It was around 10:00-10:30 PM. My wife and the baby were just falling asleep after restless 2-3-hour cry. I knew I had less than a couple of hours free until next baby feed I had to be around for. It hit me like a spark - let's try to make my first ever sale online. I eventually managed to do it in less than an hour and it felt exactly how it feels after listening to your beat after hours of tweaking knobs and faders...
Why free is important?
Me and my wife have been making music for more than 12 years now (picture above). Just recently we have decided to try and create an all-vocal sample pack. We spent a day recording vocals, I spent a few of more cutting, editing and exporting the samples. I combined the files in two different sample packs, which I wanted to give out for free. At the time I was creating beat making videos on YouTube, with a following of around 400 subscribers. I put together a simple web page, where people could enter their email address and get a download link for free vocal sample pack. Then created a very simple video going through some of the samples and also doing a very simple tutorial on how to make a vocal melody using a vocal sample. I also promised to release the second free vocal sample pack, when I hit 500 subscribers.
A month later I had to stop making YouTube videos for a while due to other life priorities (baby was pending too). I stopped promoting my videos and creating content for YouTube. Very surprisingly for me, however, the video about the free sample pack was getting more and more views organically and I was building a database of emails of beat makers interested in vocal sample packs.
Naturally I hit 500 subscribers, but did not have the time to shoot another video advertising the second free vocal sample pack, so I delayed it a little but eventually released it with a newly designed web page, where both sample packs totaling more than 200MB of vocal samples were available for download. I posted links here and there, mainly on beat making forums and sub-reddits. My database of emails kept growing thanks to the effort me and my wife have put in and the decision to give that out for free...royalty-free. Oh, and that YouTube video of me showing some of the samples organically grew to 10 000+ views as of now.
Seeing the interest in vocal samples, we have decided to put a bit more effort, went to a local studio and recorded more vocals, with better quality, concentrating on choruses. I have then again spent about a week cutting, editing and compiling the samples and came up with a 500MB royalty-free all-vocal sample pack containing key and tempo information, just like on the most popular websites selling audio samples.
It took a while before I put together everything in an online store…
We have had different ideas on how to market and promote this, but eventually I have decided to act. Signed up for one of the most popular e-commerce (as-a-service) solutions and uploaded the sample pack. We figured we needed at least few more products, so we took out some of the samples from that same sample pack and put them in separate smaller sample packs at lower cost.
My first ever store was up...hooray! But wait, nobody was coming to it, how was I going to make the first sell?
My first ever online sell !!!
...okay, so let’s get back to the beginning...it’s about 10:30 PM, I’d just realized I had my 1.5 h of free time (in a while), while going through an amazing article on that same e-commerce platform’s blog about advertising online. That’s when I have decided to act and try make a sell.
I have decided I would spend few bucks in ads, following that article’s guidelines. The important part here is you should use discounts - not only for adding value for the visitors, but also for easier tracking. For example, if you run an ad on one social media platform and then the other ad on another, if you make a sell, you will be able to see which discount code was used and figured out where the buyer came from (not that you can’t do that with Analytics, but I personally like the discount option better). So, I put together a few ads, paid them and started waiting for them to be approved. But wait...they were scheduled to run on the following day...definitely not going to make me a sell now and 30 minutes have already passed.
Okay, I figured I would use the most popular social network, where ads were getting approved and run much quicker. I setup the ad there and ran it. In less than 15 minutes I had the first visitors coming to the store. I have created 50% off discount code specifically for those users.
I knew my timing running out, so I had one last try - use the mailing list of producers I had. I quickly went to the mailing list service I was using, created a personal, very brief email, explaining we have released our first paid vocal sample pack. However, to add incredible value, I decided to give my mail list members 75% off, so I did, hit Send and the email was out.
I opened up Analytics’ Real Time statistics and started monitoring. Just a few minutes after I sent out the email, I noticed somebody landed the checkout page...what an incredible moment. My breath stopped for a moment...then he lands on the payment page...I can’t describe how excited I felt at that moment - my wife and my 1-month baby sleeping in the back, I am watching the computer monitor as my very first online sell is about to happen.
There it goes, a moment later, my phone vibrates - getting a push notification from that same e-commerce platform’s app informing me of my first order! Man, my life felt complete at that moment. This made me believe that it is really possible to make money of music online. Yeah, right, I know it is just a first step, but that just made me believe, so wish me luck.
If anyone is interested in any of the mentioned free and paid services above, please let me know in a private message and I will share whatever you like.
Hope this gives you motivation to get out there and start your next big thing!Cheers,