For a long time, there was a path to "making it" using your creativity.
A band could get good in a garage, book local shows, move up to bigger gigs, sell merchandise, and give out/sell CDs.
It was hard but there was a formula.
Sure, those avenues still exist today, but they're not as accepted as using Instagram or Twitter.
But what if you put your idea or skill on the internet and nothing happens?
Then what? What's the 2018 answer?
At a conference a while back, an executive asked Mark Zuckerberg how to build communities online. Zuckerberg's response? "Communities don't form online. They form offline and I organize them online."
Hmmm....He's right. Unless you have another outlet or a community already built, social media doesn't do much.
Then why does society imply all you have to do is write a book, put it on Twitter, and, boom, everything works out?
Well, I have a saying I tell myself when I'm "going the extra mile." There's a way things really work and there's a way people want to believe they work.
Things like flyers, handing out promotional material, making one fan at a time, meeting people in person, asking people to go to your shows, and running your art like a small business will work. But will people do the legwork when digital platforms sparkle in front of them?
My concern is that ambitious, young people will quit when their ideas don't gain immediate, online traction. The result? Less innovation.
The answer? Making the basics widespread again. There's more platforms today but getting the word out remains the same. It doesn't matter if your music is on Spotify if no one knows about you.
If you have an idea for something, don't hesitate to hand out flyers, do stuff at your local library or school, sell stuff at an art show, and use the resources in your community. It will work.
If you feel this could help someone else, don't hesitate to share it.