Feature by JILLIAN RAFALSKI
Everyone has a story to tell. An authentic story can inspire, encourage, and empower individuals. It can pull an audience in and make them feel connected to a musical artist and other individuals that live in the spotlight. Sometimes these stories can get lost in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, but it’s people like Kiera Miller who want to bring them to the forefront. She has made it her mission to guide artists in finding their authentic stories to share. She believes that it’s an essential part of running a cohesive brand. Kiera’s personal “why” to everything she does is: to foster connection and inspire vulnerability, resilience, and change among individuals.
With social media on the rise, our stories have been made more accessible than ever before. Social platforms have the ability to humanize individuals you may not have otherwise had the chance to meet. As a Digital Strategist, Kiera is able to foster connection and inspire vulnerability, resilience, and change among individuals by generating authentic and relatable content for the 2X Grammy award-winning band for KING & COUNTRY and YouTube Influencers the CIMORELLI BAND.
What are your involvements & interests?
Involvements: digital strategist (full-time for a band + helping my friends on the side), launching a podcast where individuals share their personal stories of hardships they’re in the midst of or have overcome! Interests: storytelling, marketing/branding, working directly with creatives, getting to know people (I love meeting new people & connecting friends), all genres of music, managing people’s lives (HA!)
What do you do? How is it related to music?
I work with the 2x GRAMMY award-winning band, for KING & COUNTRY as their digital strategist. My role is to run all digital marketing - managing social media, creating advertising campaigns, and promoting shows/music/all other initiatives. I also coordinate interviews.
Why digital strategizing? How did you find yourself in that realm of work?
Once I started managing artists I really liked that and thought it was the right path for me...my plan was to move to LA, work in dance music, and try to be a successful manager. Then I visited Nashville for the first time and God shifted something inside of me. I didn’t know exactly what I was supposed to be doing once that happened, but after taking a year to really discover my identity, I realized that I was supposed to:
How did you get your start?
I threw a “rave-like” dance for my high school when I was 17 as an alternative to partying on the weekends. Through my connections there, I started working many different jobs like booking photographers for shows, writing articles/interviewing DJs for DJ Mag, coordinating interviews for another site, then managing artists. I worked with the band/YouTube & social media influencer group, Cimorelli as their creative and personal assistant and then I was introduced to my mentor, Nick Barre at Proper Management (who manages Casting Crowns, Anthem Lights, KB + more) who got me my job with for KING & COUNTRY!
What are some challenges you have faced? As a woman and in your work life?
Being disciplined! I always had the initial drive to get something started, but I could never seem to finish out anything. I quit A LOT when things got hard, but my current job is teaching me how to stay disciplined. Also, I struggle with comparing myself to others and not thinking I’m good enough to achieve my dreams. As a woman...with my current job I’m not really able to go on tour with the band unless another woman is going too.
What are your passions that keep pushing your forward?
Hearing people’s stories! Every story that starts with heartbreak & ends in victory/resilience keeps me going. I eventually hope to be sharing stories like this as my job - through social media, a podcast, book, launching a motivational speaking tour, etc. Also, my friends and family reminding me of my strengths and that they believe in me.
Tips for someone interested in pursuing what you have done?
Not everyone’s journey is the same, so stay focused on your own path and be authentic. For example, many people always told me “you need to get an internship before you get a job.” Since I always want to stand out from the crowd, I promised myself I would never get an internship and I never had to. Why? Because I paid my dues by creating my own opportunities. You still have to pay your dues, but doesn’t have to be in the way everyone else does.
What opportunities did you create for yourself by going the alternative route that differed from traditional internships?
Well, like I said...I managed artists myself. I saw the right opportunities and took them. Though I’m not with those artists anymore, they led me to where I am today. I had to learn how to wear a lot of different hats in the industry all on my own - negotiating contracts, booking travel, setting up fees, pitching music/a story, etc. And I think having that experience really helped me to become mature and knowledgeable more quickly than the intern route. I went out of my way to meet a lot of people - traveling to LA, Miami, Vegas, and random festivals or shows across the nation to meet people. Once I set the intention that I wasn’t going to be an intern, I just did everything I could to keep that promise to myself.
How do you think the music industry is changing?
It’s all about storytelling now, which I love. If you aren’t running a cohesive brand that tells people an authentic story about who you are then your career won’t last very long.
Could you elaborate on how the music industry is turning towards storytelling?
Well, with social media on the rise we have the opportunity to know each artist on a very personal level. And so because we now have that access...people don’t just want to hear the music, they want to know everything about an artist. Their daily lives, personality, inner circle, what they’ve overcome. That’s why social media influencers are huge because they are the most raw/personal people on the internet...even to a fault. In my opinion artists don’t have longevity anymore without a very cohesive brand and compelling story.
Who is someone in the music industry that you are inspired by and why?
Demi Lovato, Krewella, and Cimorelli are some of my biggest inspirations because they have always been so authentic in their songwriting and messages. Always being unapologetically themselves and sharing their heartbreaks and triumphs publically, which is what life is all about...using your story to help others. They always have messages that I believe in.
Anything you would like to add?
I want to leave everyone with an incredibly powerful quote and if you’re sharing you/your work with the world in any capacity you’re going to want to take this to heart.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could’ve done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Whether it’s through music, visual art, writing, whatever you’re passionate about...live life with purpose and authenticity. If you want to keep up with Kiera’s story, be sure to check out the links down below. #onaWiM #beauthentic #beyou #aspiretoinspire #womeninmusic