Website for Musicians: A Vital ToolBy -
Estimated reading time: 10 minutes
There’s something I’ve noticed lately, and it’s so frustrating that I can’t ignore it anymore. I have to say something, so I’m going to say it here.
Websites should have a purpose.
I know it seems obvious, but—judging from the abundance of ineffective, uninformative websites out there—people haven’t gotten that memo.
What I’m Talking About
Let’s say you go to a retailer’s website, and the website simply has their logo floating above a pretty background (or not) with a tagline below. In addition, they have several links that direct their customers to visit other sites to learn more.
And… that’s it. No “About the Company”, no photographs, and no products to browse. No hours listed, no ability to search for a location near you, and no contact information. It’s just a landing page with almost no information on it, less a logo and tagline—a halfhearted confirmation of the retailer’s mere existence. How strange, and how frustrating, would that be for you, a potential customer? How crazy would a company have to be to present themselves like this? Could they really be that clueless?
If the above example looks extreme or comical, trust me, I know. But, the thing is, I see websites like this every day… from musicians. This annoying and nonsensical phenomenon is rampant in the independent musician market. Musicians are guilty of having ineffective and uninformative websites.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked up a band’s website only to see their logo, a piece of album art, and links to social media, third-party retailers, and everywhere else they can think of. No real content. No biography, no tour schedule, no discography, no samples to listen to or videos to watch, no mailing list sign-up, no merch for sale, and no chances for income.
As a potential fan, it’s frustrating and annoying. For the band, it’s a bunch of missed opportunities. It’s time to change things.
The Purpose of Your Website
As I said at the beginning, websites should have a purpose. Some websites have several purposes. Since you’re a musician, your website should tell visitors about you, your career, and your music. The site should be designed to capture the fans’ interest. You want to create a desire in the fan to connect with you and purchase your music.
Signature Elements of an Effective Website
Samples of Your Work
We’d like to hear your music. After all, it’s what you do, or aspire to do, for a living; it’s why we’re here. So, share your music with us!
How you go about doing this is really up to you. I would recommend showcasing your best music videos, offering full-length samples of your music, and always giving the fan an opportunity to purchase what they like. Which leads us to the next point…
Product For Sale
Your website needs a product page that offers your music and your other merchandise for sale. Don’t send fans from your website to iTunes, Pandora, Spotify, YouTube, Soundcloud, or other similar websites to purchase or hear your music! If they choose to purchase your music on iTunes, fine, just don’t send them there when you could have made the sale yourself.
There are a few reasons this makes sense:
1. You keep as much of the profits of your hard-earned work as possible. You might have to give a small cut to the credit card processor or pay a little extra per month on your website, but you’re not giving up 30% or more of each sale! That difference adds up quickly, and the regained profits can be used as needed on future projects, new gear, touring costs, or as actual income.