Seems to me like the modern day business world runs on marketing (aside of money of course).
Today it doesn’t matter how good you or your product is, if it isn’t marketed properly, 95% of the time it will fail. The idea that we have to ‘smoke screen’ everything really makes me feel a little torn. As an artist, I want to keep a level of 100% integrity with my creations and what I’m pushing out to my fans. I want to show real-life: the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, however everywhere around me I’m made to understand that things need to look a certain way in order to achieve a certain level of success.
Gosh! I absolutely hate doing the sales pitch for myself to others. Not because I’m not confident about my talent and my products but simply because I have been brought up to be humble and modest. “Ladies are supposed to be humble and modest”. It has been in-grained in me since childhood. But here I am trying to make it as an artists and I am being advised to throw shyness, modesty and humility out the window to a degree.
Lets look at Social Media, for example. I have been interacting on Facebook for about 8 years or so now. Just going about my way, posting interesting things that have happened in my day on a personal level and interacting with others as friends. A little while ago, I had to adjust my thinking to be able to use social media as a business tool to generate a following for myself — because, well, that’s what you do now! So up came all my fan pages and business pages and events etc… Now all of a sudden, before I posted something, I had to think about my objective for posting, did the status or image portray the right kind of look for me? Is it the right filter? Is it consistent with the image of myself that I’m trying to portray? How much (organic) reach am I getting? how many likes, views, comments, follows….? It’s almost a full time job! But is this really the key to success? Does your following online as a personality really measure your worth in the business world and real world? What happens to those of us who don’t want to ‘smoke screen’ and ‘butter up’ the fans with illusions of the perfect life?
It’s a little frustrating that when I’m putting myself forward for a gig or contract opportunity, I get asked how many follows on Instagram I have. It’s not like those people are going to get on a plane and come out to see my private hotel gig? But alas, it is the way it is at the moment. So I’ve taken the time to educate myself a little more about marketing and social media marketing…. its all a bit of wank really, sometimes I think about social media like the popular and unpopular group of high school. It’s upsetting to see people who get further in life just based on good marketing abilities and being able to trick people into thinking that they are something they’re not. And on the other side of that, enormously talented individuals who are denied opportunity because they do not fit the mould or do not look the part. Are we really that blinded by ‘shiny things’ that we dismiss talent for beauty and fake people?
All I can really do is continue my marketing venture, keep collecting real people, sell myself well and when it comes to delivering the goods – nail it. For when the smoke clears you got to have the skills to keep yourself on that pedestal 🙂