Here is CyberPR maven Ariel Hyatt at the recent MIDEM conference in France talking about using “social media” if you’re trying to build a ‘sustainable creative enterprise’ on and/or off line:
Mostly, what Ariel is talking about is the familiar, “use Facebook and Twitter to grow your fanbase…” But the bigger lesson here is “we show artists how to be engaging.” Translation: it’s not enough that you’re a performing musician with great songs, a great stage presence, and table full of desirable merchandise: you might need to dig in a little and open up about other aspects of your existence — as opposed to standing across the proscenium and hiding behind your “art.”
While speaking specifically to complexities of all these Internet “tools,” Ariel provides the essential agreement of the secret sauce. Citing the example of a band that used Twitter to land tour sponsorship from the Sonic Drive-In chain, she says
Leverage the truth and make it an asset… Take something you are passionate about – even if it’s silly, like ice cream – and make it part of the experience with your fans….”
As Ariel infers, the fading broadcast media paradigm conditions
artists…to think in ‘macro’ numbers. You don’t need millions to create a life for yourself, you just need hundreds… like a thousand true fans.
Share a tiny bit about what you like and what you do. It may seem stupid in an isolated event — like ‘I like Sonic ice cream’ — but the result was huge.
In the networked ecosystem, your “business” has to be about more than just your “art.” Maybe Bela Fleck said it best: “You gotta figure out what you want to teach everybody.”