SPI 057: What the Music Industry Can Teach Us about Starting and Running an Online Business with David Hooper

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In this episode of The Smart Passive Income Podcast, I chat with a guest and good friend who used to be in a mastermind group with me. I purposely timed this particular episode to coincide with my trip to Nashville, where I’m speaking at Michael Hyatt’s Platform Conference. Nashville is known as, “Music City,” and today’s guest is from Nashville, is a musician and does marketing in the music industry.

David Hooper has written several books on various topics, with his most recent project being a book for musicians called, Six Figure Musician. Although we talk about his book, we talked more about the parallels between the music industry and starting and running an online business. What is so interesting are the similarities between the two and what we can learn about online business, Internet marketing, and entrepreneurship through the music industry.

More specifically, in this session you’ll find out about:

  • The 90% that goes into success that people don’t see.
  • What separates successful people from unsuccessful people.
  • How to take advantage of lean periods in your business.
  • Lessons from Henry Ford.
  • How innovation can come from outside of your industry.
  • Why it’s the best time to be a musician, or any creative person.
  • How to stand out as a musician or creative person in a competitive world.
  • How getting offline helps you online.
  • Which of the five senses is the most memorable and how it relates to Internet marketing.
  • How we make our blogs and websites “smell good.”
  • The good and bad of covers on iTunes and YouTube.
  • The question you have to ask yourself over and over again in order to truly be successful.
  • Why you need to use multimedia in your business.
  • What R. Kelly, Van Halen and Kiss can teach us about reaching our goals.
  • What we can learn from the Toyota and Honda Corporations.
  • How “It all begins with a song.”
  • Why Taylor Swift is killing it, and how we can kill it too.
  • Plus a whole lot more…

Right click here to download the MP3

Items mentioned in this podcast include:

Thank you all for checking out this session of the SPI podcast, and finally, if you haven’t done so already I would love if you took a minute to leave a quick rating and review of the podcast on iTunes by clicking on the link below! It would be extremely helpful for the show!

Thanks again, and all the best!

Cheers! :)


Click Here to Download the Transcript for Session 57 (PDF)

  • http://www.davidveldt.com David Veldt

    Hey Pat,

    Just FYI you have a broken link to the Six Figure Musician Book beneath “Items mentioned in this podcast include:”

    Looking forward to listening!

    • http://pagerankworld.com Brandon

      Looks like he fixed the link. Hey, by the way, David that is an awesome landing page and even better monetization strategy. I love that you make the free (with subscription) option.. a lot of people go right for money 100% of the time, and I bet your plan will work out even better in the long run.

    • http://contentmarketingup.com Michael Chibuzor

      David, I checked the link but it’s been fixed. However, I would like to commend Pat for mentioning some of the best online coaching programs right there. I’ve also learned a vital lesson from marketing my blog just from listening to this podcast.

      One thing is certain, every facet of life and blogging is interwoven. We can always learn from non-internet related niches like music, law, events management, dancing etc. Thank you so much Pat.

      If anyone is looking for ways to increase traffic to his blog, see this link also: http://contentmarketingup.com/hack-quality-traffic/

    • http://www.theaffiliatemarketinglab.com Monja

      Fixed now :-) I’m just checking out the Six Figure Musician. Although I’m not a musician myself I’m sure I can learn the one or other lesson. The beginning of launching your own product/service is truly the hard part – I’m just learning it the hard way, it doesn’t help to just get a product up and running and that’s it – actually you need to do much more after you’ve launched. Especially when you are new it is hard to get on the radar of famous bloggers. But it all takes time and effort :-)

    • http://smallbusiness-ideas-for-women.blogspot.com/ Business ideas for women

      I first visited this blog, and here I found a lot of interesting content. Your post is very useful, Greetings

  • http://www.themetimeblog.com Maher Abiad

    Hey Pat,

    Hope you have a great time and enjoy Nashville and Michael Hyatt’s Platform Conference!

    Loading up this podcast right now, can’t wait to check it out.

    Thanks a lot for the great content.


  • http://www.GoToPhysicianAssistantSchool.com David DuBose

    Really looking forward to this one Pat. I am loving these weekly podcasts!

