How To Sell Music Online

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Marketing Musicians:

One of the most difficult questions to answer is how to sell music online. There are more solutions than you can imagine, but first decide; Should you?

 

CONSIDER THIS BEFORE YOU START YOUR SALE

There are some considerations to take care of before you start selling. Take some time, read this and take action. You’ll be more prepared for the success and you will probably have more of your music sold.

 

  • DID YOU PREPARE YOUR AUDIENCE FOR YOUR RELEASE?

You want to get attention on your release, so you want your audience to know everything about it. It’s even better if they also make all their friends ready for it as well. The more attention you get concerning your release, the more people will notice, even people you don’t know. Some of these might be your new fans, and they know someone who like your music, so they share it.

 

  • ARE THERE ANY COSTS IN THE RELEASE PROCESS?

It’s quite hard to make a release without any cost at all. Releasing music doesn’t have to be expensive, but it’s important to take some time and check what costs are involved by a release. There might be different prices depending on the amount of works or songs. The lenght of your work matters, as well. All of this depends on where you plan to release your music and how much you want to earn from it.

  • Where are you releasing your music?
    • FRIENDS AND FAMILY. In this case you make a file that’s playable on the devices your friends and family use. You should register it, in any case. Then you can get your royalties if someone by accident spread it somewhere in the world.
    • LOCAL RELEASE. If you and/or your band are the local heroes, you can make the recording, get a friend from the area to make a cool cover and make sell the files in an appropriate way at local stores, shops etc. Using the local community this way, makes your name more known and your cover is exposed to more people. Make sure your music is registered, so you get your royalties.
    • IN YOUR COUNTRY. Some music is best suited to be released in your own country, but at the same time, people from other countries could be searching for your music. Music release in your own country will usually be easiest by contacting a record company. It’s an old system where you are standing with you casket in your hand, begging to pay a lot of money to make a release. You can of course earn money, but be sure they take their part of your income. I don’t say this is wrong, just be careful. Check out more than one company and keep your head up. It’s your music! You could might as well do this:
    • THE WORLD. Let the world know what you’re doing. If you love what you do, you want that exposure all over the world anyway. You can do this through any record company or you can do it yourself.

 

  • ARE ALL THE ROYALTIES TAKEN CARE OF?

The music you record can be yours or someone elses. There are different rules regarding this. They may vary from country to country, but basically it’s all about letting the right person or persons to get the royalties for their music. If it’s your music, you should get the royalties and if it’s someone elses music, they should get it.

There are different kinds of royalties to take care of, depending on what you want your music to be used for. Some are more obvious than others, like you want to get money every time your music is played, it’s your music.

If it’s someone elses music you can get the royalties for the recording, but the author of lyrics and composer of the music should have their rightful part. You need their approval.

Recording other peoples music starts with their consent that you record it. You can’t just record music made by others without. It’s rude and illegal. Most composers are happy to get their music recorded, so usually it’s easy to get the permission. Make sure you do.

Recording your own music, means that you expose it to other people. To make sure that you get all the rights and can avoid all kinds of abuse of your music, you should register it.

Every country have companies taking care of this. It’s important that you get your confirmation of the registration before you release your work.

 

  • ARE YOU HAPPY WITH YOUR COVER ART WORK?

Your cover is very important. It should reflect your work and style. Too many musicians just make something that looks cool, without any relevance to the music. This is a big mistake. If you want people to listen to your music it’s important that the images you use in your promotion and marketing reflects what your music is about.

Most people don’t think of heavy metal when they see an image of a squirrel in the tree.

Make your cover art yourself if your good at it, but find someone else if you’re not. There are hundreds of people waiting for your order online, so if you don’t know anyone who can do it for you, there is no excuse for leaving this part out. More important, you shouldn’t – it will sell more of your music than the music itself, especially in the beginning. When people see something that attracts them, they buy it. Make it catchy.

 

  • THE TOTAL COSTS:

    1. EQUIPMENT: How you record your music is, of course, up to you. The equipment comes with a cost, so you will need some money for the equipment. Make sure you have all you need before you start, it’s very annoying suddenly realize that you lack something.
    2. HIRED HELP: If you hire people to help you with anything, get a clear picture of what the costs are and how much the total will be.
    3. TIME USED: A lot of recording projects stops by the fact that there was not enough time to complete it in time. That’s also a cost.
    4. RELEASE: There can be some expenses regarding the release. Depending on the solution you choose, check all the possibilities around, there are always more than one.
    5. PLAN YOU MARKETING: How much money you are going to use on your marketing is also a part of the project. If you record the greatest music in the world and no one knows about it, you’ve lost. (read more about creating a marketing plan here)

These are just the main areas of what you need to consider. As you go along, there are details that needs to be taken care of, but as an overview these should cover most recordings. Check them out.

 

HOW TO SELL MUSIC ONLINE

Selling is the easy part, when you know how to do it. There are many ways to sell your music, but one thing’s for certain: You must let people know.

