290 – How to Make a Ghetto Sales Funnel to Sell More Music

290 – How to Make a Ghetto Sales Funnel to Sell More Music

Everyone’s talking about making sales funnels. Yes, they are great, and yes, they are built on a solid foundation of traditional marketing philosophy.

But there are some serious challenges to getting your first sales funnel up and running never mind selling your music and merch for you.

In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, David shares how you can test your sales funnel idea without wasting an insane amount of money and time.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 01:02 – Setting up your own “ghetto sales funnel”
  • 02:46 – The four items you need to set up your sales funnel
  • 04:02 – Step by step process for building your ghetto sales funnel
  • 05:47 – Driving traffic to your sales funnel
  • 07:48 – Episode summary
  • 08:15 – Closing thoughts

Sponsors:

  • Digital Marketing Essentials for Musicians: When it comes to getting your music out there online, it’s easy to get caught up in a lot of stuff that doesn’t matter and will never work. If you want just the essentials that have been proven to work, you need the Digital Marketing Essentials for Musicians course.
  • The Music Entrepreneur Companion Guide: Get the official, definitive companion guide to The Music Entrepreneur Code covering, in clarity and detail, secrets to making it in the new music business.
  • Productivity, Performance & Profits Blackbook: The first of its kind – David’s new premium book covering productivity, featuring content from Music Entrepreneur HQ, his personal blog, his many books, and even Start Your Year the Right Way, which is included in its entirety. Be fully unleashed in accomplishing your dreams and desires!

Transcription:

Hey, it’s David Andrew Wiebe. As you know, I love to connect you with other great music industry resources and today I wanted to share The Unstarving Musician with you. The Unstarving Musician, hosted by Robonzo, was created as a way to help other independent musicians better understand the marketing, business, and creative processes that empower us to make music and make a living doing it. Episodes feature insights from Robonzo and a wide array of guests. Topics covered on The Unstarving Musician includes songwriting, recording, release strategy, building an audience, music licensing, and more. hear it at UnstarvingMusician.com or wherever you get your audio. And if you’d like to dig in the archives a little bit, you can hear Robonzo on episode 164 and episode 259 of the New Music Industry podcast.

Alright, so in today’s episode, I wanted to talk about setting up your very own ghetto sales funnel. I’m interrupting a series of podcasts on my latest book, The Music Entrepreneur Companion Guide to bring this to you. But rest assured I will be sharing more insights from the book in future episodes.

Ghetto Sales Funnel?

What the hell is a ghetto sales funnel? And why would you want to build one? And why does it even matter?

Look, a lot of people are going to sell you on purchasing expensive software to build your first sales funnel, and that’s not wrong.

But the problem with it is that you’re not going to be very good at building sales funnels the first time you do it. And this is something you get better at with more experience.

I’ve done many launches before, not all of them sales funnels, but there were definitely a few of them. And I can tell you from experience, every time you do it, you get better. And so, so many people that are trying to build sales funnels from scratch, they don’t have the experience, or knowledge, or knowhow to create anything great on the first go round. If you have an idea, you might as well test it. Minimum viable style, right?

And then the other problem is that many experts are teaching you how to sell like a $5 tripwire, and then a $15 upsell, and a $30 one-time offer. This is wrong. You’re either not going to be able to make enough to spend on advertising, or you’re not going to make any money at all. There’s the danger of losing money if you do things that way.

So, you can test your sales funnel idea relatively inexpensively, and the reality is you’re going to need to do all the same things to promote it anyway. So, the only thing that changes when you go from a normal sales funnel to a ghetto sales funnel is the step-by-step setup.

For this episode, some knowledge of sales funnels is recommended, and if you have no idea what I’m talking about, well by the end of this episode, you should be good and murky.

The 4 Items You Need for a Ghetto Sales Funnel

So, why don’t we look at what we need to get started. There are really just four items.

First, you need a way to capture email addresses and send email campaigns. I recommend ConvertKit. You can find it at davidandrewwiebe.com/ConvertKit. I am an affiliate of ConvertKit and may earn a small commission on qualifying purchases.

Two. We need a way to sell the product. So, it could be Bandcamp, it could be Gumroad, or even Sellfy. Free to low-cost solutions work great for ghetto sales funnels. Honestly, that’s the point. I’m an affiliate with Sellfy, and you can check out their e-commerce solution at davidandrewwiebe.com/Sellfy.

