Teens With Ring Lights

Since I saw this Tweet below I seriously went to sleep and woke up thinking about the phrase “while teens with ring lights are signed for millions.”

Via @DonnaMissal on Twitter

I want to believe, “hey, those people with the ring lights will fade just as quick as they showed up. They’re here one minute, gone the next!”

But that still does nothing to help the artist pay a director, or hell, pay the rent. A few more thousand Spotify streams aren’t going to help, either.

SIGH.

I just want artists to make money so we can all keep doing this.




Use Words as Weapons

When you get press, it can be tempting to post, “hey, go check out this piece of press!”

Really? That’s as exciting as cardboard.

If it’s an interview, use a pull quote. Use the words you spoke which translate your beauty and magic.

  • “Hey, go read my interview over at MEDIA OUTLET. LINK.”
    Bland, boring, literally every other artist is begging for the same thing.
  • “When I got back from a 10 hour hike in the desert, where I hallucinated and spoke with a space ghost, that’s where the album title came from. LINK”
    No one else gets to post that. Your story is fucking unique, take advantage of that.

The same goes for reviews.

  • “Hey, MEDIA OUTLET reviewed our new album. LINK.”
    Again, every other band, artist, writer, etc. wrote the same thing a dozen times in the past four minutes.
  • “An absolute banger album, and contender for album of the year honors already,” says MEDIA OUTLET. LINK.
    Again, no one else gets to say that about their album except YOU.

Big movies trailers use pull quotes, so should you.

Hell, if an outlet crowned your release as album of the year, you’re not really going to post, “Hey, MEDIA OUTLET said nice things about our album.”

Hell, no.

You say, “MEDIA OUTLET said OUR ALBUM is ALBUM OF THE YEAR.”

Social media is a lot like running away from a bear. You don’t have to out run the bear, you just have to out run your friends.

Every day there are a thousand artists posting bad copy on socials, so use a media outlets words as a weapon to cut through crap.

Always Credit People

This is a great bit of advice from artist and illustrator Caroline Harrison:

People putting out music: please remember to credit the album artist on your Bandcamp page! I spent a while down a rabbit hole the other day trying to find an album artist for something that just came out and had to scroll through a bunch of Facebook posts.

Via Twitter

Credit the album artist, the designer, the photographer, the engineers, the producers – all of ’em! Not only is it just nice and proper, but it also helps with organic search!

Don’t make your fans or curious parties dig through months worth of social media posts to discover who made your album art – put that information right where you release your music!

“This has the added benefit of making your bandcamp page more likely to come up if someone googles the artist, so it’s really a no-brainer for musicians to do this,” Jock Sportello via Twitter.

People search band names and album titles and song titles – and all sorts of goodies come up! The same happens when you search for artist names, photographer names, guitar player names, producer names, and everyone else. This isn’t just some “growth hack” to get more eyeballs, it’s just the proper thing to do.

Credit everyone involved, the people who made a vital contribution to the work you’re putting out there into the world. The deserve it.

Plug and Replug

Announce your thing, and keep announcing it.

I always appreciate when people plug and replug their work on Twitter. Never feel bad about it. There’s always some article/book/video/ that pops up in my timeline and I think, “I need to check that out … but later.” Later comes and I can lose track. Your replugging reminds me.

@mattthomas on Twitter

Let’s say you finally get to announce that pre-orders are now open for your new EP. You post it on a Tuesday at 10am. And then…

People who happen to be on Twitter (or whatever other social media network you announce the news on) on Tuesday, around 10am… well… that’s the afternoon for folks in Europe. And just 7am for people on the West coast – sort of early.

So make sure you post about your link a few more times in the coming weeks. Yes, multiple times. For the very reasons listed above.

People might see your link when they’re sitting down to a new episode of something on Netflix. They might be in line at the bank, or waiting for a Zoom meeting to start.

Schedule out a dozen Tweets.
You can do the same on Facebook.
And even Instagram (using Buffer).

Schedule them out, even at weird hours. TV commercials get shown over and over again. You see the same banner ads. The same pre-roll ads on YouTube.

There’s no shame in talking up your thing multiple times on social media.

What’s Your Social Media Exit Plan?

From 2014: here

Someday you’re going to log into Facebook for the last time.

Same with Twitter.

Someday you’ll uninstall Instagram.

And so will your fans.

What’s your social media exit plan?

People don’t dump their email. And email will outlast whatever zany social media platform comes along in the next four minutes.

Look, you’re a songwriter, not a social media manager.
You’re a photographer, not a marketing guru.
You’re an artist, not a content creator.

You should be spending your time working on your magic, not increasing shareholder value for mega-corps. Every time you post on social media, you build value for that company. That’s why writers get paid to write for website – their articles and interviews get posted, which brings people to the website.

Hey! You should be getting paid!

So slow down on posting everything to social media, and save it for your email list.

Start an account with Mailchimp, Substack, or MailerLite.

(Sound intimidating? Look for the blue box below)

The magic is this: send out an email, and it goes to all your fans. All of them. You can’t do that with social media unless you pay money.

Then, every two weeks or so, send out an email to your fans. Yes, you’ll have enough material to send every two weeks.

Include some of the photos you posted to socials (chances are 80% of your followers didn’t see ’em), write a few words about them. Talk about your new work, your new project. The things you’re passionate about.

Tell people you’ll be sharing your recording process. Your behind the scenes work. Your unpublished work. Lyric ideas. Maybe share some tips on how you create some of your magic.

“I want to share my magic with you; sign up here.”

“I’ll teach you something that I learned the hard way in each email.”

“I love horror movies, and each week I break down my three favorite scenes from the best (worst) horror flicks.”

It’s time to think about social media exit plan.

I’m starting one on one coaching / teaching with email / social media / website / strategy for creative types who don’t want to think all the time about all this stuff. Sign up here for a quick 30 minute chat, or shoot me an email: hi@sethw.com

Be Where You’re At

It’s okay to not want to get signed to a label. Or be a famous photographer. A big time public speaker.

The big brands, the follower counts, the clout, the hype – it’s not either / or. If you’re not the next big thing, on the cover of magazines and on billboards, you don’t have to fighting to be next.

It’s okay to be where you’re at. It’s okay to have 100 followers. Or 1000.

Hell, you don’t even have to be on social media.

We figured out how to sell a shit ton of CDs and sell out shows before social media came along. We’ll continue doing it long after they’re gone.

People can discover you on Bandcamp or Spotify by chance. You can post a gorgeous photo on your website and someone could post it on social media. A video you helped with on Vimeo can resonate with the world.

So much is right place, right time. Who you know. And if there were a map, everyone would have followed it and become a star.

There’s room for magic, chance, luck. And there’s room for not being a world-wide super star. There’s room for not being the current hyped thing, or buzzing stardom.

Where you’re at is where you’re at.

Most People Haven’t Heard Your Album

It’s okay to not have a brand new album on Bandcamp Friday, or ANY FRIDAY. There’s a lot of people in this world who’ve still never heard your album. There’s people that still haven’t heard Metallica’s “black album!”

So talk about the thing you do on social media. Don’t hide it. It’s not “gross” promoting your work. You don’t roll your eyes when you’re painting, doing another vocal take in the studio, or delivering your final design concept to a client, so don’t you roll your eyes when 99.9% of the world doesn’t even know it exists.

You are the caretaker of this art, and it’s not going to market itself. Be proud, include a link, send it to some friends. Don’t hide the potential joy of someones life for another minute.

Also…

I posted this video on Twitter, which has a shelf life of about 10 minutes. Blink and you’ll miss it. And without paying up, most of my followers won’t see it anyways.

But the video lives here, on my own site. We’re all renting on social media, but our websites are our homes. Two months from now it’ll be near impossible to find the original Tweet I made. It’ll be a lot easier for someone to find this video via a link, on the open web, and via search engines.

Daily Loop #38

“No one has talkers block,” says Seth Godin (in 2011). I’ve been on a tear lately with writing, producing, making. Objects in motion, really.

When I think of putting more of me on Twitter, my social network of choice, I just think of all the people not there. And the wide open web, accessible by the other 99% of the world with a smart device connected to the internet.

Lots of thoughts. Lots of ideas.

LIKES

“There’s no reason for an artist to feel like they can’t share “old” work for all of time, while we sit here and actively let art from the dead be our teachers. art is timeless, including yours,” @afroxvx

“Anyone else feel like they’re spending more time on twitter to just banter and have rando conversations like we used to in the before times when you’d run into folks at Phoenix and Pour?” @danmoulthrop

Adam Firman on Twitter
Conor Anderson on Instagram

You Don’t Have to Start a TikTok

Oh, no. You’re missing out if you’re not on TikTok.

“TikTok’s average monthly time spent per user grew faster than nearly every other app analyzed, including 70% in the US and 80% in the UK – surpassing Facebook. TikTok is on track to hit 1.2 billion active users in 2021.”

Social Media Today

Every social media network has an audience, just like every television channel has an audience. And you don’t have to be on the History Channel to be relevant.

You don’t have to be everywhere.

Have you mastered Twitter and Facebook and Instagram? Probably not.

If you have 58 followers on Twitter, those are your 58 people. Cherish them.
Only got 100 followers on Instagram? Would you be okay with 100 people at a show on a Tuesday night?

Work with what’s in front of you.

If the thought of starting from zero followers and learning a new social media network fills you with dread, don’t do it. It’s your art, your music, your career. You make the rules.

Have focus, have a plan. Schedule some social media posts (use Buffer), start an email list (use Mailchimp), and work on your art.

Social Media is a Job

You’re not overwhelmed with managing your social media, you’re over worked.

“Comedian in 1985: i made a joke about how women shop and now i am famous

Comedian in 2021: i do sketch, standup, improv, satire, i make dumb lil videos on tik tok, i have a podcast, a web series, 3 features, 5 pilots, i’m on twitter 22 hours per day & can’t afford rent,” @Brittymigs

And then this:

“As an ex-social manager, idk who needs to hear this but CREATING the social media content and MANAGING the social media content needs to be two separate jobs,” Health Magazine Associate Editor Taylyn Washington-Harmon.

People have full time jobs, with benefits and vacation time and an HR department to make content for companies. Like, for-real paychecks, and paid time of for when they’re sick.

So are you feeling lazy that you’re not writing, planning, designing, and scheduling content a week in advance? Do you feel like a failure for not growing your audience by 10% week after week?

You’re not bad at this, it’s just that you’re one person. One person can only do so much.

The common strategy these days is to create a few versions of each piece of content, and then post across several different social media platforms. Let me tell you, that’s work. That’s a job. That’s a paycheck.

On top of your creative endeavors, or small business? Yeah, that’s a LOT.

So do what you can, and be proud that you’re even doing what you’re doing – even if it’s not a lot. Because, dammit, social media is a job.