed or we have the opportunity to purchase some
special premium priced limited edition release we often are prepared to go the
extra mile because we have developed a trust based relationship with the artist
and their music.
It is very important for you to build this kind of trust relationship with your
audience. You will need to use all the methods mentioned in the previous step
to help you do this and it is something that must be built over time.
When thinking about your website you want to make absolutely sure that you’re
branding should clearly convey the idea and feel of what you and your music is
all about.
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You need to make very clear what you have to offer. It must be consistent
throughout your web pages, providing music fans or new visitors with a distinct
and lasting impression of you.
Keep in mind what we talked about in �Step 3’ about identifying specifically
your target market. Every aspect of your website should be put together with
this audience in mind and what they want.
When they arrive at your site you want to hit them quickly and directly with
what you’re all about so there’s no confusion and a trustworthy environment
Easy viewing and simple navigation is very important as is having that great
content. Remember we talked about being motivated to SERVE your fans or
customers well.
According to Kevin Hogan's book 'Psychology of Persuasion', people are more
likely to do what you ask if they believe you have their best interests in mind.
This is the 'Law of Friends'. So, to build a relationship of trust, you need to
show your music community or site visitors that you really are looking after
their interests in every aspect of your dealings with them.
As 'Built to Last' author Jim Collins says: "Don't be interesting. Be interested."
That helps you think of them as individuals.
It is this developed trust environment and relationship you have with your fans
that leads to confidence on their part. In turn this leads to action on their part
in buying or purchasing your music or music related products.
When you have served them well they are much more likely to reciprocate so
don’t underestimate the need for you to develop TRUST.
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Branding: By paying close attention to how you brand you, your music and
your website you will be able to make yourself familiar to your audience and
fans. A familiar face is more trustworthy than a strange one. So the more you
get this right the more trust you develop.
Design: You want to develop trust so even in your design you must think
about this. If your site conveys the wrong impression, is not well presented,
user friendly and credible it will not build trust. Remember that the �about you’
page is extremely important in conveying you, your history and the purpose of
your site.
Transparency: Be transparent with your audience, show them who you truly
are and connect with them on a personal level. Connect with visitors in a way
that makes them feel that what they’re buying into is, not just your music, but
you the artist and it will be worth it.
Reputation: You must maintain a positive reputation if people are going to
trust you so keep this in mind when using social media, blog posts and the like.
If you make promises re gigs or upcoming shows, music launches or even a
regular newsletter for fans – keep your promise.
Two-Way Conversation: You have got to be involved in a two-way
conversation with your audience. If you’re a live performer you know you need
to communicate with your audience in more ways than just playing your music.
Likewise online this interaction with fans is more important than ever. Keep in
mind when you build a trust relationship you often end up being looked up to by
your fans, someone they listen to and you have influence over.
Testimonials: I cannot stress how important this is! Testimonials are hugely
important. You must do all you can to develop a loyal fan base both offline and
online. When new visitors come to your website they may have been
recommended by other fans or may be new to hearing your music. You want
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
them to be interested to find out more about you. They will be affected by what
others think of you and this is very important in developing that trust.
Humanize Your Music Website: Include photos and bios on your site, but be
careful that things don’t become cluttered and disorganized. Maintaining blogs
is another good idea, but remember to humanize those too. Don't just fill them
with your latest news releases. Make them fun, and reflect your personality.
Security and Privacy: Customers need to feel secure at your site, and you
need to take measures to earn their trust in this area as well. So privacy
policies are a must and again contribute towards maintaining trust while
showing you are interested in looking after you music community.
Secure Sockets Layer certificate: This is also an important part of gaining
your visitor’s trust. Secure Socket Layer is a protocol that sends encrypted
data over the Internet. This certifies that all information being transmitted on
your web site will be passed on securely and is protected. Some people will
not even think about buying from a web site that does not at least offer this as
an option.
Here are some more practical steps you can take to increase your exposure.
Remember the internet is like a digital haystack of data and what you want
your fans to be able to do is find you the �needle’ in that global haystack.
Having achieved this keep in mind fans and visitors to your website are kind of
like children, they need constant attention and entertainment.
FREE! That word has such a ring to it and it just grabs people’s attention all
the time. So you need to come up with something you can give away to
visitors and fans that’s free. Now I don’t mean just any old download or
freebie. You need to think this through as it needs to be something of value
and quality.
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Obviously you can give away some of your music but also think about giving
your visitors information that is helpful and useful to them. You could build into
some free downloads, music, pictures, a biography about you or the band and
maybe some copies of recent local press coverage. If they raved about your
recent gig at a local venue or club that’s the kind of info to include.
From your own standpoint you’re going to be thinking give them info about you
and the band, your music, what’s going on with you guys and that’s important.
It’s even more important to think about things from the visitor’s standpoint.
What will be beneficial to them? Maybe some new info that is specific to your
music genre or info updates about local venues where they can see live music
similar to you.
Any kind of live update angle is always good as a �hear it here first’ tends to
bring regular visitors to a site. Is there some way you could tie in a free
download with some free software, shareware or demo?
All these sorts of ideas are worth thinking about just don’t overdo it. Don’t go
free mad, be targeted and specific.
FRESH! Don’t forget you also need things to be entertaining, fun and fresh!
Updating and refreshing your site is best done regularly, weekly if possible and
get help with this if you can’t handle it yourself.
Who is the most creative on your team? Just keep in mind no one is likely to
know you and your music better than you so try and keep this task close to
home if possible or use a friend who knows you and your music and you can
keep the lines of communication under control.
LINKS! These can be very useful but make sure you only link to other websites
that your fans or visitors will also find useful. You can contact the owners of
such sites and tell them you would like to exchange links which basically
involves you adding their link to your links page and visa versa.
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BLOG! Why not start your own or your band blog. You can update this blog a
couple of times a week, talk about your music, influences, stories, use video
footage and generally engage and entertain your fans.
The advantage of a blog is that if you use the right keywords, you can get it
recognized by search engines and therefore more people will discover your
music. Make sure this blog is linked to your main website so there is an
opportunity for fans to purchase your music. You can then get in touch with
other music bloggers, introduce yourself, comment constructively about their
blog (not you!) and leave your website link.
SIGNATURE! Create an email signature. This should include your website
and a basic description or tag line describing your website and its benefits. You
should use this for all emails, whether original messages, replies or forwards.
Try to limit the signature to about two or three lines and set your e-mail
program to automatically add your signature to every e-mail that you send.
JOIN DISCUSSION GROUPS: You are probably already aware of certain
discussion groups that exist online and talk music, music genres or some other
aspect of music you are interested in. You need to get involved in these
discussion groups on the web and post on them at suitable intervals.
Questions are raised in such discussion groups and if you can answer such
questions you can include a link back to your website.
YOUR DISCUSSION GROUP: Have you thought about starting your own
online message board or an e-mail discussion list or chat room. When people
get involved in your community, they will regularly return to communicate with
START AN EZINE: Starting your own band/music e-zine provides you the
opportunity to be in touch with fans on a regular basis so they can be reminded
regularly to revisit your site. It will further help you develop a relationship with
your fans by keeping in contact and building credibility over time.
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Keep in mind you must have permission so a confirmed opt-in subscription
which means those signing up have done so by clicking on a confirmation link
or by replying to your email request is essential.
Corey Smith is a name you may have heard by now. His popularity continues
to grow via word of mouth and of course the internet. His music is probably
best described as Americana.
Corey himself explains “my music is just a mixture of all the music I grew up
around from southern gospel to country to rock to alternative music to hip hop
everything, so the term Americana is a kind of catch all, it’s kinda a little bit of
everything rolled into one, more southern than anything”
Corey’s story should be an inspiration to you - he went from teaching in high
school for four years to establishing his music career almost by accident.
When he started teaching his music was really still a hobby and he never
thought he would end up having a music career. While teaching Corey kept
writing his songs, kept on doing his open mic’s managed to make a CD and
kept on playing at local bars around his home town of Jefferson, Georgia.
In time word spread on the bush telegraph and people started burning his CD
and he began to get requests to play in college towns. Interest in Corey and
his music continued to grow until eventually he had to stop teaching! A full
time music career had arrived.
As a kid Corey dreamed of being a rock star and becoming rich and famous he
was going to prove to people that he was somebody, he was talented. That
desire intensified as he became a teenager, now playing guitar most of the
time, trying to write songs and be that rock star.
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This was the mid-nineties, a time when there was the notion that if you were a
musician and if you were good enough then at some stage someone was going
to come along from the music biz and give you that big break you had been
waiting for. Sounds familiar right?
By the time Corey got out of high school and got a taste of playing in local
bands and doing his first gigs reality started to kick in pretty quick. Even
though he was close to the music scene it didn’t take long before he realized
he wasn’t going to make it and maybe just growing up a bit was also starting to
kick in.
He began to question the rock star lifestyle and the notion of becoming rich and
famous, what kind of a goal was that to have in life?
It didn’t take long before Corey started to ask himself what he really wanted out
of life. Well like most young people he met a girl, fell in love and the girl
became his wife. Now he started thinking what else was important in life,
obviously his music but there were other things to consider.
He started thinking about having a more normal life a different set of priorities,
finding some security and he began to pull away from the rock star �pipe
What did he decide to do? He decided to become a teacher. The great thing
about this was that the good old high life enjoyed while pursuing the rock star
dream, strung out on drugs, drinking, partying all the time, dropping out of
college didn’t stand him in good shape when wanting to become a teacher!
So he headed back to school, got focused on education, got his grades up and
started to be in with a chance of making it as a teacher.
Something Corey had to learn was to get focused, concentrate his attention
and see the whole process through even amidst all the distractions. If Corey
was going to succeed this was a necessity and that’s exactly what he did.
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He became extremely focused month in and month out, year in and year out to
reach his goal – He wanted more than anything to be a teacher.
By January 2002 Corey graduated and walked straight into his first teaching
job. So was music now a thing of the past for Corey? No he still loved music,
still played guitar every chance he had when he wasn’t studying, still performed
now and again for friends, still kept on writing songs when the mood took him.
Obviously music was always going to be a part of his life, he loved it, it was
therapeutic, but making money in music, that was now pretty unlikely.
Anyone who has experienced anything similar to this knows that music is
always going to be a part of your life and this was certainly the case with Corey
but now his priorities had changed big time.
Interestingly now music had to take second place in Corey’s life he began to
love music in a different way. Now he was not playing or writing because it
was about the rock star dream or becoming rich and famous instead he began
writing what he felt from within.
