ISM 043: Building a Massively Successful Online Business Through Social & Online Media with World Famous Drummer Mike Johnston - Rick Mulready

rick mulready

ISM 043: Building a Massively Successful Online Business Through Social & Online Media with World Famous Drummer Mike Johnston

February 2, 2014

1078350_10151786331466117_1561260359_nIn this episode of the Inside Social Media Podcast, I talk with world famous drummer Mike Johnston. We discuss how he went from a major record label and touring with some of the biggest bands in the world to using social and online media to build a massively successful online business teaching drum lessons to thousands every month.

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More About This Show

If you’ve ever wondered how to use online and social media to scale an in-person business to reach tens of thousands of more people, you’re going to love this episode.

Heck, even if you’ve never thought about it you’re going to love this show because Mike Johnston has an amazing and inspirational story.

Mike’s a world famous drummer who had a major record label contract and toured for years with some of the biggest bands in the world. While touring though, he realized his true passion wasn’t playing in front of 125,000 people every night. Rather, he wanted to spend his time teaching others how to drum.

He left the record label and all the glitz and glamour that comes with touring around the world to build a massive online platform where he teaches drums to thousands of people every month.

And he did it by using the social media tools we all have available to us.

He’s built…

  • A YouTube channel with over 70k subscribers
  • where he sells things like video drum lessons
  • A monthly subscription service where he does live streaming lessons
  • A brick and mortar store where he holds drum camps and has a full video recording studio
  • A line of best selling signature drum sticks and cymbals that social media has played a huge part in

On today’s show we get into Mike’s story and how he used the Internet and social media to build his massively successful online business.

You’ll learn things like:

  • Mike’s philosophy on modeling companies for his own business.
  • Mike’s unique perspective on the different social media platforms out there, why he uses them the way he does and why honestly, you should be looking at them the same way.
  • You’ll learn how Mike started using YouTube back when it first came out, back when he still had to spell out the YouTube URL.
  • And finally, you’ll learn Mike’s best piece of advice for using social media to grow your business. I’ll give you a hint, this is something any one of us can be doing.

Episode Resources

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Insider Show Notes: How to Scale Online Success with Drummer Mike Johnston

On finding inspiration…

  • It’s important to not just look at your competitors, but to find inspiration through the big players in other industries.
  • Big brands have the resources to try many different strategies, so learn from what works through them.
  • Breakthroughs occur through applying big brand strategies to your small business.

On choosing happiness over money…

  • Find your financial bottom line and work towards that by doing what you love.
  • Look at the big picture of your passion and find other avenues to make a living off of it.

On getting the most out of social media platforms…

  • Realize that each platform is a problem solver for your business.
  • Don’t be overly concerned about platforms being oversaturated.
  • If you find a certain platform exciting and stimulating, chances are so will your audience.
  • Make accounts on everything to be prepared for a platforms popularity boom.
  • Build a real understanding of each platform so you know how each one is most effectively used.

On knowing what to put up and where…

  • Define clear ideas of what content you put up on what platform and stick to it.
  • It’s important to put some personal and behind the scenes content to keep your audience engaged.
  • Create content you wish your idols would make.

On transitioning from creating popular content to building an actual business…

  • Take the time to build trust between you and your audience.
  • Wait until you’ve built a solid social media following before taking the leap to a paid service.
  • Maintain a level of free content through social media while keeping your best output for your paid model.
  • Be sure to provide real value and share your expertise to paying customers.

On pricing models for educational content…

  • Keep your pricing structure familiar by borrowing ideas from what the big brands are doing.
  • Pick your pricing levels based on what you would see as great value as a consumer.
  • By starting low you can justify scaling up by reinvesting early profits in to what you’re doing.


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