Profusical is aiming to be the LinkedIn for musicians around the world
Many of us would like to believe that our own raw talents can take us all the way to success. But that famous idiom of “it’s not what you know, but who you know” still stands true for many. Unfortunately, in many sectors it’s hard to get to know the people you should – and Jordan Taylor wants to solve this problem.
While Taylor can’t begin to unravel the tight knot of nepotism surrounding every industry, Profusical aims to make things easier for musicians. By allowing musicians to create and upload a portfolio of their work onto the site, Profusical helps both professionals and budding artists connect with people who are looking for musicians for projects and works. To wrap it up in a catchy sound bite, it’s the LinkedIn of the music world.
We caught up with Taylor to find out what led him to founding Profusical, and where he sees the future of networking.
Where did the big idea for Profusical come from?
I was chatting to my partner Patrick about my experience at Birmingham Conservatoire and why I had decided to drop studying music performance on the violin. I left because I felt that the morale of my fellow students and I was low. We practiced for so many hours a day, then didn’t have our talents fully appreciated or rewarded.
A career in the arts is a struggle – this is well known. It then occurred to me that while I left studying classical music, I still had a real passion for the genre and the musicians. I feel strongly that they should have the support that I didn’t. This is why I started Profusical – to provide a service to classical and jazz musicians which will help them in their career.
What’s the big problem that Profusical can solve?
Trying to establish yourself as an independent artist within the music industry is more difficult than ever. While some may argue the development of technology has made it easier to spread artistic material, this has also meant that the marketplace is saturated. Social media platforms are full of artists all trying to achieve the same thing, with limited tools that aren’t tailored to musicians. I feel that classical and jazz artists need an affordable service that will allow them to truly shine in a convoluted world.
Since you started Profusical, what’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome?
Finding startup capital has been the most difficult challenge. In order to start an online business, having some knowledge about web development or content-management systems is vital.
Online platforms need a substantial cash injection to become a product you can feel proud of selling. I have quite high standards, so this has been difficult to achieve so far! Profusical is still in its beta form and finding investment has been tough. Currently, Profusical is on Seedrs, the equity crowdfunding platform, trying to raise finance. But I’m also working with several government-backed schemes aiding startups with finance.
Where do you see Profusical being in five years’ time?
I see Profusical as the online location of choice for independent artists. [We’re] aiming to be a truly professional musical service for classical and jazz musicians.
I aspire for Profusical to be seen as a quality brand, providing a high-quality service to quality musicians. If, for example, a string quartet contacts the service to ask for a unique portfolio, as they know they’re going to receive support, guidance and the best service, then I will be very happy. I want to avoid these musicians being lost in a sea of competition, so each artist that has quality material can truly shine as they deserve.
If there’s one thing you wish you’d known before you started Profusical, what would it be?
How important networking and industry events are for a startup. It wasn’t until I started Profusical that I knew how vital it is to truly understand the industry [in which] you are conducting business. Making connections, asking for advice and just asking the experienced people within my industry questions has been so helpful to the journey I’ve made so far. As well as this, harnessing and nurturing the connections I have already made has been vital to Profusical’s success so far. By genuinely caring about my professional network and communicating efficiently, [I have developed] some great relationships.