  • http://www.247blogin.com Tim Sumner

    Another truly awesome podcast Pat! There are a lot of similarities between the music industry and the online business world. Especially the power to leverage a global audience.

    It was really interesting! Good work



  • http://youronline.biz Darnell Jackson

    Excellent point David,
    “It’s not about how long the podcast is it’s about how boring it is.”

    Excellent tips in this episode, the informal style is cool especially on a Wednesday.

    What I learned is to be humble enough to review what you’re doing in order to make an adjustment when it matters.

    Thanks Pat/Dave

    What no hip hop references?

    Hey how do you feel about Paul McCartney standing in for Kurt Cobain in Nirvana for that big concert?

    • http://www.musicmarketing.com David Hooper

      Darnell –

      Here’s a hip-hop reference for you…

      When I was starting out in the music promotion/marketing business, I was running a street team. This is basically where you go out on the street and do things like flyer and pass out tapes (or whatever format music is on).

      Like any kind of real estate, there is only so much space to put up flyers where they’ll be scene. And there are a lot of people who want to put flyers in this space.

      It’s not uncommon to put up a flyer and have somebody come by a few minutes later and put his flyer over it.

      So here is what I learned from the hip-hop guys — put baby oil on it! This makes it harder to stick anything on top of it.

      So what’s the “baby oil” in your business?

      • http://cashflowsto.com Monty Campbell

        Baby oil is an awesome analogy. I think the baby oil to my business is the authentic story. Your genuine message, is what makes you unique and hard to cover up or copy by someone else. Even a twin doesn’t have the exact same story.

        Great Podcast. Love the message.

  • http://www.musicmarketing.com David Hooper

    Thanks for the comments so far and thanks to Pat for the opportunity to be on this podcast.

    Will try to followup on any questions here, but if I miss something or you want to go direct, hit me up via Twitter @davidhooper and I’ll be happy to answer questions there.

  • http://pagerankworld.com/ Brandon

    Awesome podcast, these just keep getting better and better! Hahah… “who never finished a game of monopoly in his life,” I think that’s a metaphor for passive income.

  • http://availableforhire.com.au/thoughtsintoaction/ Mike @ Available For Hire

    Hi Pat & David,
    Totally agree with Dave’s comment about “The way to Stand-out” is getting off the internet. It’s taken 12 months of hard online work to realise this.
    It wasn’t until I started to look around my own neighbourhood to find out what they need,
    and once I found that out, I became noticed.
    So if I’m helping as many people as I can, right here in my local market, then the world will notice.
    So go ahead and help someone, then blog about it.
    Don’t write about something that you think someone may be interested in.
    Get the human interaction first.
    Ta for all you do Pat

  • http://tiapps.co.uk sonika sharma

    Thanks for sharing this great news. It is really very helpful for me. I will share this with my friends also.

  • http://nohh.de Tim

    hello again, thanx for the interesting article. In the last month we started with our affliate project, and at the moment we looking for tipps and tricks. your blog is very helpful for us. thanks and greetings from germany

  • Lukas

    Hey Pat, why didn’t you use the “How to make your website smell good” headline? That line screams VIRAL in my face, if you ask me…
    Great episode!

    • Pat Flynn

      Haha – it does, but it doesn’t really capture the essence of this particular podcast episode – maybe I’ll save it for a later post! Thanks for listening!

  • http://students3k.com Karthikh Venkat

    Hey Pat!
    An Epic :)
    As usual great stuff. Great man.

  • http://cashflowsto.com Monty Campbell

    Love that you are doing the weekly podcast.

    Great message. Love your passion for helping people.

  • http://Www.pixotico.com Pixotico

    Hey.. Nice beatbox )) and the podcast like always!

  • http://www.stumbleforward.com Chris @ Stumble Forward

    Great podcast Pat. It was great to be a fly on the wall and listen to you guys talk. It’s amazing how the music industry can relate to the IM world of things. I use to play lead guitar for a local cover band in my area back in the early 2000’s and it would have been awesome to have the things we have today back then such as You Tube, Facebook, and Twitter. Promotion would have been so much easier and that much more fun. I look forward to hearing next weeks podcast, keep up the great work.

  • http://www.positivedailyliving.com Kent Faver

    What a fantastic podcast, and great lesson from David and Pat! I will listen many more times.