Think about this, he was now writing songs that really meant something. Corey
says that looking back this alone is probably the most significant contributing
factor to the success he’s had.
Why? Because his music and songs started to come from a different place,
not from selfish motivations or the “hey look at me” attitude, but from a person
who was adjusting to settling down, in a sense an ordinary guy who’s songs
began to resonate with other ordinary people.
In Corey’s first year of teaching he started playing music to his new students.
As each Friday came around he would take some time to play some songs, a
sort of �keep your hand in’ approach and a relaxed way to end the week.
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Keep in mind most of these students were at least 10 years his junior and
listening to top 40 radio most of the time so Corey turning up with his acoustic
guitar was obviously going to be interesting to say the least and as Corey
admits made him a little “nervous”.
The songs he was now writing were mainly country and he honestly thought he
was going to get laughed at. Exactly the opposite happened; they were
actually more attentive listening to him playing his songs than in their normal
classes. The kids now began to encourage him saying things like “Mr Smith
why are you teaching, you should be playing music?”
Over time the comments of these kids began to chip away at Corey and he
began to think maybe he should get back out there with his music and see
what happens.
So back to the �open mic’ and writing more and more songs and eventually he
won a Monday night open mic contest in a little local coffee shop.
Corey openly admits he always felt pretty nervous, like everyone else
appearing were the real musicians whereas he was really a teacher. Fact is
Corey won the contest and the prize was a day’s studio time.
Now Corey had a fair few songs, now 25 years old he’d been having a go at
writing songs since his early teens, he admits most of them were not up to
much but he had plenty to choose from.
In reality he had written hundreds of songs and says “songwriters write many,
many, many, bad songs before they write a good song.” “I think another
contributing factor to the success I’ve had is the fact that by the time I got the
opportunity to actually record anything I’d got the chance to develop as a
Corey had already had the chance to learn from previous mistakes. Having
had time to learn something of the songwriting craft meant that by now he had
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
hundreds of songs so there was a fair chance of choosing eleven good ones to
He next went into a little studio in Oxford Georgia and admits he felt that this
was “going to be a big moment” while also feeling nervous and somewhat
pressured to now deliver - understandably so.
He says he couldn’t understand it at the time but he felt pressured that
somehow what he was doing was going to affect a lot of people. He couldn’t
have imagined what was going to happen in the not too distant future.
The record Corey recorded in all its simplicity has become incredibly popular
even though he still cringes at listening to some of the recordings. Obviously
this was not a big expensive recording and production like people would be
used to hearing on the radio.
This record was made remember with a day in the studio and an additional
budget of $800 out of Corey’s own pocket. Interestingly when looking back he
commented “It sounds like shit! But a lot of people dug it!” Truth is there are a
lot of great albums that sounded like shit that people love!
Now Corey had a record and he was $800 in the hole and wanted to make his
money back and quick that was his goal. He sold 80 copies to his friends,
family and immediate fans mostly in one night at a party they arranged.
Since then he has remained firmly in the black and the record has gone from
strength to strength.
He kept on playing bars here and there where he could get a couple of
hundred bucks a night and people would keep coming to the shows. As he
travelled further afield to perform he was surprised to find that when he arrived
at clubs and bars the reception was beginning to change.
Now instead of the handful of people he was used to he found that there would
be 100 or 150 in the audience and they would be singing along – they already
knew the songs! What was going on?
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The people that had copies of the original record were already burning copies
and passing it on to other friends. Corey himself says he would say to his
friends and family “go ahead burn it and give it away” and they did!
The word about Corey’s music spread – from that point on he continued to
keep writing songs, give away CD’s and go out and play live. Gradually he
started traveling further away maybe an hour or two in his car for gigs in areas
like Athens and Dahlonega.
Now he was bringing out crowds of 300/400 people and seriously building up
his fan base step by step. His strategy was pretty simple - just using kind of
ever increasing circles from his home town starting point of Jefferson.
Eventually Corey had to face the crossroads yet again. He would have to
make the decision either to quit teaching and keep playing music or quit
playing music and keep teaching.
Interestingly something had affected Corey and his view of the business of
music and that was a book “The Future of Music, Manifesto for the digital
music revolution” by Kusek and Leonhard.
Corey says “in a nutshell this thing took me out of that old way of thinking, I’m
gonna get discovered, someone’s going to give me a big fat record advance
and it’s going to be easy for me, from then on I’m just going to be a rock star,
make a lot of music and make everybody happy”
He summed it up like this “I read in this book about a guy in Illinois making
ВЈ100k a year making his own recordings, traveling around playing bars in
college towns mainly within a three hour radius of his house. At that point I’m
thinking pretty good, $100k a year, making music, doing my own recordings
and playing bars, sign me up”
Kusek and Leonhard make the point in their book that you don’t want to worry
about people pirating your music because if people download your music and
like it they are going to come to your show. When fans buy just one ticket to
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that show in simple terms you the artist are getting your money back. They
buy a t-shirt you just doubled your money!
Corey hooked up with Marty his manager who had also read “The Future of
Music” and this struck a chord between them. Obviously having someone
represent you who spoke the same language as it were was a big help. Not
long after this Corey made the decision to step out of teaching and go into
music full time.
In conclusion it’s fair to say that the way things turned out for Corey far
exceeded all his expectations. He may not be the kind of artist that you see on
the latest TV show and its unlikely you will hear him on mainstream radio
anytime soon. This does not mean he is not successful. By all accounts he is
very happy and has commented that his dreams have come true way beyond
what he ever expected.
Can you identify three things that Corey did to promote himself and his music you can do the same - JUST DO IT!
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The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
Step 6
Get More Fans Make More Money
“The instrument that I never learned how to play was my fans.
You know, they are the part of the story that nobody teaches
Lady Gaga
This step like all the others is seriously important if you want to be able to
“explode your fan base” not literally of course but in the sense of being able to
explode the number of visitors or fans coming to your website for sure.
This means focusing exclusively on the next steps you need to take to market
you and your music online. This is for one simple reason and it is this: There
are literally millions of people who use the internet daily. You have the
opportunity to build a global fan base or music community.
You hear lots of musicians complain about the time involved in trying to market
their music online and this is understandable because unless you know what
you're doing it can absorb lots of time. If you don’t get the results expected it's
very frustrating, even disheartening.
I’ve mentioned this before - I’ll mention it again, no I’ll let someone else say it
"The only thing constant in the music business these days is
LUCIAN GRAINGE Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group
(Interview New York Post - August 2011)
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There we are, straight from the horse’s mouth as they say; well you know what
I mean - from the top of the old business!
You must be aware of how things are changing and try and keep on top as
best you can. When setting out in music now you probably need a good online
marketing person much more than you need a manager, agent or music
Think about finding someone who can help in this area the others I mentioned
can come later. Maybe find a friend of a friend or a young student who is a
'wiz' when it comes to doing online stuff, websites, traffic generation and the
Why not find someone who is really interested in online marketing as this could
help you enormously. You could forge some kind of partnership or decide on
some kind of 'exchange' if money is tight (Be creative) This would mean you
can focus on delivering your music and covering promotional aspects that are
within your capability, most probably local and offline.
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Often two heads are better than one so if you're in a band maybe one member
is really good at 'online' or is at least able to sort your website and this will get
you up and running - get individual members of your outfit to take care of
various promotional activities. In the long run it's going to be much better to
find someone whose focus is all about online.
If you're a singer songwriter maybe you need to become a duo? I don’t mean
like Simon & Garfunkel I mean you concentrate on the music and your partner
concentrates on promoting and marketing you online and the two of you come
to some arrangement about how you can work things financially.
People from around the world who are interested in your genre of music or
what you have to offer as an artist will purchase your music and various
merchandise or digital products if you are giving them real value and most
importantly you have made it possible for them to discover you.
Obviously this is much more likely to happen if you have made the effort or are
right now taking the necessary steps to apply the previous material already
discussed. For instance you have already established your web presence as
discussed in the previous two steps!
Are you sure you have thought about the �X’ factor and are you using it to your
Have you clearly identified the market for your music?
Are you recognizing and more sensitive to opportunities?
Maybe you are now aware of opportunities you previously just did not see?
You should now know what to do to get people’s attention in various ways
depending what your aim is. Are you ready to apply that BOLD ACTION
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Do you see the value in developing TRUST? Are you doing it?
To put it simply your chances of success, fame and making money in music
are far greater if you utilize all these approaches we’ve talked about and the
mass of opportunities that online marketing makes possible.
If all you concentrate on is offline marketing and promotions you will restrict
your opportunities.
Your chances of making real money from your music in this time of �change’
are going to be far greater if you are actively participating in it!
Remember the world does not end at the bottom of the road you live on! If you
want to want to grow your audience or fan base fast you need to USE THE
In Step 5 we touched briefly on the advantage of social media and using basic
web tools like Facebook and Myspace as well as having your own dedicated
website or blog to promote you and your music.
Nowadays you need to be sociable, and the reality is if you are ANTISOCIAL it
is going to cost you money. The whole point of this book is to help you MAKE
MONEY IN MUSIC. Its purpose is not aimed at costing you money! There are
no shortcuts that last!
A commonly held view that people often raise about using social media for
marketing you and your music is the “it takes too much time” myth! That’s
exactly what it is a myth! I’ll quickly tell you why.
Most people think social media is about building relationships. That’s basically
what they’ve been told plus lots of people think social media can’t be used for
making money!
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The BIG MISTAKE is people mix their personal social media with social media
business - Your music and career in music is a business – If you want to be
successful in music and make money there is no other view worth having.
Think about this when setting up on line or setting up say your Facebook fan
page. You must separate these out so your social media personal - friends,
family, old school buddies and “I’m having lunch at XYZ’s today!” type
comments does not get mixed with your social media BUSINESS - that’s you
building your music fan following.
These people are your prospects or potential future customers - Hell these are
the guys you want to buy your next EP, music download, the deluxe CD with
the personally signed box set! Unique logo t-shirts! Bags! Mugs! Lyric book!
Photo pack! Plus kitchen sink, grannies dog . . . .you know what I mean!
Let's just take the social media subject a bit further and consider the potential
for promoting you and your music- These were the big guys in 2008
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Here are the Top 10 most popular social media sites as of August 2011 - Spot
the difference - in just three years!
Facebook stands out as the social gorilla taking share from not only other
social networks but blogs and other social media as well.
Six of the current Top 10 didn’t even show up in the Top 10 three years ago!
Nine of the August 2011 Top 15 social media sites were not even in the top 20
less than three years ago!
