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70 Ways to Promote Your Music Online - Bob Baker

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70 Ways to Promote & Sell
Your Music on the Internet
Bob Baker
www.TheBuzzFactor.com
В© 2008 Bob Baker
The Internet. It’s huge — and growing all the time. And the really cool thing is that
millions of people go online every day to search for and purchase music.
Let’s take a quick look at the music slice of the online pie. According to the IFPI
Digital Music Report:
п‚·пЂ Global digital music sales were approximately $2.9 billion in 2007, a roughly
40% increase over 2006 ($2.1 billion).
п‚·пЂ Single track downloads, the most popular
digital music format, grew by 53% to 1.7
billion.
п‚·пЂ Digital sales now account for an estimated
15% of the global music market, up from
11% in 2006. It was zero percent in 2003.
п‚·пЂ There are more than 500 legitimate digital music services worldwide, offering
over 6 million tracks – more than four times the stock of a music megastore.
And that’s just the traditional music business. There’s also a lot of action taking
place under the radar on independent music sites. For instance, over the past 10
years indie music site CD Baby has sold more than 3.9 million physical CDs online
to customers and paid more than $65 million directly to artists.
Not too shabby. No doubt, there’s a lot of music buying and selling going on in
cyberspace.
Now for the bad news …
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The Internet can seem overwhelming and mysterious to a lot of people — including
tech-savvy musicians. There are so many options and only so much time and
money to invest in it.
Don’t be intimidated. You don’t have to compete with the big players to be
successful. Just take it one step at a time. Look over the simple ideas in this report
and start implementing them. Try out a couple at first, then a few more. Before you
know it, you’ll be creating a buzz and attracting attention to your music and to
yourself online.
Are you ready to get cracking? Good. Let’s dive in.
Four Crucial Online Indie Music Marketing Principles
The bulk of this report is made up of short tips and web site listings to help you
promote and sell your music online. But there are four important principles you
need to digest first. And because they are so crucial, I’m devoting more space to
each of them to help you wrap your brain around these concepts. These are the
universal marketing principles that apply to just about everything you’ll do to
promote yourself online.
So perk up and pay attention to these first four things. Your future success may
very well be determined by how much emphasis you place on them.
1. Ready, Aim, Fire! Know Where Your Target Is
It’s a big world out there — especially on the Internet. The number of Internet
users worldwide now exceeds 1.3 billion people. That’s right. Billion with a B. More
than 238 million of those users are in North America alone. That’s a lot of people
surfing the Net that you can potentially reach. It’s intimidating just thinking about
connecting with all those people. No wonder so many musicians get frustrated and
feel overwhelmed when it comes to promoting themselves online.
Have no fear. You don’t have to reach all those people. You don’t even have to
reach all music fans online. If you try, you’ll never reach your lofty goals and will
curse me and Al Gore and anyone who’s ever been associated with the Internet.
To successfully promote yourself online, you need to start a relationship with only a
small sliver of the total number of people online. Think about these numbers: If you
could reach one-hundredth of one percent of those billion-plus people, you’d have
more than 100,000 potential fans. That’s a lot of people.
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Bottom line: Don’t try to be all things to all people. Don’t attempt to reach a wide
section of the online population. Focus your limited time and energy on the web
sites, e-zines and online forums where the people most likely to be attracted to
your music hang out. Got it? Good.
2. Don’t Be a Fuzzy, Bone-Headed Communicator
If you’re sold on the advice I dished out above in the first principle, congratulations!
You’re miles ahead of most indie musicians. From now on you will target your
marketing efforts by going to the places where your ideal fans congregate. Great.
But there’s a right way and a wrong way to present yourself via these targeted
avenues.
One way is to mindlessly announce “Hey, here I am. Check me out.” With this
method, you might list a band name and a web site. You also might feel proud of
yourself for taking action. Sorry, Skippy, but you haven’t done yourself any favors.
Most fans and industry people who view these types of senseless interruptions
think, “Who cares?”
There’s a better way. For starters, think about the most
appropriate way to communicate via each avenue (whether it’s
an e-mail to a webmaster, a posting to an online forum, or a
pitch to an online music reviewer) and act accordingly. Then,
most importantly, you must be clear about who you are, what
type of music you play, and what sets you apart from other
similar acts.
Why do this? Because once you know where your best potential fans and media
sources hang out, you need to make sure that your earliest contact with them lets
them know right away that your music is something they’ll probably enjoy. What
will help you accomplish that most effectively? A brainless “Dude, check out my
web site. See ya around.”? (Believe it or not, I get a lot of e-mails like this.)
Or … Compare that to a message along the lines of “Hi. Love your rockabilly web
site. Thought you might be interested in my band, The Roadblasters. We’re a
rockabilly band that plays original songs about classic cars. We’re a big hit in
Cincinnati and perform regularly at NASCAR and drag racing events in the region.
I’d be happy to send you our new CD, Feels on Wheels, or you can listen to MP3s
on our web site.”
See the advantages of being clear about who you are and what you play? It helps
you cut through the chaos and noise online. It allows the people most likely to
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support you to become interested in you and want to know (and hear) more. Keep
this principle in mind whenever you take action to promote yourself on the Internet.
3. You Feelin’ Me, Dawg? Tap Into the Mind, Body and Soul
To effectively promote yourself on the Internet, you must “sell” yourself. That
doesn’t mean you have to “sell out” and degrade your integrity. But it does mean
you must reach out and communicate who you are and why people should care.
So what’s the best way to do that? How do you get the attention of fans? Do you
accomplish that by announcing where you’re from, who produced your CD, how
many music awards you’ve won, and what process you used to master your latest
recording?
No. Those details can help persuade some
people, but most folks will become fans for a
reason that has nothing to do with the facts and
features of your musical product. They will be
attracted to you because of the way your music
and personality make them feel. That’s right,
feel.
The most powerful response you can get from someone is based on emotion and
the way your music affects them physically and mentally, and sometimes
spiritually. I refer to this mysterious phenomenon as a “state change.”
Your most hardcore fans will react to your music in a way that makes them feel
different (and usually much better) while they listen to your music. Their heart rate
and body chemistry will actually shift when they hear your songs — and sometimes,
after they know you well, the shift may occur when they only see your picture, hear
you speak, or read about you. Like Pavlov’s dog, they salivate when you ring their
bell (so to speak).
It’s your job as an independent self-promoter is to understand the powerful effect
your music has, and to use that knowledge to spread those great feelings to even
more people.
For example, you could announce:
“We’re a four-piece band from Kansas City. Our new CD is getting airplay on 12
stations in the Midwest.”
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Or … you could say something more “state change”-oriented like:
“Our blend of rap and rock is for you if you crave an adrenaline rush with a touch of
humor. Feel the edge and a good belly laugh at the same time.”
See the difference? From now on, always use this principle to attract more fans.
4. Focus on the Most Important Factor That
Determines Your Success
Musicians venture onto the Web for all sorts of reasons. Some put up a web site
just because everybody else is doing it or because they think it’s the best way to
impress industry people. Others establish an Internet presence because they think
search engines will list their site and drive traffic to it while they sleep.
What’s the real reason you should promote yourself online? Here’s my best answer,
and you should apply this concept to just about every action you take to promote
your music, online and off:
Your main focus should be to start and maintain relationships with a growing
number of fans. No other factor will influence your level of success like a large and
enthusiastic fan base. It doesn’t matter how impressive your record label, attorney,
manager, publicist or radio promotions person is. None of that means squat if fans
don’t connect with you. However, you can have no label deal, attorney, manager,
etc., and still be a huge success if you have fans — and lots of them.
Fans are the only thing that counts (along with the quality of your music and your
integrity), so put a priority on courting them. Use the unique interactive qualities of
the Web to communicate with people interested in your music. Get to know them.
Allow them to get to know you and the intimate details that led you to create the
music they enjoy so much.
Forget all the hype and distractions and put your focus where it needs to be the
most: on fans!
Now that we’ve covered the crucial basics, let’s move on to the many dozens of
things you can do to promote and sell your music online.
Turn the page and start taking lots of notes …
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5. Submit Your Music News to These Sites for Free
Many web sites are hungry for fresh music news, and some are eager to share your
news releases and announcements with the world online. Visit the following links
and submit away!
Music Industry News Network
www.mi2n.com/input.php3
Pressbox
www.pressbox.co.uk
Muse’s Muse
www.musesmuse.com/pressreleases/
PR Log
www.prlog.org
Indie-Music.com
www.indie-music.com/modules.php?name=Weezlegig
PR.com
www.pr.com/promote-your-business
6. Promote Your Live Shows on These Sites for Free
Fliers, ads and post cards aren’t the only ways to get the word out about your gigs.
Visit the appropriate sites below and post your show schedules.
