It might be hard to believe but often the best business is done when value is given away generously. My religious beliefs have always told me that generosity is good, but I always suspected that this altruistic principle was ineffective in business. As it turns out, the timeless value of generosity still holds true today.
I used to always get bogged down useless music industry legalities. To be fair this is the way the music industry has operated historically. At a young age, I focused intently on learning everything I possibly could about the business side of this industry. To me a fair deal has always been important. Still, the business changed a lot from the books I’d been reading growing up.
To me, it was always important to secure my rights and create win-win situations. Still, as streaming payout rates continued to shrink over the past decade, I started to realize that the current model wasn’t really working for most people. I also wasn’t the only one who noticed this. Now, the industry is changing to add more value up front.
It had always been my dream to really plant my roots in this business. Any musician is familiar with the “get a real job” criticism. I’ve worked many jobs and always fought tooth and nail to supplement my income with my music however I could. For me, it was important to dream big and sometimes I would get frustrated when others in the industry didn’t.
However, for all my shiny eyed optimism when it came to cutting deals, I was missing a certain practical business sense when it came to what it actually takes to help an artist succeed. That’s ultimately my job. If I can’t help artists secure wins, then I don’t deserve to be employed.
Now again, while my optimism said that the tracks I might charge $200+ to a rapper could easily blow up and make that artist thousands, I didn’t really know what I know today about the numbers and metrics of this industry. It’s hard for an artist, especially a new artist, to budget out a project. I wasn’t really helping, I was just charging “the industry standard.”
About two years ago, I was exposed to Russell Brunson’s books DotCom Secrets and Expert Secrets. I read them quickly and even grasped many of the concepts. But, it would be years before I understand these secrets’ powerful application in the music industry. While a couple music producers were starting to apply this strategy, I simply sat still and focused on “my real job” and “my education.” I don’t mean to belittle those things as they’ve taught me a lot, but I do believe it is extremely important to follow your passion.
A couple years passed and I would cut a deal the old fashioned way here and there during that time. Then Russell Brunson dropped his newest book Traffic Secrets. As I had enjoyed his earlier books, I bought a copy as soon as I could (I think I have about 4 copies of it now 🤪). I began to apply the strategies from the book this time instead of just reading about them.
To be fair, I was in a totally different place mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. After getting sober from years of addiction it took a toll on me creatively. For a couple years, I’d been completely without direction on how to pursue my dreams. By the time I picked up Traffic Secrets, I was already determined to really go after what I love.
I believed that I could do it. That made a huge difference in my receptiveness to implementing the strategies in Traffic Secrets. I quickly saw a MASSIVE growth in the effect of my social media strategy and it put me on a path toward becoming a highly prolific content creator.
For example, Russell Brunson’s detailed Twitter Strategy increased my monthly follower growth by about 10000% from where it was before I picked up the book (no that’s not an exaggeration). It also helped me launch my not internationally acclaimed podcast Producer Cast.
After seeing the results of implementing these traffic strategies, I started to wonder about the foundational business and messaging principles of the earlier books as well. This set me on the path to going all out and stretching myself to make Russell Brunson’s software Clickfunnels work for my business.
One of the core concepts inside of the Secrets framework is the Value Ladder, where the goal is to add value to dream customers no matter what price point they’re entering at. This is kind of like when you go to the eye doctor and they offer to do a free eye exam then they upsell you on different ways to improve your vision. You could get glasses (complete with its own series of Value Ladder upsells). Once you have glasses, you might want contacts for less obtrusive vision correction. At the top of the Value Ladder might be a corrective vision surgery.
When I read about this concept years ago in DotCom Secrets, I had no clue how to apply it to my business. Traffic Secrets clicked immediately because the music industry practically runs on social media. But then I saw it… A couple music producers who had successfully implemented the Value Ladder inside of Clickfunnels.
The two most notable today are Legion Beats and Anno Domini, who have each sold over a million dollars of beats inside of Clickfunnels. When I realized that it was actually possible to apply Clickfunnels to my industry I was ready to get started.
First up on my plate was figuring out the Value Ladder.
This is where following in the footsteps of giants proved super powerful. The best thing I could do is to start the value ladder with something I could afford to give away for free. So, I gave away beats. While there is a time factor that translates here into money, there is ultimately a lot of power in creating super compelling offers for people. In the music industry, as a skilled music producer it’s really not hard to create beats with theoretically limitless value. So, I created this free beat pack.
There were certain parts about this model that bothered me as they went so far against the norm of the music production industry. This beat pack essentially GIVES AWAY every right that I used to fight tooth and nail over. Still, I intuitively knew that this is the future of the industry. This is a perfect win-win situation.
But how am I winning in this? Well, it gets potential clients started on my Value Ladder. So while I am giving away $500 of unlimited licenses (while also signing away potentially infinite returns in rights), I am able to create a very compelling offer to get people started on the Value Ladder.
I know that when an artist hears and experiences the value that I can deliver them through this free beat pack, it creates a level of trust that will get them to want to engage higher up on the Value Ladder where I can deliver more beats, coaching, and custom production services.
The funny thing is that while any individual artist who downloads this free beat pack gets the WAY better end of the deal, I benefit as well because this is a numbers game. Every time someone downloads this beat pack, I get a satisfied lead on my email list and I can promote other services to them in a highly automated process. It will be time before the entire industry moves toward this model, but we are already witnessing a large number of successful music producers move toward this model.
It may be somewhat counterintuitive compared to the traditional model of service in this industry. But it actually allows me to deliver far more value to far more people and that makes me happy. I benefit on the business end long term and people are able to use my production with no barriers to entry. It’s really the ultimate win-win and helps everyone involved!
If you are someone who makes money by delivering value to others (the only ethical way to make money), then you really ought to consider a model that allows you to be generous by giving away something useful so that you can ascend potential clients up the value ladder. This can change almost any business and help you to connect better with customers and deliver powerful results on autopilot. It can be a lot of work up front to get something like this launched, but it truly makes everything run smoother and helps develop better relationships and benefit more people.
One of the core concepts that Russell Brunson introduces in DotCom Secrets is the Dream Customer. For me, my Dream Customer when it comes to making beats is someone who is really engaged and is already generating serious buzz. The power of the Value Ladder is that I can serve people along every step of the journey to becoming the Dream Customer.
Every step of the Value Ladder is focused on empowering people so that they are able to achieve results where they are at. Some people have criticized the Clickfunnels model as manipulative, but it’s really all about adding value at every level a Dream Customer might need! For me, that means helping any artist get started making more money with 100% free beats!