Want to sell more songs as a musician? This is what I'm going to show you how to do today.
While there are people who will tell you “people don't buy music anymore, don't try and sell songs”, I'd advise you to ignore such comments. Yes, the number of songs you'll sell aren't what they used to be. That said, they can still act as an additional revenue stream for you as a musician. And you should be taking advantage of as many different forms of income as you can, especially when once it's set up you don't have to touch it again.
But what if you've set up a way to sell your songs but sales are only trickling in slowly? Well, here are some top ways to sell more songs for musicians. The first two tips of five may seem obvious to some of you, but both points are largely overlooked so are worth a mention. As always, feel free to share this page with others who may find it helpful.
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(Not So) Obvious Tip 1: Have Songs Up For Sale
Ok, so I know this may sound obvious to many. That said there are a huge amount of musicians who simply don't offer any of their songs for sale! When I ask them why, the reasons are either because they want to offer their music free so more people will hear it, or because they “haven't got a song they want to sell yet”.
Well first off all, giving out your music free won't make people more likely to listen. So many people offer free music that it's not an effective way to get your music heard any more. Secondly, if you've more than three songs which you've recorded and released to fans, at least one of those should be a paid option.
You see, there will be people who want to buy your music. And if you don't give them an option to buy it, you are losing out on money.
So if you want to sell more songs, you need to have them up for people to buy. You can either do that via E-Junkie (which adds a digital download store to your website), iTunes, on your own WordPress site using plugins and more.
Now, before you put your music up to sell, bare in mind one more thing:
(Not So) Obvious Tip 2: Making Music Better Than The Competition Equals More Song Sales
As musicians, we tend to feel what we're making is good music. We like it, so other people should too.
Now, while making music you enjoy is a good thing, there's something else you need to ask yourself if you want to get fans from your music:
How does it compare to music others are making?
Think about it. Even if your music is good, if there are 100 other musicians in your genre making music which has better recording quality and better songs than you, why would people go out their way to listen to something which is second (or 101st) best?
It's not just about being good, it's about being on par with some of the most listened to talent in your genre. You don't necessarily have to be better than them to sell music, but you need to be at least as good as them (or nearly there with something different about you) to make more than the odd person invest in your music.
It's important you're objective about this. Don't just say you're generally better, ask if your recordings, lyrics, song structure, voice, backing tracks and more are of the same level. If they're not, keep practicing and improving.
Now that we've got the (not so) obvious things out the way, let's look at some other things you'll need to do to sell more music.
Sell More Songs Tip 3: Allow People To Try Before They Buy (The Upgrade)
Now, we all know that many music fans are less likely to buy songs than they used to be. With that in mind, it's important you change with the times. You don't want to try and force fan to buy songs without thinking about what'll make the best experience for them.
While giving out all your songs free isn't a good idea, what is a good idea is giving people a taster of your music, then up-selling those who like it enough.
So for example, you may offer people a free 3 – 4 track EP of yours in exchange for their email address. With that email address you can contact them in future when needed, and let them know about your upgraded paid collection of songs which you have on sale. Let them know that if they enjoyed the few free songs, they'd love the paid collection as there's more songs, some of your best material, and they'll also be part of your inner circle of special fans who you go to with new information first.
Don't try and sell people right away, make it a gradual and logical process.
Tip 4: Make Your Songs Easy To Relate To
Why do people buy music? Either because it makes them want to dance, or because they can relate to what the song's about. If you can get a song which mixes both of those things you're giving yourself a good chance of gaining listeners.
When writing songs, don't always think about what you ‘should' be talking about. Think about what you feel, and what you want to say. Chances are, there will be people who can relate to that, as long as it's your real thoughts and they're well expressed.
While you'll want to bare in mind your target audience when picking what to write lyrics about (you don't generally want to talk about depressing things when trying to make a dance tune for example) keep these real feelings at the front when writing.
Tip 5: Give Additional Reasons For People To Buy Your Music
While buying your music is a good pulling factor for some, many music lovers need an additional pull. So why not offer people more than just an MP3 download?
- Giving a portion of your sales to charity. Yes it'll mean you'll make less per sale, but it could get more people taking the plunge and buying as you're supporting a good cause. It'll also mean you could build new fans.
- Making people special members of your fan club if they buy. A buying club if you will; just don't call them that. If you give buyers news first and exclusives songs / pictures etc, this can make them feel special and remain long terms buyers of your songs.
- Free wallpapers for their computer or exclusive discounts for your other products.
There are a few things like this you can do, think outside the box and see what you can come up with.
If you want to sell more music, the above tips should help you out. Despite what some people say, you can still make money by selling songs. Further more, it can be an easy way to add to the income coming in from your music.
So do you have any other ways to sell more songs? If so let us know in the comments.