Personal branding, the results of the survey. Part 5

What is the best photo? The fifth part of the survey results on personal branding for artists.

Personal Branding for Artists. An empirical study.

If you’re into Instagram, then it’s natural that you try to figure out which visual styles you can use to attract your fans and followers. That’s why we selected some photos from a real account (many thanks to Federica Rubartelli for sharing the photos).

The photos can be sorted into the following categories:

  • Category 1, the artist at work: number 1 (work unrelated to music), number 8 (the artist in the studio with a colleague), number 9 (the artist at home in the creative process), number 16 (the artist during a DJ session).
  • Category 2, snapshots of the artist: number 10 (a rather spontaneous, very positive photo), number 15 (a rather professional photo from a photo shoot)
  • Category 3, photos directly related to the artist’s work: number 6 (a reference to a podcast), number 13 (a reference to an event of the artist)
  • Category 4, a photo of the artist with acquaintances/friends.
How to choose the best photo on Instagram

Now to the results (bigger photos please see at the end of the article). In the questionnaire there were 2 different questions dealing with these photos. This week we’ll take a closer look at the results of the 1st question “which photo do you like the most?”. For those who have read the previous posts, there are few surprises. Number 16, number 9 and number 1 land on the 1st, 3rd and 4th place. It is directly recognizable in these 3 photos what the artist is doing or it tends to look like work. Herewith also again the consistent confirmation that the work is in the foreground.

Interesting, however, the placement of the image number 8 in penultimate place. This can be explained by the fact that it is not immediately apparent to every viewer that the artist is in a studio. This is most likely only recognizable to experts.

Also no surprise is the cut off of number 10 and number 15, whereby the natural-spontaneous character of the 1st photo was probably the decisive factor for it landing in 2nd place, while the other photo only landed in 5th place.

On the other hand, the placement of the podcast (number 6) and the announcement of the event (number 13) was interesting. Whereby I believe that fans of the artist react quite positively to these announcements.

On the other hand, the photo of the social event only landed on number 6, which was a surprise for me personally, because I would have thought that this would rather land on one of the front places.

How to choose the best photo on Instagram?

That’s it for today. There will be more next week.

Stay tuned

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Personal branding, the results of the survey. Part 4.

What do you want to see more of? The fourth part of the survey results on personal branding for artists.

More Content please!

Let’s start with more good news for all artists, it seamlessly links up with last week’s survey results: fans and followers are not keen on prize games.

After the good news the bad news, only very few are really satisfied with what an artist offers to his fans and followers. Now – short and sweet – the remaining results.

A big surprise are number 1 and number 2 of the evaluation in combination with number 4. Here again everything revolves around the actual work of the artist. A wonderful opportunity to stand out from the masses of other artists by providing insight behind the scenes of an artist’s life in an target-audience-oriented and creative way.

Number 3 is no surprise, analogous to last week’s survey results.

Number 6 and number 7 are also interesting, why? Apparently, fans and followers certainly expect an artist to display a certain amount of serious thoughtfulness and thereby stand out from the crowd of his/her competitors.

In contrast, interaction with fans and followers is a rather insignificant aspect of an artist’s account.

More Content please!

English Translation of the questions (in the order in which they are listed in the diagram):

  1. more entertaining photos/videos of his/her activity (e.g. music videos, dance videos, etc.)
  2. more surprising and creative ideas
  3. more insights into his/her private life, hobbies, etc.
  4. more insights into his/her daily routine
  5. more stimulating and inspiring posts
  6. more posts that make the artist stand out from the mainstream
  7. more information about the artist’s future events
  8. more great, beautiful photos/videos of herself/himself
  9. more interaction of the artist with his/her followers
  10. everything is fine, I don’t want any more
  11. more prize games
  12. Other

That’s it for today. There will be more next week.

Stay tuned

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Personal branding, the results of the survey. Part 3

Why do people follow artists on Instagram? The third part of the survey results on personal branding for artists.

Why do people follow artists on Instagram? The third part of the survey results on personal branding for artists.

Let’s start with the good news: you don’t have to offer prize games to be interesting for fans and followers.

Most important reason: the work itself, i.e. the music, the artwork, etc. Conclusion: to be interesting, the work itself must be interesting to followers.

No surprise is the number 3, interest in the artist’s personal life. Number 4 isn’t a surprise as well. Instagram thrives on giving other people a glimpse into your life.

