Introverted musicians often struggle with marketing themselves and their music. Modern-day marketing requires a solid online presence and much interaction with the outside world. However, this does not mean that gaining visibility in a more controlled and subtle way is impossible. This article aims to help introverted artists market themselves according to their needs.
What does it mean to be introverted?
While the introvert vs. extrovert binary can be a somewhat limited way of describing people, some people enjoy using the terms to explain how they feel in relation to others. Those who identify as introverted tend to benefit from it the most as using a universally understood label can save them much time and energy they would otherwise have to spend explaining themselves.
According to WebMD introverted people are more preoccupied with their inner thoughts and feelings than external stimuli. They prefer smaller groups over large gatherings and don’t mind spending time on their own. They tend to find it more comfortable to work alone and need time for themselves to process their thoughts, emotions, and information. More often than not, they are also highly creative people with a vivid imagination. The combination of characteristics makes them ideal artists, with many pursuing creative careers.
Being introverted does not equal being shy, although, for some people, both terms can apply. What many do struggle with, however, is having to make themselves overly accessible to others and constantly having to respond to other people’s requests and expectations. Succeeding in industries such as music requires visibility, which can be draining, annoying, and conflict with some people’s lifestyle choices. The more you grow your fanbase and audience, the more requests will come in and the more attention you will receive.
But don’t worry. This does not mean that it is impossible to market yourself in a more controlled and subtle way. It can actually be highly beneficial to be more mindful about how you interact with the public. Here are some marketing tips for musicians who consider themselves introverts.
1. Separate your personal life from your art
More often than not, musicians are expected to turn their personalities into a brand. While music producers have more room to stay in the background, vocalists have little to no choice but to be the “face” of their art. Those who don’t feel comfortable with being in the spotlight experience much discomfort and pressure. This might even put them in a position where they question their careers.
Even though it is true that being the face of your brand can benefit you a lot, it is not necessary. By separating your personal life from your professional life, you can stay in the background and let your music speak for itself. This means that when sharing information and updates, it should primarily center on your art, your releases, and your creative process. Avoid sharing too much detail about your private life if you don’t want to be talked about excessively.
However, be careful to not become the “mysterious artist” that people inadvertently want to understand. Sometimes, people become especially interested in something when they feel like information is being kept from them (also called the Streisand effect). To avoid this trap, make yourself available enough so people don’t cross your boundaries.
2. Choose wisely when participating in interviews and PR activities
Unfortunately, not all magazines and blogs aim to thoroughly inform people about artists in a respectful way. For this reason, you should do your research before accepting any interviews. Reject invitations from those who are looking to highlight drama. Instead, speak to journalists and bloggers who care about your boundaries and want to make you feel comfortable.
Similarly, don’t jump into PR activities without informing yourself to whom you send your press releases and media kits to. While you can’t control who will eventually talk about you, you do have some influence over who gets to read your PR materials first and what the main message will be.
3. Make time for social media strategically
For introverted people, social media can be extremely overwhelming as it exposes people to information 24/7 and creates skewed expectations of when and how much one should be available. For this reason, introverts should be strategic with how much time they spend online. Take 2 or 3 days a week to respond to messages and requests.
Don’t pressure yourself into posting, and focus on quality over quantity. To avoid being on the phone often, pre-schedule your posts with social media marketing tools in a consistent but not overwhelming way. Planning intentional breaks from social media and communicating them with your audience can also help you achieve a good balance.
4. Choose your platforms and audience
Make sure you also choose the right platforms that allow for slower but more controlled growth. For example, TikTok might offer more opportunities to go viral fast and unexpectedly, but it can also lead to too much attention very fast. Instagram, on the other hand, has become a platform of slower growth, which can make more sense for you in the long run and allow you to connect with people you resonate with.
This will also allow you to attract the right people. Instead of focusing on mass appeal and mainstream music, work within a niche that matches your personality. Once you’ve established yourself within a subgenre or subculture, keep your performances small and intimate and find ways to limit how many people get access to you. For example, you can create private live streams and only invite a handful of people to join through RSVP links.
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