1. Let Them Hear It
Music is a unique product in that it is not usually purchased without first being heard. This is why radio has always been such a great marketing method for music. First you get hooked by a catchy tune, then you can’t help but buy it. For this reason, it’s important that you let your website visitors hear your music. Make at least a few tracks from each of your albums streamable. Put your best tracks forward, because these are the ones that will sell your album.
Many artists have also found that giving away a free Mp3 when people sign up to an email list is a great way to hook potential buyers.
2. Tell the Story of Your Album
Why is your album special? What went into it? What are the songs about? Why did it almost fail? Do you have videos from the recording studio or anecdotes from band members? What’s unique about it?
People connect with stories. Interview your band mates. Interview your fans. Use video, blog posts, Newsletters, Facebook, Twitter and other means to share bits and pieces of the album making process. This will imbue your album with more value and increase sales. Plus good stories are contagious and can raise awareness and create new fans.
3. Exclusive Offers
Be creative when you market to your audience. Offer limited time discounts, really awesome limited edition vinyl, signed editions, 2-for-1 deals, Free T-Shirts with purchase, etc. Mix up these offers and make them only available for a limited time. Advertise them on your social networks. Make sure to always link back to your website.
4.Contest Give Away
Giving away your album can also increase sales as long as you do it right. The important part about a contest giveaway (versus just handing out free copies of your album) is that a contest can actually increase the persevered value of your album while handing out free copies can decreases the value. When someone ‘wins’ your album in a contest they have ‘paid’ for it with participation.
A contest can be something as simple as people responding to trivia on Twitter or something more involved like challenging your fans to make a video for one of your songs. Choose something that you think your fans will be willing to participate in.
Contest winners are also great promotional vehicles. It’s hard to win a contest and not brag about it.
5. Purchase Options
Give your fans the opportunity to buy your album in the way they are most comfortable. Not everybody consumes music the same way these days. Not only should you have purchase options on your website with links to popular stores like iTunes and Amazon and CD Baby, but what about Vinyl options, deluxe editions and B-sides? What about album bundles that include additional albums, T-Shirts, stickers?
The most rewarding thing for me, when buying from an Independent artist, is that I feel like I’m getting something very personal from an artist. How can you enhance the ‘personal’ experience that your fans have when buying something on your website? Do you you follow up with each of your purchases? Do you include a personal note or a signed copy? These personal touches can mean more sales down the line.
Guest post by Chris Bolton of Host Baby.com