MySpace tips for musicians

I’ve been on MySpace now for about 8 months. It seems to be going well for me in terms of finding people who dig what I do. I’m selling a few CDs as a result, and we’ll see if it does well for me when the new album comes out, and in the upcoming run of gigs.

Here are a few tips for musicians on there, to maximise your exposure.

Let’s start with your page – make sure it’s readable. Don’t put loads of video clips and preloading audio nonsense in the rest of the page. The format is confusing enough as it is without you making the page take hours to load. And ditch the background images – they nearly always make all or part of the text impossible to read.

Influences – yes, I know it’s really cool to claim not to have any, and I can see why trying to narrow a lifetime of musical listening down to a short list is tough, but really, it’s worth it. A lot of people search for bands by influence and sounds like. They’ll find you if you have loads of artists listed in those boxes (and you spell their names right!) – put down everyone who has ever influenced you in the influence box. If that means you’ve got 500 names in there, that’s fine, honest. Just go with it. For sounds like, just put all those crazy things that people email to you – you remind me of such and such etc. Stick them in there. Go on, more people will hear you if you do.

Genre – make sure you pick three! Don’t put ‘jazz/jazz/jazz’ or whatever – you don’t get listed three times, you just miss out on more directory places. For people searching by style they aren’t going to find you. Put three that are close enough to what you do.

Bio – make sure you’ve got one! Update it, put a picture in there, format it so that it’s split up into paragraphs, use bold text and hyperlinks to highlight what’s going on. If you don’t know how to do that, ask someone! find out, it’ll make the whole thing work much better for you.

Blog – USE THE BLOG – it’s a great opportunity to communicate with people who dig what you do, even if it’s just to say how excited you are about the upcoming gig dates that are listed. Talk about anything, I don’t mind, just use it, it’ll keep people coming back to your page. (and on the subject of upcoming gigs, I don’t need to remind you that you really need to put your dates in there, and make sure you get the information right, as it’s listed by region and searchable by postcode.

Right, that’s the stuff to do with your own page. Now, the active stuff –

rule no. 1 – don’t use one of those automatic ‘bot’ programs that does it all for you. Apparently MySpace can work out who’s using them and deletes your profile… you’ve been warned.

However, it is great to invite people to listen to your music. So, go into music search (that’s the red search bar, not the general one) and search for other bands that are similar to what you’re doing, search by influence or sounds like, narrow it down to the region where you’re gigging, and invite them. Have a listen while you’re there, and post a comment if you like what you hear. It all works out well for everyone. You’ll get clicked across to from other people’s comments section. (oh, and while we’re on comments, don’t put images or music in your comments, and it’s probably best to disable HTML in your comments – I think it’s in the privacy option in the edit screen on your home page).

Oh, and make sure if you do contact anyone that it’s clear that’s not just a form response – everyone on myspace is obsesssed with the possibility that they are being spammed. No-one likes getting anonymous messages, so at least stick their name at the top! ‘Hey, thanks for the add, check out my band’ is no way to hold a conversation.

Go to it, it works great – most of the time, I’m the most viewed british jazz artist on an indie label on the entire site. That’s not bad going, is it? :o)

2 Replies to “MySpace tips for musicians”

  1. This is good stuff, Steve. Though it isn’t specifically bass related, could you post it on Big Bottom? I think we could really attract some attention to this valuable info you’re offering.

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