10 Things Every Musician Should Do Online Every Day

Resolutions.photo © 2009 Marta Troicka | more info (via: Wylio)Do you or your band have a daily online routine? You better. At the speed this world moves you can’t afford to miss even one day of what is happening. Your competition is not sitting still, so you better be out there. But as a band you have to find a balance that is not going to hinder your ability to be a band. You need to write, rehearse, record, perform… if you don’t do any of those things, being online won’t mean much.

So I thought I would take a look at my daily online routine and maybe you can apply to it your routine.

10 Things Every Musician Should Do Online Every Day

1. Quick Email Scan. – When you wakeup, you’re a band, so whatever time of the day this might be is fine. Grab your iPhone or smartphone and do a quick scan of your email for anything important or urgent. Respond to those very urgent emails right away. You will know what they are when you see them.

2. Clean out garbage email. – Get out of bed, get yourself some coffee, breakfast, whatever you need to get going. Sit down and open your laptop, clean out all the garbage email you received overnight. Even with spam control all our inboxes get filled with crap. Get rid of it now so you only have real messages to deal with.

3. Review all new Twitter followers. – Twitter will send you a email for every new follower you receive. Do a five second scan of those new followers. No profile picture, no website link, no profile description, nobody follows them; delete the email and go on to the next one. If they have these items go check their profile in Twitter. Do a quick three second scan of their tweets, if it interests you follow them back. If they are clearly a music fan, a fan of your band, a fan of your style of music, a fan of similar bands… follow them back and send them a quick Direct Message thanking them for following you. Do this for everyone who is following you.

4. Do a Twitter brand review. – While in Twitter check for new Mentions of your Twitter ID. Check for any of your tweets that have been retweeted. Review your saved searches. Basically you are doing a review on who is talking about you on Twitter. Personally reply to everyone who mentions or retweets you. The searches could be for your real name, maybe your site URL, album title, anything. The key here is to get involved in the conversation!

5. Facebook initial review. – Review any friend requests. Check Notifications. Check Facebook Messages. See what is happening in your Facebook world. Just as you reviewed Twitter followers, do the same for Friend Requests. Do you have any friends in common? Are they clearly a music fan, a fan of your band or a similar band? If you accept their request, send them a quick message, or leave a wall post thanking them for the request. Check all your notifications. Who Likes your posts, left you comments, etc. Respond to comments that have been left. Check your Facebook messages. Same sort of review you give to your email can be applied to Facebook. Delete the garbage and respond to those that are important.

6. Facebook News Feed Review. – Do a quick review of your News Feed’s Top News. This will let you see what stories have the most activity. Leave comments and Likes on anything you like or anything that could help promote your band. Then switch over to your News Feed’s Recent News. This is a full list of everything all your friends have posted. Again, leave comments and Likes as you see best. Review everything since you last logged in. The key here is to get involved in the conversation!

7. Facebook Page Review. – Same drill, review all posts by fans. Review all comments. Respond to EVERYONE who left you a post or a comment. The key here is to get involved in the conversation! See a trend here? You have to talk with your fans on Twitter and Facebook.

8. Back to email. – Respond to any important emails. If using Gmail which I highly recommend… Star important emails you need to follow up on later.

9. Review your RSS feeds. – Switchover to Google Reader or your RSS reader and do a initial review of important feeds. Look for new, interesting and important stories. You can Star them in Google Reader to come back later for a full read. RSS feeds are the fastest way to keep up with new content added to your favorite websites, without having to visit every single one of them. You only visit the site when you find a new story that interests you. Be sure to review RSS feeds from other bands, see what they are doing.

10. Check your web or blog stats. – I bet most people never do this. This is so important, do not ignore it! Stats will tell you what your fans like and don’t like. Where they are coming from and where they are going. Be sure to look at these few numbers daily: Total traffic, Top stories, Referring sites, Top searches inside your site and searches that delivered you traffic and top exiting links (what links to external sites are being clicked). Google Analytics is a great free web stats tool to use on your website. WordPress.com Stats is a great plugin for a WordPress site that delivers great stats. Numbers don’t lie, so pay attention to them.

Now go write a song!

At some point during the day as the saying goes… rinse and repeat this entire process.

Do you have anything else that you feel needs to be done every day?

33 Responses to “10 Things Every Musician Should Do Online Every Day”

  1. Mj Virtual-Roadie
    February 3, 2011 at 5:46 am #

    I always enjoy your informative posts. Thanks Michael.

