By: Lydia Quinn
Thanks to the Internet, it's easier than ever for new bands and artists to be discovered and to sell their music directly to fans. How do you get started and what's the best way to promote your band? Here are some tips:
One of the first places you'll want to visit is MySpace. By now, everyone has heard of it and millions and millions of people have their own accounts. But I bet you didn't know that MySpace offers a special type of account just for promoting a band or artist? It's called MySpace Music and it's completely free to sign up. With this type of account, you can add up to 4 full songs to your account for people to listen to while they are reading your MySpace page.
This alone makes a MySpace Music page worthwhile to set up, since getting people to listen to and discover your music is the main goal of most new artists. Include a link to buy your CD from your own website, iTunes or other music store and you've got a great way to increase sales.
If someone likes the music on your profile, they can add your band as a friend, which means they can get email notices when you add a blog or send out a bulletin. Blogging on MySpace is one of the best ways to communicate with your audience (friends), when your band has a tour coming up, an appearance, is working on new music or has any news of any kind, you'll want to post it to your blog and keep your fans up to date. The more your communicate with fans, the more they will feel like a part of your community.
In addition, you can take advantage of a multitude of other options, including listing your influences, adding a picture gallery, adding full videos, adding banners and many other options.
Just be sure to log in often to approve new friends and to communicate with other members. There are also many MySpace Groups you can join where a message board is set up for members to communicate. Joining an emerging artist type group would help you to network with other new artists and even to promote each other, discuss new ways to get new fans, find someone to tour with or even to collaborate with.
Another essential step to promoting your music online is to have your own website. While MySpace is excellent, it's best to have as many avenues of promotion as possible. It can be simple, with just a bit about your band and links to buy your album or it can be a major presence loaded with content.
The more content you add and the more often you update your website and your MySpace profile, the better, as people will keep coming back to see your fresh content and news. Some elements to consider adding to your band's website include biographies of the members, history of the band, news section, tour dates and appearance schedule, photos, music videos, sample songs to download, wallpapers, icons, ringtones, links to buy your album or merchandise, discography and anything else you want to let people know about. You'll also want to link your website to your MySpace and vice versa.