I recently attended a panel discussion designed to help the independent creative — musician, writer, performance artist, artist, photographer, etc. — learn how to brand herself. It wasn’t meant to be just about branding, but also about distinguishing one’s self above all the other artists who are also on their independent grind and who are all flooding social media platforms with their brilliance, and drowning would-be consumers with choices. A herculean task, no?
Though the panelists, all in marketing or PR, could not drill down and give specific solutions for each and every industry and certainly not specific individuals, they did offer professional suggestions that could be applied by anyone and that struck a chord:
- Find your tribe, or as one panelist put it “who are your people?” Connect with those who like your work and with those who are in your same industry.
- Do the groundwork. Figure out who your audience is and the best way to reach them.
- Have a plan. Have a team.
- Remember that social media platforms are not the only platforms that reach people; use every resource.
- Get out and connect. Go to events specific to your industry and network, as human contact is still the best resource.
What I took away from the discussion is that there’s nothing new, there’s no magic trick to it. There is some luck involved along with the hard work, and that the traditional/old school methods are still quite viable.