Technology and the internet have done both wonderful and terrible things to the music industry.
Thanks to the rise of the web and streaming sites, artists have a larger platform than ever to get their music heard by disparate groups of listeners from all corners of the globe. Yet the record industry was all but destroyed by music piracy and file-sharing platforms like Napster.
Music is cheaper and far more accessible for a world audience due to music streaming services like Spotify, but on the other hand, artists are now paid a lot less and must tour for longer periods to make serious money. This can have a prohibitive effect on their creativity and whether they release more music down the line.
Whether good or bad, there is no denying that the internet has changed the game entirely. It giveth with one hand and taketh with the next!
The idea of marketing oneself as a musician can be an overwhelming thought considering the competition out there, the technical considerations that you might not be familiar with, and the difficulty involved.
But we're here to give you a few tips on how best to produce a website that actually sells, that works for you, and which you can rely on.
Here we go.
That all-important domain name
Your website domain name could be nearly as important as your stage name. Now, maybe your stage name happens to be your actual name and so you didn't choose anything. But that's not the point! The point is that your website domain name is really important to create a website that people can intuitively find and buy from.
Keep your website domain name as close to the name you go by in the music biz as possible.
Unsurprisingly, The Rolling Stones use the domain: www.rollingstones.com. You don't even have to think about it.
But what if some young upstart has already taken your artist name and used it for their domain? Then try to get creative! You could use the name of a popular song, or album. Or simply add "music" or "band" to your name.
There are some great examples out there. A 50cent fan page made great use of a country code domain (they're the website address endings like .co.uk or .ca) and one of 50's most popular songs to create a memorable domain name: 50inda.club.
Make it yours and then make it known.
Make your music easy to access, easy to play, and easy to buy
You're a musician. Music is what you do. Make that absolutely clear by having music directly on the landing page. This gives visitors to your site an easy, straightforward route to listen and appreciate your tunes.
There are many ways to display your music and many avenues to offer your songs to visitors.
One popular route that many artists use is to allow visitors to listen to a short section of each song. Thirty seconds is a length used by many and one that gives listeners a taste for the song without giving it away completely free. The idea is that those who like are prepared to buy the song itself – which will be readily doable on your website – or even an entire album.
Of course, it goes without saying that you should make your entire catalog available to buy. But a great way to build up your following and keep in touch with fans and listeners is to offer a few songs freely but in exchange for contact details. Emails are a valuable avenue for communication and if you're so inclined, you could even start up a funnel email strategy to entice fans to buy.
The language of the internet is ever more visual and video gives music lovers, particularly the young generation that has grown up online, with the visual feast they need.
Nowadays, websites without videos offer little to sate a visitor's appetite. Video is absolutely essential to showing what you're about and connecting with visitors to your website.
Videos have the advantage of demonstrating your artistic tendencies and can cultivate a style and aesthetic that compliment your music.
Those just starting out may not have videos to share, so why not include some live performances?
Where are you next playing and how can I get tickets? Ensure that this information is easy to find and you'll generate a secondary route that fans can take to get tickets to your show.
Tour information also gives new fans and first-time visitors an insight into where you usually play, what kinds of places they are, and the size of the audiences you play to.
Always include a link to where fans can buy tickets to your show. If tickets aren't being sold online at one of the major ticketing companies then you can always link to the website of the place you're playing.
The About Page
When you're still unknown it's important to create a familiarity between yourself and fans or, fingers crossed, record label bosses that come across your work.
Let them know about you. Where were you born and where did you grow up? How has that influenced the music you make and how did your formative years mold you into the person you are today?
Including some musical heroes and those who have influenced your work is always a way to set a touchstone for others to better understand your style.
Speak about the music you make and why you do what you do. If you can include some positive reviews then all the better.
Connect with social media
A website is a fantastic tool to tell the world about you and make a few sales. But these days, the real work communication is done through social media.
The major platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – are where fans go to meet to interact with their favorite artists and hear what they're doing. It's important that you, even if you're just starting out, get into the swing of social media to drum up a fan base and keep them updated.
Additionally, social media helps create a presence online that makes finding you and your music so much easier. Rather than having to read other peoples' views on your music, you control what is being published about yourself!
Social media is also a great way to announce new tour dates or song releases. Just make sure you keep it updated.
If you're looking for a professional looking website and marketing done by experts, 2nomads is always here to help. Get in touch with us now!