Recently I was going through my stats for the Music Marketing Manifesto blog and saw something really depressing under “search engine terms”. Take a look at a query that brought someone to my site…
Dude! How much does that suck?
As musicians we all dread that potential “end of the line”, where (God forbid), we decide that we just can’t make the money we need to live the life we want, and we throw in the proverbial towel on our music careers.
But to see it right there like that… Man. This poor guy/gal had presumably decided that their career was over and had turned to the web to find a new way to make an “actual” living. It really struck me. It was like watching someone get hit by a bus in a crosswalk that you had crossed just a few seconds earlier. Okay, perhaps it’s not quite as dramatic as all that, but you catch my drift.
The thing is though, it really doesn’t need to be like that…
I recently had a conversation with a client who had released an independent album and was somewhat disappointed by the results. It was the same story I hear time and time again. She had a few thousand people on her list and hopes of selling nearly as many copies of her album. But when the album dropped, and much to her dismay, instead of selling thousands, she sold just a few hundred. This left her feeling that her chances of success in the music industry were pretty much non-existent.
But when I took a look at her stats I saw just the opposite. She actually converted (the percentage of her list that purchased), at over 5% with no touring, radio, or advertising at all. Most markets consider a 1% – 2% conversion rate to be pretty decent, with something like 10% of what is possible (and that’s very rare). So 5% is really strong and much better than your average business is doing. And we’re talking multi-million dollar corporations that really know their shit.
Nonetheless, she was feeling a little down about her album release and so I took her numbers and did a little extrapolation to show her just how possible it would be for her to put in a little additional effort and achieve her dream of a profitable and sustainable music career.
I thought I’d share those numbers with a little make-shift music business plan that I threw together and show you what you’re realistically looking at.
And remember, ANYONE can do this. It doesn’t matter if you have a track record, whether you tour, whether you are 16 or 60… Anyone who is willing to put in the work can accomplish this.
This involves a little math, so I thought I’d make a quick video to show you the breakdown.
Watch this video breakdown of what it takes to succeed as a musician now…
As I was saying… Dude! Those stats suggest that your chances of success as a new artist are 300% WORSE than getting struck – and KILLED – by lightening. That’s insane!
Meanwhile, making a REAL living as an independent artist can be as simple as driving less than 200 people to your site each day. When you look at it like that, we really have NO excuses for not succeeding as artists. We simply need to adapt to this new music industry, add a few skills to the skill set (or hire someone who has them), and make it happen.
And the model above doesn’t even touch on things like music licensing, traditional touring and additional album releases. All of which can lower that traffic requirement even more.
Needless to say, everyone’s conversion rates are going to be different. Some will be better and some will be worse. But all of those numbers on par with stats that I see EVERY single day using the same strategies found in Music Marketing Manifesto 3.0. I really want everyone to realize that these are real and attainable numbers.
That’s about it. I’m sure I’ll get the usual handful of comments from musicians who insist that I am wrong, that NOTHING works, and that it’s IMPOSSIBLE to succeed as an independent artist (always surprises me how many artists seem to be nihilists). But I’m equally sure that this will cause a few of you to have light-bulb moments and begin to see just how doable this whole thing really is.
So let’r rip guys/gals… Leave me a comment and tell me how wrong I am 🙂