How I Learned to Love Marketing my Music, Part 4 of 4

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by Jan Seides
Friday 30th August, 2013, 12:57pm

 

Photo by J. Ryan Roberts, NYC

Photo by J. Ryan Roberts, NYC

As I mentioned at the beginning of this series, the motivation behind learning how to market my music came from discovering the startling expense of putting out a new CD. Between creation and promotion, everyone has a reason why you should fork over your life savings, and perhaps a child or two. I found myself waking up in the middle of the night to contemplate ways to put more money together. (Especially because my music studio barely covers living expenses during the summer.  I require my students to take a certain number lessons to hold their claim on my attention, but it’s not the same number as for any other three months of the year. Nor even close.)

Here’s the thing, though.  I have at least two more CDs waiting in the wings, perhaps three if you ask me again this time tomorrow.  Something has got to be done to make this more affordable, or the money flow more reliable.

Into this melee steps my friend, Will Taylor.  Will is the founder of an Austin icon called Strings Attached. (Pretty cool that he has a wikipedia entry, don’t you think?) Back in June, I got a note from him telling me that he had found a new way to provide support for Strings Attached and some of their community activities. Was I interested? If so, I should plan to be at their home for an informational meeting this week. Well, yes, I was very interested. So I went.

What I heard was not at all what I expected.

There were about 25 people in the room when I walked in. I was handed a survey sheet, and a couple of other papers. I was armed with a notebook, but ended up just listening A woman named Lisa began to speak, and at first I was having difficulty understanding, until I heard her say that at one point in her life as an organic farmer in Oregon, single mom with two kids, she found herself on the floor with a collapsed lung.  Then she was in the hospital, wondering where the money was going to come from, as she had work similar to mine.  If she wasn’t there to do it, she did not get paid. Having found myself in that position about two years ago, she got my rapt attention from then on.

What she was talking about was a steady stream of income, which was completely reliable, and after a point self-perpetuating.  It did take some initial work though, and there was a buy-in fee — As Lisa said, “This is not winning the lottery” . Nor is it Mary Kay, Amway or any of those. But after the first steps are taken care of, there would be money in the mailbox.

Here’s how it works, more or less.  If you want the complete picture, the way to get it is to say yes when I invite you to my house so that Will can tell you about it. But basically, ACN, the parent company, brokers essential telecommunication and energy services at a (large) discount, made possible by the fact that ACN is acquiring customers for the companies that provide them. These are services for which we are all paying, so the money is already being spent. It has now, because of the internet, become possible for people like you and me to be brokers for these services through ACN, and to therefore, earn residuals as the broker of record. 

ACN, which has been in business for 20 years and has had a host of write-ups including in the Wall Street Journal,  has agreements with companies like Time Warner Cable, Verizon, Sprint, and a long list of others. They also have an in-house cell phone service company (which uses the communication networks of Verizon and Sprint), a merchant-services arm (the credit card mechanism that practically all retail businesses have), and an in-house energy company, among a variety of other services.

The reason that last item (energy) is important is because the entire country is under a federal mandate to de-regulate the energy industry, Texas included.  Most of Texas is already de-regulated; except for Austin and San Antonio, and they will be de-regulating soon. When they do, it will be like when the phone company was de-regulated, and a whole bunch of small companies took over phone service, using AT&T’s network.  Except for the drop in cost and the choice of where that money went, most of us didn’t even notice the difference. Working through ACN, brokers stand to make a lot of money. A LOT of money.

I, personally, am not interested in being super-rich.  I’m just interested in having my music be supported in a much less painful way than going into credit-card debt and the like. So I went for it.  I now have my own online services storefront: http://janseides.acndirect.com/.  One of the first things I did was get out from under my previous cell-phone company.  My contract was done, and ACN’s company, Flash, was offering better service for half as much.  Unlimited talk and text, NO contract or credit check, and I could transfer my phone to their service.  Best of all, they use Verizon’s network, so I had exactly the same coverage I had before. (This is also true for Sprint phone users.)

I also found out that I can get internet service – this time the company is Time-Warner – that is 3 times as fast for half as much as we are currently paying for DSL. And incidentally, the price is far less than going directly to Time-Warner.

And I can do this for others too. So if you’d like to take advantage of that, and help support me at the same time, there is now a way to do that.

Come look around at my store (http://janseides.acndirect.com/), and contact me if you would like me to save you some significant money on essential services. And if you are interested in being part of this business, contact me at jan@janseides.com.

And my offer of  free songs (4 of them!!!) still stands at http://janseidesmusic.com

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Category: Music, Music Biz, This ‘n’ That, Uncategorized

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