Strategy: Coding Your Way To The Top

WE’LL ANSWER

  • Why is having my own website beneficial as a new artist?
  • What are the basic building blocks of a website?
  • How can I use html to build my very own¬†website?

LETS GET STARTED

Social media has really saved your butt.  You should be very grateful. Social media allows you to have a presence on the internet without needing to know how the internet aaactually works.

Long before social media the only way to have a home on the web was to buy a domain from a domain service provider and erect a website on top of that domain.

Don’t get it twisted though, just because a website is the traditional home of the internet doesn’t mean that a website isn’t just as valuable to you now as it was back then.

A domain is your own unique home on the internet complete with an address, similar to the address of the house or apartment that you live in now. ¬†A website is all of the furniture that you move into your house. ¬†Some people pay a moving service to move in all of their shiny new furniture, while some of us, well lets just say, we’ve all strapped furniture to the back of our cars at one point in our lives. That’s the difference between paying a developer to create a website for you and dedicating time to develop one yourself, either way, having your own home on the internet is key to establishing your music brand online.

Lets take a look at an example.

A new rap group called FreeStyle recently dropped their new full length album.  FreeStyle decides to market their new album digitally for the first time.

Let’s explore the best strategy for FreeStyles new release.

A.  FreeStyle creates a Facebook fan page to get the word out about their new album

B.  FreeStyle uses some digital distributors to get their newest full length album on Spotify and Apple Music

C.  FreeStyle releases a new website called FreeStyleMusic.com and then uses calls of action (a fancy way of saying commands) to direct users to learn more about their brand on Facebook while also providing links to their new album on Spotify and Apple Music

If you chose C, then the answer was either really obvious, you’re really good at multiple choice or you just know your stuff!

Social media and streaming websites are both great strategies for creating awareness about your music brand but aren’t very good substitutes for being homeless online. ¬†Think about it, a website allows for you to store links to your various digital marketing initiatives, preside over similar brands online that don’t have a website URL and allow other brands online to link directly to you. ¬†As your music brand receives more and more relevant searches and inbound links your websites ranking position in the search engine results will begin to skyrocket.

Increasing your ranking in search engines is called Search Engine Optimization or SEO, meaning, the search engine is now more optimized to recognize your brand.

Now that’s how you get…above the competition.

A website is also a mutable object; unlike feed based websites, a webpage always contains your most important and most relevant information.

Similar to how a car consists of an engine, a staring wheel and tires. A website is founded on a series of building blocks, the most basic being:

  1. A Domain Рthat you can get for a fair price from services such as  www.hostgator.com or www.godaddy.com
  2. HTML – to add copy and formatting to your page
  3. CSS – to style your page with colors and pretty fonts

Hiring a developer to build your website is a good idea if you’re a beginner, you can look to resources like https://www.upwork.com that employ thousands of freelance web developers just waiting for projects to work on.

As a new digital artist, doing a little coding yourself could save you precious time and cash that you could use to reinvest into your marketing budget.  At the bare minimum, knowing how to read code, embed code snippets or make small changes to the HTML on your website could set you light years ahead of your competitors.

A website consists of a head and a body, sound familiar?  The head contains all of the instructions that the body needs to survive.

HTML is written using a “markup language” and is delineated by tags written using angle brackets. ¬†Any copy you add to your webpage is basically surrounded by an opening tag “<>” and a closing tag “</>. ¬†Tags tell the webpage exactly what type of content is in between the opening and closing tags so that the webpage knows exactly how you would like that content displayed to visitors.

The 5 most important tags to familiarize yourself with are:

  1. <h>The header tag</h>
  2. <p> The paragraph tag </p>
  3. <br> The line break tag</br>
  4. <a href=”link URL”>The¬†link tag</a>
  5. <!–This is a comment tag, and is a great way to track your steps –>

Now that we know a little HTML, let’s use this time to build our very first website. ¬†

Open your favorite text editor and type or copy and paste the following.

<!–DOCTYPE declares the type of document we are creating is an HTML document–>

<!DOCTYPE html>

<html>

<head>

<title>Immitter presents [ARTIST/BAND NAME]</title>

</head>

<body>

<h1>Hello New Music World</h1>

<p1>[My/Our] name is [Artist Name/Band], thank you for visiting [my/our] first website</p1>

<br></br>

<p1>Learn more about our music here <a href=”[http://www.linktosocialmediasite.com]”>mysocialmediapage.com</a></p1>

<br></br>

<br></br>

<p3>brought to you by <a href=”https://www.immitter.com”>www.Immitter.com</a></p3>

<!–Now save your newly created text document to your desktop using the “Save As…”option and be sure to change the extension of your document to “.html”–>

</body>

</html>

Be sure to update the information within the [brackets] with your own information and then navigate over to http://htmledit.squarefree.com and simply copy and paste your newly written code into the top text box and watch your code magically appear on the bottom half of the screen.

You should now be looking at your very first website.

There are many resources online to help you learn more about coding your very own website, http://www.W3Schools.com is one of these resources, and a good starting point.

Now that you know a little more about how a webpage works, how using your webpage as a digital home can have a positive impact on your digital marketing and most importantly HOW TO CODE, you can now have a hand in building your very own home on the internet.

LESSON COMPLETE

Reply to this post right now and let us know ways that you’ve used code in your digital music marketing.  Even if it’s something small, we want to hear about it.

Know someone who would like this lesson?  Use our social share buttons on this page to share it with them!

