Hi guys, I’m about to get quotes for having a website designed to advertise my services as a media composer, I need to decide on what pages/sub pages to include, I’m thinking: Home/bio, Portfolio (could include AudioJungle tracks or not, any thoughts?, Clients (could include video of custom work I’ve scored, or maybe this could come under another heading of “Media”?), Terms and Conditions?, Blog, Downloads ( I’d like to include some free tracks/sample sets for download), Buy( I’d like to license tracks exclusively from my own site) Contact, Links.
Any ideas/feedback? What pages have you included on your own sites? What do you feel are the best titles for each page? Also, do you think it is best to name the site as a personal portfolio site eg. “Fred Bloggs Composer” or more like a business eg. “Bloggsmultimedia”? Or perhaps use my own name “Andy Slatter” (joke )
Feel free to take a look at mine www.miksmusic.com
The pages are: About (home page), News, Services, Albums and Singles, Royalty-Free Music Catalog, Licensing Information, Free Downloads, Client Testimonials, Contact. The news headlines are in the sidebar and social icons are on the front page.
Presently it’s geared towards promoting my stock tracks but I’m about to redesign it with more emphasis on completed custom music projects. I didn’t have many to show when I set up the site initially but now I do
Also contemplating moving away from the dark theme to more of a Web 2.0 design. I certainly will be downsizing the site with less pages and content to make it more like a hub to various social sites rather than trying to consolidate everything in one place. My most radical idea so far was just to keep the demo roll (with videos) and the contact page
Hope that helps. If you have any technical questions don’t hesitate to ask.
As I’ve looked at lots and lots of composers’ websites, I noticed that they have all these in common as well as these are the most popular titles they use:
- BIO / ABOUT
- CREDITS (this can be within the Bio page if you want)
- MUSIC (this is where your music player goes or a depiction of all your albums and whatnot)
- NEWS / BLOG
- CLIENT LOG -IN / CLIENT AREA (i would personally create a set up a multi-user upload & download client area page, since, in my opinion, this will show that you’re professional and know how to handle your clients)
And make sure you include lots of social network links if you have any!
As for your name, I personally would use a real name, to add a touch of human closure, rather than a business company.
I don’t think I addressed all of your questions, but hopefully what I wrote might help.
This is in a completely random order, but here goes. Apologies if it comes across as blunt, a lot of this was advice that was given to me.
1. If you’re going to have a ‘News’ section, make sure it’s interesting and relevant and that you update it regularly. Most composers’ News sections bore me to death (no offense to anyone, I’m just being a realist). The reason people come to your website is to listen to your music and find out more about you. If you are going to have a news section, I’d recommend it read more like a blog. You really have to be very dedicated to it. The only composer that does this truly well is Battlestar Galactica composer Bear McCreary.http://www.bearmccreary.com/blog/
That website though is a LOT of work, and I know for a fact that he employs one person whose sole job is to type and prepare all of that.
2. ‘Services’ pages are a bit redundant. You’re a composer, isn’t it obvious? You make s**t happen with music .
3. Testimonials generally mean absolutely nothing. A word-of-mouth recommendation is the only one that really counts in this industry. For me, testimonials are cheesy. Again, no-one is really there to read them. If they like your music, and they like YOU , they will get in touch with you.
List your clients by all means (though I’d include that in your bio). Don’t list all of them. If you really want, make a full credits list available by PDF (much like Gorfaine and Schwartz do on their composer agency website), but don’t force it on your viewer.
If you do feel the need to have testimonials, include them in your bio.
4. In your bio, AVOID buzzwords and phrases like
- cutting edge - next generation - unique voice in the industry
comes across as cheesy and pretentious. And also show that you don’t really have the ability to come up with anything original for your bio!
Here is a good example of a composer biography.http://www.usc.edu/schools/music/private/faculty/wiedmann.php
5. Having a client log-in area is good, but you want to make it as easy as possible for your client. The most professional way of all is just to give them a direct secure link to view/listen/download the work. No log-in, just one hyperlink.
I have a business account with Box.net for this. Particularly useful if you’re doing lots of collaborating.
There are multiple solutions for how to handle your clients, but basically you want to make it as easy as possible.
6. Amazingly Slats, you mentioned all the sub-pages except the one that actually matters.
There’s nothing funnier than going to a composer website and not being able to find a page called ‘Music’.
7. Finally, I’d recommend deciding on what you want to ‘sell’ on your website. Do you want to market yourself as a composer who provides custom services, or do you want to go all-in and sell royalty-free stuff?
It probably is possible to do both, but I think you could end up confusing your potential clients. If it were me, it should be your custom services you provide first and foremost as they are what have the highest margins. Much like the cosmetics industry, you use your royalty-free stuff to get people in the door, and then point them to your custom work.
There’s no correct answer though, this is just my advice. My own website (http://www.gareth-coker.net )is definitely not the best example, but in terms of content, there’s not much there apart from the essentials. If someone doesn’t like what I have on there, then chances are they’re not going to bother contacting me at all.
No matter how brilliant your music is, people are not going to spend that long on your website so keep it simple. Think how long you spend on your favourite websites before you switch to another page. It’s really not that long, so…. keep it simple.
Heres my website, I actually just launched it todayhttp://www.thesecessionstudios.com/
I used a template from theme forest and I had literally zero website design knowledge when I bought it. Its still a bit of a work in progress but its about 90% there! The royalty free section also has the audiojungle flash players which I think are super awesome
Good luck in your endeavor!
Amazingly Slats, you mentioned all the sub-pages except the one that actually matters.
Well, only because I hadn’t particularly decided on what the pages would be called, but if you are saying that you think it is important to have a page named MUSIC I think it’s a good point, thanks for your insights here Gareth I will definitely spend some time thinking about all this.