I like to keep track of trending topics on Twitter because they really can give you a little bit of an insight on what people are interested in and that is important to know as a writer. A few years ago, I started to see the name Justin Bieber and this guy, who I had never heard of, was dominating the trending topics. At first, I didn’t quite grasp the significance of it and I every so often asked out loud, “Who is Justin Bieber?” Eventually my curiosity got the better of me and I went in search of this mysterious Bieber guy and discovered he was just a young singer that had managed to catch the hearts of young girls everywhere.
That was then; today you would be very hard pressed to find a person who has not heard of Justin Bieber. His brand is everywhere from doing guest stints on CSI to his line of singing toothbrushes. We are talking about a brand recognition factor that is simply staggering. How the heck did a Canadian boy born in London, Ontario build such a powerful brand almost overnight? It is actually an amazing story with lessons to learn about how we should be building our own brands.
Justin Bieber started out the son of a single mother who often had to struggle just to provide a decent life for the family. Times may have been tough but Justin had aspirations to do something with music and a dream was born. He went about and taught himself how to play the piano, the guitar, the trumpet, as well as the drums. He was honing his talent/product into something that would be marketable. It is much easier to build a solid brand on a good product.
When Justin Bieber was ready to reveal his product, he entered a talent contest in Stratford, Ontario where he lived most of his life. Amazingly enough he finished in second place, which may surprise some of you. The talent contest was not really the path to brand recognition but it provided a video of his performance that could be introduced to the world of social media. Justin’s mother uploaded the video to YouTube initially for their family and friends. However, the video started to grow a small following and Justin Bieber the brand had begun.
They uploaded more videos of Justin Bieber singing to help maintain interest in the brand and at the same time create growth. Justin’s brand was quite unique at the time because he was singing a lot of R&B which was not traditionally a young white guy’s musical fodder. However, Justin made it work and that made it easy to grow his brand. With brand growth and recognition, it was only a matter of time before someone with access to a record label would run into one of his videos on YouTube. Which is in fact what happened as a marketing executive of a record label accidentally clicked on a Justin Beiber YouTube link.
The take away is that Justin Bieber’s brand growth made his discovery possible by spreading his brand on YouTube. This led to Justin meeting Usher and a small bidding war to sign the new artist. I am sure you know the rest of the story from there as Justin Bieber rose into mega stardom and his brand became a household name.
The lessons we should learn from Justin Bieber are simple but yet very important when it comes to building your personal brand. First, make sure you have a quality product. Just like Justin honed his abilities you should do the same with your product. In my case, my paranormal thriller The Daughter of Man went through multiple edits and rewrites to turn it into a very polished and awesome novel that will bring readers back for my next book. I would ask that each of you take a moment at the end of this article to check it out and download the free sample over there on Amazon.
The second lesson we gain from Justin Bieber is the importance of social media in cultivating your brand. Justin used social media very effectively to get his brand out there. You are not going to sell anything if people don’t know about it. Put your links everywhere and embrace shameless self-promotion. I had no problem promoting my book above and neither should have problems promoting your product you when an opportunity arises.
The third key point is that Justin continued to put out new material to maintain and grow his brand. If you’re not a singer, you could be doing what I am doing right now; blogging. For authors, blogging is the ideal way to introduce people to your writing and then keep them interested in what you are doing between novels. A blog also makes an ideal platform to sell your product from.
This three part strategy works as Justin Bieber is proof of that. Maybe it won’t get you mega stardom, but it at least sets you in the right direction. Remember, success doesn’t really happen overnight and you will have to work for it by building the best brand you can. In conclusion, I am not really a Justin Bieber fan by any stretch of the imagination. However when it comes to how he built his brand I am a belieber!