Maintain the dollar value of your music
Artists can still sell music in this climate. Is that to say there should be absolutely no free music…..NO. But limit the amount of free music in regards to music available for purchase, no matter what the purchase amount is. Music is music, there is no standard grading system in place. A song that someone may love, you may hate. When we continuously add to the notion of “this song is free versus that song cost” without a standard grading system in place, we also add to the thought process behind “why is this song free and why does that song cost?” We can not forget that fans are also consumers. Yes they want the most bang for their dollar, but there is also a conditioning factor. When .99 per download was introduced into the music industry, this became the standard, and fans were conditioned in paying that price. WE CAN NOT ALLOW FREE TO BECOME THE STANDARD.
Profits from selling side products/services
Offering products and/or services for sale will generate additional income. In my opinion additional income is always a great thing. This is pretty self explanatory, so we’ll move on.
Condition fans to make purchases from you
Fans, as we mentioned earlier are also consumers. And consumers like to spend money with people they’ve been spending money with. Building a transactional relationship with fans will be key in sustaining an indie career. Even with fans purchasing more music, at this point in time, fans are still more conditioned in buying tangible (non-music) products than music. By offering non-music tangible products for sale, you begin to create that transactional relationship and fans become more comfortable in spending their dollar with you.
More control over your music
As you create a business model that consists of more than just selling music, you allow yourself to be in the position to cross-market your own products and/or services with your music. You can get real creative with your offerings, like create music that’s related to the products you are offering or even offer package deals where you’re bundling up your products and/or services. With newly created ways of selling and marketing your music, you now have more control over the distribution of it.
Build an organic relationship with fans
Further than building a transactional relationship with fans, building a true organic relationship should be the goal. These relationships can last decades, providing more than just monetary value. Even though they enjoy making the money, I know some artists who are in it for more than just the money. They want to connect, inspire, be inspired, bring awareness, share their stories, amongst many many other reasons; this can only happen through true relationship building with fans. And even if you are just in it for the money, its also in your best interest to build an organic relationship. I wouldn’t advise deceiving fans; stay true to who you are, just remember to connect.
In summary, this inadvertent 3-part series wasn’t put together to downplay any artist’s marketing efforts or promotional actions. It’s purpose was to offer an alternative to a growing indefinite model. An alternative that also provided increased revenue opportunities for indie artists. In this music day of great confusion, I understand there are more teachers in the classroom than students. Who knows how long this will continue, but at least we get a bunch of different prospectives, leading to new ideas and new models. The key is not to judge, but take what knowledge applies to you and add it your own plans. At the end of the day, the major labels are doing what they have to do for their major players. We have to do what we can for ours.
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