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Making Money with Music

Lesson 27 of 35

Marketing Yourself with $0

Randy Chertkow, Jason Feehan

Making Money with Music

Randy Chertkow, Jason Feehan

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Lesson Info

27. Marketing Yourself with $0

Lesson Info

Marketing Yourself with $0

This is basically ah whole bunch of different methods you can use in order to market yourself that don't cost anything there zero dollars very straightforward to use we z's constantly and we actually have stories for a lot of these things we might only have time for some of them so bear with us we can would be happy to talk about it offline or if you wanted to talk to us and hear about it later put your music or music stands out and one of the favorite stories that I have for this is the sailing album example is from the earliest days of cd baby dot com which is the number one place for people could sell their music and so in the earliest days one of the best sellers was this woman who made a sailing album so you're like ok, well and how is that the case? How how could that be the top one? Well, what she did was she sent her album to a sailing magazine and if you think about the sailing magazine and think about the time where this happened which was in the late nineties it's mostly phy...

sical packages so imagine a desk in that sailing magazine where they're getting all kinds of submissions what's in those packets at a sailing magazine where are they getting submitted to? I'm getting marketing packets what am I going to see on the inside of that photographs of but what's that boats right and you know lines and sailing ceiling gear right zales hardware stuff for boats that's what they see open another one vote vote okay his isn't there's a new winch ok cool and then there's another one and it's a cd this is different I expect to see this that's a cd about sally oh let's put it in got a review and that's cool getting reviews cool that's what we're all trying to do right well here's the thing now you're a reader put yourself in the head of a reader see what I'm trying to do to you guys now put yourself in the head of the reader and I'm looking through and I'm saying ok sailboat and then this article about the new technique tio do this and that alright cd that's interesting music about sailing that looks cool I'm gonna buy that click it's easy to get into a sailing magazine because they don't usually review music because they weren't expecting it and on the other side of the house from the point of view of actually somebody who's just a reader it's stands out it's got music where there isn't usually music and it really it tends to work very effectively and we've used it over and over again to tack on to another story we talked about second city is a place where we played music we talked about this a number of times earlier part of the reason we got that is because we teamed up with the comedy group now the comedy group was trying to stand out and bid for the space there's three stages there and if you've been through the whole second city training, you can actually make a comedy troupe and bid for a stage saying, hey, we're going to do a show well, getting a show is nothing it's not automatic it's far from it I mean there's a lot of competition and they said, hey, we're we're teaming up with the band, they said, and we'll bring their draw in, so we'll be able to have more audience and it will be really lively and interesting because we have a band with us, we'll be like a saturday night live thing they'll play in the middle and after all that comes together they picked up the show and we played there. And the interesting thing is it's, a venue that was happy to have music even though it was like a really big named venue. Now we could have tried to fight our way into the metro, ours or house of blues or one of the major venues there, but it would have been a really hard thing to do instead we did this thing that actually wasn't hard at all because there was no huge barriers for music to show up and we got to add this to your band resume as we like to call it so that's I just want to cover this technique is we got a bunch of these to go through you got some good ones here next this piggy backing this is when you tack onto something that already has a lot of great marketing behind it already and when I say marketing it could be something as simple is this we've mentioned before we have an album called santa doesn't like you it's a non holiday album it has songs like coed naked drunk christmas shopping and smoking the mistletoe and things like that and santa doesn't like you actually is the title track so around christmas time actually we're getting to that point people start going into all of the music sites and they start searching on terms like mistletoe in santa and christmas and what are they going to see? I mean like amongst them they see coed naked drunk christmas shopping okay, I got to check that out listen uh that's hilarious by it now how much marketing do you think we do of our music around christmas? Uh none none we don't have to basically the holiday markets for us see how that works and it's one of her top selling album it really is because it just every year rejuvenate its and gets interest and gets plays and shamrock way repeated it with the shamrock album which is like around st patrick's day um how do we do that on purpose? Because we're thing saying oh, we should piggyback no we did it because we want wanted to tackle those songs but once we did it we like I'll wait this could work with this so that's how that's how we look at marketing the colts example is a good one to use two there's basically band and this was back when the indiana colts was just making their first right up to the super bowl and the everyone was just so excited about it this band I think it was just an artist actually made a song about the indiana colts and it got played on all these radio stations places that he could never have gotten played otherwise never have gotten playing otherwise and it's just because he tacked on to something a lot bigger then himself you could actually get by with number one and number two and you can get really really far streams of marketing on all this stuff here's another one that's pretty useful it's called borrowed credibility now with borrowed credibility. If you're not known yet, you actually have to show that you're worth checking out through something else that has the credibility that you you're just unknown you don't have yet and the easiest way to do this is to get reviews certainly citing awards you've won big clients you've you've worked for uh bigger venues that you've played all of these things if you haven't like our band what we'd say from a licensing standpoint is we've licensed music to disney will all of sudden it's like ok, maybe I can do business with you and do some licensing see how easily and quickly that works and I only had to say a few words not a long message very clear what to do next grab this whenever you can whenever you're starting out get some kind of credibility from external stuff and then pulled together you see companies doing the same thing we're like we do business you've never heard of us but we do business with all these well known companies that you do know it's like ok, well maybe I should check you out it's just it's used over and over and over again and similar to that is borrowed audiences that's when you use somebody else's audience to get the message out