Musi-Cal (folk, country and roots)
www.musi-cal.com
Upcoming (all genres)
http://upcoming.yahoo.com/
Mojam (all genres)
http://mojam.wolfgangsvault.com/contribute/
Dirty Linen Gig Guide (folk and acoustic)
www.dirtynelson.com/linen/special/tour.html
7. Make Your Home Page Clear and Easy to Understand
Your web site’s home page is the welcome mat of your online presence. Don’t ruin
your first introduction to potential fans by confusing them with a dizzying array of
bells and whistles and nonsense that does nothing to endear you to them. Don’t
use Flash intro files (no matter how much your designer says they’re cool) and
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don’t make your site too graphics heavy. Your site can look attractive without
overwhelming a visitor’s eyes and browser display.
8. Let People Know What Kind of Music You Play
One of the biggest web site marketing mistakes I see involve bands or record labels
that list a name with a busy design … and then make no mention of what kind of
music they play or why people should care. Always make a reference to the type of
music you perform. In fact, I recommend you include a descriptive phrase (such as
“Upbeat country music for hardcore line dancers” or whatever applies to you)
somewhere near the top of every page on your web site.
9. Assume Nothing – Learn to See with Fresh Eyes
This is such an important thing to keep in mind.
Always view your online marketing tools
through the eyes of someone discovering you
for the first time. Don’t assume that a person
reading your web site or an e-mail you sent
already knows who you are, what you play, and
why that’s such a great thing. Try to imagine
what someone stumbling upon your site will
think as they set eyes on it for the first time. Is
it clear and easy to understand? Do you give them a reason to click deeper into the
site to learn more?
10. Make Sure Your Navigation Is Simple and Obvious
How easy is it to get around your web site? If you want fans and industry people to
truly dig into your site, you must make it easy for them to move from page to
page. Your “navigation bar,” which usually sits along the left or top of every page,
lists the main sections of your site. Keep this list of internal links short. Limit it to
the basics: Bio, Shows, Music, Photos, Reviews, Order, Links, Contact. Make sure
the navigation section appears in the exact same spot on every page. It’s also a
good idea to repeat these section links in a smaller navigation area at the bottom of
every page. If your site is lacking in clear, consistent navigation, fix this right away!
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11. Add Some Interactivity to Your Web Site
One way to get people involved with you and your music is to give them something
to do while they’re at your web site. That’s why you should add some kind of
interactive element, such as a poll, guest book, message forum, e-cards, etc. Here
are some sites that provide these tools for free:
Bravenet
www.bravenet.com
Mister Poll
www.misterpoll.com
Sparklit
www.sparklit.com
12. Make Smart Use of Your Web Page Title Tags
There’s a lot of hype about search engine rankings and how to trick Google and
Yahoo into listing your web site high for your chosen key words. Let’s ignore most
of that noise and concentrate on one simple thing you can do to help the way your
site gets listed. I’m talking about Title tags.
Title tags are included in the HTML code of your pages. The words you use between
<title> and </title> determine what appears in the top title bar of your web
browser. Search engines use these tags as one way to determine the content of
web pages. So be sure to load your title tags with the key words fans use to search
for music like yours.
Bad use of Title tags:
<title>Snuggle Doodle Home Page</title>
Good use of Title tags:
<title>Snuggle Doodle – Fun songs and music for children, toddlers and
kids of all ages</title>
13. Research Radio Airplay Opportunities Using These Sites
No trips to the library are necessary. You can find out everything you need to know
about radio stations across town, across the country, or around the world. Use
these directories to uncover radio gold:
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Radio-Locator
www.radio-locator.com
Gebbie Press
www.gebbieinc.com/radintro.htm
Bandlink.net: Radio Stations
www.bandlink.net/radio.asp
AM FM TV Online
www.amfmtvonline.com
14. Research Public Radio Stations Using These Sites
As you may know, public and community radio stations are often easier to get
airplay on than commercial stations. Use these sites to find out where the best
public radio stations and programs are.
Public Radio Fan
www.publicradiofan.com
List of NPR stations
www.npr.org/stations/
Open Directory - Public Radio
www.dmoz.org/Arts/Radio/Formats/Public_Radio/
15. Research Internet Radio Stations Using These Sites
There’s been an explosion of streaming online radio stations in recent years. Some
are the online versions of traditional broadcast stations; many others are
independent stations run by hardcore music fans. Use these directories to find
stations that support your style, and contact them for possible online airplay.
SHOUTcast
www.shoutcast.com
Radio Free World
www.radiofreeworld.com
Live365
www.live365.com
Radio Tower
www.radiotower.com
16. Research Newspapers and Magazines Using These Sites
Research ain’t what it used to be. No reference librarian is required to hunt down
thousands of newspapers and magazines across the globe. Use these sites to
search for writers, reviewers and editors who may cover you.
News Directory
www.newsdirectory.com
NewsLink
www.newslink.org/news.html
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AllYouCanRead.com – Magazines
www.allyoucanread.com
Daily Earth
www.dailyearth.com
International Newspaper Directory
www.nettizen.com/newspaper/
Internet Public Library
www.ipl.org/div/news/
RefDesk - Newspapers U.S. and Worldwide
www.refdesk.com/paper.html
17. Start Relationships with 5 to 10 Regional Media People
Media people are your friends – or they can be, if you develop relationships with
them. Think about your local media outlets and select a handful of writers, editors,
producers, show hosts, etc., who you feel would be the most likely to give you
exposure at some point. Don’t make this a long list. Five to 10 media people is
plenty to start. Create a file and put their names and contact info into it.
First, send an e-mail to introduce yourself. Don’t be pushy at this point. Just get
acquainted. Then every month or so, send an update with some new details on
your progress. After a while, try to reach them by phone too. These relationships
will bear fruit over the coming months and years.
18. Give Away at Least Some of Your Music for Free
Too many musicians are stingy with their music. They
hoard their song files and guard them from the evil
downloading freeloaders. Sure, you need to protect your
songs to a reasonable extent. But as an indie artist, your
goal is to share your music and get it into the ears of as
many people as possible. That means potential fans must
be able to hear your music and have the ability to share it
with their friends.
My advice: Select the two or three best songs from each
CD you release and make them available for download to
whoever wants them. Encourage widespread sharing of
these files. You want people playing them at home,
transferring them to their iPods, burning them to CDs, and
spreading the buzz. Then, if these new fans want more of
the great music you create, they can purchase your entire
CD (or song collection download).
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How do you make your digital files available online? Well, you can do it from your
own site and web server. But if bandwidth or expenses are an issue, use one of the
sites in the next section. Many allow you to make music downloads available from
their sites for free.
19. Go Where the Music Fans Are Online
No surprise here. You need to get exposure online in the places where the people
who are most likely to be attracted to your music and image congregate. Does that
make sense? Good. Here are several of the top music sites on which you should
consider having a presence:
SoundClick
www.soundclick.com
ReverbNation.com
www.reverbnation.com
GarageBand
www.garageband.com
MP3.com
www.mp3.com
Download.com Music
http://music.download.com/
Last.fm
www.last.fm
Project Playlist
www.playlist.com
dmusic
www.dmusic.com
Audio Lunchbox
www.audiolunchbox.com
iLike
www.ilike.com
Note: You don’t have to be on all of these sites. It would help your sanity and your
effectiveness to pick and choose the best sites and work those regularly.
20. Get Your Own Space on MySpace
You may have noticed one glaring omission from the previous list. That’s right, the
almighty MySpace.com. No discussion of Internet music promotion would be
complete without including this online giant.
Make no mistake, if you are serious about promoting your music online, you need
to have a presence on MySpace. I have written an entire book called MySpace
Music Marketing on this subject, so I won’t go into great detail here. (You can find
out more about that book at www.bob-baker.com/myspace/music.html.)
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But to give you a quick overview,
MySpace is one of a growing number
of “social networking” sites that
millions of people use to connect with
like-minded people. Think of it this way: It’s as if each member has his or her own
private club of special “friends” who share similar interests. Once you’re someone’s
official friend, you get access to their entire network of friends. And each of those
friends has a network of friends. So, when it comes to social “music networking,” if
you can get a few excited fans talking about you, word can spread to thousands of
people fast!
If you don’t have a MySpace account yet, go to www.myspace.com and sign up for
a free Artist Account – not a regular account. Build your profile, upload songs and
photos, post your gig schedule, and start making friends. Thousands of artists have
had a lot of success using MySpace to reach new fans and make business
connections. It can be time-consuming, but many musicians feel it’s worth it.
21. Be Seen and Heard on YouTube
No doubt about it. Video is huge on the Internet. And the preeminent destination
for online video continues to be YouTube.com, a site that delivers an astounding
100 million videos a day to its users. And the cool thing is, a lot of it is music.
Bottom line: You need to be using video content to
promote your music online. The thing is, many
musicians get stuck because they think they have to
shell out thousands of dollars to produce a slick music
video a la the glory days of MTV. But these days, that
simply isn’t the case.
