Your online presence as a musician is an extremely important part of your career. It’s crucial that you know how to create an interesting YouTube Channel, and keep your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts updated, just to name a few! However, sometimes it’s easy to get carried away, and start overworking your online presence. Here are some simple tips to help you avoid turning the internet from a friend into a foe!
- Don’t spend more time online than writing music.It’s great to update your social media regularly. However, the modern musician needs to keep an eye on what to do and what to delegate. Many people now want to be a DIY artist, and have full control over their work. If you are doing this, make sure you give yourself time and space away from the computer too. If you focus too hard on social media and get addicted to the notification buzz, you may lose a sense of what you originally intended to achieve with your art. Don’t get too obsessed with your online identity, make sure your real-life self is playing live shows, touring, and meeting fans and valuable networking contacts face to face. The right balance is key - even major artist have started to diversify their sources of income to include perfume ranges etc.!
- Don’t invest in every new company.There are many start-ups and businesses designed to help you with the ‘do it yourself’ or ‘decide it yourself’ approach to being an independent musician. This doesn’t mean that they are all useful to you. We introduced 5 start-ups that independent artists should have on their radar in a previous blog post, but you have to be selective. Be self-aware, and think hard about what you can do without assistance and what needs prioritising before investing. It’s a good idea to sign up with your country’s collection society in order to be able to protect the copyright of your songs. Publishing deals and sync deals are also sometimes managed through third party companies or labels. These are good ways of earning a living as a musician, but just remember to do things one step at a time, and always seek advice and ask other musicians’ opinions too!
- Don’t just copy other people’s strategies.Just because Beyoncé released a secret album this year doesn’t mean that you should. Every artist fits into a little corner of the musical spectrum. What seems like a great idea for one band could be a ridiculous project for another. The Wu Tang Clan are probably the only band that could make one copy of their latest vinyl record and carry it around in a kind of Holy Grail. Be inspired by other artists’ videos, twitter feeds and Facebook pages, but don’t do exactly the same thing. If you aren’t famous already, releasing your music for free might not have the same impact as it did for Radiohead. Just look at the disastrous example of U2 going way too far with their online policy and annoying the world by giving every iTunes user a copy of their new album!
Platforms like Twitter are especially influential for more famous bands to express controversial opinions, for example, but smaller bands can get caught up in pointless online vitriol or destructive debate which is not actually constructive to building a music career.What you post online forms your public artistic identity. Be careful with the words and images you put out there for mass consumption. Focus your marketing and PR strategies so that you only put out the image you believe in. You should also never stop focusing on the act of writing, recording and performing music.
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