The Frequently-Asked-Questions page must deal with any doubts your customer might have as far as business with you is concerned. It’s normally not that they mistrust you as much as it is they mistrust Internet businesses. You must convince your customer that business with you is secure.
This is where you must remove any obstacles between you and their credit card. People are becoming more and more concerned about their credit card information. Try to give as much detailed information as you can up front. Don’t leave any open ends. The customer has to know the exact amount for shipping and handling policies are. Your FAQ page is to gain their trust.
Try to cover every question that might be asked. You won’t cover every question. Believe me! Here at Alabama Music Office.com we still have questions almost daily that no one has asked before. If we have a question that is asked more than 5 times, we then post it to our FAQ page.
These are the questions most asked and must be addressed on your FAQ page.
Is your Web Site safe to buy the CD?
What is said here is determined by who will fulfill the order. Are you connected to CD Baby or do you have your own music store with check out software? Regardless CD Baby will help you with detailed information on handling credit card transactions. These are good guys that will help, if you ask.
I don’t use my credit card online. Can I still buy your album?
Services like CD Baby accept orders by fax, phone and snail mail. Which may really help in your situation unless you don’t mind the phone ringing with someone wanting to place an order at 4:00 in the morning.
I don’t have a credit card. How do I buy your CD?
I would say that 90% of your orders will be with credit cards. The other 10% will order via checks, money orders, international money orders, cash, wire transfers, etc.
When will my CD arrive?
Tell them what UPS and Fedex tells you.
How much does it cost to ship the CD?
Again, this will be determined by UPS and Fedex. You might also consider including the shipping cost in the price of the CD. Free shipping is a powerful selling point.
What happens if the CD arrives damaged?
Assure them that you will replace the CD at your cost. In my experience there might be 1 in a 1,000 that are damaged if you use padded envelopes.
I have a question that is not on the FAQ page. What do I do?
List your email. Let them know how to get in touch with you. Know this: Some won’t bother to read your FAQ page and will ask questions that are on your FAQ page. Don’t get upset, just cut and paste your FAQ answer and send it to them.
Your CD sales will become a greater part of your life and you must do what is needed to finalize the sale. This fulfillment is important to you both financially and emotionally.
Tell the story behind your music project. How did you write the songs? How did you choose the title? Describe your relationship with the producer. How you chose your producer. If you were the producer, your views as a producer. In a story telling way tell your visitor about your music. The purpose for your story page is to assure your visitor that there’s a bigger reason for your music than making money.
If there isn’t a story behind your music, you need to take up another line of work. Your music is about something. Your music is an expression of something. In plain story telling language tell your visitor about that something.
Tell how you recorded your music. Who were your guest musicians? Tell the funny things that happened in the studio. The list goes on and on. A good exercise here would be to picture you as a Rolling Stone reporter. What would a real reporter ask? Interview yourself. Read a couple of interviews. Read some music reviews. Apply what you learned.
If you handle the promotional side of things properly, sooner or later, a reporter will show up to interview you. Make a separate sub-page for interviews. If a professional music reviewer reviews your music it will add credibility. Build a separate sub-page just for reviews. The more reviews you have the better off you are. Having a review page with only a couple of reviews can hurt you. If you have only one or two reviews, this means someone has not handled the promotions correctly. A page with many reviews shows that visitor that you are serious about promoting your music. I don’t think there is anything that will boost sales like reviews.
The promotional side of a music project is where most in the business fail. They can have killer songs recorded to perfection but if they are not promoted they will sit in the music artist’s closet forever. I do promotions and releases with disbelief as to how many music artists don’t have a media or press kit. A typical press kit is a bio, fact sheet, publicity photos and clippings of any publicity you might have. These kits along with your music goes out to newspaper reporters, radio DJ’s, music critics, TV Shows, etc. It is imperative that you have your press kit in physical as well as electronic format. Adobe PDF files are widely used almost anywhere on God’s green earth. Make sure photos and your CD cover are 300 dpi.
Next your Live Gig and Lyrics sub-pages.
Keep this in mind as we build your pages; People search for information. So limit graphics and photos. Emphasize text-that’s the information they are seeking.
Don’t give your visitor a way out. Remove options; make all your pages dead-end. Keep your visitor on your main pathway-a landing page, a sales page and a shopping cart. Don’t link your sub-pages to each other! Place a tiny Navigation Bar on top of each sub-page and list your main pathway pages there.
Place a “back” button on the bottom of each sub-page. Once your visitor is through with a sub-page, make it easy for them to return back to the main pathway.
Sub-pages are band member bios, reviews, recording and instrument info, etc. This information gives your visitor a deeper insight into the artistic side of your musical project. Your visitor has the right to know everything about your music before you ask them to place an order for it.
First they will want to know who you are or information about you — the human being who created that all inspiring music. Here is your chance to tell the world about you. There is a lot on the Internet telling how to write a bio. If you can’t write your bio, hire a professional.
The button to your bio should not say bio. Make them click on your name. Some are adding their avatar. Each member of your band should do the same. Everyone connected to your music should be recognized as well as his or her instruments and methods. Music loving web surfers love inside information. Music lovers want to know what you know. Music lovers want to know how you do what you do. Share your experiences. Make them feel that they’ve learned something valuable from you. You are the expert. No one knows more about your music than you.
Next: Assuring the visitor that there’s a bigger reason for your music than making money.
When you get your customers to your site, you don’t want them to get lost, nor do you want them to get confused. You are serious about selling your music thus your web site must reflect this fact. Your web site’s structure must incorporate some common sense. Common sense will tell you that you must attract your visitors’ attention. Give them music to listen to. Tell them about you and everyone that was involved in the making of the music they are listening to. Make them want to buy your music.
Your web site is to sell your music. With that in mind, anything you put on your web site has to have a compelling reason for it. Don’t underestimate that fact. My best advise here is to keep it simple. It is your job to make sure that every detail on your web site is easy to comprehend. Remember people scan, they don’t read, nor do they study a web site’s content. Your web site should have only two avenues: main street and side streets.
Your main street goes from your Sign-In Page to your Home Page to your Order Page. If your customer has a general interest in your music, it will become apparent when they sign in to your Sign-In page. These three pages are all you need. The Sign-In page gives you their email address for your email list. Your Home Page gives them sound samples and information. Your Order Page gives them the chance to buy your music.
Your side streets all intersect from your Home Page. They are always dead end streets. Your customer cannot leave your web site through these side streets. In other words don’t link with any outside sites. Side streets take you to tour dates, videos, photos, bios and any other information that your customer might need. Side street pages are there to provide your soon-to-be-customer with the answers to every question they might ask. The two questions here are; Why should they buy your music? And How are they going to buy your music?
The most common questions music buyers want to know:
*Who is the band that made the music?
*Where is the band from?
*How long has the band been together?
*Who produced the music?
*Where was the music recorded?
*When was the music recorded?
*What instruments were used to make the music?
*Does the band have other music?
*Where did the title originate?
*What is the band’s message?
*Where and when will the band play live?
*What is media saying about the band’s music?
Your soon-to-be-customer’s questions change when they click onto your Order Page.
*Is this web site reliable in processing my order?
*Who is in charge if something goes wrong with my order?
*If I don’t like the music, can I get a refund?
*Is it safe to buy music through this web site?
*Can I use my credit card?
*What happens if my CD gets damaged in shipping?
*How much does it cost to ship a CD?
*When will my CD arrive?