The Biggest Mistake Musicians Make

I was talking with a friend the other day who is in the process of recording his first CD. Obviously he is very excited about finishing it up and getting it out on the market.

If you’re in the process of producing your first CD, or if you already have one out, I’m sure you can relate to this.

When I asked him how many CDs he was going to have made, I was kind of shocked. He said he was going to have 10,000 CDs made.

Wow. Now, that’s confidence. Confidence mixed with a bit of naivete, I think, but that’s okay.

Herein, though, lies what I think is the biggest mistake musicians make in marketing themselves. It’s a mistake, simply because they have not been taught proper marketing and what the most valuable asset they possess is.

Now, I’m not talking about you personally. Obviously you are the product, and you are the most valuable asset you have when it comes to marketing yourself. What I am talking about is the next most valuable asset.

Hint: It’s not having a CD. When it comes to CDs, I see them as a necessary evil. They’re expensive to produce. They’re wasteful on the environment. They take time to deliver. They take up space in your home if you don’t sell them.

My friend lives in an apartment…and he’s married. You think his wife is going to let him store 10,000 CDs in the apartment? Maybe they can make a kitchen table out of them, or a coffee table, or put their mattress on them! I don’t think so.

Here’s the thing. These days, musicians are funding their own projects…for the most part. It takes a lot of time and a lot of money to produce a CD of exceptional quality. People usually find that out the hard way.

What that leaves them with is this desperation to make the money back, to at least recover the costs that they may have taken out of their savings to produce the CD. Of course they want to see a profit! Can you imagine selling 10,000 CDs for $15 each? Dude, that’s $150,000!!! Awesome! I’d love to have a year like that! Anyone would. Do you know what that would do for your confidence? You know how happy that would make your spouse or your roommate?

So, the biggest mistake…I’ll call them “rookie” musicians make is getting so caught up in trying to sell their CD that they miss the most important thing.

What is the most important thing? Building an email list.

Let’s just say that you do produce 10,000 CDs and sell them all. That’s great, but, what do you do now? You’re not going to be satisfied by making a mere $150,000 in your life. That’s a good year, not a good career.

So, you have to spend money to produce more. Then you have to go back out on tour to promote the CD, or your new CD. That’s crazy. That’s the old way. Thank God there is a new and better way.

“But”, you say, “Yeah, I know that. I know I need to build an email list. I already have one”, or “I definitely plan to have one.”

Let me just say that most of the advice out there currently for how to build an email list and what to do with it is completely useless.

I’m going to be real honest with you right now. I need to go eat lunch, and I’ve spent enough time writing this blog post. But, I won’t leave you in the dark or out in the cold. I’ve written a book that will take it from here. It’s called The Musician’s Guide to Email Marketing – How to Fill Shows and Sell Songs in 3 Clicks. Please, do yourself and your music career a favor and go grab your own copy right now. You and your roommates will be glad you did.


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