Austin Hull was one of our most popular interviews (way back on episode 59), so we had to bring him back onto the podcast to update us on what he’s been up to.
Since 2019 Austin has not only built a six-figure freelance music production business but also sold over $400k of digital products through his new business Make Pop Music.
In this episode, learn how Austin took the stair-step approach from freelance to passive income, built his email list to over 40,000 people, and YouTube channel to over 100k subs in such a short time.
If you’re thinking about launching a side-hustle that could eventually turn into an extra six-figure income, this episode is perfect for you.
Keep in mind, this wasn’t exactly a walk in the park for Austin.
At one point, he was on the brink of a mental breakdown. He was working long hours without breaks, trying to juggle multiple projects, and constantly switching from task to task… all in an effort to keep everyone else happy.
Austin decided it was time for a change, and applied the 80/20 principle to niche down on what was most important to him… And the results were game-changing.
In this episode you’ll discover:
- How Austin grew multiple six figure businesses in a few short years without any ads
- Why communities are important to organic growth
- What happened when Austin finally niched down
- Why it’s important to recognize when you’re overworking yourself
- How exercise ties into mental health
- How to make new connections to grow your business
- Why the go-giver mindset is a common theme among most successful entrepreneurs
- What platforms you can use for organic growth
Join The Discussion In Our Community
Click the play button below in order to listen to this episode:
“I got into hustle mode and then basically worked myself into a mental breakdown, and then had to reevaluate everything that was important to me.” – Austin Hull
Send Us Your Feedback!
Related Podcast Episodes
[00:00:00] Brian: Welcome back to another, the six figure creative podcast. I'm your host Brian Hood. I'm here with my big bald beautiful. Purple shirt and coat. Actually, what, what color is that?
[00:00:09] Chris: It's purple ish.
[00:00:10] Brian: It's like a purple hue.
[00:00:12] Chris: it's a purple hue. It was the purple shirt that Lulu lemon had in stock. And I was pretty excited.
[00:00:18] Brian: Okay. And then also joined here with our guest Austin Hall, which we'll get to in a second. Say hi, say hi Austin.
[00:00:24] Austin: What's up everyone. How you doing?
[00:00:25] Brian: Good. So Chris, I got to talk real quick. Is it Lulu lemon or.
[00:00:30] Chris: It's Lulu lemon. What kind of a fool would say Lulu lemon?
[00:00:35] Brian: Austin, which one? Which one is it? I've heard both.
[00:00:38] Austin: I'm assuming it just goes by whatever tax bracket you're in. If I'm going to be a hundred percent on it,
[00:00:43] Chris: Yeah, that was such a well-placed joke. Oh my gosh. It's like, we rehearsed that. Oh my gosh.
[00:00:49] Brian: Yeah. Some people, some people want to make it way fancier than it's supposed to be, but it is
[00:00:53] Chris: That's like calling target Tarjay
[00:00:55] Brian: dude. I love calling it. Tarjay.
[00:00:57] Chris: Jack say Pinay, JCP.
[00:01:00] Brian: I thought you just had a stroke.
[00:01:02] Chris: That's how my mom used to call JC penny is, is Jack say penny, but she, she did it ingest. So, but Lulu linen is that's ridiculous. Let me, let me share a joke from a comedian who, whose name I forget, but it's like my favorite joke ever. And he says if a woman is walking down a dark alley and she notices a man behind her, Walking in the same direction and he's wearing all Lululemon clothing.
[00:01:26] She can be rest assured that absolutely nothing is getting ready to happen to her.
[00:01:31] Austin: 100%.
[00:01:33] Brian: joke, but I was like tensing up the entire time. Cause I'm like Chris, Chris? No, Chris. Don't you go
[00:01:39] Chris: to be in bad taste. No, it's no. It's it's like, no, it's a woke joke.
[00:01:43] Brian: Okay. All right. So let's, let's, let's, let's shift away from banter talk. Although I will say that I I'm supposed to leave for Spain next week and I'm excited as hell. And I'm just like waiting for the ball to drop, to say like, all right. All right, Americans, you can no longer come because Delta Varian is so out of control that you're, you're not going to have it.
[00:01:59] So by the time this episode airs, I will either be in Spain or I won't be in Spain, probably nowhere in between.
[00:02:05] Austin: well, hopefully you get to go to.
[00:02:06] Brian: Yeah. Yeah. So let's let's stop talking about me and let's talk about our guests. We've got our guests here, Austin Hall, who was on our podcast way back on episode 59, which is almost exactly a hundred episodes ago for you on how to build an audio career a hundred percent online from anywhere in the world and whether you're in audio or really any sort of freelancing that episode is.
[00:02:27] Highly relevant because he built a Facebook community that basically fed him leads. And he's done all. He's got to do so much more that we're going to catch up on with you, Austin, and what you've been up to since then. But it's a really, Calypso is actually one of our most popular episodes. I, it may be one of the top episodes that we have, or at least top interviews that we've done Austin.
[00:02:43] So kudos to you on that one. that came out around Christmas. So let's, let's catch up for everybody. First of all, you are with make pop music. That's kind of your company and you also do audio production. So give us kind of a spiel of like what you've been up to since episode 59 on our podcast.
[00:02:57] Austin: That episode was that a really good time. Cause that was kind of where. My business and the production business had kind of been already getting started, but that was where make pop music was really becoming its own standalone business. And I was starting to have to figure out how to divide time between producing and then running a business with my wife.
[00:03:14] So since then, it's basically just been like constantly reevaluating my goals and my kind of what I want to do with each. So at that point, I was mostly a producer that kind of ran make pop music on the side. And just over the past couple of years, since we chatted on that, on that podcast, it's been more so focusing on how I can be really consistent with make pop music and just provide value to the community and to our audience, because now we have a much larger audience and then it's just kind of being able to determine.
[00:03:42] How much I divide my time between doing something like production for clients and for artists, and then doing like product development or content development for make pop music. So it's just really been trying to fine tune that balance and as make pop music gets bigger and that kind of warrants more time, it brings my time down on the production scale.
[00:04:02] With that said it's kind of opening up opportunities for me to work on projects that I'm just a little bit more passionate about. I don't have to take every project that comes in. It's almost become more like I run a business now and I do production for fun on the side, rather than I'm a producer, who's running a side business and that's kind of the way that I like it because I feel like if I am going to run a community and post content, that's kind of based around being a producer and based around being somebody who's doing things in the industry, I do have to kind of stay on my feet.
[00:04:28] And my brain just always wants something new to focus on. So being able to focus on the business half the time and then my production, I think both of them end up serving each other really well. I'm able to kind of come up with content while I'm producing for artists. And then I'm able to kind of come up with tools to help me when I'm in the production phase, through make pop music.
[00:04:47] Brian: So, let me, let me catch our audience up really quick on everything. just so for people that didn't hear episode 59, or it's been so long since you've listened to it, you don't even remember. Austin had a recording studio or a production studio in Pensacola, Florida at the time, I believe. And you had started a Facebook community to try to, to try to have a community around the genre music that you worked on.
[00:05:04] And that was what eventually became the make pop music community. Is that right?
[00:05:07] Austin: Yeah. Yeah. So I started my production journey in Pensacola, but I've really got into production. Down in like bulk red zone on a, when I was in college. And then I think when we chatted, I was either had just moved to Orlando where I was getting ready to, but either way it was all focused on remote recording.
