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« How to Choose the Best Songs for Your Album | Main | How to Begin a Career in the Music Industry: Advice to the graduating class of 2012 »
Wednesday
May022012

Basic Marketing Principles For Artists - Part 3 of 3: Increase the Amount of Money That You Charge

Welcome to the final segment of a 3 part series that was inspired by a mastermind program I participated in with Ali Brown who is my mentor in the world of online marketing.

Here’s the recap of what we’ve gone over thus far…

There are three ways to increase your income:

Part 1. Increase your number of clients (fans).

Part 2. Increase the frequency of purchase, how often your fans buy from you. (and you’d better have more than just music to sell).

Part 3. Increase the amount of money that you charge…

Increasing the amount of money you charge poses a problem if all you have to sell is music because music is now widely available for free, and people have proven that they are not willing to pay a premium for music.

However, fans will pay plenty of money for experiences, like a great concert or a chance to be a contribution to an artist, a special memento, or wonderful merchandise that really resonates with your fans.

An Example…

Jeff Krantz created a BIG payday in one fell swoop.

Jeff Krantz & The $10,000 Song
http://jeffkrantzmusic.com

Recently I was hanging out with past Cyber PR client who had a fabulous tale to tell. Jeff launched his singer-songwriter career in Second Life where he has managed to build a wonderful fan base.

Through networking online, he met a man who fell in love with his songwriting and became a fan. This man called up my artist and told him that he was having a big anniversary coming up and he wanted a special song written just for his wife. He asked if he would be up for writing and recording a custom song for her.

Realizing that this was a huge opportunity told his fan that he would present him with some options he began to THINK BIG. So he created 3 packages that this man could choose from with three separate prices (depending on how much he wanted to spend / how involved it would be silver, gold and platinum)

Here’s what Jeff wrote about how it worked:

As part of the Gold package that the client chose, I agreed to write 3 different songs (first verse and chorus) for the client to chose from. Once the client selected the song, I spent 1 week writing 2 full lyrical options for the client to chose from. Once they had decided on the song, Jeff went into his studio and recorded the song, bringing in musicians to fill out the arrangement. He then sent it to a top studio to be mixed and mastered and 2 weeks later he sent the client the finished song (with the masters). “It took about 60 hours in total but it was so much fun and I made almost 10 grand for the effort!”

The point is because he leveraged just ONE relationship with just one fan he managed to make over $10,000 on ONE song.

Had he not been working on increasing his fanbase by networking online, he never would have had this opportunity present itself to him.

Fan Funding

A newer option that has become a widely available option for indepdent musicians to take advantage of is fan funding. Fan funding sites (often called ‘Crowdfunding’) have become an incredible resource for musicians to employ this very strategy.

Here are a few options available:

  • Pledge Music
  • Rockethub
  • Kickstarter
  • IndieGoGo
  • Be it your album creation process, setting up a tour, creating merchandise, or any other important aspect of being an independent musician, creating a fan funding campaign not only helps you to raise the funds, but it will allow you to give your fans the opportunity to take part in a unique experience.

    Your fans will be paying more because they will be buying into more than just a pre-sale for a project, they are paying for the opportunity to join your journey to get there.

    How Have You Added Value?

    I would love to hear how you have managed to add value and get more profit. Please share!

    Reader Comments (2)

    That $10,000 Song example is the exception to the rule -- most bands won't be fortunate enough to find a patron like that, or their creative style won't work in a "song for hire" context. But I do agree that bands should start charging more. If you have 2,000 fans on your email list, and about 2% to 5% of them are super-fans who will buy your limited-edition, high-end products, that's 40 to 100 people who are willing to spend REAL money...not just $10 for a CD. Do not be afraid to charge high prices for these top-shelf products. Sell your "deluxe bundle" for $60 to $75. Maybe $100 if it's super-cool. I've known some bands who balk at charging high prices...they're fearful of "gouging" the fans. But if a fan can't afford it, they'll find other less-expensive options. And if a super-fan really wants it, they will happily spend the money because they feel like they're getting something extremely valuable and special. Artists are able to add value to their offerings...if they can charge a premium, and people are willing to spend the money, the artist should set prices that will maximize their earnings. It may sound sleazy to some, but in this world, every extra dollar you can earn makes a big difference.

    Maybe one can look at it as an example of never knowing unless you ask, give it a try, make the jump. Who knows where or how the answer will come but asking or at least offering the initial creative proposal made the rest happen as if it was meant to be. While maybe an exception, still nice to read about sometimes.

    May 3 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

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