Is having a website a MUST for musicians in 2021? This will be the question I answer in this article! It is a very important discussion so let’s jump right in. Today we will be looking at
- The Difference between Using Social Media VS a Website.
- Use your Social Media to drive traffic to your website to provide your audience with “Calls-To-Action” that benefit you.
- The many useful features a website can provide – including the ability to start making money.
- Selling your music on your website VS on Spotify, Apple Music, etc.
- Your website will show how professional you are and set you apart from the competition.
- An opportunity to get started on your own website with BandZoogle. I’ll show you how to enjoy a free 30-Day trial and save 15% off your first yearly plan with BandZoogle – To learn more and begin your free no obligation BandZoogle trial, you can register at: https://bandzoogle.com/?pc=themusicentrepreneur
- The benefit of having everything in 1 place (diff social media platforms are used differently so to get a complete picture you’d have to share so many different platforms. A website = one easy to digest, professional looking central hub.
- I’m here to help you all with this! – Comment at the bottom or get in touch with me if you have questions about building your website.
Do You Need it?
So, is a website necessary for Musicians in 2021? Simply put, the answer to this question is that it depends on your needs. You can totally get away with NOT having a website and sticking to social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook. I believe having a strong social media presence is key for working musicians. That said, I do believe you ARE missing out on some very important things by not having a website.
It ultimately depends on your goals. If all you want to do is grow a following by sharing pictures and stories then Instagram would be enough for that. I’m guessing you need to do a bit more than that in your career as a musician though! Designing a website is easier than ever before. The pricing is also very reasonable these days ($10-15/month). A web page will make you stand out as professional and will offer so many other great features – like the ability to sell your own music commission free!
I’ve included a PRO TIP at the bottom of this article so make sure to read to the end to learn this useful tidbit!
The Perfect Storm for Branding
You should combine Social media and a website to create your ideal online presence. They should be the Ying to the other’s Yang! So then, why have a website? What added benefits does a website bring you? What are you missing out on by NOT having a website? Is a Website necessary for Musicians in 2021 This article will answer all of these questions. Let’s dive in and learn all of the amazing benefits a website can offer – specifically for musicians in 2021.
As I mentioned, Social Media is INCREDIBLE. Having all that power in your fingertips is tantalizing for any marketer, to say the least. There are so many different social media platform out there. As you may or may not know, different Social Media platforms excel at different things. Audiences on each platform expect to consume content in very specific way unique to each platform. Twitter and Instagram should be used very differently, for example. Knowing what type of content to post where is super important.A Quote from my 2021 Social Media Guide for Musicians.
Click HERE for my 2021 Social Media Guide for Musicians, where I break down how each platform excels and how they should be used. These strategies will help you grow your social media presence to bring people into your brand’s inner circle.
A Website VS Social Media
Social Media is incredibly useful, as you learned in my 2021 Social Media Guide. These platforms all have a built-in audience which is the true strength of Social Media. With several outlets for accomplishing different things I’d say using Social Media effectively is like casting a wider net. With your wide net you will be able to catch something – followers! This is amazing, a big social media following can definitely open some doors for you. I ask you this, what is the point of “catching” followers if you don’t have somewhere to send them – no landing page oozing of you-ness? You need to have a place to send people so that you can accomplish some very specific goals as an entrepreneur. Your website is the perfect place for this.
Another thing to keep in mind is that on your website you have the ability to control the user experience of your viewers in every single way. Social media platforms have their own formatting, and it’s fun to create a custom experience for your fans. Another important thing to keep in mind is that you never know what will happen with social media platforms. Just look at Facebook and how younger people are less n less interested in it, in lieu of TikTok, for example. Even TikTok, with all of its influence, had some uncertainty surrounding it as there was talk of it being banned in the US. That didn’t happen, but things like that CAN occur. One way to always have a central hub for your fans is by having your very own website.
Having your own website gives you the opportunity to leverage your followers, fans, and supporters. What I mean by leverage is you can create several Call-to-Actions on your own webpage that you cannot elsewhere. If you still aren’t sure what I’m talking about, a call to action is simply an opportunity you provide your followers to become more involved with you and everything you do. Is it a specific task you offer and encourage your followers to take, such as purchasing your new album or merchandise, siging up to your newsletter, checking out your tour dates/live performance schedule, etc. We all want to gain fans. Imagine people coming to your show and singing the words to you songs? That’s the dream. Well fans want to give back by supporting you however they can. Your website will give them that opportunity.
Features you will use (Why a website is necessary in 2021)
There are so many benefits to having a website beyond the fact that it instantly makes you come off as very professional. Website building platforms offer a range of features to help you grow and succeed in your music career. These tools are super important. I decided to go with BandZoogle as my website building platform of choice – specifically because their features are catered to musicians. Other design platform may offer similar features but I’m not as well versed with them (which is why I partnered with BandZoogle) – I would only ever recommend something I’ve used before and love!
