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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Veteran music journalist with 20+ years of experience. Supporter of indie artists. Lover of day baseball, & B-movies. Part time ninja. Kicked cancer’s ass. My memoir, ChemBro, is out now!
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Indie Artist Advice – 6 Tips For Managing Your Online Presence
Friday, May 06, 2022

The internet can be exhausting. There’s just so much of it, and seemingly everything changes from minute to minute. One day you have tens of thousands of followers on your favorite social media site, and the next day that site is dead, and you’re on a new one having to start all over again.

While I can’t predict the future, what I can do is give you six tips for managing your online presence.

1. Have your contact info EVERYWHERE 

You have no idea how often I’ll go to an artist’s website, or social media pages, and there’s no real way to contact them. Do you know what happens after that? Nothing. I don’t get in contact, I don’t book an interview, I don’t see them live. They don’t get coverage, they don’t get a feature, they don’t get an extra person at their show.

I’m not the only one who may want to get in touch, either – managers, labels, publicists, fellow artists, playlist curators … all of them just need an email address where they can reach you. Make sure that email address is everywhere you are on the internet.

2. Create a plan for your socials 

Social media has become a time, and soul sucking monster, and no one can be expected to keep up with all of it. This is why I think it’s wise to devise a plan. (It’s also wise to have the same handle for all your social media profiles. Makes life easier for everyone.)

Most of us have our preferred forms of social media, and while that’s perfectly fine, don’t completely neglect the others. You never know who might be following you, or be looking for you, on one of those other sites, so at least give folks a weekly, or bi-weekly update on the social media sites you don’t use as much. Maybe a new music video, or a wrap up of what you’ve been up to. Nothing too time consuming, but enough to keep your fans happy.

Also, remember that we never know when a social media site is going to go out of fashion. For years, every album had an artist’s Myspace address on the back of it. That could be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok sooner than you think.

None of these sites last forever, so …

3. Don’t neglect your email list 

I know this sounds downright ancient, but your email list is still the best way to keep in touch with the people who truly care about your work.

While building up a large number of followers on social media may feel good, you don’t know how many of those folks are actually into your music. Some of them may simply think you’re funny, or like the photos you post.

Your email list, on the other hand, is a collection of people who want to hear from you about your work. That’s a truly beautiful thing, so use it!

4. Get your work on every streaming service 

A big pet peeve of mine is when an artist releases something new, and the only thing they share is a Spotify link.

I’ve gone in-depth about the horrors of Spotify’s business model a number times (click here to read more), but in this case an even bigger point is that not everyone uses Spotify, so why would you only post that link, and potentially cut people off from hearing your work?

Having your music everywhere gives you the best chance of being discovered by listeners, so get on Apple Music, get on Tidal, get on Bandcamp, get on Soundcloud, get on YouTube (because yes, lots of people listen to music on YouTube, and if you’re an indie artist you already know about the “topic” channel that gets created for you), get on everything, and share ALL the links.

If that sounds like a lot of links, don’t worry, I’ll get to the solution for that in a bit (it’s #6 on this list).

5. Find a site where you can sell your music and merch 

I just mentioned Bandcamp, and I’m about to do it again, because from what I’ve seen from indie artist friends, it’s a great place to not only have your music, but to sell your music (downloads, and physical), and your merch.

There are plethora of other options for online merch stores for artists – ask your artist friends which sites they use, and how those sites are working for them – I just brought up Bandcamp because I personally purchase albums and merch there, and I really like the feature where the site emails me when an artist I’ve previously purchased something from has a new project out.

6. Set up a catch-all page to have all of your links in one place 

Like I said at that outset of this column – the internet can be exhausting. With this in mind, keep things simple for both yourself, and your fans by having one link where people can find all of your links.

I use Linktree, but that isn’t the only one out there. Regardless of which you choose, it’s a great idea to have one page where people can find ALL your social media links, and ALL your streaming links, as well your contact info. Heck, if you have the room you can even link to a few interviews, or reviews.

Simplifying things is always the answer, and having one link with everything in it, and using that link on each of your sites, as well as in your email signature, is definitely the way to go.

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posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:00 AM  
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