What It's About
A German DJ lays down beats and picks up a check for an extra $1,000/month.
Words of Wisdom
Tobias said something interesting when we were talking with him: “While it often makes sense to listen to your customers, sometimes they don’t even know what they want until you give it to them.”
Wise words indeed!
One of Tobias’s old side hustles was selling “mix DVDs.” Yes, you heard that right. It was like a mixtape but all videos.
Notes from Chris
Episode 642As a teenager growing up in Germany, Tobias Laemmle used to listen to a radio show called “Battle of the DJs.” Every Friday night they had a contest between three mixes from three different DJs and listeners could call in to vote for their favorite one. Finally, Tobias decided that he didn’t just want to be a listener. It was time for him to make his own killer playlist. However, at the age of 17, he had no equipment or money to buy much equipment. But… he did have a double cassette tape deck at home. [For our young listeners: the double cassette tape deck was invented by the Egyptians, last used in the Middle Ages before these other things called CDs came out.] So, for a few months, Tobias worked and worked to create a mix using this ancient technology. When it was finally finished, he sent it into the “Battle of the DJs.” Not only was he accepted onto the show… but he won! He was elated. Three years later, he was in university. It was there that his DJ skills developed even further. He also began to get paid, building playlists and spinning tracks to make some extra cash so he could pay for school. He then kept DJ’ing after graduating, while working a day job as a software architect and doing some freelance coding for another side gig. After a while, Tobias had been DJ’ing for over a decade and was well known in the industry. He had 14,000 followers on social media, many of whom were aspiring DJs. So one day, he decided to ask them what their number one problem as a DJ was. Almost every single one of them said that it was getting booked for gigs. So, ever the self-starter, Tobias made an online course about booking more gigs … and it was wildly successful, to the point where Tobias is now a multi-millionaire! Just kidding—it totally flopped. Like absolutely, completely flopped. Tobias was shaken. For his next attempt, he decided to simplify. What was the easiest thing he could offer that people would value? Around this time, he noticed that almost all of his friends who were getting married asked him for his wedding playlists to get their wedding DJ inspired. What if he were to start selling those playlists? He could make a little something for himself while making one of the most important days of a person’s life that much more magical. But there was a problem. Selling playlists was a big issue in the DJ community… and not in a good way. Playlists THEMSELVES were controversial—many people thought that real DJs didn’t need one. To sell them would surely put Tobias under fire, and likely decrease his popularity in the community. He knew he was on to something when he found a third way. A lot of DJs wanted to know how to get people moving at weddings. Some had trouble recovering the party vibe after a slow song and others didn’t know how to get both the bachelors and grandma on the dance floor. Tobias’s playlist served as inspiration. Because he did something a little different and paid attention to what people were actually purchasing—rather than what they said they’d buy—he’s now rolling in an extra $1,000 a month. This side hustle had zero start-up costs. He already had many playlists, twenty years of experience, and a website to sell them on. Once he grouped enough of them together, he could just let it sell… over and over.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- DJ TOBANDER: If today's episode left you grooving to the music, learn more about Tobias and his side hustle over on his website!
- Turn It Up to 11! Musical Mash-Ups Provide Passive Income for New York DJ: This New York DJ wants to rock and roll all night... and party every day. After he mixes recordings from classic rock and roll songs, he sells the packaged shows to international music markets
- Marketer by Day, DJ by Night Brings in Extra $30,000/Year: She had worked in the music industry, but she had never performed—until she discovered a hidden talent that pays $200/hour
- Music Therapist Writes Custom Lullabies For Restless Children: After leaving her day job to care for a new child, a music therapist also creates a new source of income
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