Tip of the week: Adding SoundCloud tracks to your BandPage Profile

It has come to our attention in recent weeks that some of you have had trouble getting SoundCloud tracks into your BandPage Profile. After some investigating we’ve discovered that there is a common misunderstanding amongst many of you BandPagers so we are here to help clarify a few things.  First and foremost,uploading a track from your computer and adding tracks from SoundCloud are essentially the same thing. Both processes require that you sync your BandPage Profile to a SoundCloud account.  However, the processes for doing so are a bit different.

Adding Tracks From SoundCloud:

When you click to add tracks from your SoundCloud account, you must first go through the process of syncing an existing SoundCloud account to your BandPage Profile. If you haven’t already sync’ed your SoundCloud account, you will be asked to log into SoundCloud using your SoundCloud credentials.  Once you have logged in, the list of the tracks currently in your SoundCloud library will pop up.  If there are tracks that aren’t already in your BandPage profile, you will have the ability to add them here.  Adding new tracks is as simple as clicking the check boxes next to the tracks you would like to add.  Once you have finished selecting your tracks, click “Next” and you are good to go!

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Uploading Tracks From Your Computer:

When you click to upload from your computer, it technically still requires you to connect to your SoundCloud account. We provide this option as a way for you to set up a SoundCloud account quickly and easily – essentially skipping the step of having to go to SoundCloud.com first.  This is helpful for those musicians that don’t yet have a SoundCloud account.  By adding a track via your computer, you are able to quickly create a SoundCloud Account and immediately starting add tracks to your BandPage Profile.

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It is important to remember that your BandPage Profile can only be connected to one SoundCloud account at a time. If you try to upload from your computer when you have already added tracks from your SoundCloud account, it won’t work. Similarly, if you try to connect to a SoundCloud account when you have already uploaded from your computer, this won’t work either. You need to either consolidate your music to one SoundCloud account, or disconnect the current account so that you can connect to the new one created by uploading from your computer. If you wish to disconnect or reset your SoundCloud account, you can learn how from this helpful article in our Help Center.

Best Practices: Building a BandPage Experience

Hey Musicians,

For the past few weeks we’ve been carefully studying the various Experiences that have made their way onto our new Marketplace platform in hopes of educating you on what it takes to create a successful “offers” campaign.  We’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to work closely with many of the great musicians who are currently using our Marketplace and have helped many of them develop, refine and successfully sell their offers.  We learned a TON in the process and want to share that knowledge with you.

In our earlier blog posts, we covered the different ways you can promote your Experiences to your fans via Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.  Remember, nothing is more effective than you, the artists encouraging your fans to check out new opportunities to engage with you.  It has proven to be the most useful way to reach your fans that we have seen thus far.

However, for this blog post we’ll start at the beginning and cover some of the best practices for developing and setting up an Experience once you have made the decision to participate in this Brave New World of fan engagement.  Let’s get started!

Where to Start

The first step in creating your Experiences, is deciding on what your goals are.  Are you trying to maximize revenue or are you more focused on creating cool new ways to engage with your biggest fans?  Deciding on your ultimate goal will help inform the choices you make for each of the offer variables below.

  • What to Offer
  • Pricing Your Offer
  • Quantity
  • Title
  • Description
  • Expiration Date
  • Video / Photo

What to Offer

Offerings can be broken down into 3 main types: Personalized merchandise, fan participation, and personal experiences.

