Let me start by disclaiming my contradicting title. This is not a "how-to" on selling merchandise. Instead, I am going to expound on a view of how products are sold, which can also apply to how to market your music and how to market your art. A theory, if you will.
A close friend of mine once told me that he doesn't believe there is a such thing as a "product". We are not selling music, art, and often times, our talent is not even up for much consideration in the store front. Instead, we only sell people.
What the Traveling Salesman Can Teach You About How to Market Your Music & Art
Have you ever made a purchase from a traveling sales man? There's no shame in this. If you have, you are typically the type of person that is more inclined to believe in peoples efforts.
Typically, traveling salesman push a product that has a wide variety of competitors on the market. Because they went out of their way to approach your door and see how your day was going, these people are more likely to purchase their product. Not because they need it, want it, or have any use for it whatsoever. Simply because of the salesman's effort to place themselves in that customers life.
In theory we all fall into this category. When we are purchasing a product from an artist, we are making an attempt to buy a piece of that person. We later find comfort in our decision by justifying the product's use.
Think about this. When you purchase products from designers such as Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton, and Kate Spade, what are you actually looking for? Did you want a certain product that these manufacturers just so happened to sell? Or did you simply want the product because they were selling.
Why? Possibly, so you could have the opportunity to represent each one of the designers while also being comforted by that fact that the product is also something you could use. I sound like I'm judging, but I'm not.
A 'How to Market Your Music' Lesson from Tekashi69
I was sitting in a restaurant earlier this week when my eyes caught a glimpse of color on a television to my left. As I studied what the gossip network, whose name I honestly cannot recall, I was baffled as they were discussing an interview that had taken place between radio personality, Charlamagne tha God and an upcoming rapper by the name of Tekashi69.
Yes, it is pronounced just as it's written, numbers and all. Tekashi69 is an american rapper who has really taken branding into his own hands. He presents himself with long rainbow dyed hair, as well as rainbow mouth grills only to accent the tattoos on his face and his often shirtless appearance.
Here's my first question...from my description, do you think you would like his music? My second, are you curious enough to do your own research?
Maybe not to you personally, but Tekashi69's appearance could come off taboo to majority of society, but I feel like that's his gimmick. I've listened to his music. All I can say is, don't. Although, this didn't stop over 500,000 copies of one of his most recent singles being sold and going gold.
At that point I remembered my friends statement, there is no such thing as a product. So, maybe those 500,000 copies are no different from the vacuum cleaners those traveling salesmen sell. They both suck. Just kidding.
In the sense that the product itself is irrelevant, and instead, we are trying to sell the salesman. This may just be the secret on how to market your or how to market your art successfully.
Do you agree with my friend's theory? Do you genuinely buy products regardless of who they represent? Leave a comment below.