One of the common mistakes I observe among serious musicians is a severe lack of business sense. I know a lot of musicians who profess that they want to make a career out of music yet they spend almost no time developing their business. It’s easy to get lost in the idea that if you practice hard enough and become an exceptional musician, your talent alone will catch peoples attention and help you build a great career. The problem with this is there are so many talented players out there! A very small percentage will succeed on merit alone, and for the rest of us we need to learn how to promote and market ourselves.
Today I want to talk about just one aspect of building your music business and that’s having a website. Here are some reasons why every serious musician needs to have a website:
1) The Digital Age is upon us.
Having a website that represents you as a musician is incredibly important in this modern, internet-governed era. The days of handing out Cd’s and press kit folders are rapidly disintegrating (if not gone already). Having an online presence is more important than ever.
Think of your website as an elevated business card. It’s a place that you can send potential employers to learn more about you, listen to your music, contact you and book you, and it’s all there at the click of a button. We’re living in a time where people look to the internet to do practically everything. If you want an answer to a question you ask Google; if you don’t know how to prepare a dish you go to YouTube; if you want to purchase an item you go to Amazon, and it’s only expanding from here. Social media has radically changed the world we live in, causing information to spread like wildfire. My point is: the internet (whether you like it or not) is a integral part of everyday modern life. You need to have your piece of real estate in it, and you want others to come visit and learn more about you. Never before has it been so easy to share your music with the world.
2) Big reach.
Having a professional, sleek and informative website can have a lot more power than you think. I got a book deal once, and it all started with someone discovering my website. There have been many occasions when I have put up ads for my music services online with a link to my website and gotten bookings. Most of the time, I received emails saying something to the effect of “I like your music!”, which was made convenient to listen to on the music page on my website. I’ve even gotten students from around the world who found me online one way or another, and genuinely wanted to take a lesson without ever having met me.
Having a strong web presence allows you to reach outside of your local connections and get the word out to the world about who you are and what you do. Having a website helps you breach the gap between your geographical location and the rest of the world.
3) Presentation is everything.
It’s amazing how packaging can influence us to buy something. If I walk into a store and see the same two products side by side but one has really ugly packaging, I’m going to buy the one with attractive packaging every time. It’s just the way our brains are wired. If something looks good it automatically seems better.
I’ve always been very amused whenever I’ve applied for a teaching opportunity or a gig, and I get an email back saying “Really nice professional website, let’s move forward!” Immediately I start thinking, yeah but what about my credentials and qualifications? I’m sure they looked at them but clearly what packaged it together nicely was my website. It would surprise you how many emails I’ve gotten commenting on my website.
Presentation is everything, and having a website that looks great and sends out the right message can open up a lot of possibilities.
Create your website now!
There are a lot of services out there that help you create your own website, but I would highly recommend using WIX. What is WIX? Wix.com is a cloud-based web development platform that allows users to create their own website, no web development experience needed. It’s really easy to use and they have hundreds of templates to choose from. I used WIX to create my personal website: www.brentvaartstra.com, and I’ve found it to be a really great service! Check out this tutorial video where I walk you through how to make your WIX website for musicians.
Whether music is a hobby, night job, or full time career, having a professional website can do wonders to push your music career forward and get your music out there. If you don’t have a website now, there is no reason to wait!
If you’d like to start making your WIX website, please click the link below. By clicking the link you are helping support Learn Jazz Standards as we get a small pay-out for those who sign up from our website. Thanks!