Change how you communicate with your fans online.
Rather then using Facebook as your band’s website, it’s about time you broke out and built a home of your own. The industry has been talking about the importance of direct-to-fan for a few years now, but very few unsigned bands have have embraced this. Most believe that having a page on Facebook is all they need to get noticed and eventually signed.
Firstly getting signed is a lot less important today then it was 10 years ago. Secondly, the best way your band can go about getting signed is to do it yourself and build your own fan base.
The First and most important step to this is to have your own website, with your own domain (www.yourbandname.com).
Why? – Reasons for having your own site:
By having your own site, you get more control over the visitors that come to your site. It also means that you are not subject to changes that Facebook makes to their site.
But this is complicated and costs money! No… Nor is it or does it!
In recent years it has become easier and cheaper for anyone to set up their own site. There are blog sites like Tumblr or Wrodpress.com that are easy to set up and allow you add multiple pages.
Problem with these sites is that you don’t host them, so like Facebook all your info belongs to them! They will allow you assign a domain name to your blog but it’s not the same as hosting your own site.
WordPress.org is a sister site to wordpress.com and where the .com version host the site for you with many restrictions, the .org version gives you their software to host yourself.
A little confused? Check out this post on how to use WordPress
They have made their web software so simple and versatile that you no longer need to know HTML.
The big advantage to WordPress is that it’s super easy to create new pages and posts and there are so many free or cheap plugins and themes to enhance your site.
It is also very popular with 24% of all websites are now powered by WordPress.
For hosting sites and themes see my resources page.
Once you’re happy with how your site looks, start adding content. Good photos and logos are a must and you should have a well written bio, tour dates, music and video (use soundcloud and Youtube to stream your media) and make sure you have a contact page with a contact number and e-mail address. You should also have email sign up forms on all pages.
The great thing about sites like WordPress is the ability to easily post news updates and blog posts. This should be updated regularly at least once every two weeks, but as often as you like. Just make sure what you’re posting is stuff that interests you and hopefully your fans and write your headings in the third person. (Instead of “Here’s Our New Tour Dates” write “Band X Announces New Spring Tour Schedule”) This way if someone finds you on google, it will make more sense.
You should post a snippet of each post to your Facebook page with a link back and post the headline to your twitter with a link back. For more info on widgets, plugins, analytics, rss feeds, sharing buttons and more, check out my previous post.
Once you get the hang of it it’s no different from using Facebook, but your fans will be more focused on your site then they would one a third party site.
Any question about more detailed stuff like what plugins work best and how to link with other sites, leave me a comment and I’ll try my best to answer them.