The Biggest Challenge Every Musician & Entrepreneur Faces revolves around the same thing. Most of us who go from working for someone else to working for ourselves, or starting our own projects struggle with the early building process because we don’t identify 2 foundation elements to our projects. These 2 elements determine how we keep the machine on and moving. I don’t refer to your work, business, or operation as a machine callously.
The machine is the passionate work you do that you believe in with all of your heart and want to share with the world. It’s your art, your business, your creation. To you, it’s not a machine but a calling. The calling has to have life coming into it for life to come out of it. That income, is where the machine part of the analogy comes into play. Machines are made of pieces that keep the passion/calling going and growing. If the pieces stop moving, life runs out, frustration takes over and you end up quitting (in whole or in part) on your calling. Keep those pieces moving.
Those pieces include
1. Audience/Client base creation and growth
2. Business model & plan
3. Execution of plan and adaptation to changes
None of this is easy, and none of it allows us to be flippant or passive with how we go about achieving our goals, creating success, and repeating that success for growth.
How to overcome the challenge of establishing the base, model, and execution of your plan
There are lots of people with good ideas on how to overcome this challenge. Use those ideas. Even better is finding people who have USED the ideas they talk about in a real capacity instead of “I have clients who took my platform and made a million dollars in just 3 weeks.” I’ve bought into a few of these platforms and none of them work as advertised.
Is there a one-size fits all approach to keep the pieces moving for all 3 of these areas that works 100% of the time, that you can automate to work without having to pay attention and that will ensure that you can make money and have success without having to think about it?
(This is the part where some marketers will tell you YES THERE IS!!!!!)
I’m not that kind of marketer, though I do some marketing. There’s a difference. In any case, I don’t know how to achieve all three of these elements with my eyes closed, hands tied behind my back, and feet propped propped up on the desk while millions of dollars flow in. No one truly does, though lots of people will claim that this is what they do every day and that they can show you how to do it too.
Have you seen Wolf Of Wall Street? The title character is Jordan Belfort, a trained stockbroker who takes his NY skills to penny stocks and transforms how investment trades work. He was a great salesman, and a great marketer. He was also an incredibly greedy, self-centered douche-bag of a dude. There are multiple times in the film where he would lie to prospective clients about how investing in his “expertise” would lead to 3 or 4 times ROI. Did he believe he could do that? He didn’t care, it was all about the money.
Addressing false claims made by sales people is where most of us in the coaching or marketing space have to fight harder and harder. There are many negative stereotypes of being untrustworthy if you’re a marketer or have a product/service to sell because there are people so bent on leading you down a path which makes big promises while costing big money but doesn’t deliver as advertised. Overcoming this stereotype is a challenge in and of itself. We judge others by the experiences we have that are (often) negative and misleading.
What actually works in audience growth, business modelling and execution
The true key to audience growth, business model/plan and execution is testing, testing, testing. What works you repeat and improve upon. What doesn’t work you fix, edit, amend, or throw out. This is a long game of strategy and fluidity. All business is. The great companies and products are those that not only stand the test of time but also adapt to changes in markets, people’s needs, AND stay true to the core audience of those who most benefit from the product or service.
Success isn’t where you start but how you adapt to the steps on your path to take you there
Success is a milestone that leads to greater and higher milestones, and greater levels of success. Which leads us back to the beginning and identifying who that core group of people are that want and need what you have. Identifying this group of people and building your business model/plan around them is probably the big secret that you’re looking for. It’s the #1 most important part of the whole recipe because you can have a great product/service, outstanding marketing, and deliver 300 times the cost of the service to your client but unless you can identify WHO that target client/core audience is and know the WHY they need you, you’ll spin your wheels.
There are big companies who spend millions of dollars marketing products that try to appeal to everyone out there and bomb. Why? Everyone is too non-specific and far too difficult to position anything for. It’s like shooting an arrow into the sky and hoping you hit something. What were you aiming at? Everything! And so you got some air and hit nothing. Such is the case with being non-specific on what your target is. Plus, who wants to have the accuracy of a Storm Trooper, or any villain in a ’80s action film. Those guys can’t hit air, apparently.
Once you know the WHO and the WHY you can adapt a plan and a strategy around it, execute that strategy and reform it again and again. This is the essence of Growth Hacking, as defined by Ryan Holiday in the game changing book Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising. It doesn’t matter what you build or create as much as it does who you are building and creating it for, AND are solid on the reasons why this group of Who’s are interested in you. Get that nailed down before you spend a second’s time investing in anything else. Then your profits and your income will flow more surely than anything else. That’s not a big promise, it’s a truth as executed by self-employed, small business, DIY bands and anyone else who has done this.