"Know who you are first and foremost, your brand is a representation of you and if you don't know who you are then it will be hard for you to build a brand."
Dj3two1 can cater to both the party-gods and the innovators of your favorite brand. As a musical taste-maker, the consistency and dedication are main ingredients to his success. With 15 years of experience, Dj3two1 has laid a foundation in charity, corporate, family and university events. Embarking on his new gift and fan-base, Dj3two1 has made a name for himself not only as a syndicated radio disc jockey/ personality on his own digital radio platform 3two1 Radio, but also being critically acclaimed, grabbing features in HipHopWeekly, The Source and Ozone Magazine. You can hear Dj3two1 weekdays 2p-6p on the 3two1 Radio mobile app for Android and iPhone or at 3two1radio.com.
Discovering Your Personal Brand for Business
At what point in your deejaying career did you recognize the need for a personal brand?
I would say about 7 years ago, I'm a late bloomer with EVERYTHING! So naturally, I didn't realize how important a personal brand was until almost a decade into my DJ career. Once I knew I needed to build my personal brand I started investing in areas that would help me build it up. Like selling my own merchandise, putting out daily mixes, using professional photos and building a website. All of the things I should've done years ago, but for some reason, I just never thought to invest in those things for my brand. Better late than never.
What was the process for discovering your personal brand?
The process was first knowing who I was, and that was something I struggled with when I first started at 99.5 Jamz. Nobody knew who I was, so listeners would call in and say everyone's name (who was on the station at the time) but mine. It was at that moment I realized that I needed to figure out how to stand out from not just other DJs in the area, but from my co-workers as well. So I put a plan in place, set up a photo shoot, built my website, started producing daily mixes I gave out for free, had a logo created, and used radio to help build my brand. Every day I worked at promoting my brand, and eventually, it paid off. I went from sitting at home almost every weekend to having 2 to 4 events a week, then people started recognizing me from DJing events and being on the radio. So the process started with me figuring out who I was first, then putting a plan in place and working my plan every day. A formula I still use today.
We know that a personal brand can do wonders for marketing and branding, but what other benefits can professionals gain?
Longevity is one major benefit, we've witnessed people with very strong brands having longevity in their career path. Michael Jackson is a great example, he's been gone for almost 10 years and he's still the King of Pop and his music still sells. Consistency is another benefit, having a strong brand will keep the money coming in consistently. When I first started DJing I only made money if I was booked to DJ an event, and just like any other business, I had slow months (still do at times due to the market I'm in). But having a strong brand allowed me to have bookings coming in consistently, where I can pass off events I can't DJ to other DJs in my network. I've also managed to generate other revenue streams within my DJ brand that helps me get through the times when the gigs slow down. Consistency and longevity are the 2 things that will allow you to eat off of your brand while you're here and your family can eat off of it when you pass on.
Personal brands require people to choose a direction, what happens when someone changes careers or changes jobs--how/or should they adjust their personal brand?
They should adjust their brand according to the needs of the industry they're in, no matter what company or industry you work in there's always a need somewhere. Focusing on the needs of your industry will keep you employed or in business (for my fellow entrepreneurs). An individual during the great depression studied every day for hours learning about the industry he wanted to be in, during a time when people were losing their jobs left and right. This young man would go into businesses and explained to them how he could fulfill a need for them, and as a result, he had multiple job offers during one of the worse economic times in this country. Moral of the story, create a brand that fulfills a need/creates a solution.
What advice would you give to someone looking to establish their personal brand for their own business?
Know who you are first and foremost, your brand is a representation of you and if you don't know who you are then it will be hard for you to build a brand. After that establish which audience you want your brand to cater to. When I created my digital radio platform I knew the audience I wanted my show to cater to was 25-40. So everything is catered to them from the music (classic hip hop and r&b) to the content I discuss on my show. Establishing who you're targeting will help keep you focused and not have your brand and business all over the place. Once you've done that you have to focus on the needs of your audience or your industry. Recently I posted a question on Instagram "Annoying things DJs do?" and the responses I got let me know as a DJ what changes I need to make. Focusing on the needs allows you to create a solution which will bring in the money. With that being said DO NOT CHASE MONEY! Chase needs, create a solution and the money will come. Oh, and be consistent, consistency is necessary and a major key! Also, you have to download my mobile app and check out my show 3two1 Radio weekdays 2p-6p or you can listen at 3two1radio.com . If you do that then you will have a super successful brand! Lol....but no seriously you should download my app and listen to my show please.