[00:05:23] So location really didn't matter. And it had been kind of a couple of years since I had gotten my first, you know, quote unquote client.
[00:05:28] Brian: Right. And so do you use that community as a way to generate leads for your freelance business is essentially what the whole business model was at the time. Realize how much that was going to kind of, I would say, almost get out of hand cause the committee, how large is the community at this point? Like it's massive.
[00:05:42] Austin: So, yeah, so the Facebook community actually has grown pretty slowly since we chatted. So I think we're currently like 28 to 29,000 members, but we have like super active member rates. So I think like 80% of members on there are active and then we just try to keep it like as little spam and as little, you know, non-focused.
[00:06:03] As possible. So even though it's, it's like hovering right around 30,000, it's a really good 30,000. But since we chatted, we've had a YouTube channel, let's kind of blown up. Our website has blown up. So on YouTube now we're at like almost 130,000 subs on our website. We've got like 40,000 on a mailing list.
[00:06:20] And so that has all been. A response to starting that community, which the community was kind of like a huge lead magnet for me, but that wasn't even why it started, which we touch on in the last podcast. But it was crazy that something that literally just started as like wanting to be genuine human connection yeah.
[00:06:36] Has grown into two different six-figure businesses kind of on accident with a lot of help and, and a lot of effort, but still they, they were not like mastermind from the start like that.
[00:06:45] Brian: Well, I do want to get to make pop music as a business. And I think we'll talk a little bit about that because it has grown to be a very respectable business. And it's like your main thing, like you said, but the reason we got you back on the podcast is because of a post you actually made in our, in our community for six figures.
[00:07:00] Which is like the, the origin of six-figure creative has six figure home studio for anyone who's new here. And I'm gonna read parts of the post you made. And I would like to discuss some of these things. Cause these, these are really relevant to any freelancer listening to us right now. Here's what you said. I followed some advice that I always hear on the podcast. So I've always offered a ton of services. So mixing mastering, remixing production, et cetera, offer these services to pretty much anyone in any genre imaginable.
[00:07:25] So you've, you're very anti niche as well. We'd pretty much say in this world, this worked really well for me over the last year. And as a result have made well into the multiple six figures on working on hundreds of projects. So I find that super interesting, first of all, because this goes against everything we really talk about on the podcast.
[00:07:40] And I, and I think it's might be worth talking about because so many people struggle with this world of like, do I go super niche and go very, very narrow or do I go super broad and try to do all things for all people? And as someone who has made multiple six figure.
[00:07:54] Being kind of the all services to all genres person. I'd love to know your thoughts on that kind of debate right there. Cause we, we had a good discussion in our Facebook community months ago about this and you had some good things to say about that.
[00:08:05] Austin: Yeah, I think it's really just different strokes for different folks. I definitely do have a shorter attention span. And I kind of am somebody who has to be inspired at the moment to do something. And so. Every time before that I tried to niche down or focus on one genre or focus on one task. It's just got a little bit bored because then I would have more time than I did work to do with that time.
[00:08:27] And so it always kind of kept me on my toes and especially being in the pop community and kind of the pops fear where there's so many different sub-genres, there's so many different styles. Every artist wants a little bit different. I had a really, really good time experimenting with different genres, getting my hands done at mixing, trying production, trying some remix.
[00:08:45] That to me, kind of kept me on my toes and was a really good way for me, me to kind of build up my skills to where
[00:08:51] now I feel really good, terrible. As a producer, I'll still mix projects that I'm producing on. The niching down for me came more as a necessity of, I've only got so many hours in the day, I've got, make pop music.
[00:09:02] That's requiring more and more time and attention. And I need to focus now on what I genuinely enjoy the best, because when I started, it was how many things can I do to fill a calendar? How many invoices can I send to fill a quota by the end of the month? And it worked really well for me. I think that I developed a lot of small skills that have now.
[00:09:20] Made me the producer and kind of the business owner that I am. But with that said, if you're running a good business, I do think that there will eventually be a time where, you know, if, if you're a restaurant and you start out selling pizza and steak and you do brunch on the weekends and you're a coffee shop, it's like, okay, that might get people in the door, but you're not going to be able to operate like that for five years.
[00:09:41] It's just too much overhead. There's too much to focus on. So eventually. It's try everything. I was just like, I'm gonna throw a bunch of paint at the wall, see what sticks. And then I'll kind of reevaluate in a couple of years when my time is getting more oppressed. So that's pretty much been my mindset of like, not trying to fight everything as it comes.
[00:09:57] It's just try to be as easy going as possible and just keep kind of evaluating myself and kind of auditing my time and my goals.
[00:10:04] Brian: So going back to the post you said this is kind of the point that you hit. You said, however, at this time I find myself having too many inquiries to choose from I've officially closed my books for all services, except full production packages for pop tracks. So that is like, you've now, like not only have you narrowed down the services you want.
[00:10:21] You've now narrowed down what service or what John or you work with. So you've really dialed in both of those things. And I'd love for you to talk about that transition and what that means for your business and what that looks like moving forward. And if you've already had the transition for awhile, what that has looked like in your business so far since making that transition.
[00:10:38] Austin: Yeah, I mean, great question. It's something that definitely has been kind of leading up for a couple of years. So, you know, last time we chatted, I think that I was still doing some graphic design stuff. I think that I was still like helping people build websites and like, it was fun. I enjoyed doing all of that and it kind of got me out of the studio some days. Very shortly after that, I was like, okay, I'm basically going to only production. And then I was like, okay, well, if I'm going to production, I'm only going to bigger projects and projects that inspire me. So I was a little bit more picky with inquiries. And then it was like, okay, maybe I don't do rock and metal as much anymore.
[00:11:09] Maybe I stick to, you know, hip hop, pop and electronic. And so over the years that's been just kind of slowly and slowly narrowing my focus because as my time has gotten more valuable and Currys have gone through the roof, like it's not uncommon for me to get 30 or 40. Inquiries for paying projects that are within a budget range that I would take in a single week.
[00:11:29] And so I was like I need to focus down so I can serve the projects that I want to serve a little bit better. And then I need to come up with a system to make sure that all of these other leads aren't going to waste because. I'm getting involved with too many projects. I have to communicate with too many people.
[00:11:43] There's just too many things for me to focus on while I'm also trying to run a business because over the past two years, that has started to take more time. And so it was just really kind of focusing on how can I help me? How can I help the people that are going to pay me and trust me with them? And then how can I help some peers by delegating some of that work off to them or just throwing in somebody's, you know, suggestion, I don't want like a finder sphere or anything.
[00:12:05] I honestly don't want to have to deal with the project. So it's more so just like, if somebody sends me a mixing inquiry now I'm like, Hey, thanks for reaching out. My books are closed for mixing at the moment instead, try these five people. And then, you know, so far over the past month, since I've started doing that, I think I've got it.
[00:12:20] Like 13 projects hired out to friends. So it's just been like a triple win for me.
[00:12:26] Brian: can you talk about what made you, what sparked the change? Cause you were humming along making multiple six figures. Like I know that the make pop music stuff has started eating up more of your time. You've been getting a ton of inquiries, but was there any resource you. Consume like a book you read or a podcast you heard it was something that actually sparked the change.
[00:12:42] Cause there's, there has to be like something has to incite that sort of change because that is a massive change for any business.
