By Petra N.
The Top 4 things to think about when branding yourself as an artist
Branding, meaning an artist’s identity, is key – as DJ KHALED has called it – to make it as an artist in today’s society. The key is the fact that in such a competitive environment, it is crucial to have an identity that stands out from the masses. The question to ask is: what makes you different from the others? In this blog post, we will try to explain to you the basics of what it takes.
Luckily we have a lot of information regarding branding, thanks to all the artists that we look up to. What kind of identity do for example Angèle or Kanye West have? What kind of audience are they targeting (let’s just say that their audiences are very different), and how are they communicating to those very different audiences?
Those were just a few of the questions that we started tackling in one of our recent workshops on The Importance of the Image of an Artist. The session was related to our new Music Business course that will start this September 2022 at SAE Brussels.
Before we start explaining how you can possibly make it as an artist, we should let you know that it’s all trial and error. For example on social media, the algorithms change all the time, so sometimes it is hard to keep up. The second thing to remember is that becoming a well-known artist will not happen overnight and without work. If you think about your favourite artist, think about when they started making music and when they actually became famous. Of course, there are exceptions, but the logic is that without passion, drive and hard work, it will be hard to make it in the industry.
Top 4 things to think about when branding yourself as an artist:
Your artistic persona
Your persona could be compared to the characteristics of yourself that you want to put forward during your artistic career. Are you shy, colourful, or loud? Whatever characteristics you find, there is an audience for everyone.
One thing that is not recommended when building your persona is being fake because that will shine through the content that you put out, as well as will make you tired of constantly pretending to be someone who you are not.
A question that you should ask yourself is:
Who am I?
That is the start of everything else.
Your audience is the people you are selling your music to. The concept might sound a little bit strange if you’re looking at it from the point of view that it is whoever already follows you on social media. The reality is that you can actually make better content for your chosen audience if you take some time to figure them out.
Some questions to ask:
Who do I want to sell to?
What are their goals?
Where do they get their music?
Why do they listen to music?
Where do they hang out?
Figuring out these kinds of elements might make you realise that you have been targeting the wrong platform to reach your audience. When you spend some time looking at these things, you will be able to make a much clearer strategy, and your mission will become easier because you have found your niche.
Let’s get to the fun part, getting your music out there. Well, if we’re honest, it’s not all fun, and can be highly frustrating when you’re only starting out. If you have followed the two previous steps, it should, however, be pretty easy to figure out the communications. You already know the people you are selling to, as well as what platforms they use. Now it’s just about creating the content for those platforms.
IMPORTANT: Social media has been pushed as crucial for all brands and creators, but it all depends on who your audience is. Will it be as helpful if you’re creating classical music and your target audience is people aged 60+?
Who are you competing against? Make a list, and rather than making them your enemies, why don’t you get inspired by them as well as encourage them? As we said previously, there is a lot of competition, but as long as you are you, you are still unique.