Promoters, bookers, venues and fans - they all know the difference between a free web page (MySpace, Facebook, Bandcamp, Tumblr) and a professional artist website (www.YOU.com). Social media sites are super-important, but they are not your home base on the web. Get your own domain name and build a website where you have complete control. It's one of the first steps to becoming a professional musician.
You can scream "Buy my album!" from a rooftop all day long, but you'd have better luck politely knocking on doors with a piping-hot apple pie and a smile. Every time you approach someone online and say, "Buy my album" or "Check out my music," you are essentially spamming them. On the other hand, if you first build a relationship with your online followers by offering something of value (friendship, information, free stuff, apple pie) then you establish a relationship--a relationship that will lead to many selling opportunities down the line.
Not Staying Up-to-Date
The quickest way to get ignored online is to let your website gather dust. Nothing says, "My band broke up, or I don't care about self-promotion" like an out-of-date website. Make sure your last blog post wasn't in 2006. Make sure your gig calendar is up-to-date, and make sure your photo gallery is filled with recent pictures. This way your fans can get to know you and your music better.
Not Maintaining a Fan List
Your fans want to connect with you. They want the inside scoop. They want special offers and they want to feel a part of something. Give them a chance to sign up to your newsletter on your website. A Facebook post might only reach 2-5% of your Facebook fans, but an email newsletter will land in almost every email box you send it to. Email will always be the most personal way you can communicate with your fans.
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