Your Landing Page
Having your own website allows you to have a landing page with your own web address (given the address/url is available). I used to go by Bradly Mitchell professionally so my website’s address/url was http://www.bradlymitchell.com. This is a benefit of a paid account – the website being my name looks nice and professional (and is easy to remember for people). Think of your landing page as your hub where your visitors will first arrive when they visit your page.
Most web building platforms make it super simple to design your own website so don’t be intimidated! Your main landing page should have a good picture of you and a brief bio for visitors to read up about you. This is “Home” for visitors to your site as they navigate their way through the menu you will create. The menu is basically links to the other pages you create on your website such as:
- Gig Calendar
- Video Page
- Contact Form
- Photo Gallery
- Online Store (where you can sell your music or merchandise)
- Paid Subscriptions
These are pretty self explanatory and quite easy to set up yourself on platforms such as BandZoogle. You basically click and drag the features you desire in, and follow the steps they provide to set it up. The Menu example I provided above is basically what I had set up on my website.
The Gig Calendar was a page that showed visitors when and where I was playing. This was useful for a couple of reasons. First off it allowed my fans to look online and see when and where my shows were so that they could come out to enjoy a performance. The other benefit is that it can help you find gigs. I’ll explain.
When you are searching for gigs (especially early in your career, before word of mouth starts getting you gigs) venue managers will definitely want to take a look at your website to learn more about you. When they click on your gig calendar and see that you have some bookings there – especially at decent venues with repeat bookings – it will give them confidence that you know what you’re doing and that you are experienced.
Your Video page is a crucial part for selling yourself as a live performer (which is how I personally make the bulk of my money as a pro musician). This page allows your visitors to view the videos that you upload to this page. It is basically an online resume to show everyone what you’ve got. People are often hesitant to hire you if they’ve never seen you performing before. This page is how you get around that.
Your Contact Form is the page where people visiting your site can get in touch with you for whatever reason. Maybe it is a fan wanting to reach out about something. Perhaps someone recommended you to their friends for a private party and they want to inquire about your pricing and availability. This form is awesome for giving the public direct access to you through your website.
This one is self explanatory. I’ve used this feature before just to show the wide range of places and events I performed in. I don’t think it’s 100% necessary to have a page dedicated to this. You can also post a photo gallery to your main page so that it’s a bit more chill and people can just browse it as they browse your main page – to get to know you better visually.
THIS! I LOVE this feature on bandzoogle. Your online store is where you can actually sell your music and merchandise online. It is completely integrated to accept visa debit, credit cards, or paypal payments – which is badass. I used to do A LOT of online streaming, first with Periscope then with Facebook/YouTube Live as well as Livit. I actually made a surprising amount of money by sending my online fans over to my website to buy my music. MY viewers would head over to my website and actually pay to buy my music (which wasn’t even recording professionally). They didn’t care! They loved my music and the way I made them feel and they wanted to support me.
Another awesome BandZoogle feature is that they allow you to set your own prices when selling your music and merch, and get this, it’s completely commission free! I don’t know if you’re aware, but that is a really big deal. When I sell my wedding music packages online Shopify takes like 3% of every transaction plus $0.30 every time I make a sale. With wedding music costs ranging from $1,000 to $2,500 on average, you can imagine that these fees add up. I would never use this platform for selling original music. BandZoogle….Different story!
But wait – Why not just use Spotify or Apple Music?
You can totally use some of the major streaming music services to sell your music. There’s no reason not to get your music out there reaching as many ears as possible. As you grow you will want people to easily find you on their preferred method of listening to music so yes – it’s a good idea to diversify. The problem with these platforms is the low rate they pay their artists. Take Spotify for example, the notoriously underpay their music contributors. Take for instance this Google search which anyone can easily perform for themselves:
On my BandZoogle website I would sell each track for a dollar. I had multiple songs for sale and my top performing song sold to over 700 people. I realize that isn’t massive or anything, but it’s a LOT better than .004 cents per listen. To make that kind of money with Spotify I would have had to have over 175,000 listens. Just imagine how well I could have done had I continued streaming and prioritized growing my original music presence.
Spotify is fine as you want to be known by as many people as possible but driving traffic yourself to your website can be quite lucrative. With 10-15 purchases a month your website would essentially be paying for itself.
Paid Subscriptions is a great way to engage with you fans and make a bit of money with it too. BandZoogle currently offers “Pay-what-you-want” subscriptions to fans. As they BandZoogle puts it:
An average tip of over $42 shows that, given the option to set their own price, fans are often willing to pay more than what artists charge. “The problem with earning viable revenue is not the value to the fans,” Bedford continues. “This model is about allowing your community to support you as an artist directly.”-The BandZoogle Team
In addition to offering set premiums per month, artists can offer specific rewards to listeners who make recurring payments at a price they choose, opening up support options to an even broader base.
