Mostly, when we hear of Artist Branding, we limit attention to the artist’s logo, label, tagline, design, symbol, or maybe signature. However, Artist Branding as one of the most powerful marketing tools in today’s Entertainment industry goes beyond just these factors mentioned above. To build a strong brand for yourself as a professional artist, shouldn’t be a hard nut to crack only if you have the right mindset.
Our Music industry today has seen the most successful performers, musicians, and artists and one common thing runs through: Artist Branding. A strong brand helps people to connect with you and always remember who you are.
“A brand is a voice and a product is a souvenir.” – Lisa Gansky
At times, Artist Branding could seem like an intimidating and daunting task, but that shouldn’t be the case. Let’s now break this whole myth down.
What is Branding?
Branding definition per Cambridge dictionary is, the activity of connecting a product with a particular name, symbol, etc. or with particular features or ideas, in order to make people recognize and want to buy it.
A Brand can be seen as a visual representation of an artist’s identity and identifying with their audience.
An Artist’s brand is what they are known for. A strong brand helps you to be recognized for the things you do and you always stand out among your competitors. Unlike the established brands like large companies like Nike, the individual artist has to create their own brand if they want to gain customers.
A good artist branding always focuses on attracting customers and not the artist themselves. Building a strong artist brand is all about thinking differently.
As CEO, it’s good to learn marketing and developing your brand identity. Essentially, your audience have to recognize your art as you. Here are some simple ways to create that strong brand your audience crave for.
How to Build Your Strong Brand
Define Who You Are
Who are you? What is your personal motivation as an artist? How unique is your talent? What impact do you want to make with your art? These among several other questions are what should come to mind when planning how to build a strong brand. When creating your brand, take into consideration most importantly your talents. Lay emphasis on what makes you unique in the industry. Is it your voice? Brand it. Is it your dressing? Brand it. Is it the way you create new dance moves? Brand it. Do you tend to write a particular style of music? Brand it. Anything that sets you apart from other artists is great to use to define your personal brand.
Beyoncé and Lady Gaga are the best examples when it comes to Artist Branding. Taking Lady Gaga into consideration, she is a genius when it comes to marketing. One of her trademarks is her Dressing Style. In the 2010 MTV Music Video Awards, Gaga wore her infamous Meat Dress which caused a stir on the internet. Gaga connects well with her fans and she’s found a creative way to build her brand which has been well accepted by her fans which explains why is one of the best examples when it comes to artist branding.
Take Inspiration From Your Idols
Another step in Artist Branding is, whatever brand you plan of building, there are people who are already in that industry and doing so well. Study what they are doing that is working well for them. Don’t copy them directly but be innovative to create something unique that can compete with them.
Every good artist collaborates. It is a good idea to find some inspirations from fellow artists, songwriters, or designers who resonate with you and see if it can help you create a brand that will elevate your music career to the level it deserves.
READ ALSO: Personal Development Plans For Musicians
Create a Merch (Product)
Digital streaming and playing of shows alone don’t produce a lot of income for artists. Now the sale of albums is almost fading away, therefore, there is the need to create alternative income streams. This is where brand collaborations and sales of merch come in.
You should be someone who has the ability to sell your merch and also have some marketing skills for plugging that $$$ in sales. This is where the branding we discussed in the last tip comes in. You should be someone who can convert your brand into profitable merchandise that your fans and audience can buy.
Locate a branding and packaging company that can help you in creating your preferred brand
Take Feedback from your Followers
Your fanbase can be a major source of inspiration when it comes to idea creation or product testing. Technology has made it easier to create a community of fans and followers across the world through social media.
It’s important to create a social media account when starting. This will enable you to build a strong tie with them. Constant interaction with fans at the initial stages of brand building will help your followers to develop interest and trust in you. This is a good way to generate ideas that as you constantly interact with them.
Also, share your products with your fans through social media tools like Insta Live, Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Snapchat, Tweets, etc. You can sample good feedbacks from your fans to perfect the brand.
For example, if you are a rapper and you decide to go into singing, you can share your studio sessions and rehearsal sessions with your fans. Is it a new fashion line, you want to bring? Share with your fans and get feedback that can help you to perfect the brand.
“Success is in the tweak, not the pivot.” – Dana Malstaff
Create an Online Portfolio
How you present your finished works matters a lot. Even though there are numerous streaming services and music blogging sites where your music can be uploaded for free or minimal fee, you need an online portfolio website for your brand.
Having a personal website comes with a lot of benefits. You don’t spend more money on getting your music to bloggers to upload. You can also monetize your own music on your website so fans and followers can buy them directly from you.
Don’t be caught up by the fun in the music and entertainment industry. Treat your act as a business because it requires capital. Think of how much you spend to record a single song and promoting it.
When you have a personal website where you share your music and other products with your fans, it shows how serious you are in the industry. Take advantage of several free tools like Blogger, WordPress, and Wix to build a professional website for yourself. Better still you can contact a professional web developer to create it for you.
Take a look at Artist Branding gurus like Lady Gaga, Samini, Rihanna, Shatta Wale, and other artist websites and get inspiration from there. Don’t copy their style but let it serve as a guide to creating yours.
Be Available to Your Fans Always
Be Accessible. Your audience represents the backbone of your brand and there should be a constant interaction with them. Whether you prefer in-person or virtual interactions, be accessible to your fans.
“The Closer, The Better…”
For online interactions, leverage support from social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Create a Facebook Fanpage and post your music and other products there so your fans can easily find them. Even if you’re not releasing music, let your fans hear from you on regular basis else out of sight will be out of mind for your music and products.
For in-person interactions, physically locate where your fans are and spend time with them. Stay active in your community. Join locally organized shows and events. When you create that bond with your fans, they will really appreciate and they will even do the promotion for you.
READ ALSO: How To Get Signed To A Record Label
Keep Your Audience Coming Back
What do you think will make someone come back to your website or social media page to watch and interact with your content? Your guess is as good as mine. Good Product!
You are your content so make sure any music you release is what your fans can relate to.
How you manage your audience determines whether you will lose them or maintain them. On social media, for instance, a fan can send you a derogatory comment of which if you don’t manage your ego, you will go hyper and others will take you out of context.
Learn to manage negative social comments. Remember the customer is always right so if they feel dissatisfied with your brand, learn to manage it well.
Branding is not an overnight task. Results are also not typical. You need to learn to start right. Sometimes, your brand can take a serious hit. Do you quit then? NO. Go back to the drawing board, re-strategize, and re-brand.
Always remember that Beneath Success is a bunch of Failures. Spend more time reading books by prolific authors to get more ideas, know what successful people do and how they think.
We hope this article has been helpful to you.
Comment below your suggestions, contributions, or constructive critique.
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