Not so long ago I had a conversation with very talented Baby Boomer Musician, who was absolutely convinced that Facebook is all he need to book gigs!
My adversary even said that Internet Is it a big and scary place for him! I felt I' just had to figure out few things here.... Musicians, who are good at what they do – creating and performing Music, have a lot to juggle with – compose, practice, perform, sign autographs at last. Should they have website too? Musicians can get lost – and very quickly – in Debris of a Maze we call World Wide Web, or WWW for short, especially when matter comes down to marketing strategy, different socials platforms and so on.
Could be pretty much intimidating!
His statement got me thinking! Musician of a serious calibre, as my opponent was, must have a website! That shouldn’t even be a question!
How should I approach this subject without offending my adversary, and not just turn his understanding around, but also show him Pros and Cons and convince him with Value, or simply put – what’s in it for him?
Well, let me try…
1 - Create and Control Your Database
Myspace! I was listening to the music they played so well – gigs from Beach Boys and Bruce Springsteen, and it dawned to me! Of course – that’s Social Platform is a ring from the Past! Myspace used to be a Haven for all musicians (and not just for them!) My teenage daughter back then was spending hours to learn basic coding to change layouts and add some gifs to her posts. It’s all history now! Simply gone and almost forgotten! Will Facebook survive next five or ten years? We don’t know! So, in case of it’s untimely demise what indeed will happen to those extended lists of friends and followers we all have and cherish? The database of Myspace rightfully belonged to the site and not to it’s users; that database was not eligible to be transferred to any new Social Platform Destination. Where is the guarantee, that Facebook will not follow in footsteps of Myspace and actually will let their users to download their Holy Grail – lists of followers and friends? Yes, indeed – nobody can guarantee or foresee any of it!
So there you go – my first valid reason why it is absolutely important for any esteemed or aspiring musician to have a website is to create and control their database! Why it is so important to have such list? I will elaborate about it later in this article
2 - Your Own Domain and Database
Again I’m going back to Myspace VS Facebook line of defense.
Facebook is releasing new layouts, and here you can check what’s coming for yourself. Do we, as users have any control of what kind of new stuff will be implemented? Can we change anything around, tweak colors or add background image maybe for entire page and not just a header ? Of course not! The only reason why I’m bringing this up is quite simple! Not just musicians – all businesses who are serious about what they do, should have a way to own their content, layouts, themes, fonts, ideas and so on! How? What is the solution? YOURBUSINESS.COM
As a serious user you’ve got to own your domain! Domain, as long as it is paid for in each concurrent year, belongs to you, the User! You can choose different web designs, themes, or content, move it back and forth from one hosting platform to another, but your domain would always follow you! That one is totally YOURS! Your database within that domain is also yours, you can copy it, export or import it. As long as you know what to do you are not just a musician, you are actually your own musical conductor! Speaking in musical terms – You get to choose where to accentuate, to speed up or slow down your own digital tune – a website! You’ve got to own it! (How to make an optimal user experience for your listeners would be a subject of a different article)
3 - Responding to Positive and Negative Comments by Controlling Your Social Environment
Speaking of a Musical Conductor takes me to another point. Your own website provides you with social space to lead not just your musicians (hence – web content) but also your listeners (web users) to what you setting them up to do – Most Wanted Action (One of examples of Most Wanted Action is conversion to exclusive membership on a website by offering irresistible benefits of a great value.) That ultimately creates their positive user experience and eventually converts them to your paid customers. We’ve got to talk about controlling what other users talk about you and your music.
Controlling customers feedback within Social Media Platform becoming absolutely vital in this New Era of Social Media Marketing. Social Media is a tool to offer extreme Value to online traffic and and start two-way conversation, control and orchestrate comments of other users Here are more reasons why?
For short I would say – weather or not musician – or any other reputable business for the matter – have a website or any other social media outlet, people are already talking about his or her music, talent,, gigs they went to etc. I am referring to my favorite comparison about Three Wise Monkeys. Together they embody the proverbial principle “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” What do I mean? It’s simple – even when business owner or specifically musician (for the purpose of this article) won’t use any social platform at all, people still will talk, praise or trash them. Online reputation is gold and needs to be guarded, protected and worked on! I would suggest to stand up, create a controlled social environment where you, as a site owner, will be able to read, thank or address those issues, especially when they are negative.
Have you heard about Yelp? Even if you, as a business owner, do not have your business listed there virtually anybody else can login and create a listing for your business and then trash you there! You won’t even know it, because you are not there! Don’t hide! Jump in, create there your own account, search for the listing for your business, which most likely already exists, and then you claim it! You’ve got to control the environment you are in! Let the Wind of social reviews blow to your face and not to your back!
4 - You Can Sell Directly to Fans! Isn’t that cool?!
Of course there is a www.reverbnation.com and most musician probably have their accounts and profiles there; and that would be aside from Youtube and a list of other esteemed sites, who yet again will not let you keep and own your statistics or lists of users.
If you are not on ITunes or Spotify yet as a selling entity, than your own website is the answer to your prayers. Sell your music and merchandise, add a press kit and a gigs calendar, photo gallery, raving fans reviews and so much more! Plus you have a chance now to let your listeners join your mailing list and keep in touch, especially if they would know that the sample of a new tune of yours will be delivered straight to their mailbox or downloaded to mobile phone! Google analytics in turn will help you to understand where those sales came from, from which cities, states or countries, which tracks were played the most, which ones were skipped and so much more! You can’t go wrong here!
5 - Fans and Pros, Blogger and Reviewers are searching for your website!
Yes, they are, even if you are not aware of it! It’s just something what they expect you to have! After all, that’s the first place where they can listen to a sample of your music, find out about the Venue for your upcoming or old Gigs; Journalists and bloggers are looking for your Bio, hi-res pictures and past reviews! By the way, there are still lots of people, who are not using Facebook, but they are on other Social Platforms! Don’t they need to have a chance to get in touch with you and your music too?!
Few extra thoughts – good website will change someone’s perception of who you are and how serious are you about your passion. Musical Influencers will look at your site and decide about the quality of your art and your potentials, and that’s how they will know if you are a seasoned Pro or aspiring amateur. The most important thing before I will conclude my thoughts here – Twitter, Instagram and Youtube have their own pros and Cons and restrictions! We already have covered that at least on a Facebook example. Youtube and Vimeo are good to stream videos, Twitter is excellent to point attention to Blogs or other platforms in only 140 characters, especially when a content creator is doing it well, Facebook is an expert at fan engagements. But only a well built and maintained website can bring all these elements together in one place. Well written content of any webpage, or site is a definition how other know who is really an Influencer in any specific industry.
That could be you!
By the way, this concept I’ve been elaborating on as to why having a website is so important – it’s relevant not just to musicians but to any business entity who wants to stand out from row of amateurs and be know as a seasoned Pro! Isn’t all that enough reasons to give your new website a try! If you need a little nudge, or help to create one – just drop me a line and I will get in touch within 24 hours! I promise!
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