In short… YES!
As great as it is having Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, a YouTube channel, and all the rest, it doesn’t serve a great purpose of people trying to look you up on a professional level.
A website is a clear, concise and easy way to direct people to somewhere about what you’re actually about as a musician, not to your twitter feed where the last thing you tweeted about was a home-made KFC recipe you were trying out (true story – and it was delicious)!
Much like my post about making a video, your website is somewhere to put yourself across in whatever way you want and aiming at your target audience/jobs etc.
I’ve had my own website (and a few others) for years and am still trying to hone it, simplify it and make it a nice place to visit. Here are some top tips on what I think makes a great website for a musician:
The amount of musicians websites I visit which are just so confusing is astounding! There’s all sorts of pages everywhere, in different menus and sometimes its not even clear what the person plays! I’d say keep it simple and to the point as best you can.
Always have an about page that again is fairly simple, but have the 1st paragraph be as punchy and engaging as possible. If whoever is looking at it reads past that, then it’s a bonus! I find the best thing to use is humour, but I’m not that funny, so I have the 1st paragraph followed by a list of artists I’ve worked with, and my roles within that, to show the different skills I have to bring to a gig.
One of the first things I always get asked for by session agents, or musical directors is:
‘do you have any pictures or videos of you playing?’
Well yes I do and it’s all on my media page!!! I have pictures, videos, audio and even press clippings so that in whatever situation they are thinking about hiring me, I (should) have it covered!
Well there’s no point in you having this amazing website showing how incredible you are if you’re not going to let them get hold of you! If it wasn’t for my Contact Page, then I wouldn’t have gotten the call from Dan from The Darkness!
I’d say do have a page or somewhere where people can follow you on a more informal and casual basis (so they can see your chicken recipe!), because it’s not always people trying to hire you on your site, it’s people who like what you do (I’m very lucky to have a few of those myself, of which I am very grateful). So make sure you tip your hat to them.
Don’t be scared of a little spring clean every once and a while on your website. Mine usually happens every January, if the old diary is a bit empty. This also follows on from what I was saying in a previous post about making sure you’re independent and able to maintain your own website without having to spend tons of money for someone else’s time and expertise.
If you have any website tips of your own, please share in the comments below.