Building a brand as a musician is a very abstract concept, and many get frustrated in the process. Its important to remember that the process of finding your brand takes a long time, and everyone else is struggling with it too. Unfortunately, there is no formula to a strong brand and the brand idea you start out with may not be the same as the one you end up with. It’s really a long process of self-discovery. You will need to look in yourself and also listen to what your fans and followers are saying and how they are reacting to fine-tune your brand.

This article was originally posted on the Cyber PR blog.

The key to establishing yourself online and within your niche, is building a strong brand. Unfortunately this is far easier said than done. The process of designing, building and nurturing a new brand means you have established:

  • A unique voice
  • Consistent compelling content
  • A trustworthy reputation

The problem for most comes down to the simple fact that there is no single path to achieving any one of these things. And yet, you need to achieve them all in order for your brand to blossom.

What works for some, may not work for others.

What seems to be an obvious indicator of success for some, may be hidden for others.

A ‘brand’ is such an abstract, malleable concept and it may be difficult to know if you’re heading in the right direction. In fact, it can be down-right frustrating.

So the question becomes:

What is ‘Normal’ what it comes to building an online brand?

Here are 4 normalcies of brand building that, although may not give you the answer to the status of your brand’s growth, should give you the comfort knowing that you are not alone in your frustration and process.

Defining Your Voice Can Take A LONG Time
Whenever branding is discussed, one of the first components to be included is the idea of establishing a ‘voice’. This ‘voice’ must combine a powerful mission statement with a unique approach.

It won’t work with just one or the other.

This voice may not come to you right away. In fact, it is normal for this to take a VERY long time to fully realize.

As Malcolm Gladwell has said in his book ‘Outliers’, it takes 10,000 hours of practice to master a craft.

Once you do fully realize this voice, your focus and ability to create compelling content will be likely to become prolific.

When I created MicControl, it took me over a year’s worth of daily blogging before I found my voice.

I knew I wanted my mission to be helping musicians to advance their careers through digital marketing. But it wasn’t until I found the right approach of creating lean, skim-able, and most importantly actionable articles focused on social media marketing tactics, that my voice became truly defined.

Once this happened – the content started POURING out of me. What once took me several days of sketching, researching, drafting, re-drafting, editing and formatting, now took me only a few quick hours at MOST.

You Will Doubt Yourself… And Then You’ll Doubt Yourself Again

Doubt HAS to be the number one killer of brands. I can say from personal experience that this was the hardest obstacle to overcome. And yet, I had to work to over come my own doubt about my brand on a weekly basis (if not more often).

Because building a brand is so abstract, and can take such a long time to establish, you’ll often feel like you’re just treading water.

This is normal!

Because of this, it is important to find any successes, even if they are small, that you can not only rejoice in on a regular basis, but can use to keep you motivated:

  • A handful of Facebook ‘likes’ on a status update
  • A comment left on a blog post
  • A Re-Tweet or an inclusion in a #FF (Follow Friday) tweet

These are all successes. Use them as indicators of your growth and realize that with each small success, you’re working towards your brand-goal of creating compelling content, a unique voice and a trustworthy reputation.

What challenges have you faced building your brand? How have you overcome those challenges?

To read the full article, visit the Cyber PR blog.

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