I can't stress enough the importance of building a network of opportunity for yourself. It's what the journalism world calls "branding". Don't worry it's not taking hot iron and marking cattle, it's a lot simpler. To brand yourself is to give other people expectations of what to expect from you. It's the expectation of anything, like Microsoft is known for computers. MTV is known for music and reality shows. Branding yourself will make you an authority or aficionado for what you do. My brand, or one I'm aiming for, is local music. Building on that foundation I'd like to add: a good interviewer, a trusted source for music information, and a writer who goes all out for a story. What is your brand? What are you doing to help yourself standout?
In the competitive world of music and journalism, it's important to have an edge. Now-a-days anything can be done online. There are thousands of music blogs, there are thousands of bands on Myspace. Why should anybody pay any mind to you?
This is something I've been learning in my classes and in trying to market my band and blog to a wider audience. You have to go above and beyond. To those of you reading this that are annoyed and hassled by my constant Facebook attack of links- I'm sorry. I am just trying to extend my reach.
A serious musician or writer has to have a grasp of every social network possible. You need a Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, Wordpress/Blogger, Reverbnation account, email, etc. You have to be compatible to that medium just in case you can grab one extra person. I'm not saying it's easy because it's not. It actually is quite time consuming. But that's the price to pay if you want it bad enough, and honestly that still may not be enough.
The way I see it, as long as I can get my work out there and maybe help or encourage some along the way, I'll feel accomplished. But a good feeling is like a temporary high because it doesn't pay the bills. So for the time being I'll keep annoying my Facebook friends in hopes of bothering the right one.
This is part two in my journalism project. Part 3 will be out tomorrow. Let me know how you'll build your brand.