How to Monetize Your Passion.
Saxophones Will Change The World.
I’m not totally sure how, but I’m, sure they will.
My goal of documenting and sharing my Side Hustle journeys here at MatthewsBack.com includes both my online and offline endeavours.
My theory is that if I share what I’m doing – my successes and not so successes and thus how to monetize your passion – then you, dear reader might be a step ahead of the game when you kick off your adventure.
For those of you who don’t know me, I (half) joke about being a rock star when I grow up.
I have played a musical instrument of one kind or another for more than 42 years. I have some vague keyboard skills as well as some minor and crude guitar ability. I have been known to front various bands with my vocal warbling’s.
However my main musical ability is that I am quite proficient in the dark arts of the saxophone.
In fact, it is now starting to be a little embarrassing to admit that I’ve been playing my saxophone for more than 30 years.
It is safe to say that playing music is my passion.
With that in mind, when I was lying on the floor brainstorming side hustle ideas, it didn’t take too long for me to realise that there were plenty of saxophonistic opportunities available to me.
My sax has provided me with an income – albeit a small and sporadic one – over several decades.
But now that I think about it, this was more by accident than by design.
So, the challenge therefore is now and how to make my saxophone and my music provide a deliberate, consistent income.
I have made the effort to monetize my passion on purpose.
It turns out that this is actually relatively easy.
Please let me clarify this by suggesting that while there are many possible options, none of them are likely to be quick. Suddenly earning upwards of $100k tomorrow with my saxophone is, like most side hustles, totally unrealistic.
While trying to learn about earning a little bit of extra cash on the side, away from my day job, I discovered several fantastic podcasts giving excellent advice on this very topic. Two similarly named podcasts in particular have been a source of several ideas for me – Side Hustle Nation and Side Hustle School.
Both of these podcasts feature guests and stories of how others have used their passions for inspiration – and then turned these passions into a source of income.
These two podcasts are full of ideas for how to monetize your passion.
So, by expanding and adapting some of the ideas in these podcasts, I have taken a few small steps towards using my passion – in particular my saxophone – as a catalyst for some extra $$$ on the side.
First and foremost, I have started providing saxophone lessons to beginners.
I enjoy playing my musical instrument; I enjoy teaching, so my simple logic was to share my love of music and playing sax with others. By providing a slight twist and a simple differentiation, I have managed to pick up 5 students ranging in age from 9 to 59 years old.
I try to have a giggle and a laugh with my students (as well their parents if they are accompanying their child during the lesson).
I try to get everyone to relax and enjoy making music.
I dismiss many mistakes/squeeks/wrong notes as being “jazz”, while gently suggesting that we try it again, once more with feeling.
I try to keep away from “the book” for at least half the lesson and do some playing by ear such as simple “call and response”.
With the younger kids we spend the last two minutes praticing our rock star poses while wearing sunglasses.
I ask a lot of questions, particularly around what is their favourite music / musician.
I try to find a simple song, or I simplify a song by their favourite artist – Ed Sheeran songs are popular with the teenage girls, Blues or 60’s or 70’s classicis are popular with the adult males – can we learn their favourite song together ?
I write the notes in letter form to make it easier to qickly read, rather than concentrating so much on musical notation in “the book”.
I try to give a quick win for each lesson.
People pay to have their problems solved. They pay for quick wins. This is a big clue for you to monetize your passion.
So, in my case, can I teach the chorus of their favourite song to them in a lesson or two ? Or, if not “this chorus from this song”, maybe “that chorus from that song” is easier ?
I am not suggesting that this is the only way to teach music, or to teach your passion, whatever that may be.
I bought a domain name a couple of years ago – HowToPlayTheSax.com – not really knowing what for at the time. Fast forward to now, this has come in handy.
In regards to your passion, is the domain name in the form of “HowTo<insert passion here>.com” available ?
If it is, then perhaps you should buy it. You don’t need to use it immediately, but having it ready and waiting for you makes things much easier.
I created a couple of simple pages and posts, using a wordpress blog that I linked to my domain name. This only took about an hour.
You can easily do this to monetize your passion.
I created a free listing offering my services as being available in the suburb where I live and the three immediately surrounding suburbs.
By making sure I had my main keywords – “saxophone lessons” – plus the suburb names mentioned a couple of times, I ensured that Google gave me a little love.
I made sure I did this in both my website and in my free listings on the local music teachers’ directory website.
What are the keywords for your passion ?
Finding suitable keywords by thinking how a potential customer might search for you will go a long way towards helping you to monetize your passion.
How can you turn your passion into a side hustle income ?
Can you teach it, show it, help others do it, sell your results of it ?
Expanding on the one-on-one saxophone lessons, where I am trading my time for dollars, I have started created an online video training course for beginner saxophonists.
This has taken some time to complete, but with a bit of effort and a sprinkle of pixie dust, it will take the form of doing the work once yet might just pay me back over and over again.
My aim here is to earn an ongoing passive income. Time will tell how this pans out.
My saxophone has spawned a couple of other ideas that will be the subject of future blog posts….. as well as starting my own saxophone t shirt business.
Is there anything that saxophones can’t do ?!?
Can you create a simple training course to show others how to do it ?
Can you print your passion onto a tshirt, or a mug, or a hoodie ?
Can you solve a problem that relates to your passion ?
Can you write a book about your passion ?
Please let me know in the comments below – What are you going to do, what steps are you going to take, in order to monetise your passion ?