As musicians in today’s online world, we have so many decisions to make about where to do what that it can be overwhelming. Decision fatigue is a real thing that happens when all of the micro decisions through our day (what to wear, what to eat for breakfast, do I want soy milk or milk milk in my coffee today, these all add up!) leaves us feeling stressed out and depleted. If only there were tools for musicians to help make our lives easier …
That is where this list comes in.
These are my top tools for musicians that I use for myself and my music clients as we grow our online empires. Close out those 17 tabs that you have open and decide to just focus on this one.
These tools for musicians are the essentials that I recommend for anyone looking to grow and thrive in the music business today!
Website builder: Squarespace
Drag. Drop. Done. It seriously is that easy to make a beautiful website. All their designs are mobile responsive, meaning you don’t have to worry about if it will look wonky on a phone or tablet. You know it will look amazing. Plus, they have widget integration letting you join up with emails, lead kits, different online shops, and social media. Not to mention, they have special templates just for musicians.
Email List builder: Textiful
When you’re playing at a show, what is the best way to get people to sign up for your email list? Have them send you a text! Textiful lets you capture data from any phone and adds to whatever email list builder you are currently using (even just tells you who they are if you are still entering emails manually). What I really love about them are the different plan pricing, including a free version. This makes it perfect for the musician just starting out and hitting those open mics!
Social Media Automation: Later
Social media has the ability to get totally overwhelming totally fast. Which is why I like to batch out my social media at the beginning of each week and use Later to ensure that all my posts will get seen at the optimal time. Simply upload your material for Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter. Then select the date and time you want to post and boom! You can sit back and relax knowing that your social media is taken care of.
Instagram links: Link Tree
Instagram is one of the largest social media platforms and is growing each month. As musicians, I strongly feel that we need to be there to connect with our fans, both future and present. But they only allow for one link in the bio so you need to make it count. That is why I use Link Tree. It allows for me to link to several things at once from one tiny link in my bio. Use it to send fans to a freebie download of your song, your latest music video, blog posts, or where they can buy tickets to catch your next performance.
My Design Secret: Canva
Canva is the free service I use to create my graphics. From blog posts to social media quotes, Instagram stories to the images on my program pages, Canva is so simple and easy to use to make really high quality and professional looking graphics. They even have an album cover section to give you ideas on how to quickly put together your next cover! You can choose from thousands of pre-made templates, or, start from scratch on a design of you own. A must have that I honestly use daily.
Professional Stock Photos: Unsplash
I don’t have a professional photographer on retainer but this is the next best thing. Unsplash has thousands upon thousands of images to use for free. While there are other subscription based stock photo companies that I’m starting to explore, I love Unsplash for those of us just getting started. I’ve used them for social media posts, Pinterest, and even the photos in my program covers. Use them for helping to fill in those empty holes in your website!
Best Road Trip App: iExit
This might seem silly but as someone who just did 3 road trips across America last year, this app was a lifesaver. It finds you on any highway in the U.S. and tells you what restaurants, hotels, gas stations, hospitals, and even has an “other” category to show you everything from drug stores to grocery stores to vet clinics. This helps you know where is a good place to pull off for a break before you jump off the road. A must for any tour.
Now that you have some tools for musicians to get you started, what are you going to work on next?