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What successful Internet marketers know and what musician marketers don't

Most Internet marketers make money online, most musician marketers don’t.

The Backstory – The Big Seminar
My journey into the world of Internet marketing, began when I attended an Internet marketing conference and saw one of the keynote speakers. Armand is a bubbly and enthusiastic man from South Carolina; he makes a fortune in the world of internet marketing, and he not only markets things that help him make money, he teaches people how to do it themselves.

Armand is also a musician and his alter ego is Micheal Lee Austin. When I saw him speak, he walked us through how he took took himself to the top of the Billboard charts using his own online marketing strategy. He sold thousands of CD’s using his own techniques. I was so intrigued I wanted to learn how he did it, so I signed up to study with him via a series of online courses and they came with a ticket to his “Big seminar” in Atlanta.

The big seminar completely shifted my reality. I went to Atlanta not knowing what to expect, I came home with my world rocked. At lunch on the first day, I struck sat next to an unassuming man, and we struck up a non-memorable conversation. Two guys approached him and began slapping him on the back and congratulated him on breaking the $1M mark so far that year, (and there were still many months left in that year.) I was amazed. How was this marketer making millions while most of my clients were making what seemed like less every year?

The answer is effectively applying marketing strategies. In this new age of blasting messages out on Myspace and Facebook, we have completely taken our energy away from traditional marketing.

Our focus has been diluted with a new online service that seem to crop up everyday to help musicians with everything from cross-posting show dates, to tuning your guitar with your cell phone. Many of these developments, are wonderful, but all of them take time and energy to learn and implement, and they take us away from focusing on traditional Internet marketing.

Selling Music is Not Like Selling A Diet Product
The act of selling music is not at all like selling goods or services which is where Internet Marketers have a leg up on musicians. You are ostensibly selling a feeling. People connect to music in a very different way than they connect to any old product, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t take the same basic principles and apply them. Here are the ones that I highly suggest.

What’s In The Internet Marketers Arsenal

Internet Marketer’s Strategy: Build a mailing list and communicate regularly adding value.

Goal: Get your list to interact with you and trust you, track how effective you are being by looking at open rates

Product: e-mail list manager. You need an email list manager that measures results. There are many available I suggest Reverb Nation’s free system or BandLetter.


Internet Marketer’s Strategy: A website that captures leads by making an offer that people want - a free ebook, MP3, a special report, a video, etc.
Wth this system, a potential fan will sign up to your mailing list because he sees value in the offer (it is called a squeeze page because the email address is “squeezed” out of the fan).

I know what you are thinking! It is very easy to unsubscribe once signed up and so it’s not a ploy at all. You are providing a quality offer and you are askig for their email address in exchange for it.

Goal: Get as many people onto your list as possible.

Product: A website that has a backend that stores email addresses and instantly delivers visitors the requested offer (An MP3 is what I would suggest to all musicians).

I suggest talking to your webs designer to implement this. aweber and 1 Shopping Cart are two systems that can be integrated into your site to deliver these results.

Internet Marketer’s Strategy: A system and plan that offers multiple products potential fans in many price categories

Internet Marketers know that these are the three main ways to increase income.

1. Increase your customer (fan) base.

2. Increase the average transaction amount that you get from each customer (fan.)

3. Increase the amount of times and frequency by which they purchase from you.

Goal: Earn more money! The thinking here is: it takes ten times more effort to make a totally new fan than it does to keep offering fans that already love you multiple items over time.

Product: There are plenty of mind mapping products and fancy software programs for planning out your strategy but good old pen and paper and a few brain storming sessions should get you off o the right path.

Final Goal: long-term success.

Strategy: An overall marketing plan laid out with goals, vision, and measurable results.

Product: A line of offerings to sell to your fans: not only Cds and MP3s but also private gigs, merch and special events.

I would love to hear some of your strategies and what products and ideas are working for you.

If you are thinking like an Internet marketer I want to know about it!

Please post what you do that gets you results!

Reader Comments (36)

As a musician and internet marketer, my advice would be: Give away your music and sell your expertise.

