This is a follow up story for Modern Producers. If you're interested in reading how they got started, published about 1 year ago, check it out here.
Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.
Hello again! 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 at that time we have more doubled our revenue and profits year on year. In 2019 we expanded our offering to include information products and courses for music producers allowing us to grow even faster.
Tell us about what you’ve been up to! Has the business been growing?
The business has been booming! We are blessed to continue providing value to the music production community and serving our customers at the highest level.
Aside from ramping up the quality and quantity of product releases, we also started creating content in-house. With our existing product vendors we are currently operating on a commission basis, however, the plan is to move to a buyout model. This will allow us to have greater control over our content, reduce accounting overhead, pay our vendors faster and ultimately have more flexibility.
A particular area of growth for us has been in the area of information products. From June 2019 we collaborated with music production companies Anno Domini Nation & Legion Beats to set up the ‘Midi Money’ program that teaches music producers how to better market and sell their productions. This mid-ticket learning program generated over half a million dollars by the end of the year and we are introducing low-ticket and high-ticket offers that should create a standalone 7 figure business.
Overall I’m happy to say that our business has gone from $85k to $120k per month since the original story!
What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?
One of the business lessons that was re-enforced for me this year once again is how collaboration always trumps competition. I suppose it’s a long-standing principle that has manifested since reading ‘The Art Of War’. Essentially, the synergy of working together with a competitor has always benefited me far greater than attempting to compete. You spend all this time and energy trying to be better, faster, cheaper when in reality that rarely serves anything but your own ego. Least of all, your customer.
Besides, collaborating to come up with awesome new products and services that better serve your community is just a lot more fun!
One mistake I made was failing to recognize quickly enough when it was time to grow the team and outsource work. We created a lot of bottlenecks by trying to spread more work among our existing team and it distracted us from tasks that really matter. Even for myself, I realized I was spending far too much time on work that is easily outsourced. It’s the age-old entrepreneur’s battle between working ‘on’ your business vs. ‘in’ your business.
What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?
Going forward we want to build out the information product division and focus firmly on branding by organizing live events, meetups and more. Beyond simply creating information products, our goal is to create the biggest and most involved community of music producers worldwide.
Within 5 years we will create 100% of all software content in-house and simply hire the vendors best suited for creating products of the highest quality.
We are also open to exploring more strategic partnerships with partners that share our values and are ready for rapid growth.
Have you read any good books in the last year?
My favorite podcast is ‘Business Wars’ on Wondery. Some great recent books I’ve read include Expert Secrets by Russell Brunson and The One Thing by Garry Keller.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?
Put your customer front and center of everything that you do. If you create a ton of value upfront and focus on service, everything else will fall into place. One of the biggest success factors for us has actually been giving away a huge amount of free content and information.
The biggest mistake I see new businesses make is focusing their entire strategy on the bottom line. By going into business with the mindset of “how much money can I make selling X to this customer” instead of “how much value can I create for this customer by offering them X”, you’re going to have your priorities all wrong.
Another thing I see far too often is business owners creating products for themselves instead of their customers. At the end of the day, nobody cares about what you think is amazing.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
We are looking for Los Angeles locals to work out of our new office. As we’re growing rapidly we will need help with video & social media content creation, organizing live events and online webinars, customer support, and product creation and scheduling. We are looking for entrepreneurial individuals, ideally with some kind of background or experience in music production, who thrive in an unstructured work environment where no 2 weeks are likely to be the same.
Where can we go to learn more?
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
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