Melody Nest. Graphic Design For The Music Industry.
Melody Nest Founder, Nick Voorhees, has spent years making music and learning about the industry. Currently living in California, he kindly agreed to tell us about his new freelance website that's designed to connect graphic designers with musicians, producers and podcasters.
Can you describe Melody Nest in one sentence?
Melody Nest is a freelance website that connects vetted graphic designers with creative entrepreneurs that need cover art (custom and pre-made), logos, and more to brand and build their business.
How interesting that you offer design services specifically for the creative industry. How did you come up with the concept?
I have worked in the music industry for years now, and I noticed a pattern of musicians, radio broadcasters, podcasters, and more wondering where to turn to for cover art. Entrepreneurs either have to dig through social media to find someone to work with, use generic “jack of all trades” freelance websites or design agencies that churn out work for cheap prices. So, we have collected talented graphic designers that work in the creative fields that understand the aesthetic that creative entrepreneurs need to professionally brand their business.
Can you tell us about the development process of Melody Nest?
I'm a solo founder and decided to take on Melody Nest myself. I didn’t know anything about web development, so I took various courses in coding so I could build the website myself. From initial idea to MVP (minimal viable product), it took about 6 months. Depending on your view-point of start-ups, this can either be a little, or very long time.
Developing Melody Nest from a concept into a live site is a huge achievement. What were some of the biggest challenges that you had to overcome?
Coding was (and still is) the biggest challenge. As I stated before, I do not have a background in computer science, so even little ideas can be very difficult to implement. Thankfully, I found a few technical guys that are able to help me out, and I am currently open to the avenue of a technical co-founder.
Having already produced music and experienced the industry, you must have had an advantage when developing Melody Nest. What other strengths do you think you had going into the start up process?
Yes, being an active music producer and constantly surrounding myself with others in the industry was vastly helpful. I don’t think I would ever start a venture if I didn’t have a good grip of the industry I was looking to create a business in.
One of our strengths has been understanding that musicians inevitably need cover art, and understanding the specific aesthetic of the designs. Electronic music, and other creative styles in today’s age have a very specific feel, so we are able to cater to that.
How are you raising awareness of Melody Nest?
We are spreading the word slowly and steadily through natural relationships built with other music businesses, social media engagement, and working on SEO and organic ranking on Google to find those specifically looking for graphic design services. We feel as though marketing campaigns and huge “launch parties” that are extremely expensive are foolish for start-ups, and we are better off taking things step by step to better understand the market, customer, and how we can best serve those that are looking for branding. Our best bet right now is to take customers on one by one, and through great work, we’ll grow.
A lot of artists we know, be it musicians or writers, try and save money by designing their own cover art. What advice can you offer about the choice between DIY or professional artwork?
We totally get the desire to want to save money by creating your own cover art. I think that’s a great choice for those that choose music and writing as hobbies. There is nothing wrong with just having fun with your creative ventures.
But, unfortunately, people actually do judge things by their covers. This is what separates DIY hobbyists from their professional counterparts. The world is over saturated with creative entrepreneurs that are looking to “make it big”, and that’s where professional designers can help make a difference. That’s why we are here.
Where do you see Melody Nest in five years time?
We aim to be the #1 growth and branding source for musicians in the modern age, and other types of creative entrepreneurs. For now, we are starting with cover art, logos, and other branding services, and we will inevitably expand as varying needs present themselves. But, for now, we are holding our own by connecting creative types to some of the best designers the industry has to offer.
Can you give us a run down of a typical day at Melody Nest HQ?
We are definitely still in start-up mode, so we spend most of the day crammed in a small office. But, we wouldn’t trade that. It’s important at this stage to understand what it means to run a business, and how to best serve our customers, and that takes time, and requires us to keep our spending low so we can survive as long as possible.
Finally, who is the entrepreneur you most admire?
I am definitely not the first person to say this, but Elon Musk.
At first, I was unsure about his process because I didn’t trust how he was handling A.I, and that Tesla seemed to struggle for years. I figured he was in over his head. However, as we venture further down this road of technological advancement, he’s proving that we actually can help change consumer energy spending habits for the good. Elon Musk is paving the way through sheer perseverance and determination, and it’s hard not to admire someone that keeps fighting even though most people thought he’d fail– this is the true entrepreneurial spirit.