Strategy: The power of exclusivity as a revenue stream

WE’ll ANSWER

  • What is music exclusivity?
  • Why is music exclusivity the new digital wave of the future?
  • How can an emerging musician use exclusivity to build buzz and make money online?

LETS GET STARTED

The new music industry can be exhausting for a new artist or band. Consumers are being blasted with new musicians, trying to get their new music, in the face of new fans, every single day.  This often leads to new emerging digital artists and bands feeling the pressure to release all of their recorded material all at once, you know like how Netflix does it.  But is this the best strategy for an emerging digital artist or band?  Exclusivity makes sure that whatever music you put out is part of a larger digital brand strategy.

Let’s take a look at a fictional alternative rock band called RockYou. ¬†RockYou, just recorded their first 7 song LP, and they’re extremely proud of their final product. ¬†Since their guitarist Erik is the “technology guy” in the¬†band, RockYou appoints him to get¬†their new LP in front of the faces of some new fans.

Lets take a look at what type of release strategy would work best.

A.  Uploading the entire 7 song LP on Youtube, Soundcloud, Reverbnation and Immitter.com

B.  Uploading the 7 song LP to just one social music website

C.  Releasing 1 song per week from the new 7 song LP on Youtube, Soundcloud, Reverbnation and Immitter

If you guessed C. ¬†You were “C”orrect.

By holding back from releasing the entire LP at once, Erik helped his band extend the life cycle of their newest LP from one week to 7 weeks across 4 music websites. ¬†Not only are avid fans waiting eagerly to see what RockYou is cooking in the kitchen for next week, but RockYou can now market fresh new material to new fans over a longer time period without the risk of their LP becoming stale and played out – That’s the power of exclusivity.

In the past the traditional label system used exclusivity as their main sales weapon. ¬†You remember it, don’t cha? ¬†Promote the crap out of the single to the masses and get the most curious fans to purchase the CD in exchange for experiencing the rest of the album. ¬†That was a brave world for consumers because most people¬†just wanted the single they heard on the radio, only true fans really cared to experience the album cuts. ¬†And then, Napster came along and unbundled the album allowing fans to pick and choose the songs they wanted for FREE! ¬†Yikes. ¬†Fans 1, record labels 0, artists -1. ¬†Ever since that fateful day, artists and bands have struggled to make money digitally recording music, lets call it the great unbundling.

But alas, all is not lost. ¬†At a time where everything is available for free, exclusives are refreshing because they bring the mystery back to the music. ¬†When everybody and their mama’s music is available for free online the fandom game isn’t as fun anymore. ¬†The corporations know; Apple, Spotify and now Amazon are jumping on the exclusive band wagon. Fans who subscribe exclusively to these music streaming services get a chance at having the “worlds” recorded music at their fingertips. ¬†The only problem is, as an emerging artist, the payments from these services are so small you’ve virtually been cut right out of the¬†revenue, ah-gain.

As important as it is to be on all streaming platforms, it’s equally important to create your own exclusivity for your own music brand. ¬†Websites like Bandcamp and Immitter have exclusivity tools that allow emerging artists to become their own self-sustaining Spotify and Apple music while keeping a large portion of the subscription revenue for themselves.

Todays digital musicians are seen more as brands as opposed to real people.  A brand is basically a business with products that a lot of people recognize.  Fan subscription tools now allow your most loyal fans to subscribe directly to your brand (for a small recurring fee) in exchange for exclusive access to your brands history of recorded music.

Lets take a look at another example

Sam is a part of a goth girl group called, Vampgelica. ¬†To date Vampgelica has released 3 LPs containing 10 songs each. ¬†Vampgelica decides to use an exclusive fan subscription tool to lock 5 songs from each LP that are exclusive to the Vampiress nation. ¬†15 songs are now freely available (for free download and stream only)¬†to new fans, who are just ready to sink their teeth in, while die hard fans and supporters would…

A.  Feel like a bloody-mess if they were left out in the sun without access to the additional 15 Vampgelica songs.

B.  Forget about the exclusive songs that they do not have access to and instead watch re-runs of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

If you chose A, you were right!

Super fans, as we call them, want 24 hour access to your brand at all times (why do you think gossip magazines are still so popular?).

In the digital era it is completely possible to charge a small fee to your super-ist fans for the privilege of accessing your entire discography, as well as uninhibited access to any of your future releases.  As a developing artist or band, your fan subscription revenue now goes directly to your bank account as opposed to making the corporations even richer.  Super fans 1, Artists 1, Corporations 0.

Now that you know why it’s important to embrace exclusivity, lets review some basic guidelines that can help you build a successful exclusivity campaign.

Avoid bundling digital releases

Your goal as a digital distributor (yes you are that too) is to spread the buzz of your newly released EP or LP over the course of a couple weeks, maybe even months. ¬†Don’t be the flash in the pan, make your fans crave for more.

Offer your super fans an exclusive club to belong to

Whether you are using exclusive mailing lists, exclusive fan only shows and digital performances or¬†exclusive fan subscription tools, making sure that your superfans feel like they are getting an experience unbeknownst¬†to¬†outsiders is something that they’ll appreciate, heck, they’ll even pay you for it.

LESSON COMPLETE

Reply to this post right now and let us know ways that you’ve used exclusivity as buzz or a revenue stream. ¬†Even if it’s small, we want to hear about it.

Know someone who would like this lesson?  Use our social share buttons on this page to share it with them!