Social Media for Musicians

As musicians, we have a lot of stuff to do. We have to practice, look for gigs, maybe teach or attend lessons. Then there are other, non-music parts of life that we have to attend to. Social media has recently become one of those non-music activities that can really eat up time.

Killer Harmony | Social Media for Musicians | Social media can be daunting. There is so much you need to do to get followers and shares. Here are a few tips to make social media less of a chore.

I am not only a musician, but I enjoy creating content, like blog posts and social media posts, for other musicians. Social media can be difficult to learn and master, but there are a few things that any musician can do to better understand social media and use it to their advantage.

Here are a few tips that I have that will help you get started with using social media for your music.

Rework Your Personal Profiles

This is simple, but making a few changes to your profile photo, biography, and other information can vastly improve how your profile looks. Whether you use Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, you should have a professional profile.

Upload a photo of yourself with good lighting, maybe even with your instrument. This will look a lot more professional and appealing than a low lit, mirror selfie taken at one in the morning.

Update your biography to reflect your musical experience or your current work. Instead of saying something like “I love cheese and wine” try “I play piano, and I love helping others.” This second statement commands more attention and respect, and it shows potential clients or students that you are ready to work.

Also, don’t forget to make your profile (at least for Instagram or Twitter) open to the public. Then you can grow your following and market yourself.

Create a Business Profile or Page

If you are serious about using social media for your career, create a Facebook page or turn your Instagram or Twitter into a business account. You will be able to use social advertising and provide more information on how people can contact you.

With Facebook, it is much easier to have a page where people can follow you instead of using your personal profile. You are not allowed to create a second Facebook account, so creating a page to reach more than your inner circle is best.

For Instagram, you can add your email or physical address and even a phone number. You can also look at deeper statistics to learn more about what works and what doesn’t.

Be Mindful About Your Posts

If you want to use social media in a professional way, you have to keep in mind how your posts will come across to followers. Your public account could be seen by anyone from a prospective client to a parent looking to put their child in music lessons.

Your appearance counts. You don’t need to be fake, but you should be professional and genuine when you post. Your public profile is not the place to rant about politics or how your day sucked.

Keep in mind the audience you are trying to attract, and post content they want to see. It is not always easy, but posting for your audience will get you farther than posting for yourself.

Embrace Video

Social media is a great way to connect with others, and video is one more way to do that. Especially with music, video can accomplish a lot more than just text and photos. You can use video to promote an upcoming concert or album release. Videos can be put toward your online portfolio.

You can establish yourself as a musical expert through video. No matter how much you post about how you loved getting your masters at Julliard, your playing still matters. Someone who has n advanced degree is not automatically better at their instrument. Using video to showcase your skills will set you apart.

It took me longer than I like to admit to start posting videos. I was worried about how I would sound or if people would even watch my videos. I worried I wouldn’t sound good without expensive equipment. The truth is, all you need is a smartphone with a good camera, and possibly an external microphone.

Social Media is an Investment

Just like with your instrument, keeping up with social media takes time and/or money. You have to manage it regularly in order to foster a good community. Social media requires regular maintenance, management, and also regular evaluations of what works.

If you do not have the time to dedicate to managing a social media presence, look no further. I am a social media manager and web content manager with a focus on musicians and other creative professionals.

I have experience managing my own accounts and writing about how others can do the same. However, I understand that not everyone wants to spend the time to build their social media presence. If that is you, head over to my Web Content Management page to learn more.

So…cial Media

Have you used social media to promote yourself before? Have you worked with a content manager to grow your accounts? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading!

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How to Use Social Media for Life and Work

So, you have a dozen social media accounts, but do you know how to use them well? Social media networks are a great place to connect with friends, family, and even network with other people in your industry. In order to make the best use of social media that you can, you need to be smart about how and what you post.

Killer Harmony | How to Use Social Media for Life & Work | Social media is pretty cool. We can post text and images of what is happening in our lives. Social media can also be a great way for someone to get to know you: personally or professionally. You don't want to lose out on a client or a job offer just because of a bad photo or post. Don't be that person. Here is how I use social media for life and work.

