There was a time I was not comfortable with posting on social media. Despite encouragement from friends, I refused to record and upload covers on YouTube. On Instagram, I hardly posted anything regularly, because I was critical of my body image and felt that I didn’t look good in photos. There was this negative voice inside that kept saying things like “this photo sucks, you look terrible, it’s not perfect, why would anyone care?”
Like most things I’ve shared in this blog, one day I had enough of that negative voice sabotaging me any further. I decided that if I’m serious about being a musician in this day and age, I would have to accept that social media is a critical tool to help connect me with people and share my music.
Take Baby Steps
I began with affirming myself how social media would benefit the music and what I would use it to achieve. For me, regularly posting on social media would serve to achieve these goals:
let people know that I’m still alive and doing music (you’d be surprised at the number of people who thought otherwise!)
lend more human dimension to the songs by sharing what I like and stand for
provide arbitrary encouragement and inspiration
have more people fitting my target demographic discover me
share updates on soon-to-be-released material before any actual promotional campaigns
Working to the strengths of my personality, I planned very much ahead on a calendar (you can find loads of templates to use online) and scheduled posts to go live with automation. I made sure to not overextend myself but instead, aimed to become at least competent with social media. Very soon, I found a rhythm I was comfortable with.
I also anticipated that voice creeping in again, so I came up with these “rules” to hold on to:
Don’t be Defined by Numbers
When a post didn’t do as well as expected, I took it as a chance to understand my audience better. After all, such a post would be outweighed by the others that did decently. I’m no influencer type posting that “sort” of photos, so I learned to not expect much and focus on the goals I set. Looking at the higher-than-average engagement percentage always cheers me up!
Don’t be a Copy of Someone Else
Despite all the strategies shared online, it’s important to be yourself throughout the process. If there are changes you feel you need to make, be sure that you are comfortable with them. There can be no reward from copying someone else wholly. If you spend all your time doing that, aren’t you literally just making a fan page for them?
Does it Actually Work?
I’ve been doing it consistently since July 2018, wondering if it meant anything to anyone. One day, I received the most random phone call. Long story short, I was commissioned to create an original composition for this client. It’s not something I usually do, but I decided to push my fears aside, have a good attitude towards it and simply do my best.
I never found out who it was that recommended me, but thank you so much! It wasn’t how I thought my December would go, but it was definitely a learning experience. Some people might excuse that as an entirely random coincidence, but I choose to believe that it was a consequence of this new habit that I developed over time with consistency.
Of course, some musicians I know don’t believe in it and that’s fine! We need to make the creation of our music our top priority but when the time comes to promote your new album, who would you be marketing it to? Traditional press routes are fine (if you can pay for them) but imagine complementing those with an online following whom you’re certain will click on “Play” when you ask?
Take a moment and be honest with yourself, whether your reasons for not doing social media stem from fear and insecurity, or from logic and deliberation?