There’s a dichotomy for the artist that is hard to deal with – and it lies in the realm of social media on every platform – Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram et all. That’s how people find out about stuff now, right? What used to be word of mouth is now social media. We want so much to be successful with our craft that we go to great lengths to get Likes, Friends, and Followers. In fact, Facebook has made a real stock market out of it with bids, prices per click, and graphs – one can actually get lost for hours watching their Likes rack up while spending hundreds to thousands of dollars – if we had the budget. On the other hand, we are taught by our churches, friends, and self-help books that our self worth has nothing to do with these social stats. I could rattle off some verse about how God loves you and you’re self worth lies in the fact that He died for you; however, that won’t fix the fact that if you don’t have X amount of likes, this record label won’t look at you, or that venue won’t book your concert, or this gallery won’t host your art exhibit. Having a hefty internet presence is key to being successful in our craft, right?
For me as a musician – I certainly want to pursue my career composing & writing songs; however, I need X amount of money for my next album, my current album won’t sale if no one knows about it AND how else will anyone know about it if I don’t have the likes or followers. I’m conflicted on what to spend my money on… marketing..or the product at hand? Even if I go the marketing route, Likes and Followers don’t always translate to sales.
This is one of those classic blog predicaments where I simply don’t have an answer. I will say that it’s easy to get discouraged in this age of DIY marketing. Established businesses and artists have thousands of Likes and Followers; perhaps some are not-so-established; however they have the $$ to get the results. As I’ve always been told, do what you love, and eventually the money will follow. We can’t spend so much time marketing and tweeting that it takes away from our craft. In others words – if you’re a “slash/slash” individual – you may not be doing anything as great as you could be. I’m a believer that if you focus on your craft and your continual output of that craft (completion of projects), the world will take notice, and then come your followers and you’re sure to ‘Like’ that!