5 Essential Steps to Protect Yourself When Marketing Your Music Online
Guest Post by Cassie at Culture Coverage
Everyone knows that online marketing is one of the most powerful tools in any musician’s arsenal. It allows you to reach fans from all over the world and increase the overall number of people who can access your music. With so much of our lives on the internet these days, if you haven’t already begun your online marketing campaign, then it’s time to start now.
However, there is one drawback to promoting your music in this way that is perhaps not talked about as much as it should be. Any online presence is, unfortunately, vulnerable to hijacking, and if your online marketing campaign becomes infiltrated, it can destroy your reputation.
- Start With Number One
A lot of the time, online image is most commonly affected by sloppy personal security practices. If your computer contracts malware, then it’s easy to infect any emails you subsequently send out, your website admin account and your social media accounts. As soon as fans receive a potentially dodgy message from you, then they’ll begin to avoid you like the plague for fear of their online safety.
Because of this, making sure the computer that you most regularly work from is locked down and secure is an essential first step. Try running good anti-virus and firewall software; it’s a fantastic way to pick up on potential threats before they become a greater problem. Similarly, if you properly vet emails and messages and avoid clicking on suspicious links, you will drastically reduce your chance of being infected.
- Dangers of Working on the Go
Another major benefit of online marketing is that you can stay active and dedicated to your campaign, no matter where you are. Recent advancements in public WiFi means that you can easily interact and reply to fans comments while on the train or release new music from the comfort of your local coffee shop, which is infinitely useful.
Unfortunately, these types of public networks bring along a plethora of their own problems. Due to their open nature, once connected, all of your data can be easily accessed by others. This means hackers can pick up account passwords, credit card details and personal information, both from you and any customer/client you may have recently worked with.
If a third party suffers a data breach at the hands of your poor security practices, then it’s sure to destroy your reputation. Luckily, by using a Virtual Private Network, such as Buffered VPN, you can easily circumvent this problem, as the software encrypts all of your information before you connect to the network.
- Website Management
For most artists, having a website is an integral part of any online marketing campaign. It creates a central hub where all other promotional materials can direct too. Because of this, it’s essential to make sure your web page stays clean and uninfected.
Depending on what platform you’ve used to create your site, there are several specific security plug-ins available. WordPress users have uncountable add-ons available, but for others, using browser extensions may simply be enough.
Alongside this, it’s important to consider your chosen host. While shared hosting services are often cheaper, they have a higher threat level as there are more users to create potential vulnerabilities. If you have the cash, opting for a dedicated server is preferable.
- Good Social Media Practices
Social media is an incredibly powerful tool for promotion of any kind. The “sharing” culture and ability to interact first hand with fans makes it easier to get your work out there and create lifelong customers.
However, finding the balance between security and visibility on these platforms can be difficult, so it’s worth inspecting the privacy options available and choosing the best for you. Similarly, ensuring you have strong and complex passwords reduces the chance of hackers infiltrating your accounts and spamming fans with malicious links.
Social media security is such a vast topic that there’s no way to cover it extensively in this short space. For more information about how to stay safe, you can check out this article or do a quick search on Google to educate yourself!
- Copyright and Trademark Protection
Another major factor in protecting your marketing campaign is to prevent the actual material you’re using from being stolen. As it’s impossible to police who saves and re-uses your material from behind your computer screen, taking steps to secure yourself is essential.
First of all, it’s important to register any original content with the US Copyright Office and to add a clear copyright notice on all of your work. If you don’t begin with this step, then you can’t sue for infringement if any of your materials are re-used elsewhere.
This is particularly poignant for images, as it’s incredibly easy just to right-click and save the files without anyone knowing. For the most dedicated marketers, using a watermark on all your promotional photos will ensure they can’t be used without you being credited, which puts most thieves off anyway.
Furthermore, it’s wise to trademark your entire brand to prevent your whole promotional identity from being stolen. To do this, use TM or SM if you have not yet registered. Once you’ve registered at the US Patent & Trademark Office, then you can add the much more official ® symbol.
- Preparing for the Worst
Unfortunately, due to the ever-changing face of the cyber-landscape, there’s no foolproof way to protect yourself online. Taking these steps are a great place to start, but there’s still an element of risk. Because of this, it’s essential to make regular, comprehensive backups of all your work.
Saving copies of content strategies, website data and, of course, your music onto both digital and physical hard drives means that you’ll always have a spare copy to go back to, no matter what happens.
If you have any other points to help protect yourself when marketing online, then be sure to comment below. If not, then it’s time for you to take these steps to keep you and your music safe and secure!
Cassie is an internet security enthusiast who has learned the importance of protecting yourself when online, no matter what you are doing. You can follow her on Twitter @cassie_culture