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Band websites - How important are they for small bands

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by SkinCoffin, Mar 9, 2016.


  1. SkinCoffin

    SkinCoffin

    Aug 18, 2015
    Australia
    I've done a bunch of research into the pro's and cons.. and I honestly think, given the overall approach my (unsigned, original and active) band has, we could benefit more from a website than relying soley on social media. The Facebook & Instagram worked for a while in establishing a small but loyal fanbase online, and locally, we have the people who always come to our gigs/buy our stuff, but with new releases on the horizon we're branching out more internationally, with european PR campaigns & doing way more interstate shows where people may see us in a poster/magazine/lineup and want to look us up.

    Which is all good til we go to all the effort of promotion in physical mediums such as compilation CD's, magazines etc, only for people not to find a reliable source for our content online. Mostly because of our name. You can't really google the name alone and find the band.

    ....we share the name of an insanely popular video game making us even harder to find on social media via a simple search... Deadspace.

    the name wasn't my idea. But it is what it is and changing it isn't an option. We generally go by "deadspaceaus" or "deadspacecollective" as we started as more of an artistic collective than a "band" as such. but I'd like to have just one alias and a website matching so its cohesive.

    Band Leader/Vocalist reckons we're "not big enough" to justify a website. And to be honest, I know bigger Australian bands that don't have an official website/domain name (some are signed so they feature on a label website, some unsigned and just have facebook etc) And I don't know any bands on our level that have properly fleshed out websites, with emails etc. So maybe it is a bit overkill at this stage, maybe we don't need it?

    So, Talkbass... is having a website really that important for small bands in this kind of position or does it only matter when you're already megastars?

    Judging by our likes/content interaction on Facebook, would we really be "not big enough" to be expected (by industry pro's and fans) to have a proper website, and would it be much of a loss to the bands progress to just skip out the website thing and stick to social media?

    Our facebook page: Deadspace
     
  2. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Fort Worth, Texas
    In the Dallas/Fort Worth area, it is very important. Most owners will ask to see it before they want to book you.
    It should have photos, videos, a calendar, and links to the websites of the places you play.
    It should also have contact info for inquirers.
     
  3. pcake

    pcake

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    i'd say that facebook and having your own site these days are for two different reasons. facebook and youtube can bring lots of new people to see your stuff. if they like it, they'll follow you and if you can get them to link to you, that will bring you more people. a good facebook site that is updated regularly, looks good, offers pics and toons, and has one of you replying to any comments can do a lot for you. your own site is, as Gravedigger Dav says, important for club owners / bookers, and is also a great way to have a more personal fan club and calendar.

    you can make a website using wordpress all by yourself, so the cost would be nothing. there are over a gazillion themes (pre-built site designs), so you can make a great looking site just by plugging in pictures and text. many hosts offer it built in so you don't need almost any technical knowledge at all.
     
    wintremute, SkinCoffin and LowFish like this.
  4. LowFish

    LowFish

    Nov 8, 2014
    Coastal NC
    First of all I would say that your band is not that small of a band, a website gives people a way to get on your mailing(e-mail)list, that gives you a way to contact fans with a more personal message than just a posting on Facebook. I would think ya'll would benefit greatly from a website.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2016
    SkinCoffin likes this.
  5. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    If you mean like a full on domain name site like "www.yourband.com" I wouldn't say it is that important. Between Facebook, reverbnation, BandCamp, and label websites, having your own domain name is really only for big signed bands that are nationally known. Even then, a lot of bands opt for free social media options. My band uses typical social media (not BandCamp because we don't believe in giving away our music) and link to Indiemerch to sell our merchandise and CDBaby to sell our CDs and MP3s. Having a half decent music video on YouTube and spamming it will increase your reach more than a dedicated website IMO.
     
    SkinCoffin likes this.
  6. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    No, you most definitely don't need a website for a smaller act
    - if you are happy remaining a smaller act :p.

    I suspect your BL is afraid of success and/or the amount of work it takes to get there :chicken:.
     
  7. Don't waste your money on a .com website. Just use a Facebook page as it's free and far more effective for these purposes.

    My favorite small band from the 80s (Canadian content).
    upload_2016-3-9_15-53-42.
     
    SkinCoffin, seanm and carsbybigd like this.
  8. Old Blastard

    Old Blastard

    Aug 18, 2013
    Virginia
    We're manipulating what we can through Facebook. Don't know whether we'd benefit from a full site or not
     
  9. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    It makes your life easier. Among other things, it is an easy way for the venues to see and hear you, and shows your presence playing in the area.

    I don't worry as much about stuff like bios and such.
     
