Friday, January 11, 2008

How To Sell More Music Online

Often, when visitors click on a musician’s “Store” page it feels much like chatting with a rep after a Mary Kay party or being cornered by a friend involved in a multilevel marketing scheme.

This awkwardness can be what keeps people from buying your music. It’s so important that you walk them through the whole sales process as a friend and not as a used car salesman.

How can you do this?

1. Give them something of value.
First and foremost, pursue absolute excellence in your music. Lyrics, delivery, music, production - don’t settle. Make sure what you’re selling is the best representation of you. Make certain that you believe in what you’re selling. If you don’t, your audience won’t either.

2. Show them the value.

Tell them about the songs you’ve written. Communicate the meaning and story behind the songs. Write about the process of developing and recording the album. JJ Heller does a great job of this. She’s created a short video that chronicled the process of recording her latest album.

2007 JJ Heller's Studio Journal 1

3. Give them a taste.

Put your songs on your website (including the store page). Don’t use clips. Have confidence in the quality of your music. Music isn’t meant to be experienced in clips, so if your songs are not in regular rotation on the radio, they need to be in regular rotation on your web site.

If someone likes what they hear they’ll visit your site often to listen and once they’ve experienced your music they won’t want to be tied to their computer to listen to it. In the process, they’ll also learn more about you and feel more of a connection to you as they visit your site regularly.

Clips only communicate that you either don’t believe in your music or you don’t trust your audience.

4. Put recommendations on your store page.
Just because someone is at your store page doesn’t mean they’re really ready to buy. They may need a bit more confirmation that it’s worth their hard earned money. Get reviews from other artists, fans and industry folks and post them on the store page. Give them that extra affirmation that they’re making a good purchase.

5. Give them a money back guarantee.
Sound crazy? Maybe it is, but nothing shows people that you believe in something and are confident that you’re offering something of value more than a money back guarantee. It removes all risk on the part of your site visitors and eliminates any reason why they shouldn’t go ahead and purchase your music.

6. Put a video on your store page.

Make one last personal connection with your audience on your store page. Create a short and simple video thanking them for supporting your music and assuring them of the security and ease of your checkout process. Encourage them to contact you if they have any questions. Just be sure to communicate that info in a very laid back, friendly way.
"Hi, I just wanted to say thanks so much for supporting my music. I’m so proud of this album I hope you’ll enjoy listening to it as much as I’ve enjoyed making it. I’ve tried to make this online store as easy as possible, but please don’t hesitate to shoot me an email if you have any questions. Even if you don’t have questions I’d love to hear from you. Send me an email anytime at Thanks again and enjoy the music!"
7. Give them variety
There is nothing more boring than a musician’s store with one or two items. Give your audience some variety. Create and sell items from Cafepress. Package your music in different ways:

* Combine with another artist to offer a combo sale
* Sell Singles via iTunes AND your store (
* Sell show ticket/cd packs
* Sell autographed gift packs
* Sell merch/cd gift packs
* Write a “Behind the Songs” book and package that with a CD
* Sell a live/acoustic version

Another way to add variety is to offer any of the above packages for a limited time. You could also offer a discount sale on any item for a limited time.
Your Ultimate Goal

Your ultimate goal is to remove all risk and any barriers so that your visitor’s experience is as simple and pleasant as possible.

(HT: The Secret Life Of Kat)

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