While social media is without question a vital tool for marketing your music and finding new fans, your website is your hub where everything comes together. Here’s why:
1. You own it
First and foremost, you own your .COM address. As long as you keep renewing it, it will always point to your website. This is so important, as you are guaranteed to own that little slice of the Internet. Even if you switch companies that host your website, you can take your domain with you. So your fans, and the industry, will always be able to find you.
2. You control the experience
With your own website you also control the experience. You determine what your fans see, and when they see it. It allows you to showcase your brand and your true personality. No sudden changes, no ads or distractions, and no design limits.
3. You can earn more $ by selling direct-to-fan
If you sell music or merch, having your own website is even more critical. Having a store on your site allows you to give fans a seamless buying experience, and full control over what that experience is. Plus, you get the chance to let customers join your mailing list, so you can keep in touch with them.
4. Industry professionals expect to find you there
If you’re serious about your music career, having your own website will show that you’re professional and dedicated. When venue bookers, festivals, promoters, or media hear about your band and go searching for it, they’ll expect to find you at yourartistname.com
5. You own the data
“If you own the data, the money will always follow.” – Derek Webb (Artist/NoiseTrade Founder)
With your website, you own the data you collect from visitors. Things like:
How many people streamed your song last week?
Which ones downloaded it?
Did they skip ahead to a specific track?
Where do those fans live?
What site brought them here?
This data can help you plan your marketing campaigns, and book tours.
6. You own your mailing list
Your website and your mailing list go hand in hand. Just like your website, you own your fan list. With social media, those companies own that database of fans, and there’s no way to transfer it to a different platform. They can suddenly change things, restrict how many fans see your updates (ahem… Facebook), or disappear completely (looking at you MySpace).
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. And when it comes to generating revenue, email marketing is still king, providing results up to 40 times as effective as Facebook and Twitter, combined.
Dave Cool (yes, that’s his real name) is the Director of Artist & Industry Outreach at Bandzoogle. Built for musicians by musicians, Bandzoogle makes it easy to build a beautiful mobile-friendly website, and sell music, merch & tickets commission-free.