I am at the point in this 9 part exercise where it truly becomes evident that I am a business. This is where I figure out how to bring in a consistent revenue stream that can support my activities as a songwriter and musician. I am creating the funnel that draws in customers and entices them to pay more and more for my products.
Everything up to now has been laying the foundation for the store that I am building. I have my basic product which are my songs and live gigs. I have interaction with my customers through my newsletter and social media. I am collecting information on my customers so that I can better serve them. And I am scheduling time to keep this cycle going so that it all grows. Watering the garden.
Now I need to lure the customer in further and get them to send me money consistently and at higher levels of pricing. the basic product is what it is, but it can be packaged in different ways so as to make it seem more valuable to the consumer. The idea behind getting fans to pay more is to think of it as a funnel where the least expensive items that would be appealing to the widest demographic is at the top. As you go deeper into the funnel to the tightest point, the products get more expensive and the number of fans who would buy at that level becomes more exclusive.
As I read through this chapter I took a look at my website to see what exists in terms of the funnel. At this time I really only have two levels. Level 1, the widest, consists of free mp3s in exchange for an email address. Level 2 is the purchase of my CDs. Very basic and very obvious. I’m sure that this is what a lot of artists have on their sites: here’s a taste for some information and then you can go buy the whole CD. See you at a show! If any other business were to operate like that they’d go out of business in a week.
I need to think outside of the basic “Buy My Music” paradigm and brainstorm other products and other ways of packaging my basic product. Here’s what I came up with:
- lyrics on t-shirts
- lyrics on mugs
- personalized songs
- Gift-a-Song: songs for your friends and family as a gift
- Gift-a-Gig: concert for a friend
- USB flash drive with all my music and videos
- stickers with my CD cover and info
- songs as themes for your business, podcast – commercial
- mp3s, CDs
Here’s a possible T-Shirt idea with a song lyric:
The take-away from this chapter is that there is more to the music that I write than just the obvious application of recording it and plying it live. Bob Baker often says that we as musicians can learn an awful lot from studying how other businesses market their products. He also says you can’t really have ‘sales’ until you’ve had ‘marketing’.
The other aspect that I am going to have to convince myself of is that this is a viable way to think about my music. As I have had to do constantly over the course of these 9 weeks, I have to convince myself that I am an entrepreneur.
The next thing I need to think about is which of these packaging items I think will work and then where do they fit on the funnel. Here’s what I think it may look like (a first draft):
I did not include the prices since I’m not quite sure what those prices would be at this point, but they would be priced according to the depth of the funnel.
I found this chapter enlightening. This is the ‘think-out-of-the-box’ type of thing that really makes money for an artist and also spreads the product around. This is also something that takes time to develop and does not just happen overnight. When I look at the things I can develop, I may not have that deep of a funnel as compared to other artists. But it all starts with a taste, the ‘pink spoon’ from the ice-cream store an then that leads to an ever more evolving relationship with your fans.