Sell my music, impossible? Show me it is not!

23 replies
Hallo, after reading this post i got motivated to write.
http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...aste-time.html


So, this is the story: I am a musician and i have a band.
I have never used my IM skills to sell my music ( i mainly do concerts and other stuffs in the traditional way) but now I need to earn some money to invest in the next album and I really don't think this could be done selling my music.
So I need your help.

I have around 200 physical copies of my last 2 albums, I always sold it at $10 each during concerts, so if i could sell 200 copies I would make a good $2000 which is a good sum I could use to invest on my next album.

I need to make a good plan to sell those copies of my cd ( I could sell my digital copies too anyway) using internet. I cannot make gigs right now and I have no way to promote me and my music, only the net

Sincerely, I think this is quite an impossible challenge, due to different factors:

Negative factors
1) My band sings in Italian (rock music), so the market is tiny
2) People do not buy cd's anymore (unless you are famous)
3) I don't have a list of interested people

Positive factos

1) I have a good website i could implement
2) I know what i am doing so i could target good keywords
3) I won't giveup easily if someone can help me and show me this is possible to do
4) My band is very good
5) i would offer worldwide free shipping and I could sell my songs on itunes too

I could reward with a good share of the earnings if you can help me figuring out how I could sell a cd of a not famous band using Im techniques.
#impossible #music #sell #show
  • Profile picture of the author Verena
    This is what I'll recommend:
    1. Make a simple site
    2. Get some music live for free download
    3. Offer a link to buy your CDs.
    4. Post your site to ProductHunt

    V
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    • Profile picture of the author gvidass
      Yes you should create your website like one of the members told and I would suggest as well to:
      1. Create nice looking youtube channel
      2. Upload your songs, if it's possible with videos
      3. And in description put Itunes link to buy your songs

      Youtube channel will help you to become more popular, as well you will need to use all other social media for this facebook page, twitter account, instagram. This way you will get more fans...
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  • Profile picture of the author MiaSorensen
    I agree about offering your music free to download. Even if it is only like 5 songs. People love free stuff even if they don't like it they will take it and it will get the word out for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author manikunis
    Promote Your Music on Websites like Souncloud....There are more than 20 good websites like these...
    Promote your videos on Video websites. You can search for hundreds of websites....

    Promote on websites that allow new artists to show their skills....

    Rest, depend upon the quality of your music...Music lovers are always searching for quality music....
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    Moderator's Note: Affiliate link not allowed. Please edit.

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    • Profile picture of the author NomadLifestyle
      I wish that I could remember who said it, but a famous musician was asked about Spotify/iTunes and music being downloaded for free.

      His answer (in a nutshell) was that music was written to sell other things.

      I think that is important.

      My father in law is a full-time musician. He gets paid to sell drinks at a bar. When he plays, people drink. Bars hire him to keep people in the seat buying beer.

      Think about what you and your music can do for people with money (venues/businesses) instead of trying to compete with free.

      In the race to the bottom everyone loses.
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  • Profile picture of the author accom05
    Ok , thank you anyone for the good tips, but i think i need a step further.
    My band is an estabilished band, this does not means we are famous, but we are the kind of band that plays since long time and we made 2 albums, 1 with a Major label.
    We have 3 videos shot in really high quality and we have a really good looking website and a good fb page with almost 10k, twitter with 5k and instagram with 5k users.
    This to say that we are not complete noobies.
    But to sell music you need more, you need a complete plan with a good funnel.

    A few pwople buy digital music (unless you are famous) and in Italy this is even worse.
    My band's nexy album will be in english (now it is sung in italian), so we will have a wider audience and it will be simplier to sell my music online.

    I just need a way to get in front of 200 people that are likely to spend $10 to buy a CD of a from a rock band that is growing.
    Believe me, it is not simple.

    I mean, it can be simple when your CD is just gone out and you have press releases coverage, radio airplay and tv (we used to have this).
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  • Profile picture of the author Verdatti
    Youtube can give you some great exposure and allow you to find more people interested in your music. I would definitely create a youtube channel if I was you and try to get some followers there.

    Creating your own website might be a good idea too. You can not only sell your music there as to announce your next shows, for example, and create a close relationship with your audience.

    Itunes, Spotify and Amazon can be huge for you. Check websites like Tunecore since they help bands selling music on all those platforms.

