The Business of Music #1
Boarding, is going. So, I don't. Know if we end up using the very beginning, part of this maybe we do but. Yeah, so this is Ryan, a lot, of people they're like you, guys look like brothers, and, that's. Because, we are so. Ryan. Can you give a little bit of a background, of what. You're doing what, you want to do and then maybe. What you're hoping to get out of this session you. Know. Okay. So, my name is Ryan McCabe, and Mike, Sean said we have others the. Purpose of this call is for me to kind. Of get some insight, and clarity and. Helpful. Feedback from Sean in regards to. Kind. Of doing my own music, business so, right. Now I've been doing live, shows, all. Live performances. And I'm, trying to figure out the. Best way to move. Forward in that kind, of kind. Of way with doing music but also figure out other ways for me to. Perhaps. Monetize, it in other areas also kind of just figure out like what, things I should be doing in the background as far as business goes piano. By the way piano. By the way and. So. That's. Kind. Of just really, that's an it in a nutshell so. I. Actually, got a couple questions that I've already prepared in advance I mean if you want we could just jump into that that's. Good yeah, for sure did, you say what you hoped to get out of this I. Hope. I. Hope to get these questions answered okay, like on a macro, level I, guess. A lot of it is just. Completely. Green when it comes to business stuff, so. Hoping, to get the the right way to do the business side of things and, then also just. Trying. To get I guess, creative, and helpful helpful insight on how, to be, more efficient, at monetizing. It the way that I am and perhaps look for areas that I could, expand into that. I'm not, really expanding, into right now we're tapping into okay, so just for for, my sake and anyone watching I'm making sure I understand the context, you, play piano, you. Do. Performances. For. Venues. Events. Weddings. More. Or less you're doing client. Work, right. That. And and is this something that you're. Currently doing, full-time. Part-time do you want to be doing it full-time do you want to continue doing this type of work or do you want it to look different. I'm. Doing. A part-time right now I can. I. Feel. Like you know eventually, sometime, far down the line I'd like to see it perhaps, full-time. So. I, think. It's trying to figure out how. Do I make that a reality essentially. Or. Even. Maybe.
Even If it's not full-time but it's just you know perhaps working behind the scenes for me. So. There's, a lot of things that I'm kind of tossing out of my head but I guess the part of the bit the biggest thing for me is that it's like I haven't overall. An. Overall objective, but I feel like I need to focus. It in and hone it down a little bit more for it to be realistic. So. I'm still. Very much in the early early stages of that because I've only started doing this a. Little, bit more aggressively, part time just, three. Months ago so, still. Very fresh. So. My. First question was, with. Me doing private events. Should. I set up a company. To. Handle. That as far as the business goes or should I just have it coming directly into me and if, I do need, to set up a company. What's. The best, type you, know how to handle that etc so. Do you have any insight on that okay so right now people are paying you. Writing. A check to Ryan McCabe, exactly. You're wondering how to get started. Good, so. The. Few. Most common, types you'd be looking at our DBA. LLC. Or an. S corporation, and, an. S corporation is just a form of LLC. It's an LLC with an S election, I. Wouldn't, I wouldn't worry about that too much we'll, focus more on the difference between a DBA, and an LLC so. Do. You have a business, name or a brain name is. That something you're considering, doing, I've. Considered, it I don't really have I mean the only thing that I've done for social media is just riding the kid music I can't say that I'm exactly, sad. Like I wouldn't want to be like I don't, know okay no I think that's perfectly fine I think you could bring it with your name I think you could do Ryan McCabe music and. That could be that, could be established as a business, there can be a business called Ryan, McCabe music, yeah Ryan McCann I'm just not sold on it I guess oh sure sure yeah, well okay but we'll. Note that you can call it whatever you want we'll. Just for the sake of this conversation go, with Ryan McCabe music, and think, of that as the business, yeah. Okay, so if. Someone writes a check to you and they it says pay to the order of Ryan. McCabe music, you. Will not be able to cash that, because. You are Ryan McCabe, the, bank's gonna say who's, this Ryan McCabe music right. So in order to be able to cash a check as, a business. The. Simplest, way to do that is with a DBA, which, stands for doing, business as so. You go get a DBA you know it's a few bucks or whatever it's it's not very much it's not difficult to get it all you just go. Downtown fill out the paperwork and here, you go a DBA, is just known as a fictitious name it's. Like I'm wearing a mask this. Is I'm I'm. Masquerading. As. Ryan. McCabe music, and what, you can also do with the DBA is you can go to a bank and say I would like to open up a business bank account. Doing. Business as Ryan. McCabe music so, they'll allow you to, create a business, bank account for. Ryan, McCabe music, even, with the DBA which is just a fictitious name doing business s and then, people, can write you a check, it says pays to the order of Ryan McCabe music the, nice thing is it feels a little more legit, maybe you got your business cards, you know and it's like okay, this is a real deal you know and. You. Can go to the bank and you can cash that check, that's. Made, out to Ryan McKay music because you have a business bank account that you're able to open from the DBA now. Full. Disclosure I use DBAs, for the first. Seven. Years of running multiple, businesses. You. Can absolutely start, there I would recommend, that you start there and don't overthink it I'll, tell you at what point you you want to consider going, to another type of entity. But. Don't, let it hold you back is the main thing a lot of people are like okay I need trademarks, they need copyright, I need an LLC and, it's like thousands, of dollars later and hundreds.
