Unleash the Power of Copywriting in Your Music Career

Unleash the Power of Copywriting in Your Music Career

The words you use do make a difference.

And in this case, we’re going to be talking about the words you use to describe your product or the words you use to sell to your audience. But bear in mind that you are what you create yourself as. Meaning – the words you use in all areas of your career and life are key.

Anyway, the technical term for what we’re talking about here is copy. Copy is any text that’s been crafted to sell.

It’s a deep topic, and I don’t expect to be able to cover everything there is to know in a few paragraphs. There are entire books, courses, and online memberships dedicated to the topic, and even the best copywriters tend to remain students of the craft.

But to give you an example, I’d like to call your attention to my book, The Music Entrepreneur Code for a second. I don’t bring it up for self-promotional reasons, I bring it up so we can see copy at work.

The Music Entrepreneur Code

Prior to the book’s release, I didn’t have a subtitle for the book, and its description was a little lackluster. I got some help from my mastermind group and wouldn’t you know it, I ended up with another best-seller.

The Music Entrepreneur Code is a great title, and it does get your attention, but it doesn’t tell you what the book is about. Great for generating curiosity, but not great for specificity.

The subtitle we settled on, although a little long, captures the essence of the book impeccably – How to Get Paid for Your Passion and Impact More Fans Without Wasting Years of Your Life and Thousands of Dollars.

And where the book description originally spoke of shills and charlatans and was more focused on the story going on in my head, it was reformulated to call out the target audience (the first two words in the description are “Most musicians…”), described their pain points (overwhelmed, fed up), identified with their emotions (bitter, angry, and defeated), and pointed to a solution (“…follow a proven roadmap…”).

What you need to take away from this is that when you’re selling anything, the words you use matter.

We all say we don’t like to be sold to, but how many times have you been sucked into reading long sales letters from top to bottom?

Well, prior to this, you may not have known that these were even called sales letters, but now that you do, I would suggest studying the ones you come across. Explore:

  • What stands out to you?
  • What words capture your attention?
  • What emotions does the copy evoke?
  • What makes you want to buy?

We’re not here to reinvent the wheel, so my suggestion would be to model what you see working. Don’t copy – that’s called plagiarism, and it gets even the most notorious YouTubers in trouble. But you should be modeling what works in all areas of your career, not just copy.

Understand – products that don’t sell sometimes start selling when you brush up on the copy.

As author Dan Kennedy says, the greatest sin in marketing is being boring. And copy represents a huge opportunity to spice up your marketing.

Weekly Digest: October 2, 2021

Weekly Digest: October 2, 2021

Sales has been the theme of the week.

And isn’t there something fundamentally slimy and icky about sales? Doesn’t it make you cringe just thinking about it?

Maybe, maybe not, but the point is we all have an association with sales, and oftentimes it’s negative.

We’ve had that experience of being sold to, or being recruited for a network marketing company, or being roped into a deal that didn’t feel right. For some reason, we always seem to conjure up the worst experiences we’ve ever had first instead of thinking about the dozens of frictionless transactions we make every single week.

To transform our relationship to sales, we need to look at why sales are so important:

  • Without sales, we can’t create a sustainable career or business
  • Without sales, we can’t grow and scale our career or business
  • Without sales, we can’t adequately show our appreciation and gratitude for others, their time, and their contribution to us

I’m all for volunteerism and humanitarian work. Last quarter, my team and I raised about $300 for the education of underprivileged children in South America.

But you also want to know that what you’re doing is of value. You want to be validated. And importantly, you want to continue to provide a service to others that gets better with time.

What can you do in your career or business to ensure a steady stream of sales?

And going beyond that, what small and local businesses could you start supporting? In the strange times we’re in, the giants keep getting bigger, and the small guys keep getting dumped on (if not because of closures, then with taxation).

Let’s sow some seeds and build some goodwill. Start buying from smaller eCommerce or brick and mortar businesses. Support other artists. Show that you care. And if you see someone that could be doing things differently to improve their products and services, offer feedback and contribute to them (that includes me).

We don’t need to make sales about ourselves. We can make it about the people who are going to benefit from doing business with us. We can make it about contributing to others in a meaningful way. You vote with your dollar. Don’t just talk a big game. Act on your values.

You vote with your dollar. Don’t just talk a big game. Act on your values. Click To Tweet

New Value-Packed Blog Posts & Podcast Episodes

Here’s what I created for you this week. Click on the headlines that pique your interest.

