Facebook, YouTube, SoundCloud, Instagram... With all the social networks out there and that you may be using, you may think that having your own website is obsolete. This is the largest misconception as today it's even more important than ever to be in control of your reach.
Here are 4 essential reasons why every artist needs a website:
1) Separate yourself from hobby DJ's & musicians
Bookers, labels, promoters will likely take you more serious as a professional music artist when you have an official website.
Having your own website is tied directly to professionalism. Fans, labels, bookers, and press expect an official website from a professional artist just as you would from a clothing brand, restaurant, or really any business these days. Music professionals look for all your information in one place. They don't scroll down your complete Facebook timeline to see who you are, and then check your Soundcloud for tracks, and then check your Instagram for a visual idea, and etc etc. Time is of the essence and valuable, make it easy for them!
2) You're in charge of fan data and reach
Different social media platforms come and go. It's hard to gauge how long each one will be relevant or even exist (mp3.com, Myspace, Hyves, etc.). Each platform plays a different role and calls for a different type of engagement.
Facebook & Instagram, for instance, have all sorts of algorithms in which they determine which posts are shown to people. When you start an account you seem to reach a larger percentage. But as your account grows and gathers more fans, the reach is diminished and they want you to pay to grow your reach by 'boosting' your posts.
“Facebook organic (free) reach is down to a mere 1-6% of your fans.
That is, for every 100 people on Facebook who liked your page, only 1 to 6 of them actually see your posts in their newsfeed.”
Facebook marketing expert, Mari Smith
On third party platforms, you don't have direct contact with your fans meaning you don't have their direct contact info. Contact is happening on the platform itself. In turn, you don't have the data to reach out to them outside of the platform, ownership of data is gold!
With your own website, you own the platform and you own your own fan data. It's a strong factor for your online presence because you can reach a lot of people through one message (newsletters for example) and be assured that it reaches them.
3) Bring your online presence to the next level
Your website operates as the center of your online publishing. It acts as a hub where most of your content can be found. Instagram is great for visual content, Twitter is fabulous to post several 140 messages per day, and Soundcloud great for posting music... let your website be the home for all of those kinds of posts.
Use your website to cross-promote your content and maximize its reach and influence. For example, post your latest track on your news page and share the link on your social media; people will then visit your website, and while doing it see your other tracks & notice that you are also on other social media. They will also follow you there or sign up for your email newsletter. A website is essentially the home for all of your information to be displayed but in one place.
4) You control your own image and brand
A website that is designed and built by you means that you chose the design yourself. This allows your true personality to come through and allow yourself to bust out of the uniformity of social media platforms that operate under their own chosen design. This is where a true branding strategy first begins. Your music is your brand, give it a home!
As we mentioned before, a website is full of all of your information. Because of this reason, the amount of information you have on your website contributes to your ranking on search engines like Google. Optimize and control your ranking by keeping your website up-to-date with all of your new music, announcements, photos, videos, etc.
Branding is a long-term strategy and is accomplished online through your own website. Reach your goals for your music and career and let your website help that to happen.
If you want to be a pro, this is a great way to begin.