Is Patreon Your Blueprint to Success? With Matthew Ebel
Matthew Ebel A.K.A. Avian Invasion has been able to credit part of his success to his AMAZING Patreon account.
Through fan support, he’s built subscription tiers for fans generating a monthly income and developing specially curated content only for his subscribed fans.
In this epsiode, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about how to run a successful Patreon as an EDM producer. Strap yourself in because this episode of Electronic Dance Money is filled with a wealth of knowledge that you don’t want to miss out!
What You’ll Learn:
- Why Patreon works
- How to determine Patreon tiers
- Creating content for Patreon
- How Matthew started his Patreon
- Why you should use Patreon
and much more!
Avian Invation Website – https://avianinvasion.com
Avian Invasion Patreon – https://www.patreon.com/matthewebel
Bounce Buttler – https://www.bouncebutler.com/
Cyber PR Crowd Funding Guide – https://www.cyberprmusic.com/
Elevven – https://www.elevvenmusic.com/
Electronic Dance Money Booklist – https://enviousaudio.com/booklist
Contagious: Why Things Catch On affiliate link – https://amzn.to/3qMg0Xb
Steal Like an Artist – https://amzn.to/363f091
Show Your Work – https://amzn.to/3iFgbR8
22 Immutable Laws of Marketing – https://amzn.to/2Nv0PDw
Automatic Episode Transcript — Please excuse any errors, not reviewed for accuracy
Hey guys, welcome to electronic dance money, your number one business resource for making money as electronic musicians and producers.
All right, what is up everyone? Welcome back to another episode of electronic dance money. I’m your host Cristian conceito. And we are here with Matthew evil, we’ve got another great guest. He goes by avian invasion, and we’re gonna be diving into a little bit of Patreon stuff, which this is believe or not, this has been episode that I’ve been wanting to I’ve been like searching for two years now about for a guest specifically for Patreon. So I am so thankful to Deron Bruce at the DJ sessions. Yeah, referred you to me. And he’s like, Oh, yeah, check out Matthew. He he does streaming stuff. And he also does Patreon. I was like, ooh, Patreon, I immediately went to Patreon. I was like, he’s got patrons, and this is exactly what I need. So Matthew, how you doing, man? Thanks for coming on.
I am hanging in there. Thankfully, in this whole you know, pandemic thing. I I’ve already been working in a windowless padded room for pretty years now. So not much has changed. Hopefully you’re holding together as well.
Oh, yeah, definitely. Well, the nice thing is like my, my boring day job was mostly working from home to begin with. So it was a very easy transition to where they were like, Oh, yeah, you’re gonna be working from home permanently. I was like, Alright, yeah, that’s no issue for me twist.
arm, why don’t you?
Yeah, oh, no, I don’t I don’t get to, you know, spend gas money now every, every few days or whatever, and travel and all that bullshit. But anyways, let’s dive into kind of our discussion here. First of all, why don’t you introduce yourself and your history in electronic music because you’ve got a pretty unique one. And I’m sure a lot of my listeners will be happy to hear it. So go ahead and take the floor.
I’m sure a lot of your listeners are probably thinking who. But I’ve only been I’ve only been involved in electronic music for about three years now. Actually. I, the I took on the mantle of avian invasion. Largely because I wanted to shift genres. I’ve been touring as a piano rocker, since like 2005. So you know, back when I was working the Nashville music scene, I was just, you know, going around as Matthew evil and if you look up Matthew evil, you can find a pretty broad discography available. But I was getting a little burned out in that scene and something needed to change. And, as is usually the case in my life, the change is directed by the robots. I wanted to just start making electronic music because what got me into music in the first place? Well, sorry, what got me into music as a career in the first place was MIDI stuff. When I was in junior high, my choir teacher brought in this little box, it was like, like, there’s a tradition like every day, after we did a concert, we would basically get the day off, we could, you know, just fuck around in class for the the hour of choir. And one day after one of the concerts we did, he brought in this little box, he had a guitar that had a pitch to MIDI converter on it. And he was sitting there, you know, showing us like you can play the piano or the gunshot or the helicopter, all those general MIDI sounds and whatnot. And all the other kids are like, yeah, that’s kind of neat. And I’m sitting there with my jaw on the floor. Like, I want this. He let me take it home with me. I asked him like, Can I borrow this? Because we just got a digital keyboard at home. And he’s just like, sure, like, what kind of junior high teacher let’s one of his asshole students just borrow what was a $300 piece of hardware is an old like boss, Doctor synth. So is nothing more than a general MIDI box, but like is a $300 piece of hardware. He’s like, yeah, just bring it back in like a few days. Like, as soon as I was playing drums on my piano like this, I want this. Now it took me another like 15 years or so to come around to this. I should have taken that and immediately gotten into electronic music instead of trying to simulate rock music electronically, which was kind of a mistake, even though it led to some really good albums in my opinion, but I’m very long story short, too late. I moved to Seattle. I had to you know, say goodbye to my drummer who I’d been touring with for a while and realize I basically needed to start over and rather than forming a new band I wanted to I needed a major change in my life to go with the move. But this is where we get back to the robots. I can’t change genres and still release it as Matthew evil because if you go and look if you want Progressive House Music, and you go look for Matthew evil, something like Pandora or Spotify is going to recommend other stuff from Matthew evil. So you know, you’re gonna find a, you know, songs like everybody needs a ninja, and stuff like that popping up in your playlist and, you know, be like, What the fuck is this shit? So I had to come up with a new name and an entirely new Act basically.
That is, I don’t mean to interrupt, but I’ve never thought about that. But that makes complete sense. Like, I I’ve got a buddy who’s doing a genre train right now where he was making more I mean, originally, he was making some epic trance stuff when that was big in like 2011 2012
I was big in the 90s motherfucker. No, I mean, like the big
big epic like electro we train. Yeah. Like, try, tomos piercing the quiet album, early, just hard, aggressive, really gritty, baseline trance stuff. He used to make that and then he started to switch more over to the progressive big room stuff, and then started to shift into some harder trap stuff. But now he’s got a new alias. He’s doing all dubstep stuff. But he makes I’m glad he didn’t stick with his old name because I never thought that yeah, if you stick with the name do a completely different genre change. One all your original fans are probably gonna be like, What the fuck is this? But to its Yeah, like radio stations will recommend completely different stuff from what your either your new genre is or what your old genre was.
Yeah, it’s not like it’s not like the the 80s and 90s, where a meat based person is picking the the playlist like the robots are picking the playlist at this point. And you can’t send out a press release saying don’t play this old stuff in this artist anymore. They’re doing this now, you know?
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. That’s interesting. How’d you come up with the idea of avian invasion because it’s fuck your branding is so important. If no branding if you for the listeners just go to avian invasion comm check out his website. I was actually complimenting you on how well designed your website is I have an entire episode on why producers should have websites and kind of ideas on how to design those go check out Matthews website because it is so well designed, it’s set up properly. It’s got all the all the right calls to action, and you’re kind of directing all the branding and it’s just it is so well designed, and your characters fucking dope. The mask that you have in your outfit is really bad as it actually reminds me of Falco from is that kind of Star Fox? Yes. Yeah, that kind of
so I’ve been I’ve been involved in like if anybody’s ever heard any of my old Matthew evil stuff, I’ve been involved in the sort of the the professional geek scene for the better portion of my career. So I’ve played science fiction conventions, furry conventions, steampunk conventions, gaming conventions, that kind of stuff. And that’s, that’s, that’s my people. You know, I’m, I’m a consummate nerd, but I’m not like I don’t play d&d, and I’m not huge into video games, I just really like that imaginative speculative fiction stuff. So the the origin of bird one of avian invasion is somewhat autobiographical. The story goes that avian invasion used to be just a man, a very old one, and he became bitter and jaded and calloused over time and parts of him just started shutting down. And he was rescued by the birds who rebuilt him filled him with hope and sent him back into the universe to discover that hope and that beauty in other people and I went with birds largely because that’s I’ve been fascinated with birds since I was a wee baby. You know, I just I absolutely specifically ospreay largely because you know, they spend their winters in Cannes Kuhn they eat nothing but sushi. They got a cool hairdo you know, like I just I was surrounded by them when used to go fishing with my dad, you know of in eastern Washington. So like, I’ve always had an affinity for birds and it just it just seemed to work. Since this is like a music business Show, The other part of it was I needed something that would involve some kind of a mask or something like that, you know, and that’s nothing new, like, you know, Daft Punk dead mouse Marshmallow, you know, all these people have been doing that Black Tiger sex machine, you know, they’ve all been utilizing that for stage effects. But the difference is, you know, unlike dead mouse and def punk, you know, a lot of those people are still in their 20s I’m not, and I’m not going to be in my 20s anymore. And a mask makes me ageless. If you’ve ever seen Daft Punk take the helmets off. They’re old dudes, you know, like they’ve been at this a while.
