Reading Time: 3 minutes
Written by: Matt Lillywhite
Sales within the music industry is a topic that’s certainly not talked about enough within the EDM community. Despite all the great branding that’s regularly exhibited on social networks, the majority of musicians aren’t great at sales in the slightest. After all, most people seem to consider “check my song out on Spotify” a good sales pitch. In reality, it’s absolutely horrific. That’s why in this article, we’re going to discuss how you can improve your sales skills within the music industry as a producer.
Sales is essentially the process of generating a transaction between the consumer and your music brand. Whether it’s a Spotify stream, event tickets, or anything else, sales are absolutely crucial to the success of your music career. Marketing and branding are of course important parts of the equation. But think of it as a triangle: you need all 3 in order to sustain the shape. Numbers don’t lie and are often the determining factor in whether you get booked for a show, or almost anything else. After all, what promoter would want to book an artist with an extremely low number of average ticket sales generating from their brand? You get the idea.
Many artists struggle to grow their social following or convert social media fans into Spotify streams. The truth is that they aren’t doing 1-1 interactions to supplement any social media posts because they’re lazy. The chances of a fan actually going to listen to your song on Spotify just because you ask them to via a social media post are pretty slim. However, if you provide a one on one interaction in which you message each of your fans individually, generating a relationship and then asking, the probability of them listening becomes much higher. Businesses such as Wendy’s and Innocent have had their sales increase exponentially simply due to their 1-1 Twitter interactions with customers. Adopting a similar strategy on every social platform that your artist brand is present on will be a good idea for increasing those sales numbers.
Alternatively, some artists may not be able to generate sales because they’re romantic with using a certain method for selling tickets etc. If handing out CDs in the streets worked for them 5 years ago, some people may feel like it may work again. In reality, the majority of people will just throw it in the trash. As an artist in the electronic music industry, you should be focusing on as many potential revenue sources as possible for your ticket sales. Although this may include traditional media such as fliers, it’s probable that you’ll be spending a lot of time developing Facebook and Instagram advertisements.
Another point that’s definitely worth mentioning is that you should be focusing your resources where the attention is. As a general rule of thumb, it’s a great idea to check the Top 20 on the App Store to see if there are any new social networks that you should be on. At the time of writing, the top 10 social apps are WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Messenger, Facebook, Musical.ly, Twitter and Tinder. As an artist focusing on the attention of the end consumer, your time and effort should be focused on developing a strong strategy for each and every one of those platforms (even Tinder).
A tremendous amount of producers simply won’t fulfil their sales potential because they’re not prepared to study consumer behaviours and work hard enough. As mentioned earlier, a lot of the people within the music industry are extremely lazy, and not prepared to put in the necessary work required in order to develop a successful sales campaign. Instead, they prefer automation over 1-1 interactions. Although this may be quicker for the producer, the consumer is less likely to interact with it. Nothing (in the present day) can overtake a human interaction. Nothing will empathize with the consumer like a true interaction between the artist and fan. Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the secret weapon that almost anybody can use to increase their sales results. The question is, are you prepared to do what it takes to fulfil your ambitions?
Essentially, it comes down to whether you, as a producer, are prepared to put in the work. Are you prepared to send hundreds (or even thousands) of messages every single day in order to boost your sales numbers? Do your research around your consumer base and find topics that they identify with. Do you have a following in New Zealand that loves Game of Thrones? Create a Game Of Thrones-themed piece of content for your social media profiles, and then runs Facebook or Instagram ads against that audience. The answer is simple. Find what interests your audience is interested in, and create content around that in order to drive sales. Be where the attention is, and you’ll succeed.