[00:12:48] Austin: Yeah, there was, it was my wife. I mean, like,
[00:12:52] I guess conjunction with like a lot of the kind of self-help
[00:12:56] self-fulfillment books that like I've been reading and then going to therapy and just kind of like trying to find myself and kind of redefined my goals. It really came down to like, I think I made the really hard line in the sand about a month ago when me and my wife were just talking.
[00:13:08] And I was like, yeah, I feel like we don't make as many, you know, paid products as we should. I feel like we haven't made a chorus in like two years. I feel like there's all these things that like,
[00:13:17] not only are we leaving a ton of money on the table, but I feel like we're leaving a lot of service to people on the table.
[00:13:22] Like we do the, we do a free video every week on YouTube.
[00:13:25] We've started posting on like tech talk and Instagram. We make a ton of free content, but I was like, we make a couple of sample packs a year and we may. We made a course two years ago. And we've got a community of like a couple hundred thousand people right now that I think are just wanting more.
[00:13:37] And I'm not able to do that if I'm so focused on 30 projects a month, she's like, okay, well, like what do you like doing the most? And I was like definitely like producing the most. It takes by far the most time. And it's by far the most
[00:13:49] attentive. I think that it's like the most fulfilling for like my ultimate goal.
[00:13:53] And she was like, do you care about mixing? And I was like, no, just some projects that I produced because it's just faster and easier for the artist. And for me, she's like, okay, then do that.
[00:14:02] Chris: well in Austin, I think if I try to visualize you in five years, and I tried to imagine you on a yacht. Outrageously successful. And I felt this way for basically, since we met it's producing, producing is what did it and everything else to me strikes me as a springboard to that, that you are, that you have so many doors open because you've built a community.
[00:14:26] On Facebook that is lively and people are interacted or interacting with it, and people are coming there to learn and to grow and to make friends. that is something that's so valuable and so interesting that any creative should be able to look at any freelancers. She would look at that and say, huh, that's an interesting success story.
[00:14:46] You had an interest, you started a Facebook group, it exploded and you manage that community and have been able to leverage that into helping larger and larger, larger numbers of people. I think you moving towards production gets so interesting because I think inevitably you're going to have opportunities as a result of everything that you've done that are going to be massive specifically in the productions.
[00:15:10] Austin: Yeah, well, that was another big catalyst. So like I was talking to my wife about this and over the past few months,
[00:15:15] I've started to get larger art artists and, you know, like label budget funded projects that are in my DMS from just finding me online or finding me through word of mouth or friends of friends.
[00:15:25] I was realizing, I was like, my schedule is pretty packed. Like if you know, on this doesn't happen, but like, let's say the weekend hits me up and he's like, Hey, I really like your stuff. I would love for you to shoot me a track over by the end of the weekend, because I'm going to a studio. Maybe I'll cut something on it.
[00:15:40] Like right now I don't have the time for that. And like, if I did, then
[00:15:43] I would be
[00:15:44] doing a disservice to the people that have filled my schedule. And I was like, I need some buy in.
[00:15:48] Comfort time, time to do projects like that. Do the spec work that I think is like longterm goals stuff. Do the courses that I feel like are going to be the passive income and offer the most value to myself and to our audience.
[00:16:00] And I was like, I can't do that if I'm just filling this with
[00:16:02] timekeepers, like, and I still love mixing, I still love doing remixes and co-writing and stuff like that.
[00:16:08] But at the end of the day,
[00:16:10] if you, you have to cut off one of the heads of your, you know, business service, it had to be that. And so.
[00:16:16] I was basically just talking to her and like, I was like, I'm just really nervous to like narrow it down.
[00:16:20] I feel like I've helped so many people and I've done so many things. I don't know if people expect me to do a mix or to do a remix and shoe us like Austin. I have to level with you here. She is like in September of 2019, I had quit my job in marketing that I had been in for a few months after going to school for it for four years to run a business with you.
[00:16:38] I took that huge risk, literally left my life in marketing, and now. Almost three years. I'm basically unhireable in that field and I wouldn't go back on it, but that was a huge risk. I think you can try a trial period through the end of the year of you just narrowing down your calendar. And I was like, you're right.
[00:16:54] Like I should be able to do that because I realized like I've had a pretty comfortable ride since I started doing production. I haven't really had to sacrifice anything. And this is like the first time I have to really figure out like, okay, I'm sacrificing services that I've. As a company, but then I was like, I can just help people in the long run with this.
[00:17:11] I can just send this to people that need mixes, send this to people that are having trouble pay their bills. So I'll just do that. And then I can focus on the things that really, I think ultimately mattered to me 5, 10, 15 years down the road.
[00:17:22] Chris: I love that, man.
[00:17:22] And kudos to your wife.
[00:17:25] Brian: Yeah, I think there's a, there's, there's a lot of benefits to taking this route. I think for anyone listening right now, that's offering multiple services to multiple people, multiple people that have not really thought through what they offer, what outcome that is to that person and who that, who they're specifically targeting.
[00:17:38] There's so many benefits to this and the least of which. I mean the, the time thing, like you're, you're, you're bouncing all over the place, trying to keep up with. What like 30 different types of services or clients like the combinations of those that can be overwhelming, trying to keep, like what mixes, what masters, what productions, what remixes am I doing?
[00:17:55] Like, where am I on this stage on this project? And now I've got to go back to this service that I haven't done in three months, because no one ever hires me for that. Now I have to remember how to do it. Cause I haven't done it forever. And this takes this mental toll. It's a switching cost, the cost of switching from task to task, to task all, all day long.
[00:18:10] Even if those things don't take up that much time, just the mental burden of making this switch as constantly is a drain on not only your mental health, but your, your time, your energy, your ability to be creative. And I think if people take the time to really narrow this down and find the thing that is like, what's the thing that lights me up inside, especially as a creative, we have to take this into consideration.
[00:18:30] And there happens to be monetary incentives on this too, because now you can charge more Austin. I know you can raise your rates because you've really zeroed in on who you're targeting, like what your messaging is to that person. What sort of like systems you've put behind that, because now you're really just, you've got one thing to do for people.
[00:18:45] You know what it is from time, like time and time again, from client to client, you're doing the same service, the same process and. obviously like there's a lot of creativity within that process, but I'll tell you right now, systems and processes, help aid, creativity. They do not take away from creativity.
[00:19:00] You may disagree. I don't know where you are on that with us, but anyone I've talked to doing production or any kind of art at a high level, always has some sort of systems and processes to aid them in the creativity.
[00:19:09] Austin: Yeah. I mean, I totally agree. It's just one of those things to like optimizing my time. Like, and I think that was one of the things I realized after the last podcast that we did was I was just so busy all the time. I got into like hustle mode and then like basically worked myself into a mental breakdown and then like had to reevaluate everything that was important to me.
[00:19:26] And then since then, that's really like where the scaling back started and then like over the last month or two, that was where I was like, okay. It needs to be. More 50 50, or at least 60 40 between my business and make pop music and not 80 20, like it was 80% me producing and then 20% doing stuff or make pop music, but make pop music makes 70% of the income just because it's so much more passive and high scale.
[00:19:49] And I was like, I do just need to revisit that because that buys me a little bit more time. If I just take the time to make the course or to make the YouTube video. That makes them money to them. Buy me the opportunity to schedule two days to work on music that I want to work on or work on spec work, or take a vacation with my wife, do things like that.
