5 Marketing Tips On Selling Your Music

IIf you’re an independent artist, let’s face it; unless you have a full-time booking agent and a strong marketing team behind you, you are in charge of sales and marketing. In fact, even with those team members in place, the most important sales job is still yours – turning listeners and show attendees into raving fans and getting them to spend their hard earned money on buying your music. This is not an easy task by any stretch of the imagination, writes Vinny Ribas of Indie Connect Magazine.

Since you are now classified as a salesperson, let’s look at five of the most basic principles of Sales 101 and apply them to your music career.

1. Know What You Are Selling!

Most of the time, the product you are selling is not what makes a prospect buy from you. You can spend hours explaining the fancy features of your product, and still, not one person will buy from you. It’s the benefit they get as a result of buying the product that makes them pull out their credit cards. Sales trainers say ‘find a want, need or desire,’ and then give it to them.

So how does this apply to you? Let’s start with booking your act. Calling an entertainment buyer and rambling on about how great you are will turn most buyers off in the first few seconds. However, knowing what the buyer really wants to receive as a result of hiring your act, and then touting those benefits will get his or her attention immediately. Just listen to the comments that you get from the managers of other venues you’ve performed in. What they like most about you is probably what other buyers will like most about you as well. If you know what you are selling, then you can look for people who want or need what you have to offer.

Image credit: Weheartit.com

2. Know Your Target Market

Now that you know what exactly it is that you are selling, you can pinpoint your most likely customers. Not knowing your target market results in wasted time, effort, and money as well as a whole lot of frustration. The more specific you can be (age, gender, income status, geographic region etc.), the more you can focus your efforts and increase your sales percentages dramatically.

As an artist, knowing the makeup of your fan base (customers) enables you to tailor your marketing directly to them. If you’re just collecting email addresses and nothing more, you have no idea where you have a large concentration of fans so you can book gigs there. You don’t know whether the majority of your fans are young, old or in between so you can’t pinpoint the best topics for you to write songs about. If you don’t know why they like you, you have nothing to build on or offer more of.

3. Know Your Competition and Your Competitive Advantage

Competition is everywhere. Customers have more choices these days than ever before! It is your job to convince them that they should choose you over everyone else. You might want to market yourself everywhere that they are. The only way to do this is to know exactly what your competition has to offer and how they offer it. From there you can strategize on ways to capitalize on their weaknesses, downplay their strengths, beat their prices, and find better, more effective ways to reach the same potential customers.

As an artist, it is important to know about all of the other acts that are competing for the same fans. What venues do they play? Where do they market themselves? Can you tap into their customer base somehow? Where DON’T they market themselves that you can? What can you do to get people to pay attention to you (and your music) instead of your competition? What can you do better, bigger, brighter etc?

4. Mine the Gold from Your Existing Client Database

It is 5 times easier to sell something to a previous customer than it is to find a new one. This is because you have already earned their trust. They know what they are getting, virtually erasing the trepidation that most people have buying a product brand they are not familiar with. That is the purpose of loyalty cards from your favorite stores! They want to be able to market to you again!

As an artist, your email list is your ‘previous customer’ base, and your newsletters are your marketing mediums. So are the venues you’ve performed in before, the people who have bought your CDs or downloaded your music. Go back to them to sell (or even pre-sell) your next CD and to fill your performance calendar. Develop long-term relationships with them to build brand loyalty.

5. Track Progress and Results

It is important to know how each one of your marketing efforts is paying off. That is why it is important to determine how much return you are getting on your money, your time and your efforts. Without tracking your sales processes and results, you will never know what works and what doesn’t.

As an artist, you may be investing money in posters or banner ads, spending hours on social network sites or spending your time making phone calls. If you don’t know which methods are cost effective for you, you can spend precious time spinning your wheels. It’s all about measuring the return on your investment.

Read the entire post at the original Indie Connect Magazine article by Vinny Ribas at this location.