Being a good composer is by far not enough anymore today. You can be as good as all famous composers from the last 50 years combined – it is worth nothing as long as you are not able to reach the right ears.
With this article I am just sharing some personal experiences, impressions and hints of which I think are important to be aware of!
Also please note that this article is taking care of the business site of your life … so we are definitely not heading for food pics!
Don’t be shy, but don’t tend to drop your pants!
Once you took a few minutes and roamed through all the major social network profiles, you notice how many famous producers, composers, bands and media people are really on there. It is definitely a LOT!
I would go that far and say that almost everyone who works in the industry got a profile going … and here we go, don’t be shy. Add those people to your network. Everytime I told people that I added composer X or producer Y on a social profile, they were kinda astonished and said something like: “You really added this guy on Facebook?” I always wondered what is so astonishing about that. I mean if those guys wouldn’t like to connect with people, they ever wouldn’t accept a “friendship” … and besides that, what should happen? If someone don’t wants to be your “friend” then it is still up to that person to ignore you, right?
In the end, you just have to see the advantage. See it as the butterfly theory, but definitely without being a theory on social media. One add might change your life and I am sure that a lot of people are out there to meet new people!
As you could see, I was writing words as friend and friendship in quotation marks. We hopefully all know what real friends are, right? Anyway, I will go into this a bit later when it comes to respect of that possibly famous person you added.
Post regularly, but don’t cause server overflow!
As it is in real life, it is also the case with social media sites. Once you disappear or tend to stay in the background, you more and more become the little grain of sand on the beach. Being a self employed composer the most important thing is to always be present and “there”. The music business is really a tough one and once you stop crawling against this stream, you will most likely drown, only to be forgotten.
To prevent this, try to post updates regulary. Always be aware that you have to have agreement to post about a project – otherwise you can get it heavy trouble. Once stuff is cleared out, post about what you are doing, what you are working on, what will be announced soon and so on. Also don’t hesitate to tease a bit. There is nothing wrong with a little bit of a dramatic “tomorrow, some huge announcement, stay tuned” update. One post a day or every two regarding your music is a good number to follow. However, I have seen really worse updates where one guy teased around, starting from a week back to countdown to a few seconds before. The following posted piece of music which he had written (for no special project) was so drastically reduced because of the enormous hype, that people started to ask, what the fuzz was all about.
But anyway, in case you don’t have anything sensemaking to update, be aware that you can always point to your demoreel. It is no mistake to post your demo reel on a regular basis. I would say that once every two or four weeks is definitely not a bad thing to do. People live in different timezones, while also the visiting time of your “friends” might differ and I also experienced that people showed even more interest in an update which I posted again a few hours later from the inital one. You can also point towards your updated bio, reworked front page or a track from the very old days you think it might be fun to show around
It also should be obvious to avoid status updates like: “I switched on my computer. Booting up” … (5 minutes later) … “Cubase loaded, let’s compose something awesome” … (3 minutes later) … “First chord down, hell that Cmaj strings chord sounds absolutely hyperawesome!”
There is no wrong time to post, but there is definitely a right one!
To be honest, I don’t have a clear observation or statistic available for that and it also differs throughout the seasons, but there is always kind of a right time to post stuff. In general you can analyze to post stuff on different times of your days and see where people react most. Do you get more “likes” in the afternoon or more response in the morning? It is worth finding out!
If you worked with a team, show respect!
Whenever you worked with a team or another composer, always keep one thing in mind, when announcing the project. Everyone else FIRST, finally YOU!
Believe it or not, but I really have seen a few of those announcements: “Me and my team … ” or “I am proud to announce that I and composer x and y”.
I am not sure how you see it, but to me it is an absolutely NO GO. To me it shows that someone just cares about him or herself. This is unrespectful, lets the other guys appear as not worth mentioning assistants. It should be avoided at all cost!
Be ballsy, but don’t be stupid!
Promoting yourself basically means to be able to make someone clear why he absolutely has to hire you as a composer and what you are able to do better than anyone else! Period!
To me it always feels a bit like bragging in a soft way while staying as natural as you are, but I always tell myself there is nothing wrong to show what you can do. Holding back can sometimes be a nice move, but in the end it is the best way to simply stay as you are. Don’t play a role, don’t be an actor, be the guy you are trying to sell! … on the other hand, don’t be stupid and think that you could get a job while leaving your phone number and a short line like: “If you ever need a cello player. Call me!” on the Facebook timeline of Hans Zimmer!
Friends is actually not friends
Obviously, if you add a long time friend you know for about 20 years, he is your friend for sure, but what I am talking about is, that you should be aware that this person you would like to get connected with on social media is certainly not instntly your friend. Meaning, you should still have respect and treat your new added “friend” with the same manners as a person you just met for the first time!
Imagine the following situation. You go out with a few business guys or friends and there is at least one guy always and constantly talking about work. Ask yourself! Is this lame or is this lame?
Back in the days when I was totally crazy about guitars and practicing like mad for 8-10 hours a day, I think I was a hell of an annoying guy when I was out with my friends, because on every possible moment I was constantly talking about music and guitars. Everywhere. Always!
I mean, if you are interested and passionate about something, it is absolutely comprehensible that one wants to share all kinds of things and knowledge and it can be absolutely interesting to a certain point, … but other guys have a life too! Even if those guys are all musicians, there should be a time you simply switch to something else.
So what do I want to say with this? On social media, think about being or representing a person, not just working updates. Even though if you do working updates regularly without hyping and causing server overflow, it is vital to also show who you are! Music is all about emotion and if I am checking out someones music, I also want to know the person behind it, which strengthens my feelings if this person is the right guy for the upcoming job. Think of working updates only, as a bio summary without the foto!
Please don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that you should post private stuff, but from time to time show what your hobbies are or what you are interested in. If you are into modeling art, people would surely appreciate seeing your new sculptures. If you are interested in cosmology I would be surely interested in having a good discussion with you! Be someone! Show what drives and inspires you!
I can tell from my own experience that I had the pleasure to get connected to a person I now work with, only because of a little discussion about some non music related topics!
In the end it is not just about your music, but about YOU, the composer!