Bob Baker's The Buzz Factor
Music marketing tips and self-promotion ideas for independent songwriters, musicians and bands.
Music marketing ideas for DIY artists, managers, promoters and music biz pros
July 27, 2005
How to Boost CD & Merch Sales
"I know that if you don't ask for the sale, you won't get it. But let's say you've announced CDs and merchandise for sale before, during and after your performance. You deliver a great show and people approach you afterwards, but the amount of sales is nowhere near what you expected it to be. What do you do? Do you go approach the audience and ask 'em if they want CDs? Or just stay where you are and let people come to you?"
Great questions. I'll give a few of my own suggestions and then encourage the smart people who read this blog to post additional comments below.
Yes, take it to the people. In addition to having a merch table that fans must go to, some artists also have "helpers" who work the crowd to inspire mailing list sign-ups and CD sales. And they actually carry the CDs with them while wearing a band T-shirt.
On his Bards Crier site, Marc Gunn covered this when he highlighted Sharon Wothke and The Rogues. Here's an excerpt:
We started from the very beginning employing the use of a roaming basket. It is very effective and other groups have successfully copied our approach. Our sellers walk around holding up the product so people can see them. Our sellers try to blend in with the show and not be pushy, just visible. I personally enjoy interacting with the crowd, spoofing off of what is being said on the stage and telling jokes to make the audience laugh. And I will talk and be nice to everyone, even if they don't buy a CD, simply because I enjoy people and I am trying to be an ambassador for the band. They may not buy today, but chances are they will think about it and buy a CD at another time.
But there are also ways to entice more people to visit the merch table area, such as:
Set out free candy or snacks, available to anyone who walks over to the table.
Hold a drawing. To enter, people must put their business card or form into a bowl, which of course sits on the merch table.
But at the core of Carlo's e-mail was the question: How do you get people to actually buy instead of just browse? One great way is to make special offers. Have a regular price that people pay if they buy from your web site, then a special "live show only" discount price.
You can have some fun with this, too. When I saw Kim Massie in St. Louis recently, she joked that the normal price of her CD was $9,999. But if you bought it that night, it could be yours for only $9.99. People in the audience laughed ... and bought a lot of CDs that night.
These are just a few thoughts. Again, I encourage you to post your own ideas for inspiring sales. Just click the Comments link below.
Get more tips like these when you subscribe to my free Buzz Factor ezine — the longest running music career tips email newsletter on the planet. Since 1995. Learn more about the free subscription here.
Your email address will not be shared. Unsubscribe at any time.
Connect with Bob on Google+
FREE Music Tips Ezine
- Get Bob's Free Music Marketing Tips by Email. Find out more.
What About Bob?
Bob Baker is an author, speaker, teacher, indie musician and former music magazine editor dedicated to showing musicians of all kinds how to get exposure, connect with fans, sell more music, and increase their incomes.
Guerrilla Music Marketing Online
129 Free & Low-Cost Ways to Promote & Sell Your Music on the Internet
Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook:
201 Self-Promotion Ideas for Song-
writers, Musicians and Bands on a Budget
- Killer Music Press Kits
- Guerrilla Music Marketing, Encore Edition
- Killer Music Web Sites
- DIY Music Marketing for the Serious Musician
- How to Tap Into NACA and the Lucrative College Music Market
- Online Music PR Hot List
- How to Use Video to Promote Your Music Online
- 55 Ways to Promote & Sell Your Book on the Internet
- How to Publish Your Own Indie Book
- Unleash the Artist Within
Connect with Bob on
- Top CD & Merch Sales Tips
- Connecting With Music People Who Matter
- It's Like Complaining About Gravity
- One Kick-Butt Music Web Site: Look & Learn
- DIY Books (and Bob) in the News
- Artist Empowerment Podcast #3
- Why Settle for the Slow Track?
- Help Me in San Francisco in August
- A New Day for Indie Music?
- Can a Music Blog Break a Band?
Favorite Music Blogs
- DIY Musician
- Music Think Tank
- David Hooper
- Ariel Hyatt
- Derek Sivers
- Brian Thompson
- Michael Brandvold
- Artists House Music
- Bob Lefsetz
Copyright 2004-2013 Bob Baker