As mentioned everything is changing dramatically fast but you need to keep on
top of where your opportunities lie for building your audience and fan base.
Get help and get it fast!
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How many of the websites mentioned above do you even know about? Which
ones have you actually visited? Which ones do you regularly use from an
artist/music marketing standpoint? Social media marketing is a must because
it can drive masses of traffic to your website and content.
Just look at how many visitors some of the websites identified above get.
Social media is all about the community. You can rightly say it’s not about you;
it’s not about your music or music business, or about selling your music as a
product. That in a sense becomes a byproduct of your interaction.
Firstly you must involve yourself with connecting and interacting with your
target audience through these various networking channels. You can utilize
the social media channels to build brand awareness, increase traffic to your
website, and for link building.
If you’re new to the whole online world other than using Twitter and Facebook
to chat with friends then in a nutshell this is what the social communities
Content that appears new and unique
Content that is entertaining and interesting
Content that is useful
It’s important to get this approach right and act with the community interests as
your motivation. Genuinely use these websites as they were designed for and
honestly become part of the community - You need to SOCIALIZE!
The key to exploding your fan base is not just taking a handful of seeds and
flinging them all over a massive area as this will just leave you spread too thin.
You need to concentrate and focus.
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Develop a strategic plan, plant your seeds where you can maintain and nurture
them. Concentrate your attention initially on a few chosen sites. You will be
able to attract excited passionate fans that are able to then spread the word for
Don't be put off by the apparent magnitude of the task - Like with anything start
with a focused approach, a simple plan.
Realistically you need that person I mentioned previously. Like in the Success
Story about Ingrid Michaelson and William Fitzimmons they simply made sure
they and their music could be seen and heard locally and online. This will
provide you with a firm basis upon which you can then build.
You probably already use 'twitter' I can't believe that anyone reading this book
is not already a twit! I mean twitterer! You can build a fan base of followers on
twitter faster than anywhere else online.
You can use twitter to send potential fans to your blog, Facebook fan page,
Youtube Channel or any other social media site that you are using use to build
a community of loyal fans.
One thing you want to try and do, especially if you are say a singer songwriter
is use your real name and have a decent picture of yourself with a smile.
This is all about making it possible for people to get to know you - If you want
to build a fan base for you and your music that is very difficult if on Twitter
you're known as LaLaSinger471. Not a good idea if you want to build the
brand that is you!
If your own name is not available maybe try something as close as possible.
My twitter address is kevinjryanLIVE for this very reason and one of my
websites is because a certain very good looking Irish actor
already had the DOT COM.
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Use your twitter BIO/profile wisely - say what you do - you get the chance to
use one link so make it count. I recommend you link back to your main
website. People will click on this link to find out more about you and this alone
will help your Google ranking so don't waste this opportunity. RANKING
When it comes to quickly building your fan base of followers just use
"" you can find peers or others with similar music interests start following.
If you see someone has a large group of followers - go follow some followers,
many will start to follow back. Watch your own follower list grow!
When thinking about promoting your music you might want to consider building
a more local follower base especially if you are already out doing gigs and the
At type in your hometown or area like "Live in Salt Lake",
then start following and build a more local database. Find common ground
topics like new music artists, touring artists or new music releases even X
Factor and American idol or the like if you must!
Make sure it's not always about music; there are plenty of other subjects to
engage people with and start list building.
If you think fans of the group Muse or Mumford and Sons are the kinds of
people that would like your music or your band is in a similar genre musically
then start following those following them - look for real people. Those who use
their name with a real picture and are more recent followers are best to target.
I would avoid following people with bizarre names like Milkpot456 - these are
probably not the kind of followers that are going to turn into raging fans - but
hey - I could be wrong. (If you’re Milkpot456 - sorry!)
Here's a warning before you leap in and start sending followers a link to your
latest album release.
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I hate it when you follow someone and the first thing they do is send you some
kind of direct sales link, most people feel likewise. I mean you don't even know
who they are really.
Most people are much the same and want what you want. People like to buy
but they don't like to be sold! So don’t send them rubbish or try and SELL
them something at first.
DO NOT tweet to a sales page or a squeeze page - if you do you're out of the
game and you will lose them immediately.
You need to make sure that occasionally (less than 20% of your tweets) when
you do want followers to 'take notice' you do the best you can to package your
offer up in the right way.
When you send them to some content on your blog or website it's really
important you tell them to leave a comment as this will also help to get your
rankings up.
The King Kong on the social media landscape is Facebook. Its growth is mind
blowing. Just take a minute to consider the speed of this growth, the speed of
�change’ as we’ve talked about earlier. This change is not about to stop!
When it comes to you and your music and making money you should ask
yourself – Are you moving with the change or is the change leaving you
Facebook is not something to be ignored and it’s the easiest, cheapest and
fastest way for you to get a King Kong amount of traffic to your website. Just
try and grasp some of these statistics, the number of users and speed of
growth is staggering:
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The folks over at Google are looking over their shoulder I assure you in-fact in
Aug 2010 people spent more time on Facebook than on all of the Google
combined properties including Google Search, Gmail, Youtube, Google News
and Google video.
Facebook is now referring more traffic to websites than Google!
Facebook connects people together globally - people are forming crowds and
groups. You are most likely already sharing in this activity online.
If you logged into Facebook today let me ask – For what reason did you log in?
Hopefully it was to go to your Fan Page and keep building that buzz or to take
advantage of some other MARKETING YOU opportunity.
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If you're going to be successful and making money in music you need fans,
whatever you’re doing you need to build that fan base. Online that means you
need traffic - tons of it – so who’s got the traffic? FACEBOOK – YOU NEED
It really is easy to develop and build a loyal following of fans and these are the
people who will become buyers – in time.
So if you’ve not done so already go and get yourself setup with a Facebook
personal page, hook up with your friends and then get a fan page up and
running as soon as possible.
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Facebook �pages’ or �fan page’ as often referred to were originally created by
Facebook so that artists, bands, businesses or public figures could have their
own pages within the social network separate from their personal profile pages.
As I’ve touched on already when it comes to Facebook you keep your personal
page for personal friends. Your NEW FAN PAGE is for your music biz as an
artist, band, and songwriter or artist performer – this must be a dedicated Fan
When it comes to your fans you need to treat them right, be honest, genuine
and trustworthy on all levels especially musically. If you treat them right they
are much more likely to move from your fan page over to your own website
when invited. This should be your aim.
When fans are on your own website that’s when you can best make them
offers to buy.
Make sure you check out the Success Stories in this book and take some time
to look into the background of these artists. Most have started out pretty
organically and used social communities to some degree to spread the word.
You will get plenty of ideas from these examples.
Artists like Ingrid Michaelson and Kina Grannis use communities like Facebook
to build their fan base and then invite fans over to their main website where
fans can interact further and purchase music and associated merchandise.
This should be your aim.
You want to capture interest, give them a reason to click that ’like’ button and
want to stick around.
First off you will need to add some basics to your page and the list of Facebook
apps is endless. To get you started here are a few your page can’t function
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
Adding Fans – To get you up and running first invite your friends over from
you profile page that are your music fans! You can do this by using the
�Suggest to Friends’ button.
If just starting out you need real targeted fans. To get you started its worth
spending about $30 and get yourself 500 fans out of the box here is the link:
If you want to go for 1000 fans as a starting point this will only set you back
about $35 currently so probably a better buy. This gives you a start but you
want to grow your fans organically from this point on.
There are a number of services providing everything from add fans to twitter
followers, Youtube views and back-links.
Like most things in this life
everything is available for the right price!
Here are a handful of top tools to use on your Facebook Fan Page:
Adding Music - Rootmusic has built the most popular app on Facebook over
the last 18 months in the shape of BandPage with almost 30 million active
monthly users. The service is free and allows artists’ to post their videos
sell songs and promote their tours and so far over 250,000 musicians are using
the service.
Reverbnation Promote it! – This is the latest offering from Reverbnation, a
new Facebook advertising system for artists. It’s affordable, effective and
takes only 90 seconds to set up!
My Band Profile App – This is another free app, customizable, automatically
synched with ReverbNation, and easy to manage. You can add a Bio and
Band Photo, post unlimited songs for streaming or download, sell your music or
friends can add your music to playlists and share music with their friends to
name a few. Well worth checking out. Band Profile is the ultimate music
promotion and marketing tool.
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
Music App – The Facebook Music app allows users to store songs in a playlist
and if you have a Fan Page as suggested you can post your original music
onto the application.
Youtube Video Box – YouTube Video Box is the best way to share your
favorite YouTube videos on Facebook. Quickly find videos with its integrated
search, show off your favorite videos on your profile, and import your favorite
videos from an existing account and much more!
FlameTunes – FlameTunes is a great tool for artists who want to have total
control when it comes to the distribution of their own music. It allows you to sell
your music from any website that you control, even on your MySpace.
Involver – Involver is all about connecting brands and fans. You can upload
two apps free – you should try the Twitter app, you can stream your twitter feed
directly to Facebook and customize the look and feel. With the Youtube app
you can deliver video directly to social networks by having your Youtube
channel as a tab on your Facebook page.
Selective Tweets - This app is ideal for updating your Facebook Fan Page
directly from Twitter. You can select which tweets update ending it with #fb simple.
In the next few pages I'm going to give you some of the basics, well a bit more
than that, when it comes to social media and what you can use. A book of this
size does not allow me to go into all the possibilities or discuss the plethora of
tactics and apps available to use in promoting you and your music.
If you can apply even a handful of these tips you'll be moving in the right
direction. This will help you get to your music 'pay day' faster and if you really
'push the boat out' as they say, you have the opportunity to achieve just as
much as the individuals talked about in the success stories within this book.
Remember everybody you read about at some point had to make a start! At
some time in the past they had NO INTERNET PRESENCE OR WEB SITE they made a start and kept going and moving with the changes!
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
The annual Facebook developers conference took place in San Francisco on
September 22nd this year (2011) Features of interest to those of us looking to
market music and monetize our efforts were satisfied primarily with the launch
of Timeline.
Timeline - At this stage it looks like this is a kind of Facebook, tumblr, twitter
all rolled into one. It provides a new kind of profile that lets you better express
yourself - it looks excellent for promoting you and your music - much more
At the top of your timeline page you have a nice wide 'giant' photo - great for
promoting you! Timeline allows you to create a kind of scrapbook with one
simple click you can add status updates, photos, and music playlists or embed
You can log events like making your album, songwriting sessions, gigs - you
name it you can put what you want on your timeline and even go back in your
posting history and make adjustments or add bits from your post history.
