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Making Music Pay: How Anyone Can Start a Label

Making Music Pay: How Anyone Can Start a Label

Exposure that Pulls – Reprinted from


by Dave Cruz

A (Brief) Lesson in Working Smart 

I used to buy $5 sunglasses from the guy at the flea market.   He wasn't even the guy near the front entrance with a huge booth and three employees.  (They were more expansive and did not have my FAVORITE style.)   After leaving a few expensive pairs here and there – I finally wised up!

Anyway.  This guy was way back in the ghetto section of the flea market – next to the junk sellers.  And he confided in me that he was actually kind of lazy and had been coming to that exact same spot: on SUNDAYS ONLY for the past 15 years.  (They are open on Saturdays too but this was too much sweat for this guy – said he didn't need the money.) 

**His regulars knew WHERE to find him.**

He was making a comfortable part-time income of $600 every week, for just 3-4 hours of time.


Consistency Pays

Most people need to interact with a brand at least 5 times before they develop sufficient confidence and desire: to actually do business with you.

You need consistent points-of-reference so that they can find you, and refer others.  This could simply be:

  • Venue-presence regularity
  • An easy-to-remember brand name
  • Your web address.  (A dot com name based on your unique brand name.)
  • Direct access to purchase and review your product at the customer's convenience.


Strategic Relationships:  Venue Presence Regularity

It's important to develop a positive personal relationship with the management of each venue where you want to perform, and show up to perform at least once a month – if not more frequently.

We suggest making a map of all your venue options within a couple hours driving distance and planning an ongoing tour schedule for the entire region.

For more on how this process can effectively take the place of Radio Airplay in your region please read Building Your Name.


Building Consistent Relationships with Your Audience 

As the public gets to know that you will be there on a regular basis – this should start to actually drive traffic for the venue owner and friends will start telling each other to come hear you.  Once the word-of-mouth machine is in motion, your business will grow and grow.

If a fan falls in love with your music, they will often go all-out to spread the word on their own.  Remember to treat these people with kid gloves!!

Brand Development

Create a total-recall brand name.  It should be unique enough that you can secure the dot COM form of the website name.  ( NOT .net, or .info or .biz)   If people hear your name once, it should stick in their mind forever.  This is crucial for the most effective word of mouth advertising. 

Only use normal spellings of words! 

Have your web URL on every CD you sell, and on a banner at your performances.  

Click here to get your own . com name registered for $15 per year.  You can point this name at any web page of your choice in three easy steps. 



Making the Web Your Friend

By creating a web presence including CD sales you make it easier for other people to find you once they happen to hear one of your songs through a friend.  People who liked your performance can order more material and also purchase copies as gifts. 

By creating a web-based mailing list, you can inform your audience when you will be performing in their area next.  This adds to the crowd (and revenue) at the venues.  It gives the audience time to PLAN on seeing you and invite others. 


Cross Promotion

By networking with other musicians and featuring "quest appearance tracks" on each other's albums it helps everyone involved to improve their recognition.  

Touring together also helps add to the performance value by featuring more than one entertainer per show.   In this manner, the more established acts can be leveraged to help expose those that are up-and-coming.  By booking together, you automatically open up more performance opportunities since all involved are able to tap into each others network of venue contacts.


Time is Money

You might only have that one opportunity on the phone or in person to make an important connection.  Always have a CD to give away, Color Business Cards and be prepared to take an email address.  You can then email an MP3 link. 

They say: "The early bird gets the worm".   You might want to show up to any meeting PREPARED lugging your own boom-box so you can simply press "play" to show case your demo.  You may only get 3 minutes of attention and they may just throw your CD in the trash without ever listening to it.  This is reality.


Selling Your Music on iTunes

Now you can sell your music on iTunes, Rhapsody, Amazon, Emusic and Napster!  Get started HERE. **BONUS** Includes UPC retail bar codes for your albums.

If you will read our analysis called Your Own CD Factory, you will start to understand just how lucrative this little venture can become.

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