The first piece in this series focused on increasing the amount of fans and how this is a necessary step towards success.
Part 2 of the basic three principles is increasing the frequency of purchases.
The cornerstone of this is simple: You can not only sell music.
In order to get the frequency of purchases up you must provide something that actually gets your fans to buy more frequently.
If you are only selling one album or one set of MP3s, it’s pretty near impossible to get this step accomplished because your core fans will only have one thing to buy (therefore making frequency non-existent)
Thousands of record stores have closed in the US in the past decade. This points out to one very clear conclusion: People are buying fewer CDs (of course we already knew this) but think about it – are you only selling music?
I sadly see this all too often. Artists only think about putting out one CD, but to survive and thrive in this industry where music — like it or not — is now widely distributed for free all over the Internet, fans are no longer buying music like they once did.
So, you must create additional products and offerings to sell. At the same time you must be building a two-way conversation with engaged fans.
Remember not to put the cart before the horse here, But if you don’t have a fan base to sell these things to, there’s no reason to build a series of products.
Survey Your Fans
Expert Internet marketers never release products without testing the demand first. Maybe you think you know what your fans want but they might surprise you.
Understanding who they are and what they like/ want becomes critical.
Internet Marketers always ask their core fan group what it is they would like and then they create the products based on their answers.
I have said this may times – that music is a feeling and it’s not like a typical Internet marketing product and its hard to get fans to tell you how they feel about new music that you may be writing but its EASY to get them to tell you what they like.
- Is it girlie T’s
- Yoga mats
- Special non-leaching water bottles
- Limited edition hoodies
If you don’t ask them they wont tell you…
Using Your Mailing List
Set up a survey online and use your email newsletter list or Facebook page to get fans to tell you what they may buy from you in the future. Survey Monkey will allow you to create a free survey that you send out to your fans to ask them specifically what they might like to buy from you and how much they might be willing to pay.
If you do not have a large enough mailing list to get a response, you can survey your fans using this great Twitter app – http://twtpoll.com/
Or you can survey right on your Facebook page using the Survey Monekey for Facebook app or http://www.facebook.com/simple.surveys
Then make it and they will!
Merchandise That Works for Artists
Here are some great merch ideas to get you inspired.
Family Force 5 created a limited edition T-shirt of the month club. They offered their fans a new T-shirt every single month and it generated thousands of extra dollars for themselves and their fans loved the limited edition shirts.
John Taglieri, who I talk about often has a marvelous new series of EPs and books called Lives. This new project will consist of four 6-song EP’s, books & graphic novels, as well as MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and blogger accounts for the two main characters.
Will Deynes made a Valentine’s Day song, and he would custom record the name of people’s beloveds right into the song. He sold dozens of them to his fan base at Valentine’s Day.
I met Shelter with Thieves, from Halifax, NS and they gave me an awesome USB drive full of music and special bonuses like artwork and videos, and its wonderful because fans can use the USB drive for school projects or at work.
Jen Chapin, being environmentally conscious and clear that her fans are too like purchased a few cases of SIGG Water bottles and had them customized. She sent an e-mail to her entire list that she had wonderful, non-leaching, water bottles for sale and she ended up selling many of them
Carla Lynne Hall is organizing a Bowling Tweetup at The Harlem Lanes near her home just to hang out with friends and fans and bond. She is not selling merch yet but you can be sure that when it comes time for her to sell that extra time she took to make friends with her fans will pay off. Studies show that people purchase from those they like and trust and Carla is building trust.