Three. You need something to give away. You need an irresistible offer. It could be a series of music or behind the scenes videos, free album or EP, an eBook, a free report, something people will happily exchange their email addresses for.

And then number four, we need something to sell. You need to think big here. Let’s not go to all the hard work of setting up a sales funnel and getting people to check out our offer only to sell them on a $5 to $15 product. Go for at least $65, please.

Setting Up Your Ghetto Sales Funnel

Okay, now let’s talk about setting up your sales funnel.

Hopefully you have an email list and an email service provider or ESP already, but if not, go set up an account at davidandrewwiebe.com/ConvertKit now. You’re going to need one of these whether you build a sales funnel or not.

Now that you have your account, put capture boxes on your website promoting your free offer. We want to make sure this is loud and clear and visible and it’s the first thing that people see when they go to your website. You want to prioritize people signing up.

You’ll want to set up an autoresponder with a link where people can download your free offer.

Then this step is crucial. You want to set up your download page, and you’re going to want to either link to your upsell on the download page, inside your free offer, or both.

In an eBook that’s pretty simple, right? “This is where you go to buy the thing.” You can put that link at the end of the eBook, but if you’re giving away audio or videos, remember you can include a call to action at the end of these. Even if it’s an album, you can include a secret audio track saying, “Hey, come and check out our offer right here at this link.”

And this is really important. You need to sell people on the spot. It’s crucial because there are always people who will buy then and there.

Now you can set up your upsell on Bandcamp, Gumroad, or Sellfy. And again, we’re going to skip tripwires completely. So, sell something that’s about $65, no low ticket offers please.

If you’re not sure what to sell, here are a few ideas.

  • Merch bundles
  • Your entire music catalog (if you have more than one or two albums)
  • Vinyl albums
  • Remixes
  • Handwritten lyric sheets
  • Guitar tabs
  • Behind the scenes or making-of videos
  • Some combination thereof

And that’s all you need to get your ghetto sales funnel up and running. It didn’t take any fancy software, just a willingness to innovate.

Driving Traffic to Your Ghetto Sales Funnel

How to get your sales funnel out there.

We’re going to use all the standard channels to drive traffic to the ghetto sales funnel. If you’re not acquainted with these, we’ll go over them real quick.

Remember, if you’ve got time, but no money, make more content. And if you’ve got money, but no time, make more ads.

The first channel is content and there’s simply no excuse not to be doing this anymore.

You’ve got ChatGPT and other AI tools and other free or low-cost tools that can help with the process of producing blog posts and social media posts. Canva‘s another great one. I still recommend editing and fact checking everything yourself. If you’re going to use AI. And putting it all in your own voice. But either way, AI can help make the process more streamlined.

You should link to your free offer in every content piece, place an opt-in box at the bottom of the page, or both. It doesn’t matter whether you’re making video or audio or text content.

The second channel is Dream 100. There’s a blog post on this topic at davidandrewwiebe.com you can reference, but the essence is to identify the specific influencers, artists, journalists, bloggers, podcasters, labels that could help you grow your following, build relationships with them, and create opportunities to collaborate. That part is up to you though. You’ve got to put in the time and the effort and the work to build that relationship, which might include sending gifts.

The third channel is advertising. And as I mentioned earlier, it’s a channel worth pursuing if you’ve got the funds for it. With advertising, the moment you turn the tap on, rivers begin gushing towards your offer, but the moment you turn it off, the waters disappear. And we have to create compelling ads, and that’s a form of content too, and it’s honestly not the easiest thing in the world. You usually do end up having to test multiple offers to see what works.

Now what I’ve just shared with you aren’t all the ways you can promote your sales funnel. But if you’d like to dive deeper, you should certainly explore the nautical ton of podcast episodes we’ve published to this point, and you’ll come away with plenty of traffic strategies to action.

Episode Summary

Now here’s your episode summary:

  • You can create your own free or low-cost ghetto sales funnel without having to purchase expensive software and spending ages getting the design and copy and colors and everything else perfect.
  • Setting up a ghetto sales funnel is relatively straightforward and only requires a few components: an email capturing and sending tool, a way to sell your products, something to give away, and something to sell.
  • And finally, there are many ways to send traffic to your ghetto sales funnel.

Closing Segment

One of the best resources I’ve created on digital marketing for musicians is the Digital Marketing Essentials for Musicians course.

I invite you to go to ContentMarketingMusician.com to learn more about the course.

This has been episode 290 of The New Music Industry Podcast. I’m David Andrew Wiebe, and I look forward to seeing you on the stages of the world.

