So I had the songs on the world wide web, I had a CD and of course those were just the very things the world was waiting for.

It turned out the world not only wasn’t waiting for my music, the world could not have shown more indifference if it tried. I had a website and a very small social media presence and as it turned out that wasn’t even close to being enough to get people to listen to my music.

I realised almost instantly that whilst I had got used to hearing myself I simply couldn’t bear to be near anyone else when my music was being played. On top of that I had absolutely no idea how to promote my music or indeed whether it was worth promoting.

A few people like Jermaine and Chris Halstead were positive about what I had recorded but the number of streams was pitifully small and it seemed that no-one wanted a CD. I had to make some hard choices, did I want my music to be heard and what was I prepared to do to get people to listen to it?

I began to realise that I had to treat promoting my music like a business venture. I’d started and run businesses, both successfully and unsuccessfully, so I had some idea of what I needed to do. I needed to up my game. I started by forming a limited company. I called the company Washable Ltd for no other reason than my childhood teddy bear was called Washable. He was a panda and had a label on him that said I am washable, so what else was he going to be called?

The next step was to scrap my website and come up with something that looked like I was serious about my music. Fortunately my real job involves a website and so I got the guys who developed that to design a better website based on a WordPress theme I chose.

Next came social media. I decided to concentrate on Facebook and Twitter which I’d used in business in the past but I quickly learnt that Instagram and LinkedIn have benefits that I could use in music promotion. I had to get followers, and lots of them, and so either you buy followers or you start following people and hope they follow you back. I can’t see any benefit in buying followers so I started to follow people. If they were going to follow me back I had to offer them something and I had to post – a lot.

I also had to realise that I had become a musician. Throughout my life I’ve been in awe of people who could read music and play and instrument proficiently, I can’t read music and my skills on any instrument are very limited. But, I had written an album’s worth of songs and played every note so clearly I have some innate ability so it was time to start acting like I was a musician however fraudulent I might feel about that.

Although I was aware of the limitations of the music I’d produced I was proud of it. I might not have done the songs the full justice they might have deserved but when I started to compare my music to other indie artists I felt that I competed favourably. It was time to start believing I am a musician and it was time to get that message out to as many people as I could.

It was either that or accept that my album was a vanity project that no-one outside a very few people would ever hear. I didn’t want that, I want my music to be heard and by as many people as possible.

I also have to accept that it’s going to take a long time. I don’t have a big budget, I don’t have the backing of a major record label, I’m way too old to be the next teen sensation and I’m not going to go out and play gigs every night to build an audience.

The time had come to start to market my music and what an education that turned out to be.

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