By T. Perry Bowers
This advice could apply to bands, musicians and entrepreneurs alike. In fact, if you are going to make it as a musician nowadays, you truly need to think like an entrepreneur. And, if you’re going to make it as an entrepreneur, you have to think creatively (like a musician).
Social media has become a place to brag. It’s a place to post pictures of yourself and your friends doing cool stuff. It’s a place where you post pictures of your band in cool places rocking out with cool guitars. It’s a place where you can be the best things that you do. There is nothing wrong with that.
Some people think about their social media life as their brand. It’s how they represent themselves to the world. I heard a story the other day about a couple that was getting a divorce. The woman didn’t want to post anything about the divorce online because she didn’t want to hurt her brand. She actually used those words. Mind you, she is not an entrepreneur. She is not a celebrity. She is just a normal everyday woman with a nine to five job. But, she thinks of herself as a brand. Strange.
But, is it really so strange? People have been branding themselves for hundreds of years. The aristocracy has thought of themselves like brands for ages. How do they rank in the court? Do they have any scandals attached to them? Have they ever brought shame to the family?
I have an online personality. I post tips and updates about my business on facebook and instagram. I post clips of myself playing music and shooting my bow. I sure as hell don’t post clips of my wife and I having an argument. I don’t talk about when I’m scared about my finances. I don’t speak about when I’m worried about my children. It’s not that I am hiding that from anyone. It’s just that I don’t think social media is the place for that (at least in my life). And, I assume people that know me even on a very casual level know that I’m human, that I suffer in this life just like everyone else. I just don’t talk about it on social media.
Do I brag online? Yeah a little bit. But, I also help. Why do I help? Two reasons. One because a couple of years ago I started to realize how much stuff I knew, after being in the music field for over twenty years, that I take fro granted. I wanted to get it out of my head and into the public sphere. Two because it helps my business.
I was introduced to inbound marketing by a colleague of mine. He told me that this was the new way to advertise. The way it works is that you put out free content for the people who may be interested in your business. You give them all the information they need to do everything themselves. And, you do it selflessly, with a true desire to hep in your heart.
Then, every once in a while, you market your business to them. You talk about your products or services hoping they might be useful to some people in your sphere of influence.
It may seem counter-intuitive to give away all your secrets, to tell everyone how to do everything themselves, but the truth is I could never impart all of the knowledge I have. I’ve been in this business so long that I don’t even realize the stuff I know. Plus I have gear and facilities that people need, so that’s another reason people will, hopefully, never stop coming to my bricks an mortar studio.
Bands can so the same thing, but in different ways. Bands and musicians need to remember why they started to play music in the first place. Maybe it really is because you want to get the girls. (Although nowadays, it seems like girls are more attracted to software engineers than musicians). Maybe it really was that you wanted to see yourself in cool clothes and cool guitars. But if you’re like most of us, you wanted to help. You wanted to make the world a better place with your music.
So find a way to connect with your audience that helps them get through their day. Lift them up. Make them feel loved by truly loving them. Maybe you don’t realize it, but you might be alienating your audience by bragging about what you’re doing.
I see businesses doing this. I see them taking pictures of all the awesome things they are doing. Does that really bring in more business? Statistics show that you need to do more than post the things you do online for social media marketing to work. You need to help.
So next time you’re about to post a cool picture of you doing something in your business or in your band, ask yourself, does this help? If the answer is no, maybe you can tweak it so that it makes the viewer have a little bit of a better day rather than being jealous about how cool you are. Maybe you can give them a piece of advice that will help them in their career or musical journey that they will never forget. Make your fans and customers have a little warm place in their hearts for you.
Don’t think of it as giving away the store. You are just making the store a warm, inviting, helpful place to shop.