Making the Most of Your Web Presence
The whole point of making CDs and putting MP3s of your music on the Internet is to promote and sell your music. To do this, you need exposure. Like any promotion technique, there are no rules except to use your imagination. Experience will be your guide, but here are some ideas to get you started:
Start an e-mail newsletter. An e-mail newsletter is an inexpensive way to keep your music on people’s minds. Try to be somewhat consistent in sending it out, but don’t just send out the same message on a regular basis. Give your subscribers something. Provide new information in your e-mail, such as a press release about where you’re playing next or a link to a new song that you’ve just uploaded.
Note: Don’t send your newsletter to anyone who hasn’t asked to receive it. This is called spamming, and it’s illegal. To build a subscriber list, encourage people to fill in your mailing list sign-up forms at your gigs and on your website.
Or, offer them a free download to sign up on your website, and put a subscription form at the top of every page. (Check out www.reiinstitute.com to see this function in action.) Always provide a way for users to unsubscribe from your list, and make it easy to do so.
Put your website address on everything. People can’t come to you if they don’t know that you exist. So print your website address on all your promotional materials, including the CD itself. Also, include your website address on all e-mails and Internet correspondence that you send (for example, as a signature on Internet forums).
Network. Check out as many independent musician sites as you can. You not only find out a lot about marketing your music, but you also have an opportunity to spread the word about your music. Check out Getsigned.com for starters.
Stay up to date. Keep track of where you put your music, and check back often to make sure that everything is working properly. websites change and go out of business often. Unless you check the site occasionally, you may not know whether your music has disappeared. Also, routinely search for new places to put your music.
Get linked. Try to get folks to link from their sites to your own. Likewise, share the wealth and link to other sites that you like. Cross promotion can be a good thing and allow you to pool your fan base with another band.
This doesn’t take away from your sales (after all, you listen to more than one band’s CDs, right?). Visitors to your site will appreciate the link and will probably check back to see whether you have added new links.