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‘Modern Musician’ is evil and exploiting musicians. Knowingly.

You be the judge.

So Modern Musician invite me to a “free” webinar purporting to be useful information that I can use to increase my reach as a musician. Okay, I’ll bite. I join the webinar after they persist and nag me to make sure I’ll be there, dangling the possibility of a 1-on-1 mentorship as a carrot of incentive. Once I get onto this zoom meeting, I quickly see that it’s simply a deceptive marketing tactic. And so I call them on it, and get booted off. Fortunately, they had invited me to their discord server prior to this and since other musicians who might not be as savvy or aware of misleading or deceptive marketing strategies being used on them, I chose to echo this experience for their benefit. Once doing so, I was responded to from someone at the company.

The exchange went as follows below. Now I know that I made a statement with the title of my post here, but I’m going to let you read the dialog below which is pasted verbatim from the resulting chat, and YOU decide. My conclusion is that I won’t touch Modern Musician with a ten foot pole because I feel that they are just yet another company trying to exploit artists or wannabe artists by leveraging an impossible dream. That’s knowingly deceptive for your own benefit, and to me that fits the category of evil. However, you are welcome to make your own judgement:

Madison (Matti) Charlton
Haha, I revealed the marketing tactic that MM was using on the people in the zoom meeting and they removed me.

The tactic you're referring to is often called a "free workshop" or "webinar" funnel, and it's a marketing strategy commonly used to attract potential customers and convert them into paying clients. Here's a breakdown of how this strategy typically works:

Attractive Promotion:
Marketers advertise a "free workshop" or "webinar" on platforms like social media, email newsletters, or websites. The promotion often highlights enticing benefits or outcomes participants can expect to gain from attending.

Landing Page and Registration:
Interested individuals are directed to a dedicated landing page where they can register for the free workshop. The landing page emphasizes the value and knowledge they'll receive during the event.

Opt-in Process:
To register, participants typically have to provide their contact information, such as their email address and possibly phone number, allowing the marketer to build a database of potential leads.

Confirmation and Reminder Emails:
After registration, participants receive confirmation emails with details about the event, including the date, time, and Zoom link. Reminder emails may also be sent closer to the event date to ensure attendance.

The Workshop/Webinar:
During the workshop or webinar, the marketer provides valuable content related to the advertised topic. They aim to engage and captivate the audience while subtly introducing the product or service they intend to sell.

Limited-Time Offer:
An exclusive, time-sensitive offer is presented to attendees, encouraging them to take advantage of a special deal, discount, or bonuses related to the product or service being promoted.

Call to Action (CTA):
Participants are urged to take action immediately by clicking a link to purchase the product or service, sign up for a consultation, or engage in some form of transaction.

After the workshop, the marketing team follows up with attendees through emails or phone calls, addressing any questions or concerns and encouraging them to make a purchase.

I only made it to "The Workshop/Webinar" before they removed me from the meeting. Guess they did not like their marketing tactic laid bare in front of their victims.

Don't get sucked in to the funnel, folks.

Scott Landes — Today at 5:03 PM
Just wanted to make a quick comment on this - every business uses marketing techniques, and Modern Musician is no different.  However, there is a big difference between companies that offer zero value vs the opposite.  We took a chance with Modern Musician many years ago and knew what we were stepping into.  I did take part in a free webinar and was impressed by what they talked about and what they offered (and I'm extremely pessimistic about most music business services)  After a few zoom calls with MM staff we signed up to their Gold Artist program back in 2021 and the systems that we put in place still work for us, on a daily basis.  The amount of growth we've experienced has been insane as well - 200% year after year.

If you think about it, any advertising you are exposed to is some form of a funnel, and it is a  proven method of getting the word out about any form of business.  If you provide real value, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.  You can apply it to music, startups, grocery stores, fast food... the list is endless.  Going one step further, having the knowledge of how to implement funnels is extremely valuable for independent artists of any types - within the current economy it is a great way to establish a small business without a ton of costs (you can set up a free website, free email list, etc - I've even been able to partner up with advanced tech analytics platforms that charge > $100-200 / month for free based on the fact that we are a small business. 

Scott Landes — Today at 5:15 PM
And yes, your art / band / passion can be considered a small business - especially if you're serious about making it into a lifetime career, which I'm sure that is what a lot of people here want to do.  There are so many great tools and incredible knowledge from other business sectors just waiting for us to take advantage of to make our dreams a reality.

Could we have figured this stuff out by ourselves? Sure.  is it different for every person/artist?  Definitely.  It works for us, and we're glad we made the investment as it probably saved us literally years of time figuring this all out on our own.

Madison (Matti) Charlton — Today at 10:52 PM
Scott, your defense of Modern Musician's marketing tactics doesn't negate the fact that the 'free workshop' or 'webinar' funnel can be manipulative and misleading. It's not about whether businesses use marketing strategies—it's about ethics and honesty.

Sure, every business employs marketing techniques, but not every business uses them ethically. The problem lies in the deliberate deception involved in promising a 'free' event, only to bombard attendees with sales pitches during the workshop.

