Hey guys, I’ve a big one for you today. I seriously believe this will change the way a lot of musicians give out their ‘free’ music, as the way most do it now only hinders their music career. If you’ve ever asked “should I give out my music for free?”, this guide will help you.
If your strategy involves putting your latest album or mixtape on your website for people to download at the click of a button, you need to read this guide.
I wrote this guide as I see an increasing amount of musicians giving out all their music for free with no real aim. The theory many give me is that more people will hear them and they’ll therefore make more money from gigging later down the line. This however is a flawed plan, and in this guide I’ll tell you why. On top of that, I’ll also give you a better way to do things rather than just plopping a free download link on your website for people to use.
What You’ll Learn From Reading This Guide
- After reading this guide, you’ll have a better knowledge of what does and doesn’t work when it comes to free music.
- You’ll know how to set up your free music to get the most from each downloader.
- You’ll have a idea of how to monetize the people who go on to download your free music.
- You’ll have a full strategy which will help you get a more valuable type of fan from your free offer.
- You’ll have a strategy to build up a more lasting relationship with any fans. This is better than the ‘download once never to return again’ fan which is usually attracted by freebies.
Give Out Music For Free? Here’s The Problem
Giving out free music in it’s traditional form is largely a flawed plan. While it used to work well and would help get your music out to more people who might later buy something or attend a show, this isn’t what generally happens any more. With there being so many musicians giving out their music for free, ‘free’ isn’t nearly as much of a strong incentive to download as it once was. Here’s why the traditional free model doesn’t really work any more:
Being Free Alone Doesn’t Get You That Many More Downloads
Ask yourself, how many times do you see free music which you don’t go on to download? If you’re a regular browser of any of the music websites such as Soundcloud and Reverb Nation (both good sites for finding new musicians by the way), my guess is every day.
Putting your new single, mixtape or album up for free on your website isn’t likely to get you known on a much wider scale than you are already. Yes you may get some downloads, but that’s generally after you promote it yourself and give people a reason to download your music in the first place. They’re not generally going to just find your website and download you music without any promotion.
So either way, you have to market yourself if you want to get any downloads. The art of marketing is basically the art of convincing people to look at your music and give it a try. So if you can get good at that side of things, you’ll have a big advantage over the majority of musicians who try and stay clear of the business side. But back to the main point.
There are thousands of thousands of musicians who give out there music for free, meaning that zero price point alone no longer gives a real edge when trying to gain new fans over other similar artists. It’s because of this that you need to do more than give out all your music for free via a single download link. We’ll look more at what else you can do later in this guide.
Giving Away All Your Music For Free Cheapens Your Image
Another problem with giving away all your music is that it cheapens your image.
As you progress in your music career, you’ll want to gradually build up a solid fanbase who interact with you in a certain way. You have the power to influence the way your fans interact with you.
If you give out a load of your music for free, this is what your fans are going to come to expect. In affect you’re training them to download your songs for free, and not give any financial or other type of reward in exchange. You’re training them to be in a one way relationship, and you’re showing them your music isn’t something that needs to be bought.
If you then turn around down the line and expect them to start paying for songs, chances are the majority of people won’t. They’ll be too used to the old way of doing things, and won’t really support you as much now there’s a price involved.
If you had worked on getting more interactive and supportive people in from the beginning, while your fan base may be a bit smaller, you’ll have attracted higher quality fans who are more open to spending money and supporting you in other way. This is much more beneficial for a consistent music career. Furthermore, you give off the impression of a more premium brand.
Free Music Alone Often Gets Ignored And Forgotten About
A last point I want to make about free music, is that it doesn’t always get listened to. If you’re a regular downloader of free music, chances are that you know this.
There are a number of serial downloaders who go around and download a load of new artists. These new songs and albums then end up sitting on the person’s computer, never to be listened to. When they haven’t got enough space on their hard drive, all of these songs get deleted without ever getting a real play. Any title they don’t recognize (including your song) gets deleted.
The problem is that there’s nothing reminding people who you are, why they downloaded your music, or why they really need to give it a listen.
When people buy your music however, you don’t get this problem. The fact that they paid for it means they already know something about you, and are highly likely to listen to what you have to offer.
As you can see, the general way of giving out free music isn’t really that effective. Yes you may get some downloads and some fans, but you’re not really maximizing your potential at all. Luckily, today I’m going to share with you a better way to make free music work for you. A way that will get you better quality fans, and make you more money in the long run. Here’s the solution:
Ok, so as you can see above, giving out all your music isn’t most likely going to get you many more fans or move your music career forward much. So what should you be doing instead?
While there are a few strategies you can adopt, one that I’ve found works well is the ‘gradual freebie, remind & monetize’ method (yes, I did just make that name up as there’s no official name for it). 🙂
Let me tell you what this involves, why it works, and how to implement it in your music career…
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