Why social media marketing isn’t the answer for indie musicians

[This article was written by Eric Eckhart, an American indie singer-songwriter and producer based in Berlin, Germany.] 

I’ve been part of the DIY musical community for nearly 10 years, creating my own label, booking agency, PR team, being active in social media and speaking at conferences and writing blogs on how to survive and thrive as an independent musician.

But lately, I have been talking with colleagues about the approach we have been advocating over the years and I have come to some new conclusions.

The pressure to break through the noise as an independent musician has led many of us to allow our focus to be skewed.

While we were posting, tweeting and instagraming, being manager, publicity director and booking agent, maybe we should have been spending more time delving into the deepest part of our creative selves to reach for greatness.

Maybe spending the time and energy needed to be a modern DIY musician is not worth the loss of time being creative. Because no amount of social media activity can ever substitute for writing a great song.

The hard honest truth is this – the reason many of us have not had the breakthrough we desire is our songs haven’t been great enough. Not because we didn’t have the right social media approach.

I’ve made good music, sometimes even with a hint of possible greatness, but not enough great music. Getting yourself in that headspace and that soulspace to write a great song, and I mean a seriously great song, is no easy feat.

For DIY musicians like us to succeed, writing just good songs will never cut it. We have to be better. We have to write better, sing better, record better, play better and most importantly never stop reaching for the greatness that lives within us all.

We are meant to be the new pioneers of rock music. We are the underground, the undiscovered, the untamed. We are meant to reinvent, push boundaries and discover our true artistic selves and constantly explore deeper.

So, close that laptop, shut off the smartphone, find a quiet space and allow the time, the struggle and the possible heartbreaking amount of work needed to channel that magic that some of use will get to be a conduit for that brings inescapable musical beauty into the world.

I’m ready to be a channel for bringing great music into the world. If I can do that, I believe the rest will sort itself out.

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[Guitarist picture from Shutterstock.]