Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

Music marketing ideas for DIY artists, managers, promoters and music biz pros


May 17, 2005

Your Music Merchandising Tips Wanted

Do you make extra money selling T-shirts, caps, mugs and other cool items related to your music? If so, I might be able to help you get some exposure sharing your experiences. I'd like to write an article or two on music merchandising and I'm looking for lots of real-life examples to include.

Here's the deal: Send your top merchandising do's and don'ts to bob@thebuzzfactor.com and I'll consider using them in my articles. Please include your name, band name and web site address so you can be properly credited. Send what's worked for you as well as the merchandising pitfalls to avoid. I want the good, the bad and the ugly.

Happy music merchandising!

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.


Or just sign up using this quick and easy form:

Your First Name
Your Primary Email


Your email address will not be shared. Unsubscribe at any time.

Connect with

posted by Bob Baker @ 6:38 PM   1 comments


May 13, 2005

The Power of Personality - Part 3

In this third and final post on the power of personality, let's take a look at a couple more examples of smart communicators who know how to relate to their customers and fans. (In case you missed them, feel free to read part 1 and part 2.

As you may know, MySpace.com is a growing community site that more and more musicians are using to connect with fans. Here's an e-mail that Opulent Records send recently about it's new space there:

Opulent Records is a member of MySpace and is inviting you to join.

I have set up Opulent Records onto myspace.com in hopes of better interacting with many of you whom I consider friends and valuable business associates.

If you don't join, I'll look like I have no friends and it will make me cry, because others will make fun of me. It may result in my signing angry death metal bands and spamming you with their songs and imagery ... don't make me do it!

Ok ok, so join up, say hello and see what's new. It's actually a bit addictive ... I'll also be posting exclusive Opulent Records photos, music and other things just for those of you in the circle ... and in the know. :)

See you on MySpace!


Nothing earth-shaking here, and I would liked to have read a quick reference to the type of music that Opulent promotes, but it is light-hearted and stands out from the standard "please visit my site" crap that litters much of my Inbox.

The thing is, there's only so much human warmth you can get from a computer. Anything you can do make your online communication more warm and fuzzy will make you stand out and be more appreciated.

No one does this better than Derek Sivers and CD Baby. If you've ever purchased music from cdbaby.com, you've probably received this shipping confirmation e-mail -- one of the classic "power of personality" messages you're likely to see:

Your CD has been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow.

A team of 50 employees inspected your CD and polished it to make sure it was in the best possible condition before mailing.

Our packing specialist from Japan lit a candle and a hush fell over the crowd as he put your CD into the finest gold-lined box that money can buy.

We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of Portland waved 'Bon Voyage!' to your package, on its way to you, in our private CD Baby jet on this day (date inserted here).

I hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby. We sure did. Your picture is on our wall as 'Customer of the Year'. We're all exhausted but can't wait for you to come back to CDBABY.COM!!

Thank you once again,

Derek Sivers, president, CD Baby
the little CD store with the best new independent music


Think twice before sending your fans another e-mail message. And always remember the power of personality!

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.


Or just sign up using this quick and easy form:

Your First Name
Your Primary Email


Your email address will not be shared. Unsubscribe at any time.

Connect with

posted by Bob Baker @ 3:29 PM   4 comments


May 11, 2005

The Power of Personality - Part 2

As I discussed earlier in part 1, how you communicate -- especially with fans -- is vitally important to your self-promotion efforts. Here's another example from a longtime musical pal, Michael Schaerer. In this recent e-mail, he does a great job of painting word pictures of the venues he plays and describing what it means to him:

We'll be at Felix's starting around 9:30 Saturday night ... if it's anything like last week was, it'll be a full-fledged rock concert ... and it'll sound better than most of them too! It's really like seeing your favorite band in your living room. So intimate and powerful at the same time. Come early for a fine dinner, or eat late ... the kitchen is open 'till close, baby. You really need to come out to Felix's and see why it's so popular! Call 'em at 314-645-6565. Felix's rules. Period.

On Sunday, Amy Miller and I close out my work week at the Tin Can Tavern on the south side. We play 9:00 to 11:30 or so and we like playing together so much that we usually have to be told to quit! Great new songs, and Amy just sounds like an angel ... amazing. Please attend. www.TinCanTavern.com or 314-865-3003.

