Technology and Music: Part 1: Developing Your Brand

From Do it in Public 2.0, by Jim Ernst

Jim Ernst is a young new professional in the Rochester NY in  the field of Communications and Public Relations.  He  expresses an interest in personal branding as well as music  and  often writes about such topics on his personal blog.


Music is an important part of our lives. Most of us listen to music in the car, in the office, on our ipods as we work out, but how often do we actually think of the people behind the music. There is a mass of people in this world that choose to make a career out of music and they are not the ones who have aspirations to become the next top 10 radio stars. Most of these musicians want to make a living as a classical performance artist, an educator, a music therapist, or an accompanist. These positions are some of the most difficult to obtain to because not only do you have to participate in the rat race of finding an open position out there, like the rest of our fields, you also have to back it up with your performance abilities and be an advocate for yourself. So I am putting together this 3 part series on how to use various technologies to help brand yourself as a musical genius before you ever sit down to audition for that job.

Part 1: Developing your Brand

The first step in getting your name out there as a musician is to decide what you want to communicate about yourself. This is a little bit different than developing a brand for a business or a organization, and in my opinion developing a personal brand is one of the hardest things to do. What do I mean by this?  Companies have the chance to rebrand themselves if they make a huge mistake or just want people to feel differently about them. The best example of this is when companies change their logo. This is a sign that you are supposed to feel differently about them, or that they have grown or changed in some way. Sometimes companies decide to change their brand identity, just because. One classic example of this is the GAP controversy from this past year.

But when you are talking about a personal brand, you have to realize that you might not be able to change it as easy as a company. If you build a really bad brand for yourself, you can’t just go delete everything about you that does exist on-line and change your name to get away from that Brand image. So the best bet is to be on top of it from the beginning.  Before we get into the actual steps to develop your brand, here are a few rules for keeping your social personality in check.

  1. So all that information you keep hearing about watching what you put on facebook or twitter, is true. However, I do encourage you to leave your profile completely open. The image you show to people when you do keep your profile private, is that you have something much worse to hid than you probably do. Also, it is good to show potential employers that you do have a social life. Once again, there is a fine line between social life and having a bender each weekend.
  2. Don’t tweet about everything you do! If your going to use your twitter account as a networking tool, only use it to update on things that are relevant to your field. We don’t need to hear about what your having for breakfast, or how disgusting that public restroom was. Instead send us a link about a story on another music therapist, or on a new venue for performance artists.
  3. Keep your profile updated! If your going to write a blog, tweet, or even use Facebook, don’t leave it blank for weeks or even days. People will stop checking if you leave the same stagnant information online. You will just have to work twice as hard to gain their attention back if you do loose them. Trust me!

So now that you know basic rules, lets talk about developing your brand. There are three parts to your brand.

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