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Archive of ‘Personal Branding’ category

Bringing It All Together

Sometime ago now, I posted a free e-book to the web called Curly’s Law. Thousands of people have downloaded it, and still do, but I haven’t read it for a while.

I probably should; I suspect it’s pretty crap. I was on a bit of an “online marketing” trip in a style that I’ve since moved well away from, but that’s not the point. The point is the idea in the book, which is simply:

Do One Thing.

This is something I believe in. It’s been my mission for some time to discover exactly what that one thing is (career-wise).

I actually discovered it ages ago, but I confused myself by thinking about it too much. However, I eventually worked through it and some time ago came around to being cool with my decision. Yet I’ve never really told anyone … so here it is…

It’s not JUST music.

It’s not JUST writing.

It’s not JUST my freelance business.

It’s not just any one thing that I do.

My one thing is my personal brand: Seamus Anthony.

My mission is to build brand awareness and momentum and in the process make a sweet living doing stuff I love.

And, although there’s a LOT of work to do yet,  I’m well on the way. I don’t have a job, I am making OK money just being me doing things I like and am good at. But there’s one thing I have been trying to do which is pretty hard in a connected, Googlified world: I have been trying to keep the brand “Seamus Anthony” separate from the freelance business, mainly because to start with I just didn’t actually appreciate how cool the business is, and that I keep getting to do it instead of having to schlep off to a job I hate.

The business itself is becoming increasingly sophisticated in scope and much more in line with my actual talents, which just makes the whole idea of trying to keep the two identities separate even sillier.

So I am 99.99% certain that I am going to file the freelance business as a sub-brand under the mother-brand and bring it all together. I feel confident it’s going to work. It’s really going to add cohesion to the Story – and that’s what it’s all about in the end, Story.

Do What Scares You

Actually for some reason doing this, bringing it all under the one brand umbrella, scares me silly.

I’m going to do it anyway because, I’ve often found that if I feel frightened about an idea before starting, it ends up being a most exciting and dynamic thing to do.

P.S. that’s why I have started blogging here again too. Not the fear thing, the branding thing.

Finding My Audience

Played a gig last night, a “Songwriters in the Round” gig as put on the by legends who are Melting Pot.

It was a lovely evening, although as usual I only managed to bring all of three people to come see me. Bit depressing really, especially after all the buzz during the week in print and (more so) online, but the wicked thing about the gig is that I get to perform (seal that I am) to the other performer’s audience. That’s why I love the SITR gigs so much. I get to borrow other people’s audiences.

I was thinking last night as I made the long, thirsty drive back home at about 1am, that what I am doing is searching for my audience. They are out there, and eventually I am again going to see some kind of tipping point, like I did years and years ago in my old band reckoning.

Back then, in the early 90s, we worked hard for 2 years to find our audience, and eventually we found them. Turns out they were schoolkids and uni students mainly. So once a few key Influencers decided to start coming to our gigs, things started snowballing. These key Influencers (or Sneezers as Seth Godin calls them) started to tell all their mates about us. They were social leaders, so their mates, and their younger siblings and their mates, started coming to see us too. Then they got us a gig at their school, then that got us a gig at another school. And suddenly, whammo! We had found our audience, and they started to rock up to our gigs in droves.

Of course many, many things have changed now. For starters I am not expecting high school kids to get into my work necessarily. Well, you know, it’s cool if they do, but I doubt I’ll be lining up any lunchtime gigs at the local High! That would be a bit creepy!

But somewhere out there are some key Sneezers, and when they get into my stuff, they are going to influence other people to get into it, and then all my hard work will start to pay off again.

That’s the plan anyway!

I also have a theory that over the years a heck of a lot of people have seen me play and apparently really appreciated it. So if I can get myself in the right places, get my ugly mug on Spicks n Specks or whatever, then a lot of these people will go – “oh yeah – that guy – I saw him play once. Y’know,  he was alright!”

Not that fame is the thing I want. Not really, just success, and they are not necessarily the same thing. If I ask myself the following question:

“If just 10 patrons offered to pay me enough money to prosper making music, would I accept that and be stoked with that?”

Answer: yep.

There Is Hope

This sounds like the kind of thing that only a crazy obsessive would write about – so I guess that should be part of the following picture, but anyway:

I was reading some list about the supposedly 100 most creative business people in the world, and about Gary Vaynerchuck and his spot-on-ness about personal branding. And then I thought about myself (as I am so often want to do) and my personal brand, which is of course, Seamus Anthony. And then I thought:

“What does Seamus Anthony stand for?”

And here is the answer that immediately sprang to mind…

Hope.

Hope that even if you are older than 22, or not the best looking git in the world, or have a weird speaking voice, drink too much, have a track record of failure and lack of focus, aren’t the best guitar player in the world, have a short attention span, aren’t well connected, live in a remote area far, far from all the movers n’ shakers, if your hair is thinning, your waistline is expanding, if you’re too shy, or too loud, or just generally feel like a square peg stuck fast in a horrible, itchy, round hole that you fucking hate – it’s ok – there’s hope. You have value. And if you try your damnedest to work hard, persist and focus, then you might just do well for yourself. Hell – your dreams may actually even come true – why not? Why shouldn’t they? And if they don’t? Well, you can still have a laugh and do what makes you feel better about yourself and this screwed up world we find ourselves flopping around in.

There is Hope. Never give up.