Artistpreneur Spotlight – Makeda Taylor, Music Industry Blogger | Singer | Songwriter
1.) You started out making music and now you’re more into social media; what made you make that transition from one to the other?
I made the transition because I realized that I had a gift and I attended Harris Institute and took some courses that contributed to this area of expertise. I also noticed that by utilizing various strategies I was doing far better than most other artists who had a larger real world following.
2.) What attracted you the most to music and social media? What elements and/or characteristics made you say to yourself that you wanted to do music and/or social media consulting for a living?
First of all I am not doing either of these careers for a living. I make a modest income from both but I originally was a Registered Nurse for 25 years before I became ill and had to go on long term disability. I’ve pretty much retired from being an artist and am focusing on social media. Now I work about 2 hours a day on social media representing about 5 clients. Most of the work I do for social media/blogging is done pro-bono. What attracted me was the ability to connect with people in a meaningful way. To create a sense of excitement about something of interest.
3.) Do you think that the traditional music industry model as we know it is dead? Why or why not?
The traditional music model where people generate most of their income from album sales…is pretty much on life-support. However the live performance/touring aspects of the industry are still booming. The way artists were signed to a label and the company would throw a lot of money at them for development is no longer the case. Record labels only want to sign artists with an established following and typically with their own indie master recordings. Artists have to do all the work to “break” themselves.
4.) How do you think social media affected the music industry and how musicians are able to market themselves?
Social media affected the music industry by minimizing the impact of the traditional gatekeepers such as media and publicists. Artists can now be more in control of their own messaging. They have the ability to access their target audience more than just using traditional email lists. The communication is two-way and they have access to networks such as facebook and twitter and can be in front of friends of friends. It has taken the show posters/invites online.
5.) Social media is obviously an extremely important element in today’s world, especially when it comes to business, branding, marketing, etc. With that being said, do you think an artist will be able to survive in today’s music industry if they’re not social media savvy?
If an artist is not social media savvy, their ability to compete on a level playing field is severely restricted. However if they are gifted, social media will work on their behalf. An example of this is Adele, she was not social media savvy, but word of mouth carried her music to the masses.
6.) Do you think it’s important for musicians to go the DIY (Do-It-Yourself) route with their music to do things their way and separate themselves from the rest? Why or why not?
I think an artist should always be in command of their destiny, whether that is with a record label or not. The chances to be the master of their own domain is more likely with the DIY model. A big part of DIY is harnessing your available resources. No person who considers himself an island will be able to compete in environment where networking is king.
7.) If you could compare yourself to an already established artist, who would that be and why?
Well at this point I don’t consider myself a true artist. However, Tracy Chapman epitomizes my ideals as an artist.
8.) When you did music, what do you think your listeners got out of your music?
My music always had social conscious messaging. Sometimes I would write about love or loss and I wanted my listeners to connect with their own emotions.
9.) What made you want to get into the music business in the first place? If you got out of the music business, what made you want to get out?
I got into the music business because I felt that I had a special gift to share. I left the music business because the amount of energy required to succeed at the top level was more than I was willing to invest.
10.) What is the most difficult thing you’ve had to endure in life and has that had any effect on your path to becoming a musician as well as a social media consultant and if so, why?
The most difficult thing I have had to endure in life was being abused sexually as a child. It influenced all my career paths…It lead to me wanting to be more transparent and open with sharing my feelings. Secrets stifle your creative energy.
11.) What is the most difficult thing you’ve had to endure in the music industry of today?
There are too many isms in the music industry. Weightism, Racism, Sexism, Classism, …What should be most important is talent and not what you look like or how much money you have.
12.) You’ve branched off from music to do social media consulting. Is there anything else that you’d want to do in addition to social media consulting?
I would love to return in some capacity to my career as a Registered Nurse or now that I have a love for playing Bridge, be a teacher of the game or a Director on a cruise ship.
13.) There are many social media consultants and many social media gurus out there carving their own niche in the online world. What makes your social media consulting business different from the rest? And why should artists’ seek your help?
What makes me different is I take a highly statistical approach to the measurement of engagement. I utilize programs to target specific audiences that are more likely to follow or engage. My messaging is unique and encourages sharing.