What do Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Prince, Beyoncé and Rihanna have in common? They are all music icons, known not only for their music, but also for their larger than life personas. A mention of any one of these names conjures immediate visual and musical connotations. Building a strong personal brand that speaks to their fans takes an artist from musician to icon.
Although an artists personal brand has always been closely linked to their success, in the age of social media and technology changing the way we interact with celebrities, our hunger to know more is almost insatiable. This presents many musicians with a difficult balancing act – reveal too much and they risk losing the mystery that makes them so fascinating, reveal too little and they seem unapproachable and aloof. On the other hand, the internet has presented artists with a unique opportunity to control their image more tightly than ever before.
Social media is often cited as the top tool at artist’s disposal, but what about a traditional website? Has the good old format been surpassed by Facebook and Instagram? No! Although sometimes overlooked, a band or artist websites offers a whole host of advantages and allows musicians to take full control of their professional image.
Of course social media platforms help artists to build their brands, but do not give full control. A fully customizable website on the other hand gives the artist full creative freedom to design their page the way they want. Controlling design elements like layouts and colors that truly reflect the artist’s vision means that any visitors get an immediate impression of what they represent.
Moreover, a dedicated website leaves a more professional impression than social media pages. It conveys to fans that the artist has taken time to create an online presence that allows them to connect with their fan base. It is also a great opportunity to collect music, images and contact information in one place. Tour dates can be hard to find or look weird on social media with outbound links going to places that aren't preferred. On your website, you can have pre-sale information, ticketing links and tour dates laid out neatly for your fans. All of the data about ticketing goes to you without anybody else seeing it.
One of the biggest advantages of running a website is that the artist has full control over it. Social media sites have strict terms of service and monitor the content that is posted on their platforms. Instagram may deem a clip from a music video too sexual and remove it or worse still, shut down the account. With their own websites, musicians can decide themselves what kind of content is appropriate and don’t find themselves at the mercy of big co-operations like Facebook. Additionally, while it is clear that social media is growing, it is hard to predict how it will develop over time, whereas the artist can determine the future of their website themselves.
What’s more, content posted on social media no longer belongs to the poster, but to the site. On a website however, the rights to the content remain with the artist, which is an important consideration particularly for musicians who may be posting music. Luckily, running a website is not as complicated as it used to be and with plenty of free providers available, there is really no excuse!
Overall owning a website provides artist with the opportunity to curate their personal brand more carefully than social media and provide their fans with a space dedicated to their favorite artists. It gives artists control of their content, brand and future development of their online space. So, rather than relying on corporations to provide them with an online platform, artists can dictate their own terms online.