(Update 9/17)

Last Monday, I decided to embark on {17 days ’til PASIC 2017}, the process of documenting my preparation leading up to the PAS Solo Artist Competition. It is my first foray into consistently documenting something with different kinds of content, and I wanted to share my experiences here so far.

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DOCUMENTING

The idea of documenting a particular journey on social media is becoming increasingly popular. It provides a reference for anyone looking to do something similar in the future, and allows friends/family/followers/fans to catch a glimpse into what you’re experiencing as you navigate what it is that you’re doing.

My motivation for {17 days ’til PASIC 2017} comes down to a few things:

  1. I wanted to show my followers/audience what I’m doing right now. There’s something infinitely more engaging about seeing things happen in real time, and that’s ultimately the goal here.
  2. Building personal brand.
    "Your brand is a perception or emotion, maintained by somebody other than you, that describes the total experience of having a relationship with you.”
    It makes perfect sense why documenting a day-to-day journey, such as short-term competition prep, fits into this quote.
  3. Testing different kinds of content, at different times of day, and in different volumes. This has been crucial for me so far. I’m figuring out what works and what doesn’t, while still doing my best to provide quality content and an engaging look into what I’m up to (even if I “sacrifice” a post to test a theory, and it only gets 5 ‘likes’). 

At first, I was apprehensive about documenting:

“Who wants to watch what I’m doing?”
“Will anyone really care?”
“Is what I’m doing interesting enough?”
“Is this selfish?”
“Am I putting myself on a pedestal?”
“What will my friends and family think?”
“I need to buy a nice camera.”

The list goes on and on.

At the end of the day, I had to do some soul-searching, and came up with some answers for myself:

  • My real friends and family will support me no matter what, even if they don’t buy into the idea of documenting. 
  • People in a similar situation, like high school or college percussionists/musicians will be the ones most interested.
  • You’ve had people private message/email you questions—the interest, even if from only a few, is there.
  • You’ve found success in many things you’ve done thus far, and this helps legitimize what you’re doing. 
  • It isn’t pedestaling yourself if you frame everything in the right way. Cockiness, arrogance, and being a know-it-all won’t fly, but there is no reason to come across this way if you’re self aware.
  • Adding value to the content, like small lessons, “aha” moments, etc., will alleviate some of the perceived self-centeredness.
  • A good camera can wait. An iPhone and tripod will work just fine.

This list also goes on and on.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Go ahead and do whatever thing you’ve been apprehensive about. Maybe you don’t justify it to yourself as much as I had to, or maybe you take even more convincing. The takeaways in terms of audience-building, connecting with new people online, brand-building, and lessons in content production have been huge for me, and will continue into the future the more I do this. The lessons for whatever you’re not doing (but should be!) will also be huge, so jump in and give it a shot.

As always, let me know what you think, and if you have any suggestions for this pre-PASIC content or what you'd like to see next!

Thanks for reading,

Cam

 

 

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