This will be great for building your music or artist profile. For fans that like what
you do there is a good chance they want to look into your background. Now
that's all possible and you can make sure things are packaged or presented in
the right way.
You can create your background ready for your fans to check out! - You can
use selected bits of info from previous posts to help build the story and as you
know it’s those stories that everybody loves! Now you can tell yours.
You can also add apps to your Timeline - these help you see what your fans
are up to, what music they are listening to, even what they're watching on TV!
It doesn’t let them know when you’re in the bathroom thankfully!
With Timeline you can share in real time - whatever your listening to your
friends can see and join in listening - great for a more interactive type
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
This is a big move on from the old profile when 99% of the stories or
information you shared was lost unless you clicked "older posts" at the bottom
of the page.
With the new Timeline you can achieve so much more all in one place
Video content is the �BIG’ thing everywhere. You may well spend time
watching videos on Youtube and I hope you’re already taking advantage of the
opportunity to have your own channel. Youtube statistics are also totally jawdropping. Here are a few to get you thinking about the scope and reach when
it comes to such a marketing tool.
Where possible you should be uploading video content to share and market
you and your music. You need to always post a link back to your main
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
In the video description you also need to leave a comment about the content of
your video and include your website URL link.
Viewers who want to find out more about you can 'click' over to your site. This
is a good way to generate more traffic from around the globe and increase
visitors/ and new fans to your website.
To have your own channel on Youtube you must first be signed up so here's a
quick step by step guide.
ON THE YOUTUBE SITE: If you need help just scroll to the bottom of the page
and click the 'help' button on the left. You will see on the left of the page
'General Help Centre' click on this link to access help.
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
When it comes to choosing a name/URL for your channel make sure you use
your artist name and the word music so the URL will end up being something
As with all the sites you use online you need to make sure you brand
everything to have that look that represents you. You want to be memorable
so a little thought about how your Youtube channel looks is important.
Images are a way of emotionally connecting with people and it makes it easier
for your fans to know they are still with the same guy if they instantly see that
Youtube makes it easy for you to brand your channel and you have two
options. Everybody can brand their background and you can do this by simply
putting your logo or CD cover or whatever you decide as a background.
Secondly if you want to use banners or call to action branding this is only
available to Youtube partners. The advantage of partnering with Youtube
means you can earn money as they share ad revenue with partners. You will
need to be getting regular viewing so you would need to be uploading content
regularly to qualify as a partner.
If you are really serious about making money in music then Youtube should be
a part of your strategy in the long term. If you want to find out more about
partnering with YouTube click here
Youtube is great for driving targeted traffic - when they’ve seen your videos
they are more prepared to interact when they visit your website.
There are a number of things you can do to use video to drive traffic to your
website and monetize your efforts.
SELL YOUR MUSIC ONLINE – It’s free and you keep 100% of your profits.
That’s the kind of statement that captures attention. That’s exactly the
approach of Vibedeck the e-commerce platform for music. You can integrate
the service with Facebook, Soundcloud or your own website and Youtube.
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
The Vibedeck service enables you to sell your music on Youtube and the setup
couldn’t be easier. This means you can monetize your videos by distributing
your music directly from YouTube. The simple integration allows you to link
your audio to your video so your YouTube viewers can download your music in
three steps. Setting it up is easy:
1. Authenticate your YouTube account on VibeDeck
2. Select a track to associate with a YouTube video
3. Select a YouTube video to associate with the track
Vibedeck then automatically updates the 'description' field beneath the
YouTube player with a "Download Audio" link to your music. Simple!
When it comes to video obviously Youtube is somewhere you should have a
presence but it’s not �the only girl in town’ and should not be your only home
when it comes to video promotion of you and your music.
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
Above are the current Top 10 sites. Obviously the more eyes on your content
the more chance of driving traffic to your home website and the more
opportunities to make money from your music. It’s partially a numbers game.
Having just the one site is just not going to do it for you, especially in the early
When starting out it’s important to get as much exposure as cost effectively as
possible and the best place to start is with FREE.
I upload content myself to a number of sites and it costs nothing other than
some dedicated time. But the return in terms of traffic is well worth it. There
are lots of video sites you can use without charge.
Obviously my
recommendation is to start where you can upload video for free just like with
your Youtube channel.
Here are some other sites worth checking out.
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
TubeMogul a free service that will distribute your video to various websites
that gets lots of traffic. TubeMogul OneLoad is a free video distribution service
for brand advertisers and content creators who want to easily seed their videos
to the top video and social networking sites.
Creating video is now easier than ever. At basic level all you need is a
webcam attached to your computer via a USB connection. I use a Logitech
C905 it gives you HD performance and razor sharp images. Next step up from
this is the Flip camera which also gives you great quality and ideal when you’re
on the move.
Animoto generates music videos from your pictures and images and is ideal
for creating content for your website. They format your slides to the intensity of
your music so you can turn your pictures, video clips and music into video
masterpieces. The effects are superb so get over to the website and check out
the sample video.
Maybe you've already realized that with an online presence the MAKE MONEY
IN MUSIC approach is not totally about you and your music. There are a
number of related things you can do to get some cash in.
First and foremost you need to 'be interested in others' and then you can bring
in the cash while you are developing your music career. Here's a simple way
of making followers aware of other content and products that they might be
interested in?
If you use Amazon to buy books for yourself, how about recommending certain
music books on your own website? Think of things that will be really helpful to
those fans that drop by.
You don't even have to limit this to Music books you could bring to your visitor’s
attention other subjects of interest. The trick is to not just be interesting but be
interested - in your fans!
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
Take the few minutes required to join Amazons affiliate program as they say;
“You can start earning money today!” (
This simply means advertising Amazon products on your own site and you get
a referral fee. You don’t need to have an image on your site as you see on
some sites you can use just a text link which is much more subtle.
This is just the tip of the iceberg - think for a moment about the various
products available through Amazon or think of the music related electronics
that you might like to recommend to visitors.
How about making a short two or three minute video review of a product you or
the band use and would like to recommend. You can put the video on your
website or over on your Youtube site or on some of the others I’ve mentioned.
You just mention they can purchase the product and provide a link or if it’s on
your website tell them to click on the link below the video.
Those who click through and go on to purchase will not only appreciate your
recommendation but will also have earned you a commission! Now that's not a
difficult thing to set up is it?
For a small amount of time invested your content/link can work for you month
in and month out while you get on with your music. This type of approach can
bring in some passive income for you - have you thought about that?
That’s just using Amazon. Take some time out to think about other products
you could use the same approach with. The trick is to give the best info,
service, product or music you can - fans will then come back for more.
Once you have these affiliate links or short pre-affiliate videos set up you can
go tweet about it - those interested are now linked over to your blog, Youtube
or Facebook Page. This gives them a chance to find something they’re
interested in that you've recommended and that makes you a nice guy - right!
Where was the sell in that?
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
There is a number of How to videos on the Make Money in Music website that
can help if you’re not sure how to do this. Feel free to contact me at anytime.
I’ll do my best to help you if I can.
Kina Grannis - Is a 26 year old Singer songwriter with more than 400,000
subscribers on Youtube and 70 million total video views! Her example is one
to be imitated when it comes to the use of Video and channels like Youtube.
As you read about her experience try and think - could you do similar?
"Kinerds!" are what they call the army of fans who follow Kina Grannis - her
combination of pure talent, lovely personality, sincereness and level of
motivation is impressive.
How exactly has she managed to create her niche? How did she build that
personal communication with her audience? How has she ended up with
400,000+ subscribers on Youtube?
Kina got started with playing music and songwriting about half way through
high school and right after graduation did her first show. Did the usual coffee
shops, campus gigs, played loads of little venues, wrote lots of songs (practice
makes perfect) and even put out a couple of EP's while still at college.
Even at this early stage she took action! Getting her music out via CDBaby,
iTunes and selling CD's at these small shows. Importantly Kina saw the
importance of having some means of connecting with her audience - even if
very small at this stage.
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
Here's an interesting opportunity that came Kina's way. While nearing the end
of college a guy from Austin, Texas spots her music on Myspace. He contacts
her and asks her to come and sing in his band! Obviously Kina's first reaction
is "I don't think so!" This guy new all about being persistent and kept contacting
As she nears graduation time she realizes that living in LA is going to mean
having to work full time to survive and trying to squeeze in her music career
around work - not an easy one. Eventually the guy makes her an offer "Come
to Austin and I'll cover your rent and food bills!"
Kina took action and ended up in Texas singing and performing and giving her
the opportunity of meeting lots of other songwriters and musicians. This
unquestionably gave Kina the environment in which to grow musically and was
a hugely beneficial experience. One of the songs she wrote at this time was
called "Message from Your Heart".
In 2007 Kina heard through a friend about the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl
contest. This was a stateside nationwide competition where unsigned and
unknown music artists posted their original music and video on the Doritos
website. Then fans voted for their favorite song/video.
The winner’s song and video was to be featured as a commercial during the
big game! (The largest stage possible - exposure or what!) The winner was to
receive a recording contract with Interscope/Geffen/A&M Records.
By chance Kina had made a basic video of “Message from your Heart” one
night in her bedroom and uploaded it to her brand new Youtube site still on
private viewing just friends and family.
At this point she took another bold action - knowing a video was needed for the
competition she decided she'd take a chance and submit it for the contest!
Within two weeks she heard she had made the Top 10!
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From personal experience I can tell you these kinds of contracts almost need a
truck to make the delivery. For Kina it spelled out that the winner gets signed to
Interscope and here are the terms. You're entering into a two week voting
period and if you make it to the finals it's a further three week voting period.
Start thinking about winning!
At this stage Kina had what can only be described as a 'very low key' presence
and fan following. Her social media promotions activity was all but nonexistent.
What she had set-up was a Myspace profile since midway through college and
after starting the coffee shop type gigs she had started collecting emails and
therefore had a small mailing list. If she got twenty people to turn out for a
show she was happy. (You got to start somewhere right?)
With the Doritos competition in full swing Kina needed people to vote for her
song on the MySpace page daily! Not just once but every day and this needed
to continue for about two months.
Now you know it’s not too bad asking some loyal followers to pop over and
vote for you just the once - right - but every day for the next two months! Kina
gave this some thought. Was there something she can give them every day to
get them to stick with the voting? Off the top of her head she came up with the
idea to give them a new video everyday as thanks for coming back and
continually voting.
I think most people would not venture that far, so that tells you something
about Kina's level of commitment. Taking bold action, even an element of
'jump right in I'll work it out on the way’ - I love that.