Transparency and honesty are vital in marketing. If Modern Musician truly offers valuable services, why not be straightforward about it from the beginning? Why hide behind the facade of a 'free' event, leading artists to believe it's purely educational?

Exploiting artists under the guise of helping them grow is despicable. It preys on the dreams and aspirations of struggling artists who are desperately seeking genuine guidance. The 'end justifies the means' mindset in marketing is a toxic attitude, and it's harmful to the very community you claim to support.

Let's advocate for fair, transparent, and ethical marketing practices that genuinely benefit artists without resorting to deceptive tactics. Artists deserve better than to be pawns in a manipulative sales game. 

Madison (Matti) Charlton — Today at 11:01 PM
The evidence overwhelmingly points to the impossibility of obtaining a meaningful return on investment (ROI) in the realm of music services aimed at musicians. The music industry is entrenched in an insurmountable level of saturation, continuously compounded by an influx of new artists and content.

Digital platforms and affordable recording technologies have democratized music production and distribution, but they have also contributed to an overwhelming oversupply of music across various platforms. The proliferation of content has diluted the value of individual offerings, making it almost unattainable for musicians to garner significant returns from their musical endeavors.

Even though streaming platforms have become a prevalent means of music consumption, the revenue generated per stream is negligible. The sheer volume of music available on these platforms has made it nearly impossible for musicians to derive substantial income through conventional streaming models.

The DIY culture, propelled by the ease of access to recording equipment and online resources, has led to an inundation of independent artists in the market. This oversaturation amplifies competition, making it exceptionally difficult for emerging artists to break through and attain profitability.

Live music performances, traditionally a crucial revenue stream, have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The resultant scarcity of gig opportunities has heightened competition among musicians, exacerbating the challenges of making a living through their craft.

Moreover, the evolving landscape has witnessed a shift in consumer behavior, with musicians themselves becoming a significant consumer base for services aimed at enhancing their own careers. This shift not only underscores the challenges presented by a market filled with musicians seeking support but also highlights the unrealistic expectations surrounding ROI in this saturated market.

Prominent industry experts and reputable publications consistently emphasize the futility of pursuing substantial ROI in this saturated market, reiterating the implausibility of achieving meaningful returns in the current music services sector targeting musicians.

In unequivocal terms, the evidence substantiates the claim that securing a satisfactory return on investment within the music services sector, specifically tailored to musicians, has transitioned from being extremely difficult to outright impossible. The market saturation, evolving revenue models, and the burgeoning population of musicians have collectively rendered the traditional approaches to achieving ROI entirely unviable. Any hope of navigating this landscape profitably now necessitates innovative strategies and diversified revenue streams that transcend the conventional confines of music services.

Feel free to present any independent and unbiased metrics, data, or concrete proof that contradicts the assertion of the insurmountable challenge of obtaining a meaningful return on investment (ROI) within the music services sector, specifically targeted at musicians, in the current saturated market.

Scott Landes — Today at 11:30 PM
Hey there! I appreciate the amount of research you put into your argument and can tell you have done a lot of due diligence.  As an artist I’ve  been manipulated and taken advantage of a countless amount of times.. I’m currently out on tour right now so don’t have much time nor energy to get into a full argument with you.  With that said, all I can say is that we had a great experience… but I feel that for anything especially for artists, your mileage may vary and what works for one person may not work for another.  But I can definitely vouch for Modern Musician.

Madison (Matti) Charlton — Today at 11:45 PM
Your response, Scott, adeptly skirts around the core issue at hand. By leaning on your busy touring schedule, you successfully evade addressing the fundamental concerns regarding Modern Musician's ethical and effective practices.

1. Shallow Recognition with No Substance:
While you briefly acknowledge the effort invested in presenting the argument, your response fails to dig deep into the critical issues, providing no substantial insights.

2. Excessive Reliance on Personal Anecdote:
Your disproportionate emphasis on your positive personal experience with Modern Musician redirects the focus toward individual encounters, deliberately averting a broader exploration of the service's overall ethical standing.

3. Selective Use of the "Variation" Card:
While it's accurate that experiences may vary from person to person, your repetitive reference to this fact conveniently shifts the conversation away from addressing the overarching ethical concerns pertinent to Modern Musician's practices.

4. Strategic Invoking of Time Constraints:
Leaning heavily on your busy touring schedule and associated limitations, you deftly sidestep a more comprehensive discussion. This tactical evasion effectively sidelines the necessity for a rigorous exploration of the ethical dimensions of Modern Musician.

Your response falls short in acknowledging a critical truth: Modern Musician should not rely on a false narrative of a "free" webinar and deceptive promises of valuable teachings that are ultimately dependent on paid tools. If the value truly exists, why resort to such deceptive tactics? Can you, at the very least, acknowledge the manipulative approach Modern Musician employed to drive conversions?

At this point I was banned. So don’t trust Modern Musician for anything: from the background graphic of the huge crowd of people at a concert, to their deceptive marketing tactics, this company knows that they are selling an impossible dream. They don’t have the integrity to admit their deceptive marketing tactics. And if you confront them about it, they avoid discussing the issue or outright censor you.

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