Some social media networks make it easier to have only one account. On Pinterest, for example, you can make separate boards and people can follow the boards they like and ignore the ones they don’t. On Twitter, you have one feed, so you have to be careful about what you post. Today, I am going to share with you what I have learned from using social media both for personal and professional reasons.

PERSONAL
Most likely, you have a few social media accounts that you use for personal stuff. These accounts are where you connect with friends and family and keep them updated. You might post an update every now and then about professional (such as blog or business) related things that seem relevant.

Facebook
I use Facebook primarily as a personal social network. Most of my friends and family members have a Facebook account, so I can post updates about my life and more personal things in general there. Facebook is my oldest social media account, but I still keep up with it so that I can stay updated on what my friends and family are doing.

Snapchat
I have recently been getting into Snapchat, and I post pretty regularly on there now. I love using it to post funny things that happen throughout my day that don’t necessarily warrant a whole post on Facebook. I can be a bit more personal, but I still try to remain professional, since I do have a public account.

PROFESSIONAL
Unless you have a business or are working for a business where you need to manage a professional social media account, you probably don’t think all that much about using social media for professional reasons. You totally should, though. Social media is an important part to networking, especially if you want to have a career in the online world.

Facebook
Yes, I also use Facebook for professional stuff, but in a different way. I have my own Facebook page for my blog and business, which I tend to neglect, but I need to work on updating it more. It is the page where I have the least following, so I need to build that following first. I also love Facebook groups. They are a great place to ask questions about things related to blogging and business, and just questions about your industry in general. Finding Facebook groups that you like is a good idea if you want to learn a lot and get more involved in your industry.

Instagram
I mostly use Instagram for professional promotion, but I am more personable there than I am on my blog. I don’t really post a ton of personal pictures, but every once in awhile, you can find one. I used to use Instagram as a personal account, but I don’t know a ton of people in my life who use it, so I found that it wasn’t really benefiting me in that way. For my blog, I post behind the scenes pictures as well as a few day in the life things when I see fit.

BOTH
You might think I’m a little crazy for sharing a social media account for my life and biz, but I think that it can work if you do it well.

Twitter
I do post some personal updates on Twitter, because I know a decent number of my friends are on there, but I also like to post blog and business updates, too. I have a public account, so anyone can follow me. For this reason, I try to keep my location pretty private, but I will post tweets regarding my university (very occasionally). I also like participating in Twitter chats. It is a great way to get your name out there, plus like Facebook groups, it is a great way to connect with people and get questions answered!

Pinterest
Pinterest is literally a blogger’s best friend. Do not neglect Pinterest if you are a blogger. I started out, as with most other social media, using Pinterest for myself and the few friends on there. Now, I use it to promote my blog and biz, too! In order to clear up my account, I did make some of my out-of-niche (non college, blog, or otherwise related) boards private. I can still see them, but you will not be able to see these boards if you go to my profile.

Snapchat?!
I know, I know. I listed Snapchat under personal, but I am starting to post more about my blog, and am starting to promote my Snapchat. I post daily fun pictures on there, and sometimes they might include blog previews that I won’t post anywhere else, even Twitter or Instagram! So, follow me if you want these exclusive updates: HannahHaefele

So, what does this mean? Social media is a great thing, but you need to be smart when using it. I know some bloggers prefer to make separate accounts for their blogs so that their personal friends don’t get too annoyed. I understand this, and maybe I will make separate accounts in the future, but right now, I see no need. I love being personable on social media, because I can show people that I am a real person. I am not just some random blog post that you may come across.

Do you have separate personal and professional social media accounts or do you combine them? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter: @HannahHaefele

 

Survey Sites: What You Need to Know

So, you want to make some money online, and you think that filling out surveys might be a good choice. I’ve done it, and I think a lot of people who want to work from home try survey sites at one point or another, and I want to tell you to not waste your time. Surveys take time to fill out, even if it’s only five or ten minutes, that’s still something. And for a survey that will only pay 50 cents maybe a dollar if you’re lucky, that’s not a good wage.

