You might see yourself as an artist, but if your goal is to get paid for your music, then you’re a business and you need to see yourself as one. You could be totally brandless as an artist, but that will also make you boring and forgettable. There isn’t one well-known artist who doesn’t manage their image or doesn’t have a brand. It is an important part of building a fanbase, and if you eventually want to be successful, you will need to work on your brand first. Let’s look at how musical artists can build their brands online.
Identify Your Core Audience
The first thing you’ll have to do is define who your core audience is. You have to know their age, which type of bands or acts they’re into, if they tend to live in rural areas or urban centers, etc. This will allow you to craft your message accordingly and will give you an idea of where you’ll be able to find them. You should also know what some of their core values are. You don’t have to adopt all the same values as your core audience, but you don’t want to offend them with your acts or positions later on.
Define Your Music
You also must clearly define your music before you start. You can decide to do prog rock, techno, and rap all at the same time, but you’ll have a very hard time building a base that way. You will need to focus on one particular niche, build your brand around it, and maybe later you’ll be able to integrate other elements and genres into your music.
Learn How to Write an Artist Bio
An artist bio might seem like a detail, but it’s actually one of the cornerstones of brand building. If people have never met you, or they have only heard a few pieces from you, they will want to learn more about you, and there aren’t many ways that you can tell them about you besides a bio.
If you want to know how to write a music artist bio, you should check out Pirate.com. They explain exactly how to write an artist bio but also why it’s important to have a good bio nowadays. They run down every single element that should be in your bio so you can craft a professional one.
Build a Website
Now that you have a bio, you can start building a nice 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 this fact only.
Your site should also have professional photography, so don’t call one of your friends who you know has a nice camera to take pictures; hire a professional instead. Besides good photos, your site should be clean and have things like booking information, footage of performances, and a few videos of you.
One type of video you should consider adding to your website would be a Q&A, or an interview. Having a stripped-down interview or Q&A on your page will allow your audience to connect with you even more and help you build your brand.
Know that you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on a website if you’re strapped for cash. There are tons of website builders out there you can choose from and many of them cater to artists. Squarespace, in particular, is a great platform for musical artists. It allows you to 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 will look good enough until you can afford something better later on.
Work on Your Live Performance
You could be the most talented writer, singer, or composer in the world. If your live performance sucks, your brand will suffer. As a matter of fact, we can’t think of a way that you can build a brand or be a successful musical artist without having a good live performance. This is why you will need to work on this aspect if you want to build a brand successfully. You will need to practice more, but also look at what other artists are doing in your genre. Look at artists from the past who you admire for their live performance and look at some of the things they do that you could integrate into your act.
If you want to build a brand online, you’ll need to focus on visual content. Whether it’s footage of your shows, shorts, or a vlog of you buying furniture at Target, all of this can be used to build your brand. Visual content is what will keep you relevant, and constantly releasing content will keep you in your fans’ feed. If you can, try to find someone in your camp that can record you and gather as much footage as you can. You’ll then be able to edit that footage to create videos.
Perform for Free
We would also suggest that you look for as many chances to perform for free as you can. One thing you could do would be to look for small festivals around the country that would resonate with your core base. Music contests are another option. The more you get your name out there, the more you’ll get a chance to showcase who you are as an artist and build your brand.
These are all things you’ll 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 all be worth it in the end, so stay focused.
Featured Image Credit: Zachary Nelson on Unsplash