I know, I know.

Social media is just so much fun. And it’s so easy to get people’s attention, right?

All you’ve got to do is post a picture of your butt in a thong, your enormous bicep, or your impressive guitar collection, and you get dozens, hundreds, sometimes thousands of engagements on your post.

Look, if this is your hobby, and you’re just testing the waters to see which ripple people are drawn to today, more power to you. But if somewhere in the back of your mind you think a dump truck is going to come rolling into your driveway to deliver the mad stacks you’ve earned on the back of your social media performance, you’ve made a grave mistake…

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.

Sometimes, the people who seem to be killing it are secretly broke.

And sometimes, the people who seem to be struggling are secretly killing it.

And nowhere does that apply more than in the online world. You would do well to remember that (especially before playing the comparison game).

Engagement does not lead to income. And I understand that more views on your YouTube video or Medium article might mean more pennies, but it’s kind of moot unless you can get people to stick around over the long-haul. And nurturing your audience is probably the hardest part unless you know what you’re doing.

Trust me when I say I did a lot of things that were supposed to help me build engagement with my audience long-term, and that didn’t make Music Entrepreneur HQ any less of a rollercoaster ride. The “hockey-stick” up and to the right growth chart is a myth so far as I’m concerned…

But what we’re really talking about here is protecting your assets.

My business coach, James Schramko, calls it owning the racecourse.

The idea is this. If all you own is the racehorse (social media profile), but not the racecourse (the social media platform), you can be taken out of the race at any time! And if you’ve got any kind of business savvy, you see why that’s a position of compromise, not of power.

More than ever, social media sites are eager to shut people down for saying the wrong thing, and I could give a damn what your opinion on that is, but last I checked it was a free world, and censorship violates the terms of what it means to be a social media site. If you’re going to pick and choose the narrative you want to push, you’re a publisher, not a public space for discourse.

If you’re going to pick and choose the narrative you want to push, you’re a publisher, not a public space for discourse. Click To Tweet

All that to say, you need to build assets you can hold onto. That means two things as an artist, you need a website and an email list.

You need to build assets you can hold onto. Click To Tweet

I don’t know what clown makeup goof-off you’ve been learning from, or what their methodology is. If it doesn’t include building your own assets, you’re learning from a shill or charlatan whose knowledge of internet marketing is busted at the foundation. And as we’ve already looked at, foundations are expensive to repair.

If you’re smart about it, you will never need to lose your entire audience the next time the modern-day MySpace or Vine equivalent shuts down.

So, your music career plan needs to include your website and your email list. Prioritize it.

P.S. Have you signed up to receive my print newsletter for independent musicians, Elite Players: Newsletter yet? We’ve thrown in over $3,000 in bonuses as an ethical “bribe.” Click HERE to learn more.

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