Alternative to Bandcamp, Nimbit & Gumroad?

Alternative to Bandcamp, Nimbit & Gumroad?

Are you looking for an alternative to Bandcamp, Nimbit and/or Gumroad?

Note: this page contains links to affiliate offers. If you buy through our links, we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support.

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 others.

And, if you didn’t know you could do that, well, that might be another blog post for another time.

Distribution, however, shouldn’t be equated with marketing, or for that matter, sales. Just because your music is out there doesn’t mean people will listen to it let alone buy it.

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.

25 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.

(Nimbit, unfortunately, ended up closing its doors in December 2020.)

These platforms offer more 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.

Conventional wisdom has it that music sales are dead. This is untrue. Share on X

And, I’m not just talking about the occasional fluke music sale that comes from Apple Music, or the support you get from superfans on Bandcamp, either.

In 2019, 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.

John Oszajca, Music Marketing Manifesto

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.

As Daniel H. Pink, author of To Sell Is Human says:

To sell well is to convince someone else to part with resources – not to deprive that person, but to leave him better off in the end.

I’ve often encouraged my students to bundle up their music products to maximize their earnings.

After all, the economics do matter.

The economics do matter. Share on X

If you wanted to make $3,000 and only had a $1 single to sell, you’d need to sell 3,000 singles to reach your goal.

But if you bundled up your entire catalog and sold it for $100, you’d only need to sell 30 units to get to your financial goal. What a difference!

Getting Back to the Topic of Tools (Like Bandcamp)…

In the episode 195 of my podcast, I introduced a new affiliate partner.

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.

Our latest affiliate partner is Sellfy.

Sellfy

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.

You May Also Enjoy…

The New Music Industry paperbackThe 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?

Your eCommerce store

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?

Yuck.

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.

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 Sellfy for taking the knife to that part of their business.

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 still 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.

Payment options

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.

Sellfy analytics

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 otherwise be able to.

271 – 5 eCommerce Solutions for Musicians

271 – 5 eCommerce Solutions for Musicians

So, the ability to get your music out to dozens of destinations using music distribution services is awesome. But what if you want to sell your music and merch through other platforms and earn a greater income? What eCommerce solutions can musicians take advantage of?

That’s what we’re going to be looking at in this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:36 – The two pathways to earning an income from your music online
  • 01:36 – Bandcamp
  • 03:08 – Shopify / Single
  • 04:22 – Gumroad
  • 05:38 – Sellfy
  • 06:46 – Koji
  • 07:44 – Episode summary

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Transcription:

Hey, it’s David Andrew Wiebe.

Now, I’ve shared before about the two pathways you can take to create an income from music online. And of direct response marketing and eCommerce, eCommerce is the easier one to get started with.

And the great news is, whether it’s direct response marketing or eCommerce, you can set the price of your music. You’re not obligated to sell your albums for $9.99 and your singles for 99 cents. You can be much more intentional and strategic about pricing.

Plus, it allows you to do things like put your latest single up on Spotify, and then tell your fans, “if you’re interested in the whole album, check out my website at AtomikPenguins .com” or wherever you send people to buy your music.

Now, the big question is whether you can even make money selling music as a musician, right? Just because you can set up an online store doesn’t automatically mean people will buy. But after listening to this podcast episode, I don’t think there’s going to be a shadow of doubt in your mind.

So, keep listening to the end, and let’s get to the first of five eCommerce solutions we’ll be talking about today:

1. Bandcamp

Bandcamp for musicians

Bandcamp is one of the most popular eCommerce solutions for musicians, focused exclusively on music. On their homepage, they advertise the fact that fans have paid artists $199 million in the last year. So, forget the idea that you can’t get paid for your music – there are plenty of artists doing it already.

Fans have paid Bandcamp artists $199 million in the last year. Share on X

Unlike most other solutions available, Bandcamp is a marketplace. And that means they actively promote artists through discover, tag hubs, artist recommendations, fan collections, and music feed. You shouldn’t expect to receive a ton of promotion this way unless you’re already growing a following and selling your music on Bandcamp, but it’s still nice to know they care.

Bandcamp gives you control over the design and colors of your page, and it lets you add key information like a short bio, lyrics, and liner notes too.

In addition to digital music, you can also sell vinyl, cassettes, T-shirts, and other merch. Bandcamp even says in the last five years, vinyl sales have gone up by 613%, cassettes by 349%, and T-shirts by 492%, and they’ve already sold $341 million worth of merch.

