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Promoting on the Internet

by Head Above Music

Promoting on the Internet!
by Jessica Mellott

Jessica Mellott

A few years ago I realized how easy it was to share news about my music on the internet. Through internet promotion, I have gained tons of new fans, received hundreds of thousands of song plays, found great musicians and producers to collaborate with, band members, and so much more! Today I am on a number of different social sites and have been featured at many of them.  HeadAboveMusic.com asked me to share some of my ideas for internet promotion.

Here are some tips……

Choose sites that fit your needs ~ When I started joining different socials sites, a very well respected friend of mine sent me an invite to join a new one. I signed up without studying the site. A few weeks later I logged in and saw that 8,000 men had friend requested me! When I took a closer look at the site, I realized it was pretty much a dating site and there were even “private” pictures I wasn’t seeing because of my settings. It may be a really great site if you are looking for a date, but not the best for music promotion. There are literally hundreds of social sites on the internet, and each is unique. Some sites are great resources that offer tools for artists, like street team and newsletter options, song player widgets, etc. ReverbNation for example, is an excellent artist resource. (www.reverbnation.com/jessicamellott).  Other sites are better for networking like Myspace (www.myspace.com/jessicamellott), some are better for finding fans (www.friendster.com/jessicamellott) and many offer a combination of both.  Decide what you are looking for in a site. You will probably want to have a combination of different types of sites to best promote yourself on the internet. Study each site and see what it offers.

Which site should you choose ~

After deciding what your needs are, there are hundreds of sites to select from and new ones coming up all the time. It would be nearly impossible to join them all. Start by focusing on some of the major ones such as Myspace, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. You will want to keep in mind your goals and target audience to decide on the site. If you want to build a strong fan base in India for example, you should join social site www.Orkut.com.  If your goal is to appeal to teens, www.Teenspot.com might be a good choice.  You also have a better chance of getting seen at some of the smaller sites. One site featured me on their homepage twice resulting in over a million song plays for me. Another site featured one of my ringtones and it received 6,000 downloads overnight.

To help pick a site look at the buzz going on and activity. At www.alexa.com, you can put in a site name and see the overall pattern of activity. This is helpful as it shows you which sites are growing in popularity. In the past I joined sites, only to find out later that the total member number was smaller than my own friend count at Myspace! I try to spot trends and join sites that I believe have a good chance of becoming popular. To get a feel for if a site will become “hot,” look at the activity in the forums, the amount of new members joining each day, etc. Think hard before you join a site because each one will take time to set up and maintain. I rarely join new sites now but you can bet if I hear of one that has generated a big buzz I will be there.

Initial set up on sites takes time ~

When you join a site, it usually takes a while to set up your profile page. Even though I am on many sites and have my biography ready to go (most sites have an “About Me” section), it takes time to design a layout using the coding each individual site offers. A layout on one site will probably not work on another one.  Many sites are glitchy and I have spent hours working on profiles only to lose all of my work. Keep backup copies of the coding and information for each of your profiles. If a glitch happens you have a fall back. Some sites offer pre-made layouts and though I think a unique layout is best, these pre-made layouts can save hours of time. On www.friendster.com/jessicamellott., I use a pre-made friendster layout. It was fast and easy, and by adding photos to the profile page it looks unique.

Keep the site’s users in mind when designing your page ~

Different types of people use different social sites. On video sites for example, many of the users are very visual. So instead of using a lot of text, you might want to add simple banners and videos. On www.livevideo.com/jessicamellott, I use about 4 banners and no text, with a banner linking to my website (www.jessicamellott.com) for viewers who want to read about me.

Working your sites? ~

You may have very different goals for your sites. It’s good to take a little time to think about your goals and how they are best achieved. If you want to gain fans for your music, just slapping your music on a site is rarely enough. Fans want to interact with artists. It’s important to spend time at your sites to interact with fans, network with other artists and drive traffic to your website.  To most effectively work your sites:

~ Driving traffic to your website is one of the most important things you can do. So be sure to include a link to your website. Include the full URL so it is clickable.

~ Build your mailing list. Put an easy to find mail sign up on your social sites.

~ Synch your sites with Twitter when possible. Your Twitter updates will go out to all your fans at your different sites.

~ Set up your social sites so you are notified via email of new friend requests and comment. Then you can log in once or twice a week to take care of these notifications. Keep in mind some sites do not notify you at all, like Teenspot (www.teenspot.com/profiles/jessicamellott), others are glitchy and the notification feature doesn’t work. You may reach a point where you get so many comments that you don’t want to be notified. I log in most of my sites once a week and my super active ones almost every day.

~ Have one email address that all of your social site mail goes too.  As you gain fans, the emails will pile up so it is more efficient to receive notifications at one site and it will keep these emails separate from your regular email.

~ Keep records of your passwords. I have a little black book that I keep all my site names and passwords in. You could also use Roboform which is an automated password memory program.

~ Set goals ~ Your goal may be to get your music on the radio. On some sites such as Myspace (www.myspace.com/jessicamellott) there is a function where you can browse users by using employment criteria, like “Radio” or “Promoter”.  Friend request radio stations and get to know them.  If your goal is to find new fans, look at popular artists who have similar music to you and friend request some of their fans.

~ Don’t fake It ~ Don’t use bots to add friends, put out comments, or fake your song plays. You want genuine fans and genuine listens to your music. If your goal is to get signed, the labels want artists with a solid fan base. Build a true solid fan base.

You can check out my music and promotion at www.jessicamellott.com and www.myspace.com/jessicamellott.  With these tips in hand, you should be gaining new fans and getting your music out there in no time! Good luck!

My Recommendations:

Book – Steve Moores “The Truth About the Music Business”. He’s a good friend
and knows his stuff.

My fave gear is Blue’s “Snowball” USB microphone…easy to plug in to your
computer and record in a snap!

I can’t live without my iPod to get me pumped!

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