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Balancing the Grind with Leonard Patterson, Content Marketing Lead at Artist Collective

Leonard Patterson is the Content Marketing Lead at Artist Collective, where he helps musicians, artists, and creatives build content strategies to create a profitable music brand.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

I’ve been fortunate enough to wear several hats in the music industry over the past 20+ years. I spent 12 years on stage as a front man of an 8-piece party band in Indianapolis, IN.

During that time I became a full-time booking agent for a highly sought-after agency and began securing 100’s of shows for dozens of bands each year. As a booking agent I found that there were a ton of crazy-talented musicians and bands that weren’t getting gigs simply based on their online presence. 

For a while, I felt helpless. But that feeling of helplessness turned into me starting Indie Band Coach in 2017, which focused on sharing tools, tips, and training to help those bands book more gigs. In 2020, at the onset of the pandemic, I turned that focus to helping bands start livestreaming.

I was invited to speak on a 7-day panel hosted by Evan Price and Vinnie Hines of the Artist Collective. The event was a huge success (which landed in Billboard), and eventually led to me joining the team later that year. 

I am now the Content Marketing Lead at Artist Collective and help our community of artists, singers, producers, musicians, djs, and entrepreneurs develop social media content and livestream strategies.

I recently published these tips and strategies into my first official book, 365 Livestream Ideas for Musicians as I believe that even though venues are opening back up, that going live isn’t going away.

2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

I usually have two different types of days by design. I try to have client days and content days, although it doesn’t always work out. Regardless of which type of day I have mapped out though, each morning starts out with a cup of coffee, a scroll through some positive affirmations, and breakfast with my wife and son.

From there, a typical client day will consist of checking in with clients via email, message, or text. Then I’ll usually fill 2 to 3 hours of the day with coaching calls and client work, and fit in social media towards the end of the day.

Content days don’t typically involve any meetings, but more so behind the scenes things like editing and recording videos, scheduling posts, and sharing client wins.

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

Yes, I am fortunate enough to work on a team at the Artist Collective. It’s been a big leap for me and the ability to be flexible, knowing that teammates can cover various meetings and that the artists and musicians in our community always have coverage to get their questions answered. 

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

Work-life balance means being able to plan my work around my family. The last time I was in Corporate America was 2010 as an Instructional Designer. I loved the work, but the JOB became too much as I was usually on call 5-6 days a week.

Our contract was creating the learning database for the call center reps for 1-800-MEDICARE and it was intense to say the least. I literally got called into the office to make updates after finishing a 3-hour show that ended at 1am.

That job helped me define what work-life balance really meant to me and I’ve strived to stay focused on faith, fun, and family ever since. While it was the highest paying job I’ve held in my career, I would never consider that schedule again.

5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

This past year has been tough even outside of the pandemic. I had a cancer diagnosis in the Fall of 2020 that was pretty traumatic for us. And even though I’m cancer-free now, we’re still on a long road to being passed it.

I found that I was having trouble sleeping because of this and started listening to “I am” affirmation videos at night to fall asleep. It was the only thing I found to help turn off all of the worrying thoughts — everything I wanted to do the next day, all the “what if’s”, and all of the “why me’s.”

The goal was to start training my subconscious to focus on a positive future and not so much on how things were at the moment. In addition, I also pray nightly over my son and our family which really helps keep everything in perspective.

6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

One of my favorite books is by Og Mandino called The Greatest Salesman In The World. It’s technically a book about sales, but the lessons are all focused on daily habits and how we can drastically change our own lives with small habits.

There are 10 habits and each of them is presented in the form of a scroll. I usually recite a few of them outloud several times a week, if not daily – “I will persist until I succeed”, “greet each day with love in your heart”, and “multiply your value every day” are the ones I use on a regular basis.

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

Yes! There are a few things that have dramatically helped me take control of my days and keep a positive mindset!

  1. Calendly is a scheduling app that has taken the heavy lifting out of meetings! I didn’t realize how much time I spent actually scheduling meetings, let alone the time on the calls themselves. So now I am able to send a link to anyone that wants to chat and have it synced with my Google Calendar. On that calendar is where I’ve also blocked off personal and family time, so I know those are there first.
  2. Facebook News Feed Eradicator is a Chrome extension that does exactly what it says. I have this enabled so that whenever I access Facebook, the only thing that shows (besides side column ads), is a motivational quote. Since I work on social media a lot, I found that it was way too easy to get distracted by what was popping up in my news feed – clients and friends alike. With this extension, I only see the content of the pages or profiles I click on intentionally.
  3. The “I Am” Affirmation app is on my phone. I’ve turned off mostly all notifications from apps like email and social media on my phone and have replaced it with this app. You can select frequency, topics, and where the notifications show, but basically the only things that pop up on my lock screen throughout the day are positive messages about life, work, love, and faith.

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?  

I would love to see how Gary Vee did work-life balance earlier on in his career. You know, prior to having a team of people following him around and creating the content on his behalf. He’s mentioned before how for several of his startup years, he’d answer every single tweet or message on social media. I’d love to peek inside his days back then.

9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

Yes, don’t skip going to the doctor. I didn’t realize how important time was until I was told I came extremely close to having a limited amount. I went 4 years without an appointment after my wife and I moved cross country.

I was prompted by Will Smith vlogging about his colonoscopy procedure to make an appointment with a new physician which is when I found out I actually had an aggressive form of prostate cancer. So in addition to focusing on your balance, be sure to take care of your body.

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About Author

Balance The Grind gives me a platform to talk to these people about how they're achieving their ideal lifestyle. I'm inspired by the passion, the work ethic, the hustle; and these conversations motivate me to live life the way I want to live it.