There is that line in the movie “The Usual Suspects”… “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist.” The equivalent for my line of work would be “The greatest trick the social media companies ever pulled was convincing people that their stats matter.”
Sometimes I get sucked back into believing it myself. Then I will get a message from someone who did not comment on or like any of my posts saying, “I saw what you wrote the other day and I wanted to ask you…” And I remember that the social media platforms really have no idea who is connecting with my content and who is not.
There are people out there with huge social media numbers who still owe me money. That is because, although they have figured out how to play the game to make the algorithm happy, they do not have any genuine fans or customers.
Clients will sometimes ask about other musicians they see online who have big numbers. And I will say, “Yes, their stats are impressive. However, they have been doing this for several years and they are still just playing complicated solos in their basement. Meanwhile you tour internationally and people pay to see you perform. I would say you have more genuine fans.”
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