Must-Have Resource

There’s a personal development program I’ve been through three times, and each time I go through it, I learn more about myself and what matters most to me. I’ve also been able to improve my health, grow my business, and challenge myself intellectually.

The name of the program is The Gold Within.

Any artist looking to get clear on the impact and difference they want to make in the world (their brand) should go through The Gold Within program at least once.

The Gold Within

Final Thoughts

Thank you for your creativity and generosity. I’m rooting for you.

The Sad Proliferation of Deceptive Sales Tactics

The Sad Proliferation of Deceptive Sales Tactics

It’s sad.

Lately, it seems like everyone is flocking to cereal box university to get their sales permit.

The increasing desperation of so-called braindead influencers and hustlers is pity-worthy, if somewhat understandable, but only based on the general state of the world.

Even so, you can’t make a good case that their methods don’t throw good sense and caution right to the wind. Try.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Good luck building a long-term business on the back of methods that trick people into giving you money.

The “Post Your Links Below” Method

These posts are as common as flags on the fourth of July. I see them daily, and I wish I didn’t (I need to curate my newsfeeds better).

In big, bold letters accompanied by a colorful, eye-catching background they proclaim:

“We’re looking for music to showcase on our radio show (or podcast, or live stream). Drop your links below!”

Or something to that effect.

What musician in their right mind wouldn’t be curious about such an opportunity? What musician wouldn’t drop their links?

Well, here’s what happened when I “dropped” my link. I was told “sounds great, but you need to reach out to me via email – it’s on our Facebook page” as if I had done something wrong by following instruction.

To add insult to injury, they couldn’t be bothered to say they were expecting an email in the first place, let alone provide the email address where I was to contact them. They’d already wasted my time, and now they expected me to hunt for their email address.

When I finally did email them, and heard back, again they said, “Wow, this is some great work. It certainly deserves to be heard by thousands of people” before they launched right into their sales pitch.

Wait. I thought you were looking for content… when in fact you were just looking for customers.

Deceptive. Plain and simple.

The “Check Out Our Profiles” Method

If you can’t attract your customers, then go where they are, right? Sounds sensible. But cold calling can be a double-edged sword in the hands of an experienced salesperson, never mind an inexperienced 17-year-old who just discovered TikTok.

Cold calling can be a double-edged sword in the hands of an experienced salesperson, never mind an inexperienced 17-year-old who just discovered TikTok. Click To Tweet

And direct message inboxes have always been akin to a “throw in all the leftovers” stew, where barely literate people exchange come-ons, bots ask you to verify your identity, and “influencers” try to coax you into caring about them, commenting on their latest cat meme, or getting their pseudointellectual pictures-only coffee table book.

Oh, sure. Occasionally, you can expect a genuine message from a real person too. But your mileage will vary, and you might be quite wary of half-wits spamming your inbox by that point.

Well, there’s no elegance to this method, because it goes straight for the kill. Are you ready?

Someone you’ve never interacted with before, out of nowhere, sends a DM and says:

“Hey, your posts are the best things we’ve ever seen in the world! We’d sure like to share your content. Here’s our first profile with over 600,000 followers (@delicious_insta_babes). Here’s another one with over 1 million followers (@guitar_players_rule233). Check them out and let us know!”

You get no points for figuring out that people like Instagram babes or guitar players. You get negative points for assuming my content would fit in with such shlock.

And do I even need to tell you where this train wreck is headed next? That’s right – the moment you express any interest in having your content shared, they roll out their rate sheet like they were in snake oil sales.

The “We’d Love to Share Your Work” Method

This is basically the same thing as the “Check Out Our Profiles” method, except that, as with the “post your links below” method, you might be fooled into believing it’s genuine (but only at first).

I just got a legit looking email today that in effect said:

“Hey, we’ve been noticing your posts on Instagram and it really seems like you know what you’re doing. Do you mind if we share your content on our profiles?”

I mean, there might be some situations where you’d say “no,” like if you were uncomfortable having the art you poured your blood, sweat and tears into shared alongside big breasted bimbos wearing slingshots.

But otherwise, the automatic response is “Sure, I’d love to have my content seen elsewhere. I’d love to grow my following.”

