My passion - Is it marketable?

10 replies
Many IM'ers advise people to identify their passion and market it, and I believe that is good advice; it makes perfect sense. Even though it's not the solution to success, it's a solid one. So I've given it a glancing thought now & then as I ramp up to do something with IM. Currently I'm working on two projects that are focused and will make some money for me, both for paying bills and reinvestment cash, but my ultimate goal is to brand myself and create products & services based on my passion.

The problem with that is my confidence in my passion. I have two, really: Music and Web Design. Both of those are already well-covered in all markets, maybe to the point of being saturated. Yet, those are the only two things that really get me pumped. Music mostly, because I was into it since childhood, and made a career of it until I was 37 years old. I'd seen it all, from being a nobody to sharing the stage with some big names; recording studios; and I'm a songwriter, and a singer, and everything that goes with the music biz I've pretty much been there. So it's a huge passion for me.

Web design became my second passion in the late 90's as I worked a dead-end j.o.b in a pizza shop. I soon made Web design a lucrative career, halted only by a series of unfortunate events, nothing related to my skills. Although I have to admit that I've fallen behind in the skills are needed for today's Web, especially with the rise of mobile devices.

Other than that, nothing else really cranks me up. There are other things I've educated myself in, but none of them as deeply as the above two. So I'm trying to figure out one of two things:
1. What could I possibly bring to the table regarding music or Web design that's not already out there?
or
2. Should I forget about marketing those passions and simply find another way to do IM?

Maybe this post will appear pointless to some of you, maybe not. But I have no one to bounce my thoughts off of, so I figured I'd bother the WF. :p I'm only one head, sometimes a second one helps.
#marketable #passion
  • Profile picture of the author mosthost
    There's no such thing as market saturation. For a small company, you could probably pay your bills with 0.0001% of the global web design business. Follow your passion, whether it leads you into hotly contested markets or not.
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  • Profile picture of the author jbush2404
    Niches are not limited to just your passions. Pat Flynn, a well-known niche marketer, revealed his niche site process by naming 10 passions, 10 fears, and 10 problems. Your niche could be something that you worry about or something that you are having problems with in your personal life. Everyone who visits the internet isn't just googling their passions. They are also googling for answers to problems. Think about that and see what you come up with.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by Joel Young View Post

      The problem with that is my confidence in my passion. I have two, really: Music and Web Design. Both of those are already well-covered in all markets, maybe to the point of being saturated. Yet, those are the only two things that really get me pumped. Music mostly, because I was into it since childhood, and made a career of it until I was 37 years old. I'd seen it all, from being a nobody to sharing the stage with some big names; recording studios; and I'm a songwriter, and a singer, and everything that goes with the music biz I've pretty much been there. So it's a huge passion for me.

      1. What could I possibly bring to the table regarding music or Web design that's not already out there?
      or
      2. Should I forget about marketing those passions and simply find another way to do IM?

      Maybe this post will appear pointless to some of you, maybe not. But I have no one to bounce my thoughts off of, so I figured I'd bother the WF. :p I'm only one head, sometimes a second one helps.
      The section I bolded for you tells me you have a huge contribution to make to this niche. With the rise of shows like American Idol, America's Got Talent and the endless variants of the format, there are tons of people dying to get into the music business.

      And you've made a living doing what they want to do.

      They're your market. Share what you've learned about the business of music - how to get in, how to get noticed, how to be a professional, what advisers/managers/agents should and should not be doing - all the insider stuff that can smooth out some of the bumps.

      At first blush, this looks like a great area for a series of intro products (how to write a song, how to pick an audition song, etc.) leading to a membership community where you hold court and share your experiences and the members help each other.

      As for web design, I can't be much help. I bailed on the design business when Front Page and its brethren turned every kid with a computer into a 'web designer'...
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  • Profile picture of the author pizzatherapy
    JohnMcCabe hit the nail on the head:

    Share what you've learned about the business of music - how to get in, how to get noticed, how to be a professional, what advisers/managers/agents should and should not be doing - all the insider stuff that can smooth out some of the bumps.
    Let me give you a real life example, that I have not thought about in many, many years...

