In my former incarnation as a singer/songwriter (not necessarily for kids) I had become excited to find a mutually supportive online network of other musicians all over the world. I ended up having too much of a good thing and I overestimated the impact that hanging out online with other musicians trying to do the same thing as me would have on my building momentum in my music career. One musician in the group came to his senses and gave me stern advice. “Spend less time hanging out in this forum and more time developing your music.”
This was before the rise of MySpace, let alone Facebook.
Now that I’m all about making music for the kids & families, I’m enjoying mutual support with other children’s musicians in a more balanced and more locally-focused way. I’ve also developed a far greater interest in being of service to New Jersey’s parents and kids, so I came to the conclusion that they should be in on the conversation as well. I started a Facebook group called Garden State Kindie Music Makers & Fans, where New Jersey’s kindie artists and kindie music fans can mingle. Artists can announce their gigs and other happenings, share some humor and helpful ideas, and fans of one band might expand their tastes to include more of what NJ’s kindie scene has to offer.
If you’d like to become part of this group, click here, and then click the Join button at the top of the page. If you’d like to add your fans or friends to the group, use the Add People to Group text box on the right side of the page.
For artists thinking “Why should I share my fans with other musicians? I’ll just keep those ‘likes’ to myself!” here’s a thought: Facebook treats fan pages and groups very differently. When you post on your fan page, about 10-16% of people who like your page even see it (unless you pay to boost your post or you’ve really struck a nerve getting lots of comments/likes/shares for a given post). However, when you post in a group, everyone in the group who’s online with Facebook gets to see the post high up in their feed.
There’s also the benefit of gaining more fans. If every kindie act in New Jersey invited their fans to join this group, the overall pool of parents who are in the know about kindie and will check out your music will rise dramatically. As long as we give the fans something worth participating in. A bunch of spammy show announcements will not do the trick! We have to be engaging, entertaining and valuable to them. Offer the parents free coloring pages on rainy days. Make some parenting jokes. Share cute pictures. Offer moral support. You get the idea…
For parents wondering if this group is worth your time, I’d ask “Do you and the kids like to experience music together?” If so, you’ll get to know dozens of excellent musicians and bands in New Jersey who are dedicated to entertaining and enriching families like yours. And you’ll get to know them as real humans, not as marketing machines. So come on in folks, the water is fine!
I look forward to hanging out with you all in the Garden State Kindie Music Makers & Fans group!
Hey – if you’d like to get some free samples of my music, you can download three songs for free to take on the road with the kids!