Sacrificing the single to sell the album
In the music business as in life, you have to give up to go up. What this ultimately means is that sometimes you have to let the customer sample the milk before they buy the cow. In the brick and mortar record business "singles" are primarily used for promotions. Record labels don't expect to make any substantial money from selling singles and neither should you. Wrap your mind around this for a second. If you give away the hottest single on your album for free, you are already starting your artist/fan relationship off on a good note. Imagine if you went to JayZ's website and he gave you a free single. If you loved the song and appreciated his generosity, you would revisit the site and buy the entire album, wouldn't you? Of course you would. The same applies to getting free movie tickets, sneakers, and buy three get one free tires-it's the law of promotion. Give away as much of your music as you can and your fans will love you for it and respect your kindness, which always leads to repeat business.
Make your fans feel special
The key to cultivating your audience is to treat them like royalty. Yes, everyone likes and wants to feel special, so do things for your fans that you wouldn't do for the general public. First begin by setting up a website that requires "Super Fans" to log in to get the latest information about you, such as, live studio webcasts, exclusive pictures, interviews, new music, and more… All it requires is a little imagination and you will be building your army of loyal followers in no time. Next allow your fans to critique your music in an open discussion forum. By doing so, you will find out what they really think of your music and which direction to take your new material. Also, allow your fans to participate in some of your artistic decisions such as choosing the playlist for your album, video conceptualization, album cover design, and whatever creative process you'd think they would be interested in. Warning, do not turn over creative control to your fans because they will run-a-muck; however give them alternatives to choose from and allow them to decide by voting on their favorites.
Until next time…stay hungry, stay humble and remember, no time spent educating yourself is time wasted.
Music Business Guru with Sahpreem A. King
© 2011, Sahpreem A. King, www.gottagetsigned.com