The easiest way to get people to hand over their money is to solve a problem for them. My neighbour's dog keeps wandering into my back yard. I Google 'building a fence'. I go to a website and buy a 'How to build a fence' ebook and the internet marketer gets paid.

The difficulty with selling music is that it doesn't solve a problem. But plenty of people have a music problem. They can't tune their guitar, they don't know how to set up a drum kit, they can't get a good sound when they record themselves. All committed musicians have skills that people are willing to pay to learn. Make a living solving problems and enjoy your music.

"Most internet marketers make money online..." - From what I've seen, that's definitely not the case.

February 16 | Unregistered CommenterUkulele Al

Hello, I would like to share my success story which has a similar model to that outlined in this article, and ukulele Al's point.

I have managed to become a financially successful musician whilst still keeping the majority of my content freely available.

Here are a few points of interest about my project:

• I have built my strong global fanbase up by using nothing but word of mouth and viral promotion techniques
• Not only do I encourage people to burn, copy and spread my music as far as they can, I reveal all of my production techniques via free in depth production tutorial videos which I also urge people to spread as far as they can
• I make the majority of my income (as a full time musician) through donations
• I have traveled the world several times performing and teaching at some of the largest international music festivals
• My personal website is an interactive social network with a 5000+ strong user base who constantly contribute and keep the content self generative and interesting

Due to the lack of middlemen and standard promotional methods, I have immediate access to statistics that show what direction things are going in, allowing me to adjust accordingly when both positive and negative results come my way. This has given me the ability to adapt and evolve the project as time moves on, picking up many positive traits. I have been able to watch how things progress and aim for that nice exponential curve which I am getting closer to.

Now that I have built my fanbase up to a level where I feel comfortable rolling out the next step in my plan, I have introduced a new idea which can see me still giving music away from free, but giving me a nice stable income.

I have introduced a pro member service for fans who are serious. This has been rolled out over the last month and is proving to be a success. For ten dollars a month members can upgrade their account, giving them access to

• Higher quality music as it comes out
• More indepth (and hi definition) tutorial videos
• Private forums
• The ability to beta test and give feedback on latest unfinished projects
• Access to my "Megaset" - The complete Ableton Live set that I use when I do my actual performances, including my songs chopped up into loops and samples, ready for anyone to download, jam and create their own version of the set.
• Various other perks that create a personal connection between myself and people who like my music

I consider this to be one of my niches, and hope that it attracts attention.

This is working, and working well. I get the great benifit of still letting anyone access my creativity at anystage, while making a steady income. Steady is the main part because I am useless at budgeting when my income is all over the place!



February 16 | Unregistered CommenterTom Cosm

These are both great comments. I have a large following of guitar players via getresponse email autoresponder. I have websites, forums, google friend connect, youtube and twitter. I give away my music for free and have an online guitar coaching program. My vids have over 300,000 views and thousands of subscribers on youtube and email by giving away my tab. It's not easy to 'convert' these to paying customers, but I'm happy to have a large following. I've tried affiliate programs, amazon products, adsense and haven't made much money so far, but I do think this is the way to go.

February 16 | Unregistered CommenterWill

This is just brilliant Ariel, I truly believe that the biggest problem facing modern musicians is the ridiculous belief that somehow the music business is different to every other business on the planet. It is simply not and there are many lessons to be learnt from those internet marketers who are doing well. Those who continue in the pointless belief that they follow a different set of rules and don't need concepts like "marketing" are doomed to fail.

It is something that has frustrated me greatly. In fact I wrote about this on my site last week in a post entitled 7 ways to guarantee the failure of your music career. The very first point was "Insist that the music business is not like any other business in the world" which is exactly what you are talking about here.

I've had some success as an online marketer with by software business. Selling software online is almost identical to the process a band or musician would go through but when I try to convery this, I'm more often than not faced with people who want to tell me it won't work because music is different. My advice to them is "don't sell your McDonalds uniform just yet".

Great post, well done.

February 16 | Unregistered CommenterMark Gibson

Tom & Will & Ukulele Al & Mark

Thanks Gentlemen!

