Had a conversation with a musician the other day.  He said to me that he didn’t need to establish a brand, he just used his name.

“So” I said, “You’ve got your name reserved, for your website domain?”

Well… no.  Someone else has that domain reserved.

“But then surely, on your Facebook page…”

Uh, no… I haven’t got around to securing my name as a Facebook nickname, yet.

“Twitter…. ???”

Well, I don’t get Twitter, so I haven’t secured the name…

“Are there any other social media or business networks that someone can find you on ?”

Oh, yeah… I’m on MySpace, YouTube and LinkedIn.

“What name did you use on those ???”

Oh, they’re all different.

*Stunned silence*

 

Make a name for yourself:

The guy is a great songwriter, and an amazing musician… but not surprisingly, not too many folks have heard of him… because he has a different name, everywhere you look.

One of my teachers used to say, “Whatever you do, try to create a name for yourself.”

A NAME.

Singular.

Not a string of names and clever acronyms that no one but you will understand.

I am my brand.

I am BobSongs.

BobSongs - Business Card

On my Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook… even, so help me… Flickr… (you know I’m not a photographer, right ???) …I am BobSongs.

I have as many variations of BobSongs and Bob Gray web domains sewn up, as are available.

The ones that weren’t available, I keep a list of, and check every few months to see if any of them have become available.

 

Patrol the Brands you are associated with:

Google Alerts is great for this.

If anything “hits” the web with Bob Gray, BobSongs, or any of a few other keywords I target… I get a weekly update, e-mailed to me.

Usually it is information about other BobSongs/Bob Gray’s, or tracking something from my Twitter feed or Blog…. but every once in a while it is something I want to see, or at least be aware of.  Pennywise the Clown, from the Stephen King novel “It”, was one Bob Gray.  Another Bob Gray that pops up from time to time is the professional speaker, who talks about how to expand your memory.  There are lots of others.  But if someone is saying something about my Brand… I want to know it.

 

Be constant, and consistent:

I’m a bad example here, and am currently unable to follow my own rule, because TOO many of my Blog posts are NOT associated with the music and songwriting of the BobSongs Brand.  The reason for this is that I haven’t yet found an alternate Brand that I am comfortable with, that is available as a domain, and on Twitter.  As soon as I do… Whoosh… my non-music content will be transferred from this Blog, to the new site.

On Social Media, I try to break down the conversations by category… so I have lists for Hockey Fans, Scotch Drinkers, Musicians, etc… as, many times, the groups with similar interests tend to talk about the same things.  If I do a LOT of chatting about a subject, I would consider having a separate account for that “voice.”  In my case, with my passion for all things Vancouver Canucks, I created the NucksBob Twitter account, to stop from ticking off my “other” Twitter followers, and so I can focus my tweets, in that account.

 

You don’t have to do any of this stuff.

Just like you don’t have to get gigs… be successful… sell your CD’s…

You don’t have to.

But by establishing and maintaining a consistent Brand, you make it easier for people to find and support you, and it makes it that much easier, when you find success, to further establish your Brand, and broaden your support base.

I think it happens almost every day.

As @BobSongshttp://Twitter.com/BobSongs I’m a Blogger, Writer, and Songwriter.  I’m on Twitter most days, and Facebook a few times a week.  I have a LinkedIn Profile, that I’m working on, but not 100% familiar with, yet.

I’m also involved in the BC Songwriters’ Showcase Association, http://Twitter.com/BCSongwriters and help out with their Twitter and Facebook presence.

I am often surprised by the frequency with which I will encounter someone who expresses a desire and drive to become a songwriter or performer… but have no Photo, Biography or Contact Information on their Twitter Profile.

I understand that a LOT of new users don’t understand the ebb, flow or even the concept of Twitter and Social Media.

But, if you want to attract and grow an audience, then it is important to greet them properly.

Sad as it is, we are a society of people who judge books, by their covers.

As we gather a sense of people from our first impression… so we gather a sense of you, as an Artist, from your Social Media.

Many times a week, I send friendly Tweets to folks, reminding them to fill out their Bio and Location information.

If you are on Twitter to have fun, and talk about school… sure, lock your profile down.

If you are on Twitter to promote your Product, or especially if your Product is Yourself… you really need to put your Best Foot Forward !

If your Band is following 200 Tweeps, but you only have a following of 18…  it probably means that you are probably only reaching the hardcore audience (family and friends) that already know about you.  You are “preaching to the choir” and the rest of the people you follow are not interested in your message, or your “Product.”

How To Make It Better:

At the top of your Twitter Page, are a series of words…  Everthing that people will base their first impression on, (other than your Tweets,) is contained under the Settings “tab”:

 

Blue Twitterbird Pics means you didn't care enough to post a real picture1) Post a picture ! If “you” are your product, then the picture should be of you.  If that doesn’t work for you, take a picture of a guitar, microphone, or your cat…  My picture is currently one of my Cats, who snuck into my guitar case… but I change it regularly !  (Points get deducted for using a photo of ANOTHER person, as your photo.)

 

2) Say where you are ! Maple Ridge, BC, Canada. If you are not comfortable with saying the exact city you are from, pick the closest big City.  Vancouver, Canada If that causes you concern, go regional… Canada’s West Coast Give us SOMETHING, because, who knows… we may want to work or write with you !!!

 

3) Give us a sense of “you” ! If you are a guitar-playing country music loving songwriter… say so.  If you’ve got a bunch of things going on, say that too !  My profile says: Blogger, Songwriter, Writer, married to @loriegray, right-handed, wacky sense of humour, cat lover, Hockey fan, Uncle… and Canadian ! There’s  a lot of info in there, but I wear a lot of different hats, when I use Twitter.

 

4) Websites ! If you have your own website… fill it in !  If you have a MySpace profile, and one song… fill it in !  If you have a grainy video on YouTube… fill it in !  Whatever the ONE best website you have, that represents your product best ?  Use it.

I’m not writing this to be mean.  I’m not writing this to underscore that Artists sometimes have different gifts, and can be technically challenged.

I’m writing this with the hope that it may help someone look at the deficiencies in their Twitter profile, and be able to effect changes because of it.

If these instructions help you… I’m glad !

If you need help understanding how to implement them, please send me an e-mail or a Tweet.

Please don’t go on, without filling in the blanks… because in many cases, it means we will probably Not Follow You or Follow You BACK… and only YOU know what we’ll be missing out on !!!

Hope to see you on Twitter !!!