Release Your First Single – Part 2: Creating Your Online Presence

By Jason Stallworth

June 6, 2020


You’ve got your single track recorded and ready but there’s one thing you need to do before you release your song…

If you’re serious about your music being heard, you must create a strong online presence.

At the beginning of Part 1 of this series I mentioned the famous line in the movie Wayne’s World ‘If you book them they will come.’

If only it worked like that! Well, it doesn’t.

And if you’re thinking that your music is just so amazing that magically millions of people are going to go crazy over your new song, you’re going to be gravely disappointed.

I’m not saying that to bust anyone’s ego. But it’s the simple truth.

The good news is there’s a way to put yourself in front of the right audience that’s more inclined to love your music. And that’s what I’m going to show you how to do in this post, step by step.

Important Notes:

  • This is Part 2 of my ‘Release Your First Single‘ showing you how to establish your online presence BEFORE you release your music.
  • Some of the links I’m recommending are affiliate links and I do get rewarded if you take action on those.

***If you’re serious about taking your music to the next level so that it can be heard by the masses, or at least by the type of people you want to hear it, check out Savvy Musician Academy

(I’m actually an elite-veteran student and their programs have literally shaped my own music career.)

How to Use Social Media for Your Music, Correctly

social media for musicians

You already know that it’s crucial to be out there on social media. But are you using it correctly, or are you just posting links to get likes from your friends and family?

If you want to be successful in targeting an audience that’s truly into your genre of music, you have to go beyond using your personal social media accounts.

In fact, I rarely post anything related to my music on my personal Facebook.

Here’s what I want you to do when it comes to your music and social media:

  • First, choose only 2-4 platforms that you’re going to actively manage; don’t try to be everywhere (I’ll explain why below)
  • Create a Facebook business account (FB clearly needs to be one of those platforms you use…more on that below, too)
  • Create a content schedule for social media

Choosing the Social Media Platforms that Make the Most Sense for Your Music

Some ‘experts’ may disagree with me on this but I’m going to suggest choosing only a few social media platforms. Less is more, and here’s why…

If you try to manage too many platforms, you’re going to be trying to ‘boil the ocean’ and that’s just not feasible to manage. You probably have a day-job, home or family responsibilities, and at some point you also want to create music.

Being active on too many social media platforms is going to suck way too much time out of everything else. So instead, just choose a few that you’re going to be super active on.

Personally, I’m super active on Facebook and Instagram. Most of that is because those two platforms are integrated (IG is owned by FB, as you may know) so it’s easier to run ads on those platforms.

I’m also an active YouTuber. That’s where I get the most organic reach. And I use my YouTube channel to help other guitarists; it’s not just for music fans.

I do have a Twitter and TikTok account, but I will only occasionally post on those platforms (for Twitter, I simply post links to a new video or blog post…that takes all of 5 seconds and I’m done).

And I could probably discontinue using Twitter and TikTok and I doubt I would see a decrease in engagement and the results as far as people listening to and buying my music.

You don’t necessarily have to follow exactly what I’m doing, but that has worked well for me, and it’s manageable.

Why Facebook?

Facebook clearly needs to be one of these platforms. The reason is that you need to be using a business Facebook account, not your personal FB.

Here’s how to create a Facebook business page:

  • By ‘Home’ at the top right, click ‘Create’
  • In the drop-down, click ‘Page’
  • Select ‘Business or Brand’
  • Type in the name of your band or artist name and continue with the steps

There are too many limitations to using your personal account. With a business account, you can target your specific audience to get the right people into your world of music.

Now, targeting and running ads is another beast altogether. And to be transparent, it’s not something I have mastered so I’m going to save that for another time.

But even without using the deep promoting tools Facebook offers, you can at least boost your posts with a business account, and now boosting posts had more targeting options for you.

Lastly, you can also create Facebook Groups. This is a place where you can really engage closer with your hardcore fans. Or you can do what I do; I have a FB Group for metal guitar players (there’s a ton of metalheads that also play guitar).

Your Content Posting Schedule

If you have an issue with being consistent with posting content on social media, you should consider creating a posting schedule.

I mentioned organic reach sucks on all of these platforms, but if you don’t post on a regular basis, it’s going to suck even worse. You also kind of owe it to your fans to put stuff out there. After all, that’s why they followed you!

Here’s an example of a social media content schedule:

TimePlatformPost Type
8:00 AMInstagramStory
10:00 AMFacebookVideo
2:00 PMInstagramImage
7:00 PMIG and FBIGTV (push to FB)
9:00 PMInstagramStory

**I want to reiterate that it’s imperative that you have your social media accounts set up specifically for your music BEFORE you release any music!

Your Artist Website (Social Media Is Not Enough)

We talked about the importance of having your social media setup as an artist but you need to go deeper than that. And I recommend that you have this setup before releasing new music as well.

Your artist (or band) website. Don’t worry, I’m going to guide you through this and give you all of the tools you need.

In the below video, Ken Candelas and I cover the importance of having your own website.

This is a live stream where we also answered some important questions from our audience, so I encourage you to watch this.

Here’s the thing with social media…

  • Yes, it’s necessary
  • It’s a great way to post content and get feedback
  • It’s an excellent way to engage with your audience, which goes a long way to get them to take action (listen to or buy your music)
  • You can run ads to build your fanbase and promote your music (we’ll get into this in a later episode…organic reach sucks, as you probably know!)

But here’s the problem

You do not own those platforms.

