Makell Bird is the founder of ADED.US Music Distribution and was the former host of Maktown TV | Radio | Mixtapes
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Monday, July 16, 2012

5 Easy Ways To Sell Music Online

I've been in the music business for well over 12 years and the 2 questions I get asked the most are (1) How can I promote my music? and (2) How can I make money off of my music? So, I've decided to post this guide showing you the 5 easy ways to promote and sell music online.

Now, before we get started, I feel I must make a point here. If anyone ever tells you you can't make much money selling music online, smack them dead in the face! I've personally seen people I work with make $72,000+ in only 2 months using some of the methods I'm going to tell you about here!

1. Put Yourself In A Position To Sell Records
It baffles me that a lot of people want to make money off their music but they don't even have their music available for sale! Doing research on the different companies that offer good placement and promotion services is key. Companies like ADED.US Music Distribution specialize in helping independent artists get distribution deals and placing their music on the 4 major digital retail stores for music: iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, and Spotify. They also set you up with your own artist page with "EZ Share Buttons" and all the necessary links to connect you and your customers to a purchasing platform. All this for only $5 a month! I'd call that a hell of a good start!

2. Build Your Fan Base And Ask Them To Help You Promote.
Never underestimate the power of your fans. They can make or break you. Most musicians who have been given deals from major labels and multi-million dollar endorsements were able to do so by the power of their fan base. Building a fan base is easy. A simple personal message on FaceBook, Twitter, etc. can peak a person's interest and frequent communication can turn them into a die hard fan. Fans will do most of the work for you when you need to promote a project. Staying in constant communication with your fans and being honest with them is key to building long lasting relationships. Fans are also the most likely to buy your records first. You can also have your friends and family help you promote on social networksWhich brings me to my second point...

3. Target Buying Customers / Direct Marketing
Having fans is great. But if your fan base consists of bums and your broke homies, you'll find it hard to sell them records. This is where direct marketing comes into play. You need to understand the type of people that will buy your records and focus on them. A simple little trick to sell records is to search twitter for words like "bought" and "itunes", to pinpoint actual buying customers. If people who have money are willing to spend it on music and talk about it on a public forum, then those are the exact type of people you need to be messaging! This "trick" can be used on any social network.

4. Place Your Links EVERYWHERE!
Once you have your music available on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Spotify, etc., it's important to place the links to your music everywhere you possibly can. i mean it, leave no stone unturned. You never know which page your fans/customers are looking at. So, it's important to have those links available. Curiosity killed the cat but curiosity also sold a shit load of records. Key places to post your link would be:
  • At the top of your blogs
  • In your TwitterFaceBook, InstaGram, Vine, and Google+ bio
  • If you have a music video on youtube/vimeo/etc, tell them to buy your song on itunes at the end of the video and place the link at the top in the description box of your music video
  • On a business card! This is a genius little idea. Pressing up CDs is a dying artform. Not only is it a waste of money, it defeats the purpose. You want your customers to be comfortable with the idea of being able to buy your music online. Having business cards pressed up with the links to your social networks and the stores where your music is available for purchase is a lot cheaper and easier to hand out than CDs. Think about it.
The EZ share buttons and links provided by ADED.US Music Distribution are probably the best and easiest way to promote these links on your various social networks.

5. Get Placement On Music News Sites and Blogs / Hire A Promo Company
If you need to reach the masses but do not have your own platform, you may need to hire a "blasting" company or a blogger to help you out. This is where negotiating comes in. Some blogs may naturally love your music and place the links to your music on their blogs for free while others may charge you for such a service. ADED.US Music Distribution also offers an e-mail blasting service as well as a YouTube blasting service to help get you started. Your image matters a lot in this business. So, hire graphic artists, music video directors, and website builders who will make you look good.

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