Everyday, we have artists booking recording sessions, with excellent songs, outstanding lyrics, a lot of potential, yet they have no clue on what to do to hit the next level. Production and distributing is generally not the problem. If it is, I recommend you to take the time to actually make great songs and work on your craft before doing anything. By the way, it may seem crazy to say that but do you know how many artist say to me like: “How do I make money with my music?”
Are You Self Branding?
When we talk about "self branding" we are referring to establishing and promoting what you stand for. Your personal brand is the unique combination of skills and experiences that make you you. Effective self branding will differentiate you from other professionals in your field. In my opinion that is where 80% of the game is at: Self branding, to sum up, is the art of creating a brand that is based of your name, you as an artist. For example, Bob Marley is a brand. His foundation has self branded his name and is applying it to his own merchandise “House of Marley & Marley Natural”.
So it starts by the very principles of traditional business:
Do you have a catchy name?
Do you have a visual concept (logo)?
Did you identify your style properly?
Are You Self Aware?
Self awareness by definition places more emphasis on the ability to monitor our inner world, our thoughts and emotions as they arise. In my view, it is important to recognise that self-awareness is not only about what we notice about ourselves but also how we notice and monitor our inner world. The non-judgmental quality is an essential component to self-awareness. As we notice what’s happening inside us, we acknowledge and accept them as the inevitable part of being human, rather than giving ourselves a hard time about it (hint: if you have ever said to yourself “I should/shouldn’t have done it”, then you know what I mean).
Furthermore, self-awareness goes beyond merely accumulating knowledge about ourselves. It is also about paying attention to our inner state with a beginner’s mind and an open heart. Our mind is extremely skilful at storing information about how we react to a certain event to form a blueprint of our emotional life.Being self aware is, in my opinion, a key ingredient to your recipe. Unfortunately, a lot of artist have zero self awareness. Self awareness is all about knowing your strengths and your weaknesses. Sort of like SWOT Analysis in a business and or personal context.
Discover New Opportunities, Manage and Eliminate Threats
SWOT Analysis is a useful technique for understanding your Strengths and Weaknesses, and for identifying both the Opportunities open to you and the Threats you face. Used in a business context, it helps you to carve a sustainable niche in your market. Used in a personal context , it helps you to develop your career in a way that takes best advantage of your talents, abilities and opportunities. I keep on hammering this into my clients’ heads because it is a very simple exercise that often leads them to conceptualize their brand better and manage their career more effectively. A simple pen and paper and list what you are good at and what your not so good at. Are you good at composing songs? Great! Could you use some help writing lyrics? Learn how or team up on that point. You need to evaluate what would make you stand out because it is in your DNA.
Are You on the Right Social Media?
I am astonished by the number of artists that stay in music groups on social media for feedback from other artist and don’t use any other platforms, to promote their music. There is nothing special in looking for the perfect song. Perfecting your craft endlessly is a waste of time. You need to go up there and start self branding on social media. All social media are relevant if you know how to tell a story on it. An image on Instagram will not work on Facebook. And a video on Youtube will not work on Instagram. A snap will not have the same effect on Twitter either. Every platform has its own way of telling a story. If we were to pick up one, I’d focus 100% on Instagram. The attention is crazy on Instagram, there are millions of people on it, whatever the niche, and the accessibility is perfect.
No matter the quality of your production, no matter how much you spend on advertising, and no matter how much you post to social media, your music isn’t likely to get very far if it doesn’t have a brand. Your brand packages up your artists name, logo, music, and video content into an experience for your audience and customers. It is an aspect of the entertainment business consumers have come to trust, placing artists ahead of the competion.
Yet simply having a brand is not enough. It’s important to be consistently building that brand and strengthening its associations in the minds of your target audience. Brand awareness is an ongoing effort for all artists major and independent. Brand awareness is essential because it helps artists stand out, build an audience more effectively, and generate more income. A higher levels of brand awareness typically equates to higher sales.
Here is a Quick Blueprint:
- Make a few songs and music videos.
- Put them on iTunes, Spotify, Youtube as many ditigal outlets as possible.
- Offer them to streamers, video makers and vlogers for free. Ask for a tag in the description in exchange
- Greet every follower you have with free “music”
This will bring the maximum awareness possible to your music and brand. Don’t hesitate to collab with other artist and songwriters to build a stronger and more diverse fanbase.
Do you have other ideas? Have you tried things in the past that have worked particularly well? Please share by leaving a comment.