“Making it” in the music business takes a lot more today than it did 10-20 years ago. But the great thing is that there are many more ways to get your name out in front of important individuals. What if I told you you could use twitter and facebook for more than creeping on your ex’s and posting funny pics of cats? You can actually use them to land a gig or even a full time job. In the next couple weeks I will share with you how to successfully use these outlets to promote not only yourself but to network with industry leaders.
I feel obligated to state a few things first. Social Networks should be used to build relationships, not just pitifully beg for a job. Relationships online are just like relationships in real life. You have to respect each other, have common interests and take your time to let them develop. It’s very tempting and easy to push your work, experience and credentials in front of influential individuals. This is equivalent to trying to seduce the head cheerleader or star quarterback when you are in the marching band. But just like the Princess diaries, you too can win over the attention of the biggest names you can think of or at least get a follow!
There are 3 Social Media Profiles that everyone SHOULD, not MUST, but SHOULD have. These are Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. Using each of these the proper way can help you market yourself in New York, LA and the biggest Music center of all, Nashville.
From it’s humber beginnings, Facebook was more of a way to keep up with friends, family and other people you would meet. Here’s the thing, a lot of the Facebook generation are now holding influential positions in companies. This means if you present yourself in the proper way, you can possibly make a connection with one of these individuals. A couple rules to follow when using Facebook as marketing tool, or even using it period should always be followed.
Keep it Clean!
If you wouldn’t want your grandmother or religious leader to see something on your page, than don’t put it up! It’s time to take down the pictures from college where you passed out and someone drew on your face. Equally important is that you do not get too political or argumentative. They say for the rules you should follow when meeting someone are to avoid talking about religion, politics and sex. This should go for your Facebook as well. play with privacy settings so you can still share personal stuff with close friends, but the truth is, almost all potential employers will check out your Facebook page before even calling you! It’s kind of sad, but it’s a great way to weed out people that just might not fit. So your goal is to try and fit into every position. Have a professional and appealing profile picture, as well as clean posts. Humorous posts that are PG13 and under are fine, but if you would be embarrassed of your parents seeing it, you shouldn’t post it.
This means to share websites, articles or pictures that may show your experience. Read Blogs, like this one, and share information that you find valuable or thing others should read. Maybe talk about gear you are using. Like and share posts from influential people. Most will share things on their pages for fans and colleagues, if they say something that resounds with you: Like, comment or Share it! Control yourself though. Don’t like everything! That gets creepy. People although high profile in the music business are still people.
Keep it updated
Is the only work experience you have at the “Y” in Jr High? You may want to update it. Even if it’s only a day project, but you may have worked with Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga or Josh Groban. That day, even if you were a production assistant is something that stands out! Be sure to put internships, you worked hard, you might as well boast! Plus you never know who someone else knows. That may be a common acquaintance that you have with someone.
Twitter is just like a quicker Facebook, but tends to give you access to more individuals. You can follow the Pope, the President and your Aunt Jeanie. Just like Facebook you should be careful.
Who to Follow?
Just like you can follow the president, you could also follow some pretty inappropriate people. That info is out there for the world to see, and is important that you are aware of this. On the flip side you should follow people that are in your business and in places of importance. This is for a couple of reasons. First, you get a backstage pass to what they are doing. Second they often share tips, secrets and tricks that you should learn. Third is that if you follow them and have insightful things to say, share or agree with, they may just follow you back. Just like Facebook though, you don’t want to be creepy. If they do follow you back, just act natural, you aren’t best friends, odds are they don’t want to be talked to like you are old friends. Just keep doing what you did to have them follow you.
What to share
This is where you can share what you know and do without seeming needy. Maybe post a picture of you doing sound at an event. Post a blog post you wrote (More on Blogs another day!) These are all things that could catch someones eye without forcing them to read it. You should retweet at least one thing a day, favorite 1 and tweet 3 times a day to grow your audience and your exposure level.
I love Linkedin, because it is like a professional resume that everyone can see at all times. With that in mind, be sure to keep it updated, just like Facebook. Linkedin however has the feature to add projects you have worked on as well as full time positions and skills.
One of my favorite features is the ability for people to vouch for you. They can attest to your skills and experience. Especially in tight knit industries like music and entertainment, you may be endorsed by someone that you worked for that might just happen to know someone that could take you places. Put it up there however small and be proud of it. You never know what might grab someones attention!
Linkedin is the Professional Facebook
Never put anything on Linkedin that could be construed as slander or gossip. Everyone can see it, even CEO’s and hiring managers. Linkedin also has a job search function that submits your profile as your resume and networks you can join to network with professionals in your industry.
You can have as many social media accounts as you want, but use these three to show the world what you know, who you know and what you can do for them!
Do you have any questions about marketing yourself in the music business? Comment below or email Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org