Your band rocks. You know it rocks. You’ve found the sound to take to town. But these days, everything’s on the Internet, and if you want to share your music with the world, you need to be there too. Don’t worry! It doesn’t take a degree in Computer Science to get ahead online. If you can surf the Internet (and we know you can, or you wouldn’t be here) you can expand your fan base across the country and around the globe.
1. You Must Submit
- Websites like GarageBand and Kazaa let listeners enjoy totally free music. Tap this vast market by submitting your songs to online radios. You’re potentially reaching an audience greater than the biggest gig you’ve ever played, and you don’t even have to unload your equipment from the van. One upload covers you forever.
- Once your music reaches the masses, these sites will help you connect with your new fans. Most sites allow you to add links to your website or email newsletter, so that you can capitalize on the momentum of the moment. Music lovers hear your music for free, follow the links to your site, and become instant fans.
- Links make the Internet go ‘round. Post your own on comment boards, forums, and fan sites. Encourage your fans and groupies to post links, too. More links posted by more people in more places equal more search engine relevancy. Remember, a link is more than a URL and a name. Anchor text, with interesting descriptions, encourages people to click.
2. Give It Away Now
- Internet newcomers sometimes balk at offering free content, but what better advertisement is there? If listeners fall in love with one or two of your songs, they’ll be happy to pay to download the rest of the album. If they’ve never heard of you, what will compel them to spend money just to find out whether or not you’re any good? Free content is free publicity.
- Root your website in your own sound. You’re a band! When fans hit your home page, they need to hear your music. Use an audio encoding application to create MP3 files of the songs you want folks to hear. Then upload the file to your site, so that it’s easy for them to find and play high quality recordings of the music right then and there.
- Everyone loves freebies. Once you’ve got your fans’ attention, give them incentives to love you more. Create online contests or other ways for visitors to win free tickets or VIP Passes to your next show. Mail personalized postcards with images and track titles to anyone who downloads the album. All the extras help create a real bond with your fans.
3. If You’ve Got Something to Say, Why Don’t You Say It?
- The best way to stay in touch with the virtual community is to read and comment on other websites and blogs. If you know music, other musicians and bloggers want to hear your feedback on their work, and if you leave comments on blogs, other bloggers will follow you back to your site. Google Blog Search, Blogdigger, Bloggapedia, BlogTopList, Blog Catalog, and Outpost Earth can help you find your music community online.
- Keep it real by keeping your own blog with Blogger, WordPress, or LiveJournal. Stay in touch with your fans by giving updates on your band’s schedule, offering snippets of new songs, and providing juicy gossip about the music. Add links back to your website so fans can download music or sign up for your newletter. Read your fans’ comments, respond to them, and watch your network grow.
4. Reach Out and Touch Someone
- Social networking websites like Facebook and MySpace are a boon for bands of all sizes. These sites walk you through the creation of your own page, then help you find new and old fans among their existing members. Once you’ve built your page, you can post band news, add friends, customize your page, and get active in the music community.
- You put a lot of effort into that music video. Make sure it gets the audience it deserves.
- Post your videos for free on YouTube, Yahoo Video, and Google Video, and link them back to your website. There is literally no better way to find fame on the Internet than with a viral video—one that is so wonderful that everyone who sees it reposts the link and shares it with their friends.
- Join communities tailored to your genre. Find existing communities or create your own through MyBlogLog and Ning in addition to the other sites mentioned above. Joining these specific networks will help you stay in tune with the music world and find new fans and contacts to promote your band.
- Take it back to the real world. Once you’ve connected with your online community, you can start networking with posters hung in prominent locations or postcards sent to your mailing list. Just ask your fans if they want to receive mailings! You can use Ticket Printing’s Design Your Own tool to create publicity that will catch attention and connect you to your listeners.
So, start networking today! Spread your music and your influence far and wide across the Internet and watch your fan base grow.