The subject of giving away music for free is a touchy one for musicians, and rightfully so. Music isn’t something that appears out of nowhere for people to enjoy. It takes money and time and sacrifice to create. Unfortunately, the world’s relationship with music is a complicated one that often leaves hard-working musicians high and dry. It seems that people are more addicted to music than ever before, but are less and less willing to pay for it.
The truth is that there are times when you should absolutely be giving your music away for free. Whether you love or hate the idea of giving away your music, it’s something that can bring you big advantages in today’s complex music industry climate.
An unestablished band’s ability to sell merch often means the difference of whether a show or entire tour ends up being profitable or not. But like lots of other non-musical aspects of making and performing music seriously, merch is something that’s often neglected, even by the musicians who could benefit from selling it the most.
Today, we’re talking about three ways to help musicians sell more merch, but let’s first talk about why offering band-related stuff to your fans is important. The biggest and most obvious reason is that merch sales bring in extra revenue for your project. This can translate to more money earned on tours or additional funding from sales made through your website. In addition to extra cash, merchandising is also a chance to give fans opportunities to experience your project in non-musical ways. Merch solidifies your identity and fills a fan’s need for clothing, artwork, and other things at the same time.
Completing a track from start to finish is one of the most difficult tasks in music production. There are countless roadblocks that producers experience on the way to finishing a song and many of these tracks never get completed. To help you finish these unfinished tracks, I have compiled a list of the five best tips for how to complete your music.
Songwriters get into trouble when they view the hard work of making music as something completely reliant on inspiration. Serious songwriters and producers who make music as a career can’t afford to wait for inspiration to come, and neither should you. The truth is that making great music takes work, sacrifice, and an uncompromising willingness to try and fail over and over again. If you’re tired of waiting on inspiration to make music, here are three exercises aimed at helping you increase your musical output:
Being represented by a label or manager are things thought to signify an artist’s success, so it makes sense why so many musicians spend their valuable time and resources trying to get represented and signed. But the ritual of crafting thoughtful pitches and sending them off into the ether rarely results in bands landing a record deal or enthusiastic manager, even if their music is good.
There’s a few reasons why these pitches usually get ignored, but it mainly comes down to the fact that successful labels and managers want to discover talent themselves, not be sold on it by reading about it through an email. The people in the music industry with the expertise and resources to actually move your music forward want to hear and see your music in action before considering taking a risk on you. Instead of banging your head trying to pitch to labels and managers, here’s what you should be doing:
We’ve opened up our DAW’s, ready to write the next big hit only to stare at a blank screen and save nothing. Writer’s block can be tough to deal with. You can begin to doubt yourself as an artist, become irritated, and lose motivation to work on music. Not being able to start a song or continue with a song that you have been working on is inevitable though. Even the most accomplished artists experience writer’s block from time to time. There are, however, a few tried and tested ways to help you break out of writer’s block quicker and get you back into the creative zone.
Below is a list of several ways to help combat the dreaded writer’s block.
Feeling creatively stuck, lost, or lacking, is an uncomfortable reality that all musicians inevitably face at some point during their careers. Whether it’s the nauseating sense that you’re writing the same song over and over again, or the inability to finish ideas, lacking creative potency can be frustrating. This especially goes for musicians who appear to be bursting with original ideas one day and none the next.
An unconventional way for musicians to address this problem is by thinking about their own unique musical taste. What you like isn’t exactly what you’ll make as a musician, but it’s connected in a big way. Challenging your music taste can get you thinking about music in a new way, and in turn, help to boost your own creativity.
Think of the coolest marketing campaign you’ve ever seen. It can be something your favorite band did, a campaign your favorite clothing company ran, or a contest put on by the local diner for their 25th anniversary. Whatever it is, think about what made it stand out, why it captured your imagination, and why you still hold onto it.
Odds are, it’s not because they ran some mediocre ad campaign or shoved the same generic t-shirt design in your face. It’s because they did something that spoke directly to you and what you believe in. They used their brand and their message to tap into what it is that matters most to you—their fan/follower/customer—and because of that, you were able to really grasp onto it, and it left an impression.
Anyone can create an ad, put out a new piece of merch, or play a show. The real power is in creating an experience that’s so valuable to your fans that they not only remember it, but they want to share it with all their friends.
So how do you make sure your next promo strategy is worth remembering?