From time to time, we talk to the artists using our service to get an authentic look behind the scenes of their campaigns and everything around them in order to better understand their needs and expectations from Sendmate. This week we talked to Techno Entrepreneur extraordinaire, Florian Meindl, in Berlin. The charmingly upfront Austrian told us how he became an internationally sought after DJ, label boss and sound designer.
"Since 2005 I’ve been active in the international techno scene as DJ as well as live performer and music producer. I run my own label, FLASH Recordings, where I release my own stuff as well as that of other artists I like. In addition, I dedicate myself to sound design with the Riemann Collection and mainly produce loops used for techno music, which I sell all over the world," Florian introduces himself succinctly. Originally from Eferding close to Linz, the native of Upper Austrian moved to London at a young age in order to study Music Technology, which essentially meant sound engineering “and to learn English properly,” he smiles. For three years Florian studied at the University of West London, then called Thames Valley University.
"Although the straight forward production course was somewhat tedious and not what I wanted to do, it proved quite helpful in hindsight. You didn’t learn how to build a compressor, but how to use it. You didn’t learn how to play an instrument, but how to record a tape. There was also a subject on how to use a sampler, to use different DAWs and subjects like Creative Music, in which we had to produce sounds from field recordings," recalls the Berliner. To Florian studying was secondary, because his DJ career was already in full swing. He flew to another city almost every weekend to make the eager fans sweat when dancing to his uncompromising style.
"During the day, I went to college and at night I produced my own music, which I was lucky enough to appear on Trapez Records like my tracks Blast and Worms. That’s also the time when I wrote Aorta, which was released on Herzblut Records. At the same time, I also launched my own label FLASH and even the Riemann Collection was born back then to earn some money on the side with loops and sounds. The rent and tuition fees were already immensely expensive in London. When I came to Berlin everything was incredibly cheap in comparison!"
Apart from the quality of life Florian appreciates the undisputed world capital of techno for many other reasons and took up residency at the renown Riverside Studios at the Fluxbau which is located close to the river Spree in between the clubs Arena, Chalet and the infamous Berghain. The young musician justifies his decision as follows: "I find it helpful and enjoyable to be able to visit a friend DJing in a club at the drop of a hat, because so many like-minded people live together in a relatively small space. This is of course not a must, because if someone prefers to live in the countryside that’s cool too. For some, that may even be more helpful, because they feel better there and are less distracted."
Focus is a central theme for Meindl that he indirectly comes back to time and time again. Especially when asked what it means to be a successful DJ, producer and label boss in the 21st century, he doesn’t mince his words: "You have to know what you want and always have that one goal in mind. However, that doesn’t mean that you should be rigidly focused on that goal either, but rather flexible and agile, able to react quickly to external influences or changes. It also means knowing when something doesn’t work and knowing when to end it. Of course, you have to weigh up exactly whether something is not working and it will never work, or whether you just have to stick to it and adjust the screws a bit to make it work. Success usually comes only after several years. One should always look curiously into the future and continually evolve because those that stagnate, lose,” laughs the young Austrian, before continuing his thought: "Never stop learning and educating yourself, you know, musically, get to really know your musical instrument, work on your playing techniques and production methods. On the other hand you have to also continue educating yourself about the marketing techniques out there in order to keep up to date with all available innovations, so that you don’t miss out on new possibilities to reach your fans. Just try each and every new channel that promises to improve your status quo. The messenger is a good example of this."
Is this Florian Meindl's secret of success?
"Long-term thinking is important. You know, having a plan or at least an exact direction that you pursue without getting lost or stuck in details. Yeah, probably," smiles Florian cheerfully before suddenly almost interjecting himself: “Artists on top of their game in the nineties, got there cause they used the available production techniques and marketing tools of their time in the best way possible. Those that are still on top of their game have kept uptodate and evolved with the times from printed flyers to MySpace, Facebook, Instagram, etc... for about a month I have been using the Messenger now to reach my fans in the most direct way possible without spending any advertising expenses on people who aren’t interested in what I have to say. A word of caution, however, don’t overdo it! At first, as I witnessed the great open- and click-through rates first hand, I lost sight of this and sent out too many messages. Instead, it's a good idea to use this channel more sparingly and just send things that provide real value to the fans."
Is that your strategy to get your fans into Messenger, to provide extra value?
"Basically yes, why else should my fans follow me on yet another channel? Each channel has a different benefit: Instagram is perfect for visual, short-lived stimulation, whereas via Messenger my fans are the first to know, hear my new tunes and get the occasional exclusive extra from me; just because they are my most loyal fans who allow me to send them DMs. That's worth a lot," enthuses Florian, before he adds that the channel is still in its infancy and therefore requires proper promotion to begin. “People don’t just show up, at least not yet, but one has to actively advertise the fact that you can subscribe to your Messenger channel,” Meindly points out. When asked what he’s doing to get his fans on Messenger, he answers: "Many, many giveaways as well as Ask Me Anything sessions. I like to share goodies, such as free download codes, T-shirts and even vinyl occasionally. I work with almost all existing channels that I have available: Facebook posts, Soundcloud links, Instagram Stories, Email Newsletter via MailChimp and now also Messenger via Sendmate. Facebook gives me the opportunity to target new fans, while Messenger provides unbeatable engagement with my existing fans."
Can you elaborate on how this commitment manifests itself?
Meindl takes a quick sip of his herbal tea and explains briefly: "Well, for the release of my last EP, Free Fall, I sent a message in advance to all my existing fans before spreading the news across the rest of my social media channels. I offered the first 20 buyers a free Slipmat, which proved to be a great incentive. I’m not giving out numbers but believe me that message paid for itself several times over,” Florian smiles mischievously. Upon further proding he finally caves and discloses the exact figures to us under promise to keep them to ourselves. Having said that, we were able to convince him to share the actual return on investment (ROI) as percentage; and it’s quite something: 1,402% (one thousand four hundred two percent) !!!
To briefly explain: we took the turnover figure Florian shared with us, subtracted the production, distribution and marketing costs to get the net profit, divided it by Florian's monthly Sendmate charge and finally multiplied the result by one hundred to get the percentage value.
How, if at all, will this change the the techno scene in the next few years? Meindl ponders briefly before answering slowly: "Hard to predict, but every type of music listening has its own unique method of consumption - if you listen to music in the Office then probably Spotify, if you're a DJ you buy either vinyl or / and downloaded at Bandcamp or Beatport. Generally speaking music is discovered via SoundCloud or Youtube, but in terms of techno it's always about dancing together in a club or in an old warehouse and feeling the energy of the DJ or the live acts, forming your scene with the people you meet again and again at trendy events and then to philosophize with them about all sorts of stuff and just to celebrate together. That will probably always remain the same and is kind of one of the cornerstones of techno culture."
Subscribe to Sendmate • A Blog about Messenger Marketing
Get the latest posts delivered right to your inbox