You're not real until you're online
You're not real until you're online.
There is one way to guarantee that nobody will ever know who you are: neglect the internet. Even though social media and online streaming can be a little overwhelming, it is the easiest and most effective way to reach your audience and gain new fans. But, with all the different sites and tools...where do you start?
Not only is Instagram the easiest to understand, it's also the most effective (in my opinion). IG stands king as the place you can post photos, videos, daily stories, and connect with people from all over the world. Here are three tips for having a kickass and useful IG:
Hashtags: #Hashtags are a great way to get your content to a wider audience than just your followers. Example: If you hashtag #newmusic, your post will come up anytime someone searches for that. This is great for specifying genres (#hiphop), places (#seattle), and/or things your group identifies with personally (#allgirlband) because it helps categorize your photo, making it easier for new fans to find you.
Use Your Colors: Just like your band has a vibe, so should your Instagram and overall brand. Pick a style or filter that you feel represents your vibe and apply it to everything you post. Consistency is key! For my photos, I bump up the brightness and contrast, add some fade, and add a slight purple tint. Play around with some filters and see what works best for you, then stick with it!
Ads: This shit works. Instead of wasting your valuable time spamming peoples walls begging them to listen to your stuff or like your page, pay for an ad. You can personalize it and reach wayyyyy more people, plus save yourself from looking desperate. Now you can use all that extra time you have to write, network, or get out to a live show!
It's 2017, get a website and keep it up to date -- this is your resumé! Radio stations, booking agents, and labels will always peek at your online presence before considering you.
Domain Hosting: GoDaddy.com is my favorite. This is where you can buy your domain. Make sure your domain has your name in it and is as short and sweet as possible. Once you have your domain you will then 'push' your domain to a website building platform.
Wix: This is what I use, and I swear by it. Splurge and buy the year membership (I think it's like $60), this is your career we are talking about! Wix is a website that allows you to build a beautiful, professional, and easy to maintain website. If you're not great at creating your own badass layout, don't worry, they've got fool-proof templates that are 'fill in the blank'. It's super easy to connect your domain, follow their simple steps!
Content: Imagine you're looking at your favorite artists website, what do you want to see? Music, photos, upcoming shows, news, social media follows, and how to contact them. MAKE SURE YOUR PHOTOS ARE HIGH RESOLUTION!
If you have music, it should be on Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, Apple Music, everywhere! Sorry, but Soundcloud will only cut it for so long. If it's only one song, that's alright! It's better to have a profile with something, than not have one at all. It super easy to publish your stuff, here are few different options:
TuneCore: Easy site to navigate and only costs 29.99 to upload your album to all the top platforms. Every year you pay 49.99 to keep the album up, but hopefully you've made well beyond that so it's worth it!
CDBaby: Also fairly easy site to navigate but has a different set of payment guidelines: $39.99 to upload an album, no yearly fee but they take 9% of each download.
DistroKid: The cheapest option: publish an album for only $19.99 but don't expect great reports or stats on where and who the sales were made by.
Facebook is a must, obviously. Create a page, connect your music, use the hell out of Facebook ads to promote releases but most importantly..make sure you create an event for every public performance and invite your friends!
What you tweet is how the world sees you. Remember that your fans, followers, and potential bookers don't know you personally so tweet wisely. Be as crass, political, or reserved as you want...just be aware that this is all people have to judge you by.
Oh, and make sure your profile pictures are the same across the board, this makes it super easy for people to recognize you at a glance.
That's what I've learned so far! Please feel free to comment with things that have worked for you, the internet changes so quickly that there can never be enough advice on this topic!
You got this.