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Monday, 18 November 2013 00:00

Are you inflating your social net worth?

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Would you buy your own albums to go Platinum? Or your own books to have a best-seller? Of course not, you're saying. Who would do that?

My guess? A lot of people – if they could afford it.

Because what I've learned, since joining Twitter, is that hundreds of artists buy FB likes, Twitter followers, and Youtube views to inflate their social net worth.

Honestly, is there really any difference between the buying your own albums and buying your own followers. They both work like crazy Ponzi schemes!

Don't get me wrong. I get it. On surface, the plan makes sense. More likes, more followers, and more views will lead to more attention. More attention will ultimately lead to a sales and/or a deal. But honestly, what are you really buying? You're buying lists of people who don't exist (they aren't real) or, worse yet, don't care about your music, your book, your artistry.

What that means is that you won't be able to translate those likes or those followers into sales. Those followers won't buy. You've falsely inflated your social net worth. Your stock price is high, but your value is low. So when you do drop that album or release that book, how many of those followers can you really expect to buy it?

I've tweeted out song reviews to great artists who have had less than 10K followers and reviews to mediocre artists who have between 50K – 1MM. Either way, the artist with true fans gets a reaction from his or her followers.

When an artist doesn't get a reaction – especially when the artist has a zillion followers – when he or she gets no congrats, no kudos, no comments, no RTS from their followers, I gotta wonder, are their followers listening and do their followers care?

Not to mention, any savvy record company or book publisher will be able to determine how deep an artist's true following is.

Listen, as artists, we have to believe in ourselves. We have to invest in ourselves. We have to find unique ways to get our artistry to the masses and rise above the competition. I encourage that.

But an inflated social net worth – well that's good for the ego; rarely does it do much for the bank account. And even if you're grinding out your art for the love, it is nice to get a real paycheck from time to time.