So I think they are in their 50s.
Now, late 50s. I think even they’ve been working the scene for so long, but they are ageless, because of the The masks they wear. And part of the reason I wanted to get into alien invasion, you know, into dance music was to make it more about the music and less about the performer. You know. And that’s another way to sort of add a layer of separation there.
Yeah, that’s a great I, you know, I never again, you’re bringing up a lot points, I’ve never actually thought about this great. This is off to an awesome start. But the branding too, is such a huge part of it, you can easily brand was something like a mask, and yours is unique in the fact that you Okay, everyone listening here. Now, you don’t necessarily need to come up with a character for whatever you want to do as an artist. But notice how that like take note how Matthew is he has a story for who he is, as an artist, which is so unique, and it creates this drive and something that you can attach to and apply to your music, it gives your music purpose, it gives you as an artist purpose. And that is, I mean, that’s something that’s so damn rare that you just, you don’t really find that you don’t find people giving their art purpose so much anymore. They’re kind of just doing things because they might feel like they need to do them, but also because they want to, but there’s still not, there’s not life behind the art that they might want.
Like, I’m not gonna lie to you and say that, like a lot of the times when I’m when I’m producing tracks, I’m just like, I’m making thumping noises and seeing what sounds good. Like it’s not like yeah, always going into something with some kind of a holy quest. But yes, at the same time, it’s sort of like, you know, if you’re running a business, you should have a mission statement, you know, exactly. Don’t lose that grounding. And an important aspect of developing a character with avian invasion is it there is that separation between the artist and the product. And if you’re not looking at music as a product, just like a cup of coffee at Starbucks, then it’s never going to be a successful business. So being able to draw that line between who Matthew ybl is and the bird one character, the avian invasion universe, you know? Yeah, so like, like it. It’s it’s part utility and part I get to be something more than myself. When I when I put this on when I was touring as Matthew evil. I dabbled in that a little is like Captain Matthew evil, but you know, I, it was not. Yeah, I needed nearly to the succeeded something a little bit more, something more imaginative as well.
I’m glad I’m glad you said mission statement. Because I guess that that’s my point. You know, it is as producers, sometimes going most, probably 90% of the time just going into the studio is just mucking around with sounds and finding what sounds good. There’s not necessarily a you know, you don’t have this, yeah, like you said, you don’t have this Magical Quest that you’re trying to go through. But having something that is brandable or within your brand that can still you know, that helps you helps guide you and make specific decisions that you may want to make for that brand, that you may otherwise not necessarily have or no because you know, if you don’t have a mission statement, if you don’t have goals, then you’re kind of just aimlessly wandering and hoping things happen.
You and I need to start some kind of a seminar some because literally, when I when I go to conventions and whatnot, I usually lead a three part panel on how to turn your art into a business. And the first thing in there is all about branding. Yes. Zay Frank was a blogger podcaster you know, back in the day, said that your brand is the emotional aftertaste that you leave behind. And that’s the that’s the phrase that sticks with me. You’re like, it’s everything. It’s your logo. It’s your business card. It’s the fonts you choose. It’s
Yeah, yeah. It’s the clothing you wear. It’s not just the the logo that you put, you know, on your albums. It is all of this stuff, coalescing into an emotional aftertaste. That You leave behind. And it’s the product of everything you do, if you have a lock on, or at the very least, like a somewhat firm grasp on what your brand is, it’s going to make it a whole lot easier for you to be effective as an artist going forward, because it’ll inform what events you go to what what colors and fonts you use on your, your printed materials, you know, your business cards, and your posters and stuff like it, like if you have that, at least somewhat together doesn’t have to be, you know, focus grouped and locked down to the point where you’re like Disney is, you know,
you can you know, it takes time, it’s not you, this isn’t something especially with brands coming up with a brand, it’s not like you can just, you know, come up with a name and a color scheme. And that’s it, you know, it takes a while my Envious Audio brand for my mixing and mastering business took a solid probably a year or two of working five to seven days a week, at least probably like 20 to 30 hours a week, working on establishing my business working. I mean, the website that I have now is something is a new version of my website. It’s like the third or fourth rendition of my rendition of my website in the past two years. And I just launched it last year, and it’s like updating my brand. And it’s I’ve finally gotten to a place where I’m like, this is the style I’m going for this is the branding that I want. And so, but that took me about a year and a half, almost two years, about two years or so to figure that out to like be like, I’ve got it, this is the idea I’m going with, I’m sure it was the same for you know, it
took me a lot longer than two.
Yeah, it takes a long time. But if you go to avian invasion calm, which for everyone, anyone listening, I’ll have show notes and bisaya comm slash Episode 49 where you’ll be able to go check out all the links there and I’ll have a link to avian invasion calm but if you go there, you get the sense of the the emotional feeling, you get the style, you know what to expect. And it’s not like you’re gonna hit play on your, on your Spotify playlist player, and be surprised by anything, you’re gonna know what you’re getting into. And it’s everything, the logo, the font, like you said, the coloring, everything is so unique, and the art style is, it all fits you, you know it fits in. So
this is the first time any business oriented person has validated all this fucking effort that I’ve gone through. So thank you for that.
And there’s a reason why I’m saying this. And it’s not because I want to boost your ego but because my listeners if you’re if you’re struggling to figure this out, because all of you guys if you want to be you know produce full time producers and DJs and you don’t want to go the route of like my business of doing mixing and mastering, then go check out avian invasion, because that is kind of like that’s the example I’m probably going to be giving people now is like, this is a really well designed website that perfectly portrays who you are, and you’ve got the stuff you’ve got people pointed to the right direction of where you want to take them, depending on who they are. And so this is a good transition into talking about your Patreon which is the primary reason why I wanted to bring you on so why don’t you kind of dive into how did you come up with the idea of starting your Patreon? Why did you go that route? And what did that whole process look like getting that started and getting your first patrons?
Well actually, I started doing Patreon five years before Patreon started doing Patreon. I am not gonna lie to you and say I invented the concept of the premium fan club because like you know Rundgren had been doing that They Might Be Giants had been doing that sort of shit for you know, years. Like before the internet. I actually got the idea about the time Hurricane Katrina hit and gas prices shot up to $4 a gallon, which these days is just sort of like oh it must be summer travel season and back then it was like a month ago it was a buck 15 a gallon and we thought that was high now it’s $4 a gallon I’m an indie artist. I can’t fucking tour anymore you know like you’re barely was you were barely scraping by as an indie artists, you know, doing the road tripping thing when gas went when the gallons moved faster than the dollars back in the 90s. And nowadays, it like you know, it’s very difficult to make those ends meet. And wages certainly didn’t haven’t even caught up now, let alone like that quickly then. So I had to figure out what can I do to stay relevant and stay in front of my fans. A friend of mine at the time named Jeff Smith, had a had set up a thing where a called ringtone feeder which may still exist and it was a plugin running on top of WordPress site that created a podcast that also had like it was password protected and it was a subscription based and he would send you ring tones remember if those of you that are old enough to remember when you paid for ring tones yeah I
do. So I my razor when you Yeah, like when you didn’t six raise back
in back in the early 2000s when like you would spend when you would bitch about 99 cents for a song on iTunes but you would spend $2 on the 15 second clip of that song to make it into a ringtone
was a weird it was a very bizarre time. But he had he had set up a service and I don’t know where he got the idea from but that’s that’s what inspired me to set up Matthew evil dotnet my main website was of course Matthew evil calm. But I set up the same thing you know, WordPress site with a plugin called a member. And I set up like, various tiers, like backstage pass of VIP pass, and then entourage pass. And that got you various levels of things. And I put that out to my fans. saying like, Hey, I’m gonna release, you know, I’m gonna do all these things for you, based on these various tiers. Please sign up. And I was surprised to find that a lot of them did. Cut to you know, what, what was it 2015 or 2012? or something? Like when did Patreon actually start?
