The 10 golden rules of online music sales that every musician should know, and memorize.

1.) It’s not always true what you hear

Taylor Swift, Kanye, and Justin Beiber are not super famous, rich and successful just because of social media, nor because they miraculously drew a crowd of thousands to their homegrown webcast. PR, traditional media, record labels and money were all involved.

2.) Fans will first hear you, like you, then buy you

People hear music, then they like music, then they buy music. It’s the only order it can happen in. If you try to do it in any other sequence, it just won’t work.

3.) Opinion leaders are the people you need

We know the importance of radio and press. There are now new opinion leaders who will tell your story with credibility. You need to find out who they are. Or better yet, become one of them.

4.) Customize your social media and websites

Your website is a direct reflection of yourself. Don’t copy and paste a site from another artist, or try to copy someone else. Do your own thing and create your own image.

5.) Put all your music online

Put everything online. Expand your catalog. You will make more money selling a large number of niche products than you will selling a few hits.
6.) Be on the latest web platforms, communities and more.
Forget being a destination, become an environment. Your website is not a brochure, it’s a place where people gather and connect with you and with each other. Make sure your fans can connect and interlink.

7.) Tell your story!

Your website is not a promotional strategy. Learn how to tell a story, and learn how to tell it in an appropriate fashion for web communication. Think about how that could be translated for both new media and mainstream PR outlets.

8.) Cross-promote

Your online stuff is not a replacement for your offline stuff, and nor does it exist independently of it. Figure out how to make the two genuinely intersect.

9.) Have fewer clicks on your sites

This is especially true if you want somebody to part with their money. If I have to fill in a form, navigate through three layers of menu and then enter a password, I don’t want your music any more.

10.) Be professional at all times

If this is your business, you need to be businesslike. Treat your online profile the same way you would treat any of your business communication.