I am really inspired by your posts and as a publicist / marketer/ student of Internet Marketing I struggle with the question all of the time: what does an "infopreneur" offer that a musician can not offer? And this is where I get stopped... You are both the exception to the rule because 1. You are offering something that you teach and you can charge for it or / and not charge for it and 2. You want to offer something more than just music to sell.... But Ukulele Al has a strong point when he says: The difficulty with selling music is that it doesn't solve a problem. This is where having more diverse offerings comes into the picture in my opinion BUT you can't create more diverse offerings unless you have a large (ish) market to sell them to and this is where the Internet marketer excels - he carefully researches what it is people want then he gets those same evangelists to buy again and again... and it works!

and Mark I couldn't agree more but so much goes into play when its your personal creative expression that it's hard to promote / market / sell yourself. I can't tell you how many artists I have worked with who are successful at their day jobs and make a great living in marketing or advertising or something that could easily translate but when it comes yo doing it for their own art they go pear-shaped.... the cobbler’s son has no shoes in full effect.

February 16 | Unregistered CommenterAriel Hyatt

NOBODY respects Armand as a musician. Futhermore, NO ONE bought the Michael Lee Austin CD for the music.

The reason this CD sold to people other than Armand's family and friends was
because he offered a free teleseminar about using Google to everyone who
bought two copies or more.

You can see full details in the reviews of the Michael Lee Austin CD on
Amazon. Search "Michael Lee Austin" to get the details (including the EXACT
sales e-mail he sent out).

If Armond's technique had worked, other people would have had success with
it. While he maybe a brilliant marketer when it comes to selling "how to
make money" information on the Internet, he knows nothing about the music
business. All business is not the same.

Armond, as well as other Internet marketers such as Stephen Pierce, Alex
Mandossian and Chet Holmes have tried to break into the music business.
Stephen Pierce did a seminar for musicians. Chet Holmes tried to promote his
daughter's record. Alex Mandossian has tried to promote a couple of artists.
None have succeeded. None of them are known within the music business and
none have the respect of either industry or fans.

If you want to be known as a businessman who makes records as a hobby, this method is great. However, this is more than business to me. This is art. I
don't want to simply put a random performance on CD and sell it due to
success in other areas. Maybe it's just me, but I would like to be respected
for my art and for my art to stand alone without the help of other

February 17 | Unregistered CommenterRR Tober

"The difficulty with selling music is that it doesn't solve a problem"

Not too sure about that one. What if the problem is you're a music enthusiast who can't find any songs in a particular genre that inspire you? You need music like most human beings need air or cigarettes, but can't find the right drag.

Then you stumble on to a band, singer, etc that satisfies that hunger and you've gotta purchase everything they've ever written. Because they've solved your problem.

In order to come up with an effective solution you need to properly define the problem.

IMO as independent musicians we need to focus our attention on listeners who can't live without music.

No offense to casual listeners, but hey they're not gonna keep your engine running. Think 80/20.

20 percent of your listening audience is going to be a true music enthusiast. Just make sure that you have a large enough pool of numbers. Go for the starving crowd

Gary Halbert, rest his soul, was a brilliant copywriter. The man could sell a fish his own scales the devil his horns. But he always spoke about the importance of selling to a starving crowd.

I'm a music enthusiast. I have two ipods, a 500 gig external hard drive full of music I have yet to listen to. I spend 20 bucks a month on itunes. I can't live without music. I get edgy if I don't hear music all day. I need to find 5000 people just like me.

Great post Ariel.

And Al, you still got one hell of a good point.

February 17 | Unregistered CommenterHeron Demarco

the comments you folks have left are absolutely right on. I've spent the last year or so with a couple of friends studying internet marketing. Every monday we'd get together and learn, share ideas. we took a couple of courses, SMARTS from and product launch formula from jeff walker. Also studied eben pagen's altitude program.

since I had a major stage fright problem that I solved with NLP (neuro linguistic programming) I have been learnign how to market that stuff and I sell a few 97 dollar self help products per month. the point with music is "how does it solve a problem" "what does it do that my clients need it to do"?

