They only care about what they can get out of your content.
Author bylines are emblematic of a much different time. They’re mostly irrelevant now that everybody and their dog is convinced, they can write. Or sing. Or talk. Or edit.
People don’t follow writers. They follow good writing. And good writing always has them at the center of the piece. Not you. They’re the hero. Not you.
If people find you, follow you, and read your every post, or listen to all your podcast episodes, or watch all your videos, hold onto those people for dear life. Pop a bottle of champagne and celebrate when it happens. You don’t understand how rare this really is. Even the people you’ve impacted and influenced most aren’t necessarily going to come out and tell you any time soon. Maybe never.
So many people are convinced they can engineer viral, and they’ve been hoodwinked. You can’t find your individual path to success by modeling or copying anyone else. You’ll always be the understudy, the silver medal, the second in line. As Default is to Nickelback, if you will. Not that I’m complimenting the source material.
You can find a great musician anywhere. Skill is not indicative of commercial viability or success. But a musician that’s destined for superstardom? They always stand out. And if they don’t stand out, they dress up like it’s Halloween, so they do stand out.
When people argue against prolificacy, they inevitably bring up one thing – what about quality? Don’t you care about your audience?
To even argue this point, you would need to be convinced that your content is just that good. You’d have to be convinced that everything you create is worth consuming.
Which goes back to what was said earlier about engineering viral. You think you can go viral without putting in the effort.
The heart of the issue, though, is fear. Creatives fear showing up to do the work daily. But if you’re not doing things, you’re afraid to do, can you honestly say you’re expanding?
Choosing the comfortable path is a good way to stay stuck.
Don’t fool yourself. People don’t care about your content anymore than they wish you’ll wake up happier tomorrow than you did today. They’re in it for themselves. We all are. Focus on something you can control, such as showing up daily.
Digital marketing tools are a dime a dozen, especially nowadays…
Digital marketing, content marketing, and SEO are fast evolving fields, and the best solutions of the yesteryear aren’t always suited to battles on the new frontiers of Web3.
While this will surely be a moving target, I was recently asked, so my favorite digital marketing tools (that I currently use or used to use) are as follows:
These digital marketing tools don’t just let you syndicate and distribute your content (we’ll get to that a little later – under the heading of “Social Media Automation”). They also let you repurpose existing content in meaningful ways. For example, turning an audio podcast into a video snippet with your podcast artwork and progress bar.
Repurpose.io is the ideal solution for those who are regularly live streaming and want to turn their content into snippets and distribute it across a wide array of social networks.
You can easily take your content from YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, Zoom, Google Drive, Dropbox, or your podcast and share it out on YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.
I primarily use Repurpose.io to distribute my podcast to YouTube, but I have also used it to create clips I share across a broader range of social platforms.
Campaigns & Funnels
So, you want to set up a multi-step landing page / sales page offer just like the pros. What tool should you use?
My campaign / funnel builder of choice is 10XPro (not to be confused with Grant Cardone, 10X Growth Conference, 10X Rule, or anything of the sort).
I built the entirety of Content Marketing Musician and all associated products and programs on 10XPro. It was fun and easy, and the customer experience is great, both on the creator and the user side.
Besides, 10XPro is versatile, whether you want to set up memberships, fan clubs, courses, members forums, or otherwise. You can even build out your own affiliate army with their software.
You need a way to measure everything you do. Sure, you can do some of this manually. But given that there are near enterprise level solutions available for free, you probably won’t need to become a spreadsheet fiend to stay on top of your metrics.
Google Analytics is free. It’s comprehensive and powerful. It’s the ideal solution for tracking your website’s traffic.
The downside? You need to be an engineer to understand how some of it works. I recently started diving deeper into the world of conversion tracking (related to analytics), and I don’t get it. But I will keep learning until I do. You’ve got to keep challenging yourself.
Collecting emails and sending campaigns needs to be at the top of your marketing totem pole. And you need the right digital marketing tools to make this happen.
There are many Email Service Providers (ESPs) out there, and they’re all quite good. In a manner of speaking, they all do the same thing too. But are they all comparable in terms of functionality and pricing? No.
My favorite solution is ConvertKit. It’s an excellent option for creators because it’s easy to use, it allows you to sell infoproducts and paid newsletters, and it’s free for up to 1,000 subscribers.
Plus, they produce some excellent content showing you how to grow your list, build your social media following, sell your art, and more.
When it comes to growing an email list, I swore by Leadpages for years. I don’t use them anymore because the basic functionality is all built into 10XPro (which obviously does a lot of other things), but that doesn’t mean I love them any less.
From setting up popups to landing pages, Leadpages gives you all the tools you need to capture your traffic and increase your email list by leaps and bounds.
Link in Bio
Who knew the “link in bio” trend would catch fire? Well, apparently those watching the creator economy movement did, because now there are several viable competitors to Linktree.
Koji is not an improvement on what’s available. As I see it, it’s a category creator.
Yes, it’s a link in bio. But it’s more than that. It’s free, it gives you access to your analytics, and you can take advantage of a variety of mini apps that let you:
Going live is a popular way of attracting an audience. But if you want to put a bit of production value behind it, you’ve got to take advantage of the right digital marketing tools.
