Alternative Marketing & Thinking

It's always interesting when I am giving workshops around the country and artists come to me and tell me about their "new" marketing ideas. The funny part is that when they tell me their "new" idea, it's usually something I have been preaching and using on my developing artists for the last 18 years.

Since I ran across an example of this last night, I thought I would share with you a philosophy I have been teaching indie and major labels artists for years. I call it "Alternative Thinking." Here's how it works.

Most artists careers become limited or stagnate because they rely too heavily on the commercial or college radio stations to play their music and the press to write about them to can gain exposure. The problem for the artists start when the radio and press either do not have a current interest or no longer have any future interest in them. Without "Alternative Thinking", most artists usually get dropped from their labels and or, get discouraged from putting out more CDs and playing shows.

Here's an example of where you can use "Alternative Thinking" to solve the problem of commercial radio stations not being interested in playing your CD.

First, identify the station in the market that you believe should be playing your CD. Second, after you have sent in your CD and they rejected you, listen to that station faithfully and review their web site to find out when and where, they will be having their "free events." (i.e. Those events where they are at the mall or the beach or at a park, etc., and they are handing out free concert tickets, tshirts, station junk, etc.) Third, show up with back packs full of free sample CDs or tapes (with your contact and web site info on them and when and where you are playing next) and hand them out to everyone there. Tell the people it is an "advance" sample of your new CD and the station will probably be playing it in the next month. Right now, you are there to hand out these free samples copies to let people know about when the CD is coming out or where you will be playing next.

Now let's stop and think for a minute! You want radio airplay to capture the attention of that station's fanatical fans becuase they buy CDs, go to shows and spread the word of mouth about a new artists, right? Since the station won't play your songs but they are "kind enough" to gather the fanatical fans for you at a event, why not take advantage of their generosity. Go meet the fans directly, that you wanted the station's airplay to put you in touch with in the first place! After all, don't fanatical fans want to "meet the artists" and "bond" with them?

Think "Alternatively" and you will see that you are selling more CDs with a bigger buzz around town. **If you want more "Alternative Thoughts" about how to sell more CDs and create more attention for your music, check out a copy of "The Living Room Sessions" by yours truly, Tim Sweeney.

Author Tim Sweeney is head of Tim Sweeney & Associates, who are entering their 18th year of being, "the only true artist development company in the world."

Tim is one of the music industry's most sought after experts and consultants, and has written several influential books including "Tim Sweeney's Guide To Releasing Independent Records".

Tim Sweeney