Are you thinking about adding a new revenue stream to your business? Do you have the itch to start a side project?

In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, I explore both the pros and cons of adding a revenue stream to your music career or business.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:14 – Welcome to episode 100
  • 00:47 – Writing articles for Medium
  • 01:21 – Introduction to adding a revenue stream
  • 01:48 – Pro #1: Mitigating single-source dependency
  • 02:47 – Pro #2: A new outlet for your creative expression
  • 03:30 – Pro #3: The ability to repurpose the content you create
  • 04:25 – Con #1: Detracting from other revenue streams
  • 05:21 – Con #2: The need to do more work
  • 06:21 – Con #3: Your new product or service could fail
  • 07:11 – Final thoughts

Transcription:

Welcome to episode 100 of The New Music Industry Podcast.

Thank you for sticking with me for the better part of two years. I hope you’ve received plenty of value from the show to this point. If there’s a topic you think I should cover, or someone I should have on the show, please let me know. I’m all ears. You can email me at: david@dawcast.com.

And, rest assured I have plenty of great ideas for future episodes you won’t want to miss.

I don’t necessarily have anything special for you today. It’s nice to celebrate milestones like this, but I’m smack dab in the middle of waging content warfare.

I recently started writing and publishing articles on Medium because I saw that they launched a partner program.

So, if you’d like to see what I’m up to and support my efforts to create a bit of income on the side, please check out my recent articles at medium.com/@davidawiebe.

In some ways, the articles I’m writing have replaced my efforts at Using Your Power, which is another podcast I was co-hosting for a while. It’s on hiatus for the time being, and I’m not sure whether it will return or when, but there is a lot of great content there and if you’d like to check it out you can find it at usingyourpower.com.

This brings me to today’s topic, which is the pros and cons of adding a revenue stream to your music career or business.

Not surprisingly, my efforts to create a revenue stream on Medium brought this topic to mind. But I think it’s an important one, especially if you’re starting to get antsy with your current projects and you’re not sure whether you’d like to continue working on them, or you’re thinking about taking up a side project.

So, let’s start with the pros of adding a revenue stream.

Pros

It Mitigates Single-Source Dependency

If you’ve been listening to this podcast for a while, then you’ve probably heard me reference single-source dependency. This is something I learned from James Schramko, who I interviewed in episode 86 of the podcast.

Basically, it’s the idea that we should not lean too heavily on any one revenue stream, traffic source, marketing tactic, social network, or otherwise.

When you have several revenue streams, even if one of them goes away, you have something to fall back on.

I have found tremendous value in having many contacts and revenue streams in the last few years, because I’ve often picked up some freelancing or casual employee work on the side to supplement my income. If any one thing slowed to a crawl, I found that another thing would pick up.

That is excepting January and February this year where everything took a bit of a dip, but considering I’ve been working from home for two years now, that seems like a small price to pay for my independence and freedom.

More revenue streams are often better than fewer, though this has its cons as well. More on that later.

It Gives You an Additional Outlet for Your Creative Expression

The music business is my chosen niche, but if you hadn’t picked up on this already, I believe I can add value to the world in other niches as well. I’ve gained a great deal of knowledge through research and experience.

Music remains one of my top passions, and I feel like it was recently reignited.

But having an outlet where I can share about things other than music, such as business, personal development and spirituality allows me to derive more fulfillment from the work I do.

You might enjoy being a part of the band you’re in. But sometimes you might feel like exploring other genres or other styles of music. For instance, if you’re in a metal band, you probably can’t dig into your hidden passion for country music.

Creating a side project might be a good way to give the idea some space to blossom.

You Can Repurpose the Content You Create

Repurposing content is something that’s been top of mind for me as of late.

I’ve worked hard to build the blog and podcast at The Music Entrepreneur HQ, and I will continue to develop fresh content, because I have a lot of ideas I have yet to even touch on.

