I Give Up
I posted awhile back on Facebook that I was giving up Twitter and LinkedIn. Since I coach songwriters everyday and a social media presence is something I push, the response to my post was really interesting. Some asked if that was ok for them as songwriters to not use every outlet available, but the surprise to me was the volume of people who have been doing the same thing including the ones who did it but felt guilty. I even got a message through Facebook from someone who told me how much they hate all social media and quit it long ago. I did kinda wonder how they read my post…
I read everything I can on the subject as well as talking to friends in the media business because it’s vital for my coaching business. I have to connect with writers, share articles, blogs and connections to build an audience. But, the best advice I’ve received is to pick one and learn it well. If you find Facebook for instance is where you’re getting the most traction then by all means stick with it. If you’re a songwriter/artist you probably have a separate page for this and thats a great idea too.
Study the analytics on Facebook especially if you do boosted posts to promote your music to see how effective they are. You can find out a bunch this way. Facebook gives you access to a ton of songwriting groups and these are a great way to interact, get feedback and support, maybe find co-writers and feel like a part of a community. Out of all the outlets I still feel this is the best one for songwriters.
Take one of my clients, Mick Evans from the UK. Mick is an award winning lyricist, has a great website, regularly posts new lyrics and co-writes. Last week he got an email from an artist who was a finalist on The Voice UK looking to co-write and had seen one of Mick’s lyrics in a Facebook songwriting group. Mick also heard from a filmmaker in Canada working on a project with Bruce Springsteen’s wife, Patti. The filmmaker had seen Mick’s lyrics on Facebook and has connected him to the film project.
Goodbye To You
I know it’s a balance between should I worry about getting my song ripped off verses wanting to be heard, but I’m of the school of explore every avenue for your music. Not every one is gonna be effective for you. I dropped Twitter because I felt I just wasn’t using it regularly. Not to mention I don’t think I’m interesting enough to warrant every day usage. LinkedIn is another story. Great for what it’s designed for, business professionals but I didn’t see the value for me and rather than feel like I have to use these two outlets I dropped them to focus my time and energy on the ones that work best for me. Snapchat and Pinterest are two more I’ve tried and fell off over time, not my audience.
Instagram is one I like for many reasons. Seems a little kinder and gentler these days, less political ranting due to the shorter posts and the emphasis on photos. I don’t use it everyday but I do find lots of music folks on it. Maybe podcasts are your thing, 26 percent of Americans listen to podcasts monthly. YouTube can also be huge for you if you’re looking for exposure for your music.
Why You Need 'Em
I see songwriters and artists talk about how they don’t use social media, we’ve all seen the backlash from time to time, (think John Mayer ) but more and more I hear labels and publishers including those in Nashville talk about how they look hard at a songwriter and artists social media presence. Maybe even found them that way. It’s pretty attractive to these powers that be to see you building an audience and a network on your own. Can make their job a little easier.
At least for me as a songwriter and entrepreneur, social media is a use it or lose it deal.
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About Mark Cawley
Mark Cawley is a hit U.S. songwriter and musician who coaches other writers and artists to reach their creative and professional goals through iDoCoach.com. During his decades in the music business he has procured a long list of cuts with legendary artists ranging from Tina Turner, Joe Cocker, Chaka Khan and Diana Ross to Wynonna Judd, Kathy Mattea, Russ Taff, Paul Carrack, Will Downing, Tom Scott, Billie Piper, Pop Idol winners and The Spice Girls. To date his songs have been on more than 16 million records. . He is also a judge for Nashville Rising Star, a contributing author to USA Songwriting Competition, Songwriter Magazine, sponsor for the Australian Songwriting Association, judge for Belmont University's Commercial Music program and West Coast Songwriter events , Mentor for The Songwriting Academy UK, a popular blogger and, from time to time, conducts his own workshops including ASCAP, BMI and Sweetwater Sound. Born and raised in Syracuse, NY, Mark has also lived in Boston, L.A., Indianapolis, London, and the last 23 years in Nashville, TN. Mark is in the process of writing his first book to be released in early 2019 based on his coaching and adventures in songwriting.