Three Simple Steps to Increase Your Music Sales
If you want to increase your music sales, there are actually many things you can do. Today, we are going to focus on three things that you can do right now, that will get you more results.
1. Stop Making Every Song Available In Full
This is one of the biggest things you can do right now that will increase sales, and here’s why.
A lot of musicians believe that in order to “get their music out there” they have to make it available for everyone to hear, so what happens is that musicians will upload their songs to any number of free sites, share the link on social media or in music groups, hoping to generate sales.
The problem is that if someone can go to your site, or wherever you have your songs hosted, any time they want and listen to the whole thing, they don’t need to buy the song.
Effectively what you’ve done is taken away any incentive to purchase.
This is precisely why every major distributor and outlet only plays previews, and it’s also why DJ’s talk either at the beginning or at the end of every song they play.
There’s also a psychological aspect to this – people want what they can’t have.
So your job, if you want more sales is to make sure that not all of your music is available in full online – this includes video on YouTube, Vimeo and other sites.
Here’s a great idea.
Next time you want someone to buy a song, make a video of you telling the story behind the song, and make sure that you are talking when the song starts.
And right before the song ends, begin talking again, thanking the person for listening, and tell them where to get the song.
What that does is build anticipation and desire to buy from you.
Some people will go looking to see if your song is available elsewhere for free, and if it’s not, they will be more inclined to buy it.
2. Your Music Is Valuable So Put A Price on It
A huge mistake that musicians make is giving away their album, or charging an unbelievable low price for it.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen an artist offer a deal, “buy my album for a dollar and get _____ (fill in the blank)”. I also can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen artists literally give their album away for likes and shares.
That’s bad business.
Your music has value. It took time and energy, creativity, and most certainly money to make.
You have to recoup those costs in one way or another. You have to think of yourself as a business owner, not just a musician.
I understand the desire to give your music away to create value, but that’s not the right way to do it, especially when you have something else of greater value – yourself, (more on that shortly).
There is an art to pricing and to understand pricing, you have to understand how people naturally think about value.
You may think giving away your music is the deal of the century. That’s because you know the time and effort and money you put into it. The value you place on it is high, but if you give your music away, the perceived value they have drops to nothing.
Likewise, if you underprice your music, people will think it’s no good.
Let’s put that to the test.
If you saw a beautiful instrument on display in a store, with a price tag of $100 bucks, when every other instrument are thousands of dollars, what would you think? The same thing everyone else naturally thinks. What’s wrong with the instrument? Why are they selling it so cheap?
Now imagine if they had a sign on it that said “free”?
Most people would think that there is something wrong with it and they can’t sell it.
This has been proven time and time again. When something is underpriced or given away for free, (if it’s not a commodity like food), perceptions about value are very low.
This is what you do to your music when you give it away or try to sell it at an underpriced rate, and eventually, what happens is that people will begin to view you with the same value.
Always put a reasonable price on your music, and always start or end it with an odd number.
Here’s something about pricing that most people don’t know, but something that has been proven many times over as well.
People notice odd numbers more than even numbers, and they are more willing to spend money on an odd-numbered price tag.
If you don’t believe me, take a look at any grocery store, mall outlets, online retailers, and so on. Very few prices are exact dollar amounts and nearly all of them are odd numbers.
We make fun of it in real life that everything is $9.99 or $14.95 and so on, but there is a reason why that tool box is $79.00 or that shirt is $11 bucks.
Perceived value also works with overpricing. If you saw a regular shirt on sale for $45 bucks on a rack with similar shirts for half the price, which would you buy?
People have a perceived value of music whether it’s a single for $0.99 cents, 3 songs for $1.99, or an album with 14 songs for $11.95.
So if you have a price that’s higher than what people are used to, then you have to raise the perceived value of whatever they are getting for that price.
After all, people will only pay what the ‘feel’ is a fair price, which means your job is to make sure the person who’s thinking about buying your music gets the value they expect, or they will either not buy, or ask for their money back.
Stop making deals by giving away or underpricing your music.
3. Trade Your Time and Energy: It’s Worth More
So you understand the need to create desire by not making everything fully available to the public, and you understand the perception of value, but now it’s time to talk about how to get the best deals to boost your sales.
If you’re going to make a deal, then leverage the most important asset you have – your time. This is the only thing you have that’s worth more than your music. You can spend money and make more money, but when you spend time, you never get that back.
