Building a Business Part 6: The Real BeginningBy Dana Fox
Myspace. Anyone who remembers how trendy Myspace was years ago knows that it was the place you had to be. Everybody had a Myspace page and thousands of friends. I loved it especially because you could completely transform your profile if you knew how to properly. My profiles were always completely customized and people started to take notice.
While we were booking bands for shows, one of my band buddies asked me if I would design their page for them. I hadn’t tried to customize a band page before, since they were coded differently than the regular personal profiles… but I said I would give it a shot.
I spent hours… weeks… months perfecting a code that would work properly on Myspace band profiles. This is sometimes what happens when someone gives me a challenge… I cannot get it out of my mind and always want to take it to the next level! My idea was to completely overhaul the typical profile so that it looked nothing like a Myspace page, but more like a branded website. Nobody had done anything like this at the time. I was filled to the brim with the desire to make this idea work and stopped at nothing to finish it. The wheels would not stop spinning in my head for months, and one winter day in 2006, I finally completed my creation. An interchangeable, customizable Myspace code for band profiles.
I launched the first design with my newly created coding on my friend’s band’s profile and it was a hit. Because of that profile, some other affiliated bands started inquiring about my abilities. I offered to do a couple of them free of charge in order to build up my own portfolio so that I could turn this new idea into a little business. I started creating a website where I offered my Myspace customizing expertise for bands and needed some work to showcase, so in the beginning it was necessary to work “pro bono”.
After I had a couple of designs knocked off, I opened up my virtual doors. I was nervous because I wasn’t sure if it would all be a huge waste of time or not. The only traffic I would get would be from my little link placed at the bottom of those customized profiles, so I needed to come up with other ways to promote myself and my new business.
I got some promotional materials made, like 1 inch buttons and things, and handed those out at our events we would organize. Thankfully, I had already partly squeezed my little foot into the doors of the music industry, so there were lots of bands I knew that I could promote to directly. It worked most of the time, because once they laid their eyes on what I was able to do to their boring old Myspace profiles, they were sold. Bands want to stand out, period. I knew this and I tempted them with the opportunity to do so. Like a bait on a hook.
I was still working at my retail job selling lingerie and working on artist promotion stuff on the weekends. There came a point when I just knew it was all too much. I had high hopes for this new Myspace idea, and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to take that business where I wanted it to go if I had to work a retail job at the same time. I had a few Myspace clients, and some other web design clients… and though it was nothing to quit my job over, I quit my job over it anyways. My dedication would pay off and I was sure of it. I just couldn’t dedicate 100% of my time to it with something holding me back. I put in my 2 week notice and said goodbye to years of working with some of the best girls.
Quitting was scary, but not as scary as what I imagine my life to be like if I hadn’t quit. I had confidence that everything would work out, and I knew that this idea was huge. Leaving that job gave me all of the time and energy I needed to take this business to the next level…. and you best believe it went to the next level…. ten fold.
Stay tuned for part 7!
How are you liking this series so far? It’s hard to recall certain things sometimes but once I get there, the memories just keep flowing!
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