Recently I reviewed a TON of websites from independent musicians. I was on the hunt for some new music and I let myself just wander aimlessly through the interwebs on the lookout for a cool new artist or band.
As I wasted (was it really a waste?) the afternoon away, I noticed one critical mistake in every website I saw. Over and over I realized the band or musician didn’t answer the most important question before they started designing their site….
What’s the purpose of this website?
A website can serve many needs.
- It could be a place for your hardcore fans to hang out and connect with each other.
- It could be a brochure to introduce your band to new fans.
- Maybe you want your site to be press friendly.
- Or maybe you need a combination of all of the above.
When someone starts building a website before answering the critical question of purpose, the site becomes a jumbled mass of information and worthless gimmicks. By being clear about the “why” first, you’ll have a much clearer vision of the pieces that need to be on your site.
An artist’s website has one real purpose.
Attract new fans and give them a quick introduction to what you’re all about and why they belong in your fandom. I came to this conclusion by thinking like a fan.
People end up at your site in many ways.
- They found you on YouTube where you had a link to your site.
- They saw you on Twitter and followed the trail.
- They see you’re going to be opening for their favorite band and want to know if they should get there early or skip your set.
The common thread running through all these people is curiosity. They want to learn more about you and get to know your music. On the other hand, your serious fans aren’t going to your website – unless you give them a reason.
Case in point – I LOVE the Black Crowes. I go see them almost every time they’re in Chicago. I have all their albums….I NEVER go to their website. Why? I’m on their email list, I follow them on Facebook, I follow them on Twitter. I have no reason to go back to their site unless they tell me they’re having a special sale or contest. I only land on their site when they send me an email with a link. That’s it.
Try looking at your site with fresh eyes. If you had never heard about you before, what would you think when you landed at www.MyAwesomeBand.com? What do you want to know? How easy is it to find this information?
By thinking like a new potential fan you’ll see your site in the correct way. Now just answer the questions running through your mind and your site will be on its way to attracting new fans!