I got back from Australia last week after an amazing 2 week journey on the 3 Wise Monkeys Tour with Ralph Murphy & Tom Jackson.
Along my journey I re-connected with artist and social media coach Rose Wintergreen, who guest tweeted my entire 6 hour presentation with gusto.
She and I got to chatting after the seminar and she gave me some great insights on her experience as an artist and coaching artists in Australia. So, here is my interview with her. I hope it gives you some insight into the state of marketing on the other side of the world.
In my observation – it’s global and equal no matter where you go. Rose’s most valuable advice?
It’s Psychological and starts small (oh and also many many artists cited Gotye as having an amazing newsletter – just goes to show you, even after global success it still counts deeply to create relevant, relate-able content by speaking directly to your fans).
Enjoy this article and visit Rose online at: www.rosewintergreen.com
Rose, tell us about yourself…
I’m a social media coach to creatives (musicians, writers, artists) and a self-managed singer-songwriter from Melbourne, Australia.
I’m obsessed with coffee and chocolate and the buzz that comes from helping people realise they have the skills and the power to create fantastic opportunities for themselves if they spend some time developing a strong social media presence and good marketing strategy.
What did you think of the 3 wise monkeys?
I really enjoyed it. There was an (unspoken) theme going on that’s really important and absent from a lot of music business events – an acknowledgment that a large part of success in songwriting, performing and self-promotion is psychological.
As important and helpful as they are, artists don’t just need tips and training about how to do things (there’s so much free information available now). They need real life opportunities to talk about and workshop practical ways to work through their fears with other artists.
1. In your opinion what is the thing Aussie artists struggle with most when it comes to general online promotion / & social media
Australia has an incredibly strong anti-bragging culture. It’s not cool to talk about how good you are, how good your work is, be seen to care strongly about anything, or to accept praise.
Many artists create great work but feel they have to be apologetic when they perform or present it. It means most artists are incredibly uncomfortable with promoting their work or talking about it on social media. It’s tricky to do it well and many are worried about coming across as arrogant try-hards.
2. Why have a vast majority of artists in Australia told me that they don’t like twitter? Why is Broni the exception and not the rule?
I think self-promotion of any kind is particularly tricky for Australian artists because of our culture, but Twitter feels scarier than Facebook for several reasons…
• Facebook (even if you’re talking about using a band page rather than a personal profile) feels smaller and friendlier, because we’re used to using it for staying in touch with friends and family.
• Twitter feels more public – like a bigger stage. Yes, there’s more opportunity if you put yourself out there, but it can also be more terrifying for people worrying about making mistakes or looking silly.
• For people who haven’t used Twitter for a while, some of the abbreviations, symbols and conventions can be daunting, whereas Facebook is just normal text, and is pretty intuitive.
3. Name 5 Aussie artists who have their social media strategy in tip top shape
Clare Bowditch, Sam Buckingham, Tom Dickins, Jen Cloher, Courtney Barnett.
4. Name 5 artists who’s newsletters are worth reading and should be modeled
Clare Bowditch, Sam Buckingham, Rosie Catalano, Gotye… to be honest, I’m having trouble coming up with a fifth one. I think Australian artists struggle with newsletters just as much (perhaps more so) than Twitter.
5. Do you think Facebook is an effective marketing platform?
Yes, it can be, but as for any marketing tool, it depends on what your goals are, and how you use it. Facebook isn’t going to help you get more people to your shows or listening to your music if you only post an update once every few months and it’s always about you and your music.
Facebook was designed for people to be able to be social – so be social – don’t talk about yourself all the time. What about other people who are inspiring you? What about asking your fans about themselves?
6. What’s the one Q you get asked the most?
Won’t people think I’m full of myself if I do this (start sending a regular email newsletter, posting daily on my Facebook band page, tweet multiple times a day)? Why would they want to hear from me so much?
Answer – they won’t if you do it sensitively and effectively. They don’t read everything at all times of day, so you need to communicate on multiple channels to make it easy for them. They want to hear from you because they like your music and they want to know more about where it comes from.
7. What’s the best platform to use to market yourself?
It depends on your goals, your interests and where your fans (or potential fans) spend their time.
Effective marketing is never about a single platform – it’s about having clear goals, a strategy, and using multiple marketing platforms (online and offline) together to reach those goals.
Generally, for Australian musicians right now I recommend at a minimum:
• Your own website (owned by you)
• A regular email newsletter
• Facebook band page
8. If an artist wants to export (go international) what are the social media steps to take?
Get your social media and marketing materials as organised and vibrant as artists who are already exporting internationally.
Build relationships with Australian artists who are already exporting internationally, artists from other countries you’d love to play shows with, and the arts funding bodies that could help you get there – like Sounds Australia.
Be helpful to international artists wanting to travel and play Australia!
Have questions? Ask people who have done it before! There’s nothing stopping you from tweeting/Facebook messaging/emailing and/or Skyping other artists to ask about their experiences and tips. It’s how magic happens.
9. What else would you like to say? Final parting words?
If you’re still freaked out about using social media, start small.
Start with one thing, watch what other people are doing – people who seem to be doing it well… Subscribe to other artists’ email newsletters and YouTube channels, follow them on Twitter and like them on Facebook. What do you like about what they’re doing? Try it out for your own social media.
Need help putting together your strategy? I’m available for face to face coaching sessions in Melbourne or Skype sessions if you’re elsewhere, or if you’re really pushed for time, hire Ariel and her team to do some of it for you.
Remember, you’re not alone! Lots of other artists are doing this too. Pursue opportunities where you can meet other artists and talk about this stuff – there are lots of free events run by APRA and the music associations in each state (e.g. Music Victoria, Music NSW etc.). It will be good for your social media, and for your spirit!
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