Your website is one of the most valuable marketing tools you have as an indie musician today. Even considering all the hype and glorification around social media and crowd funding platforms, the website is still your number one way to get new fans, connect with your fans, and sell your music. Of course, a poorly made website probably won’t get you the results you’re looking for, but with a few basic strategies you can turn your website into an awesome marketing tool.
An effective online marketing plan uses your website to create a ladder of interest from casual fan to super fan. With this is mind, your website needs to address different fans’ needs. Someone who has just discovered your music may want to hear your most popular song or read a bio to learn more about you and your music, while a super fan will want exclusive content.
1. Free Content
The first step of the process is using social media to share interesting content and drive traffic back to your website. Social media is the easiest point of entry for a new fan.
You want your website to be the hub of all your activity online, not your Facebook, Twitter, or Reverbnation pages. The ultimate goal is to get people visiting your website as often as possible. Think about it, the more someone visits your website, the more opportunities they will have to sign up for your mailing list, buy a ticket to your gig, or buy your album.
One of the best ways to keep people coming to your website is to release a continuous stream of new free content. Try setting up a daily or weekly blog to keep your fans interested and entertained. You could post photos from the studio, short sections of lyrics you’ve been working on, footage from your band’s rehearsal, a picture of your new guitar, or even just interesting and funny stories.
2. Email sign up
Once you’ve got people visiting your website, you want to do something with all that traffic. In other words you want them to either buy something or sign up for your email list so you can send them offers to buy things in the future. After all, having thousands of fans visiting your website won’t do you as a working musician much good if you don’t have any income to support your career.
You should have your mailing list signup featured prominently on your homepage. A small mail icon won’t cut it here. Offer them something compelling in exchange for an email address like a free song or two, and make sure this call to action appears on every single page.
3. Email Offers
After you have people signed up for your mailing list, you can send them exclusive information, discount codes, and product offerings. Email is the most direct form of contacting your fans and the most effective if you want them to do something like buy your new album or support your crowd funding campaign.
Don’t spam your email list with offers and products. You want to have a good mix of interesting content in there as well. Remember back to the first point? You want your fans visiting your website as much as possible. Send out a weekly or monthly newsletter with links to your blog posts or news items. When you have a great offer, send it out! Try giving your mailing list subscribers exclusive discounts or early access to tickets and albums to make them feel valued.
The next step of the process is the step from fan to super fan. Super fans crave exclusive content, early access, and special information, and they are willing to pay more for it. These are the people who buy backstage passes, the deluxe version of albums, and the private concert crowdfunding reward.
One way to give super fans exactly what they want is to set up a subscription service. You don’t need to be a huge star with hundreds of thousands of fans to have a subscription service. The Novelists are a relatively small lyrical folk/rock group from Nevada. They set up a subscription service, The Novelists Book Club, in which they send their fans two original songs every single month in exchange for a monthly fee of $20. Then, when they are ready to put out an album, they get their book club subscribers to help choose the songs.
The key with any subscription service is finding out exactly what your fans want. If you gig a lot your fans may prefer backstage passes for life and an exclusive monthly streamed concert. If you’re known for your cover songs, your fans might like a chance to vote on the next cover and get access to the song before anyone else. Take some time to get to know your fans before setting something up. You could even send a simple survey to your email list to find out exactly what they want.
Of course, your website is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to marketing and promoting your music. On top of that, you need to know how to use blogs and social media, and even that’s just scratching the surface. In the New Artist Model online music business courses you’ll learn how to turn your music into a successful business – a business where you’re the CEO! You’ll create an actionable and personalized plan that will help you achieve a career in music, and you’ll be able to do it all with the resources you have available right now.
If you’d like to learn even more great strategies from the New Artist Model online music business courses, download the free ebook. You’ll learn how to think of your music career like a business and get some great marketing, publishing, and recording strategies!