Growing up I loved music and had my goal to be a full-time musician. I followed my dream in a practical way – I worked as a recording engineer in a company from 9 to 5 and built a business as a freelance music producer for indie artists on the side.
But in 2009, at the age of 26, I lost my job and decided to take over my manufacturing business full-time.
We still struggled to make ends meet. I made between $800 and $1,000 a month while my wife made between $500 and $1,000 a month as a photographer. In addition to our freelance income, we lived on our savings and food stamps. We are also new parents. That’s when the financial pressure really started to kick in.
So later that year I decided to start a music blog — The recording revolution – out of desperation to make more money. I figured that having an online presence would help me attract more production customers.
It took me some time to learn how to turn this into a profitable business. But fast forward to 2022 and I’m making more money from my online businesses than ever as a producer.
The Recording Revolution alone brings in $40,000 a month. I also bring in $120,000 in gross sales per month Online Coaching Businessteaching clients exactly what I did to make The Recording Revolution a success.
At 38, I’ve achieved something incredible: I now work just five hours a week between my two businesses and spend the rest of my time with my family.
Initially, I posted three blogs a week on my website and a video on YouTube. I shared quick step-by-step tutorials on various recording and editing techniques, as well as product reviews and interviews with musicians and producers.
In my first year on YouTube, I saw my daily views go from about 60 views a day to 2,000 views a day. As my audience grew, I saw an opportunity to monetize my content.
Initially, I was making $200-$1,000 a month from video sponsorships and advertising revenue. To land these deals, I created a press kit that shared my website traffic and my reader demographics, and sent it to brands that made products my audience would like. When I contacted them, I offered them spots on my YouTube videos or banner ads on my blog.
But in 2010 I found the key to a more lucrative business: developing and launching my own digital products such as eBooks or online courses that teach people valuable skills that I have acquired throughout my career.
In April 2010, I created and sold my first online course teaching clients how to use popular Pro Tools recording software for $45.
I used screen recording software called Screenflow to record my computer screen and voice while demonstrating how Pro Tools works.
Before recording, I wrote a basic outline of what parts of the software I wanted to share and in what order, and then spent 3-4 hours recording and editing the content.
People have recommended building an email list to market my courses. To get subscribers, I offered a free eBook. When I sold my first online course, I had about 500 subscribers.
I started downsizing my freelance production business in 2012. Today I sell dozens of online courses and online communities for members only through The Recording Revolution. Prices range from $67 to $397.
From October 2018 to September 2019 I brought in $1 million in sales. And in 2021, after The Recording Revolution retired from producing everyday content, it was making about $40,000 a month.
my second businessthat teaches people how to monetize their knowledge and passions like me, launched in 2018. For the past six months, I’ve been generating $120,000 per month in passive income through an online course called the Auto Income Academymy Six-digit coaching communitya senior business coaching program called The epic mastermindand affiliate commissions from a company called kajabi.
Around 2,800 entrepreneurs are currently using my coaching products. The goal is to help them build an online business while working fewer hours.
Starting my online side hustle – and then committing to it full time – has changed my life. My original dream of being a musician was replaced by what I do now: helping people live more lucrative, flexible and meaningful lives.
If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, here are my top three tips to skyrocket your earnings:
1. Sell your skills to earn passive income.
When you offer a service, there are two main dials you can turn to make more money: get more customers and increase your prices. However, this can be an issue as there are only a limited number of hours per day to serve clients and there is always a limit to how much you can charge in your industry.
The turning point for me was when I came up with the idea of converting my audio mixing and recording knowledge into an online course. Selling digital products was a passive income stream and allowed me to make a lot more money in a day – while investing less time – than I would have worked as a freelancer.
2. Give people a free sample of what you offer.
A core belief of mine is that donors prosper. My entire business is dedicated to providing the best free educational content, even if I could charge for it. That’s why I have one to blog, Youtube channel and podcast.
It seems counterintuitive, but here’s why it works: Any valuable content I put out into the world acts like a magnet to draw people in through the power of a Google or YouTube search. It’s a way for people to discover me and build trust in me.
Then when I sell a premium product, they are ready and willing to pay for it.
3. Create automatic systems.
Working just five hours a week helps me avoid burnout and allows me to spend more time with my family. This would not be possible without automatic systems.
For example, almost all of my marketing and follow-up communications with clients are via automated email.
When people find my content, they have the option to sign up for more exclusive content via email. Once we’re in touch, I have dozens of canned emails that go out automatically. These emails offer business insights, tips and techniques, but also share which of my products will benefit them the most.
The focus on email means I don’t spend hours on social media soliciting people in their DMs. I let content and email automation do the heavy lifting for me.
Graham Cochrane is founder of The Recording Revolution, author of “How to get paid for what you know” and is a business coach for over 2,800 clients worldwide. Keep following him Instagram and Twitter.
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