The following post is by Christian music artist Lydia Laird, and I was struck by how she feels because it’s not the first time I’ve heard about this struggle. In our coaching sessions with digital directors and those over social media at their stations, we’ve heard that they feel like they must keep pumping out content at an unsustainable rate. They feel like they can’t keep up with what the algorithm wants, what leadership wants, what the new trend is…on and on. This problem is deep, rampant, and dangerous. Read what Lydia has to say, and then I’ll tell you my thoughts on the solution.
“PLEASE ENJOY THE FOLLOWING RANT…I absolutely hate the fact that music artists cannot focus solely on the music they were made to create anymore, but instead have to constantly be putting out content on social media, keeping up with the latest trends and working furiously to gain likes and followers in order to have a career. The business side of this industry seems to be more concerned about how many tiktok views you have than your actual talent, calling or even the number of people who are actually streaming your music. Likes and follows don’t always translate to listeners, yet for some reason, instead of just doing what I’m called to do in music, suddenly, if I am to keep up with industry standards, I am supposed to become an actress…I’m supposed to pump out content, whether it’s authentic or not, all in order to stay relevant. Makes me so sad. It’s not real. It’s not healthy. It’s not sustainable, yet the whole world seems to be at the mercy of social media right now…
Honestly, I don’t know that it’s God’s best for us. I heard one record label say they would not sign an artist anymore unless their social media numbers were good enough. What about their music? What about their mission? At what point do we decide to not let social media control us and instead just be faithful to what God has put in us? All of the rest is vanity. There are people who need to hear about Jesus. There are people who need music to help them get through things. There are people who need to know that those they are listening to are being authentic and not just creating something because they know it will get likes or it will get played on K-LOVE. I’m tired of the stress it puts on me as an artist and the fact that there have been times that I have chosen to care more about making it in this industry than just being faithful to who God has called me to be. Even if it never looks like I thought it would or maybe even hoped it would – His way is better, and thank God He does not determine our success or our usefulness by the number of likes and views and followers we get. I have to ask myself, at the end of the day, is it more important to me that I reach the one person I was supposed to reach, even if nobody knows about it? Or is it more important to me to reach the masses, even if I miss the eternal mark?
I’m preaching to myself. I am convicted and I am just tired. I have to fight myself on a daily basis to focus on what true success is… Not likes, not followers, not money, not fame, not how big my audience is… But being faithful and obedient in the little things. Honestly, I haven’t done great at it. But trying to keep up with the world’s version of success will kill me. I don’t even want to try anymore. This is just a PSA to those of you who may feel like me…just know you’re not alone… And to hold me accountable to the fact that I don’t want to play this game anymore. If my life is not solely focused on being true and obedient and honest to who God has called me to be and who He is, then I don’t want it. I’m redefining success for myself. Maybe you need to too?
Rant over. Love you guys. ??”
Entertainment Cannot Be Our Sole Focus
Christian radio is in a challenging situation because it’s an entertainment industry that can’t focus on entertainment. Or at least not only entertainment. If you’ve read anything Killer Bee has put out, you know our focus is using social media and digital platforms with a strategy that aligns with your station’s purpose. Playing the game of keeping up with the trends and the needs of the algorithm will not build the audience you’re searching for, the people that desperately need the message of Jesus. If we allow ourselves to fall into the trap of thinking more eyes, more attention, and more likes mean we’re fulfilling our mission, we’ll miss the opportunity to pour deeply into people.
KillerB Thought For Leaders
We need to put the people first, especially our team members, and not just focus on social media. When I see leaders put more emphasis and pressure on getting more views, likes, and shares while ignoring what they’re doing to their team members, it breaks my heart as a leader.
Tony Robbins said, “I define success as having a positive impact on the people around you.” Ask yourself, as a leader, are you positively impacting your team members? If not, I would challenge you to make a change. If your purpose is to encourage people, shouldn’t that start with the team you’ve been blessed to lead? Or, if your mission is to bring joy to people, shouldn’t you start with the people at your organization? It’s up to us leaders to set realistic and healthy goals and care for our team.
Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.
Matthew 7.12 NLT
CEO, Digital Strategist for Killer Bee Marketing
Let’s connect on LinkedIn: briancuree
Brian Curee has spent over a decade in the world of digital, with experience that spans across strategy, design, development, and social media management. He has served in the Christian radio industry since 2013, is an active EntreLeader Elite member who completed Donald Miller’s StoryBrand Marketing Roadmap and has a degree in Computer Science and Theology. Brian is passionate about helping others in the Christian Radio industry do digital with purpose and confidence. You can learn more about Killer Bee Marketing and their services at https://killerbeemarketing.com