The transaction here is very much "I'll keep entertaining you" if you keep voting
for me. Keep in mind Kina's first video which you can check out on Youtube
HERE was very basic so to commit to more daily videos was a pretty daunting
task.(OriginalYouTube video
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
Kina started sending out these videos to everyone she knew telling them about
the competition and asking them to vote for her and spread the word.
Comments started coming in, the numbers started rising, obviously what Kina
was doing was working. This action was really having an effect, making
content every day, connecting with an audience - this was working big time!
Ever thought about writing a song about Digg culture? That’s exactly what was
next. This just came out of simply messing about with her sisters. You know
the kind of silly video type thing. A friend posted the video on Digg. 30 diggs,
900 diggs! the next thing the video is on the front page of Digg for over a day!
This viral type push was a huge boost.
Two months later and a video a day as promised and Kina was flown out to
Phoenix with the other finalist for a viewing party. At the event the finalist were
told one of their videos would air after the first quarter - BANG! It was Kina's
"Message from your heart"
So you've just been viewed by upward of 200 million viewers and you've
landed yourself a major record deal!
Many people would think that with this level of exposure to millions of viewer’s
ratings and viewings would be through the roof. In reality after the Super Bowl
event Kina still had less than ten thousand subscribers on Youtube.
After several months as is so often the way with a major label Kina eventually
gets to meet up with the powers that be about moving her career forward.
Getting signed to a major label is one thing, getting that label behind you with a
focused marketing campaign means you have to be moving towards the top of
the priority list.
In a label like Interscope with a huge roster of great talent can you imagine
where this young lady was on that list? Kina naturally is thinking "what's the
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
plan" my songs are written, let's get an album recorded and get it out while we
have the momentum from the Super Bowl. Surely they needed to act fast?
The record labels take on the situation was to get this new young signing
working with other songwriters, develop new material, see how things pan out
over the coming months and we'll plan for an album then.
I've seen this myself so many times, you need to remember if you’re thinking
about getting a deal with the big boys - giant corporate labels don’t and can’t
move that quickly!
Kina had already been sharing some of her self-penned songs with online fans
These loyal followers were keen to get their hands on new material and with
Interscope this was looking at being two years down the road with a whole
bunch of 'new' songs.
The trouble with this is its like starting over again. As with so many new young
artists Kina being in the 'low priority' category resulted in her being assigned an
A&R person who puts a plan together for you to work with writers, co-writers,
producers and takes the line "We'll do X, Y and Z for the next few months and
see how things pan out or if you want to go OK!"
Put yourself in that position - what would you have done? Keep in mind
Interscope is one of the top labels in the business. They would have taken the
line “this is how we can make you a success” It’s a very well oiled machine.
In my own experience I've had dealings with various parts of Universal Music
Group over the years and there are some very talented people within the group
Most people don’t have the balls to walk away!
Kina continued to post new videos to Youtube and her now established
website. ( A loyal community of followers had
developed even to the point of followers referring to themselves as "Kinerds"
and "Kination".
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
She now felt that she had a real support group, they loved what she was doing
and this played a big role in having the confidence to walk away from the
record deal. Her decision was to stick with the people who were real and loved
what she was doing. She walked from Interscope!
Having regrouped following the amicable split from the record label Kina set to
work on getting her collection of songs turned into that long awaited album.
Having previously met a producer who loved what she was doing the decision
was made to go it alone.
Time to raid that piggy bank! With what savings Kina had available she set out
to get that album made. Developing the existing songs, trying out musicians
on the tracks, working on arrangements, working in the studio and trying
different production techniques all moved the project towards completion.
What made this possible was that Kina now controlled everything about the
project. There was no record label saying we want it done this way or that.
This process often takes more time but you will end up with the record you
want and if you’re smart and keep an eye on what your fans like and their
reactions to material in development you should end up with something they
want to buy. Everyone’s a winner.
The album STAIRWELLS became available in February 2010 and to help
create a buzz Kina re-recorded an earlier Youtube posted song "Valentine"
now with a new music video.
The strategy was to put the video online before Valentine’s day. Viewers were
encouraged to share with friends and could download a free copy of the song.
A physical copy of the album could be ordered from her website.
Another good tactic used was to make some personal signed copies available
as a pre release. This along with a series of live shows and a scheduled tour
boosted promotion and sales in a more traditional way.
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
If you go online to Youtube you can see the original “Valentine” video.
(LINK: This is the song that
fans grew to love and appreciate. - This is a super example for up and coming
songwriter/performers looking to promote their work by using social media like
This is so possible to do you JUST DO IT! Remember Kina did not hold back
she took a chance and it paid off. Here is the link to the music video that
( was then released to
promote the album.
This official version has all the hallmarks of a high quality music video. The
reality is if Kina had never had the courage to take action as she demonstrates
in the original videos probably none of this would have happened!
You see people all the time just sticking content up on Youtube - One way
content - I've done it myself! But what Kina did was engage in conversation.
Reaching out to make for a two way transaction.
If you check out her original videos on Youtube you'll notice how she does not
just play her latest song but shares other info about what is going on with her
so people can really get to know her - that’s how a relationship starts.
Her approach should inspire you - you can do the same - engage fans ask
them about song titles, get feedback, what they like, what tracks should be on
a release. You want them to be on the journey with you sharing in the process.
That original video had very basic production values - some people might not
have the courage to put up a video like that on Youtube, especially if you're a
bit of a perfectionist about your art! One element that stands out way above
the production quality of that original video is key and it’s the simple fact that
Kina had a great song.
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
Here is an artist that clearly demonstrates that if you put yourself 'out there'
and connect with people step by step you can have success. If you took my
advice above and went over to Kina's website you will see that it's not just
about selling music. This has its place but it’s much more about lifestyle.
Just check out what’s available in the LIMITED EDITION pack or the Deluxe
album and bundle! This is a perfect example of music and marketing and
genuine fans buy in!
Fans don't feel cheated or badly treated when an artist has really delivered so
if you want to have real success start putting together your action plan so you
can deliver to the same level.
Kina Grannis clearly loves what she does; her fans love what she does and
want more. It's almost like these people have become her social life and there
is a totally acceptable exchange from both sides - if it works for you just do it!
If Kina Grannis is coming to a town near you go check her out.
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
Step 7
Make Money
“I'm into pop because I want to get rich, get famous and get
Bob Geldof
If you've just jumped straight to Step 7 of this book I can understand why. I am
always in a hurry to get to the �meat’ or want to �cut to the chase’ as quickly as
possible. However in this instance it doesn’t quite work like that.
If you're looking for a quick answer as to how you �Make Money in Music' then
the truth is you need to apply all of the 7 step formula outlined in this book.
This is a process that you need to go through and when you combine this
approach with real talent, great music, a fantastic band, great songs or a
brilliant product and start to JUST DO IT! the revenue will start to come in.
The money is almost a side product of everything else. You need to start at
Step One and work your way through the previous six steps and that will
eventually bring you here to Step 7 Make Money.
If you choose to read on at this stage this should still make sense however as
with life in general most people have to learn to �walk before they can run’ so
when you're ready head off to Step One – Get Into Music Now.
Below are the steps set out as the �Success Formula’ as I like to call it. If
you’ve been paying attention to the �Call to Action’ at the end of each step you
will now have the basis of a blueprint you can build upon to help you make
money in music.
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
This is a valuable reason for taking one step at a time and giving yourself the
opportunity to act on the practical suggestions and tips in each step. Don’t
forget there is a Make Money in Music Blueprint at the back of the book so you
can print out the blueprint and write down you action plan answers.
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
There are almost endless ways to make real money from your music and your
level of success or profitability has a lot to do with how much effort you are
prepared to put in or as some call it �hard work’ and the approach you take.
The Internet is an incredible promotional tool for independent musicians. If you
market you, your music or band well and are creative in your approach it is
possible to achieve great things.
You can get radio play you can grow a fan base, create a distribution channel
or manufacture and sell your own CDs and all kinds of merchandise, especially
if you have the skills to target a �niche’ market.
What is becoming more and more apparent for independent artists is that
online tools are now proving capable of getting the job done. They are making
financial success more and more possible and giving you the opportunity to
make real money from your music.
The possibilities are even greater if you have a multiple revenue stream
business model. What do I mean by that? Take a look at the slide on the next
page. This shows you some of the many revenue streams for a modern music
Successful artists, writers, musicians with their own small companies can earn
money in many many ways. This chart will give you some idea how. Ignore the
percentages obviously mechanical royalties from CD sales have decreased
even further. Let me give you a quick overview.
The Music Publishing business has a multiple revenue stream business model.
In more recent years the revenue streams have changed in some ways and
now music companies tend to have a more all encompassing business model.
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
Not that many years ago the record and music publishing businesses were
very separate operations. Now with the decline in the record business and CD
sales the new approach is for a company to control as many rights and
revenue streams as possible.
That’s why you hear about the so called 360º models in the music world.
Basically the controlling company wants a slice of everything because they
can’t earn like they used to!
This basically amounts to earning from as many revenue streams as possible.
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
As you can see in the example above a song or piece of music can earn
money in a number of ways and it can be earning money from different sources
at the same time! That’s something you need to think about. The point is YOU
need to have a multiple revenue stream business model so that YOU can
“But I’m not in music or music publishing on that level” you cry! I know that but
hang on a minute. Let’s change that to you’re not on that level yet!
Maybe at this stage you are not able to support yourself fully from you music,
you may hold down a full-time job and your music is a side interest. You may
have got your music career to a level where you are generating steady revenue
but you really want to improve on this and are determined to make it big time.
Great hold that thought and don’t lose it!
I’m suggesting a multiple revenue stream business model for one simple
reason and it’s not that I want to go all �business’ on you, I know you're more
interested in the making music side of things but think about this from an
unorthodox angle for a moment.
It’s impossible to trade your time or hours spent at work for money, like in your
average job or hands on type business and be able to make a fortune. Yes I
appreciate someone may have an extremely well paid job but this usually
means they have to be married to it and I don’t think that is your goal unless of
course it involved you making money from your music!
What you really need is to be able to generate income from more than one
source without having to physically be in two places at once, which is
impossible anyway. This means you need to think about earning additional or
passive income from various sources besides any main income stream you
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Think of it like this, imagine yourself earning good money from your music
career, let’s call it your music business, it will have to become a business if you
are going to be successful.
Now besides this main source of revenue you need to come up with various
ways of generating additional revenue from related areas.
Just think about any successful music artist or band. How do they earn money?
