I was up late last night watching the Spurs game and the commentary afterwards, when a Tweet from @JoePadula -the host of The Joe Padula Show on Clarksville’s WJZM- came thru my feed. It was a 7-minute video he had posted from his Periscope (a platform I’ve yet to embrace).
So, Joe’s in his car and it seemed as though he was returning from a live music gig he might have been covering or enjoying on his personal time. Anyway, his message was clear. He spoke directly to some of these young local musicians and bands that want to get their name out, want to get paid, but are failing to bring an audience with them. Joe has a valid point. As a musician you are all about your music, but part of the industry is the fact that it is also a business and musicians should treat it as such. What does that mean? It means you need to market and promote yourself and engage your fans on social media platforms.
My blog is just for myself, friends and family, so I am not heavily involved in promoting it. I use it more as a form of stress relief and an outlet to hone my writing voice. These musicians, however, are trying to make a living from their art and continue to struggle because they are failing to find productive ways to promote their brand. It’s simple: Failure to promote their brand will result in very little momentum for them and therefore result in minimum audience turnout during their gigs.
Social Media is a Game Changer
I get it; you have a small core group of followers and want to play for them. That’s awesome!
However, if you do NOT engage your fans and take advantage of Social Media Outlets like Facebook, Twitter and Persicope just to name a few, then your career will continue to stagnate. Joe had some awesome tips, such as following venues on your social media accounts, checking in, using hashtags in order to become linked to popular and relevant conversations. Think about it this way: If you make yourself available on multiple platforms and engage your fans to take action on those platforms then you are making it easier to spread your music.
Playing at local venues is how you make your money and the way you perfect your stage presence, but having fans sharing your thoughts, music clips, and your brand on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, etc., will help you grow exponentially. How does that help you? Your music will receive exposure outside of the local area. You’ll gain fans in other locations that will request their local venues book you for gigs. At the very least, you’ll have a bigger audience show up that will provide great energy during your show and, hey, you’ll have a good reason to ask for a bigger payday when negotiating your next performance. It’s a win-win for everyone. The venue makes money, your music receives exposure and you get paid in the process. And, of course, you give the fans one hell of a show, which shouldn’t bee hard with the energy they are bringing.
Just because we are very near to the “Music City” does not guarantee that you will be discovered. You need to work just as hard, if not more so, on your marketing as you do on your music. In a perfect world -where it’s all about the music, man- you would just be able to focus on your music and eventually, someone would hear it, love it, and spread the word. It just doesn’t work like that anymore. Remember, you are competing with other artists that have yet to be discovered and they may just be on their social media hustle, trying to put their name out there.
These are musicians you may know. They may be your friends. All of a sudden, they are now getting better paying gigs and more invites. You can’t figure out what they are doing. It’s likely they have been taking advantage of the social media platforms and their enormous reach. You need to get on this social media train before you get left behind.