Social Networking is a new concept for me. About a year ago my friend, Jess Poshepny, insisted I get into it and work it hard. It just sounded like a lot of work to me, but I trust Jess, so I gave it a whirl.
The idea of social networking is an odd one to me. First, I have gained a whole bunch of “new friends,” but I hardly have met any of them face to face. Second, the process seems to work. I meet folks after a performance that have “friended” me on-line. My band, 45-90, is better known because of my social networking combined with my performances as a single act. I know that there are Luddites and naysayers who fear social networks, but in my not so humble opinion, the benefits well outweigh the risks.
The idea of efficient social networking, for me, is to maximize my contacts and minimize my efforts. This does not mean that I do less work, it means that what work I do is as effective as I can make it. It also means that I explore sites, try them out, see what they do, and eliminate those that don’t seem to deliver enough bang for the buck. Remember that musicians in the Indie Music Scene are not represented by the BIG LABELS. We represent ourselves. We create our own hype. We market our own songs. We do it all. We get damned tired, but we keep on keepin’ on. Sometimes I forget that I love to fly fish and that’s just plain wrong!
The sites that work best for me, that are actual social networking sites, are Facebook, MySpace, Linkedin, and this blog, on WordPress.com. The sites that are more for the marketing of my music are Musicxray, Reverbnation, Indie on the Move, and Sonic Bids.
Do not take these sites as my recommendation of what will work best for you, but give each of them a try and see how they fit your vision of how you want to do business in the Indie Music Scene. We are doing it our way, but there is a price to pay. All I am suggesting is to hold a little of energy back for an extra push. I know that I cannot write all day on social networking sites and still have time and energy left to write songs, so I am careful to choose the sites that require the least effort on my part, but still keep my name out in plain view.