3 Steps to Effectively Grow Your Online Presence

*This post contains affiliate links.*

Ever feel like you're being asked to do too much? As a musician or artist, you may hate social media for taking up time that could be spent creating. It may seem like a necessary evil, but social media doesn't have to take up a huge portion of your free time in order to be effective. The idea is to work smarter, not harder. In this article, I'll share with you 3 easy steps for effectively growing your online presence, without wasting your time. Let's get started!

 Fast-forward your social media accounts to a more thriving community!

Fast-forward your social media accounts to a more thriving community!

Step 1: Choose Wisely

You don't need to run 5 social media platforms to have an effective online presence. In fact, you can stick to just one or two. Focusing your energy on Facebook is a great place to start; whichever platform you choose, the key is to make sure it's used really well. If you're sticking with Facebook, check out my 3 Facebook Tips for Bands article, which will help you think about how to effectively craft a post that creates engagement. 

Another important tip for Facebook is to make sure you are inviting your friends to like your Page. Don't be shy--spread awareness for your creative project! Your target audience more than likely overlaps with your friend group, and it just may be that they aren't seeing what you post on your Page. Facebook's algorithms can be tricky to beat, so I always make sure to invite my friends to like my Facebook Page so that they know it exists. Facebook won't let you invite someone more than once, so you don't have to worry about spamming them; a gentle nudge in the direction of your Page might be all they need to click that Like button. The easiest way to invite your friends to like your page is to click on the "Invite Your Friends to Like This Page" link on the right-hand sidebar of your Facebook Page.

 You can't spam your friends by inviting them to like your page -- Facebook only allows you to do this once per friend!

You can't spam your friends by inviting them to like your page -- Facebook only allows you to do this once per friend!

Step 2: Remember Your Purpose

It may sound like an existential piece of advice, but what I mean by "Remember Your Purpose" is to realize that your social media account has a point, and it's not just to post about what you're up to. Your social media posts should always lead your audience to your product. In other words, social media isn't just for sharing stories and information; it's for sharing stories and information that hopefully lead to sales of your music/art, or to devoted fans who will attend your shows or share your creative project with their friends

Is your post worth a re-share? If not, there's no point in posting it. Your social media posts should always invoke participation either through liking, commenting, or sharing, and they should always promote your work. What does that mean? It's the difference between these two posts:

 What is the point of this post? What would cause someone to want to share this?

In the first example, I just updated a status that was neither informative nor interesting. Letting people know I am working on recording something is like telling them I own a business. Yes. We all know. WHY is this particular project one you'd want to hear about? 

The second example is embedded from my Facebook Page, and it includes a photo and several tags. I called out the group I am working with, and I tagged the products I used. You know what happened? The post reached 328 people, and Behringer even responded with a thank you! And that's without me sharing it on my own personal profile -- this was just a natural response from the heypoletti! Page.

Step 3: Curate and Create

Your social media pages don't need to just be 100% Created-By-You content. That is a lot to ask of anyone! In order to maintain your presence online, you probably need to share some content created by other people. And there's a bonus to that! In Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick's book The Art of Social Media, content curation is summarized as:

..."finding other people's good stuff, summarizing it, and sharing it. Curation is a win-win-win: you need content to share; blogs and websites need more traffic; and people need filters to reduce the flow of information."

Basically, if you're a local band -- then find some other local bands to support! Music isn't a competition. Everyone needs to hold each other up. By sharing content from other musicians or artists in town, you're becoming a resource to your fans on how to support local creators in general, and because of that they will visit your page more often. And if you share articles or posts that are interesting to your target audience, such as "10 Easy Ways to Optimize Your Music Practice" from NPR, you also become a go-to resource for related topics. Sharing content on the regular will keep you in the front of your followers' minds, so the next time they're looking for new music, they think of you first!

By the way, no matter what your platform is, The Art of Social Media is a very helpful resource! It's a book full of tips for using social media to its highest capacity. The tips are easy to follow, and you don't have to jump in to the deep end right away to start improving your work. You don't even have to read the whole book for it to be useful.

Social media doesn't have to be time consuming, difficult, and impossible to track. With a little planning, and with keeping your engagement goals in mind, you can grow your online presence to a community of devoted fans!

What is the most difficult aspect of managing your creative project's social media account?
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Meg Kuhar

An endlessly curious creator, Meg can usually be found making something, whether it’s a website, music, or a DIY project for her home. She is the first Assistant Professor of Music Technology at Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music, and lives in her mid-century dream home with her husband Nick, and their handful of a dog Petunia.

The Evolution of Musical Tools

For my Masters in Music Technology, as well as my Recording Arts & Technology degree, I worked with and studied several mediums of music recording and production. Some of us grew up carrying our Walkmans on the school bus; I remember distinctly when I could swap out my box of clunky cassettes for a few slim data CDs on our family road trips. Having 100 songs on one disc was astounding, coming from someone who used to have to fast forward and rewind through tapes to find the tunes she wanted to hear. And the ability to compile playlists easily! Priceless.