[00:20:05] And so I think that that was really important. And then like systems and processes. And that I think really just helped because like, if I'm producing for somebody. Whether they're telling me how they want revisions done on a form that I have formatted for them. That's easy for me to read. It's easy for them to understand.
[00:20:19] And then I can go in and do the revisions in 10 minutes. Or if I'm on a two hour long phone call or a zoom call with them, the revisions are going to come out the same either way. I'd rather do the thing that takes less time and is a little bit easier for me to focus on. So just doing little things like.
[00:20:32] It's a lot easier when I'm not focused on getting stems from mixes, sending stems back out, you know, hiring somebody or somebody's hiring me for a production and doing like a consultation call are just way too many like admin tasks that I couldn't even offload. And I was like, fuck, this is. A little bit miserable because I was like, I feel like I'm producing 40% of the time, but I can't really offload any of this because it would take much more time for me to talk to somebody like my wife, who was doing all of my inquiries and project calls and everything like that.
[00:20:59] I was just like, this is not going to work. I have to scale it down.
[00:21:02] Chris: Well, Austin, a couple topics from what you just from what you brought up and what Brian said earlier, what, we've got two sort of ideas that I'm wrestling with here. We've got mental. We've got systems and processes. And then within that, we also have niching down so that you can focus on systemizing particular business.
[00:21:19] If you're offering 17 different services, it's almost impossible to have enough time to systemize all of those things. Whereas if you niche down and focus more on just one or two things, you can systemize those things. And the, I think the, the most amazing benefit to the systems, it's not just business growth.
[00:21:38] It's the mental health. And you and I had a conversation on too long ago that this is actually the first time we've talked about it on the podcast, but I'm launching another podcast called creativity and mental health. And we did an interview on that podcast that, that blew my mind where you talked about looking at your own mental health and looking at this breakdown that you had and making hard decisions about your work and about systems and processes.
[00:22:02] I'd love to hear more about that, man. How has mental health. Worked into this transition to, to focus on less things.
[00:22:10] Austin: Right. Yeah. Like you and Brian touched on, I think that systems and processes are a big part for just improving brain function and mental health. And I think that just goes down to not even work-related stuff. I think I realized that I needed to focus on that. The Workday after I had realized that simple things like having a morning routine, working out every day, eating breakfast, taking vitamins, making myself a cup of coffee, like having a little bit of structure, especially for the mental issues that I personally struggle with.
[00:22:37] I feel like really cements me in a little bit of structure where I I'm not. As likely to just go and waste a day because my mental health is not quite as good. So, you know, it was like starting with small things. Like I was like, okay, no matter how bad or good my day is, I'm going to wake up, work out, eat breakfast, do a meditation, answer my emails.
[00:22:57] And then after that, if I don't feel good, I'll take the rest of the day off. If I feel fine, then I'll go back into work and kind of push. And I think doing like the little morning routines and self-care like, that ended up showing me that like in my business, I think that there was a lot of time being wasted between just like bouncing back and forth and giving everybody all of my attention all the time.
[00:23:16] I was like, I'm never in my studio like that door. My studio is never closed and I'm just like, let me think about what I want to do in here. It's always like, what should I do for make pop. What do clients need right now? How many emails do I have to return? Did I send them their stems? Have I wrote the next video?
[00:23:32] Did we put up the free presets? And I was like, Jesus Christ. Like, I need a little bit more time for myself outside of the Workday and within the Workday, like again, talking with my wife, she was like, when I worked at a marketing firm, yeah. We had an eight hour day. Nobody was working all eight hours of that day.
[00:23:48] They're hanging out by the water cooler, they're grabbing coffee, they're doing all of these extra things. And I was like, well, that would explain why I'm always so exhausted after a work day is because if I say that I have an eight hour Workday, it's shut that studio door, don't speak to anybody. Don't do anything.
[00:24:03] Don't get distracted. And then at five or six o'clock I walk out and my brain is absolutely fried. And I was like, I can't do that forever. So I think having systems and processes. Cut down on the Workday a little bit and offer me a little bit of extra time to just sit in here and enjoy music or work on something that I want to work on or write a post that I want to in the Facebook group has been really huge for kind of keeping my Workday a little bit more manageable with some of the mental health issues that I struggle with on top of just living a healthier life, physically and mentally to kind of also frame that Workday.
[00:24:33] And then all of my time outside of the Workday.
[00:24:35] Chris: Austin, when we had that conversation about exercise that I believe it or not, that had a big impact on me. When you talked about the mental health benefits of working out every day, that was a big kick in my pants.
[00:24:46] And I'm working about five times a week or so right now. And man, I appreciate your encouragement.
[00:24:51] Austin: Thank you. It doesn't really take much either. Like literally just go on a 30 minute walk around your neighborhood or around your apartment complex. Like just something to get the body moving and to take a little bit of time for yourself. It's like when we're kids, we have recess, right? Like we need to unwind.
[00:25:04] We need to not think about schoolwork. We need to have social time with our friends and take time to be active. And like as adults, I think we need that a little bit too. I don't think that we should allow ourselves a 30 minute break for lunch just to literally physically. And then come home, cook dinner, straighten up the house, sit down on the couch and watch a couple of hours of TV and zone out
[00:25:22] by ourselves or with our significant other.
[00:25:24] I think that there has to be time within that day that you're able to do something productive for yourself. And that
[00:25:29] Chris: Yeah.
[00:25:29] Austin: mean that it's high energy. It just means that
[00:25:32] it's kind of low mental focus
[00:25:34] and high like passive entertainment. You know, it's just, I'm going to go for a walk. I'm going to lift weights or I'm going to ride a bike or I'm going to go read a book.
[00:25:42] Is not going to help me in any way, shape or form. I'm just doing it for entertainment, small things like that. I was just not doing for myself.
[00:25:48] And I was just like, I literally don't live my life from me at all. I was like, I live my life
[00:25:53] to serve my clients who have hired me to do as many things for my wife as possible and to make as many videos for the community as possible.
[00:26:01] And then after that, I have like no time to focus
[00:26:03] on anything I want to do. And then that started like seeping into the Workday. And I was like, Nope, I have to scale back things in my life. I have to scale back things at work. And then that's kind of just gotten me to where I'm at today. It's something I'm still obviously working on, but you know, it's over the past eight months, 20, 21 while it's been a pretty rough year in general for everybody, I think has been a lot of personal growth for me.
[00:26:25] And while the pandemic has been horrible in ways that nobody can ever describe, I do think that for me, at least it was. A mind altering experience because I was able to really focus on what was important to me, not be able to distract myself with going out and doing a million things and filling my calendar.
[00:26:41] I had to figure out
[00:26:42] how to be a little bit more present, how to be a little bit more mindful and just figure out things that were important to me
[00:26:47] and, and outside of work.
[00:26:49] Brian: So just to kind of change gears here, Austin, I think it might be a good kind of conversation to talk about something we never really talked about on this podcast. At least I don't, I don't remember talking about this and this is something I've hesitated talking about, but I think that you're the perfect person to talk to.
[00:27:01] To bring the subject about, and that is something I call stair-stepping stair-stepping is when you start small, you just take the next step while keeping your, your other foot firmly planted on the step before. And this pertains to in business, what you did with make pop music. This is what I did with six figure home studio and six figure creative.
