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Advice > Articles > Price It For Free?

Price It For Free?


The Good News

While it would certainly be nice to break-even or to make a few bucks on the sale of your products, there will be times when independent artists must simply price it for free. While taking an initial loss, this promotional strategy is based on the idea that the easier it is for people to experience your company’s offerings, and the more that people start to talk about your offerings, the sooner that people will want to pay for all of your company’s offerings (whether that be your music, concerts, T-shirts, and more).


The Bad News

However, pricing for free can also have a negative effect. Remember that the price of your products and services also creates a perception of value. For one thing, unfamiliar or unknown products are often validated by their price. If you layout your record, for instance, on your merch table with a sign that says “take one, it’s free,” you just might find that some people will view your offerings as disposable. That’s when you may start seeing your product laying out on the sidewalk after your show or piled up in the trash can in the ally. In this case, you’ve accomplished nothing. 


The Reality 

Chris Anderson (author of the book Free) sees it like this: “Sooner or later every company is going to have to figure out how to use free or compete with free, one way or another.” So with this in mind, when using a free strategy, be sure to always plug your products’ value (the expensive studio and producer you used), explain your true business intentions (that the price is only a “new artist price” intended to stimulate interest), and ask for an email address and permission to follow up and get feedback (to show how important and valuable your products and services really are to you). All this can help ensure that using a “price it for free” strategy will one day pay off big.


Stealing: Perhaps a Temporary Bliss For The Newcomer?

As for people who are going to steal you're music anyway, well this is a different subject altogether. But one thing is for sure, in the beginning of your career when you're just starting out, it just might be one of the best things that could happen to you—that is, for the time being, anyway. 




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Your career is only worth as much as you’re willing to invest into yourself.


Warning: This material is copyright registered by Bobby Borg ©2006, 2008, 2012. All rights reserved. If you copy material from this web site, for use in any printed or electronic media, please ask permission of Bobby Borg first by email All credits, links to, and copyright notices must be posted.


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