AF’s Weblog

July 14, 2010

How to Sell Your Music

You’ve recorded and produced your killer single. Now comes the really tough part: selling the drama. Here we will recap and add some steps in order to implement your marketing plan- putting it all together, and managing your time and resources for optimal efficiency.

Marketing Plan

bookThe musician seeking to build his fortune online must do so with a great deal of forward thinking. It will require a lot of fortitude and wisdom, confidence to know the labor will result in profit, and above all, the patience to persevere through the rough times that will surely occur at the inception of any new business.

The number one reason why new online businesses fail is because the owner of the business hoped to make a quick fortune without effort, knowledge, or patience. There is nothing wrong with dreaming of instant wealth, as long as the dreamer knows that it is inherent in our nature to dream of gold without digging, but there comes a time when the fantasy must end and the work must begin.

I have worked with many people in the music and Internet marketing business. One characteristic I’ve noticed in common among those who succeeded was the willingness to do whatever it took to make their dreams happen. Success rarely requires talent or intelligence. Rather, it’s the persistence of working at the business every day, chipping away at the goal week in, week out, that makes the difference.

Here we present to you headlines from the Marketing Plan.  Understand that each headline is a full on project by itself that we are unable to cover due to the confines of this article….

Step 1:

  • Record the product.
  • Record and mix your master CD, then make up two to three short clips for MP3 download/streaming.

Step 2:

  • Package your product.
  • Make up your graphics, songlist, and covers. You can either:

webStep 3:

  • Send the package to a manufacturer for pressing OR
  • Make your own limited quantities using your own computer.
  • Prepare your marketing materials.
  • Assemble Press Kit: Photos, Bios, Backgrounder, EBC.

Step 4:

  • Build web site or hire web designer.
  • Contact a hosting company to host site.
  • Maximize meta tags and keywords.
  • Submit site to all major search engines.
  • Organize contact list system.

Step 5:

  • Use Goldmine or other contact management software.
  • Start listing on portal sites.

At this point, you will go to MP3.com and other portal sites, and establish a Web presence there. You will upload your music files and list your promotional materials, with a link to your Web site. This will be your primary foundation. Bookmark all portal sites and keep them in a linkable file, for fast access.

Step 6:

  • Begin Online Campaign.
  • E-mail online radio stations with your letter of introduction.
  • Prepare and send online media press release.
  • Prepare online radio station release.
  • Post first round of Usenet newsgroup releases.
  • Set up live Web appearance date.
  • Start online radio station.
  • Write first newsletter for your first target group.
  • Secure live online radio station interview or tape interview.
  • Begin posting to chat rooms, bulletin boards, and online social networks.

Step 7:

  • Begin Offline Campaign

Step 8:

  • Set up local record store appearances.
  • Contact indie radio stations, such as colleges have promo materials printed, such as bumper stickers, t-shirts, magnetic car signs, window cards, stickers, etc.
  • Begin placing materials and do giveaways.
  • Set up live appearance schedule, including radio station interviews.
  • Send press releases to all local media, such as newspapers and radio.
  • Assemble postal mailing list and do first mailing to first target group.
  • Contact local office of a national charity and offer to do a live concert in exchange for promotion of your group’s Web site and CD.
  • Call your local media and tell them the news you are getting local and national coverage. The publicity machine is a like a snowball, and it feeds on itself.

Now let’s take a deeper look…

Short Term vs. Long Term Results

long roadMany people operate under the popular misconception that the Internet brings instant sales results. Of course, in some respects, that’s true. A measurable response is often quicker on the net because people can respond more quickly to your promotions. But this is where any resemblance to a quick profit ends. Most of the clients I have worked with are often disappointed when results do not come in a matter of weeks. For those who are doing their own marketing, the lack of immediate response is one of the biggest reasons why they give up too soon. You must view your online marketing as a long-term investment strategy, one that will pay dividends over time. It is not the route to short-term, windfall profits. Think of marketing on the Internet as the sowing of seeds. It takes time to till the soil, plant the seeds, move on down the line, nurture the seedlings as they grow.  As the weeks stretch into months, you will see the makings of a decent crop, a cash crop, if you will, that will continue to yield results for you the year round. But not all seeds grow, and not all trees yield fruit. In this modern age, we are accustomed to getting the things we want right away. But things of the greatest value are often the most difficult to obtain. In order for good marketing to be effective, we must carry out the marketing consistently over time. The man searching for short-term profit may want to take up day trading or short-term stock speculation for an investment vehicle. The Internet is no place for short-term thinking.

If there is one solid lesson to remember, it’s the fact that building a successful business takes time and considerable sacrifice. The relative ease and inexpensive access that the Internet affords brings us an abundance of buyers, but it also brings us a surfeit of competitors.  It’s rather easy to throw up a Web site using a template, and it’s easy to host the site with a budget host, and it’s easy to call the site a business. The reality of actually building a money-making business on the Web takes a great deal more work.

I’m sure you’ve met virtuoso players who played so well that you at first wondered why they were not playing music in the big leagues. But then, when you got to know the person, you found they had problems getting along with other players, or ego difficulties, or a drug or alcohol challenge, or any of a thousand other limitations. The most common problem is laziness, the unwillingness to do what it takes to make the dream happen.  Work your marketing plan, work it hard, every day. Avoid short-term thinking, and keep your eye on long-term results.

To read the full detailed article see:  How to Sell Your Music

2 Comments »

  1. Usenet Radio…

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

    Trackback by It Box @ All Around the World News — July 15, 2010 @ 3:35 pm

  2. Hey, just wanted to say that I found this very well written, concise article to be really helpful. More independent artists HAVE to read this if they want a good start in the music business. I will pass this on to some friends of mine that could certainly use this information.

    Comment by Andrew Levine — October 5, 2010 @ 9:36 pm


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