I know one thing for certain. If you want to make it as a musician, you need to be online. There are a million trite tips for musicians we could offer but the best advice we can give is to leverage digital tools. These tools can help you to brand and publicize your band, book shows, fund your projects, make your music easily available and sell your stuff. One of the best tips for musicians we can provide is to be aware of what is happening and available online. We've taken the guess work out of this process and have cobbled together the most useful services and sites for you.
So here are our tips for musicians. 16 online resources to help you up your game and get your act on the road to success...
Social media is a non-brainer for burgeoning brands. You can connect with your fans (and potential fans) and it makes networking easy and expands your reach much further than the bar or club you're playing at tonight.
- Facebook: With Facebook, you can setup a page just for your band that all your band mates can have access to from within their own Facebook page. This means that all of you can converse with your growing fan base online, as well as keep them up to date with what is going on.
- Twitter: Another great way to keep your fans updated on things. Make sure to reply to every message your fans post. Consider using Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to set up alerts so you can see who is talking about you. From these platforms you can schedule promo posts in advance so you don't forget to hype an upcoming show or release.
- Instagram: Get visual. With Instagram's video feature you can show how you sound and perform live but you can also post behind-the-scenes snaps that will give your audience a chance to get to know you. Embrace hashtags for extra reach.
- Soundcloud: Soundcloud is a social media site dedicated to music, musicians and fans. It allows fans to follow bands they like and listen to tracks. Many use the site to host their music but it's also a great place to connect and network.
- MySpace: This one might seem odd, as those of you that are over 25 might remember using MySpace before Facebook came along and most users jumped ship. In recent years though, it really has become more of a place for musicians. If you have band check it out.
When you have a band, shows are an essential part. But you need to find venues for shows and get them to give you a chance. This used to mean lots of calling and dropping by but now there are online tools to help you book shows.
- Reverbnation: Reverbnation is a social network system for musicians and fans, but more importantly, they have a feature called Gig Finder. This is a great tool to help you get out there and play shows for your fans (and soon-to-be fans).
- Sonicbids: Sonicbids will also help you find gigs for your band, but it is also a great resource for venues looking for bands and musicians to play.
People are used to streaming. They stream all kinds of entertainment online. You can use popular streaming services to get your sound in front of new audiences.
- Pandora: You are likely already aware of Pandora. This website caters music to you based on what you've said you liked using the music genome project. And they do accept new music from new bands. Getting your music added to Pandora can mean your music gets heard by people all over the world.
- Spotify: Spotify is sort of the newer hipper version of Pandora and they boast a lot of subscribers. Like Pandora, Spotify accepts new music from new musicians and bands that can be played randomly in their radio feature or that people can add to their playlist.
- Last.FM: This is another great online radio option that allows for musicians and bands to get their music out to the masses. Currently, they are revamping this aspect of their site.
Now there are other options out there that are similar, but many of them require you to be signed to a label to get your music played.
When you are ready to start selling your music in the form of albums or when you are preparing for a tour, you may need an influx of funds. The past decade has given us great online tools for getting help from fans and potential fans.
- Kickstarter: One of the best known crowdfounding tools out there. Bands set goals of as low as $200, to tens of thousands.
- IndieGoGo: Another great option for crowdfounding your album or tour.
- Patreon: Created with the option for recurring donations, Patreon is geared towards artist more than other crowdfunding platforms.
Some musicians will say they don’t want to sell their music, but I have never seen a band that has been together more than a couple years not at least want to produce something. In addition to selling the music you spent so much time composing, you can also sell t-shirts for your fans to proudly wear and you can use those funds to create your next album.
- Amazon: A great option for selling your music online. Not only can you sell your music in digital format, but their Createspace option allows for you to have print on demand CDs.
- iTunes: Apple’s online digital music service has many great features for selling your music online, as well as streaming, but they do have requirements and stipulations that go beyond many other services.
- E-junkie: Of course, we had to place ourselves on this list. E-junkie has been used for ten years to help merchants, including musicians and bands, sell digital downloads and physical goods.
So, if you have a band, get out there and get noticed. Someone might be looking for you.
Good Luck and Good Sales.