But I also think it’s high time I started repurposing what I already have and do more with it. Lately, I’ve been turning articles into videos and in-depth guides into full-fledged books.

If you’re starting a side project or adding a revenue stream, anything you create can later be reused and reworked for future projects. That mitigates the risk of things going awry with your new revenue stream, because there is no guarantee your new project is going to do any better than your last.

Your brain has gotten you to where you are, so if you do the same things expecting different results, you’re probably just going to get more of the same.

Your brain has gotten you to where you are, so if you do the same things expecting different results, you’re probably just going to get more of the same. Click To Tweet

Nevertheless, even if your new project flops, the assets you create in the process could come in handy later.

Cons

It Could Detract from Your Other Revenue Streams

You may have heard of Nathan Barry. He created a popular book business around his passion for app design.

But then he became the Founder & CEO of ConvertKit. In a podcast interview, he said he thought he might be able to sustain both businesses at once. But he found that his book business took a serious dip as he couldn’t dedicate as much time to it.

I’m sure Barry isn’t sad about the growth of ConvertKit, which is an email marketing platform for online creators.

Nevertheless, he found himself unable to dedicate as much time to his books.

So, sometimes when you add a revenue stream, it could easily take over existing projects. That’s fine if you’re okay dedicating more of your time to the project that’s requiring more attention. But if you dread having to work on your new project, you might find yourself a little stuck.

This is not dissimilar to Jack Conte’s story when he started Patreon. Fortunately, Pomplamoose has been quite active with updates as of late, so clearly, he’s still finding time to make music.

It Could Mean Doing More Work

This isn’t necessarily a con if you find yourself enjoying the work you’re doing.

But to me, adding a revenue stream is akin to adding a non-negotiable to your life. A non-negotiable is something that must happen like clockwork because the only way to build momentum with it is by consistently applying yourself to growing it.

For instance, we all know you can’t get fit by working out once. It takes time. You must create a workout schedule for yourself and start eating healthier too. Only then will you begin to see the fruits of your labor. A new revenue stream works in much the same way.

So, when I decided to start publishing for Medium, I decided that I would be writing four 600-word posts per week, though there are a couple that are closer to 1,400 words. I’m going to do everything I can to maintain that pace.

By doing this, I’m clearly adding something new to my schedule. I’m already writing for other clients. I’m recording weekly podcast episodes. I’m keeping up with my staff writing duties at Music Industry How To. And, I have coaching and website clients too.

So, adding this non-negotiable means spending more time at my desk than before.

Your New Product or Service Could Flop

I’ve already explained why this may not be a complete loss, but it still sucks when your idea just doesn’t go over as expected.

You’re going to be dedicating a lot of time and energy to this project, as I’ve already noted. So, to give it everything you’ve got and not see it take off can be painful. But trust me when I say you wouldn’t be the first. Join the club.

No matter how well we think we know our audience or market, there’s a chance our product or service just won’t connect with people.

I’ve wasted a lot of money on Facebook ads that did virtually nothing for me. I will continue to waste money on them until I find something that works, mind you, because this is a normal part of figuring out your marketing.

Now, even if your product flops, it may not be a total loss. You may be able to repurpose the content or present it in a different way and get results with it. Still, it’s a lot of effort to put into something that no one cares about.

Final Thoughts

So, I’ve shared a few pros and cons of adding a revenue stream from my perspective.

Are you thinking about starting a side project or adding a revenue stream right now? What steps are you taking to make this a reality?

Also, is there anything I missed? Let me know by leaving a comment in the show notes.

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David Andrew Wiebe

David Andrew Wiebe

Founder & CEO at The Music Entrepreneur HQ
David Andrew Wiebe has built an extensive career in songwriting, live performance, recording, session playing, production work, investing, and music instruction. In addition to helping musicians unlock their full potential, he also continues to maintain a performance schedule with Long Jon Lev and Adrenalize. If you'd like to be notified whenever the blog is updated, click here to subscribe.
David Andrew Wiebe
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