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An album that sells a million copies in the U.S. is certified platinum. But no band wants to become a “million cellar.” That’s cellar with a “c.” It’s an ominous term in the music business because what it means is the band has a million copies of an album that never sold sitting in its cellar.

Often, it’s the quality of music that relegates a band to the dubious distinction of “a million cellar.” Sometimes, though, it’s a promotional problem.  I know many musicians who’ve spent time and money on cutting an album without considering how they were going to promote it. As a consequence, millions of CDs have ended up in the cellar, unheard by millions of ears.

In any business, it’s important to let people know what you’re doing and what’s special about you. Promoting your achievements lets people know you. And, at the end of the day, your client is buying you.

The advent of the Internet has changed the way we do business, in every business. The fight for market share can often come down to a beauty contest in which the service the best promotion wins. Factor expenditures into your business plan. Not doing so is one of the most common mistakes new businesses make.

Many times when money gets tight, the promotion budget is the first to get cut. Resist the temptation. You may have a great product or service, but unless you get the word out no one will know about it. Too many small businesses allot a disproportionate amount of their budget to equipment rather than marketing. Don’t be that guy. Don’t let your product end up in the cellar!

For more excerpts from Dennis’ book, “Rock ‘n’ Roll Martial Arts & God, visit amazon

The Wedded Band