so you've got your message even got barn credibility in the message you might even be standing out you might be doing all the things with the that we've been talking about up to date with getting people to take an action and doing that well you want to get in front of somebody else's audience and this is what we did we talked about the story a little earlier about the cheap s games thing when we did the beer cans song and they had a huge audience we could reach, we reached it and then we actually widen out we constantly think in terms of ok they have an audience how can we reach them in a way that's pretty good that that will actually hit the people dead on collaborating is a great way to do it and we've actually had a lot of success with this one but again it has to be genuine. You have to have the right angle like the sailing example going back to that cd that she made was about see songs and all that kind of stuff and it was just natural for her to go and tackle the sailing magazine and to send the cd to that um it was very genuine okay conquering and niche is another way to do this and it's surprising how often this works and how simple it can be we among the son of a day projects we did a rock opera about ordering a pizza it's just the kind of thing that we d'oh it's a nine parts it's ten minutes ten minutes long as he can call that an offer if you'd suffer it it's it's operated and so after making it again we think of marketing after we make it on if it's not clear and I want to make the point now your art is your art marketing your art afterwards is also creativity it's just about getting your heart in front of more people, right? It's just being creative about that so we did that we made this piece of the rock opera and then I looked on the internet just trying to find places where we can get this thing get people interested in it. I found that there's these forums with pizza delivery drivers where they hang out and talk about the strange things that they see on their job like the fact that people will show up at the door naked and like all kinds of bizarre things that go on and so we just went on there like hey here's, a rock opera about ordering this band wrote a song about a ordering a pizza on opera about ordering a pizza and they're like, well, that's interesting they talk about it and they clicked on it and we track stats so look that took us a couple of minutes it was easy, it was really straightforward todo and suddenly we start to get interest. Now most of the media social media the beauty of it is you're just trying to plant seeds and then the social media word of mouth and grows it from there that's it's just starting these things out and it's very small remember we talked earlier about being is targeted as possible is narrow it's possible? You can't get much more narrow than that that's how this thing works, the long haul labels had a tendency to focus on just a hit, and then they're out. But that's fine if you have a whole huge budget in order to get it on billboards and pay to get it on the radio, but the truth is every successful musician that we talked to, we're actually making their living off of this stuff basically have done a long term thing now the bard's did some great stuff with playing live where I think we mentioned them earlier, where they were playing a lunchtime concerts for an entire year, just trying to get good at playing, and they've generated a huge audience. They were even making any money yet, and then they spent the next ten years just playing gigs and making their entire living off of music after that that's a long term strategy and it's something that can work out really well, a few other points multitasking, and we talked about this at different points during this talk as well. In other days where you want to be doing more than one thing and cross promoting, you need to have more than one source of income anyway and make things work well, this is the way to put it all together, the rpm projects in the silent day worked out very well for us and that the rpm so you know let's talk about the rpm way we're in the process of doing the sign of the day that's you know, releasing one song for every day of two thousand seven so we're writing and recording became basically a machine and then somebody clue this in or there was an npr story or something about this site called record production month uh you might be interested in something to do it's coming up actually it's every february the challenge that they have is you create an album from an original album original material something like ten songs or something like that uh within the month of february from beginning and together write all the music record all the music and any produce and had to produce the cd and you've got mail it out and has to be times him are two album are two time stamp through the post office within by february twenty eighth they have twenty eight days or the shortest month or twenty nine twenty nine if you're lucky but the point is like we just like the two things really I worked very well together because we were already in the process we were able to expose our music because it's a nice community teo the rpm community which is fantastic so and then they started going on out there is the son of the day thing okay you guys are actually doing all this stuff you guys are nuts it's just bad enough to pick ten songs and in one month like, you're crazy, but we get that a lot of it. So it's again, we were doing many things at the same time. Another one, I think, is let's talk about the bard's real question did touch on this. They of course they're playing live there selling merchandise there, and then they're doing a podcast, which we talked about the celtic music podcast, and there were podcasting the same time which, joining and building this celtic music community through their podcast again just to help cross promote, uh, themselves with other celtic music lovers and all that kind of stuff. So that's, what this is about, you have to be thinking multiple stuff not just the one thing that all those who do one thing at a time at first and then you can grow to do something else and then cross promote that's what almost everybody did, yes, you're saying we should tease out of what we've already got, some some, some strategy, not strategies, but some some, uh, um, you know, uh, waste may, um, yeah, like, uh, building on what you have. Yeah, and you're saying, like, sort of organically quit it into something else, you're creative output like, each thing you do might be a separate project is you guys are creative musicians, and we come up with new things all the time. Well, each thing that you d'oh can help promote the others and just make it more interesting, it builds one at a time, but after awhile they actually tend to come together and make it work. It's another strategy that works out really well, which is to use an agent, we talked about this earlier. If you're representing yourself, you seem small, your seemed like, ok singer, songwriter and person who does the booking is what you become right is soon as you use somebody else somebody else to represent you, you can actually both seen bigger and seem more substantial, I guess is the best word I could use for it, but you could also have your agent be very aggressive when it comes to negotiating on your behalf and hyping you because it's, as musicians some musicians don't have a problem with. I think I'm the best thing ever, but most have a tough time with that let's face it, but as soon as you use