Derek Sivers

Entrepreneur, programmer, avid student of life. I make useful things, and share what I learn.

Test. Improve. Perfect. Announce.

In this indie music world, the best thing you can do is think in terms of “Test Marketing.”

This is what food companies do before they release a new product. They release it just in Denver (for example), and see what people think of it there. They get feedback. They try a different name. They try an improved flavor, based on complaints or compliments. They try a different ad campaign. They see what works. Constantly improving.

When it's a huge success in Denver, they know they're on to something good. They can now release it in Portland, Dallas, and Pittsburgh. Do the same thing.

When everyone seems to like it, they get the financial backing to “roll it out” and confidently spend a ton of money to distribute it around the whole country, or the whole world. The people investing money into it are confident, because it was a huge success in all the test markets.

Think of what you're doing with your music as test marketing.

When you're a huge success on a lower level, or in a small area, THEN you can go to the big companies and ask for financial or resource help to “roll it out” to the country or world.

Then they'll feel confident that their big money is being well invested.

Test. Improve. Perfect. Announce.