Many of the videos creating an online buzz today are low-budget clips that are high
in creativity and low on costs and production values. So go to
www.youtube.com/signup and start a Musician Account. Then fill in the details for
your YouTube profile and start uploading your music video content. YouTube hosts
and streams the files for free, so there’s no worry about bandwidth and costs. Then
encourage your fans to watch and share your videos with everyone they know.
I recently published a downloadable special report called How to Use Video to
Promote Your Music Online. If you’re interested in a compact crash course on
producing low-cost music video content, pay a visit to
www.bob-baker.com/buzz/music-video-promotion.html
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22. Publish and Promote a Blog
Blogs are all the rage these days. The word “blog” is short for “web log.” People use
blogs to post their musings on just about any topic under the sun — short diary
entries, links to interesting news stories, their latest thoughts on a particular topic,
and more. Having a blog to which you regularly add new entries is a great way to
add a fresh element to your web site. Some musicians write a daily tour diary,
which gives fans an intimate view of life on the road. But you can post anything you
want on your blog. However, from a marketing standpoint, you’ll benefit the most
from a blog that stays focused on your identity as a musical artist.
Here are three popular sites that offer automated blog services:
Blogger
www.blogger.com
Wordpress
www.wordpress.org
LiveJournal
www.livejournal.com
TypePad
www.typepad.com
23. Produce Your Own Podcast
Even though the name was inspired by Apple’s iPod, you don’t need an iPod to
either produce or listen to a podcast. In essence, a podcast is like a blog that
features links to MP3 audio files. Using the same RSS feed technology as blogs,
people can subscribe to their favorite podcasts using a “podcatcher,” which
automatically downloads the latest MP3 files from a selected list of podcasts to the
subscriber’s computer.
Some popular podcatchers include iPodderX and FeedDemon. However, you can
also use iTunes, Yahoo! Music Engine, and a
growing number of common applications to
subscribe to and manage podcasts.
A podcast can be a great promotional tool for an
independent artist. You can not only let fans
download your latest live and studio recordings,
you can also record yourself talking directly to your
fans or being interviewed about your latest project.
Podcasting offers another great way to interact and
share yourself with fans.
Here are some free podcasting resources:
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Gcast
www.gcast.com
PodOmatic
www.podomatic.com
Odeo Studio
http://studio.odeo.com
24. Submit Your Music to Other Podcasts
The beauty of the Internet and digital technology is that everyone now has access
to the tools of self-expression. One way people are expressing themselves is by
creating their own online radio shows using podcasting. And with so many podcasts
on the Net these days, that opens up a lot of opportunities for exposure.
In addition to producing your own podcast, you should be seeking out podcasts
produced by other people who cater to your target audience. Use the following
directories to hunt down the right podcasts for you and your music:
Podcasting News
www.podcastingnews.com
Podcast.net
www.podcast.net
Podcast Directory
www.podcastdirectory.com
Podcast Alley
www.podcastalley.com
25. Use Tagging to Generate More Web Traffic
One online trend you should be aware of is referred to as “tagging.” Many sites
have sprung up in recent years that allow users to bookmark their favorite web
sites, articles, blogs, podcasts, videos, and more. The great thing about them is
that each user labels their favorite links with “tags” – short descriptions of what
they are, such as “hair band” or “blues.” Users can then share their tags and
bookmarks with other users of the site, which leads to people discovering lots of
cool new things.
Some of the more prominent tagging sites include:
Del.icio.us
http://del.icio.us/
StumbleUpon
www.stumbleupon.com
Yahoo My Web
http://myweb.yahoo.com
Digg
www.digg.com
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Kaboodle
www.kaboodle.com
Ma.gnolia
http://ma.gnolia.com
Sign up with some or all of them and start tagging your own web pages, songs and
videos as cool content worth watching and sharing.
26. Get on Bestseller, Most Popular and Most
Downloaded Lists
True music fans hate to miss out on the latest craze within their preferred genre.
One of the ways fans discover what’s hot is by looking over the growing number of
popularity lists on various music web sites. These lists come in all shapes and sizes:
Top Sellers, Most Listened To, Most Popular Downloads, etc. The higher your
ranking on these lists, the more attention you draw to yourself.
So how can you get visibility on these lists? Well, writing and recording a fantastic
song and getting it out there is the first step. An audience will find a killer song
through word of mouth, etc. But you can help things along by asking your fans and
friends to visit, vote, download, listen or whatever it takes to help you rank higher
on these lists.
Suggestion: Pick one such list on one site in a category where you can make an
impact. Ask the people on your mailing list to visit that site and take the required
action on the same day or during the same week. This concentrated effort may be
all it takes to get you to move higher on the list, where other fans who don’t know
about you yet will discover you.
27. Find New Connections with Google Key-Word Searches
I know you’re a smart, savvy music marketer. And you’re probably already aware
of the best places to promote your unique brand of music online. But are you
certain you really know it all? My advice: Go to www.Google.com (the best search
engine) and enter various key words related to your music. And make sure to use
different sets of words, such as dark music and brooding rock and indie
angst (or whatever terms apply to you).
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You may be surprised by some of the results that pop up. Make this a regular
practice. Every month or so, do a search and see what new web sites, discussion
forums, fan sites, music publications and more come up. These listings will point
you to some valuable online promotion contacts.
Hot tip: Search using a word related to your style of music combined with the
phrase “submit your music” or “submit your music news” or “send us your CD.”
28. Start Relationships with 5 to 10 Complimentary Artists
In the same way I recommend you establish relationships with five to 10 regional
media people, I encourage you to do the same thing with other similar artists. It
would be helpful if the artists you target have good-size followings and are not
paranoid about sharing their audiences and resources with you. That’s the whole
idea here — to work together to help each other succeed.
Here are just a few ways you can make the most of these artist relationships:
п‚·пЂ п‚·пЂ п‚·пЂ п‚·пЂ п‚·пЂ п‚·пЂ Swap promotional blurbs in each other’s fan e-zines.
Trade links on each other’s web sites.
Review and recommend each other’s CDs online.
Share media lists and industry connections.
Share promotion tips and advice on what works and what doesn’t.
Open for each other in your respective hometowns.
29. Start a Genre-Specific Music Site
Having a web site that promotes your band and sells your CDs is great. You need to
do that. But some smart musicians have benefited greatly from taking things a step
further. Remember, your goal is to reach people online who are interested in your
style of music. What better way to do that than to start a web site that acts as a
resource for people who are interested in your entire musical genre.
For instance, solo piano artist David Nevue (www.davidnevue.com) started
Whisperings: Solo Piano Radio (www.solopianoradio.com), a site that features
links and reviews of dozens of complimentary artists – with generous mentions of
his own live shows and CDs.
Likewise, Irish folk musician Marc Gunn (www.marcgunn.com) also runs Celtic
MP3s Music Magazine (www.celticmp3s.com), a site that attracts fans of … you
guessed it, Celtic music, while also sending web traffic to his personal site.
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Great idea. If you have a little extra time to spend on this idea, it could do wonders
for your popularity!
By the way, David Nevue is also the author of a great book called How to
Promote Your Music Successfully on the Internet. Learn more about it at
http://www.rainmusic.com/htpma/buzz.htm.
30. Sell Your Recordings at CD Baby
You probably already know about and do this, but just in case … No discussion of
online music promotion would be complete without talking about CD Baby
(www.cdbaby.com). It’s the #1 indie music sales site in the world. Since 1998, the
site has sold 3.9 million CDs and paid out more than $65 million to indie artists. If
you have a CD for sale, you need to make it available there. CD Baby founder and
president Derek Sivers is one of the master marketers of the indie music world. His
staff is renowned for customer service.
Here’s the scoop: For a one-time $35 set-up fee, they scan your CD cover, digitize
and stream the songs you choose, and create a unique web page for you on the
site. You set your selling price; they keep $4 per CD sold and send you checks at
the dollar amount threshold you request. CD Baby gives you each buyer’s complete
contact info, so you can do follow-up promotions and add him or her to your
mailing list. You can also get a credit card swiper to accept payment at gigs.
An awesome service. Get more details at http://members.cdbaby.com/about.
31. Squeeze All You Can Out of Amazon.com
It may not be the indie music haven that CD Baby is, but Amazon gets so much
traffic, it shouldn’t be ignored. Millions of people visit the site, and many go looking
for new music. To sell your CDs at Amazon as an indie, you need to sign up with
their Advantage program and you must have a UPC code on your CD.
Details at http://advantage.amazon.com/gp/vendor/public/join/
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Once your CD is set up and available for sale at Amazon, there are a number of
things you can do to attract attention to yourself on the site, such as …
32. Get Sound Clips on Your Amazon Sales Page
Obviously, you want people to be able to sample streaming clips of your songs
while on your Amazon sales page. Once you’re part of Amazon’s Advantage
program, you can send in your CD and they will digitize them for free. Just sign in
to your Advantage account, and look for the “Submit your music CD for sound clips”
link.
