Independent Records
Independent Records
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Independent Records

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Word of Mouth
By Jeffrey P. Fisher

Many people cite "word of mouth" as the main way they get business. This magical, mystical promotional strategy seems to bring in sales with little or no effort. People just contact you or buy your stuff with little intervention on your part.

Well, that's not entirely true. Real, effective word of mouth needs nurturing to work properly. Your effectiveness will come partly from reputation and partly from perspiration.

Earning a reputation helps you perpetuate your word of mouth. People who are satisfied with what you did in the past will likely purchase from you again. For example, they liked your last album, they'll probably buy your next CD, too. With that rep in hand, it's time to push it a little harder by encouraging satisfied customers to spread the word FOR you. Here's how to get your word of mouth work working:

* First, decide what it is you need to promote. Get specific. Are you looking to land gigs playing, sell more CDs, or something else?

* Next, make a detailed list of all the people you know. Include past clients, prospects who never bought anything, relatives, media contacts, business associates, and so forth. Put anybody who knows your work and reputation on this list.

* Develop a promotion package that highlights what you need to promote. Include all the appropriate and suitable materials such as brochure, flyer, business card, CD -- whatever makes sense for you. Also, make sure your complete contact information is on everything that leaves your office/studio.

* Send this promotional material to each and every person on your list. Make sure in the cover letter you do NOT ask for their business. Instead, you want them to pass this information on to someone they know who would be a candidate for your work. Again, don't ask them for business. Ask them for their help letting other people know about you and how they can benefit from the music products and services that you offer.

Of course, you can bypass this step and simply ask your clients for referrals to other people, too.

* Make sure you thank them for helping you spread the word.

* Additionally, you might consider offering incentives to those who help. Either give them a discount toward a future purchase or kick back a commission for a sale that comes as a direct result of their recommendation.

Word of mouth can be a highly effective promotional tool. But only when you start spreading the word first.

Jeffrey P. Fisher is the author of four best-selling music books: "Moneymaking Music," "Ruthless Self-Promotion in the Music Industry," "Profiting From Your Music and Sound Project Studio," and "How to Make Money Scoring Soundtracks and Jingles." Get more information on his "Moneymaking Music" Web site at

Also, you should subscribe to Jeffrey's FREE "Moneymaking Music Tip of the Week" by sending an e-mail to

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