Last week was a great week for me. So many people came and enjoyed my music that I was overwhelmed. Thank you, really. It means everything to me.

Michael
www.msgstl.com


This example is so powerful for many reasons. The way Michael describes the places he plays, you can't help but want to go and experience the vibe yourself. And you know the venue owners have got to love the ringing endorsements, too.

Finally, as Michael illustrates in his last sentence, always remember to thank your fans. They're the reason you're doing more than just playing music in an empty room. Without people to listen, enjoy and support you, your creative process would be a lot less satisfying. So be sure to regularly express your gratitude.

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.


Or just sign up using this quick and easy form:

Your First Name
Your Primary Email


Your email address will not be shared. Unsubscribe at any time.

Connect with

posted by Bob Baker @ 2:35 PM   0 comments


May 09, 2005

The Power of Personality - Part 1

When you promote yourself via e-mail or with the words you use on your web site, you have a choice. You can be straight-forward and matter-of-fact (also known as bland and boring). Or you can communicate with pizzazz.

Case in point: My friend Gregg Hopkins plays in a band called The Melroys. He could have sent a run-of-the-mill e-mail to promote a recent show, including the rudimentary club name, address, phone number, etc. Instead, he sent this:

Git yerself down to the Broadway Oyster Bar tonight where The MELROYS will present our little Rock and Roll fandango. The food is delicious, the adult beverages are cool and refreshing, the music will be swinging, and you'll fit right in with the other beautiful people there. Showtime is 9-1. See ya there!

Gregg Hopkins
TheMelroys.com

P.S. Any person peeved by perpetual pestering such as this posting will be promptly purged from this list upon proper petition.


Ya gotta admit, this short message is a fun read -- which leads one to assume that a Melroys live show will be a fun event. And that's smart marketing. (The only thing I might add is an address and phone number of the venue for those fans who might not know where it is.)

So don't be afraid to show your personality. In fact, go out of your way to do something fun or different or creative any time you communicate with the public about your music. Got it? Good.

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.


Or just sign up using this quick and easy form:

Your First Name
Your Primary Email


Your email address will not be shared. Unsubscribe at any time.

Connect with

posted by Bob Baker @ 2:25 PM   3 comments


May 04, 2005

Sell Your Music Online - the Smart Way

Promoting and selling music on the Internet is a tricky thing. Some people swear by it because it works wonders, while others swear out of frustration because they don't see any results or sales. In a recent post on his Diary of a Music Marketing Mad Man blog, Dylan Benjamin makes some great points.

Here's an excerpt:

There's a myth in the independent music community that you can't sell your music online, that people don't buy CDs anymore, that there's no money to be made. I hear this a lot. I think a lot of artists become jaded after they go through all that work to put together a snazzy web site to promote a CD release, only to find that sales are weak.

The web sites I refer to usually have a lot of ego-stroking photos of the band, extensive bios, and a bunch of information about the guy who produced the album and how many Grammys that person won back in the '80s. I also tend to see additional info that no one outside the band really gives a shit about.

A lack of internet sales isn't a result of using an ineffective medium for advertising. The internet is actually your MOST effective medium for advertising in terms of cost and enablement ... If you use it correctly.


Benjamin then writes about the need to stress "emotional fulfillment" -- or fan benefits, which are the real reasons people buy music. He continues ...

Can you apply this method to your own music? Yes. Your music delivers SOME kind of emotional benefit to people, whether it's love, hate, energy, depression, spirituality, confusion, relaxation, aggression, whatever.

The music you produce is a slice of your own emotional inner self and the messages you use to market the experience of OWNERSHIP is transmitted to the listener's emotional receptors. In order to SELL, you need to crank up the frequency at which you communicate the BENEFITS of owning your music and the emotional experience that it delivers.


Bravo to the Music Marketing Mad Man! I've been preaching this sermon for decades. It's NOT about the CD or the band or the gig. It's all about what fans get and the emotional response your music creates within them. Sell the benefit and you'll sell a lot more CDs online!

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.


Or just sign up using this quick and easy form:

Your First Name
Your Primary Email


Your email address will not be shared. Unsubscribe at any time.

Connect with

posted by Bob Baker @ 9:19 PM   1 comments