I got a DM today from a reader of Social Media Escape Club:

“When I first started reading your posts I thought you were crazy. Honestly.”

They went on to tell me how they’ve been ignoring social media for any sort of promoting for their project, and – SHOCKER – it had no effect.

I’ve talked to a lot of artists about all this social media / “having a newsletter” thing, and I’m telling you, people have been beating their heads against a wall with this stuff, but also suffering from a bit of Stockholm Syndrome.

“A proposed condition or theory that tries to explain why hostages sometimes develop a psychological bond with their captors.”

Yes, there are folks who have a positive or neutral relationship with social media. If that’s you, fantastic.

Just because you don’t have a problem with social media, does not mean people experience the platform in the same way.

For some, social media is dreadful, which is then made worse by the idea that without it you’re doomed. And that’s a horrible place to be.


Thinking about a section of Austin Kleon’s “Show Your Work,” which is “You Can’t Fing Your Voice is You Don’t Uset it.”

We find it by using it. We find out photographic style by taking more photos, we find out guitar style by playing guitar, we find out our artist style by… by being ourselves and being present in the world, sharing what we do.

The chapter talks about the movie writer Roger Ebert, and how he lost his voice so he then found his voice through writing online.

For any lone artist in a small town, whos prime disadvantage is that they live in a small town, well, here was a movie critic who lost his voice – such a loss! Such a “disadvantage.”

Write, post, talk, discuss. Do it online, do it often, seek out your weirdos, and make sure you have a website where all your weirdness resides (like this blog).


Cal Newport makes a great point about artists and creative people being on social media.

If our work is on social media, we leave the chance of “being discovered” to a grey box. An algorithm.

But the “old way” of finding and discovering things on the Internet was through blogs and directories.

Posts and link dumps curated by real humans. DJs on live radio stations. Writers that reviewed music in magazines.

It was slower, sure, but I don’t think we need any more “36 new songs released today” posts, do we?

I think it’s time to get back to directories again. DIY style. Curated links to resources to duplicate tapes, make zines, and lists of art galleries by city and state.


What if the people receiving your emails forwarded it to friends? What if they copied the text from it and posted it on social media? What if your words traveled from the inbox into Facebook group chats and meeting rooms?

When was the last time you sent a newsletter that got 10 replies?

If none of those things happened — not even close— maybe getting more subscribers isn’t the answer.

From social media to Substack Notes, people post in the void. No comments, likes, or engagement of any kind.

Hey, sometimes things don’t work!

Your “questions to everyone” or “open invites” have good intentions, but after a dozen or so attempts, it’s time to reassess your strategy.

Stop asking “everyone” and start actually asking people.

➡️ Reply to someone else’s post. Go into the comments section of another post, or another Tweet, and reply there. Be the person that people love seeing in the comments section by being insightful, gracious, and / or funny.

➡️ Email someone directly in your network. If you’re hoping those people even see your original post and take the time to reply is a long shot. Instead, reach out and ask them. Say you’re looking for their insight for an upcoming post.

➡️ Invite someone before inviting everyone. If you’re just getting started in hosting video hangouts, live sessions, or workshops, consider inviting a few people you know directly. See if you can get three people to commit before announcing to “everyone.”

➡️ Go beyond “just sharing” and make it a big deal. Make a whole post about it. Go deeper than typing “THIS,” and explain why this piece resonated. Don’t just “curate your feed,” rolling the dice hoping that 10% of your audience might see it. Take the time to write about something (or make a video or an audio snippet), and share it directly with your audience in an upcoming newsletter (where 99% of your subscribers will see it in their inbox).

Soda section from a grocery store in Palmerton, PA

“Yeah, but Seth, I just want to post my thing and go do other things,” you might say.

Well, you see the results that “just posting” gets you.

Also, how can talking to your fans, audience, and readers be a waste of time?

Setting a timer for 15 minutes and communicating with real people five days a week will probably get you more results than the hour you spend making one Reel for 153 “people” to see (and which will never be seen again after 12 hours).

Does it scale? Fuck scale, do the work.

The strategy of “just posting” ain’t working, and it’s not going to get any easier to reach your fans in that way as we roll into the second half of 2024.

A garage in Fleetwood, PA


There’s a quote in here that’s actually a quote from another podcast, but it’s something like, “it’s not just one thing.”

And he’s talking about the young kids coming up and thinking that making it to the NBA is the “one thing” that will make them happy, but then it’s depressing when you make it and wow, it doesn’t just make you happy.

It’s never just one thing.

I remember not just getting a three month contract gig at AOL Music in 2006, but I was asked to START a metal blog for them in 2008. There’s more to the story, of course, but there’s always a way for that thing you’re dreaming of you disappoint you, to let you down, to fail you, because it’s never just one thing.


This is just one person’s account, of course, but I think we’re going to see more of this.

In March 2024, I ran an experiment in my Portuguese-written blog: I stopped distributing its content on social media (Mastodon, mostly) and messaging apps (Telegram and WhatsApp channels). It has a small following in a few places — ~2,9k on Telegram, ~450 on WhatsApp and three Mastodon profiles (two with autopost) that sums ~5k followers.

The result was that… little has changed.

From Almost no one cares if your site is not on social media

Yes, if you do the bare minimum and “just” post when you have new stuff, new things, new projects – sure – some people may find your stuff. The alorithimic gods may show your post to 5% of your followers, and you’ll get two clicks, and that’s nice.

If you want more, though, you gotta give more. Show up, engage, maybe “create content” just for the platform by way of vertical videos and other multimedia assets.

Then you’ll get seen by 8% of your followers, and maybe get four clicks. Great.

Or – what if we made the best fucking work we possibly can, and instead of spending 100% of our “marketing budget” on posting to social media, what if we spent 80% of our time reaching out to our contacts? Emailing galleries, venues, agents, etc.? Spending time in places where we want to spend more time in, surrounded by people we want to be around?

What if that was our marketing budget? Time and care in the creative world that’s already around us.

The “creator economy” existed long before tech-bros came along and tried to squeeze it for every last 3.5% surcharge.

We’ll be here long after they move onto the next market to destroy.


We had a glimpse of spring a few weeks back, but then it dove right back into winter. Three days of rain, then today was just cold and drizzly. Got in a walk tonight and managed to avoid getting too wet.


There’s a certain way to do TikTok, sure.

You can half-ass Instagram, and get 12 likes. I get it.

Or you can just do what YOU wanna do, and not worry about being a 12 person marketing and social media team.

Not everything is social media.