Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?
Hi, my name is DJ Tobander and I’m running a blog with the same name. I’m writing about djing and am also selling info products like “How to start DJing” or “How to get more Bookings” but mainly I’m selling collections of great DJ Sets for special occasions like weddings or NYE.
I’m not selling the music itself but the name of the songs and in what order the DJs were playing them. DJs should never copy the style or whole sets of other DJs but they should definitely inspire themselves by looking at what other DJs are playing where and when.
What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
In 2018 I already did blogging for about 10 years. I have sold a couple of copies of my “How-To-Guides” but nothing memorable. This was kind of frustrating as this was the kind of stuff other DJs told me they want to learn. Unfortunately, it seemed no one actually wanted to pay for it.
This seemed kind of strange because all the business books and info product gurus out there all were telling to ASK your customers what they want. In my case, everybody told me they wanted to become better at djing and play more gigs. But nobody actually wanted to pay for products like this.
So one day I noticed that I always get a lot of questions about my DJ sets at special occasions like weddings or birthdays: what kind of music I was playing, what my starting song as if I have any secret weapons when there’s nobody dancing and so on. So I just made a small collection of my playlists from that year and also looked out for other public DJ sets that I liked on blogs or websites. I then put my favorite sets into a pdf made it look nice and sent it to my mailing list.
It was an instant success. Nothing to get rich but I’m talking here about a small niche (wedding DJs in Germany) and a cheap product ($10). But it was way more than I have ever sold with my How-To-Guides.
Since then not much has changed. I added some statistics (most played tracks, starting tracks, p.a.) and also included a list of all tracks as a spreadsheet but the main idea is still the same. In 2020 however, there haven’t been many weddings so there’s not much to sell this year.
Describe the process of launching the business.
I’m mainly selling through my mailing list and some affiliates (other DJs I know). When a new product is finished I do a broadcast to my list and tell my affiliates. The emails contain a link to a simple landing page.
There’s nothing fancy in the whole process as I learned that honesty works best with these customers. No long sales pitches, beautifully designed pages, or video shots. Just the main benefits, a couple of testimonials, and a money-back guarantee.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
I’ve tried all kinds of advertising in the past. Facebook, Instagram, Google Ads but none of it worked really well. The best way to increase sales was working with other affiliates. I give away 50% of the revenue of each sale but it still has doubled my overall revenue. I have started at 20% but none of them really made an effort to sell my product for that kind of money.
Also, most of my customers buy every new product so I don’t really need to focus on bringing in new customers or prospects.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
I don’t know if this is really a great success story as I’m only one person who is serving a very small customer base. However, I’m profitable since day one as I only have little costs like hosting or subscriptions for email or landing page providers. I’m averaging about 15-20k visitors/month, have an email list of about 4,000 subscribers, and am doing about $1,000 in sales each month.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
In the beginning, I wanted to get everything done on my own. I didn’t want any help and I didn’t want any partners. Also, I’m kind of an introvert and don’t like networking and building connections. However, what I do like is teaching and helping people.
So after I did the first couple of conferences and talks the number of people I knew who were in the same business niche exploded and with that the number of potential partners and affiliates. Today I don’t even see this kind of event like networking (or work) but just a way to connect with other people that are in the same spot as me.
So you could say it kind of changed my mindset.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
I have a simple WordPress blog using Thesis as a framework. My email service provider is AWeber and I’m designing landing pages with LeadPages. For payment processing and delivery of the product I use digistore24.de.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
It gave me the right impulse to not overthink or over complicate things but rather just try out ideas really quick, wait for the results and take it from there.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting?
When I say try out ideas quickly and don’t overcomplicate things I don’t mean your product. Your product should be really good, and by that, I don’t mean beautiful but helpful!
That was the problem with my first “How-To-Guide’s”. They weren’t really helpful to people. I guess oftentimes it’s not that easy to find out what’s helpful for your customers as sometimes they don’t even know it.
For DJs, it seems to be like this: they want to become better and higher paid. So they want to know new techniques or how to use the latest gear but for most DJs what matters most is your music library and how well you know it. Therefore by studying what other DJs are playing they fill in the gap in their music libraries and also get to know their songs better as they scroll through their music over and over again.
What I want to say is: sometimes it’s not very obvious what would be helpful to your customers and sometimes even they don’t know it till you sell it to them.
Where can we go to learn more?
All details should be in the questionnaire.
Hey! 👋 I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
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