somebody else to help you do it, wow, all comes together finally see what sticks don't be afraid to try a lot of different ideas keep doing everything that you can failed fast or I mean by failed fast I mean try a bunch of stuff out but as soon as it doesn't look like it's working don't waste your time and effort on it anymore just let it go and try something else we've been saying I think the same thing a few times we let the world tell us what's working and then we start putting more resource is behind the things that are coming together meanwhile we just write music because we can't help writing music I mean well a team with each other saying that's a song title let's make a song you know there's a guitar handy then it's really dangerous because it just comes together that's like I said we do the art first we do the marketing and the business afterwards doing a lot of creative activities even around your marketing it's like I let's try this that didn't work let's try this hey cool people are paying attention to it finally as we talked about a lot here we believe in planning that's a big part of what we dio and if you want to make a marketing strategy I wish we had time to go through it step by step it's a little drier of a topic which is why it is absolutely perfect for a section of the indie band survival guide that asks you the questions that you need to answer in order to know what is my strategy and how can I am I getting traction on it? Where should my messages go? Who can help me get my message out questions like that and that's in the indie band survival guide the key things here is you can find it in the section how to create a marketing plan and there's another set of things how to organize your website web presences and social networks. This six point plan will step you through it in a way that's very practical and useful too so it should work out talked a lot about the secrets of word of mouth marketing by george silverman and also cyber pr for musicians all these air very worth asking about but we wanted to leave just a little bit of time for any questions that you have yeah let's see something? Are you trying out a new strategy or a new project and say your fan base is like split between loving and hating it or something like that you ever dealt with that? And if so, how would you resolve that or like a sorry an album that you do or maybe an album or is it a half your fans love it half your fans hated? Yeah, it just sounds like a band yeah, half of our band even a way wish I were keeping so I guess it's also talking on of that how important is it to have just people in general either love or hate you likes it better to have someone that's really the humanly against two rather than being indifferent like they talk about you right now I know what you say yes, this is interesting I've always said the same thing to randy it's like you rather make it impact on the world in some way and so I want to be at the ends of the spectrum people hate you and people who love you and if you're in this middle you're in this great mediocre part and it's like non uh yeah look here's this a very easy answer you want people who love you of course they're the ones who actually then we'll support you know, mike and stuff you don't want it don't make me yeah, I don't know any band has gone out like tryingto is a band that goes out that tries to make music that people hate there are you? Yeah, all right, there was even there was even an entire show was held on npr for a long time called the annoying music show oh, I hate that show me to really you know, this is I think this is part of your art I mean, we talked about this at the beginning it's it's not just a question of your creativity as it relates to music, but your personality I couldn't do that on that. I don't think I would survive on if I were making the kind of thing just get people pissed off at me, but I think the answer is then I wouldn't understand it, but it's like, be genuine to your art. Yeah, this stuff all comes after, so you should be you know it all like we say in the book it all stems from the music that's where everything starts and then this is all layered on if you want to promote yourself and get building audience or make money with music, which is what we're doing so this is secondary is the next part is the business part of music music business? Yes, that we can't advise you got or anybody on the internet like what you want, what you want to do with it is fine generally I will share one thing. One of my favorite quotes is from the west, which is say what you want about me, just spell my name right who's may well way have a two part question here from mad trends, and they want to know first how many impressions are necessary to move a potential buyer from the interest is to the decision stage and then how long should you wait until changing tactics? If you feel like something's not working, wow both of those really big questions, very question, I think it's the eye they do, they really do. And you have to experiment to know the answer to this kind of thing. I would think, you know, the first part of the question again is how many impressions does it take now that if it's, a very low bar people will like, people will try a new candy bar very easily it's not like a really big bar, right? If you think if you think about it's not just a really hard thing to get him to d'oh, getting him to buy a ninety nine cent song, for example, might not be too hard if you can get him to do a sample like, oh that's cool, it depends on the person it can be immediate because it's not a lot of cost for failure if it doesn't. But see, this is where when we were talking about making the decision easier. When you have guarantees, we have that kind of thing can really help for, like larger things that's, where they're likely you can return it if you're not satisfied. That's what you see all the time online and on the television is they do this there's no hard and fast rule to know the answer to that question as it relates to music. But you know what? For the most part, there's a lot of try before you buy that goes on on the internet, especially when it comes to music videos you have a music video for your stuff they already know they like the song they're already buying it they may just replay it a few times, but they can do that all they want and that's why you need your music? Everything we talked about basically in the fourth session on the first day applies because it get your stuff out there so people really get a feel for what it's like that's it and it's just you can't give a solid number I didn't know if you wanted to speak to a second part. Well, the second part again, if you can read, just repeated how long should you wait until changing tactics? I know you said you want to fail quickly and but how do you know if it's a failure? Well, I like, you know, some of the stuff is very easy to do. So, like when we posted some songs and forms and stuff if there was no uh uh biting there's, no engagement or whatever way abandoned we didn't go back and say, hey, guys, we posted this, you know, kind of like right there's there's a logic to it and well there's there's another aspect now that I think about it which is small but it's it's it's about well little bets is one thing yes, yes oh there's there's another really good business but a book called little bets you haven't read it it's very much worth reading and it talks about how to make little bits and basically how long you try something before you give it up but then