Is Music Production a Sustainable Career?
I’m back with a brand new solo episode! This one is all about the sustainability of a music production career.
Can you take yourself from not making a single dollar for your work, to building a sustainable career for yourself?
In this episode, you’re going to learn about what it means to have a sustainable career, the steps to creating a sustainable career, and how to implement those steps.
What You’ll Learn:
- What a sustainable career looks like
- How to decide what a sustainable career looks like for you
- Setting goals to build a sustainable career
- How to build a sustainable career
and much more!
Automatic Episode Transcript — Please excuse any errors, not reviewed for accuracy
Yo, what’s up everyone? How are you guys doing? We’re back with a brand new episode of electronic dance money. I’m your host, Cristian conceito. And we are back with another
solo episode. Um,
how are you guys doing? I’m doing pretty well
today. It’s been a weird week or so. But today’s fucking awesome. I’m doing incredible. So I hope you You guys are as well. And we’re gonna be learning some stuff today, really more discussing kind of, I don’t know, um, we’re gonna be talking about whether or not music production is an actual sustainable career. And so we might get a little philosophical in here because it really does take some soul searching a little bit to figure out if, if this is something you want to do, and try to make sustainable because anything can be sustainable. If you really work at it and work hard enough. It just depends on what you focus your time and energy on really. If you’re not, you know, if you’re focusing your time and energy on something that is not going to help you make something sustainable, then you’re wasting your time, even though you might think it’s beneficial. It really isn’t. And, I mean, what are we talking about here? We’re talking about the 8020 principle and theory for those of you that don’t know what the 8020 principle is, I mean, it’s basically 80% of your Effective this are your wealth or your success has come from 20% of your work. And the vice versa. When you’re building something sustainable, it really does come to
come down to
And this is actually a really interesting thing that I just recently learned. But when you look at like effectiveness and efficiency, sometimes people have things flipped the wrong way, when we’re talking about effectiveness and efficiency.
Things are efficient,
you can make something efficient, you can make your system efficient, you can make your process efficient, however, and usually what comes out of that is something that’s effective. However, when you’re talking about people and you’re talking about making yourself efficient, you don’t really make yourself efficient, you make yourself more effective. You want to be more effective, so that you get your desired results out of You’re effectiveness and the more effective you can be, the better you’re producing. The better you’re creating, the better you’re developing, the better everything becomes. And you can see how this can slowly start to build sustainability over time. If you’re making things more efficient in making yourself and others more effective, if you have people working for you, you have some sort of assistant or you’ve got team, you can make that team
highly, highly effective,
your results are going to be highly effective, that you’re the product you’re creating is going to be 1000 times better than if you had a team that you were just trying to make efficient. If you’ve got team that’s just you’re just trying to make efficient, you’re gonna have mistakes and you’re gonna feel you’re not being effective and therefore, things start to fall apart. So that’s my little rant in at the beginning about talking about efficiency and effectiveness, but our whole goal was sustainability is going to be that desire. outcome of effectiveness, you want to be highly effective now
let’s get into what sustainability is. And this
might get more into the philosophical side of things because sustainability is being able to maintain a specific thing as specific. You could call it effectiveness but it’s you’re essentially maintaining a certain rate or level of success or or bottom line. And when you talk about this, you can you get into the same concept of success. What is success? Well, success a lot of the times is different for everyone. My point of view of success is going to be wildly different from my girlfriend’s my, my girlfriend’s point of success will be wildly different from her mother’s point of success or my mother. My parents think I am wildly successful, but in my mind, I don’t entirely always feel like wildly successful. So there’s different things that people take into account when they’re talking about their how successful they are. And so you can get into the same same range of sustainability. What’s a sustainable music career for you? What What, what do you consider a sustainable music career because I guarantee there are people out there that what they consider a sustainable music career would just be to be able to finish good tracks and release them. That’s it. Not necessarily touring, not necessarily playing consistent shows just making good music and releasing it and sharing it with the world.
That version that
that idea of sustainability might be wildly different from the producer who wants to be the top be a top 100 DJ. Those are tough because if you want to be a top 100, DJ, you’re idea of having a sustainable Music career is entirely different, you’re always going to be pushing the boundaries, you’re always going to be going higher and higher than where you’re currently at.
just like when you’re determining your own success, what is success to you, you have to determine what is sustainable for you. Is it maintaining a stable income for music? Being able to continue music production, being able to play consistent shows, and that’s it just you want to meet that. Just keep that well. I have something to push back on there. And that’s this current COVID situation if you if you if you think having a sustainable career is just being able to play one club a week, well, maybe you need to rethink
how to create a sustainable career because in this
situation, that’s not sustainable. It’s a quick way to go to fall under the entire podcast.
