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Setting Up Shop: How to Create an Online Store for Your Music

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As an indie musician selling your music, your number-one goal should be to become capable of selling your music and merch right from your own website. For sure, online stores like iTunes are an important part of your product mix, but a website gives you a few added benefits.

3 Things Your Fans Will Gladly Give You Money For

Those lanyards are like gold to your superfans. (Image via Shutterstock)

Let’s talk about superfans. Most artists have that small segment of fans who are crazy about them and their music, but they don’t give their superfans the opportunity to support them on the level they want.

Let me explain. Think of your all-time favorite artist  the one that you always catch when they’re touring through town and always buy their albums. Chances are you’re probably willing to spend a lot of money on that artist. But  and here’s the real problem  for most artists, fans are only given the chance to spend $10 on an album or maybe $40 on some merch. This is fine for the casual fans, but true superfans would totally spend more on their favorite artists  if they’re given the chance.

In a sense, you’re essentially capping off your own earning potential by only allowing your fans to spend $10–$40. You can’t blame your fans for not spending enough money on your music if you’re not giving them the opportunity.

The Sneaky Way to Promote Your Music Without Actually Talking About Your Music

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I know it sounds completely counterintuitive to promote your music and raise awareness for yourself as an artist without actually talking about your music – or your music career, for that matter. But it’s being done more and more and has become a really powerful way to make a name for yourself by bypassing the crowded indie-musician market.

Let me explain. The key is to establish yourself as an expert in some related topic like gear, self-releasing music, or songwriting. It’s about sharing valuable information on a topic you have a lot of experience in to draw potential fans. They find you by searching for “how to write a song,” or “how to book your own gigs,” or “guitar pedal review,” and discover your music through that connection.

Musicians: Use This Easy Trick to Get the Most Out of Your Email List

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Okay, so you have an email list – great! When used properly, email is one of the best ways to both increase music sales and develop a stronger relationship with your fanbase. You’re going straight to people’s inboxes without having to jump through the various hoops the crowded social media platforms present.

But going direct poses a few problems. An email address is a much more personal form of communication. People don’t just give their email address up to anyone. They're trusting that you'll send them valuable and interesting information - and if you abuse that trust, you’re getting an unsubscribe. This fear of unsubscribes is probably one of the biggest factors that keep musicians away from diving into email marketing.

So how do you get past this and ensure you’re always sending your fans valuable and relevant content? The first step is organizing your list.

Musicians: 7 Best Practices for Instagram Hashtags You Need to Know

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Hashtags are much more relevant on Instagram than other social media sites like Facebook, so if you’re actively using Instagram to connect with your fans, it really pays to understand the best practices and hone your hashtag strategy.

Unlike most other social platforms where hashtags serve as a sort of conversation method, Instagram users regularly use hashtags to find new people to follow and images to like. Instagram’s Explore page also bases its results on the hashtags you use and engage with most often. In short, hashtags on Instagram equal discovery.

So, to help you power-drive your growth on Instagram, I’ve rounded up a few hashtag best practices.