So around there? Yeah, I do have been like between 2012 and 2014. Yeah,
so I did, I did a few one or two other versions of the same thing, like after one thing I realized very quickly is rolling your own. You become tech support a lot more than you really want to, especially if you’re taking payments like now you’re running into legal regulations for your business. Even if you’re just hosting something like Amazon pay and PayPal and whatnot you still have now especially with laws the EU seems to pass just like at just for no other reason than to make us click OK on websites the like it’s it’s much more of a pain in the ass and it’s worth the like, what is it 10% or whatever for me to have somebody else be the service like Patreon
have them deal with the bullshit admin back end stuff.
Right? Exactly. and deal with
probably so much time and hassle.
Now, that doesn’t mean I’m beholden to their sometimes boneheaded decisions. But you know, that’s, again, like it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make. What I say when i when i do sessions at conventions, when I’m talking to artists is that there is no currency more valuable than time or time spent in front of that, that keyboard or that you know, art desk or you know that the that sculpting material or whatever, like that is you can find $10 sitting on the sidewalk, you cannot find 10 minutes, lying around on the sidewalk.
And this is one of the big points that I bring up in one of my episodes where I talked about automation and saving time as producers, like if you and especially if you’re running a business, and you’re making money with that business, if you want to immediately double your income, and double your wage, find out how to do what you normally do and half the amount of time and that is what automation does. That’s how you go from making $50,000 a year to $100,000 a year, you know, you might need to spend 50 to 100 hours initially to get everything set up, learn the systems. But then if you only have to spend 100 hours to then double your income that pays for itself. almost instantly. If you’re enough of a nerd that you can learn to program in Python, you The world is your fucking oyster,
I can tell you that. Like it’s
over or even even with Apple scripts like my so my business coach, he has a I’ll give him a little plug here. He started a business last year, I think it was last year called bounce Butler. And he’s he designed this program in Apple scripts like over 10 years ago. And the entire point of the program is to he basically has this script, talk to his dog, and it automatically exports. All of these. He’s a mastering engineer so he can set it to he’ll work on all these projects and then he’ll check all these projects and it automatically exports everything for him and then it’ll text him and say hey, all these are done exporting and it’ll upload them to Dropbox for him. Oh, that’s great. So he no longer has to sit there and export each one one at a time wait for it to export and then it saves him I mean probably hundreds of hours if not 1000s of hours every single year, and now it’s a service, you can go get for like $10 a month. And there’s so many other you know, mixing and mastering engineers where and producers are, it’s saving them insane amounts of time with this pretty simple script
that you buy notes Butler.
Exactly, yeah. So if anyone’s listening that’s interested in that, again, I’ll have that in the show notes. But, uh, yeah, go on, man.
Yeah, so, um, look, it’s one of the one of the things that is, that I’ve always tried to live by is, you know, have the robots do the work for you wherever possible. And be a person when you’re interacting with your fans, you know, like, you can’t do not let the robots handle your fan interaction. Because I’ve seen people do that, and it goes badly. But having Patreon handled the back end of the subscription thing was, like I was, I was happy to jump from rolling my own to that now that there was a viable service. Because people needed to, there needed to be something that people trusted enough to hand their credit card data over to, you know, and that’s a that’s a big part of it. So once Patreon actually became ubiquitous, and there’s a few others now, like it that people actually do trust. But yeah, once once you once Patreon became a trustworthy source that people would would basically hand their wallet to willingly, I was happy to jump on board with that. But the process for setting up, you know, Matthew evil dotnet is identical to the process for setting up a successful Patreon, Patreon. So, let’s, I guess, let’s start at the beginning of that, first of all, you have to understand that not all of your fans are going to go for Patreon. They are it’s sort of like the if you’re familiar with the concept of the sales funnel, which I am not a salesperson, I don’t have a marketing background, I have friends that have marketing careers and marketing experience that they have been kind enough to slice off little shards of their wisdom and sprinkle it on me, like, you know, truffle on a salad. To get all fancy. So the like, if you can get the broadest widest mouth of the sales funnel is the easiest thing for your, your customers, your fans to get involved with. Usually that’s signing up for your email list or following you on Spotify or Instagram or or you know, tick tock or whatever. And then as you go for more and more barrier to entry, you know, spending money on a subscription or a track or something like that, buying a concert ticket buying a shirt, fewer and fewer of those people will get to it. And the very bottom of that is sign up to pay me money every goddamn month like that is the absolute bottom of the sales funnel right there. So that means if you have 1000 fans on your your mailing list, maybe one or two of them are going to sign up for Patreon. So first, first and foremost, be realistic about what to expect. Do not over exert yourself expecting that I have I have 1000 people on my mailing list. So that means you know, 700 of them are going to be spending five bucks a month on me now.
No, not even close it great conversion rates or mailing lists is like 1% 2% Yeah, yeah, it’s it is a fraction of what you have. Yeah. But if you’re doing things right, that email list is continuously growing. Yeah.
Now there I will say one thing that the if you if you have a relatively small fan base, those people are going to be pretty hardcore. So your numbers Yeah, your your ratio may be higher. But do not expect that to be representative of what happens as you grow more fans, like you’re going to get, you know, probably 1000s of people listening to your music, and most of them you will never interact with. Yeah, but you know, they’ll you’ll get that fraction of a penny from Spotify, because of those people anyway.
Yeah, well, if though, if you have that small fan base to right now, then hopefully, they’re hardcore, and they’re super fans. If they’re not, you want to turn them into super fans. Yeah, if you can turn those people into super fans, if you can get them to convert and sign up on your Patreon or wherever you’re trying to collect money from them. Try to engage with them and and communicate with them and give them the best value and service possible. Because that’s what’s going to turn them into super fans. And those are the people that will be talking about you all over the internet in person with friends sharing your stuff, they’re going to be spreading that message for you, getting you to get more people to sign up and
yeah, this is this is one of the reasons that I went with the term avian invasion not just because it’s a bird pun, and you know, sounds cool, but the the the the Fans are the invasion.
Yeah, you know, it
is not it is not all me it is it is what they are doing that matters.
So branding to that is straight up more, you know, it’s creating a brand with your you’re creating a group. Yeah, you know, a personalized and private group with your fans, they’re a part of something bigger that not everyone else is a part of which gives them social currency. I’ve talked about social currency so fucking much on this show. But yeah, it’s I love that you’re so yeah, the brand is so focused, and it’s just rewind and it’s fucking beautiful.