  • Personalized Merchandise/Momentos: These are often manufactured goods that you can easily add exclusive value to.  Examples include signed vinyl, handwritten lyric sheets, a signed print from a show, signed drumheads, etc.   What’s great about items like these are they already have real-world value and adding an exclusive twist to them instantly makes them even more valuable to your fans.  Be sure not to confuse this with your standard merch.  You should only choose items that are limited in quantity and that you have personalized yourself.  These types of offers can also include hand-made items that you have put your own personal touch on.  We’ve seen artists successfully sell hand painted pictures/drawings to fans.  Other artists have successfully sold mix-tapes of their favorite songs or songs that have inspired them over the years.  Consider doing an acoustic cover of a fan’s choice.  Maybe a full EP.  Get creative.  Think of your favorite artists.  What cool stuff could they offer that would intrigue you?
  • Fan Participation:  These are super exclusive experience-based offers that let your fans be a part of your creative process.  Shooting a new video?  Let a fan be an extra.  Need some handclaps for a track your working on?  Give your biggest fans a crack at it.  If you’re feeling brave, you might even let a fan design your next album cover.  One artist created totally unique songs using sounds, samples and concepts sent to them by the purchasing fan.  Pretty amazing.  If a fan does participate in a project of yours, consider including their name in the credits or thank you notes as a further token of your appreciation.
  • Personal Experiences: These are also experience-based offers that allows your fans connect with you on a more personal and intimate level.  These types of offers can include a one-on-one skype session, a meet and greet before a show or a visit to the recording studio to sit in on the recording of your next album.  We’ve seen a number of talented artists offer their fans guitar or piano lessons.  We even had one artist completely sell through all of her theremin lessons.  There are handful of other artists who have successfully sold private concerts that are to be held in a fan’s living room.  Fans are always looking for unique and exclusive ways to engage with their favorite artists and creating a once in a lifetime experience is worth a premium price.

Pricing

In general, pricing will be a learning process for each musician. When first starting out, we recommend limiting the quantity of offers and pricing them to sell.  You can always add additional ones later.  It’s important to engage your fans right off the bat with an intriguing offer that won’t break the bank.  This will help generate buzz among your fanbase.  We saw a number of bands completely sell out of their offers within hours of promoting them to their socials who ended up having to add more items due to overwhelming fan demand.  That’s the kind of position you want to be in.  Remember, the higher the price the more promotion you’ll need to do in order to reach those few “Superfans” who’ll be willing to and have the means to pay a high price.

A few things to keep in mind when pricing your offer.

  1. First off, consider the costs associated with your offer.  Are there costs associated with transportation, shipping, merchandise, the venue, etc?  Your time is obviously worth something to you so don’t forget to take that into consideration.
  2. Secondly, you want to make sure you are offering something of value.  If you are selling a manufactured good like a signed CD or poster, you’re going to want to keep the price close to it’s real world cost (depending on how popular you are.)  You can always add additional value to a manufactured good by adding your own unique twist to it.  Hand-write lyrics on a poster or draw a picture on a drumhead and sign it or for a fan.  Perhaps you can create a personal one-of-kind greeting to open your new album.  Adding a one of a kind experience to a manufactured good that already has real world value not only gives you a decent starting point price-wise but also affords you some flexibility depending on your audience.   However, if you are selling a vinyl test pressing, or a meet and great before a show or something that is super rare and limited in quantity, you will be able to fetch a premium price based on the exclusivity of the item or experience.
  3. A good rule of thumb: Put yourself in your fan’s shoes.  Would you be willing to spend your hard earned cash on your reward?  Let your honest answer to that question guide you.

Quantity

Depending on what your goals are, you can either choose to keep your experiences exclusive and intimate or far-reaching and accessible.  If you’re experimenting with offers, it’s a good idea to keep inventory low to see how they initially sell.  You can always increase the quantity if things start to sell quickly or even better, sell out.   Keep in mind, the quantity you set is closely related to price – the lower the quantity of something the more exclusive it is and therefore the higher you can price it.  Offerings with a high quantity do not have that “exclusivity” factor and you are better served to price those a bit lower.

Let’s take a look at two good examples of both cases.  We’ll compare Mum (an avant-grade Icelandic band) and The Postelles (an up and coming American indie rock band) to highlight the dynamic relationship between exclusivity and price.

