STOP LOOKING FOR FOLLOWERS AND GET SUBSCRIBERS

How will you get new followers if you’re not on social media?

Someone asked that recently.

They also said they reach about 10% of their followers on Instagram.

Think of the energy required to get 100 new followers on any social media platform. ONE HUNDRED. You need a hit, a nice mention, some serious work.

Then, when you send out your next big post to 100 new followers, just 10 of them will see it.

You now need 1,000 new followers to reach 100 of them.

What about 10 new email subscribers?

These might be people who follow you on Instagram but aren’t on the platform very often. You can DM folks who like a bunch of your posts and send them the link to subscribe.

If you sell stuff online, you can easily contact those people and ask them to subscribe to your newsletter (or add this as an opt-in during checkout).

You could probably email 10 people this week who love your work and send them the link to subscribe.

Heck, this is probably 50 people now if you do all three of those.

Maybe “just” half of those people click the link to sign up.

That’s still 25 people you can reach 100% of the time.

That’s more than twice the number of people you can reach if you get 100 new social media followers.

And it can be done in a few days, with a few emails.

Small effort, lasting results.

NOT EVERYONE IS BUILT TO BE A STAR IRL

“The music industry from an A+R and strategic marketing standpoint has been super lazy. They fell into a trap of using “data” to found who to sign without deeply considering that any person can make a song that pops off on TikTok but not everyone is built to be a star IRL, perform, build a real fan base and be an actual working artist.”

Zeena Koda

As Ari Herstand says below (embedded below at the six minute mark), there are artists out there with “gazillions” of Spotify streams but can’t sell 50 tickets to their hometown show.

Theo Katzman doesn’t have the streaming numbers, but he routinely sells out 1000-3000 cap rooms.

Theo is a star.

ONE TAKE

In this clip Theo Katzman explains his producing style – one take. One shot. One crack at it.

He stresses the performance in recording.

Yes, with technology, you can “comp” (sort of like splicing together multiple takes), but what if we got really good at doing it all the way through? In one take?

I’m pretty sure that’s how Vulfpeck makes their amazing performance videos and probably why they’re so captivating.

Theo mentions how playing in a room together means Jack Stratton (in the video below) has to play the drums just right, or else his performance will bleed into those vocal mix and ruin the take.

Like – how many degrees “better” is vocalist Monica Martin from doing this? Her skill, competency, and confidence in her abilities, from doing it live and in the moment?

And seriously, watch that video. It is pure magic. I watch it every now and again and tear up; it’s so beautiful.

I write almost everything in one take. These posts, most of my Social Media Escape Plan work, too. Get an idea down, make some cuts, and schedule it… onto the next.I’ve been writing publicly online since 2001, and this works for me. Are there mistakes? Sure, but this ain’t a book, and it’s not precious. There’s a time and a place for that, but I feel like all these years of writing are my “one-take performances” that allow me to speak with confidence and candor when I get in a room with people to discuss these sorts of things.

One take. One shot. Make it.

DON’T MAKE A TIKTOK

Lindsey Jordan (Snail Mail) talks to Monster Children about social media in the music world:

I think that anybody who is encouraging you to make a TikTok hit is probably brain dead. Don’t listen to them. Usually, those tactics don’t work. I’ve never done an actual ‘tactic’ and had it work.

There are people you didn’t reach yesterday because you didn’t display your art in a small gallery in Denver, CO, or play a set in a nightclub in Chicago last night, either.

They say not being on TikTok is a missed opportunity, but we miss opportunities every day because we are singular creative beings and have to do the dishes or cover a shift at work.

Sure, “everyone” is on TikTok right now, but everyone is at a club you’re not at, too. You’re not in a room with other creative people, working on a project with people you love.

There are missed opportunities, but maybe it’s time we were more selective about which ones we care about.

LESS POSTING, MORE MAKING COOL THINGS

Seth Godin recently posted ‘Two chicken jokes,’ which – pardon the pun – cracked something open for me.

“Conversations and interactions become more than rote performance precisely because we can create, seek out and relieve tension.

Instability into stability and back again.”

Forget clicks and viral hits; the foundation is conversations.

I’m part of Scott Perry’s ‘Creative on Purpose‘ group. On Mondays and Fridays, we have a 30-minute call with people from a range of professions, ages, and backgrounds.

A 30-minute Zoom call for work can usually be summed up as “this could have been an email,” while conversations with amazing people can break things open. They can change your life!

Conversations with friends led to Metal Bandcamp Gift Club, which helped sell thousands of albums.

I’ve been discussing starting a music gear flea market with a friend.

Another friend and I are having conversations about launching a zine.

Is there a guaranteed outcome? Will this new thing become my big break? NO ONE KNOWS, and that’s the wonderful dance between instability and stability.

Will this music gear flea market work? There’s a chance it might not go well!

Will we get this zine launched this year? MAYBE?!

At some point, we have to stop posting and start discussing.

MUSIC IS A BATTLEFIELD

So this happened today.

“Condé Nast is merging Pitchfork, the digital music publication it bought in 2015, with men’s magazine GQ — a move that will result in layoffs at Pitchfork, including the exit of editor-in-chief Puja Patel.”

As Ted Gioia wrote in response, “Put faith in the music, not the business.”

In the early 2000s we had music blogs, today we’ve got AI generated playlists.

Not sure how this gets any better.

ALSO:

“In 2017 Vulture called Spotify’s RapCaviar playlist “the most influential playlist in music.” Among other things, it’s credited for launching the career of Cardi B.

But as Ashley Carman reported at Bloomberg this month, even RapCaviar’s influence is now on the wane. The reason, of course, is artificial intelligence.”

From “How platforms killed Pitchfork