Only the music ready, good. Alright. So yeah, what did so if you if you decide to actually go with Patreon,
you need to start off by looking at their two models, Patreon is unique in that they give you two options. You can have your people be charged on a per thing basis, or on a regular like monthly subscription. And initially, I had run with the per thing basis, meaning they were only charged when I released a track or a video or you know, something that I considered a paid thing. I’m doing air quotes, like people are gonna be able to see this. But they hear the tone Yeah. So I initially thought that was a good idea because it meant that if I you know, if I got the flu, I couldn’t produce anything for a given month my people weren’t charged, don’t do that. It’s it is become abundantly clear that Patreon doesn’t give a shit about the per thing side of things because I looked at all of their innovations. And they’re they’re only doing cool and interesting developments for the per month. subscriptions like March that was a huge thing. Like Okay, I’m done with this per month bullshit or per thing bullshit. Because if like Patreon handles mirch now, like print on demand, sending it out only to people who have been subscribed at certain tiers for the last three months, I’m like, they just do it automatically. Like this is a godsend, saving me time. I don’t have to spend I used to have to, you know, I did a goodie bag once a year and I’ll get to that later. But I did a goodie bag for my VIP, you know passholders and my entourage passholders once a year, which basically meant I spent a full week of my year getting shirts made ordering mailing supplies sitting on the floor of my living room surrounded by mugs, shot glasses, you know t shirts, hoodies, you know, whatever, all these these artifacts that I would send out once a year. And like that, that’s a full week a time out of only you know, 52 out of a year. So the fact that that Patreon will handle that automatically is rather nice. Now, I also have come to understand a bit of a change in philosophy I used to look at the I used to look at the the subscription thing as a premium fan club. You know not to look at this as like every fan is going to go here but I need to make this the VIP thing. Arielle Hyatt of cyber PR over in New York told me a well told a class of hers a story about Prince, the artist formerly known as the artist formerly known as Prince. And something that he would do is whenever he would play a show, he would rent a club next to the venue they would they would just buy out a nightclub for the night. But you know, depending on the club is not that expensive. I’ve done that, you know, for my own shows. But they would charge like $1,000 ahead or something like that after the show to go hang out at the after party with Prince. So Prince would be making you know like like and like the venue’s and the managers and all that kind of stuff would would make a lot of money on doing a sold out show at whatever arena he was playing. And then he would make nearly that much just to hang out with people drinking after the show. Because like, you know, if you like you, if you’ve got a club that fits, you know, like 1000 people, well, that can be a million dollars gross. You know, like, and you get to say I spent $1,000 and I got to hang out in the nightclub with
Prince. And keep in mind he just played a arena probably with 50,000 people right? Yeah, more now a fraction. You’re again talking about social currency. You are now a fraction of that group a very small group that gets to hang out with prints. Yeah, sell it sells itself.
Yeah. So that that’s the that was the impetus for the sort of like premium fan club try and make your experience Now granted, like, tone it down a little. You’re not prints. Yeah, exactly. You can walk around like you’re bigger than prints. But you’re Yeah, you don’t. Yeah, no but I initially set things up, assuming that the thing was going to be a premium fan club, but the philosophy has changed over time, because the concept of the micro transaction is now ubiquitous, you know, fans expect to be able to support somebody on Patreon for like $1 a month, or you know, the same thing on you know, like Twitch, subscribing, that kind of thing, like, one or two bucks. Even though the transactional fees like, you know, basically, you’re getting 70 cents out of that dollar, I would rather have 70 cents times, you know, like 100 more fans than have my bottom tier be $5 and not have those people at all. So look at it, I look at it with to two different tiers, the premium fan club, and then the microtransaction, I just want to support you subscription. And there is a line between those two, but it’s they’re still part of the same, they’re still supporting the same cause the same art, you know, so like, I’ll get into that later. But what this boils down to is how you start out with this, you need to have a menu of things that you can offer, and not just offer whatever offer on a regular basis.
Consistency is Yeah, content is king. And if you’re not putting out consistent content, especially when people are paying for that you have expectations in place. And if those expectations are failed, and they’re not met, that’s how you burn bridges. And that’s how you lose fans. I mean, you could probably lose a fan a lot faster than you can gain one.
One of the reasons that I wanted to like aside from touring becoming too expensive. One of the reasons that I wanted to do a subscription thing at all, is that every time I have a new album or a new shirt or a concert or something like that, I have to go into full on marketing mode to people who have already bought my products, I have to resell to them, I have to convince them to open their wallet. Again, with a subscription based model like Patreon, you have to convince them and it’s it’s a higher bar it’s a it’s a bigger ask to say give me money every month, but you have to convince them of that once and then it’s way easier just to keep them happy.
Yes. And as long as all low
hanging fruit right at that point, like as long as the what what the job then is to make them not close their wallet. And that’s way easier than having to convince them again and again and again to open their wallet to you. So you know, I have some remarkably remarkably patient fans. They are they have put up with so much shit since 2008 so back to back to figuring out what you can deliver on a regular basis when I started Matthew evil dotnet I promised two new songs a month which is on its face like that alone. Think about that. That means every two weeks you are conceiving of a song writing it recording it engineering and mastering it and distributing it every two weeks without fail. If you’re on tour, you get the flu if you just get writer’s block tough shit every two weeks you got to turn a new song around that is worth money it’s not just like I okay I’m it’s not like a NaNoWriMo thing where I’m just gonna crank something out no matter how good it is. It has to be retail ready every two weeks that was the that was that was item one in my menu on top of that you know monthly webcasts with the with the fans. I did VIP parties at any of the shows I did you know the prints thing so like if I went to a convention I did a room party you know, once a year I held an annual beer bash at my my house my studio because I I make beer you know me and my fiance we make beer so we’re you know we’re super into beer culture and we’re into coffee culture so that that works. Once a year I would send out goodie bags to my VIP and entourage fans. So there was a lot of stuff I was promising It did not take me long to burn the fuck out. Like I was it was killing me and so I had to walk back what I was promising again and again and again. And like I said, I have people that still are with me from that very beginning I still have people that were with me when I was doing the thing on sell a band before sell a band collapsed and took everyone’s money. So like like, I have some very dedicated fans who have been through that process you would be much better off much better served not having to go through the apologizing and walking back the menu. So what I suggest to people is I say start a, like a grid. And just start with these are things that I think would be worth money as though I was selling it at a merch table at a concert for musicians, like, you know, in the case of this show this audience for musicians and producers, the most obvious product is singles, you know, new tracks, whether that’s, you know, radio versions, or you know, you know, full full tracks, you know, full extended mixes, whatever you want to call it. remixes. Yeah, exactly. tags. Oh, yeah. The other thing I promised, backing up a little bit was one live recording every month, which means on top of that schedule, I had to book and perform and record and engineer a live recording as well.
That’s a lot.
Yeah. And at the time, I was I was flying to a convention at least once a month. So I got live recordings. But then I had you full engineering. Were you?
Were you a full time artist.
I’ve been a full time artists since 2007. Okay, so I’ve been a professional artists since 1999. Trying to do the math on how fucking old I am. But yeah, I’ve been I’ve been a full time artist scraping by since 2007. So like, I don’t have a day job funding this. And I also don’t have a day job sucking time away from this, and I still was burning out on on that kind of an offer.
yeah, so start a grid, and create a menu of deliverables, things that you think you can deliver on a regular basis. And it doesn’t have to be monthly, it can be like, you do have to have some monthly things because the basic subscription point is a monthly subscription. So you have to be able to deliver something monthly that is worth whatever tier you’re going to be charging but the the goodies now through Patreon, you can have something sent out automatically just by uploading a design and picking which products and go to which tears sending something out quarterly and they just do it for you. It’s great.
That automated stuff. I mean, it’s a pretty simple one too, is if you have a controller if you have a DJ controller you can do. I’m sure many of you can stream up have a mix, you know, an hour long mix once a month. That should be that should be fairly easy to do.
Yeah, one. There’s one caveat to that. If you’re not mixing all your own tracks, I wouldn’t know that I Patreon because then you’re selling a song. Yeah, yeah, that’s a big No, no, I use the mixes as. And that’s another thing to bear in mind. I had been all this time that I was focusing on creating stuff for my subscribers. I also have to create stuff for my non subscribers because something has to bring them in in the first place. So all these exclusive lead magnet. Yeah. So these days, what I do is i’m using my streaming shows. And I do this three days a week. I do three streaming shows a week trance, deep house and Progressive House. They all have their own shows. Monday, Wednesday and Friday at avian invasion, comm slash live if you want to check that out. But I do a streaming show three days a week, and that is free. You know, like that that’s a mix that goes out once a month, or once a month or once a week, depending on what genre you’re following. Or if you’re following all of it. You get three new mixes for me every single week. That’s huge, right?
It’s it’s actually a better lead magnet now that you mentioned it doing a live show like that. That’s Yeah, it’s not better served. No, it’s better served for a free audience.
Yeah, if you’re if you’re a club DJ like you should be used to showing up with a thumb drive with no setlist and just fucking around. And if you’re not better
yet, if you want to be a club DJ, this is your practice.
