life lessons on branding
For over 10 years I have been a part of my husband’s career in the music industry, and the lessons that I have learned from in in branding are invaluable. What to know how they apply to your own business?
I don’t think I have shared this here before, but my husband is a famous Venezuelan Latin pop singer. We have been together for over 15 years (if you did the math, you know that means he was my High School sweetheart). I have been a part of his team and career since he began his journey through the music industry a long time ago. Going through the process of building a personal brand in the public eye has been one of the best ‘schools’ I have had in terms of branding.
Believe it or not, the exact same principles that have worked for building the career of an artist are the ones that apply to each of the clients and businesses I have served over the years. You define your brand and design accordingly and BOOM, success. So, here I share with you the biggest lessons I have learned in 10 years in the music industry about branding.
defining your brand
When my husband began his career, he didn’t have anything close to a brand established and defined. His first album had 10 songs, each of them with a different style and beat. Not really committing to anything in particular. Even his artistic name was incongruent with what he wanted to portray.
Can you guess what happened with his first album? Nothing.
A lot of times we start business without having a clear idea about who we are and what we want to portray. We start because we want to do something that excites us, makes us money and has the possibility of us working on what we’re passionate about each day. And while that is absolutely lovely, doing things with passion and talent alone aren’t enough to make you successful. This is what happened to my husband when he began.
When you sit down and actually define your brand, understand who you are, what you want to say about you, what makes you unique and who your audience is, you get to stand out. The music industry (like all I guess) is very crowded, with tons of artists each day looking for ways to stand out. By not intentionally defining his brand, he was getting lost in the crowd, being invisible.
After his experience launching that first album, we decided to do things differently. He first went into the studio and work as hard as he could to make sure his sound was completely unique to him. Something original that could be defined as his own style. Then, we sat down and determined what his brand would be like: what values would be associated with him, what his voice would sound like, the types of messages he would be sharing and what he wanted to say. With that, I went to work and designed something that truly reflected who he was.
Guess what happened with his second album? Massive success. Multiple #1 songs on the radio and TV music video channels, nominations, awards, presentations and exposure.
Coincidence? Absolutely NOT! I have seen this happen again and again over the years with many of the clients I have worked with.
By the way, if you need help in discovering the different branding and website mistakes YOU might be making that are keeping you from bringing in the right clients, I created this free guide that covers 5 things you definitely should be looking at!
become a content machine
Want to know what you need to do in order to be successful in whatever it is that you do?
Become a content machine.
This is one of those lessons that I think has been extremely valuable for me in terms of building a career in the music industry. Forgotten are the days when an artist would get signed by a label and cross his arms while they did the promotion while he made money. Forget about that!
Like with any business, the key to success if constantly giving your audience what they want and expect from you. To him that means producing songs, videos, photographs and text that help build his brand.
What does this mean to you?
Maybe it’s starting a blog, or a YouTube channel, or perhaps you start sharing incredible posts on your Instagram. Whatever it is, do it.
Because, here’s the thing about content: it sells. It’s a way to build your credibility and trust and get people to like you even more. Plus, it could potentially be super cheap.
For my husband, it doesn’t mean going into a studio to produce a song every 3 days. That could be nice, but probably too exhausting and time consume. It means sharing a simple video playing on his guitar on Instagram. Or composing a song and asking his audience for an option.
The cool thing? Creating great content won’t take away from people buying from you.
Take his case: he shares songs, ideas, photos, videos and what does he get? People streaming his music, Shazaming (is that a verb?) his songs, and buying tickets to his concerts.
For your business it could play out exactly the same way. You are sharing content and giving others a glimpse into what you do and showing just how incredible you are, while getting people to like you more and more. It’s the first step to building trust and getting people in the door. I have seen this so much over the years. The clients I have had that have been able to share and create incredible content are the ones that are the most successful. Here’s the thing about content:
– It’s easily shareable
– In shows you are an expert or really talented (like my husband)
– It builds a ton of engagement (specially if you ask people to do something)
– It can be pretty cheap
It’s a win-win-win-win-win for everyone!
consistency, consistency, consistency
I have talked about consistency quite a bit in the past. And the reason for this is that I truly believe that consistency is the key to success. It certainly feels that way in the music industry and my husband’s career. You see, no matter what happened, every 6 months or so he has consistently launched a new single. This is true whether his previous song was a massive success, or just a normal success. It doesn’t matter, he has kept on going and going regardless of the outcomes.