You guys know what it’s about.
I say it time. Time again.
We’re talking about how you can utilize yourself to create sustainable income
so that you can do what you love which is more than likely
producing EDM tracks. A lot of you want to be touring artists. I’ve talked to you. I’ve, some of you are my clients, I’ve discussed what you guys want as a career what what are your goals and nine times out of 10 their biggest goal is to be a touring artist or to play at a festival. And so if you I’m, I’m guessing a majority of a majority of you are probably in the same situation. So you have to look at how can you build something sustainable so that you can focus your energy on those goals. And it comes down to having sustainable income and finding other resources that you are, you can develop high value skills in to share with others To build businesses off of, so that you can then free up your time from whatever day job you have, if you have one and start focusing it more on releasing more consistent tracks and as you develop more skills in your music production career, you’re going to realize that those skills are actually highly valuable and can be marketed to a specific niche audience where you can make a business out of it. Mixing mastering sound design and teaching people for me right now it’s actually marketing. I’ve done I’ve
invested a lot
of time into marketing and what that looks like an advertisement so much so that I just started a new business a month ago focused on that electronic music marketing. And I immediately have a couple of clients that I’m working with that are high value client. And so you can see that the skills that you develop along the journey can ultimately lead to that golden egg of yours that golden goose Say that you can, you know, put away and in thrive on, which means if we’re wanting to build a sustainable career, we need a consistent flow of income so that we can free up our time what your end goal should ultimately ultimately be when you’re looking at creating this consistent flow of income is something where you can get a product or or build systems around whatever service you’re developing. So a lot of the stuff that’s happening is passive. A lot of you know you getting clients is working passively for you. You build some sort of email marketing machine that is consistently selling products for you. And there’s been there’s more people coming into the email marketing campaign. As the weeks go on, and everyone’s in a different sales funnel or not necessarily a different sales funnel, but in individual sales funnels of groups of people that are then being sold to weekly even though they’re at different points in the email marketing campaign. So you can develop this thing where you have income coming in daily, you know, someone bought this product tomorrow, someone else is gonna buy another product that you’re marketing on your email marketing campaign. This, this can all be done with sound packs and sample packs. And I encourage you to do this as you grow your email marketing campaign, which I believe you should, and especially if you want to grow it, you know, obviously, people in the audience if you’re selling sound packs and sample packs should be other producers. So keep that in mind. When you’re growing an email marketing list. We’ve discussed this in the past, reading two different email lists people who are fans and listen to your emails, and you can mark it March. You can still create that passive marketing machine with merge, but creating a second list of producers and DJs where you can mark it other stuff like sound packs, sample packs, projects, templates. There’s lots of stuff you can do and you can also sell Within those two, you just got to build the right sales funnel. Now this is what the these are the things you need to be considering when you’re trying to build a consistent flow of income because a sustainable career for me personally, if you were to ask me what I think a sustainable music career would be, the first thing I would say would be a consistent flow of income, you have to pay the bills,
and you have to be able to pay yourself and live.
That’s number one. Especially when we’re in these COVID situations. You can’t expect to just be a DJ, unless you’re Arman. And when shit like this hits the fan, you don’t really have to worry about too much.
Although I’ll argue he has
passive income with his record labels. I guarantee he’s barely even, I shouldn’t say barely. I guarantee he’s not doing a majority of the work he’s probably doing anywhere from 10 to 20% of the Work for his record labels, maybe even less than that. And he collects income passively, because he has managers that run the whole thing. So
unless you can get to that level,
which everyone I think should strive to that level passiveness not necessarily being Armen but the passiveness that you can create through developing businesses that have proper systems. That’s how you’re going to be able to make a very sustainable career and you can look at different aspects as well. And like I said, focus your time and energy on what you want to do, which is
get really good at music production and get these fans and sell your tracks and get 10,000 streams in a weekend and get supported by the biggest artists and start touring with those artists. I’m sure that’s what you want. And when you do those things, you start getting you start getting paid for it. They’re like bonus checks, you start to really see the growth and wealth develop. When you’ve got machines that are passive. You’ve got these marketing machines. And these products they’re selling for you passively while you’re
also touring on the road.
Like you get massive amounts of different streams of income, that are just flooding at you all at once. And you have, it frees up your time when those things are taken care of when the bare necessities are taken care of. And if you if you’re really cashflow positive, you can look at how you can invest those dollars into other things. Whatever it is that you want to do. I mean, if you want to do a music video, if you’re able to just take your cash from your bank account from the products you’ve developed that are being marketed, that’s huge. You can just take that cash and go spend $10,000 on a crazy good music video. Is it the best way to invest your money? Who knows need to test that and find out but this is what a consistent flow of income can do for you. It can fund all the things you want to if you want to build a home studio, you can do that. Again, do I think it’s the greatest investment maybe not
but it’s what you want to do.
