To Really Sell CDs Online
I'm about to tell you a new and highly
effective way to sell CDs online from your own website. Listen
up because I usually put this stuff into an ebook and sell it
for gobs of dough, but frankly I haven't got time to write a book
right now. However, I do want to share this knowledge with you
because it works. The question is, how serious are you about your
career? because if you don't have any real commitment and focus
then no amount of articles and tips you read will help you. But
if you want to rise to the occasion. Read on...
Unlike other motivators, gurus or success coaches, I will never
give you academic theories, untried or untested ideas. On the
contrary, in fact, the only ideas I will share with you
will be those that I have personally tried out and had success
with. That's why I get excited, because I see results, and mostly
they are light bulb moments. "Why on earth didn't I think
of that before?" is usually the afterthought.
Over the last seven years I have had an enormous amount of success
both as a musician and as an Internet marketer. I say that not
to brag, but because I want you to to know that if I can do it,
then so can you. We are living in a new age. Truly, the geek will
inherit the earth. I guarantee that only the proactive 'details
oriented', 'out-of-the-box-thinkers' will really have success
over the next few years. Watch if you don't believe me.
OK, so where do we start? Do you have a website? Good. Do you
have a web designer? If so, he or she must read this because for
the most part web designers are not Internet marketers, they make
pretty web pages. If you do your own web work (and I highly recommend
that you learn), all the better.
I am now going to propose to you that you now have two websites
dedicated to your band or act, instead of just one. First, you
must have your 'calling card' website. You know, your site at
www.yourdomain.com that contains all the good basic info about
you that fans can read. I'll talk about the other site in a moment.
Ideally visitors should be finding your main website from a ton
of inbound links from other sites. Rather than just getting any
old link from another site to point to you, do all that you can
to get a 'golden' link. By this I mean a highly visible link on
a highly trafficked page. Do a joint venture if needs be by promoting
their site from yours and so on. But get good solid substantial
links from other sites whose demographic would be interested in
you. Ask those questions!
If you want to score high in the search engines, make sure that
other sites display your keyword in their anchor text. In other
words, if you want to score high in Google when someone searches
on 'punk bands', then make sure that that keyword is in the anchor
text of the inbound link. (More on this in huge detail in the
Artist DIY Smartkit).
OK, now you have a steady flow of traffic to your website. Of
course you need to make the site fascinating and seductive. Here's
what you need to understand about your site;
|The only reason you have a website
online is to collect names and email addresses so you can
direct market to your fans!
Sure you want to tell them where and when
you will be playing, show them photos etc. But effectively,
you do this by direct marketing through email, forming a personal
relationship with your fans one by one. And they will love you
for it. More on this in a sec.
So the trick now is to figure out how to capture a new visitor.
How do you seduce them into your lair? so to speak. Once you
have a committed, interested new fan, you can turn this new
person into a purchaser, and if you do it right, a fan who will
purchase from you time and time again. You do want to make money
as a musician, right?
So the secret is getting them to give you their name and email
address so your automated system can do the rest. Enter the
second website I was just telling you about...
The second website is what we can refer to as a 'Member's Area".
Most commercial or corporate online sites that have a member's
area charge a recurring fee to be admitted. You however, are
not going to do that. Your member's area will be absolutely
free. All they have to do is subscribe. When they subscribe,
they get access to this other site (which can be all part of
the same domain) and of course you then have autoresponders
set up so you can, over the course of a period of time (usually
about 2 weeks), seduce them into buying from you. Works like
a charm. Read on...
OK, so this member's area sounds really cold and lifeless doesn't
it? Doesn't even sound particularly interesting. This is where
you have to put on your creative hat. Don't call it a member's
area. Personally, I call mine "Backstage",
but you could call it anything you like. How about "V.I.P.