I know with a self hypnosis CD I can sell it for $47 and it cost basically nothing to create. a fully proudced music cd can cost thousands and thousands and everybody wants it for free...


So what I'm in the process of doing is uploading to my blog my 30 years of songs and giving the song away free and putting up 2 or 3 donation buttons on each post as well as links to my self help programs.

also I'm working on building a following on twitter and will start doing a song of the day tweet perhaps 4 times per day to spread it out to all my twitter followers.

I also want to say that after a year of studying internet marketing... it was only last week that I had the brilliant brainstorm of actually searching out Internet marketing for musicians duh! :o)

since many music fans are also musicians it seems like there may be a lot of potential for teleseminars and workshops about marketing and social media that could be connected to the music...

thank you so much for this blog. I'm checking it first thing every day now. and it is enormously encouraging because as a solo musician I don't have the kind of big picture that you provide.

keep up the great work

Mark Shepard

February 17 | Unregistered CommenterMark Shepard

Heron: You've got a good point. But I think there's a difference between needing music and having a music problem. Most of the music I get heavily into comes completely out of the blue. It's only once I've heard it that I realise I need it.

Having said that, I think I was wrong to say that music doesn't solve a problem. Some music does solve a problem. Barry White and Al Green sell records because they solved a problem for people who want to create a romantic mood. All that awful relaxation music sells because it solves people's stress problem. Norah Jones solved a problem for people who needed wallpaper music for a dinner party.

I've just done a bit of research and if I were releasing music purely for the money I'd set it up as THE music you put on for your pets. No, really. Over 18,000 typed the words 'pet music' into Google in January alone.

If I've learned one thing from the marketing gurus it's this: sell based on benefits rather than features. I realise most musicians don't want to create music to order - particularly for pets - but I think they'd do well to give some thought to why people will listen to their music and what they will get out of it.

February 17 | Unregistered CommenterUkulele Al

I think this post and commenters above prove that there is an emerging business model for musicians. Tom Cosm is a great example, so is Al, so is Jonathan Coulton and Marc Gunn. The online business model to sell expertise is already very well established and proven to be successful.

But I am so with Heron and Al. The problem with music is that it doesn't solve a problem -- or to reframe the issue, it does solve a problem, but we can't count on it. One piece of music doesn't necessarily do it for everyone -- it's a subjective art. Plus, there's the trouble of how to present the problem it solves -- so you get a fix for music enthusiasts, but really, how can we communicate that benefit as as problem-solving proposition?

I have one site up to discuss this emerging business model, but another is in the works where I attempt to solve the very issue above. If someone likes my music, then I can also recommend other artists who I like. While social networking like can be used as a music recommendation/discovery system, I have one edge -- I can write well. I'm banking on the suspicion that a well-articulated opinion has a value. We'll see if it is true.

Ari Koinuma

February 17 | Unregistered CommenterAri Koinuma

Well, this post has inspired me to do something about my "mailing list problem", which is to say that I don't have one. I've had them before and they require lots of maintenance, just one more piece of my day given over to admin when I could be laying down tracks or working on scales.

However, you make a good point about maintaining fan base. I too have been giving away music, albeit "works-in-progress" via my blog and main website, as well as giving away free video tutorials on the mountain dulcimer via a video podcast and YouTube. As a result, when I release new product, the visibility is quite high and folks pick up the new stuff. Also, my main income stems from performing and teaching at music festivals, so I haven't really pushed the online sales so much.

Now, with the business model changing due not only to the encroaching economy woes but also the shape-shifting nature of music delivery, I'm starting to take a second look at how I'm handling things on the internet. Sorry to say, the donation button hasn't worked for me in regards to those free videos and I'm sheepish about making a telethon push. But I see great value in a "squeeze page" and getting a more concentrated list of fans who may be expecting more in the way of "hard sell."

I'm not asking for silver to cross my palm all the time, but this is what I do for a living, after-all. Value is value, whether you associate it with money or not.

Great post, very inspirational, I'm getting right on it!