Number 5 is occupied by a positive outlook on life with a good dash of humor. This result is quite surprising, because you can overdo it with humor to such an extent that you make a clown out of yourself, and your seriousness as an artist suffers as a result. Therefore, one should think very carefully in what way one uses this stylistic device.

No surprise is the place number 6, but number 7 is. We personally thought that artists also have a role model function in a certain way, this seems to play a rather subordinate role.

Also a surprise were the places 8 and 9, because one would think that just surprising and creative ideas and standing out from the mainstream are really important for artists.

Was macht einen Künstler interessant auf Instagram?

English Translation of the questions:

  1. I am a fan of the artist (I am a fan of his/her music, books, exhibitions, etc.)
  2. I am interested in his/her personal life (How does he/she live? What hobbies does he/she have? How does he/she spend the day? etc.)
  3. She/he provides information about her/his future events/exhibitions/concerts/readings, etc.
  4. I would like to know more about her/his activities
  5. She/he is simply likeable, interesting, fascinating to me as a person
  6. She/he stands out from the mainstream, is something special in my opinion
  7. She/he has surprising and creative ideas
  8. She/he posts great, beautiful photos/videos of herself/himself
  9. She/he offers prize games
    14.She/he belongs to my circle of friends
  10. I follow her/him out of solidarity among artists
  11. I do something similar to the artist (play music myself, paint myself, DJ myself, …)
  12. She/he shares helpful information about her/his work or the creative process
  13. I like his/her interaction with his/her followers
  14. I get inspired by her/him

That’s it for today. There will be more next week.

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Personal branding, the results of the survey. Part 2.

The results of the survey on personal branding for artists again short and sweet. Today we’re looking at the following topics: How do artists compare to other accounts/sites/influencers? And the second exciting question right after that, which categories of artists do the participants follow?

An empirical study about the personal branding activities of artists on instagram

How do artists compare to other accounts/sites/influencers?

Welchen Accounts/Influencer*Innen/Seiten FOLGST DU? Which Categories of Accounts/influencers/pages do you follow?

The art and music category was chosen third most often by the participants. This result was really one of the big surprises in the whole study. The fact that the sports category landed relatively high was no surprise, nor was the poor showing of the science, management and business categories. The fact that fashion, cosmetics and beauty only landed in the midfield was also very interesting for us. And the gaming community seems to have completely different communication channels, Instagram is not one of the favorites. Let’s summarize briefly: Art and music is an interesting category for the participants. Combined with last week’s results (all age groups are on Instagram), a very positive result for artists.

Which artists do the participants follow?

Welchen Accounts/Influencer*Innen/Seiten FOLGST DU? Which Categories of Accounts/influencers/pages do you follow?

Let’s look at the next graph. Which categories of artists do participants follow? The excellent performance of musicians, bands and singers was also again one of the big surprises. Then comes a very big gap to place 2,3,4 and 5. These categories of artists are not so highly ranked in the favor of the participants, as the just mentioned category 1. Why this is so, we will possibly see in the next few weeks with further results. In any case, we can already briefly summarize at this point that the places 2, 3, 4 and 5 still have some potential to rise to the top places in the favor of Instagram users.

That’s it for today. There will be more next week.

Stay tuned

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Personal branding survey, the results of the survey. Part 1.

An empirical study about the personal branding activities of artists

Let’s have a look at the results of the personal branding survey. We will make it short and crisp. Today we’re looking at the following questions: age distribution, use of Instagram and how many participants follow artists.

Do you use Instagram?

A quick look at the graph shows that a relatively large number of participants in the study do have an Instagram account. However, one has to be careful above a certain age level. There are only 36 participants older than 45, which is slightly more than 3% of the sample. We can sum up the 36 participants and get the following result: in the age category 46-100, about 38% do not have an Instagram account, while 62% do. Also an interesting result.

So what does this mean for an artist who wants to promote him/herself on Instagram? It’s an interesting channel that reaches a broad age spectrum. What surprised us was that the majority of the participants are now on Instagram.

Do you follow artists on instagram?

Let’s take a look at the next diagram. I have only selected those participants who stated that they follow various artists. Again a surprise, more than 50% follow at least one artist. Many more than we expected.

That’s it for today. There will be more next week.

Stay tuned

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Personal Branding for Artists – An Empirical Study, Part 1

The Corona pandemic has hit artists particularly hard. No matter whether they are musicians, DJs, actors or singers, most have been driven into vocational isolation. As bad as the situation is, you can still do something for yourself and your own marketing. And that brings us to the heart of my study, Personal Branding for Artists.

