Tools and Resources

Helping with digital strategy and marketing

I help with digital strategy and marketing of your music, platforms, products and projects. As an independent in the music scene, an important question you could ask is:

“Do we want people to know who we are?” – (often promotions and PR based). There are many companies that can help promote or distribute you’re music, get you gigs, get you “viral” or 1000 likes. Would these likes buy your ticket or download?

or

Can I build a base of loyal fans that follow me, buy tickets, go to our festival, stream our music, show up to our shows, share our message?” – (direct response based)

Creating “a buzz”

The first costs more initially, the second takes more time, and the first works better if the second is in place. I help with the second. Creating “a buzz” is easier if you’ve your own established, platform, for your own fans.

Setting Yourself Up

Compared to just 5 years ago, there’s everything at your fingertips (maybe too much!) to help promote your music, merchandise, content, gig or festival – technology, social platforms, video, high quality equipment, and great, inexpensive templates and advice to use. So here I’ve highlighted a few main tools I’ve used, hopefully saves you a little time and effort, though there are loads – it helps to look at other sites, artists, festivals, to see what they do.

Building A Website

WordPress: The best overall platform – free, pretty easy to use, with millions of video tutorials, from setting up, hosting, themes and features. Coding isn’t needed as there great plugins and extras – drag and drop editor, share buttons, search optimisation tools, email sign-ups, maps, analytics, and e-Commerce pages to sell your stuff like WooCommerce – or you can always also link to Shopify Lite or BandCamp, with different payments and % terms.

There are great WordPress alternatives with different pricing, features, support and music templates, like Wix, SiteBuilder, Squarespace, and Bandzoogle – developed by a musician, for musicians – with plugins for developing fan lists, sign ups, video galleries, music player, podcasts etc.

Website Themes for Music Projects

ThemeForest and Elegant Themes, amongst others, have themes for artists, festivals, and music projects. It’s worth digging around these great blogs too – Colorlib, WPReview, WP Beginner

Website Hosting

I’ve used GoDaddy, BlueHost and JustHost – pretty affordable, reliable, with some great offers, WP and email installations. Some add-ons aren’t always needed, but there can be good 24/7 customer service and tech support too if needed.

Monitoring

Vital for understanding and growing your fan bases – install Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools plugins, so you can see who your audience is, where they come from, top content, and loads of other market and fan information etc. If you’re not sure how to install G.A. ask someone on PeoplePerHour or fiverr.com – for about £10-15 you can get great visibility on your fans. 

Email (Subscription Services)

  • MailChimp: Free basic set up. Can be linked easily to WordPress.
  • Office: I use Office365 too, as it was an offer with my GoDaddy domain, a few pounds per month depending on your data/list size, but great security and support.

Your Social and Messaging Channels (not music distributors like Spotify or Deezer)

Basics: Youtube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Reddit – varyingly good and bad, depending on what you’re comfortable with, where your fans are, and what suits your music, style, audience, personality and goals. What are your fans using and how active are they on each?

I’m a big fan of artists owning your own data. Plus, relying on social media is becoming harder, and more expensive, to build a direct and meaningful relationship with fans. So, here’s an idea to play the long game and hone your own platform:

  1. Combine your online content into a single, owned system – in my opinion, your website.
  2. Use that website to syndicate content across your social and message platforms – just use whatever you feel comfortable with and has good engagement – effectively pointing fans back to where you collect your data (email addresses, comments, data insights).

Then, there are some great platforms whose purpose is to help you create and manage your own platform and data – check out GigRevwith differing features and benefits.

A good social strategy takes time and effort, so there are also great tools to help you – try Hootsuite, Social Bakers, or Buffer for their free plans.

Content Help

A good designer, writer or creator you may be, but sometimes it pays to get help with good logo’s, images, style, digital and print copy. Find great, cost-effective freelancers on PeoplePerHourUpwork, or 99designs – with varying quality – make sure you read reviews, previous work, and ask questions.

Efficiency Tools

Evernote: Save audio and visual notes as you go (like bookmarking), organise photos, set reminders etc. Available for Mac/PC, iOS and Android.

Dropbox: Transfer project files back and forth. Free accounts have access to 2 GB of space. Others include Google Drive for your files, shared documents, excel etc.

Plus check tools like Adsoup – bringing your Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, phone, email and Twitter conversations into one inbox, so you don’t have to consistently check each or miss a good work or promotions opportunity.

I’ll do my best to add more resources, tools and proper analysis to this section... any suggestions welcome so please feel free...

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