Well, that’s how I got into it. I’ve been streaming piano rock concerts since 2007 when Brad Huxtable started a thing called Ustream and you know, this is back in during the podcast boom days. So like I’ve been live streaming in, you know, like Internet, radio and second life and video streaming since 2007. And so it was natural for me to just like, I don’t know what I’m doing with DJing at all, like I want to jump into this genre, making electronic music but I have to understand how this electronic music is going to be used. So I better learn to DJ and so I practiced by doing streams, you know, I called it live from the crate before I realized I need to make three shows one for each genre. And you can see behind me that the background, you know, my Live Set behind me with the lights and all that. But uh, like that, that is a good way to get practice because a streaming audience is going to be a lot more forgiving than if you’re at a festival or at a club. You know, if you fuck up a mix live on stream, you can go Hey, sorry guys, let me get this fixed here and your people will love you for it. If you fuck up in a club, the club owner is going to be pissed and you’re lucky if the people on the dance floor just look at you got a fucking amateur or if they they’re kind and look at you and go, you fucked up, you go up and then start a new track as fast as you can. So yeah. So yeah, the live
stream audience is a lot more forgiving. There they are. Some they like that raw insider looked. Yeah, it’s so it’s more of a unique take on you as a person. And they they get a they get more personalized experience. Yeah, but that’s not the case in a club set. Yeah, that’s, that’s where you’re, you’re, you’re you’re in the office at work in a club. Oh, yeah.
And it’s, I mean, it’s fun. Don’t get me wrong. I love my office, but it is definitely a higher bar to meet when you’re in front of a meat based audience. Yeah. So what this coming back to the Patreon stuff, you’re on top of all the stuff you’re doing behind the paywall, you have to have that that, that sizzle that brings people into the steak house, you have to be doing releasing something that gets people to that paywall and convinces them that it’s worth paying for in the first place. And so if you try to promise too much, and you over spend your time working on stuff behind over promise, under deliver exactly, you’re not going to be able to create anything, I used to have these the songs that I was making, I used to release them exclusively to my subscribers. And now the arrangement is the songs that I produce are going to be exclusive for a limited time. And it’s usually like upwards of a year later that they that they go public. And a lot of times and here’s here’s where something like Patreon comes in really handy as a producer, I’ll release something to my fans like I released works in progress, you know, IDs, whatever you call them as I’m as I’m creating the tracks, but then I release the the officers club version to them. And I get feedback from them. And like, you know, it would have been, I haven’t, it’s kind of hoping like this build would have been better. Like it takes way too long to actually get into the track. Like that’s feedback I can fuck with that later, when I release it publicly and send it to Spotify and whatnot, I get feedback from the people who care about my material the most before sending it to people who have never heard of me before. So it’s like it’s one part subscribers, one part fan club, one part Board of you know, the Board of executives, you know, Board of Directors is what I’m looking for helping you shape your vision to Yeah, like I’ve always looked at my my subscribers as the pirate crew. And I’m the pirate captain. And I mean that Yeah, you look up like how pirate ships actually worked. It’s It’s It’s not like the cat what the captain says goes pirates, at least according to David Cordingly, his books and whatnot like the research I’ve done because I’ve been fascinated by pirates before Disney ruined that. It’s it’s pure democracy. And everybody on that ship has a vote. Everybody on that ship has a say the captain makes the final decisions during battle. But that’s about it like that. So listening to your hardcore pirate crew will make you a better producer as well. Yeah, these people are invested in your art.
They weren’t customers.
They’re not just your customers. They are like you said, like Kevin Kelly said super fans. Yeah, they are, they are the people who care more than your average Spotify listener,
so they care infinitely more than your average Spotify listener.
So back to the the grid. So come up with a menu of things that you can you can offer on a regular basis. And that can be you know, single releases. stems, because some of your fans or producers or might want to dabble or might just, you know, have a good idea of a mash up or something. So stems for the songs you’re making,
you can have an entire producer tears well, specifically for producers, where you are releasing, maybe you’re doing tutorial videos, or you’re doing one on one coaching stuff, or coaching or whatever it is that you’re doing specifically for those producers and DJs that are following you. And then you have you know, like you said, You have different tiers for just fans.
Yeah. Um, other things are anything that that makes it a more personal involvement, like Hangouts and events, you know, exclusive after parties or exclusive perks at after parties. One of the things that I discovered like because a lot of my fan base was generated online, rather than doing it in clubs and you know, open mic nights and whatever, you know, doing the real world Work touring, because a lot of my fan base was generated online, they would show up at conventions. But if I went to a city there’d only be like five people that never heard of me before. So doing some kind of an after party doesn’t make sense to do an exclusive after party with five people that’s kind of a you know, a shitty party, you do an open invite party and have some kind of VIP perk for them at that party. And here’s the kicker there. Those people who are your your Patreon subscribers are now mingling with people who might have just heard of you. Like these people who are your evangelists are now mingling with people who have just gotten into your music. Like that’s a mixture, because it’s not you telling them how good you are. It’s somebody else telling them how good you are, like that word of mouth. Right? And that’s, you know, in that intimate environment, it’s a it’s, it’s very effective at helping to spread the word.
Have you read contagious? Why things catch on? No.
Okay, predictably irrational, but which is another one?
I’m going to I’m going to send you a link to this book. It is.
I really don’t want to read anything called contagious right now. I’m sorry.
It is great. It’s why and ironically, it’s it’s all about why content goes viral. Why, you know, why? What is? What makes things what makes a piece of content go viral? Why do people give a shit about it? It is, I think it’s probably going to be a really good resource for you, especially because you’re, I mean, you’re you’re business minded, you’re in the sense of marketing, and trying to find those things that are going to help you succeed, especially when it comes to like your Patreon stuff. The book is, it’s so fantastic. It’s one of the best books, I think, for producers to read. Because the I’ve mentioned that shit, it’s probably like the third time or fourth time I mentioned it just on this episode, but talking about social currency. And all about a Patreon group is creating the secret group that other people apart are a part of, and what you’re talking about if you have these in evangelic, evangelists, Evan jaian, where we
go, deep dive into the animais stacks now.
If you have these evangelists in your at this party, you walking around telling other people who just found out who you are, that’s this word of mouth. Marketing that’s working in your favor, it’s, you know, it’s there. Those people, those super fans, they want to tell other people about you, because they’re a part of this group that they’re proud of that they love. And they think other people are going to like they, they want other people to think that they’re unique, and they’re likable. And one of the best ways to do that is if they’re a part of a secret group that they can tell other people look at how cool I am. I’m in this other cool group, you should come join us and be a part of this cool group. Because if you do, then maybe you’ll like me more. It’s it’s a it plays into psychology. It’s the entire it’s the entire self righteous concept of the hipster like I was into something. Yes, or you’re Exactly, exactly. And so what it’s like, in contagious, it’s, it’s like one of the very first chapters talking about social currency. And it’s all about what you’re talking about here. And why things like a Patreon work and can catch on to Yeah, but the party thing, yes, you are 100% right, having word of mouth right there. with people who just found out who you are, they are infinitely more likely to immediately download, pay, you know, go onto Patreon and subscribe to your Patreon right away if other people are like, yeah, you should join he does this, this and that.
