You Should be Building Your Mailing List

Metal Mailbox

Building a fan base is about momentum.  It’s about taking a small buzz from a good show, and using that buzz to build a bigger buzz at your next show.  But most of all, it’s about keeping your existing fans engaged while you earn new fans.  If you aren’t consistently giving your current fans a reason to keep being a fan, then you’re probably going to be faced with fan attrition.  And it’s hard to grow your base when you can’t even keep the fans that you have.  So what should you do?

Be Productive

Give people as many opportunities to connect with you as possible.  Most obviously this includes performing whenever possible.  But more importantly, release a lot of music. You don’t have to be releasing 2 or 3 official albums a year, but you should be releasing at least 2 or 3 albums worth of material through albums, mixtapes, and especially hype tracks.

Though mixtapes are still popular, weekly track releases leading up to an album release are really a more effective strategy.  This is because whereas a mixtape gives you a single opportunity to interact with your fans, weekly releases encourage repeat action.  If you’re releasing music every week, fans can be conditioned to expect and want your music on a regular basis.  By the time you release an album, your fans will have gotten to know and like you and your style.  If they stayed with you as you continued to release hype tracks, chances are they’re going to want your full album.

However, how do you encourage this frenzy to download your weekly hype tracks?

Grow Your Lists

You need to build your email list, your Twitter following, and your Facebook fans.  It is through these mediums that your fans find out where you’re performing and when you are releasing new music.  The goal of every show, besides putting on a good show obviously, should be to get fans to subscribe to you through 1 of those 3 methods.  Focus on one or two (I recommend email and Twitter) and commit to building your base.  At shows, encourage people to follow you on Twitter.  On your website, encourage people to subscribe to your email list.

Twitter

To illustrate the power of a Twitter Following, lets use an example.  Say you’re starting with just 10 fans  (your closest friends) and you have a show coming up.  After getting your friends to tell their friends and doing a little promotion, you have your show and 150 people show up.  You kill your set and everybody loves the performance, but at the end you just thank the crowd and say goodnight.  Even though people may have liked you, you haven’t prompted them to take any action to indicate their like for your performance.  You get no new Twitter followers and no more people subscribed to your email list.  So even though these people liked you and would likely be interested in hearing about your new music, they don’t have any way of hearing about it.  Thus they quickly forget about you and at your next gig you have that same 150 people.

Now compare that scenario with one of someone who is growing their Twitter following.  Say that in the previous story, at the end of your set, you asked the crowd to follow you on Twitter right then and there, or at the very least write down your Twitter username.  Out of those 150 people, 30 people end up following you on Twitter.  Over the next 2 weeks, you release 2 new hype tracks and Tweet to your followers to check them out.  They retweet it to their friends and you get another 20 followers.  Now, the next time you have a show you can not only ask your friends to come and spread the word, you can ask your 50 Twitter followers as well.  Instead of that 150 people, you get 200 people at your next gig and people are coming to see you.

Email

The same principle applies to your website.  If you website has 50 visitors/day but you aren’t capturing your visitors’ email addresses, you’re not going to be able to communicate with those visitors that just come once never to return again.  However if you are building your email list using something like Aweber, maybe 5 or 10 of those 5o visitors may decide to join your email list.  That means you’ll have maybe 50 new people to share your music with every week.  And when the time comes around to release an album, these people will already be familiar with your music, will have already downloaded the hype tracks that you’ve been releasing, and will be motivated buyers.

Feel free to leave your comments below and as long as we’re on the subject, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Nate Dogg Dies of a Stroke

Nate Dogg, famous for his silky smooth, yet undeniably street-worthy hooks has died, apparently of a stroke.  He had suffered from a stroke in 2007 and 2008.  We at GimmeThatTrack are sad to see him go as he was a true talent and a staple of West Coast Music.

Make a Living Selling Your Music

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While we all probably want to make it big in the music business, the simple fact is, most of us won’t.  However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t make a living with your music.  At all times, you should be trying to get your music out there.  But you should establish earnings goals as well.  If you’re making your living with music, even a modest living, that means you’ll be able to focus on and improve your craft without having to worry about getting another job to sustain yourself.  And that, in turn, improves your chances of making it big.  In this article, we discuss what it would take to make $30,000/year selling your music.

Let’s look at the different ways that an artist can make money:

  1. Selling physical albums: This one is obvious, however it is still a viable way to make money.  You can sell physical albums at shows or on the street.  Selling physical albums allows you to keep most of the revenue because you don’t have to pay the vendor.  It costs about $1 to have a professional looking CD pressed so if you sell an album for $10, $9 is profit.
  2. Selling digital albums and singles: You can sell your albums on iTunes, eMusic, or CDBaby.  If you sell your albums in these marketplaces you’ll have to give anywhere between 25 and 33 percent to the vendor.  While this is a significant chunk of your revenue, selling digital music often allows you to reach a wider customer base and this access may make this revenue stream worth pursuing.  Additionally, because the music business is largely singles-based now, it is important to have your songs available a la cart as people often like to pay for only a song or two out of your album.
  3. Doing shows: Starting to do shows is sort of a catch 22.  You have to have a fan base in order for a venue to want you to perform, however you need to be performing to grow your fan base.  While this initial promotion is not going to be discussed in this article, it will be the main topic of a future post.  Smaller venues will often pay $50-$150 bucks or a portion of cover to performing artists.
  4. Streams: Although you won’t make much, your music should be on streaming sites anyway.  Get your music on Pandora, Youtube, etc.  A standard rate for a stream is anywhere from $0.0003 to $0.009.
  5. Selling Merchandise and Clothing: I read a story about the lead singer of the Dresden Dolls who, after Twittering with her 30,000 followers came up with a shirt idea and ended up selling $19,000 worth of shirts in a single day.  While replicating these kinds of numbers is probably not going to happen, there’s no reason why you couldn’t work with your fans and maybe create a monthly shirt.

The goal should not be to make a ton of money in one of these areas, but to make some money in all of them.  If you are going to make $30,000/year, you will be making an average of $2500/month.  You can get to that $2500 in a number of ways.  For example, you could:

  1. sell 300 singles on iTunes and eMusic for about $200
  2. sell 100 albums for around $700
  3. do 6 shows for $900
  4. get 20,000 streams for $100
  5. sell 30 shirts for $600

Play around with those numbers and find the right mix for you.  Then set a goal for what you want to accomplish next month.

Welcome to the New GimmeThatTrack!

I’m sure you’ve noticed the redesign.  After a long time with our original design, it was finally time to update.  This update will allow us to upload new beats much more quickly and easily.  What does that mean for you?  A better browsing experience, a fresh catalog, and more deals.

To celebrate the relaunch, all beats are just $10 for the next week!  After this point the price will go back to $20.

If you have any questions, don’t be afraid to contact us.