In 2014, album sales were at $300 million in the United States alone. The music industry is taking a huge slice of the pie and they all follow the same business model – a model you can replicate for your next product.
Taking a page out of the record labels’ playbook will help you expand your own business, transform your customers into fans, and ultimately show an increase in profits. Correctly and consistently using these tactics will help your business to attract new clients and give your current customers a reason to be passionate about your brand.
- The strongest marketing tool for your business
- How the content on your social media is pissing off your audience
- Maintaining what makes you different
Give Away Your Single
The only way we know what an artist’s new album is going to sound like before they release it is by getting a taste through their single.
Artists (err.. well the record labels) choose what they consider their best song which encompasses the widest audience, then they release it for free.
Yes. For free. When is the last time you paid to listen to the radio?
If your business were an album, what would be your single?
- Where would your customers get the best value?
- What form should your single be in? (Digital products work best)
- How will you deliver your single?
In order for you to do this, you have to understand your customers. What could they use right now? An ebook? A sample package? A How-to guide?
Whatever your single is, it has to be a phenomenal, accurate representation of your business. It must be something people find to be an essential resource time and time again.
It has to build anticipation for your album.
In my experience, if a customer refers back to an item more than 5 times, they are more likely to discuss that item with someone else.
In terms of online marketing – they’re likely to share it with their friends on social media and rave about how it’s helped them.
Copyblogger does a great job at breaking down what content to sell and what to give away for free.
Word of mouth will always be your strongest marketing tool.
Let’s say you find out about a business from a friend raving about their positive experience.
Now, let’s say you’ve found out about that same business from surfing Google and ended up on a beautiful website with glowing testimonials.
Which one of these experiences are more likely to persuade you to become a customer? I’m willing to bet you were more convinced by your friend’s recommendation.
Recommended Read: 8 Irresistible Things You Can Give Away Free to Get More Customers Now
Sell the Same Thing a Million Different Ways
Artists are rarely selling ONLY an album.
You can buy the album, the VIP package, the Deluxe package, so on and so forth. Each package has something unique for their customer, whether it be a T-shirt, lyrics or a signed poster – just something they know their fans would appreciate.
We naturally love having the opportunity to compare different items before we make a purchase. Instead of letting your customers wander off to compare prices between yours and someone else’s, redirect that curiosity by giving them the opportunity to compare between the similar packages you’re offering them.
See what you did there?
Add more value to one of your products, and increase the price. People are stingy and greedy at the same time — think quality over quantity.
Nick Kolenda has a huge list of pricing strategies that I still refer to time and time again.
People are stingy and greedy at the same time. They want to have more, but pay less. – Tweet this
Your Image is Everything
Take a look at your website, the way you’ve set up your location, your business cards, your packaging; would people be able to recognize your brand without seeing your business name?
Are people aware of your mission and what your business represents?
When I scroll through Instagram, I can instantly tell who’s posting without looking at the user. These are businesses who have been consistent with their branding and I’ve become familiar with what to expect from them.
- Your content should reflect the quality of your brand
- Be consistent in your presentation
Considering the fact that CDs are becoming a thing of the past, sales are not dropping as fast as they statistically should. Why? Mainly because of the artwork.
Which album would you say has changed your life?
Notice how the artwork popped into your mind first, and the music second. That’s because you think of that album as a whole, and not as individual songs. That’s how you want people to see your business. You want your customers to identify with your brand, not just your product.
Captivate Them on Social Media
Your Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram accounts are great for interacting with current and potential customers.
Social media is a fantastic tool for building rapport with your audience, and they are amazing when used correctly to promote sales, giveaways, content, and new items.
- Track the number of followers you gain each month
- Engage with your current followers by providing value and reaching out individually
There’s another reason why building your social media presence is so important – it’s called social proof.
When people visit your profile and see active engagement combined with a large following, not only are they excited to have found you but it reaffirms that your brand is worth looking into.
People become curious to know what thousands of others know about your business that they don’t. They are also more likely to follow you when they see that you respond and engage with your fans.
What people don’t want to see:
- A ton of self promotion or sales-y posts
- A bunch of empty retweets from big brands they already follow
- A wide variety of topics (People like to follow for ONE reason)
- Too many recycled quotes
- Inconsistent posting (Your last post was 4 months ago?? Are you even still in business?)
Collaborate With Others in Your Field
In other words, get some features on that album!
You should already be building relationships with your peers, now it’s time to make the first move and work with them.
Come up with a campaign idea and pitch it to another business that has a similar, complementary audience to your own. If you sell phones, partner with a business that sells customized skins and cases. If you offer coaching to help writers unleash their creativity, partner up with someone who coaches people on how to self-publish and do a joint webinar for your audience.
Create the opportunity for two great brands to come together, make some money, and expand your audience. Notice I said CREATE, not wait.
If you want it, you’ve got to go get it, boss.
Maintain Your Sound
As music evolves, so does each album. Artists strive to find the balance between what’s current, what’s popular and staying true to the music their fans have become accustomed to.
In order for your business to grow, you have to know what’s going on in your field. What’s getting your customers excited? What are your bigger competitors doing that you’re not?
Studies have shown that the trend of accessing websites via mobile is steadily increasing. Does your website have a responsive theme? Can prospective customers jump online and make hassle-free purchases from you?
I’ve watched a lot of businesses fail from falling behind on the trends.
They get phased out when new technology comes along such as Google Chrome, Paypal, and the platforms of social media.
Businesses that can’t keep up (or won’t) eventually lose the interest of their customers and quickly become “one hit wonders.”
Planning Your Product Launch
Even though you may not be in the music business, studying and implementing the techniques they use to drive sales will help take your small business from local to global.
In less than a year, an artist can go from locally known to internationally known. How? By taking the time to market themselves and creating a brand that people can identify with.
The weeks leading up to a new product release can be stressful, right? We all feel the pressure of trying to make everything perfect.
Your product is like an album release, which means it’s okay to celebrate it!
To take the edge off of your nerves, have a listening party before you launch. In other words, send your product to a couple of your biggest supporters for free and let them review it! Another idea to consider is to host a Twitter chat with your customers about a topic related to your product. Halley gives the step-by-step on how to run a successful twitter chat.
This week, start making some changes in your business. Tweak your website, redesign your business cards, start putting out strategic, branded content on your social media and increase engagement with your customers. Market your business like an album and convert your customers into life-long fans.
What About You?
What changes will you be making? Let me know in the comments below!