Shasti Velan

Music Producer and Mix Engineer.

URL: vessail.com

Shasti Is a producer, songwriter, full-stack developer and mixing & mastering engineer from Singapore. 

Business Summary

Business model: Audio Production

No. of employees: 1

Location independence: Yes

How much time spent working: 8-10 hr/day

Revenue:  5k/month

Based on passion: Yes, Music

Background:

  • Hobby
  • Passion
  • Location-independent entrepreneur

Related Topics:

  • Music
  • Photography
  • Audio Production

Passionate musician
turned hobby into 5k/month business

Tell us a little about yourself and what you’re working on right now?

My name is Shasti, I’m 25 this year and I’ve been running an audio production business for the last 3 years. 

I’ve worked in multiple industries, waiter, office administration, telecommunications, you name it …  I knew that the 9-5 life isn’t for me. It was just too routine, I felt that I could find more enjoyment and make more money doing what I truly enjoy. Music has always been my passion and through persistence and a bit of luck, I turned it into a business avenue. 

I’m currently focused on scaling my business. I started advertising on various social media platforms this year, and in the works of revamping my site with the main aim of reaching more people and turning them into my audience.

What’s your back story and how you got into this space?​

My story started back when I was 13. I was a huge fan of anime, and one of Naruto’s soundtrack actually inspired me to pick up the piano. It wasn’t until a couple of years into playing the piano that I realized that I truly wanted to make music. Then, I started tampering around with mashups which were huge back in 2012. I was basically taking bits and pieces of various songs and mixing them up. I was also posting frequently on youtube. The highest views I got were 130k on one of the videos before it was taken down due to copyright. 

After that, I moved on from that space and started creating beats from scratch. It was pure passion initially, I didn’t really see it as a possible business avenue. Until I shared my work with my friends, who shared with more of their friends. People started asking me to produce music for them and were willing to pay me. That’s when the idea connected in my mind that I could monetize my passion. 

What makes your business unique or different from the rest?​

I’d say that I emphasize heavily on providing high-quality end products and services at a very affordable price. The main reason I could do this is because of the low overhead cost, I work from the comfort of my own home and have all the equipment I need. I’m a one-man company and the only recurring cost is for running ads. 

By providing really good service and product, my clients are able to see that they are getting more value out of what they paid for. This encourages them to keep coming back and recommending me to their friends. 

The other point is also transparency, I let my clients know exactly what I use in their audios and will even send them files if they want it.

What were some of the greatest challenges you struggled with? And how did you overcome it? ​

Everything aligned for me, I wasn’t cut out for the 9-5 life and wanted something more out of life. At the same time, my audio production “hobby” started taking off, so i decided to focus on it and was very determined to turn it into something sustainable long term. 

I want to build a community that I know that I can rely on in return for providing value such as sharing of music tips and tricks. I’m currently building out an email list, nurturing the relationship, and turning them into a steady pool of leads.

What made this an easy source of revenue for you? What motivated you ​

I knew that people needed and wanted my service, but I had no idea how to find my ideal clients. I didn’t have a digital presence and struggled with branding, I simply didn’t exist and people cannot find me, despite having the skills to add value. I had a problem which is not knowing anything about marketing. I spent a lot of time researching, learning, and implementing what I learned.

I had success in building awareness by ranking with Instagram Hashtags so that my ideal clients can find me. The hashtags also let me filter and find leads where I would reach out to. 

My approach towards direct message outreach is more of a person to person take rather than asking for the business right away.  For example:  giving a personalized compliment to their work.

This approach tends to be more genuine as I could add value and build rapport with the prospective leads before pitching my services. I get about 20 – 30% client conversion rate using this method. 

The downside is that its very time consuming, the more time spent on prospecting means less time for service delivery and client management.

How many hours do you spend per day working on your business? How did you make your day more productive? ​

I knew that people needed and wanted my service, but I had no idea how to find my ideal clients. I didn’t have a digital presence and struggled with branding, I simply didn’t exist and people cannot find me, despite having the skills to add value. I had a problem which is not knowing anything about marketing. I spent a lot of time researching, learning, and implementing what I learned.

I had success in building awareness by ranking with Instagram Hashtags so that my ideal clients can find me. The hashtags also let me filter and find leads where I would reach out to. 

My approach towards direct message outreach is more of a person to person take rather than asking for the business right away.  For example:  giving a personalized compliment to their work.

This approach tends to be more genuine as I could add value and build rapport with the prospective leads before pitching my services. I get about 20 – 30% client conversion rate using this method. 

The downside is that its very time consuming, the more time spent on prospecting means less time for service delivery and client management.

What would your advice be for someone who’s just starting out?

Find your own sounds, imitate people, and develop your own style and start to monetize it. Share your work with others.

Learn how to generate organic traffic through basic SEO, KW research, and KW ranking before launching your site. Paid traffic sources like Facebook, Google, and Youtube are fantastic for generating leads and building an audience. In the audio industry, there’s no actual product to market, you’re marketing yourself so your branding matters a lot more.

What were some of the mistakes you made? ​

When I figured out that I could directly message someone, I was too eager and started selling immediately which scared many of my prospective clients away. It hurt my revenue and reputation. You have to provide some value before selling your service. 

Another mistake is that I didn’t start running my own ads sooner. I only picked up advertising and copywriting this year despite being in business for 3 years. This mistake slowed down my business growth.

Client retention was very good because people see the value in what I do. I only lost a small percentage of clients during the COVID-19 period.

If you could go back in time, what would you do differently?​

Arm myself with the necessary marketing skills. Purchase courses and mentorship to shortened my learning curve so that I can focus on growing the business.

What is your biggest takeaway from starting the business?​

That you can technically monetize anything online. I’ve seen people made money just by streaming themselves eating – social eating. Money is everywhere, its how you see it, attention is the new form of currency.

Resources & Mentions:

Things we have talked about above, or recommended by interviewee.

  • Napoleon hill - Outwitting the devil - Most people have a tendency to self sabotage their own success. This book taught me how to work through my problems. 

🔥🔥Check out his latest single – Top Down 🔥🔥

Shasti’s take on Rick & Morty’s human music

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