Your online stuff is not a replacement for your offline stuff, and nor does it exist independently of it. Figure out how to make the two genuinely intersect.
This one’s not rocket science, so I’ll try and keep it brief. Everything you do — online and off — should link back to your website.
If you make posters or flyers, they should include the name of your website. If you write emails, your web address should be in the signature. If you talk about what you do, you should mention the website. If you stand up on a stage, you should direct people to your website. If you have sleeve notes for your CD, they should include the URL. Stick it on your t-shirts.
These are some simple and obvious things that reinforce your website as the centre for your activity and engagement with the outside world. They’re what I call passive cross-promotional strategies. But there are some fairly active ones you could employ too.
I’m going by some examples I’ve encountered in the past, and they apply specifically to live performance, but these should act as springboards into new ideas for you as well:
Photoshoot: The band, on stage, takes a photo of the audience. Next day, it’ll be up on the website for the punters to download, save to their desktop or email to their friends (from the site itself, with a link — naturally).
Photoshoot with contest: As before, but with the extra bit of encouragement the lure of a free download or CD. The artist circles a punter or two in the photo. If they identify themselves in that photo, and reply to the website, they win.
Ringtone: Live on stage, the artist records a quick, impromptu 30-second musical ‘This is (name of artist) / telling you to pick up your phone / pick up the phone / your phone is ringing… (etc.)’. I don’t know why people like ringtones either, but they seem to. As before, upload it to the website after the gig so attendees can have the ringtone they witnessed being recorded before their eyes.
Promo card: Give an mp3 away to the people who turned up to the gig. On the night, distribute a card with a direct link for punters to go to your website and download. You might also want to ask them for their email address while they’re there, so you can build up a relationship with them as customers / fans.
These things take a bit of thought, preparation and effort. They also apply specifically, as I mentioned, to cross-promoting live performance with the website. Naturally, this is a two-way street. The website should promote the live event, obviously.
I’ve just mentioned a few, and there are many variations on this theme. I’d be interested in your ideas — or instances you’ve come across that we should add to the list.