Social Media And The Modern Songwriter…. Sharing Or Self Promoting?

First of all, Happy Thanksgiving!

As a songwriter or an artist these days you no doubt know the value of social media. I coach both and this is a huge part of my focus. Everyone bemoans the changes in the business but most agree it’s a great time to  be able to get yourself out there, get your music heard or talent seen. It’s free and it’s easy. Make a rough demo, smartphone  video…post it and wait for the world to notice.

Easy to post a link everywhere and start counting your new fans. Etiquette? Na… It’s the Wild West of self promotion. Perseverance is rewarded, just get in people’s faces and you’ll be impossible to ignore. Everybody’s welcome!

I don’t think so.

What if you’re on the other end of the do it yourself media blitz? You’re part of a Facebook songwriter’s group page trying to find kindred spirits, support and information. Suppose you’re on LinkedIn looking for answers to gear questions, music business questions, places to play, how to, how not to..the answers are free. But are they right? Good? Valuable? Are you even being heard? Are you looking for direction or reaction?

All I’m saying is we should consider the community part of online community. I’m counting myself among the people who, from time to time, abuse the freedom and platform. Sure it’s a great way to build a fan base or to build a client base for your business but I’m going to try harder to participate in the conversation, not just drop by when it suits my mission. More and more these days my coaching clients find me through online searches or my blogging than workshops so I’m grateful and hopefully, respectful of  the platform.I consider myself a teacher in this new environment but I’m still trying to balance opportunity and community.   None of us want to wear out our welcome.

Thanks to Nan Cassidy for writing a post that inspired my blog, she’s a great champion of songwriters in Nashville and beyond!

What are your expectations when you join an online group or post your music? Do you feel you have a responsibility ?