A Few Words On Social Media
I deal with a lot of artists who are resistant to using social media- (which is always indicative of something larger in terms of their arguing for comfort and safety and not being willing to experiment!)
Social media platforms are a way for us to tell our story, build a community around our music and be engaged with the world. But they do ask us to clarify who we are, what we stand for and what we want in our careers!
Curated with our own sensibilities our social media leads the consumer to recognize and buy into (or reject) our brand.
SO that means knowing ourselves and our brand -it ALSO means our getting clear about our desire to communicate…. and build a community around our work.
Thats a tall order for artists just starting out, but if we get it right…it gives us freedom to market ourselves and our work to our audience without a huge expense or a middle man!
Thin of it as your own storefront on a crowded shopping street!
Your own TV/Talk show -Your own Art Gallery- Your own Radio Station where you control the content and decide what you are going to program!
PRACTICALS FOR THE PERFECTIONISTS!
Its hell for perfectionists to start doing something imperfectly in public BUT there is no way to learn unless you get started IMPERFECTLY!! :)
Lets agree you are not going to get it right the first week.. or even the first month of experimenting with social media platforms! I know thats hell for most artists BUT thats the simple fact of experimentation and a strong social media profile NEVER happens without risk and play involved!!
EACH PLATFORM IS DIFFERENT
Social Media platforms all have their own unique flavour and ask for different approaches!
My best advice is give yourself a month to experiment with one specific platform.
I would suggest following artists who are similar to your style of music and watch what they are posting and how they are using that particular platform!
Your first goal would not be to gain followers but to find your voice on the platform!
(Give yourself permission to be “bad” for a week or two while you try different approaches.
-You an always go back and delete what you decide isn’t working!!)
Your first steps might be very awkward, but getting used to posting things that aren’t “perfect” is part of that risk muscle you need to get our of your comfort zone and start being messy in the world!
THEN once you start to feel like your personality is starting to be clear and seems to look and feel something like your “brand” its time to reach out to find followers! Best advice there is to start following a whole bunch of people who have similar interests as you do (using hash tags like #IndieArtist etc to find like minded communities!) Usually people will check out who is following them and potentially follow you if they like what they see.
Don’t sweat it if your numbers don’t grow overnight. The slow and steady growth is just as important and in some ways can net larger results than quick growth in the long run.
DON"T WORRY ABOUT NUMBERS: BUILDING COMMUNITY IS THE GOAL!
Your next goal will want to be engagement! Comment, like, repost etc on other peoples feeds and watch how they start to engage with your posts. Gradually you will find yourself with a sense of an engaged community.
Numbers are only important if you are trying to prove you are popular to someone in the industry. My advice is wait to focus on numbers before approaching a label, a PR firm, a manager etc. At that point a smartly planned paid campaign can help bolster your already existing fan base, but you shouldn’t be thinking about that until you have an already clear brand, an already engaged community and a pressing need to prove you have impressive numbers!
Please note: Buying followers rarely works out in the long run and can make your feed messy and feel fake to even the casual observer!
KEEP IN MIND Social media numbers and engagement do not necessarily translate to tickets sold for shows, increased downloads or streams right away, it may take years of constant work before you see that kind of result…
However having an engaged active community gathered around your music online means that when venues, media and industry folks are looking at your platforms they will see who you are, what you are about and that you have a fan base …and thats worth gold …because it means YOU'VE gotten behind your music and your brand and have created momentum in your career! And thats exactly what the industry looks for before working with new talent!
Let me know if this blog has been helpful or if you need more support on your social media adventures! I coach career strategy stuff like this everyday! Just message me at firstname.lastname@example.org and its talk!