Whoever said vinyl sales are a mere blip on the radar just isn’t getting the point.

Bandcamp offers other great features like analytics, a merch backend for order fulfillment, and they plan to add a vinyl pressing service too.

Bandcamp was founded on December 12, 2007, so it also has quite a bit of longevity behind it as well.

2. Shopify / Single

Single for Musicians

Based on the success of my interview with Tommy Stalknecht (Stall – Neck) of Single Music, which is now simply called Single, in episode 155 of the podcast, it’s clear to see quite a few musicians are interested in the prospect of selling their music through the top eCommerce site builder. Shopify basically is to eCommerce what WordPress is to blogs.

Single has expanded their functionality in the last few years. In addition to music, you can use it to sell live stream events, video rentals, merch, and even NFTs on Shopify.

Single has delivered and reported over five million downloads for thousands of artists to date, including the likes of Foo Fighters, Dua Lipa, Harry Styles, and Adele.

You can sell just about anything you can think of with Single – albums, singles, beats, or loops. It also allows you to set up pre-orders, instant grats, bundles, and it comes with an embedded audio player. As you probably guessed from what I said earlier about reporting, Single handles daily chart reporting to Billboard, OCC, and Aria as well.

Single is an affordable solution with four-tiers depending on your needs. But you can get started with them for free, where you only pay when you sell something.

If you’re thinking about using Shopify to sell your music, Single is certainly worth a look.

3. Gumroad

Gumroad for musicians

Gumroad was developed with all types of creators in mind. Whether it’s blog posts, eBooks, courses, Photoshop templates, software applications, or music, Gumroad lets you sell just about anything digital or physical. You can even set up subscriptions or memberships using their platform.

Just last week, digital entrepreneurs made over $3.5 million from Gumroad. And the greater the revenue you have as a creator, the less you end up paying to the platform.

Digital entrepreneurs made over $3.5 million on Gumroad last week. Share on X

Although Gumroad is not a marketplace – and that means you’ve got to do your own marketing – they do set you up with a customizable templated profile page where users can see all your products. Plus, you can install a script on your website that will pop up your sales pages onsite when people click on your Gumroad links.

Additionally, Gumroad lets you sell in difference currencies, offer discount codes, generate license keys for software, sell multiple versions of your work, build up an affiliate army, and more.

When I started using Gumroad, it was still quite humble in its appearance and scope. But today, they have a fresh design, new features, and a ton of content that can help you grow your sales.

If I wasn’t using 10XPro, I would probably be using Gumroad as my primary eCommerce platform, but either way I still have a small library of products on Gumroad.

4. Sellfy

Sellfy for musicians

Sellfy is another amazing, low-cost eCommerce platform, and years ago as I started seeking out new places, I could distribute my music to, it quickly became a go-to. Sellfy has changed a bit over the years, though. They used to have a marketplace, which was one of my favorite things about it, but they don’t have it anymore.

The great news is that Sellfy is still a very capable eCommerce solution. You can get your online store set up in minutes, and begin selling digital products, print on demand products, or subscriptions. You can connect your own domain to your store, and you can customize your store to look exactly how you want. You can add your own logo, change the colors, and even localize your store language.

Sellfy also comes with sales tools like email marketing, discounts and coupons, and upselling options.

Sellfy’s estimated annual revenue is $3 million per year, so they might be a little smaller than some of their competitors, but it’s still a very capable, easy to use, and affordable solution.

Sellfy’s estimated annual revenue is $3 million per year. Share on X

The New Music Industry Podcast is largely listener supported. We are an affiliate of Sellfy, and if you want to sign up for your 14-day free trial now, you can go to davidandrewwiebe.com/sellfy.

5. Koji

Koji for musicians

Koji came along to transform the link in bio game for musicians, NFT owners, eCommerce business owners, and artists of all kinds. This is more than just a link in bio app, though, and is more of a full-fledged creator economy platform.

Whether it’s Peter Hollens, Kenji Bandz, or Jayo, you will find that a variety of your favorite artists and creators already use Koji, including yours truly.

Obviously, you can link out to all your platforms using their link in bio feature, be it your social media destinations, music on Spotify, videos on YouTube, or otherwise. But there are also an insane number of mini apps you can use to embed content, collect donations, sell locked content and physical goods, crowdfund your next project, sell your NFTs, and more.

So, overall, it’s more than just a link in bio, and it’s more than just an eCommerce solution. It’s very forward looking, and you can do just about anything you want with it. It even tracks your analytics and it’s free to use!

