So you make your songs, you practice with your band, but how to sell music? Before even attempting to sell music, and wasting any time or money, you need to consider what’s going on at the moment in the world and how people are now consuming music. We have moved as a society, away from the television and other traditional media channels, toward the internet and we are forming tribes and groups online and consequently offline.
An entire generation has grown up thinking of music as something that you just search and download for free. You aren’t going to sell as many records as people used to back in the days before illegal downloading. But here’s the good news – there is a huge shift in people gathering together and sharing their interests. Previously there may not have been enough people in any one physical location for people to justify a community.
Now they can gather together from all over the world.
The implications of this are huge for the person wanting to sell music. We are in the “Experience Economy.” Modern technology is enabling people who are hungry for experiences and interactions, to find other like minded people to experience things with. More people are going to more concerts and events – and then, they are capturing those experiences and further sharing them to the masses via social networks, video sites etc…
“Ok, Ok, I get it – how do I make money? how to sell music?”
Lets clarify here – I am not talking about artists or bands that are at the stage where they already have millions of fans, I’m talking about getting started and building a following. I’m also not talking about manufactured pop music – that’s another topic entirely. You may have a “hit” song ready to go that could blow up everywhere, and that’s great – but ultimately you need to be seen to be coming from somewhere. After the hit has been and gone, you will either have to come up with another smash or you will do something that a group of people will be able to engage with.
Many bands and acts come from a certain niche tribe, they learn their craft by entertaining that community.
Sometimes they will make a song that blows them up out of that niche to the masses. Think about it though, when we see these types of bands in their videos, do they suddenly change to look like “pop” stars? No, they represent themselves. We get a sense of who they are and where they come from.
So if you want to sell music no matter what, you need to engage with your tribe and build a solid following – this will be your insurance policy if you have a hit!
The best way to begin to sell music is to engage with the tribes and their leaders in a way that makes them think that you are one of them, to be the soundtrack to their lives. Prior to this, the only way to really tap in to this kind of “tribe” (if there was an organized one at all) was to connect with various scattered zines, clubnights and alternative media shows.
Now our minds and tastes are connected internationally. You are going to engage with your tribe using modern technology. You are going to use video, audio and various one to many communication tools to spread your messages and media to begin to lead your tribe to your music.
I know it must seem strange that I haven’t once mentioned transactions yet! That’s because without tribes and engagement its going to be hard to sell anything. If you engage with your tribe or tribes so well, its going to be very hard to stop them from buying!