How I Make $85K/Month Selling Tools To Music Producers
Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?
Hello! My name is Adrian Wood and I’m the CEO of Modern Producers.
We’re an e-commerce platform selling software and tools for the modern music producer; everything from drum kits to sound loops, preset banks, vocal libraries and VSTs (virtual studio technology).
The business has been around since 2015 and in that time we have more doubled our revenue and profits year on year. In 2019 we are on track for $1.1 million in sales.
What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
Before Modern Producers, I produced music for everyone from 50 Cent to Snoop Dogg, Rick Ross, Tech N9ne, Wu-Tang Clan and companies like Coca-Cola, Ford, Nike, BMW, MTV, NBA and the NFL.
I still am the head of Anno Domini Nation, one of the most renowned independent music production companies that helped pioneer the licensing of instrumental music online for artists, advertisers and TV/Film productions. We have won numerous awards and accolades over the years including multi-platinum certification for album sales.
Don’t think too hard. If you already have a business idea, dive right in and roll with the punches.
Modern Producers is my way of giving back to the music production community and leveling the playing field between up-and-coming, independent producers and the big league industry players, by giving everyone access to the highest quality sounds and tools at affordable prices.
Having worked in the music industry for a decade and a half and having achieved my personal goals, what motivates me the most today is helping other artists and producers achieve success and creating more self-made entrepreneurs. The opportunities in music have never been as vast and democratized as today and Modern Producers, in a sense, is my legacy in helping to move the music production community forward.
One of the most important factors in being a successful music producer is having access to the right, current sounds. The big secret of the music industry is that a great many hits are based on a handful of select high-quality software presets and go-to drum and instrument sounds that the major producers use. Having access to these sounds has the power of turning an amateur production into a radio-ready track. That’s why with Modern Producers we seek to create products that provide producers with the same quality sounds their top peers are using.
Describe the process of launching the business.
When we first launched the business we noticed a real dearth of websites for music production tools that married choice and affordability with quality. There were a few other players in the market but they either provided masses of mostly cheap, low quality products and overwhelmed consumers, or had a very limited selection of a few very expensive, high quality products that only covered the needs of a very small part of the market.
The decision to launch Modern Producers was more or less an experiment - we wanted to create a website that we would enjoy shopping at and that offered everything we needed as a modern music producer.
Setting up a Shopify store, registering a domain and onboarding a few initial vendors to supply us with products was a straightforward process. Within a week we already had a functioning site that was making a handful of sales from marketing mainly one-on-one to music producers through social media.
To this day, though we develop some limited products in-house, the majority of the work is outsourced to third party developers, producers and labels.
This keeps the business simple and streamlined and allows me to focus on the marketing and sales part instead of getting too bogged down in development. I run several different businesses and keeping them as automated and systematized as possible is important to me.
The focus is primarily on providing a sales platform that supplies music producers with high quality products. We operate on a commission basis and pay out our partners monthly. A lot of entrepreneurs struggle to find the right product to sell when you can easily build a successful business with other people’s products. You just have to do a better job than them at selling.
When it comes to launching a new business I believe in diving in head first and figuring out the details later. Modern Producers is very much an experiment that grew into a success story. As long as you put the customer front and center of your decisions, building a tribe of dedicated followers and earning sustainable long-term success seems inevitable.
Of course our growth didn’t happen overnight and like any new business we made mistakes along the way, learned a lot of lessons and adopted new strategies.
For instance, today a major part of the business’s revenue comes from a subscription model The Platinum Circle and the popularity and scalability of this format makes me wish I had considered it much sooner!
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
We treat our customers like a community and build a lot of goodwill by hosting contests, giveaways and special offers. These are the kind of brand building exercises that are invaluable!
For example, we recently started up our ‘Cook Up Contest’ series where we create a special product containing exclusive sounds and samples. Producers download the product and are asked to create a composition using only the sounds within. The best compositions are then chosen and prizes awarded, everything from cash to production hardware and promotion packages. This has proven very popular and is a great way to engage the community. It creates a whole lot of buzz and boosts traffic to the site.
We also try to engage our audience on social media and through Email and Facebook Messenger marketing. Facebook Messenger has proven a very promising tool - where an Email to our subscriber list might get a 10-15% open rate and 2-5% click rate, a Facebook messenger broadcast will be more in the realm of 80-90% open rate and 10-20% click rate!
However in the end, for us it’s all about fostering a dialog with our customers; providing insightful, helpful, informative and engaging content instead of just using our marketing channels to push sales.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
Today the business is doing great, we grow almost month on month and there are still a lot of new avenues like Facebook Messenger and Launch stacking that we are only just scratching the surface of.
The company and our dedicated community of producers have grown phenomenally over the last few years. We cater to over 60,000 producers and are turning over $85,000 per month, operating in a very systematized way with just a handful of part-time employees.
In future we are planning more collaborations and product co-development with well-known producers and other influencers to continue to grow the brand.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
Our website is based on the Shopify platform, though over the years we have added more and more customization.
Shopify is a fantastic platform for entrepreneurs to quickly start new businesses. There are a ton of ready-made apps that will simplify your business operations massively. Some of my favorite ones include SendOwl for digital download deliveries, Boost Sales for creating Up-Sells and Cross-Sells and Countdown Timer Bar to create a sense of urgency around special sales and promotions.
Outside of Shopify, we’re rather dependent on Mailchimp for our Email marketing and ClickFunnels for creating our subscription programs and product launches.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
There are too many to mention, but some favorites are ‘Dotcom Secrets’ by Russell Brunson, ‘Eat That Frog’ by Brian Tracy and ‘Profit First’ by Mike Michalowicz.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?
Don’t think too hard. If you already have a business idea, dive right in and roll with the punches. If you don’t, see what’s already floating around out there and either a) figure out how to make it better, or b) figure out how to sell it better.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
We’re always on the lookout for the right people who can help us get to the next level. If that’s you, get in touch.
Where can we go to learn more?
You can find us at:
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
Modern Producers has provided an update on their business!
About 2 years ago, we followed up with Modern Producers to see how they've been doing since we published this article.
About 3 years ago, we followed up with Modern Producers to see how they've been doing since we published this article.
Hey! 👋 I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
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