Yeah, throw it throw the after party and have you know, business cards with the info on it, like ready to go. Like I said, I also do a beer bash, like an annual thing where any of your fans that can gather in one place? Or is there any of your subscribers that can gather in one place, and is closed to the general public is also cool? You know, that that’s kind of fun. The way we did it was you know, we would have kegs of my beer. Let’s just say our beer. I don’t make it alone. You know, but but like our homebrew and that was you know, what was being served at the party. It was always fun. But, so at this point, let’s say you’ve come up with some things that you can think of there’s there’s articles and videos on what you can offer left and right but that’s just some ideas. The The idea is to write it out like a menu. So that’s column one, like this is the shit that I can deliver on a regular basis. And be creative with that but, but understand that, understand that this is your product line for Patreon. Now, your next column is what each of those will realistically cost in time, and money. And time of course is the important one but money if you’re if you’re doing you know Uh, fortunately things like shirts and whatnot, Patreon now takes that cut out of your, your Patreon income, so you’re not having to budget beforehand, they just take it out of your account basically, as people subscribe, which is super handy, it means like, you get less of a Patreon payout some months, but you can you can budget for that and figure it out. And they make it so, so easy now, like I’ve been that that was, that was a godsend for me. But there are some some things that that do cost money for you to offer, if you’re offering some kind of exclusive access on a website that you know, you need to pay to be a pro user of. That’s, you know, you need to budget for that kind of stuff. If you’re if you’re sending out physical goods to people on your own that cost money, write all this down, figure out what it’s going to what it’s going to take to make each of those things happen. And it’s okay, if it’s an inordinate amount of time that then informs like the next column, how often Will you promise to deliver this like one new song a month is is pretty respectable, pretty reasonable. If you can actually pull that off, I wouldn’t go for two unless you are like Bob Dylan or Ryan Adams, and like somebody bumps into you and three songs fall out of you, like, you know, like there are people like that, and they’re aliens, and I need to find out where their home planet is. But you still have to produce stuff for non patrons, I can’t stress that enough during this process. So whatever you’re promising, you have to make sure you still have time and money and resources and creativity left over to do something for the the non patron people. So at this point, you have your menu of items you have what you think it will cost you in time and money. And there that then informs how frequently, you know, weekly, monthly, quarterly annually, I wouldn’t do anything more than a longer longer project than once a year. You know, like the the annual goodie bags I used to do and the annual beer bash are pretty much the only things I did on an annual basis. But you could do some sort of like an exclusive concert you know, rent out a club for your you know, free admission for your subscribers only if you’ve got that kind of scratch, you know, like you can rent a decent downtown club here in Seattle for 500 bucks on a weekend. Like it’s not that hard to make something like that happen. My advice, and I guarantee you nobody follows this. I wish I had followed this. Do it privately for a year. Set your schedule, set your production schedule up. Like how you think you’re going to do your Patreon do it privately for a year set some goal one year from now have a big project and when I do these these sessions at conventions like there’s a writers there’s podcasters there’s costume creators you know there’s graphic artists in the room since this audience is entirely you know, music producers that big project should be patently obvious
Thank you Yes, I was gonna say All right,
thank god yeah, I was just talking about this the other like, I think was it last episode or the episode before or the episode before I was just talking about albums versus singles? Yeah. And had like the value not enough people right albums anymore. Yeah, not enough EDM producers right albums. And I think it’s I think it might be coming back there’s some more you know, my favorite producers are cosmic gate. Oh, yeah. They write goddamn their fucking trance is so fucking their albums or their start to feel album was so good. It’s just, they write amazing albums. And there’s there’s something to be said about an album and I said this in the episode I can tell you and rant in a positive way about more albums than I could ever name singles. There. There are more albums that moved me then singles
aside aside from the emotional value of an album. One like one thing that if you’re if you can use Patreon to help facilitate a long format project by releasing releasing singles and whatnot only to your Patreon people but like doing it as I’m working on an album, I’m gonna release things for this album to you guys, and I’m not going to release it to the public until it’s an album. So what I was suggesting with doing a project avidly not actually starting with something like Patreon yet, create an album at in one year time. You know, like 10 to 12 songs, whatever, that’s basically one song a month, well do what you think you can do for Patreon. without charging people money for it for a full year that will tell you whether or not you can maintain that schedule in that year, you might get the flu, you might have a death in the family, you might have some kind of an interruption that life throws at you, when you’re not scheduling things that will will teach you what you can and cannot do. You might actually find like, Hey, I can actually promise more than this.
Yeah, or you can’t and then you if you can’t do it, then you have an over promise, right? You say Oh, and you can you save having to eat shit and backtrack? Well, yeah, people are paying for it, you can pull back. That’s amazing advice. So don’t, you know, come up with the content ideas for the Patreon. Start working on it for an entire year and see if you can keep up with that. And if you don’t release any of that, when you do start your Patreon, you now have content you can immediately start with right well,
so I was I was getting to that. Let me finish. I was gonna get that. So at the end of the year, now you have a big project that you can, you can immediately dump that on to Kickstarter to make that even better. And tell people like I’ve done two album releases via Kickstarter before. And I’m assuming most people here are familiar with, you know, Kickstarter and rockethub, and stuff like that. I never went to Kickstarter, without having the product done. I always went to Kickstarter, with the product trying to make the product better. I have an album I recorded and engineered myself. If we raise this much, I can hire a real drummer and a real guitarist to replace my fake keyboard parts. If we raise this much, I can take it to a real studio and have them do it on their equipment with their engineer. If we raise this much, I can send it to a real mastering engineer instead of doing all this shit myself, you know, like basically doing it that way. But no matter what the product is ready, at the end of the year of doing your Patreon thing, you now have an album that you can take, and like do a Kickstarter to say let’s go for a vinyl release. You know, because vinyls still expensive, you know, I think CD Baby or disc makers or whatever can handle vinyl now. But you can you can you can shop around for vinyl. But at the end of that year, you now have a product, a big cohesive product. And all the perks for a Kickstarter campaign are already there. You have you have videos like you know in progress videos that you would have been releasing to your subscribers every month or every week or whatever that you can then you know package together with with this final release, you have shirts and whatnot that are made and ready to go. You have all the the the remixes and stems and you know, all these little things that you would be handing out as perks on a regular basis you can now say here’s the high tier package for for Kickstarter, use the Kickstarter funds to basically like hire a publicist or something to then make that album go even bigger. And then for all those people that back you on Kickstarter, all the people that buy the buy the album, you can say hey, by the way, I do this every month, come join me on Patreon and it’s a good way to start, you know with a good foot forward saying like, not just you know, trust me I’m gonna make a good product. Here’s the product No shit you can do this every single you can you can get pieces of this every single month. I’m going to start working on a new album right now. You can come along for the ride. Wow,
dude, this is blowing my mind because you’ve set such a good roadmap for making your self a successful musician and creator. Not just through Patreon but Kickstarter as well. But how do like how to? I am My mind is so fucking blown.
On a zoom call here, just
Dude, I know I’m so excited. We’re having this conversation and other people get to check it out. Because everything you’re saying is you I mean, you’re teaching, you’re teaching everyone that’s listening how to successfully release an entire album. I mean, ultimately, it’s hard to fail at this at what you’re talking about. Because if you you’re you’re not allowing yourself to over promise and under deliver, you’re allowing yourself to create the product, come up with the idea spend an entire year coming up with the things that you’re going to create, slowly build on to that and then you can pretty much show the final product and be like this is what the product is. Do you want to make it better because we could make it even better one and all you have to do is Pay for this and people go Hell yeah, they pay for it, they get the an even better product that they’re wanting that they’re extremely happy with. And then you can say, Hey, we do this over at Patreon every month, you can see the entire process. You know, you can see how the sausage is made as well through the entire thing, which is another great book show your work by Austin kleon. I read that and one
of these shelves in this studio right now I have that and steal like an artist.
Yes. Do you like an artist is fantastic. One of the best books show your work is amazing as well, which he can’t he talks about that about how people want to see that process they want to see, they want to see your wins, they want to see your loss,
I was just gonna say that’s an important deliverable to Patreon that you don’t then roll into the final product failure. Yeah, show your failures. I have failed. I’ve made I’ve sent so many in progress songs to my subscribers that have never actually coalesced into a finished single just because the it just it felt forced. You know, like song songs are like farts if you really have to force it. That’s probably shit. I don’t I can’t remember where I stole that from. But you know, it’s a philosophy that I have to live by sometimes. And yes, that’s another bird joke, I guess. Poop jokes in the bird world.
Oh, my God, that’s hilarious.
But yeah, like they like these people who are signing up to pay you money every month out of their hard earned cash. Like they deserve to see you fail. And then if you have the presence of mind to explain what you learned from it, or why you failed, that makes it even better. But that’s a product. You couldn’t you couldn’t sell a half assed track as a track, nobody would pay money for a half assed track. But you like your your failures are as much a product to the people that are invested in the process as your successes are. And that’s, that’s something that you can you can throw in there. You can’t really plan like, I’m going to post one failure a month, but it is something it’s a way to, to cut your losses, basically, instead of I wasted all this time on this thing that I don’t think is ever going to see the light of day. At the very least, it’s content that you can deliver to Zach patron.