    IMO the most inspirational artist alive right now is Bruce Springsteen. If you follow Bruce, you can gleen many more lessons from Bruce of which David speaks.

    Just a few if I may: 1) His live shows are religious experiences; 2) He’s multi-generational; 3) He constantly writes and ebbs and flows with his creative message; 4) His passion comes through in both word and music; 5) He knows his audience (clue it’s not worldwide – it’s mostly Eastern US and Europe); 6) He’s still relevant and cutting edge after 43 years in the industry. I could go on! But won’t. Thanks!

    • http://www.musicmarketing.com David Hooper

      I respect Bruce for a number of reasons. Love his longevity. He’s also a great example of an artist who didn’t take off right away, but kept at it, doing music his way, and eventually breaking through. And he has stayed true to himself since — no disco albums, no guest rappers, no duets with a Ke$ha, etc.

      Kent, do you know Will Hoge? He’s a guy who reminds me of Bruce. Long shows, always on the road, similar energy… http://www.willhoge.com if you’re interested in checking him out.

      • http://positivedailyliving.com Kent Faver

        Thanks David! I am not familiar with Will, but checked out his site and listened to a few songs – definitely can feel the comparison. He’s on my list – Thanks again.

  • http://www.positivedailyliving.com Kent Faver

    If I may offer up two more thoughts on Bruce Springsteen. 1) He always plays songs by sign request at his shows – which means he acknowledges his audience, honors their admiration and connects with them personally; 2) His audience knows their stuff! Here’s a video of Bruce taking a sign request from a 25 year old song, which his audience sings in unison with him, and the audience is from Austria! Thanks again!


  • Mike

    Pat, another great podcast — I started listening last week or so and I’m totally hooked, on both the podcast and the blog.

    So I tested the waters a little recently and launched my first “niche” site, as an experiment more than anything. I followed a lot of advice that you gave in the Niche Duel posts, even if they are a couple of years old. I launched the site last Friday.

    On Tuesday, I was around #11-#12 in Google for my keyword! Then yesterday and today, I am literally nowhere to be found! I have heard of the Google Dance and all, but this cannot be normal, can it? I followed most of your backlinking strategies — could it be that I’m being penalized by all the shady backlinks already?

    Again, it was more of a test than anything, so it’s not a huge deal. But I was so pleased to have ranked so high, so early, only to see the site get bounced back so far.

    Obviously, it’s only a week into it, but it’s been a roller coaster ride so far …

  • http://www.incometreatment.com Hasan

    Hi Pat
    Another SMART podcust. I really like your podcust more than others. Your post is just like tonic!

  • http://bigshotvideos.com Nino

    I didn’t know that about the assembly line and Henry Ford. I bet there’s so much value in some niches that we can use in other ones too and this brings me back to an article that i’ve seen on inc.com I think and it was saying that the world needs a lot of generalists (the opposite of niched).

    And I love your style Pat! We have that in common: we love to test stuff and see what sticks and what results we get.

    • http://www.musicmarketing.com David Hooper

      Nino – Here is another one for you and it changed the “postal” business.

      FedEx (Federal Express) started out with propeller planes and EVERY package would come through a hub in Memphis, where it was sorted and put back on a plane for its destination.

      This doesn’t make sense, because some packages were traveling much farther in miles than needed. People said it wouldn’t work.

      But it did work and the idea came from a banking system. Checks were sent to a central clearing house, often far away, before going back to their respective banks. When Fred Smith from FedEx put it into place for package delivery, it has already been tested.

      They still use a similar system today, but have hubs not just in Memphis, so it’s a little more advanced.

  • http://www.moonartdesign.com Mike

    Hey Pat,
    Just found your Podcast through itunes about 2-3 days ago and I have been cruising through them! They are really easy to listen to & very informative! I am working on creating a niche blog and in the works of converting some older blogs. I am still leery of starting my own podcast, but all in do time right?

    PS- What happened to the Doug song during your outro? That took me back! :)


  • http://www.moneymakingmodes.com Anup @ MoneyMakingModes.com

    I love listing to these podcast, Pat! Thanks for the another one. Downloading it now.. :)


  • Roy

    Hey Pat!

