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Leading Singer’s Insights on Building Your Platforms

Holly with her guitar
Holly Henry is an accomplished singer building a huge and engaged fan base on her many media channels.

You might remember Holly from Season 5 of The Voice, with a 4-chair turn.

She’s since won a Midwest Emmy in 2014 for arrangement and vocals for The Sochi Olympic NBC TV, has 2 Successful EPs and new full length LP coming this summer.

Holly is active daily on YouTube (with nearly 300,000 subscribers), Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – and shares her insights with today’s singers:

We’re going to talk about different platforms in a minute, but do you have any overarching goals or principles when it comes to presenting yourself online?
You see many people online who care so much about the views or the popularity and they don’t mind stretching the truth to get where they want to go. No judgement to them, but I personally always want to be honest and present an image of myself that is truthful. I obviously don’t share everything with the internet, but I try to make the things I do share unembellished.

Holly Henry – Social Media

You are active on several platforms: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and SoundCloud – could you explain what your goals are for each one?

Holly’s Twitter


Twitter is probably the least formal of all my sites. I very often just spew thoughts on Twitter but I think that’s why people enjoy it. They get to see what you think about on a daily basis.

Holly's Facebook

Holly’s Facebook

Facebook, for me, is basically a launch pad to everything else. There are an incredible amount of people who use Facebook every day. Using that to your advantage is a no-brainer. I’m usually just posting my YouTube videos or updates about my new music.

Holly Henry on Instagram

Holly’s Instagram

Instagram is a difficult one to sum up because on the one hand there are people who take Instagram very seriously and have a color scheme etc. Then there are people who take pictures of their mac and cheese, throw on the Valencia filter and post. It’s completely different for everyone. I try to make my Instagram pleasing to look at (because appearance can go a long way when someone is just scouting out your page), I try to make it more personal and promote my music less often than other sites. Instagram is very much about you as a person not your work. At least for me personally.

Holly's most popular YouTube upload, with over 2M views

Holly’s YouTube

What I post on YouTube is a thank you to people for listening to my music as well as a tool to grow my audience. Most songs I cover are requests and it is by far my most active site. I try to post consistent content because when so many people take the time to subscribe and be interested I want to give them something back.

Holly’s SoundCloud

SoundCloud is so people can download my covers for free. All of these sites work together to gather interest and create accessibility. No matter what site you use, you can still find me! And I mean it’s also fun.

Social media tips for singers

What are your top tips of how to interact on your platforms?
Don’t post too much and don’t post too little. I’m definitely guilty of posting too little and actually have to remind myself to keep people updated on the things I am doing. But, if you post too much you can become, for lack of a better word, annoying. Updating all your sites is also important because some people only follow you on one.

I didn’t realize that leaving your channel untouched for a month was bad

What is a social media fail that you have learned from?
For a while I was completely inconsistent with my YouTube videos. I didn’t realize that leaving your channel untouched for a month was bad. I didn’t gain as many subs so a change was necessary. When I posted more videos, more people followed and more people interacted. It seems obvious but I just wasn’t aware.

Your website is really cool! Was that difficult to set up?
We had a lot of fun making it look exactly how we wanted. My father has past knowledge about website set up etc. so I was lucky to have him help me out. Here’s what he says, “We looked at a number of different web hosting options for Holly’s Website but finally landed on Bandzoogle. They had many easy to use templates (we are currently on our second incarnation of Holly’s site at Bandzoogle), great tools for incorporating music, video and especially social media, which is important to Holly. Also, the support and personal interaction we’ve had from the folks at Bandzoogle has been superb.”

Social media links on Holly's website

All the various social media links are in one place on Holly’s website

Do you find that you have different audiences on different platforms that never go to the other platforms? Or, do they truly use your site as this ‘doorway’?
I think the majority of people use this site as it is meant to be used. It is a great “home base” for people and unless they are on the site to look at fan art etc. I think they are there to explore all sites.

You have a part of your site that is devoted to fans (‘hollowers’) and an accompanying fan forum – how does this work and is it something you would recommend to other artists?
I mean, it’s not a necessity for all artists but I think people really enjoy a sense of community. That’s something the internet provides almost everywhere you go. The more you can make people feel like they are a part of something the better it is for the artist and the followers.

Holly first began posting cover videos on YouTube in 2011 and is still going

What was your first experience of the online world with your music?
I first began posting cover videos on YouTube in 2011. Sometime in 2012 I began sharing my videos on other social media sites including Tumblr. My cover of Bon Iver’s “Flume” was awful quality and you could hear it raining behind my singing but people surprisingly shared it! I remember it got a few thousand views which was a lot for me.

What did you take away from this reaction?
I learned that if people like what you do, very often they will go out of their way to show you. Especially online when it’s as easy at pressing a button to share something. That was encouraging.

You’re active doing live shows. What is different / the same about a live show compared to your online work? How does one feed the other?
Everything you do feeds everything else you do. For example, if I play a show, people might be interested in me and find my social media and vice versa. I definitely prefer online work because I’m a planner and I enjoy having control haha. Being online is planned, it is practiced, and between us is sung over and over until perfect. I love being online because I can choose to post or not post. I can create my own image.

Social media is a gift to artists

What final advice do you have for other independent artists who are taking their first steps sharing their music online?
Social media is a gift to artists. We have the opportunity to share our art with millions and as daunting and competitive as the internet is, it really makes life so much easier for creators. Be consistent and remember that artists back in the day who didn’t have this platform would have killed to have an audience be this accessible. Take advantage of that and enjoy creating :)

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Holly Henry bio

Holly Henry is recording artist/online musician. Her YouTube channel (Hollymaezers) is enjoyed by her huge fanbase.

Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | SoundCloud