So here we are, it’s the start of a new year which is usually a time for planning and preparation for the year ahead.
With the internet playing such a huge role in how we connect with others and promote our work, I’d like to share some thoughts on the role your website will play in 2023.
What role should your website play in promoting your new music in 2023?
Your website should make it really easy for people to hear / buy / stream your latest release.
Make sure you’re taking advantage of the streaming pre-save / pre-order features, and using Facebook pixels and ads to send people to your website, and then retargeting them.
If you are reaching out to publicists or others who will help you promote your music, the stronger your existing website and social media platforms are, the more effectively they can pitch your material (and YOU as an artist and brand).
Utilise your mailing list to keep your current audience informed. Email is still one of the best ways to directly reach people who want to hear from you!
Build anticipation over a few weeks prior to your release on social media by utilising release artwork / preview videos / lyric snippets / behind the scenes content.
Use your website to give more context around a release. What’s the story behind it? Who contributed to the creation? Sharing more information and providing credits can help people feel closer to the release, and it’s always nice to say thanks to those who have helped bring your music to fruition.
Touring artists can earn up to 35% of their income through merch sales. But if you’re not a touring artist, or you’re just simply not on tour *right now* you can still sell merch via your website.
There are many ways to do this – one of my favourite ways recently has been the print-on-demand method, where you don’t have to purchase a ton of product up front. This can be a great way of seeing what’s popular, trying out new designs and products, while also keeping the overheads as low as possible.
Think about offering discounts for people who subscribe to your mailing list, or running seasonal and/or holiday promotions. Rewarding loyalty can play a huge part in growing that fan relationship.
It’s probably fair to say that we’re ALL spending a lot more time on social media, and as a result you’re probably feeling burned out and perhaps a little discouraged as the algorithms are largely controlling what we see.
The way I think about social media is: it’s a great tool for meeting new people (whether they’re new listeners or industry professionals) but you can’t rely on it completely.
I would always suggest that you use social media to direct people to your website, as that’s where they can take the actions to become more invested in you.
For example, if you’ve got a new video out, send them to your website to view it. While they’re here, they may also subscribe to your mailing list or they might buy some merch. (I know that’s happened with me MANY times when checking out artist’s websites!)
Have some content which isn’t available anywhere else – while that may not be of interest to the casual fan, those who want more will really appreciate it!
Collecting email addresses from website visitors is really important, and something which is often undervalued. I always refer back to the Myspace days where people had an audience of thousands, sometimes millions, and lost contact with those fans almost overnight. Don’t make that mistake by relying exclusively on social media – building other ways of reaching people is absolutely key.
Ultimately, your social media accounts and your website should be connected, but their purposes are a little different. Social media is a great introductory tool, and a great way of keeping in contact – but your website is really where everything should stem from and should be thought of as the cornerstone of your online presence. Let your website guide your visual branding, showcase where you’ve been and where you are now, and become a solid foundation for you to build from.
I often say that music is a relationship business – and what I mean by this is that it’s often the relationships you have with your audience and professionals in the industry that are going to help you build and grow your career. When it comes to making these connections, a few ways your online presence will help you do this include:
Projecting a professional image (especially when connecting with people who work in the industry), by having your own domain, a strong website, and consistent social media appearance and usage
Showing support for your fellow artists and businesses you like on social media – this can go a long way to cultivating relationships in the long term (and also helps share music and services with others who may be interested)
I’d love to help you create a website that looks as good as you sound.
Get in touch and we can talk about creating something awesome!