Of Business cards later they don't really have a business, because they they focus on that before they focus on what matters so. I wouldn't, let it hold you back but it sounds like you haven't you're already doing jobs you're, already getting paid and stuff so. The. Difference between a DBA and nll LLC, is an LLC is its own entity. Well. I mean it's a, some. People say it's kind of like a L, or. R pass-through. Entity. But it's it's its own entity. You. Are gonna have to pay I would. Ballpark, at about a thousand, dollars in. Legal. Fees I mean there's cheaper, ways to get LLC's but if you do it like legit, you go to a lawyer you have them do, the paperwork for you it's gonna be around a thousand dollars eight hundred and twelve hundred something like that. But now you have an, actual. Entity Ryan. McCabe music LLC. And, what that what the LLC, stands for is limited, liability, corporation. That. Offers you a layer of protection so. If for, whatever reason someone, Sue's you, they. Can only ever get, what, the company, has not. You Ryan McCabe, so, if they want to sue you and they're looking for a thousand, a hundred thousand, dollars in damages, Ryan, McKay music has $40,000. You. Know you're bankrupt you can't, you can't get more than what the business has it's a limited, liability. Corporation. So, it offers you some protection in that regard it with a DBA, they, can come after you personally and, everything you own in your car and whatever right now. You. Know you can evaluate what, type of risk you want to take in certain. Industries, you're gonna take more risk yeah. You're playing music probably. People are getting I like your, music hurt our ear so bad. We had to go to the ear doctor and, we're. Suing you for the. Doctor bills of everyone in the venue probably. Not gonna happen um not, saying that you don't ever want to get an LLC you. Probably do it's just I would, say it's not as big of a rush for you right now I wouldn't, get bogged down on it the. Difference, between an, LLC, and an S corporation, which.
Is An LLC, with an S election, is. Long. Story short you don't get taxed, you, don't get double, taxed on things because. With. An S corporation, it. Has its money and it pays taxes, on its money and, then it, pays you a salary and you only pay taxes on the salary that you get, whereas. If. You, don't have an S election, you're gonna pay taxes. Personally, and taxes. For the business and you, can end up paying double taxes, on that money. It's. Not, too big of a deal in the beginning and especially if it's just you it's really, really simple you're the sole member of your own LLC. So. It's not too much to worry about I would just say and, maybe a added note for anyone watching the, point at which you would want to go from an LLC to, an S corporation, my. Rule. Of thumb is when. Something. Like two. Two. Or three thousand dollars a year is is no big deal as nothing to you because, that's. What it's going to take to do the paperwork and you, don't want to do the paperwork like you need to get in the CalNet you want to hire a CPA and, with. Especially. With US corporations there's quarterly, things you need to do you, might be used to doing your taxes annually with. An S corporation it's, like quarterly, stuff you definitely want someone to do it and it's gonna cost you a couple grand for that, paperwork so, whenever that's no big deal there's, a lot of benefits. To. Going with an S corporation. And. I'm, assuming, that you probably will only want to do that when it makes financial sense as well I mean if you're gonna save you know just, a little bit of money but you spend in two or three thousand bucks on that so yeah. I would, say when you can spend a few grand on it it's probably a good idea because most likely it will save you on you, know the double taxation. Okay. Cool. So I'm thinking probably for myself okay, so I mean but is there is there really a huge advantage to me just having people write checks to. Say. A DBA, business, type versus just me personally is there really that much distinction, between it there's there's really not, like, you. Can absolutely continue, operating, as Ryan. McCabe, just. You as a person, hey write me a check I did work for you and here's what's gonna happen you're. Going to have to report this income if it's. Over six hundred dollars then. You, have to report it and it becomes. Self-employed. Income now. Self-employed. Income is. Taxed. At like eighteen, percent. Like. That. That's an additional, it's like it's like a. Fee. You know on top of whatever other, taxes, you might owe there, is a, self-employment. Tax, of eighteen. Percent or whatever so if you're already paying you, know depending on your bracket right like how, much you're making determines. What percent of taxes you owe maybe. That's fifteen percent maybe it's eighteen percent maybe it's 20 percent you'd have to be like in the six figures you know before it gets, above. Twenty and you. Know but. Then you've got the eighteen or whatever so sometime in time on top of that so that's. The thing if you if you're just you or. If you're doing a DBA DBA, is just a mask rights fictitious, name it's still you it's, still personal, it's still self-employed, income which you're gonna you're gonna get hit for right so.
There's. Really no downside except. Like you're. Gonna pay self-employment taxes, right and with, an LLC I mean. When. You're working for a company they're. Paying. Taxes. On you. Know they're. Paying a percentage of what they pay you to the government so they're. Just doing that for you when, you're working for yourself you have to do that so, when you have an LLC, you're. You're the sole member of that LLC you probably take a salary or whatever, but, you're working for a corporation. And, that corporation, is gonna pay taxes, so you, don't really get to escape it it's, just like whether your company pays that part or you pay the self-employed, tax it's. Going to the government either way yeah. Okay. So. Yeah those, that's, that's right that's very helpful than some I'm honestly, thinking like I've probably, just at this early stage of the game would probably, just stick with, perhaps. Doing my own name and even if I did decide to do you know Ryan McCabe music or how our brand it I. Mean. It. Kind of still sounds like I'd be in the same kind of operating. Kind. Of the same old same old right yeah. Yeah I guess I could open a business bank account, but. There's there's you know there's definitely advantages, there's definitely benefits. It. Is, it does get a little bit tricky, to kind. Of separate personal, and business stuff when, it comes to accounting, or taxes. So. Certain, things can become a little easier if you actually set up a business you could get a, business, bank account a business, credit. Card for expenses, and you know that every single expense, on that card is for. The business so you can just say export. All those expenses, itemize, them deduct, you know it just makes it very simple very clean, break it's actually really nice yeah. Which. Brings, me to another kind of spin-off question I had as well. What. What. Things are you aware of that you, think I might be able to write off as. Like. Starting, out on a business early because I know that I definitely, should probably be accounting. For mileage so I'm driving and, like I went down to San Antonio and you know did a wedding so I feel, like that there's got to be something. There that I could probably be, writing off even the stuff I've heard about you know you can write off having a home office just, different stuff like that so what's, what's, your insight on that yeah. So you will, be able to write off a percentage. Of your. Your, house so. I mean, it's. A little bit subjective but. Whatever. Area you want to write out it needs to be solely, dedicated to, business right. So you. Can't really write off your whole bedroom if you have Hanover bedroom. You. Could write off 20%, of your, bedroom so you figure, out okay this is the square footage of. My. Bedroom, or my apartment, or whatever and this, is 20% and this is my rent and so that amount becomes deductible. Good. Mileage. Is good. Piano. Grease. That's, a joke. And. Anything. You buy like, you need to repair a piano, you buy a new piano you buy pedal, you, buy speakers you, know equipment. All of that stuff is right ups you buy classes. You, know courses, training, material, all of, that stuff is right off, just. About anything you do that's that's an expense. For the business like maybe you don't have a business account or a business card but. If you would swipe that it's. Probably something that you can count as an expense and a, CPA, is gonna help you here like I, did. The whole TurboTax. Thing for. As long as I could for as many years as I could probably. Like four or five years into running business and it was like I had.