Now what is
the second thing that we need to build a sustainable career? Well, you don’t know it all, and you’re not always going to know it all. So you need to have a learning mentality, you, you cannot give that up, you cannot give that up and think that you know, everything that you’re doing and everything that you’re talking about, you have to be able to let go and accept the fact that you don’t know it all. You have to be willing to either give up some control, and let others handle specific things that they’re professionals in. they’ve studied thoroughly that they know about,
that they can show they are effective in
and they get give you effective results. You have to be able to give up those sorts of things. Otherwise, you have to give up your time and invest your time into learning about those things. And so I think both go hand in hand, I think being able to take some time to learn specific things that you can become a ninja in is going to be highly valuable to you. You don’t need to be a ninja and everything, like I just said, you should be able to understand when you don’t know something and that you need to hire someone else for. And if you don’t have the funds for it, start saving up or figure out how you can get the funds for or trade services for it.
And possibly even learn from that person.
If you cannot accept that you need to continue your education and continue learning. That’s going to be the biggest flaw in yourself and your career and what you are expecting out of yourself and what you’re expecting of your career and what you consider sustainable because it is not sustainable to think that you know it all and continue like that, because three years will disappear before you know it and you’re behind on all The trends I think a huge one that I will point to, through and through is Tick Tock. They’ve been telling so many producers to get on Tick Tock get on there. And a lot of there’s a lot of musicians who reap the benefits from Tick Tock while it was here, and now it’s being discussed that’s being banned from the US, possibly bought by Microsoft, but they’re having issues buying it currently, which means it might disappear. Granted, there’s always gonna there’s gonna be another app identical to it that pops up in the US. So I don’t think that there’s too much to worry about. But if you were a producer in the beginning, in the early stages when people were telling you to get on it, and get involved with the community, you know, you don’t have to do the shit that Gary Vee says you don’t have to make. You don’t have to put out 1000 pieces of content. That’s you don’t need to do that. But you you do need to be involved in the community. You have to have some sort of involvement. You have to be testing some things. You have to be developing some things, find what works, find an audience there. And, you know, if you’re truly a part of this learning mentality you have been, you’d be in there, you’d be diving in there and trying to learn the ins and outs, and I’m talking about this as a producer.
You know, I can swallow
my own medicine and I can say, I did not do that. I can accept that. And but here’s the thing is I didn’t want to do that. I didn’t want to be involved in that.
And I didn’t necessarily need to,
there’s more producers I’m seeing on there. So you know, as an audio engineer, there’s an audience that I could try to start tapping into. But I’ve got other more important things that I need to be dealing with. The thing is, is you as a producer, if you’re just making music right now, you’re just producing tracks, and you’re not building you know, this consistent flow of income. You’re just working on you. You just want to produce tracks, but you need to have good marketing unless you gonna hire someone else to do that marketing? tic tocs the place you should be right now you don’t four years ago it was Instagram or maybe even Twitter but now it’s Tick Tock it is a music app and distributors ask if you want your track to be posted on Tick Tock and every time it should be a yes and every time you should be on there trying to market that track and you know, the if you want to see a perfect example of someone utilizing Tick Tock it would be Loesch, it would be Alex Wayman from episode I believe it was episode six where we were talking about record labels getting signed a record labels. Go look him up on Tick tock, go look up loesche l o Ws h go look him up. He utilizes that app like a fucking magician. He’s doing comedy stuff. He’s involving his own music. He’s involving his own brand of being a music producer making funny skits on there. And one of them fucking went viral. He got hundreds of thousands of plays on it, if not more by now. And so he didn’t I don’t think he saw a massive increase in like followers and he did see a pretty significant increase. I looked at how many followers he had before, and how many after and he had a significant amount. And all the videos following after that were a lot of them he had way more likes than in comments and engagement than he did before that video blew up. So he was playing the numbers game, he knew something would blow up and he was playing it. And again, he’ll keep playing the numbers game and something else will go viral. And it might even go more viral. And it’s one of his tracks on the on on the video. It’s fucking done and he would not have been where he’s at with Tiktok if you did not have the learning mentality if he didn’t realize that he needs to learn and grow with this in order to move on and develop something bigger and better to help create that sustainable career. You have to be in with the flow Gotta be in it. Dillon Francis is one that I can point to as well who he, when he found out what Tick Tock was was right when it was starting to blow up and he jumped on it. And he was very successful with it.
