Artists CAN Succeed Without Social Media
Updated: Mar 17
My name is WOAHDANIEL. I'm an Independent Artist from a small and rural area. If you know anything about small towns, you know that there's not a lot to do. The population is little over 1000 people. On top of having nothing to do and no one new to meet, there's almost no creative outlet here, especially for musicians.
Coming from a small town, Independent Artists like myself naturally find themselves looking for ways to promote their craft online.
When you search "how to promote your music" you're gonna find endless videos of people telling you to hop on every Social Media platform. "You HAVE to be on TikTok" "Why aren't you on Instagram?" "You can't make it without Facebook". I tried that the last 2 years with no success. Not that those influencers are wrong, and not that those apps don't work either, maybe I'm just not good at it? I know that if I did it "like I'm supposed to" I would get a lot of followers. However, I recently decided to stop promoting myself on Social Media. I deactivated Snapchat, TikTok, Facebook and I'm in the process of deleting Instagram. Most of my audience is on Instagram, I'll be slowly send them over to my YouTube Channel.
There's a lot of people on social platforms, but that isn't the only way to connect.
Take this blog post for example. You're here right now reading it. In a different way, you're stumbling upon my content. I now have the opportunity to share with you who I am while helping you learn something. People are all over the internet, and I personally believe more and more people are looking for online interaction outside of harmful apps like Facebook and Instagram. I don't need to be the one to explain to you the effects of such apps on your mental health, do I? Not to mention, there's a huge pressure to be like everyone you see on those platforms.
Social Media could actually be holding you back from success, and here's how.
After spending years scrolling through endless posts, you can develop a sense of pressure to please the algorithm. You may find yourself posting things you don't even want to post. You may also find yourself being somebody you're not, which consequently leads to you not being the Artist you're meant to be. Who else would you rather be? You can't be anyone else. Trying to be someone else is lame! You're the coolest person you can ever be. I believe you have a much higher chance at success if you do what you actually want to do. Say what you really want to say. Not everyone, but the right people will relate to you way more, and the ones that do will also respect you more. Do the things that you dreamed about doing. Your dream isn't to get a lot of followers is it? If it is, you may want to re-evaluate your priorities.
You might actually be more Creative without Social Media.
Let me rephrase, you may actually tap into more of the creativity that's already inside of you. Maybe spending hours scrolling through social media in the name of "I'm only on Social Media to promote my music" is distracting you from the amazingly unique ideas in your very own brain and heart. You could spend endless hours watching "how to promote your music" videos and listening to gurus on social media, while the ideas that you're looking for could actually be inside of you the whole time. I can attest to this. I quit social media and stated this blog, and I'm now more focused on my content. I'm discovering new and remembering old unique ideas I have. They may or may not go viral, but it's what I want to do. I do it with purpose, and people can see if you're doing it with purpose or not. Artists with lots of followers aren't impressive, it doesn't matter who you are. If you're not doing it with purpose, I'm gonna tune my ears into someone who is. I wanna hear about all the crazy ideas that Independent Artists have. Fitting the mold is boring! Stand out and be weird! More importantly, be you! Also, don't expect immediate results. It'll be way worth it if you take your time. Maybe things will go faster than you thought they could!
How can you promote your music without Social Media?
For different reasons, Independent Artists are starting to search for new ways to promote all their hard work without Social Media. Down below you can find some methods that you can use or to spark up your own ideas.
1) Start a Blog (A)
I mentioned earlier, one way to get discovered is starting a blog. Your blog doesn't need to be formal, nor fit any sort of theme. You can blog about whatever you'd like! There's no limit to what you can write. You can dive really deep into what you want to say and carefully present it how you want it to be presented. Not to mention, it's very therapeutic. I personally just discovered blogging and I'm really enjoying it. Blogs are discoverable too. You can post blogs that are searchable, talking about stuff that can be easily searched in Google or other search engines.. There's also room for you to blog about whatever you'd like. Once people find your blog and subscribe to you through your website or anywhere you host your blog, they'll be likely to read into all your content. If you think people aren't reading blogs, just look at yourself right now!
Build a Website (B)
There's nothing like owning your own domain. You can utilize your site in various ways. You can take EYEZOPENAUDIO.COM for example. I ditched my LinkTree page and decided to build my own Link Page on here. I host my blog, sell my merch, and added a mailing list. You can even watch me live stream on Twitch from the home page! You can build your own video game, post exclusive video content, build your own music player, and sell almost any product. There's still so much more you can do than that. Building a website can be free, but if you really want to stand out, then you'll need to invest. Not only will you have your own domain, but you'll be taken more seriously since you're investing in yourself.
2) Create video content on other platforms
YouTube can be classified as Social Media, but I think it's a little different. YouTube is a platform where longer-form content can shine better. You spend more time and put more work into what you create on YouTube. Not to mention, their new "Shorts" feature can be really handy. It's a great way to post your short-form content. The stuff that you can quickly digest and move on. Clips from your long videos would be a perfect example. Maybe someone won't stumble upon your Skate Vlog, but they might see you doing a kickflip on YouTube Shorts. You see what I mean? Patreon is a viable option, although I haven't started one. Here's a neat one. a decentralized video platform called THETA.tv. THETA seems to be more of a streaming platform, but IRL videos seem to be doing great on there as well. There's so many other video platforms, I couldn't name them all.
3) Tell people that you know!
This is obvious but it's almost the most overlooked method in today's time! While everyone's trying to grab your attention through a screen, nothing beats a face-to-face connection. In-person interaction is so valuable in today's time, and it's not something to take lightly in these times either. Co-workers can be the best people to promote to. They relate to you cuz they work at the same job as you! School is a great place to meet people as well. You can also meet people at gatherings like concerts, bars & clubs, events, tournaments, conferences, skate parks, festivals, you name it. You have the opportunity to show what you're all about! Try not to be that guy though. You can tell when someone's just trying to build themselves up off you. You'll get a chance to share your craft. In fact, you're doing it right if they find out who you are without you having to say anything! That would mean you're really doing something. Getting people to talk about you nowadays with millions of influencers trying to grasp their attention 24/7 is an accomplishment. It may take more practice, and it also requires you to know who you are and what you stand for (a whole other topic in itself), but it can be very rewarding in multiple ways.
4) Live Events
Okay some of you may think "duh dude" lol, but here me out. Hosting your own event can be tricky nowadays in-person with everything going on, but it's not impossible. At certain places, you'll have to comply with regulations depending on where you are and what you're doing. The good news is, all of that is optional since you're Independent. Live Events don't always have to be Concerts, you rapping up on a stage or singing a song. Maybe you have other passions that you've always wanted to pursue. You can host a skateboard competition, a gaming tournament, a party, anything you can think of! People may be more likely to participate. Live Events don't have to be in-person either. There's so many ways to have a Live Event online. Gaming tournaments can be online, Live Performances, a gathering in virtual worlds, Giveaways, and Raffles. Prizes can include your merch, NFT's, sample packs, physical art, physical records, cash & crypto, personal meet-ups, a live chat, you name it. Live Events create a personal and memorable way to connect with your supporters.
5) Get featured on blogs, videos, podcasts, live streams, radio, and playlists.
This will be the most effective ways to get discovered without operating a presence on social media. To do most of the suggested ideas, it's highly recommended by many professionals to create your own EPK (Electronic Press Kit). Most professional curators will require one, and not to mention if you send your EPK with your submissions and present it in a chill way, then you're gonna look like you take yourself seriously, as you should. Spending time typing targeted emails can really pay off for you. You'll be more likely to get a "yes" out of a radio host to play your music on air than if you never asked. You'll have no chance if you don't try. Maybe your friend hosts a podcast or live stream? Maybe you've found a way to contact a playlist curator for a popular Lofi Beats Playlist? The great thing about all this is, you're an Independent Artist, so you're naturally creative already. Your creativity isn't just for the art, you're able to tap into it and utilize it in everything you do, including "marketing".
It's time to start putting in the work and get yourself heard.
Take your time with all of this. It's a day by day, step by step journey. Don't be in a rush to get to the other side. You won't get there until you move here. Live out who you want to be, right now. What does that version of you need to do in order to move forward? It'll be hard to figure out if you're consumed by Social Media content. So maybe that's why you're reading this blog? Maybe you've realized that you're meant for more than just a quick 15 second trend. You're meant for more than 15 minutes of fame. There can be other things way more valuable to you than fame. The genuine connections you build will always be priceless. They will help you keep taking steps forward in your career as an Independent Artist and in your life.
-Written by WOAHDANIEL