33. Submit Your CD Cover Art
According to the Amazon site, “Showing a picture
of a CD's cover on its Amazon.com page is an
item’s most influential selling point. We’ll add the
cover image to your item’s detail page for free.”
Again, sign in to your Advantage account and
look for the “Upload Cover Art” link.
34. Ask Your Fans to Post Reviews
This is a no-brainer. Consumers use other customers’ reviews to help them make
purchase decisions. So having lots of five-star reviews on your CD page can help
boost sales. It’s great if your fans post reviews on their own, but they may need
some prodding from you. So ask them, and give them the Amazon web page where
they can find your CD and write glowing comments about it and your music.
Reminder: By the way, be sure to ask your fans to visit your pages at CD Baby,
GarageBand, etc., and post the same reviews on these sites, too.
35. Consider Amazon’s CreateSpace Service
Amazon now owns a company called CreateSpace. According to the site,
“CreateSpace on Demand Publishing is simple: we manufacture physical products
when customers order so no pre-built inventory is needed. With our services, you
can make your DVDs, CDs, and books available to millions of customers by selling
on Amazon.com, the CreateSpace Shop, and on your own website with a
customized eStore. Sounds interesting. Visit www.createspace.com to learn more.
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Here are some other things you can do whether or not you have a CD for sale on
Amazon:
36. Create �Listmania’ lists
Amazon is all about empowering buyers to express themselves. That’s why they
allow anyone to create a �Listmania’ list of favorite CDs, books and more on
whatever topic or genre he or she chooses. The best thing to do to promote your
music is create a list of top CDs in your
genre. The more specific, the better. For
instance, if you play R&B love songs,
create a list called “Best R&B Love Song
CDs” or “Top R&B Albums for Lovers.”
If you have a CD available on Amazon,
put your CD at the top of the list. Of
course. If you don’t have a CD on
Amazon, include the name of your act
and your web site in some of the
comments you write about each favorite
album. A link to your Listmania list will sometimes show up on the pages of the CDs
you include on the list. Again, this exposes you to other artists’ fans. So be sure to
include very targeted CDs on your list.
37. Create �So You’d Like to …’ Lists
Similar to Listmania, “So you'd like to ...” lists allow Amazon customers to go into
more detail about a particular hobby or interest, while still recommending CDs and
books available for sale on the site. Once again, your objective is to create a list
that targets the people most likely to enjoy your music. So you might create “So
you'd like to ... build an R&B love song collection” or “So you'd like to ... discover
the best R&B love songs.”
You can write a lot more comments with “So you'd like to ...” lists, so feel free to
explain who you are, what you play, why you love your style of music, etc. Include
your own CDs among your list of recommendations as well as your web address.
I’ve found the exposure level of a “Listmania” or “So you'd like to ...” list has
everything to do with how crowded the subject is. For example, a lot of people have
lists on music business books. Therefore, my “So you'd like to ... Succeed as a
Musician” list has only been viewed about 1,000 times. But my “So you'd like to ...
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Promote Your Creative Talents” page has been read more than 6,000 times. Fewer
people have posted lists in that category.
So, the more specific you can be, the better results you’ll get.
38. Write Amazon Customer Reviews
In addition to asking your fans to write reviews of your CDs, you can also benefit by
writing your own reviews of other similar artists. Amazon won’t allow you to include
a web address in the text of your reviews, but they will often allow you to reference
why you’re qualified to write about this genre – for instance, “As the lead singer of
Marleyville, Detroit’s most popular reggae band, I know a thing or two about
Jamaican music in the Motor City …”
Write thoughtful reviews of well-chosen CDs, slip in subtle references to your band
name and location, and you will get more exposure. Also, don’t overlook writing
reviews of books that tie into your musical themes.
39. Fill Out Your Amazon Profile
Whether people read your CD reviews or
your “Listmania” or “So you'd like to ...”
lists, they have the option of clicking on
your name (or nickname) to find out
more about you. Be sure to fill in as
many details as you can in your �About
Me’ Section, which acts as your profile
page on Amazon. Include your name,
band name, web site, city location, and a
mouth-watering description of the type of
music you play.
Tip: You have the option of using your real name for reviews, plus an additional
nickname. Amazon lets you use a web site address for your nickname. For instance,
my reviews show Bob Baker "author, MusicMarketingBooks.com,
PromoteYourCreativity.com." You should do the same — only use your own
name and web site instead of mine :)
Okay, enough about Amazon. Let’s move on to some other ways you can promote
yourself and your music online …
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40. Write and Distribute Articles
This could be one of the most overlooked
opportunities to promote your music on the
Internet. Usually, when musicians think of
getting exposure on music web sites, they
think of getting a review of their new CD or a
feature story written about them. That’s fine.
But if you have a decent command of the
language and can string a few sentences
together, you should also consider writing
articles for these same music sites.
You can write and submit CD reviews, band interviews, commentaries and more.
You won’t get paid for most of these submissions, but the payoff is that these sites
will allow you to include a blurb at the end of each article that details who you are,
what band you play in, and how readers can find out more about you.
Here are some music sites that may consider your article submissions:
MusicDish e-Journal
www.musicdish.com
Galaris
www.galaris.com
Indie-Music
www.indie-music.com
The Muse’s Muse
www.musesmuse.com
41. Publish a Free Fan E-zine
If the previous tip is one of the most overlooked ways to promote music online, this
one should be one of the most obvious. I’ve said it before: If you’re not publishing
a free fan e-mail newsletter, you’re missing the boat. Having a great web site is
just one piece of the Internet marketing equation. An e-zine you send to your fans
is something you must have to make the most of the promotional possibilities of
the Web.
Publishing an e-zine is not as complicated as it might seem. There are services
available (many of them free) that will automate much of the process, including the
following sites:
Ezine Director
www.ezinedirector.com
Topica
http://lists.topica.com
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Yahoo! Groups
http://groups.yahoo.com
Constant Contact
www.constantcontact.com
For more in-depth advice on this topic, check out my special report Ezine Music
Marketing at http://www.bob-baker.com/buzz/quiz.html.
42. Place an E-zine Subscription Link
on Every Page of Your Web Site
Publishing a fan e-zine is one thing. Having a lot of fan subscribers is another. Your
goal is to get as many people as possible to subscribe. This growing list of people
who are interested in your music holds the key to your success. So the more
subscribers, the merrier.
One way to encourage sign-ups is to put an e-zine subscription link in a prominent
spot on every page of your web site. Don’t bury this important call to action. Make
it part of the simple navigation bar (discussed earlier) that appears on every page
of your web site.
Really do this. Take a close look at your web site right now. Is an e-zine
subscription option blatantly obvious? If not, figure out a way to make it obvious,
and change your page design accordingly.
43. Gather E-mail Addresses at Gigs
One great way to generate e-zine subscribers is to use your live shows to build your
mailing list. How? Well, the secret is to … ask people to sign up! And don’t be timid
about it. Most acts put a sign-up sheet at their sales table or on the stage and
invite people to sign up. But not a whole lot of people will take you up on that offer.
Take an extra step to gather those names and addresses. Some acts put their signup sheet on a clipboard and pass it around the room. Others have a friend walk
around the venue and kindly ask people to sign up. Bribe people with free candy!
Whatever it takes!
Another idea: Have a CD giveaway where people have to fill out a small form and
throw it into a bucket. You draw one lucky winner, but the names and addresses of
everyone who entered are yours to keep — and add to your mailing list.
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44. Offer Incentives to Subscribe
Another great way to build an e-mail list fast is to pile on a bunch of reasons why
people should subscribe. Don’t just ask people to sign up for e-mail updates. Who
needs more messages clogging their Inboxes? Make them feel like they’re joining
an exclusive insider’s club. Offer special goodies that are only available to
subscribers, such as free MP3 downloads, sneak peeks at your newest songs,
special subscriber-only discounts on CDs, merchandise and tickets, etc. Then make
sure you deliver these goodies.
45. Trade E-zine Blurbs with Other Artists
Earlier, I asked you to establish relationships with five to 10 complimentary indie
acts. Once you’ve done that (and you will do it, right?), approach each act and
suggest you trade a mention in each other’s e-zine. Ideally, these other acts
produce music you genuinely enjoy. So it makes sense for you to recommend their
shows and CDs to your fans. Likewise, they will hopefully be willing to return the
favor by plugging your band or new CD release.
There is indeed power in numbers. So learn to work with your musical comrades
and support each other within your respective e-zines.
