Technically It's Not Hard, Emotionally...It's a Rollercoaster!
When I started my first business called Jazz Piano School I had no idea what I was doing.
This was both a gift and slightly detrimental.
I was absorbing as many podcasts as possible.
Reading as many blog posts as possible, and watching as many youtube videos as my eyes could take.
Even though I had a decent information I still wasn’t really prepared for anything I was about to do.
But what I found out was it didn’t really matter. And it still doesn’t because everything is still the same. The process is still the same and will never change, because this the heart of business. This system is literally what makes business work. And my first launch definitely worked.
Step #1 - Help Others Who Want What You're Offering (aka, Build an Audience)
I knew this step instinctually for some reason. All I kept my asking myself was, “Who is going to sign up?”
When I started I didn’t even have a product.
I didn’t have a course.
I didn’t have anything to sell or offer.
I just had an idea and I knew what I was going to produce.
THAT IS VERY IMPORTANT.
I started without anything. Which is exactly what I’m doing now with this business.
Even though you may not have your product, curriculum, course, product, or whatever, created…you can always start.
Why is that you ask?
Because, there is something more important than your product, or service, and that is…(drum roll)….
These are the people that are going to actually BUY from you. These are the people that will be receiving whatever it is you’re offering.
So what does this mean?
You could have invented the cure to cancer, but if no one knows about it or trusts you, then it doesn’t matter.
Your audience IS YOUR BUSINESS.
So what did I do?
I started growing my audience. I started connecting to people that were interested in what I was doing.
Here’s how I did it.
A. The Three E's, (Educate, Entertain, Empower)
I’ll get to that headline in a second but if you’re a tactical person like me, the systematic way I did it was through content.
Content is king.
This is why so many youtubers, bloggers, social media influencers strive to put out valuable and free content.
It allows people to see what you’re doing, get curious and explore further.
It allows people to get interested in what you have to offer.
And most importantly, it allows people to get to know you, like you, and trust you.
And when they’re able to do that, then you’re doing the right thing.
Again, systematically speaking, I created a website with a free login portal.
People could sign up for a free account which provided them with access to a 50 videos or so on intro jazz education principles. This allowed people to start to explore my teaching and see if I was the right teacher for them.
My audience started to grow and the amount of people that signed up for the free account started to grow as well.
Once people had learned something from me, they realized I would be someone that could help them further.
This snowballs more than you could ever imagine.
People are loyal and if you can help them with a small win, they usually will stay with you for life.
Back to my headline.
I always strive to follow the Three E’s rule.
Always try to provide value and give as much as possible.
I’m going to say this next thing three times because it’s a question that comes up a lot.
You can never give away too much.
You can never give away too much.
You can never give away too much.
I told you I was going to say it three times.
People are smart. They’re not stupid. They can tell when you’re trying to “HOOK” them.
Don’t be that person.
Be open and authentic and strive to teach as MUCH as you possibly can.
Strive to HELP THEM, as MUCH as you possibly can.
They will feel your intention, and realize that you’re there to help and not screw them over like a lot of other people online.
A lot of new clients of mine are nervous to let their true personalities show.
But this is the thing that you want to do THE MOST!
People want to SEE YOU!
They want to see the REAL you. Not some fake person online.
I know it’s really hard, but you really want to be yourself and not hide any of who you are.
This will help to repel the people you don’t want to attract, while drawing the people you DO want to you.
This entertain point isn’t so much about being funny, or telling jokes, it’s more about just being yourself.
Too many times my clients are scared to slip up, make mistakes, stumble over words, and trust me I know the feeling.
But the more you can let this go and realize that you’re a person, and the people watching you are people as well, the better off you’ll be.
This is not to say your videos shouldn’t be professional, but it’s more of a guideline that should allow you to be calm, natural, and know that being your true self when you show up for your audience is one of the most important things you can do.
I love motivation and I love inspiring others.
It’s one of the most amazing things to see someone’s mental state change.
To watch it go from a place of thinking that they “can’t” to a place of thinking that they “can”.
The audience you grow is going to look up to you.
They’re going to admire you.
They’re going to look to you for leadership.
Always, always, always remember, that your words, the things you do, the things you say will greatly influence and effect your audience.
Always strive to instill a positive mindset in others and help them feel that they can absolutely do anything they put their mind to because guess what?
It’s all true.
B. Build Freebies, Giveaways and Lead Magnets
You’ve most likely encountered these before and may or may not have been aware of their purpose.
There are various forms of lead magnets.
The list goes on and on.
