Support Unsound

“I’m a musician, not a t-shirt maker. I believe my music is worth something. Musicians have very simple goals…we want to make our music…and have it support us.”
-Zoe Keating

Zoe Keating, Cut Chemist, Tycho and more are highlighted by Count Eldridge in Unsound, his film focused on the 99% of musicians struggling to make a living – and a life – supported by their creativity in the age of the internet.

He shines a light on all aspects of the modern music landscape, including streaming services, illegal downloads, touring, merchandise and fan support. Eldridge includes interviews with editors, authors and copyright experts in addition to perspectives from musicians of all kinds.

Take a look at his extended cut trailer:

Unsound: extended trailer rough cut from Count Eldridge on Vimeo.

Learn more about musicians in the age of the internet and help Count complete his film.

“You can’t be a fan and not support the band.”
– Vernon Reid

Anberlin: All Access

Anberlin is responsible for one of our most exciting Experiences so far. The band was set to embark on a US acoustic tour, and wanted to do something extra special for fans. Using BandPage Experiences, they offered fans a chance to watch soundcheck, tour their bus, get a signed Instax photo, a free tshirt, play cornhole with the band, and get early entry to the show.

ANB-BandPage-Experience

Fans purchased the package in record time with nearly every show sold out, along with hundreds of delighted comments and emails from fans desperate for the same opportunity. The band followed up with an additional and even more incredible ‘All-Access’ package and sold out every show immediately!

Screen Shot 2013-06-26 at 5.27.43 PM

The follow-up pictures posted from the meet ups let them give a shout out those who attended, providing additional content for all fans to enjoy.

Screen Shot 2013-06-26 at 5.27.56 PM

All told, Anberlin gave their fans more of what they wanted and generated additional revenue for their tour. We can’t wait to see what more comes of Experiences!

YouTube Playbook Guide (The Cliffs Notes)

Last week YouTube was nice enough to release a 40 page “creators guide” for musicians advising them on the best ways to leverage YouTube to build a loyal and engaged fan base.  In case you don’t have the time or energy to dig through all 40 pages we were kind enough to create our own bulleted list of what we considered to be some key takeaways.  For those of you who want to dig a little deeper, you can check out the rest of the guide here.  Enjoy!

Optimize for Better Discovery

1. Get Your Metadata Working for You:  First things first, don’t forget to lead with the song title, artist name [your name] and album title in the title of your video.  And be sure to include heavily searched terms as well.  If you have a famous guests on the song, be sure to include their name.  If you cover a song, be sure to include the name of the artist whose song you covered.  Remember, most people find music channels through search results, so optimizing your videos for discovery is key.

2. Tag Tag Tag: Tag as many terms that are relevant to your video as you can.  Use both general and specific key words.

3. Use An Intriguing Thumbnail:  Be sure to choose a thumbnail that is compelling.  You want people to want to know what is happening in your video so choose something that invites curiosity.

4. Descriptive Description: Take advantage of the real estate under video description to include calls to action like “click to buy here” or “view new video here.”  Be sure to include new album release date, up coming concert dates, links to socials, digital store, etc.

5. Take Advantage of Annotations: Annotations have a few important uses.  First, you can add annotations to your older videos to direct fans to your newest video.  Or you can add an annotation to a new video encouraging fans to check out your other videos so they can get to know you as an artists better.  On top of that, you can use annotations to promote your licensed merchandize directly in your videos.  Just don’t forget to leverage your top performing videos!

Screen Shot 2013-04-19 at 3.39.04 PM

6. Choose a Layout that Meets Your Needs: A single channel layout makes it easy for you to target announcements to specific groups of fans and encourage fans to help shape your content.   A single channel layout will include all of your curated content, live performances and official videos on a single channel.  A multi-channel layout allows you to separate your content into different channels.  You can upload official music videos onto your main channel and your favorite music, live performances, funny videos, etc to a different one.  This makes it easy for your fans to find exactly what they are looking for.

Screen Shot 2013-04-22 at 9.46.31 AM

Releasing an Album or Song

7. Not One but TWO Videos:  If you are going to use YouTube to release a new song, they highly recommend you create both a lyric and an official music video.  Lyric videos are easier to make and will help build buzz for when you do drop your official music video.  Lyric videos also help your fans connect with your music by getting them more acquainted with your message and words.  For many people, lyrics can make or break a song.