46. Show Your Personality
As you’ve hopefully figured out by now, I believe your web site and fan e-mail
newsletter exist to serve a purpose far beyond making gig announcements and CD
sales pitches. Your primary mission with these promotion vehicles is to start and
nurture relationships with a growing number of fans. One of the ways fans come to
know and love you is by getting to know who you are as a human being. They want
to know the person or people behind the music and what makes them tick.
Therefore, reveal yourself and your personality on the Web and via e-mail. Share
stories and anecdotes that tap into the emotions and vibe of your songs. For
example, here are two artists that do a good job of showing their personalities on
their web sites and e-zines:
Christine LeDoux
www.christeneledoux.com
Groovy Judy
www.groovyjudy.com
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47. Start a Live 365 station
Do you ever get sick of the stations and shows available on your radio dial? Of
course you do. Have you ever thought, “If I could afford it, I’d start my own station
and play the music I love — the cool stuff that rarely gets played.” Well, now you
can with www.Live365.com, an online service that allows you to program and
broadcast your own streaming radio station for as little as
$10 a month.
The obvious thing you should do with your station’s play list
is load it with lots of your own songs. But you’ll make it
more valuable for fans if you also include some great tracks
from other indie and well-known artists in your genre. An awesome, highly focused
show may get you exposure in online magazines that cover your genre, not to
mention through the other bands that you also feature on your show. And all the
people who give it a listen will be treated to … you guessed it, YOUR music.
48. Participate in Discussion Forums and Mailing Lists
The Internet is one big interactive party. People love to express themselves,
compare opinions, and debate the issues of the day. And music is a big topic of
discussion online. You can reach more fans by getting involved in some of that
dialogue. Go through some of the pages below to investigate potential forums and
mailing lists.
Warning: Responding to these things can be time-consuming. So pick the forums
where you’ll have the greatest chance of making an impact. Then dive in and
participate, and use an e-mail signature “blurb” to let people know who you are,
what you play, and where they can find you.
Music-Discussion.com
www.music-discussion.com
Google Directory > Music > Chats and Forums
http://directory.google.com/Top/Arts/Music/Chats_and_Forums/
Open Directory > Music > Chats and Forums
www.dmoz.org/Arts/Music/Chats_and_Forums/
Topica
http://lists.topica.com
Yahoo! Groups
http://groups.yahoo.com
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49. Don’t Forget Your Local Music Scene Web Sites
This should be obvious, but just in case … Make sure you have a list of web sites
that cover your local music scene. A lot of these have popped up over the years,
run by hard-core fans or wannabe journalists. These local sites can be easy places
to get exposure. Some review locally produced CDs and live shows, others post gig
schedules, and some do full-blown feature stories.
Tip: Doing a Google search for “music (your city name)” should help uncover a lot
of these sites for you.
50. Use These Directories to Find Record Stores
I don’t advocate pursuing widespread retail distribution too early in your career. But
once you have a buzz going in a particular region, it may make sense to get your
CDs into select retail outlets. Use these sites to hunt down potential music sales
locations:
Worldwide Online Record Shops
www.moremusic.co.uk/links/world_sh.htm
Record Store Review
www.recordstorereview.com/links/
Google Directory > Shopping >
Entertainment > Recordings
http://directory.google.com/Top/Shopping/
Entertainment/Recordings/
51. Analyze This: Make Sure Your Web Pages Are
Search Engine Friendly
To improve your chances of getting listed high in search engine results, the words
that appear throughout a web page should compliment the words that appear in
that page’s Title and Meta Description and Meta Keywords tags. These two sites can
help you analyze your pages for free:
ABAKUS Keyword Analyser
www.abakus-internet-marketing.de/tools/topword.html
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META Tag Analyzer
www.submitexpress.com/analyzer/
For more information on meta tags, check out these two articles:
META Tag Guide
www.submitcorner.com/Guide/Meta/
Meta tags - what, where, when, why?
www.philb.com/metatag.htm
52. Submit Your Site to Search Engines
Once you’re confident your site is ready for the world to see, you can submit it to
various search engines. Usually, search spiders will eventually find their way to
your site and index it anyway, but you may be able to speed things along by
submitting.
Your best bet is to go to each search engine and submit individually. There are also
many services that will submit your site to hundreds of search sites for you for a
fee. Here are two services that will submit your site to a small number of search
engines at no charge.
AddMe.com
www.addme.com/submission.htm
SubmitExpress.com
www.submitexpress.com/submit.html
Warning: You might want to use a throw-away e-mail address when filling out
these forms, because the free search submission services can sometimes hit you
with a lot of follow-up e-mail.
53. Accept Payments from Your Own Web Site
You already know that your fans can order your CDs securely online when you get
set up with CD Baby or Amazon. But what if you want to take orders right from
your own site? And what if you want to sell T-shirts, caps and other merchandise?
CD Baby and Amazon can’t help you there. Here are four additional payment
processing services to consider using:
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PayPal.com
www.paypal.com
2CheckOut.com
www.2checkout.com
CCnow.com
www.ccnow.com
ClickBank.com (digital products)
www.clickbank.com
Look over fees and policies carefully. Most have a
per-transaction fee plus a percentage of each sale.
PayPal has the lowest fees and most flexible access
to your money. But look them all over and see what
works for you.
54. Make Compelling Offers and Ask for the Sale
Some people make a purchase right away when something interests them. Some
rarely make a purchase. And a lot of people teeter on the fence, not sure which
direction to go. For these good folks, you need to create incentives — reasons for
them to hit the Buy button now.
Here are some compelling possibilities:
п‚·пЂ Limited-time discounts: Get a 20% discount if you purchase by this
Friday.
п‚·пЂ Limited-quantity offers: The first 25 people who respond get an
autographed copy.
п‚·пЂ Upsell with a special offer: Buy one, get one free. Or buy our new CD, get
our previous release at half off.
п‚·пЂ Bundling: Purchase a CD, T-shirt and cap at the same time, save 50%.
п‚·пЂ Charity benefit: 20% of all CD sales proceeds go to the local Wildlife
Refuge.
55. Write Benefit-Rich �You’ Copy
The Internet can be a cold, mechanical place. There’s nothing inherently warm and
fuzzy about a computer screen. Your job as a caring, fan-building music marketer is
to make an online interaction with you as warm and inviting as possible. When
writing about yourself, your gigs and your for-sale items, do everything you can to
make your prose come to life as a one-on-one conversation.
Don’t be sterile. Don’t write “Listeners will enjoy the energetic arrangements and
lush harmonies …” Barf. Who are these listeners you’re writing about? They’re the
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people sitting in front of a computer screen many miles away using up their
precious time to read about you. Speak directly to them. Make it count. Make it
interesting.
Write something along the lines of, “If you like to shake your butt on the dance
floor, you’ll love this CD. Imagine the groovin’ atmosphere you’ll create at your
next party with our music. Your friends will love you. Strangers will be in awe. You
might even get lucky …”
See the difference? Speak directly to your fans, like each one was sitting face to
face across the table from you. Help them conjure up how they’ll enjoy and benefit
from your music. Doing so will make hitting the Subscribe or Buy button a lot
easier.
56. Use the Personal PR Approach
One great trend in online publicity is that many editors, producers and writers
prefer to get news releases by e-mail. That comes in handy when you need to reach
a lot of media people with a standard news release in a hurry. So by all mean, take
your properly formatted releases and send them as text within the body of an
e-mail. (Only send an attached file when someone knows you or has requested it.)
However, don’t end your PR efforts there.
One of the most effective, time-tested
ways to get media coverage is to
communicate one on one with media
people using personal messages. Instead
of sending Joe Scribe in Dallas the same
generic release that Jane Journalist in
Denver gets, send Joe a more
conversational personal note: “Joe, Here’s
a story idea for your March issue …”
Then briefly explain why your story will be good for his publication in his city. Make
sure it reads like an articulate note to a friend or business associate. If you start
doing this, I bet you’ll see an immediate increase in the media relationships you
build.
Personal communication is always better than generic. Always.
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57. Use Popular, Similar Artists to Help Define You
Music fans, especially people who are learning about you for the first time, need to
categorize your music in their brains. Not to pigeonhole you, but to help them store
details about you in their memory. One big way people accomplish this is by
comparing you to other artists they enjoy. You can help this process along by
dropping a few names of your own.
David Nevue (www.davidnevue.com), whom I mentioned earlier, uses this text near
the top of his home page: “If you’re into Yanni, George Winston or Jim Brickman’s
piano music, you’ll love this ...”
Mentioning other artists helps new fans make the mental connection quicker.
58. Plug Your Web Site During Media Interviews
Web sites shouldn’t operate in a vacuum. Combine traditional print and broadcast
interviews with your online presence. But be cool and clever about it. Anyone can
say, “If you want to find out more about the band, visit our web site at …” Yawn.
Instead, create some special valuable resource
that’s easy to describe on the air or during an
interview for a feature story. And make it available
from your web site. A free download of one of your
songs probably won’t cut it. Give it more
widespread appeal and have it tie in directly with
your musical identity.
Example: “I’d like to offer your listeners a free
report called The Top 10 Best Jazz CDs of All Time. You can download it right from
our web site at …”
Or “Your viewers can help themselves to a free report called Ten Ways to Use Music
to Relax and De-Stress Your Life. It’s available at …”
See how valuable this would be in attracting new fans?
59. Follow Up with Everyone
Once is not enough. Especially when it comes to e-mail messages you send to
media people, potential cross-promotion sources, and music industry people.
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The thing is, most music promoters don't connect a second or third time with
people they try to reach. To these self-defeating marketers, a lack of response
must mean a lack of interest -- that the artist or proposed idea isn't worthy. But
that isn't always the case.
People are busy. They may be interested in your proposal but get sidetracked and
forget about you. Not to worry. A friendly reminder note can be just the thing to
reawaken their intentions to get back to you. Or it can be the trigger that inspires
them to more seriously consider your idea and make a decision on it.
The difference between success and failure can often be measured in mere inches.
Following up is just one way you can set yourself apart and make people wonder
how you got so lucky to enjoy all the exposure that seems to naturally come your
way.
60. Find Thousands of Record Labels Online
These days, with the way the traditional music industry is crumbling, it’s the Do-ItYourself Era. So there’s no real reason to ever get near a record label – except to
watch an outdated business model dinosaur struggle for air.
But record labels still do exist. And most of them are smaller, independent labels
you may be able to partner with in some way. Use these web sites to hunt down
record labels of all kinds — small, large and everything in between.
TAXI: Major and Indie Labels
www.taxi.com/members/links-labels.html
Google Directory > Business > Arts and Entertainment > Music > Labels
http://directory.google.com/Top/Business/Arts_and_Entertainment/Music/Labels/
All Record Labels
www.allrecordlabels.com
61. Add Extra Words to Your P2P Song Listings
Do you make your original songs available through those Kazaa-like file-sharing
systems? That might be a good idea if you want to get your music to anyone who
might be willing to listen.
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Hot tip: Some acts have gotten more out of these peer-to-peer networks by
adding a similar popular act’s name to their artist name when logging songs. For
instance, “Amy Smith (like Jewel)” will come up in P2P searches for Jewel. That
would get Amy’s music to a lot more potential fans than “Amy Smith” alone.
62. Run Pay-Per-Click Ads on Google and Yahoo
Traditional advertising can be costly and usually doesn’t earn back the investment
you make. I advocate using as many low-cost and no-cost marketing tools as
possible. However, one low-cost online advertising option you might consider is
pay-per-click. There are two search engine programs that stand out as the best
choices:
Google AdWords
https://adwords.google.com/
Yahoo Search Marketing
http://searchmarketing.yahoo.com/
With pay-per-click advertising, you choose the amount of money you will pay per
click. Generally, the more you agree to pay per click, the higher your listing will
appear in the search result of the key words you select. Each program works a little
differently from the others, so check out the pages above and see if either of them
seems like a good investment.
63. Make Digital Images Available From Your Site
If you actively pursue publicity, you’ve no doubt been asked to supply an artist
photo or image of your CD cover. These days, publications (both print and Webbased) like to deal with digital images. If they have to wait for you to mail them
something that they then have to scan, they get a little grumpy.
You can keep them in a good mood by
making digital images available for
download from your web site. And make
them available in both high-resolution
(300 dpi for print publications) and lowresolution (72 dpi for the Web) versions.
These links don’t have to be part of your
public site. Just have them ready when
an editor asks.
Lesson: Make it easy for the media to
cover you!
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64. Hold Online Contests and Giveaways
People like to win things. And they don’t mind having to perform some minor task
to earn the prize. Make the most of this human response by holding contests and
giving away free stuff from your web site.
Perhaps you can award a free CD to one new e-zine subscriber every month. Or ask
your fans to help you name a new song or CD title. The winning entry gets five free
copies. Use your imagination and find fun ways to get people involved and excited
about interacting with you online.
65. Sell Digital Downloads
There are a number of places online where music fans can purchase music
downloads: Amazon MP3, Rhapsody, eMusic, Napster, etc. The landscape is
changing constantly, but the iTunes music store still rules with the largest sales
numbers. Therefore, if you don’t already, get busy making your music available for
sale on iTunes.
The two easiest ways to do it:
п‚·пЂ CD Baby. Details at www.cdbaby.net/dd
п‚·пЂ TuneCore. Details at www.tunecore.com
Note: You can’t do both. You must choose one
service or the other for digital distribution. Both sites
will also hook you up with digital sales via Rhapsody,
Amazon MP3, eMusic, Sony Connect, Napster, and
more. Read each site for specifics on fees, etc.
In addition, you can sell digital downloads of your music yourself from your own
site. Two services to consider for processing these orders are:
ClickBank
www.clickbank.com
PayLoadz
www.payloadz.com
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66. Set Up Shop on Facebook Pages
Facebook.com has launched something called Facebook Pages, described as a place
where you can “Create a business presence to engage with your customers and
fans on Facebook.” Musicians and bands are welcome.
Having a standard personal profile on the site is good, but now you can set up a
Facebook Pages account for your band or business. Check it out at
www.facebook.com/business/?pages.
67. Tap Into the Podsafe Music Network
This is the site where podcasters go to find music that has been deemed “podsafe.”
That means the copyright holders of the music available on this site give blanket
permission to podcasters to play their songs. Many indie acts have received a lot of
online exposure as a result of having an account there.
Learn more at http://music.podshow.com/.
68. Use a Music Sales Widget to Make More Money
Not sure what a widget is? You’d better find out if you want to be making the most
of the Internet. A web widget is a portable chunk of code that can be added to and
executed within any HTML-based web page. Read more about it here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_widget
A music sales widget will not only play your songs, but it will allow fans to purchase
digital downloads – kind of like a mini-iTunes on your web site that features only
your music.
My favorite widget is the one produced by Nimbit (www.nimbit.com), which lets
you sell tickets and merchandise in addition to music downloads. Very cool.
Here are four other widget sites you should also look into:
Hoooka
www.hoooka.com
Musicane
www.musicane.com
Blast My Music
www.blastmymusic.com
SnoCap
www.snocap.com
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69. Flickr Your Photos
Yes, digital still pictures seem so “old school.”
But you still need to take them, and you need
to post them on Flickr (www.flickr.com), a
very popular photo sharing site. I’m not
talking family reunion pictures here. Take
photos of your live shows, of your fans, of you
in the studio, backstage and on the road.
Show yourself in action!
Be sure to “tag” your photos with plenty of key
words related to your music and the location
of each shot. Why? Because millions of other
Flickr users search the site for interesting pictures. Make sure they can find you.
70. Make Good Use of Craig’s Free List
Sure, people use Craigslist (www.craigslist.org) to find a job, a date, or to sell old
appliances. But you can use it for your music too. Post free listings to promote your
gigs, book private shows, find new band members, buy and sell used gear, and
more. The nice thing about Craigslist, compared to so many of the other social
networking sites, is that you don’t have to create a profile page. Just log in and
post a listing.
Sadly, we’ve come to the end of this special report. So let me ask you: What will
you do with these 70 simple things you can do to promote and sell your music on
the Internet?
My advice: Don’t get sidetracked. Resist feeling overwhelmed. Just get busy
putting one or two of these ideas into action every day or every week. Before long,
you’ll have a strong presence and a growing fan base on the Internet.
To your success!
Bob Baker
34
79 Online Music Sales Outlets
Dusty Groove America - http://www.dustygroove.com/
Soul, jazz, Latin, Brazil, funk, acid jazz, hip hop, and lounge on vinyl and CD, hard-to-find imports,
reissues, classic LPs, old school 12-inch singles, and funky 45s.
Cadence Music Sales - http://www.cadencebuilding.com/
Large selection of mostly obscure jazz, especially avant-garde, and blues titles from hundreds of
labels. Order by phone, fax, email, or mail.
Twisted Village - http://www.twistedvillage.com
Online store and record label features techno, avant-garde, electronic, progressive, jazz
improvisation, modern composers, psychedelic, and experimental releases.
Forced Exposure - http://www.forcedexposure.com/
Large selection of underground music CDs and records, including reissues, from around the world.
Browse by artist or label or download the catalog.
Ubiquity Records Online - http://www.ubiquityrecords.com/
Jazz, hip-hop, funk, soul, electronic, dance, rare groove, latin jazz and club music.
Primarily A Cappella - http://www.singers.com
Vocal music CDs, songbooks, sheet music and charts for barbershop groups, choirs and choruses.
Includes reviews and links to harmony groups and organizations.
Arhoolie Records/Down Home Music - http://www.arhoolie.com
Hard-to-find country, bluegrass, and old time recordings along with other American genres and
world music CDs, videos, magazines, and books. News, artist itineraries, and reviews.
Ladyslipper Music By Women - http://www.ladyslipper.org/
Recordings by women, non-sexist children's music and music by men, plus video recordings,
songbooks and music-related books. Audio clips.
Jimmy K Polkas - http://www.jimmykpolkas.com
Discount retailer of Polka music CDs and cassettes.
Recordstore.co.uk - http://www.recordstore.co.uk
Music store based in the United Kingdom, specializing in small labels.
Lone Star Music - http://www.lonestarmusic.com/
Featuring a selection of new and classic music from Texas.
PostEverything - http://www.posteverything.com/
CDs and vinyl from small independent record labels. Streaming audio and samples. Based in
London.
Norman Records - http://www.normanrecords.com/
Mail order vinyl and CDs. Specialising in indie, electronic and weird music from all over the world.
Downtown Music Gallery - http://downtownmusicgallery.com/Main/index.htm
Avant garde, new and free Jazz, art rock and pop, contemporary classical, on new and used CD,
LP and DVD.
AthensMusic.net - http://www.athensmusic.net/
Music CDs in many styles by bands and artists that have some tie to Athens, Georgia. Audio
samples, reviews, biographies, news, and local events.
Great Recordings - http://www.great-recordings.com/
Blues, gospel, and R&B recordings.
35
Productions Bros Inc. - http://www.bros.ca/
Featuring CDs by Canadian blues artists as well as music in genres such as bachata, merengue,
and worldbeat. Audio samples. Based in Montreal. [English/French]
Digital Music Archives - http://www.digital-music-archives.com/
Electronic and experimental music CDs with MP3 clips.
Ajente - http://ajente.com/
R&B, Hip Hop, Jazz, Gospel, Blues, and Reggae CDs for sale.
Song of The Salesman - http://www.songofthesalesman.co.uk/
Selling music used in advertising in the UK as MPs and on compact disc.
Cordova Bay Records/Ragged Pup Records - http://shop.cordovabay.com/
Blues, rock, pop, country, and folk music CDs
Roots & Rhythm - http://www.rootsandrhythm.com/
Blues, gospel, R&B, soul, doo-wop, rockabilly, vintage rock, country, folk, ethnic and world music,
dance band, and pre-fusion jazz.
National Heritage Music - http://www.nationalheritagemusic.com/
Clark Murray sells big band arrangements and compact discs of traditional American songs such
as those of Stephen Foster. Online scores delivered as PDF files.
WhatMusic.com - http://www.whatmusic.com/
Rare and contemporary African, Brazilian, dance, jazz, Latin, and soundtrack LPs and CDs. Audio
samples. Based in Europe.
Talking Taco Music - http://talkingtaco.com/
Native American, cowboy, flamenco, and tex-mex guitar, Celtic, and southwestern spirituality CDs
and cassette tapes.
Cosmic Groove - http://cosmicgroove.fr/
French record shop specialized in soul, funk, jazz, lounge, exotica, latin, blaxploitation, and
afrobeat.
BostonPete.com - http://bostonpete.com/
Nostalgia music and old time radio CDs and tapes, vintage videos, classic movie DVDs, and
autographed photographs and books. Audio samples and radio.
SaltSpringMusic.Com - http://www.saltspringmusic.com/
CDs by recording artists from Salt Spring Island, Canada. Audio clips and links.
JIPrecords - http://www.jiprecs.nu/
Record label offering Latin, alt-americana, bluegrass, country, jazz, blues rock, and soundtrack
CDs and hard to find CDs, tapes, and records. Music news and MP3s.
Dolphin Discs Internet Record Shop - http://www.dolphindiscs.com/
Specializing in modern electronic music CDs and LPs, including contemporary urban jazz and funk
fusions. Searchable database, reviews, and audio samples. Based in London.
Eric Records - http://www.ericrecords.com/
CD reissues of hard to find classic 45s.
L'Atelier Grigorian Ltd. - http://www.grigorian.com/
Canadian source for Classical and Jazz recordings.
Painted Smiles - http://www.showmusic.com/PaintedSmiles/index.htm
Selling popular theatre songs on CD.
Oasis Productions - http://www.oasisproductions.com
Canadian-based record company with a number of labels, each specializing in a unique genre of
instrumental music.
36
The Music Barn - http://www.themusicbarn.com/
Cassette tapes, CDs, videos and books of old-time country, instrumental, and popular music from
the 1930s to the 1960s. Audio samples.
Street Gold Records - http://www.streetgold.com/
Doo-wop, Christmas music, and classic rock CDs and tapes for kids and adults. Samples in MP3
and WAV formats.
Tandem Music Group - http://www.tandem-music.com
CDs and cassette tapes from independent artists and labels and international record management
services. Audio samples.
Wax Museum - http://www.waxmuseum.net/
Specializing in beach music, oldies, and collectable CDs, cassettes, 45s, and 78s. Audio samples.
Order by phone.
Green Hill Direct - http://www.greenhillmusic.com/
Celtic, light jazz, and classical, to big band, dixieland, and country; RealAudio samples.
ChunkyRecords.com - http://www.chunkyrecords.com
Mail order shop for left-field music on vinyl and CD. Styles covered include Post Rock, Electronica,
Lo-Fi and Noise.
Bada Bing - http://www.badabingcdrt.com
Garage, surf, R&B, and soul CDs, records, and DVDs.
Carbon Disks - http://www.carbondisks.com/
New and used electronica, industrial, ambient, techno, and indie CDs and vinyl, videos, and
memorabilia.
ShantiOmMusic.com - http://www.shantiommusic.com/
Sells a variety of Celtic, classical, East Indian music, healing and relaxation, guided meditation,
tantric music, instrumental and nature sounds.
POP Records Mail Order - http://www.pollodelmar.com/mart/
Instrumental and surf music CDs by unsigned, hard to find, and international bands.
Polkamart - http://www.polkamart.com
Polka and waltz music on CD and cassette tape. Includes a search by genre, audio samples, and
profiles of artists.
Subterranean Records - http://www.recordsnyc.com/
Greenwich Village shop specializing in new, used, and import rock, soul, and jazz vinyl and CDs
from the 60's to the present, also posters, books, and assorted ephemera. Special requests
welcomed.
Intoxica - http://www.intoxica.co.uk
New and collectable records sold internationally from London, UK. Buys and sells old vinyl records.
Gatefold Records - http://www.gatefoldrecords.com/
Specializing in rare, re-issue, promo, import and out of print CDs, vinyl and memorabilia.
Alternative, rock and pop, jazz, Brazilian, soundtracks, exotica, funk, psychedelic, and prog/kraut
rock.
Sundazed Music Store - http://www.sundazed.com/store/
Psychedelic, garage, beat, punk, surf, hippie rock, soul, R&B, blues, country, rockabilly, and jazz
reissues on CD and vinyl, zines, and video. Audio clips, profiles, reviews, and fan commentary.
Old World Troubadour - http://johndurant.home.att.net/
Official site of John Durant, storyteller, singer, instrumentalist, and jokester. Includes samples of
recordings.
37
Unsound Records - http://www.unsound.com.au/
Australian CD and vinyl store specialising in soul, reggae, hiphop, dance, African, zoukous, hilife,
and Oceania musics.
Labor Folkies George Mann and Julius Margolin - http://georgemann.home.att.net/
Sells pro-labor, anti-Bush CDs. Lyrics, song samples, biographies and articles, and photos
available.
Sammy's Record Shop - http://www.goldenoldiesmusic.com/
Specializing in golden oldies, rare 45s and LPs, and CDs by Louisiana artists.
Royal Record Collection - http://members.lycos.co.uk/kinggeoff/index.html
78 rpm speeches by the Royal Family from 1927 to 1951.
DSB Records - http://www.dsb-aor-world.com/
Offers a selection of CDs and vinyl in many genres, including many rare titles. Based in Germany
and accepts online orders.
Music Mill Entertainment - http://www.musicmill.com/
Label specializing in classic country music, polka, tango, bluegrass, Elvis Presley, instrumentals,
and rockabilly.
Lxtasy Sounds Mixtapes & CDs - http://www.hotmixx.com/
Hip-hop, R&B, reggae, jazz, gospel, and house CDs. Audio samples.
Pinewood Records - http://www.pinewoodrecords.com/
Hard to find sealed jazz, noise, punk, and alternative vinyl LPs, 10", 7", CDs, and cassettes.
Museum Music - http://www.museummusic.com
Creates custom and enhanced CDs for museums, zoos, libraries, galleries, historical societies and
related organizations for retail and promotional use.
Digitaloss.com - http://digitaloss.com/
Realaudio and MP3 clips demo free music CDs in different genres by established artists both in the
art and music industries. Original artwork and words on the CD.