[00:27:18] I started in audio production. And I just took stairsteps from there to other areas as I built my, my skills and other areas of business and marketing and sales. And this is something we don't really talk about much on this podcast, because this has not really been the subjects that we choose to discuss, but I just feel like it's too good of an opportunity not to talk about this.
[00:27:35] So you started make pop music, the Facebook community, as it means to just have community similar to other communities you've been in, but specifically for the, for the pop music world, you didn't really, did you even have business aspirations for that? When he first started it?
[00:27:47] Austin: Hell. No, I was barely even making pop music. I was like, I was the producer that had a laptop,
[00:27:53] mixed crafts, a couple of free plugins. And I was just like, I make stuff every now and then, but I'm getting bored in one genre. And I have nobody to talk to you about this. I didn't expect to ever have a pop client.
[00:28:03] I didn't expect to ever release a pop record. I was just like, I just need somebody to bounce off of, because that was a big part in my formative journey. Just getting into music production at all. So I was like, all right, I'll make that for pop because it exists in almost every other genre I can think of.
[00:28:15] But for some reason it doesn't, it was never for me to be like, this is a huge lead magnet, or I can become like a community figure you're in here. Like, I didn't care about any of that. I legitimately just want it.
[00:28:26] A server of people to be like, Hey, does this suck or not? And then, then be like, yeah, that's pretty good.
[00:28:31] Or like, nah, keep working on it. And I was like, okay.
[00:28:34] Brian: So, when did you, when did you start? Like, what was the first step in saying, okay, this could actually be a business. Like when did, when did that sort of light bulb go off?
[00:28:40] Austin: Yeah. So. I think the community has been around for like, I'd have to recheck the timeline, but it was like a year, year and a half of just being like a community of people chilling. And then I was actually starting to make a lot more pop music, like for myself, for friends doing some free projects. And I was just posting all the time.
[00:28:58] Like I'd post anything that I was even slightly working on. And then eventually people were like, Man. I feel like there's like tons of cool metal drum sets. There's tons of cool hip hop kits, but I feel like there's like nothing for pop that's like inspired by sounds on the radio. Cause at this time, pop was not like the bedroom pop that it is now.
[00:29:13] It wasn't like, oh, Billie Eilish made the number one record in her bedroom. It was like, hell no, you go to Sweden. And these multi hundred million dollar facilities and you make a record with a seven or eight figures. And so I was like, there's gotta be some middle ground to that. So I like made a little drum kit for people sold it in the first month.
[00:29:30] I did like a few grand in sales, which was insanely unexpected. I didn't market it at all. Didn't push it at all, just posted in the group a few times. So that was like where I was like, oh, people in this group will support me if I have something to offer
[00:29:42] and then made another pack. And then. Had a conversation with Daniel Gromit who became a business partner for like transitioning that group into, you know, quote unquote, make pop music.
[00:29:52] And he kind of came on board and we focused on starting to do some tutorials and starting to do a couple more things that would, start to kind of be lead magnets for things like our products and would start to kind of get my face and my name out there as a producer. And then stayed with that for like a year or two stayed with Daniel, just kept doing it pretty passively at that point, like make pop music was very low effort and very low energy at that point.
[00:30:14] And then finally got to the point where, you know, Daniel had other things he wanted to go do. So he kind of separated hired on my wife full-time and so she basically handles like the back end of everything. And then we were like, we need to be more consistent. Like I think that there is a market with make pop music.
[00:30:29] It was right around the time that we did the podcast. We had, you know, like 20 something thousand people in the group, we had maybe 10,000, 15,000 subs on YouTube. And I was like, we have an audience that I think we can build.
[00:30:39] And I think now people are asking for the content, like that was a big theme. Was we basically delivered what our audience wanted.
[00:30:46] It was never me being like, what's the next best thing that could shatter their minds and make me a million dollars. It was just like, Hey, what do you want to see? Like when I have time to do whatever you want. I'll make it. And so I just did that. And then 2019, we started releasing a video on YouTube, like every week and then the YouTube channel just basically blew up from that.
[00:31:03] And then that's where like consistency started. And then that's where super passive income came in. Like the six figures a year in sample backs that we spend no money on ads. And came in late 2019.
[00:31:14] Brian: kind of go back, if you were starting this sort of thing from scratch, like a lot of people, they may not be in the position then, and this is why we don't talk about this because if you're a beginner freelancer, or you're just trying to get your. Calendar full of paid work as a freelancer.
[00:31:26] This is not really the move for you and in most cases, but if you're the type of person where you have some sort of influence or you have some sort of following or you have something good to offer, Then this could be a move that you could make as a freelancer to start making passive income on the side.
[00:31:41] Again, we probably won't talk about this, that much in the future, on the podcast. Maybe we will, I don't know that we'll see how this episode goes, but it is worth discussing. And I I'd love to know what your approach would be today. If you were starting from scratch as a freelancer, maybe, maybe similar like skills that you have, but what, what would you go for first?
[00:31:55] The Facebook group, a mailing list, the YouTube channel, like something else altogether. Where would you begin with?
[00:32:00] Austin: It's hard to like, say that I would want to do anything different because I really enjoyed my journey. Like I, I was just. Producing because I loved it. And then people offered to start paying me. And so I started getting paid for my production and then made the Facebook group just to connect with people.
[00:32:13] And then again, people just started offering to pay me for things. And so, like, I think that just that same kind of Go-Giver mentality that we've talked about. And I know you have talked about a ton on the podcast. It's just like,
[00:32:23] do what you can do the best offer as much value and as much support as you can to anybody that's going to hire you or support you or speak with you.
[00:32:32] And then it's just a. Slowly scaling. I think that what has really helped me was like the fact that I didn't get so obsessed with like, okay, we have a hundred thousand YouTube subscribers. That means we can definitely do something that will make us seven figures. If we just focus on this, because I want this to be a long-term game.
[00:32:49] So like me and my wife will have strategy meetings about MPM where it's like, should we run sales more often? Or should we mark our prices up? But then basically always have them discounted or should we. push affiliate, marketing really hard. And it's like really we've grown a really good pace at a super sustainable, and I can't see anything, anything making me want to like screw that up.
[00:33:09] So it's been hard. Like it never really started as a business position for me. It was more so just. I think I always had that little knack for business in the back of my mind, and it was always just wanting to help people. And eventually I think car mechanic came around and helped. So I think it would kind of start the same with like offer free services, offer free.
[00:33:26] Oh, you do things that I enjoy doing. And then, you know, put in the effort, put in the time and eventually it will come back and pay me right.
[00:33:33] Brian: So just to go back on something, you said being a Go-Giver just for anyone. Who's not sure what that means. It's a book called the Go-Giver. We talk about it all the time in the podcast, back in episode 153, which came out July 6th, we interviewed the author of the Go-Giver episodes called why sales doesn't have to be a dirty word for creatives.
[00:33:49] So go back and listen to the episode because it goes over a lot of the stuff that Austin talking about right now, as far as adding value in being a Go-Giver. Asking for things before you deserve them. But the reason I asked the question about you starting from scratch right now is because I'm just curious.
[00:34:01] you think it's viable for someone to start a brand new Facebook community and a niche somewhere today and still gain the sort of traction that you gained in 2021 and beyond
[00:34:09] versus when you started it years ago? Is there some, something else that you would do, would you start with the community or do you start with Ford facing content like YouTube.
