Long gone are the days when the only way an artist could break was to spend years nose at the grindstone, asking radio pluggers and A&R men to come to shows. Nowadays you have your own voice, your own platform to tell the world exactly who it is that you are and exactly what it is that you want to do. It’s so very important as an artist to recognise the tools you have at your disposal and utilise them intelligently.
The most important thing to do to begin your online campaign for success is to know how to take advantage of social media. Put yourself wherever you can, Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud and YouTube. Make sure that all these separate pages look clean, professional and have similar artwork and photography. You will need them all to be linked together, ie. links to your Twitter and YouTube on your Facebook page. People should be able to journey through your music and information by jumping from page to page. This gives people every chance to enjoy you.
All this in an ideal world will be linked to and from your website. Your website might just seem like a ‘best of’ your social media pages, but there is one incredibly crucial thing all new artists should look to be doing via there website… collecting email addresses. Make sure every page you have is linked back to your website and that your website has a big ‘SIGN UP FOR MAILING LIST’ emblazoned on the home page. You cannot underestimate the importance of this. An email address is a direct link to a fan to tell them about gigs, new releases or merch that goes straight into their inbox, not so easily ignorable as a Twitter feed, its there and its theirs! If you have an email address then you know somebody has an active interest rather than a passing interest. With the correct and easily available software you can see the location of the people who have signed up. This is so helpful when knowing where to tour. If your software tells you that you have 400 fans in Swanage and 0 fans in Norwich then after thinking ‘That’s weird’, you know exactly where your next show has to be.
You’ll want to create a link and page through which you can sell tickets. If you use an ethical ticketing company you can sell tickets, keep a fair amount the sale and also not have your fans charged a mysterious booking fee for no reason. It’s better for you and your fans.
As you develop more and more fans, you’ll want a store where they can buy music or t-shirts. This is another area that your website can be wonderfully helpful. The more people downloading from you, still giving you email addresses the more you know where you can gig. Please no more people from Swanage!
Remember this still has to be linking back to all your social media. It is the key to fans. YouTube can be especially useful for getting people to your website to buy music or tickets from you, embedded links at the end of videos are a great way of doing this.
Leave no stone unturned. Come up with an action plan, either by yourself or as a band. It’s important stuff in a competitive world. Love it or hate it no new act can afford to be above the internet.
Some things in the music business never change. A&R’s are still the ones to be impressed. Read more here.