How to Launch Your Brand with The A & R Perspective
Based on Nielsen findings, there were an estimated 3.2 billion blogs worldwide last year.
Let that sink in for a moment…
Now, how many of those are producing hits?
I’m talking about the kind of stuff viral dreams are made of – shares, links, comments, buzz, traffic, massive subscription lists, sales, etc.
Answer? Very few.
How many business bloggers thinks theirs has hit potential? That’s right… all of them!
Of course they do. Why else would are they trying to create an online brand? But 99% have what it takes to create a hit blog, which is why you only have a few breakout stars in each industry. And if you’re using your website build an influential brand, this is what you are up against.
Sound impossible? It’s not.
And now, I’ll tell you the story of Kimberly and here adventures in the great wide open of online branding….
Entrepreneurs: Rebels Without A Clue
When I launched my website, I was clueless.
Like many online newbies, I made a lot of mistakes and had my fair share of setbacks. But within 18 months:
The Huffington Post recognized me as a one of the nation’s top personal branding experts
Online influencers regularly share my blog with hundreds of thousands of their followers
Respected organizations invite me to speak at their events
I am repeatedly invited to guest blog, contribute, and quoted in major online publications
And, best of all, my pipeline has been full of dynamic clients that I love working with
I’m not bragging (my blog has opened up a lot of other cool opportunities for my brand)… I’m just pointing out that it can be done. And you can even wear a Beastie Boys shirt while doing it.
So what did I do?
I put in a lot of hard work around a simple brand launching concept I call “The A & R Perspective”.
The A & R Man Said I Don’t Hear a Single
I’ll get to the details in a moment, but first a quick marketing lesson about the music industry.
In a nutshell, here’s what record labels are looking for:
a talented artist + a hit single
The talented singer part is probably no shock to you, but why a hit single? Because that’s what leads to multi-platinum album sales, sold out concerts, and legions of fans buying merchandise.
In other words, a musician doesn’t have a brand until they have a hit.
So, the record companies create Artist and Repertoire departments and hire executives to scout new talent and hit songs. These people have a pretty sweet job. But don’t be fooled, scouting isn’t easy.
Because EEEEV-EEEER-YYY-ONNNEE artist thinks they’ve got the “it factor” and the next smash song. And 99% of them don’t.
(Hmmm… sound familiar?)
So, what does an A & R executive look for?
Oh, they’re just looking for a talent…
… and buzz factor, a strong work ethic, an established fan base, strong web presence, a proven ability to sell songs, isn’t overwhelmed with other commitments or debt, is compatible with recent trends, and strongly positioned with a fresh image, look, and sound.
You didn’t think it was just talent, did you?
Okay, let’s get on with applying this lesson to you…
The A & R Perspective
The “secret” to my success has been my ability to look at my brand (or products, services, website, etc.) from an A & R Perspective, and then create a strategy based on my assessed results.
Here’s what you do…
1. Answer the A & R questions, be specific and detailed:
Have I highlighted my talent?
Can I create buzz?
Am I committed to seeing this through?
Do I have a large enough fan base?
Do I have a strong web presence?
Do I have a proven track record?
Am I focused on results?
Am I keeping up with recent trends?
Have I strongly positioned a fresh image, look, and/or sound?
Is this worthy of producing a hit?
2. Score your answers with a 1-5 star rating (5 being best). Be brutal and honest with yourself. Would an A & R Rep sign you to their company based on your answers?
3. Create an action plan to improve your results and start implementing. Okay, that’s the tricky part. But the A & R Perspective will tell you what to focus on (and where to improve), if you want turn your brand into hit.