Monday, April 25, 2011

Some advice for selling albums

So I thought it was time for me to get back to a more helpful post. So I thought I'd discuss something I've noticed a lot of groups have trouble with.

There's a few things you can do to help increase your sales traffic that I thought I would share. Of course, if noone likes your music or even knows about it, don't expect to suddenly sell hundreds of albums online. If you do however have a fan base that wants to buy your cd, here's a few tips to maximise those numbers.

1. Make sure your fans know you have a product for sale

This may seem obvious but it happens quite a lot. You can't expect to release a cd and tell noone about it and have it sell like hotcakes. It's important to connect with your fanbase so that they all know that your cd is available for sale.

If you haven't established any form of connection to your fanbase then I'd suggest trying to setup some methods to do is as soon as possible. Facebook fan pages are a great way. So are mailing lists. If you still aren't managing to engage your fanbase then you'll have to approach it through more standard advertising methods.

If you know you have fans within a certain target audience (eg. You know you have a lot of fans aged between 15-22 that live in your hometown) you can get targetted ads on facebook. This means you'll maximise the chance of someone interested finding out about it. Flyer runs can also be an inexpensive way to engage. If you do a gig, make sure to hand flyers out to everyone there to let them know that your cd is either out, or is soon to be released. Don't forget to leave some information on there on how they can obtain it once it is out.

2. Multiple payment methods.

Again, you may read this and see it as obvious but it's worth stating. If you offer your fans only one option on how to obtain your cd, you could be losing yourself a lot of potential sales. Why offer credit card only payments if you have fans that want to pay with money orders?

If you establish as many payment methods as possible you will be catering to as large of an audience as possible. You don't want to make it a job for people to buy your cd, they are the customers, you want to make their life easy as possible.

This also extends into people that don't want to buy things online or have their cd sent to them through the post. Try and get your cd stocked in as many stores as possible. If you don't have a distribution deal it can be hard to get your cd in big stores but normally independant retailers will be happy to stock your cd. You will probably have to offer it on consignment (ie. They only pay you as the cd's sell) but it's definately worth it.

If you are having trouble finding record stores that are willing to stock your cd then try and get any stores to stock it. If you know someone that owns a general store, ask them to hold them under the counter. You can then post online that cd's are available there if they ask. This means fans that live in the area will have a local spot to pickup cd's and have them immediately.

It's better to have your cd in local spots rather than online only.

3. Offer preorder specials

If you have a cd that's soon to be released, it's often smart to offer preorder deals. This means you will be making sales before your cd is even released and you will have a customer base established before hand.

You will however, probably have to offer incentives in order to get people to fork over their hard earned money without a product ready. This can be any number of things, a free cd, poster, tshirt... anything you can think of.
4. Don't engage with critics
This may not help you get more sales directly but it is important to focus your energy. No matter how good your music is, there's always going to be people that dislike it. On top of that there will always be people that will find the need to openly criticise you on your own site or pages. The truth is, the more popular you get, the more it will happen. My advice is to just ignore it. If someone has left a comment on your page that looks bad, just delete it. Beyond that it isn't worth the time and energy to try and argue back or anything. It is actually more likely to just make you look unprofessional. Just delete and block anyone trying to bring you down publicly.


  1. nice one man, my friends band just released a little ep, ill point them towards your post

  2. some good infomation on product selling, not just music :]

  3. I agree, especially with point 4

  4. Selling albums is waaaayyy to much work!

  5. A dear friend of mine could really use this advice. Thanks, man.

  6. I may add "limited free download" as a suggestion, with a chance of donations

  7. Good to know. My friend is about to promote one album in a month, so I'll point him these tips :) Thanks

  8. Agreed on point 2, Not everyone carries cash, not everyone uses paypal. Make it easier to buy it than bootleg it.