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10 Creative Strategies to Turn Your Album into a Money-Maker



Streaming alone won’t cut it for seasoned indie artists and their labels. To build a sustainable income, you need more revenue streams.

  • Streaming is just the start

  • T-shirts are a given, but you need more options

  • Plus, you need a fanbase ready to buy

The problem is, this isn't easy. That’s why you might feel like, “Man, is it even worth it sometimes?” All you need is a mix of ideas and strategy. Today, I’m covering the ideas.


Streaming Release

Streaming your albums provides revenue, but it’s minimal in the beginning. You receive:

  1. Sound Recording revenue

  2. Performance Revenue

  3. Mechanical royalty revenue


Pay What You Want, Proud to Pay, Name Your Price

Set your minimum threshold and let the fans take care of the rest! This will increase your cash flow with true fans and show you how close you are to the 1,000 true fans metric.


Vinyl, CDs, and Cassette Tapes

Take your pick. Though I wouldn't sell any of these until I know I have a fanbase that will purchase the actual product. These can yield you a profit margin of 20% or more.


T-shirts, Hoodies, or Sweatshirts

These classic merch items never go out of style and people always want them. Just remember that your logo design must be dope for people to buy and feel cool wearing it. The merch should make them want to wear it over another brand they could buy in a store.


Framed Handwritten Lyric Sheets

Fans never know if the lyrics are handwritten in real-time or re-written. It’s the fact that you wrote it that matters. Put some scribbles, coffee stains, and scratch out some stuff to make it look real. This is a hot $100-$1000 item if you’re in the 100k follower club and up!


Print-on-Demand Posters

This is an inexpensive item that sells as long as the poster is dope!


In-Studio Virtual Live Masterclass and Q&A

You can explain how you made the album, fly in your producers and engineers, or have them video call in to give the fans an immersive experience on what it took to make the album.


Resell the Masterclass at a Premium

The in-studio masterclass will only host a few students, but you can resell the footage as a course to add more cash flow to your monthly revenue.



In-Person Meet and Greets

Meet and greets are done after concerts or before them, but you can remove the concert aspect to have a longer session with your fans.


A Book Version of the Album

The book would contain stories of why and how you made the album or each song, lyric sheets, and never-before-seen photos. An ebook version distributed to Audible and Amazon would make it even more inexpensive. You could get a college journalist to write the story format for you.


Some of These Clearly Wouldn’t Work with New Artists, Right?

Yes, but you’ve got to start somewhere. I would suggest streaming and print-on-demand posters and shirts. Then I would move into the more expansive options.


But I’d Need a Real Team to Do This!

True indeed, but what you really need is thorough planning.


When Should I Try to Do Some of the More Advanced Ones?

You’ll know when your fanbase starts to care based on how involved you are with them. Sometimes it is a feeling of knowing they are ready.



Check This Out!

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Implementing These at the Right Time

  1. Will yield you a lot of cash

  2. Empower your team

  3. Allow you to do it all over again!


Implementing These at the Wrong Time

This will cause you to lose a lot of:

  1. Time

  2. Cash

  3. Energy

  4. Team members

If you have no fans, stick to the rivers and lakes that you’re used to. If nobody wants half of this stuff from you, it's because your audience isn’t big enough, or you need to engage with your audience quite a bit more.


Conclusion

If you were struggling with:

  1. Limited income streams

  2. Feeling undervalued in the music industry

  3. Uncertainty about how to monetize your albums

You now have the means to connect with your fans on a deeper level and monetize effectively to not only transform your income but transform how you run your business.

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