How do you stand out? How do you become memorable?
Think about the waitress who has a spark in her eye…the one who goes out of her way to make you feel special, the one who you think is best at what she does. If a specific person comes to mind it means she has been successful in creating a connection with you. This connection will appear effortless and authentic. You understand who she is, her passion for what she does and the value she places on her relationship with you. Her “brand” has made an impression.
Branding is about how you are perceived and how other people feel when they recall the experience of their encounter with you or your product. Therefore it is the experience of the human connection that is important.
Today the consumer is in charge of the conversation…not the business. An online “conversation” can literally happen in a millisecond. We scan because our attention is our most valuable asset. We engage only if it is important enough to invest our time and attention.
GETTING YOUR MESSAGE ACROSS
Focus is everything. The reader must be able to determine who you are, what you offer, how you do it and whether or not they choose to participate in a matter of seconds. . Following basic branding principles helps you focus your presentation. It will help you discover what makes you unique by forcing you to think differently about how you present yourself.
Ask yourself these questions:
What are your core values? How do you support these values? What is your promise to your reader/client? Can you define the culture of your business? Describe your personality? What do you aspire to? Define how your characteristics makes you unique?
Asking yourself these questions (going through a branding process) will keep your messaging clear and concise.
You are not an inanimate object. You are a person. Branding is only a tool to help you express yourself. Make connections with people (through authentic, concise messaging) and your brand value will rise.
What Is A Brand?
If I were to ask you this question would you have an answer? If I asked you to describe your brand could you tell me? Do you even know why it is important?
Let me ask you a few questions:
- What are your “Core Values”?
- How do you support (pillars) your core values?
- What is your “promise” (mission statement) to your customers/audience?
- Where do you want to go? (aspirations)
- If you asked someone to articulate who you are what would they say? (Brand Characteristics)
- How do you work? Who to you work with? (Culture)
- Describe your professional “personality”.
- Can you identify where your best opportunities are? Can you describe your image?
Your music is a commodity.
To be successful in marketing yourself you must start think of what you do as being a “product” that is bought and sold. Yeah , Yeah….I know this sounds hardcore. It doesn’t have much to do with making music. Or does it?
Believe it or not, I still get uncomfortable when talking about my music and my career…even after all these years. I have found, through painful trial and error, that when I think of my music as if it were an inanimate object I am much more at ease and less self conscious. I remind myself that I am expressing my brand not myself. I can then focus on the other person and be confident. Never forget- it’s all about connecting with who you are talking to.
What does that mean to you?
Think of your music as your “brand”-
which is to say that “you” are different than your brand.
The questions above describe the basics of branding a company, product or individual so that the reader or potential buyer can determine quickly (10 sec. or less) if you have given them sufficient reason to engage them in what you are offering. Doing this effectively requires you to be able to articulate your message (promise or mission statement) succinctly without hesitation. Rehearse your elevator pitch! It will give you a big boost of confidence.
In recent times there has been much emphasis on “branding”. You might think “branding” is cool graphics, great trailer style music, attention grabbing etc. Ever ask yourself how they come up with that stuff? (a great video describing what a brand is).
That being said: branding is about creating a shared experience that denotes quality, service and value that the user carries with them. To express these ideas to a listener, reader or employer you must be clear about the meaning of the message you are delivering. Here is an analogy: to be a successful orchestrator one has to learn how to write in “in the language of the orchestra “. Getting to the heart of who you are, what you stand for will make your sales process more effective.
What does this have to do with making music?
The more you work, the more chance you have to make music.