Upload it to Itunes, Spotify and other streaming companies (there are a lot more than you know). Make videos and upload them on Youtube, Vimeo (and all the others, you won’t believe how many there are)…

UPLOADING is of the essence. Finding the right solutions is the part that takes time, but it is a necessity when you learn how to sell music online. It gets easier as you go along. This is why it’s a smart move to start looking for the right option as early as possible. Even before you start your recording.

You should make a decision on where you would start your marketing and then the sales. If you are going for the local marketing solutions, it’s easy. You upload a video on Youtube and share it with all your friends with a link to where they can buy it. Share it on as many platforms as possible, to make sure you reach as many people as possible.

When you want to market and sell your music in your country and the rest of the world, it starts getting complicated. You could start with one country (your own) and move along one at a time. This takes a lot of time, and takes you away from your playing. That should not be the purpose. The solution is of course to market it all over the world, but focus your sales on one platform. This way you don’t spend too much of your precious time to learn how to sell your music, you just get better at it before you start spreading the good word to all the other platforms.

Using social media platforms to tell people about it, is a natural part. To reach as many as possible, you also want them to visit your website for more information and links to where they can buy your music.

You could of course make other companies do the job for you, but this usually comes with a prize and very often they want a part of your royalties as well. If you choose this solution, make sure you know the alternatives, so you can get a serious deal. Listen very carefully to what they say, because they make it sound like their expenses are huge and you should be lucky to get some money at all. ( … that is the worst case scenario, there are good guys out there as well. The funny thing is that everyone says they are…)

There are a few serious sites that can help you for a reasonable price. You should keep an eye on what happens to your royalties. When someone plays your music, the royalties should get to you.

These sites help you to get your music into places you don’t have too much time to deal with:

  • Radio
  • Television
  • Films
  • Documentaries
  • and a lot more.

They also help you taking care of your promotion (they don’t do it for you, but they help you), uploading your music and much more.

 

GET YOUR PAYMENT SYSTEM SET UP

You want your money from your sales. The easiest way is to make a Paypal account. When you have it set up, according to the instructions you get on the inside of Paypal, you are ready to receive money. It doesn’t have to be harder than that.

 

HOW TO PROMOTE YOUR MUSIC ONLINE

Everyone who succeed these days have an extensive promotion online. What level you want your success, depends on your marketing on that level. What you do yourself is the most important part of your marketing.

What others do for you should be according to what you do and what you want them to do. Your music means more to you than anyone else, so to be sure that you get the right audience, to make them believe in you, all promoting and marketing should be directed to what you do online.

More on how to do that here

 

SHOULD YOU PROMOTE YOUR MUSIC OFFLINE?

Of course. When you promote your music offline, you show your engagement and enthusiasm for what you do. Your enthusiasm makes it interesting for people, so they mention it on social media, and then you have got a new source of free promotion.

It’s also a good idea to have the adress to your site visible at all times. There are no limits on how to do this. Find one and use it. To get you started I just mention car windows, all kind of clothing, all your pictures and endlessly many more places.

You can do all of this while you learn how to sell music online. You have probably heard it; how to eat a whale? One bite at a time. It’s not complicated, you are just not used to it, that’s all. You’ll get there in time.

marketingmusicians.org how to promote your musicI hope you found this article interesting, and that it will help you in the promotion and sale of your music. You’re welcome to leave a comment on anything you found here and how you see you can use it. Leaving a comment on a website is of more value than most marketing musicians understand. That it’s valuable to other readers, is one thing, but you will also see other benefits from this activity. If you miss anything, please let us know. Marketing Musicians, (this website) want to reveal all you need and also give you ideas on where you can get what you need, safely, tested and approved. Thanks for your comments, and thank you for sharing 🙂

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4 thoughts on “How To Sell Music Online”

  1. Well, you’ve definitely put a lot of information in that post! Anyone wanting to release their music will definitely get the right advice. It’s true though that actually getting your music out there is getting easier now that we have digital music sites and video sharing sites too. Not like the old days when you needed a recording contract, and you had to get on TV. It’s a minefield out there and not a lot of people are prepared for the amount of work it would take to get it right. Well done on a great post 🙂

    1. Hi Jyl,
      you’re right, there is a lot of work to do, but when you take the right actions I think you can have a lot of fun doing it. You get to know people and there’s a chance to have some feedback on the way. It should be an inspiration and a pleasure to release and sell music, despite the hard work. By doing it step by step, your work get s the attention you want, anywhere in the world, without tons of people eating up all your money. It should be a great thing to sell music, but it takes time, no doubt about it.

      thanks for your insights 🙂

  2. Wow Odd, you are making this so important and simple. And also I had never thought about the side work musicians have to do while building up their career. They are so lucky to have you. I wish someone creates this for actors too. But yes, that’s what actually producer does for the movie and theater.

    I love these lessons I am getting from you.
    Thanks,
    Sunny

    1. Great to see you like it.

      I also like the fact that you compare it to the theater world. In the article I mention that there are website helping you out, and they are, but it can be very expensive, and they don’t necessarily help you in a way you wanted. That’s the reason you need to be careful in your choice of partners. Everyone wants a piece of the royalties, they are valuable assets and with the right marketing an artist can live of the royalities from one song, alone.

      Imagine what life would be if you had two, five, ten…

      Always a pleasure to help, Sunny 🙂

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