Saying you need a record deal to launch an album these days is like saying you need a desktop computer to visit the Internet. Twenty years ago people would not have believed that you could have every song in the world in the palm of your hand or on your television, but here we are. Now it just takes a mic, a bathtub, a computer and few clicks to launch your record and make it accessible to people all over the world. But it’s also just as easy for your music to get lost in the shuffle and disappear into obscurity. The following tips are your best shot at making it in this ever-evolving music game and getting the airwaves bumping with your heartbeat.
Entries in website (23)
This article originally appeared on the Sonicbids Blog
About once a month, a friend approaches me with the same question: “Will you help me with my website? I keep tinkering with it, but nothing I do looks good enough.” As a web designer by day, it breaks my heart when I hear that my friends are struggling with indie budgets and WISYWIG editors, trying to fit everything they possibly can into the predefined templates of create-your-own-website services.
By now I’m sure you understand the importance of having a website for your music. However, a sloppy, hastily thrown together website may actually be hurting your brand more than not having one at all. I’m sure you’ve all visited a website that was unorganized, out of date, or unprofessional looking and clicked off without even giving the content a chance. You don’t want that happening to your website!
The fact of the matter is that with all the tools and services out there to help you build a clean, professional website, you don’t really have an excuse. There’s also a ton of people with basic web design skills these days. There’s probably someone in your extended group of friends and acquaintances who knows all about Wordpress or can write HTML. Even with all that, building a new site or refurbishing an old one can seem a daunting task, so I’ve broken it down into 5 things you should keep in mind through the design process.
Justin Timberlake recently released his first song as a lead artist in almost 7 years. That’s right; 7 years! To turn this release into an event, Justin and his team at Uprising Creative made a gorgeous landing page. I think it’s a stellar example of everything a landing page should be. Let’s take a look at how the landing page dresses up the release of “Suit & Tie.”
I often get asked: what’s the best social media site for bands? My business clients ask the same thing using different words: what is the best marketing channel to promote my brand? The idea that there is a magic formula or single solution to take care of all your needs is a misnomer. Where you should be promoting and the tools that you should be using should revolve around one main concept: where your target audience is. It’s as simple as that.
Bandzoogle is one of the most effective platforms for musicians to build their website and manage their direct-to-fan marketing and sales. Their platform is one of oldest web hosting tools available for musicians and I have created a few websites through them myself.
Bandzoogle sites are very easy to create, stylish and they come with some great built-in features.The service is free to try, and offers affordable monthly subscriptions plans, with great customer service. Below is a brief Q/A that I recently had with Bandzoogle’s CEO David Dufresne.
I just found a brand new website called Shoutomatic.com that lets you record audio updates to easily post to Facebook and Twitter, as well as posting a audio widget on your website.
Shoutomatic.com is extremely simple, I have already done a couple “Shouts” to test out the service. Here is a link to my profile on the site if you want to hear a couple examples of what I did. They also have good video help to show you how to use all the features.
There are three ways you can record audio:
Hello again and welcome back to Musician’s Arsenal. This week I’d like to present to you, Visibli. A good friend of ours, Jordan Walker (@jordanwalker), came by the Cyber PR® office a few weeks back for some after hours drinks, and as our conversations usually do around here, the talk quickly turned to the music industry, specifically effective technology for independent musicians. In no time Jordan was on the computer showing me all the ins and outs of this great new tool and I’ve been chomping at the bit ever since to write this post.
A little over a year ago I read a chapter in Ariel Hyatt’s book Music Success in Nine Weeks on newsletters. After reading it I felt like I had made many many mistakes with how I was writing my music newsletter. I began a journey in salvaging whomever I had left that was reading them to use a new format to re-engage them in my music career. One in which I feel many musicians will have to do based on what I am going to say below.
Hypebot posted a nice article with three tips about your own domain. Good tips. But I want to add two more tips that I think are even more important and come from my personal experience working with many clients.
1. Auto Renew – Set your domain to auto renew. Just do it! I promise you will not be sorry. This means that when your domain expires it will automatically be renewed, with no interruptions. I have had too many experiences with clients, large and small, who did not auto renew their domain and did not notice the emails being sent to them to alert them to the need to renew. One day somebody notices the website is down and the panic begins. The scramble begins to quickly get the domain renewed and back online, in the meantime your site is down and often replaced with a generic page. This leads into tip number two.
Hey there, Jason here with another edition of Musician’s Arsenal. This week we’re talking about Turntable.fm, yet another new site for us to learn and love. At this point, Turntable.fm is all the rage. It has some 140,000 users already in its first month and appears to be picking up speed. Users sign into Turntable.fm with their facebook login, which makes it easy to find friends already using Turntable.fm.
This is a response to Dan Morgan’s post “Do Social Networks Really Help Musicians?”, a post questioning how useful social networks really are for musicians. Funnily enough, I was actually planning on writing a similar post on my own website just days before. After seeing Dan’s post however, I thought I would share my views on the matter on Music Think Tank instead. There were some very good points raised both in the article and in the comments, but here’s my take on things. In short, I think social networking websites can be useful if they are used right. Having said that, I don’t think a lot of musicians use them right. Let me explain.
I. Where Salvation Lies
Upon discovering that I had relatively poor vision in the seventh grade—difficulties seeing the whiteboard and anything from afar—it was understood that I would need to get glasses. Not just any glasses though, the specific style that I wanted were those worn by the front man of the rock group Linkin Park, Chester Bennington; they were thick-framed, black glasses, and in my mind, they looked amazing—on him. As it would turn out, the glasses looked less than stellar on me and I got a completely different pair.
Back then, I was an adamant fan of Linkin Park. In desiring to align characteristics of their identity with my own, the thought of looking like Bennington and wearing his glasses seemed like a logical expression of self.
I knew all the lyrics, saw every music video, and owned all of the albums.
Members of Linkin Park were not aware of my existence—camped out on a farm in the backwoods of North Dakota—but I felt a compelling bond towards them and their music. Social scientists characterize this kind of one-sided relationship as “parasocial” in nature. I knew everything about Linkin Park, but they were not privy in the slightest way to the particulars of my life. Much of my relationship with the group slanted more towards the illusion of interaction than of actual social interaction. Mass media outlets served as intermediaries between us.
I was asked to write a guest blog on the topic of why it is important to have your own website. Well for whatever reason the blog was never posted and episode two of The Music Biz Weekly podcast reminded me that I still have this blog and that I should post it. This is a topic that I am passionate about. Let me make this clear, you must have your own website. Let me say that again… you need to have your own website.
Great social networks will come and go, and they are all important. You should be active on as many as possible. They are all great places to extend your website, extend your brand and presence. But everything should come back to your website.
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(Updated January 13, 2016)