An empirical study about the personal branding activities of artists

I can’t help any artist financially, but I can perhaps give one or the other artist a little push in the direction of self-marketing with my expertise. Maybe then the forced standstill will have a positive Phoenix-from-the-ashes effect.

What is this study about?

Together with my student assistant, Ms. Katharina Ebner, I started this project last year. It was clear to us that we were focusing on Instagram, because this social network is used by a great many people of completely different ages. We wanted to find out how artists perform compared to other influencers from completely different fields (for example, fitness, fashion, cosmetics, etc.). Another important point was to analyze the reasons why fans and followers follow their artists and to what extent there is room for optimization in the relationship with fans and followers. True to my motto: if you can’t directly create or improve something with a research finding, then it was for the trash can.

Is this study valid?

We had a total of 1047 valid returns. This is a pretty good number and so far my best result in any of my empirical studies. The study period started on Jan. 4, 2021 and ended on Feb. 1, 2021. Without giving much away in advance, some of the results were surprising to us, but more on that in the following weeks.

What happens next?

I promised to make the results of this study available for free, in a way as a small, non-monetary support for the artists. Today it starts, be curious!

Stay tuned

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pBrand of the week: Matuschke

Matuschik pBrand of the week

Matthias Matuschik has provided me with an absolutely perfect blueprint for rebooting the whole personal branding theme. Last week, he had an exciting breakdown. What was it about? In an astonishingly aggressive manner, he lashed out at the boy band BTS, comparing them to a virus (for which a vaccine should soon be found) and calling the band members „Pisser“. This led to a worldwide shitstorm, a remarkable achievement for a radio host of a public radio station from Bavaria.

pBrand success factors

And that brings us to the middle of one of my two favorite topics, personal branding. Personal branding (pBranding) has a lot to do with generating attention. Mr. Matuschik has managed to do that. However, most want to stand out positively in the perception of their target groups. Mr. Matuschik did not manage to do that. Personal branding also has quite a bit to do with conscious, goal-oriented and deliberate action. However, based on the tone of the recording (, it is reasonable to assume that his failure had little to do with deliberate action. Rather, Mr. Matuschik apparently talked himself into such a rage that terms such as the comparison with the virus and the expression “pisser” slipped out of his mouth.

Music, like art, is a matter of taste, and if BTS cover Coldplay’s “Fix You,” let them. And if that’s bad in his opinion, so what. I withhold my opinion on the song at this point, otherwise I run the risk of Mr. Matuschik insulting me as well.

Predictable behavior of the fans? Could it be foreseen?

But a shitstorm always involves two parties, and for a long time I have left the fans out of it. To those who have harassed Mr. Matuschik’s family, I would like to say: it is only music and music is a matter of taste. Even if the band members are something like godlike figures for the fans, you don’t have to lead a campaign against another person. It also goes more civilized. Nevertheless, Mr. Matuschik should have been aware that the aggression potential of the fans of a goy group here is very powerful when you start to scratch the godlike status of the band.

And what do we learn from this? Conscious and long-term oriented action is the real core of a person brand.

Other satirists, different reaction?

However, it should be noted at this point that the matter would probably have ended differently if Oliver Kalkofe or Jan Böhmermann (German Satirists) had made this statement. But the two would also have provoked deliberately and on purpose (and perhaps considered possible consequences beforehand).

That was the firstto series pBrand (Personal Brand) of the week.

Stay tuned.

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A Christmas gift for executives – personal branding with how2change

Hey pBranders, thursday next week (17.12.2020) at 6:00 pm there will be an early Christmas present for executives. I’ll be chatting with Christa Wilhelm, Tom Mühlmann and Daniel Frystacki about my favorite topic, personal branding. An interactive online event about personal branding as a success factor for executives.

Personal Branding with how2change

Many many years ago, I worked intensively with Christa Wilhelm – at that time in her function as Head of Marketing at Microsoft Deutschland GmbH – on marketing dashboards, optimization of operational advertising campaigns and on defining value propositions. Then we lost sight of each other, because Christa started her own business how2change and I turned to other topics; still marketing, but other customers.

But you know the saying: you always meet twice in life. Not too long ago, I met Christa again and we talked about our areas of work without any obligation. We talked about personal branding and a few weeks ago I was invited to participate in the next interactive online event. There was not much to think about, I spontaneously said yes, because I personally like the format very much. Not much is revealed about the content, just a few keywords:

  • Why is personal branding more than nice homepage, a fancy LinkedIn account and a little bit kling kling around your person?
  • What exactly can be understood by a journey into one’s own competitiveness?
  • What are the first steps in implementing a personal brand?

