According to Neil Patel (you know, the guy who was named one of the web's top influencers by The Wall Street Journal and the guy who helps companies like Amazon, NBC and Viacom grow their revenue), whether you're a musician, entrepreneur or what have you, building your brand isn't about feeding your ego, it's about building opportunities for success. Patel also says that even though term "brand" refers to the public image of a company or an individual, it's not something that is superficial. Instead, it's a holistic take on how your company or musicianship is viewed.
In a recent review of Patel's book The Complete Guide To Building Your Personal Brand, eight key steps were outlined for how a personalized music brand can be built. These eight steps are very similar to the approach we take here at paNASH Style in helping up-and-coming artists define and articulate their unique brand.
- Create your personal brand vision: Patel defines this as the way you want to be perceived by others and also how you want to live your professional and personal life. We give our clients the room to explore these things through self-reflection exercises and collection of others' honest perceptions of them, and then together discover the right message to articulate the consistency of those ideas in a compelling theme and story. Start by trying to think of one word that best describes you (both your personality and your music) and brainstorm from there.
- Define your target audience: We provide tools for clients to not only determine who their target audience is (because you can't just say "everybody" is my target audience) but also where their audience spends time online. We also stress the importance that an artist's target audience is not just their fan base, but also potential sponsors and team members. Who is your target audience?
- Build up your online and offline assets: Online assets are obviously your web site, social media sites, blog, EPK, etc. Offline assets refer to items such as your hard copy press kit and professionally-written artist bio, business cards, flyers, posters, etc. While we don't do web site design or handle social networking for an artist, paNASH Style is here to make sure that those handling your online and offline assets have an understanding your image and the message you want to convey so that it is consistently evident in all of your collateral.
- Build your brand through outreach: Patel defines outreach as "the act of providing value to those that have established audiences filled with the people you want to reach. You provide value and in exchange they give you the chance to sell yourself to the audience." One of the things I find most clients have a difficult time articulating is their "value adds," or in other words, their "unique differentiators." We teach our clients how to express their unique differentiators in a way that gets garners the interest and attention of the right people. One question you will always have to answer is what makes you unique and different from other artists. Start brainstorming (or reviewing) your answer to this question now and see if it is one that really stands out.
- Get press coverage: While it's the responsibility of an artist's publicist and radio promotions team to secure press coverage for the artist, it is the artist's job to make a good impression in the press. paNASH Style's media coaching services help artists do just that. Are you prepared to interview not only with the DJs during your upcoming radio tour, but also with the program directors?
- Connect with mentors: Patel says that mentors are often simply good listeners, educators and friends. Our mission at paNASH style is to serve, educate, and encourage others by assisting them with the development of their image in a way that honors their craft and their own vision for success, while amplifying who they are personally and advancing them professionally. Start with the people you currently know and trust in the industry and reach out to them.
- Monitor your brand: It's important to make sure you monitor your online presence. In the book Advance Your Image, we have in the appendix an Online Self-Audit, a tool to help you track and maintain a positive online image.
- Be yourself: Patel provides a reminder that although you are making deliberate choices about presenting yourself in public that may sometimes require you to change your behavior or update your appearance, your choices should still be based on what makes you uniquely you. We don't believe in making someone into something they're not by putting them in clothes they're not comfortable in or teaching them canned responses to media questions. We want to Our goals in working with our clients at paNASH Style are to bring continuity to their talents and their appearance, and to polish the gem they already are on the inside so they shine even brighter to the world!
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