In today’s media driven world it isn’t enough for an artist to just work on their craft or musical talent, it is important to think about other factors that will heavily influence your success as an artist. From YouTube videos to websites and album covers, there are a lot of visual factors that contribute to your overall image. When exposing yourself to the music industry you need to have an overall package that encompasses you as an artist that can be easily shared with the world. This is where your brand is important – how you develop this will determine what type of artist you are and your potential audience. Here are a few simple steps to think about in the beginning stages when you are trying to figure out how to brand yourself as an artist.
The first step in this process consists of defining yourself. Branding yourself as an artist is an extremely personal process as you have to decide who you are and how you want to portray yourself to your potential audience. Depending on how you brand yourself there might be certain music listeners who decide they don’t like you or prefer to listen to someone else; keeping this in mind branding yourself can be a scary process. However, thinking about who you want to be and what you want to project to your fans will also help you narrow down your style and design aesthetic. During this process, you might think about questions like What kind of style do I like? What type of other artist or groups do I identify with stylistically? Taking the time to think about who you really want to be will help you determine your image based on your own expectations.
During this initial phase, you will most likely also need to simplify yourself. While you undoubtedly have a wide variety of interests, influences, styles etc. it may be hard to encompass everything into your brand representation. For this reason, you may need to select a few things you believe to truly represent and use those as the basis for your brand image.
Determine your audience
Another question you will need to answer during this phase is Who is my target audience? When determining your target audience, you need to think about who you want to listen to your music. This includes age group, gender, subculture etc. this affects how you develop your brand because you will need your image to be appropriate for your chosen audience.
Once you’ve done the initial discovery, narrowed down your style and image, it is important to create your elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is a short description you can communicate to someone in a 1 to 2-minute time period – or an elevator ride, hence the name. It should be a succinct description of who you are including what type of genre/music you play, what type of musician you are, who your potential fan base is and other relevant information to give the person an overall understanding of you as an artist.
Be cohesive / Stay true to your brand
Once you have established all the above factors and undergo the process of developing your brand you should keep in mind the look of all your marketing pieces you distribute. It is important to stay true to your brand and maintain a cohesive look across all platforms. Once you have answered the above questions, figured out your brand and defined a style and have set guidelines, it is important that everything you do moving forward reflect that brand. Your website design, marketing materials, CD covers, marketing packages and everything in between need to have a uniform look to them. It is important to develop several pieces that represent your brand as this will give you an easily recognizable look to both a professional audience and your fans. To develop well-designed pieces of material, hire a professional marketing team and graphic designer to help you develop you look and create a style unique to you as an artist or band.