As an artist, you need to have a direct line of contact with your fans, and your website is one of the most important tools to help you create and maintain that.
So, Why should a musician have a website?
1. It belongs to you
One common question that many bands and artists ask is why they need a website when they have a Facebook page, or a ReverbNation profile. The simple answer to this is that you don’t own these profiles. If Facebook or ReverbNation closed down, you would be left without a web presence. Or at least without a primary web presence.
Your website is owned by you, so you have more freedom about the type of design and the content you want to share. It can be a true reflection of who you are as an artist, and can be a really great tool in attracting and retaining fans.
Social networks are great, and of course they should be used to their full advantage; but they are not a replacement for a website. They should enhance your online activity but shouldn’t be the hub of it. That’s what your website is for.
2. You can collect fan data and email addresses
This is an important one. You need to have a way of collecting fan information (such as email addresses) so that you can communicate with them directly. Social media is one route but its not so robust or reliable as email - people don’t change their email address so often, so you’re more likely to be able to get a message into their inbox that they will see and pay attention to.
3. It shows you’re dedicated and in it for the long haul
Industry professionals like labels, managers and booking agents see a website (with a dedicated domain name, such as yourband.com) as a sign that you are committed and professional. It makes a far better impression than supplying just a social profile - anyone can set up a Facebook page or a YouTube account. A website shows that you’re more than just a hobbyist, and that you’re making an investment in your music career.
4. It’s a one-stop-shop for everything that’s YOU
Your website should act as the centre of your online presence.
Does someone want to find out when you’re next playing their town? Does someone want to buy your new album? Does someone want to find out more about your background? They should be able to find all of this on your website.
You shouldn’t need to direct them to Soundcloud for your music, or YouTube for your videos. Yes, you may host your music and videos on them, but they should be integrated into your site.
If everything is there in one place, it makes things much easier for everyone!
5. Brand protection
Registering your domain name helps to ensure that you are protecting your brand (that’s you!)
If you register the domain name ‘yourband.com’ then you’re preventing someone else from registering it. Of course it doesn’t offer you full legal protection (you would need to register a trademark or copyright to do that), but it’s certainly a step in the right direction and it’s an important one that many artists overlook.
Author: Ross Barber, Owner and Web Designer at Electric Kiwi - Web Design for Musicians (http://electrickiwi.co.uk)