When it comes to newbie musicians things get messed up. There is no clarity nor a good amount of trustworthy facts. Not to mention the hundreds of useless services that are being born on a daily basis. They reach out to DIY musicians promising them money, fame, hot chicks and-or cute boys. -it depends on anyone’s own taste-. They aren’t all scammers, of course. Smoke and mirrors, that is what most of them are instead. You see, even if they are not completely useless they will end up getting you focused in the wrong direction.
On the other hand we have a handful of bands who do anything but help themselves out. I mean, you can play and record your own music just for fun. You then burn a couple of cassettes, then xerox a black & white cardboard and bother your pals for buying you a copy, that is fine with me. (Maybe it is not so much with them)
But what if your goals are bigger. You live in the web 2.0 era and you want to get the best out of it. Possibly you want to put your name out there. Sell music and score hundreds of plays out over YouTube. So, why is that I can’t even find your bloody email address anywhere in your Facebook page? Or worst. I can’t even find your Facebook page!
Ok. Let’s take it easy. Can we? You can do whatever you like with your online presence. You’re not harming anyone, after all. But being open minded always pays out. -So used to say one of my teachers at high school- Hence, will you be enough open minded to give this a look and see if it may work for you?
If not…look here. This is how I suggest you to spend the next hour of your life.
If I got you so far, that means you’re quite of a patient person. But you’re going to be rewarded now -hopefully. The following are the top 5 things you must -again, repeat with me – you MUST have for being considered a serious musician, act, band, minstrel or you name it.
1. Email address
Yes, that! In case you don’t have it clearly noticeable, reachable and usable then you are out. Whether you use a contact form, a plain address, a “message me” button or a “here’s my mom’s phone number” call-to-action you want to be always easy to get in touch with. Period.
I know it sounds obvious. Only, try and look up at some small bands pages on Facebook and you’ll see how many of them don’t have such an information right there. Unbelievable, huh!?!
You’re not shy of the telephone, are you? Good. Put up your number there too.
Google‘s Gmail is a good service to start with. Although, we prefer Microsoft’s Hotmail. However pick one of the two and you’re gonna be fine.
Do you really need for me to explain why you need Facebook? Where have you been in the last decade?
Seriously, this is just as important as being fully, easily contactable. C’mon guys, everyone uses Facebook these days. Guess why you want to be in there too!
Anyway, I’m not going to waste more time on the topic since it has already been covered -a lot better than what I would have ever been able to -by good ol’ Simon, over here: www.somberlane.com/spk-2-in-depth-facebook-management/
For my little experience Bandcamp is simply the best platform you want your music available on. Being it for streaming, sharing or selling purposes you cannot find a better place to suit your art. I feel sorry cause it looks like here, in Italy, musicians haven’t discovered it yet. Luckily, outside the borders there’s a fuckton of acts taking advantage of this amazing platform. Having your music up on the best-selling network of artists is one hell of a move!
Go here to signup: https://bandcamp.com/artists
I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to place this above or below Bandcamp. So, let’s call it even. YouTube is so important because it is THE site where people discover and listen to new music. It is the number one for catchment area. That’s a chance you can’t miss, right!?
“I’m not interested in making videos. What I do care about is music. So, that’s not for me.” Bollocks!
As long as you have some sort of music with a still, crappy picture it can work out. Of course having badass videos would help too … a lot actually. Still, anything you can do right up there is a good leap forward for your presence. Also try and engage a conversation with other people. Comment their clips, join their channels and all those fancy stuff you already know you should do.
5. Website / Blog
And yeah. After all, you also need a space that is all yours. You can go for a standard website, a personal blog or anything in between. Important is you make it tidy, nice and right-to-where-the-meat-is. Read: You need to point the audience where it needs to be pointed; merch items, downloads and all that matters for your career and incomes too.
For my own experience, I found that the best, free of charge -with the chance to expand it in various ways with some extra fees-, platform to host your own site is WordPress.
Go here to signup: https://wordpress.com/start/survey
And that’s it. I may have to explain each service way better. Still, this would have become overly long and boring to digest. So take this as a tidy list to go through and check if you’re all set on each and every point. If not, I suggest you to get that sorted out as soon as possible.
On a final note. I’m aware that there are a lot of other interesting services you can take advantage of: SoundCloud, Instagram, Twitter, CDBaby and many others. Though, my aim was to get you focused on what’s important. What you want to get sorted first and foremost. Those others are surely so cool, but they are nothing if you can’t fully manage the top 5 I mentioned before.
You can’t afford to waste time. Because you don’t have much if you’re a DIY musician. So you get done what needs to be done, right now!
To your success.