Here's an excerpt from my Music 3.0 Internet Music Guidebook that features 10 sales tips to always keep in mind.
1) Ask for the purchase. Never forget that, even though you’re selling yourself, you’re still in sales.
2) Sell a package. With a ticket you get a CD, with a CD you get a T-shirt, with a T-shirt you get a ticket. The idea is to make each purchase something with added value.
3) Sell merchandise at as an affordable price as possible. Until you’re a star, you should be more concerned about visibility and branding than revenue. If you want to spread the word, price it cheaper.
4) There are other things to sell besides CD’s and T-shirts. Hats, a song book, a tour picture book, beach towels - get creative but choose well. Too many choices may actually reduce sales from buyer confusion. You can now sell a variety of branded merchandise with no upfront costs using CafePress.com or Zazzle.com.
5) Begin promotion as soon as possible. It allows time for the viral buzz (aka free promotion) to build and ensures you’ll get you a larger share of your fan’s discretionary spending.
6) Capture the name, email address and zip code from anyone who makes a purchase, particularly ticket buyers.
7) Always give your customer more than he expected. By giving them something for free that they did not expect, you keep them coming back for more.
8) Give it away and sell it at the same time. In the Music 1.0 to 2.5 days, you used to give away a free track to sell other merchandise like the album. Now, if you give away a track, that track actually sells more.
9) The best items to sell are the ones that are the most scarce. Autographed items, special boxed sets, limited edition vinyl that’s numbered - all these items are more valuable because of their scarcity. If the items are abundant, price them cheaper. If the items are scarce, don’t be afraid to price them higher.
10) Sell your brand. You, the artist, are your own brand. Remember that everything you do sells that brand, even if it doesn’t result in a sale. Just the fact that people are paying attention can result in a sale and revenue down the road.
Check out my Big Picture blog for discussion on common music, engineering and production tips and tricks.