    Best of luck! And keep rocking
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  • I'm not in the music biz but here is some thoughts outloud might be wrong:

    1. don't sell the music to me that is stupid
    2. use the music to get them to your site to your list
    3. sell everything related (get those shirts, mugs whatever)
    4. make money on live events
    5. make money from ads (youtube, etc...)

    think that way as free music to get exposure just your loss leader
    Signature
    soon people... Relax...
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  • Profile picture of the author EmberzMusic
    In my opinion selling music with IM methods is the exact same as selling anything else... what you need to do is:
    1. create a squeeze page offering some free tracks
    2. write engaging follow up emails to connect with subscribers
    3. sell your music
    4. get traffic youtube, soundcoud, facebook, twitter, instagram

    the main problem with selling music downloads these days is that the profit margin is extremely low and as you have said most people aren't interested in buying mp3 downloads anymore...

    Like some people have said, the best thing to focus on are selling merchendise, shirts and stuff, and also focus on licensing your music!! That is where the real money is.

    I am about to launch my first WSO licensing some of my music to members of the warriorforum royalty free. It is an experiement, we will see how it goes, but i've seen people sell music on this forum before
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve L
    Originally Posted by accom05 View Post

    Hallo, after reading this post i got motivated to write.
    http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...aste-time.html


    So, this is the story: I am a musician and i have a band.
    I have never used my IM skills to sell my music ( i mainly do concerts and other stuffs in the traditional way) but now I need to earn some money to invest in the next album and I really don't think this could be done selling my music.
    So I need your help.

    I have around 200 physical copies of my last 2 albums, I always sold it at $10 each during concerts, so if i could sell 200 copies I would make a good $2000 which is a good sum I could use to invest on my next album.

    I need to make a good plan to sell those copies of my cd ( I could sell my digital copies too anyway) using internet. I cannot make gigs right now and I have no way to promote me and my music, only the net

    Sincerely, I think this is quite an impossible challenge, due to different factors:

    Negative factors
    1) My band sings in Italian (rock music), so the market is tiny
    2) People do not buy cd's anymore (unless you are famous)
    3) I don't have a list of interested people

    Positive factos

    1) I have a good website i could implement
    2) I know what i am doing so i could target good keywords
    3) I won't giveup easily if someone can help me and show me this is possible to do
    4) My band is very good
    5) i would offer worldwide free shipping and I could sell my songs on itunes too

    I could reward with a good share of the earnings if you can help me figuring out how I could sell a cd of a not famous band using Im techniques.
    Create really creative music videos for your most popular songs, and link to the record in the description and at the end of the video plug the record.

    Message music blogs and try and get them to share your music videos.
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  • Profile picture of the author mrozlat
    Originally Posted by accom05 View Post

    Hallo, after reading this post i got motivated to write.
    http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...aste-time.html


    So, this is the story: I am a musician and i have a band.
    I have never used my IM skills to sell my music ( i mainly do concerts and other stuffs in the traditional way) but now I need to earn some money to invest in the next album and I really don't think this could be done selling my music.
    So I need your help.

    I have around 200 physical copies of my last 2 albums, I always sold it at $10 each during concerts, so if i could sell 200 copies I would make a good $2000 which is a good sum I could use to invest on my next album.

    I need to make a good plan to sell those copies of my cd ( I could sell my digital copies too anyway) using internet. I cannot make gigs right now and I have no way to promote me and my music, only the net

    Sincerely, I think this is quite an impossible challenge, due to different factors:

    Negative factors
    1) My band sings in Italian (rock music), so the market is tiny
    2) People do not buy cd's anymore (unless you are famous)
    3) I don't have a list of interested people

    Positive factos

    1) I have a good website i could implement
    2) I know what i am doing so i could target good keywords
    3) I won't giveup easily if someone can help me and show me this is possible to do
    4) My band is very good
    5) i would offer worldwide free shipping and I could sell my songs on itunes too

    I could reward with a good share of the earnings if you can help me figuring out how I could sell a cd of a not famous band using Im techniques.
    have you considered selling on 'bandcamp'?

    you may sell your physical copies there... but the main thing is that you can sell your digital copies there and people pay what they think it is worth... really neat idea!

    i see many dj's and so forth selling there with links to their 'bandcamp' sales page from youtube videos and soundcloud profiles, etc... just a thought
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  • Profile picture of the author cjsparacino123
    i'm reading 4 books on music marketing, maybe try getting your music heard by key people by giving it to them for free, ive also read to write up a marketing plan, i've also read about getting your music out to different parts of the world, maybe you'll blow up again

    but you have a job to do, keep people at their bar stools, which is no different than creating value in a business.

