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February 23, 2013

Step 8: Design each step according to 5 principles

Cise Unluer - 'Measuring Standard Consistency'

(Photo credit: Engineering at Cambridge)

You usually find that what works is better than what looks good. 

You know, the looks good can change, but what works, works.

- Ray Eames

New technologies have made the life of a DIY artist so much easier in many ways, but managing all the things you have to do is a massive task. You need to focus your efforts most effectively and avoid getting distracted by the companies, websites and other services that claim to be able to help. During my research into the best practices of self-publishing Musos, I came up with 5 principles to help guide decision-making along the path to your Glorious Musical Future. The five principles are:

  1. Personality: always give what people expect from you.
  2. Esteem: create something that people value and respect.
  3. Synchrony: make everything available at one point in time.
  4. Propinquity: make everything available at one point in space.
  5. Novelty: always find new reasons to contact your network.

These are complicated-sounding words but they really are quite simple to apply:

Personality - keep everything you do consistent with your developing brand. Your appearance, your sense of humour, your political views ... everything you make public. If you write songs about social issues, there's not a lot of point dressing like Nicki Minaj.

Esteem - this is about more than being an entertaining performer for your fans. It's about also being a professional with promoters, venues, and journalists. It's about supporting your peers. In short, it's about giving everyone a reason to respect and value who you are and what you do ... consistently.

Synchrony - is about timing. Make sure everything you do builds on your previous successes and that the benefits of it are available to everyone who finds you today and tomorrow.

Propinquity - is about keeping it together. Disseminate your messages and creations from a single point; bring all income and incoming communication to a single point.

Novelty - is about creating a stream of new and interesting reasons to build on the relationships mentioned in Steps 6 and 7. Take every opportunity to let people know what you're up to ... consistent with your personality, via the channels you choose to use, at important points in time and space.

Step 8 Exercises

Revisit "what's remarkable" above. This is the most outstanding point about your 'personality' ... your brand. But there's more. Everything you are, wear, do, write, and say in public is part of your personality. And it should all be available to your fans.

  • Think about the last 5 times you contacted your fans. Were the messages you sent out consistent with your personality?
  • Think about the photos you use on your album are, or your blog, or your press kit. Are they consistent?
  • Think about your back catalogue of songs, recordings, videos, photos. Is everything you have done before (that is consistent with your personality) available to people who have just discovered you?
  • Are your points of contact manageable? Or are you trying out every new social media fad that comes along, so that it's all getting out of hand?
  • Do you regularly maintain you relationships with fans (see Step 7) and have a planned series of events that they will be interested in hearing about?

Exercise to take home

Think about your next goal. Before you put your plan in motion, it needs to pass five tests for the good of your career. To pass the test, each new initiative must answer these questions:

Personality: Does this fit with who you are and who you want to be? How?

Synchrony: Will it build on your past and present? How and how much?

Esteem: Are people going to love it? Who and why?

Novelty: Are you able to tell people about it? Who, how and what?

Propinquity: Can you efficiently collect the benefits? What, how much and how?

If your new initiative doesn't pass these tests, maybe it's not as good an idea as you thought ...

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Posted by DrHuge at February 23, 2013 10:43 AM

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