Whether you want to be the host of the next big musical/pop culture outlet or keen to crack into the radio world, digital music media every-man Nic Kelly has all the know-how on building your personal brand online and beginning a career where your face and voice is the literal money-maker.
As part of our series with AustralianSuper, helping you kickstart your creative career, Nic dishes out his advice for getting your face out there and how to stand out from the packed, online crowd.
Offer something different
The presenting world is absolutely flooded with basic pretty people who can smile prettily and do the same thing. What is your point of difference?
Find that, harness it, and accentuate it. For me, it was my flamboyance and blonde hair, so I never do a media appearance or create something wearing boring apparel. How will you cut through? Work it out early.
Be genuine and transparent
This actually feeds into #1. Part of cutting through as a ‘personality’, is being transparent and being your true self. People gravitate towards authenticity – both internally and if you’re presenting to an audience – but it can be harder than it sounds, tbh.
Don’t be a diva… at least too early on
I owe so much of my career to the people along the way who’ve taken a punt on me. With every freelance presenting piece, project or content I produce, I become stronger as a creative but also learn how to deal with other people.
Never treat anyone with any less respect than they treat you, be their equal. I’ve had so many instances now where someone who’s a lower level PR assistant or a runner on a project, two years later winds up being one of the most influential people in their industry. Things change fast, and you want people on your side.
Care about what you’re talking about
I used to interview every artist I was offered, and my content quality really suffered because of it. Once I made a conscious effort to talk about the things I cared about – my content immediately improved. Because it came from a genuine, passionate place.
Don’t be afraid to pass up opportunities if they don’t fit you, but don’t be impolite about it either. As you discover what your own brand is – and what you want to deliver to audiences – this will get easier.
Be ahead of the game
This boils down to understanding the future of two different things – subjects and content. I sit in the ‘tastemaker’ space of the presenting world, so the majority of the content I create relates to informing my audience about things they should know about, whether that be new music, new people or new experiences.
But the only way I’m going to cut through and continue to have that audience captivated is if I’m ahead of the game in ways to engage them. I refuse to do straight-up, flat out interviews anymore – after doing hundreds of them I’ve found that you’re only going to get something engaging out of your subject if you mix things up.
When Melanie Martinez came to town, I worked out that she was withdrawn in face to face conversation, but throw a game in her face and she can talk for days. So we made milkshakes together!
When I flew to the UK to chat with Years & Years – I did my interview as a selfie – opening up a new, more intimate format than any interview they’d done before. I’ve now expanded that into a more regular format which I’ve trademarked as my own – much like James Corden’s now world famous Carpool Karaoke. The ideas can be small, but they can have maximum impact in making people care.
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