    Reply
  2. MiLynn Garde
    February 3, 2011 at 6:46 am #

    Same here… I always get some great info from you and your blog!

    Reply
  3. Michael Brandvold
    February 3, 2011 at 8:46 am #

    Thanks so much guys! Always great to know others find my posts helpful.

    Reply
  4. Michael Brandvold
    February 3, 2011 at 8:46 am #

    Thanks so much guys! Always great to know others find my posts helpful.

    Reply
  5. Chris "Seth" Jackson
    February 3, 2011 at 9:42 pm #

    Great post! I would like to add to give yourself time limits for each of these. RSS feeds, Twitter posts, and Facebook news updates can end up hogging your time. For each of your items, maybe limit yourself to 10 to 15 minutes. Otherwise, you’ll be spending hours getting through the list.

    I would also argue to not do the entire list more than once a day. Your site’s stats will still be there for you tomorrow! (I’m trying to wean myself from constant site stat refreshes! Haha!)

    Reply
    • Michael Brandvold
      February 4, 2011 at 8:46 am #

      I avoided putting time limits in because you should put the time in to do it properly; if that means you can be done in 5 minutes or 20 minutes then that is what you should do. Depending on the popularity of your band you many not have many things to review, but if you are popular you could lots of email, posts, etc to review. If you get to that point you may want to consider splitting the work between band members or bringing in a person to help.

      When things are really happening and buzzing that is the time you want to really stay on top of stats, emails, posts, etc.

      Time management is a challenge, but it is something you need to do if you want to succeed.

      Reply
      • Sean
        April 28, 2011 at 7:40 am #

        My challenge is being sure I have the willpower to stay focused and not get sucked down the facebook rabbit hole or something. Thinking about it the way you wrote it in your list makes a good mental rundown to stay on task.

        Reply
  6. Music Marketing Chris
    February 5, 2011 at 1:01 am #

    Hey Michael, nice post.

    I would start the day off with a songwriting session and a blog post and then move onto checking all the “message noise”.

    Sometimes that stuff can really suck away all your time and you wake up from the hypnosis and realize that you have not really made any real progress.

    At least if you get some writing done first, each day will add something to the world :-)

    Let me know what you think,

    – Chris

    Reply
    • Michael Brandvold
      February 5, 2011 at 7:44 am #

      Chris, I think the order you do things should be tailored for each person and their schedule. What is important is that you set up a routine every day to get these things accomplished.

      Reply
      • Music Marketing Chris
        February 8, 2011 at 10:50 am #

        Yeah there is nothing like a habit to start making some progress.

        Once you have been making moves for a month or so you can start to look at the data and see what is worth moving forward with.

        – Chris

        Reply
  7. Ryli
    May 9, 2011 at 12:26 pm #

    Hi Michael! Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom. Its really helpful.

    There is something I have been having an issue with lately that I wanted to get your thoughts on it if I could: Ever since Facebook added the “unlike” link to the bottom of every feed, I’ve noticed that my fans are dropping like flies. A lot of people give me the advice to interact and engage my audience more on Facebook, but I get the feeling that I lose more fans when I do post than when I simply remain quiet. Have you experienced this and have any insight as to how to help prevent it?

    Many thanks!

    Reply
    • Michael Brandvold
      May 10, 2011 at 7:23 am #

      How often are you posting on Facebook? Facebook users only like 1-2 posts a day, less than what Twitter users are open to receiving.

      Reply
      • Ryli
        May 10, 2011 at 7:28 am #

        I used to post maybe once every other day, but now I try not to post unless I have some exciting news (a new song/a new video). I suppose I post once every week or maybe even less… still, I lose 1 or 2 fans every time I make a post!

        It baffles me, knowing they are fans that volunteered to follow my page, and I’m only posting relevant info regarding my music. Do you ever experience this issue?

        Reply
        • Michael Brandvold
          May 10, 2011 at 7:42 am #

          I think the problem might be you are not posting enough and only posting “me” news. Fans want more than just I have a new album and new video and new show. They want more personal engagement with you. And they want you to respond to their comments.

          Reply
          • Ryli
            May 10, 2011 at 7:49 am #

            Thanks, Michael. I’ll certainly keep that in mind and try to get more personal. I do make a point to reply to every comment I get on any of my social networks, but I will try to improve my posting skills.

          • Michael Brandvold
            May 10, 2011 at 7:54 am #

            You need to figure out how personal you want to get, but think about making posts that are not even related to your music activites. Think of the 80/20 rule, 80% of your posts should not be about selling, but about you as a person. What music are you listening to? What concerts are you going? Do you have a hobby you could talk about? A book you read? Ask questions of your fans.

