The music industry is famous for being a dangerous place for artists. Record labels will change your music until you barely recognize it and then make a huge profit out of it, only giving you a tiny cut. After all of that hard work, you’ve lost your artistic integrity and you haven’t got anything to show for it.
Ok, maybe it’s not quite as bad as that, but you do lose a level of control when you release music through a label. You have to make compromises about the music and you aren’t paid as much as you should be for your hard work. That’s why so many artists are choosing to bypass them completely and release their own music.
If you can come up with the funding you can get a company like Nationwide Disc to print the albums for you and distribute them online. Just don’t think that it’s going to be easy. It’s possible to make good sales off your own back but you’re going to have to work hard. If you think it’s the right avenue for you, here are some tips to help you get it right.
Where To Sell
The first thing to do is decide where to sell your music, you’ve got two options; the first option is to find other sites that will stock your albums for you. The benefit of doing it that way is they will already have a good customer base established so you don’t have to start from square one. On the other hand, you do risk getting lost amongst the rest of the music on there. It also doesn’t give you a good opportunity to build a strong brand, which is increasingly important in the music industry.
The alternative is to set up your own website and sell your music through there. You’re more likely to build a dedicated fanbase but it’ll be harder to get sales going initially. Having said that, the amount of sales is largely dependant on how you market yourself.
Give Something For Free
When people buy music that’s been released through a label, they have more confidence that they’re going to get something good for their money. These people must have auditioned and been chosen by somebody so there has to be some level of quality there. But when you’re releasing stuff on your own, customers don’t have that guarantee. That’s why you need to give them a taster for free if they’re ever going to consider buying. Put up a few tracks for free download to entice people and they’ll buy the rest of the album. As well as putting them on your site, find streaming sites like Soundcloud to put it up on. They get a lot of traffic so it’s a great way to pick up new fans.
You don’t have the huge marketing budget that record companies do but that doesn’t mean you can’t reach potential listeners. Social media is going to be your best tool for marketing yourself because it has a huge reach and it’s cheap. Use it to put out links to some free tracks and you should start to see a fan base forming.
Musicians often think that they can’t get by without the financial weight of a record label behind them but it is possible, if you know what you’re doing.