The lack of CD sales is probably one of the biggest concerns that artists have when they call me for consulting. Thousands of artists have discovered that simply putting their CDs in record stores either through consignment or distribution doesn't mean sales. Over the years independent and major label artists believed that if their CDs were in key independent and major record stores, they would see guaranteed sales because music fans could easily buy them. This belief carried over to online sites that promised thousands to even millions of customers. Unfortunately for the artists, they discovered once again that simply having their CDs at these sites didn't mean the large quantity of sales that the online sites promised.
This means instead of relying on outdated beliefs or the false promises of others, you need to start focusing on three basic ways to start generating CD sales in record stores.
While many artists have talked and worked with the consignment managers at various record stores, they have not spent any time with the rest of the staff. The sales staff of the record store is one of the most important resources because they know where their customers come from and what motivates them to come into the store and buy a particular CD. Spend some time introducing yourself to the staff. Give them a CD sampler of your music and learn from them where their customers live and hang out. What radio stations they listen to, what clubs they go to, etc.
Everyone is looking for new places to play. Why not do an in-store performance where your new audience can buy your CD right then? Out of the thousands of record stores in the country, a good percentage of them would like to have artists like you perform in their store. Next time you are working out a consignment deal or putting more stock in your local record store, ask them what you need to do to play there.
As you know, simply having your CDs in a record store like online sites doesn't generate sales. While performing in the record store will generate some CD sales, you will need to do more. This means you have to hit the streets! You will need to promote your shows to new people in person, not just hit your mailing list again. You will need to build relationships with new people. In your conversations with new fans and in the promotional materials you give them, you need to let them know where to buy your CDs.
To learn more ways of selling your CDs, order a copy of my new audio book, "Tim Sweeney's Guide To Releasing Independent Records Part 2" through my web site. If you want me to help you develop your own personalized strategy, join me at Artist Strategies,
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".