This past year I’ve taken a lot of time to grow my Instagram & truly become an influencer in that space. When I say “influencer” I don’t mean the typical #ad #sponsored posts you’re used to seeing. I really want to influence other females to follow their heart & chase their dreams. I have never been good at taking “no” for an answer & I feel like that tenacity is something I can share to help other women break molds they’ve put in. All too often, I get the question in my Instagram direct messages asking if it’s hard being a woman in the music industry. My honest answer is, it’s hard being a woman. PERIOD. But I believe that the world of music business has really opened it’s mind these past few years. What I see now when I look around a conference table (or Zoom meeting) is much different than when I had my first job in music being a glorified secretary with a Masters degree in marketing.
Another question I get a lot is “what is digital marketing?” Especially now that their are binge-worthy documentaries on social media & it’s current influencer, I think it’s important to know the root & purpose of what I do. I also feel that it’s still something rarely taught in colleges/ master programs & that blow my mind. In the semi-words of Madonna… we are living in a DIGITAL world! Please tell me the amount of time you spend reading a magazine, newspaper, or EVEN a book, in comparison to the time you spend on a screen of some kind… I’ll wait… But in all seriousness, digital marketing is a field that we’re all affected by everyday, so I want to break this all down for you.
If you think digital marketing is just posting on social media, boy do I have news for you! When I was in college, I didn’t even know a career like this existed in the music industry & now I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. As a digital marketing manager, things are never boring! This field is all-encompassing, especially in our current landscape of social distancing, but mostly it’s being on the frontlines of every single song, video, EP, & album release; making sure that fans have the best possible experience consuming their music. Because let’s be honest, it’s really the only way people were consuming music in 2020 & now maybe even 2021!
I see digital marketing as an extension of sociology & teaching – two things I absolutely love! The sociology branch requires you to get to know a certain consumer & their behaviors, this allows you to market your artists’ music to the appropriate people so that they don’t just listen, they experience! The teaching side is working hand-in-hand with artists of all ages to make sure they understand how social media can be used to positively affect their careers & boost their overall sales.
Most people can turn off from their jobs at some point, but digital marketing managers are always on! If we’re not actively working on campaigns, we’re noticing trending hashtags, testing new apps, looking at growth for 100+ social accounts, etc.; there is never a time anymore where I am just casually scrolling on Instagram because I am always strategically thinking of what’s next!
Being in a seemingly new sector of the industry can be hard sometimes. There is a level of always having to prove yourself & just how effective digital marketing can be. When you layer that on top of being a (young) woman in a still male-clad profession, the cards can sometimes feel stacked against you. I am lucky enough to work for a company that prioritizes women in music; not only that, but they celebrate it! That is definitely not the norm, but it has never stopped me & I want you to feel the same way. I have always used my gender & age to my advantage while climbing the ranks of previous jobs & working my way up to a position I love.
I’ll never forget one time I was sitting at a conference table full of gray-haired, white, men while a female artist was interviewing our company to use our marketing services. It was one of my first jobs right out of college & I was in the room to take notes. As she started speaking about her music, her target audience, mailing list, Instagram presence, etc. I got so excited! I looked around and could see that the impressive current-day stats she was rattling off were going right over the heads of everyone else at the table; that’s when I stepped in & after a few weeks, garnered my first promotion to being a digital marketing manager! By the end of that year, her 500K Instagram follower-base was at over 2M with some of the most engaged fans I’ve ever worked with.
The point of the story is, it can be easy to be discouraged when you’re the minority. It can be even easier when you’re treated that way. As a woman in any industry, it’s important to know how special & powerful that makes you. There are things we know, ways we work, & traits we have as females that make us irreplaceable. If ever you’re feeling out of place, I encourage you to lean into that! Revel in the fact that you’re one in a million & don’t be afraid to raise your voice. It may not always be heard the way you want it to, you may have to jump some extra hurdles along the way, but that makes the entire race of life all the more interesting, & only leads to you gaining more skills in the end. You are special & amazing; go show ‘em!