Those who have followed my career know the paths I have taken. I started as a poet and then dabbed into spoken word and theatre. Afterwards, I became a digital journalist focusing on culture, independent art and social media. I am also an art reviewer, and social media blogger and teacher.
After more than seven years in the business — and seven books — I can safely say that I know the indie world quite well. I can also hold my own when it comes to branding, marketing and self-promotion.
I am acquainted with some of the best indie artists and bands in North America, including Natalie Brown, Tantra-zawadi, Wordsmith / Strada (who are represented by Jerry Doby, the owner of this blog), and WHY. I have interviewed them, reviewed their work, and have had the opportunity to observe them at length.
Why am I mentioning these people? Because they have paid their dues, worked hard and learnt to promote themselves without being pushy. They are also humble and have a deep respect for their audiences. Unfortunately, they only make up a minority of the indie community.
In the last two years, I have been approached by over 300 artists in need of promotion. I have also taken a look at the Twitter accounts of many indies who have never contacted me but have followed me.
Honestly, I need to get something off my chest. Independent artists have to learn social media manners.
I have stated it bluntly in quite a few articles on my blog, Creative Ramblings, but I will repeat it here: It is not because you have an ounce of talent that the world owes you anything. Approaching people randomly to sell them something before even connecting with them is just as bad as what marketers do when they bother us at dinner time with their special offers over the phone.
To help you understand what I mean, here is something that happened to me a few weeks ago on Twitter.
The mistakes this indie made are quite obvious. I highlight them in my replies, so I won’t expound on them.
To be successful as an independent artist, you need to think and act like an entrepreneur — because you are one. This entails:
- Educating yourself on branding and marketing
- Finding the right audience for your creations
- Gaining your audience’s trust by building genuine relationships
- Observing how successful indies in your field leverage social media
- Learning the importance of professionalism
- Not undervaluing your worth
Also, please, kill the swagger and over-inflated words. No one cares if you are the greatest undiscovered artist of this generation, just because you say so. Stop talking. Let your audience speak for you, instead. Let it be the judge of your awesomeness.
People want to experience emotions through your music, books, paintings, sculptures, etc. They will not buy your products because you tell them to. They will buy them because they relate to your work and your story, and know you care about them. Audiences want to be entertained, not bothered.
Independent artists need to learn to respect their followers, instead of spending their time complaining about the lack of support they receive. They need to stop behaving like amateurs to avoid putting people off.
It is really not that hard. It is all about doing your due diligence and changing your attitude.
About the Author:
Cendrine Marrouat is a journalist, reviewer, blogger and author located in Canada. She is also the founder of Creative Ramblings, a social media blog focusing on entrepreneurs and small businesses, and teaches classes on social media 101. Her latest release, “The Little Big eBook on Blogging: 40 Traffic Generation Tips,” is a comprehensive resource that provides bloggers of all levels with essential information and precise guidance to attract quality traffic to their blogs.
- Stop the begging | Creative Ramblings – A Blog by Cendrine Marrouat (theurbanlink.net)
- Guest Post: 5 Tips to Build a Loyal Audience with Your Blog (jdobypr.wordpress.com)
- Branding is about the WOW factor (creativeramblings.com)
- PGP-How Many Hats Do Independent Artists Have To Wear? (pluginin.org)
- Infographics: Pros and cons of social media in education (creativeramblings.com)