Here’s the truth; there is more to what makes a successful artist than just good music. One thing that is synonymous with all successful music artists, including legendary celebrities such as Justin Timberlake, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, and Kanye West, is that they have their unique image and brand. Branding for musicians remains uncharted territory for many artists. So, how do you create a distinct message, image, and personal brand? Is it possible to create, cultivate and market your brand? This blog will equip you with a few practical strategies for building an authentic brand as a music artist.
If you want a seat at the table of accomplished musicians, you must drop the resistance of commercializing yourself. Branding yourself doesn’t have to constrain you into a box with straight lines and perfect squares. Even though the concept involves creating a distinct personal brand and image, it’s also about telling the world about your unique story, values, and beliefs. The right brand for you will create a message and image that resonates with you and your fan base.
- “Good” Branding For Musicians Defined
- Branding For Musicians; Why Is It Important?
- How to Build an Authentic Brand as a Music Artist (Branding For Musicians)
“Good” Branding For Musicians Defined
Let’s not beat around the bush; at the end of the day, the music “business” is just that— business. Therefore, artists create a fan base that loves not just their sound but also how they look, conduct themselves, their likes, and their dislikes. Good music aside, Beyoncé is loved for her glamorous looks and great dance moves, while Nicki Minaj, aka the queen of rap, is adored for her body and colorful hair. See, each embraces who they truly are to create a unique and authentic personal brand.
There is more to “good” branding for musicians than merely throwing glitter and color on your fancy artist name. It’s all about making yourself easy to remember in the minds of your fans. Even though great music makes great artists, your brand sets you apart from other artists and makes you more noticeable. Context is key. It is essential to ensure that your brand represents you, your music, and your image accurately. It should also resonate with your ideal audience and speak to them.
Branding For Musicians; Why Is It Important?
Through branding for musicians, you can promote yourself using a distinctive design. While your music allows you to express yourself sonically, your brand gives you a chance to express your creativity visually. Remember that a good number of record labels will only take less than 30 seconds to listen to your demo and decide whether you are the real deal or not. Similarly, people searching through the music libraries on major streaming platforms will judge you based on what they see on your album cover. Through personality, graphic design, and imagery, you can make a good first impression to attract more fans and the best record label deals.
Branding for musicians is a broad topic. Apart from graphics and imagery, it also encompasses other elements such as your website and logo. Once you have decided to make music your career, it is essential to find a theme and stick to it as you gradually construct your overall identity.
Here are other reasons why musician branding is essential:
Music Is a Career, Not a Hobby
The secret to success within the highly competitive music industry is to ensure that people take you seriously. This may not happen overnight, and you must do some heavy lifting for people to realize that your music is a business and not a hobby. Branding for musicians is a powerful tool of progression that shows your fans that while you enjoy the fun side of making tunes, you take your profession seriously.
A simple way to make promoters, managers, and even record labels take you seriously is by showing professionalism. Even something as basic as a website and a logo can give you extra credits, making it easier to find new followers and gigs.
Your Personal Brand Has a Lot to Do With Your Income
If you are just getting started as a music artist, you may find it counterproductive to invest in branding. After all, your income is still pretty limited, and even though you’re interested in making it big within the music industry, you have one foot outside the door. Well, your situation may not change if you don’t make the bold move to spend a bit of your income on branding. Think of branding expenditures as a necessary investment and not necessarily an expense. Your brand is a reliable promotional tool that can invite potential listeners and new business.
Branding For Musicians Helps You Define Your Unique Style
There is no right or wrong way to brand yourself as a musician. The critical thing is to define the point where you and your music meet. There are a few key questions you must ask yourself to ensure your brand represents your unique style. These questions include:
- Do you or your music identify as a specific movement, e.g., gothic or punk?
- Are there characteristics unique to your artistry that you want your fans to latch on to?
- Do you have a mission statement?
- Is there a specific message you want to send out to the world?