So, I responded, and then I got this response:

“Great! We look forward to sharing your content. It’s $39 for our first package, $69 for our second package, $129 for our third package, and here’s what’s offered…”

Puke.

I thought they cared about my content. Not in lining their pockets with green. There is a difference!

Final Thoughts

I’m tired of the fake “caring.”

I’m tired of a potential opportunity turning into sales pitches when they were never framed as such.

And I’m tired of being treated like I haven’t read the same cereal boxes, and don’t know all the tactics you could possibly throw at me.

I get it. Some people buy into this stuff.

But if you’re going after ambitious people like me – there’s one thing I can guarantee:

We appreciate direct communication. Get to the point. If you’re planning to sell me something, tell me upfront. Don’t waste my time. Pre-qualify me. Ask me if I’m looking for a solution. Ask me if I’ve got the budget before launching into a presentation. That’s what a good salesperson would do.

Pay what you want for the first issue of my digital magazine, The Renegade Musician.

The Renegade Musician

How to Amplify Your Product Sales Fast

How to Amplify Your Product Sales Fast

So, you’ve got a product. And, you’ve sold a few. Now what? Would it be possible to sell more? In this video, we look at how you can amplify your product sales rapidly.

Video Highlights:

  • 00:00 – Getting your offer that converts in front of a broader audience
  • 00:30 – Easy to do, easy not to do
  • 01:08 – Text 10 of your best friends
  • 01:42 – Send 10 personalized emails
  • 02:03 – Notify your family and friends on social media
  • 02:16 – Post about your offer daily on social media
  • 02:35 – Pin a tweet
  • 02:50 – Tweet more frequently
  • 03:28 – Ask your followers to retweet
  • 03:44 – Make a video
  • 04:11 – Create behind-the-scenes content
  • 04:36 – Advertise
  • 05:10 – The Music Entrepreneur Code is waiting for you…

Transcription:

So, you’ve got a product. And, maybe you’ve sold one or two copies or possibly even more. Now, you’re looking to amplify your reach and get it in front of a wider audience to increase your sales.

Well, here’s the good news. If you’ve already sold a copy or two, there’s a good chance you already have an offer that converts. So, now it’s just a matter of reaching more people in your target audience. So, let’s look at how we can do this.

Now, everything I’m sharing here is easy to do, easy not to do. What this means is that none of it is really going to take a lot of time or effort. Where you’re going to be stopped, probably, is just in your own thinking. You may fear reaching out to friends and family. You may fear posting more often to social media than you usually do.

Please don’t be stopped by those things. Because, like I said, if you’ve already made a couple of sales, then chances are, you can probably make more. So, here are some tips.

You can text your best friends. This is easy to do, easy not to do. The main thing that’s going to stop you from doing something like this is fear. But you can do it. So, choose 10 of your best friends, text them and let them know that you have a product for sale. They may not even know yet.

And, the good news too is that you can probably get their help in sharing it with more people that might want your product.

Next. You can send personalized emails. Again, maybe choose 10 people and send them emails. It’s okay if it’s the same people that you texted already. Because not everyone is going to be seeing your offer.

Honestly, the more times you get it in front of people, the better. Just don’t spam anybody.

Notify your family and friends on social media. You can post to your wall. But don’t just do that. Tag people in your post or even send them direct messages. That’s going to be far more effective.

Post about your offer every single day on social media. Do this at least once per day. You should already have a Facebook, Twitter and Instagram account. If you don’t, go and open those accounts now and start posting every single day about your offer.

Next. Pin a tweet. You can take any tweet and pin it to the top of your profile. That way, when people go to your profile, the first thing they see is that specific tweet. Of course, that specific tweet should be about what? Your product!

Tweet more frequently. Once you’ve gotten used to the idea of tweeting daily, you can tweet a lot more often because every tweet is only seen by 5% of your audience. Possibly even less. So, go ahead, try tweeting more often. You could even tweet five times a day, possibly even 10 times a day.

Do mix it up. Don’t share the same message over and over. Share other things besides your product. But make an effort to tweet more frequently. You could easily share about your product three to five times per day.

Ask your followers to retweet. So, who are your biggest followers? Who’s showing an interest in you? Who has a big following? See if you can get them to retweet your pinned tweet and get your product in front of more people.

Make a video. Video content is huge right now. This obviously takes a little bit more effort. You could even make a video like you’re looking at right now though. And, I admit, a lot of time and effort went into this, but it wasn’t the hardest thing to make either. So, it doesn’t matter how simple the video is. You can make something that features your product and share it with your audience.

