The number one way to post on social media every day--without ditching the practice room!
One of the most common myths about marketing that I hear from musicians and creative people is that marketing takes up TOO MUCH TIME. They don’t want to be glued to their phones because HELLO, there’s too much practicing to do!! Well I’m here today to share with you the number one way to post on social media EVERY SINGLE DAY—without ditching the practice room.
You may not know this about me, but I’m a full-time Professor at a Conservatory of Music, and I teach every single music major that enters the building about technology, branding, and marketing. And I’d say probably 99% of them -- this isn’t an exact number, but it’s safe to say that MOST of them—think they don’t have time to be on social media every single day, strategizing and promoting their music.
And I have to tell you. That’s just not true.
First of all, I want to talk about your mindset around marketing. Look, I get it—we’re not robots. We’re not machines. I’m not advocating for a perfect strategy where every waking moment is spent in an optimal way, and you never waste one moment on things that don’t matter. But ask yourself this: Do you have an hour a week to devote to the business side of your career as a musician? Two hours a week? Half a day? An entire day?
I have a friend who is a freelance voice teacher and songwriter, and I remember her mentioning that every Friday she spent the day on business-related tasks. Emails, networking, pitching, submitting to contests & press releases, booking, marketing. I think that’s so smart. Why? Because business is a huge part of your career. You are in the business of music. It’s not all about the creating—some things need to be managed and planned and executed. She’s a full-time musician and she’s had some amazing opportunities and recognitions in her career so far. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that she is able to achieve these milestones when she has such an open-minded perspective towards focusing on business-related tasks.
So it’s important to shift that mindset around what business means to your career. It’s important to shift that mindset around what social media means, specifically. Away from the “social media is a necessary evil” mindset. That mindset of, oh, I would rather talk face-to-face. I don’t like putting on a persona. I don’t like to be flashy. I don’t want to be fake. I’d rather just audition, get a job, perform, and move on to the next one.
Because that mindset isn’t going to get you very far.
Sure, meeting face-to-face might feel better for you, but let me ask you this: How would it feel if you could find a community of fans—your TRIBE, your PEOPLE—people who GET YOU—in a digital setting, too? Would the connection you make with those people really feel that much worse than the connection you make with the crowd standing in front of the stage during a performance?
And what about that mindset that social media is about putting on a persona, being fake or flashy just to get noticed? That’s not going to work, either. It’s like when you were in school, and you saw all those popular kids socializing without you. Well, if you maybe changed your clothing, or added some new vocab into your usual speaking patterns, maybe they would be your friend too, right? Do you think that would last very long?
I think the plot of Mean Girls will tell you the answer.
And I could be wrong, and maybe I’m speaking for my experience at my own school here, but I don’t think those popular kids’ friendships or relationships were as deep as the ones I had with my smaller group. Because we were all our true selves with each other, and THAT’S why we were friends. There was a real connection.
So we need to shift away from that “business is a necessary evil” mindset.
Instead, we need to move towards a different mindset: “Business is what gets me my work, and I get to play music! And that is AWESOME!!!!” Because that’s the truth!
Sending emails might feel boring, but what does it get you? Opportunities to play your music.
Creating a marketing plan might feel time consuming, but what does it get you? Opportunities to share your music.
Reaching out and engaging with potential fans might feel tedious, but what does it get you? More ears on your music.
I want to share some of my methods for increasing efficiency and avoiding the time-wasting that is often had with social media, but first I just want to make sure that I dispel all of that negative self-talk. The mindset shift is huge. It’s not narcissistic to promote your music. It’s not fake to add a call to action on your posts. It’s not impersonal to make connections online. But how can we be more efficient with our marketing strategy? Let’s talk about batchwork.
Planning out your social media content ahead of time is the BEST way to make it less overwhelming and more consistent. My favorite tool for planning my social media posts is Planoly. It’s a free tool, but I use the $9/month plan because it allows you to have unlimited posts in your queue, and allows you to auto-post to Facebook as well as Instagram. It’s well worth the money, in my book. If you already have pictures or videos to go with the posts, you can upload them directly. If not, click on the Placeholder option so Planoly can put in a blank space for your future photo. You can do this for a whole week's worth of content at once, or even two weeks, or even THE ENTIRE MONTH!
When you get in the zone, this planning is going to take you no more than an hour.
If you’re not sure where to start with what to write for your content and batchwork, I have a free solution for you. Click here to download my 30 day content calendar for the professional musician. It’s full of story ideas to get your mind thinking about possible posts. You can use some of it, or all of it, or just use it to kick off a great brainstorming session.
I hope this shifts your mindset away from that negativity and towards a positive perspective of marketing. Let me know how you are feeling in an Instagram story -- make sure you tag @megankuhar so I can see your response.
Pssst… You can listen to this in podcast form here: