Although there are numerous outlets for musicians to upload their music and interact with fans, it’s still important to have your own website. It will give you a professional edge in what is a saturated market and is still a good place for launching your latest release campaign. Finding a domain name these days isn’t easy due to cyber-squatters (people that purchase domains but then just hold them without building websites in the hope that there will be a payoff one day). However measures are being taken to combat this to ensure that people proven to be working within a certain industry are more protected.
It’s also important to have matching social media profiles. The most important ones to your career are Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud, Instagram and YouTube. You should also consider creating profiles and content at Pinterest, Snapchat and Vine. We’ll be adding information on all of these platforms in future blog posts. Vimeo is another extremely useful video tool although these days there is no free option available. I’m going to mention Twitch.tv too. Although it’s a gaming site you should really create a login and secure your profile here. Twitch rank very well in search engines and I have seen cases where a fan has used an artist name for their gaming character and ranked higher than the artists own website in Google!
If you don’t yet have a band name then your job is made slightly easier as you can keep searching until you find a suitable name where all profiles are still available. If you do have your band name but the profiles are taken, it’s not ideal but you could consider adding an extension such as ‘music’ after your name as many artists have already had to do. However I would strongly recommend choosing an alternative name as I’ve seen some confusion on sites such as Spotify, Last.fm, Songkick and others where artists with the same name have been added onto the same page and it can be a hassle trying to clean up your profiles and get the other artist removed. There’s also the danger that an artist or band with the same name may copyright the use of that name on merch in certain countries which could cause more headaches in the future.
Band names should very much be in line with your musical style and should appeal to your target audience. Remeber, you’re running a business and creating a brand. Pick something that resonates with who you are as artists and that will look good on merch and CD covers. Don’t rush into a decision when it comes to choosing your name, you have to live with it for the rest of your career so should be happy with your choice. Start with a brainstorming session and develop your ideas from there. Check whether domains are available and if not, keep on brainstorming. You wouldn’t release a half-finished piece of music and the same goes for your brand too – put the time and effort in at the beginning and the hard work will pay off for you as you progress in your career.