When you’re in creative mode, keep that creative hat on.
But once you have something to share with the world, hang up the creative hat for a while and put the marketing hat on. Engage only in marketing for a while.
Musicians generally understand this concept better than most marketers because they will keep touring the same album until demand completely runs out.
The truth is demand never runs out. You don’t go to see AC/DC to hear them play “The Furor,” though there’s nothing wrong with newer material. You go for the hits – “Back In Black,” “Thunderstruck,” “Highway To Hell,” and so on. There’s always a demand for the hits. If you’re an independent musician, trust me, you’re a long way off from over-saturating a market.
Your marketing hat looks good on you. Put it on when you have something to share and keep it on for a while. Otherwise, you will tend to get stuck in perpetual creative mode, and that doesn’t help you grow your career.
Are you looking for an alternative to Bandcamp, Nimbit and/or Gumroad?
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If you’re making music, you need a way to sell it.
For most musicians, it’s a foregone conclusion that one can distribute their music through services like CD Baby and Ditto Music, and get up and running on all the popular platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, Amazon, Deezer and so forth.
And, if you didn’t know you could do that, well, that might be another blog post for another time.
A sale is where a transaction takes place. It’s where a customer exchanges their money for a desired product or service, like music.
A stream is not a sale. It’s just a stream.
By the way, the condensed, video version of this post is right here:
Enter Bandcamp, Nimbit, Gumroad & Other Services
We certainly aren’t in the dark ages anymore.
When Derek Sivers started CD Baby in 1998, selling online was a serious endeavor. You needed a merchant account, which wasn’t easy to get. In Derek’s case, hand coding a software solution was part of the process, too.
22 years isn’t that long ago, but since then, plenty of eCommerce platforms, scripts, apps, widgets and plugins have been introduced, giving us the ability to release and sell our music through a variety of means.
With these tools, we didn’t always have complete control over pricing, or what the buyer saw, but it was better than not being able to sell our music at all.
These days, we’ve got some great tools like Bandcamp, Nimbit, Gumroad and others.
These platforms offer a great deal of customization in terms of layout, design and even pricing. They give you the ability to get your music in front of your audience and drive sales in a way that leaves you feeling empowered.
Hold the Phone – is Selling Music Even a Thing Anymore?
Conventional wisdom has it that music sales are dead. This is untrue.
And, I’m not just talking about the occasional fluke music sale that comes from iTunes, or the support you get from superfans on Bandcamp, either.
Last year, I interviewed John Oszajca from Music Marketing Manifesto, and off air, after we had finished recording, he shared with me that there’s still money in selling music.
These days, even musicians are jumping on the digital sales funnel trend and are guiding their audiences through lead magnets, tripwires and upsells where music is a part of the product set.
Again, if you don’t know what a sales funnel is or how it works, it will be the topic of another blog post, though you’re certainly welcome to check out my sales funnel for an example (Note: you can’t get through the entire funnel without giving away your email address and spending some money).
So, selling music is still very much a possibility, even if it requires you getting creative with the process and methodology.
By the way, I’m looking for amazing people like you to become patrons of my podcast. To be clear, you would be supporting the creation of all the content I make, not just the podcast, because my blog posts are generally inspired by the podcast. So, if you like what I’m up to, you can support my work on Patreon.
At Music Entrepreneur HQ, we don’t just promote things willy-nilly. We only recommend products and services we understand, use and like.
The possible exception might be products we’ve had the opportunity to audit and would recommend to a specific subset of our audience but wouldn’t have any use for ourselves.
When I think of Sellfy, I generally group it in with the platforms already mentioned – Bandcamp, Nimbit and Gumroad. They are all kind of similar, though there certainly are some differences.
But when it comes to economics, the tool you use to sell your music or related products also matters.
If you want to be effective:
You must be able to sell both digital and physical goods.
You must be able to bundle products together to sell them at a higher price point.
And, you must be able to sell subscriptions (for the ongoing delivery of a product or membership).
Further, built-in marketing tools certainly can’t hurt when it comes to getting attention for your offer.
Sellfy offers all this and more.
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The New Music Industry
Earlier, I mentioned that distribution shouldn’t be equated with marketing. This is because merely getting your music on virtual and physical store shelves is not going to get it sold. You must have a strong brand and be able to get your message in front of your target audience. You need a strategy. This guide touches on practically every marketing channel available to you. Click on the link to get your copy.
Here’s What You Get with Sellfy
By comparing it to apps or sites you might already be using (like Bandcamp), I believe I’ve been able to paint a picture of what Sellfy is and how you can use it.
Sellfy has been made specifically with creators like you and me in mind.
We want to be able to spend most of our time creating rather than worrying about the litany of technical details that generally plague the creative life these days, don’t we?
I’m frankly amazed at all the hoops musicians jump through these days to try to sell their music.
Writing ad copy? Building landing pages? Developing sales funnels?
I’m not saying these things don’t have value. If you’ve got the technical skills, go ahead, do your worst.
But if it’s going to take away from you creating, publishing and promoting your work, it’s important to recognize it’s time you’re simply not going to get back.
So, a tool like Sellfy can help you get up and running fast. They even have a 14-day free trial, so you can test drive the platform before you commit.
What I Like About Sellfy
In the past, one of my favorite things about Sellfy was the Sellfy Market. Best to my knowledge, this no longer exists.
The way this used to work was that every user’s products were visible on Sellfy’s online marketplace.
So, this helped you get a bit of extra exposure, and if you were lucky, additional sales.
But maintaining such a vast eCommerce site would prove challenging in terms of resources, servers and personnel. So, I can’t fault them for taking the knife to that part of their business.
Anyway, the best part of Sellfy now is just how easy it is to use. You can create a beautiful storefront in minutes and start selling right away.
We take it for granted now, but this is kind of a big deal. It saves you a ton of time.
There are so many other great features I could mention, whether it’s the ability to connect your own domain, accept payments from PayPal and Stripe (this instantly makes you look pro), or embed individual products and even your entire store on your website.
The analytics are incredibly helpful too, since you can see how many visits you’re getting, what your conversion rate is, where your traffic is coming from, where your buyers are located and more.
So, is Sellfy right for you? You won’t know unless you try. Again, they’ve got a 14-day free trial, so you’ve got everything to gain and nothing to lose.
Final Thoughts on Bandcamp, Nimbit, Gumroad, Sellfy & Other Services
While you could use Sellfy as a Bandcamp alternative, the reality is you could also add it to your existing tool stack.
I’ve often done this myself. Recognizing that most if not all music distributors don’t upload my music to sites like SoundCloud, Bandcamp, Nimbit, Gumroad, Sellfy and others, I would often go and do this manually, simply so that I could increase my chances of getting in front of a larger audience.
This is somewhat of an advanced strategy, and generally it’s better to send all your buyers to one place, but there’s nothing wrong with giving your buyers more options, as sometimes this can help you get sales from places you wouldn’t be able to otherwise.
On that note, if you’re struggling with any of this, or need help with any aspect of your music career, I want to encourage you to pick up your exclusive report and begin building the career of your dreams. Just click the link to get started.
Hey! I’m author, entrepreneur, and musician David Andrew Wiebe. Learn more >