Bing Futch

February 17 | Unregistered CommenterBing Futch

P.S. Check your links - they are appending the blog URL and not going through to the intended sites. : )

February 17 | Unregistered CommenterBing Futch

Great article. It really hits home for me.

I have been using several techniques to build mailing lists and increase my social network activity. I also have dabbled a bit in internet marketing and have noticed similarities with marketing your music. People want something of value, and I agree with Mark Gibson, that some people think music is different from any other business. Music models are changing and musicians have to adjust.

Ive read on different case studies where musicians are packaging music differently offering more free music, different bundles, offering limited quantities and adding more value. This sounded too similar to all the online "infomercials" we encounter online on becoming an internet millionaire. The points brought up are good though, are we maximizing our product exposure as musicians? Do we have landing pages for albums that offer descriptions, mailing lists, and easy ways for people to find and buy our music? Do we have search engine optimized content so we can be found easier on Google or any search engine?

For the meantime, I will learn from professional bloggers and music sites such as this to test different marketing strategies, sometimes its hard to admit but success might come off a hit and miss strategy.

February 17 | Unregistered CommenterMario Mendoza

This is an absolutely brilliant and wonderfully useful article. I'm not thinking like an internet marketer, but its clear that I should be. Perhaps you can point us (non-marketer) musicians towards some resources (paid or free) for learning about internet marketing from the music perspective?

February 17 | Unregistered CommenterEthan

Last year I set up a basic site that aimed to provide some SEO information for musicians - not exactly advanced Internet marketing strategies, but rather an introduction to the basic idea of online findability for band promotion.

If you would like an introduction to the world of music website creation and marketing beyond MySpace, then check it out here:

February 18 | Unregistered CommenterDan Foley

(Sorry about the double post)...Here's a classic Internet Marketer's gambit - the free eBook. (Andrew Dubber also did this very well on his site.) So, following in Dubber's footsteps, Linkdisco is available as a free download too... SEO for Musicians

February 18 | Unregistered CommenterDan Foley

Hey everyone, these have ALL been a great series of posts/replies. I agree with many of the points above, so I'm not going to re-state some of the previous mentioned ideas. I hope that I can help spur some new ideas and imagination amongst us creative folk.

Music is the Soundtrack to Life...we need to start Providing the feature film as well.

What I will bring forth is the issue of the PURPOSE OF MUSIC. We've all identified some tactics we'll need to employ in our marketing, but have we all stopped to think about the exact problem that our music is solving?

For example:
View #1 - Consumers/fans of Hummer and Harley Davidson don't simply buy a vehicle for the simple sake of transportation. Anyone could easily purchase a much cheaper used Dodge Neon or Toyota Pick-Up truck. There is a "deeper" problem and need that is being met.

View #2 - Churches in the States are FULL of music, on a weekly basis. There are great musicians in both the choirs and the bands, yet music is definitely NOT the "core purpose" behind attending. Many of these churches in addition sell DVDs, CDs, programs, and other related items. I use this example b/c YES, churches are indeed businesses. The IRS classifies a church as a service business, as well as musicians and related companies.

If you look at the majority of successful musicians, they don't "only" provide music for their fan base. Bob Marley earned just as much success via his Conversations with his fans during concerts, as he did actually playing/singing. Trent Reznor (NIN) literally created an epic-movie styled story that completely embedded his fans into a virtual storyline. Young Jeezy gains an equal amount of momentum from his documentary styled video features, as he does from his actual released music.

All of these "musicians" by trade, in reality offered so much more in terms of depth, experience and human interaction. These are the things that music revolves around. You can't find a cookout or birthday party on earth that doesn't involve music of some sort. Music is the Soundtrack to Life...we need to start Providing the "feature film" as well.

Not sure if this will help everyone, but a good study to examine would be the work of Edward Bernays, especially "The Engineering of Consent". He was a brilliant marketer & PR specialist who's work has served both U.S. Presidents, as well as the major corporations that still stand today.

