How Do You Put Yourself Out There When You’re Already Out There?

8 Feb

What does “put yourself out there” mean for artists? We make music, something supposedly so intimate and containing so much of ourselves, and we put it up on the internet hoping the public will come to it, so how could we put ourselves out there any more than that?

Music is one of the only products where you get to consume the whole thing before you buy it (by listening to it, not actually eating it).

And these days, in most cases, you may never have to pay for it. There’s plenty that’s free.

So to the artists who are putting themselves out there by putting music out there, I would suggest this: maybe it’s not enough.

Maybe you can’t be as anonymous as you could before.  Maybe the mysterious angle isn’t the best one to play.

If you want to get paid and find the people who will pay for the things you do, how do you do it when the medium you work in gives most of it away for free?

Which is why I think it’s not enough to just make songs and be anonymous.

It used to be artists had to tour to promote their album, and it still is that way for bands that tour. What if you don’t want to tour? What if it’s just too expensive or you just don’t want to ?

The reason touring works is that it you create a human connection with a whole group of people at one place quickly. You sell tickets to a show and connect with 100 people at once. You get to show some personality and spontaneity.

Basically going ‘out there’ means proving to people that you’re cool, that you’re a real person and not just a robot or a shut-in making songs.

How else do you create a connection with a whole group of people at once?

Ding-a-ling, if you said ‘On the internet,’ you’d be right…

And what is the internet without people?

All you need to do is know where to find the people. Your people.

But people are hard to find, and I’m guessing they’re not all in the same place at once. Finding people in spots all over the internet may be harder for you than selling tickets for a show that takes place in just one spot.

What if you took a bunch of additional steps, instead of just uploading your music and album pics?

I’m talking about the steps a lot of artists maybe still aren’t taking.

All the best ideas involve putting your self out there. You remove the mystery and show your real personality. That is what people respond most to these days.

That unfortunately is also what is scary. What if they don’t like you? What if they like your music but hate your personality?

So it’s a scary thing to do. Howver, I read this advice from pro blogger and community founder Emilie Wapnick about making her about me video, and it reminded me of how you actually do the scary shit!

Do it, put it out and forget about it

Here are some suggestions for what you could do to put yourself out there:

  • What if you held a live show over the internet for people? What would it look like?
  • What if you filmed yourself working on a song overnight and edited it together into a 1 minute video, to show people how you do it?
  • What if you invited fans onto Google Hangouts to talk?
  • What if you made lessons on how to use whatever complicated audio software you use to create the sound that your fans love?

What one new thing will do you today or tomorrow to make yourself more human to your fans?”


6 Responses to “How Do You Put Yourself Out There When You’re Already Out There?”

  1. Amit Amin February 9, 2013 at 1:14 pm #

    Good advice Josh. Not just for music, but for any creative endeavor.

    I’ve got this super revealing post that I want to release, but am struggling with precisely because I can’t just ignore it – there are comments and real-word responses I expect after it goes public. But as Emilie says, it’s the price of admission, so I’d better get over it.

    • Joshua Lundquist February 12, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

      Amit, yeah I hear you. Having seen your observations on your site, I do feel a bit curious to know more about you as a person, is it anything personal? Or is it just kind of controversial?

      Either way, not to regurgitate what I have heard, but I genuinely think that being vulnerable is a good idea because it’s just endearing. Like when you watch a film, you want to sympathize with the characters.

      Thanks for the comment!

  2. James H. February 10, 2013 at 9:30 am #

    I just started reading Seth Godin’s new book, The Icarus Deception, and it focuses on this exact topic. Let me recommend it to anyone with whom this post resonated.

    • Joshua Lundquist February 12, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

      Yeah, I just saw the video for that book.

      My favorite shot in the video is Seth Godin walking in slow motion. He looks like just a normal guy, but in slow motion.

      That’s something I can relate to.

      And yeah, the stuff he’s been saying on his site totally resonates with musicians and artists of all kinds, I think.

  3. Cassie February 14, 2013 at 1:11 am #

    Josh, really relate to this post. My “art” is writing instead of music, but as Amit says above, the message here can apply to any act of creativity.

    I, too, have felt like I can’t possibly be any more “out there” than I already am–I pretty much hold nothing back on my blog. Except…I actually do. When I think hard about it, there are things even more personal I can share that don’t make their way into posts–that’s where my newsletter comes in.

    Initially, I struggled to understand the value of a newsletter to a blogger who’s already so honest, but after writing just a couple, I get it now. And my subscribers are digging the honesty.

    People really respect authenticity, and that’s exactly the result of revealing the things you’re scared to admit you’re thinking or going through. Great post!

    • Joshua March 12, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

      Cassie –I just realized I hadn’t replied properly to this comment! Thanks for reading, and yes, after reading a few posts on your site I can definitely get a sense of your personality. You are for sure putting yourself out there.

      It’s a balance for sure between how personal you get while still including people who are reading, so yeah, the newsletter is a good place to dump all the very personal stuff.

      Email is more intimate anyway, people looking at it on their tiny screens, maybe lying down. It’s a good medium for the more personal things.

      Great comment!

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