Other Great Features
Most website building platforms allow you to create a blog. This might not be for everyone but blogging can be an amazing way to grow and develop a following (and there are opportunities to do affiliate marketing as well. If you don’t know what it is I’ll explain it in another course) I love blogging as it really let’s people in to get to know you better. I love doing things to add value to the world with blogging!
You can Create a Tip Jar or Donations button. These are exactly what they sound like. If you want to perform online on Instgram, Facebook, or YouTube Live you can share the link to your Tip Jar on your website and people can tip you if they are feeling generous. This is a trick I used to make some money early on when the pandemic began in 2020. Supporters can decide to give you a donation or tip anytime they want – but only if you give them the option.
You can create Polls and E-mail Signup Forms. Polls can be a fun way to interact with your fans and a Signup form is where your fans can sign up with their email addresses to receive your news updates. Did you know that building a large email list can lead to some pretty great marketing opportunities? You do now! Being a professional musician is so amazing. In the beginning of this journey it’s hard to see all the doors that can open. With the right tools you can really take advantage of these opportunities and grow your career at a MUCH quicker rate.
Chat Support is very useful when building your website. It is a direct line to employees of website building platforms. This isn’t always offered to subscribers but with BandZoogle it is. Anytime you’re stuck for ideas or don’t know how to get something done on the website – chat support technicians are only a couple of clicks away. I can’t overstate how convenient this is as your will always be able to have all of your questions answered with everything related to building your website. It gives your real piece of mind.
Analytics are included in your website plan. This lets you know how many people are visiting your website, where they are coming from, and what they are doing on your website. This feedback is great for making adjustments to improve your visitors experience on your page. It’s also great to know how many visitors you have. You can make it a personal challenge to drive more people to your website and see these numbers (and your influence) increase. Using social media is a great way to drive traffic to your webpage (remember that wide you’re casting).
BandZoogle – My Platform of Choice
Of the various website building platforms I’ve used over the past 10 years BandZoogle has by far been my favorite for creating my music websites. The simplicity of design and all of the features they provide for musicians specifically make it a no brainer for me personally. An awesome feature of BandZoogle is that they include free domain hosting for the duration that you are on their platform – which saves you both money and time.
I have officially partnered with BandZoogle because of my past experiences with them. By signing up with them through my link you can enjoy and 30-day free trial as well as a 15% discount on your first year’s subscription to build your website – because who doesn’t want to save money and get a great product too. BandZoogle pays me a bit of a commission for everyone that signs up, which makes this an excellent way to help support me if you love the content I’ve been working hard to provide the world with since 2017. It’s a win-win really. Pricing wise you’re looking at about $10 a month (after your 15% discount) for a standard (mid level) package.
To learn more and begin your free trial, please visit https://bandzoogle.com/?pc=themusicentrepreneurClick here to view BandZoogle's Main Features below :
I truly appreciate the support! I will always be upfront about with you when I am making money from marketing opportunities and will only recommend products and services I’ve used before and love.
Any website constructed tastefully and with care will set you apart from the competition when looking for work as a musician. Imagine a venue with two musicians inquiring to perform. One musicians has a website and the other does not. Assuming both musicians can play their instrument and sing, which one do you think will most likely get the gig? I bet over 90% of the time that it is the musician who has a great website!
The Benefit of having everything in one place
As you now know there are amazing benefits to having a website. One of the main reasons I recommend this though is that it is so much easier than sharing all of your social media links to a promoter or bookings manager. As it takes a multitude of social media platforms to truly demonstrate you are as an artist – the drawback is needing to send people to multiple places. If I want to hire a musician and he gives me his Youtube links, his instagram, his facebook page, etc that is a lot more work for ME (as a booker). I want a simple streamlined view of what an artist is to determine if I will hire them or not. For this reason as well as everything else I listed in this article I believe that in 2021 it is still crucial to have a website as a musician.
A great way to share your website with the world is to put your website’s address on your business cards. That way when you are looking for gigs you can give these to venue managers as a “leave behind”. It looks really professional to have business cards.
Another great use of business cards with your website address clearly printed on them is that you can put them on a business card stand at your gigs. Your audience can walk up anytime they like and take a card. I’ve had this happen many many times and you will often hear from these people to book you directly for some sort of function – such as a birthday party, corporate event, BBQ party, Wedding, etc.
Send people to your website – the one place where you can completely control their user experience!
I hope this information was very useful for you. Comment below and please get in touch if you have any questions about any of this. I’m here to help you! 🙂