Your website is the most important tool in your tool box to promote yourself or your band, sell your music and build a loyal fan base. Think about it, would you do business with a company that doesn’t have a website? Would you take them seriously? Even if you would, how would you learn about their products and services or any special promotions they may be offering? Unless they have a physical location where you can stop by on a regular basis, they would have a difficult time interacting with you and building an ongoing relationship. So, just like any serious business, you to need a website. Third party platforms or social media sites are great but nothing is better than your own website where you control the content and the experience to create an online platform for quality interaction in order to build a loyal customer/fan base.
When someone hears about you or your music, you want them to find you online quickly and easily. Be sure your domain name contains your name or the name of your band. To see what is available go to www.godaddy.com to check out some options and purchase your domain name.
Now that you’ve made it easy for someone to find you online, you want them to have a good experience. Be sure to include the following:
- Good quality photos – Include shots of the entire band as well as individual members from studio sessions and live performances.
- Bios – Include the basic background info like where you come from, family, education and training. Share some insight into your musical style and influences. Also give your fans the opportunity to connect with you as a person and not just an artist. Do you have any hobbies? Do you play sports? Are you an avid reader or a movie buff? What do you do when you’re not making music?
- Music – Share a few songs for streaming. You can even consider offering a free download from time to time. You may want to include a complete discography with cover art from each album with a track listing.
- Videos – You can include any music videos that you made or even some live footage of a studio session or a live performance.
- Contact info – set up an address separate from any person email address you may have. Something like “info@yourName/Band.com”
- Touring and gig schedules – Keep this up to date, and be sure to include venue address and directions, show times and ticket info.
- Press links – Let people know who’s talking about you and what they are saying. Be sure to include links to any interviews, reviews or other press.
- Social media links – Actively participate in social media and make them all accessible right from your site.
- Links or ordering info to buy music and merchandise – Consider selling right from your site. You’ll make more money and will build a database of customers for use in future marketing efforts. If you don’t want to sell direct, be sure to include a link to a third party site to download your music or purchase physical product.
Designing a website does not have to be expensive or overly time consuming. There are several sites that allow you to choose a template and easily create a website with your pictures, logos, and text. You will also find that many companies including CD replicators, PR firms, managing or booking agents, as well as hosting companies that provide website design packages that are very affordable. If you use one of these services be sure that you own the domain name and all the content and are able to access the files with full administrative control. Once the website is live, be sure to update it often with new music, videos, photos and content. Adding a blog or a newsletter is a great way to keep the site fresh and give your fans a reason to keep coming back.
For a great example of an independent artists website, check out this one we’ve designed and developed for Kelly Padrick.