Building an audience is one of the hardest things to do as a musician. This technique is a tried and true way to profit and promote yourself as a musician, or band.
What is this Bicycle Wheel Business?
Let’s start with the basics first. You are a musician how do you sell your tickets, music, or even merchandise? Well, if you are in the 21st century the best way is through your website. Your website is the best way to succeed in the music business today. I am not going to cover how to make a website because there are enough tutorials online just search in Google [How to make a website]. What I will tell you is how to promote your website and use it to gain followers, sell out shows fast, make sales on your albums the day they release, and profit from merchandise.
Imagine a bicycle wheel. There is a hub, which is the center. Then you have spokes that extend out to the rim. Your website is the hub. The rest of the internet is the rim and the spokes are the connections of your website to the rest of the internet. Your goal is to have connections (spokes) that bring people to your website (the hub). Your website should be a destination and not just another place for people to find out about you.
This will make more sense as you read further, I will teach you about how to get people to your site. In the next chapter, I will go over more detail of each traffic channel.
Let’s start with the website first:
Your website is a communication tool. You will want to have a store so you can sell tickets, music, and merchandise. The second goal of your website is communication with current fans and prospective fans. You want to make your website a hub for your music and information that is relevant to your target audience. (Remember the list you created in chapter 1)
How does this work?
We’ll, besides from having your music you might want to have live recordings of shows. This will help you start to form the foundation of trust with your potential fans. By giving away free information people will start to trust you and give your band authority. Taking the hub even further you could post music and interviews that you have done with other bands in your genre. This way you will be getting in front of fans from another band helping to rapidly build your audience even bigger!!
So, what kind of stuff do you want to post on your website?
Many marketers have preached that “content is king”. This sounds good, but what does it mean? Content is information that you create to connect with an audience. The most important piece of content that you can create is one that speaks to your target audience. So, how do you do this? Well first off most people coming to your website are looking for information about your band such as post music, music videos, and articles about your band. Create story’s that are about how your fans help you. Tell your fans how important they are to you. Use your media to connect with your fans. Here are some ideas below of how to progress:
Video – This is a great way to show your band in action. A music video helps people feel like they are there watching you. Create an interview that shows the “behind the scenes”; what it’s like to get ready for a show. Connect with fans. Be creative but the best thing you can do is show yourself as you really are. An interview will help fans connect with you on a deeper personal level.
Audio – This not only includes your music this can be a podcast of your favorite songs. It can also be an interview with your band members. The point of this media is to make people feel connected to you.
Written – Use a blog to post articles about your band. Tell a story speaking to your fans telling them how much they mean to you. You can get really creative, telling fans to send in articles of how the show went for them. You can post the best article on your site. Get creative and tell a story about your band and the fans.
Infographic – An infographic is a style of media that uses clipart and pictures with information to communicate an idea. This type of content is very effective in communicating an idea. The trick is to be selective in what you want to communicate.
Comments – This highly overlooked activity is one of the most important techniques. Whenever your fans comment on a blog, respond to each comment. This takes time but it shows you care about your followers.
Use your content to tell your unique story. Don’t just post and pray. Calculate and think about what you are posting and what effect it will have on your communication with your following. In today’s competitive music industry, you will want to get people to follow your band. This means telling a story that shows your authenticity and connects to the emotions of your audience in order to create raving fans. Now, you should have a good foundation of your marketing foundation. The website is your hub. Continue to the next chapter to learn about getting people to your site.