It is not just from selling their music on a CD! Just look again at the New Music
(Publishing) Company example above.
It’s quite common for people in music to be so focused on the music or where
they want to get, that they just don’t see the numerous opportunities
surrounding them. Often these opportunities if recognized and focused on are
what can generate money and help support them on their way to stardom,
fame and fortune.
So just like the music publishing business YOUR music business needs to be
structured with a multiple revenue stream approach, then you can make real
money from your music.
In my own case every now and again a cheque turns up in the post, it’s a
royalty payment due on some recorded work or song writing project which I
had probably forgotten all about. The nice thing about this is it’s like getting
paid for doing nothing.
The reality is I’m getting paid for something I did once, in the past and I am still
getting payments for doing or creating that work for years into the future. Now
I’m thinking you like the sound of that?
If you can take that concept onboard you now need to look at all the areas it is
potentially possible for you to generate revenue from with your music.
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Firstly make a simple list, you then need to work out a plan and start doing
something about it. You will be able to increase your income as your music
business grows.
Where you're at with your music at this moment in time is obviously going to
have an impact on what is possible for you. If you’re just starting out the
options may be more limiting but not impossible.
Are you already out performing your songs and music live and building that fan
base? Do you have a website where you can interact with fans? Are you a
new band just forming or just starting out playing live?
Maybe you have been playing together for some time and are already
generating some income and are now looking to improve on this.
Are you involved in making music but not a live performer? There are still
opportunities for you to make real money from your music.
There are a lot of permutations that could be mentioned here and the best
thing is for you to sit down and consider your own situation and the
possibilities. Make a plan, choose to start with something attainable and
affordable then move forward from this point.
Much of what is possible will depend on your musical skills, abilities and
determination so let’s first just consider some of the basic ways that you can
generate income.
Keep in mind you want to do something that can also generate some passive
income, remember the more revenue streams the better.
Where possible try and mix it up, you will need to do some things that involve a
straight exchange, your time for money, playing gigs for instance. Plus you
need to get some things on the go like products, music and music related
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Do you have a special music skill or niche music market that can be exploited?
You want to do something where you make it once and can then continually
market and sell it to a specific audience in the future.
If these are music info type products keep in mind that if they sell well you can
also revise and repackage them in the future giving you a further opportunity to
sell and generate more revenue.
Below is a list of basic potential revenue opportunities. It is by no means
exhaustive but it should give you some ideas when thinking about the
Notice that each source of potential income is identified as being a Time/Work
= Money (T/W=M) opportunity or a Future Passive Income (FPI) opportunity.
You need to be thinking multiple revenue streams; this is the best way forward.
Many big music stars and especially songwriters like Elton John have huge
passive income streams, earning money from work they did years before.
Maybe you will be that big in music one day!
In the meantime start generating revenue from more than one source as soon
as is practical. Make sure part of your plan is to get some Future Passive
1) Play Live gigs – clubs, venues, Bars, House concerts etc (T/W=M)
2) Corporate gigs with function band (T/W=M)
3) Cruise ship gigs (T/W=M)
4) Play in Wedding Band or Theatre gigs (T/W=M)
5) Specialize in being a musical accompanist (T/W=M)
6) Play on recording sessions (T/W=M) + (FPI) As Performance Royalty
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7) Sell CD’s at gigs (FPI)
8) Sell Merchandise at gigs (Unique T-Shirt ideas)
9) Play Live House Concerts - use donation box/CD sales (T/W=M) + (FPI)
10) Sell CD’s via your Artist Website (FPI)
11) Make it easy for your fans to donate (FPI)
12) Sell CD’s via small local outlets (FPI)
13) Sell CD’s via online digital distribution (FPI)
14) Sell downloads of music tracks from your website (FPI)
15) Paid area access to your web-archive of music (FPI)
16) Sell useful info eBook/audio book with your music (FPI)
17) Create a podcast show in your music niche and monetize (FPI)
18) Private tuition of music instrument, theory or technique (T/W=M)
19) Music copyist and arranger (T/W=M)
20) Teach Music Technology, recording, programming, production (T/W=M)
21) Provide music clinics at local school (T/W=M)
22) Produce & sell �How to’ type tutorials for teaching above subjects (FPI)
23) Make music instruction articles available on web, free & pay for (FPI)
24) Create email newsletter, tips/free at first, then offer pay for course (FPI)
25) Session Musician for local music projects (T/W=M)
26) Record local music projects, bands, artists (T/W=M)
27) Record local songwriters demo’s (T/W=M)
28) Record local bands demos (T/W=M)
29) Provide sound engineer services (T/W=M)
30) Combine your music with niche products – seek JV opportunities (FPI)
31) Produce music for Holistic Healing Practitioners (T/W=M) + (FPI)
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32) Produce and record music �inserts’ for local radio, internet radio
(FPI as performance royalty)
33) Provide local Songwriters / Band directory – sponsors/advertise (FPI)
34) Sell other peoples info products on your web site (FPI)
35) Sell Amazon products / books related to music on your website (FPI)
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
Jonathan Coulton has been referred to as "a rock star for geeks." A comment
routed in the fact that his background is in computer programming. Having
grown up in Colchester, Connecticut in the 70's he started playing guitar and
writing songs while in high school and studied music in college.
HIs approach to music and making money is maybe somewhat unconventional
- if there is such a thing anymore considering we seem to live in an "anything
goes" world.
Anyway fact is he does a lot of very traditional things in music and some of the
newer stuff including touring, music licensing, selling songs and various
merchandise from his website. Let's just pause for a moment while you go and
take a look at his website. (
They don't come much simpler than that. Simple it may be but obviously
effective and it gets the job done. So if you're thinking of parting with the best
part of $3000 dollars for that singing and dancing website design, I suggest
you don't! Lots of better things to do with that money.
So talking of money Jonathan Coulton made about $500,000 in 2010 from his
music - I assume I've now got your attention? Interestingly you're unlikely to
hear him on local radio and he is not signed to some major record label. He
does however seem to be doing OK without the so called machine!
The computer programming career ended in 2005 when he decided to get
serious about his music online. In September of that year he set out to
write/record a "Thing a Week" for the next year and gave tracks away online
I love the first blog post header to the project "Thing a Week 1 - See You all in
Hell (
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This should be an inspiration to everyone who wants to develop their music
and build a crowd of loyal fans. Nothing like a bit of bold action I dare say. At
this stage having made a rather large commitment there may well have been a
slight feeling of “oh s***” on Mr C's part.
Each week he would post about his activity, what he was working on, how it all
came together or not as the case may be.
If you take the time to check this out you will see that loads of people got
involved. Comments galore, suggestions, fun, plenty of interaction plus the
opportunity for fans to Buy the Song, Send a Donation, Hear More Music or
just Subscribe to Thing a Week.
By the end of the experiment as Jonathan called it there was something like 90
responses on the blog. Some week’s even greater numbers of comments and
interaction by those following.
One response by JoCo himself sums things up well "I did want to push myself,
learn to write more easily, not fear the blank page, etc. I also wanted it to get
me some attention, which it certainly has. I never dreamed I’d actually make a
living this way"
If you want to be successful and make money in music think about those words
and take action. Jonathan has gone from strength to strength and has had his
music featured in audio books, playing theme songs and incidental music.
He wrote and performed "Still Alive" for the end credits of Valve Corporation’s
2007 video game Portal. In 2008 the track was available as free downloadable
content for the game Rock Band and in 2011 a new song "Want You Gone"
was featured at the end of Portal 2.
This and numerous live dates all helps to keeps the Jonathan Coulton machine
running not on air but on money hard earned and well deserved.
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Lots of people would throw him in the novelty song category and there is an
element of truth in that but in fairness that’s not the whole story. I can think of
loads of novelty songs that have been unbelievably successful.
I don't recall hearing the writer, performing artist, music publisher or label that
released these hits complaining. I guess it depends what your stance is when
it comes to making music and money. At the end of the day you do what you
This is a real case of Jonathan Coulton is the show! He takes care of just
about everything himself. Works out of his lounge/studio/office all rolled into
one. Making tracks and in time uploading them to his website where fans can
hear and buy.
The great thing about this is that there is no middle-man and all the associated
costs that go with being with a record label. To explain, instead of the label
distributor getting the major share of the pie and the artist the leftovers - this is
kind of like role-reversal. In this scenario Jonathan gets the lions share and
the leftovers cover internet/hosting/PayPal type costs.
So, you ask - will people actually pay for downloading music tracks? Yep - the
difference with artist like Jonathan Coulton and many others is that the fans
have involvement.
These relationships are normally built up over time. It's a bit like we're all in
this together and so the fans happily choose to buy music from the artist
they're involved with.
Music fans are much more savvy these days and know that the artist is actually
getting the money directly in many cases, especially when purchases are made
directly through the artists own website.
I'm sure you’re smart enough to realize things don't just happen - cause has its
part to play. For Jonathan, this was the song 'Code Monkey', a semi
autobiographical song about a 'tech geek' software programmer.
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The song got exposure through the Slashdot website. The website tag is 'News
for nerds - stuff that matters' and the track became huge within the tech
community as you might imagine.
Lucky breaks do happen and this was Jonathan's. The song spread like wildfire
within the techie community. Of course weather intentional or not the fact
remains that he wrote and recorded a song for a very specific audience. I mean
this was an audience that he was a part of. He wrote code for goodness sake!
Most songwriters write to some degree about life experiences and the like.
From a marketing standpoint that’s just about the smartest thing you can do know your audience and give them what they want, even if it’s their own little
quirky anthem!
What I love about Jonathan and his success is that he actually did what you
need to do if you want to succeed. He did something new, unique and a bit
quirky. The very thing you need to do to get attention! That’s what it takes.
I've heard people be critical of Jonathan Coulton like with the novelty song type
comments. Hey for all I know maybe that’s what he loves to do. If everybody
did the same thing, well wouldn't that be just awful!
Many of the things he has done and keeps doing to build his following and
make money are well within the reach of many artists, especially the more self
sufficient writer performer types.
At the start he recorded his songs, often with just basic equipment and the use
of his computer and software.
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Jonathan Coulton’s business model consists of something old, something new
and a large helping of something borrowed. As they say "there's nothing new
under the sun."
It works for him and is built around him. When you consider what it involves I
think you would agree that it is very 'do-able'. I don't say this to mean that, all
you have to do is replicate and 'bingo' you hit the jackpot.
Who you are, your work ethic, approach, talent, determination and a whole
host of other factors including the 'lucky break' all play their part but there's one
thing you can be sure of Jonathan Coulton is not work shy.
