In the digital age your website is your main calling card, so it’s important to get it just right. ‘Content management service’ providers, like WordPress and Drupal, let you set up and run a website for free. However, to give your site a professional look, it might be worth paying somebody to design and set it up for you. Once the site is up and running, you should be able to update and manage content yourself rather than having to depend on somebody else. Websites don’t have to be complicated to be effective; all a site needs to do is display information in a clear and easily accessible way.
Research other composers’ sites to find out what design you might like and decide which items you would like your website to feature. Biography, list of works and available recordings are essential, but a more substantial website will also feature sound bites from your works or links to audio platforms like SoundCloud. Visuals like photos and videos are powerful promotional tools, as they can get a message across viscerally. A list of upcoming performances and premieres looks great, but do take care for it to be up-to-date at all times. A blog can give a great insight into your activities and artistic practice but, again, it’s important to update it regularly. If you have social media accounts remember to include the respective links on your website, to enable people to connect with you.
While social media can provide excellent platforms for promoting your work, there are also some pitfalls. Twitter followers and Facebook friends are likely to include friends/family as well as professional contacts, and it’s vital to remember that your tweets and posts will be seen by all. A funny story about how you had had a glass of wine or three too many at the weekend might seem harmless enough, but might be remembered by a professional contact if you miss a deadline a couple of weeks later. One way around this is to set up two different accounts or change your settings so that some posts can only be seen by a specific group of people.