If you are a musician or a music creator, you've never been luckier: You are currently operating and running a music business in an era that has the entire world knocking on your door, begging you to not only create music but also to share your creative work with your audience, fans, and followers.
Social media allows you to grow your fans, followers, and a fleeting -- but still captive -- audience who are all awaiting the release of your work. A collective set of engaging, real people who like you just for being who you are, want to see you grow, and more importantly, want to come along for the ride.
Your fans will encourage you, give you feedback, inspire you to create more, consume what you create, and finally also buy everything you have for them (Shut up & take my money?).
Consider this: there are over 2+ billion users on YouTube, 330+ million users on Twitter, 1+ billion people on Instagram, 800+ million on TikTok, according to HootSuite.
Now throw in podcasts (a rapidly growing outlet and the next rung on the social media platform) who, according to FastCompany have over 525,000 active shows and over 18.5 million episodes in 2018 alone. Apple Podcasts currently features more than 500,000 active podcasts, including content in more than 100 languages. Phenomenal!
So many platforms. So much potential. What’s a music creator to do with all of this potential reach, engagement, and possibilities of distribution?
Use it well. Use it to your advantage. Use social media to create a personal brand and to dominate. Here’s how to do it in a smart and sustainable way:
Share Content. Distribute Content. Repeat.
As a music creator, you are in business. Your primary goal - compared to a music hobbyist just drifting along and scrolling through social media feeds - is to grow an audience of fans and followers. You do that by first sharing all the content you produce.
On a daily basis. Every single day.
As a music artist, you are in luck, or rather are at a much better advantage than say the local corner shop when it comes to creating content if you know what we mean?
As a music creator, you already create music, jingles, host events, attend events, attend and perform at music festivals, and meetups. Share little snippets and samples of your creations (clips of real music events you attended or clips of music cover albums you create).
All those impromptu jamming sessions (alone or with a group - socially distanced of course) in the living room, the garage, or out in the garden? Record those video clips and share them on social media.
Write out blog posts, create videos, or launch a podcast about the process and the work behind your music. How did you come up with the idea? What was your thinking process? What are the technical aspects of music and how did you handle that? How did one thing lead to another? Share it all on social media networks.
Note: Sharing your own content (as you create it), day in and day out, is everyday work. It’s on repeat. Day after day. This never ends. But all this has rewards waiting for you, just as constant as your social sharing is.
Be social: There’s “social” in Social Media
Social media is new “media”; it’s active, it’s real, it’s vibrant, and it’s instant. The sheer reach of all of your social media channels along with podcasts can beat any group of magazines or newspapers to a pulp as far as reach is concerned.
Plus, there’s engagement. Like. No. Other.
Social media isn’t just a magazine, newspaper, or other regular traditional media. As Jay Bayer of ConvinceandConvert puts it,
“There’s social in social media”.
Engage in conversations, small talk, and chats with others on each of the networks you are on. Ask questions. Get feedback. Throw your opinion out. Take others’ opinions in. Engage with others. Answer questions. Request help. Lend out your hand to others when they need help.
Build a real, organic network of fans and followers.
Use Crowdsourcing for social sourcing (give your audience what it wants)
“Ask, and you shall receive”
Are you open to ideas? Willing to show your vulnerable side? Social media provides for an engaging, fun, and completely immersive experience (if you choose to go this route).
Did you know that book authors routinely ask questions on social networks about what their next book should be on? Meanwhile, genre filmmakers, documentary filmmakers, short movie producers/directors, online course creators, writers, journalists, and most other professionals in the creative industry regular tap into their social media networks to “crowdsource” or “social source” ideas:
Ask for ideas on branding, design, logos, website design, titles (of books, movies, documentary films), and more.
Requesting real-time feedback on actual work done (or that which is in progress). Post a short video or audio clip and let ideas flow in from your network about more ideas, feedback, and other inputs.
Let your fans and followers demand what they expect from you next, and then go ahead to create what they want.
Use social media the right way and your captive audience will devour what you create. This bodes well for your personal brand, your music business, and for you as a music creator.
Whatever you do, don’t just scroll through social media feeds. Use the power of social media to your advantage.
What are you going to do on social media? Share your ideas with us.
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