The rest is a surprise. I’m looking forward to the date next week and of course I’m also looking forward to a lively participation. Stay tuned.

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All problems solved! Discover the power of the pBranding-Ishikawa-Diagram.

Today I am introducing a very special tool, the Personal Branding Edition of the Ishikawa Diagram. You will be surprised how easy it is to successfully initiate changes. The key is to realize that you get a grip on the causes of your behavior. How? Enjoy reading.

the personal branding ishikawa diagram

In the last article I presented a simple tool to analyze the use (or waste) of your time. A very simple categorization should help you to think a little bit more consciously about this whole topic and find some areas for improvement. Today we will go one step further.

In today’s video, I would like to introduce a tool that is no longer dewy, but still up-to-date and very helpful: the Ishikawa diagram. You often find the term fishbone diagram or cause-effect diagram. This tool is used in quality management especially for the identification of quality problems and the elimination of their causes.

The Japanese Kaoru Ishikawa realized relatively quickly that there is no point in putting off problems and thinking up all kinds of tricks to live with them. No, it makes more sense to get to the bottom of the problems, identify their causes and then get them under control. And what has long been a standard for quality management should only be fair for personal branding. In the video I present the first part of the Personal Branding Edition of the Ishikawa Diagram. Have fun with the video.

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Long live the freedom of theory! The new, practice-oriented approach in my marketing lecture at the THD


In this article I would like to introduce a new lecture format. I had nothing else in mind but to develop the perfect marketing lessen. It should combine marketing know-how, SEO knowledge, the professional handling of social networks, and a lot of fun. Did I succeed? More on this in the article.

The basic idea behind the marketing lecture:

Attentive readers of my blog know that I like experiments. During the shutdown in the summer term I started to develop innovative electives based on a new version my personal branding concept. The students should learn to market themselves authentically and credibly. Not just theoretically, but very practically. In addition, the students should not only improve their concepts slowly and coached by me in learning loops, but also transfer this into practice. It was clear to me from the very beginning that the core of the whole subject would be a WordPress blog run by a student team. The students should be completely free to choose their thematic focus, so that the fun of the whole thing is not neglected.

The concrete learning outcomes or how to acquire blogging and marketing know how.

  1. Acquire basic marketing know-how about blogging. Since many companies are looking for ways to present themselves optimally, this is an investment for the student’s professional future. They can also prove that they have really gained practical know-how and have not only heard about blogging in theory. Of course it was obvious to use the secret worldwide standard – WordPress – as a basis for the activities. Especially because there are a lot of interesting, free plugins for optimizing a blog.
  2. Acquire basic SEO know-how. It’s much easier to teach students the SEO-tricks by analyzing and optimizing their blog posts and with the help of the excellent MathRank plugin, rather than spend a long lecture session rambling on this topic.
  3. Professional use of social networks. Most students have social media accounts, but few have thought about how to use them professionally. Especially WordPress is perfectly suited to act as an efficient spider in your own communication network. There are also some plugins (some free of charge, some with a 30-day trial period) that can be used to automatically connect social networks to your own blog in order to efficiently distribute your messages in many different channels. This is also a form of marketing know-how that every student can use in one way or another in his or her professional future.
  4. Through teamwork, students learn to coordinate, develop a communication plan and thus act professionally.

The results of the marketing lecture:

I was really enthusiastic about the results. The students threw themselves into the work with excitement and drive. And produced really interesting and great content. Here are a few notes about the teams and their activities:

  1. thePsyTravelers. Concentrated psychological know-how combined with really great travel descriptions.
  2. mere exposure. Psychological knowledge to manage business challenges and about everyday life excitingly prepared.
  3. unlock your free time. Valuable tips, tempting recipes and exciting stories to make the Corona time worth living again.
  4. simple sustainability. A great blog about sustainability. Lots of valuable ideas and suggestions to encourage people to think about their own behavior and thus to plant sustainability unobtrusively in as many heads as possible.
  5. weekly dose. The weekly dose of tips and tricks that make everyday life easier while providing varied entertainment.
  6. IGDA. The Road to DJ. A very honest and wonderfully authentic summary of the ups and downs on the way to becoming a professional DJ. With lot of music and many tips.

The results are really worth seeing and I would like to invite you to visit all the sites, to like intensively and to comment intensively as well.

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