  • Mum offered fans a completely custom song created using a fan’s choice of sounds, samples, concepts, etc. Due to the time commitment and effort needed to produce this offer, the band decided to only sell a few.  Naturally, the price was expensive for such a unique opportunity but the final product warranted it.  Within hours of sharing these unique opportunity with the fans, Mum was able to sell 3 customized songs for $1500 each.  Not a bad way to make some extra cash and cultivate a greater relationship with some of their biggest fans.
  • The Postelles wanted to create some buzz around their newest release and encourage their fans to actually BUY their album rather than stream it.  So they came up with the idea to personally “audiographed” 50 copies of their new album. An “audiograph” (according to them) is a personalized dedication just for the fan in digital format to be played in (STEREO) at the very beginning of the new album.  Fans loved the idea of having something personal and unique to them and jumped at the opportunity.  The Postelles kept prices incredibly reasonable knowing they could sell a large volume and create some excitement around the album.  It worked like a charm.  Fans who weren’t able to get their hands on the first wave of audiographed albums begged for the band to create more via The Postelles Facebook page and Twitter.  There was clearly a large demand, so The Postelles made a handful more which almost immediately sold out again.

Title

The title is the first thing a fan will see when the come across your offerings on your social channels, via email, and when they’re surfing the BandPage Experiences site so be sure to make it simple yet compelling and memorable.  Fans should want to click on your experience to learn more so have some fun with it and keep it personable and honest.

Top selling Experience titles:

  • Exclusive Pre-show Listening Party!
  • …And It Shook Me (AUDIOGRAPHED VERSION)
  • Personalized Outgoing Message from Us!
  • Backstage Buddz Bundle
  • Catch Our Show From The Side Stage
  • Wood Printed Design Hieroglyphics X Oakland
  • Intimate “Living Room” Album

Description

Your description is the best place to communicate to your fans what exactly it is you are offering them.  It’s imperative that you are as descriptive as possible so that the fan is absolutely clear on what it is they are getting in return for their money.  What format is it in, how long will it be, what’s included and how it will be fulfilled?  If there are rules and policies, be sure to list those out as well.  If you can’t give fans side stage access to shows that you aren’t headlining, be sure to make that clear.  Be sure to also include a clear call to action at the beginning or end of the description if there is something you specifically need from the fan.

Examples of good descriptions:

  • Issues’s Exclusive Pre-show Listening Party tells you exactly what is included: a Q&A, all the autographs you want, photos, an extremely intimate group setting, and of course, listen to the new material.
  • Stars’ Watch a Show From the Stage tells you the logistical details: you get 2 tickets included with the purchase, you get to choose which show you want to be on the stage for, and the purchase does not include travel to/from the show.
  • Hieroglyphics’ Wood Printed Design’s description includes the exact canvas size, some background and history, and for this offer the image shows you exactly what you see and is used to support the description.

Expiration Date

Shorter durations for your Experiences will have higher success rates and create a sense of urgency for your fans. We recommend setting your expiration date no later than a month out, and promoting it at big milestones (2 weeks left! 1 week left! 2 days left!).

Video & Photo

You should already have a BandPage profile photo uploaded. It’s your main form of branding on the page so choose a good photo that embodies who you are as an artist.

When uploading your photo or video, be sure to use an image that will catch the eye and is related to the offer. Unique, bright, colorful, high-resolution images get more clicks.

If you choose to make a video, there are a few important things to keep in mind.

  • Make it personable.  Don’t be afraid to get in front of the camera and tell your fans how excited you are about this opportunity to engage and connect with them.  You don’t have to be sales-y, just be yourself and stay true to who you are as an artists.  
  • It doesn’t have to be perfect.  Knock it out in a couple of hours with a few friends or spend days editing it – whatever floats your boat.  Being yourself and being genuine goes a lot further than a slick, well-produced video. If you can do both, even better!
  • Be descriptive.  Here is another opportunity to explain to your fans what exactly it is they are getting.