This is exactly why you need your own artist website. You want a ‘home’ where your fans can go to listen to your music, get tour dates and events, read about your bio, get your discography, etc.

I’m going to give you a simple easy-to-follow guide for building your artist or band website. Here’s what I’m going to cover:

  • Best hosting and domain for your artist or band website
  • What to use to build your website
  • Jason’s simple 3-page design
  • Collecting emails on your website (this part is pretty crucial and I’ll explain why in that section)

What Hosting Should You Use?

Hosting can make or break your website. You don’t want a site that’s always down. And you want a website that’s secure.

I suggest using WPX Hosting. Here’s why (and I’ll tell you why I switched to WPX as well):

  • It’s designed specifically to support WordPress website, which I’m going to get to next
  • They have one of the highest uptime rates
  • Security features are included in the plan
  • Their customer support is super responsive and helpful

I’ve used a few other hosting services in the past have always had problems with my sites getting hacked, adware, and constant downtime.

I won’t name the hosting companies because I just choose not to go there. Just do yourself a favor and go with WPX. You sign up here:

Get WPX Hosting

Use WordPress

I strongly recommend building your website with WordPress. It’s the most reputable platform for websites. It will also give you the most flexibility while being easy to use at the same time.

Oh, and WPX has an extremely fast and easy setup for WordPress. That’s reason #113 to use WPX (113 is totally a random number that was in my head at the time…lol!).

WordPress Theme

You will need a WordPress theme for the layout of your website. I use Thrive Themes and here’s why:

  • It’s easy to use
  • You can also customize your pages and posts
  • It also gives you the ability to capture leads/emails
  • They’re constantly improving this product
  • There’s load of tutorials on how to use Thrive Themes

You can learn more about Thrive Theme here.

Jason’s Simple 3-Page Website Setup

Home PageAbout PageMusic
Image and any major announcements – and make the design speak to the culture of your musicYour bio and where they can contact youYour discography will eventually go here. For now, post a short review of the song you’re working on (YouTube video or Soundcloud clip)

I know that building your own website can sound a bit overwhelming, but it’s really not. Start with just 3 pages:

  • Home page
  • About page
  • Page for your music

Your home page can be as simple image of you (or your band). And you can highlight any major releases, upcoming releases, or events (like a touring schedule or your next live streaming show!).

The about page is where you’ll post a short bio of who you are and what your music is about. It doesn’t hurt to have a ‘contact me’ section here as well.

Your music page is where you can post the discography of your releases. Of course, this series is called ‘Release Your First Single) so if you don’t have any released music, you can do this:

  • Put a ‘coming soon’ on your discography page
  • Post a YouTube or SoundCloud clip featuring a preview of your new song
  • You could also post a video talking about the upcoming release of what you’re working on

At some point, you may also want to create a blog. This is where you can write content that’s relevant to your audience.

**What you’re reading is a blog post; many of my music fans are also musicians, so this post is relevant to help people like yourself; and I hope this will also bring you closer to me as an independent artist!

Having a blog will help you bring in organic traffic to your website. That’s something I will get into later, so for now, don’t worry about that. Just get those three key pages up.

What if you don’t want to build your website yourself?

You can hire someone on Fiverr to build your website for you. There are tons of web designers on there. Just make sure you read reviews and see examples of their work.

In fact, try to find a web designer who has created websites for other artists and bands. You’ll still need to provide your designer with the content though. So there is going to be some work on your part. This is why I lean towards just learning how to do it yourself.

Check out web designers on Fiverr.

Get Your Fans to Sign Up for Your Emails

‘Jason, seriously, dude, where does it end???’

I know, I know…it’s a lot to take in. But here’s why I want you to consider collecting email addresses on your website:

  • Email allows you to develop a deeper relationship with your fans
  • You can promote new music and releases through email

You may hear some marketers say that email is dead. I assure you, it’s far from being dead.

When you email someone, it’s a direct communication unlike, for example, a Facebook post – once you post your content, it immediately gets buried and only a small percentage of your followers will see that post.

It’s quite heart-wrenching. Bu that’s why email is so important to you as an artist.

Remember, social media organic reach sucks! But email reach is awesome!

**This goes without saying, but don’t spam your email subscribers. And don’t just constantly send them links to listen to your music. Engage with your fans, nurture them, and take them through a journey.

My recommendations for email service providers:

Right now, I use a service called Drip. They have a lot of eCommerce features and I use it for multiple businesses, not just my music.

If you’re just getting started, I recommend starting with something like AWeber because it’s much easier to use.

Questions?

I know all of this stuff can seem a little overwhelming. So if you run into any issues or have questions, the best way to get those answered is below:

  • Copy the link to this blog post
  • Go to my Facebook Page and create a new post
  • Paste the link with your question, and then click ‘post’

Like that cheesy Bon Jovi song, I’ll be there for you!

READ NEXT:
Release Your First Single – Part 3: Submitting, Scheduling, and Selling Your Song

Keep it Metal,

Jason

P.S. If you’d like to jump ahead, I encourage you to check out Savvy Musician Academy.

I’m a veteran elite member of this awesome academy and it’s responsible for putting my music on the course it’s meant to be on! Learn more here.

Jason Stallworth

About the author

Jason is a hard rock and heavy metal recording artist, songwriter, and published author. Primarily a guitarist, he's known for his melodic style and positivity. He also enjoys helping other guitarists and musicians excel. When he's not writing music or filming YouTube videos, he's helping others build muscle and get in shape on themuscleprogram.com.

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