Whether you’re a musician, a performer or even an artist manager, building your own, personal brand is key to your future career. We’re aware that this mostly applies to artists or public-facing positions, so we’ll start there and move on to why it’s still important to project a brand personality, even as a business head!
What do you really stand for?
It’s great being an artist, right? Creating your own image, releasing your own music; especially in 2020 when it’s a better time than ever to release independently. But you can’t expect to build a real fanbase without standing for something. What are you communicating through your lyrics? What’s the overall image are you trying to portray? Are you fighting for any social, economic or political causes? It’s key to keep all these points in mind. Aimlessly posting on social media about working in the studio at one moment, and then being out with your friends at a bar the next certainly doesn’t communicate a brand message. Besides, this also gives the impression that you can’t be bothered to think about your project.
What are your visual anchors?
How you present yourself visually is almost as important as the music you make or the business idea you have. They mean nothing without well-constructed, clearly thought-out visual presentation across the board, from your album artwork and press photos to what you post day-to-day on social media. Music/promotional videos are even more important. Your brand is anchored to your visuals – without a cohesive strategy, you won’t have a brand, let alone a sense of artistry! It’s crucially important that you take time to refine your style, design and presentation.
Okay, so I have a cause and a cohesive visual style, what next?
You need to think about how you are developing your project and therefore developing your brand. A content strategy is key. You’ve got your content, but where are you posting it and how? In today’s age, social media is king and will be your most likely port of call. There are all sorts of tricks across Instagram, Facebook and more interactive platforms such as Snapchat and Tik-Tok to use to your advantage. Checking Instagram to see when your followers are most active and what posts work perform better in certain geographical areas as well as mapping your growth can be found by tapping just under your account name to the top of the screen. However, you’ll need to be sure you are set up as a business page. Facebook is similar; though more wide-reaching and powerful, and a little more complex.
On both Facebook and Instagram, you can experiment with powerful paid advertising. Sponsoring or ‘boosting’ a high performing feed post to your chosen target market can be very rewarding for communicating your personal brand, and at low costs too. We think it’s worth experimenting for a small fee (under £30) just to see what results you get and then use them to improve your future content strategy and brand strategy.
But what if I’m not an artist?
You can use other tools. LinkedIn is a great social media platform for building your professional brand. Although, in our opinion, you should have an account even if you’re a creative artist, songwriter or producer. Developing your own digital presence and footprint is especially key. Having a website about you and your business exploits, as well as a ‘cool’ online CV can also be handy. Writing your own blog or contributing to other publications is another good tip; it communicates your thoughts and opinions.
Developing your own personal brand is imperative within the music and creative industries. There is no one-size-fits all approach – and that’s what is so great. Everyone is different so live your own brand!