    Having always being interested in music, I answered an ad from a company that offered to help you to become a professional DJ. They sent me a letter explaining there would be a meeting at a hotel. Dozens and dozens of people showed up. The pitch was for a very over priced course that taught you the skills to be a DJ. Many people purchased the course on the spot.

    I never did sign up and ended up getting a job as a DJ on my own.

    The point is this: many people were interested and forked over plenty of money to learn a skill for a very niche market. There are only so many radio stations and only so many DJ jobs out there. Yet these marketers found a way to market a limited number of available jobs to a very large market...

    If you have any skills in the music business (and obviously you do) there are countless ways that you can market a way for people to get into the music business. Songwriting, recording, performing in clubs, skills needed to sing, 10 tips to write a song, your own black book of music insiders, auditioning tips, how to get on Broadway, etc etc........

    For example: e-books, videos, audios, teleseminars...I could go on and on and on...

    The fact that you did it (proof), recorded songs (more proof), write songs (more proof), and even appeared on stage with Big Name Artists (total social proof) show that you can dominate this niche market.

    And the market is HUGE! Many many people want to be professional singers..(including my 9 year old daughter..)

    Your info product can be: how to get into the recording business, the do it your self song writers handbook, how to market your skills as a singer, performance tips and tricks, how I got on stage with Bruce Springsteen....you get the idea.

    Again I am just brain storming off the top of my head...I'm sure will have many other better ideas than these...

    And you can write Internet info products, Kindle books, CD's DVD's and Hard Cover Books (Think Create-a-Space)

    PLUS: once they go through your song writer / recording artist / how to prepare for American Idol course.....you can then sell them a website...

    Every budding artist needs a website...right?

    Hmm I sense a huge profit funnel here...I hope this helps.

    Please let us know how you make out...
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  • Profile picture of the author Joel Young
    @JohnMcCabe and pizzatherapy: Wow, good posts and awesome suggestions! My biggest weakness has always been how to promote and market myself, so there's always been an agent, and later my wife as my manager, in the music biz. I've done some self-promotion, but I'd never have gotten as far as I did without the others. I guess that's where I might need to outsource or even JV with somebody? My Web design career was all my own doing, but it was a couple lucky breaks that really made me. But thanks for your posts, they are very helpful.
    Signature

    Internet Marketer gone back to his original profession as a musician. May be back someday..... maybe not.....

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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by pizzatherapy View Post

      PLUS: once they go through your song writer / recording artist / how to prepare for American Idol course.....you can then sell them a website...

      Every budding artist needs a website...right?

      Hmm I sense a huge profit funnel here...I hope this helps.

      Please let us know how you make out...
      Albert, mahalo for making the connection I didn't see...

      Originally Posted by Joel Young View Post

      @JohnMcCabe and pizzatherapy: Wow, good posts and awesome suggestions! My biggest weakness has always been how to promote and market myself, so there's always been an agent, and later my wife as my manager, in the music biz. I've done some self-promotion, but I'd never have gotten as far as I did without the others. I guess that's where I might need to outsource or even JV with somebody? My Web design career was all my own doing, but it was a couple lucky breaks that really made me. But thanks for your posts, they are very helpful.
      Why not JV with your wife again on this venture?

      You take on the role of evangelist and (I hate to use the g-word) guru for your followers. You concentrate on your passion for the business of music, on helping others with their passion, and your manager concentrates on promotion opportunities.

      Affiliates and JV partners can help you promote specific products, but your overarching positioning would be as leader, teacher, adviser and mentor.

      That's my quick take, for what it's worth...
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      • Profile picture of the author fin
        You could choose a popular theme that many people use.

        Thesis, for example. That's because it's easy to customize, but not easy enough that everyone can do it.

        You could now make special videos and bring out special products that would teach people how to make any customization they want. You could even sell the theme as an affiliate. Who wouldn't buy it through your link if you are the guy to help them.

        People could make great sites without paying a designer. You could even sell bundles of things like feature boxes, email opt-in forms etc.

        Big bucks once you've made a name for yourself.

