By now, most of us should be well used to link-in-bio and content aggregators like Linktr.ee or Linkfire — but what each one of these platforms lacks is a customizability or even character that makes them worth going back to once you’re done with your initial goal. Enter Tell.ie — your content & commerce all in one place. The best link-in-bio/website/portfolio + the best way to drop new content, merch, tickets, & NFTs.
What does Tell.ie do differently and why should you use it over other similar platforms? From their About Me section:
Tellie allows every creator to build a home for your creativity in minutes. It gives the power of a website with the ease of a link-in-bio tool. With Tellie’s novel design, your work stands out on mobile and desktop. Tell stories across formats and platforms, pairing video, audio, text, images, GIFs, shops, links, and more—creating connections never before possible. At Tellie, we don’t prioritize meaningless clicks. We help you build long-term relationships directly with your fans.
Your EDM spoke with Jack Bogdan, Head of Product, and Joe Simek, who runs Tell.ie’s marketing, to get the low down on what their platform does so well and why it’s so important.
Your EDM followers can use this link to skip the line and sign up for a Tellie account
Why is there a growing need for creators to have all of their content in one easily accessible location?
Artists have been forced into a digital diaspora, where they have to exist everywhere but don’t own anything anywhere. Fans bounce quickly from artist to artist across different social networks, DSPs, etc. When you publish only on these platforms, you can lose part of your art and identity ‒ you become a commodity, putting your work in a box that looks and feels like everyone else’s box.
Being able to bring your world together in one place that feels like you is important for a few reasons. You can tell a richer story across different mediums (music, video, galleries, writing, etc) and connect with fans on a deeper level that reflects who you are as an artist. You can introduce fans who might know you in passing to get to know you and your work better. Ultimately, this increases the likelihood these fans will support you again and again throughout your creative journey.
We think personal artist sites are going to be more important than ever in the next era of the web.
What happens in a consumer’s/fan’s/user’s mind when they see a link list like lintr.ee vs an ecosystem like tell.ie?
A lot of the link list style products are purely routing tools. The solution is to get you from point A to point B as fast as possible. There are a lot of creators with upwards of 20 links, and it can be overwhelming for their fans. It’s hard to tell a story or build connection in a list of buttons, so what happens is fans click on a button but then go off to do something else while they are being re-routed. What link lists don’t want you to know is they have a high click-through rate (or “CTR”) but an extremely high bounce rate. The fan ultimately never arrives at the place you are trying to send them. Tellie gives you the creative tools and the ability to bring those destinations into your own site so fans don’t have to click out to interact with your world.
Was there any specific catalyst, a moment, when you thought that tell.ie was necessary?
Tellie was born from the thesis that there were tools missing to foster a stronger connection between creators and fans on creators’ terms. We went through a lot of R&D around format and the ways we could create an accessible platform for creators to tell deeper stories, build connections, and get paid without it feeling transactional.
A lot of our earliest artists have given us feedback that kept hitting the same themes: a lack of ownership, painful website updates, a hunger for experiences better than link lists.
We’re at this unique opportunity for independent creatives where the technology to hold the keys is starting to be decentralized and distributed in a way that puts power directly in the hands of the artists and their fans.
Was there ever any concern that (near) infinite customization might be overwhelming to users and visitors compared to the relative simplicity of tools like linktr.ee or DSP aggregators?
Every design decision has been anchored in the primary goal of ease of use and building smart constraints and defaults. Tiles are incredibly easy to create and edit, often by pasting one link, or dragging and dropping an image. Smart defaults are really important. Tellie should provide the inspiration to set you up for success. For example, when you add Tiles we automatically arrange them on your page in an optimized auto-layout so you don’t have to immediately focus on where everything lives. Soon we’ll be adding inspirational layouts you can start from and edit to accomplish different goals, like dropping an EP or showing off a portfolio of work.
How, if at all, did your background in gaming and modding influence the design and experience of tell.ie?