Keep up the great thinking, dialogue, and music,

~ Jamal and Jasmine Rose

Un World Life - Artists, Activist, Altruists and Everyone else Disgusted or Left Out by the Mainstream

Great article and informative comments too! I second RR Tober's point in the comments above that one must be careful to be respected for one's art -- if that's important to you. Granted, your music can speak for itself, but the way you sell it matters (if indeed what he's saying about how the music was sold along with "how to make money" schemes is true). At the very least, you have to be strategic in aligning your selling mechanisms with your musical persona. Or you diversify, but under multiple brands (say, Xmas or yoga music under a pseudonym).

I think Coulter is a good example, where his Internet savvy doesn't slime his music -- rather, it creates a community around it. Tom Cosm's approach is very cool too!

Personally, call me old-fashioned, but I like to sell my music.

February 18 | Unregistered CommenterAlexa Weber Morales

Wow all of these observations are really great - thanks everyone...

RR Tober makes an amazing point and one that is worth diving into.. So, if it's true that "NOBODY respects Armand as a musician. Futhermore, NO ONE bought the Michael Lee Austin CD for the music." IMAGINE WHAT A GREAT MUSICIAN who people LOVE AND RESPECT can do with these techniques! That is the point I was trying to make. As an online publicist and NOT and A&R person my job is not to judge music (although I am a huge music fan and my love of music is why I Get up in the morning) my job is to figure out where the artists we represent can find an audience for their music and where we can get that music online exposure. This is why I love promoting bands online and why I love Internet marketing.... because with effort and mastery of some techniques you can move the needle for yourself online. And for those of you who want to dive in more around specific techniques: I wrote a book about how Social Media and Internet Marketing interconnect and there are many articles on how to implement Internet marketing into your arsenal on my site - come on over and visit...

February 19 | Unregistered CommenterAriel Hyatt

Hey Ariel, I think your post got jacked:

February 23 | Unregistered CommenterClyde Smith

Yeah, how 'bout that Clyde? who done the copypastin' I wonders? Guess, since the other guy din't sign his "work"....

February 25 | Unregistered CommenterMojo Bone

This a good article and I think its on track. Most artists trying to make it in the biz still haven't accepted that the rules have completely changed. More than half of new artists trying to "get on" still think there going to produce a demo and get a record deal with a major.

Selling your music or anything else on the internet is work.IT doesnt happen in five minutes.

I also agree with the other posts that selling "information" on the internet is not the same as selling music. Aloto f the same principles can be applied but what makes the difference is the demographics of who you are selling to. And that is where the NEED changes. People buy music are not spending $100 on an Ebook course. They here a song, if they like it its .99c they buy done. Information products your trying to sell 1 $100 book to 1 in 1000 people. Music your trying to sell 100 $1 songs to 1000.

Just my thoughts.

February 25 | Unregistered CommenterGnx Music

As indie musicians we need to really get over ourselves most of the time.

We need to come to terms with the reality that once you slap a price tag on anything, it becomes a product or a service. You will be reminded of such every times you file your taxes each year.

Trust me, I don't like the idea of my personal feelings and passions being labeled as products, goods or services etc, but it is what it is.

Great article and a reality check for all artists.

February 25 | Unregistered CommenterHeron Demarco

Which internet marketers are doing well?

February 26 | Unregistered CommenterPat Offender

@Mojo Bone:
It's Danny Dee's blog and he posted it. I'm not sure what's up.

I found it after he commented on my blog and asked him in the comments what was going on.

Neither Danny nor Ariel seem to be reading or responding so whatever!

February 27 | Unregistered CommenterClyde Smith

Finding a consortium of music lovers with intense passion and know how for internet marketing and marrying them with talented musicians, singers, songwriters, bands and minstrels seems to be the consensus of this blog. It's not impossible to be both creative and administratively gifted. However, there is a reason why artists tend to do well or better with the assistance of others who are so good at what they do that they allow the artist to excell at what they do. I'd love to find that internet marketing genuis who grew up loving The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Association, James Taylor, Dan Fogelberg, Billy Joel, Elton John, Firefall, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Poco, Pure Prarie League and whose kids have introduced them to Ben Folds, Ben Gibbard, Elliot Smith, Ari Hest and Great Big Sea and get him or her to drive like minded music enthusiasts to my website and others like mine. ( or Those of us who offer something different yet familiar out of the rich earth of our musical hertiage sprinkled with the dewfrom other like minded "new" artists do make music matter again for our fellow travellers too busy with work and the stress of keeping their heads above water with kids, college and aging parents. It's what got us through puberty, high school and college. Music matters. It's important, and no where more so than right here right now. So to those of you with more talent for marketing I say to you: Help us help our fellow travellers deal with the stress and enhance the joy in their lives. Help us make a difference. Fill that need in the spirit of helping others and the rewards will come back to you ten fold. That's what I'm reading, perhaps inbetween the lines or perhaps through a rose colored lense, in this blog.