- How can you describe your personality, e.g., deep, reflective, abrasive, or loud?
- What picture do you want to send to the minds of your fans when they listen to your music?
Your Brand Visualizes the Music You Make
Being sonically focused is good. However, a creative mind can do so much more. As an artist, there are numerous revenue streams you can tap into and still enjoy an opportunity to express yourself creatively. For instance, a strong logo can do much to strengthen your overall image as an artist. Branding for musicians can, in this case, allow your fans to visualize your essence as an artist.
How to Build an Authentic Brand as a Music Artist (Branding For Musicians)
Each music artist has a unique style. Just ask around, and you will be surprised to know that your friends and family can describe you in a certain way—your style. No man is immune to change, and you can make a few alterations just to ensure you project an image that resonates with whom you are as an artist. Here are simple but effective ways of building an authentic brand as a music artist.
Be Authentic, Be Real
Putting up a fake image is hard work. The easiest way to go about this is to create a brand that projects the real you. After all, you don’t want to get tired of faking it somewhere along the way and end up hurting a brand you have strived to build for years. The right personal brand should help you define, communicate and express who you are. Often, it’s easy to describe yourself clearly and consistently when you portray your authentic self.
Moreover, people have flaws. Then again, a fake brand is likely to be too good to believe. When you focus on your genuine self, the brand you project is likely to be believable. Generally, authenticity can help you build trust, allowing an organic increase in your following.
Focus On Your Current or Desired Fan Base
It is understandable if you are not sure where to start when branding yourself as a music artist. Well, you could always begin by understanding the likes and dislikes of your fan base. Ideally, branding for musicians should help you gain recognition by attracting a specific type of fan. Therefore, it makes sense to focus your advertising budgets, time, and effort on communicating through an image that resonates with your desired fans.
For instance, if you are a country singer, creating an image that resonates with jazz music fans makes no sense. The audience you want is highly likely to respond better to an image that resonates with them.
As aforementioned, consistency means everything when creating a personal brand. Assuming you already know who you are and the image you want to project as an artist, the next step is to establish an unwavering public message. You can establish this through marketing channels and use specific colors, fonts, and graphics as part of your marketing pieces. Also, be sure to optimize your social media platforms to share your music and your unique story as a music artist.
Proper branding will make it easy-peasy to focus on what your audience wants. Once you create a solid and consistent personal brand, the chances are that your targeted fans from across the globe will find you. One of the main perks of branding for musicians is attracting a following you can easily convert into die-hard fans.
Embrace Your Inner Weirdo
The success stories of artists or bands that have reached the dizzy heights of international popularity for embracing their inner weirdo are endless. For instance, “We Are Scientists” is a band loved for its comedic expression of impatience. On the other hand, “Daft Punk” is a band that has built a brand for performing in robot outfits. Both bands have created a specific and consistent brand. This allows them to naturally create a buzz and stir excitement whenever their videos go live. Moreover, these bands have created a brand image that complements their music flawlessly.
There are more than a few great branding ideas you may consider, irrespective of your personality. Even shy and introverted fellows like Mr. Bean (not a music artist, but an artist all the same) have managed to create brands that encapsulate their weaknesses while accentuating their strengths. Yap, creating your brand can make a huge difference in your music career. This is irrespective of whether you feel like you’re a ‘star material’ or not. Celebrities like James Blake have built their fame by embracing what is traditionally considered ‘not cool’— depression, self-isolation, and anxiety.
Authenticity Builds Trust!
Branding for musicians is more than just the commercial side of being an artist. Creating and cultivating a personal brand serves as a powerful means of manifesting your values. Even though the idea is to build an authentic brand that can help you build trust and grow your following, your brand will also keep you on track. It could ensure that you align your passion for music with a purpose. One of the main reasons all successful artists have a personal brand is to inspire them to delight their fans and achieve specific goals. The brand is merely something that connects them to their music.