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March 26, 2012

How To Upset Me by IAN

Filed under: Copyright Issue, Band Promotion — ian @ 7:04 pm

Independent Artist Network
IAN - IndependentArtistNetwork

Over the past thirty years I have worked with many artists: actors, dancers, photographers, painters, sculptors, musicians, designers & writers, some who are famous, all are highly principled (I think!); the one thing that they all worry about is copyright infringement - especially the lesser known independent artists, because when people copy and use their work it normally cuts into their megre earnings and they feel cheated!

The music and film industries are almost obsessed with the problem because copyright infringement costs them millions of dollars - peer-to-peer networks, file sharing sites like the Swedish website The Pirate Bay, are constantly facing litigation and are always under the threat of being shut down; quite rightly so, say the media companies; supporters of file sharing say, "a person who does not share is not only selfish, but bitter and alone" - quote Paulo Coelho 2009. But What About Me, How Do I Feel?

I feel rotten. I get pissed off when tossers use my work and don’t support me by giving me a shout out. I spend hours helping musicians and artists to get their websites noticed and I do it for free. My articles aren’t hidden away in a $10 eBook or Kindle download, they’re open for all to see and use, all I want is for users to follow my copyright and not steal my thunder!

Steven Cooper - Feed him to the pigs said Brick Top

Steven Cooper @iamstevencooper, a Music Professional and owner of Independent Artist Network, copied and posted my article How To Make Money Online By Selling Music onto his website in the Music Business 101 section. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind Mr Cooper using my work, I love it, just like a musician who loves people listening to their music; however, when the accreditation to my work is ambiguous and does not comply with my (UnsignedBandPromotion) Copyright, I get a little upset.

It is very simple Mr Cooper, my work is offered to one and all under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License, which means, it’s yours to use as long as you attribute the work to UnsignedBandPromotion (inc. credit) and Link Back. I do have a universal Copyright Notice which states, "Copyright 1994 All Rights Reserved - unless otherwise stated."

Should You Wish To Use Our Work

Please Link to the Original Article and also include our credit:
<p><a href=””
target=”_blank”>Unsigned Band Promotion</a> help musicians and artists to get their websites noticed by fans, search engines and the music industry in half the time they could do it on their own.</p>

If in doubt, please get in contact, I like to say yes. Thanks for your support and should you wish to make a small Donation, I’d be most grateful ;D Ian xx

March 22, 2012

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Filed under: website promotion — ian @ 9:00 pm

March 20, 2012

How To Take Your Band To The Next Level Online

Filed under: website promotion, Band Promotion — ian @ 10:20 pm

I was recently contacted by the manager, frontman and vocalist of a blues band, who have been going since 2010. “I would really value your advice on how to improve our marketing.” Mackenzie asked, and he goes on, “We have a website and I’ve been reading marketing literature. I’ve implemented promotional pages and put a mailing list widget on our homepage, but the uptake has been slow! I have tried to drive traffic to our website, but again with little success! I keep a regular blog that includes plenty of information, a call-to-action and interactive content however, the uptake is very slow and scanty.”

“We gig about three times a month and we are starting to get more bookings. I promote our events, I hate to say it, but it’s usually hit and miss; I work very hard and attendance varies greatly. I’ve used videos and different types of content, but yet again it’s the same story, I’ve had little success.”

“We started as a band that only had friends who were real fans, but I want to move away from that because it’s not sustainable. I’m working hard to not overexpose or overpromote our product so that people don’t just switch off or block us, but at the same time, I’m not getting traction.”

“I do have more ideas on how to generate buzz, but I’ve been hesistant about implementing them because, I get little return on my investment of time and effort.”

“Ian, I’ve hit my ceiling in terms of promotion and marketing. So I want to know how to take our band to the next level on the Internet. It would be great if you can help us out and advise on what to improve, fix, trash, and introduce in order to make a real change.”

Hi Mackenzie, I hope you don’t mind, but, I’d like to share my reply to you with my readers, because yours is such a common cry for help from independent bands, and it fits in well with a couple of recent blog posts: How To Get 100 Daily Website Visitors - The Golden Ticket and The Most Frequently Found Website Promotion Mistakes. BTW, thank you for your well written and detailed email :)

Firstly, I said this in a blog post ages ago, “Nine times out of ten, if you are having trouble getting noticed and making money out of your music, then you probably can’t do it! Seek criticism and advice from an independent and qualified person whose opinion you value and trust. Then act on their advice.” Personally I’m not that keen on Blues, I like Folk Rock, but even if I did like Blues I still wouldn’t be the right person to help you with your core essential, Music and Performance, because I’m not qualified - I’m just for Website Promotion ;)

O.K. after you have checked your core essential and before you do anything else to change your website, you need a Target Fan Profile (someone to aim your marketing and promotional efforts at) - without one you are totally fucked and you are just wasting your time. When I talk about promoting a band’s website, I usually mention something somewhere about a “target audience” or “target fans” (most website gurus do wink) because, these are the people who are going to interact with you.

