In this day and age, musicians and bands have more control in regards to building an audience especially online with the bare minimum being a professionally built website and use of social media. There are several approaches one can use to grow their audience typical of the World Wide Web, be it through YouTube, Facebook, Snap Chat, Instagram, Sound Cloud, or other avenues as will be mentioned. All in all, regardless of what approach you take on, your presence online must accurately represent you as a musician or band, your offering, what you stand for, and the direction you are progressing towards. Here are a few tried and tested tips.
Get an Aesthetically Appealing yet simple and responsive website
Nowadays you are spoilt for choice when it comes to options to build a website. You can choose from Word Press, Wix, and Squarespace among others. The options are open and determined by your actual goals with some providing drag and drop builders, e-commerce enabling you to use a DIY approach to build your website and sell your music, merch, and concert tickets. You can easily get a freelancer these days to build you a quality website for a couple of hundred dollars. Whatever the case, make sure your website is responsive, aesthetically appealing, SEO optimized, and a working force to support your sales, branding, and marketing efforts.
Embrace Social Media
Social media makes it easy for an artist to reach their fans and vice versa as opposed to the past where you had to have some sort of news. On top of that, social media makes it easy for the audience to connect with the artists they love giving the artists/bands a reach of billions of people. Make sure your content is dynamic, captivating, up to date, and engaging. Find out when most of your audience is online and post at that time. Identify which platforms suit your style best and capitalize on those first. Have uniform profiles for easy identification i.e same profile picture across different platforms. Take note of banner sizes, sites like Canva can help you with that.
Build an Email List
The power of an email list cannot be underestimated as email can be used to capture details of existing customers and easily update them on new music, schedules, and merchandise. There are several tools you can use to build your email list such as Mail Chimp, Aweber as well as having a normal newsletter or subscriber form on your website with a call to action such as subscribe to listen or download a new song.
Calculative Social Media Posts.
Each social media platform has its style so you will have to plan before posting on your socials. It may be a bother switching in between them initially but after a few weeks you will grasp the art and it will start to flow naturally. Make use of hashtags, choose to post when you know most of your audience is online, actively engage and offer rewards occasionally, post quality content, pictures of performances, and content that will keep your audience wanting more of you.
Choose a Music Distribution Service
Several platforms are available to help you sell your music online without you giving up the ownership rights to your music. Several platforms will have an edge over each other such as some may also collect royalties for you, others will have easy access to leading music magazines and publications, some will ease submission to radio and the music charts, etc. Some of the popular ones are Ditto Music, Distrokid, Song Cast, Band Camp, CD Baby, and many others.
Have an Electronic Press Kit (EPK)
An EPK will typically have links to your website, social media profiles, major press publications, awards/achievements, music, and video. You can create a section for your EPK on your website and can simply share the link with music contacts or the press should the need arise. Several services online can help you create a professional-looking EPK with the ability to sample your songs.
Embrace the Power of Press Releases
Press Releases can drive traffic to your website or to the location where your music, tickets, or merchandise can be purchased. Besides being informative, they create an avenue to draw awareness and encourage people to try a product. Look at a scenario where your song or a new album is featured in a music magazine like XXL, The Source, Rolling Stone, or others related to your specific genre, you are bound to be taken more seriously by your audience and even new prospective fans.
Online Promotion Services
Make use of several platforms that will help you access doors traditionally guarded by “gatekeepers” as known in the music industry. Those platforms can get your music on the radio, onto the charts, or get your music video played on BET, Revolt, and more. Look out for platforms like Marvment, Yangaroo, Artist PR, Taxi, and others. You can also sign up for music memberships such as the Grammy’s as a voting member, Hall of Fame, and performance royalty sites like BMI, SESAC, and ASCAP.
Have a Dynamic Plan
Whatever it is, make sure your plan fits your goals, is ever-changing as the trends shift, nevertheless having a mix of what has been mentioned in this article should suffice especially when executed simultaneously. You may have to part with some money but if you check out the user reviews on several platforms, they surely will inspire you.
Building a strong online audience is not rocket science but it is not necessarily a walk in the park either. Several strategies can be employed to achieve the objective however it will require consistency, persistence, and know-how. Most that have succeeded were not always good at marketing, branding, or selling online but simply took the time to learn how it works and did it right.