MusicMarketing.com is a marketing agency for the music business. They help musicians and record labels sell more music, get more people to their shows, and make more money in the music business.
MO: What inspired you to launch your business?
David: I started out as a musician. Was making money on the side doing street promotion and online marketing for other acts. As it turned out, that was my real gift and I enjoyed it more than performing. So I made it official by actually forming a company.
The money with the major acts was good, but there was something in me that wanted to get back to the speed and excitement that was happening on the independent scene. I wanted people I was working with to care about the music rather than treat it as just another widget to sell. So, while I’ve kept working with musicians and record labels of all levels, I’ve put a lot of my focus on independent acts, which is what I’m best known for.
MO: What issue does your core product help solve and how so?
David: We help musicians and record labels cut through the noise, get their music into the hands of people, and make money!
MO: What has been your biggest challenge as a business owner and how have you met that challenge?
David: Somebody once told me, “Never trust a man who hasn’t made payroll.” I think that sums up one of my biggest challenges, not because of trust, but because it shows what entrepreneurs and business owners have to do in order to make sure the people they work with get paid.
It can be overwhelming to think, “I have people who are counting on me” every time you have to make a decision, but that’s exactly what you should be thinking about when you own a business. You have to look at the big picture, not only of growth of the business, but of how the people you work with are being affected by your decisions.
This issue never goes away, but I think you can get better at navigating it through practice. Once you see that you can get through a major problem or two, it gives you faith in your ability to work through situations. You improve both trust in yourself as well as skill to navigate.
MO: What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you/your Company?
David: I’ve been in business since 1995. In January 2013, I released a new book, Six-Figure Musician, which I am currently promoting. This has been very exciting for me, since it gets me back on the frontline of marketing, just like I was when I started the company.
Not only am I handling the “big idea” stuff for this book, like coming up with the marketing strategy for it, I’m also doing a lot of the grunt work, which is usually handled by others on my team. This has helped me to get really in touch with both clients as well as the people working for me and I feel that understanding has been very helpful in my growth as both a marketing person and a business owner.
MO: Where do you envision your company in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years?
David: Things in this business move fast, so I don’t think that far ahead. The only thing I know is that marketing isn’t a hobby to me and I’ll be around, in some capacity, for at least 20 more years.
MO: Have you had any mentors or role models that have influenced you? Describe the impact.
David: It sounds cliché, but my father and his attitude about money has been very helpful. I did a business deal a few years ago and hasn’t worked out so well. It’s one of those things that I could probably hang out and turn around, but mentally, I’m done with it, even if I lose a bit of money by getting out now. I had lunch with him just a few days ago and was asking his advice about it. He asked me, “Do you know how many stupid things I’ve put money into?” I love that “easy come, easy go” attitude. Move forward and be happy, even if it costs you a bit of money. You can make it up next time. Plus, what’s your happiness worth?
Beyond that, I read a lot. I love everything by Earl Nightingale and this has been a big influence on both my writing and the way I live life.
MO: Do you consider yourself successful and by what means do you measure success?
David: When I first started my company, the only thing I wanted to so was not have to work a job. When I made that happen, I wanted a certain level of monetary success. Now that the bills are paid, I have a nice car, and a nice house, I’m looking deeper. I’m focusing on the type of person I want to be more than specific financial or business goals. I still have those goals, but believe than when you act a certain way, they come automatically. I think there is always room for improvement. In the music business, if you ask a songwriter what his “best” song is, he’ll often say something like, “I’m still writing it.” And that’s the way I feel about success. Still working on it, but I respect where I’ve been and what I’ve accomplished so far.
MO: How do your competitors view you?
David: I try to work be open to people, even those in a similar business to the one I’m in. Not everybody is that way, but I’ve found the music business community to be very welcoming for the most part.
MO: What do you wish someone told you?
David: The most successful people I’ve ever met have a personality and attitude that is both open and honest. That’s what I strive to do also. This isn’t always easy though and, at worst, it can be terrifying. You are vulnerable when you put yourself out into the world.
I’m not sure anybody telling me this would have been helpful to me, because I think it’s one of those things that you have to learn for yourself, whatever way you learn it. With that said though, if you want some helpful advice – stop playing safe and don’t be afraid to be vulnerable!
MO: What’s the biggest risk that you’ve ever taken and how did it turn out?
David: Risk is a funny thing, because when you look back on it, it doesn’t seem that risky. Either you succeed, which I think happens most of the time, or you fail. But is failure that bad? Right now, I am taking a “big risk” by giving away my new book for free. I have tens of thousands of people on my mailing list, so I could sell quite a number of them with a single launch email, which is what I’ve done in the past. But I think I can do something better and reach more people by doing things a different way. It’s a bit scary, since I’m not sure what will happen, but like other risks I’ve taken, I’m confident things will be ok regardless.
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