    maybe SEO your website, build up a big following then sell simple merchandise like t shirts posters and music

    if anything, try wespin.co

    theyre a music marketing e-course
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    Grab a Free copy of my investing/marketing eBook!
    http://bit.ly/2h8XV41

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  • Profile picture of the author Jaasper
    hi sir,
    From my idea you should open up your own youtube channel. THen upload your music there and try to share that link as many as place you can do. When some traffic comes to your video. You video will start beginning to popular. After u have a brand you don't have to look back.
    Best of luck
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  • Profile picture of the author sridivya2993
    First attract users by offering your music for free and then try to convert them to customers. The youtube route is easy in my opinion because ranking a video for good keywords in YouTube is easier than ranking in Google.
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  • Profile picture of the author accom05
    I think you should read better the posts while answering back, anyway i really appreciate your effort in giving some advices.

    AS I WROTE ALREADY,
    I am in a good estabilished band, and obiouvsly we have a youtube channel.
    Music marketing is quite different from any kind of bunisess, you have to build better value because music is an oversaturated niche today, and many people do not consider music as a product value.
    Offering someone a free song doesn't work many times, people wants to listen to songs they already know, songs they have already heard. Having someone to signup to a list because you are giving him a free song from an unknown band is not the same as giving away a free report to someone that needs it.
    Obiouvsly if you are great at making landing pages and you are very very good in sales funnel you can make something with it, I am not so good at making my own band landing page.

    YOUTUBE
    Youtube is a great way for promotion, ok, but let's see it this way.
    My band has got a good channel with some professional videos and we made 2 songs by other famous bands too on the purpose to spread our music better and better target the keywords.
    Ok my videos have about 20k/30K views each and are growing.
    But it does not make money, not even popularity.
    My covers songs have been shared by many people on facebook, but at the end of it all, i only sold few copies of my cd, after investing about $150 in the promotion of the video. (sponsored posts, social sharing, advertising).
    So simply my plan is not working well. My ROI is not good, and i am just doing it for the fame.
    It is normal, many band invest at first stage so this is not a problem.

    But the key thing of this thread is about changing approach.

    I know many bands are in my same situation, so i would like to develop a system/approach that uses indipendent band as a real product. There should be some weak spots in the system that can lead us to a good roi.
    We have to just find a way to get in front of this difficult audience. In my case:
    'People that like rock music and are hungry to buy songs or merch of a new rock band.'
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  • Profile picture of the author AmoHitscom
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    • Profile picture of the author mentallion
      I'm not musician but I'm doing some money in music.

      If you want to make money in music you should stop being romantic and be useful for society.

      My two cents:

      1 Stop doing rock, its too competitive. Everyone
      2 Choose a niche (look in Amazon) Avoid crowded niches such as electronic music
      For example:
      - Music for fitness
      - Music for podcasts
      - Music for videos
      - etc.
      3 In your case make some music for that niche with the right name.
      For example:
      - Album: "Music for fitness 2016 collection"
      - Album: "Music for podcasts 2016 xxxxx"
      In my case I am not musician so I have to buy legally royalty free music,
      - Then submit your music to tunecore or cdbaby
      - Get the links
      - Apply common SEO techniques that you can find in this forum
      - Wait sitting the money :-)

      It works for me.

      I hope to help you.
      Signature
      SEO for Musicians: Learn How to Promote Your Music in Search Engines and Get More Streams, Downloads, Fans, and Sales.
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  • Profile picture of the author onSubie
    Originally Posted by accom05 View Post

    ... but now I need to earn some money to invest in the next album and I really don't think this could be done selling my music.
    I am surprised nobody suggested in the thread but you should look at crowdfunding.

    Since you are looking for money to fund a specific endeavour - the next album - you could set your budget and start a campaign for the funds.

    You are an established band with a history and following so you could get media exposure as well as get your fans to help fund the album.

    Offer merchandise and bonuses for bigger donations.

    Say every donation over $20 gets a free copy of your last album. A donation over $50 gets a free t-shirt, etc.

    Offer "pre-orders" on the album to be made. A donation of $20 reserves a limited edition copy of the album when released, etc.

    You should be able to fund future recordings/tours this way but it would be a money raising initiative, not a new way to sell product once the campaign is over.

    For an artist or musician, this is a great read:

    The Technium: 1,000 True Fans
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    Ever heard of CD Baby? If not check them out.

    You should combine alot of offline marketing too with music artist promotions (clubs, bars, performances, etc).

