In this episode, you‘re going to learn why you need a website as a music producer or DJ. It‘s more important than you think and I‘m going to give you five reasons why that is. Most artists think that it‘s enough to have pages on Instagram, Facebook, Tik-Tok, and whatever comes next. But that‘s a dangerous error. I still believe every music producer or DJ should have a website. Let me show you why.
The difference between owning a channel and renting it
Do you have a SoundCloud-profile? Maybe an Instagram or Facebook page as well? You have a great social media strategy in place? Nice, congratulations, that‘s a great first step. Now let me ask you something: What are your fans and followers worth to you? Especially your „true fans“? How would you react when you suddenly couldn‘t communicate with them anymore?
Sounds bad, right? Well, that‘s exactly what can happen when you don‘t own a channel.
See, that‘s the underlying reason why you need a website as a music producer or DJ. You want to have at least one channel that you truly own. You might think that I‘m exaggerating the potential danger of Instagram and Facebook. But I‘ve seen Myspace go down, I‘ve seen the organic reach on Facebook being butchered (so they could sell more ads) and I‘m seeing a similar trend on Instagram today. The question is not if it will happen but when it will happen.
Every music producer or DJ needs a website and here‘s why
Imagine the channels of your artist brand like this: Instagram, Facebook, SoundCloud, Bandcamp and maybe even YouTube and TikTok offer different ways of promoting your music and artist personality. You’re fully dependent on the rules of the platforms, their design, and most importantly: Their algorithms.
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Your website, instead, is your digital „home“, where YOU make the rules. Every other channel should, ultimately, lead to your website which ties all the different aspects of your artist profile together. It‘s works like a hub that connects everything. Without owning that hub, your fans don‘t have a place to go after they‘ve visited your social channels. More importantly, your „true fans“ don‘t have a chance to interact with you on a deeper level than just your other social followers.
I‘m now going to give you my top five reasons why every music producer or DJ needs a website.
1. You need a digital space that ties everything together
It‘s hard to keep all your channels up to date all the time. Be honest with yourself: Maybe your SoundCloud is only the ugly cousin of your beloved Instagram page (or the other way round). I bet that 99.9% of music producers don‘t have their artist photos, bio text, upcoming shows, latest release up to date on all their channels. Moreover, it‘s hard to do because every platform has different possibilities of uploading and managing content.
That‘s exactly why you need a website as a music producer or DJ. You want to have one central digital space where it‘s all tied together.
What makes up a great music producer website
If you want to set-up a kick-ass website, it needs to have a structure that provides value to your fans. A good artist-website should contain the following sub-sites:
- Home: This is your main landing page and it serves two purposes: First of all, you want to give your visitor a great-looking first impression. Secondly, you want to help them easily navigate your page. You can showcase a video there (if you have one) or some of your best photos. Moreover, give them a short idea of what you and your music are all about.
- About: This section contains your artist-bio as well as other background stories. If you‘ve given interviews on blogs or podcasts, you can include snippets and link to the articles about you.
- Music: Include a player with a selection your best tracks or your latest release. Depending on your skills, you can either set-up a high-quality player plugin or simply integrate a SoundCloud, Bandcamp, or Spotify playlist. If
- Shows: Keep this section updated and link to pages where people can either sign up as a guest or buy tickets. Obviously, this won‘t be possible with gigs in underground Techno clubs. But for festival shows and other types of gigs, you want to help your fans get tickets.
- Press: This links to your electronic press kit which contains various high-res photos as well as your artist-bio in different lengths. You can also include links to other articles about you or interviews you‘ve given.
- Shop: If you‘re selling physical goods like vinyls, CDs, or merchandise, you can sell them directly to your fans using your website. If you don‘t want to mess with installing shopping cart systems, you can simply link to your Bandcamp store or something similar.
- Contact: Give people clear and easy instructions on how to book you, how to submit promo tracks, and how to get in touch with you for other inquiries.
2. You can engage with your „true fans“ on a deeper level and build an email list
One of the main reasons why you need a website as a music producer or DJ is that it allows you to connect with your „true fans“ on a different level. In case you don‘t know what a „true fan“ is and what Seth Godin‘s „Tribes“ theory has to do with that, go back to our previous episodes:
- Episode 12 on the 1000 true fans concept by Kevin Kelly
- Episode 13 on finding your tribe, based on Seth Godin‘s theory
Your „true fans“ expect to be treated differently from the rest of your followers. They are willing to give more, they are heavily invested in your mission as an artist. In consequence, they‘re craving for ways to connect with you on a deeper level than just a like or comment on your social channels.
Your website is the perfect place to offer them something unique in exchange for their email address. In online marketing terms, this is called a „lead magnet“. My „Seven Strategies of Highly Successful Electronic Music Artists“is a good example of that. I want to give the people who truly want to grow their artist-career a chance to learn more. They are the ones who listen to every episode of the podcast, write personal emails, and can be called „true fans“ of Pick Yourself.
Examples of lead-magnets for music producer or DJ websites
A lead magnet must provide true value to your audience. Please, don‘t offer silly, meaningless stuff to people. Your goal should not be to grow a massive email-list (of people who don‘t really give a shit). Instead, you want to offer something awesome to your true fans and build a small but highly relevant communication channel. Just to be clear here: This is going in both directions, so when your true fans send you an email, make sure you respond properly.