The purpose of the majority of these is to provide value to anyone who finds it but it’s a two way street.
They’re really used to build trust between the business and an individual.
In order to participate or get the thing the business is offering, you need to provide your email address.
This is like meeting someone, and exchanging numbers. That takes a lot of trust doesn’t it?
You need to view this process the same.
This individual is trusting you with their email address. To provide them value and education that is quality and worthy of their time.
We’ll get more into this later but when I first started I developed one PDF giveaway called “20 Licks From 20 Greatest Jazz Pianists”.
In order to get the licks, individuals would need to opt in and my automated system would email it to them.
I’ll expand on this more in upcoming content but for now that’s all you really need to know.
Step #2 - Give 95% and Ask 5%
Even after I build my free members section where people go login and view different videos on lots of different jazz piano topics I kept giving.
I gave and gave and gave.
Blog posts, youtube videos, podcast, workshops, practice materials, resources, everything.
Anything I could think of to help I created.
If you follow this rule I guarantee you will NOT fail.
This is very important.
If you give 95% and ask 5%, there is literally no way you can fail.
As long as you’re helping others and they feel it and sense it they be be loyal to you and respond kindly when you create your service or product and ASK them if they would like to take another step with you.
That’s really what business is all about.
I’ll get into creating content more but when I say give this is what I’m referring to.
Creating content that delivers the “Three E’s” as I mentioned above.
After creating your content there are essentially two steps you’re going to take.
1. You’re going to publish the content to your blog and website. This helps for SEO purposes.
2. Email the content out to your audience. Aka email it out to your email list.
These two steps will ensure you’re audience is getting updated on all the new education you’re creating and it’s helping to draw in more interested followers.
Step #3 - Develop Your Offer
We made it! You’re probably wondering, “BRENDEN, how did you make money?!”
Listen, it takes a while.
But if you do it the RIGHT way, you’ll be glad you did.
You don’t want to be impatient.
Your business needs a foundation and this will reward you through the years.
It has for me.
I still get thank you emails from individuals who have never purchased anything from Jazz Piano School but are so thankful for all the valuable content I’ve released for free. All of this content has helped them learn so much and because of that they’re a much better pianist.
That to me is extremely rewarding.
I’m here to make a difference, not make a living.
Strive to make a difference, the money part will come when you focus on that.
So at this point I had an audience on my email list of 2000 people.
I had been emailing them content for about 6 months.
Telling them all about what I’m doing, what I’m building, my dreams and my vision.
They were invested and along for the ride. They were excited to share in the journey with me.
Through out the audience building process I was building my first jazz piano course.
It was going to be the very first offer I was going to release to my audience.
My very first ask.
It was going to be the beginner level of a 3 part curriculum.
It was finally ready, so what did I do?
I made the ask.
I won’t get into all the details now but I built a REALLL janky landing page.
A landing page is essentially a page that holds a certain purpose.
In this case it was to provide information to my audience about the beginner course I had just created.
The cost, the details, the education inside, etc.
And of course there was a BUY button on the page too.
I gave them two options.
They could buy the course and own it for life, or they could pay monthly to subscribe.
It was time.
I sent the email with a link the landing page and waited.
I kept refreshing Stripe Merchant account app on my phone.
After what seemed like 20 hours, the first sale came through.
My jaw was on the floor.
This was literally the first money I had ever made on my own and ONLINE.
It was actually working!
How was this possible?
Let me stop and tell you something extremely important.
You can read about how other people do this over and over and over again, but until you do it yourself, in the back of your mind there will ALWAYS be a little voice whispering, “It’s not possible.”
That voice in my head didn’t shut up until I made my very first sale.
And I promise you, the voice in your head won’t shut up until you make your first sale online as well.
And that was that.
Since that moment back in 2014 Jazz Piano School has grown to help thousands of student learn jazz piano all over the world and is now a 6-figure business.
After having multiple musicians pick my brain about exactly what I did I decided it’s time to start giving back.
Musicians, artists, creatives, and anyone really, all deserve to live their passion and make income doing it.
I want to abolish the poor musician stereotype.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
And we’re all capable of creating a business that supports our dreams and changes the world.
This is only the beginning.
If you’re interested in learning more, opt in for the 11 Ways To Make Income As A Musician below, or simply scroll to the bottom of the page and opt-in for my email list.
I’ll send you amazing, educational content on creating the business of your dreams, and let you know you can get coached by me in the future.
Remember, you ABSOLUTELY CAN work for yourself and make money doing it while living out your passion.
Always remember that.
It is possible and I’m living proof.