Some Last Notes…

  • Number of Experiences: Start with no more than 3 unique offers.  You are going to need to promote these things to your fans and you dont want to be spamming them day after day.  Many artists prefer to promote one offer at a time.  Others have found success promoting a handful at the same time.  Find what works for you.  We feel keeping the number of unique offers low challenges you to really develop the ones you do have and that’s important.
  • Try to Keep Your Offer Audience Wide: If you have offers set in certain geographic areas, you’ll be limiting your audience to those of your fans who live near that region. Be aware of when this happens because you’ll be able to target those fans really well with Facebook ads. If you’re offering instrument lessons, be aware that you’re limiting the pool of potential buyers to your fans who happen to be currently learning how to play that exact instrument.
  • Fill Out Your BandPage Profile:  The Marketplace is another opportunity for you to market your content so important that your BandPage profile be up-to-date.  A fan may come across your profile looking to check out that signed vinyl test pressing you just put up for sale and notice you are playing in their town in a few weeks.  Or your offer might catch the eye of a fan of another band and they may want to check out your songs or videos.  You never know who is going to be seeing and listening to your stuff so make sure it’s all filled out and completely updated.

Those are our tips for setting up a great Experience! Definitely leave us feedback if you have questions or thoughts – and check out our other posts regarding promoting your offers if you haven’t already.

Promoting Your BandPage Experiences: Part 5 – Word of Mouth

Hi Musicians,

We’ve covered a number of different ways for you to promote your BandPage Experiences over the past week – the main takeaway is that there are many different ways and mediums to promote on. Take a look at your own fan base and think about where your most engaged fans are concentrated, then focus your energy there. Today we’ll be covering in-person / word of mouth promotion and what you can do when you’re with your fans in real life.

Part 1: Facebook | Part 2: Twitter | Part 3: YouTube | Part 4: Mailing List

Promote your BandPage Experiences at your live shows or whenever you’re in front of your fans. It’s an opportunity to reach a group of passionate fans who will be your evangelists and help spread the word.

Example: “Hey guys! I’m so glad you came out tonight to see me – it really means a lot. If you’re hungry for more, I have some XXXX up on my BandPage Experiences store. There are only a few left so you should grab them while they’re still up! Tell all your friends!”

Now you have a sense of all the things you can do to promote your Experiences after you set them up. We recommend posting where you have the highest concentration of fans who are likely to buy your Experiences. This often times means posting on your social networks first, in order of ones with the most fan count. The main point to remember is to make a compelling offer and take the time to promote your BandPage Experiences once you set them up!

Well, that’s it for our BandPage Experiences blog series on promoting your offers! Stay tuned for a post soon about how to structure a great offer – we’ll cover pricing, quantity, descriptions, and all that good stuff.

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

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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

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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.

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Add Twitter Feed

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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

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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.

Tip of the week: Updating your Band Name and changing your Direct Link

Without further ado we would like to introduce you to two of our favorite new features in your BandPage Profile:

  • Updating your Artist or Band name
  • Changing your Direct Link and BandPage  Website URL

After many weeks of your feedback and requests, we put our minds to work to find an easy-to-use and simple way for you to update your Display Name in your BandPage Profile, as well as request a new Direct Link without ever having to send us an email!

How to update your Artist or Band Name:

Step One:  Sign in to the BandPage editor and select to edit your BandPage.  By default you will land in the “Create Your Profile” tab, which is where you can access and update the information that is in the About section of your Bandpage Profile.

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Step Two:  In the text box below “Display Name” you will see your current Artist Name.  To change this, click on the text space and start typing your new Artist Name.  This will change your Artist Name everywhere that your BandPage Profile is displayed across the web.

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Step Three:  Once you have the correct name typed in, click on the blue “Save” button and your Artist Name will be updated!

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Now you can update your  Artist Name as many times as you want, instantly.