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Here are some elements of his approach you can consider using within your
own plan to be successful and make money in music:
1) Own all your own music 100% - No record company!
2) Control what you do - give it away, sell it, package it, however you want
3) Find a target audience or niche and engage with them!
4) Record at home with the basic equipment you need
5) You make the music - let others put it to video and post online
6) Collaborate with someone on an audio book - provide music
7) Profits made from all sales are coming your way!
8) Release material that is freely downloadable to fans
9) Communicate regularly with fans online
Use Blogs, Podcasts and Social Networks to get attention
Put on simple solo gigs for fans and build your following
One thing I totally agree with Jonathan on, and I'll quote him on this, is:
"Now is a better time to be a musician or a fan of music, than any other time in
all of human history"
People, music and success come in all different shapes and sizes and the
ones that make it are normally the ones that did something different.
I've quoted Neil Young in this book already and I'll do it again, it’s a great
lesson in a few words. He said "When the punk thing came along and I heard
my friends saying, I hate these people with pins in their ears. I said, Thank
God, something got their attention."
Jonathan Coulton certainly has his niche and it works for him big time. His
business model is not exactly rocket science. The truth of the matter is he
takes action so scores high on the execution scale. This is where many fall
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
He has mastered using the online communities and makes a point of regular
interaction with his fans. This is key and a major factor contributing towards his
continuing success and increasing bank balance!
I mention this area because it very much fits the Indie Music Artist and Music
DIY approach that is so much more possible with all the incredible promotional
possibilities now available.
It also fits the multiple revenue stream approach that can help you make real
money from your music.
Licensing involves the transfer of copyrights, in whole or in part, exclusively or
non-exclusively, from one entity to another, usually for money.
I mention this because if you have the ability to be pretty much self sufficient
musically and have your own small recording setup this might work for you.
Working with other music writers, producers and performers you should be
able to produce music to what’s called a �master’ standard. If that’s the case
then you should look at this area.
There are a number of approaches that can be taken with this and there are
various opportunities only limited by your own mindset.
In my own experience I have found this a good approach and have done
several projects where I had control of a copyright, part of a copyright or sound
recording and records were put together, exploited and deals done.
In my own case this amounted to working with various music collaborators,
most recently in the dance genre. We would come up with a concept for the
track or tracks, record and produce the finished masters and then look to
license the master recordings to a record label. They in turn would market and
promote in various territories.
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We would organize some initial promotion for the recorded singles including
key UK clubs, DJ’s and some very specific targeted radio. Sometimes we
would also target similar in Europe but only enough to create the buzz we
As mentioned earlier marketing is everything and everything is marketing so
you must have in mind the end game before you start. The end result in this
instance was the projects were licensed for the UK then Europe and other
parts of the world.
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The financial benefits can be worthwhile and will involve getting an advance
payment against future royalties from the record label for transferring the
master sound recording rights to the company.
My approach to this would be to try and get a good advance against the record
and limit the territories with the company so I could then go and license the
recording independently to other territories around the world as mentioned.
These kinds of deals within this genre can generate a good advance (from
$16,000 to $120,000 at time of writing). If the record goes on to international
success you have the potential for further royalty income. Keep in mind that
Future Passive Income!
Because some of these recorded tracks were original songs we controlled the
publishing interests. There is a difference between the “song” and “sound
A song is a collection of notes, rhythms, and lyrics. A sound recording is
simply a means of fixing that song into a tangible medium. The distinction is
important because you can control rights to a song but not a sound recording,
and vice versa or as in the examples above you can control both rights!
Once you have a record label that wants to do a deal for your sound recording
and is looking to release, in this case a mainstream commercial record, then
you have the window of opportunity. You could do a publishing deal with a
suitable publisher. The music publisher will likewise need to pay you an
advance against future royalties.
Obviously there are lots of negotiations involved in doing these deals. Knowing
when the best time to secure certain types of deals is comes with experience.
Advice is always available and can be sought out.
When you way up the potential financial rewards with these kinds of license
deals I think you would be tempted to do likewise.
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Another key point is limiting how long the record company or music publisher
has control of the rights you assign to them. You want to try and limit them as
much as possible. Ten years is quite common in these kinds of cases.
Whatever you do always get the advice of a music lawyer when you need it.
Lastly, keep this in mind. This is a deal where you are not assigning your life’s
work to some company with all kinds of crippling copyright issues. You are
simply assigning a specific sound recording or group of recordings for a limited
These works can then be exploited by the company that should have their act
together and be able to promote and market the product successfully.
(WARNING: watch this because as the song says “It Ain’t Necessarily So”)
Dealing with some of the 'Big Fish' of the music world with these kinds of music
projects may not be for you.
If you can have an attitude of, done, money in the bank, let’s move on to next
project you can win in this area and MAKE MONEY IN MUSIC.
Below is a chart to remind you of how you benefit or Make Money in this type
of situation. The most important point I want you to take from all of this is to
look at what you’re doing with your own music. Start thinking about earning
money from as many revenue streams as possible as soon as you can.
If you’re now thinking OK but this won’t work for me and my music or band I
suggest you think again. You are likely working in a totally different genre of
music as a songwriter or with your band but hold on, don’t rule out the
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Here are some more ways of generating revenue under this licensing type
approach which requires every genre, type and style of music you can imagine.
Car Dealerships: If you have a great song (recorded/master) and you get
them to use the song in a new commercial they are planning for a set fee then
this is a license deal – got any ideas?
Video Game Company: A local group I know in the UK not signed to any
record deal pitched a song (recorded/master) to a games company based in
Japan. This resulted in a financial deal being done for usage of the sound
recording and song in the game. This was taken care of by a music lawyer
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
who the boys were put in contact with. Each member of the band got a slice of
the advance fee.
Media Producers: Think of the need for music with creators of film, TV shows,
radio, advertising, home entertainment, fitness videos, hotel lobbies and Spa’s
- can you think of any others? A lot of this music is not written specifically for
these productions but is actually licensed for use.
This is very common with TV shows. Just stop and think of all these TV
shows, you know the ones you watch. Think of all the songs and new music
you’ve heard via these shows.
This is often where newer songwriters get in and because they have a song
that fits a particular mood or emotion it gets used and bingo! If you are a
songwriter is this an area you should be focusing on?
The competition is fierce, what do you expect? This is why in Step One we
touched on the issue of MINDSET. Remember where there's a will, there’s a
Production Music Libraries: These are often the place media producers
mentioned above go when looking for music. So can you produce completed
albums that you could license to such Music Libraries?
Can you target some companies or media producers directly to get them
interested in your music and then license your music to them? Think of all the
new cable TV and internet TV channels that are coming into existence and
require music!
Music Library Buyouts: Be aware that some music libraries will do buy out
deals whereby they buy the exclusive rights to an album. This might be an
album of songs or music in a specific genre or mood of music
(recorded/masters) in return for an upfront advance.
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These companies usually then split any back-end royalty (50/50) between you
and them for performance royalties generated by TV usage. This buyout
approach is ideal if you have material or songs that easily make up a specific
kind of genre collection.
Free with a Catch: This is an interesting one. A guitarist musician friend of
mine in London uses this �free with a catch’ approach and I’ll explain the best I
He is a great musician and has played for lots of famous recording artists
Annie Lennox and George Michael to name a couple. However the music he
creates for these �free with a catch’ projects is totally different.
They are more like underscores built around guitar themes and he is able to
record and produce a CD album worth of material reasonably cheaply. He
then packages these albums and presents them to music libraries, TV
production companies and the like for free!
Here’s the catch. If the music is used in a visual production or on TV then
there is a royalty that needs to be paid by the producers of the show or visual
production to a performing rights organization (PRO) such as the Performing
Rights Society in the UK or ASCAP in the USA.
These societies in turn pay the royalties due against registered works to its
registered writers and publishers. In this case my friend is Record Master
owner, songwriter and publisher and so controls the song and sound recording.
He earns his money by the royalties paid for usage of his works in these
This is a kind of free-at-the-front-end-gets-paid-at-the-back-end arrangement.
He often soon breaks even on the initial costs of producing and packaging a
new album. Once past this stage its profit all the way and this can provide
periodic passive income for years into the future!
Outright Sale - Another music producer friend of mine in Scandinavia works in
the area of Brand Audio Logo's. He and his partner write and produce audio
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
logos and music for companies and their products for a specific fee. When
complete the Brand becomes the owner of the created work and therefore has
the right to all future royalties earned.
This is somewhat unorthodox and some creators of music and their
representatives are totally against this kind of thing due to issues of copyright
and ownership. Fact is as mentioned at the beginning of this book today's
music scene is best described in one word "CHANGE" everything has changed
and is changing.
"Music is everybody's possession. It's only publishers who think
that people own it." John Lennon
Stop and think about other potential areas where you may be able to produce
or provide music in return for some form of license fee.
Audio projects:
Audio books, motivational tapes, audio guides, commercial podcasts
Corporate videos:
In-house instructional and training videos
Local Small Film Projects:
Do you have access or can you find localized projects you can look to get your
music used in.
Video Games and Software Use:
Depending where you are situated this is an area worth considering. Target
very specifically as it’s very competitive.
Many companies large and small are increasingly looking to use video content
on their websites along with a flash or java application. Can you find local
opportunities in this field?
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Products, toys and widgets:
Music is often used or embedded in these.
Radio Advertising and show productions:
Another media area where music is used all the time.
Event Videos:
Music is often used in the production of weddings, events and promotional
company videos.
Music on Hold:
You know those companies you call and they keep you on hold, in comes the
music. Are there local companies that you could provide your music to or
make a specific Music and Hold message service for?
At one time many musicians or bands were anti having their songs or music
tracks used in advertising commercials but the times they are a changing. Now
this is a big area so give it some thought.
Licensing a song for use in a commercial can generate a very attractive pay
day. Just for having a song placed in some TV show can easily earn you a five
figure sum. Placements in films or commercials can be six figures.
A real advantage in this area is the level of exposure that is gained by having
your work used so it is something you should consider if it’s within your reach.
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
In the current economic downturn it is very easy to get caught up in the
prevailing negativity and many may think this is not a good time to get any kind
of business or music career off the ground. Ignore such negative views and
remember not to succumb to the pessimistic viewpoint!
Artists and their music are becoming more and more recognized as brands.
Often they can be likened to a “cottage industry” and there are plenty of
musicians who have started out with this approach, seized the opportunity and
built from this position and had success.
