Today we’re talking about social media.
This is a little tricky because I’m pretty sure you found this blog post because of social media. So I understand that the question, “Do I need to be on social media to ‘make it’?” is a little meta (pun intended…) I am on the receiving end of this question a lot. I usually get this question when I’m talking to younger groups of people at the outset of their careers. Often, their professors know about me and my work because of social media. With that in mind, they’ll prompt me, “Megan, Megan, tell them, tell them they need to be on Twitter.” I can’t lie, Twitter has probably been my favorite social media platform for a long time. Plus, Twitter has been a remarkable tool in my own professionally creative life. And yet, I don’t know if it’s for everybody. Especially after the last few years, I can hardly recommend that every student have a Twitter account.
I don’t know if Facebook is for you either. In fact, I don’t know if Instagram, or TikTok, or whatever you wanna be on is for you. I do know what the tools are and how we want to make use of them. So what I want to discuss with students, professors, clients, you, me, and Jesus is how to make the most of the tools that we have access to at any given time.
Do you need to be on social media to “make it” as a performer, or a composer, or as an artist? Short answer: No. But, I’ll quickly add a caveat to state that if you’re not gonna use these tools, then I really want you to be aware of what they do so that you can replicate it in your own way.
Your 29 Days to Diva – Day 6 Assignment: Choose your social media platforms
So what does social media do? Social media is a content delivery tool. It is a communications tool. It also allows people to participate in social networking. Social media is one type of communications tool which allows me to share information about what I’m doing, what I’m about, who I am, and what I like to do with other people so that we can consistently bond over shared interests, shared values, and shared activities.
When I say, “choose your social media platforms”, the answer can be absolutely be, “none, thank you.” If you don’t want to keep up a social media presence, then I simply encourage you to find other ways to connect the information about you with the people with whom you want to bond.
Pick platforms that feel easy-to-use and provide a return on investment.
One of the most important things is to take a look at social media and understand which platforms are easy and provide some sort of return for you. I would never suggest that you join a platform just because somebody else had success with it. If you are interested in a platform, then join it. Check it out for a little while and see if it’s a good fit for you. If it feels easy to create content on that platform and connect with other people who are in your audience/field, then that platform is likely a good fit. Just because there are a lot of people joining X, Y, Z platform does not mean that you necessarily need to be there to make it.
Remember that communications should help you toward your end goal. Simply communicating is not usually the end goal in itself. As you’re thinking about this, I want you to think about what it is that you do and who you want to connect it with.
Ask yourself, “who is my ideal audience here? Who are my ideal clients?” When most people start asking themselves how they can connect with their ideal audience, they immediately think social media. Inevitable. I have to use this. There’s no other opportunity for me to do that. That makes sense because it’s technically “free”, it’s generally easy to use, and there are millions upon millions of people scrolling at every hour of every day.
But, social media hasn’t existed for the same amount of time that humankind has had composers, okay? Social media hasn’t existed for the entire time that humans have had singing careers, music careers, art careers, or writing careers. You do not need to have it to necessarily make those things happen. It is a tool that you can use to further your process.
Determine which platform helps you attracts your ideal client/collaborator.
One of the reasons creative types rely on social media so much is that we’re often in a personal brand type of businesses. The people who know you are going to buy from you. People in your community are getting a sense of what you do, what your skills are, and how you differentiate yourself from the field from the content you post. When I share posts that show that I’m really committed to singing completely new works for the voice, I love working with composers, and I love to create the performance practice around a piece and see it live beyond me – my community understands that’s what I’m about. The people who are my ideal audience, my ideal client, are attracted to me because they’ve ingested that information.
After that, you’re ready to ask yourself, “Where do people who buy the thing that I sell show up regularly? How do I connect with them? How do I make sure that my offers, the things that I do, the things that I get paid for, my unique value is in front of them in a way that they can make a decision on it?”
Social media can be an incredible tool. It can also be incredibly detrimental, and we have to navigate that as people. So if it is not for you, it is not for you. And there is no shame in that.
Final prompts for choosing your social media platform:
- It’s easiest for me to create, batch, and schedule content for this platform:
- My community tends to spend time and connect with each other on this platform:
- It’s easiest for me to connect with long-time and new friends/colleagues on this platform:
- It’s easy for me to search for topics I’m interested in on this platform: