Our social media pages are aspirational, reflections of the lives we want rather than the lives we have.
When it comes to our personal profiles, we often hear how this subtle deception is harmful in our online lives. We cultivate an online persona of our best smiles, most exotic meals, and most stylish selfies to make a stellar impression after we first accept that new friend request. Then browsing our Facebook news feed becomes a source of anxiety because seeing other people’s posts about new jobs, beautiful weddings, fun trips, and cute kids makes us feel like we’re sitting in our pajamas eating leftover pizza by comparison. What we forget is that another’s profile doesn’t reflect reality— it’s simply a highlight reel, and we don’t see the day-to-day of what that person’s life is really like. [See the study referenced in this 99U article.]
But does how does this concept apply to our artist pages? Can we use this familiar process of creating a specific online identity to discover what’s important to us as artists?
When you’re first starting out, it can be a little intimidating to ask people to think your art is important. You might find yourself begging friends in a small squeaky voice full of “could yous” and “pleases” to listen to your music. Or maybe you just try to come off as nice and harmless as possible so you stay likable and don’t step on toes. This posting approach isn’t doing you any favors. You might make fewer enemies this way, but you won’t make yourself memorable either.
The key is simple. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that your art is valuable. Then go and be the person you want to be online.
If you had 10k, 100k, or a million more fans, what opinions would you share in your blog? What causes would you support? What quirky jokes would you make?
Would you post photos of yourself with fans after a concert? Would you reveal the album artwork before its release because you’re simply that excited about it? Would you personally respond to a fan’s comments because it might make that person’s day?
Think of your online profiles as aspirational. I’m not saying to claim you’re going on arena tours, develop a diva attitude, or buy fake fans for yourself to make yourself look bigger. But you don’t have let the fact that only three people bought your last album hold you back from saying what you want to say.
You’re never too small to have a point of view or to give your art the focus it deserves. Act like you’re worth listening to and people will listen.
Use your online profiles as a space to be the artist you want to be.