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A Little Moneymaking Music Advice - by Jeffrey P. Fisher
Use these five moneymaking music tips to make your music industry career better right away.

[1] Barter products and services
Let's say you need a guitar part for a project studio track, but have no money to pay the player. Offer the guitarist free studio time in exchange for her playing on one of your tracks. The guitarist can use her time to record a demo, for instance. You need to be aware that the IRS has specific rules covering bartering in business situations. You must record these exchanges as regular business income and expenses. However, when this trade is like/kind, the affect on your taxes is zero. Following the above example, let the guitarist bill you for her time on your track and then you bill her the same amount for your studio time. The two invoices effectively cancel each other out. She owes you no money and you owe her none either. More importantly, you both have the legitimate paperwork you need for your tax preparation.
[2] Always look for new business
Never stop promoting. Make it a permanent part of your music business career and the major focus of your time, money, and effort. Build strong relationships, too. Make customers, not sales. While it's always tempting to go after quick bucks, the real money is made by treating people fairly, giving more than they expect, and cultivating long, profitable relationships. Keep watching for opportunities because change is inevitable. Pay attention, stay informed, and use information you discover to improve your situation. There may be voids in the market that your music products and services can fill. Do you see them? Also, listen to your customers. They'll tell you what they want. Make sure you give it to them.

[3] Use e-mail to promote
Don't send spam, but do send promotions to people who have already identified themselves as wanting to hear from you. Be careful what you write in the subject line. If it looks like advertising or other junk e-mail, your message might get deleted before being read. Try to personalize the letter. Either write to a person one-to-one or use a generic description: "Greetings to all yourbandname fans". Make sure the e-mail is easy to read. Use short, simple words and short paragraphs. It's OK to include some hard-sell, just make sure you liberally sprinkle in plenty of benefits for your readers, too. Try to include testimonials or other endorsements that support whatever music products and services you are selling. You can increase response by including special offers that also have time limits: "Hurry! This offer expires on April 1". Don't forget to encourage immediate response and ask for the order: "Get your copy of our latest CD now." Make it easy for people to respond by providing a clickable link or two in your message. To make that work, be sure to write the entire address e. g. . Include a P.S. to restate your most compelling offer and to reemphasize your call to take action. Optionally, you can include a money-back guarantee or other additional information to support your promotion.

[4] Phone profits
Picking up the phone and calling past clients to remind them of what you have is the single most effective way to generate new sales. When you have something new to sell (or you sell a service that people buy regularly), use your phone to make contact. I generate 90% of my repeat business through phone calls. Making cold calls is another necessity. Break through your fear. You don't have the gig now, right? If you call, there's a chance you might get hired. Take the chance!

[5] Samples sell
Samples allow people to try before they buy. Free samples will help you sell more of your music, too. Create a sample CD with a few (2-3) cuts of your music and use it as a promotion. Use this sample to convince skeptical buyers that you have what they want. With the sample, people can hear your music first before they either come to your show or buy your full CD. Label these CDs with your full contact information and encourage people to listen AND pass them on to other people they know. Keep your costs down by burning these CDs at home, adding sticky labels, and putting them in cheap, see-through paper envelopes. Distribute these CDs like Halloween candy. Put them everywhere: stick them on bulletin boards/kiosks, hand them out on street corners, give them away at performances (including other people's performances), and more. Get creative!

That's just a sampling of tips available through my "Moneymaking Music Tip of the Week." Check it out at or send an e-mail to

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Get the real details you need to successfully promote and sell your music products and services in Jeffrey's books: "Moneymaking Music", "Ruthless Self-promotion in the Music Industry", Profiting from Your Music and Sound Project Studio", and others available at

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