I love that. Damn, dude, you. I mean, the amount of knowledge you just fucking dropped was unreal, that
I should be a lot more successful than I am. I don’t know why.
You know, it’s every artist is different. Everyone’s journey is different. And I mean, shit. You’ve only been at this artist? Or three years. Three years? Yeah, I
think 2017 right. When I moved from the Boston area to the Seattle area.
Yeah, that’s I mean, that’s not a lot of time. That’s is a fraction of time and I you know, I always tell EDM producers like when you’re getting into electronic Now granted, you’ve been in the music industry for a while
pretty much my whole life.
Yeah, you you’re in a different position, though, you’re in a position where you can see success a lot faster. I tell new producers who have never touched a DA ever really been involved with music, I tell them, if you’re getting into this and you won’t be a full time producer, you better plan a minimum 10 years being involved grinding for 10 years. If you can accept that, then there’s a potential that you could, you know, that might be shorter than normal, or you’re gonna hit that 10 year mark, and you’re gonna see those big long strides being taken and all of a sudden, you’re gonna start seeing some success. So for you, it could be you’ve got two more years before you see you know, really great success. I mean, that will say you’re making the right moves you are making with everything you just said you’re making the right moves, and more people should be paying attention to you in listening to you. Because you have the blueprint for success. And you know, a lot of people and I would even argue you’ve already hit that success if you’re doing it full time.
That is nice. You
don’t have a boss necessarily. You don’t have to go into the office at a specific time but I’m sure you have your business hours
I could be wearing no pants right now. You have no way of knowing he has absolutely no idea. Exactly.
I mean, there’s there’s a much better there’s there’s a lot less stress when you don’t have to deal with that bullshit. You can do whatever you want the bullshit of pants.
We’re What are we? Yeah,
it was also an Austin Austin kleon novel. Bullshit.
Oh my god, but you were gonna say something, though. Uh, yeah.
The train of thought has derailed at this point. It was so Oh, yeah. Like I said earlier about how once once you get those people to subscribe. The trick then is To keep them happy, um, what you were saying was like the blueprint of success and all that at the end of the day. And this is important and this always has to be the forefront of your mind. You have to be making a good product even if you have your branding together your deliverables and all that like that’ll that’ll make a mediocre, mediocre product sellable. See also Marshmallow, but like you will you you need to actually create a compelling product at the end of the day. And if you’re not using this to facilitate that, then you shouldn’t get involved in something like Patreon because then you’re just going to be serially disappointing people.
Yeah. You in this is something I talked about, actually shit. What was the last episode? I did? I’m trying to think I can’t believe I’m blanking on it.
Well, while you’re blinking, um, somebody told me like your marketing gets you the job, your marketing gets people to listen to you, but your music has to be what keeps them there.
Yeah, the last episode was about remixes and how remixes can be like a crucial part of your marketing tool, it could be a lead magnet to get people on your email marketing list or whatever it is, you know, maybe maybe remixes are a part of your, your Patreon, one of your Patreon tiers, and you use just one single remix and old remix that you have as a lead magnet. And I tell people, you know, the remixes are another opportunity for you to send tracks to a promo list of bigger artists, find their emails, send them those tracks, especially the original artists, you can also send the remix to the original record label that released it. But you never want to send that out, especially to the original artists or especially to the labels, if it’s a shittier version of their song. Yeah, right. Don’t want to fucking hear that the remix or the bootleg, it has to be better than the original. If it’s not better than the original don’t fucking, even by that, I mean, you there, there may be a lot of people that are really excited about it, when you show them a snippet of it, or it better stand up next to the track, it just needs to be good at just as good as the original or better. Otherwise, don’t even put it anywhere. Because you don’t you don’t want big named people, too. just so happened to get that email and actually open it up and actually listen to it and actually read your name. And then it’s a shitty track. And then they just, they mark it as spam. And then you are never seen in their inbox ever again. Even if you’re on down the road, you have something incredible for them, you just burn bridges, it’s the same thing with you know, your product needs to be good, your products not good, then you need to do more work,
which also means you need to surround yourself with people who will tell you when something is shit, yes, your Patreon. your highest tier people, the people who are paying you the most may or may not be those kind of people, they may be so enamored with you that everything you release is gold, and you kind of want that, but at the same time you need to have somebody you can turn to and say, you know, help? Yeah. Is this Is this good? is this? Am I going in the right direction?
Yeah, you don’t need a bunch of Yes, men, but you know, do you know some? Yes, men are nice. When you’re down, they can help that ego a little bit. But you don’t want to build that ego up too much. You want people who you trust that you know, give a shit about you and care about you that are willing to say hey, this sucks. You know, this could be in a nice way though. You know, obviously, you want them to be constructive. Yes, constructive. You want some feedback, you want them to tell you how you can improve and make things better. But you you have to have some people there that can that can give you that good advice that can guide you down the right path otherwise, otherwise, yeah, you’re kind of you never know you could be putting out shitty product thinking it’s great. But it’s you’re not getting the right people that you want involved in your Patreon or whatever it is. Yeah.
I see on your outline here. You had Do you see Patreon as being a viable future? Yeah. EDM producers and part of that is very relevant to to what you’re talking about here. Given that, you know, like, I I’m fond of the duo 11 you know, they have heard of them. They usually do like Deep House kind of stuff. They do trance stuff. I think they’ve done some stuff on Judah. How
do you spell their name
11 was two V’s, okay. And they’re very, very cool. Very Donner, guys and like I said, like they’ve they’ve released on anjunabeats. And they don’t, they don’t make money from their tracks. You know, like you’re you’re not going to you know, just just because You got like I’ve been I’ve had tracks signed to a bunch of indie labels. And like, I’m happy when I see royalty come in like, it’s not like I’m making the bulk of my money from that the bulk of my money does come from Patreon. So, what you’re talking about is an emotional connection. You are the viable future for EDM producers. As much as I am a part man, part bird part robot, when I’m on stage, what you have to sell in order to survive is your humanity. You have to have that human connection with that subset of fans who will follow you on Patreon. And the humanity is what will keep you in business. If you are like people, people will pirate music, but they’ll support a person and so you have to be that human being as much as I want to believe my own hype. And believe that I’m some space bird bringing hope and light to the universe. You know, like I that’s, that’s great and all and I can jerk off to that, you know, marketing bedroom all I want, but the fact of the matter is, I have to be an approachable person to these fans, and that’s what they want to support. They want to support me they like the music. That’s what brought them to me, but they are in it for my success. They’re living vicariously I would recommend people watch the movie rock star with Marky Mark Wahlberg looks like it’s an okay movie. But it’s one of the there’s a scene where Mark Wahlberg’s character replaces an 80s heavy metal band front man like the front man is kicked out of the band and the search for for just some dude who can play the part. And he you know, he goes from just being like a tribute band frontman to Oh my God, I’m the front man for steel dragon now playing to sold out arenas. It’s a really cool movie for into like, the 80s heavy metal scene. But there’s a moment where the road manager explains to him your job, you know, like, yeah, the girls all want you. But the guys are the ones that buy the albums. This is 80s heavy metal. So you need to be the guy that they want to be. They need to be able to live vicariously through you is a little superficial, but at the same time,
Yeah, your your super fans, the ones that are going to support you on Patreon. They’re trying to live vicariously through you a little bit. So be that person that they they would like to be, you know, bayad to be Yeah, be that that dead mouse or that rez, you know, or whatever, you know, like be be that that icon who actually interacts with them on a real basis? Yeah. You know, this humanity will save us.