        You could even freelance the design if people don't want to do it themselves, but they will trust you to do it because of all your videos.
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  • Profile picture of the author Keith Boisvert
    Originally Posted by Joel Young View Post

    Many IM'ers advise people to identify their passion and market it, and I believe that is good advice; it makes perfect sense. Even though it's not the solution to success, it's a solid one. So I've given it a glancing thought now & then as I ramp up to do something with IM. Currently I'm working on two projects that are focused and will make some money for me, both for paying bills and reinvestment cash, but my ultimate goal is to brand myself and create products & services based on my passion.

    The problem with that is my confidence in my passion. I have two, really: Music and Web Design. Both of those are already well-covered in all markets, maybe to the point of being saturated. Yet, those are the only two things that really get me pumped. Music mostly, because I was into it since childhood, and made a career of it until I was 37 years old. I'd seen it all, from being a nobody to sharing the stage with some big names; recording studios; and I'm a songwriter, and a singer, and everything that goes with the music biz I've pretty much been there. So it's a huge passion for me.

    Web design became my second passion in the late 90's as I worked a dead-end j.o.b in a pizza shop. I soon made Web design a lucrative career, halted only by a series of unfortunate events, nothing related to my skills. Although I have to admit that I've fallen behind in the skills are needed for today's Web, especially with the rise of mobile devices.

    Other than that, nothing else really cranks me up. There are other things I've educated myself in, but none of them as deeply as the above two. So I'm trying to figure out one of two things:
    1. What could I possibly bring to the table regarding music or Web design that's not already out there?
    or
    2. Should I forget about marketing those passions and simply find another way to do IM?

    Maybe this post will appear pointless to some of you, maybe not. But I have no one to bounce my thoughts off of, so I figured I'd bother the WF. :p I'm only one head, sometimes a second one helps.
    Funny, my passions as well. I found a way to combine the two along with a few other things to make a viable business.

    I do web design, marketing, branding and merchandise/fulfillment for bands and people in the entertainment industry.

    Takes some time, but if you truly have the passion (and some connections) then there is certainly a viable income from it!!

    Good luck, and if you ever have any questions, feel free to pm me and I would be more than happy to answer them.

    ~keith
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  • Profile picture of the author thinkoutthebox
    If the bait is not biting
    and you have exhausted
    all the possible means you
    have in putting you solution
    in front of the people that
    really matter, the ones that
    are going to help you pay
    your bills...

    then maybe you are fishing
    in the wrong market or your
    bait needs to be changed.

    The passion you have, see
    how many problems that are
    currently being talked about -
    you can offer a quick and
    immediate solution

    see how many people bite
    and then focus soothing there
    wound.

    Then let your numbers give you
    your answers.
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  • Profile picture of the author ScottGordon
    Joel, what if you did audio interviews with all kinds of musicians, agents, managers, etc. and created info products out of those.

    If you set up a website of your own for some sort of "Successful Musician Insider" type side, you might do well.

    Start with skype interviews (or FreeConferenceCall.com) and record them. Then have them transcribed (Fiverr.com). Eventually, each interview becomes the chapter of a book that walks you through the whole process from writing a song to recording it, making your music video and posting it on YouTube, making it go viral, attracting an audience, building an email list of dedicated fans, getting bookings, going on tour, etc.

    Once you put up a website where you'll post a few of your interviews (start with your wife and former agent?) and later sell them as podcasts on iTunes, it will be easier and easier to get bigger name people to do interviews with you.

    You'll be a how-to "reporter" Your background gives you all you need to bond with potential interviewees. You already know the lingo. You'll have stories to share with them before the interview. You'll be making them into celebrities.

    Look for small success stories everywhere. Local garage bands that have done well with their first CD.

    On your website, you'll provide a resource page and tutorials on how to use CDBaby.
    You can embed already-existing YouTube Videos on the topics to get the site up and running.

    You'll have links to info (or interviews with entertainment lawyers) on mechanical rights and licenses, etc. etc. etc.

    The music world is a complex and scary one. You can help make it easy-to-understand for unknown musicians.

    Just jump in.

    And, of course, Take Action,
    Good luck.

    Scott
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