Imagine, just for a moment, that you own a business, and you’re looking to hire someone to fill a role in your company.
You post a job ad to start attracting candidates, and pretty soon you’re getting résumé submissions from all over.
You find a few great-looking résumés from the pile, and you start narrowing down your options. You also start looking at the LinkedIn and social media profiles of the remaining applicants.
Ask yourself: would you hire someone that had a poorly-crafted social media presence? If they had little or no experience, if they had no qualifications, if their profile picture on Facebook showed them partying and drinking, if their latest tweet featured a bunch of expletives, would you be willing to trust this person in their new role?
And so it is with musicians – many are looking for better opportunities, yet they don’t have an online presence that says, “this is the band you want to hire.” Instead, their website presence says, “we slapped this together one weekend.” They don’t have a website, and their Facebook page hasn’t been updated in two months. Or maybe their latest release sounds like it was recorded while they were drowning underwater in a basement (are you okay?).
If you really want to get bigger and better gigs, you have to be willing to put in the time, money, and effort necessary to polish how you’re appearing online.
Let’s explore some additional reasons why you need a well-crafted online presence before promoting your music online.You need a well-crafted online presence before promoting your music online.Click To Tweet
You Won’t Get Added To Curated Playlists
These days, it is quite advantageous for artists to get added to influencer and tastemaker playlists – on Spotify, YouTube, and elsewhere. Some artists have even become “overnight” successes and have earned a lot of money thanks to being featured in a niche playlist.
If you want to be featured, it will be necessary to reach out to influencers (although there is a slight chance that one of your tracks will get added at random). If you email them and they see that you don’t have a website, they can’t find your bio, or if you don’t have high-quality photography, they are going to be less inclined to take you seriously and give your track some love.
You need to show that you are active as a musician, that you’re regularly putting out new releases and touring. You need to show that you’re serious about what you’re doing.
You Won’t Get Reviews & Media Coverage
Who wants to review a band that can’t even describe what their music is about?
Here’s what I mean: a lot of artists seem to want to appeal to everybody and refuse to classify themselves. They say their music is “completely original” and that they don’t belong to any specific genre or musical style.
Really think about this for a second. One of the top-selling albums of all time is Michael Jackson’s Thriller at 29 million copies. Let’s keep in mind that there are now seven billion people on this planet. 29 million is a mere 3% of seven billion! Even Michael Jackson isn’t universally listened to and loved, so how in the world are you going to reach 100% saturation – sorry to be the one to have to break it to you, it’s not going to happen!
So instead focus on markets you can dominate. Set up your website using a service like Bandzoogle, and create a cut-and-paste bio that any publication would be proud to run in their magazine or newspaper. Tell them what bands or artists you sound like, and what style of music you play. The more accurate information you can provide them with, the better.
Don’t overdo it though – you don’t need to show 20 industry quotes on your press kit. Two or three of the most notable ones is enough.
You Won’t Get Booked
Wouldn’t you love to play more shows, get more interviews and get booked to do more in general?
Unfortunately, we don’t live in a time when A&R reps are going to be reaching out to you out of the blue (not to mention the fact that that was a rare occurrence even in the past). Some people certainly will contact you, but if you’re serious about your music, you’ve got to grab life by the horns and start creating your own opportunities.
And that means having a polished online presence, because if you contact venues and radio stations and you can’t even point them to your press kit, you’re not going to get booked. You must show that you can book shows, please a crowd, make great demos, give good interviews, and that you’re willing to spend on things like a professional website and a good photographer.
On a local level, personal contact can go a long way. But if you want to do more with your music on a bigger scale, you’re going to have to show that you’re a pro online too.
You Won’t Be Taken Seriously
Bottom line – a lot of people won’t take you seriously if you don’t have your stuff in order.
You might have a bit of a local following, but that won’t count for much on a worldwide level since people searching for you online won’t have any idea what you’re up to unless you have pictures, videos, and some well-crafted text to show them.
In some cases, you can “get by” with a decent social media presence, but it would be smart to build your own website as well. Then, commit to updating it regularly.
No one said music marketing would be easy. You must be willing to put in the upfront work to be successful over the long haul.
Like a professional looking for a job on LinkedIn, you should audit (that means to thoroughly examine) your social media presence. Take a step back, look at the image you’re projecting out into the world, and ask yourself whether or not it’s saying what you actually want it to say.
If you can show that you have experience, work ethic, talent, and relevant skills, more opportunities will start coming your way.