Episode Summary

  1. Bandcamp. Bandcamp specifically serves musicians looking to sell their music and merch. Plus, it’s a powerful discovery platform and marketplace.
  2. Shopify / Single. Single was created specifically for musicians interested in selling their music on Shopify. In the last few years, their feature set has expanded.
  3. Gumroad. Gumroad wasn’t created specifically with musicians in mind, and it’s not a marketplace or discovery platform. But it’s a very simple and affordable eCommerce tool for all types of creators selling all types of products. Gumroad integrates nicely with your website, and they also have a lot of content to help you on your journey.
  4. Sellfy. Like Gumroad, Sellfy is also a creator-centric platform that’s home to photographers, YouTubers, filmmakers, travel bloggers, and more. But you can also find guitarist Dan Mumm or music producer PVLACE on Sellfy. Sellfy makes it very easy for you to set up your own online store.
  5. Koji. Koji is the most powerful link in bio that I’m aware of, and it has dozens of mini apps that extend its functionality well beyond a featureless link in bio app. If you’re already using another link in bio, Koji would be worth a look, and if you are using it and aren’t selling locked content already, it’s time to give it a try.

By the way, be sure to let me know if you enjoyed this episode, because I could easily talk about five more eCommerce solutions for musicians, or possibly even more. There are just so many new platforms out there!

Closing Segment

We’re calling it the best free resource for independent musicians. And if it isn’t that it’s fast becoming that because it already features over 100 PDFs, and when all is said and done, there will be well over 300 PDF resources. What am I talking about? Our brand-new PDF Vault. You can sign up for access to a huge library of PDF eBooks, cheat sheets, transcripts, and more today. Go to davidandrewwiebe.com/PDFVault to sign up for free.

This has been episode 271 of The New Music Industry Podcast. I’m David Andrew Wiebe, and I look forward to seeing you on the stages of the world.

Upgrade to Members Only Audios for more exciting, exclusive training.

Alternative to Bandcamp, Nimbit & Gumroad?

Alternative to Bandcamp, Nimbit & Gumroad?

There are many tools you can use to sell your music. But not all of them are created equal. So, choosing the right tool is important.

In this video, David discusses a powerful eCommerce platform for creators you can use to get up and running fast.

Video Highlights:

  • 00:00 – Music distribution isn’t marketing or sales
  • 00:40 – Enter the new age of scripts, eCommerce platform, apps, widgets
  • 01:33 – Can you still sell music?
  • 02:35 – New affiliate partner
  • 03:37 – What you get with Sellfy
  • 04:29 – What I like most about Sellfy

Transcription:

This post originally appeared on DavidAndrewWiebe.com.

Are you looking for an alternative to Bandcamp, Nimbit and/or Gumroad?

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.

Distribution, however, shouldn’t be equated with marketing, or for that matter, sales.

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.

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 custom 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.

So, selling music is still very much a possibility, even if it requires you getting creative with the process and methodology.

I’ve often encouraged my students to bundle up their music products to maximize their earnings.

After all, the economics do matter.

If you wanted to make $3,000 and only had a $1 single to sell, you’d need to sell 3,000 singles to reach your goal.

But if you bundled up your entire catalog and sold it for $100, you’d only need to sell 30 units to get to your financial goal. What a difference!

Introducing…

In the latest episode of my podcast, I introduced a new affiliate partner.

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.

Our latest affiliate partner is Sellfy.

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.
  • You must be able to upsell your customers.
  • 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.

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, 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?

Yuck.

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

The best part of Sellfy 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. Not everyone can hand code their own solution like Derek Sivers did.

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, 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. You can find the link in the description.

040 – Bundling & Packaging Your Music Products to Maximize Earnings

I can’t believe more musicians aren’t doing this.

The truth is that you could be earning a lot more than you are. But first, you must give people the opportunity to spend more with you. Seriously.

In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, I explain how you can create bundles and packages your fans will eat up.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:14 – Bundling and packaging your music products
  • 00:53 – There are people willing to spend more money with you (believe it!)
  • 01:28 – Repurposing your back catalog
  • 01:43 – How to get started with packaging your music products
  • 02:07 – How to create value-added bundles
  • 03:55 – Planning for future bundles and packages
  • 04:25 – Tools you can use to sell your bundles
  • 04:50 – Marketing your products
  • 05:12 – Closing questions

Transcription:

Getting more money from your musicThanks for joining me.