You can also create behind-the-scenes content. I found this works fairly well when you’re looking to sell something. I’ve published articles on Medium about my book and it’s like a retrospective. Sharing about what went into the book and new things I’ve discovered since writing it. That type of content seems to do well for selling that book.

Finally, you can also advertise. Advertising requires a little bit of money. But practically every social media platform and search engine has advertising options for you. Whether it’s Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and many others.

If you already know who your target audience is, then it’s going to be much easier for you to know who to target in your advertising, so you don’t just waste your advertising budget.

So, when you’re ready, the new book, The Music Entrepreneur Code is waiting for you. Find the link in the description or at the bottom of the page.

165 – How to Start Selling More Music Immediately: Online, Live, Anywhere

165 – How to Start Selling More Music Immediately: Online, Live, Anywhere

Are you stagnating in your efforts to sell more music or merch? Do you wish you could maximize your sales and revenue everywhere you go?

In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, I share a new way of approaching the sale that will result in a breakthrough result.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:34 – What is a distinction?
  • 01:08 – Increase your music sales immediately
  • 01:37 – If you’re interested in X, check out Y
  • 02:29 – X and Y are two different things
  • 03:33 – No pressure in the message
  • 05:31 – You’re not asking for the sale
  • 07:11 – What to do instead
  • 08:14 – Things to look out for
  • 09:11 – How to get paid for your passion

Transcription:

I’ve been quietly developing something I call “distinctions” for the Music Entrepreneur HQ.

A distinction is anything that can replace our assumptions and default way of doing things with a new approach that produces a breakthrough result.

These distinctions are only developed over time, through research, experience, observation, experimentation and testing.

After all, I have “breakthrough result” as a criterion for distinctions, so they don’t come together by accident.

I don’t expect to be sharing new distinctions all the time. These don’t come together in a hurry.

But the distinction I want to share with you today is an important one, as it can help you increase your music sales immediately, whether you’re selling online, at your gigs or elsewhere.

Don’t think too concretely in terms of music sales here, because you may be selling fewer CDs or digital downloads than ever.

This could be applied to merch sales, streams, email signups or otherwise.

Whenever you’re making a call to action, I believe this distinction will make a difference for you.

So, the distinction takes this form:

If you’re interested in X, check out Y.

Now, keep in mind this is the default way we do things.

It works well enough but doesn’t offer a breakthrough result.

We’ve all said statements that take this form.

“If you enjoyed our show, check out our merch table.”

“If you dug our first album, you’ll probably dig our second album too.”

“If you liked this episode of the podcast, check out my books.”

So, why is this bad?

It’s not bad.

Again, as I’ve already said, this is the default way of doing things and we keep doing it because it works just fine.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m not satisfied with “just fine.”

If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got.

But let’s cross-examine why statements that take this form lack power.

1. X and Y are Separate

Ever notice how nobody says:

“If you liked our music, check out our music?”

It’s nonsense, right?

And yet, that form would still be more effective than the one I’ve already introduced.

Why would I say that?

You see, when you gauge interest in X and ask people to check out Y, you’re creating a disconnect, because the two are unrelated.

If people like your live show, does that mean they should like your album too?

You’re rolling the dice here, because the people in attendance might just enjoy concerts.

Maybe they like going for a drink with their friends.

Maybe they like to dance.

Maybe they just need a night out.

There are too many possibilities to mention.

X and Y are separate, so gauging interest in X and trying to sell people on Y is kind of like asking whether they like food and if they’ll check out your new BBQ grill.

I love food and I enjoy the occasional BBQ dishes, but that doesn’t mean I’m a good prospect for a BBQ grill.

I can tell you right now I’m not!

And, the disconnect can extend well beyond that.

2. There’s No Pressure in the Message

Don’t you wish you could speak in a way that results in others acting?

You can!

It’s just that, to this point, you probably haven’t thought about it.

If you’re not talking to cause action, why are you talking?

If you’re not talking to cause action, why are you talking? Click To Tweet

I get that you wouldn’t necessary talk in this manner in everyday ordinary conversations.

But when it comes time to ask for what we need in a meeting, during a phone call or at a show, we often clam up and cower in the corner.

“Oh, I don’t want to offend them” you say to yourself.

