Aside from my day job as a digital consultant, I'm also a musician. I've been gigging since 2003, playing in a band and as a solo artist, mainly in London.
Over the past two months I have been working on self-releasing three EPs and I'm now at a critical juncture where the first, which will contain three tracks, is nearing completion.
The music will be available to download, of course, but I'm also making it available as a physical CD, packaged in a really neat cut-cover design, produced for me by the folks at ACDSleeve.
The entire process has reminded me how rewarding it is to actually 'make' something that is tangible. Something you can touch and (hopefully) affect people with.
It is very easy to get wrapped up in being digital-only when tackling a problem or trying to find new ways for a brand to communicate. We always need to remember that what we're trying to do is reach another human being, and hopefully affect them positively.
One of the most real ways of doing that is to give them something physical that they can keep, consume or experience. Be it a freebie, a day out or the chance to meet someone that they otherwise wouldn't.
Brands need to re-remember that it is the people who buy their products that put them in such a wonderful position to be able to affect lives.
Whilst we're told to chase fan numbers by using paid media, or establish relationships with community members through digital interactions, nothing beats getting to know someone by talking with them face to face. Whether it's you on behalf of the brand, or, even better someone who is the face of the brand, where we as digital consultants have acted as a facilitator, getting face time is critical.
I've never been truly comfortable with the idea that I am the voice of a brand - I work across multiple clients so I have to wear many t-shirts simultaneously. What less authenticity in a relationship could there be than to have someone whose affiliation is through interest, rather than passion?
We need to get back to creating true relationships that last longer than a Like.