You know, it’s interesting. I was doing a bit of looking around online, and I found that there wasn’t much on this topic of bundling and packaging your music products together. It’s a good way to leverage what you’ve already created and make more money from it without reinventing the wheel and creating something from scratch.

I’m sure there’s some stuff out there about this, but not much that I could find, so it’s a topic that I felt needed to be covered in more detail. So, I’m going to offer some tips here for you, and I think you’ll find you can do a lot with the music that you’ve already created without making a lot more, unless you don’t have much of a back catalog.

What you may not know is that there are people willing to spend upwards of $100 or even $200 with you [in one sitting]. You just need to give them the opportunity, because they have that money, and they want to be able to support you if they like your work. You’re just not giving them the opportunity.

People are willing to spend more with you - give them the opportunity. Share on X

Let’s say, for example, that you released five albums. Well, that’s great, people might be able to spend $50 to $60 with you to buy those albums, but you’re not giving them the opportunity to spend more. Why is that?

I think that’s often an issue of self-confidence. So, you need to improve your self-image and know that you’re worth more, and know that you can get more.

So, as I’ve already said, you can repurpose your back catalog if you have one, starting at about three or four albums. Any less than that, and you may not have enough content to create a worthwhile bundle. But after that point, you’ve got plenty to work with.

Here’s a very simple way to get started with packaging up your music product. One is to offer a bundle of all your albums, and it should be for a fair price. So, let’s say you’re offering four albums in a single bundle, and normally it would cost people about $50, then you might want to discount it and set it at about $40, but that’s one opportunity most artists are not leveraging at all.

And for those of you who want to take it to the next level, you can offer things like physical merch, your T-shirts, your buttons, your stickers, and things like that and put them in the bundle.

The one problem with offering merch items like that and including them in your bundle is just fulfillment. You’re going to have to package it all up and ship it all out, and go to the post office, unless you already have a company or individual handling that for you.

So, there’s a lot you can do without including physical merchandise. Now, I’m not saying that it’s a bad ideal to include a combination of physical and digital merchandise, because that’s also a great opportunity, but here are some other ideas you can try.

One is to include handwritten lyrics, you can simply scan them and include them in your bundle. You could include transcriptions of your music, and even guitar tabs. You can get this done for cheap these days, and this is a missed opportunity, and artists like David Nevue have been doing this for a while, and have been successful at selling sheet music. So, I don’t see why you couldn’t do that too.

You could include a story behind each album and the creation of it. You could include behind-the-scenes footage in video, or acoustic versions of the songs. You could create a short book or eBook that ties together your entire catalog.

There might be some benefits to creating a physical copy of your book and selling it on places like Amazon simply because that could be a new revenue stream for you. And you even don’t have to create something that’s 40,000 to 60,000 words long. It can literally be 10,000 words, and people don’t have a lot of time to read anyway, and if it’s compelling, 10,000 words is more than enough to capture people’s attention.

Now, if you’re not much of a writer, that’s fine, but you can also hire writers. There a lot of places you can go, like Upwork, to get somebody to do that for you, and you won’t spend an arm and a leg to do it, so that’s just an excuse.

Now if you think this whole business of packaging and bundling your music is a good idea and it’s something that you want to pursue and do, then you should plan for future bundles and packages.

Create as much content as you can. Save all your notes. Save all your blueprints and your marketing plan, and everything else you create around your music and then throw it in your package. Whatever is appropriate, whatever your audience might see as a bonus they would love. Just throw it all in there, and you’ve got a bunch of content you can sell.

So, how do you do this, and how do you make it all possible? Well, my main recommendation is Gumroad, because they let you sell digital products, physical products, memberships, subscription products, pretty much anything that you’d want to sell online you can sell through Gumroad.

Another great place that you can use is Sellfy. This is an online marketplace, so it can help you gain more visibility for your products.

But the thing is, you’re still going to have to market your music no matter where you publish it. I don’t care if it’s Gumroad, Sellfy, or iTunes. You’re going to have to take some time to market and promote it and direct your fans to it to get sales.

You must market your music no matter where you publish it. Share on X

So, don’t just rely on a site like Sellfy to do your all your work for you, even though it will help you get more exposure for your products.

So, what are your thoughts on bundling and packaging your music products to maximize your earnings? Do you think it’s a good idea? Do you think it’s a bad idea? Is it something you’re going to try?

And if it is something you’re going to try, I want to hear about it. So, leave a comment in the show notes and let me know what you’ve been up to and what the results have been.

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