Published on January 19th, 2012 | by Hugh Hession2
Getting the edge by staying on top of your social networks and emails
As I’m working today, I’m reminded about how important it is for you as a music artist to stay on top of your emails, social networks and other types of correspondence that relate to your music career.
If you read Making it in Music on a frequent basis, you know that I’m all about giving tips and bits of nuggets to improve your game and get one up on the other person. Randomness does nothing but place you in the pack of a whole lot of others who practice the same thing, while wondering why they aren’t getting closer to their “goal.” Don’t know about you, but last time I checked, random and goal are not even close to being related. They don’t even pass as distant cousins.
So before going further, know that I have nothing but love for you all! I appreciate every single one of you who take the time out to stop by. Because of this love, I’m going to be candid, for those same reasons we all rebelled against our parents in their time of nagging (definition: wisdom) and in our time of well…thinking we had it all figured out. Didn’t you hate it when they were right?
Keeping up with your social networks
Can you honestly say you stay on top of your social networks as you should? On a daily basis, you should block off a time to answer any messages and email that relate to the sites you are promoting yourself on. It sounds like such a simple task, doesn’t it? The problem, is that a good many music artists fail to do this important part of their daily activities. The result, is that you continually create a disconnect with the very people that enable you to exist – your fans!
Of course, you can utilize your smartphones. That is a given, particularly for Twitter and Facebook, but there are many messages that require more typing and thought. It’s easy to forget these kind of messages throughout the day. That is why it’s necessary to always make a habit to check all your correspondence through an actual computer at one time, regardless of your mobile activity. That way, you don’t miss anything.
Perception and follow-up
We all know that perception is everything, regardless of how good your “intentions” may be. If you’re perceived as someone who is aloof and unreliable, that becomes reality. This is not the way you want to present yourself, particularly to those in the music industry who reach out, but you don’t reciprocate. That seems like madness, but in reality, it happens all the time, simply because music artists aren’t taking care of their business.
The other day I was talking to a guy from a large entertainment company who mentioned how crazy it is that music artists and bands don’t respond to opportunities because they just aren’t on top of it, or they have incorrect/insufficient contact information.
Slap your contact info on everything!
Speaking of contact info. Your contact information should be EVERYWHERE. It baffles me when I’m trying to connect with an artist and you have to jump through hoops and Google searches to find a valid email address. What’s up with wanting to be incognito? Gene Simmons would spank you.
Proper contact info on CD submissions is a given. This rule has been out there for eternity and every music professional I know has said it over and over again. Don’t miss a spot! On the CD, the jewel case and on cover letters. You can never put it in too many places.
Something else to consider. Make sure your contact information is on your Facebook fan page. I don’t understand why so many artists choose not to do this. Often, industry people don’t want to post on the page, but rather get with you through email or messaging. Make it easy for them.
Lastly, be consistent about the email addresses you use on each social network and update them as needed. That way, there will never be an issue with bad email addresses which can lead to missed opportunities.
Using social network apps to simplify
There are a great many apps and programs to simplify your social network promotions by integrating all or some your social networks into one place. One of the most popular is Hootsuite, which integrates Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Ping.fm and others, so you don’t have to individually go to each application. Saves a ton of time. Tweetdeck is another, which enables you to see your popular social networks operating in real-time, all on one page. I recommend you utilize these and other apps/programs out there to simplify what you do.
The solution to your email dysfunction
Most email clients both online and off, have a filtering system and the ability to integrate multiple email addresses. If you really want to stop pulling out your hair, create an email address for each function of your band (booking, PR, whatever). Then, make a folder for each address. When you’ve completed this, go ahead and setup filtering rules for each email address so all correspondence relating to each specific email address will automatically filter into its own folder. The only thing you have to do, is make sure that you check each folder, at least once a day. This will reduce the level of chaos you may be experiencing. Of course, the goal is to create a team (publicist, manager, booking agent) who would be responsible for their own correspondence on behalf of you.
Hopefully, this sparked some realization about how you handle your correspondence, which plays a major role in the success of any business. Take control of yours and I guarantee you that by doing this, you’ve gained a considerable edge over those who shrug it off.