Bob Baker's

Marketing tips and self-promotion ideas for songwriters, musicians, bands and small record labels ... since 1995

October 12, 2004 - Vol. 10, Issue 21

In This Issue:

  • Vote for Your Favorite Buzz Factor Delivery Method
  • How to Promote & Sell Your Music on the Internet
  • Are Your Music Sales and Marketing Backwards?
  • What They're Saying About ...


    Whew! I don't know about you, but this fall is off to a fast start for me. Busy, busy, busy. But in a good way. Lots to cover in this issue. I need your help with a new online poll, there's a brand-new report to help you promote your music online, and an eye-opening look at sales and marketing. So let's get to it.

    Vote for Your Favorite Buzz Factor Delivery Method

    Please take a moment and let me know how you'd prefer to receive future issues of this Buzz Factor e-zine. I recently switched from a text-only format to a more colorful HTML e-mail version. But there's a third option I'm considering that may help increase the number of issues that are actually delivered to your Inbox.

    Since I aim to please, I want your input. Visit this page and cast your vote:

    It will literally take about five seconds. Thanks!

    How to Promote & Sell Your Music on the Internet

    Did you know that $1.6 billion in revenue was generated online last year from music-related sales?

    Did you know that the number of Internet users worldwide is expected to exceed 1 billion people in 2005? (That's right. Billion with a B.)

    If you're not making the most of the Internet to promote and sell your music, you're missing out. That's why I just released a new special report called "50 Simple Things You Can Do to Promote & Sell Your Music on the Internet."

    As a Buzz Factor subscriber, you're one of the first people to find out about this new title. Take a closer look at

    To honor the release of this new Internet marketing report, I'm giving you this short list of seven cool places where you can sell your CDs online:

    CD Baby
    The #1 indie music sales site in the world. This should go without saying. If you have a CD available, you need to have it listed here.
    Submission info:

    Gimme Music
    Main site:
    Submission info:

    Audio Lunchbox
    Main site:
    Submission info:

    Music Fist
    Main site:
    Submission info:

    Gremlin UK
    Main site:
    Submission info:

    Buy Indie Music
    Main site:
    Submission info:

    Princeton Record Exchange
    Main site:
    Submission info:

    I hope this list proves helpful. And if you want a lot more links, tips, tricks and online music promotion ideas, take a look at my new special report at

    Are Your Music Sales and Marketing Backwards?

    by Bob Baker

    (Here's another article from the Buzz Factor archives that's worth repeating.)

    When you think of well-known twosomes, many names come to mind: Simon and Garfunkel. Jan and Dean. Sonny and Cher. There are also a plethora of other well-worn word parings: Ups and downs. This and that. Yin and yang.

    Then there's sales and marketing.

    If you're one of the many music people who pays lip service to "sales and marketing," I'll bet your sales figures are far below what you'd like them to be. How do I know? Because you have the whole thing backwards.

    Stop talking about "sales and marketing" and start arranging these two important activities in their proper order: marketing and sales. Marketing comes first. Sales efforts follow to complete the one-two punch. If you attempt to do sales before you've properly done the marketing, you'll come up short. If you choose to focus on one activity but not the other, you also lose in the long run.

    To succeed financially in the music business, both marketing and sales must take place. And take place in that order.

    While flipping through cable TV channels recently, I caught one of those watch-TV-at-home college courses. Business was the topic. The announcer made this simple but profound statement: "Marketing is creating interest. Sales is closing the deal." Nine simple words that get right to the core of what marketing and sales are all about.

    Far too often I see examples of bands and record labels who fail to use both sides of this success equation. For instance, the band that gets lots of coverage in the media, but neglects to adaquately make people aware that it has CDs available for sale. Or the lead singer who finally got her band in front of a large crowd at a benefit show, but thought she would appear too "greedy" to really push her band's merchandise sales.

    These musicians were creating interest by getting their music into the public eye and ear. But they didn't follow up and pave the way for consumers to turn that interest into money spent.

    I also see countless examples of people asking for the sale before they've taken any steps to generate interest. Like the band leader who demands a paid gig at a club before he's even demonstrated to the bar manager why his band deserves to be paid. Or the acoustic duo that puts together a flier with the name of their act, dates and times of performance, location and admission price, but leaves out the most important detail of all: why music fans should bother attending.

    Before you can ask people to fork over their cash (sales), you must create awareness and interest in the creative product or service you supply. If you work hard to generate attention and curiousity (marketing), you're selling yourself short by not then asking for the sale and giving people inspiring offers to spend their money on you.

    This same two-part philosophy also applies to getting media attention. But instead of asking for a sale, you're asking for the exposure the media outlet can give you.

    For instance, when I used to publish my music magazine, I would at times get promo packages and press releases that caught my eye. Rarely did anyone follow up on these mailings with a phone call. Then there were misguided band members who called my office out of the blue and were perplexed that I didn't agree to do a feature on them right away. Of course, I had not heard of them and they had never sent me anything on their band to help stir up interest ahead of time.

    The lonely minority of bands who did a decent job of generating interest ahead of time, and then followed that effort with a phone call to ask for the sale (the free press), were often rewarded. They were smart enough to understand the power of the one-two punch.

    Make sure your marketing and sales are in the proper order. Then spend an equal amount of time and energy on each area. Only then will you receive the rewards you so richly deserve with your music.

    Links to Recent Issues

    In case you missed the last couple of issues, you can catch them online ...

    Read the Sept 27 issue here.

    Read the Sept 8 issue here.

    What They're Saying About ...

    "One of the things I love about Bob is his ability to break complicated subjects down into bite-size pieces that are easy to grasp. What Every Musician Should Know About Self-Promotion is the kind of thing you'll want to listen to with a pen and pad in hand, because the ideas you'll get from it could literally be life-changing." -David Hooper,

    That's it for this issue.
    Now get out there and promote yourself!


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