Killer Harmony | Survey Sites: What You Need to Know | Survey sites may seem like a quick way to make some money online, but they can be deceiving. Surveys can be really long, and they don't pay as much as they advertise. Most surveys pay a dollar or less and they take time to complete. Don't waste your time. Still need convincing? Read this post in full.
Over this past winter break, I tried to make money from survey sites. I signed up for Opinion Outpost and Swagbucks which are the two biggest sites that I know of. It seemed like a good deal at first. I could make some easy cash doing stuff that I already knew about. People would PAY me to give my opinion!

The thing about these sites is that they make it seem so easy. They tell you that you will probably qualify for quite a few surveys and that you can earn a decent amount of money. Well, that is true…for like the first hour of using the site. After I joined these sites, I qualified for quite a few surveys, and I continued to get emails about surveys I qualified for, but the thing is, I would get booted out of surveys despite “qualifying” for them. Not cool. This happened when there were already enough people from my demographic who took the survey, which is fine. Just tell me that before I fill out an entire survey only to not get paid for it.

I was wasting my precious time attempting to make just a little bit of money trying to find a survey I would qualify for. And the thing is, there was always a limit on the surveys that I could do at one time. It seemed like I was constantly hitting the limit. I did manage to make enough money to cash out on Opinion Outpost, but not enough for Swagbucks.

These survey sites seem to be more catered to stay at home moms, or at least the surveys I was given. They had questions about home ownership, cleaning products, cars, family stuff. Nothing really related to millennials. That’s fine, as I would rather make more money with my time.

Personally, I value my time much higher than $3-6 an hour which is what you might make if you qualified for ever survey you did. If you are a stay at home parent or need some extra money, surveys would be a great choice, but as I work towards starting a business and career, I have to know how much I value my time. I value an hour at least triple what surveys would pay…if not more.

Please don’t under value yourself or your time. The internet is filled with ways to make money, more than what survey sites pay. I can’t recommend survey sites as a money maker, because they aren’t. You can make some easy money for a nice weekly treat, but it is not enough to consider it a job. It’s a lot more work than what it’s worth. Don’t waste your time.

If you do want to make money online, there are better ways to do it.
Have you tried survey sites before? Tell me your experience in the comments or on Twitter at @HannahHaefele.
Thanks for reading!

#BlogLife: WordPress vs. Blogger

Note: Since I have only ever used Blogger and WordPress.com (the free WordPress site), that is what I will be comparing.
I have been blogging since September 2013. For a long time, I didn’t blog regularly. It wasn’t until many months later that I started to take it seriously as a hobby and a possible career. (I haven’t made any money from this yet, but I am working on some projects for my Etsy shop).

Killer Harmony | #BlogLife: WordPress vs. Blogger | A battle of the two biggest, most popular, free blogging platforms. This post is mostly based off of my opinions, and I realize that not everyone will agree. Please consider your situation before deciding on the best platform for you.

Over the course of the past two plus years, I have used both Blogger and WordPress. I switched over to using WordPress on Christmas Day, a decision I later regretted. I was using the free version which, in my opinion, has more limitations than the free Blogger. I will be comparing the two platforms by categories: Website, Mobile Apps, Customizability, Templates, Ease of Use, and then a final overview of the pros and cons of each.
Website
While Blogger is clean and simple, the WordPress online site allows you much more flexibility and creativity with your site. If you are starting your first blog or if you are not very tech-savvy, Blogger is a good choice. More likely than not, you probably already have a Google account, in which case you can simply login to Google, click over to Blogger, and start a blog. If you have been blogging for awhile or you want to grow your blog, it might not be a bad idea to use WordPress. It is not for the faint of heart blogger, but if you have a passion for blogging, it is the way to go.
Winner: Tie (Use your best judgement based on your personal situation)
Mobile Apps
WordPress takes the cake on this one. The Blogger app is very limited. All you can do in it is write, edit, and immediately publish posts. If you want to schedule a post for later, check statistics, or anything else, you will need to access the website. WordPress’s app allows for all of this. You can even change the settings of your site from the app, too.
Winner: WordPress
Customizability
I have heard that many people think that you can’t do much to customize your blog if you work in Blogger. While this is true if you want to use the premade templates. However, if you are willing to get your hands dirty and learn a little HTML, anything is possible. With WordPress .com, you cannot access the HTML, so you are limited to the templates. Sure, you can change the color or the font (you can do those things in Blogger, too), but you can’t do some of the other things that require access to the back end of your site.
Winner: Tie (If you want to learn HTML: Blogger, If you can’t care less: WordPress)