Your target fans are the people who want to come to your gigs and buy your music, they follow your genre and live your lifestyle! And as I’ve blogged, “They probably hang out in the same colleges & universities, independent record shops, fashion shops, cool coffee houses, pubs and nightclubs that you do, they live next door, they listen to the same music and they want to dance like you, or maybe you want to dance like them! They are your friends, or they could be. You know who these potential fans are, where they are, what they want and how to approach them. I don’t, I can only generalize.”

Your Target Fan Profile Checklist

From your 10 true fans (who tend come to gigs) and 10 other loyal fans, create a target fan profile of your ideal fan by investigating their similarities. Use social media and the art of conversation to extract the information, you will soon build up an intimate understanding of your target fan :) Here are a few ideas:

  • Where do they live, is location important to you? Postcode information can be helpful!
  • Do they live in a little village or a big city?
  • Where do they hang out? Birds of a feather flock together ;)
  • What about climate, is that an issue?
  • Age (average & range 25 - 60), sex (males% females%) and marital status?
  • Occupation and education? Income is difficult to acquire!
  • And other demographic factors like, habits, attitudes, tastes and moral standards?
  • What is their fashion style? Where do they buy their clothes?
  • What is your target fan’s general personality like?
  • Their behaviour and life-style choises, do they buy their music from iTunes and listen to it on their iPhone?
  • How do they normally listen to music?
  • Are they consistently active users of social media, do they have a favourite like twitter?
  • How many friends/followers have they got?
  • If they work, are they on the net at lunchtime, what time, when?
  • When (what time of day) are they active on social media?
  • What type of internet connection are they using?
  • When you release a new album, are they excited - in what form do they buy it?
  • How did they find out about your band?
  • Is there a third party online/off-line who recommended them?
  • Do they look for and talk about other independent blues bands?
  • Are they listening to and following other blues bands? - who are they?
  • Are they knowledgeable champions of blues music?

A Quick Run Through Your Website - Including Tips & Advice

Home Page & General Comments: Run your URL through W3C HTML Validation because you’ve got a number errors and warnings - not too many and all are very easy to sort out. You’ve got the same title element on just about every page. Target the title element to the contents of each individual page - using the same one is a huge waste. Also, include the description element, which is missing.

The Home Page looks messy even though it’s actually simple, not good; remember, once the page has loaded you only have a fraction of a second to capture your visitors attention. The messiness is caused by the slightly unconventional presentation of important information which makes the viewer need to think! Not good, we don’t have time to think ;) for instance, in your Our Gigs column, you present your gig thus: ‘name of party’ @ ‘name of venue’ w/ ‘name of support’ ‘date’; the reader is initially confused because the convention is to use the date as a bullet point, newest date at the top. Get rid of the “Past Gigs” section it’s fluff.

You use external websites to augment your site, that’s good not a problem; the problem is that the external sites are using different navigation to you! Navigation is an issue.

I feel the look, mood, aura is wrong for your genre. See: Make A Sexy Website And Get Laid Like A Rockstar This Weekend

Think about the three ways by which your visitors will come to your website: Via a search engine - needs Content and SEO. Via an incoming link - needs links from Blues Music and lifestyle related websites. Via the real world by typing your URL directly into the address bar - needs a cheap (so cheap it’s almost free) and very simple A8 (v.small) flyer.

Think about what will keep your visitors on your website for longer than two seconds!

Book Us [page]: ‘This is Why You Should Book Us’, OK, how about the How? I think you could delete this page and include the information in ‘About Us’, even though you may feel that it’s an important sales page. You’ve included your contact information at the top of each page :)

Blog: Websites are always about communication, and your target fan is the person with whom you should be talking; potential fans are looking for you - what are you talking about with your fans that will help your potential fans find you?

You are using a well-known Wordpress theme, change it to fit in with the look of your website - continuity is an important part of branding.

Navigation issues: ‘About Us’ versus ‘How We Started’ versus ‘The Band’. And ‘Buy Our Music’ versus ‘Hear Our Demo’ versus ‘Our Music’ - six pages where two would do.

BTW, I can see that you’ve put in a lot of hard work :)

How We Started [page]: Redirects to your blog’s About Us! Include some images with description for new viewers. Change one of the page names.

Hear Our Demo [page]: Redirects to Soundcloud! create a new page or use ‘Our Music’ and embed the Soundcloud code. This page should be a sales page, think about merchandise!

