5 Tips On How To Become A “Professional” Rockstar

Becoming A “Professional” Rockstar Requires Consistency And Practice.

In a past life, before strollers, minivans and 9-5, I was an aspiring musician. I still am.  I had a pretty cool time playing in a myriad of bands that crossed everything from alternative country, 90′s synth rock, to my favorite, an 80′s tribute band that lasted over a decade.  The Cure, Rick Springfield, AC DC, Bryan Adams and White Lion. Silliness without pyrotechnics.  A cracked tip jar without a manager commanding a portion of those well earned funds.  My favorite weapon of choice is a jet black Fender Strat with dual humbuckers that is ridiculously warm though my Mesa.  Call it beer goggles or Smirnoff, but every time I stepped in front of that mic, that blurry mixture of lights, decibels, cigarette smoke and yes stares from strangers made me feel like America’s most desired who just stepped off a foul odored bus on the last leg of a tour.  Of course reality would quickly slap me in the face when breaking down our own cables at 2:35AM was like getting a root canal and we were forced to split $18 in tips 4 ways.

Frankly the path to becoming a “professional” rockstar whether at the office or as a business owner can be similar to the roads travelled by those who refuse to step on stage without a fresh supply of green MM’s.  As a “professional” rockstar, developing online as well as offline fans still requires consistency and practice like the guys from Def Leppard.

5 tips On How To Become A “Professional” Rockstar:

  1. Turn Up Your Volume.  Whether in career transition, lead generation or just networking, nothing boosts your volume better than LinkedIn.  An effective LinkedIn profile is still one of the best ways to stand out in the crowd as it positions you as an invaluable agent of change and results.   In a recent study of over 5,000 businesses by HubSpot, traffic from “LinkedIn generated the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate at 2.74%, almost 3 times higher (277%) than both Twitter (.69%) and Facebook (.77%).”  Plus, weighing in on popular subjects in LinkedIn groups is essentially putting yourself where the sharks feed as an effective thought leader in your particular field of expertise.  In career transition?  As of November 2011, 75 out of the Fortune 100 companies used LinkedIn as its corporate hiring solution.
  2. Don’t Forget Your Fans.  Offering value before opportunities arrive is probably the easiest way to gain fan buy in regardless the setting or situation.  Volunteering not only develops professional credibility, it expands your career network while creating positive change in your community.  “While professionals often overlook or underestimate the value of volunteer work, the exposure to varied skill sets that charity work provides can make you a more versatile, attractive employee, not to mention a more competitive job seeker.  In fact, 41 percent of hiring authorities surveyed by LinkedIn rated volunteer experience equally as important as paid experience.”  Bottom line, professional karma does exist.
  3. Get In Front Of The Microphone.  Stand in front of a microphone enough times and it just feels natural.  I still remember my first time.  I had my beat up $124 guitar to accompany my frail nerves and shaky voice.  To hear myself magnified through the venue might as well had been George Burns in “God.” Do it enough times however and it’s becomes automatic. Public speaking is no different.  Master your voice and what you’re speaking about and your audience will love you for it.  Develop a unique public speaking style that separates you from your closest competitor.  Inspire your audience through stories that are simple.  Leverage storytelling to humanize your brand and more importantly connect with your audience.  Caution:  ”Bad presentations are opportunities lost and bad presentations can hurt your organization.”  Plan, prepare and practice.  Repeat.  It takes frequency.  Here’s 23 public speaking tips to live by.
  4. Develop Your Own Sound.  Music is a copycat league.  However what works for one group doesn’t guarantee success with another.  The business world is no different.  Developing your own professional tone or “unique sound” in this age of easily accessible profiles and performance examples is an important step to really standing out.  As a working professional, find, craft and deliver what’s uniquely you so that your manager views you as an irreplaceable piece to the team.  As a business owner or entrepreneur produce, perfect and promote that one or two distinguishable traits, offerings or assets that makes your company “better, different and more awesome than anyone else in the market.” Still not convinced?  Go ask New Order, The Edge, Mick Jagger and Duran Duran on what they’re remembered for.  No harm in being unique.  A great article on how to stand out in business.
  5. Perfect Practice Makes Perfect.  It’s no surprise that repetition and consistency go hand in hand.  In a great 2012 Inc. article, consistency allows for measurement, creates accountability, establishes your reputation, makes you relevant and maintains your message.
  6. BONUS TIP.  Still want to be a rockstar?  Pick up a guitar and start playing.  That’s what I did back in 1992 after watching Stone Temple Pilot’s “Wicked Garden.”  Purchasing that rickety $124 red guitar never did bring me rockstar status but it did bring me some pretty cool stories that I share with my kids while trapped in our minivan.

Send me your thoughts on 5 Tips On How to Become A “Professional” Rockstar.  What are you doing to elevate your game in the professional world?  Is your personal and professional brands where they need to be?  Please share your tips (no pun intended) and suggestions.  Now back to some Def Leppard.

About Jeff Funk

Jeff Funk is an Emmy Winning Creative Director and Digital Content Producer in New Orleans. He has managed brand activations & teams that generated revenue, bolstered viewer engagement and ratings for major companies such as The CNN News Group, Hearst-Argyle TV, The Turner Entertainment Networks & Tribune Broadcasting. Connect now @jeffrey_funk on Twitter and email at jfunk@branddynamite.com.
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2 Responses to 5 Tips On How To Become A “Professional” Rockstar

  1. Cynthia Rollins says:

    Awesome inspirational post Jeff. This is my first time at this site and I already know it will not be the last.

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