  10. BassCliff

    BassCliff

    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.
    Hi,

    Webhosting is cheap enough, it's almost a no-brainer. Using templates you can easily build a simple site with a few videos, a few dozen pictures, some bios, your show schedule, a mailing list fans can join, have your own name out there in the interweb, put the website on your business card, in your promo pack, in your EPK, etc. There's no way it won't help your band. We get quite a few gigs from people just searching Google for a certain type of band in a certain area. We're a cover band so I know it's a bit different, but why not give your fans more of YOU? ;)

    There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of webhosting companies. We use Bandzoogle: Band Websites that Work.

    Thank you for your indulgence,

    BassCliff
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2016
  11. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    SEPA
    My blues band's 'official website' is our ReverbNation page, which gives us a place to hang everything we have needed so far.
    It even has FaceBook integration so it's easy to have a 'Band Profile' on the Facebook page which is nearly the same as the ReverbNation page.
    Buncha cool features you get for free - we pay for the $100/year "basic" package that adds some stuff we thought was worth the $100 (like press kit management).

    Us: Montgomery Blues | Blues from Lansdale, PA
     
    SkinCoffin and Old Blastard like this.
  12. Exactly, and to add to that: As hard as it may be to believe, not everybody uses facebook.
     
    Loudart, SkinCoffin and BassCliff like this.
  13. MrLenny1

    MrLenny1

    Jan 17, 2009
    N.H.
    Use both.
    My friends go w/Facebook and then list a website on it.
    FB lists gigs/tours and WEB is there for any more info needed.
    Like others are saying WEB site are cheap/free.
     
  14. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Finding simple things on a Facebook page can be torture. Many musicians post multiple times a day so their friends will see a few things in their email every day, how do you keep the important information visible when people surf over to read it?

    Facebook is great for sending out event invites and posting pics your fans take at shows but you need a web site for information that needs to be easily accessed all the time.
     
    SkinCoffin likes this.
  15. pcake

    pcake

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
  16. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Columbia, Md
    Buy the domain name and redirect it to your Facebook page. It's cheap to have a domain name and you have control it in case you go big. Later you can set up a site separate from Facebook if you need to, but having the domain name will make it easier and you won't have to do rushthebandfromcanada.com because someone already took rush.com. (Just an example)
     
  17. funkymonk13

    funkymonk13

    Aug 22, 2014
    Hey, OP i think it partly depends on what kind of band you're in, your ages and your long term goals.
    Id say most of the indie bands I've seen who are popular (somewhat, still underground obviously) are managed really well. In fact some of these bands arent really that interesting, unique or great musically(although i guess thats subjective) but they get recognition because of their image and how they promote themselves.

    Id say good Social media management is the most important thing. Thats where people are going to follow you and keep track of what youre doing. It should be updated with links to music, pictures, articles, videos etc.
    But i do think a website makes the band seem more "legit". In the sense that it tells people you're not some small local band who formed two months ago. Website is usually pretty simple: a video, some pictures, a newsletter, links to merch, links to social media.
     
    SkinCoffin likes this.
  18. bolophonic

    bolophonic

    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    When I hear about a band that might be interesting, the only thing I am looking for is a Bandcamp or Reverbnation page to hear them. I might investigate to see about tour dates if I liked what I heard. I am in two bands with no websites that play plenty of shows. An elaborate site full of bios and "past show" lists is old fashioned to me... kinda like putting an ad in the yellow pages.
     
  19. Loudart

    Loudart

    May 30, 2014
    www.MetalRecordingServices.com
    Facebook is an amusement, for what ever discovery it offers, it remains a sea of clutter. If that is all you have it screams out loud, that your are willing to leave your marketing to the tides of social media.
    That will not help you chart your own course, unless your goal is play cheap or free. It leaves far too much to luck of the draw, and is silly time consuming.
    Yes, secure a .com its great proof you used your Band name first. It shows you have enough strength not to rely on free or easy. Just a guy with Bachelors in Marketing talking. PM me skin Coffin. I can put you on some genre related marketing outlets. But without a site of your own, all of your promotional efforts send a fan to that sea of social noise, where their attention will be competed for by millions. Folks go to facebokk for amusement with kittie pictures, not to keep up with your band. Announcing like us on facebook on stage is advertising facebook far more than it is you. Song lyrics and ways (links) to buy our music are on our site XX.com, is promoting just you. How you should use your energy is a the choice.

    You have the fan's attention if you send them to your stand alone site, you keep their attention. Conservation of your own energy.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2016
    SkinCoffin likes this.
  20. jgroh

    jgroh Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    Pennsylvania
    Im a professional web (and graphic) designer and it helps when approaching new venues IMO. Is a .com absolutely necessary? No. You can get by with a FB or Twitter page, but its much more professional looking to have all three.
     

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