|There are many ways to promote your music products and services,
many of which I detail in my Ruthless Self-Promotion in the Music
Industry book. Here are the highlights of the eight most successful
 Pick up the phone
Calling past clients and reminding them of what you have is the single
most effective way to generate sales. When you have something new to
sell (or you sell a service that people buy regularly), use your phone to
make contact. Making cold calls is another necessity. It can be a
daunting task to pick up the handset and punch a stranger's number, but
you must break through your fear. Look at it this way. You don't have
the gig now, right? If you don't call you still won't get the gig. But if you
do call, there's a chance you might get hired. Take the chance!
 Set up in-person sales situations
The personal touch really works in today's often sterile, anonymous
world. No letter, e-mail, or flyer is ever going to take the place of standing
face-to-face with someone and making your pitch. You can build rapport,
address every objection, and win people over fast when you are in the
flesh. When you finish work for a happy client, that's the perfect time to
ask for another project or gig. If you have a prospect that's wavering on
your proposal, simply meeting this person on their turf can close the
sale. Back-of-room sales are always helped when the members of the
musical act participate and interact with buying fans.
 Send a letter/postcard/e-mail
Dropping a reminder in the mail or e-mail is a terrific promotional strategy
when approaching past buyers to generate new business. Conversely,
sending a promotion to a cold list is the least effective way to promote.
However, if you carefully refine your possible prospects, dropping a
sales letter in the mail can make a good initial contact that you follow up
with a cold telephone call.
Building a network of contacts requires that you become part of a scene.
Networking allows you to gather useful information (and share what you
know) and make valuable contacts with people who can help you. For
example, to be a successful soundtrack composer, you must associate
with people who need music for their audio-visual presentations. Joining
and participating with them will help you in the long run. Remember that
networking is both give and take. You want to help the other person as
much as they want to help you.
 Use word of mouth
If you asked 100 people in the music industry what the best promotion is,
90% would say word of mouth. If you asked that 90% what that meant,
only a handful could tell you. The elusive word of mouth promotional
strategy implies that you do nothing and people just naturally seek you
out. This is, of course, ludicrous. Successful word of mouth needs
constant coaxing on your part. First, deliver quality music products and
services. Nothing creates repeat and new business better than good
work in the first place. Second, make sure you tell everybody about your
successes. Remind your clients, fans, relatives, network, and other
business peers of all that you have available and encourage them to pass
on your information to their friends, relatives, colleagues, and more.
Third, get referrals from satisfied clients and pursue them. And fourth,
display your contact information prominently on everything you create
and make it easy for people to find and get in touch with you.
 Get some publicity
A media review or article is a tacit endorsement of your music products
and services. More people will believe what the media says about you
over anything you or your promotional material says. In essence, you
want some media source to either let you plug your latest project or plug
it for you. What is the essence of the plug? Follow this simple equation:
Provide value:earn a plug. The amount of plug you get is directly
proportional or equal to the value you provide. For example, you could
write a short how-to article for a newsletter about how you produced
your CD or the lessons you learned. This article provides value --
information and knowledge -- that the newsletter can use to help its
readers. In exchange for that valuable item, the newsletter lets you
promote (plug) your CD.
 Create a web site
Today, virtually everyone in the music industry can benefit from a Web
site. With most music bought on-line, the Web is the place to be. Set up
your Web site as your personal Web community and storefront where
everybody comes to get information, learn about you, and to buy from
you. Your site should carry all the information prospects need to make
buying decisions. There should be information specifically for the media.
If it applies, there should be a section devoted to your vendor and other
supplier needs. Your Net presence should also appeal to your clients and
provide value-added products and services that keep them loyal.
 Get ruthless
When it comes to promoting your music industry career, you'd better be
ruthless. Do whatever it takes to get your message across to people who
would buy what you have to sell. Since this article only scratched the
promotional surface, consider using the additional, proven techniques in
the definitive guide, "Ruthless Self-Promotion in the Music Industry."
This huge, richly detailed, and practical resource has the information you
need to succeed. The book is available at
Jeffrey P. Fisher is the author of three best-selling music books: "Ruthless Self-Promotion in the Music Industry," "Profiting From Your Music and Sound Project Studio," and "How to Make Money Scoring Soundtracks and Jingles." He is currently working on a fourth title due out during 2002. Get more information on his "Moneymaking Music" Web site at www.jeffreypfisher.com
For even more profitable music industry advice, subscribe to Fisher's FREE Moneymaking Music Tip of the Week by sending an e-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org with "subscribe tip" in the subject or body.
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