Photos [page]: I love your image gallery powered by Coppermine Photo Gallery. Use more of your images around your website and especially your blog. You’ve got a surfeit of brilliant band photographs, but out of the 369 images in 9 albums, you have not got ONE of a fan!!!!! Very Bad for conversation, it’s all one way. Take a gander at how Sandi Thom does it.

The visitor has to use the back button to navigate back to your home page :(

The Industry on Us [page]: Another important page, it misses the opportunity to connect with music industry people, you have not linked to the original articles or the authors. Most music critics will visit this page to find out what others are saying - it’s a very negative experience for them - you must connect with people.

The Band [page]: I suppose this could be the bio page? No content, so delete it.

Our News [page]: No News is bad news, you’ve got a blog, I’d delete it.

Our Gigs [page]: Most recent gig 7th October 2011? No it’s 18th March 2012 - I think! You Must keep important pages updated, up-to-date.

Use the local date format for where you live: day, month, year? Use the date like a bullet point. Always use the same configuration e.g:
20:03:2012 @ 20.30, doors @ 17.30, Venue Name (hypertext link to Venue Page) & town, £5 with flyer, 18+ ID., freebie inf.

The Gigs Page could easily be a hosted Wordpress blog, each gig listing would then be a blog post and it’d be easy for your true fans to share :)

Create a Venue Page for each venue you play. When you promote a gig from your website you are actually promoting the venue as well, so make the most of it. Include:

  • Venue’s name inc. hypertext & image links to the venue’s official website.
  • Link to venue’s Facebook & Twitter.
  • Venue’s Full address - maybe with Sat Nav inf.
  • Box office details (link to box office &/or online ticket agency - maybe affiliate opportunity?).
  • Normal ticket (admission) price.
  • Usual doors times.
  • Age restriction details.
  • Full travel information and directions inc. how to get there: on foot, by rail, by bus, by car with parking inf., and hypertext links to Google maps.
  • Video of your band playing the venue.
  • House DJ details.
  • Open mic. details.
  • Local information might include: independent record shops, fashion shops, accommodation, coffee houses and pubs etc. that reflect and complement your genre.

A Quick Word On Fan Numbers: All your friend/follower numbers are well short of the mark, you need at least 1,500 people on each social media platform, because most of them aren’t true friends, followers or fans.

MySpace trash it!

That’s it for now, I really hope that helps you a little Mackenzie, if you’ve got a specific question regarding this basic website critique or anything else for that matter, please feel free to ask and I’ll do my best for you.

Fond Regards xx

Helping Indie Bands With Website Promotion
Unsigned Band Promotion
Helping musicians and artists get their websites noticed by fans, search engines
and the music industry in half the time they could do it on their own.

March 8, 2012


Filed under: website promotion, Band Promotion — ian @ 6:10 pm

Wolfshead hard rock band from Fleet Hampshire UK

WOLFSHEAD are a hard rock band from Fleet in Hampshire, UK. They’ve just put up a really professional looking Tumblr website - LOVE it Leigh & Mart :)

Keep in touch guys, I’m just down the road Between Crowthorne and Wokingham.

March 7, 2012

How To Get 100 Daily Website Visitors - The Golden Ticket

Filed under: website promotion, Band Promotion — ian @ 8:48 pm

Golden Ticket to success

Brian Thompson of Thorny Bleeder Records wrote an interesting blog post a while ago titled, 8 Ways To Get 100 Visitors A Day To Your Website; @corecorina of (BTW I like your blog Corina) commented cleverly, "I would like to see ways that the above strategies are implemented to provide ‘concrete’ returns." And I thought, yeah, I’d like to see that too. Brian pointed out that there are NO guarantees or a single golden ticket when getting website traffic - True Brian, very true. Website traffic is gained through multiple processes or actions, that combine to make up an overall strategy.

All this exciting chatter was sparked off by Chris Rockett’s question (posed to the experts), "What is the fastest way to get 100 targeted fans per day visiting your website on a consistent basis without using paid traffic?" in 100 Fan Sprint. I made a follow up blog post, The 100 Fan Decathlon, which provides the reader with an elementary and practical outline of a typical website promotion effort - the sort of thing that Corina was looking for! ;)

How To Get 100 Daily Website Visitors

Here’s an obvious but important thought (question) that you may not have bothered thinking about. "how many fans do you need to get 100 visitors a day?"

The number of fans needed to get 100 Daily Website Visitors - if each fan visits your website on average:
TWICE a month - is approximately 1500
ONCE a week - is approximately 700
TWICE a week - is approximately 350

O.K., the maths is V.simplistic and naive, but you get my point; and please note, the average indipendent band only has around 250 Facebook Likes (Likes are not necessarily true Fans, and, there Is much more to It).

