Tomorrow (May 27,2011) at 2pm I’m going to be speaking at the Louisville Guitar Festival. I’m going to cover business — what it means to market yourself online and what are some of the tools that anyone can use.
At the end of my lecture, I’m going to issue these three challenges to the folks in attendance.
1. Create a Website or Make Yours Better.
Every musician needs a website. We live in a world where people increasing look for information online, and you need to be in that space to even have a chance of getting noticed.
But there’s a catch. You need to be able to update and edit this website very easily. It’s a big problem if you need to hire a guy every time you want to add something to your site. That gets expensive (see point two).
So if you do have a site already, consider having it redone using a content management system (CMS). A CMS gives you an administrator area which you can log into to easily add or update pages. There are tons of options: WordPress, Modx, Joomla, etc.
2. Create One New Piece of Content Every Week.
If you have tracking software installed on your website, you’ve probably looked at it thought, “Wow, why do I bother with this? 3 people visited last week.”
So let me tell you a secret: the way to get more visits is to invite people over (via social media or search engines or links on other websites), and the way to keep people coming to your site is to continually add new content for them to check out. Content can mean anything from an audio file to a video to a blog post.
Think about your core business and what makes you a living as musician. What sort of things could create that relate to that business? What sort of concerns do your customers have, and can you address them in an article? How about a video?
Once every week create a new piece of content and put it on your website. Try to focus on things that are evergreen. In other words, content that is not time sensitive. That blog post about your upcoming concert doesn’t count (sorry).
3. Learn HTML and CSS
I firmly believe that anyone who has a website needs to know HTML and CSS. HTML is the stuff that gives the website is structure, and CSS (cascading style sheets) make it pretty.
The good news is that HTML and CSS are pretty easy to learn. I used this book. Spend a half our a day learning a bit about HTML