Thought I would throw up a quick article about a question that musicians are always asking me about.  How do I make more money with my music?  Let’s face facts, the music business has changed drastically and it is not just about  making music, getting signed to a record label, and collecting royalties.  We got to sit down and listen to Tony van Veen, the CEO of Discmakers and CD Baby, at the New Music Seminar and hear his ideas that have proven to make sense for hundreds of bands his companies have helped.

Here is some of his advice:

  • Be where the people are.  Be everywhere.  Get on all the social media sites that you can.  It is not hard to keep these sites updated with a little time each week.  Play as many gigs as you can to new people.  Play covers to draw people in and share them everywhere.
  • Build your mailing list.  Get names, emails, and zip codes from every music fan you can.  Create incentives for people to give you this information.  Give free music in exchange for it.  A big list is very important when you want to get the word out about gigs, new albums, etc.
  • Remain in the potential customer’s mindshare.  Do not let them forget you.  Add value to your fans.  Give them your stories, knowledge, and opinions.  Make it personal.  Let them feel close to a “rock star.”
  • Sell your music yourself.  Your fans and mailing list are your customers.  Selling direct to them cuts the middle man and gives you the best profit margins.  Sell online, at gigs, through your emails, etc.
  • Focus on iTunes for the potential customers that you do not have direct contact with.  It is a FACT that  over 77% of people get their music from there.
  • Build a deep product catalog.  Have CDs, vinyl, dvds, shirts, hats, collectables, etc.  More products equals more things to sell equals more revenue.
  • Accept and embrace “free”.  Use your music as a promo vehicle.  Get yourself out there.  No one is ever going to buy anything from you if they never heard of you.  Build your brand!
  • Tell customers what you want them to do. “Buy our CD”, “sign our mailing list”, “come to our next show because…”.  People need to be told to get them motivated.  Give them a call to action and you will be surprised with the results.
  • Offer specials and incentives.  Customers love to think they are getting a deal.  Offer a ‘free” t-shirt when they buy your CD.  Bundles work well in getting them to spend more money.  Make a compelling offer or even ask them to name their own price.  Getting some money and your music in their hand is much better than getting nothing and them forgetting about you tomorrow.

Hopefully you can put some of these techniques to work and you will see the results.  Remember this is the music ‘business’.  Treat your career as a business and it will pay off.  Good luck and please share your experiences with us.

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