The Gigging Musician Podcast

Do I Even Need A Website?

May 15, 2021 Jared Judge
The Gigging Musician Podcast
Do I Even Need A Website?
Chapters
The Gigging Musician Podcast
Do I Even Need A Website?
May 15, 2021
Jared Judge

In this episode, Jared shares his experience learning the marketing game for live music, and addresses the question of "If musicians should even have a website."

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, Jared shares his experience learning the marketing game for live music, and addresses the question of "If musicians should even have a website."

Hey gigging musicians, it's Jared Judge. And today I want to address a question I got, which was, you know, if I have a website, that's not really getting me many bookings, but I'm listed on wedding wire, I'm listed on gig salad and the bash and all these platforms. And those are getting me some gigs. Can I just get rid of my website? And so that is a great question. Because you know, as gigging musicians, every thing that we have costs money, unfortunately, there's no free ticket in life. And if you're spending money on a website, that seems like it's not really producing you the results that you want, which, in this person's case, it was more gigs. Logically, it makes sense that you could get rid of it. But let me tell you a story. So when I was getting started, you know, I started out with a website. And that was all that I really had was just a website, I did not know that I needed to drive traffic to this website, I didn't know that these directories like wedding wire and the knot and gigmasters and all that actually existed. And so I just put up a website, and I built it like, I don't know, I spent a good amount of time on it. And I was thinking back to Field of Dreams, you know, there's a sign, there's, there's a scene in this movie where the main character gets a sign from, I don't know, God, or his dad or something is a whisper that says, If you build it, they will come. And so that was kind of the philosophy I use. When I built my website. I built it. And I hoped that people who were willing and able to book me would come. Unfortunately, that never happened. You know, if you built it, nobody came, I built my website. Nobody came. But I was a tech geek. And I was like, I can do better. And I'm going to install an analytics platform, which what is analytics analytics is just a fancy way of saying, I'm going to measure how many people come to the website every month, and where they're coming from. And so I installed Google Analytics, they have really some of the best analytics tools out there, there are others. But for most musicians, websites, Google Analytics is the way to go. So me being a techie, I did that. And after I built the website, got no bookings, looked in the analytics platform. And I saw Well, I'm getting very little, if not any traffic and the traffic I am getting, they just look like they're from other countries, none of which are local to my hometown of Milwaukee, they have no possibility of booking me. And so that was when I realized that was when I had the first realization that having a website alone is part of the strategy, but it's not the whole strategy. So the next thing I did was I did a little bit of funnel hacking, which is a term used to just reverse engineer what some of the other successful groups, even the groups that I've played in, I've subbed in some wedding groups in the past I, I searched for them online, I saw what are they doing that I'm not doing? That was when I discovered that many of the wedding groups that I played in, have a profile on wedding wire. And so I said to myself, well, they're doing something right, I got gigs through them, I've got to do this, too. And so that's when I added on weddingwire. I initially started with their free plan, but I realized that they weren't going to give me any exposure unless I paid them their monthly fee. And I figured it's worth the gamble just to try it out and see, well, this actually helped me get gigs. And sure enough, like within the first couple of weeks of me putting that profile on there and making sure the text was all good. And the photos were all spiffy. We got our first gig, and I felt incredible. I was like, Man, I'm the best bandleader in the world. I just got a gig, unfortunately, was just one gig. But you got to start somewhere, right? And so it was at that point where I also started asking myself, Hey, I got a gig on wedding wire, do I need my website? As you know, spending what, I don't remember how much I'm paying per month for wedding wire. It was not cheap. It was definitely like more than I wanted to pay. And so I asked myself, Well, how can I cut costs? Can I can I shut down my website and save myself? The however many dollars a month that is. And that was when I went into my trusty Google Analytics. And I just did my regular like, let me check on these numbers, see where people are coming from. And sure enough, we actually had visits to the website. We had more visits that were not just from, you know, the countries that could not book me. They were actually from my hometown, from where my group is in Milwaukee. And then I realized in Google Analytics, you could dig down and find out where are these people coming from? And of course, some of them were starting to come from Google searches. That's called organic SEO. Some of them were coming from that. But the more amazing