Multiple, Businesses, one of them was a partnership I had some other side freelance, income, my. Wife has a day, job and, it was just it was very complicated, like we were stretching, the limits of what TurboTax. Could really do when. Usually the free version. Well. I'm just probably paying for it but when. You feel like you're stretch yes especially the free version when, you feel like you're stretching what, TurboTax. Can do. Just. Get a CPA my regret. Is not hiring. A CPA sooner. That. Cost me and I went to someone really quality, like, really good and this is gonna sound super. Huge especially if you're used to $50.00, TurboTax or whatever at. The time it was $800. To to hire them to do my taxes, and that felt like so much money to me but, like there, were multiple businesses, multiple, w-2s. And you know it's just it, was it was confusing and they. Just handled all of it but what they did is they it. Was like a mindset. For me in a couple regards, one is like I'm, going, to delegate. This I, want. To be good at my thing I don't, want to spend my, hours, my days. Understanding. Accounting, worrying about taxes, fearing. That I'm missing something this, person they. Have expertise, in that area it's worth paying them so that was a good exercise but also they. Would ask me things like okay. You know what do you expect to make next year and it's. Like I was. Like oh. I've. Never thought of that you know I. Thought, we'll just see right. But. The reason they were asking is because we're, paying quarterly. Estimated. Taxes, and the. Amount. Of the quarterly, estimated payment, is based, on the prior year. Right. So, they're, trying to get kind, of a sense of like alright what do you think you're gonna be making next year it's like if, everyone, always gets excited, they get this big tax return and they're like woo you, know well you overpaid, it's. Not it's it's, not great also. You don't want to under pay that's. Bad news you. Want to pay the right amount and, so, that's what we're trying to do that's what the CPA your certified. Public. Accountant, I think it's personal or public I. Forget. Enough CPA it's it's your accountant. That's. What they're trying to help you do they're trying to help you pay the right amount so, hey we can guess right now but, if we have a really good idea of what we know we're gonna make next year we, can calibrate to that so that when we pay our estimated, quarterly, we, get we, get to the end of the year we get to next year and we're.
Good Right we. Don't get all this money back that we wish we would have had to use in the business and we don't owe money and late fees and penalties so. Okay. What. About um. Like. I I guess as far as like traveling, and stuff like that like would you write off like food receipts and stuff like that as well or anything. Okay. After. The rooms and everything okay, yep. Anytime you'll have to have a paper tray along so well. Not yes, yes, like conceptually. But literally, doesn't have to be paper and these, days it's it's, almost never paper, well, sure okay I got okay but it has to be documented. In some form or fashion in here what what I used to use I don't think they have a free plan anymore. But. I, used fresh, books for invoicing, back in the day and something. They also had was like expenses. They could track expenses, and the nice thing was they had it to where you could link your. Card. And just automatically. Import, those expenses, and it recognizes, the the same ones that you've already categorized. And it just puts them in the right categories, literally, at the end of the year you export, it it's all categorized, you, just give that file to your CPA and they're they're happy they're not gonna ask you for anything else if it's a business card that wouldn't make it easy if it's a personal, that would be weighed like okay you you would have to go in and audit that if it. Wasn't exclusive right, but. Still I used, it for, invoicing. But, also to track, expenses so, things like you know you said meals and whatever anytime. You talk to anyone about like. If this was a meal right now this. Is a business expense like if you paid for this meal it's a business expense, so. Any any time you talk to anyone and there's business, and involved, you. Can write it off. Okay. There's, one other thought I have on that. Ilia. Measure it maybe. Yeah. I guess it's the mileage yes so I feel like there's a lot of stuff where it's like I'm driving around going to places and doing stuff but then there's also some things that I do on my own personal, just like I've, got to go go, to the grocery store visit, a friend so it's like how do you like I guess. How do you figure out like can, I even write off that gas receipt because it's like it's kind of you. Know I'm saying like it's a half and a half kind of thing sometimes. To know so it's a little weird because now I have a business car it's. Just. Right. So you for, instance you would not be able to write off your car. Or. Like you. Know it. Needs. To be exclusively, business, I mean there might be a percent it's probably like 80 or 90 or like, very close to 100% but it needs to be for business and you. Know you get in trouble if you kind. Of mix. It up right like. Here's. Here's kind of what most people go by that you can usually you, can usually be pretty safe with as long. As you. Specifically. Do the, business thing on your trip it can, be a write-off if you, also get a candy bar in the gas station, on the way home like that, there's there's no big deal right, obviously. You don't want to go on a road trip outside, of the city when you just I need to go to. Guitar, Center and. Get. A get a cord for my my. Piano, and then I'm gonna drive to San Antonio for fun and drive back and write off the whole thing it's like that, doesn't work but if if. It's mainly a business, trip you know, you can write that off as long as you do the business thing, so. Like something. Specific, so I live, in Dallas but I've actually, been driving, to a church, all the way out nowhere that birds west, side of Fort Worth it's, an hour drive one, way every, single Sunday morning and this. Is for, work you're there for one yeah they are paying me to do this yes so it's like I'm, just. Trying to figure out how would I go about like. Even try attempting, to write that off if it's like I'm. Using I, don't. Know say a quarter, or a third of a tank of gas or however much how much it ends up being but so it's like still a decent amount but it's not just like I can write off a whole gas receipt no no its mileage its mileage mileage.
