53: Have A Killer Website at Your Custom Domain URL
Create a webpage that lures in the “just looking” visitors and gets them to upgrade to level 2 of your site when they give you’re their email / contacts. The level 2 experience of your site should be enhanced from the level one “tire kicker” level in terms of content quality, quantity and how quickly it is updated. Once you have enough level 2 members you will want to create a level 3 experience that is another big step up from level 2. This is for your best customers and most devout fans. At some point this can become a subscription site but early on it will be a la carte. It just rewards your street team/super fans for their support. Here you will sell exclusive merch and sell advance tickets to shows and music no one else gets to buy.
– Tom Silverman
The best place to be is you.com Artists who have their own domain make more money than those that do not. Period.
– Jed Carlson
54: Use the Social Networks Properly: Build That List!
When people pass thru your social network profiles (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter etc.) get them to come back your own web site that YOU CONTROL. To do this, give songs away for free in return for email addresses. ReverbNation’s Fan Exclusive Widget will facilitate this. Offer fans something special that makes them feel like they are a real fan and you really care about them. Social networks are all good, but they should be treated as lead-generation sources. They are free billboards on the super highway of information. Be there, but have something that extracts value and move those listeners down the fan funnel to something valuable for you.
– Lou Plaia
55: Be Active On Facebook
Almost every advance in your career will happen thanks to who you know AND how you treat them, and Facebook is where you can deepen relationships with fans and industry contacts. Ye olde FB gives you one-click access to countless industry folks who have the power to do something about your work. If they don’t respond, leave them alone. If they do, keep the convo going, nurture the relationship, and leverage it when the time is right. Four developments in my career in the past 3 months that started on FB: 5 concert bookings in NYC, 2 new songwriting collaborations, adds of two of my music videos to the HBO Zone channel, and being hired to write a daily column (I’m a writer too) that is now published to every Sprint and Boost Mobile PDA in the world. No joke. Love the FB. Login NOW.
– Phil Putnam
56: Tweet, Please
Twitter has been really big for me and it gives me direct contact w the people who want to listen to me – literally. When I released my new DVD I asked people to check it out and within a few minutes my tweet made it to 100, 000 people who were pre-disposed to care about it, which is a remarkable marketing message. I sold hundreds of them online just using my Twitter connections. I use Twitter as another entertainment channel to say interesting things and show people interesting things and share photos.
Between these 2 things Twitter has become my main focus. I no longer am always thinking about updating my blog – I’m always thinking about Twitter.
– Jonathan Coulton
57: Create Twitter Contests
We have had several different types of contests that have caused small frenzies on Twitter but the ones that I think are the most effective are the ones where we have asked people to post links to an actual song via blip or just download links. We have had hundreds of songs posted in a matter of minutes, which means that each of those people’s followers could potentially be listening. I estimated 10,000 potential listeners in just a few min with our last contest. We usually give away tickets to shows or CDs or other prizes. In fact, I should be doing one right now…
– Jason Walsmith / The Nadas
58: Actively Start Conversations With Your Twitter Followers
Artists need to foster the all-important online two-way conversation. Just using status updates for only promotional means is not the best way to do this. Ask fans to comment back/@reply/direct message and they actually will. The more intriguing the question, the more likely people will respond. For example, the other day I asked the fans on my band’s Facebook page “Who is cooler, Nicholas (the guitarist) or Christopher (me)? Please provide reasoning for your explanation haha.” There were 20+ comment-backs by the end of the night. Provide fans with quirky questions that fit your personality. Use status update/micro-blog opportunities to create an environment that your fans want to continually be a part of.
– Chris Gesualdi
59: Rock The YouTube: Make A Sticky YouTube Video
Michelle Citrin made 20 Things To Do With Matzo and it has received over 1,000,000 views. It’s the kind of video that is so captivating and interesting that people share it with their friends.
– Derek Sivers
Before Kina Grannis won the Doritos contest, she was releasing a YouTube video each week, which built her a loyal following and worldwide “street team”. Similar to a TV show, Kina released a video of herself playing an original tune, or cover tune. At the end of her videos, she’d give birthday shout outs, read fan mail, and open gifts that fans had sent her. When she needed votes to win the Doritos contest, her loyal following supported her all the way to the Super Bowl. She later signed a record deal, and she has a ready-made audience waiting to buy it.
– Carla Lynne Hall
Let fans in. Take video of the fans themselves, or encourage them to submit their own videos to you Post these regularly and the fans will watch along and continue to grow as you post.
– Michele Samuel
I riddle my website with videos where I talk about the people in my songs and the stories behind them. Every time I add a new one to the site, downloads of that song go up on iTunes. And new people learn very quickly (1) if they like me personally and (2) if they respond emotionally to the kind of work I do.
– Dudley Saunders
60: Create Cover Tune Videos
Indie band Boyce Avenue created a video of the latest Coldplay when the only version of it could be found on an Apple commercial. Since the song had not been released yet, Coldplay fans searching for the song online found Boyce Avenue’s video instead. The band repeated this technique with video covers of popular songs, and gained millions of YouTube views. This led to a tour of the Philippines where the indie band received a Beatles-like welcome.
