Jack Cronin is a UK based music producer and graphic designer. He got into music around 2016 and eventually, started a YouTube channel, which became successful fairly quickly. In 2017, he started selling his sound kits on Sellfy. This consequently allowed him to leave his 9-5 jobs and focus on creating music. Now, he has over 32K subscribers on one of his YouTube channels and he aspires to build a production house one day. Here, he shares his story, favourite aspects of Sellfy, and tips for success for creators who wish to create an online business similar to his.
Tell us about yourself and how you built your brand.
Online, I’m known as ProdbyJack. I’m a music producer and a YouTuber. I do graphic design as well on the side, such as cover art for my products.
I started off making music production tutorials and built my brand from there. Once I’d established a following on YouTube and Instagram, I figured that I need an income to keep it going since YouTube Ad revenue isn’t enough to live off until you start gaining more subscribers.
Many people were selling sound kits at the time, so I joined the bandwagon and created a Sellfy account, and started uploading kits. And then, almost within a few months, it was making more than my YouTube was.
How did you get into music?
I’ve always been really creative and I started getting interested in music in 2016. I didn’t come from a musical background, but I was passionate about it. I started a YouTube channel that promoted other people’s music. Quickly, the YouTube channel got shut down.
Then, I learned how to DJ from a friend’s dad and did some DJing for a while, but then dropped it because it wasn’t a good fit for me. Then, a YouTuber friend of mine said that I should make my own music. He showed me all the software I needed and taught me how to use it.
Eventually, I went to college and did music as well as media production and graphic design. Graphic design has helped me a lot as I’m now able to do thumbnails and cover art. And, the media production is where I learned to use Premier Pro, which is where I edit my videos.
And then, at the beginning of 2018, I decided to start a YouTube channel. I had been posting a few beats online, but they didn’t really get any views. So, I decided to post actual videos using an entry-level DSLR Canon camera. And then I just kept going. People took a liking to me fairly early on. I was getting thousands of views within the first few weeks and I was amazed by it.
How did you hear about Sellfy and what made you stick with our platform?
I’ve been using Sellfy since 2017. It was recommended to me and because it was so simple to use, there was no reason for me to look for something else.
It’s very easy to upload a sample here. I can also see how my products are performing and all the sales and who bought them. It’s a lot harder to find that information in other places. I have even bought a few things from other Sellfy sellers because it’s just so easy to buy something on Sellfy.
What did you do before you signed up for Sellfy?
Before I started selling sound kits on Sellfy, I was working a normal 9–5 job in a clothes shop. I also worked in a restaurant and at a building site. None of them lasted long because it just wasn’t meant to be for me. So, as soon as the kit selling took off for me in late 2018, I quit my full-time job.
How has Sellfy impacted your business and life so far?
With Sellfy, I was able to go from being a hobbyist to having my own business. Sellfy was a huge chunk of my income—about 75%. It really changed my life.
Recently, it became a less significant part of my income because I started using ClickFunnels and Active Campaign more. A friend of mine recommended it to me. So, I tried it and, despite how expensive it is, I still use it today. A lot of work goes into making a funnel for my big releases. And then, after a month or two of pushing the funnel, I’ll put the product on Sellfy, and it works really well.
What are your favourite Sellfy features?
It’s definitely the in-built marketing features. Coupons and discount codes that let you set expiration dates are brilliant—and you can see how many people have redeemed it.
(See below how Sellfy’s Discount feature looks like from within.
You’ve mentioned selling sound kits. What else do you sell on Sellfy?
Aside from selling sound kits, I’ve also collaborated with one of my friends who’s a professional audio engineer. We released my first mixing and mastering ebook last year, which is about mastering your music to the point where it’s like industry quality.
I’ve done a few successful bundles as well, like kits that are already released. We put them together, lower the price a bit, and put in some bonuses.
And then we did a graphic design bundle of a little preset pack for different pictures, fonts, and images that I use. Plus, some thumbnail templates for YouTube and Instagram.
How do you get from an idea to an uploaded product on your Sellfy store?
First, I decide on what sound I’m going to make, e.g. a drum kit. Once I’ve done that, I’ll collaborate with someone and create the sounds in the software, and then come up with a theme or name for it. For example, one of my most popular kits was called “Psycho” because I wanted to make a crazy drum kit with experimental sounds and weird cover art.
So, we create the sounds, put them in the kit, and I upload them to Sellfy straight away. We’ll also make sure we have a preview of the product so it’s easy for people to understand what they can make with it. And then I’ll also post a few videos of me using it before it comes out.
How do you promote your products?
I promote products through my YouTube videos. I’ve noticed that sales quickly start to drop when I don’t upload. So, if I keep uploading content and using my products in videos, it gets people wanting to buy them on my Sellfy store.
The quality of what I’ve been releasing over the years has also been increasing to the point where I’ve built a reputation—my customers know what they’re getting. So, when they see my products being used in a video, they want to check them out and click the store link in the video description.
And then, in a lot of my videos at the store, I’ll have a 20-second animation about my sound kit. It’s like a little promo. Sometimes, I’ll also add an eye-catching video introduction about the kit. But, I guess they’re already sold before they even get on Sellfy—it’s a very simple product and it does exactly what it says it’s going to do.
What’s your overall approach to marketing?
A lot of my growth over the years has been very organic. I’ve never paid for advertising before. But, it’s something I want to get into through YouTube, Google, and Facebook Ads.
So far, I’ve relied on either word-of-mouth marketing or people coming across my YouTube channel. But, the more videos I post and the longer they’ve been out on YouTube, the more it’s like a rolling advertisement.
I’ve also done collaborations with a few people who have similar YouTube channels to mine, so I’ve gathered subscribers from that.
What tips would you give to other creators who want to build a similar business?
Firstly, start by building a client base. That’s what all businesses seek out. And the easiest way to do that is by making good products.
Secondly, don’t be scared to post stuff for free. That’s the easiest way to build up email lists. If you have an idea for what you want to do and you know where to send it, you’ll easily gather hundreds of emails. Personally, I’ve gained thousands of emails from just posting free stuff over the years.
Then, you can start building a business from there. Later on, you can start pushing actual products that cost money and get some sales. I guess one of my biggest mistakes was pricing products too high. The product took me ages to make, so I expected to see some good return on it. I posted it at a top-level price and it wouldn’t do well. I wish I hadn’t done that.
But, thanks to Sellfy, I was able to fix that:
When I used Sellfy’s sale feature to make a product half-priced for the weekend, the sales instantly exploded. So, even if you make a few rookie mistakes, there are features set up to help you avoid them.
Another one is to get some good cover art. If you’re not good at graphic design, you should find a designer because the first thing people will see is either a picture or a video. If it looks amateur, then you’re going to lose clients straight away. So, don’t skip out on the cover art of whatever it is you’re selling.
What are your future goals?
I would love to be at the top of the game in terms of our market and what we sell. I think my products are very much up there, but to compete with the best of the best we need to up the quality a bit more. And then keep learning about the market, and release bigger and better products. I want to see the brand grow even more, especially on YouTube.
Maybe in the future, we could bring in more people and build a production house. I’ve seen places that have a production library in-house—people come in, record instruments and sounds, and then they’ll accumulate everything and put it out.
That’s what I’d love to do—to just create a whole production room in the future. That’d be amazing.