Hey, I’m Daniel Grimmett.
I’m a business consultant that works with music producers, studios, and audio professionals who are extremely talented at what they do, but struggle with the business side. I help my clients land more projects (with consistency), attract better clients, increase their value, launch new businesses, build a name brand, and leverage their platform for bigger opportunities. Basically, if something is broken in their business or they just aren’t where they want to be yet… I step in and help. A few years ago I started mentoring up-and-coming producers privately. I got some proof of concept so at the start of 2018 I designed and launched a consulting program called Dark Label.
So, how did I get here?
In 2012 I left the corporate world, moved to Los Angeles, and started a music production team (SXTM Music). I got obsessed with trying to figure out how to break down the geographical barriers and make it possible for anyone, anywhere to have access to a truly professional music production experience with a full creative team. This may not sound like anything new, but at the time the only stuff online was beat leasing and demo companies. There was a big gap in the market. I took the knowledge I had learned from the corporate world and got really good at leveraging the internet to land clients.
It ended up working out well.
Before we knew it we had completed over 800 projects for 600 clients in 25+ countries around the world. We got to produce a Billboard charting record, had our songs on television, created custom-music for everyone from notable YouTubers to Fortune 500 brands, helped hundreds of indie artists launch and grow their career, and used our platform to create other businesses like Anthemize and Make Pop Music.
… And we were able to do all of that in a relatively short amount of time (about 5 years).
But, my favorite part was being able to provide jobs and projects to other audio professionals and help them support themselves, their goals, and their families.
What people get wrong about me.
Some of you reading this are here because you’re unsure about what I do, are highly skeptical, or are just doing your due diligence. I completely get that most of us have a certain gut-feeling whenever anyone shows up on the internet talking about making money in the music business, especially when they are making big claims. I’ve been called every name in the book (and that’s no big deal) but I do want to clear the air so that you know what I’m actually about.
I’m not a consultant because I couldn’t “make it as a producer”.
I came from the business world and got into the music industry to start a production business, not to become the next ‘big thing’. Although most would consider me a totally capable music producer, I always knew that the business side was where I excelled and what I enjoyed the most. Being able to employ other producers got me way more hyped than doing the projects myself.
I’m not a consultant because I needed to make more money.
My production company is still in business to this day and continues to serve clients and provide jobs. The cool thing is that it covers my living expenses which allows me to really build this consulting company right and not have to make desperate moves for a quick money grab.
I don’t sell courses but I’m not against them.
All I care about is having the highest success rate compared to anything else on the market (and I haven’t been able to accomplish that with a course). I’ve painstakingly tested different methods and combinations to see what recipe creates the highest success rate and that’s what I stick to. A big part of that recipe is not working with everyone and only working with those that I have personally connected with, fully understand their business/goals, and am 100% confident I can help. Also, environment plays a huge role in my client’s success so I want to make sure that everyone in that environment has earned their seat and not just “paid to be there”. That’s why I have this application process. Is this the most scalable way to do business? Probably not, but it does yield the best results so at the moment that’s my focus. Will I ever do a course? Maybe. But for now I just have one focus.
I don’t just tell producers to launch a sample pack, or tutorials, or do a million different things.
Some people think this is what I do because they see a few of my most notable clients involved in various projects. This is just an assumption. If someone wants to make that a part of their business – cool. I can help with that as long as they have good reasons for doing it. But, the actual truth is that most of my clients do not.
I don’t tell producers to fake it until they make it.
But I do help them level up both in their personal lives and in their business life. If you see a shift in one of my clients, it isn’t because they are faking it (I’m not cool with that). It’s because they now show up in the world more confident, delivering more value, serving clients to a higher standard, and finally have their shit together.
My clients don’t copy my approach to marketing myself.
I hear this one a lot… “Dan, I see your marketing but I wouldn’t want to do things that way.” There are a lot of differences between how I market a consulting business and a production business. Assuming that my clients copy-cat me would be well… Just another assumption 🙂
I don’t believe that my way is the only way or that it’s always the best way for you.
I’ll be the first one to admit that I’ve had a really different and fortunate experience in the music industry. I also understand that I am in my own little bubble. Despite it being a good bubble, I still see it as a disadvantage sometimes. I don’t want to just know what I already know or only do things the way I’ve always done them. That wouldn’t serve my clients. I spend a lot of time getting feedback from everyone including the youngins’ who help me keep a pulse on what’s going on as well as industry veterans who keep me aware of how things are working and changing in the major label world so that I don’t recommend anything now that would potentially compromise my client’s success in the future.
What my long-term game is.
As I’ve mentioned a few times above, my absolute main focus is on results and creating as many success stories as possible. And although a lot of my clients get some “quick wins”, most of these success stories will be more fully realized over time. I look at the clients that I started consulting 3-4 years ago and it’s been incredible to see where they are at now… A full bank account, a great reputation, and starting to land their first major clients. It’ll be even more incredible to see where they are at 3, 5, 10 years from now.
Over the next 24 to 48 months I am solely focused on becoming “the go to guy” for business development in the professional audio space. Once I’ve built that name for myself there are many different ways to go. I could see myself going into an agent/management role for bigger producers/labels or perhaps turning Dark Label (my consulting program) into a full-blown school.
Only time will tell.
The way I built my music production business (leveraging the internet) still isn’t the “norm” yet. It’s becoming more normal, but the bulk of people getting into this business are still being taught the old school models. I’ve learned that when you are one of the early adapters of something that relentless patience is a must. I am not going to be near the finish line for a very long time. What I’m banking is the fact that 10 years from now this industry will look completely different. There will be a ton of examples of massively successful producers who forged their own path and it will be a completely normal thing to do. The middle class of creators will grow. And, it won’t be as weird to hire people like me to help. By this time I’ll have such a stronghold in the market that I’ll really be able to make a wider and deeper impact. Of course, like any long-term game plan there will be many twists and turns. I’m grateful for the ride.
Why I care so damn much about this.
Not to get all sappy on you, but I owe my life to this stuff…
Childhood abuse survivor, drug addict teenager, diagnosed depression, and a high-school drop out. Statistically, people like me rarely get to truly live a fulfilled life. The time it takes to deal with all of that stuff generally cuts into the whole “live your dreams” thing.
I’m fortunate that my work gives me purpose. This is an incredibly hard industry to make an above average living in and I get to help people actually do that. Over and over. And to me personally… That’s a big fucking deal, man.
I’m one of the lucky ones who was somehow able to make just enough right moves to get things going, and this new music industry (combined with the technology of the internet) has allowed me to do it.
So, you’ll rarely hear any complaining or cynicism from me.
I know that a lot of you reading this have a similar background to me and I just want to do anything I can to help. It used to be about providing opportunities for others, but now it’s leveled up…
It’s about creating opportunities for music creators who have then gone on themselves to create more opportunities for other music creators. Seeing that happen has been very dope.
That is what gets me out of bed every morning.
Guest Features And Interviews
How To Grow A Brand And Get More Clients | EDM Prodcast (August 2018)