Top 5 Mistakes for Nashville Musician Websites and Social Media

Common Mistakes Indie Bands/Musicians Make With Their Websites & Social Media

We’ve done a lot of website work with artists, both signed and independent, so we’ve gotten a chance to see what successful online marketing strategies can do for an album release,  a single drop, or a special promotion. When everything is set up right, the momentum drives sales and exposure.

But we’ve also seen what happens when you’re doing it wrong. And it looks a lot like nobody cares about you or your music.

Many of the independent artists we’ve worked with have initially struggled with this, and mostly because they’re just not aware of how to do it right.

So here’s our top 5 list of most common mistakes we see, in David Letterman countdown style:

5. Giving away music without asking for anything in return.

Giving away free downloads of your music is a great way to gain exposure for your work and get people hooked enough to pick up your EP or album. But your music should never be without cost.

Free is a fantastic motivator, and you should take advantage of that: ask your fans to sign up for your mailing list before getting access to their download or require them to like your facebook page to download. It’s a win-win: fans get their free download, and you get the ability to market to them in the future.

4. Not having the same look and feel for all your properties.

In music, consistent brand is everything. You would never show up to 5 shows dressed in a suit and tie, only to spend the next 10 appearances in jeans and cowboy boots. Your audience would have no clue who you were.

The same rules apply online. By keeping the same logo, fonts, colors and overall look & feel across all your properties, you help hammer home the message “This is who I am” and creates a unified online presence even across totally separate properties.

3. Not communicating enough with your fans.

The reason people follow you on Twitter or Facebook and signup for your newsletter is because they want to know what you are up to. They’re not just looking to be passive fans of your music, they want to share in your experience.

Take advantage of this.

Send out regular newsletters that talks about upcoming tour dates, new releases, and anything else that might be of interest to fans. Use twitter and facebook to share behind the scenes pics and short videos (30 or seconds or less) of touring and recording sessions.

Nothing has to be perfect quality; real is often more engaging than highly polished. This content is what will keep fans invested in your work and your music in the lulls between album releases.

2. Not cross marketing your social networks.

While many people who participate in social media are active on several networking sites, most of them have a particular one that they prefer and use most often. The others are neglected unless there’s a compelling reason to do otherwise.

For this reason, it’s vital that you cross promote your social networks in order to encourage interaction and involvement on all of them. A great way to do this is to post exclusive content on one and link to it from others.

If you do a good job, your follower counts will be spread more evenly across each of your social networks.

1. Not making your website the center of your digital presence.

With so many great sites out there (myspace, reverbnation, ilike, facebook … ) to help artists market their music, it’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling like you need to be everywhere so you don’t lose potential fans.

But the thing to keep in mind is that you never have 100% control over any of these sites. There’s only ONE place where have complete control over the branding, user experience and messaging. You guessed it: your own website.

And that’s why it’s important that your website is the center of your digital presence.

To work your most valuable asset, make sure that all your social media sites are always pointing back to your website. Keep blogs, news, and tour dates centralized on your site and keep your freshest, best, content for exclusive use on your site.

Social media profiles are still valuable and you should still use them, but they should be used as avenues to push fans to your website rather as a destination.

Your website should always be the central location where fans can come back to again and again to engage and get fresh content.

Final Thoughts

Curious about setting up an awesome website? If you are a performer, you’ll need one that is both stylish and functional. Talk to us about what we can do – you might be surprised at how easy and reasonably priced your new website can be!