Boost Music Sales, Accept Credit Cards

Credit Card Music SalesWhile technologies like Square are becoming more and more popular, there’s still a coolness factor – they’re new enough to elicit wide-eyed looks of wonder from grown adults (jaded New Yorkers included). For now, at least, paying for an independent album via credit card on someone’s smart phone, and signing with a swipe of your finger, is fun. Read more.

Artist Endorsement Deals – dos and don’ts

Visit any music store and you can’t miss the posters — “Rock Star X proudly plays Company Y’s guitars.” Or crack nearly any music trade magazine and you’ll see ads with well-known players singing the praises of the instruments and tools of their choosing. Such are the most visible manifestations of sponsorships and artist endorsement deals, symbiotic relationships between companies and music creators who use, and help promote, their products. And while many artist endorsement deals may seem like the stuff of high-visibility, world-touring acts, they can be helpful tools for a wide range of indie musicians as well. Read more.

The Tip Jar Effect

The Tip Jar EffectRemember the Seinfeld episode where George goes to give the guy a tip at the pizza place, but the guy doesn’t see him put it in the jar and he tries to reach in and take his money back?

It’s funny because most of us can relate to it (well, hopefully not the part about reaching back into the jar!). If we’re being totally honest, when most of us give someone a tip we want them to see us doing it. We want them to feel like they’re getting hooked up and a part of us wants to be acknowledged for making a contribution. Read more…

Re-Energize Your Career

Do you ever feel like you’re just going through the motions? Like your shows are not quite as fun for you as they used to be? Has your audience started to shrink and lose interest? Then now might be a good time to take a step back and reflect on where you are and what you can do to change.

If your audience has started to dwindle then chances are you’re feeling anxious, depressed, sad, etc. Not exactly the right frame of mind to put off an attractive energy that’s going to make people want to forget about whatever else is going on, get in their cars and pay to come see you play. Read more…

Are You an Artist or Just Someone Who Plays Music?

Many of us use the term ‘independent artist’ or ‘recording artist’ to describe ourselves, but are we really artists, or are we just people who play music?

To answer that question we need to decide what it means to be an artist. Many of us grew up in an environment where we were only taught what art means at a superficial level. Maybe our first definition of an artist was someone who was really good at making realistic paintings or drawings or maybe someone who made weird abstract creations that were supposedly only understood by special people. Read more…

Leverage Your Way to Success

Scott James concertIn the course of your journey as a musician there will be some things that go right for you. What you choose to do about those things will go a long way towards determining your success (or lack thereof).

The concept of leverage is all about finding your opportunities to capitalize on the things that will give you the best return for your efforts. Read more…

Music Marketing 2.0: The Digital Brand Manifesto

Every artist needs a fully customized DIGITAL BRAND to succeed. Proper branding requires the following:

  1. A unique web domain separate from an artist profile on the record label website. The artist’s website functions as the central web hub for that artist’s digital brand.
  2. A simplified e-commerce system on the artist website. Easy check-out store supporting various forms of payment (PayPal, credit, debit, etc).

Read more…

Progress vs. Perfection

About 8 years ago I used to smoke two packs of Marlboro Red cigarettes a day. It was hard for me to imagine what it would really take to quit. I tried to kick the habit cold turkey a few times and it just made me want to crawl out of my skin. Then I heard about the patch and decided to give it a try.

I put it on one morning and made it until about 10PM before I ripped it off and started smoking. The fact that I don’t smoke today has a lot to do with how I chose to look at what happened that day. Read more…

The Thing About Ping, Apple’s New Social Network

PingApple announced last week that they were launching a new social network called Ping which is integrated into their ubiquitous iTunes player. Ping allows music fans and artists to interact and share details about their listening habits. This is another great way for musicians to market themselves, share content, display concert info, and boost sales (artist profiles link to iTunes artist pages). Unfortunately, Apple is currently only allowing artists to start profiles by “invitation only,” though anyone with an iTunes account is welcome to start a user profile. Read more…

5 Sales Tips for Independent Artists

Sell your music better and you’ll have resources to make more music, better-sounding music, and get more people to hear it. Here are five tips to help you generate more sales:

1. Believe In Your Product
It’s difficult to look someone in the eye and ask them to buy something that you don’t believe is a good deal for them. If you’re trying to sell a CD to someone for $10 that you believe is worth $5 then you’re going to have a hard time selling it. The idea is to focus on ‘giving’ them something that’s valuable to them at a fair price. You can always tell when someone is just trying to ‘get’ something from you. Don’t underestimate the intelligence and intuition of your fans. Read more…

Stop Pushing Buttons and Start Baking Cakes

cakeDoesn’t it just stink when you do something that seems like it should work, but it falls flat and leaves you more confused and frustrated? This can seem like a way of life for many independent artists. We try to do something to promote ourselves but instead we end up just spinning our tires in the mud and getting nowhere. We want to make something happen but can’t see the relationship between our actions and our results. Read more…

The Self-Made Musician

Sharon Jones & The Dap-KingsGabe Roth is the bass player, producer, main writer and founding member of Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings and the head of their label Daptone records. Gabe also recently won a Grammy award for engineering the Amy Winehouse record “Back to Black”. I was lucky enough to be in a band with Gabe in college back when he was a drummer. He is one of those enviable musicians who can pick up any instrument and make it look effortless. Read more…