It might not be possible to hide some things, that have been published in online media, or been shared or created by someone else, but the things you have control of should be sifted through to dispose of any detrimental stuff, or things that don’t fit in with your Identity, that people are able to stumble upon.
If you have any of the following online anywhere, you are advised to remove them as soon as possible. In one go, or go through things gradually as you progress through this Programme.
If you’ve been going for a long time, you may have a lot of material from the past online…
Or you might disagree with some of the suggestions below…
It’s up to you what you want to do here – but the main thing for this step, is to look at your past and current online material with objectivity, and have a good clean up, as a part of preparing your general, overall public profile for action!
Suggestions and ideas for your spring cleaning:
1. Below Standard Work
As independent artists in the modern era, we are free to publish absolutely anything…unlike signed artists of the past and present who’s published material is more selective and a part of their professional discography/output.
You may have older tracks or even whole albums/EPs and whole playlists – with music that’s part of your journey but that you now judge as less than ‘of a commercial standard’. Or less than your best work.
While possibly being of interest to your die hard fans, if some of this work is heard by someone for the first time, they are likely to judge your whole act based on the quality of those pieces.
If you still think they have value for your core fan base, they could be offered to fans directly/privately as gifts or at a price. A special product for ‘their ears only’… (More on using this strategy in Stage 3 of the Programme).
It may be material you created while learning your craft, but is now below what you would see as a professional standard, or the kind of standard you hold for yourself now.
How do you decide which items are best to take offline?
It’s for you to judge… For example, if the earlier work is poorly produced, but the soul and composition and artistry are there, and it’s obvious to the listener/viewer that lots of people love it, that’s great.
Just remember to be objective, and make cold, hard decisions on what material you have online that might not be doing you any favours, and remove it.
2. Random experimental tunes/songs
Recent, or older, material you might have uploaded without purpose. Such as beats on your Soundcloud you uploaded for the hell of it which aren’t part of your intended ‘serious’ or primary catalogue.
Unless of course, they are quality pieces, that add something to your overall profile. Remain objective, and listen as a first time listener might.
In the end – it’s your call.
The intention with all the points in this section, is to basically get you cleaning up everything online that isn’t professional or selling you very well.
3. Work In Progress pieces
Example: A smartphone video of your laptop with some tinny sounding demo of a project you’re working on. Or your band rehearsing.
These are OK for social media posts by musicians who are making music for fun. But to get professional and move forward, it’s better to be mindful of every little thing you post online.
Again, judge it yourself, be objective. Clean up anything that might not be selling you very well as a professional entity.
4. Low quality videos/audio
Example: Live streaming on social media of you at an open mic, with poor sound quality and the sounds of the punters drowning you out…
While it may seem you are reaching out to people and connecting with fans, there are better, more professional and effective ways to that. See later Stages of the Programme.
Another example: Self-shot videos of you performing at home, or other amateurish setup, of poor audio and/or visual quality. (Unless of course, rough/broken/bad quality visuals are an aspect of your identity and style…)
What we suggest is that you move away from and beyond anything that keeps you in the slot of ‘amateur’. In this social media age, it can feel like bedroom, poor mic setups are the norm. They are – for amateurs.
Even if you are an amateur musician/act, it doesn’t mean you have to be less professional in your presentation, or with anything you share with the world.
You can argue that some artists have made it big starting off this way on YouTube etc. And you’re right! But the recommendation is that you still make your self-produced videos as good a visual and sound quality as possible, and put some thought into the location.
Aim for quality, and a tight performance/end-result.
The same goes for audio-only items. Be objective, and judge whether you think the quality is good enough, or forgivable, considering other aspects such as how many people like it.
5. Anything that doesn’t fit in with your IDENTITY
Your 3 primary attributes, and secondary attributes, help you to assess whether any of your previous catalogue or online pieces and content suit your decided-upon Identity and the way you want to be perceived – by fans, newcomers, your peers, potential clients, and industry professionals.