March 3 | Unregistered CommenterRoss

Sad, it really is, it's like listening to born-again Christians all trying to sell their version of the bible to each other. I don't even know how I got here, think I got lost on my way to the beer tent, let me burst one particular bubble before I leave you though, don't delude yourselves, the distinction is clear to us - you're not part of the music industry, you're part of the music-selling industry, and while you do have your place in this world, and we need you to be good at your job to enable us to survive and are grateful to you for doing that, your place is not our place, you are not one of us, that is all.

March 28 | Unregistered CommenterPinsy

What a weird collection of posts. What happened to making great music and letting it speak for itself...?

The problem is that most unknown music on the internet is unknown for a reason... its crap! So any crap music makers out there - you can try any number of ways to market it - personally i think the method suggested in the article above of constantly bothering people with emails is a bad idea (as a music exec i hate that). If the "product" doesn't stand up, you're going to have problems either way.

Would you go back to a bad restaurant where the food didn't taste nice? Of course not! Same applies to music, no different.

And if the music is good and you know it is DON'T CHEAPEN IT by giving it away for free!! Someone wrote that above and it amazes me. Its such a dumb thing to do... lol!! I've never heard of such nonsense in all my life!

Bottom line... make great music that you are proud of. Constantly struggle to make it better and NEVER be satisfied. Strive to make exciting, groundbreaking music that blows people away.... now THAT will be unstoppable and will end up at the top of the charts, one way... or another.

Internet marketeers can't be successful without great music and that's an indisputable fact.

April 13 | Unregistered CommenterGiles

^^Let me dispute your fact: introduce yourself to Soulja Boy:

Wikipedia explains the phenomenon

Probably one of the single most perfected examples of dedicated marketing hustle making up for a total lack of actual talent. You can feel free to make snarky and borderline racist comments about hip hop, but that won't change the fact that Soulja Boy's formula works and he's more successful than anyone reading this. It also doesn't change the fact that recorded music is just recorded music, and the product Soulja Boy is moving is exactly like Pink Floyd and Joni Mitchell's.

Also, comparing food to music is, bluntly, a really dumb metaphor. Sit down with some paper and see how far you can take that comparison...when I cook a meal, I can only sell it once.

April 13 | Unregistered CommenterJustin Boland

Souljaboy is nothing but a one hit-wonder, his latest record has received more negative reviews than any record released by a major label in recent history.
Take a look at the reviews of his last record in and the critics reviews.
Not a pretty sight.
Why would any musician want to emulate an internet one hit wonder???

If anyone who thinks they are going to succeed overnight by emulating Souljaboy.. they are dreaming.
Real fans are built one at the takes years to achieve a loyal following.
If you are looking for instant fame and fortune, better try something else.

May 21 | Unregistered Commenterenigmafon

I'd say the fact that Soulja Boy has had multiple hits means more than your opinion. I don't like his shit either, man, but his model works. It's working right in front of us. Sorry.

I agree that this is an odd collection of comments.

BUT, I think that Ariel is absolutely right about the need for artists to think like internet marketers and build an avid responsive fanbase in that Internet Marketer's much touted 'funnel'.

HOWEVER, and we try to deal with this all the time on our blog, what aspiring musicians need to be told is also represented in these comments - if your material is crap then you are pushing water uphill. BUT, fix why it's crap. Are your songs weak, your singer rubbish? Go back to Rock School 101 and work out why you aren't good enough. Fix it.

