I own ledzeppelintickets.com and have 50,000 tickets to the concert that never happened. The story is on the home page. How do I harness the blogsphere to create a buzz for this item that is so targeted to a genre? I know that there must be a way to really jump start my sales with this method. Your resume is impeccable and I trust your input.
What a fascinating story and situation. As you point out on your site, for fans of the classic rock band Led Zeppelin, the tragic death of drummer John Bonham hurt not just because he was an awesome drummer, but because the remaining band members, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, decided to cancel the 1980 concert gig, their first concert in almost four years.
Now you have a warehouse full of highly collectible tickets for a rock band that still, thirty years later, is one of the most popular classic bands in the biz (at least for us Boomer rock fans) and want to leverage social networks and the blogosphere to sell them.
Before I talk about sales, I have to start with some anxiety: trademark violations. In specific, your use of the band’s name as your domain name makes me worry a bit that Atlantic Records, the label that currently is issuing Zeppelin CDs, might jump on you. Sure enough, there’s at least one “Led Zeppelin” trademark in the US Patent & Trademark database, from the estate of John Bonham, though it appears to be for a typed drawing as related to “musical sound recordings, namely, compact discs, pre-recorded audio tapes and phonograph records.” My guess? It’s a trademark on the distinctive logo that appears on the albums.
Assuming that’s not a problem and you’re not going to get in trouble once your site’s visibility is raised, I would say that there are four key places where you need to be raising your visibility: MySpace, eBay, Amazon.com and the blogosphere. On each of those sites, I’d create a presence that highlighted what you were selling (and why aren’t there pictures of the tickets on your site?) and funnels them to your own site for actual sales.
How do you do that on eBay and Amazon.com? By putting one ticket at time up for auction (on eBay you can have a 10-day auction, so that’s approx 37 tickets/year, a drop in the bucket, and Amazon lets your auctions go even longer). Many auctions are now traffic generating techniques for commerce sites, and yours can be the same, highlighting “don’t bid more than $xx for this ticket: we have more at ledzeppelintickets.com” and seeing how that works.
On MySpace, simply create a profile that talks about the tickets and the band, and be generous with your links to the official Zeppelin site, fan sites, and so on. Demonstrate that you’re a fan and a part of the great Zeppelin fan culture and you’ll come across a lot better. In fact, what about “I was there: Zeppelin in Concert, September 24th, 1980″ T-shirts, as a sort of insider joke?
Finally, in the blogosphere, use tools like Technorati and Google Blogsearch to keep track of people who write about Led Zeppelin and then add useful, thoughtful comments where you can. Not crass “buy tickets” adverts, but useful, interesting entries. You should also consider sending free tickets to some of the rock / boomer bloggers, with a cover letter explaining their history. A mention on a couple of big rock podcasts or blogs could sell a few thousand tickets in a weekend!
Good luck with this all. In the immortal words of Jimmy Page: “I thought I had it all sewn up, Our love, a plot, a pick-up truck, But folks said she was after something more, I never did quite understand, All that talk about rockin’ bands, But they just rolled my doll right out the door.”