Use these tips to revamp your social media plan and grow your online presence.

Social Media Tips for Musicians

Social media is a great way for musicians and bands to grow their fan base and spread the word about their music. Increasing your following across the different platforms can increase your potential of booking more gigs, getting signed, and selling more merch.

Social platforms are cheap and relatively easy to use, but creating a strategy to get the most from them can be overwhelming. We’ve put together a few social media tips for musicians that will help you assess your goals, revamp your plan, and get the most out of social media.

North Carolina-based Hammered Dulcimer Artist

Artist Spotlight: Joshua Messick

Asheville, North Carolina-based Joshua Messick is a hammered dulcimer artist whose sound is influenced by Celtic, World, Renaissance, Folk, and Classical music.

Joshua has released six studio albums and was the featured instrumentalist on the Japanese animated film “Mary and the Witch’s Flower”. We recently caught up with him to learn more about the hammered dulcimer instrument, his favorite memories, and his latest projects.

Should You be Playing for Free?

“You sound great, we’d love to have you come out and play! The only problem is our budget is stretched pretty thin and we can’t afford to pay you anything.” These words can put musicians in a pretty tight spot.

If you’re anxious for a chance to play, you may be inclined to take the gig in exchange for dinner and a few drinks. But, you may also hear the words of fellow musicians echoing in your head about how playing for free cheapens the whole industry. Is it true that if you play for free, you’re lessening the value of live music in your community?

This is one of the most difficult questions for musicians to answer. The truth is, there might not be a “correct” answer. In this post, we’re going to try to take an objective look at the pros and cons of playing for free.

Using Facebook Events to Promote Your Band’s Shows

There are 1.7 billion people on Facebook and, most likely, you are one of them.

Facebook has become more than just a means to keep up with your best friend from high school or a way to say “hi” to your aunt without actually having to call her. You can actually use this world-wide platform to post your upcoming gigs or create event notifications about your next tour.

Facebook Events is making it unbelievably easy for musicians to spread the word and promote their music. All it takes is a few minutes to set up an event and all of your friends and followers know where you will be playing on Friday night. They can then share the event with their friends, let you know whether or not they will be there and even buy tickets. In this post, we’ll walk through the process of using Facebook Events to promote your band’s shows. We’ll cover setting up an event and explain some of the lesser known features.

Flutist, Composer, and Educator

Artist Spotlight: Allison Loggins-Hull

Flutist, composer, and educator, Allison Loggins-Hull, has been praised by the Wall Street Journal for being able “to redefine the instrument”.

As a co-founder of the critically acclaimed urban art pop ensemble, Flutronix, she is also known for “redefining the flute and modernizing its sound by hauling it squarely into the world of popular music.” (MTV Iggy). Loggins-Hull has garnered a reputation for successfully navigating an array of musical worlds and appealing to varied audiences.

Allison Loggins-Hull has performed and recorded with several artists, including Frank Ocean, the International Contemporary Ensemble, and David Virelles. She can be seen performing in video used as part of Adele’s world tour.

We recently caught up with Allison to learn more about her musical influences, teaching styles, latest projects, and what she likes most about her Promenade theme.

A Primer on SSL Certificates
You may have heard the news that Google Chrome will soon mark more websites with SSL certificates as “not-secure.” The change comes in Chrome version 62, due out sometime this month. Until now, Chrome has only shown the “Not Secure” warning on sites that request passwords or credit card information without an SSL certificate.

Of course, unencrypted connections should never be used to send sensitive data. With the rollout of Chrome version 62 however, the browser will begin labeling websites with any user input fields as “Not Secure.” This includes common text input fields, like contact forms, comment forms, and email subscription forms.

These changes are coming because Google wants to warn users about sending unencrypted messages over the web, even if they don’t contain sensitive information. If you aren’t using a contact form, accepting comments, or collecting newsletter signups on your site, you may not need to worry — yet. Google has confirmed that they will eventually mark all regular HTTP pages as “not secure.” Ultimately, only HTTPS sites will be considered secure. Other major browsers are expected to follow Google’s example.

In this post we’ll cover exactly what an SSL certificate is, how it works, and why you may want to consider installing one on your site.

How to Sell Albums and Individual Tracks on WooCommerce
WooCommerce is the most popular ecommerce plugin for WordPress. Many bands and musicians use it to sell physical merchandise and digital downloads on their website. As we mentioned in a recent post, WooCommerce does not have the capability to sell both a record and individual track downloads in the same product listing.

This means you’ll need to add each track as a separate product, which can lead to a very cluttered catalog page. Fortunately, if you’re using our Cue Pro plugin, there is a workaround that will allow you to sell individual tracks and the full-length record on the same product page.

Los Angeles Trumpet Player and Composer

Artist Spotlight: Jon Manness

Jon Manness is a trumpet player and composer in Los Angeles. He has performed and recorded with such international artists as CeeLo Green, Alex Sparrow, Dezmond Meeks, and Zahir Ashe.

As a composer, Jon has written music for the AVATAR Blu-ray, MICROSOFT, THE US ARMY, and schools around the country.

Recent projects include recording trumpet for Magic Mike Live and a new single by CeeLo Green and Dezmond Meeks.

We recently caught up with Jon to learn more about his horn section The Red Line Horns, his musical influences, and what he likes best about his Twotone theme and the AudioTheme plugin.

Building Your Own WordPress Music Store

When considering how to sell your band’s music and merchandise online, there are several options available. You can choose to use a hosted solution such as Shopify or BandCamp, or allow a third party such as Amazon or CD Baby to sell and fulfill your products for you. Many of these services charge monthly fees and/or take a percentage of your sales as commission. While these fees and commissions might not seem like much, adding them up over a few years can cut into your profit. An alternative that allows you to maintain control over your products and profit is to create a WordPress music store.

What to Include On a Band’s Contact Page

A well-designed contact page can convince site visitors to inquire about booking you, follow you on social media, or share upcoming opportunities.

Often, these pages are overlooked, underutilized, and contain only basic information. Many bands and musicians simply “check the box” of having a contact page. Unfortunately, they completely miss the chance to drive engagement.

We’ll cover how to create a contact page that will encourage site visitors to start a conversation.