Meanwhile, you’re losing whatever power you had in the conversation.

That’s the problem with this form:

If you’re interested in X, check out Y.

There’s no pressure in the message.

“But I don’t want there to be any pressure” you may say.

Well, do you think it’s fair that you’re faced with pressure every single day?

When you choose whether to hit the snooze for your alarm, you’re in the presence of pressure.

When deciding what to have for lunch, you encounter pressure.

When your coworker asks whether you can stay late to help them with their work, you’re faced with pressure.

Contrary to popular belief, “pressure” is not bad.

Contrary to popular belief, pressure is not bad. Click To Tweet

Pressuring, on the other hand, can be a problem.

I would define pressuring as convincing someone of something they don’t already believe in.

That’s called manipulation, and this distinction has nothing to do with manipulation, even if it takes guts to implement it.

But the key here is that if you’re not speaking in such a way that leaves others with the pressure, you’re not making a strong enough statement.

It’s like saying to your crush “I’m kind of into you” without letting them in on your intentions, just in case they reject you.

You’re left with no power, and you’re letting the other person answer how ever they want to answer.

Preferably, when asking for something that’s important to us, we should leave people feeling they need to give us a “yes” or “no” answer.

Ultimately, this is more authentic and genuine than beating around the bush or veiling our requests in wishy-washy language.

3. You’re Not Asking for the Sale

When you say:

If you’re interested in X, check out Y.

You’re not asking for anything.

As I’ve already pointed out, the first half of the statement is just gauging interest.

People are free to answer “yes”, “no”, “maybe”, “kind of” or any shade in between.

They can even respond with something completely irrelevant, like:

“Yeah, your music is kind of interesting. It reminds of this other band. Oh, which reminds me, my friend Sandy told me to tell you that your brother is kind of cute.”

See where that conversation went?

Know it or not, what you’ve been saying this whole time is this:

If you’re interested in X, and only if you’re interested in X, you should check out Y and I’m not going to tell you what to do with Y.

Are you starting to see why this form has limited effectiveness?

You’re not asking for anything.

There’s no pressure in the message, so it doesn’t have the opportunity to go anywhere.

The pressure is not with you and it’s not with the audience either.

It disappeared into thin air.

No wonder it’s “just fine.”

When asking for something, the pressure needs to be left with the person you’re talking to, and you need to be willing to face the answer, regardless of whatever it may be.

But always keep in mind:

If they say “yes”, you’ve gained something you didn’t have before.

If they say “no”, you’re in the same position you were before you asked.

Basically, there’s nothing to lose.

“If you’re interested in X, check out Y” is what we say when we want to skirt the issue completely.

It’s our nonchalant, non-committal way of asking for something so that we don’t feel rejected when someone says “no.”

Once you’ve seen the inauthenticity in the form, you can’t un-see it.

So, What Could We be Doing Instead?

Again, it’s not what we should be doing or ought to be doing instead.

It’s what we could be doing to produce a breakthrough result.

I suggest replacing the form already introduced with this one:

This is X. Will you be buying X?

This statement solves the issues already mentioned.

  1. There’s no separation. You’re not talking about two different things. Your focus is solely and completely on X.
  2. You’re leaving your audience with all the pressure. Now they can’t be wishy-washy about their response. They must answer “yes” or “no”, and if they don’t, you know they’re the ones skirting the issue.
  3. You’re making a genuine and authentic ask. You’re not beating around the bush. You’re being clear and specific about what you want.

This statement could look something like this:

“This is our new album. Will you be buying a copy?”

“This is our latest T-shirt. Will you be purchasing one?”

“This is my book, The New Music Industry. Will you be picking up a copy?”

We still need to be careful when using this form, however, because we can easily slip back into our old way of doing things.

The temptation is to talk about two separate things instead of keeping our focus.

The temptation is to take the pressure off the person you’re talking to instead of leaving it with them.

The temptation is to beat around the bush and not ask for what you want instead of eliciting a binary answer, whatever the outcome may be.

This is what it means to be human.

Regardless of whatever discomfort you might initially experience, stick to the formula as closely as possible:

This is X. Will you be buying a copy of X?

I’ve already been using this new form on Music Entrepreneur HQ and it has resulted in additional book sales.

Give it a try for yourself and see what happens.

I’d love to hear about any breakthrough results you produce.

And, I look forward to answering your comments in the show notes.