Selling Your Personal Brand While Helping the Group

For Your Own Good

While a cappella is typically a group endeavor amidst a niche, but large community, For Your Own Good focuses on what individuals can do for their own betterment this realm.

Most singers want to be stars. As much as we may sing for the sheer beauty of music and may be prepared to put the good of the group ahead of our own self interests, there will remain a part of us that wants be recognized for what we, as individuals do particularly well.

So how do we show off our best stuff—establishing ourselves in the public eye—while not appearing to be a prima donna or otherwise taking away from the group as a whole?

Recognize your group. If you’re into putting up YouTube videos of your personal covers of hit songs, and they’re starting to get a reaction, add a tagline to the video description or as a subtitle to the video, citing yourself as “Joe Smith from the Acapelicans.” Interest in your video will, consequently drive people to check out your a cappella group, and if your a cappella group is putting up top-notch videos of its own, hopefully some of the traffic to its channel will spread to your own videos, creating a fine symbiotic relationship. On a less technological level, be sure not to stand up front and preen as you soak in the applause for too long after your solo—if anything, turn around and join the crowd in applauding the rest of the group—doing so gives your groupmates the proper respect and helps further your own image as a humble, talented singer, which is far more becoming than a showboat.

Look for opportunities for showcase performances. Over the course of even a relatively short 45-minute show, there should be ample opportunity to show off a star drummer, multiple star soloists, a star dancer, and on down the line. Look for opportunities for exceptional talents to show their skills and appeal to different segments of the audience. The result will bolster your corps of committed fans, enrich and diversify shows, and help individual group members further their brands.

While teamwork is the essence of a cappella, groups and individuals alike stand to gain a great deal when they spotlight the best individual talents of the ensemble, and use those talents to further the group name.