[00:34:16] Austin: I think this really depends on where the person is at with their skillset. So right now, if I had my exact same skill level and I was just like, I'm a producer. Making the same quality stuff. I would probably end up now starting with a YouTube. So I could kind of display my work a little bit more. But if you're somebody who's just getting into the game and you're working on building your skills while you're also trying to build relationships, and you're also trying to build, you know, brand rapport and things like that.
[00:34:39] I think that starting with something that is so non-threatening like a community. Is huge because you're not trying to position yourself as this. No, at all, like it can come up. Like, you know, I'm never trying to do that on YouTube, but some people will see it that way, but in a community it's just, everybody's allowed to share what they want as long as it's not a horrible opinion.
[00:34:57] And then I'll post my opinions. And if my opinions are good and my help and my feedback is good, I will start to kind of climb my way up that social ladder. And I think that it offers. A lot more flexibility for you to go out and kind of build your name up rather than going on a YouTube video when you don't have any following, you haven't done any big records that people have heard and immediately being like, listen to me because I know best it's like, how do I know?
[00:35:20] You know, best, I haven't seen you say anything. I've never heard any of your music giving you know, having a community, I think allows you to kind of build those relationships where at least then when you start to use your video, you've already got a solid core of support. And then people that are new can be like, oh, okay.
[00:35:35] Even though he's not working on charts, hopping records, he's been running this community for years. He does have a website that does really well. He is working on a couple of hundred projects a year. It's just, I think a lot easier to kind of build that, you know, quote unquote authenticity that people are looking for.
[00:35:49] Chris: [00:35:49] One might even
[00:35:49] say Austin
[00:35:52] Brian: Boom God. No.
[00:35:56] Chris: okay.
[00:35:57] Brian: Ah,
[00:35:57] Austin: That was great.
[00:35:58] Brian: So the, no, it wasn't us and don't encourage him. So a question I have for you, Austin is do you think you could have done the same thing in someone else's community say the community that you were looking to build already existed, make pop music already exists. The six figure home studio, or six-figure creative already exists.
[00:36:13] There's already community online for this thing. Can I just be a valuable asset in that community and build my reputation that way and then go to some other medium to kind of build my business.
[00:36:22] Austin: I am so glad you asked that because this is one thing that I tell people more than anything it's like, you don't have to start the community to reap the benefits. So like the whole, the thing that I love the most about to make pop music community. Has it made me six figures. I, there are at least several dozen people that I know that have gone.
[00:36:38] Full-time basically from projects and clients that they've met in that group and in that community because they posted regularly, they helped people, they formed relationships, they were consistent, they got hired for a project and then showed up and then that client referred them to another client. So I think that if you can be active in a community, If you can provide value.
[00:37:00] I don't think that that needs to be from the original author or creator. And that's why I think Facebook communities or discord communities are great is because it is a little bit hard to go comment on a YouTube video and try to help people when they're there to watch somebody, but on a community, somebody posts a song.
[00:37:16] They're just looking for feedback. Anybody can comment that. And so I've been a huge kind of proponent of telling people in the group, like if you want more clients speak to more people on this group, Stop complaining all the time about not having any work, stop posting that you won't work and just go help people.
[00:37:30] And eventually that will turn into work. It's just one of those things I think,
[00:37:33] I think it's become so like
[00:37:36] commoditized and fetishized for people to want to create a career immediately. I think that they see
[00:37:41] people like me or people like you, where a lot of the people you interview on the podcast and think that it was just like a.
[00:37:46] Yeah, we took a a big course. We drew on our goals and then we immediately started making six figures. It was like, no, it's like years of making music as a hobby. And then, you know, taking just a couple small paying clients here and there and kind of doing side work and then making a big jump and being full-time, but not really making any crazy money.
[00:38:04] And then now it is a successful production business and it is a successful side business. And I think. I didn't have the fastest journey, but I also didn't have the slowest and it just breaks my heart. When I see really, really talented people want to give up immediately because they're a year or two into the process.
[00:38:19] And they're so obsessed with it becoming a job or becoming something that they have to do. It's like, no, you're super talented. I promise you if you put the time and you put the work in, it will come back around to pay you, but you just, you can't rush it. Cause you're just going to burn out.
[00:38:32] Brian: I like putting this in nerdy RPG terms for you, role-play gaming people. Don't compare your level one character to someone else's level 60 character. Like you're just starting out. You're not going to have all the same things that, that level 60 character has. It's the same as a business owner. Don't look to them.
[00:38:46] They'll look to people like me or Austin. Who've been in this for over a decade, or at least me, I don't know about you. Awesome. Half a decade, more than a decade. I don't know. don't look to us for your fledgling starter business, where you're just getting started. Like it takes time to build these things.
[00:38:58] And patients is definitely something that is going to pay dividends if you're just patiently and consistently use that. You've used that word multiple times now, Austin consistently making progress. So that there's that. So I want to, I want to quickly go over your just general business model for this, for make pop music because it's completely different than freelance.
[00:39:16] In, in the way things work. And I want to make sure people understand this because if you were looking to stair-step into some sort of side hustle or something, that is a more passive income business, it runs a little different than a freelance business. And I think it's worth kind of talking about, so the core of your business, is it the email list, the community, or the YouTube channel?
[00:39:32] Like how does this all play together? As far as selling product?
[00:39:35] Austin: Yeah, it's definitely shifted over time. Like, when I started was most of our sales, most of our leads were from. The community for my freelance business and for all of our sample packs courses, all that kind of stuff. over probably the past two years as we've been really consistent on YouTube I've I think like at least 70 to 80% of our sales now are from YouTube leads.
[00:39:54] I just think that it offers a lot bigger audience that you only have to sell to for a short amount of time. So like people in the group. It's a lot smaller audience, like 28,000 people sounds like a lot. But then when you think about the fact that we get 300,000 video views a month, that 28,000 people in that group doesn't seem as big of a market for me to passively push too.
[00:40:14] So I think we had to realize that because for a while, I was like, We only have a few more subscribers and Facebook people, but it's like, yeah, but the opportunity for reach is just a lot bigger. So it's definitely, I think, centered around the free content that we do on YouTube
[00:40:27] for one, the audience is the biggest for two, it's the easiest for me to show that.
[00:40:32] I can use our samples. I can create presets while they can see, they can hear my production in real time and know, okay, this guy actually knows what he's doing. He knows what he's talking about. Maybe I'll buy that. So while the community was a little bit easier to kind of build my name up and build a bit of rapport the YouTube channel is far easier for me to turn that into people converting and buying something.
[00:40:52] And so. Over the past couple of years, it's been basically be consistent on YouTube. Use the group kind of as a community for everybody else. The only time I use a group is if I have a little bit of advice that I want to shell out, or if I want to post that we have posted a new video or something like that.
[00:41:07] And then just other social media to kind of reinforce new content as it comes out and then just kind of passively push you know, whatever we're focused on for the website.
[00:41:16] Brian: So the, the beauty and power of something like YouTube is not only is it the second most popular search. Last website in the world, you also get recommendations. So even if people aren't actively searching for your content on YouTube or searching for keywords, that they may find your content through, YouTube will still say, Hey, since you like this, you may also like us in holes, content.
[00:41:36] Introduces Austin to tons and tons of people. He may not have otherwise been able to access. And this is all done organically without any paid marketing whatsoever. So the business model for you, Austin, from what I'm seeing from the outside end is posting consistent, I guess, weekly content on the YouTube channel, maybe multiple times a week.