For this reason, people naturally put a higher value on your time and energy, than they do a product, whether they realize it or not.
For example, let’s say you spent a lot of time and energy and money to put together an awesome dinner party for friends and a few guests?
The next day you get an email from someone saying, “Thanks for the party. I had a great time!”
Cool right? Two days later you get a hand-written thank you card in the mail saying “Thanks for the party. I had a great time!”
Which would you value more? Even though you’d be grateful for both, you would appreciate the card more. Everyone does.
If I told you that I gave $1,000 to charity, what would you say? Probably give me a slow clap and ask if I wanted a trophy very sarcastically. That’s because anyone can give money. It’s really not a big deal.
But what if I told you I took the day off and went to volunteer at a children’s hospital or a soup kitchen?
You’d probably admire me for doing that and want to do something yourself.
That’s because people value time and effort more than they do things. It says something that a person would stop whatever they’re doing and spend time with you.
Why do you think people pay hundreds and even thousands of dollars for a front row seat to 2 hour concert? It’s time that they value.
That musician or band is going to be there live – they’re spending time and energy and performing and their fans love it. People love being involved and included and there’s no better way to do that than with your time.
If you’re going to make a deal, leverage your time.
Which is more enticing to you? Buying an album for $2 bucks, or buying an album for $9 bucks and getting to meet the band so they can autograph it?
Which is better? Getting a free album download for a donation, or buying a $14.95 album and entering for a chance to win backstage passes to the next concert?
Again, which sounds like a better deal? Getting an entire album for $1.00 or buying an $11.95 album and getting a personal thank you from the musician, and a chance to hang with the band for an evening?
People love getting a hook up, and the best way to do that in the music industry is with time.
Learn to leverage your time when making deals. Not only will you get more sales, but you’ll build a stronger audience and a lasting fan base that will show up wherever you go.
BONUS: Understand Your LTV
Since I preach “think like a business owner, not a musician”, I wanted to offer you a bonus concept dealing with sales and it is something that will save you tons of money in the future, especially if you pay for advertising.
Cable companies – have you ever wondered how they are able to offer two and three months of free service?
You would think that they would be losing money right?
Or what about companies that offer their product for free out of the box? Why aren’t they going belly up as soon as they open?
Here’s a question.
How do you know how much money you should spend on advertising?
It’s called L.T.V. or Lifetime Value.
In a nutshell, you divide your annual income by the number of customers you have. What you get back is an average of how much each customer is worth.
So, let’s say that you’re working your side job, and trying to jump starting your music career, and made $2,000 in sales in one year. You want to start spending some of that money on advertising, but you don’t how much money you should spend.
This is where LTV comes in.
You have $2,000 from sales, and when you go back and check, you realize you had 60 sales (singles, albums, other merchandise, etc.).
Simply divide $2,000 by 60 – 2,000/60 = $33.33.
So now you know that on average, 1 customer is worth around $34 bucks (rounding up to the nearest dollar).
For you, this number means two major things.
- It means that you can spend up to $34 dollars to get one customer in order to break even. In other words, whatever marketing you buy, if you spend $34 dollars and you don’t get a single customer, then you’re losing money and it’s time to try something else.
- It means that you know how many customers you need to have on average to let go of your side job and go into music full time.
Looking at the second one here, ask yourself this question.
How much money do I need to make annually to quit my job and be a full time musician?
Let’s say your side job pays you $1800 a month. If you knew how many customers you needed to make $1800 a month you could quit your job and focus on your music.
You can use your LTV to get that number.
$1800 per month, for 12 months is $21,600 per year.
At $34.00 per customer, $21,600 divided by $34 is 635.29 sales per year, 636 customers every year, and you can quit your side job and go full time into music.
Do you think you can get 636 customers in a year? Big number when you look at it annually, but that’s 53 sales a month, or roughly 13 sales a week.
Do you think you can get 13 sales a week if it meant you can quit your side job and go full time into music?
This is how important LTV is. It allows you to set realistic goals that can you can work towards and achieve. Going full time into the music industry isn’t all that complicated.
All you have to do think like a business owner instead of a musician, become a student of sales and marketing, and leverage the right business platform.
The last two are already taken care of for you.
Follow the link and watch the video to discover the system I created that not only helps you run your business easier and faster, but also gives you the information you need to succeed.