What Does It Take To Make The Charts?

Comments: 11

Making the billboard Charts

In Episode #29 of the Music Marketing Manifesto Podcast we’re going to be talking about what it takes to get your music on to the Billboard Charts. Not so much from a numbers perspective (although we will address that as well), but instead we’re going to look at how an independent artist can take sales that are coming in from one’s own website, crowdfunding campaigns, and so forth, and make those sales count towards your Soundscan totals and (with a little luck), one of those much coveted Billboard Chart positions. A process that is not as easy as it might seem if you’re not going through a distributor like CD Baby, or paying the considerably high annual fees that Neilsen requires you to pay if you want to directly report to Soundscan.

We’ll also be catching up with Josh Solomon from the Empty Pockets. Josh is an MMM member that took the strategies he learned in Music Marketing Manifesto, ran with them, and landed 9 Billboard Chart positions (simultaneously) with a two year old album. He was a guest on the podcast last year, and now he’s back to tell us how he’s done with his latest two (completely independent) releases. Spoiler alert… One of them was the 40th Best Selling Album in America!!!

Finally, in this episode I also announced the upcoming release of “Copywriting For Musicians”, an advanced marketing workshop that I’ll be kicking off within the next few weeks. This program will NOT be for musicians who are new to marketing, but for those who have been with me for any length of time, you know how important copywriting is. This entire workshop will be dedicated to learning the art of using words to sell music. That basically means writing more effective ads, landing pages, website copy, and emails. So keep an eye on your inbox for more info about that.  If you have any questions about the workshop just leave them below in the comments.

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  • Wolf R. says:

    I’d like to know how the woman in the recording raised the initial $20,000 thru kickstarter ?? I’m wondering did she use MMM or did she already have a following before starting MMM?

    • John Oszajca says:

      Hi Wolf,

      I couldn’t speak for the caller, though it sounds like she raised the funds before MMM. but raising amounts like that with the MMM approach are very doable and not uncommon. Something that is often overlooked when it comes to crowd funding is that sites like Kickstarter are really just sales platforms. If you have the attention of an audience and ask them to spend money with you on something they are genuinely interested in, they will. How much you raise will be in proportion to the size of your audience. MMM teaches you how to build that audience without necessarily touring.

  • Andre says:

    Hi John, great podcast by the way.. I have a question for you though. What are the negatives of being on the charts? And are their any examples of artist who were negatively affected?

    • John Oszajca says:

      Thanks Andre,

      There aren’t really many negatives. The only thing that I can see from my perspective is that with a direct to fan model we are not really focused on selling tens of thousands of albums. When you are making 100% of the profit, even 1000 albums a year can be a decent chunk of revenue. It can be a substantial amount of revenue when you factor in upsells, additional promotions, and shows. Many artists can make a great living this way. But if you were to look at the soundscan totals alone, that same album would look like a flop compared to what is expected of a mainstream release. This could theoretically hurt you if you were trying to gain the attention of the mainstream industry for a possible record deal, or partnership of some sort. That’s a pretty minor concern, but I have seen things like that happen.

  • Sean stevens says:

    This another great podcast! Hi john i came across a site that seems pretty useful when it comes to charting called musicglue allot of cool features that might be useful for your followers. I think it is a useful tool that works well with MMM. Love to hear your thoughts.

    Thanks keep up the good work!

    • John Oszajca says:

      Thanks Sean,

      I haven’t personally used the platform but I personally don’t like the idea of paying 10% per transaction. That’s really high compared to the 3% or less with a normal processor or even Paypal. It also looks more like an ecommerce solution than the kind of direct to fan funnel tool that I am focused on. I prefer systems that give me more control over the customer flow. But if you can make it work for you, that’s all that matters. There are many ways to make a living from one’s music.

  • Eric Butters says:

    I’ve been wondering about this for years!

    I’m also really looking forward to the new workshop you mentioned. Count me in for sure.

    Thanks John!

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