Not a webpage, not social profile, not a Tumblr or a Blogger, but an actual honest-to-goodness hosted website with your own band name nested between the ‘www.’ and ‘.com.’
Yes, I’m biased. I work for a service that offers band websites (Sue me). But the thing is, I don’t just feel this way about bands. I feel this way about EVERYTHING.
If you own a restaurant: you need a website
If you want to land a good job: you need a website
If you sell refrigerator magnets: you need a website
If you do voice-over work: you need a website
If you teach piano: you need a website
If you’re starting a business of any kind: you need a website
If you’re going to build something that matters and resonates with people–a website is your most important marketing tool. A website is your business and marketing hub.
What’s the first thing you do when you’re curious about a band you’ve just heard about? Chances are you Google them. This is what everybody does. Unfortunately, if your band website isn’t in the first few results when somebody searches for you, your fans are going to end up on some other website where you have no control over the user experience.
Some detractors will say, ‘we just use our Facebook or Tumblr or Bandcamp, and it’s cool.’ But that’s actually not very cool. It’s kinda lazy and unprofessional. That’s the impression it will make on potential bookers, promoters, journalists, and labels.
Just look at this conversation my friend captured on Twitter. These were real music writers talking about how frustrating it is when a band does not have a website.
Yes, you can run a band without a website. You can also build a car with square wheels–it’s not going to get you anywhere fast.
A professional band website is so much more than just a page on the web. It’s your storefront. It’s you creative center of gravity on the web. It’s a social hub where you can connect with your fans. A social media site will give you some of the superficial benefits of having a website, but a social profile also keeps vital information from you–like the email addresses of your fans. In the case of Facebook, you can’t even reach all your followers with a post unless you pay to boost it.
Social media sites are walled gardens. Not everybody has access. Not everybody uses the same ones, and not everybody uses them well. And you are always beholden to the changes that social media sites make–changes that are usually designed to throw more advertising between you and your fans.
So no, not every band needs a website, but yours does. Because it’s 2014. You want people to take your music seriously, and you want to stand out from the crowd.
Need more convincing? Here’s 16 reasons your band need’s a website (written by somebody who doesn’t work here): http://blog.hostbaby.com/2010/09/16-reasons-why-bands-and-musicians-should-have-their-own-websites/