Invest In your brand – Yourself
Investing in new tech is important but its only one part of the picture.
Investing in new technology is an investment in yourself and your brand.
From the instruments that you use, the computer that runs your business, the software that helps you run the day to day, or the internet connection.
These are the gears, which make up the engine, behind everything we do these days.
I believe that things are going to be this way for musicians for a long time to come. So if you are waiting for things to go back to normal you are wasting time and energy, which could be better spent developing your brand. If you are like me, and you saw this coming and you got right to work.
Working remotely doesn’t mean spending a fortune, but it does mean making some adjustments to how we work. When the pandemic began and the shut down became inevitable, it became clear that in order to have a sustainable income, we would have to reinvent the way we work as musicians and educators.
The playing field got leveled for everyone.
Recently I have coached some of my drumming heroes on technology, and every one of them was up against the same obstacles as you and I.
Technology isn’t the only factor in our business to take a good hard look at.
These are the crucial components that run my business:
· Me – the health and well being both physically and mentally of my family and me.
· The studio (or any space you use for your craft)
· The Computer (the engine of the operation)
· Internet Connection (the fastest you can afford)
· The Instruments
· Audio Rig
· Video Rig
· Coffee pot (fuel)
To truly have balance and not experience “burnout” in these stressful times you have to invest time into the health of your family and you. Spend time with family if you can, so they don’t feel that they rank second. Musicians can be very focused and not even realize that the time and energy we invest can sometimes take away from the ones we love.
Work on your physical and mental well-being
I have a routine that does not waiver. Every morning I take my dog Cooper by the water, either the beach or the bay or the park and I walk and breathe and relax. When I return I have breakfast with my family. Now when my day begins I am in a centered state of mind where I can function well and always do my best. Remember that; always do your best even when your best, is not the best. (Check out the 4 agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz)
Remember success in this environment is not easy so you need to create systems for yourself to reach that goal. “You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.” – James Clear (Check out Atomic Habits by James Clear).
I have dedicated spaces for what I do on a daily basis. I am fortunate to have one space for my office and one space for my studio. I invested a lot of time and money into my workspace. This concept is a key element to having a good consistent workflow. If you don’t have separate spaces you dedicate different parts of a room for various functions.
If possible have a dedicated work computer for your studio. I recommend a Mac system because… well it’s just better. You won’t be dealing with driver issues and all of the little problems that Windows brings with it. (Windows users are cursing at me right now) But whatever platform you use have it be your dedicated work machine.
Invest in the fastest reliable internet service that your area has, and that you can afford. I have Verizon Fios Gigabit connection and I connect with ethernet. I pay more than I would like to. But I get 860 download and 950 upload on average.
It doesn’t matter what gear you have and what fancy cameras you are using, if your internet sucks your work will suffer. I know the service that I use isn’t available everywhere, but get the best available. Do not rely on wifi. Use a wired direct connection to your router with Ethernet.
Not much to say here, most serious musicians take pride in having good gear. But here is something to think about. Students get excited seeing and hearing the quality of good instruments. We are ambassadors for the companies that we are loyal to. They need all of the help we can offer. So even if you’re not endorsing any companies, remember we want these companies to be around for a long time and we are part of their survival.
Invest in an interface and microphones so that you can present the best sound quality to your students and clients. You don’t have to spend a tremendous amount of money but having good sound will make the experience for both you and the student better and they will be more likely to book you again and again. See my KIT.CO profile for some setup ideas.
Investing in a good camera that fits your budget will make repeat bookings more likely. Remember if you and your space don’t look warm and inviting the likelihood of repeat clients lessens. We are only as good as we look and sound when it comes to remote teaching.
Whatever your beverage or special thing is, treat yourself. You deserve it. Life is crazy and you need to take care of yourself. I am a coffee lover and I have a stovetop percolator pot because imo the coffee is better. I threw my Kurig off my roof (not really) and replaced it with my perc pot. It takes 20 minutes to make coffee but its soooo good. This is my treat myself good vice...
To sum it up invest in you and your brand! (which is also you) It will make your quality of life better and in turn your work life will improve which will then improve your quality of life and the cycle will continue….