So, your band has recorded a CD, everything’s completed,and you’ve had your CD release party. How do you keep your album selling? There are a million different schools of thought on the best way to sell an album, but there are a few golden rules that every band should know if they expect to make money off of their music. Here are a few tips for selling as many copies of an independent band’s CD as possible.
1. Make your merchandise table attractive when playing live. Use a light or lamp to highlight a posterboard that tells the price of your CD, and maybe a few good reviews. Make sure that you mention the CD when playing live, and have it prominently displayed at the merch table. If you simply keep a box of CDs with one of the band members’ girlfriends, you’ll never sell any of them–at least not live, anyways.
2. Provide an easy, trustable way to buy the album online. You can sell an album with PayPal, but using a service like CDBaby or Amazon.com gives your prospective customers a much more secure reason to trust your band when buying the album online. Make clear links to the album’s sales page on your website, and link to it as often as possible. Stress in the text on your band’s website that the album is good, and safe to buy.
3. Don’t change the price. When you change the price, it makes your band’s album look unstable. In fact, if you offer your CD for under $10 and it’s not an EP, it’ll make it look cheap, and you might even sell less copies of the album. Keep the price around $10, and explain that even your mother has to pay full price–don’t give anyone breaks. This will lead to better album sales in the long run, as fans will want to pay for an album that seems to have an inherent worth. This leads us to the next point…
4. Show your satisfaction with the product. Above all else, your band will be unable to sell an album that it doesn’t believe in, so talk about the album like you’d talk about your favorite album. Get excited, and show your fans that excitement. They’ll pass it off to other fans. Think of a cool story about the album, and use that to help you sell it. For instance, I once ran into a band that had just recorded an amazing album, but they didn’t tell me anything about it other than, “it’s really great.” I bought it anyways, and I read in the liner notes that it was a theme album–the band had found some letters in a barn, and wrote a whole album about it. When I talked to anyone about the album, that’s the story I’d tell, and I guarantee that I sold more of their own album than they did, all because I was genuinely excited about it and I told the story that set it apart from every other album ever recorded. Make your product unique, and people will buy it.
Do you have tips on making an album sell? Post in the comments section below.