    You need alot of music equipment. This costs money. I hope you have it.

    My favorite artist is trey songz. Design a website similar to his, and definitely hit social media (TMZ forum included).
    Signature

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  • Profile picture of the author havplenty
    Leverage YouTube (a lot). Place your music on a strong and prominent vehicle. Like a sports team, or a sports figure.

    There's a Beats ad on YouTube that does this nicely. The music at the end is German but if you read the comments you'll see lots of English listeners wanted to know more. I was one of them.

    Bastian schweinstiger beats
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  • Profile picture of the author ZanyZebra
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    • Profile picture of the author midge
      agree with things said above. music can be a difficult market to break.

      most of the money made from a band will be from gigging and from merchandise sales but I suppose you can try implement the '1000 true fans' concept and build a small but loyal following.

      You should also look into Tunecore - people are still making respectable money from selling music online with outlets such as tunecore, granted it is a difficult and competitive niche but isn't everything nowadays?

      I believe some guys on youtube have small video series about tunecore and how they are making an income through the site. They distribute your music to many online stores - you need to accept physical sales on music isn't as lucrative as it once was. Everything is moving into the streaming model, which doesn't pay artists a fair amount but perhaps something like tunecore or even Bandcamp (people will buy direct from you - just market your bandcamp page) will be your answer to generating some sales.
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      • Profile picture of the author accom05
        Thank you for all the infos, anyway things are really bad in music.

        1) CROWDFUNDING
        Yeah, you could do it, but it is not a money making model. You could make some money with crowdfunding but remember that even it seems easy to be founded, only a few achieve this goal.

        2)GIGS
        You know how much an indipendent band get paid for a gig?
        I know it. The pay goes from $200 to $500 if you are lucky. In those money you have to put expenses of car and fuel. Usually they pay you for the accomodation if the venue is far fron your home. In italy even good bands with a good indipendent following struggle to get paid $300 for a gig. If you take out the expenses and consider that in a band usualy there are 4/5 people, you will easily understand that those money are just nuts. Anyway 2 years ago we decided to tour shitty venues for $200 each gig and we did 40 gigs in 1 year.
        We made about 8k, take away 50% for expenses = 4k in a year. We are 5 people, so less than 1000$ each for a whole year of work.
        This is the REAL situation.
        Consider that for a good album with good promotion you need to invest at least 5k
        Surely it is not worth, but if you do it for sacrifice and passion it is ok.

        3) The concept of '1000 true fans' is good, but i think the main problem is having people stick to you. Nowadays people are distracted from a lot of music and it is quite impossible to have a fan stick to your music forever.
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  • Profile picture of the author rritz
    Hi OP,

    maybe I can help. I own a recording studio, a small independent label, am a musician myself and I have managed bands and done online marketing for them for the past six years.
    That said, I will tell you about my approach, and then about the tools you can use -a lot of marketers even here get mixed up between tools and approach, youtube, a website, bandcamp ... are tools, and as long as you don't know how to approach your marketing, you will not be able to use the tools right.

    Now why do people nowadays buy music at all, why do they buy physical albums and merchandise? If you believe statistics the number one reason people buy music is to support the bands they like.

    Other reasons include: for the pleasure of handling a nice physical product, as collectors items, because the merch simply looks cool, because they are proud to know a cool unknown band etc.

    The approach to marketing therefore that many music marketers take is building relationships with their audience.
    The method is upsell: Give away mp3 for free, collect email adresses, build up relationships and upsell exclusive packages of physical products when you built up some "super-fans"

    You must not forget that music is a very special product, it fulfills very special needs. The benefit is not a material one, it is an emotional, an idealistic benefit people get from buying music.
    You are not only selling music, you are selling a story, a feeling, a lifestyle, an experience.

    The approach you take is therefore to bond with your audience, on a very emotional plane.

    You have to brand yourself or your band as a proprietor of a lifestyle, someone who puts into art what people are experiencing or struggling with in their everyday life, or what they are dreaming of or hoping for or fantasizing about.

