Advice from Tim Sweeney

February 2005

By Tim Sweeney

As I talked about in a recent article regarding trimming down your marketing plan to one or two things that you can do right now that will yield the results you want this week or month, your business plan for this year is equally important.

While many artists claim they are only artists and want to focus on that aspect of their careers, it is time that you have to focus on the business side of your art and how by doing this, you will generate more income to make your music your full time focus. With this in mind the first thing you need to learn is what every successful business person already knows, cutting your expenditures may save you some money but it wonít make you profitable in the manner you want it to. To be profitable in the way you are envisioning it right now, your business and marketing plans can not solely focus on selling CDs at shows or online. To be  profitable in this new era of the music business you must develop new product that is in essence ďcustom designedĒ for your audience. To the major labels this means the backing and endorsing of the new Dual Disc format. (CD on one side and DVD on the other). Unfortunately for the major labels, which are imploding at a much faster pace than they thought, this will prove to be another mistake.

This mistake is the same one repeated by thousands of artists every year. The basic problem with the Dual Disc format is the same as having only one CD to sell. Once your audience has bought your one piece of product, what else can you sell them? Nothing! This is why I am not endorsing the Dual Disc format. Instead here is what I am teaching the artists I am working with and those that are coming to the Music Strategies seminars this year (

In lieu of jumping into the Dual Disc format that isnít going to sell the existing CDs you have sitting on the floor in your house, you will be developing a new catalog of product that wonít cost you thousands of dollars to develop. I am teaching artists how to sell their existing and new live CDs along side the DVDs of their live shows they will be videotaping. In short, the new generation of independent artists will have product that is created on demand that will consist of your studio and live CDs and DVDs of your live shows, tours and even mini-documentaries on yourself and your music.

This new product design will allow you to sell specially designed product to your existing fans that come to shows but more importantly, dramatically increase the product sales to those that are not coming and future fans you havenít even met yet. It will also help you get the attention of booking agents, club bookers, festival directors and talent buyers more effectively than a press kit or an EPK.

While the major labels have started their new quest for bands that can sell 150, 000 units of their first label release (while most of their artists canít even sell 10,000 units), most of their artists will fail because of one specific reason. They are so focused on getting radio airplay (which is not generating more CD sales than live shows) that they are not communicating or understanding who their fans are. With that in mind, their careers and their art are lost. 

Your first step in creating this new product is to write out everything you know about your current fans. Their age, gender, what they like and donít, etc. Then take your existing art and develop some custom product that you can burn on demand or make in limit quantities.

If you would like to learn more about what I am teaching the artists I am working with personally, call me directly at 951-303-9506. If you would like to see the new product ideas I have laid out in person and how you can create your own specific new product, than join me in San Francisco in February or San Diego in June, where you can learn how to do this and how it will double your sales and profits.

For more information, check out

I will also be showing you the book and CD combination product that I have been teaching artists for years that has become more popular with major label artists. This format will help you reach ten times more fans and help you get an even greater level of exposure. For more information, please visit

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Copyright © 2005 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 31 Jul 2018 23:38:08 -0400