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Artist Branding 101- Things That Affect Your Brand

    As an artist you are your own brand, whether or not you know it or acknowledge it. It is up to you to make sure your brand stands out from the rest. Branding has everything to do with PRESENTATION – HOW YOU ARE PRESENTED AND PERCEIVED BY THE PUBLIC – whether it be online or offline. It is essentially what you are known for as a whole and believe it or not, your longevity will depend on how strong your brand really is.

    This is a type of industry where you must always be ready. Someone new can check you out at any given moment so you have to look your best at all times, all across the board. We live in a digital world, so how you present yourself in person is just as important as how you represent yourself online. A lot of the time, your music isn’t the first thing people are introduced to. You are first seen on social networks, blogs, websites, magazines etc. Think about it, when you hear about something new and want to learn more about it, the first thing you do is look it up! The last thing you want to do is portray a negative image of your brand. You want to make sure that at first glance, the image you put out represents YOU at your best.

    Ask yourself:

    If someone judges you by your cover, what do they see? What type of image do you put out? Does your image reflect how you want to be perceived by the public? Would you be a fan of YOU?

    So what are we getting at here? In order to succeed with a career in music there are things that you really need to be aware of and put your all into in order for your brand to stand strong. To clear things up even more, I made a list with a few examples of things that affect your brand:

    Things that affect your brand:

    • Your music and lyrics – Does the recording sound professional? Do your lyrics represent who you are and what you stand for? Does your music stand out or sound like everything else that people are getting tired of? 
    • How you use social media to interact – Yes, the way you use social media has a direct reflection on your brand. When you spam that gives off a negative image because it immediately shows that you are an amateur. When you engage with people and properly promote your music and are actively building a loyal following, it gives off a positive image of your brand.
    • How ‘up to par’ your online presence is – Do you have a professional custom website? Are all of your social networking sites up to date? Do you have professional photos? What about custom backgrounds and graphic images? These are the main things that have to do with your appearance online. You have to make sure that your brand can be clearly seen throughout your online profiles.
    • Your stage presence – Do you really know how to interact with the crowd and keep them engaged? Do you attract fans when you perform or do you give them a reason not to see you perform again?
    • Your music videos – Are they good quality? Do they enhance your song or take away from it? Visuals are a must, however you need to make sure that they are making you look good and drive even more traffic to your music.
    • How you dress and appear in images – Does your image reflect who you really are as well as what you want to represent? This is not saying that you need to be flashy everywhere you go, however you do want to represent yourself in a good way and often those that are a little flashy and show their uniqueness get noticed more than someone who doesn’t pay any attention to their appearance.

    Let me give you a scenario:

    You are performing at an event, there is only one other artist on the line up aside from you.

    Other artist: Put on a decent performance and once he got off the stage, he made sure to mingle with as many people in the room as possible. He had business cards in hand that included links to his website and all of his social networks.

    You on the other hand, put on a pretty amazing performance and once you got off stage people were coming up to you asking for your info – but you don’t have a website to tell them to go to, or a mailing list for them to sign up to, and since you have neither one, you didn’t bother making business cards with that info on them. So you shook hands and tried to remember as many twitter names as possible.

    So now tell me, who got the best response from their performance? Who left the show with more twitter followers, more Facebook likes, and more people subscribed to their mailing list? You guessed it, the other guy.

    What you show to the public has a direct correlation to what you stand for in general. Think about it this way: when you first meet someone, or hear about them, what factors go into making your first impression of them? What things affect them in a positive and negative way? Think of your brand as the core of your personality and what you are known for. If a girl dresses half naked and goes to the club every weekend, you’re automatically going to label her in a negative way, this is the same way you are judged as an artist. From the things that you do to how you present yourself to what you stand for, all make up your BRAND. You brand yourself through your actions as well as your professionalism and appearance.

    While there are other aspects that go into building a solid successful brand (mentioned in the bullet points above), there are a few KEY components that an artist MUST HAVE to look professional and attract the attention needed to succeed. These same components also separate the professionals from the amateurs:

    Key Things That Make You Look Like the Professional Artist That You Are:

    1. You need to be easy to find. You need your own custom domain that is the portal to everything YOU. Your website needs to include your bio, music, videos, tour dates, a place to buy your merchandise and of course, links to all of your social media sites. Nowadays you just can’t get around it. In order to be considered a professional you MUST have a website.

    2. If you want to be taken seriously in this industry, having a professional bio is critical. A well written bio is the ultimate marketing tool. Your bio is your first chance to get people interested in your music, plus it’s an amazing way to book more shows and get publicized in online magazines and websites.

    3. Your brand needs to be recognizable from all angles. Your online presence needs to be crisp, clean and memorable.  Your social media presence must stand out! You can do this by having custom designs on all of your social media to match your personal website. Everything should have a similar feel to represent your brand.

    4. You might want to use a symbol or tagline that people can use to relate directly to you.  Not every artist needs a logo, not every artist has a catch phrase or ‘tagline,’ however those that do have one have more chances of being noticed because they can post it everywhere possible and fans will begin to relate that image or tagline to a certain artist.

    So ask yourself:

    Have you released music and performed at showcases in the past and spent hours upon hours promoting but still didn’t get the response you were looking for? 

    The answer to your problem is most likely BRANDING. If your brand is weak,  you won’t stand out – which ultimately means that you’re forgettable. So now it’s time for you to analyze your brand and make the necessary changes that will surely make you stand out (in a good way) and start to get a great response from your promotional efforts.

    If you do not understand how to take your brand to the next level or if you are looking for someone to write your bio, design your website etc, please do not hesitate to contact me @BreezyB215 and take a look at my company site