  8. rsmithing
    January 2, 2012 at 10:05 am #

    To this list I would add: 1) Eat – ya gotta have food, too; 2) Go outside – it’s good for you! In all seriousness though, these are excellent, straightforward tips that would make a smart act’s star shine brighter. And beyond music, I’d wager these activities will be standard for ever more industries sooner than we think.

    Reply
    • Michael Brandvold
      January 2, 2012 at 10:50 am #

      I agree, they could be standard practices for nearly any business.

      Reply
  9. johnny beane
    March 2, 2012 at 6:04 pm #

    Great tips!
    I do all these things too.

    Reply
  10. Gronk
    March 3, 2012 at 9:32 am #

    How depressing. Handing out flyers outside clubs in the middle of the night was so much more fun.

    Reply
  11. LEX
    March 5, 2012 at 9:43 am #

    This is great advice and we(TOBACCO RD BAND ) do most of what you have mentioned in the top 10 things to do. The problem we are having is not being able to breakout of our region even though we have fans in other regions of the country. Regionally we are successful and pack the venues we perform at and are always asked by national artists to open for them when in our region to sell more tickets. We have close to 7,000 fans on our facebook page for clubs to see when we try and book outside our region but the clubs think of us as just a regional success and will not believe we can put on a great show to pack their venue. Can you help us to move on? Our singer has written a top 10 song called 8 second ride for Jake Owens and also has won a Dove award for best christian rock song plus he wrote the song Rain on the soundtrack of Mel Gibsons movie Passion of Christ and yet we still can’t get good bookings outside our region. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks

    Reply
  12. Gyang
    March 10, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

    woah, that was great.
    Thanks

    Reply
  13. Angel B
    April 29, 2012 at 6:17 am #

    Great advice I need to print this out and place it right next to my computer to go thru every day! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  14. may mcdonough
    November 4, 2012 at 5:18 pm #

    absolutely true. i would add a monthly oblligation to this list (if not more frequently.) which is to generate new content. As my band explores this ay new world/new industry, the most important thing I’ve learned from our experience and studying the patterns of bands with a strong online presence is generating frequent content beyond just the music you make. The best way to stay relevent and generate interest is to constantly put stuff out there. this doesnt just mean music. Make videos (not just music videos, but videos of the band cooking a favorite recipe, or playing tricks on each otther, or pressing their own records etc.)- people need to be reminded that you exist and that you have something in common with them.

    websites and social sites cant just be billboards anymore. your band’s online presence needs to be personal and interactive. a place fans return to and trust for entertainment and information. you have to be your own magazine, tv channel, radio station, and encyclopedia. you cant just make music anymore.

    another way to generate content is record lo-fi versions of new arrangements and covers. play your song with pots, pans, and toy instruments… record that and share it. cover your favorite new artist’s songs. you get the idea.

    but video content is most effective. in a generation of what i call ‘internet attention span’ you have to find a way to grab the attention of the viewer and hold on to it long enough that they remember the experience and your name, and for whatever reason people will watch a shitty video all the way through, and bounce out of a great song after 15 seconds. people like to use their eyes, so give them something to look at as often as possible.

    Reply
    • Michael Brandvold
      November 5, 2012 at 7:53 am #

      Thank you, I love your comment. It is right on the mark. Would you mind if I actually posted it as a blog post?

      Reply
  15. Austin
    February 20, 2013 at 10:18 am #

    Thanks for all your informative posts Michael. Your guidance in relation to the music industry is greatly appreciated and I can’t wait to know your website like the back of my hand. Thanks again

    Reply
    • Michael Brandvold
      February 20, 2013 at 10:49 am #

      Thank you Austin. Hope you will be able to find lots of assistance on the site.

      Reply

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    […] 10 Things Every Musician Should Do Online Every Day | Michael Brandvold Marketing Do you or your band have a daily online routine? You better. At the speed this world moves you can’t afford to miss even one day of what is happening. via michaelbrandvold.com […]

  3. Creating Multiple Sources of Income | TuneCity Blog - August 21, 2012

    […] The longer and perhaps more probable answer is twofold: First, you could put a team together to help you. The tricky part about this is that you might have to pay them, in which case you’re going to need more money. If you have a band, you might be able to divvy up tasks among your members. Secondly, you could free up more of your time to work on your music income. The difficulty here is that, again, you need more money to free up your time. Time is of the essence if you ever intend to do the 10 Things Every Musician Should Do Online Every Day. […]

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