When I was a young professional musician, I had a reputation of being extravagant. It's a bit ironic because I'm a total cheap-skate. While I was making a pretty good living from drums, I still had to live frugally. I also had to allocated funds carefully.
The main areas of contention were instruments and transportation. You see, I had very expensive drums and a fairly expensive car, whereas many of my peers made do with lesser equipment. There's a simple reason for that: TCB.
I knew that I would have to approach my playing career as a business, so I invested in my infrastructure: the things that helped me be more professional, and therefore more desirable and more valuable. I decided that other things could wait while I was building my business.
It's oft said that the key to success is showing up. That's hard to do if you don't have reliable transportation. A couple of early experiences cured me of not having my own car. I did an audition making several trips carrying my drums on a Honda motorbike (it was only a block and a half from my house, but still a stupid idea). The other was a borrowed car that broke down in mid-winter. I had chill blains in my hands for years.
My drums are the tools of my trade, so why would I compromise my job by having inadequate equipment? Reliability is paramount, and cheap stands and parts may not hold up. I also want to play and sound my best, so I always had the best instruments I could afford.
The impression we make when we arrive in a decent vehicle and unload a good looking drum set says a lot about how we approach the job. If you care enough to invest in equipment, then you must care about the music. If you have a decent car, it shows that you value both reliability and punctuality. It all becomes part of your branding and your professionalism.
Your brand image extends to your wardrobe. The business gurus say to dress better than the job (even if it means wearing a tie). Our band likes to have a bit of fun with our appearance, and dressing for the occasion has become an interesting and rewarding part of the job.
So, what kind of 'brand identity' are you creating?
You can read this and other posts online at http://drumyoda.blogspot.ca/