A radically old-school approach to new music promotion yields big results

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Last September, seven days before the release of his debut album Patterns, Irish songwriter Daniel Anderson started to really worry that his new music would “fall silently into the ether with so many other brilliant independent releases.”

He’d hired a publicist, but up until that point had received “little indication that anything substantial was going to happen as a result of his work.”

So Anderson decided to take matters into his own hands — literally. He carried a small stack of vinyl records door-to-door, trying to bring his music to a wider (and random) public. So old-school it’s practically revolutionary!

And it worked (in a promotional sorta way).

Anderson says “as a result I performed on the biggest television show in the country (Ireland) on the day of the release, received blanket radio play and coverage in all the national news and media publications, sold out shows nationwide, and reached number 11 on the official album charts.”

Okay, so maybe it wasn’t JUST the door-to-door salesmanship that yielded these results, but also the fact that his unconventional marketing effort, along with his evident wit and charm, was captured on camera and quickly edited into a professional promo video that got shared all over the place online.

It’s an entertaining video with its own brand of indie music marketing tension and relief. Check it out above.

Besides the few vinyl copies you see Anderson peddling in the video, he moved 400 more 12″ vinyl units in the week of his release, and has since sold 1000 records (to say nothing of his download and streaming activity).

See what you can do on a tight budget with a smart promo campaign? Factor that in with how Anderson built his own studio, and then performed, recorded, and mixed his album entirely himself, and Patterns is the epitome of a DIY music release.

Check out the music on CD Baby today.

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  • Tony Meade

    I have questions… Does he have a job? How did he have time to go door-to-door if he does? If not, where did he get the money to build his studio? Where did he get the money to make a vinyl release (which is really expensive in short runs)?

    I’m not trying to be negative, but this seems really impractical for anyone with a day job and/or adult responsibilities.

    • I think he built that studio on his uncle’s property? At least I recall hearing that. And I’m pretty sure he’s a tradesman and built it himself on the off-hours. But yes, probably not something you could do with a mortgage, kids, etc.

      @ChrisRobley

  • The key takeaway here is that he had an idea to promote his music. He didn’t know where it would lead but he followed it though and now has a lot of coverage all over the place that allows people to discover his music.

    Whether that then helps him to have some kind of measurably improved success isn’t really the point. He couldn’t have had any success if he hadn’t done some kind of promotion. Sop he is ahead of where he would otherwise have been.

    I think it’s a great idea of itself – a way to really communicate with a potential local audience.

    Great job.

  • I had some of the same questions Tony had. Daniel obviously made a significant investment in making this record, between building a studio, buying the gear, pressing the record, hiring a publicist, etc. So, “I had no money” seemed kind of disingenuous. ‘Course maybe he didn’t after all that…

    And while I don’t think I could ever take a door-to-door approach to selling music – just too awkward, I think Daniel’s video and approach shows the VALUE in CREATING AWARENESS among “non-music fans.” Pretty much everyone loves music, but it’s only a relatively small portion of the population that seeks out new music like a music fan does. They take what’s given to them (tv, radio). So our challenge is to find ways to ‘give it to them.’

    (BTW, my music project is called Saturday’s Radio – http://www.saturdaysradio.com)