Okay Yeah it's only mileage, and then there's certain rates like, 50, cents a mile you, know 30 cents a month whatever the number is okay. It's it's just mileage so you want to make a note okay what the mileage was you, know what the date keep a little logbook get a little moleskin notebook, or whatever you, know the this. Is the day I'll buy not for that, absolutely. Absolutely yes. Yeah. It's mileage that's that's what matters okay. Good new. Cool. I. Guess. We can kind of move move. On to some other stuff I'd prepared to so, oh. Yeah. This is some, good stuff so. The. Overall, overall kind of idea the question is, do you have any insight into how, I could start to monetize. In other ways moving, forward and well. I'll. Preface that by saying this I'm doing the live performances. Anything. From I've got the you know weekly Church I even play at senior homes that's kind of more on a monthly basis. There's. I, did, like wedding a private party those, are just kind of a little bit more sporadic but they're all live performances. There's, actually a restaurant, kind, of kind. Of Club things that I'm doing downtown, Dallas tonight so that's gonna be fun but it's all kind of just that. Kind of that kind of genre. So. Those. Are those are current monetization, but I've explored, them that I'm doing but the. Things that I know about that I could possibly, be doing to monetize, in other ways would be. Teaching. I know that's an option, so. My. Question I guess in regards to that is do you think that I should be teaching. Even. If I really abhor, the idea of personal, lessons, like because that's the only way I can think about it right now okay I mean I guess I was thinking like you can, maybe there's a way to do an online course or maybe it's that you can do classroom, settings, or one-on-one I don't really like classroom, or private, lessons the idea of that you may know this story I. So. You know I I play piano as well although, not. Professionally. And I, actually am, selling. My Yamaha, keyboard, cuz I haven't touched it lately, so I'm like you know what I'm. Gonna be okay with saying. You know cuz the reason I didn't want to sell it is like no I'll get back to it eventually or, like it feels like I'm selling a, either. Part of my past or like the potential of the future and it's like no it's it's much more simple than that I'm not playing right now sell. It if I decide I want to get serious buy, it again alright, very simple, but. Anyway I played. Piano a lot growing up really. Enjoyed it and, I, thought you know I could make some money here I could put, out some fliers I did and I'll, just do personal, lessons so, some lady calls me up and she's, like alright, you know they pay, me I come over six. Year old girl we, do have you heard the story, I don't. Think I have heard been so long I forgot it I don't I think this was this is back when I was doing computer, repair I did, a little bit I experimented, with this on the side you know I was feeling that creative, void and I was like I can do something I did. The first lesson and I. Was like never, again it. Was horrible. Like I don't. Know what it was maybe I just don't have the patience, or like never, wants to have kids I. Was. Just like I can't I can't do this and, it's.
That You, know at the time I thought it was a great idea, but once I audited it by doing it and I realized I don't like the act of doing this. You. Know there's no go so definitely. If you think you, don't want to do it don't do it don't force yourself it's, gonna be horrible but, yes there are other ways to teach before we get into that will zoom out a little bit you know what are the different ways to monetize, what. You're good at so. In. My book overlap. Book. Overlap. Book calm if you want to check it out I talked about what what I call the trifecta three ways to make, money with. Whatever. You're passionate about whatever you're good at whatever you have skill in we've got client. Work products. And teaching, so, what that would look like for, you is you're, doing client work right now which. Means you're. Performing, your. Your it, would it would also be client work if you taught it's. Kind of it's kind of a mix of like teaching and our client work. But. There's a lot of forms of client work you perform, a service for someone and you get paid right away products. And. By, the way I recommend starting with client work so you're doing the right thing. Products. Is it's. A little bit longer term I don't, know exactly what you would make but some ideas would be like, t-shirts. Like, if you were building up the Ryan McKay music, brand or you know whatever you end up running with you. Could sell t-shirts you, could sell I. Mean. You. You could do the whole just like t-shirts and mugs kind, of thing you. Could do like. Video. That. No. Not video but like say you can post a piece and, you. Create, a sheet music for it you could sell that sheet, music. Even, digitally, Agana that's, an example of a, product, that you can do products. Are a little bit longer term I recommend. Doing. Those second, I think, that should be the second, thing that you do because, it's an upfront investment. Either of time or money because. It's gonna take you time to create a product to, create that sheet music and it's also gonna take money to. Be able to sell it if it's digital, you need a website you need ecommerce platform you, know you need hosting whatever, that's gonna cost money if, it's, physical you're, gonna have to produce a run you're gonna have to manufacture a run of mugs and maybe. They break and like there's expenses, right um. So, it's, upfront money and over. The long term you can make money you know but, it, requires upfront money which is why I say do client work first until you have a surplus and, then you've got capital to invest in products. Would. You advise, against, an option. To not do upfront money so there's a specific, website that I'm sure they charge X amount if you know percentage, off the top but you can actually if you submit. To be like a producer they don't just let anybody put stuff on there but you, can sell sheet music digitally, online on their website but it would it would eliminate the upfront cost, that I would have to put a bit it would just take away money off of, the bottom, line each time the sales generated, but there's, also the whole idea, of. Brand. You, can't brand yourself so much on other platforms you sell on Amazon, really, hard to brand yourself like people just think Amazon, yeah.