8. Leverage the Community: Get your fans to particpate in this intimate process with you.  Ask them for their feedback and thoughts on your song. Enourage them to comment, share and subscribe to your channel.  You can even ask them to create re-mixes or covers of your song and share them with you.

9. Use Data: Be sure to pay close attention to the regions that are driving the most traffic to your channel.  Examine your traffic sources.  Are there any specific blogs or sites that are driving a significant amount of traffic?   Use this data to help determine where to hold live events, interviews, reach out to the local press, etc.

Engage With Your Fans

10. Exclusive Perks: A great way to keep your fans engaged is to offer them exclusive perks.  Give your fans and subscribers first crack at new tracks, behind-the-scenes video clips or even concert tickets.  Leverage  annotations and/or your video descriptions to help promote them.

11. Q&A: YouTube recommends dedicating one day a month to holding a live Q&A or Google Hangout session with your fans.   Take questions, talk about new projects you’re working on and just hang out.   Your fans will appreciate the opportunity to spend quality time with you and you’ll continue to gain new YouTube followers in the process.  A win-win.

Screen Shot 2013-04-22 at 10.08.24 AM

BandPage Plus Features Keep Getting Better

Two months ago we quietly released some amazing new features as a part of our Plus subscription package.  The idea behind these new features was to allow you, the artists, to more effectively brand and customize your website or blog when utilizing BandPage solutions to manage your online presence.  Now with our newest release, creating a customized and consistent feel on your website is easier than ever.  Check out the list of improvements we made to the BandPage Website and widgets below.  If you like what you see, you can go ahead and upgrade to Plus here.

If you haven’t had a chance to check out these new features in the wild, here are some great examples of Plus BandPagers putting our tools to good use!

Upload Your Logo

Screen Shot 2013-04-09 at 1.59.30 PM

A logo is one of the most important components of any artist’s branding strategy as it is inextricably linked with fan recognition.  Our Plus subscription now allows you to upload your own logo to the Bandpage Website to ensure your branding is consistent across your various online properties.

Choose from 12 Different Fonts

Screen Shot 2013-04-09 at 1.48.19 PM

You can now choose between 12 different fonts options on both the BandPage Website and widgets to help you further brand and customize your digital presence.

Screen Shot 2013-04-09 at 1.38.00 PM

Add Twitter Feed

Twittertab

We even added a way for you to add your twitter feed to your BandPage Website so your fans can stay up-to-date on everything you’ve been up to

Additional Navigation Tab

customtab

And last but certainly not least, you can now add an additional tab to your BandPage Website.  Use this tab to direct fans to your online store, YouTube Channel, Instagram – wherever.

If you have any questions about how to get your BandPage set up or need help upgrading, check out our Help Center for more info or drop us a line at support@BandPage.com.

BandPage Sessions Talks Touring

BandPagers, if you haven’t been tuning into our BandPage Sessions over at Google Hangouts then you’ve been missing out.   Every Thursday at 1:30 PST J sits down with Steve Rennie (Incubus’ Manager) and a slew of other special guest to discuss all things music industry related.  From launching successful crowd funded campaigns, to choosing a manager, to the importance of a buying your sound guy a beer- there is no topic that goes uncovered.

Last week J and Steve sat down with the crew from BandsinTown to discuss the best way for musicians to go about booking gigs as well as the small but important things one can do to properly prepare for and improve their live performance.   Be sure to check out the video and read about some of the highlights from the informative chat below.


Practice, Practice, Practice.  Then Practice Some More

There is no checklist, blog, website, or consultant that is going to magically make you a successful band or artist.  So before stepping foot in any venue or picking up a phone to book your first gig, the first thing any young band should do is invest in a rehearsal space and practice, practice, practice.  Take the time needed to really fine-tune your craft.   Venues are interested in bands that sell tickets, and bands that are great live, sell tickets.  Remember just playing gigs does not automatically mean you are entertaining.  If you want to create a following and get fans to come back and see you, it’s important you put on a great show.  Below are a few ideas mentioned in our BandPage Session that just might help you improve your live game.

