Making the Internet Work for You
Every week, I look at different people's "How To" blogs about online marketing for musicians. There's good advice and bad advice, but most of the time it's theoretical. Here's a little example of how this stuff can actually work.
I recently joined my friends' band, Little Grey Girlfriend. Along with adding some guitar parts, I took it upon myself to encourage them to beef up their internet presence. The band is led by Erika Lloyd and Brad Whiteley, a couple of the most talented and creative people I know. But beyond the music being available at all the usual suspects, there wasn't much about the people behind the band floating around the internet.
Erika handles the online presence for the band, but for many understandable reasons she just hadn't been able to get beyond the MySpace and Facebook pages. I started a Twitter account for the band and showed her how to use it. She started posting links to videos and music that she likes. A great idea, especially for musicians. If you want to give people an idea of what your music sounds like, tell them about the music you love.
To take advantage of links she was posting on Twitter, I set up a blog on Tumblr for the band. I wanted to keep it simple, embed Bandcamp music players, list the band members, and include a few links. In many respects, that is all the promoting needed on a blog. 90% of the time, the blog itself should talk about anything else.
I choose Tumblr because it's simple, has a built in community of passionate music fans, and easily links to Twitter. This way, instead of just linking to videos and music on Twitter, Erika can embed the media on the blog, and then links are automatically sent to Twitter (see the picture above). When she wants to share a video she likes, she can share it on a site framed with information about Little Grey Girlfriend instead of just sending people to YouTube.
Erika's first post was about what she listens to when she paints, and how it affects her painting. The link went to Twitter, and a couple hours later somebody bought the music from Bandcamp. That's exactly how it's supposed to work! If that happened every time I'd be worth my weight in paid downloads, but I don't think we'll always be so fortunate. That's why you have to stick with it, be consistent and casually persistent.
To make the story even better, the guy who bought the album is an artist/musician himself. Check out Kristian Purcell's blog, which is also very well integrated into other social networks. Connecting with other musicians is inevitable.
If you're not doing anything like this for yourself, what are you waiting for?