    Do you have any plans for another case study of Niche site with different affiliate programs? security guard training is very old site although it still makes money but if some one wants to start out now?

  • http://www.bellsandbounty.com Megan

    Hey Pat, I love listening to you bright and early in the mornings to start my day off right. Anyway, I was wondering about what you said about having a solid fan base before you really started monetizing 1-2 years later. Is it unwise to want to sell something that say, some people are asking for, but you don’t have a massive fan base yet? Or is it wiser to wait 2-3 years down the line when and if you do have a larger fan base to start monetizing?


  • http://goinswriter.com Jeff Goins

    Love that you did this, Pat. I’ve been a fan of David’s show ever since I moved to Nashville.

    Great meeting you this week!

  • http://www.springsteenbootlegcollection.com Alessio

    Hi David,

    I have not yet listened the podcast but, as Springsteen’s fan, I want to say thanks for Will Hoge that I had never heard before.

    Kent you have to take a look to my site … I was in Wien on 2012 and Racing was my request! [sorry for the OT]

  • http://www.arenewedlife.com Tawnya Kordenbrock

    Pat, I’m not a musician, but I loved this podcast. It was informative but also mellow. I felt as though I could sit back with a cup of hot tea and listen for an hour or so.

    Comparing the two arenas forced you to be creative in seeing commonality. Yet, it also emphasized the basics, such as working hard and not expecting immediate fame.

    I called my 26 year old son as soon as I finished listening. He will be listening to the podcast soon and getting the book. We’ll be sure to leave feedback for David.

  • http://diymusicbiz.com Greg Savage

    Great podcast Pat

    Really hit home for me. I’ve been making a living from music for a little over 6 years.

  • http://www.padbizz.com Constantine

    Pat, another awesome podcast — I started listening last month or so and I’m totally hooked, on both the podcast.

  • http://www.noisebuffet.com Ben Long

    Pat, this. is. awesome. I’ve been following David’s material for over a decade – great stuff here. Keep bringing it!

  • http://www.noisebuffet.com Ben Long

    Pat! This is awesome. have been following Davids music material for over a decade and seeing this on SPI just made my weekend. I need to see if he still has the ‘tip sheet’ which I was subscribed to for ages.

  • Maxime

    I was a bit disappointed by this. As a young online marketer whose revenue goes to handling my band’s music and marketing, I was waiting for something more substantial I think. When Pat asked David for advice on how a young musician should release his songs that’s when I decided I wouldn’t take a look at David’s stuff. He seems very kind but as far as I’m concerned I need something I can do, not abstract general advice. I mean when David replies something among the lines of “well, once you’ve recorded your music, you should put it out there” that’s frustrating because everybody’s saying this but nobody’s saying how.

    On the other hand, if David mentioned a strategy and everyone in his audience followed it then whatever media this strategy would be using would become so saturated that it wouldn’t really work anymore. This is actually happening to the “do covers on Youtube” thing from what I hear. So I think the key here is being unique and maybe have a hint of luck? I’ll see how my release campaign does…

    But anyway, that doesn’t change the fact that you really rock, Pat. I have only just begun my online marketing journey (thanks to you) and my results are not huge yet (~$200 monthly). But they’re a total game changer for the broke college kid I am, and I feel a huge potential. You’ll be the first to know the day it takes off!

    Cheers from Europe!

    PS: On Pat saying “I’d love to hear a song of mine played by a band”: do you know there are online studios that allow you to do this and you can outsource them from maybe one drum track to as much as a whole band? The process is ridiculously easy. I’ve definitely been using that on exotic instruments I don’t know how to play.

    • http://www.musicmarketing.com David Hooper

      Maxime –

      What kind of specific advice are you looking for? Can you tell me a little more about where you are in your career and post a link to your music so I can get a taste of what you’re doing?



  • http://www.passiveproductive.com Sam Matla (Passive Productive)

    Awesome stuff Pat,

    As a music producer and an aspiring internet marketer, this is really helpful. I too notice a lot of similarities between the two, especially in terms of promotion. One of the biggest similarities is sifting your way through the bad stuff to find quality gems! (Products or Songs)


  • http://ecourseclassroom.com John Ogrins

    It’s early Sunday morning… I’ve been up since 4AM. Went to Pat Flynn’s site as I do quite regularly and came across this article about music.

