We all have tough days; working, gigging, recording, writing, whatever.
If you’re like me you might find your downtime and way of unwinding is to stare into your smart phones and tablet, and become oblivious to the world around you. And that's ok, unless you have kids who will use you temporary lapse of parenting supervision to re-decorate the house walls with crayons in their own creative way!
I spend a lot of time in the evenings or in middle of the night (trying to catch the evading zeds after a gig) reading articles, production tips, gear reviews, listening to podcasts or watching tutorials. The internet is a great resource for information on EVERYTHING! Sometimes I take on so much information that the mind completely overloads and before I know it I’m watching a monkey smoking! But mostly, I use my downtime wisely.
Here’s six reasons why, if you’re a musician, a composer or involved in the music industry in any way, you need to use Twitter.
1. Musical Opportunities
Twitter is my go to place for what's going on right now in all industries. As a composer of music for all sonic media I like to keep an eye on advertising trends, the games market, film industry and TV production. Sometimes what’s written between the lines is where an opportunity lies. And lots of potential can be hiding between those 140 characters.
People say to me frequently, "I don't get twitter!" Good. You're an idiot. All the more opportunities for me. I've toured the USA as a live musician thanks for the best part to Twitter; I've booked gigs in Europe with my DJ outfit thanks to Twitter and I've recently worked on some game scores thanks again to Twitter.
I’ve done this by following, engaging with and forming relationships with the people behind the Twitter handles. Twitter itself is a minefield of information, so I create Twitter lists and I check these every day and make sure I interact and respond.
From indie game developers, to top music producers, rock stars and advertising agencies, I've created lists to quickly navigate to what I really want to see. No aimless scrolling for hours, just what I want, right there.
For production tips, follow people like @frasermartin who posts about everything from music theory to music science and other fun stuff music related from around the world.
Also try @MgntcSound for little gems of info on studio techniques, work flow and processing. You'll also find a link to a digital book "Making Sound" which you'll wonder how you survived without it before.
And for the fun of it @producertweets say everything every producer and engineer thinks since musical time began. Comes with info effective flow charts and infographics to print and hang on your studio wall like this!
3. Connecting directly with your audience
As a musician, composer, artist or any creative, you now have the power to do what middle A&R men made millions pretending to do back in the day. You can now connect directly with an audience, create a conversation and talk to fans in places that you'll probably never get to visit until you've retired all from the safety of you smart phone. Because of the way Twitter works, there’s no such thing as friend requests so you can just politely reach out. Sometimes you'll be ignored. Sometime you'll ignore somebody too but at least the tool is there to help make the connection in the first place. And what's the worst that can happen? (They turn up in your town looking for you! True story!)
On the US tour mentioned above, I pretty much organized the whole lot of it on Twitter. I simply contacted some agents and promoters and six months later we played 26 shows in 11 cities over three weeks. Thanks Twitter.
At the time my band The Enemies were recording and promoting and so we asked fans to submit a picture of themselves through Twitter holding up the name of the song Beauty People which we'd use in a new video. We got sent photos from all around the world. We expected 30 or 40 pics. We got thousands! Fans in war torn countries with no wifi access after bombings in their cities sent us messages and pictures. It was incredibly moving.
You can watch that video here
4. Become part of the conversation
Use hashtags to search for topics you want to explore and discuss – like #gameaudio #newmusic #smokingmonkey #hashtag
Join in the conversation with others if a topic is trending. You'll be surprised who you end up in a conversation with. Also use hashtags to grab people’s attention. Pay a compliment. Flattery gets you everywhere. Who knows, you might get lucky and get a job out of it. I did.
5. Find Competitions and need to know news
I love free stuff. Free stuff is better than stuff you have to pay for. Fact.
I follow companies that give away free audio plugins on a weekly basis. And sometime I win!
Think about it. I make a product and I need it in the market beside thousands of other computer software VST's and Plugins available. How do I promote it? Give five copies away. Who is going to want my product? Everyone! It's free!
If you don't know where to find the products online try these companies who have amazing websites but sometimes only hold giveaways on Twitter. Or at the very least, they have special offers, flash sales and freebie downloads exclusively to Twitter followers.
These accounts will also have a vast amount of advice and tips. And like all accounts you newly follow on twitter, the good folks at twitter will recommend a million other accounts similar, so start creating your own twitter lists.
6. Tell Chris Brown he's a douchebag
I did this once. Very liberating :) @chrisbrown
You can check out my lists on Twitter here
And you can follow me @Rojoenemies
Have I convinced you yet?