So many music creatives are content with social media sites being their sole internet promotional tool, especially since they are on it often. However, I completely disagree.
A music creative needs a functioning and updated website.
Why? I have two reasons:
- You own and have full control over the website and its content. (As much as we love social media, you don’t own any of those platforms.)
- It’s a one-stop shop for everything you want everyone to know about you and your work.
I know, I know…it’s convenient for you to post on social media and every one is on social media. But, think about it: you’re limited to the legal terms of whatever social media platform you’re on. Plus, some social networks come and go with time due to the network’s popularity. So, in an era of instability, it’s best to have a stable space, such as a website (or even a one page site known as a landing page), that you can call your own that will house everything that you need to promote your work. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t rely on those platforms; it means that you shouldn’t use it as your only way to promote yourself.
Now, I know people will try to take the easy way out and start a blog on a free platform. However, I beg that you don’t use any of those .wordpress.com, .wix.com or .squarespace.com domain names. Invest in yourself and buy a domain name that is recognizable to your fans.
Once you figure out which platform you should design your site with (WordPress or Squarespace is best) and which service you want to use for your web hosting, there are five things that you should include when building your site’s content:
1. A well-written bio (preferably done by someone who writes them)
Twitter and Instagram bios only give you less than 150 characters, and I’m sure that your story isn’t limited to that. As a creative, you should have a bio anyway, particularly for press kits, so put that on the website. If you don’t have one, get one done. One of my good friends, Keena, writes professional bios, so follow her on Twitter by clicking her name.
2. Quality photos and videos
Images and video tell stories that words sometimes cannot. We get to see you, your experiences, your creativity, and everything that many of us would want to know about you outside of your music. These photos and video should be professionally done by someone, but if your pockets are on the lighter side, a great phone camera, good lighting, and a good eye can make it happen in the meantime.
3. An email sign-up list
I truly believe that people who sign up for emails from you are the ones that really support you, especially if you’re not promising them 500 million things in order for them to subscribe. So, to show your appreciation, you should occasionally send out emails to those subscribed and share behind the scenes images, any exclusive information, show and tour dates, and more. You can even let them hear your music first, just as a form of gratitude.
4. Social media links
Everyone that follows you on one social media platform may not follow you on other platforms. So, link all of your social media accounts on the site to make sure people are following you everywhere.
5. Your music/work
Of course you can’t forget about your art! That’s what people are following you for, right? You can embed your music onto your site from any music streaming service that I can think of (except Pandora). Or, you can have your current project or favorite tracks uploaded directly to your site. Some website designs, like on Squarespace, give you the opportunity to sell and download your MP3s directly from your site.
Creating a site may take a while to construct, depending on how tech savvy you are, but it would be a great thing for you to invest in. I can’t think of any website developers off the top of my head, but there are plenty out there if you want to get someone to create your site for you. Either way, take your time and create one. However, make sure you buy your domain name and hosting first so that you have the name you want.
Any questions or tips you’d like to share in terms of websites? Leave a comment below or tweet me.