[00:41:51] I'm not sure you can specify there, but usually weekly content, the content is getting views. And then I'm assuming you're pitching some sort of lead magnet, which is just literally saying, Hey, go to this website and download this resource. Give me your name and email address. And then I'll email you that resource that's that, is that how you're building your mailing?
[00:42:06] Austin: Pretty much. I mean, that's not too far off. So like it's, it's gotten down to a science now. So we do post weekly videos and that can range anywhere from a 12 minute video to a 40 minute video. Like I have no problem giving away as much information for free. Because my thing is when we do create a course at all, obviously have things that can not be included in YouTube just for time or for, you know, consistency.
[00:42:26] So basically in our YouTube videos, it's very little push it's mostly. Hey, thanks for watching this video. Thanks for coming. You know, if you like this video, and sometimes the videos have freebies, like we launched a video today as me and you were saying. Those how to make five presets from the top songs on the radio.
[00:42:42] And so I show people how I made the presets and then I'll also give the presets away for free if they don't want to follow all of those steps. So things like that are huge for capturing leads on the actual email. And then we also just mentioned, you know, people are watching a 30 minute video most of the time.
[00:42:58] They never get upset when I take 20 seconds to just say like, Hey, if you liked this video, like comment, subscribe, because that'll help us give this information to more people. But then also if you want to check out any of our other content, like if you'd like all of this free content head over to our website, because we have more.
[00:43:12] And paid content. And so you can grab a couple of freebies. You can support the channel if you want. You don't have to, but that's all over there. It's never like, if you think this is great, wait until you see our paid stuff that you have to get. Like, I don't care. Like as long as people are watching the video, they're supporting me in some way or the other.
[00:43:27] And if they want to get a tool, that's going to help them. Perfect. If they don't, that's also totally fine. I've never been one to like push myself harder than need be. I'm pretty confident in the products that we have, and I'm confident in the audience that we've built. So it's just doing kind of passive pushes, like.
[00:43:42] We don't spend any money on marketing at the moment. We're looking into start doing ads and stuff like that. Now that we've kind of built up as a business, but we've done over $400,000 in sales and we have not spent a single dollar on ad spend whatsoever. And so I think that that just comes from being authentic and providing value and then saying, Hey, if you want more value, there is some value that you can pay a little bit of money for.
[00:44:03] Brian: So you said you're not directly pitching for products on these YouTube videos. You're more putting it to resources they can download for free. And then in the email series follow up, I assume that's where you're kind of pitching a product to somebody.
[00:44:13] Austin: Yeah. So typically like w we don't do that many emails. So like, I don't like spamming people too too much. And that's a super valid business model, but really, we only do one email a week and that's on Friday when we release a new video and our method that's worked really well. Hey, we released this video.
[00:44:26] If you liked this video, you'd probably like these products from our store and then we do two recommendations and that's it. What helps us a lot in the videos is using our products passively in the video. So like, say for instance, if I'm going to make a song like the weekend,
[00:44:39] I'm going to need drum samples in the video.
[00:44:41] Why not use ours? So I'm just like, Hey, I'm going to drag on a kick here. I'm going to drag in a snare here for anybody that wants to know these are from our dark pop volume pack. You can go check that out on the website. You don't have to any kick and snare will work. And it's just things like that of just basically showing people, Hey, I use these tools.
[00:44:56] You can use these tools, they are available, but you don't have to, you can still watch this whole tutorial and recreate this entire thing with splice samples, with samples that you got from a free website, with whatever I don't care. It's just kind of highlighting the option for people to have that.
[00:45:10] Chris: as you talk about this, I sent. That you understand this on a deeper level than I do. And I appreciate that about you, man. Like your ability to just be chill about the stuff that you're selling is really cool. Hats off to you for
[00:45:25] Austin: Thank you.
[00:45:26] I think it's because it never became a necessity to be honest. I never really had like any like quote unquote goals for make pop music. Like I was making plenty of money as a producer when make pop music started making their first
[00:45:36] passive dollar. So to me it was never like, yeah, we really need six figures in sales for me to like me overhead.
[00:45:42] I was like, all money is
[00:45:43] like basically free money for me at this point. Once we make a pack, our overheads.
[00:45:47] Maybe a hundred dollars a month for all of our subscription sites and everything like that for make pop music. And then other than that, there's no cost of good. They have employees or me and my wife who share a bank account.
[00:45:56] Like it's not that serious of a business to keep running. So I don't have to put that much pressure on it. That's why I choose to take the long game is because I feel like if I can take time to build up that audience, People are not going to mind if they're getting an ad for a company that they've been seeing or hearing about now for three or four years, they're going to be like, oh, that's sick. I started watching make pop music. When they had 5,000 subs, they're not like, oh, this person's selling a quarter pack that I've never heard of. And I've gotten 30 ads about it this week. Like I just, again, totally valid business approach. It's just not the approach that I've wanted to take because we didn't need to.
[00:46:28] Brian: sort of, kind of sum all this up. It's like, you you're, you're doing something you loved, you were doing it publicly. So sharing things along the way as you learn, you are not the expert, which I think a lot of people mistake that cannot create content, unless they're the expert. Absolutely not. Yeah.
[00:46:41] You can create, create content as you're learning and just show people what you were learning, which is the approach you took. You built this massive Facebook community, which you then leveraged to build the YouTube channel, which you then leveraged to build your mailing list, which then helps you sell more products, which also helps promote the YouTube videos that you put out every week.
[00:46:57] And then those products and services essentially sell passively while you're producing full-time or at least actually, I guess you're doing kind of part and part you're doing mostly the make pop music business, but you're also able to put a lot of time effort, energy into. The original part of this conversation today, which was niching down to a specific product, which was producing bands and a specific client, which is pop artist.
[00:47:18] Yes. And I think you've done a brilliant job of really making this whole thing work together in a, in a, not only reliable way, but a way that makes you happy and is giving, helping your mental health, helping your marriage, hopefully, you know, not where you're not working constantly. Running around with a chicken, like a chicken with your head cut off.
[00:47:33] And so I think it's awesome. What you've been able to do here. If people wanted to kind of check out what you're into Austin, what's the best place to send.
[00:47:38] Austin: Yeah. If you want to check out any of this stuff or make pop music, you can just head over to make pop music.com. You can find a link to join our Facebook community on there. You can grab all of our free and paid content over there. And there's also, you know, our most recent YouTube videos. So you can check that.
[00:47:51] Uh, You can just check out youtube.com/make pop music. If you want to check any of that out. And then if you want to hear any of my work as a producer, you can head over to Austin hole.com and then if anybody has any questions or wants me to follow up about anything I chatted about on this podcast, just shoot me an email.
[00:48:05] Austin, Austin, hold.com and I'll try to respond as quickly as possible. And then other than that, you'll probably just see me bouncing around different places on the internet. I try to stay as active as possible.
[00:48:14] Chris: One of the places that you will see Austin bouncing around on the internet. I mentioned this before is the creativity and mental health. Uh, If you guys want to check that out right now it's just a trailer, but we are launching imminently uh, Brandon Ray. Who's been on the show in the past. He's a creative director for 21 pilots east the cohost on the show and the conversation that we had, man, about OCD and PTSD and just putting your mental health first, was so awesome.
