[Editor’s Note: We work with partners like Bandzoogle to offer our artists career-building services. Check out this post from Bandzoogle’s CEO, which covers why you should have a great music website.]
David Dufresne is the CEO of Bandzoogle, a website platform for independent musicians. Bandzoogle was founded in 2003, and tens of thousands of musicians have built their website and host it using Bandzoogle’s easy-to-use tools.
The Internet can be a big and scary place. When you’re a musician and your focus is to practice, write and perform, figuring out where to spend the little time and money you have left for an “online strategy” can be confusing. Many bands we’ve met tell us that they see it as a real challenge.
Do you really need a website for your music? With Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs and all the musician-specific social networks out there, you might think that owning your own .COM website isn’t necessary. Here are some reasons why I think it is:
1) You Own the Address
First and foremost, you own your .COM address. As long as you renew it, it will always point to your website. This is powerful — you are guaranteed to own that little slice of the Internet. Even if you switch companies that host your website, your .COM can be transferred, so your fans will always be able to find you.
This is not the case with social networking profiles. Tech companies can get bought out, lose out to competition, or simply become un-cool, rendering your efforts and content there obsolete. For a few years, bands relied on their Myspace page as their home base, then had to switch over to Facebook. Who knows what will happen in 5 years? Will Facebook still be around? Twitter? Google+?
2) You Own the Experience
With your website you also own the experience. You can control what your fans see, when they see it, and the messaging that you send to them. This means you 100% control how you want fans to discover and engage with your music.
No sudden changes, no ads or distractions, no design limits. So you can immerse them in your music and visuals, and if you want to add a blog, or put a hi-res press kit for download, or even a special “fan-only” page, you can.
3) You Can Sell Direct-to-Fan
If you sell music or merch, your own website is even more critical. Having your own store on your own site allows you to give your fans a seamless buying experience, and full control over what that experience is. Plus you get the chance to let your buyer join your mailing list and keep in touch with them.
4) Fans and Pros Expect to Find You There
If you’re serious about your music, having a well designed website with great content will make you appear professional and dedicated. When people hear about your band and go searching for it, they’ll expect to find you at name-of-my-band.com.
These people include:
- New fans, who want to sample your music, find out more about you as an artist
- Old fans, looking for the latest news and goings-on
- Journalists and bloggers, who need to find your bio, hi-res photos, and samples of your music.
- Label people, promoters, bookers, etc. People you want to give a good first impression to.
5) You Own your Data
On your .COM site, you can get far more detail on your fans than what you can get on a social networking site.
- How many people previewed my track last week?
- Which ones downloaded it?
- Did they skip ahead to a specific track?
- Where do those fans live?
- What site brought them here?
More than stats, you also own your fan list. You probably noticed that you can’t move your old Myspace fans to Facebook. That’s because you don’t own that fan list, Myspace does.
Same thing could happen whenever the next hot social network appears. There is no easy “export from Facebook” option! Remember, your list of fan emails is gold. It allows you to always maintain contact with your fans, regardless which social networks they might be on.
Building a Website Is Easier Than You Think
If you want to get started today, or if you have any questions, feel free to contact me at david[at]bandzoogle.com. Check out our own website (we worked hard on it!) to see what our platform has to offer and many examples of websites that our members have built. Click this link to get a 30-day Free Trial PLUS 15% off any first year Bandzoogle subscription!