When it comes to breaking into the music industry, making songs is the easy part. Getting your music to a wider audience is much more difficult, especially if you are an unsigned artist. You know that what you are producing is actually quite good, but the people you need to hear it are unlikely to be interested straight away. However, there are a few tips and tricks to help you crack the music business and find out how to sell your album.
If you have already made a few singles or EPs, chances are you have had a little bit of experience when it comes to playing for an audience. If you want to take your music career to the next level, you need to get clever with your performances.
Selling your music at live performances has many advantages. The profit margin on duplicating CDs and selling them on is quite high, so you can be set to make a substantial amount of money if you are able to play to large audiences. These CDs will then go to the homes of people who enjoyed your music. In turn, they’ll recommend you to others, helping you build up a fanbase who will travel to see you play other gigs – more fans means more albums sold!
You can even take this a step further, once you have created a bit of noise about your music, charging admission to your gigs and including the cost of a CD in the price. Every single person who enters your venue feels as though they are receiving a free CD, which means your album is going to reach even more people.
Don’t dismiss vinyl either – records are big news at the moment and people are keen to build up their collections. Blow your fans away with your performance on the night and your record could take pride of place on their shelf.
Struggling to get enough gigs? Busking is the starting point for many bands – just get outside and start playing! Busking is also a fantastic way to sell some CDs, just make sure you’re aware of the rules around selling your music on the street in your local area. If you’re in London, you can read our popular article on busking in the city here.
Securing a deal
The truth is, unsigned bands, struggle to get the recognition they deserve. If you can get yourself a distribution deal with an independent music retailer or get signed by a small independent label, you will be halfway to discovering how to sell your album effectively.
While big chain stores like HMV have been known to sell releases from small, unknown bands in the past, these kind of distribution deals are few and far between. You would be better starting locally. Find out where the independent record stores in your area are and how many of these will accept albums on a consignment basis (i.e. you will only get paid once they have sold).
Usually, there will be a limit to the number of albums you can send, so make a note of this before approaching the store. Managers can be useful in creating deals in this situation, giving you an air of professionalism without having to meet the store owner yourself. Once a deal is secured, be sure to leave band notes, so that employees can discuss your music, as well as promo posters and promo copies of the album. Make sure you have a price in mind to haggle with and get a copy of any contracts signed.
No doubt, when you have been thinking about how to make money from your music, you will have discussed the possibility of online sales. The whole world is governed by the World Wide Web these days, so it makes sense to look at setting up accounts on all potential music hotspots. Get on all the streaming sites: Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, the more exposure you can get, the better. Make sure you’re on Bandcamp or Soundcloud too, these musical social networks not only allow you to share your music, but you can also engage with your fans and sell merch through them too. The more you get your band profile and music out there, the bigger your opportunity for sales.
Social media is a necessary evil, as is keeping your accounts active with regular posts. These sites allow you to promote new music and interact with your fans, gaining you respect and recognition. Fan interaction is hugely important for bands who are starting out, and people are much more likely to fork out the cash for a band they feel like they have a connection with.
The most frustrating thing about making great music is knowing that nobody else is able to appreciate it. When you know how to sell your album, you will be inspired to create more and evolve your style, megastardom could be just around the corner.
You can’t sell your album if you haven’t recorded one. To start work on your first musical opus, get in touch with Kore and book a session today.