I’ve grown up on creative tools. I pirated Photoshop, Illustrator, and 3DS Max as a 12 year old and started tinkering in game engines. I lived in PhpBB forums and swapped .WMV and .MOV tutorial files pre-YouTube. The internet was a lot smaller and so fun!
The web itself was a creative platform. Every kid learned HTML and CSS to customize their Myspace pages. When smartphones took off, and apps became the defacto, there was a fun yet brief period of Skeuomorphism (driven mostly by Apple), but soon everything became flat and boxy to adapt to responsive design.
Tellie is definitely scratching a personal itch to get back to a world where the web was fun in a format anyone can pick up and play, but with modern functionality. We’ve got a lot more fun stuff cooking!
What can tell.ie do that other similar platforms can’t?
Tellie has been entirely designed around modularity and composability. We have created a unique combination of mix and match utility, design tools, and storytelling capabilities that doesn’t exist anywhere else. We also have plans to do things you can’t do on any other website, like “re-post” pages from other sites or even embed your whole website somewhere else as easily as embedding a YouTube video. Why settle for promoting just your music video when you can embed your music video, your behind the scenes, your DSP streams, and your shop?
We’re also incredibly excited to start to bring creators into the Web3 space where they can directly own the relationships with fans, and find new tools to monetize their back catalogue, creative musings, and more.
The way we think about it is simple: we want to give artists an outlet for their work where they can express their creative output and make enough money to perform, write, paint, etc. There’s this concept that’s been out in the world for a few years around “1,000 true fans.” Ideally that can be true for a lot of creatives, but even in a world where you have 25 fans who are willing to support your creative endeavors, we want people to have that outlet so you can justify continuing to create.
What will tell.ie be able to do in the future as it continues to scale?
There’s a bunch of interesting threads here, but I’ll pick two: the ownership economy and new ways to visualize your world.
We believe the future of artist and fan relationships are going to happen with creator owned collections / smart contracts. We’re going to be building the tools for artists to create these digital primitives and use them to manage access to their content library, shows, merch, and more. Fans are not only getting access to exclusive experiences, but also have a digital status symbol they can show off to other fans. We’ll allow you to own a new age fan club that exists outside of any one platform, including Tellie. We’re going to set artists up for success to take advantage of all of the amazing new tools and platforms as the space starts to mature.
When you design a tool around modularity, you suddenly have all of these building blocks you can tweak or alter. We’re exploring the website equivalent of a Snapchat filter to set the tone for a release or narrative in a more expressive way. We’re also excited to be running some experiments next year with virtual worlds fans can explore, dynamically built around your pages, that run in any web browser. You’ll be able to turn your website and link-in-bio into a virtual gallery or performance space with no additional work.
What creative experiences do you see users making with tell.ie?
Today we see a lot of musicians using Tellie to create a new Page for every single or album release, or graphic designers and traditional artists creating portfolios, or using Tellie to drop an NFT.
I’ve always been fascinated by the digital equivalent of a physical LP. There’s something really magical about buying a record and poring through the lyrics, the behind the scenes, the album art and artistic collaboration, the b-sides and demos, a little bit of insight into the creative process. So much of this stuff is sitting on artist’s laptops or phones nowadays and I’d love to see artists peel back the curtain with Tellie and create experiences for fans that reveal a little of the truth of their creative process.
What is Tellie’s biggest selling point for musicians in EDM?
EDM musicians have been some of our most passionate early users, since EDM artists tend to have such an interesting range of multi-disciplinary interests. Tellie is fundamentally about mixing existing elements into something new. EDM spans not just the music but the world building and performance and the headspace you transport yourself to. As an EDM musician you can bring together your visuals, your music, your merch and more in an experience that blows the DSPs or traditional websites out of the water.
Whose site do you share the most with your friends and what makes it special?
One of my favorite creators on Tellie is O’Plérou ✻ a musician, traditional artist, digital artist, and designer from Marrakesh. What’s so cool about O’Plérou is he’s using it as a way for people to explore all aspects of his creative life: his music, his art, even his friends! He also has his own creator token which he uses to gate exclusive content to his supporters.