Here are some examples of lead magnets for your true fans:
- Unreleased music: That’s the obvious one. You can let them download alternative versions, edits, or remixes. Please make sure that the level of quality is as good as your official releases. I personally don‘t believe that a DJ-mix is enough here, because they might find something similar to this on your SoundCloud page more easily. If you insist on using a DJ-mix for this, make sure it‘s a live-set from a really desirable show you‘ve played at a well-known underground club or festival.
- Sample Packs: At least a good portion of your true fans might be music producers themselves. If you‘re designing your own kick drums or have a vast collection of unique field recordings, put together a special sample pack for your true fans.
- Behind-the-scenes footage: This can be a studio-tour for example, or a look behind the scenes of your production process. If you‘re working a lot with artistic concepts (like e.g. Kraftwerk), you could give your true fans additional explanations or background stories.
Remember, your lead magnet must be desirable for your true fans. Forget about the rest, you don‘t need to grow a massive email list. If your goal is to build a fanbase of 1000 true fans, you definitely need your own website.
3. Having your own website as an artist puts you in a different bucket from the rest
I think music producers and DJs need a website because it‘s one of the easiest wins. Since most other artists are too lazy or ignorant to set up their own website, you can differentiate yourself simply by having one. Believe me, it‘s not that difficult.
Having your own website as an artist makes you appear more professional, organized, and can help you make a great first impression when other music industry professionals are looking you up online. Nothing is more annoying than trying to put together the different pieces of an artist across several social media platforms just to get a first overview.
It‘s hard enough to stand out as an artist these days, so why not use this quick win to separate you from the rest.
Artist-website platforms and tools
Setting up your own website as a music producer or DJ doesn‘t have to be complex. If you have at least a little bit of experience with digital tools, you‘re going to be able to figure this out, I‘m sure. If you can handle a DAW, you can set up your own artist-website. Here are some of the tools you can use.
- WordPress: I‘m a big believer in WordPress as a platform to build your website with. It‘s super flexible, has everything you might ever need (thanks to great third-party plugins), and is very future-proof. When it comes to themes and plugins, I‘m a big fan of ThriveThemes. The downside of WordPress is that it‘s a bit more complex to set-up than the other tools in this list. You also need a dedicated hosting provider. I‘m using Raidboxes, which is one of the fastest and most secure hosts out there.
- Wix and Squarespace: These platforms are visual website builders. They‘re easier to set up than WordPress, are still very flexible, but not to the degree of WordPress. Just make sure you buy a custom domain name here so your website isn‘t aristname.wix.com or anything like that.
- Bandzoogle and Vibecast: While being the easiest to set up, these two platforms are also specializing in helping music producers and DJs set up their own websites. These options are less customizable but can still offer you a great return on investment.
4. You can build a platform that goes beyond your artist-career
Having a website as a music producer or DJ can be the starting point of something bigger. What if you want to launch your own label? What if you start selling sample packs or start teaching music production to other producers online?
All of these plans will be much easier to execute if you‘ve already set up a website as an artist. This can open up additional revenue-streams and make it more realistic to transition out of a day-job into a serious career in music.
So even if you now think you don‘t need a website as a music producer or DJ, that doesn‘t mean you won‘t need it in the near future for other plans. Let‘s put it like this: There‘s no reason not to build a website. These days, it‘s quite affordable and the return on investment might be more than can think of right now.
5. A website allows you to share long-format blog content
This might not be for everybody but I believe that sharing your thoughts in long-format blog posts can be a powerful tool for artists. Believe me, your true fans are going to read this stuff and connect even more with you and your music.
Having a website as a music producer or DJ gives you the possibility to create and share content that goes deeper than an Instagram story or a Facebook post.
Topics for a blog on your artist-website
Blogging is very powerful if you find topics that feel natural to you. Here are some things you might want to write about:
- Concepts surrounding your latest release
- Thoughts on the current state of the electronic music scene
- Interviews with producer friends or even your idols
- How-to articles that describe your production workflow
Putting it into action: Why every music producer needs a website
Having your own website as an artist is super important. Even if you‘re doing a great job on social media, keep in mind that you never own these platforms and nobody knows what is going to happen with them in the future. Here are my three action steps on how to get started with setting up your own website as a music producer or DJ.
1. Set aside two days (one weekend) to work on your music producer website
- You need this uninterrupted chunk of time to plan and execute your website project.
- First, start with preparing all the materials like artist-bio, photos, etc., then move on to things like choosing your provider.
2. Choose a website provider that suits your skill-level
- If you‘re a bit more geeky and enjoy full flexibility, go for WordPress + ThriveThemes.
- In case that sounds a bit too complicated, go for Wix or Squarespace.
- If you just want something that suits the standard music producer or DJ website-needs, Bandzoogle or Vibecast will do the job. Short disclaimer: These two options make it a bit harder to expand into other areas later on.
3. Get a first version done and move on
- With building websites, our perfectionism often gets in our way. Try to get into the „better done than perfect“ mindset. You can (and will) optimize your website again and again.
- Keep in mind that the first steps are the most difficult ones. As soon as your first version is up and running, you can move on and give yourself a pad on the back.
Alright, that‘s it for this episode. Now I‘m curious to hear from you: Do you already have a website? What‘s holding you back? Which platform or tool do you think works best for your needs?
Let me know in the comments, I read everything!