Marketing the Shirt Off Your Back

Music Marketing dot Com have dropped a line about this guy’s not so novel scheme of selling space on his blog (and his shirt) for a given price every day. You send him a t-shirt, he wears it, and promotes your product for a day on his blog, with the first of Jan costing a dollar, and the 31st of Dec costing $365 ($66,795 in case you’re wondering). While I don’t recommend selling out in quite such a flagrant manner to any aspiring musicians, it does underline the power of brand presence. If you’re going to go to the trouble of organising a tour, getting yourself in front of thousands of people and making a spectacle of yourself, then you might as well take an appropriate sponsor along for the ride, and charge them for the privilege. Unless the idea completely repels you find someone who will benefit from being associated with your music (it could even be a charity if you’re concerned about the whole corporate whore thing) and get them to give you some shirts to wear and stickers for the van. They might even pay for that video camera you’ve been meaning to buy, so that you can get your performance and their logo up on youtube; it needn’t be a blatant thing – get your mate’s t-shirt printing company, or someone else local who has a real connection with your band to help you. Music is a business these days, and business is about relationships – look at sponsorships as a way to build them. This can be a two-way street as well – you can get exposure by them promoting the relationship through their own channels, and maybe even playing at their business events – don’t be afraid to look for ways to grow together with other businesses, especially those close to home or in your area of the market; safety pins and punk music, florists and hippie-folk, brylcreem and Rockabilly…

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