Need some inspiration to get the most out of your Bandcamp page?
I’ve found three jazz musicians who have done something great with their pages.
Whether it’s great merch or smart use of different features, they’ve found something powerful – and useful – about using Bandcamp.
In fact, they all use it as their main online store for selling their physical music, downloads, and merchandise.
You probably use Bandcamp for the same or want to learn how, so let’s jump in and find out what’s excellent about these three pages!
#1: Matthew Halsall
- Link: https://matthewhalsall.bandcamp.com/
- Audience size: Quite large, one of the biggest on Bandcamp for jazz
- Catalogue: Several projects with a bunch of recent releases.
- Excellent at: Merch strategy
Let’s focus on Halsall’s latest album Salute to the Sun.
He made three different vinyl packages for this album:
- Standard Edition Black Double Vinyl with Pantone Gold Sleeve – Repress
- Limited edition Clear Double Vinyl with Gold Foil Sleeve + SIGNED Postcard
- Standard Edition Black Double Vinyl with Pantone Gold Sleeve
And the second and third ones sold out!
That’s why he has the ‘Repress’, which he now lists first on his Bandcamp album page. He’s since removed the sold-out items from the page, but this screenshot shows you how they looked:
That’s why he has the ‘Repress’, which he now lists first on his Bandcamp album page.
Let’s reverse engineer his merch strategy.
Halsall first pressed a quantity of records he KNEW he would sell. That’s the first standard edition that sold-out.
Then, he added a limited-edition product for a higher price. Because he already estimated how many records he knew he could sell, he could accurately estimate how many more would go for the premium product.
Ultimately he sold out of both of those, so he started printing more standard records—and kept the sold-out products as excellent social proof.
Halsall has more items for sale on this Bandcamp page, though. He has a CD and a digital album, both priced affordably as ‘downsells’ in case people don’t want to pay over £20 plus shipping for vinyl.
The key point: Bandcamp is his main storefront for selling this album!
That’s got to be a big reason why he has such a long list of fan accounts who have purchased it.
If you want to be like Matthew Halsall, you can start with your best estimate of how many buyers you have. This will tell you how much merch you can afford to make.
Focus is paramount, just like with Halsall’s meditative music.
- Link: https://snazzback.bandcamp.com/
- Audience size: Still emerging
- Catalogue: A few projects
- Excellent at: Visual design details
My focus for this UK group is their July 2021 album In the Place, available for pre-order at the time of writing.
They’ve totally designed their Bandcamp page to match this album’s feel.
First, they picked the right colour scheme for the cover art. The colours make the page feel cohesive but the text is still readable.
The banner image at the top has the band’s name in large font but also a colourful burst behind the name—and those colours match the album art perfectly.
Once again, Bandcamp is the main storefront for this group to sell directly to fans.
And there’s also a cherry-on-top of Snazzback’s page: their image map in this banner.
The image map is the addition of those Facebook, Instagram, Spotify, and YouTube links that are clickable.
You can do this too! Here’s a guide I found on how to make an image map:
Obviously it’s a bit much to redesign your Bandcamp page every time you release something, but consider doing it at least once or twice a year for your most important releases.
It’s easy to customize the colours, and if they match your website that also gives you some more brand cohesion.
One more thing: Snazzback have done a clever thing for their vinyl pre-sale.
They added the track list to the description of the vinyl item so that you can see it before getting down to the ‘real’ track list.
That lets a visitor land on a complete vinyl product listing without having to scroll down!
A slinky move, like their self-described ‘new wave dancefloor’ music.
#3: Rez Abbasi
- Link: https://rezabbasi-whirlwind.bandcamp.com/
- Audience size: Solid
- Catalogue: Only a couple projects on this label sub-account
- Excellent at: Content presentation
Let’s focus now on Abbasi’s latest album Unfiltered Universe.
I hadn’t heard his music before writing, but this one page showed me so much about him!
Abbasi and his label Whirlwind Recordings have used Bandcamp’s features to showcase the maximum amount of content on this one album page.
Here is everything they included, from the top scrolling all the way down:
- Featured video. This is a Bandcamp Pro feature, which Abbasi has through the label account.
- Merch for sale (vinyl, CD)
- A ‘fan thanks’ review underneath the cover art, contributed by a customer
- Full album credits below the tracklist
- Full liner notes after the credits
- Dozens of press clippings including four- and five-star reviews
Fitting with Matthew Halsall and Snazzback, Abbasi mentions Bandcamp first on his website before other music platforms.
This amount of effort on the album page speaks for itself!
But it’s a nice segue into the conclusion…
What can we learn from these 3 excellent Bandcamp jazz musician pages?
Bandcamp is more powerful than you think.
You’ll especially see this if you go for Bandcamp Pro, which lets you add videos and get other functions in your dashboard.
Some of these details—image maps, album pages full of content and multiple merch items – are about what you can bring to Bandcamp…
But it’s also a powerful platform because of what the fans bring to it.
The most visible fan behaviour that the platform enables are the fan-thanks reviews and collections. How about the social proof of a sold-out vinyl pressing?
There’s actually room for improvement from all 3 of the above artists. None of them used recommendations, for example.
Imagine if your jazz album got recommended by Matthew Halsall’s account! You’d tell your friends and make a social media moment out of it.
You can do any of these things now to get your Bandcamp flywheel spinning. You don’t have to wait for a bigger audience to try using the platform to its full potential.
Go forth and make your own Bandcamp page excellent!
Will Chernoff is a Canadian bassist, composer, entrepreneur, and writer. As a jazz artist, he released his first album Aim to Stay in 2020. Visit williamchernoff.com to learn more.