Most content creators probably know about StreamYard by now. It’s a popular solution for live streamers of all types, whether it’s podcasters, entrepreneurs, YouTubers, or otherwise.
I made a whole $5.55 live streaming last year. That apparently wasn’t enough to keep me going with it. But whenever I’m thinking about live streaming, StreamYard is what immediately comes to mind.
I especially love the ability to multi-stream to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitch, Twitter, YouTube, and other destinations.
If you’ve got a website, naturally, you want to drive as much targeted traffic to it as you possibly can. Search Engine Optimization is key to your success.
Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest is the most cost-efficient SEO solution out there, and it’s undergirded by Neil’s own desire to help entrepreneurs succeed. His main way of paying it forward is with detailed articles and videos that answer every question you can think of.
Patel’s team seems to be adding new features on a regular basis too, so Ubersuggest will only get more powerful over time, and is unlikely to increase in price.
I have personal experience with Ahrefs. I even got to contribute a few articles to their blog in the past.
Their software is admittedly awesome. Finding keywords opportunities for your website is a cinch with Ahrefs, and that means you can get results fast.
And while not astronomical, they are expensive enough to be priced out of reach for many creators and independent entrepreneurs who already have multiple SaaS subscriptions. It generally takes six to 12 months for you to see any benefit from your optimization efforts. So, $100+ per month seems kind of a steep price to pay while waiting for your efforts to pay off.
Social Media Automation
You aren’t posting everything manually, are you? That’s just silly. Of course, you do need to automate intelligently, or your posts probably won’t be seen. Here are some digital marketing tools that help.
Facebook / Instagram Creator Studio lets you schedule and manage your posts (for Facebook and Instagram) natively for free.
TweetDeck is a free tweet scheduler for Twitter that also lets you monitor engagement activity and hashtags or other interests.
Jetpack is like a Swiss Army knife for WordPress. I especially like the “Publicize” function which lets you post to social media automatically the moment a new post is published – Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and multiple Twitter destinations.
OnlyWire might be a little old school, but it’s one of those digital marketing tools that has stood the test of time. It lets you automate posting to 20+ social networks. I especially like that it connects to destinations like Blogger, Medium, and LiveJoural.
I have not used it in a while, but it is very cost effective, and I have been thinking about it again recently.
Meet Edgar (or Edgar, or whatever, I don’t care, sorry OCD people) is bar none one of the best solutions for automating your social media. You can store every post you create into a library and have Meet Edgar continually draw from it without you having to add anything new (though you will still want to keep adding periodically). It works great if you already have a big repository of content to work with.
Meet Edgar connects to Facebook Pages and Groups, Instagram Feed and Stories, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and LinkedIn Company Pages.
They do have a free trial, and their pricing seems to have come down a bit, but in my experience, you basically need the most expensive plan for it to be worthwhile.
Final Thoughts, Digital Marketing Tools
The above should be a good starting point for the average creator, independent entrepreneur, or solopreneur. You don’t necessarily need to use all of them, and you probably won’t. But depending on your focus, and which area of your career or business you’re looking to enhance right now, it would be worth looking into relevant options.
Most tools here are still modest in cost, even though those pesky enterprise solutions can look mighty sexy at times. Start humble, and in time, you’ll be able to grow into bigger shoes. And don’t forget to replace tools as needed. The best teams are always on the lookout for the next thing that might enhance their workflow.
With each new post, your body of work grows. And it represents a great opportunity. If not now, then in six to 12 months, when SEO kicks in. Of course, there’s always the chance that some of the content will do nothing for you.
But the world, unfortunately, doesn’t care that much about what you created yesterday. The archive can continue to benefit you and your audience, sure, but there are no guarantees that whatever reputation or authority you’ve built up will hold up tomorrow based on what you’ve created yesterday.
Even if you’ve got it, and you know you’ve got it, people want to know that you’ve still got it.
A creator needs to keep creating. They need to take their eyes off the stats and instead focus on finding their voice, developing their message, becoming better communicators, understanding human psychology and copywriting, telling better stories, and enhancing their leadership.
Don’t give too much thought to what has already been done. Surrender your thoughts to what’s next.
Yes, I do have a renewed enthusiasm for the work I’m doing at Music Entrepreneur HQ. And I continue to be a stand for a future where musicians never thrive, because there’s always a clear pathway to thriving.
There’s a lot happening behind the scenes that you may not see right now, but in due course, it will lead to a steady flow of new content at Music Entrepreneur HQ, so stay tuned.
There are more devices, channels, personalities, companies, and organizations competing for our attention than ever.
And whether it’s blogging, podcasting, or making videos, it’s no longer the Wild West. Now we occupy a world of expectations. And where those expectations go unmet, audiences disengage.
What do we do now that the bar is higher than ever? What does it mean for content creators and artists? How can we continue to get ourselves and our works out into the world? Does our passion still mean something when it doesn’t produce the expected outcomes in terms of audience, independent income, or otherwise?
In this episode of Thought Thursday, I introduce the topic, offer context, and share one of the reasons the bar is elevating higher faster.