Dave Cool

Best of Band Website Love 2012

Every week, we show some love for one of our favorite websites on Bandzoogle. Here’s a look back at some of the standouts from the “Band Website Love” blog series in 2012:

5th Projekt


Website: www.5thprojekt.com

Read the original Website Love post here.




Valorie Miller


Website: www.valoriemiller.com

Read the original Website Love post here.



Rupert Wates


Website: www.rupertwatesmusic.com

Read the original Website Love post here.





Miles to Dayton


Website: www.milestodayton.net

Read the original Website Love post here.





Carrie Johnson


Website: www.carriejohnsonmusic.com

Read the original Website Love post here.





Gal Holiday


Website: www.galholiday.com

Read the original Website Love post here.





Lera Lynn


Website: www.leralynn.com

Read the original Website Love post here.





Rodello’s Machine


Website: www.rodellosmachine.com

Read the original Website Love post here.

Posted by Dave Cool on 12/31/2012 | 1 comment
Dave Cool

Best of the Bandzoogle Blog 2012

We work hard to provide Bandzooglers with useful information on our blog, with lots of new content published every week. As we ring in a new year, here’s a look at some of the highlights from our blog in 2012:

6 Essential Elements for Your Band’s Website Homepage



This blog post is one that we refer to most often when doing website reviews. It all starts with an effective Homepage, and this post breaks down the essential elements you should have in place: 6 Essential Elements for Your Band’s Website Homepage


Hub & Spokes: The Key to Driving Fans to Your Band Website

Also selected as one of the best blog posts of 2012 on the music/technology blog Hypebot, this post explains how to use social media and online content to drive traffic to your website: Hub & Spokes: The Key to Driving Fans to Your Band Website






The Four P’s of Playing Live Shows: Promotion

This was Part 2 of a 4-part blog series about live shows by our Director of Artist Relations Dave Cool. The post went over all the aspects of promoting a live show, and was one of the most Liked/Tweeted posts on our blog in 2012: The Four P’s of Playing Live Shows: Promotion





 

Is Your Music in an Art Gallery or at Ikea?

In this post, our CEO David Dufresne talks about the importance of putting your music into context and building an experience around it, making it more valuable to your fans: Is Your Music in an Art Gallery or at Ikea?




 

You Only Get One Voice - Take Care of it!

Support Team member Justin offered one of the most practical and helpful blog posts of 2012 with his tips for singers on how to take care of your voice. He should know, he’s an opera singer himself: You Only Get One Voice - Take Care of it





Branch Out with your Music

Allison from support wrote on a very important subject for musicians: diversifying your revenue streams. She encourages musicians to think outside the box and make money in other ways besides music sales and live gigs: Branch Out with your Music

Posted by Dave Cool on 12/31/2012 | 0 comments
Dave Cool

Free eBook: Quick Fix! 12 Ways to Instantly Improve Your Band Website

We have a little holiday gift for everyone! During the last few years we’ve reviewed thousands of musician websites through our member forums, by email, and at music conferences around the world. We know how to optimize a website, depending on what your goals are.

This free eBook is a collection of 12 quick ways that musicians can improve their websites. We hope you find them helpful.

Download the eBook HERE

Want to share the book with your bandmates and friends? Sweet! Just send them this link:
http://bit.ly/quickfixebook

Have a great holiday season!

- The Bandzoogle Team 
Posted by Dave Cool on 12/21/2012 | 10 comments
Dave Cool

Do Musicians Need to Interact with their Fans?

We often talk about the “Hub & Spokes” method to drive traffic to your website using your social media profiles. The root of the “Hub & Spokes” concept is really about interacting with your fans and using all the tools available in a cohesive strategy that will create more awareness about you and your music.

Now, musicians are busy people. Often they play in several projects, or have day jobs, families, or all of the above. So whenever there is talk about social media, newsletters, and marketing in general, it’s understandable that it can seem a little overwhelming. It takes a lot of work just for the artistic side of things, between writing music, rehearsing, playing shows, and all of the logistics that go into those creative endeavors.

But the days of the reclusive rock star hiding backstage, letting record companies and managers do all the promotion and communicating with their fans, is long gone. It’s not enough to write, rehearse, and perform music to develop a sustainable career. Fan interaction has now become part of the job description for today’s musicians.

How We Got Here: Technology

So how did we get here? We’ve seen recording technology reach the point where you can record professionally from the comfort of your own home. You can now take music you recorded at home and easily distribute it to online stores like iTunes and Amazon for a small fee. And the internet, with tools like websites, email, and social media, gives you access to a potential global audience of fans.

The result of these technological advances? A level playing field for all musicians where you can record for cheap, distribute your music for cheap, and reach a potential global audience of fans for practically free. Hooray! Everyone gets a career in music!

Unfortunately, it’s not that straightforward. The flipside of all of this has been that music fans also now have an unlimited choice of music. They can listen to whatever music they want, whenever they want to. Musicians are now competing for the attention of music fans, who are distracted more than ever by the thousands upon thousands of options available to them at any given moment.