there's another aspect to this the simple answer that I think my friend jury would give who's an s ceo marketer is use metrics you use actual metrics when do you give it up? Well, if you're not seeing success in a certain amount of time, the numbers aren't coming in it's not working it's time to try something else so we didn't talk about that much because it gets in a lot of technical detail but you get to see your sales figures you get to see cliques if you if you have a website structured the right way, you'll see analytics, you'll see how often people show up and when and what link they clicked on to get there. And so if you put a link out there and people aren't showing up from their link didn't work there's a lot you can try along those lines in terms of social media jessica on twitter had asked what is too much in terms of posting and things like that yes, I mean that's that's where our aerials book comes in, you don't want tio there's a couple things and that you don't want to over tweet on just become noisy on a stream, and she has some advice on that, I think, and also, uh oh, and then there are tools out there that actually allow you to time your tweets, so you might also have a burst of vital I want to ask this, and I want to share this and do that and some people just if you just using twitter, you're just sending them out right away, but there are things like what hoot suite and a couple other, um, programs like that, that actually you can line up your tweets ahead of time and then actually have him sent out of a certain date a certain time, because the other thing that falls on that is there's a lot of research on when people actually pay attention to their twitter stream and which talk about soon. Yeah, exactly, because I think it's like there's some new research now about, like wednesday afternoon and wednesday afternoon is like all of all the operators because they're just they're done with lunch, but they're waiting for the data and and they're hanging around, then they go to their facebook that's the time where the most re shares happened the other thing I would mention about it is if you're spending more time on social media than you are like writing music if you like writing music than you're spending too much time on social media that's a good point yeah, right now you mentioned the guarantees earlier and swing that had a specific question about what kind of guarantees can you make because I know you have very hard if music if you have a download and somebody downloads it you know, how do you sort of guarantee that they're going to like it after they've already paid for yeah it's that it's not really for such a low margin item, you don't usually have a guarantee for that I mean it's just sort of a general thing that's more of the social proof that's more of the reviews that will be more effective in that case the other things that we have in that slide but when it comes to maybe a larger item, if you're going to do it, you can give a guarantee it's like ship it back and you know you could do that well, it's also like live playing live and stuff like that if you promise the venue that you're going to perform next, mount it some time and you don't show up like that um and I can't remember if I need the tools that actually sell direct downloads and stuff like that if they actually usually can't do return that did you it downloads in the way of the digital works it's kind of a different world yeah, but again it's such a low margin that's not on not a big deal for that had asked how can you make the decision making process simpler when you're dealing with business partners as opposed to fans um and like with licensing deals and things like that licensing isn't something that you would be able to do much with but if you're doing your composition services and you're just starting out, you might not want to do this once you're established you can say you know what? I will make this song and you only have to pay me if you like it but if you like it you use it you have to pay me it's the easiest way to do it now if they're going to say, well, I'm going to use this song you already do, but I don't know if I'm gonna like it you're like you like the song there's no there's no the way you make the decision easier there you don't focus on that it's ok? So that sharp we have each one of them applies to different situations they're the part the way you make the decision easy for them is that you show that you've done business before if you can and you make it very easy for them to do the contract and to sign the deal and take care of it so that they can go on to doing what they want to do, which is make the rest of their creative project. I mean, they want to get this thing out the door by a certain date, and the whole point is we found the perfect music, but I don't want to get tied up in lawyers for another week few weeks I want to just get it done and then move on. We have another one here from mad trends asking about metrics improved, so they want to know should indie bands wait for objective proof before putting their music or merchandise out for sale? Can you do some of those may be testing prior to putting out this merchandise that's an excellent question. We talked about this in detail for merchandise yesterday, so the good news is if you watch the session that we talked about merchandise, we give you a way to do it for zero dollars, tried out against the world and have it taken care of when it comes to music. There also is something that you can dio there's actually a very, very interesting service out there that will let your try your music against a whole bunch of listeners it'll split it out by demographic and actually kick out report report of what everybody thought what they thought and actually I'll give you a little rating that using statistical methods will actually kind of normalize for you and you can see which of your songs might be getting better responses and which ones won't and the thing is I'm trying to remember the name they're going have to come back you will have to come back after the break and give you the name of the service and just look it up really quick but there is stuff out there they let you do it yeah you can throw your music at this and then change your music based on the feedback that you get very much like movies they think you're made like a I don't know if you want to do that in that case however what it is also also used good for is trying to determine which track is the most radio friendly or your best one out of that track and then you can okay you know especially we have debates in the band like which one is the best one and then it's like ok most people and the service like this so wilson that one out way we had a lot of really useful information during this segment about marketing and maximizing our sale on guy no in the next segment we're going to talk about income from our fans and from our fame and we'll talk a little bit about about increasing your cut from itunes sales, I think, is that right? Oh, yes, absolutely. So this is something that we don't understand why every musician isn't doing it, because it's available to everybody. Basically, you get a cut on the back end of every itunes sale. If you follow what we're about to talk about in the very next segment, you'll get an extra cut on the front end. And the great thing about it is you can actually keep using this method to make even mohr of a cut and actually mohr income, if you use it the right way. But we'll talk about that in the next segment.