Finding new approaches is always possible when starting with an open mind
and this is exactly what London based duo, Martyn Shone and Lindsey
O’Mahony aka �Honey Ryder’ demonstrated. They also took the knowledge
and experience gained previously and adapted it to help take advantage of the
opportunity they saw before them.
Vocalist Lindsey previously worked at MTV while guitarist Martyn used to be in
banking with Credit Suisse while also developing his potential music career.
The duo came up with a business model with the DIY ethic along the following
They set up a company �Honey Ryder Music Limited’ with 200 shares. They
then produced a business prospectus offering potential investors 100 shares in
the company for a financial investment of ВЈ3,500 per share.
This would give shareholders equity of 0.5% for every share bought and
provide a promotional and touring budget of ВЈ350,000. A further benefit to UK
investors was that the scheme qualified for the UK’s Enterprise Investment
Scheme so shareholders received additional tax breaks when investing in such
a start-up venture.
If this all sounds impossible think again, the duo performed at the annual
Cannes Midem Music Conference back in January 2009 and spent the rest of
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
the week at the event pushing their business prospectus. At the time they had
already found investors for 70 of the 100 shares on offer!
Having done a few deals in my time what made this really interesting was the
following: The business model enabled investors the opportunity of receiving a
dividend on future profits generated from various revenues including Album,
single CD sales, downloads, license deals, touring and merchandise and
obviously there is nothing unusual about that.
However this deal did not include any of the music publishing revenue
generated by Honey Ryder and the duo wrote their own songs. Now that is a
very smart move and no doubt this business plan was put together with due
consideration to the end game.
When it comes to albums and singles sales profit dividends are payable in
perpetuity, while with merchandise and live income, shareholders receive
dividend payments on the first three years profits only and then 100% reverts
back to the band.
This is another model with a twist and shows what can be achieved when you
take some time to consider the opportunities that can often be right before you
if you just open up your mind to such possibilities and find new or modified
ways of doing things.
You can find out more about Honey Ryder at
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I wanted to mention this after the last Success Story in a sense as a warning.
Not to say that getting a business or music project funded is the wrong thing to
do but be careful about the timing and source of funding.
Be careful you don't lose sight of your goals and keep in mind that with today’s
technology much can be achieved and you can probably establish a
sustainable business before you even go near funding.
In 1998 I was working with a songwriter friend of mine and we decided that we
should set up a studio where we could work on our own projects. This would
also give us the opportunity to develop new talent and so we decided to set up
a production company.
The previous year Pro Tools the digital audio workstation software had reached
the 24 bit, 48 track version and it was at this point that the migration from the
more conventional studio technology to the Pro Tools platform took place
within the recording industry.
This new technology would be centre stage within our studio setup. We would
develop new singer songwriters and group projects within this environment and
look to do production or license deals with the majors.
The business model was not new and still worked. We had loads of contacts in
the UK and USA and with our combined talents and track record we were
confident about getting the company up and running.
When we started out with this simple idea we knew we could bring a huge
amount to the party ourselves. We estimated we needed about $75,000 to
help out with the studio, new technology and some overhead costs to get us
through the first 18 months. Within this timeframe we would land a production
or license deal and move on.
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
With my own experience in business and a little mentoring I was able to put
together a very extensive and detailed business plan. This was just what we
needed to accomplish our aims and source the funding.
We quickly found another business partner to assist with funding who we
generously let become a shareholder in the company. The simple plan that we
started out with and the funding requirements began to change.
I had already produced a five year business plan outlining who we were, how
the company functioned and its goals, extensive financials, profit and loss,
royalty and earnings streams, cash flow forecasts, you name it. I had produced
it and the plan was very well received.
BUT what this business was going to be and how it achieved it changed. The
$75,000 became $1.2 million! This all happened very quickly but what I and my
original business partner set out to do changed dramatically - letting the money
in was a gigantic mistake!
With Venture Capital funding the whole dynamic changed. Over the next two
years I worked my butt off. It was like I'd bought myself a job. My creativity
just went out the window.
In fact because of the complexity of being a shareholder with my new VC
buddies in the company I was advised by my lawyers to NOT write or create
anything as it would be forever controlled by the company and if we sold the
company in the future my rights would be going with the company.
As shareholders after the funding was complete myself and my two partners
had about a 60% controlling interest in the company but my creativity was now
owned by other people.
Now my job was to focus on developing projects and running the business.
This is not what I set out to do in the beginning. I spent the next two years
working 18 hours a day, worrying about money, deadlines, quarterly
investment management meetings, traveling and giving investment
presentations because I was the one who could 'talk the talk'.
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
Explaining the complexities of a music business and how it makes money was
something I knew how to do. This was a business that could make lots of
money and this is all that investors are interested in. When it came to the
artists, music, talent, nothing mattered. The only thing that mattered was - The
When the company was under pressure financially and needed more cash,
guess who had to make the call to negotiate another $250,000!
You've probably heard the expression "Stop the world, I want to get off” Well
I'm still here but that roller coaster was one I needed to get off and I did.
If you can learn from other people’s mistakes and not your own it’s a lot less
painful. If you've got a great idea for your own music business you don't need
to have investors and money to get things off the ground.
Be careful you don't end up with just another job earning someone else money!
That's probably not your idea so don't get sidetracked.
Start small and grow your business. With today’s technology on and offline to
help you most startups need just about no investment cash to get up and
If what you do works and is turning a profit you will be much better placed in
the future to deal with any kind of investment - You might not even need it and
you can stay in control of what you're doing.
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
You may have "what it takes" to be successful in music and this book should
help you get where you want to go - with the right Mindset everything is
As mentioned at the beginning of Step Seven there is almost endless ways to
Make Money in Music. You may already be involved in some of them.
Hopefully you now realize that this is a real possibility for you, if you grab the
Now it's up to you . . . . JUST DO IT!
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
In the introduction to this book I suggested today's music scene is best
described in one word "CHANGE" These changes are ongoing. In a book of
this size I couldn't possibly cover every, tip, trick or approach you can use to
enable you to make money in music. New methods and techniques are
probably yet to arrive especially in the online world.
Make sure you take advantage of the Make Money in Music Blueprint at the
back of the book. You can easily print these pages so you can use the
blueprint to assist you in setting out your step by step plan. Make sure you
review the material at regular intervals. Don’t fall into the trap of getting on
with life and forgetting all about what you were going to do. If you really want to
reach your music pay-day fast then you need to act now!
As a service to readers I am happy to offer free updates on the seven step
formula and methods covered in this book and will happily throw in the odd
unorthodox tip that comes my way. This means you don’t have to go looking
for them and you can get them dropped into your email inbox periodically.
You can put whatever value you choose on these updates (I'd say $75+) the
bottom line is you invested in the book and so I’m going to let you receive
these absolutely free over the next 12 months. All you have to do is the
Get Your FREE Updates to Make Money in Music
Send an email to [email protected]
In the message area write your name and where you purchased the book
The updates will be sent by email
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
Make Money in Music Blueprint - Step 1
“If you have the opportunity to play this game of life you need to appreciate every moment. A
lot of people don't appreciate the moment until it's passed.” Kanye West
1. Develop a Success Mindset - What will you do to keep focused?
2. By what date will you complete reading this book?
3. Identify how you might make money from your music now?
4. Choose a realistic amount of money to earn in the next year -
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
Make Money in Music Blueprint - Step 2
“The object of this competition is not to be mean to the losers but to find a winner. The process
makes you mean because you get frustrated.” Simon Cowell
THE X FACTOR - CALL TO ACTION - Your Targets / Notes
5. Examine you and your music for X factor strengths -
6. Ask friends / fans - Make a list of these strengths
7. Identify X factor weaknesses - Ask friends / fans - Be honest with yourself
8. Take steps to improve weak areas one at a time - What’s first on the list?
9. Choose a realistic amount of money to earn from music in the next year –
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
Make Money in Music Blueprint - Step 3
“Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed.” Mark Twain
10. Take time to best identify the audience for you music - write it down!
11. What do you know about this audience?
12. What do they need and want?
13. Make an action list of steps you will take to reach this audience a)
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
Make Money in Music Blueprint - Step 4
“You have an opportunity to be in control of your life for yourself by the
decisions that you make.” P Diddy
14. The test revealed you need to improve in what areas?
15. Make a list and work on these one at a time a)
16. Try to meet two new creative people a week - Who did you meet?
17. Act on one achievable opportunity you are now aware of -
18. Simply outline the steps to reach this goal and DO IT!
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
Make Money in Music Blueprint - Step 5
“When the punk thing came along and I heard my friends saying, I hate these
people with the pins in their ears. I said, Thank God, something got their
attention” Neil Young
19. What will you do to give your fans real value?
20. What new social media tools will you start to use - Start today!
21. How can you show interest in your fans - Offline and Online?
22. What bold action will help you Make Money in Music ASAP?
23. Write down the action steps you need to take - Set a deadline now!
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
Make Money in Music Blueprint - Step 6
“The instrument that I never learned how to play was my fans. You know, they
are the part of the story that nobody teaches you.” Lady Gaga
24. Find someone that can help with online activity and marketing - Who?
Possible a)
25. Make sure you have a dedicated website of your own - Sort it now!
26. Use Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Myspace video sites
a) Do you have accounts with all these sites?
27. Plan regular content updates - What will you do this week?
a) On Facebook:
b) On Youtube:
c) On Twitter:
d) On LinkedIn:
e) On Myspace:
f) On other video site:
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
Make Money in Music Blueprint - Step 6 continue
28. Upload something Interesting, useful or entertaining for fans a) On Facebook:
b) On Youtube:
c) On Twitter:
e) On Myspace:
f) On other video site:
g) On other video site:
29. What can you do to generate some passive income online?
30. Write down the action steps you need to take - Set a deadline
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
Make Money in Music Blueprint - Step 7
“I'm into pop because I want to get rich, get famous and get laid” Bob Geldof
31. What revenue streams can you get to work on now?
32. What income streams are a real possibility for the future?
33. Identify one opportunity to make money from music licensing -
34. Is there a local business opportunity for this? - Identify and approach!
35. Is there a way you can make serious passive income online?
36. What is the biggest opportunity you have now? - Just do it!
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |
BIG thanks to you for taking the time to read this book.
Make sure you take action so you really get the benefits.
More information is available to help you on the website
So keep an eye out for new content and tutorials at
Please keep in mind putting this book together took lots of time and effort so I
would really appreciate it if you would respectfully refrain from sharing or
distributing the book without my permission.
So Here IS my Permission – Spread the word!
The 7 Step Success Formula | Kevin J Ryan |