I encounter a lot of MySpace music profiles. As a web designer who focuses on musicians, I spend plenty of time marketing to bands and artists on MySpace. In my time doing so, I’ve come across some things that a lot of people seem to get wrong.
Although MySpace is the context that I’ve set for this list, these principles also apply elsewhere. Here are 5 mistakes that I see often:
1. Too much content
The idea should be to show off your best stuff, not to impress people with everything you’ve ever done! One of the best ways to ensure that people don’t even give you a chance is if your page takes 5 minutes to load and has 23 embedded videos, 12 banners, 9 widgets and a 5,000 word – one paragraph bio.
Your content must be digestible in order for it to be memorable. It’s OK to leave people wanting more, but it’s not OK for people to not have any idea how to navigate your page and consume your content.
2. Un-readable page
This is a no-brainer, but I still see a lot of people get this wrong. First and foremost, your page MUST be readable. It doesn’t matter how cool your background photo looks if people can’t read the words on the page. People will immediately assume that you are very amateur if you present your page this way.
3. Randomized playlist
If you want to gain new fans, then hand them your best stuff on a silver platter. Know what your best song is and set your player to play that song first. Why have only one out of every five or six visitors hear your best song first? Let everyone hear your best song first. That way they might get to a second or third song. If someone hears your sixth best song first, then they may leave and never hear another song from you ever again. Give yourself the best chance. Let them hear you at your best.
Remember, the song that you’ve played 234 times live is still new to all of your future fans. Want to change the song? Write a better one.
4. Listing too many influences
If you’re like me then you could probably write a list of influences a mile long. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. It’s too much content and it’s very difficult to interpret for someone who’s just discovering you. What I suggest is to list maybe 5 to 10 influences who paint a compelling picture of you as an artist. This section of your profile could be considered it’s own mini work of art. The artists that you list are the colors with which you paint a picture of your sound. Remember, be digestible. It’s like serving someone a meal. Serve them a balanced plate with complimentary tastes – not every piece of food you can come up with.
5. Using a bad profile photo
This is one of the most common mistakes that I see people make. Your profile photo is how a lot of people are going to encounter your page. Take a look at someone’s friends list. Notice how most of the photos just blend in while only a select few stand out. Which ones stand out? Why? Wide shots of full bands tend to make for crappy profile pictures. The people in the photo will appear too small. This won’t make for a compelling image.
Your photo should be a clear and compelling communication of who you are and it should stand out. What does your profile pic say about you? Professional or amateur? Compelling or boring? Clear or confused? Get this right and it will multiply your opportunities to bring in new fans via MySpace.
For more on this topic, visit my site at IndependentRockstar.com and sign up for my mailing list to receive a free ebook: “Cutting Trough the Noise – 10 Keys to a More Effective MySpace Music Page.”