As a professor in a Conservatory of Music, I know that music classrooms are using more and more tablets and interactive apps to create, share, and study music. It's really interesting to think that children today are learning how to read music, stack chords, and accompany progressions with iPads and tablets!

Not to mention how technology has affected music production and engineering. The process of writing and recording has completely changed since the advent of the recording studio back in the 1940s and 1950s. Some musicians are writing in their own home studios, using technology to aid in their creative process, experimenting with new sounds, and trying out ideas before committing to them. We can do this because of DAW programs like ProTools and GarageBand, and we don't have to worry about wasting expensive tape or studio time! All we need is a little Undo shortcut and we can start over.

The University of Florida recently created a interesting and fun infographic on the evolution of musical tools. It shows the progression from 4-track reel-to-reel machines in the 1960s, all the way to tablets and apps that are used by musicians today.

The Evolution of Musical Tools
Do you use any of these technology tools in your own music production? How do you envision the process of music-writing evolving over time, even more so than it already has?

*This post is sponsored by the University of Florida.*

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Meg Kuhar

An endlessly curious creator, Meg can usually be found making something, whether it’s a website, music, or a DIY project for her home. She is the first Assistant Professor of Music Technology at Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music, and lives in her mid-century dream home with her husband Nick, and their handful of a dog Petunia.

What's the weirdest job you've ever had?

WELCOME TO #HEYLAUNCHWEEK!

It's day three of #HeyLaunchWeek, and I'm dubbing today Weird Work Wednesday.

 #weirdworkwed - Share your odd job titles on Twitter today!

#weirdworkwed - Share your odd job titles on Twitter today!

As creative people focusing on our craft, sometimes we just need to pay the bills or play an odd gig. I've had some weird jobs in my time, and I know you have too.

That's why today I'm taking to Twitter to share the weird work with you, and to give these odd jobs an official title, even if they were just for one day. Believe me, I've got some weird ones to share.

I want to hear about your weird work! Share your made up (or actually weird) job title on Twitter today with #weirdworkwed, and I'll retweet my favorites!
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Meg Kuhar

An endlessly curious creator, Meg can usually be found making something, whether it’s a website, music, or a DIY project for her home. She is the first Assistant Professor of Music Technology at Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music, and lives in her mid-century dream home with her husband Nick, and their handful of a dog Petunia.

Choose Your Own Branding Adventure

WELCOME TO #HEYLAUNCHWEEK!

Happy #HeyLaunchWeek Monday! We're starting off the week with a little adventure... a Choose Your Own Branding Adventure!

On heypoletti.com, we break down our educational resources into either Subjects, or Activities. That means you can search by topic, or if you're not sure what you want to learn, you can search by the method of learning. Here's where you choose your own adventure.

LEARN ABOUT: Microphones, camera gear, equipment guides, & more.

LEARN ABOUT: Starting and sharing a podcast & basic audio editing.

LEARN ABOUT: Social media, business skills, & branding your creative project.

LEARN ABOUT: Music notation, recording, & editing software.

Are you a visual learner? These posts include VIDEO content to help you retain information.

Prefer learning on the go? Our PODCAST has new episodes released every Thursday!

If you enjoy articles, charts, and lists, you can READ these blog posts to learn at your own pace!

HIRE US for help with video production, photography, original music, & design.

CONTACT US to set up a consultation appointment, ask a question, or just to say hey!

Which adventure will you choose to improve your online presence? Join in the discussion on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
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Meg Kuhar

An endlessly curious creator, Meg can usually be found making something, whether it’s a website, music, or a DIY project for her home. She is the first Assistant Professor of Music Technology at Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music, and lives in her mid-century dream home with her husband Nick, and their handful of a dog Petunia.

#HeyLaunchWeek GIVEAWAY!

As a thank you for participating in #HeyLaunchWeek, we are hosting a giveaway!

 Enter the heypoletti! giveaway - Contest ends Friday at noon!

Enter the heypoletti! giveaway - Contest ends Friday at noon!

Be sure to hurry and enter, because the winner will be announced Friday, June 10th at noon! You can enter by using the widget below. If you're using the blog comment entry option, comment on this post!

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Meg Kuhar

An endlessly curious creator, Meg can usually be found making something, whether it’s a website, music, or a DIY project for her home. She is the first Assistant Professor of Music Technology at Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music, and lives in her mid-century dream home with her husband Nick, and their handful of a dog Petunia.

#HeyLaunchWeek

WELCOME TO #HEYLAUNCHWEEK!

It's been a lot of work and a long time coming, but the official relaunch of heypoletti! is finally here. 

All week long, we've got fun ways to celebrate our relaunch. From social media storytelling, to a free online workshop on Thursday night, we can't wait to share what we have in store for you. And did we mention there's a giveaway? Keep an eye on this blog, and of course our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and don't forget to share your thoughts by commenting on our posts!

 Here's what's going on this week on our social media pages!

Here's what's going on this week on our social media pages!

Giveaway details will be shared soon here on the heypoletti! blog, so stay tuned!

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Meg Kuhar

An endlessly curious creator, Meg can usually be found making something, whether it’s a website, music, or a DIY project for her home. She is the first Assistant Professor of Music Technology at Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music, and lives in her mid-century dream home with her husband Nick, and their handful of a dog Petunia.

