Bob Baker's The Buzz Factor
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August 28, 2009
Reader Q&A: Does an Artist Really Need to Be on EVERY Networking Web Site?
Here's a question I've had for a while, and it may be one many artists have.
How many web links/web sites does an artist need? I have my own web site with a link to iTunes, and I'm on MySpace. That's it. No Twitter, no Facebook, nothing else. I wouldn't check out more than two links for an artist. I don't have the time. I do think YouTube would be good because it has such a large audience.
But other than that, does an artist need to be on EVERY networking site? Aren't we more interested in selling units and promoting ourselves than being on every site?
Thanks for the question, Melodie.
Yes, it's the most common frustration I hear from artists and practically anyone who tries to promote themselves online. "How do I find the time? Why do I need to be on all these sites?"
Here's the thing ... You don't NEED to do anything. You don't have to be on the Internet at all. But obviously you have decided it's worth at least some of your time to create your own web site, build a MySpace music profile page, and get your songs on iTunes. That's great!
But why did you do those things in the first place?
I assume it's because you realized the value of being "reachable" on the Internet. You wanted people to be able to find you online, and you wanted to have places to send people when you communicated with them - destinations where they could hear your songs, buy your music, etc.
So ... why should you consider being on other sites too?
For the same reasons. To improve the likelihood that music fans will find you.
If you really want to make an impact with your music, you must be willing to take the action necessary to connect with the people most likely to love your music. You do that by reaching out and establishing a presence in the places where those types of people hang out online.
It's All About the P-word!
To improve your odds of connecting with fans, I contend that you need more than a couple of web sites and pages. You need a Web PRESENCE! Which means you need to show up in multiple places.
I understand why you won't visit more than one or two links provided by another artist. That's not the point of having multiple profiles. Your goal isn't to have them visit every place you exist online. The point is to give people options.
There are many millions of people who primarily use Facebook as their networking site of choice. Others are mostly Twitter people, while other groups prefer MySpace or LinkedIn or iLike. Meet people where they are!
Another Reason to Jump In
Social networking online is becoming a bigger and bigger part of how people discover new things and recommend stuff to their friends. So if you want to tap into that power, you just have to bite the bullet and make time as you can.
Reality: You don't have to do it ALL today, but you can start chipping away at it a little at a time. That's how I built my own Internet-based career over the past 14 years.
Finally, you asked, "Aren't we more interested in selling units and promoting ourselves than being on every site?"
I don't recommend you jump into social networking to "sell units," but I do strongly believe that a byproduct of expanding your online presence is greater awareness of your music, closer connections with fans, and increased sales. So I think they are one in the same.
It's up to each individual artist to decide how to invest their time. If you spent the time to create and record your songs, you might as well invest the time and energy to share them with as many people as possible.
Thanks again for the question. I hope these ideas will inspire others to consider their own time and energy priorities.
P.S. Here are some related posts on this topic:
Gatekeepers & Music Promotion Overload: The Good News
The Future of Digital Music for Indie Artists
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What About Bob?
Bob Baker is an author, speaker, teacher, indie musician and former music magazine editor dedicated to showing musicians of all kinds how to get exposure, connect with fans, sell more music, and increase their incomes.
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