    This is not a quick way of getting 200 CD off your hands, but it is a fairly secure approach to grow your fanbase.
    1. Write a band bio that tells people stories about you (as related to your music) - why did you become a musicians, what are your dreams and hopes, what emotions and themes do you express in your music, why do you sing in Italian as opposed to the more popular mainstream English, ... and your songs - what did you think and feel when writing the songs, what happened to you so that you wrote a particular song, ...
    2. Write regularly about your life as a musician - to most people this is exciting and exotic! They love to hear tour stories, backstage stories, embarrassing moments like blackouts on stage, situations in which you had to improvise, what happened when you arrived to play a gig and there were no microphones there at all or your drummer didn't arrive ... and so on. I am just using some examples of what can happen, and what people love to read about. You have to come across as a real person with real emotions and real experience but still stay somewhat mysterious, the strange creature that calls itself an artist ...
    3. Just like any other marketer you have to figure out who are the people that will like your music and why, and where they are hanging out.
    These are just examples, but your fans could be proud Italians who love you because you choose to sing in Italian. They can be from anywhere in the world and love to hear the unusual and nice sound of Italian lyrics. They can be rock fans who don't care about the language the lyrics are in but love your music for what it expresses. They can be touched by what you are singing about. They can be touched by what your music expresses without words. They can be touched because your song talks about something that is near and dear to them ...
    There never will be saturation for authentic art, because you are unique, your music is unique (if you make it so and not choose to make plastic music). You just have to find your niche and your fans.

    If your market is tiny, this is an advantage - because you don't have too much competition. I myself like to listen to melodic progressive metal - the market here is tiny too. But the bands who manage to position themselves inside that small circle of fans do well.

    Think about it this way: Who could be looking for exactly the style of music I am playing? Where will they look? And present yourself there.

    Turn your approach round. Don't ask yourself how to compete with others or think about saturation or mainstream or changing your style of music to reach a broader audience. Think about the values and benefits that you have to offer and try to figure out who and where the people are that are looking for exactly that.
    Because there are sure to be people out there who are looking for that exact kind of music.

    A few useful sites:
    One of the best ressources I loved to use is Ariel Hyatts CyberPR blog. Google it, Ariel has tons of useful info for free and also offers paid services.
    Another is the DIY blog from CD Baby.
    Or check out Brian Hazards Passive Music Promotion Blog.

    About tools:
    To give away free mp3 in exchange for an email adress you can use bandcamp, noisetrade or your own sign up form plus mailchimp

    To find people who want to download mp3 for free social media is a good starting point. I used twitter with great success to target new audiences
    Also blogs, webzines, youtube channels, webradio stations, college radio, ... if your style fits in go and present yourself there.

    For branding and bonding: Facebook, twitter, pinterest, instagram, tumblr, wordpress free blog tool. Get into conversation! Ask questions, make polls, involve people into your decision processes.

    For upsells: If you have two old CDs offer bundles for a discount. Offer preorders for a new CD on a discounted rate for subscribers only. Offer free downloads for subscribers only.

    If you want to share your bandpage with me pm me pls, so that maybe I can come up with some more concrete ideas ...

    Originally Posted by accom05 View Post

    Hallo, after reading this post i got motivated to write.

    I have around 200 physical copies of my last 2 albums, I always sold it at $10 each during concerts, so if i could sell 200 copies I would make a good $2000 which is a good sum I could use to invest on my next album.

    I need to make a good plan to sell those copies of my cd ( I could sell my digital copies too anyway) using internet. I cannot make gigs right now and I have no way to promote me and my music, only the net

    Sincerely, I think this is quite an impossible challenge, due to different factors:

    Negative factors
    1) My band sings in Italian (rock music), so the market is tiny
    2) People do not buy cd's anymore (unless you are famous)
    3) I don't have a list of interested people

    Positive factos

    1) I have a good website i could implement
    2) I know what i am doing so i could target good keywords
    3) I won't giveup easily if someone can help me and show me this is possible to do
    4) My band is very good
    5) i would offer worldwide free shipping and I could sell my songs on itunes too

    I could reward with a good share of the earnings if you can help me figuring out how I could sell a cd of a not famous band using Im techniques.
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    • Profile picture of the author b100
      Use Bandcamp.com to offer a free single or album and collect their email addresses (they let you do that). Ive seen people give me Bandcamp business cards. I believe you can get their zip, so if you're playing nearby it will help. Then sell some merch. Maybe sell fancy USB drives with ALL of your music in it.

      Also, back to basics. Start a blog on music. If you're good at guitar or synths, talk about them. Create some kind of ebook, guide, membership site, etc. Collect emails in exchange for some of these things for free. You can also blog about how to tour, dealing with venues, etc. This is all info that people want, then upsell your music. Your music can still be your main thing.

      Soundcloud is a good place to promote but there are too many fakes. You have to build a relationship with everyone who follows you and dont pretend like you're too good for them.
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