And Then, there's there's the aspect of. Rules. Changing. So. You know we, have a lot of resources. Podcast, episodes, at Sean wess on building. Your own platform for, that reason because, a lot of people initially. Built their platform on Facebook follow me on Facebook follow me on Facebook everyone's advertising, for free for. One of the biggest companies in the world and then Facebook suddenly, you know goes from 80%. Organic. Reach to, 15%, so, you post something and even the people that liked, you that followed, you they. Don't see your stuff unless you pay you know they just pull the rug right, out from underneath you and it makes you know it makes sense like, have the attention you know you've got to pay for it like that's, how it works but they. Changed the rules you, know I put a course on another. Platform, that. Sells. A bunch of courses and they. Changed the rules on me like, they, unlocked it down and prevented me from changing my price they prevented, me from like, just. It was bad it was bad news you, know I wanted, to shut, it down and it was like you. Know who owns this and it was a it was a big deal you know suddenly they were like we're gonna charge a monthly amount for all of our stuff and someone can just pay us a monthly amount and access everything including, your course and there's, nothing you can do about it like you just have to go along with whatever, someone's. Doing and then there's the brand thing right so that's. The argument for building your own platform it's not it's not to say you shouldn't have a YouTube channel or a Facebook, or Instagram like, you, do have to go out there and engage with people where they are you, know distribute, your stuff but have. That home base now I empathize, because, it's. That upfront work that up for an investment that upfront capital it's. Really hard so it just depends on how long game. Your. Mindset is like, if you're in this or the long haul like I'm gonna I'm gonna do the hard work upfront it's gonna take years but this is gonna be worth it you, might build your own platform if it's just a little short-term thing you don't really plan to do a lot of sheet music hey, maybe you throw it up on a website like that just to make it easy. Yeah. So. That's products. Then. You've got teaching, yeah. So. Teaching. Teaching. You need expertise, which you, already have anyone, who watches your videos, they. They, know you, know they can, search on YouTube, Ryan McCabe music they. Can see that you have skill, now, you. Need to keep doing that you've got to build that up you've got to build that trust and that expertise, but once people know that, they'll. Be happy to talk with you now. Obviously. You don't want to do the lessons so. At this point we're pretty much limited to like, one-to-many, type of teaching which. Is, something. Like a course right. Or a workshop, something. That's recorded, once sorry. I forgot to. Forget. To turn my camera shutter. Off. And. Also can you hear the wind outside it's like whistling, you. Hear a little bit of that when I'm talking. Okay. Good alright anyway. Yeah. One too many you record something a bunch of people can watch it so. It's. It's more of a scale thing you're not gonna be able to charge as much as like work. With me individually I'll, coach you I'll teach you or whatever. But. It can be more, scale so, as you build up your audience. Like. We have audience, building course calm I think you've you've done that right have you been through that I. Think. I have but I actually was thinking about just in a week ago and I was like have I actually. It's on my list again definitely check it out double check oh yeah it's free audience, building course calm kind, of gives you some of the principles right of building. Your audience. Curation. Consistency. Quality and time you, got the specificity. Of what you do you're about music, you're not about, photography. Or food like piano. Music curation, consistency. Showing. Up every. Week every Tuesday. Without, fail people know. Quality. Quality. Is is subjective. And it could be it. Depends. Right it, could be yes, it could be the video quality it could be the lighting in your case. The. Most important, thing is obviously, audio but, it all kind of plays in right and then, it's like not, just the, quality, of the, the medium, or the or the media, but. Also the quality of the, content itself. Are, you, picking good songs are you composing, creative. Songs are you performing, those well all of that is quality and then the final piece is time so, it's like you can hit all three of those you can do everything perfect there's, no shortcuts, that's, why I say show up every day for two years right so.
That's Kind of the that's the formula you know the four keys to building, an audience but once you have that audience a small, percentage, of them might, spend, twenty. Nine, $59.99. On a course or a workshop, that you've made and that, can become a great source of income for you. So. My thought process, is. What. What. Does that even look like like. Because. In, my head I'm thinking like how in, the world do I do. I try and put something together that's. You. Know it for. Everyone you know or even. A specific group of people I'm just kind of like, I've. Got no idea. What. I would even offer and I don't expect you to answer that question but I guess that's just something that I need to flesh out for myself, I mean. I can but if you want to shut me down, sorry. All. Right so so, that I have a seven part series on. Validating. Your. Product. Launch and in, this case your product might be a course or whatever. But. You have to validate it so the the reason you feel this way it's completely normal it's like how would I even make something. For. Everyone, or even a specific group of people you know how would I do that how do I know what, to make how do I know if it will sell you. Have to validate it so, if you search for, Sean. West TV validate. Product launch there's. A seven part series you. Can watch that whole thing that would be really helpful but, you have to figure out what people want and there's, no shortcut, to that like. You, have to talk to people talk, to people in your audience to talk to people that you want to reach this could be in your YouTube comments this. Could be over email this could be over Skype this could be over coffee it could be over a phone call in person a video call like this you're, just talking with people like hey. You. Know what what, is it that you want. To learn what are you having trouble with when it comes to piano you know what figure, out what people want and, then give them what they need and you give them what they need in a package of what they want. Because. They're not gonna recognize what, they need like. When someone Google's. Let's. Just say someone does a Google irritable, bowel syndrome. They, google other things right, they do they. Google symptoms, right. It's it's like I want this to stop or I want, this to happen you. Know no one's googling, like. You. You get the point right so what do people want like, maybe they, want to look cool at parties, they want to be the life of the party they want to be able to walk into a piano bar and just like you. Know, bust. Up the place so, like that's. What you want to capture now, what they need is this discipline, practice routine or whatever you have you know this formula for like how, do you select the songs how do you practice them when when is good enough you know what do you pull out of your. What's. The word is their repertoire. Yeah. Yeah like, you. Give them those practical, bits but it's wrapped up and like be. The life of the party with. Piano, you know maybe that's the title or something like that but you have to discover what, it is what, is it that people want and you need that you need to have a theme, so, what I teach is using, a. Great, way to do this at scale, and actually. Before I tell you the ask scale way I'll tell you the the manual. Unscalable, way the. Manual unscalable, way is, well. First of all do you know five people. Personally. That. Would that would. And. Their that, would be. Someone. You consider in your target audience. Someone. That you. Want. To reach someone that's interested in piano is someone that you think might be potentially, interested, in this. Course or whatever you put out do you know five people I. Don't. Know what the course would be though so I don't even know if I know five people that would okay, but like, think. Of the who. Think. Of the who first. Who. Is this person I. Don't. Know that's. Exactly, that's exactly I guess what I'm trying to say is like I don't know who the person is I don't even know what the product I would be selling because it's like how, do i how do I sell somebody that you can be the life of the party if you don't have the skills to play the piano and, it's like okay well then it just be I'm being a teacher. Too. Just a really, wide audience, but let's break down what you said how. Do you do that, I'm gonna turn. Down my AC here. How. Do you do that when. Someone doesn't know how, to play piano well you don't you can't so. What does that mean, it means the person already needs to know how to play piano this. Is good we're narrowing it down right right so this this helps us narrow the messaging which helps us find the find the people you, you want to be specific right, you don't want to actually reach everyone because then you have to teach them how to play chopsticks.