[00:48:39] And I remember recording that episode with you and thinking, oh my God, this is so great to just be able to have an open conversation. About the intersection of creativity and mental health and how your mental health struggles can be a super power and a booby trap at the same time that you have to kind of watch out for,
[00:48:58] Brian: Well, dude. Awesome. Thank you so much for coming on here. And also this episode comes out, I believe September 7th. So maybe your podcast will be launched by then
[00:49:05] Chris: They will. Yeah.
[00:49:06] Brian: There you go.
[00:49:07] Austin: Cool. Yeah, I appreciate you guys for having me. It's been awesome to be here and just kind of catch people up
[00:49:11] and, uh, I'm sure we'll be chatting again soon.
[00:49:13] Brian: Absolutely. Do we'll have you back in the future and maybe not a hundred episodes from now, maybe sooner.
[00:49:17] So that is it. Our conversation with Austin Hall, Chris, I don't know about you, but man, every time we talked to Austin, I'm just like, this dude is so smart and I feel, I feel like a.
[00:49:26] Chris: He's found his super powers.
[00:49:27] Brian: Yeah, that's, that's what it is like, he's, there's always this like challenge, challenges, an entrepreneur.
[00:49:30] You feel like you're not doing enough, but from the outside, looking in, everyone always thinks you're doing more than you actually are. That may be the case with him, but I feel like he's always pushing forward in cool and unique ways. And I just love his story with that. And it was fun to kind of get to the conversation.
[00:49:44] That stair-step approach from like starting in freelancing and then going to a scalable business. Cause we've, we've never really talked about on this podcast before. This is the very first time we've talked about that. And I just couldn't pass up the opportunity with someone that we've interviewed before someone that's in our community with the six figure home studio.
[00:49:57] Some of this does such a good job with that. And I just, I think it's so interesting seeing behind the scenes of a business model like that and kind of hearing how it works with the YouTube stuff. And, I see six figure creative being very similar way, but how about. Niching down. Like, I can't believe he did as well as he did being as broad as he was offering all genres to all people.
[00:50:15] cause cause when you started out that way, right back in the mastering days, you did not have success with that. Did you like when you were a producer in all
[00:50:22] Chris: Well, when I, when I was a producer in all genres, no. Yeah. Like it was just, everything was a completely unique situation that I had never encountered before. And I was perpetually over. Because every project I took was a brand new, completely different experience than I never had before. And, you know, there was some systemization in there as far as like what my contract would include and stuff like that.
[00:50:46] But yeah, it, it is really, really hard to not have a brand on your side. And when I say it now I have a brand on your side until you've niched down and can say, Hey, I do ABC and D. It's impossible to have a brand to say, oh, well, you know, pretty much anything that makes noise or anything involved in releasing anything makes noise.
[00:51:08] It's impossible to market yourself as that because nobody understands what you do. Austin is so interesting because he is the exception, not the rule. He he's an incredible guy and he has been able to do incredible things because he's differently gifted. He's got a different skillset than anybody else.
[00:51:26] I know. Yeah. he's an enigma wrapped inside a puzzle, deep fried in a mystery.
[00:51:32] Brian: Have you ever put together Ikea furniture before?
[00:51:35] Chris: Yeah. Unfortunate.
[00:51:37] Brian: Okay. So there's something you said that sparked a thought and a memory and just something that's relevant is you're talking about how you're doing all things for all people, how you just feel. You could, you, you always had to kind of reset yourself and figure out what you're doing now and kind of learn this new thing.
[00:51:51] Or it's always just like this wild, wild ride. You don't know what you're actually getting in to
[00:51:55] Chris: And neither is the client.
[00:51:57] Brian: Yes, the client is. Yeah, exactly. So think about this with like Ikea furniture when you're putting together like a brand new piece of Ikea furniture. You're so damn slow putting all those pieces together because you've never done this before, but if you have, if you've ever put like five chairs together or like six of the same thing together, every single time you do one, you get faster and faster and more efficient and make less and less mistakes each and every time it's the same thing when you're doing audio services or any, any freelance service for that matter.
[00:52:22] If you're doing the same thing day in and day out. Now there's a balance between boredom and creativity and finding the balance of like what keeps you interested and engaged. But there is something to doing similar things with every client, because you're so efficient at it. You're so good at it. You make some few mistakes with it.
[00:52:37] And I think that's what Austin has kind of finally realized is that mental toll that gets taken whenever you do all these things for all these people and all the mistakes that you can make and all the balls you can drop. And just how much of the switching cost and time it takes. That was the original reason we got him on this podcast was because of that post he made.
[00:52:54] And I love that he's making that transition. And to me, it's the only way he can survive as a producer doing audio work or freelance work still while building this other amazing business, which is now his main thing at this point.
[00:53:05] Chris: Absolutely. Well, and let's have an awkward conversation here. We have this huge Facebook group. Huge ish Facebook group. That's been a part of this cast since the beginning. It's called the six-figure I'm studio. It's on Facebook.
[00:53:17] Brian: As of right now, is this actually, I'm sorry. It may be the six-figure creative in the future. Who knows?
[00:53:22] Chris: Right. And I think that's the awkward conversation we need to have here, because if we do transition that Facebook group, which is the hub of this community to the six-figure creative now would be a pretty good time to pitch.
[00:53:34] To our audience because Austin, like this conversation, this episode came directly from that community. Or it's just a bunch of people, a bunch of
[00:53:42] creatives that are trying to work for themselves and are lonely and are trying to figure it out. And they've got family members that are like good, a real job.
[00:53:50] Oh, why are you trying to work in the arts? Oh, you're going to be poor. You're going to be homeless. It's a bunch of people struggling with that. And a lot of them who are crushing it, like. And it's so encouraging to have a community of like-minded individuals that are not stuck in the same work that you are not exactly the same work as you are.
[00:54:08] So it's not just this, you know, you get into certain websites and certain industries, and it's just an echo chamber. Everyone's saying the exact same thing. And as a result, everyone's businesses have the same problem. When you're looking at other creatives, businesses, and other creatives business problems, you can start to find unique solutions to yours and you can start to differentiate more in your own marketplace.
[00:54:30] I think that's where a breadth of knowledge when it comes to the way other people are running their business, whether they're in the same niche as you or a slightly different one starts to get really valid.
[00:54:41] Brian: I think a good place to kind of end things here is going back to this stair-step thing. That Austin was talking about and his whole business model there there is a relevant video for this. That is going to be interesting to anyone for those who don't know, six-figure creative, we just launched our YouTube channel a few weeks ago.
[00:54:54] And a couple of weeks back, I posted a video that's relevant for anyone. Trying to build a mailing list or do any sort of content creation either for their side hustle or for their main freelance business. And the videos called four steps to building an email list as a freelancer, that video is on our YouTube channel.
[00:55:10] If you go to six figure creative.com/youtube, it'll just take you to our YouTube channel. You can find it within that. But I thought that was a relevant video to send people to, because it talks through that whole business model that he is doing. You can take that in a death as a freelancer as well. You don't have to be, you know, some sort of plug-in packs or selling some sort of samples or selling some, any sort of digital product.
[00:55:28] You can do this as a service-based business. That just very few people do it. Mark Eckert is a good example. We interviewed him way back in the day of how he's built his, his freelance production business. He does it through the similar model. He creates content. He builds a mailing list, and then he uses that mailing list to sell his freelance services.
[00:55:43] So go to six-figure creative.com/youtube to get in there, subscribe to the YouTube channel and find that video.
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.