– Carla Lynne Hall
61: Get Played On Podcasts – Build a Rabid Loyal Audience
Even small podcasts with only 100- 200 listeners count if you get played on lots of them. The key to understand here is: Podcasters listen to others podcasters podcasts and they get ideas from each other and rebroadcast pieces of each others podcasts – it is a pre- selected audience and Podcasters will help you find your niche if you are not even sure what it is.
– Jonathan Coulton
Podcasters have two things that musicians need: an audience, and a medium to play music. And musicians have something podcasters are looking for: audio content. Since podcasts are “The Radio Of The Internet” musicians should reach out to them the same way they reach out to radio shows. Some musicians make the mistake to just try to get played in music podcasts, but there’s no need to limit yourself that way in this thriving medium. Instead, use podcast directories like Podcastalley.com or podcastpickle.com and find popular podcasts about topics that you enjoy. Become a fan, send an email, and offer your music. In return, they’ll usually link to your website, and talk about your band.
– Randy Chertkow
62: Post Photos on Flickr & Cross Post on Facebook
They say a picture says a thousand words, and it’s true. Flickr is one of the user-friendliest Web 2.0 sites, and Yahoo owns it so millions of potential new fans are waiting for you to discover them and make friends. Flickr works just like MySpace or Facebook. You create a profile, upload your main image, join groups, and make friends, and you can also message people and leave comments on any photo you like. Flickr is a great way to show yourself as multi-dimensional. You can post photos of things other than your band activities (such as vacations, kids, your home, and hobbies) to show your fans you are a well-rounded individual. And if you go to conferences, this is a great way to get people to link back to you and pay attention to you (remember – the most interesting thing for people is THEMSELVES so taking pictures of other people is well advised!). Use this link to synch back to Facebook too! http://www.tinyurl.com/flickr2facebook
– Christina Duren
63: Study Your Analytics – Google ReverbNation & Rockdex
Use the data you can easily get from Google, ReverbNation, and Rockdex (among others) to learn more about your fans – who they are, where they are listening, what they are listening to, for how long, etc. The more you know about them, the easier it is to connect with them and market to them. You can also use this data to easily get sponsors. Brands want to know who your fans are, how many you have, how engaged you are with them, etc. They don’t care about “Friends”, they want to know about your real fans, your engagement with them and the size of your mailing list.
– Lou Plaia
Rockdex can see who is talking about you online and can track how many people are added to each of your social networks by searching blogs, micro-blogs, music sites and delivering you the hard results via reports with actual metrics on how many potential fans have visited your social networking sites.
– Christina Duren
64: No Money For A Tour Publicist? Artist Data To The Rescue!
If you don’t have enough money to get a tour publicist for tour press then no need to worry Artist Data is tour press for musicians made easy! ArtistData allows you to update your tour dates at Jambase, Eventful, Sonicbids, MySpace Facebook and Twitter. It not only updates your social networking sites but it also allows you to submit each of your shows info to the calendar editor at local newspapers and magazines in the specific regions you are touring.
– Christina Duren
65: Ping.FM – 55 Sites Updated At Once – Hours of Your Life Back
Ping allows you to update over 55 social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, and your blog all from one easy to use website simultaneously. There are no more excuses for becoming overwhelmed with logging into several websites. This one interface allows you to update all of your statuses at one click.
– Christina Duren
66: Understand The Power of Tagging
Be super descriptive when tagging the titles of your songs, videos, photos, blog posts, and more. The Internet is filled with multimedia these days. But people still search for stuff using words! Make sure your online content is loaded up with the key words your potential fans use to find stuff that interests them.
– Bob Baker
67: Use Search Engine Optimization
When I first heard Jamie Foxx’ “Blame it on the Alcohol”, I fell hard for the groove of the song (although not the message), and considered writing a parody of the song. After searching online for the chords and tabs for the song, I also found a performance video of another singer/songwriter performing an acoustic version on guitar. I was so impressed with the cover version, I blogged about the tune, the cover video, and links to the chords and tab. By twittering links to my blog post, I unwittingly created more powerful links to my blog post. Soon, my blog post ranked on the first page of Google for this song, and to this day, that blog post is one of my most visited pages, which has also led to new readers and subscribers to my newsletter. Now I’m adding more chords and tab blog posts for cover tunes that are actually in my genre!
– Carla Lynne Hall
68: Scratch The Back That Scratches Yours Online: Give Thanks!
Many of the Billboard Maximum 100 “opportunities” and placements are the results of years of favors, legal agreements, negotiating and bargaining tactics, and just plain historical relationships from the labels and commercial outlets. They have little to do with the artist. I maintain all of my bands networking sites as well as my own blog www.dereknicoletto.com, Youtube channel www.youtube.com/dereknicoletto and http://twitter.com/dereknicoletto. My band and my music has been placed on 11 television shows, countless podcasts, radio programs, publications and video programs. For every single placement, I either re-posted the feature on a site, sent a tweet about it or let my fans know in some way. Most importantly, I said “Thank You.”
– Derek Nicoletto