Plus, if you consider that the reason why you are doing it in the first place is because, technically, you love it; there’s no reason to NOT keep on doing it, right?
Consistency has been the most important factor in his success for sure. And it has been the same for my career and for a ton of my clients as well.
– To me, consistency is about being very clear on who you are and what you want to communicate about your brand.
– In understanding your audience and creating content that speaks directly to them. So for him, it means: if his audience likes Latin pop, he might experiment with his music a little bit, but he knows that if he were to do say Punk rock in English it would totally throw them off.
– Being consistent in your tone and the way your brand communicates. If you are approachable and down to earth online, it means you have to be friendly ‘offline’ as well.
– Sign consistent in your image, with the same logo, similar fonts and color schemes everywhere. This in his case carries over to his videos, single covers, and profiles. This means people can recognize his brand without seeing his face.
a clear strategy
Every year for the past 6 or 7 years my husband’s team gets together and we plan out our goals for that year. This means we sit down and define roughly when we will be releasing a new single, what promotion strategy we will be implementing and what the outcomes should look like. And trust me in this, we set pretty big goals for ourselves.
Things like: if we do this, then that means we should get that nomination or sing at this important huge event.
For those things to happen, it means that we have to carefully plan out a promotional strategy and a networking one as well. If we know we want him to sing at a particular event by the end of the year, who do we have to meet to get there?
These are all questions and things we plan out in advance and work the whole year to reaching each and every one of those goals. And guess what? Every year for the past 6 or 7 years we have achieved everything on our list.
Not bad, right?
What this means for you is that once you establish your brand you have to work on nurturing it and growing it daily. Plan out your weeks, months and years in advance.
Like I said before, talent and love will only get you so far. You have to make sure you are doing the work and putting a system in place that will set you up for success. A part of that is making sure you have a great sales funnel for your business.
A sales funnel is what takes people from knowing who you are, to liking you to finally trusting you enough to buy. This is so important and something I have been working on a lot for the past year. Setting this system in place for my clients has also been a lot of fun because it’s a great way to make their website be worth more and make them sales all the time.
a kickass team
I would have to say that another pretty important thing that I have learned in my experience in the music industry is that having a team is essential to your success. Having a team means looking for others to support you and fill in the gaps to where you are not a ‘genius’ at. This has been extremely important in my husband’s career. Can you imagine an artist calling TV stations asking for interviews directly? Or negotiating his own contracts for shows? Uh-uh. Not powerful at all.
Every person on your team should be there working on building your brand and making sure that all the things you have defined and put in place so far propel you to move forward. Of course, he has me to take care of and manage his own brand and help him make sure that he not only looks on point, but also sounds it (in his communication at least) all the time.
He has his manager that knows what he needs to negotiate with which brands too. Since we have established what his brand is all about, he would never endorse for example a commercial or ad for a cigarette brand, and his manager know this really well. His PR makes sure she gets him on the biggest and best platforms so that he can communicate to his audience. Since she knows what his brand is all about, she knows that she shouldn’t take him to a radio station that plays only rock music for example, because his audience isn’t there.
Every piece of the puzzle is important, and making sure everyone is clear about what they need to do and who you are as a brand is crucial.
This applies the same way to my clients over the years and to your business, too. Making sure you have a kickass team that understands you will be one of the greatest assets for your business.
And remember, you can download the free guide I created that will give you a ton of insight into what you need to fix in order to build a brand that attracts the right clients! These are things you definitely want to avoid — and which would have saved us a lot of money AND time!
These are only some of the lessons in over 10 years in the music industry. It had been as fun as you can imagine. And, even though it has been challenging at times too, it is something that I am absolutely passionate about as well. Being married to a famous singer has taught me great lessons on branding and building a business the right way and it’s sort of surprising to see how much these apply to pretty much every other niche out there.
Oh..and if you’re curious, here’s his music…