  • Work on your set-list.  Create “moments” in your set that takes fans on an emotional journey.
  • Know which songs of yours are going to catch people’s attention and place them accordingly in your set-list.
  • Start big and finish big – the old Rock n’ Roll adage.  Pull people immediately into your set and leave them wanting more.
  • Know where the breaks are going to be in your set and prepare for them.  Have an idea of what you want to say to the crowd – don’t just mindlessly repeat you have merch for sale in the back (although that is important to)

Get In Where You Fit In:

The best thing you can do as a band or artist (besides practice) is to first create a following in your own hometown.  Before you start trying to figure out the best route for your tour of the Midwest, play a ton of shows and work on winning fans over in your own city.  If you’re not popular where you are, how can you expect to be in demand anywhere else?  Once you have generated a decent following in your own city, it will enable you to gradually build your audience in the next city as fans from your own hometown travel to watch you perform.  But first things first:

  • Get familiar with the various venues where bands similar to yours often play.   It might be obvious but if you are a punk band you don’t want to try booking gigs at venues that predominantly hosts EDM artists.
  • Befriend other local bands in your community.   Introduce yourself after shows and get to know people within the scene.
  • Trade shows with other bands that are similar to yours.  Have other bands add you to their bill in exchange for you adding them to yours.
  • Be accessible.  Hangout after shows and spend some time talking to the kids who came to see you.
  • Throw a party.  Put together a fun event that will attract people in your scene and perform at it.

Don’t Forget Your Manners:

It’s amazing how far simply being polite will get you in this business.  The smallest token of thankfulness can make all the difference in the world.   People in this industry look out for others that are good to them so after your show make sure you thank the promoter for helping you land the gig.  Make sure you thank the sound person for taking the time to ensure you sounded ok.  Thank the guy at the door.  Thank the lighting guy.   Send a handwritten note to the venue owner thanking them for the opportunity to play at his/her location.  People aren’t thanked enough in this industry so any type of gesture that conveys your appreciation goes a long way.   You can bet the next time you play that venue the sound person will spend a little extra time making sure you sound even better or maybe the lighting guy will take the extra time to make sure your set looks great.  It’s well worth the effort.

Tip of the week: “Gating” tracks on your BandPage Profile

At BandPage not only are we dedicated to helping you share your music, tour dates, photos and videos with your fans but we are also dedicated to helping you make new ones.  Which is exactly what our “gating” features are meant to do.  Gating simply refers to asking a fan to take an action in order to gain access to a certain piece of content.  This action could range anywhere from “liking” your page, joining your email list or even tweeting about your new video.  In exchange for this action, a fan is given exclusive access to exclusive content like a song, video or photo.  Gating features are a great way for you to increase your number of page “likes,” help spread the word about a new song or video or gain new email addresses for your email list.  We do, however recommend being strategic when it comes to utilizing gating features.  If you are a developing artists hoping to build a fan base asking someone to “like” your page or give you their email address in exchange for the ability to stream a song may be counter-productive.  Instead, consider letting potential fans listen to your music for free.  If they like what they hear and want to own the mp3, than asking them for a page “like” or an email address in exchange for a free mp3 isn’t such too much of a stretch.  If you are an artist who has an established fan-base than you have room to be a bit more liberal with your gating.  You know fans are going to be excited to check out a new song or video so leveraging that excitement to help spread the word is a no-brainer.  Fans will have no problem tweeting or liking your page to access the new content which only helps grow your social reach.  Gating is a powerful feature, so use it wisely and experiment to see what works best for you.

In case you’ve been out of the “gating” game for awhile or just new to it, below is a quick refresher on how to set up “Like to listen”, “Like to download”, “Tweet to download”, and “Join Mailing list to download”.  Enjoy!

Continue reading

BandPage University: How to Use Facebook Timeline as a Musician

Today we’re proud to release our first BandPage University: How to Use Facebook Timeline as a Musician.Our Doctor of Pages, Matt Conn has dived into this topic and emerged with the lost tome of the Facebookus Timelinicon.

After the switch to Timeline, many artists have expressed some frustration with the fact that the new rules and best practices for using the system are unclear. Since the switch a few months back, and through working with our artists closely and running some case studies, we feel as though we have some learned some important items that we think would be valuable to share.
Don’t forget to view in fullscreen – free downloads are also available!
Please let us know what you’d like us to dive further into in the future – if you have questions please tweet us at @bandpage.