From The very beginning so, it's someone, who already knows how to play piano someone. Who is obviously extroverted. Enough to want to be the life of a party you know and then, how do you actually do that and all of this is assuming it's what people want we have to figure that out right but, the first thing is like, find. Those five people and get in person with them and talk to them and if. You don't know them in person find. Them online, and. Have a Skype video call with them how do you find them online you, make a video like this I don't. Know if this video I don't know if anyone's gonna watch this video but, like if they do someone. Who's made it you know what are we like 40, minutes in to, this video. Someone. That's made it this far resonates. With some of this maybe. They're just gleaning the business info maybe they're in some other creative field but maybe they're tracking along with you like they're doing music. Stuff they want to learn the business of music. It's. Is this as simple as like we'll, do it right now right if you. Actually. Want to do something like this you know, how to play piano. You. You want to learn how to do something it doesn't have to be the life of the party right we're just guessing and, you don't want to guess you want to actually figure that out like what, is it that you want to do with piano, what what, it what does taking it to the next level look, like for you where do you want to go what. What could you do if you had ryan skills, and. What. Do you need help with what's holding you back right now literally. Enter in the comments below like if you made it this far and you. By. Chance you happen to be that person leave. A comment. Now Ryan you can go look at those comments, maybe, maybe someone's watching this six months from now 12. Months from now 18, months from now five years from now they're. Leaving comments you know there's a source, for you right we created, content, and now, you've got this this feed, of people, who are leaving, comments right you can do the same thing on your own channel or, through. Social media or on an email list like all of these are just channels. They're venues. You. Put this out there hey. I've, spent 20 years learning, playing, practicing, piano this, is what I do you're, following along you obviously, appreciate piano, plenty of you probably never, touched the piano in your life you just enjoy, this but I know some of you maybe if it's just 10 or 15% some of you also play piano and you. Enjoy watching me and my style where. Is it that you want to go what are you having trouble with what. Do you think I could help you with leave a comment below right. And you, said you could even do this Ryan you you you. Say I'm gonna do something crazy I can't. Do this forever but, I'm, a pretty small Channel right now I can I can afford to do this the. First five. People who comment. With a thoughtful comment, and response to my questions here I'll hop on a call with you and and. Consult. With you or coach but it's a research call for you right. Now maybe those five people. They're. All completely different things okay you need, a larger. Pool. Right you need to talk to more people I spoke to three hundred people in person, conversations. Before writing my book. Before. I develop, the patterns and there's, tons of things right my book over that book which you can find at overlap book calm it. Helps, people who are stuck. In a job you know a day job maybe, a sucking your soul away helps, you start a business it could be a music business could be an art business could be a design, business could be. Anything. Right whatever business you want to start that's what I'm helping you start I began. Writing a book that helps, people start. A business what, I didn't realize is, they. Were stuck, for other, reasons I didn't anticipate I didn't, know why they were stuck when, I talked to a bunch of people I would learn things like oh I come home from my day job and I just feeling ah stood and I want to collapse on the couch and watch Netflix and I just end up wasting the night away and I, don't put any work into my thing or, they, would say my spouse doesn't believe in me or my family doesn't support me or I have too many passions, and I don't know which one to pick I don't know how to narrow it down because I feel like I could go in any direction but what if I picked the wrong direction.
Now. So far we've got like five or six things there we. Don't even have a pattern right. It's just like well, it's a bunch of different things but when I talk to 300, people those. Were the six that like rose, to the top right. It's like like, bell curve you know most. Of the people said. These six things and, then there's like tons of Fringe things right. Yeah so. Once, I did that research once I had enough volume I knew, exactly what, to make and what would resonate with people so I told you the unscalable, way to find that out get, the five people call, him up in your life if you don't know them make content, online to attract people and tell them to reply in the comments get on a call with them do, the research that way that's the unscalable way the scalable, way is. My. Favorite way is with an email, list which, you can get for free you, places like MailChimp you, can get 2,000, contacts for free which is way more than you need and, by that time hopefully, you're able to afford like 20 or 30 bucks a month. You. Create an email list and, you. Know I've got tons of tons, of stuff the recent episodes on the podcast like episodes. It's. Around the 350s, we did one around on lead magnets, maybe it's like 354, on the Sean West podcast so, it's it's Sean West calm, slash. Whatever. That number is I should. Probably look that up whenever you're talking but. It shows, you how to get people on your email list, so. We. Won't cover that right now we'll just say simply hey, go sign up for my email list there's, other effective, ways to do that but say someone goes on your email list the, first email you send them which you can configure this with even MailChimp, basic basic, tools you. Send them an email automatically. Welcome. To the Ryan McKay newsletter, so. Glad you're here, I'm, gonna send you an email every Saturday, these, are the types of things that I talk about but, before we get into that love to hear from you what is it that you're, hoping to get out of this what are you struggling with when it comes to music hit, reply, on this email, you know I'm listening and and. That's all you say right so every person who comes on your email list they get this email and it's like hmm. I wonder if he's actually listening like is he actually gonna is. He actually gonna see this in reply so, they say I just. Have trouble with scales, and I I know it's important, but I just really, don't want to do it and I'm. Just I don't, know how I motivate myself to do scales so I don't mess up in a cool pop song you, know and like you're gonna just get a ton of this stuff and it's gonna happen automatically. So this is how you get like a nice volume you, sift, through those replies, and you. Validate, the idea so that this is kind of like a overview. Of what I talked about in that product, validation series. The seven part series. But. You got to figure out what people want first, and then. Give them what they need. Which. I guess I hope, to figure more of that out I do already know that there is a demand for sheet music cuz I mean like I can't, say it's every single video I've ever put up but a lot of them at least the popular ones people, are like I need, this like where do I find it and they're asking for it that's just I didn't, prepare it before I recorded, it and it.