    David Hooper’s – Six Figure Musician book title caught my eye. Many of us who follow Pat are interested in developing a passive income. I got to thinking as I sit here with some Smooth Jazz playing in the background… how much better I seem to be able to concentrate with soft pleasant music playing behind me. Much of today’s contemporary Jazz is instrumental. Sometimes songs with great lyrics can take your focus off of the task at hand.

    How about you, Pat? Do you ever listen to music while working?

    To Your Continued Success!

    JfB (John from Boston)

  • http://www.tilbud-paa-nettet.dk Tinna

    What an interesting podcast. I came across your blog searching for some usefull articles about income online in english. Thank you for sharing all these nice ideas.

  • http://www.e5sAudit.com Chris Burnham

    Loved the podcast! I especially loved that you guys talked about Kaizen, it’s what I do everyday at my day job. Here is the wikipedia link for everyone that wants to learn more http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaizen.

    Also, I’d like to offer a sub bullet for “How to make your website smell good?” “Tip…don’t stink!” You continue to teach that one with the great content!


  • http://JonathanNation.com Jonathan Nation

    Another great episode Pat.

    My biggest Ah Ha moment was something like this — I am struggeling with this one project becasue I am trying to stuff I am really weak at & should be getting others to do that (or at least help) and focusing on what I do best.

    I’m working on implamenting that now.

  • http://www.wholesalinghouses101.com/ Mike Nelson

    Great episode Pat and David! Those are some really good points you mentioned. It had me thinking how I can relate it to what I do which is Real Estate.

    I really like how you always make sure to mention other inspirational icons and individuals in your episodes so all of us can draw lessons from their beliefs, principles and works, Pat.

  • http://www.musicmarketing.com David Hooper

    Wrote up some more thoughts on the “baby oil” analogy. I think it works for musicians and non-musicians alike, especially those in the information marketing business. We’re all facing the same issues (both positive and negative) around file-sharing and this is a good way to make sure you have longevity, regardless of where technology goes.

    http://www.musicmarketing.com/2013/02/street-promotion-music-business-1.html has that, if you’re interested.

  • Wayne Gonser

    Hey Pat and David

    Great podcast! I really enjoy the ‘conversational’ interviews that tends to lead into other areas that may not have been covered otherwise. I was reading through the comments and noticed that you had recommended to a reader to listen to Will Hoge who I saw at the Mercy Lounge a few years back. I didn’t know of him at the time but now I’m a big fan.

    One of the many things that stuck out to me was when you said ‘perfect is the enemy of good’ which applies to me when comes to building a website, content, seo, etc…. I know I’d be further along in my business if perfection wasn’t always in the way. I’m going now to get your ‘free’ book. THank you!

  • Tyler

    I feel like there is a lot of money to be made out there and its so easy and FREE it takes like 10 minutes to sign up and its very simple..click for more details!
    Sign Up

  • http://incometherapy.com Sarah Park

    Love your points here. Attitude towards blogging to be successful is indeed the same as the attitude you have to render when you are in the music industry.

  • http://www.lenomedia.co.za Leno

    Hey Pat,

    Thank you for your amazing content. I listen to your podcasts over and over. You really are an inspiration.


  • http://www.zazzle.com/rustydoodle Rusty

    Hi Pat,

    Thank you for the podcast that provided us with a peek into the music industry. Much appreciated!

    I am wondering if you have any planned interviews with illustrators or cartoonists who are successful in the passive income route. Would love to hear a podcast in this area and their success stories cause I am trying to work in this area. Thank you!

  • http://www.imstrategus.com Mikhail

    Another Great Podcast.

  • http://www.naijadiary.com nnadidonatus

    The podcast is amazing, you really inspire me. A nice tips to music industry

  • http://www.CreateNewLove.com Anne Stirling Hastings

    Mike, as a person new to a sizable website, I LOVE your teaching and your style in person and in writing. Thanks!

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  • http://createawebsiteplan.com Wendell

    I really enjoyed the pod cast and found the interview with David extremely encouraging. I will be sure to mention the six figure musician when I run across aspiring musicians. The website smells great! Thanks Pat!