3 Reasons to Interact with Your Fans

So do musicians need to interact with their fans? In a word, yes. But here are 3 reasons why it’s important that you do:

1. Keeps fans aware of you


The biggest reason to interact with your fans is to simply keep them aware of you and your music. As previously mentioned, fans have unlimited choices when it comes to music, so it’s extremely important to keep them aware of your music on a regular basis.

2. Solidifies relationships with fans

More and more, fans want to feel a direct connection to the artists themselves. So interacting with your fans not only keeps them aware of your music, but gives you the opportunity to solidify your relationship with them. Every time a fan makes a comment or asks a question on your blog or through social media, you have the chance to respond and make them feel like they’re an active part of your career. But if you don’t respond, they just might pay more attention to an artist that will.

3. Creates "super fans"

As you solidify your relationship with fans and they start to feel like they’re going on this musical journey with you, some of them will become “super fans”. These are the fans that will buy almost everything you put out; from buttons to t-shirts, to limited edition items. They will also come to all your shows, and probably bring their friends. But most importantly, these are the fans that are going to talk about you and promote you through social media & blogs.


Whereas marketing used to focus on finding ways to communicate the value of your music to potential fans, now the key is getting fans themselves to communicate the value of your music to other people. Here’s why that’s so important:

Nielsen recently conducted a study that found that 54% of people are more likely to make a purchase based off a positive recommendation from a friend.


People are tuning out ads and giving more weight to the recommendations of their friends for what movies to watch, which books to read, and what music to listen to. So if you can get to the point where your fans are actively promoting you to their friends, chances are, your fan base will grow, and with it, the attendance at your live shows as well as your music sales.

And one of the best ways to create this kind of word-of-mouth marketing? Developing a relationship with your fans by interacting with them on a regular basis.



So do you interact with your fans? Do you enjoy it? Or would you rather just focus on the music? Let us know in the comments!

Posted by Dave Cool on 12/18/2012 | 13 comments
Dave Cool

Musician Website Love: Ethan Bortnick

Every week, we highlight one of our favorite websites on Bandzoogle.

Who: Ethan Bortnick
What: 11 year old pianist, composer, singer, entertainer, and humanitarian
Where: Florida
Why his website rocks: Ethan’s website is all about first impressions. As soon as you land on his site, you see a header image with photos of him with various celebrities, including Justin Bieber. His latest news lets you know that he was named “Youngest Musician to Headline a Solo Concert Tour” by the Guinness World Records. And his “Sizzle Reel” video at the top of his Homepage starts off with a profile on Oprah. Not too shabby. But the point is that he puts his best foot forward right on his Homepage, and that’s why we love his website.

And it’s hard to believe, but at just 11 years old, Ethan is actually a longtime Bandzoogle member!

Check out his site at: www.ethanbortnick.com


Posted by Dave Cool on 12/14/2012 | 1 comment
Dave Cool

The 6 Mainstays of Webmarketing

This is a guest post by Virginie Berger. With more than 15 years of experience in the music industry, Virginie is the former marketing and content director of MySpace (France and French-speaking territories). She is also the founder and CEO of DBTH; an alternative management firm, and the publishing editor of Don't Believe the Hype (virginieberger.com); a website specialized in music marketing.

This blog post is an excerpt from her new book “Music and digital strategies” which is available on Amazon and iTunes.


The six mainstays of webmarketing

“You create attention to attract attention”, Kurt Cobain

Marketing allows you to optimize your music strategy and apply it as appropriately as
possible. It doesn’t interfere with the artistic creation, its goal is to broadcast your music.

Marketing: make yourself known


Marketing concentrates on how to get your public informed of your existence. A key
marketing objective is therefore to make the audience you focus on know you, love you and
trust you.

Indeed, your public can know you and like what you do, but what will push them into buying
your album or going to your concert? What will assure them you are as good as you say you
are?

You need to build a relationship based on trust with your current and future fans. In the case
of an established artist, the trust bond should be strong enough for them to be sure your next
album will be as good as the previous one. If you are still developing your fan base, you need
to convince them that your album is as good as the single they hear and that the live version
might be even better.

One can define webmarketing with these six basic steps:

1. Setting up a website
2. Creating profiles on social networks
3. Opening a channel on video platforms
4. Optimizing your web ranking
5. Producing content
6. Regularly broadcasting content through all these channels

In a word: you create a site and profiles, broadcast music and sell it. But, to achieve this,
each tool and each action must rely on these six fundamental points.

Content

Music must be heard, it is what the public seek and wish to exchange. You must therefore
have some proper content to offer: music of course, videos, photos, a blog, a newsletter...
Each title, each picture, each video posted on your blog is a way to commit your fans or to
be discovered by others. Such content also gives you the opportunity to create an impulse
purchase.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)


SEO is a way to optimize content in search engines and allow you to be found and singled
out amongst billions of search results. Indeed, each piece of digital content can be indexed
and ranked up as a result powered by an Internet search engine.

