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Liberate Your Craft from Social Media Algorithms
Artistic passion can be poisoned by a desire for relativity
In a world dominated by social media, artists are finding themselves trapped in a paradox that stifles the creative flame.
The relentless pursuit of appeasing algorithms can obscure the original passion, leaving one feeling disconnected from the art. This piece delves into some of my experiences and observations as a blogger, social media “content creator”, and YouTuber these past eight years.
Bottom Line Up Front: Chasing the algorithm-driven game of social media can detract from your creative spirit; we’re going to work towards getting you growth and reclaiming your artistic passion.
The Allure of Instant Gratification: Are You Sacrificing Your Craft?
Like a siren's call, social media entices artists with the promise of instant gratification. The allure of likes, shares, and follows can be seductive but at what cost? I caution against falling into the trap of chasing numbers, as it often leads to compromising authenticity and the core essence of your art.
What was your goal when you first started writing, taking photos, or recording videos?
Was it to make money or to express yourself and connect with others through your art form?
The answer to this question will drive your use of the medium.
Someone who creates for the purpose of making money should follow the algorithm, as eyeballs are what’s needed to sell. Someone who is more aligned with the expression of self; I understand you want to connect with others, but don’t lose yourself in the attempt to connect.
One of the main issues creators have is the fact that social media's algorithmic nature breeds a culture of comparison among artists. When bombarded by countless captivating creations, it's easy to lose sight of your unique style and creative identity. It’s one thing to emulate someone you admire and another to copy someone to replicate their success. To combat this, I am an advocate of embracing your individuality, emphasizing that true innovation lies within your ability to stay true to yourself. Uncover actionable techniques to silence the noise, celebrate your distinctive voice, and let your creativity soar to new heights.
“In the land of conformity, authenticity reigns King.”
Quality Trumps Quantity: Striving for Authenticity
In the race for higher engagement, artists often succumb to the pressure of churning out content at the expense of quality.
Remember, numerical benchmarks do not measure true artistry but rather their ability to resonate with an audience deeply. Explore ways to balance your artistic integrity with the demands of social media, ensuring your creations uphold their authenticity and leave an indelible mark on those who experience them.
The continuous demand for content in the algorithm-driven landscape can drain an artist's creative well. It’s important that you grant yourself the freedom to keep the “pressure to perform” out of your head:
How many tweets should you share?
How many images are too many?
Is short-form or Long-Form best for viewer retention..?
There’s nothing wrong with stepping back, recharging, and allowing your creative energy to flow organically. Unleash your imagination, experiment fearlessly, and nurture your personal growth by creating instead of checking boxes you think will bring “success”. Creating an environment that fosters creativity can reignite your artistic fire and allow you to reign supreme in your craft as you originally desired.
If there’s anything I’ve learned since going from ZERO social media presence in 2011 to getting on Reddit and now being on every platform, it’s that you must prioritize your artistic fulfillment over pandering to external measures of success.
Your shared art and overall life experience are dependent upon your ability to use social media and not be used by it.
I write here as well as on Twitter, and I share photos on Instagram; There’s been some growth beyond anything I could have imagined in some areas, and there has been a little movement where I thought there should have been more. For a long time, social media was used to connect, then it was used to make money, and now it’s become a hybrid which is what I believe to be the best of both worlds. The one thing I have always focused on is doing things my way, I shared my family life, youth sports, marriage, sobriety, etc. All of it was because these things were important to me, not because I thought they’d “sell”; but, in reality, I was selling myself very well. People want to connect with real people, they want to know the person on the other side of the screen is like them, a real human going through real life.
As I said, I have a photography account on Instagram; I don’t have a website, sales funnel, or any social media strategy attached to it. I like photography, so I share my photos there; the growth, or lack thereof, means nothing to me, as my photography is for me. I do it for no reason other than I want to, and I enjoy it. This adds to its sustainability because if I were to be hyper-fixated on the growth, I’d be working on hacking the algorithm at the expense of doing what I wanted to do.
Disconnect from the allure of virtual validation and reconnect with your authentic self. Break free from the algorithm's grip and embark on a transformative journey where artistic passion reigns supreme.
Prioritize your creative well-being, and nurture a deep love for your craft that transcends numerical benchmarks. By embracing your uniqueness, valuing quality over quantity, and reclaiming the joy of creation, you can forge a path where authenticity thrives.
- Zachary Small