MUSIC AND ITS MARKETING 2 – BULDING YOUR PERSONAL MUSIC BRAND

MUSIC AND ITS MARKETING 2 – BULDING YOUR PERSONAL MUSIC BRAND

There’s so much more to being a professional musician than just creating and playing music. If you want to make it in this business, you’ve got to stand out from the crowd, and when it comes to musicians, that’s tough. Some people go overboard with insane costumes and exaggerated personalities, but that’s hard to pull off. Sure, it’s worked for some. Creating a personal brand isn’t difficult, though it does take some thought and a bit of effort. You already have all the tools you need; now you just might need a bit of help honing who you are and what you show to the world in a professional way. If you’re not sure what a personal brand is or how to make one that fits you and that you can manage, here are a few tips:

  1. BE YOURSELF

This is easily the most important suggestion if you want to build a successful brand. You need to accept yourself, and then be yourself in everything that you do. Whether it’s your music, your stage performance, or on social media, don’t ever try to put on a character and be someone else, because no matter how good you think you may be at it, people will be able to tell.

Now, this isn’t to say that you can’t emphasize certain qualities or parts of your personality, but they need to be authentic in some regard in order for the whole thing to work. If you’re naturally sassy, go all the way with it! If you’re very quiet and not much of a talker, don’t try to interact with an audience by chatting them up. It’s better to be the most authentic you that you can be and highlight whatever it is about you that stands out than attempt to copy what others have done and fail miserably.

2. DO IT DIFFERENTLY

No matter where you are or what kind of music you’re playing, the chances are there are a lot of other acts trying to make it who are similar. That sucks, but it’s just the way the business works. You should focus a lot of your energy on being yourself, creating the best music you can, and on putting on one huge show, but other than those things, what makes you stand out? What would make you instantly recognizable, even if someone couldn’t see your face? So, what is your “thing” going to be? You can always carry a certain item, dress a certain way, wear a certain color, develop a catchphrase… any and all of these things may sound like they don’t really matter, but they can be really helpful when it comes to developing a brand.

3. CREATE YOUR PERSONAL BRAND VISION

One Important step to creating your personal brand is to organize your thoughts and create your personal brand vision. This is the way you want yourself to be perceived by others and also how you want to live your professional and personal life.

4. CONNECT WITH MENTORS

A mentor is someone that can provide guidance and friendship for your life. They might have experience in the exact life path you want to pursue, but that quality is not a requirement. Often, the best mentors are simply good listeners, educators and friends.

5. PLAY SOME VERY FEW SHOWS FOR FREE

If someone does ask you to play for free and you’re early in your career, don’t be so quick to jump on it. Alternatively, if you’re a bit more established, don’t be so quick to say no. It’s important to assess the opportunity.

Here are some questions you can ask a promoter when you’re asked to play without pay:

  • What other artists are playing?
  • When do we play in relation to other artists?
  • How many people will be at the show during out set? (it’s important to specifically ask about the expected audience size during your set. Many promotors will give totals when asked otherwise, but many people will show up later in the day.)
  • Will we be able to sell merchandise?

If the opportunity really is going to provide a huge leap in the size of your fanbase, it’s for a cause you believe in, or it’s for a huge conference or event, go for it.

If you’re a new musician or band and don’t have much experience playing live, it might be a good idea to take what you can get for practice and even small amounts of exposure. Don’t play too many shows out of your hometown early on – it’s important to build your local fanbase before branching out.

In the extremely early stages, any amount of free exposure is good. Pay close attention to the type of people who love your music, and figure out how to get in front of more of these people using targeted music marketing strategies.

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