Fri Jul 19, 2019

It's incredible how many artists don't have their act together. I was compiling media on artists for our festival and we use a site that you can upload your pictures, bio, and links. Okay, I can understand that you feel that it is too much to upload every other site now and then, but you really need a homepage that has specific elements.

I counted; out of ten artists, I uploaded only two who had all the things I was looking for. Only one out of ten had it uploaded on the page where I was supposed to find it. In the end, this can be the reason why you don't ger bookings for your band. If not all the things are there, it cost me time and money to find your stuff. I put on my Sherlock Holmes hat and have to go out and find pictures on other sites. I don't know if these pictures are okay for the artist or if there is a copyright on them. I don't know if these are press pictures or picture a magazine has taken for their interview. Bio is the same thing, most of the time I just go to Facebook and took the bio there. In many cases, artists think that we can contact them and get this info from them. There is no time for this when you have a tight deadline and must release the next morning. You really expect that these things should be on their homepage. If not, then it’s not a professional artist. Instead, you just know that some will come back and nag that it's the wrong bio or picture that is on the homepage. And you also can’t help being annoyed since they are not professional enough to provide you with what you need, instead, they criticize that you have taken the time and effort to correct the artist's mistake in the first place.

When I book, I sometimes just ignore the artists when they haven't uploaded the right things for me. I know how much work it is and it's not worth all the time even if your music is great. Just the fact that you don't have it just proves you are not professional. So why bother to book your band? I can easily move along and get the same quality artists with everything uploaded and available to me. This is the reason why people like to work with professional agencies since they can deliver what you need. To be fair we don't ask for very much.

What you need is a working homepage. No, it's not good enough with a picture that says "coming soon" or a picture of you with links to your social media like Facebook, Instagram, Spotify. We can't get what we need on any of these social media things. The worst are the ones that but a domain name and then link it to their Facebook page.

You need press pictures on your site. Several of the artists had pictures. But they had put them in programs so they would slide nicely, but with that, you can't download them. You really need to have some pictures that you can download in high resolution. If not, people will start to take pictures that you can't control or old pictures that are outdated. This is as crucial as tuning your instrument or rehearsing your set.

Bio, yes, we need a short bio. Not updating your own bio on your homepage is darn stupid. This is the place where you look to find the latest and most recent bio, I don’t want to use Facebook or Instagram for that in reality, if you don't have this, stop releasing music. If you are good you have two different versions one long and one short, the short is only 500 characters long.

Links, yes you need links but not to Spotify or Facebook so much (they are good if they are there.) You need them to your YouTube channel. You know how many times I look for a video and don't know what version it is, or even the right artist (the artist is sometimes so fancy pants, so they are not in the picture you know). It's not hard to embed videos to your homepage so doing that I won’t even need the links.

Then SoundCloud, I guess on average 50% didn't have a SoundCloud link. All linked to their Spotify. You know what? Spotify is not that good to link to since many countries don't have it or you need an account to hear the right song. That is why many bloggers use Soundcloud. If you don't embed that or link to it, yes it can be hard to find depending on the artist name. No Spotify is not really a page that you need to link to that much.

Your upcoming gigs. Also, this can be crucial and there are so many sites that update on your homepage automatically like Songkick so there is no reason whatsoever not to have your upcoming gigs on the homepage. Same with past gigs. Yes, it is interesting for me as a booker to see that you played on that cool festival. It can be the difference between whether I book you or not book you.

So do a nice homepage, doesn't need to be flashy, you can buy your domain for almost nothing and use Wix. You need press photos, a bio, links and contact info. So that's it, the sad part seems that even this simple task is hard for many artists to grasp.

Editor's Note: Peter Åstedt has been working in the music industry for over 30 years. He has started record labels, distribution systems, and publishing companies. Peter also runs several major showcase festivals. He has worked with the Top Ten most streamed songs and had music on both the Olympics and SuperBowl.