Establishing your brand has always been part of creating a successful music career. Today it may be more important than ever.
Now I can hear some of you already! “We(I) Let our(my) Music do the Talking, I don’t have to create a Brand!” Nothing can be further from the truth in today’s music industry. Before your music can do the job you have to attract the fanbase to it. Once you have them listening to your music you need to convert to them to attendees at your live show, and once at your live show they have to remember you and want to spread your brand through your merchandise. This all depends on your fans embracing your brand!
Your Branding is essentially in telling your story in such a way that sets you apart from all the other musicians out there. It connects you with potential fans and gives them memorable triggers to remember you and your music. By defining your brand and creating a marketing plan around it, you will begin to streamline how you communicate as an indie artist and help your content resonate with your fans.
1) Discover what is your Brand
Simply your brand is how you want fans and potential fans to perceive you. You should sit down and outline how you want to be viewed by you fans. Don’t try and be someone you are not, but look for branding that enhances attributes you already have that can be part of your “Artist Persona”. Remember if you are not truly yourself your fans will see right through you. Always be HONEST!
2) Who is your target audience
Defining your Target audience is essential to determining what that audience is attracted to. Try and identify what attributes you have as an artist that your target market can identify with or congregate around. By identifying your target market, you can better discover ways to get their attention and eventually attract them to your music and your shows.
3) Use your Brand Online
Communicate your brand message to your target audience using your website. It should be reflected in things like your Twitter username, Instagram username, Snapchat, Facebook pages and your LinkedIn profile. Create a logo that can be identified to you. Remember brands are built! You need to be consistent in using your brand whenever you post about your music or a show. People should, over time, be able to know exactly who you are by viewing your image or brand without having to read a single word.
When you create your marketing materials, Music Videos and Photo Shoots Always keep your branding in mind.
4) Sell your Brand at your Show
Be your brand at your show. Your stage persona should reflect the image you want people to remember once they go home. Use your Logo or branding to create a merchandising plan that your fanbase can take home with them. Not only does this help you spread your brand but it is a great income stream for your music.
5) Protect your brand
Use a Google Alert to monitor your brand and what people are saying about you and your music online. Remember that if you’re going to work so hard on your brand you should also work to find out what people are saying and, ideally, thinking which goes beyond people are willing to give you face to face at a show.
This can be postings on facebook, twitter, instagram, etc. If you get positive feedback reach out to them and let them know you appreciate it. Retweet and share their feedback! This goes a long way in letting them know that you care about them as fans.
If you find a negative comment or responce, reach out as well and without being adversarial try and find out why they felt they needed to frame you in that way. Offer them a free ticket to your next show, make them feel you value their opinion and it meant something to you.
Remember you are a small business, and knowing how your “product” is perceived is valuable information and being engaged with your “Customer” goes a long way to creating loyalty in them for you.