Would Be you, know quite the process to do it backwards but, sorry. I do know that there's a demand for that so that I feel like that's something that's, that's. Solid. Okay can we explore that, sure. Okay. So you know there's demand there this. Is an example of an area where, weather. By your own work or just your observation. You, already have validated. Some demand I was. Kind of telling you how to do something from scratch but. You know there is this demand, now. What we don't know is, the. Discrepancy, between the number of people asking, for sheet music, and the number and the percentage of those people that would pay for sheet. Music sure. So. There are people that have actually specifically, said I will pay for sheet music but that's not everybody so but. That's that's good so if if anyone, says, though, plenty. More will because most people don't even say that right so that's a good time. But. Okay we know we. Know that, they. Want the sheet music that we validated, that you, could go short, or long term here, right. Like. Can. You tell me, it. Is the music stuff paying, the bills right now like the client work piece of it. It's. It's close, but I mean it's it's still slightly sporadic. And. I guess that's that was something. I guess that we could could it get gotten into later I had it on the questions as well but it's like well, well I we didn't weigh at the top is we we plan to we, plan to do a series I mean if you're if you're enjoying this if people. Are enjoying it especially I mean we could always do this privately we hope, hopefully we end up deciding to share this and people are getting something out of it. In, which case we would continue doing this as a series so it's totally okay if we run out of stuff you know we're coming up on an hour here we can always put. A pin in it like let's talk about this next week or whatever whenever we do the next iteration. Okay. But, but I am curious um so you're saying not, quite, yet. Not. Quite, in which case I would I would say the first thing you do is, go all in on that until. You get that to something sustainable and, and, here's here's what that will allow you to do because, it, keeps, you from. Thinking. In terms of scarcity right. If, this, source of income is only covering 80 percent of your bills and you're, looking at another source, you're. Gonna be tempted to do whatever it takes to get some money from it potentially. At the expense of long-term gain, so. Imagine, someone, was paying you ten thousand dollars a month just because, they liked you and you could do whatever you wanted, okay. Think. About this sheet music thing. Here's. The short-term version, you know people want it you validated. That demand you, make it and you sell it and you, make a few bucks, that's. One option here's. Another option I don't. Even know if this is like, I'm. Just gonna go with it right what. If. You, you know people want sheet music you validated, that so, you make, it for.
Every, Piece and you, give it away for free. What. People. Miss your reaction, they're. Like. Okay. Obviously that's insane, but. It's. Quite a bit let's just say you could wave a magic wand and, that. Was done right. What. Do you think would happen to your channel. I don't, know that my channel, would change much I think that the, people that are already on it would love it but well, my you, I presume, that you would probably get some organic, growth from people sharing that. What. Do you do I don't know when. You encounter, something that you love. You. Enjoy it and then you tell pew tell people about it. Whenever. I look when I there's. Like. Maybe. Four or five levels. Of engagement. That I have with a youtube video I. Start. Watching and it's like hey, guys like you subscribed and I smashed that like in and I closed the time and. I don't see any more right there's there's one level, then. There's like I start. Watching a little bit and either, it's bad, quality not, for me which, big, note on the quality by the way yeah. Often. I will, encounter I just did this I just did this this morning I encountered, a video that was mildly. Interesting, to me like. You, know it, was, somewhat related but I can, kind of take her leave it like but. It, was in 4k and, just. Had like these slow. You, know dolly. Movements. Like and it the audio, quality the, lighting, was crisp, and it, was just I couldn't, stop watching, yeah. It just it was the production value was so good I wanted to watch for the art of it you know and. So, the the, inverse, has. The opposite effect so, if it's really bad quality man, maybe you guys you got some great stuff to say but I can't get through it right so, either it's not relevant or the quality's bad and I. Close. The tab maybe 30% of the way through the video and not gonna do this that's the next level of engagement then, the the. Next one is I watch all the way through and, it's like alright you had my attention but. You know I move on what I don't do there's I don't like the video. After. That it's. Like this, video is great at some point either in the middle or at the end I like the video because, it was that good then. The final level is this. Was amazing, like I liked, it 13 seconds in because I've already like gotten so much out of and I wish I couldn't like it four more times and I, can't so I just, I'm like I pull I pull up my phone all right you know I'm on my Mac and I open my messages, app and I just look at like the recent people I've talked to and I'm just like send, to him said to him send to him said to him and I just send it to like four people in my recent messages, you. Know or. You might some, people share it on social media right, when, I love, something, when something is just I can't, believe this is free, I can't. Believe they just gave me this much value this is insane, I I, have, to share it with someone I mean why wouldn't you hey there's, gold here whenever, I get a bucket of it more.
Of Here's like everyone, come you know you tell all the people that you like and you care about, so. I mean. What. What what. More would you want then, the perfect person you're trying to reach loving, your content, so much they spread it to other people who like the same thing, like. That's when you just you. Have you have exponential, growth I don't, mean that's gonna blow up your channel in three months I mean if you do it for a year or two and then. You stay consistent. Like. There, there will be no stopping you and there's also no rule, there's, no rule at all that. Says you can't take something that was free and charge for it now. In my world I don't like to discount, so if you ever charge for something it's a bad idea to give it away for free later, because, it makes the people who bought it get, upset but, if you charge if you gave away something for free and then you start to charge for it who's. Gonna get mad the, freeloaders, and the. Freeloaders, were never your customer, so it doesn't matter if they get mad but. What it did do is it blew up your channel it. Gave you a name it made you known now. You have this massive platform, with, which you can do anything. So. Do you think it's I mean, art would you advise that it's like hey just like put out all of this free content, or, just have like hey, click. Here to get something free and just provide something up front and say it's like one or like two or three or whatever it is but some type of just like, magnet. Magnet, that way. You can I don't I don't like the idea of giving away everything for free like I'd rather be parent, off the bat like hey like I'm here and I hope you enjoy the product but I'm here to make money off a bit like that's me I want to be transparent about it, let. Me add this yeah. You. Can do either, any. Of the either will work but. Work. Is subjective. Right. You could make sixty thousand dollars a year and be fine, or you can make six million dollars a year both work but which do you want yeah. And, what. Are you willing to give up to, get what you want. I. Don't. Know how to say this. Getting. The most ideal version that you want may take longer than. You want, yeah. I'm okay with what I want, to do whatever is most effective so if it's gonna take longer if he's gonna take shorter, that's all the same to me what's, most effective is to put yourself in a position where your, money is covered. You're, not thinking in terms of scarcity and you give literally. As much of everything, away as you can. That. Will create a name, for yourself, it'll create a legacy, it'll. Create a platform and, a massive, audience like. If you, can put yourself in a position to give away as much as possible people. Will love you and so, you. Could have an audience of 10,000. Where, you monetize, everything and maybe you do like hey it's free sheet music Fridays and like the other six things are paid you, can do that and you can get to 10,000, subscribers you can get to 30,000, subscribers and. Some. Percentage, let's. Say it's even like 2% which is really high by the way let's, say 2% by, well. It's 2%, of 30,000. Subscribers or. You, could get half. A percent of 6 million subscribers. To. Pay you for, one-on-one coaching. The, thousand dollars an hour or, pay you $20,000. To come out to their their venue, you know and perform a concert, it's like what's, the vet what's the what's the ROI of that yeah. And. And just everything else you can do with an audience you, could come out with a book you can come out with an album like, I mean. People. Have streaming music now right so like if you, had six mmm subscribers, you came out with an album you put it everywhere it's, like they, can effectively, get it for free cuz they're already paying for their. Streaming service, but. She would get tons of revenue from that because you have a massive audience and all those people are telling everyone else they know right, so it's just you can do so much with that audience, and you can get that audience faster, if you. Give away as much as possible. Now. I don't. Even like I'm not even doing that because I'm in scarcity. Right. Later I monetize. Some of my content, we. Have a membership we put nearly. 700. Podcast, episodes, in there, what. What would happen, if I, was. Able to give away my 30 days to better writing course for free for everyone tons. Of people would get it I know this because I gave away the audience building course, audience. Building course calm I made it as if I would sell it for $200, and I gave it away what's, the result thousands. Of people have gotten it I can't. Say the same for my other paid courses.
