Dear Music Maniacs,
My brother and I have been experimenting with different selling methods and brain storming promotion ideas as we build our fan base and ready the upcoming release of our anticipated debut EP for our Maniac All-Stars project. We felt like it be a good idea for you to join us on our adventure and learn from us and our mistakes. To get started here is an article we just wrote based on our experiences after reading Music Releasing Strategies on Fixt music and would like to share our input with all of you:
We have found and agree it is good to do the "Free" strategy to gain exposure faster especially in the beginning when your unknown. One way to help counteract the "devalue the non-monetary qualities of your music" Jimmy Rhodes (of Fixtremix.com) talked about is by backing your music with some form of credibility. First thing SIGN yourself to yourself by making your own record label. Thanks to the major label marketing engines, most people think if your not signed your not worth their time - how many times have you heard "Are you signed?" or "I'm artist trying to get signed to (insert major label here)?" Don't Wait! Get ahead of the pack and sign yourself.
Next find a couple well-known artists that you could compare yourself to in a creative way when describing your music. This helps spark interest in people, gets them excited, and makes life easier for journalists that make you famous. Our music sounds like electronic based classic rock with underground rave influences so we describe it as: "If the Prodigy and Led Zeppelin had a bastard love child who was conceived at a rave."
.....So What's yours?
Finally a great way to achieve creditability is by entering Remix Contests and getting an artist association. When I (DJ Satisfaction) worked for a major label management company artists used to pay $5000 and up for a feature to be on their records. Now you can enter a remix contest and get a feature for free and even have a chance to win some prizes. That is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to remix contests. We will cover this topic in-depth in the near future because if you know anything about The Maniac All-Star it is one of our specialties. (if you don't read our bio http://maniacmusic.net/themaniacallstars.com and find out)
Ok, so when talking about our music we can say "Yes we are currently signed to Maniac Music, an Independent record label. We have done remixes for The Crystal Method, Celldweller, and The Roots. We are currently working on our debut EP that sounds like The Prodigy and Led Zeppelin's bastard love child..." See that has a nice ring to it doesn't it. Now you try it.
Now some maniacs are in need of the money to pay bills, support video game addictions, traffic fines, or bribing officer Brown down the street and can't be giving all their music for free, so we developed a cool hybrid release version that combines the ideas of the "Free," the "Value" and the now popular bundle plans mentioned above plus we added an Urban influenced street sell option infused for those brave souls who want fast cash. These methods have been proven very successful for us on past releases.
First you release a standard version of a EP (5 songs) for free available digitally on the website for signing the email list
Next you have a $5 hard copy version of the album (10 tracks), but you dont spend too much on the manufacturing for the CD hard copy - light scribe and flyer insert like a street hiphop mixtapes are fine - Sell these $5 for both the CD hard copy and HQ digital download together.
Next offer a version for $10+ hardcopy and digital Download together that includes album art/Digi-Pak, bonus tracks, enhanced with video, and have the tracks rather than just play straight like the $5 album have them blend into each track with cool transitions like a DJ mix session - maybe even produce the transitions into little interludes like The Avalanches - "Since I Left You" album. Finally, start making bundles with cool extras like Commentary, b-sides, merchandise, Vinyl, hand drawn pictures by the band or a real unique Polaroid pic with each bundle something that can't be pirated and make a great connect with the fan.
By doing this your are appealing to everyone's buying range from Free all the way up to $100+. Now if you need money fast and can't wait until your promotion campaign starts returning your investment then the maniacs have your solution.
Now if you need money fast and have a some courage and a little salesmanship you can sell the CDs in the streets, mall, music concerts, clubs and anywhere you little heart desires. I will tell you this isn't for the weak of heart so meditate, take a few shots of vodka, get the peace pipe, and do what you need to prepare yourself mentally for a day full of mostly rejection, but you will be coming home a winner here is why:
Many artists look down upon selling music in the streets and feel that you failed at not getting a deal that is where you end up -
That is a great place to start while your promotion campaign is in process and street selling can even be incorporated into the promotion. Ok now think about it - What better way to get fans than to meet them, build rapport, get a connection, tell them about your shows, album, etc.. and get paid on top of it - My brother and I averaged around $300 a week doing this in our spare time plus it makes for excellent networking opportunities. We have ran into radio DJs and Clubs DJ and received air play and club spins, Celebrities, met a couple of lady friends including my current aka our lead street team member, and found other artists who we can do shows that share a common fan base. We will be talking more about the techniques of selling on the streets topic more in a future article.
OK, this post was just a little intro to stir the mental music engine, some food for thought if you will, on your career and shining some light into the land of the Maniacs. As for our next article, it is sure to open your eyes to the opportunities and realities of the famous REMIX CONTEST. Stay Tuned!!!!
Now some shameless self-promo be sure to check out our LAST REMIX indefinitely as we finally retire our remix contest circuit run and start working on our debut EP. Behold - So Long Sentiment (*The Maniac All-Stars Final Rebirth) Coming Soon!