15 Lessons from My Interview with Justin Longo

07/31/2023 00:16:28 +0000
I recently had a conversation with Justin Longo of MariNation:
And I had the opportunity to reflect on all the juicy goodness that was shared in this interview.

I've summarized the key lessons below for your benefit:
1. Producers Aren't Just Making Money from Producing
What are all the ways producers make money? Of course, they have clients. But if they want to keep the revenue flowing in good times and in bad times, they need to be forward-thinking.

If you pay attention to what producers are doing out there, you'll notice that the smart ones have signature plugins, sample packs, and beats. Basically, products they can sell year-round, without having to rely exclusively on the productions they undertake, whether for themselves or clients.
2. Artists Must Diversify Too
It works the same way for artists. Artists can't just be thinking about live performance, merch, and streaming royalties, although this is a good place to start.

Artists need to explore all the other ways the pros are making money – by offering music lessons, music licensing, Patreon and fan clubs, and much more.
3. Artists Must Begin Their Entrepreneurial Journey by Working Towards Becoming Known
Music entrepreneurship for most artists does not begin where most businesses begin.

Businesses may begin with business plans, setting up a team structure, incorporating the company, and so forth.

For artists, the journey of entrepreneurship begins with becoming known for something. And the easiest way to become known for something is to focus on one thing and to keep hammering that one thing until you're known for it.

You may need to try a few things to find what that one resonant thing is. But once you become known for it, you establish yourself as a celebrity. Not necessarily a celebrity like Brad Pitt, but a celebrity among your target audience. And that's a desirable thing because people are irrational about celebrity endorsements.

Once you've created that "celebrity effect" is the appropriate time to diversify your ventures.
4. You Must be Willing to Grow Your Volume of Work
Russ became successful not by sitting back and waiting for inspiration to strike. He focused on volume, producing hundreds and hundreds of songs.

We don't necessarily know what's going to work, but we can learn from our experiments. Paying attention to what sticks and doing more of that is a winning formula.
5. You Must Ensure Your Music Career is Disaster- & Future-Proof... NOW
Musicians and independent creators who were poised to take advantage of the extra eyeballs on screens ended up doing very well for themselves during the COVID-19 pandemic.

How can you ensure that your career or business is disaster and future-proof? Remember – you've got to dig your well before you're thirsty.
6. You Must Understand How & When to Diversify Your Music Revenue Streams
Diversification is not about spreading yourself thin – it's about producing the best returns possible. And that requires ongoing analysis of how your content is performing. Cutting off the fat and focusing on the winners is sure to generate the best results.
7. You Must be Willing to Adapt
You could have a successful venture in play and it still may not feel right. Justin had a good customer base, his company was making steady revenue, he was helping artists, and he was doing right by everybody. Yet, he did not feel that his investing app was a manifestation of everything he knew it could be. So, he went back to the drawing board and restructured his business.

How do you feel about what you're doing right now?
8. You Must Know When to GET OUT
Sunk cost fallacy is when you have so much time, money, and energy into a project or business that all you can see is the cost of quitting to the detriment of potential gains that could come with setting the project aside and pivoting or launching a new venture.

Don't hold too tightly onto the idea that "Quitters never win, and winners never quit."

Be willing to give up the good for the great.
9. You Must Audit Yourself & be Willing to Change
Audit yourself continuously. Are you going in the right direction? If something needs to change, don't be afraid to make the change.
10. You Must be Willing to Dance with the Paradoxes of Success
For instance, take the quote "Plans are worthless, but planning is everything." It's true, but it's such a paradox.

For every "do this," there's a "but make sure you also do this." For every "this is the only right way," there's an opposing opinion. Don't worry about trying to get it right. Instead, dance with the paradoxes and be willing to shift and adapt as necessary.
You Must be Willing to Make a Commitment to Yourself... NOW
Most importantly, you've got to commit to your long-term success. There are many reasons why that is the case, but one of the BIGGEST reasons is that you will get better at what you're doing so much faster than anyone else!
If you don't commit now, though, chances are you NEVER will.

So, if you're ready to make the commitment...

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Author: David Andrew Wiebe
David Andrew Wiebe is the Founder & CEO of Content Marketing Musician.
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