5 Ways to Broaden Your Band's Web Presence Beyond Simply 'Having a Website'

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Nowadays, anyone can have a website and a Facebook profile. Everyone can post music online for the world to hear. Everyone has been given a voice. So how do you rise above the crowded sea of artists on the internet to have YOUR voice ring clearest?

It is what you DO with these technological tools that will make all the difference.

1. Document Everything

Cameras, camcorders, and hand-held audio recorders are more affordable then they’ve ever been.

Tape your practices, film your shows and studio sessions, and photograph your band members. Upload and share your experiences on your favorite social networks. Always post everything on your website. It doesn’t have to be polished or perfect.

The point of sharing content is to engage and make real connections. If somebody comments that they think your video is corny, that’s perfect! Nothing stirs interest online like a strong opinion. Chances are, somebody else will jump in and say the exact opposite.

The point is—they’re paying attention and you’re making yourself real to them, which means they’ll remember you.

2. Give them something they can’t get elsewhere

People like to feel that they’re in on a secret. Make sure your website has a welcoming feel and clearly displays compelling content. Then offer your fans and the people on your email list exclusive MP3s, videos, essays, etc.

Update often! Keep them coming back for more and make sure you’ve made it easy for fans to share your content with others.

3. Don’t spam, communicate

It is vital that every interaction you have with your online fans offers a genuine sense of connection.

Be authentic. Don’t just seem like you want them to buy something. There is no quicker way to make people hit the un-friend or unsubscribe button.

4. Analyze your web hits

Your CD Baby member account dashboard gives detailed info about HOW your fans are linking through to view your CD Baby album page.

Look at the traffic sources. What do the numbers tell you? Is your current online marketing campaign working? Should you be shifting your tactics? Perhaps you’ll find that people are stumbling upon your music from a blog or chat room that you didn’t even know about. Go to those places and interact with these new fans directly.

5. Bring your fans in

Use your live performances and day-to-day interactions to bring people into your online community. Print your website address on everything and let your fans know at concerts what social networks they can find you on. Tell your audience that if they tweet about your band or friend you on Facebook you’ll send them a personal link to an exclusive free track.

Conversely, encourage your online connections to come out to your events and engage with you in the real world. An online buddy is no substitute for one in the flesh.

Your website is the hub of your music career. Create a professional artist website in minutes; try HostBaby free for 30 days!

ARTIST ADVICE: “The key to using social media and the web effectively is to treat it like it’s as important as your real life interactions, because it is! Your Internet presence might be the only side of you that some of your fans ever see. Be honest, real, and entertaining, and you’ll be able to build long-lasting relationships with people all over the world.” —Allison Weiss: http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/AllisonWeiss

ARTIST ADVICE: “Respond to anyone who reaches out to you. They perceive you as something special. In turn, it makes them feel special when you reach back. That connection creates a fan and advocate for life. The web and social networks are perfect for this type of connection!” — Josh Rosenthal: http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/JoshRosenthal

What web techniques work for you? Let us know in the comments section below.

Sell your music on iTunes, Facebook, Spotify, CD Baby, and more!

[Picture of steampunk accordion guy from Shutterstock.]

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  • As an example of interacting via modern tech tools, I recently took a minute out of my day to express a word of thanks to New Atlantis Audio for a product of theirs I'm using heavily on my current set of intrumental pieces. They responded by retweeting my thanks to 300 of their own followers! I'm new to Twitter so this taught me a good lesson about the power of the new tools of the trade. More importantly, it reminded me of the power of being thankful and genuine.

  • Many ov these ideas TOTALLY BACKFIRE. They just weary people ov your band.

    • Well, you've got to balance the content creation with a schedule that makes sense for your fanbase.

  • Steven Cravis

    In a mastering session, I asked the engineer to say a word to the singer (who is far away, in England, and I'm in United States, so we've been sending audio files back and forth), in a brief video of the mastering session http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCBEJ2xcmq8

  • Sean McCready

    I find myspace a very good place to interact with other musicians and make fans. I cannot wait until the new myspace comes out. I have achieved 9 badges on the site. I work my way to any messages from fans/ bands/ artists. I find a simple thanks is perfect to break the ice. As well as leaving links to my sites. If you do it in a non-selly way I find people really respond when you take the time to email them personally.

    L8tr.
    Sean McCready.
    http://www.seanmmccready.com

  • JP

    jppopmusic.com
    @jpsrockband

  • Nice

  • Nice post!! Follow me on twitter @Speedy4Christ.

  • Thanks for the tips Chris!
    When I create a post on my FB page (http://www.facebook.com/alexhallahanmusic) I always include peripheral (but relevant) thoughts, whether it be a video I'm posting or details about an upcoming show, I try and insulate the dry details with 'context' so that it might stir some sort of emotional connection with my audience and also so that I have a connection with what I'm writing. For instance, if the event details are simply – venue name, date and time, then I look for inspiration in the reason why I chose to play at that venue or what you might expect if you attend the show. I try and express my (sometimes crazy) inner works and why I do the things I do, because I figure that we can all relate on a very human level to that. This works really well alongside my style of music which is singer-songwriter, roots music. Thanks again! Al

    • Hey Alex, sounds like you've got a great way of humanizing your marketing. Thanks for sharing.

  • jackietwo2

    hi my name is toney lee i recently produced a urban contempory gospel single
    called"let god handle it" on my wife jacqueline johnson-lee weve been on cd baby one month
    and were trying to build our base thanks for all of this helpful info god bless tlee tsri records

  • Gayla Drake

    Your comment about not spamming, but offering genuine content to connect with, is on the NOSE. I worked for several years in higher education marketing; during that time we did a lot of market research on how to create effective websites, and one of the most important things was to regularly update with relevant content that will draw people back, and bring more people in. But it must be meaningful content, because people simply will not make time to engage if all you do is post “hey, buy my stuff” or “we’re so awesome” all the time. Don’t get me wrong, that stuff needs to be in the mix, too, but down below offering useful information, cool free stuff, and gratitude.

  • I make sure all my social media points back to my website. For example, I place a new post on the website and talk about it (with links of course) on social media. Profiles for each platform always include links to the website. I use social media to connect with people and the website to give them key information. All the best and most current information is on the website. Then, the website has share buttons for social media. Which social media is most popular at any given time is going to change. But my website remains the center of my internet presence.