Are You Making Half Of Your Potential Income … Or Less?

Posted on October 19, 2010


As an artist selling your wares, it’s plain obvious that getting your latest CD out to fans is going to help make a buck. Here’s a great question … are you putting out all you’ve got?

Some people use the extra couple of tracks they recorded but didn’t include on the CD as a bonus for fans ordering online. “Get the disc now and we’ll include two free tracks” – maybe put together on a printed CDR you did at home with a label made at the local printer. That’s a great idea and its a very small cost to add incentive to your sale; but what about the show you kicked ass at last week? Did you record it?

It doesn’t take a lot to get a good recording if you are well rehearsed. Often a club will offer to record your soundboard for a smooth twenty bucks! Sell two copies and it’s a break-even situation. You can use a couple of fan pictures with credits and fans who attended the big showcase will love the concept of buying a show where they can hear themselves screaming your name.

This reminds me of a CD Charlie Farren put out a number of years back. A couple of the tracks were recorded live at the downstairs venue of the Hard Rock Café in Boston; a show I was sitting at the front table of. I am and have always been a big supporter of Charlie’s career.

When I had my old label, Retrospect Records, I used to sell Charlie’s discs. He and I talked about that particular CD and he told me that he had a hell of a time ducking out the high pitched whistles from me at the end of those songs. We laughed a bit and while he is and always has been grateful that I am always there to support him, he did egg me about being a loud mamma jamma. And he’s right – I am.

So a few cleaned up shows, even as downloads, can be a great seller without overhead. Now, how about those early rehearsals when the songs were coming together. Remember the recordings you kept because the vocals were different, or the solos were ripping, but now there are chorus lines there. If fans have become big supporters of the songs as they are now – wouldn’t they like to hear, or maybe own the songs as they originally were? Clean up those early demos and make them available.
How do they say it on the late night shopping channels … “that’s not all! If you order now – we’ve got a DVD of a great show we did four months ago!” If there was some awesome audience interaction, it might be a great seller. At the end of it you can add a homemade video shot with each of the artists playing in the studio, and some of the footage from the making of the CD!

It sounds, and looks, like a top-notch fan favorite to me.

How about an EP length disc featuring five of your best songs recorded acoustically at the local rehearsal studio. Most of those studios have a mic dropped in the room that you can all sit around. Just hit the record button on the CD recorder and take it home for a little TLC. Throw it into your hard drive and hit it with a couple of pre-sets to reduce the hiss or room noise and WOW – a great seller. It sounds just like that Tesla disc, 5 Man Acoustical Jam! That one sold millions of copies.

The truth be told – doing this for a living his hard work, but getting all you can for the effort you put into it is what making a living is all about! The potential to triple your income off some of the things you may already have recorded lies right before your eyes. Get creative and see what you can put together for the next show, the website or the retail merchandisers who already carry your one-piece catalog. By the end of the month, it might just be a four or five piece catalog that your fans are going to love you for.

It my next article, I’ll discuss some other ways you can show your fans a great deal of appreciation without the sale. Stay tuned!

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