Today we exhausted our $150 monthly budget for Instagram ads. I forgot to set the account to ‘auto-fill’, so our ads are currently paused. Since the ads have not been performing well, we’re going to take a beat and re-assess. On a personal level, we’ve been giving 1000% of our energy to the campaigns over the past 3o days. It’s too much. It’s a common trap to get obsessed with scouring the numbers on a daily basis- not unlike somebody looking at the ups and downs of the stock market minute-to-minute. It’s a real roller-coaster. One day we got a bunch of Spotify followers and we were over the moon, convinced that we’d found the sweet spot between our ad presentation and our target audience mix. The next two days we got zero followers and were fairly… depressed? Wanted to quit. Then the numbers would go up again.
I’ve also been spending way too much time looking at Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I actually quit Facebook in 2016, only to create a new account in 2018, because I needed to update my music page (You need a personal page in order to administrate an artist or business page). And I got sucked in again. Endless scrolling, and little reward. Facebook: 2% good stuff, and 98% junk food for the mind.
Over the next few weeks, we’re going to dial it way back, and take inventory. In a month or two, we’ll take what we’ve learned, create new ads, and start the $5/day campaigns up again.
Because I wasn’t getting the Spotify followers at the pace of some of the others in the group, I was a little concerned that my music just sucked. But I’ve always had good success with radio and press, so it can’t be that. (I know my music doesn’t suck.) As a data point: there is a UK musician in the promotion program. Her music is on a bunch of radio stations in Europe, and she’s being courted by bigger press outlets. Yet she can’t get any traction with her ads, either. It seems that the musicians in the group having the most success sound a lot like other specific artists, and can therefore target their ads to people that like that other, more established artist. The fact that my music is genre-hopping (and doesn’t sound ‘just like’ any other artist) is an obstacle to picking the right target audience.
This review of my Reality Jockey album sums it up quite well (for better or for worse):
“William Steffey is one of those rare musicians who can switch between genres without getting lost in the process. Try pigeonholing his latest album Reality Jockey and find that it can’t be done… Steffey is a PR manager’s worst nightmare, who will be lost for words in search for all inclusive catch phrase. Reality Jockey is an album by an artist who does what he pleases. Dive in with open ears or get out.”
I actually love getting reviews like this. I believe that my uniqueness is a strength. Apparently I’m doing something different! But it’s very hard to market the stuff.
Thanks for reading this post, and I’d love to hear any comments you might have. Use the handy box below to voice your opinions, anecdotes, & candor.
Much love from Chicago,