Class Description

In today’s tech-driven world, it’s easier than ever to record, distribute, and market your own music, but what about actually making money? During this course, longtime industry professionals and best-selling authors Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan take you step-by-step through their proven techniques for establishing steady revenue streams in the music business.

Drawing on their combined experience of over 32 years in the industry, Jason and Randy will teach you how to rise above the rest, landing your music on all the popular radio stations, selling your albums in stores, making the most of digital distribution, and licensing your music for commercials and movie and TV soundtracks. You will learn how to maximize the money you make from your music and minimize the money you spend promoting it.

Jason and Randy also outline how to set up the right support team through networking, giving back to your fans, and identifying the right collaboration opportunities. By the end you’ll have an extensive playbook for making money from your music and scaling your business.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Links and Resources.pdf

Day 1 Keynote.pdf

Day 2 Keynote.pdf

Day 3 Keynote.pdf

bonus material with enrollment

Chapter 1 of The Indie Band Survival Guide 2nd Edition.pdf

First Ones Free.pdf

Master Class-Be Heard.pdf

Master Class-Starting A Music Business for $0.pdf

Mixing Your Music For Licensing.pdf

Monetizing YouTube.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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Charles Galvin

As robust a blueprint as you're likely to get anywhere. Applicable to every genre and with the growing importance of authenticity to fans, this is the way you start, maintain and grow your music business free of corporate intervention. Great job guys!


Absolutely fantastic course from start to finish. I thought i knew most of the tools, methods and ideas of the modern musician - but i was wrong. This course filled me with food-for-thought and instantly inspired me to do more and try harder. Well worth it. Thanks guys!

Tony Gonzo

One of the best classes I have ever taken as far as how to make money in music. I highly recommend this for anyone who works in the music field as an artist - manager or independent label.