thing was that these people were coming from weddingwire. And so what was happening In the mind of the customer was like they would go on wedding wire.com they get married, they get or they get engaged. They say, Okay, now it's time to plan a wedding. How do we do that? Well, let's look up how to plan a wedding. And typically they will find wedding wire or the knot. That's probably one of the first sites that they find online or their friends, tell them about it. And then on wedding wire, it says, okay, you What are you looking for, and they'll say, Hey, I'm looking for wedding music. Specifically, for my group, they're looking for ceremony music. And then that's when they find my profile, they see the video, or First, the first thing they see is the photo in the listing, you know, it's me and everybody else in my cities photo. And the reviews, which at the time, we didn't have any reviews, but we still got people to visit our profile, which was awesome. They visit the profile. And on the profile, that's where wedding wire lists out all the other details about your gigging business, which includes website. And so what they were doing is they went on our profile, they read the text, and they watched the videos that I'd put, and they liked those enough to actually click on my website, and visit and visit that site. So click on the link. And so that's when Google Analytics was registering, hey, you just got more visitors on your website, and they came from wedding wire. And then after that, and they might submit an inquiry on my site. Or being that it was still so early on in my website, honestly, wasn't that great to start? It was good, but it I learned how to optimize that later story for another time. And if you've listened to this podcast, you know all about that. So anyway, they would go on the website, and then they would close that window and go back to wedding wire, and then they would submit an inquiry on wedding wire. And so what I realized was that in the mind of these customers, when they would check me out on one platform, they would check me out on multiple platforms. So had I cancelled my website and just done weddingwire only, that would have maybe reduced their confidence in me, they would think, Oh, these people just have a listing on wedding wire, maybe they're not even legit. And then, you know, that can also, I could also see that they were visiting me on Facebook, I would get some Facebook likes, from the same people who would submit inquiries on wedding wire. And so they were not just checking me out on web, my website, not just on wedding wire, but also on Facebook. So these people are really checking you out on multiple platforms. And if you're on multiple platforms, and you're dominating the conversation with just where you're hanging out where they can find you online, then you're building up this trust, this overall tipping point where they've seen you enough times, and they believe that you're legit, and that you can solve their problems and give them the music experience of their dreams. And so, for me, that's when I realized like that I need to be on every platform. And that's when you do things to be on every platform like sign up for other directories, try to get links on the venues that you play at, try to get links on their website, try to get links on wedding planners, websites. And it all feeds each other. And so that's when I realized like, Is this just my perception of things? Or is this legit for for other people too. And so there's a cello player, Carly on in Buffalo, she runs a group that I helped her start, I helped create her website and get her set up and book live pro implement all her gigging systems. And so I helped her get her website set up just like mine, and I put Google Analytics on it. And I taught her how to go in to Google Analytics. And the crazy thing is, we noticed the same exact thing, they would find her on wedding wire, and then they would visit the website and then submit an inquiry either on wedding wire or her website, too. And so we realized, like, this isn't just my group, this is not just one fluke thing. This happens all the time. Everybody is just researching you on multiple platforms, getting a sense of if they can trust you to deliver on the promises that you make. So my advice to the person who asked me this, and to anybody out there, should you get rid of your website? My advice is no. Your goal should be to be on as many platforms as possible. And just dominate the conversation. You know, you don't have to be pushy. This isn't about being pushy. It's just about being able to be found, and then signaling to these people that you are trustworthy. You've been in this business for a while. You have the experience to know what could go wrong, and how to handle those situations. Because after all, what they're looking for is somebody that they can trust and that is one way to do that. So thanks so much for listening to the gigging musician podcast. If you got any value out of this at all. I'd love it if you could give this podcast a Subscribe, Like us on Facebook, join our gigging musicians Facebook group, just go on Facebook in the top right corner click that search icon search for gigging musicians. We should be the first group that pops up. And if you're interested in joining booklife Pro now would be the time to check it out. Go to book live pro.com See you on the next gigging musician podcast.