Social media

Social media is a site, a platform, a space allowing exchange, discussion and interaction with
other people also connected to the site: Facebook, YouTube are social media.

Here, you are addressing a prepared audience, ready to receive your information and pass it
on.

Social media are primarily tools that magnify pre-existent efforts. Obviously, without any
attractive content (music, video, contest, information, blog posts, humor, etc.), social media
will not be of much help in the spreading of your work on the web.

Data analysis

You can measure almost everything on the Internet where the slightest action may be
quantified. Digital marketing allows you to assess the success of your efforts in real-
time. Many tools are available to help you in developing campaigns aimed at building and
committing your fanbase as well as increasing your visibility and monetization. You can then
optimize and measure the impact of your actions.

Monetization strategy

You can now sell directly via your website, thanks to the integration of an external
platform or via external sites. Working from your own site will allow you to personalize your
offer and address your audience more precisely.

Knowing your public

Every artist is different. Each one has their own public, codes, communication methods,
media outlets... You must therefore develop the understanding of your public, of your fans so
as to offer the most adequate communication and contents.

The two keys here are regularity and coherence. This kind of strategy takes time: to get
visibility, to build and commit your fanbase and to monetize your content.

Posted by Dave Cool on 12/11/2012 | 1 comment
Dave Cool

Band Website Love: Beat Market

Every week, we highlight one of our favorite websites on Bandzoogle.

Who: Beat Market
What: Electro Duo
Where: Montreal, QC, Canada
Why their website rocks: Beat Market’s website is all about the big, bold, background image. As soon as you land on their site, you immediately get a sense of their brand and their music. If that isn’t enough for you, there’s a music player and a big video embedded right on their Homepage. These elements, along with a great professional logo, and nice, clean navigation make for a great looking pro website, and it’s en français too!

Check it out at: www.beatmarket.mu



Posted by Dave Cool on 12/07/2012 | 0 comments
Melanie

Musician Website Quick Fix #12: Add a Favicon


Most Internet users probably don't give much thought to favicons, but it's a great way to add a touch of individuality to your website and take your own branding just one little step further. So what is a favicon anyways? Also called a favorites icon, a favicon is the little image that shows up in 3 places in your web browser.

Next to your domain name:



In the tab, if you use tabbed browsing (and lots of us do nowadays!)



And, in the bookmark menu when someone bookmarks your page.



If your favicon is unique and visually appealing, it'll stand out, making it easy to find when someone has lots of tabs open, or lots of pages saved in a bookmarks menu.

How to make a great favicon

Keep it simple

Favicons are 16px wide by 16px tall. That's pretty tiny, so don't worry about including text or lots of detail. A logo or simple image is probably best. When you're creating yours, just make sure it's using square dimensions (same size wide as it is tall).

Make it meaningful

If you don't have a logo, try creating an image that relates to you in some way. Maybe a tiny version of your latest CD, or your initials. If you want to use an interesting shape, create your favicon with a transparent background and save it as a .png file.

Now put it to use on your Bandzoogle website!

Once your image is ready, click on your Design and Options tab, then Favorites icon. You'll see a browse button to click and locate the file on your computer. You can upload your image file directly, and we'll convert it to a .ico file (the file type for all favicons) and scale it down to the right size. And that’s all there is to it! Try adding one to your website today.

Previous Website Quick Fix posts:

Musician Website Quick Fix #11: Give it a Great ABOUT Page!
Musician Website Quick Fix #10: Embed Video
Musician Website Quick Fix #9: Add a Digital Press Kit
Musician Website Quick Fix #8: Use a Contact Form
Musician Website Quick Fix #7: Add Social Links
Musician Website Quick Fix #6: Host Your Own Blog
Musician Website Quick Fix #5: Add a Mailing List Sign-Up
Musician Website Quick Fix #4: Make it easy to listen to your music
Musician Website Quick Fix #3: Focus on one Call-to-Action
Musician Website Quick Fix #2: Lose the Intro Page
Musician Website Quick Fix #1: Turn off auto-start music

Posted by Melanie on 12/04/2012 | 0 comments
Dave Cool

Musician Website Love: Jared & Amber

Every week, we highlight one of our favorite websites on Bandzoogle.

Who: Jared & Amber
What: Husband & wife music team
Where: Decatur, GA
Why their website rocks: A striking image for their header, simple branding, and clean navigation are just some of the reasons why we love Jared & Amber’s website. Their Homepage also contains all the elements we love to see, like latest news, a music player, a mailing list signup, upcoming events, and social links. Their Gallery & Video sections are also well-organized, all combining for a nice, easy experience for visitors. Great job guys!

Check it out at: http://jaredandambermusic.com



Posted by Dave Cool on 11/30/2012 | 0 comments