You got to be willing to let go
and learn and grow and try some new things. And this is part of the, you know, another part of creating a sustainable career really is the getting out of your comfort zone and feeling this friction and being uncomfortable. Because that’s how you’re going to grow. That’s how you’re going to learn. You got to get out of your comfort zone and try new things and see if it works because you’ll never know if it works if you don’t try. Let’s discuss the last thing now. And how you can be build sustainable music production careers because music, you can build a sustainable music production career 100% in the sense of having a kitchen consistent flow of income, your cash
you can build it so that it’s sustainable. And that’s all you’re doing is music production. There’s ways to do it people, there’s hundreds of people, if not thousands, maybe even millions of people who have done it before.
And one of the key ingredients,
very key ingredients to building a sustainable career is having strong time sensitive and reality based goals. You need to have goals in place you need to have things set up properly, in the sense of your goals are time sensitive, so you have something you’re working forward to. And you’re you’re analyzing, seeing if you’re getting close to that spot. But then it also needs to be in reality base. You can’t expect to be a you know, if you’re just starting out producing, you can’t expect to be a top 100 dj in a year.
That’s not really realistic.
time says sensitive and realistic goals is going to be a major player in these little moments of winning where you you complete a goal and you go, yes, I fucking did that I knocked it out of the park that’s done. What’s the next step? Where do I go now? What is the next step that is going to get me closer to this end goal to this end
You have to be looking at that and you have to build these little baby steps that lead up to that big goal. For me in this new business, my big goal is to get an assistant. That’s my big goal. Now, it might not seem like anything crazy, and it really isn’t. But that’s the I see how valuable a good assistant would be for me, and how much time that would save me and how much more I could invest my time and focus and energy into others. Other things. So that’s my big goal. Now what are the steps that I need to take to be able to get there? I need to be cashflow positive. I need to have enough work for an assistant. If I have enough work, I’m more than likely cashflow positive by need to have systems set up so that I can get cashflow positive. There’s a lot of steps that I need to take a lot of small mini goals I need to make to get that big goal and it’s an outcome I can strive for. It’s something that I can look forward to and I know if I get an assistant and all these other goals behind it are set up I’ve created in essence to get that first employee to get that first assistant, I need to build something that’s sustainable. So you can see how these goals work in coincide with building something that is sustainable. All of these together, creating this consistent flow of income and having a learning mentality creating really strong times. sensitive and realistic goals, these things working together over time as you build up and create and learn and grow. It builds the foundation for something that’s sustainable, something that you can start to scale up and make bigger and in, in, just continue on in start picking the low hanging fruit from it. But it all comes down to what you consider to be sustainable.
A lot of the things we’re talking about right now could be
represented by what I think is
considered sustainable and we and we have focus on that, for in order for me in order to have a sustainable career you need to have consistent flow of income, learning mentality and strong time sensitive reality based goals. What is it for you though, being able to release track on a new record label or just out on Spotify every single month.
And you have to be able to learn and let go
in order to do that because you know, maybe it’s not best that you spend seven hours a week or maybe maybe it’s only seven hours a month on mixing, mastering when you can outsource that, or collaborate with someone, get a writer like like there’s different things that you may need to give up and give off to someone else to ensure that you make the best product possible. And within your time restraints are able to get that track out every single month. That’s it guys. I hope this was insightful. I wanted to nail on this topic because I think it’s a it’s one that’s not talked about a lot and one that I’m sure a lot of you might question especially as you continue to work on and you have your imposter syndrome days, and your days where you’re down and you’re thinking what am I doing? Just remember what you need to build something worthwhile, something sustainable and this is the foundation of Have it all and keep rolling with it and I promise it will work out. But thank you guys so much for checking out this episode as always head to Envious audio.com slash Episode 35 to check out the show notes, join the Facebook community at electronic dance money munity on Facebook, just search it. If you’d like to support the show, head on over to Apple podcasts, leave a review and rate us and review us. Let me know what you think of the show. And I’ll see you guys next time. Thank you so much. Take care
Want to help support the show? Leave a usefull review of the podcast, and let me know what you think!
Liberating Your Life as a Producer With Cinco SoundWe have our first returning guest! Danny, from Cinco Sound, is back on the show! If you don't remember who he is, he's from the very first episode. Danny is a hip-hop producer who specializes in making beats. 5 months...
Electronic Dance Money Episode 033 – How Educational Platforms Can Transfrom The Industry and Your Career
How Educational Platforms Can Transform The Industry and Your CareerAs the internet becomes more widespread and grows every day, so to does the information held on the web. Most producers have started of in Youtube academy, and many huge artists did as well dating...