How many times a week do your fans visit your website? If they are merely visiting your website once a year to catch up on stuff, then that’s why your website is dead! Additionally, there is a natural turnover of fans who move on to pastures new, BTW, a high ‘attrition rate’ could be an indicator of total boredom - Oh! and if you’re a bunch of arseholes that won’t help either ;) You do need to be constantly attracting new fans and that’s solved with MARKETING & PROMOTION.

I am assuming that your website is ready to receive visitors by offering brilliant content, however, you might want to read The Most Frequently Found Website Promotion Mistakes, it may give you a few extra ideas.

The Golden Ticket To Success

  • Firstly, create a *Target Fan Profile* - without one you are totally screwed. Think about your fans’: geographical location, age, gender, occupation, attitude, general personality, life-style choices, habits, loyalties, needs, knowledge of your band and information sources.
  • About 70% of your Web traffic will come from Google - a lot of the traffic, unfortunately, could be Web crawlers and Spambots and means nothing! To help cut the crawlers and increase the client requests (or hits), you need words. Search engines use TEXT to find you. Find the top 8 - 10 keywords and/or key-phrases (per webpage) that best describe your band, genre and subject matter (think SEO) - e.g: Genre (indie rock band), Location (Chelsea, London), Venues and Lifestyle Choices i.e. reflecting the demographic factors (habits, attitudes, tastes, moral standards…) that define your target fan. Include the keywords and key-phrases on the appropriate webpage.
  • Go to each page on your website, without exception, and check the HTML head elements (Think About What Words You Want To Be Found For, bear in mind your Target Fan):
    The TITLE element Should look approximately like this: the flying footstools - folk rock band reading berkshire Disambiguation: [Band Name] - [Genre + band] [Geographical Location]. Lowercase, no punctuation.
    The DESCRIPTION meta element Should look approximately like this: the flying footstools are a folk rock band from reading berkshire, on the first saturday of each month we play at the black duck in henley on thames. Disambiguation: [Band Name] are a [Genre + band] from [Geographical Location] , [blurb/puff] [Venue] [Venue’s Geographical Location]. Short sentence (150 characters including spaces), lowercase, minimal punctuation.
    The KEYWORDS meta element Should look approximately like this: the flying footstools, folk rock band, reading, berkshire, black duck, henley on thames Only include the most frequently used keywords contained within the title, description and the webpage, lowercase.
    NOTE (this is the important bit): the Title, Description and Keywords head elements must pertain to each individual webpage’s subject matter and reflect its content - do not just replicate the same head elements throughout website.
  • Add Google to your website: Google Analytics - so you can measure your progress. And Google Adsense - provides a financial yardstick. Read: Reading Website Traffic Statistics.
  • Blogging regularly is an easy (reality check: blogging isn’t easy!) way to make your website entertaining. Either, download the latest version of (free blog software, easy to install, loads of free templates & plugins) or (pick this one) get a free blog from - Google will love you for it ~ post 3 times a week (Mon, Wed & Fri) - share.
  • O.K. it’s time for an idea. You need a Hook. If your target fan was a horse racing enthusiast and you said to him, "Visit my Website tomorrow after 10.30 A.M. and I will tell you the winner of the 2.30 at Ascot." And it won or ‘came in’ (a horse racing colloquialism), you would have a mega-superfan. That’s a hook; a reason to visit your website. Why do you think so many female artists show a little too much flesh? - Maybe it’s time to get your kit off - only joking ;) Instead of posting ‘happy snaps’ on Facebook, put them on your website and tell your Facebook friends to go and have a look - if you’ve included them on your blog, they can comment and share.
  • An easy one for you: Link to your band’s website from all your social networking profiles (
  • Send out an emailshot to your mailing list: Sign up for a free MailChimp account. Create a database of fans, friends and family (spend a lot of time on this list, this is the real gold) - a group of four (with help from friends) should easily be able to assemble a legitimate mailing list of about 500, aim for around 1,500 - 2,000 targeted subscribers. Announce your updated website and use your hook. Ask recipients to help by not only sharing the email, but to spread the word by: liking, tagging, retweeting, bookmarking, commenting and posting your news.
  • Create 480 A8 (74mm x 52mm / 2.9" x 2.0" (16 A8 flyers on a normal sheet of printer paper - A4)) flyers promoting your wesite’s hook - make it very easy to read. Include: Your Band’s Name. Website URL. Marketing Message (the hook). Then, hand them out, only to your target fans - You know where they’re hanging out!

And that’s it, 100 Daily Website Visitors - no problemo. By-The-Way, you’ve got to do ALL these ideas and keep up the good work by constantly updating, checking and tweeking your website - get a friend to help.

Helping Indie Bands With Website Promotion
Unsigned Band Promotion
Helping musicians and artists get their websites noticed by fans, search engines
and the music industry in half the time they could do it on their own.

Copyright © all original text by me is licensed under Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution license