Music Sales Strategies For A Musician’s Website

by Matt @ Kurb on May 19, 2010

Matt @ Kurb is not dead!!! Yes I’m back of course with more music marketing stuff, what a year! I’ve had to become quite lean I must say in 2010 and I think that’s given me plenty to share with artists because it’s no good just poking around what you hope will work, what you would like to work, or what used to work!

I’ve survived because of the work I’ve put into my sites and my blogs, in fact after 5 years, you’d have to shoot me and run me over twice to stop me. Too many keywords, too many links, too much relevant content.

I have many sites, this blog and others, a youtube channel, a myspace, more backlinks than you can imagine, an astonishingly tight advertising campaign, and it’s that stuff that’s kept me alive – my bills paid, though these days, sometimes I have to make my own breakfast, at least both my sweet black BMW’s are still on the road!

My fee is still US$200 p/month, and I could use the work, but believe me, if you need my help, you probably need it for at least six months, don’t think – no matter what I charge – that $200, $500, $1000 is going to buy you a career, or else we’d all be rock stars by now!

I am that guy that every musician needs – the business man, the marketing guy – so get in touch today!

KURBPROMO@GMAIL.COM

Alright so I see on the site you’ve taken some good steps forward. You’ve got a blog now, you’ve got a store you’ve made a start improving your site.

So long term we want to:

  • get more people coming to the site

  • get more of those people purchasing or taking steps that lead to purchasing

  • continue to provide more purchasing options and products for repeat purchasers, and utilize these strategies toward other revenue goals – ticket sales etc.

The main ways of getting people to the site are:

advertising, search engines, social media and viral strategies

In that order you have advertising which the most expensive and most effective, ordered to viral promotions which are the most time consuming and most unpredictable.

That is why I favour reliable methods short term and expanding into other strategies long term.

But because advertising does cost money in spite of my experience in the area, we must carefully develop the site and experiment to the point that it generates a return. Then we can expand from there with confidence.

For example – In my pirate party entertainment business, I spend about $5 a week in advertising, which gets about 30 visitors to my site. I dont get a booking every week but I get at least one a fortnight so for arguments sake it costs $10 a sale, or another way of seeing it is that for every 50 visitors, I get 1 sale, so it works.

So firstly, your whole site must be prepared and developed toward the outcome of progressing the visitor toward the sale.

So first priority, is analysing the whole site for opportunites to do that.

Then we must use that to funnel visitors to a point where laying out the proposition in a compelling way can take place. This is called a “sales page” or a “landing page” and this is where advertising will send visitors directly for the purpose of clinching the sale.

Because sales can be difficult, we must make “intermediary” propositions that although not securing the sale, places the visitor, or fan, in a position that we can continue to proposition them over time.

This is the main purpose of an email newsletter and with my clients, we develop the newsletter as a sophisticated, hands free way of generating sales and managing fans of the group.

So advertising pushes visitors toward the site, those who don’t buy, we hope to sign up to email with an incentive (often a free download) so we are able to continue to proposition them again and again month after month.

Now you’ve got a system in place, it will need constant development and refinement to optimize sales, and a variety of offers to be tested to guage what fans actually want to spend money on.

Then we must return to the different ways we can attract visitors to the site so that they will either purchase or at least enter into our system, because if advertising and development of the site and the newsletter can prove that if 100 people visit the site, and it costs you say, $17, and 1 visitor will purchase immediately and 10 visitors will sign up and purchase eventually, then our job is to increase the amount of visitors using the other methods I described that are perhaps less effective immediately, but less costly long term – search engines, social media and viral marketing.

For now I just want to focus on search engines and the role of written promotions. Written material is important because it can be published to the newsletter for fan engagement, published to the blog for search engine material (the more you write the more visitors you get – after 2 years and over 300 posts I get 200 visitors a day to my blog) and then finally, I can use written material to publish on other sites for links.

If you have regular links building up to your site, and regular posts going up, then you’ll have no problems developing more and more search visitors over months as long as this schedule is followed each week.

What we’re doing is also filtering the content as it reaches our audience. Many of my clients follow this: A blog post a week is refined down to one newsletter per month.

This high quality refined content, including video content, is the content that we take to social media – youtube being the most important for you guys as a mainstream, visual medium. In fact when I say “social media” in the case of you guys, that’s mainly youtube, and video.

Finally the viral strategies kick in, this is when you’ve done enough advertising, search engine work and social media to actually have a core fan base that can be used cleverly to spread the word, and put more fans into the system, which by then should be highly developed and tried and tested thoroughly.

This is the other side from advertising – it doesn’t cost anything but needs a lot of thought, development and clever execution to get fans of various degrees actually involved in spreading the word, getting more sign ups.

So this means although you still may be spending $17 to get 100 visitors, a year down the track that will be matched with another 100 visitors from search engines and another 100 visitors from social media and viral effects, so if the model still stands, you’ll be making 3 sales immediately, and signing up another 30 who will potentially purchase later on, but you’re still spending the same amount.

But at some stage you reach a critical mass (usually about 1000 sign ups) where we have a solid core of fans you just need to keep them entertained and keep finding new things to sell them.

The focus moves from getting new fans to maximizing your relationships with the fans you do have because the quality of your work will ensure more people continue to sign up as fans anyway, you just have to make sure the growing base of fans you do have are kept happy.

It’s at this stage that administration in itself becomes a big job – ie that’s when I ask for a pay rise 🙂

But then, we are at the final stage – continuing to provide more purchasing options and products for repeat purchasers, and utilize these strategies toward other revenue goals – ticket sales etc.

So what I’m describing will take at least a year I should imagine.

My tasks will be:

  • evaluating and working with your designer to implement sales and marketing not only through out the website, but sepcifically on “sales pages” that the website will funnel visitors toward

  • full implementation and management of your email list

  • full ongoing management of your ad campaign with $200 free credit to start you off

  • support in blogging and newsletters to maintain target of 1 blog post per week and one newsletter per month

  • full ongoing backlink building, 2 hours per month

  • social media management – mainly use of youtube etc as distribution channels

  • video support where necessary

  • slowly and eventually, planning of viral strategies and fan management will replace website and advertising sales strategies as they become refined to their maximum effectiveness

In my experience, as I mentioned, this will take at least a year, and it’s all about maintaining the momentum.

I actually believe in guys who show staying power. I’ve been doing this for 5 years, that’s why I do well, because everyday it gets easier, because I’m relying less on attracting new business. In the beginning each sale is a fight, but after 5 years it just becomes a cycle of familiar names and faces always coming back on the strength of what I’ve laid down.

With the progress you’ve made, you’re closer now then you have been to creating revenue online, but it’s still a very long process, but also remember this is sustained momentum.

I can’t lie and say this could all happen in a few months, because I’ve never seen that happen, but slow building over a year or two, that could take you to a place of earning a solid chunk of revenue just from your site.

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