Yeah. And those. Thousands, of people are now in my audience as a. Result, what. Can you do with audience but, so. Many things when. I make a video it gets more views when it gets more views that it shares you know spreads to more people when the right person sees it who organises the conference, hires. Me, to speak at their conference, I make, money it's just all all good things so. The real question is just what's the what's. The golden ratio then you know the. Golden ratio is. 100. Zero, give. Away everything monetized, nothing that's. That is like that's. The ultimate for, long-term legacy the. The only way let, me preface the only way you can do that is, by. Covering your bills elsewhere, so, the longer, you can delay that, as. Long. As you don't die like. The, cash in the. The spin-off, of that is just massive, it's incomparable, now, sure, there is probably a golden, ratio, of like what, can work, and make, you the most money without burning out the audience while still building the audience and like, we could say it's, 70/30. We could say it's 6040, like but yeah. Yeah. But. Then it becomes if you do be decided just to go 100 percent like say had to say hey here's sheet music it's 100 percent free just download it it's yours be blessed bla bla bla you. Still if the goal is audience, building the whole point is to build, the audience so that you can use the audience later or cash. In on a so, to speak but. Then that that also just becomes a, it's. An arbitrary kind of Wendie to give you that you know do you do it at like, you said maybe thirty thousand subscribers, do you do it at a million do you do it at ten, million I mean where, you. Kind of have to come up with some kind, of, arbitrary. Cutoff. Pointer switch that you clip right it. Just depends, on what your goal is mr., riah if you make enough money to pay your bills every, month from whatever, else it could be it could be piano work like you're doing with clients it could be a day job it could be some. Random person writing you a check every month however you're paying your bills if you are paying your bills the, longer. You're able to put, off trying. To monetize your audience, the. More you'll win. Yeah. Because. At some point and it, doesn't even have to you don't have to come out with a product or a way to monetize. Your mass audience, you, could only. Have a. $50,000. Concert. Fee or a one, thousand dollar consultation. Fee that's, not going to be for everyone it's gonna be for almost no one but almost no one of six million is a ton of people when you multiply, it by that amount of money yeah. Enough, for one week I was. Thinking that yeah it's good stuff, there yeah. Okay. Yeah. Yeah what do you take away from this what's. What. What are your action, steps. My. Action, steps and I've known this in the back of my head is that I I want to get to where the client work is, covering. 100, 100, percent of the the expenses. And and, I'm pretty darn close to that and honestly it's just because I haven't just 10x. To it like like I was actually sharing with you specifically, I. Had. A pretty pretty, freakin. Good closure, rate just walking, into place it's cold and just getting business I mean like the, it's, out there I just had to go knock on knock on more doors. So. I need to get this to get that covered and I think just for me it's just staying consistent with, and, I didn't get to this question but. It's. Just staying consistent with the content, creation and then. And. Really, kind of just focusing, on building the audience because my focus, just hasn't been there I. Did. Make, a written go I'm right around like 900.
Something Close to a thousand subscribers on YouTube I wrote, down a goal just arbitrarily, I just said I want to get to 10,000. Subscribers on YouTube by the end of 2018 I don't. Know how realistic that is but. I just I think that's the biggest thing I need to focus on is just creating. An audience it's. Like. It's. An ambitious goal it. Is I'm. Not saying you can't do it I've. Done something. Like 400, videos on this channel since. 2014, and as, of this recording there's, like eight thousand subscribers, now. There's certainly a lot of things I can do better, I'm, sure if I gave away sheet music on everything. That. Might help a little bit but. What. People are searching for though consistency. You. Know why I don't have 10,000 subscribers, after three, or four years, it's. Because I. Prioritized. Short-term. Consistency. Over long term consistency. For a while Shawn was TV, from, the it, was the seven-day-a-week. Show it, was a daily, show it, was a three, camp multi-camera. Produced. Like I had a full-time video, guy that. Kind of showed like quality, lighting and audio and we we wrote captions. You, know subtitles. Or everything like, quality. And quantity. And we were so proud of it when. We did it for a long time I think there's, you know some 1 to 200 episodes of, the one. To two hundred of the videos that are on the channel our episodes, of Sean West TV and, we were doing daily and, we did daily and so. We didn't and then. We stopped and, then. We discontinued. Putting videos, on the channel we're like can't, do this anymore it's not sustainable there's, other things we have to work on and said, we stopped, so. That you, look at the about, on this channel it's like Oh started in 2014, now, well yeah, we made 3 400, videos in, that, time a ton daily, for years, right, and we. Have 8,000, subscribers at this point maybe you're watching this way in the future and we have a lot more subscribers that's good that's, that, will be as a result. Of showing up consistently, and so, it is better to, show up once, a week every week, rain, or shine no matter what without, fail, then. It is to do, daily videos because you think it's cool and trendy and you do that for six weeks and you stop and you burn out like your, channels done like you, have to have the you have to consider the time factor it's going to take a while so. Consistency. Consistency consistency. What's. The day what. What day what day every week are you gonna publish. What. No no I'm asking you right now when, can I go to Ryan McKay music on YouTube what. Day do I check to wash your new video. Carry. The one. I. Could, just throw something just say Wednesday I don't