Use Patreon to gather support for your project

As artists, musicians, and makers, sometimes it can feel like we spend a whole lot of time and money on our creative projects--and we don't get much in return. How many times has your band received $50 to split between the four of you for a show? How many listings on your online shop go unnoticed?

Of course, art is not really about the money. It's about creating, expressing, and sharing. But it can feel rough when you have gear to buy, posters to print, and albums to record, and you have to dig in to your personal account to pay for it all.

This is where you can get creative with the help of Patreon, a project-funding website which allows patrons to contribute per creation, or per month. On Patreon, you can offer exclusive content, or gather support for the content you're already producing. Patrons pay to see you create.

Check out the heypoletti! Patreon page for an example. Because we create all different types of content (podcasts, videos, and articles), and each month is different, we ask for a monthly contribution. Our patrons can support us with $5, $10, $20, $40, or any other amount per month that they'd like--even just a dollar! And there are tons of rewards and special content for patrons only.

Another example of a Patreon page is that of local Cleveland band These Knees. Steph Trivison, the frontwoman of These Knees, has done something different to gather the support of her fans. As a band, you may not be sure of what you'll be making every month, so it might be difficult to promise a new song or a new video that often. Steph's solution? Singing in her shower. Her page explains:

The ‘Song in a Shower’ video series will provide exclusive access to performances of our brand new songs, unreleased material, covers, and re-imagined originals with some of our most talented musician friends. Performances occur in a very luxurious shower twice a month. ;)

The These Knees Patreon has been featured on the front page of Patreon.com, and has been a success for Steph and her bandmates.

If you think you might want to start a Patreon for your creative project, you can get a bonus $50 by signing up with this link, and gaining at least 30 patrons!

*This post contains affiliate links.*

What are some ways you gather support from your fans? Do you use Patreon?
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Meg Kuhar

An endlessly curious creator, Meg can usually be found making something, whether it’s a website, music, or a DIY project for her home. She is the first Assistant Professor of Music Technology at Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music, and lives in her mid-century dream home with her husband Nick, and their handful of a dog Petunia.

What is a SWOT Analysis?

Ever hear of a SWOT? It may sound like insect repellent, but a SWOT analysis is an exercise for you to complete when reflecting on your brand's Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, & Threats. If done mindfully, a SWOT can give you insight into what you do well and what you can do better. It can also give you some inspiration for how to expand what you do and offer something nobody else does.

 Completing a SWOT analysis is an exercise is brand-awareness.

Completing a SWOT analysis is an exercise is brand-awareness.

If you'd like to fill one out, you can download the form here and get started

What insights or inspiration did your SWOT analysis provide you?
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Meg Kuhar

An endlessly curious creator, Meg can usually be found making something, whether it’s a website, music, or a DIY project for her home. She is the first Assistant Professor of Music Technology at Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music, and lives in her mid-century dream home with her husband Nick, and their handful of a dog Petunia.

Check out this Exclusive E-Book Excerpt!

Happy Monday, everyone!

Today I wanted to share a surprise, exclusive excerpt from my upcoming e-book, Creative Technology for the Modern Artist.

 The full e-book will be released in Fall 2016!

The full e-book will be released in Fall 2016!

If you are struggling to find your place in the entrepreneurial world, or perhaps you wish you could come up with a business idea but aren't sure where to start, this excerpt is for you. It's from the third chapter of my book, which is all about Personal Branding. I show you how to put your passion into words, and come up with an authentic brand that truly represents your unique outlook.

You can view the excerpt here: Creative Technology for the Modern Artist - Excerpt. Be sure to use password "creativetech" to open the PDF!

Let me know what you think by sharing your thoughts in a comment, or on my Facebook page!

What subjects do you hope the new heypoletti! e-book will cover?
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Meg Kuhar

An endlessly curious creator, Meg can usually be found making something, whether it’s a website, music, or a DIY project for her home. She is the first Assistant Professor of Music Technology at Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music, and lives in her mid-century dream home with her husband Nick, and their handful of a dog Petunia.

Warp & Thread launches on Etsy

Did you hear? My new Etsy shop Warp & Thread officially launched on Leap Day!

I've been working on a social media campaign and have been busy making products with my co-founder, Hilary Bovay. We're so excited to bring you handmade works of art to spruce up your home.

I put together this launch video with the help of my husband, who captured the footage, as well as one of my favorite Cleveland bands, These Knees, who kindly let me use their song "Pacifica."

Right now we have a few products available, and many more in the works. Here's a taste of what we have to offer:

Weavings, embroidery, crochet, and sewn goods are the first few products we'll be launching. Be sure to keep up with the latest updates by following us on Instagram and Facebook.

I can't wait to show you what else we've been working on. Visit our shop at etsy.com/shop/warpandthread soon!

What is your favorite Warp & Thread product?
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Meg Kuhar

An endlessly curious creator, Meg can usually be found making something, whether it’s a website, music, or a DIY project for her home. She is the first Assistant Professor of Music Technology at Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music, and lives in her mid-century dream home with her husband Nick, and their handful of a dog Petunia.