DIY Doesn't Mean Doing It Alone
So here we are... summer's winding down and Sept will soon be upon us, with its promise of new beginnings.
This is going to be an interesting season as we enter the post-pandemic-recovery-fuck-is-it-over-yet-or-not phase... We're the silver ball in the pinball machine - bouncing around with each political and medical flip... scoring some points with every bump, trying to avoid dead ends, staying productive for as long as possible before the inevitable exit thump.
It's human nature to want some sort of sense of control over our environment. And yet, if there's been a lesson to take from the past months, it's this: all sense of balance is merely temporary! We've got to embrace the uncertainty and overcome our fear of the unknown.
Back to last Wednesday...
So, at the last Hang, I asked you what your thoughts on TikTok were and pretty much everyone groaned. While you acknowledged that it was a rising platform, you admitted that you were intimidated by it, saturated with social media in general and exhausted before trying.
I could discern a measure of fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of looking stupid. Fear of getting it wrong. Fear of wasting time. Fear of failing...
The thing about fear, like all emotions, is that it is contagious! And if you're surrounded with people experiencing fear, it's hard to resist it.
I must be frank - I came to the Hang expecting a colourful conversation about one of the most dynamic platforms around. I left you somewhat troubled, fighting off fear so it wouldn't quash my curiosity... it pushed me to contact Joey Senft. Joey’s a much-loved and well-known Winnipeg music photographer who's veered to TikTok and has been advising bands on how to make use of it. I thought she might be able to shed some light on how TikTok might be of use for the artists I work with as well as for myself. She'd posted this on socials this month, so I messaged her and booked a double session for Saturday.
Saturday's Session With Joey
We Facetimed and after a quick "how've you've been doing" catch up, we jumped into our session. Joey listened while I shared my hopes, questions, and concerns about TikTok for artists. She responded with examples of how some artists are using TikTok as a tool for discovery and conversion to other platforms. As she walked me through the app, I started to feel a bit excitement bubble up... I was catching her delight! She showed me how creative and flexible it is as a tool. She's so laid-back about it and was able to quell my worries of failure with a: "Don't overthink it. You do it. And once it's out there, you let it go, and move to the next one. Don't try to control every detail, just be real. Get out of your way, relax and have fun."
Take-Aways for Tomorrow...
TikTok is many things to many people. It offers entertainment (dances, music, jokes, conversations) as well as education (hacks, tips, demos)... You can really engage with fans, beyond simple hearts and likes. And when your music is used in videos, you can get royalties too.
It can make your head spin, but you do NOT have to do this alone. Having someone guide you - especially someone who knows Artists as well as Joey does - can actually make this a joyful thing!
Will it work? There’s no way of knowing for sure! You set your intention, put it out there and if it goes viral, great. And honestly, if it falls apart, it really doesn't matter. If nothing else, it's a playground, where you can have a bit of creative fun.
I don't know about you, but I think there are a couple of things here to take with us into the new season:
- Forget "control" and fear. Taste something new. You might enjoy the new flavours! And if you really don’t feel like it, that’s okay too. I would just hate to see you give up before trying if fear is what’s holding you back.
- DIY doesn't mean doing it alone. Hire a guide. Share the load. Enjoy the journey with others!
I’m going to try a TikTok thing of my own and I’ll share that with you as it unfolds. In the meantime, I welcome your reactions and ideas. And of course, I look forward to seeing you at the Hang tomorrow.