The music industry (like anything else) is a business, and if you want to find success then you have to treat it as such. And like any other industry, music is subject to constantly changing trends. One of the worst mistakes a band can make is to not keep up with the times.
Sure, it can be overwhelming trying to follow every new platform, trend, or social media site, but at the very least you want to avoid looking like you’re not paying attention at all. Using outdated web practices sends one very clear signal: you don’t get it.
Maybe you’re too lazy to update your image. Maybe you’re honestly too clueless to notice what’s going on around you. Either way, you risk giving off the image of someone who doesn’t take their career seriously.
Here are a few simple tips to avoid looking outdated:
1) Myspace is Done
We’ve posted before about how it’s time to pull the plug on your Myspace account. This is cardinal sin #1. It’s one of the clearest indicators that you’re not paying attention to industry trends. Musician/Industry Blogger Ari Herstand summed it up perfectly in an article he wrote last year* (though the sentiment remains perfectly applicable in 2013):
If you push your Myspace now it seems like you don’t really understand where music has gone. Myspace is dead. Will it get reinvented? Maybe. But in 2012, sending people to your Myspace page is like taking your prom date to McDonalds. It’s just trashy.
Myspace is the music platform equivalent of the rotary dial phone… except it’s not even old enough to have a cool vintage vibe. Don’t use a Myspace link in place of your website, and don’t send people there to hear your music. There are infinite number of music platforms better suited for the current digital climate.
2) Ditch the Hotmail and Yahoo Email
These free services were launched years ago, saw their heyday, and have since dropped in terms of what people are using.
They’re simply not current, nor do they look professional. As Seth Herman suggests, they’re a red flag for those in the industry that you’re not paying attention.
Ideally you should be using an email from a business or band website. If not, a Gmail account is still more relevant than Hotmail or Yahoo.
3) Using Social Media Exclusively to Self Promote
Social media networks are exactly that; social. They’re an incredible tool to grow your fan-base and interact directly with your audience. Bands that only use their news feeds to promote their upcoming shows and news are missing the point.
The feeds I tune out the quickest (or delete altogether) are the ones that focus only on themselves and leave out any sort of engagement. Self promotion without interaction or posts that indicate there’s a human being on the other end of that tweet, is simply advertising.
Take a look at any artist who has found success in the music industry and I guarantee they don’t use their platforms strictly for self promotion.
I’ve gotten into arguments about this, but I’m a strong believer that using a social network improperly can be worse than not having one at all. It’s actually announcing to the world that you don’t know what’s going on.
The Importance From An Industry Standpoint
The music industry today is increasingly DIY, and businesses within the industry (labels, publicists, managers, agencies) have less time and resources to spend coddling new artists.
Industry folks are looking to partner with artists who have clearly demonstrated they can (to some degree) manage themselves and their career with professionalism, or at least have a basic understanding of how the business needs to work.
If you want to attract the attention of the industry you need to look like you have a clue what’s going on.
*Thank you to @Deltaslide for the editorial feedback!