Yeah, at 100%. I Yeah, I agree with that, it’s, you know, you’re serving your super fans in a way that they can, they can fit it, they support you, like you said, because they want to see you succeed, and they they want they want a connection, you know, they want to connection to someone or something that might be bigger than themselves. And they can appreciate that and respect that and they want to see that succeed. You know, like you said, these huge producers releasing on huge record labels, you know, it might be nice to see that it might be nice to see those 100,000 streams or whatever. But it’s not where their money’s being made. A good majority of the time, those those bigger producers probably have an agent or a manager who can help, you know, get them road gigs in shows where they’re probably making a bulk of their money. And that is even so hard to get now that you do have to focus on these things that can like Patreon that can actually get you an income that can actually you learn a very valuable skill when trying to run a business. And that’s running a business, how to market how you know how to budget, how to finance, how to do these things that can apply to your own personal life. But that’ll also give you real life skills that if this doesn’t work out, there may be another field that you really enjoy that you you know, you might have learned a skill from that. Or just the simple fact that one day you will have built up enough skill to be able to quit your job because you might not be making six figures a year. You know, that might be the goal but you’ve at least made enough money with your music that you can quit your job, go at it full time and start to get the ball rolling even more and see more success later on. Because now all of your attention is focused on how can I make this product better and better for my super fans and how can I get more Have those super fans?
Yeah, I mean, there’s there’s nothing noble about being a starving artist the nobility is in the art not the starving. Yes, you know, like, there you there you should never be ashamed to, to, you know market to learn about you know advertising and stuff like that I you know, like hire a publicist hire you know if you if you can afford to delegate the tasks that you’re not good at or that you just don’t have much of a stomach for I hate marketing I hate advertising, I would much rather have somebody else do that shit for me. You know, I’m at peace when I’m building my website, you know, scripting some robots or actually working on the thumping noises here my little padded self, you know, like, that’s I would much rather delegate to other people but like you, you, you need to treat it like it’s a business or you will not be in business long.
And the goal should be Yeah, like you said, there’s you know, fuck being a starving artist because it’s you know, being a starving artist is not a good time. And the goal should be to get out of that, you know, you want enough you want to be able to pay your bills, feed yourself and still have some money to have fun dude, like that should be the the ultimate goal is to be successful. And, you know, whatever that success means you might for me, I’ve talked about this on the podcast, and I’ve recently realized this within the past year or two is, I want my business to be successful. So that when I have kids, I can be at home with them and I can spend time with them and I don’t have I’m not at work all the fucking time. I’m not tied down by a job. I want to be able to raise my damn kids and see them and I’m personally want to homeschool them and help out with that sort of stuff. So that’s my success story is if I can get there I will be that’s all I want. That’s all they give a shit about. for other people. It’s completely different and but you know, the the starving artists thing is really interesting because so many people are like, I don’t give a shit. I’ll eat cup of noodles every single day for three or four years. It’s like, it’s not fun. If you want to talk about depression that’s that goes into really deep dark depressive states that can railroad you more than anything, you’re really going
to say that’s part of the reason I moved from piano rock into dance music is I just felt like my career was stuck in neutral and I needed to change. And part of that was getting back to my original impetus for making music my career, which is the marriage of art and technology. And nothing expresses that more than dance music. You know, like it’s, it’s, it’s absolutely I needed to to feed myself artistically. But yeah, the feeling like your your career is, like, at first having like a little initial success is a big rush. But if it doesn’t build if your business doesn’t actually grow enough to be sustainable at that point, then it’s just a drag. Yeah, and it can suck. Here’s the shitty part. It can suck away your creativity. Yes. And that sucks. I know people who are i know i
Yeah, like, I have a good friend who should be a five star chef. And we’ve told them like you should you should do a career change because you could run a restaurant beautifully. He’s like, No, I want to enjoy cooking. Yeah, yeah, like, okay, I can level with that. And
it’s one of the reasons I used to be a cook, I cooked for years and years and years, I don’t cook anymore because I hated it. Because I hated working in the kitchen. And I said, and my girlfriend does all the cooking now and I do all the cleaning. And it kind of plays that way. But she’s loves it. She’s amazing at it, I let her deal with that. Because if I do it, I get frustrated. I hate it. And I get really upset and it’s not fun. It just sucks I don’t want to do that. But it’s the same thing you know, within your own business within find the shit you hate, you suck at that you can delegate or delegate it, delegate it, and then you don’t have to worry about that you get a great product it’s worth your time and money and now you can focus on better and bigger things things that you give a shit about. So
right and that’s that’s where Patreon can really help you even as an EDM producer, even if all you’re doing is making beats, you’re not even releasing singles like that’s still a product but you can delegate a whole lot of you know the the transactional stuff to a service like Patreon and that gives you more time back in your day to sit in your padded room making thumping noises you know, or wherever whatever your studio happens to be. So yeah, like like that’s Patreon is absolutely a viable future and I shouldn’t say Patreon, or something like it like there’s a better product. Never underestimate the power of a site where the traffic already exists. You know people have people have tried to snipe me from from Patreon. Hey, check out this other subscription service we’re setting up just for musicians and like nobody’s shopping around for people their exact my videos have to be on YouTube. I don’t care what their policies are people are looking on YouTube, they have to be on Spotify, because people are looking on Spotify.
Yeah, it’s talking about, there’s another book called 22 immutable laws of marketing, and one of them is about, it’s technically like, if you’re not first you’re last. It doesn’t matter. If, if, if there was one company let’s take Patreon for instance, and there’s a second company that might be a better service, they might deliver a better product, Patreon is always going to beat them because they were first they weren’t there the brand name of it now you know, they are of that service. Its Patreon now, people aren’t going to reference the second business by calling it Patreon. Yeah, it’s kind of it’s it’s like googling things. It’s like you can search stuff on Duck Duck go all day, but you’ll probably tell someone to go Google it. Yeah, it’s a verb now that’s what you do when you search things you Google them
for diarrhea go for it sorry
I was gonna say regardless of your search engine you’re you’re just go Google it like that
the the barrier to being first as a boulder the barrier to being better than that first person is a mountain Yes, you can be better but yeah,
it is a massive uphill climb that you probably won’t get over it’s just your you know Pepsi is always gonna be second to Coca Cola Coca Cola is always here in the south I’m in Texas here everything is coke. Yes, soda is coke yes even if your drink I remember
that my Nashville
days that was weird. You’ll get you’ll get asked for a Pepsi and they’ll go Okay, you want a coke? And you’re like wait no and they’re gonna give you a Pepsi but it’s called coke like it’s just that’s what it is. So a Yeah. Anyways, Matthew, do you have anything you’d like to plug while we finish up here? Dude this was an amazing conversation couldn’t have gone better I’m so happy I had you on I mean obviously on again but
oh yeah sure. Yeah, plug your stuff away. I mean obviously I should be plugging you know avian invasion comm slash Patreon. But, and we can we could do a whole show about using redirects instead of just sending people to Patreon hey, yeah, but that’s that’s a boy that’s uh, you talked about my website we should have a whole conversation about that kind of shit like
I do. We should actually I know you’re a perfect guest for that let’s well plan for it.
Well if if people are bored in the meantime, head to avian invasion calm I stream three days a week Progressive House on Mondays trance on Wednesdays and the early bird breakfast a deep house set every Friday morning Yeah. Which is not really morning so much on the East Coast but whatever I get up as early as my musician asked him get out of bed on a Friday morning but yeah head to head the avian invasion calm and feel free to drop me a line I am a human being underneath all the the robotics and I would be happy to hear from you.
Sweet awesome Well yeah, I’ll have all the links that we talked about in this episode at Envious audio.com slash 49 or sorry, Envious comm slash Episode 49. So you guys can I’ll have all the links there too, for them to check it out. But Matthew, thank you so much. I appreciate you taking the time and I’ll talk to you soon man. Hey,
it’s been fun. Alright,
take care. Thanks for checking out this episode of electronic dance money. I hope you enjoyed it just as much as I did. This was a really really awesome conversation with Matthew so happy that I was able to have it with him. Head to Envious audio.com slash Episode 49. To check out all of the show notes check out the electronic dance money Facebook community just search electronic dance money community rate and review the show at Apple podcasts. If you guys enjoy it, stay tuned for the next episode. It is going to be an awesome one. I’m so excited for it. I’ve been waiting for this guest to come on for quite a while so I can’t wait to showcase it to you guys and hopefully you enjoy just as much as I do. Anyways, Take care and I’ll see you guys next time.
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