Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Know what iTunes Can’t Do for you and How to Make Sales Know what iTunes Can’t Do for you and How to Make Sales Online Online

The music industry evolves fast, and it drifts with the shifts in fashion, technology and people’s tastes.  This explains why the music as product is among the first to go fully digital and be sold over the internet.  I’m going to explain in this post how you can sale your music online.  I am going to tell you just how much you should expect of these online stores before you take the next step.
What Online Music Stores like iTunes, Amazon
The feeling of finally getting to upload your music and let online music stores pay you is probably the most thrilling feeling for any upcoming musician. But  there are a few things you must know.
iTunes, Spotify, Amazon and the many many other music streaming and selling services are not marketing tools; all they do is sell your music to their subscribers.  Getting your music to these digital content platforms is like getting your mixtapes on a music store stand; they do not market your music, they just make it available to the buyers.Just like you mixtape covers you need attention grabbing graphics to entice people who view you music to listen.
Most musicians fail to realize that getting music on to these platforms is one thing, getting the average listener to buy it is another thing.  Before and after getting your music online you must promote and market them as a product, these sites will just give you exposure and nothing else.  It would be unfortunate to set your expectations too high if you are just starting out and don’t have a huge fan base.  You will not start making bucketloads of money in a few weeks just because you are on iTunes.
As I mentioned before, iTunes is an online market place that gives you exposure to millions of music lovers all over the world.  Although it does nothing to promote your music, it is a platform with amazing tools you can use to reach these music lovers and if you have just what they want and you catch their attention the right way, you may be making bucketloads of money if you do it right.  Here’s how you can get started.
How to promote your music online and make sales on iTunes
The best way to market your music and get it downloaded more is by linking it from a source outside iTunes.  You can create a website to promote your music or give out links on social media, blogs, forums or via email to people you know.  Once you get your music on iTunes or any other marketplace, the next task will be to promote your music and convince people to buy it on iTunes.  This is why you see ‘Available on iTunes’ on web pages.
How do you promote your music?
Well, there are many ways anyone can sell anything online, and music, being downloadable content, is among the easiest to sell.  You will need to make people listen to you, to love your music and to connect with them on a fan-to-celebrity level.  It takes effort, money and time to build an image and get people to notice your content.  But thanks to the internet, you no longer need to deal with an agent or manager just to be found.
Step 1: Start building a brand right where you are.  Get your own musician page on Facebook and connect with the friends you know.  Promote your link and make many friends by sharing your music and engaging with them.  Remember that whenever you link to your content on iTunes, clearly indicate where the link is heading and re-check to ensure it links to the music track the listener wants.  Always do this on every link you describe or share – even on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, email and websites.
Step 2: All musicians start on YouTube today.  While iTunes has the largest and most organized library of music on the planet, most fans you will get will not be on it, but on different online resources.  YouTube is one of them, and it plays a crucial role in branding and selling yourself as a product.  Share your music on YouTube and promote it on Facebook, whichever way works, and make sure people actually like what you share and how much you share.  Don’t focus on selling at this point.
Step 3: It’s time for you to have a website.  Once you have enough following on YouTube and Facebook, create a website dedicated to you as a brand and your music as the product.  Encourage people to visit by making special content available on your website and include a shop page where they can be directed to iTunes.  There are countless ways to direct traffic to your website that we will not cover here, but all this is to ensure more people listen to your music and like you as a brand, as a person and as a celebrity.
Step 4: Engage with your fans and encourage them to bring their friends too.  iTunes has secret tools that talented artistes benefit from – rankings.  The more effective your promote yourself outside iTunes and get people to listen to and buy your music, the more recommendations the tracks will get to other iTunes listeners.  You should build yourself as a brand even before getting your music on iTunes, rumor has it that it even speeds up the process and could get you better deals.
Step 5: Lastly, you must figure out how to retain people who land on your iTunes page.  Getting people to click on your ‘buy on iTunes’ link is a completely different thing from getting them to actually buy or even favorite your music.  Therefore, as an entrepreneur, you can increase your conversion rates and make more sales instead of traffic landing on your iTunes page and bouncing right off by using iTunes as just a step closer to your customers, and nothing more.
iTunes is a great stage where the world can watch next idols emerge from the crowd, and for you as the artist it can be the magic formula where you will get to sell yourself to the world.  It all depends on how you use it.

Other Resources
Mixtape Cover Design


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