THEN, apply what the internet marketers know and you will have the keys to the Universe.

The knowledge of how to access your fans directly with material that they want and create a 21st Century experience is THE FUTURE for talented and insightful artists.

If you aren't sure, Google 'Corey Smith' and see how it works. He is talented and works it like an IM guru.

That's the nugget in this thread.

"The difficulty with selling music is that it doesn't solve a problem"

This is untrue. Many of the Beatles' songs solved problems for their listeners. Ditto for Bob Dylan and many others.

Many of my songs are essentially social criticisms. I alert the listener to problems they were probably unaware of , and then I offer solutions.

Please, no more bullshit. NOBODY HAS BECOME A SUCCESS ON THE INTERNET IN MUSIC. NOBODY! Madonna and U2 do well on the internet, but they first became successful in the real world. You cannot become a real success on the internet at this time without making it in the real world first.


September 14 | Unregistered CommenterLone Wolf Sullivan

I will have to agree on the point that Music doesn't solve problems they same way as How to products do marketed online. The only similarity between music (a subjective art form) and a product (that helps solve a problem) is the emotional motivator that causes you to want it.

Selling music works by triggering emotions, it revolves around people wanting something some one else has, ie you want to become part of that tribe, the love tribe, the angst tribe, the I just wanna get drunk tribe, I wanna be part of the trend tribe, I want it cause so and so says it's cool tribe, I want it cause it's had 100k hits on youtube tribe, I want it cause no-one else has it and it makes me feel special tribe, I want it cause it says F**K you and I agree tribe.... you get my point?

Selling the How to product works by satisfying the emotions of the customer by solving a problem, and you will buy it because other people have bought it, recommend it and it solved their problem.

So music doesn't solve a problem, it satisfies the ego.. and when it comes to egos, muso's have the most volatile. That's why its hard to market to them :)

Muso's do need to learn about marketing if only to cause them to be a little more humble about themselves and that there is most definitely a TON they can learn about music marketing, in fact right now we are at the cutting edge of the NEW music industry.

There are many artists right now making a living, in their own way by trail blazing new tactics online. You can stay ignorant and let your ego get in the way or you can learn by their successes.

And if we are not interested in that... what the hell are we doing here?

The music industry is fragmenting into a million pieces it's up to us to find our audience using the new social media networks to grow our fan base. Social Networks are riding in on the back of WEB 2.0 technology that is causing Marketing to become Transparent so that FANS can find out who you are and if they want to become part of YOUR TRIBE.

The current marketing model for unknown artists is to give away (mp3) to build a fan base so you have fans to play to, the core followers will buy the better quality recordings and whatever other merchandise you invent.

It's is a tricky time be an artist, the GEN Y'ers have been brought up on FREE downloads (poor quality IMO) ...they want FREE STUFF and they need to be educated into buying QUALITY. Not since before the invention of the CD (which is now 30yrs old) have we had HIGH FIDELITY available for listening.

Think about that... If you have ever recorded in a major studio, you know what I mean by HIGH FIDELITY. The process is, Master recording, dithered to 16bit (CD), dithered again to MP3, now streaming (which will be similar if not worse than MP3)

Where's the High Fidelity Product?

How about USB drives that can hold a few Gigs.

I think there's one Hip Hop outfit that have done that, with the USB drive that's the shape of a gun.

Give away your MP or stream your music
build a fan base then....
SELL them your Masters on USB drives

Starting to ramble now and I got so much more to research until bed.... bye

December 5 | Unregistered CommenterPAZAZ

I must agree with you in that most new marketers don't take the time to develop relationships and build rapport with social media contacts. To be a successful internet marketer, It's not about asking for money upfront, it's about first build trust with people online and takes time and patience. This was a really nice article.

September 1 | Unregistered CommenterWally

where the oldest would gently encourage and teach the youngest to become life-long card players. It was a day for discovery and I wanted to find some new music, bring it on the musical new york a new band to acquire note to and share with my friends. I went to that tremendous compendium of video on the web YouTube to try and find some new monarch Music group.

May 28 | Unregistered CommenterBell

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