How to update your Direct Link:

Step One:  As with updating your Artist or Band Name, you can change your Direct Link in the “About” section of your BandPage Profile.

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Click on the text space below “Web Alias” and begin typing the new Direct Link that you want to have.  Remember that this will update both your Direct Link on Facebook and your BandPage Website URL:

fb.bandpage.com/webalias AND webalias.bandpage.com

Step Two:  Once you have typed in the Web Alias that you wish to have as a Direct Link and BandPage Website URL, a dialogue box will appear that says one of two things:

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“This alias is either invalid or already taken.” means that the Web Alias you have chosen is not accepted by our system, or that it is already in use by another BandPage. In this case, you will need to choose a new one.

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“This will change your web alias in the following locations” notifies you that the alias you have chosen is available and wants to make sure that you are OK with where the changes will appear on your BandPage Profile.

Step Three:  If the Web Alias that you have chosen works, then you just need to click “Save” and you’re done!

If you have any questions feel free to check out our Help Center or shoot us an email to Support@bandpage.com!

Tip of the week: Ordering tracks on your BandPage

There are lots of things to consider when setting up your BandPage Profile, like which songs to use, what order to put them in, whether or not you should feature them on your Website, and the list goes on.  To help make this easier for you we have made some improvements to the ordering function of your BandPage track list.

Step One:  Choose the songs that you want to have in your BandPage Profile

We recommend that you upload at least five tracks to provide variety to your fans and keep them engaged.

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Step Two:  Put your tracks in the order that you want your fans to listen to them in

This can be based on what was most recently released, what is the most popular, or however else you want to order them.  To do this, log in to BandPage.com and access the music editor:

1) By default you will land in the “Create Your Profile” tab.

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2) From here, choose “Music” from the left side menu and click the white space next to each track to drag it into a new location in the list.

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3) Once your tracks are in the order that you want them in, save the changes and you’re done!

Now when fans come to your BandPage Profile they will see a customized track list and have the listening experience that you have designed for them.  If you have any questions about this process or want to give us some feedback, feel free to drop us a note through our Help Center or by emailing us directly at support@bandpage.com!

BandPage Now Extends Your Profile to Twitter, Facebook, SoundCloud and Sponsored Concert Listings on Pandora

bandpage-now-powersHey BandPagers,

Happy New Year! We’ve got some great news for you. We’re excited to announce the continued expansion of our platform integrations including Twitter, Facebook, SoundCloud, and now the sponsored Concert Listings on Pandora. With these new integrations, we’re continuing to increase the reach of musicians worldwide with more ways for you to engage your fans.

“We use BandPage for all of our artists from POD to Maroon 5. It’s awesome to be able to control our online presence with just a few clicks, even better now that Pandora and Twitter are new channels. We’re able to spend more time on our online strategy rather than wasting it updating site after site,” says Ryan Kravontrka of Career Artist Management.

The Twitter, Facebook and SoundCloud integrations make it possible for artists to manage how they represent themselves on the biggest online social networking sites by updating their profile photo and parts of their bio from within the BandPage editor. The Pandora Concert Listings, which is sponsored by third-party advertisers, allows artists to manage show dates that appear to listeners based on their Pandora stations and location.

BandPage Powers Twitter, Facebook, Pandora and SoundCloud

“I remember when I was growing up, if I heard a song that resonated with me, it took all sorts of effort to identify the band and find out if, when and where they might be touring. It’s exciting to see artist driven companies work together to create a better experience for the fan and make things easier,” says Grammy-nominated musician Matisyahu.

BandPage is committed to finding new opportunities to help you deliver your content to your fans across the web. Twitter, Facebook, Pandora and SoundCloud are the latest addition to the many platforms you can now manage from within BandPage, and we’ll be continuing to find great places and ways for you to promote your music so make sure to update your profile. It’s an exciting time and we’re excited to be doing this with you!

As always, make sure to follow the BandPage blog for more updates and tips!