You might think of yourself as an artist, but if your goal is to get paid for your music, then you are a business and you should think of yourself as such. You might be totally unbranded as an artist, but that will also make you boring and forgettable. There is not a famous artist who does not manage his image or who does not have a brand. It’s an important part of building a fan base, and if you’re ultimately going to be successful, you’ll need to work on your brand first. Let’s take a look at how musical artists can build their brands online.
Identify your target audience
The first thing you will need to do is define who your target audience is. You need to know their age, what kind of groups or acts they belong to, whether they tend to live in rural areas or urban centers, etc. This will allow you to compose your post accordingly and give you an idea of where you will be able to find them. You should also know what some of their core values are. You don’t have to embrace all of the same values as your target audience, but you don’t want to offend them later with your actions or positions.
Define your music
You should also clearly define your music before you start. You can decide to do progressive rock, techno, and rap at the same time, but you will have a hard time building a foundation that way. You will need to focus on a particular niche, build your brand around it, and maybe later you can incorporate other elements and genres into your music.
Learn how to write an artist biography
An artist biography might seem like a detail, but it’s actually one of the cornerstones of building a brand. If people have never met you, or if they have only heard a few bits of you, they’ll want to know more about you, and there aren’t many ways to tell them about you outside of a biography.
If you want to know how to write the biography of a musical artist, you should check out Pirate.com. They explain exactly how to write an artist biography but also why it is important to have a good biography these days. They list every item that should be in your bio so that you can make it look professional.
Create a website
Now that you have a bio, you can start to build a great looking website. Your bio should be one of the first things people see when they get there. People who have taken the time to visit your website are more interested in you than the average fan and allowing them to read your bio will let them know exactly what you stand for and if they can align with you. Write a good bio, and some people might start following you based on that fact alone.
Your site should also feature professional photography, so don’t call a friend of yours who you know has a nice camera to take pictures; instead, hire a professional. Along with good photos, your site should be clean and contain information like booking information, performance footage, and a few videos of you.
One type of video that you should consider adding to your website would be a question-and-answer session or an interview. Having a streamlined interview or Q&A on your page will allow your audience to connect even more with you and help build your brand.
Realize that you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on a website if you are strapped for cash. There are tons of website builders you can choose from and a lot of them are for artists. Squarespace, in particular, is a great platform for musical artists. It lets you create a professional looking website in no time with its drag and drop builder and tons of themes. This will give you a website that looks good enough until you can afford something better later on.
Work on your performance live
You could be the most talented writer, singer or songwriter in the world. If your live performance sucks, your brand will suffer. In fact, we can’t think of a way to build a brand or be a successful musical artist. without having a good live performance. This is why you will have to work on this aspect if you want to be successful in building a brand. You will need to practice more, but also watch what other artists in your genre are doing. Watch artists from the past that you admire for their live performance, and watch some of the things they do that you could fit into your number.
If you want to create a brand online you will need to focus on visual content. Whether it’s footage from your shows, shorts, or a vlog of you buying furniture from Target, it can all be used to build your brand. Visual content is what will keep you relevant, and the constant posting of content will keep you in the flow of your fans. If you can, try to find someone in your camp who can record you and put together as much footage as possible. You can then edit this sequence to create videos.
Play for free
We also suggest that you research as many opportunities to play for free as possible. One thing you could do would be to research small festivals across the country that resonate with your grassroots base. Music contests are another option. The more you get your name out there, the more opportunity you’ll have to show who you are as an artist and build your brand.
These are all things you will need to do if you want to build a brand as a musical artist. It will take a lot of work and dedication, but it will be worth it in the end, so stay focused.
Featured Image Credit: Zachary Nelson on Unsplash