Maybe you love it, maybe you hate it, but I believe that in order to have success in building a following and promoting the music that you’ve created, you have to use social media. Perhaps a fortunate few of you have some super cool connections that can get things rolling, but I have a feeling that a lot of you are like me: you’ve started out in your bedroom with a laptop and a little bit of gear and you’re in a city where there’s little to nothing going on musically.
Let me step back for minute and tell you why I’m writing about this. In my last post I told you a little bit about what I want this blog and this community to be. I asked those interested to sign up for my mailing list, and through that I’ve had some great emails back and forth with a whole lot of you (if you haven’t done that yet, do so to the right of this post!). A lot of you seem really interested in how to promote your music after it’s been recorded. So in this post I want to list a few simple things that I think will help you stand out a little bit from the horde of bedroom musicians.
Your “Band” Name
I realize a lot of you might already have a name that you go by and if so, you can disregard this part. But for those who haven’t, here are a few things to think about.
- Google potential monikers and see if they are taken. Think about having a name that is easily searchable and will not get lost in context of a whole bunch of other similarly-titled things.
- Check to see if that username on Twitter/Facebook/YouTube/any other social network you want to use is taken. If possible, try to keep your username consistent across multiple platforms. Again, make it easy for people to find you!
- Maybe you just want to use your name if you are a solo artist. In my opinion, I associate projects with personal names with a personality, but when it’s called something else, I associate it with something higher and it detaches from the personality a little bit. This is why I opted for “Lowercase Noises” instead of just “Andy Othling”. But this is completely preference, the decision is up to you.
Have a Website
Your Facebook/Twitter page is not your website. To me, a website serves these purposes: it should allow someone to find out a little bit about you, hear your music, and connect them with a place where they can connect with you (mailing list signup, Facebook, Twitter, etc).
- Don’t make one from scratch. Find a service that makes it easy to have a nice looking website that you don’t have to maintain much. I use Virb for my site because it’s hard to make a bad looking site, it’s super easy, it connects with Bandcamp where I have all my music, and it’s relatively cheap ($10/month). I’ve also heard good things about Bandzoogle which is a similar service.
- Both Virb and Bandzoogle have the capability to use a custom domain name. Do it. This way your site can be www.<yourbandname>.com instead of <yourbandname>.virb.com or whatever.
Have a Facebook and Twitter Account, and Use Them
Obviously I’ve been referencing Facebook and Twitter, so of course I recommend using both services as they’ve been highly successful for me.
- DO NOT create a “personal” Facebook account for your music project. It annoys me to no end when I get a friend request from a band or business, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. Create a fan page instead.
- You might be tempted to set up some auto-posting rules. This is fine in moderation, but if your Tumblr page auto posts to Facebook and Twitter and your Twitter auto posts to Facebook then you are going to get weird, ugly double postings. Just watch out.
- Make sure your Facebook and Twitter bios highlight your website where people can hear your music. Similarly, make sure your website highlights your Facebook and Twitter pages so that people can interact with you.
- Be consistent in your postings. Don’t go weeks without saying anything and then drop ten updates in a single day.
- Respond to people! The whole point of these services is to be able to interact directly with your fans. So don’t neglect them, try to respond to people in a timely manner.
So those are just a few high level tips. I’ll be going more in depth on these topics in the future, especially with some more tips on using Facebook and Twitter. The main point here is that if you have a professional-looking, well maintained website combined with a well-run Facebook and Twitter account, you’ll already be ahead of the vast majority of artists trying to do a similar thing to you and people will take you more seriously.
I’m looking forward to talking more about these things in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!
The Music Passage"Learn to Effectively Promote Your Music & Grow a Fan Base with an Active Community of Motivated Musicians"
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