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TikTok and Instagram have artists in a chokehold! Artists are realizing that it’s nearly impossible to build a career in music without being on these platforms. We’re seeing artists getting lucrative opportunities from going viral all the time. It’s really been a sign a sight to see how artists are adapting to the new ways of marketing in music, considering that I’ve been out here long enough to experience the music and entertainment pre-social media.

Many artists have pre-internet expectations, while partially taking advantage of the current digital space. Meaning that they’re looking for record labels to develop them like they used to, while chasing online virality, thinking it would help. Sure, it will help to an extent. But I personally would rather see an artist use social media and the digital space as a launching pad for their own platform, rather than trying to hop on someone else’s.

When I research an artist that I’m interested in or who’s interested in working with me, the first thing I do is look to see if they have a website. I’m sure many don’t see the point in having one when there’s Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and others. However, if you’re trying to build a sustainable business in music, then it’s imperative that you have your own online home to lead your audience to.

Here are 3 reasons why you should drive traffic to your website:

1. You’re no longer at the mercy of algorithms

By definition, an algorithm is a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer. Each social media platform operates by multiple algorithms to sustain their business. I think many forget that social media platforms are legitimate businesses, and their business is technically human behavior and attention. Their job is to process a set of rules based on attention that would evoke someone to take action (click/tap something or make a purchase). They all start out as a mere platform where they’re selling us the idea of easily connecting with our peers. I call it their “free trial” period. Once they’ve caught our attention, here comes the algorithms so that they can start monetizing our attention without directly charging us to use the platform.
When you have your own website, there are no algorithms. If anything, you’re now responsible for creating your own “algorithm” that you could monetize. You’re now in control.

2. You own the data

Control comes with ownership. Now that you own your own online platform, you also own and have direct access to the data. With these other platforms, you only have access to the data they allow you to have through their Insights or Analytics page. And they give you just enough access to give off the illusion that you have control, but really you don’t. With full access to data you can now create marketing funnels, plans, products, and so much more just by analyzing web data and seeing how people are interacting with you. Having software such as Google Analytics installed on your website is paramount to your success. Think about it, wouldn’t it be cool to see how people are finding your website? Seeing how long they’re spending on each page? Analyzing their behavior? Having that type of data would allow you to market better in so many ways.

3. You can now monetize by selling products directly to your audience

Knowing how to market yourself is the driving force behind selling products to your audience. No one buys anything that they’re not familiar with. They typically hear about something through ads or word-of-mouth; and both are a form of Marketing (promotion). By having your own website and driving your audience to it, you’re now able to cut out the middle man (labels, streaming platforms, stores, etc), and sell directly to your audience at a larger profit margin.

Another cool thing about monetizing your website is that you’re able to sell much more than just music. I love seeing artists who are selling physical products, merch items, show tickets, even access to their private community where they’re able to connect with their audience on an even deeper level. I think it’s dope to see an artist have complete control over their business.

By having your own website, you are taking your power back and developing your own platform, while using social media and streaming outlets as leverage. I’ve been on social media since MySpace, and I’ve always viewed these online platforms as a simple marketing tool, bringing awareness to what you’re actually selling. And artists, you’re selling much more than music. You’re selling your brand. Think big.

“B*tch, you thinking small, when you need to be thinking big. You need to be thinking big, b*tch!”  LOL!! (a viral tiktok – see reference)