Bep's Antiques and Music - http://www.bepsantiques.com/
New age, Celtic, flamenco, world, space, and jazz CDs.
CD Wolf Music - http://www.cdwolf.com/
Bear Family recordings including old country, pop, rhythm and blues, and bluegrass music. Order
by phone, fax, or mail.
Max Music - http://www.max-music.com/
Rap, Mexican, and rock CDs.
Modern World Records - http://www.modernworld.com.au/
Specialising in Australian and New Zealand independent and alternative releases.
DDR CD & Vinyl Versand - http://www.ddr.ch/
Alternative rebellious, independent music specializing in punk, hardcore, ska, emo, pop, and
garage rock. Audio samples. Based in Zurich.
Shellac-records - http://shellac0.tripod.com/shellac-records/index.html
Selling a collection of shellac-records of great vocalists and other musicians from between 1900
and 1950.
1 Off Wax - http://www.1offwax.co.uk
Music label providing mail order jazz, soul, funk, Latin, Brasilian, soundtracks, and easy beats on
CD. Sound samples available on MP3.
Basart World Entertainment - http://basartworld.com/
Importer, distributor and retailer of classical, jazz and pop music. Online ordering by secure server.
38
Confidence Mail-Order - http://www.confidence-uk.com/
Worldwide sales of dance and pop music CDs.
Record Castle - http://www.recordcastle.com/
Buys and sells new and used records, CDs, tapes, videos, and rock memorabilia.
Super Party USA - http://www.superpartyusa.com/
Exercise, dance and party, Jewish, gypsy guitar, jazz, love songs, and hip-hop music CD samplers.
Swamp Dogg - http://swampdogg.safeshopper.com/index.htm?884
CDs in many genres and by the artist.
Gibrob Enterprises - http://www.gibrob.com/
Band, jazz, and religious CDs, print of God the Father, with religious literature.
Big Boppa - http://www.bigboppa.co.uk/
Email order company specializes in 1960s and 1970s popular music, but also carries comedy,
Celtic, film themes, and jazz, vinyl cleaning solution, and retro-style record sleeves. Based in the
UK.
Jimmy Thomas - http://www.btinternet.com/~jimmythomas.hotdesk
Soul singer/songwriter and producer - his work, "Boodyshakers Inn", available on CD.
Music 4 Your Crosley - http://www.music4yourcrosley.com
Selection of nostalgic music available on 45s, 78s or compact disc, for use in jukeboxes.
Garment District - http://www.garment-district.com/store/music/index.htm
Vinyl and CD releases from a number of small independent labels.
Yesterday's Memories - http://www.411web.com/t/tompkinsent/
Specializing in oldies music on CDs, cassette tapes, 45s, and LPs.
Record Land - http://www3.mistral.co.uk/recordland/
Jazz, big band and orchestras, soundtracks, female and male vocal. Vinyl and CDs for set sale
and auction.
39
44 Places to Sell Indie CDs Online
CD Baby - http://www.cdbaby.com/
Independent records, all with RealAudio samples.
CD Freedom - http://www.cdfreedom.com/
Multi-genre music CDs by independent artists. Audio samples.
Aware Music - http://www.awarestore.com/
CDs and merchandise from independent artists.
Peoplesound.com - http://www.peoplesound.com/
Site for independent musicians to sell their music over the web.
Goldenrod Music - http://www.goldenrod.com/
CDs by independent artists, primarily women. Audio samples and customer reviews.
SongRamp - http://www.songramp.com/
Community for composers and songwriters selling their works. Audio samples, profiles, tour dates,
and forums.
Hip Hop Hot Spot - http://www.hiphophotspot.com/
Interactive media site giving artists the means to promote and sell their music.
BandMecca.com - http://www.bandmecca.com/
Music and merchandise from independent artists, member reviews, and musician services.
CDstreet.com - http://www.cdstreet.com/
Specializes in the sale of music by independent artists.
Paste Music.com - http://www.pastemusic.com/
Independent artist and benefit CDs. Search by style or region, audio samples, radio station, artist
profiles, upcoming performances, and MP3s.
Stinkweeds - http://www.stinkweeds.com
Record store dedicated to independent bands.
BURBs - http://www.burbs.co.uk/
Specialising in British Indie bands.
Spirit River Distribution - http://www.spiritriver.com
Online catalogue for retailers and individuals looking to purchase independent Canadian music.
Voiceprint - http://www.voiceprint.co.uk/
Buy online from a catalogue of more than 500 CDs from this family of independent labels.
Rising Music - http://www.risingmusic.com
Includes submission by bands and artists, reviews, shows, directory, genres, ranking and new.
[Registration required]
Galaris - http://www.galaris.com/
CDs and vinyl, rave products, and musician and event services. MP3 samples.
NoiZyland - http://www.noizyland.com/
New Zealand indie rock, pop, electronic, and dance music CDs and vinyl. News, reviews,
interviews, MP3s, and links. Based in New Zealand.
Wholeteam - http://www.wholeteam.com/
Distribution network for independent artists to showcase their material online, as well as in local
record stores. Real audio and mp3 samples.
40
TuneVault.com - http://www.tunevault.com/
Music by independent artists from around the world. Also features news, reviews, and MP3
downloads.
11345 Records and Mail Order - http://www.11345.com/
Pop, rawk n' roll, cow-punk, alt-country, garage on vinyl and CDs, t-shirts, stickers, and zines
available from independent artists and labels.
IndepenDisc Music Club - http://www.independisc.com/
A mail order source for independent music by Indie Bands.
Independent Distribution Network - http://www.idnmusic.com/
Promotional platform for independent bands and artists.
KlarityMusic - http://www.klaritymusic.com/
Audio book and music CDs and cassettes. Audio samples.
SongPeddler - http://www.songpeddler.com
Custom CDs and albums from independent artists.
Aliso Records - http://www.alisorecords.de
Independent label for international guitar music. Toto Blanke and others.
Planet CD - http://planetcd.com
Specializing in independent music. RealAudio samples, secure on-line ordering, regular prize
drawings.
Independent Musicians Marketplace - http://www.secondfret.com/
CDs and RealAudio.
Buythiscd.com - http://www.buythiscd.com
An outlet by which CD products and artist merchandise can be sold to the supportive fan. Every
product found in the catalogue has been created by artists that oversee their own product
development. In effect these people are their own record labels and in many cases their own
distribution.
New Artist Direct - http://www.newartistdirect.com/
CDs by independent bands and artists, some with audio samples and quotes from reviews.
Alternate Records - http://www.alternate.dk
Danish online store offering CDs from local independent artists.
Online Bands - http://www.onlinebands.com/
Independent bands offering direct distribution of their products to the public.
DriftWood - http://www.dw.com.au/fp/driftwd/index.htm
[Australia] Independent CDs. Provides web pages with RealAudio and online transactions for
unsigned Artists.
Amazingcds - http://www.amazingcds.com
Promoting CDs by independent music artists from around the world.
Do Good Music - http://www.dogoodmusic.com/
With resources for independent artists, distribution of music and general information.
Jet Glue Records - http://www.jetglue.com/
Independent record label. Home to Pontius CoPilot, The Cassettes, Glossary and The Speedtrain.
SlipstreamPresents.com - http://www.slipstreampresents.com/
Features the work of independent bands and artists.
41
Mud Duck Music - http://www.mudduckmusic.com/
Includes new promotions, CD mastering, music production, promotion, management, publishing
and video production.
Bushami Arts - http://bushami.tripod.com/
Digitally remastering original music. Contains information on CDs and other general information.
Big Soundz - http://bigsoundz.com
Offers news and services to unsigned artists, and music promotion.
Rearview Music - http://www.tcpro.net/
CDs by independent rock and pop rock artists from the United States and the United Kingdom.
Audio samples.
Dam Records - http://www.dambiz.com/
CDs, CD replication, and distribution for hip hop, rap, R&B and jazz acts. Audio samples.
DigitalCuts - http://www.digitalcuts.com
Services to assist the independent artist in the publication and promotion of their music.
Hollywood Band - http://hollywoodbands.com
Accepts CDs from Hollywood's unsigned bands. Information on audio, video, show schedule and
reviews, news, pictures and a bulletin board.
Adam Records - http:[email protected]//index.htm
A collection of British indie rock vinyl, CDs, and cassettes.
For hundreds of other places to sell your music online
(broken down by genre), check out this link:
http://directory.google.com/Top/Shopping/Entertainment/Recordings/Audio/Music/Specialty/
For more of Bob’s indie music marketing
tips and tools, please visit …
www.TheBuzzFactor.com
www.MusicPromotionBlog.com
http://Bob-Baker.com/podcast/
www.MusicMarketingBooks.com
www.MySpaceMusicMarketing.com
www.MusicMarketingInsiders.com
www.YouTube.com/user/MrBuzzFactor
42
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