If you’re anything like me (and a lot of other artists) you’re not a natural salesperson. I’ve had jobs in sales and I hated them. But they were valuable learning experiences that pushed me out of my comfort zone.
Even if you don’t have a natural aptitude for it, being intentional about improving your ability to sell your music will pay off in results. There doesn’t have to be anything unauthentic, slimy, or pushy about getting people to buy your music. In fact, in 2015 selling music independently is all about authenticity, transparency and making real connections with people.
Making the decision to purchase music is usually an emotionally driven one. If you can learn how to tap into that and how to move people through a finely tuned sales process, you should see a jump in people buying your music (as long as your music’s good of course).
Below I dive into a few key tips that I believe are essential focus areas for getting more people to buy your music.
Get Good At Selling Music (Or Find Someone Who Is)
Some people can just walk up to people, strike up a conversation, and close a sale frequently and flawlessly. It’s a natural part of their personality. With a little sales training these people are gold mines. But for others, the process is painful and anxiety driving.
Often times it can be difficult for artists to try and sell their work because it is so personal to them and they are so emotionally connected to it. Just the thought of putting yourself out there and asking someone to pay you for your art can feel vulnerable and nerve racking. But you should force yourself to do it anyway.
As often as possible.
You should invest time into learning how to get better at it. Don’t try to avoid it, you’re choosing to make less money if you do.
Although we should constantly strive to make ourselves better salespeople and spokespeople for our music careers, there is nothing wrong with accepting that sales isn’t one of your natural strengths. Building a winning team is all about learning your strengths and focusing on those while finding people to fill in the gaps for your weaknesses.
You don’t want to completely give up personally selling your music to other people, but there is nothing wrong with a little delegation.
Find someone who believes in you and wants to be part of your team with a knack for selling. Put them behind your merchandise booth or in the streets with a stack of CDs. Give them a little guidance and let them kill it with what they’re best at while you do the same.
If you want guidance for the selling and marketing process in the music industry, you should check out our beginners online music marketing course. A lot of aspects of selling is covered in there.
Have Something To Offer Every Type of Fan
You’ll have different types of fans coming across and interacting with you and your music. Don’t lose out on sales because you failed to provide the right type of offering to the right type of fan when you had the chance.
Not everyone coming to your website is a super die-hard fan who will pay to meet you in person. Some will be people who have just heard you for the first time and aren’t fully convinced you’re going to be a musician they’ll buy into. Others will be a fan who will buy your gig tickets but not buy your MP3s.
Have a free download in exchange for an email address for the first timers or new fans.
Have some CD and merch offerings for the casual fans.
Have some premium, deluxe, and exclusive offerings for the die-hard fans.
Don’t have your fans trying to decide if they should get something from you or not. Have them choosing between your options and trying to decide which of those offers they want at that moment in time.
In short, have something for everyone.
Fine Tune Your Website To Get More People To Buy Your Music
If you want to maximize song, merch and gig ticket sales, you need to constantly fine tune and refine your website. You want it to continually get better at inspiring a higher percentage of visitors to take a specific and defined action.
The process doesn’t just start with your website either. It includes your entire web presence.
If your fans interact with you online anywhere, you should be guiding them from that place to your website where you motivate them to do something. Like buying a ticket to your latest gig. The aim is for this action to benefit you both and you both be happy by the end of it. In this case, they’ll get to see a musician they like perform, and you’ll get paid. You’ll also be able to fund future shows if enough people buy your tickets.
If you want more people to buy your music online, structure your website in a way that will help you achieve that specific goal. Give your visitors limited options and make the actions you want them to take the most appealing.
If that action you want them to take most is buying your music, then make it as clear and easy for them to do so as possible. Also give them a strong incentive to take that action right now.
People have very limited attention spans online. Every word you use and every element or function of your design matters. It all has an impact on the success of your website’s sales funnel.
Combine Remarkable Music With Remarkable Design
People will make judgments and opinions about you based off of what they see before they even get a chance to hear your music. Design is an often overlooked but integral component to music sales and marketing.
If your visuals don’t evoke emotion and inspire action it’s unlikely your music will get the chance to. You should expend just as much time and effort into perfecting the visual representation of your brand as you do the musical representation.
Think about the purpose of your designs for your albums, posters, promotional materials, and web presence. How do you want them to make people feel and what you want them to inspire people to do?
Get this side of things looking professional and attractive. Hire a designer to help you with this.
Maybe you are one of the rare few blessed with a natural passion for both sales and creating music. If so, don’t underestimate the value you possess.
For independent artists, actually selling their music can be one of the most difficult aspects of their career.
But compliments, likes, and views don’t pay the bills.
If you’d like to make a living creating music you’re going to have to master the art of getting people to value it enough to pay for it. How good you are at branding, marketing, networking, and selling impacts your career’s success monumentally.
It’s not enough just to be a great artist that makes great music, you also need to be great at packaging and selling yourself and your music.
Do you have any other tips to share on how to get people to buy your music? Let me know in the comments!