Is Your Site Leaking Fans?

Liner Notes March 25, 2014

Are you inviting fans to leave your website before they even get settled?

It takes a lot of time, money and energy to get fans to your website. Don’t send them right out the back door before they have a chance to discover how awesome you are!

What links do you have on your site?  Shout out below…

Doing the Pinch/Zoom/Pivot Dance

Liner Notes March 11, 2014

Are you ready to do the pinch/zoom/pivot dance? Your potential fans aren’t.

Find out all about the dance and how you can avoid it in this week’s 2 minute video.

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In the USA mobile accounts for 15% of traffic to all websites. The Only Sky Artist site gets 36% of our traffic from mobile devices. We have some artists getting over 40% of their traffic from mobile devices.

It’s very important to consider how your fans view your website.

Do you have a responsive website?  Shout out below…

Why do Musicians Focus on SEO

Liner Notes March 4, 2014

So many musicians waste time focused on SEO. Stop spinning your wheels and focus on what will really move the needle.

See what I mean in this week’s video….

What are your thoughts on chasing SEO?  Shout out below…

Is Your Blog Hurting Your Website

Liner Notes February 25, 2014

When a new visitor lands on your home page what do they see? If it’s your blog you may be doing more harm than good.

See what I mean in this week’s video….

Do you agree or disagree with my blog theory?  Shout out below…

Rock Your ReverbNation ‘More Info’ Box

Liner Notes February 18, 2014

I have many pet peeves, but the ReverbNation ‘More Info’ box is near the top of the list.

Most independent musicians put way too much information in this box.

This week we’ll look at some examples and show you what you should have in your info box instead.

On a side note, that’s 7 videos and I’ve managed to not repeat a shirt!!

How many icons do you have in your ReverbNation ‘More Info’ box?  Shout out below…

What’s the Purpose of Your Band’s Website?

Liner Notes January 28, 2014

You’ve heard us talk about calls-to-action….probably more than once. lol 😉

It’s hard to get people to your website. It takes a lot of time, money and effort. Don’t let them just wander around when they get there. Have a plan.

So what should be the call-to-action of your website? What’s its job?

If you’re an independent artist or band then you should have only one answer. See if we agree by watching this short 2 minute marketing drill.

 

What is the purpose of your website today? If it’s not to gather emails will you change it?  Leave your answers below…

Liner Notes January 14, 2014 – Dealing with Multiple Calls-to-Action on Your Homepage

Have you ever wondered how to deal with different types of people visiting your website?

Reporters, bloggers, fans, super fans, and venues all have different agendas when they come to your website. How do you as an independent artist create a site that speaks to all of them?

In this week’s video I’ve got some tips on how to help all these folks, yet still stay true to the one page, one action rule. Plus I’ve got a sneak peek inside The Indie Bible, a great resource for independent artists to find press, venues and other resources.

 

From the video:

The Indie Bible

 

Leave your homepage address in the comments below. Jennine and I will look at your site and let you know what we think is your call-to-action.

Where is that Freakin’ Music Coming From!?

auto-play music is scaryIt happens almost every time I cruise ReverbNation looking for new bands. I click through to a band’s website and suddenly my office is shaking!

Where the hell is that music coming from?

As my pulse quickens and my adrenaline surges, I frantically scan for the pause button. But where is it? It’s usually so buried in the sidebar or blending into my bottom toolbar that I can’t find it. So what do I do?

Should I continue to be assaulted by music I didn’t ask for or hit the big red X in the upper-right corner?

Artists think they are being smart by setting auto-play to on. After all, everyone that lands on their site will hear their music. And once they hear it they’re going to be compelled to buy it ’cause it’s so freaking awesome!

In reality musicians are only hurting themselves.

People don’t like to be told what to do. Setting music to play when they first land on your site dictates their experience. So at the very least you have ruffled someone’s feathers by forcing them to turn off your music. Instead of allowing them to make the decision to turn it on.

On the other extreme, you may have blown their speakers or eardrums. Or caused them to stain their underpants. None of which will endear you to a new potential fan.

But one scenario you may not have considered is the worker cruising the internet while they should be working. Suddenly the entire floor knows they are on your website. Again, you’re not making new friends.

Instead, try placing your music player in a prominent position on your home page. Give viewers a reason to click play. Use testimonials or reviews to intrigue someone enough to try it for themselves. They will have a much better experience and will stick around on your site a lot longer.

 

 

Use the Power of the Written Word to Make Your Music Safe

Let people know about your musicMost people don’t like to be first to anything. I hate being first to the party. I wasn’t the first to buy an iPhone. And I don’t like to buy products from Amazon with very few reviews.

I guess I like to have a few people there ahead of me to say “it’s okay, come on over!”

And I’m not alone. When new potential fans land on your website they want to know if anyone else likes your music. It’s a way for them to quickly filter out what’s worth their time and what isn’t. They also want to know that they won’t be ridiculed for going against the grain and liking something uncool.

One powerful method to let new listeners know it’s okay to stick around is to display a quote from someone of authority. If Rolling Stone said your music is “the second coming of Elvis Costello” then people are going to be drawn in. They want to hear for themselves and see if they agree with Rolling Stone. The authoritative quote will get them to stop and listen.

But it doesn’t need to be Rolling Stone; and probably won’t be. Honestly, the chances you’ll land a Rolling Stone interview the week after your first show is as close to zero as you can get. But you do need some quotes from someone of authority. A quote from a local paper or blogger can be just as powerful if presented correctly.

So start with platforms that are looking for content. Local papers and magazines have trouble finding content to fill their publications each week. If you can make it easy for them, you can get some free PR. A well-written press release could get printed as-is, or it might land you an in-depth interview.

Another great source for quotes is online review sites and blogs. Again, some of the smaller, newer sites are starving for content. Search through Google for ‘free music reviews.’ It will take some doing, but after wading through a few pages of results you’ll find a few gems.

If you’d like a shortcut, we did some of the work for you. Download our PDF of 11 Free Music Review sites.

Or if you want the ultimate collection of newspapers, magazines, websites and more that will review your music, try The Indie Bible. A great collection of resources for Indie Artists. It’s not free, but it packs a ton of great information.

Once you have some great reviews prominently post them on the home page of your website. Next time a new fan lands there, they’ll be assured you’re worth a listen.

If you find some great places to review your music, let us know. We love to share!

Build a Website with Purpose! Attract New Fans

Use your website to attract new fansRecently 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!