Only". Or "Private Invite Only". Imagine
you are opening a really hip new nightclub and you want only
a certain style of person there. Imagine a selective New York
nightclub where there is always a line outside and only the
beautiful and famous people get to come in. By the way, did
you know that there is never usually a need for a line outside
a nightclub? How many times have you lined up for half an hour,
then been admitted and walked into a half full club? The club
is creating a perception that they are extremely popular. But
no, all clubs do it because it makes them look good. Adopt this
way of thinking for your website. Make it a real 'inside thing'.
Kind of like you have to know somebody to get in. There is a
website called www.smallworld.com who have successfully done
this, and everybody of course is clamoring to be a part of this
highly exclusive place. It is brilliant marketing.
So think about this other new site of yours. What do you call
it? How will it be? What do fans have to do to get in? Think
about this. It's your world. Make it fascinating and exclusive.
Then build this other member's site and make it something folks
want to come back to. The truth is, you now have their contact
info so it almost doesn't matter to you what they do, but you
do want them to remain in your world, so think
about what you could do to grab their attention. I'll give you
Your main website will have all the basic stuff like; About
you, bio, photos, tour info, subscribe to newsletter, blah
blah blah. All good stuff. But this other private site of yours
has to contain highly personal, intimate and fascinating stuff
that fans can pore over, that they can't get from your main
site. In short, there has to be a seductive and 'slam dunk'
reason why a visitor would give up their contact info. Let's
face it, with spam issues, it takes a lot these days. Here are
a few ideas.
We are living in a youtube world right now. There is every reason
to make videos and it's easy to do, and dirt cheap. So...
If you are the meek or mild type,you know,
all introverted and shy and bashful. Here's what I have to say
to you; Turn that around pal, because you have to be larger
than life! Fans want it that way. They want stars and they want
to put their stars on pedestals and worship them. Even if you
feel a little insecure in this department, do not translate that
online. BE LARGER THAN LIFE! The reason I say this is because
you have to be confident enough to think that your fans actually
want to know more about you.
- Have a band member shoot video of you before
and after gigs, hanging out, sound checking, chatting to fans,
doing stupid and embarrassing stuff. Make youtube videos and
embed them on your VIP member's site.
- Make audio interviews for fans to click
- Have a photos library and build it over
- Have a reading room where fans can read
glowing (and not so glowing) reviews of your albums and shows.
- Have a band blog or message board where
fans can personally interact. Make all band members participate.
Build personal relationships with your fans.
- Give away free music.
- Think of anything else fun and creative
that fans would want to see in your private room online.
OK finally, you have completed your private member's room. On
your original website (www.yourname.com) you are going to coax
your visitors to your private site area. You can do this on every
page of your original website. You can see this whole marketing
process on my personal site at www.chrisstandring.com
and you can see my "Backstage" private VIP area at www.chrisstandring.com/backstage
This whole private member's area is an intriguing idea for visitors
because up until now, most bands offer things like "Subscribe
to our newsletter so we can tell you where and when we are playing".
Is this enough anymore? Absolutely not. We have to be creative.
And what do you do when you have your new fan's contact information?
You set up a series of autoresponders that do all the work for
you. What this essentially means is, a series of emails written
by you personally that gets sent out over a period of time that
you specify. Once a week over a period of say 7 weeks, seems to
work. You set up these emails like newsletters where you talk
about different things your band is doing, or has done. Mostly
over time you are going to talk about your CD(s) that you want
them to know all about and of course preview and finally buy.
Anytime you have something new to tell your fans, you send out
a broadcast email. Whenever your new CD comes out, you have a
growing list of subscribers to sell it to. Direct targeted online
marketing. This is the world you now live in.
This stuff isn't going to happen for you overnight, but it will
happen, and you can sell a lot of albums if you do it right. Go
The Author: Chris Standring is the CEO and founder of A&R
He is also a contemporary jazz guitarist presently signed to
Ultimate Vibe Recordings. For more info on Chris' recording
career go to his personal website at www.chrisstandring.com
to article directory index
Learn how to put your music career on the map with A&R Online's
free 7 day intensive Wake Up E-Course
. Sign up below:
A&R Registry Includes
regional A&R contacts not listed in any other directory. Lists
entire A&R staff, direct dial numbers & assistants names!