Your most important team member is your Webmaster.
Most marketing is done to intermediaries. Radio stations, television, radio shows. Whereas today it’s about establishing a direct relationship with your FANS! Via your Website.
You should have an update on your Website EVERY DAY! You should have a message board. You should have free music, whether streaming or downloadable, hopefully all downloadable, but at least recorded streamed and live downloadable. And you should retrieve mailing addresses. This is the ultimate goal of your Website, to establish a PERMANENT relationship.
This is not like fan clubs of yore. You don’t want to charge people. And it’s not like the fan clubs of today, wherein you pay for the privilege of buying supposedly good tickets. Rather this is about cementing a bond with your fans, making sure they never leave you.
Imagine a marriage wherein the husband never talked to the wife. Where she saw him on TV and in Best Buy, but never felt any personal contact. Well, that relationship wouldn’t last too long. Best to make regular contact. PERSONAL contact.
The days of artists being superior is over. Stardom is something completely different. Oh, don’t pay attention to the one hit wonders hyped in the media. In their case, it’s about making fun of them. Even if they’ve had more than one hit. People might like Christina Aguilera’s music, but they laugh at her boob implants and chicken legs. But if each and every one felt connected with the real her, it would be different.
Go to see one of those bands who survive on the road. Over by the merch table, there’s a clipboard, garnering e-mail addresses, for their mailing list. Which is why, after the hits dry up, if they come at all, these bands can still work. They’ve established a club, a cult. And EVERYBODY wants to be a member of the group, feel like an insider. Your job is to make them one.
Don’t make your site pretty, make it a fount of information. Somewhere people can find out EVERYTHING about you. And want to come back to to find out more. A place where they can not only meet you, but OTHER fans. Community is key. Everybody’s looking for like-minded people. For friends, for love relationships. An artist’s Website is a much better place to start than match.com or craigslist.org.
Your site should have minimal Flash work. No entrance page. It should be UTILITARIAN! As in USABLE! You should be THRILLED that anybody comes at all, and if they do, you want them to feel welcome. You don’t want them to have to go through so many pages, waiting forever for them to load, that they get frustrated, so they never come back.
But the ultimate goal of your Website is to garner contacts. To get the name of every fan you have. So you can e-mail him or her and tell them you’ve got a new record, that you’re playing in their town.
Fuck those scrolls of tour dates on television. Even radio announcements. Most of the people who hear them could give a shit about the act. It’s about reaching those who DO care, directly. This is what the Web affords.
Cement and serve this relationship. If you do it right, you’ll never have to get a day job.