Building your own personal brand | What you need to know
Are you an artist who's just starting out? Or are you a freelancer who's been at it for a while? Either way, the importance of building your brand cannot be overstated. The difference between an okay-ish successful musician and a great one who slipped through the cracks may boil down to something as simple as recognition. And without your own memorable brand, the chances of making it (whatever that may mean in today's scenario) are slimmer. In this post, I leverage my professional branding and advertising experience with leading agencies, start-ups and established brands to detail the importance of building your personal brand easily and inexpensively. To quote an inimitable character from possibly the best superhero trilogy ever made, let's not stand on ceremony here? (Brownie points if you read it in his voice) 1. Memorability - What do the world's most successful beverage company, the masked mercenary and those most annoying earworms masquerading as songs have in common? They're incredibly memorable! That means that they're super easy to recall and it's important to remember that your own brand stands a better chance of being recalled if it's simple, unique and catchy. Pick a brand/artist name that's short, relatable and one that hasn't been taken already. My name is Paraj and decades of being the object misspelling and ridicule did come with its perks - it was unique, short and wasn't already the name of a successful artist. I initially chose 'The Truestoryteller' as my artist name, but that meant adding another layer of complexity for people to search through and I decided to drop it.
2. Consistency - Whatever brand name you do choose, remember to keep it consistent across ALL your marketing channels and collateral. I'm talking email, social media, website, EVERYTHING. It's a lot easier for people to find you if your brand name and handles are closely related and the same across the board.
For example, my artist name is Paraj, my social handle is parajsings (a play on my surname which is Singh), my website is parajsings.com and my email ID is firstname.lastname@example.org. Trust me when I say this: NOBODY has enough time to memorise every URL/handle/email ID that you give them, so you might as well keep it constant and as simple as possible.
3. Accessibility - If you've ever searched for something you want among the vast interwebs, chances are that you've had trouble finding it on the first go. With so many people and brands competing for people's limited attention, you'll need to make it easier for people to reach you and this can be achieved by combining the three steps above and creating easily shareable and findable brand assets like a website. By creating a simple website that lists all of your work and services, you'll create a platform that people can reach your work in fewer steps. I recommend you invest in a unique URL through tons of easy-to-use website builders out there because it makes your brand look more professional while being easy to share and remember. Check out the artist website I created for myself: parajsings.com
4. DIY & Professionalism - Speaking of being perceived as a professional (in whatever it is that you do), it's a lot easier if you enlist the services of other professionals who are good at what they do. Want a song mixed and mastered? Want a logo designed? Pay professionals to do it for you. But this doesn't mean that you shouldn't do anything on your own. Figure out what are the things that you can do yourself and what you need help with. For instance, I knew that I could handle everything from content writing, website design, banners and creatives to distribution, outreach and more. But I sought the assistance of professionals for video editing, audio mixing and mastering.
5. Perseverance & Patience - There's an overused saying that Rome wasn't built in a day, but I'm going to use another one instead - progress takes time. It takes more than a few singles to gain mainstream recognition as an artist. Not every writer's first novel becomes a bestseller. And not every brand's first product achieves immortality. Don't expect ungodly results, but remember to keep tracking your progress, learning from each launch/release and growing. If you felt like you learned something through this post, feel free to give it a share so that it can reach someone else who may need to read it. About me: I'm an independent musician who's released 1 solo EP, 1 full length album with my band Flaw & Order and a couple of collaborations with other artists. I'm also a writer by profession and I work in advertising. You can check out my music via my website (parajsings.com) and I'm available on all social media platforms as @parajsings.