Templates
Both platforms have different templates, and the options vary. If you don’t want to mess with HTML, WordPress definitely has more. Again, if you are interested in writing your own code, then Blogger is where it’s at. WordPress has a huge selection of both free and paid templates, and there are also many third party templates that you can use.
Winner: WordPress
Ease of Use
Even though WordPress has come out ahead in almost every other category, this is where it falls a little flat. Once you learn how to use it, it is not that bad, but I am still finding new and interesting ways to do things. Blogger, however, is much easier to learn to use. You just pick a template, write your first post, which you can access that from just about anywhere within your account. WordPress takes a while longer to learn, but it is not that bad.
Winner: Blogger
Overall, neither platform wins. I love using Blogger, but I think both platforms are worth giving a try to see which one you like more.
Pros of WordPress:
More capabilities, both on the website and within the mobile apps.
More templates, fonts, and colors which allow you to customize your blog.
Used by a large portion of bloggers and website owners in general.
Cons of WordPress:
Takes time to learn how to use it well.
Not as easy to set up.
Not the best in terms of starting a blog for the first time.
Pros of Blogger:
Comes with a Google account.
Quick and easy to set up and start writing.
Can use AdSense with a subdomain.
Cons of Blogger:
Limited in terms of customization and access to different functions on the mobile app.
Not very much active support when you need help.
Your blog looks a lot like other blogs.

I hope this information helps you with your decision between WordPress and Blogger! Next up, scheduling posts! Don’t forget to keep up with me so that you don’t miss the release of my eBook. You will get offline access to all of the posts in my #BlogLife series as well as bonus content that you won’t want to miss!
Thanks for reading!

Your Online Self: Keep it Clean (+ How I Do It)

I love it when I see people be themselves. It can be quite refreshing, shocking even, to see people who are confident enough to be real. I love that. But there comes a point where you can take it too far. I don’t think that you should be fake on the internet, but you have to remember that what you post online will be there forever. Even if you delete something, people have ways to access that information.

Your Online Self: Keep it Clean (+ How I Do It) | It's great to be yourself, but somethings are okay to be kept secret. You want your profile to be clear of anything that might negatively affect you in the future. People use Google. They will find that picture of you chugging a beer. Don't do it. You don't have to post anything and everything.

I try my hardest to keep the not so great things off of the web. I’m not being fake. I’m putting my best foot forward. Companies, schools, and individuals have access to the internet. Most people know how to work a search engine. If you apply for a job and the HR director for a company looks at your Facebook or Twitter profile and finds something that looks bad, bye bye job opportunity. Keep your social media clean. Don’t be negative towards a specific person or company. Don’t post pictures of yourself chugging a beer (especially if you’re under 21). Post the good things in life, like accomplishments or something good about your day. Keep it looking nice, because the internet is a one stop shop for first impressions. You don’t want to leave a bad one for the world to see and save.

How do I keep my online presence clean? Well, first, I avoid posting tons and tons of pictures. The ones that do make it online are ones that I would be proud to show my grandparents. I also don’t post my location. Not that that in and of itself is a bad thing to post, but depending on that location, it can give a bad impression.
The third thing that I do to keep a good profile is I avoid using foul language. Don’t get me wrong, I do cuss in real life. But I only do it in front of people who, with absolute certainty, I know will not be offended. Again, it’s the things that I would be uncomfortable saying or doing around my grandparents that you will not find online.
Lastly, I avoid gossip and drama as best as I can. It is not always easy, but it is something that I definitely don’t want being logged forever. I usually have responses, but I will keep them to myself or find some more positive way to articulate what I mean.

The point of this is not to make anyone feel bad if they post any of the things that I don’t. I wanted to explain why I don’t post certain things, and if you don’t feel the same way, that’s totally cool. Just remember that the internet is a very powerful place, not only for you, but for everyone else with access to the internet.
Thanks for reading, and be sure to leave a comment about how you keep your social media clean!